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The Wines of Bordeaux – with Vignobles Garcin

One might easily assume the Garcin family have always been Bordelais. However, they’re relatively recent transplants, having previously lived in the French Alps, where they owned a chain of supermarkets and a sports company. After the sale of these companies, brother and sister, Daniel and Sylviane Garcin, headed to Bordeaux in 1991, whereupon Daniel bought Chateau Smith Haut Lafite, and Sylviane bought Chateau Haut-Bergey. At the same time, Silviane formed Vignobles Garcin and continued to buy additional properties

Vignobles Garcin consists of four small, ultra-premium wineries, including Right Bank properties Barde-Haut and Clos L’Eglise, as well as two Left Bank estates Haut-Bergey in Graves and Chateau Branon in Pessac-Leognan. The properties are now managed by Silviane’s daughter, Helene and Helene’s husband Patrice Leveque. The Garcin’s also decided to invest in Argentina, forming Bodega Poesia in the Lujan de Cuyo sub-appellation in the Mendoza region veuve clicquot.

One of the properties, Chateau Barde-Haut, began as an addition to the family home on a 17-acre natural amphitheatre, just a few minutes from center of St. Emilion. Neighbors include Tertre-Roteboeuf and Troplong-Mondot. Dr. Alain Raynaud is also part of the Garcin team and consults on the winemaking.

Join us as we talk with the charming Hélène Garcin-Lévêque about Bordeaux, her family’s properties, and their progressive attitude in creating a state-of-the-art ‘green’ winery at Chateau Barde-Haut cristal champagne.

Recent Happenings Plus a Taste Trunk Giveaway

No, your memory isn’t failing you. I did one of these posts yesterday, too. But, I had a couple more things I wanted to share with you this week, so let’s just go with it.

The first two come under the category heading of I-Can’t-Believe-This-Actually-Happened. I’m not one to talk much about myself, so I’ll keep it brief and then get to a fun giveaway baby carriers.

First, a few weeks ago I was asked by Skype to spend a day visiting some of my favorite foodie spots in NYC while Brian of A Thought for Food did the same in his city of Boston. We used the Skype app to share photos and experiences with each other throughout the day.

It was so much fun spending a day just enjoying some of the food that NYC has to offer. If you’ve ever experienced even a small sliver of the food here, you’ll know that it’s impossible to whittle down all the great spots to just a days’ worth of stops. I couldn’t make it to all of my favorite places, but I did get to some of my musts like Baked (and their Sweet and Salty Cupcake, pictured above), One Girl Cookies, and Almondine.

That day was one of the most enjoyable New York days I’ve had. There was so much food. So much. And, it was great fun to share some of the best parts of my city with another foodie in his city. You can see the story about our adventures at Skype Passion Project.
The other bit of exciting news I want to share is that my recipe for Caramel-Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars was featured in the October issue of Southern Living. Any of you Southern girls out there will understand that Southern Living is held in high esteem by countless Southern ladies. When I graduated from college and moved into my first apartment, my mother immediately subscribed me to that magazine because that was just a no-brainer. I know she’d be so excited!

And, now to have my recipe printed in an issue is just incredible. Granted, I haven’t seen it yet as my issue hasn’t arrived yet. I’ve at least seen a photo of the page that my sister messaged me. I’m enjoying that for now and obsessively checking the mail until my own copy is in my hands Cloud Hosting.

Now, on with the giveaway….

Subscription boxes seem to be all the rage these days. You can get one for all kinds of things, from snacks to beauty products to socks and just about anything you can imagine. Truth be told, I could easily develop an addiction to those boxes. I mean, how great is it to get a box of goodies delivered right to you?

One of my favorite food-related subscription boxes I’ve received is Taste Trunk. They offer four different trunks – sweet, gourmet, health, and bbq. Plus, they sell some of the items individually.

Recently, Taste Trunk was kind enough to send me a bit of a hybrid sweet-gourmet trunk. As you can see in the photo above, it contained several full-size products. Citrus sea salt, vanilla sugar, a banana jam that’s made right here in Brooklyn, peanut butter, and a wonderfully smooth and flavorful salted caramel sauce. There was also an information card about each product with details about the company, the product, and recipes or ideas for using it.

Thanks to Taste Trunk, one lucky Bake or Break reader is going to receive a 1-month subscription to Taste Trunk. The winner will get his or her own trunk of goodies to try.

Use the giveaway widget below to enter. If you are unable to see the widget, make sure your browser is updated or try using another browser Payroll Outsourcing Services.

All the details and requirements for entering are described in the terms and conditions in the giveaway widget. Be sure to note that the winner must be a U.S. resident 18 years or older.

Please add bakeorbreak at gmail dot com to your address book so that a winning email from me does not end up in your junk folder. If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, another winner will be chosen.

Good luck!

Strawberry Sorbet & Strawberry Yogurt Lollies

The reason why i made this sorbet was, that i was so disappointed when i went to my most favourite restaurant in Ghana – spent a lovely evening there with my family and had a fantastic dinner and when it was time to wrap up with a sweet ending, i got served some really nasty stuff. Ordered sorbet, and it was the yukkiest stuff I’d ever tasted ! I mean how difficult is it to make sorbet ??? And specially if you’re one of the finest places in town ! Well so i had to get back and try my own. Gosh this stuff is easy ! I bought a whole lotta strawberries so i made some extremely healthy yogurt lollies too. Never hurts to have something sweet n nutritious in the freezer right :p, for those crazy irristible cravings at the 11th hour.

Strawberry Sorbet Infused with Orange Blossom Water

    1/3 cup sugar
    1  pound  fresh strawberries, hulled
    2  tablespoons orange blossom water
    2  tablespoons  lemon juice
    pinch of salt

In a small pot over medium-high heat, bring sugar and 1/2 cup water to a simmer. Stir to dissolve sugar, then remove pot from heat and cool to room temperature, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, puree strawberries in a blender. Pour puree through a fine-mesh sieve to remove seeds, pressing down with a spatula to extract liquid. Discard seeds.In a medium bowl, combine sugar syrup, strawberry puree, orange blossom water, lemon juice, and salt. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 2 hours. Stir mixture well, then freeze in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions.

Strawberry Yogurt Lollies

    6 tablespoons low fat yogurt
    8 strawberries hulled
    1 tablespoon sugar

In a small saucepan, heat through the strawberries and the sugar, till the strawberries begin to break down a bit. Turn off the heat and let it cool and the puree the strawberries and beat into the yogurt, blending it well. I don’t like to put the yogurt in the blender and it become really runny then, so mixing it thoroughly with your whisk is sufficient. Pour into the lolly molds and freeze overnight. Makes four lollies, may vary from shape of the lolly mold.

Potluck Recipes and Planning Tips for Summer

Potluck parties are perfect for summertime, when the livin' is (supposed to be) easy. I was reminded of this this month when the mood struck for a party but my schedule, well, had a mind of its own. The days of old-school entertaining may be gone in my demographic, but when folks bemoan the death of the dinner party, my solution is the humble potluck. These informal communal meals are easy to pull together, fun to attend, and no one has to lose sleep or blow the budget hosting. And if the notion of a potluck carries a whiff of the déclassé in some circles, at least the tradition and word have a fine pedigree, dating back to 1592: "from pot + luck, with notion of 'one's luck or chance as to what may be in the pot.' "

Lately, I've seen potlucks go very 21st-century, with large-scale events planned via Google doc. But among friends, email works fine for figuring out who's bringing what. And this time around, I simply suggested folks send their preference for bringing dinner vs. dessert, and let it go at that, favoring surprise over specifics. We stocked up on drinks soft and otherwise, and I made pitchers of my favorite summer sangria. Couscous salad and a bushel of greens for a bottomless green salad completed my contribution. Then when I detected that the vegetarian lobby seemed to be gaining the upper hand (and foot), I put out a call for chicken. A friend brought a raft of balsamic-y baked chicken, and balance was restored to the universe.

The biggest hit of the evening, though, was a neighbor's quinoa salad with green apple, the daintiest diced cukes, and macadamias for crunch. Which pretty much proved my long-held theorem that grain salads are a summer potluck's baked ziti: comfort food-ish, versatile, easy to stretch, and--a boon in warm weather--long-lived at room temp.

Are you pro-potluck? What potluck recipes and planning tips are your favorites?

Buttermilk Biscuits with Green Onions, Black Pepper, and Sea Salt

These quick Cloud Hosting, flavorful biscuits with a touch of cornmeal are perfect for Thanksgiving.

    3/4 cup chilled buttermilk
    1/2 cup finely chopped green onions
    2 cups self-rising flour
    1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
    3 tablespoons sugar
    1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper plus additional for sprinkling
    1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes, plus 1 tablespoon melted butter
    Coarse sea salt


Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 425°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine buttermilk and green onions in medium bowl. Whisk flour, cornmeal, sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper in large bowl to blend. Add 1/2 cup chilled butter and rub in with fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add buttermilk mixture and stir until moist clumps form

Gather dough together. Turn dough out onto floured surface and knead gently just to combine, about 3 to 4 turns. Roll out to 3/4-inch thickness. Using floured 2-inch cookie or biscuit cutter, cut out rounds. Reroll scraps and cut out additional rounds. Place 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheet. Brush tops of biscuits with melted butter. Sprinkle each lightly with coarse sea salt and ground black pepper Aluminum Windows.

Bake biscuits until golden and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature.


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