We’ve had a pretty hot summer, by Portland standards that is. There were several days where I couldn’t even bare to turn on the grill let alone the stove (shocking!). On days like that we either enjoyed cold salads or simple appetizers, like this delicious beauty below.

rab, Avocado, and White Bean Crostini

Over on Wine4.Me I shared one of my favorite dips that could sub as a party appetizer or full meal (like we like to eat it) — A Crab, Avocado, and White Bean Crostini. This dip (or crostini, however you want to serve it) is da bomb I tell ya. It’s made with fresh crab, creamy avocado and even creamier white beans. It’s fresh, light, and downright delicious.

Crab, Avocado, and White Bean Crostini

See the recipe and wine pairings for Crab, Avocado, and White Bean Crostini here.



The Perfect Steak!


“There’s something bittersweet about Labor Day weekend. Though summer doesn’t technically end until late in September, the three-day weekend symbolizes the end of the summer season (my favorite time of the year). For many families, that means back to school and back indoors for cooking. While there are certainly die-hard fans of year-round grilling (like me!), there are others who consider Labor Day Weekend the last big grilling opportunity of the year.”

Perfect Rib Eye Steaks on Wine4.Me

“Whether you are in the year-round grilling camp or you will be firing up your grill for the last time, I say go big this Labor Day! And by big I mean get out there and grill up the granddaddy of steaks – Ribeyes.” Read more… 

Find out the tips and tricks for perfecting grilled steaks at home.

Read How to Grill Perfect Ribeye Steaks along with my wine recommendations here.


For more recipes check out the Recipe Index.

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Smoked Pulled Pork Hash

August 21, 2015

This is how people who are obsessed with smoking meats do brunch. Portland is pretty famous for its brunch scene. But we have four-year-old twins, which means we’re not going out for brunch that often. Not that we don’t want to (we do!), but waiting in any kind of line for brunch (and Portland brunch […]

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Smoked Pulled Pork Wontons

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Sometimes some of the best meals are made from leftovers. What could be better than pork shoulder, perfectly smoked, finely pulled, juicy and tender? Using the leftovers to make these Smoked Pulled Pork Wontons. Well, I suppose that statement is arguable. Freshly pulled pork is pretty darn awesome. But I can say, without a doubt, […]

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Smoked Marinara Sauce

August 14, 2015

I’ve wanted to post this recipe for a long time. And since I was craving a hearty pasta dish to eat before running the Oregon Wine Country Half Marathon last week I thought it would be the perfect pre-race dinner and perfect opportunity to finally share this Smoked Marinara Sauce. We first came up with a […]

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2015 Oregon Wine Country Half Marathon — the scoop!

August 12, 2015

I knew I wasn’t entirely ready for the Oregon Wine Country Half Marathon, even though it’s been on my calendar for nearly a year. Summer, work, travel, kids, they all got in the way of a perfect training schedule, or really any consistent training schedule for that matter. I hadn’t had a long run (and […]

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Friday Favorites — BBQ, breakfast, and stellar sunsets

August 7, 2015

A weekly roundup of my favorite things from the week in the categories of wine, food, travel, and occasionally lifestyle. Since we took last Friday off, this covers the last two weeks of July.  LIFESTYLE Favorite Moment — Cooking for Counter Culture! I’m still pinching myself that we even got invited to cook at such […]

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Smoked Pork Ribs with Asian Spice Rub

August 5, 2015

By contributing writer, Sean “The Hubby” Barbecue can be a very subjective experience, especially if your lens for barbecue style foods is heavily influenced by one of the BBQ classical regions like the Carolinas, Memphis, or Texas.  That said, the technique for getting tender meat and smoky flavor can be an incredible canvas when looking […]

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IPNC 2015 — Photo Preview

August 4, 2015

IPNC, the International Pinot Noir Celebration, has been on my bucket list since I moved to Oregon in 2006. I finally got to attend this year! This three-day event, held every year in July on the campus of Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon, lived up to its hype. The event is described as a “mecca […]

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Cooking up Smoked Tomato Bisque and Rock Star Sandwiches on AM Northwest

July 30, 2015

We were back on AM Northwest! We were so stoked to have been asked back on AM Northwest, this time to cook up something not usually associated with BBQ – Vegetables! But not just any vegetable. Tomatoes   With tomato season gearing up here in the Pacific Northwest we wanted to show folks some super […]

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Smoked Pork Tenderloin with Smoked Blackberry Bourbon Sauce

July 21, 2015

Pork tenderloin was one of those gateway meats that brought me back to the dark side –or rather, eased my transition from being a pseudo-vegetarian to a smoked-meat-loving carnivore. Once I got past the constant visions of Babe, the talking pig, I learned how delicious the protein could be, if cooked correctly. Shortly after we […]

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