Thursday, January 28, 2010

Books I've Read - January

I just finished this fascinating book called the Billionaire's Vinegar. It's all about a bottle of wine sold thru Christies that broke auction records. Supposedly it's a bottle that Thomas Jefferson purchased from the Chateau and had engraved with his initials, year and vintage. In 1985 it was sold to Malcolm Forbes for $160K. The story features a few real life collectors and one man, Hardy Rodenstock, who seems to suspiciously stumble upon the oldest bottles of wine. I love wine, but can't say I know much about it. This book was a fascinating journey on what kinds of tasting notes wine specialists make, on Christies and Sotheby's auctions and the people who run them, how to make a 1787 vintage fake wine, then how to test wine to see if its fake (i.e. radation before and after the a-bombs) and why some people collect wine to store in a cellar and others drink it, seriously why wouldn't you drink it. If you love wine you'll enjoy this book immensely. I enjoy a good mystery, love history and am grateful to learn something new anytime I take a week to read a book.

My dear friend Bekah and I like to swap books and she told me I must read the above book. I started it last night and already laughed on Page 2. The Sweet Life in Paris: Delicous Adventures in the World's Most Glorious - and Perplexing - City. David Lebowitz has a funny sense of humor and I love when people can just pick up there lives and move to a new city, foreign one at that. I know I'd have to learn patience if I moved anywhere as things are done so much differently. But that's the charm of it all. I'll share a few snippets as I get further into the book. It has fantastic recipes that have already made me salivate.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Dinner for 10

So this past Sunday a dear friend gave his first Public Talk. 30 minutes in front of about 1oo people. He prayed for a natural disaster to keep him from giving this talk. We had rain last week and hail, but thankfully no natural disaster. As a little gift for he and his lovely wife we had dinner for 10 people in our tiny little apartment. It was enjoyable company in a cozy environment.

I have no pictures as I was too busy cleaning, cooking, pouring drinks and entertaining.

It took SB and I days to figure out what to make but here's our menu for 10:

Appetizer: Ceviche - made with Mahi Mahi, persion cucumbers, tomatos, jalapenos, salt and lots of fresh squeezed lime juice. Served in martini glass with Tostito's scoops to accompany. We're High-low class. Just ordinary folks.

Main Course: Fresh Chicken Breast stuffed with Taleggio cheese (rind trimmed) and wrapped in thin slices of prosciutto. Served with Rice Pilaf and pan roasted asparagus with salt and olive oil. Recipe for Chicken Breasts adapted from Bon Appetit.

Dessert: My friend Caroline provide a delicious Ghirradelli chocolate cake with fresh berries on top. It was perfect.

Drinks were open to wine, beer and good old fashion gin & tonics. It was a lovely evening. Can't wait to entertain again.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


This recent storm seems to mimic my life. While I want to hibernate I'm forced out into the elements. I miss baking, photographing and traveling. I've watch Julie and Julia twice and wished I had a better situation myself these days.

I have always had an infinity towards trees, maybe it's the lonely nature of a tree or the big textured trunks that branches off into these leaf wonderful shapes. When I was in New Mexico recently my Dad showed me a painting he was working on. Yes he's finally doing what he loves. I almost gasped because it was a tree, barky textured cottonwood tree. I swear I've drawn that tree a million times. So this post is dedicated to the tree. Here are few of my favorites.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Art Gallery in Sante Fe

It's almost been a year since we visited in New Mexico.
Last year while in Sante Fe, my Mom insisted that we visit this gallery.

After many a u-turn and wrong street, we found it. All SB and I could say was it better be worth it. Oh it was. She had never been here in the Winter, but she said the garden was special. It was magical to say the least. Snow blanketed the entire area.

The sculptures stood out and the ducks ice skated on the pond. We had the whole garden to ourselves and took pictures next to every bear, bunny, Indian, bench, whatever struck our fancy.

The art inside and out is beautiful and inspiring. If your visiting Sante Fe this season this is a must visit place with the whole family.

Nedra Matteucci
1075 Paseo de Peralta,
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501


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