Driven by Coffee; Inspired by Wine

…because Life is what happens between coffee and wine.

Happy New Year!

Well, folks, it’s January 1st, 2018 – and, as promised, I am back! Up until yesterday, though, I wasn’t sure I was going to be here today… A few weeks ago I had some major computer issues (I believe a Windows update may have been interrupted) and the only resolution was to reinstall Windows. Unfortunately, by doing so, I lost a great deal of my crucial resource links. I am slowly rebuilding all the work I had done, but I am nowhere near as prepared as I had hoped to be by today.

But, because I had to work today, I had a quiet New Year’s Eve and I spent a great deal of the day putting the final touches on my new site design and preparing for the big reveal today. Have you wandered around the site yet? Be sure to check out the left and right sidebar content (if you are on a mobile, it’s at the bottom) – aside from the menus, the rest will update frequently. I have especially enjoyed preparing the “This Day in Music” content – I have learned so many interesting historical music facts and it has become an extension of all the interesting things I learn while listening to the Jeff Woods radio program Records and Rock Stars. (Another Music Monday, April 10, 2017.)

I also spent a few hours in the kitchen yesterday – with John Coltrane, Norah Jones, Neil Diamond and Louis Armstrong (on the turntable) and Robert Mondavi (in my wine glass). I was trying out three new recipes and, as I was prepping and cooking, this was happening in the corner of my kitchen:

A little snacky-poo while I was having fun in the kitchen. 🙂

Unintentionally, my New Year’s Eve took on a cheese theme.

One recipe I tried was Fried Goat Cheese. You just slice the log of cheese into discs, dredge the slices in flour, dip them in egg, then coat with seasoned bread crumbs and fry in vegetable oil until golden brown. Here’s my finished product:

They were very tasty but, as much as I love goat cheese, the flavour was overbearing. I think they would taste much better if you tossed a couple on a salad with a raspberry vinaigrette!


As a cheese lover, I could not wait to try out this recipe I found for Cheese Dreams. This is the picture that accompanied the recipe:

Brace yourself – this is what mine looked like when they came out of the oven:

They did taste much yummier than they looked, but the amount of butter the recipe called for was way too much. If you decide to give them a try, here’s the recipe link: I would try using about half a cup of butter instead of the full cup the recipe calls for. Also, personally, I would use a full teaspoon of mustard powder and totally eliminate the salt, unless you are using unsalted butter.

And, lastly, I have always wanted to try to make my own baked brie, so I finally did yesterday.

Sweet and Savory Baked Brie
  • 1 13-ounce Brie Wheel
  • 1 sheet Frozen Puff Pastry, thawed
  • Cranberry Sauce
  • Fresh Rosemary
  • 1 whole Egg
  • 1 tablespoon Water
  • Crackers
  1. Preheat your oven to 400°. Unfold the puff pastry sheet on a floured surface. Roll out slightly. Place the brie wheel in the center and spread the cranberry sauce on top in an even layer. Chop some rosemary and sprinkle over the top. Fold the puff pastry around the brie, crimping the top together and sealing the edges. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  2. Whisk together the egg and the water. Brush the egg wash on the puff pastry covered brie.
  3. Place in the oven to bake for 20 – 25 minutes until golden brown. Remove and let stand for 15 minutes before serving. Serve with crackers.

The recipe was great and the brie was yummy. I served it with rosemary crackers which really upped the flavour.

I am beat and really need to get ready to hit the hay. I apologize as I had anticipated posting this much earlier, but we got about a foot of snow while I was at work today and not only did it take me much longer to get home (thank goodness for my new Tucson!), but it took me well over an hour to shovel my driveway – and I only cleared about 2/3 of it! UGH!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!



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January 17 – Today is:

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January 17, 1967 - 40-year-old David Mason recorded the piccolo trumpet solo for The Beatles' 'Penny Lane', at Abbey Road Studios in London. He was paid £27, 10 shillings ($42) for his performance. In August, 1987, the trumpet he used was sold at a Sotheby's auction for $10,846.
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