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Category: Featured

4th Annual Napa Truffle Festival, January 17-20, 2014

  I don’t know about you, but I always thought it was criminal that the 12 days of Christmas don’t include a gift of truffles. I’d so kick those noisy “calling birds” to the curb and replace them with a basket of these fragrant fungi. If your sig other is any sort of foodie and you need a very last minute gift, there’s still time to score tickets to the 4th Annual Napa Truffle Festival , January 17-20, 2014. The American Truffle Company returns to Napa with the fourth annual Napa Truffle Festival – bringing together two complementary aspects...

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Garlic Cognac Roasted Trumpet Mushrooms

    I love all mushrooms, but I must confess that I’m partial to king trumpets.  Savory in flavor with a firm meaty texture, they live up to their royal title.  Only one thing could make these wonderful gifts better… Cognac!  It is warm and nutty by nature, but when you combine it with butter  it is transcended to a roasted sweet caramel.  In this recipe, when the cognac & butter meets the smokey piquillo pepper, the herbes de Provence & the salty Parmesan, magic happens.  The mushrooms dance and the cognac sings. This dish is a wonderful accompaniment to...

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Last Minute Gourmet Christmas Dinner Menu

Includes video instruction for each recipe. Last year my Christmas wish was to spend at least one month in France in the new year, just to enjoy the lifestyle.  After ringing in the New Year and didn’t give it considerable thought as I made my months went from winter to spring.  In mid-summer, much to my surprise, I received an invite from Chef Katherine Frelon to attend her cookery school in the Burgundy region of France at La Ferme de La Lochere in late August.  It was my Christmas in July!  The incredible French countryside adventure I had been...

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Wiesbaden’s Twinkling Christmas Market

Early spring, I was fortunate to have an inexpensive ticket to Frankfurt and ended up discovering Wiesbaden. The city, with its friendly residents, festivals and beauty, captured my heart. I had to share this historic find with my husband. December found us back in Wiesbaden for the Twinkling Star Christmas Market. After checking in at the Hotel Radisson SAS Schwarzer Bock, we bundled up and ventured out to the excitement of Schlossplatz, which was transformed by the Wiesbaden Twinkling Star Christmas Market. Walking the streets while sipping gluhwein (mulled spiced hot wine) in the cold allowed the holiday spirit...

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Tierra Patagonia – Luxury At The End Of The Earth

Our adventure’s luxe base camp was at the five star Tierra Patagonia which is the very manifestation of “organic elegance”.  Designed by chilean architect Cazu Zegers, it is built of smooth and rough hewn lenga wood and glass. The hotel curves and flows with the wind along the top of a small hill that overlooks Lake Sarmiento and the world famous Towers, those craggy mountain peaks that so uniquely define the park.

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Holiday Party Goer: The Ultimate Style Guide for the Season

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Present wrapping, festive cookies, holiday parties. Spread good cheer with holiday attire that is just right! With so many different directions you can go, make sure you are the perfect party goer this season. Here are a few options that are sure to get you noticed… A one shoulder dress is not only flattering, but sexy! It shows off your shoulders while still looking sophisticated. Because of this neckline, it allows your to dazzle with a bold pair of earrings to complete the look. Going from work to play? A fitted...

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Chef Mathew Macartney of Chateau Yering Shares an Intriguing Salad Plate

While exploring the Australian Yarra Valley wine region, I was able to experience the five star, heritage- listed Victorian mansion. Chateau Yering, sitting on 250 acres, is a member of Relais & Chateaux. In the parlor, while enjoying scones and tea, I discovered Head Chef Mathew Macartney. Mathew oversees the Sweetwater Café and Elenore’s, a One Chef’s Hat in The Age Good Food Guide. Elenore’s has won numerous awards since Mathew arrived. He has also been a celebrity chef on Silversea’s cruise line the past two years. Chef Macartney’s talent speaks for itself in the recipe he chose to...

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Four Ocean Vodka Holiday Cocktails

When we visited Maui, we were fortunate to visit and tour Ocean Vodka. In addition to being impressed with the delicious product, family, marketing and mission, we were thrilled the product  was as good as we heard it was. Since then, we’ve been getting many of  their recipes and these holiday recipes were perfect for the upcoming season. If you ever have the opportunity to visit the Ocean Vodka facility, we’d encourage you to do so. In addition to sampling the product, learning about this philanthropic company who is producing organic products, helping native Hawaiians, growing by innovative concepts,...

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Executive Chef Bryan Dame of the Tides Beach Club

   Chef Bryan Dame has been partial to New England for over fifteen years. A graduate of New England Culinary Institute, Dame’s cooking combines the freshest local ingredients, traditional family recipes and modern technique. Starting out as Sous Chef at Simon Pearce in Vermont, Dame worked in several different capacities through the years.From Simon Pearce, Bryan spent time cooking at different inns and restaurants including the Inn at Little Washington in Washington, VA; Opus 251 in Philadelphia; Traditions Restaurant at Lake Sunapee Country Club in New Hampshire; and the Lyme Inn in Lyme, NH.As Executive Chef at the Tides...

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Maui’s Unique Spa Adventures

Award-winning spas offer ancient rituals with indigenous products. Surrounded by breath-taking mountains, soothing ocean breezes and a relaxing calm that permeates the island culture, a visit to Maui is not complete without indulging in at least one rejuvenating spa treatment. The word maui actually means “life, alive, to live” in the Hawaiian language. To the early peoples of Hawaii, the earth, the sea, and the mountains were all intertwined with a person’s health and well-being. Embracing that same philosophy today, Maui’s spas offer many indigenous treatments that have been passed down from generation to generation. The Spa at Travaasa...

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Maui Magic at Lumeria

To interior designer and architectural conservator, Xorin Balbes, there was something magical about the derelict property on the foothills of Maui’s Mt Haleakala. The land was special – he had felt its energy, but he’d also seen the dry rot that now invaded the buckled timber buildings that, a decade earlier, had housed pineapple pickers. So Xorin knew the onerous task he faced, but believed it was important to restore the unique 1909 authentic Craftsman style property with its “neo-classical and vernacular Japanese details”. So today, when you first round the corner of the driveway and take in the...

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Penthouse Perch: Uncommon Luxury at Inn and Spa at Loretto, Santa Fe, NM

Named for the historic Loretto Chapel that shares the grounds with this luxe hotel property, Inn and Spa at Loretto offers Santa Fe’s only penthouse. The lavish rooftop penthouse in the heart of Santa Fe delivers spectacular panoramic views of the historic New Mexican city from five separate terraces. Your own private elevator whisks you like a rock star away from the groupies into the spacious two-story suite. You arrive at lush living and dining areas that are decorated in understated southwestern elegance and designed to enhance the natural and cultural setting of the distinctive space. The fully appointed...

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