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 Tomorrow afternoon, we will pack all of our crap into our tiny Honda civic and make the 8 hour trip up I-95 to Pennsylvania.  There will be much cursing and road-rage during the trip. The cursing will not be from me, but from my beloved husband who insists upon driving the entire way up himself (love you, sweetie).

   Anyway, I am really looking forward to our two week stay up north.  Obviously because of the chance to spend the holidays with family and friends and all of the warm fuzzy stuff.  Aside from that, there are certain culinary traditions that we always honor when we come up for the holidays that I look forward to all year long.

      Christmas Eve Dinner:  Since I got married we spend Christmas Eve with my in-laws; our traditional dinner consists of crab legs, steamed clams, and broiled lobster tail.  Add a couple bottles of wine to that and a traditional shot of “the recipe”, and you have a great family gathering which ends with the exchanging of gifts and watching “A Christmas Story”.  My side of the family celebrates the Italian feast of the seven fishes on Christmas eve.  This consists of my brothers and their families invading my Mom’s kitchen and making several different seafood dishes.  I won’t be there in person, but I am always there in spirit, and I hear all about it the next day at my Mom’s house!

        Wing night:  It isn’t a trip up to Clarks Summit, PA without our pilgrimage to Kelly’s Bar for Buffalo wings.  I am not sure if it is that the wings are really great, or if it is the company.  The wings are always cooked just right, the sauce isn’t too hot, and the blue cheese dressing is homemade. 

         Schiff’s Grocery trip:  In Scranton, PA there is a crazy little store called Schiff’s Cash and Carry.  At Christmas time they have these trailers that they keep outside and sell fresh seafood that they keep on ice. It is so cold up there at Christmas, they probably don’t even need the ice!  Inside,  they have a large butchers area. They sell fresh smoked Polish Kielbasa. It is they best that I have ever tasted. We always take a few rings back with us for the freezer.  There are so many things to look at in that store, I could spend hours in there just browsing!

            Pizza Steaks and Tomato Pie:   Back down in the Philadelphia suburbs, there are two things that I always try to get a taste of while I am there. The first is a pizza steak. I will make my confession right now.. I grew up outside of Philadelphia, and I am not a huge fan of the traditional cheesesteak sandwich.  My favorite is an Italian variation.  A good pizza steak starts with cheese steak filling (no onions or peppers or anything else) inside of an Amoroso roll.  Then add marinara or pizza sauce, mmmm.  Even better cold the next day. 

         The second thing that I don’t always get while I am home, but I think about often is tomato pie.  How to explain this…  It starts off with a thick sicilian-style pizza crust, then is topped with a chunky crushed tomato topping. Instead of mozzarella cheese, it is heavily dusted with grated parmesan and herbs.  You could eat it warm, but it is really good served at room temperature.   Tomato pie is more often found at local bakeries than pizza joints. 

 Well, those are just a few of the things I am looking forward to over the next two weeks.  Maybe I will have some interesting new things to share when we get back.

Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

          

         

       

    

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I am not dead….

Contrary to what you might think by the long pause in posts on the site, I am not dead or stuck up in a full body cast or anything.

 First we went out of town for the two weekends prior to Thanksgiving,  then the camera had a tragic accident, then Thanksgiving was here (it was lovely),  then….well I don’t know…

Anyway, things have  just sort of gotten away from me here… And now we are going away for a long weekend to Key West.  So, when I get back I plan to have lots of fun things to talk about, like all the good places to eat in Key West. 

Talk to you soon!

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Today I added a new feature to the Dinner and Drinks blog… email subscriptions through FeedBurner.com.

If you notice to the right, there is a new little box (a widget in blog terms) that supplies a link you can click on.  If you love to read about our culinary adventures,  but you can’t remember to check the website for new posts, just click the link and follow the directions.  Once you have verified your email address, any time a new post is published, you will hear about it in an email the next morning!

There are other, more high tech ways to do this through feed aggregators and other words I am still getting used to, so bear with me.  Maybe one day in the future I will be able to explain it to any readers who are like me and don’t know right from left on the keyboard!

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Great Pino Noir

Tonight was the first night in a little while that we both got home from work at a decent hour and could sit down and enjoy a nice dinner together. Plus, it was one of my favorite nights of the week… Thursday!  To me, Thursday night is as good as Friday, the weekend is so close you can feel it.

We had grilled salmon with parboiled/grilled new potatoes and a salad. I picked the fixin’s up at the grocery store during lunch,  and wandered through the wine aisle of the grocery store on my way to the check out. Lots of people automatically think white wine with fish, but I think that salmon stands up to red wine pretty well.  This pinot noir that I got at the grocery store was really smooth and went really well with the horseradish in the salmon marinade.

 We have never had a bad Pinot Noir from the Willamette valley of Oregon. 

 Happy Thursday from me to you!  Hope you have a good weekend.  Eagles and Giants play on Sunday night, I am trying to think of something good for dinner to get the Philly mojo’ goin.  I can’t do justice to cheese steaks, so I will have to think of something else.

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Here we go!

Here I go, off on this idea to start a blog about food and drinks and the fun things in life. I get lots of crazy ideas, but I don’t often follow them… I guess it has something to do with turning 31 and dealing with some “life is so short” trains of thought.

Okay, enough of this philosophical mumbo jumbo. Since this is the first post of my blog, I thought you might want to hear a little about me…

I like food. I have always liked to eat, but I never knew I could cook until I had to live on my own and I couldn’t afford one more dinner out. Food is a big comfort to me. Putting together a great dinner can put a smile on my husband’s face, and it can also let me know I am not a complete idiot when nothing else seems to go right.

I don’t consider myself a great gourmet chef. I am definately a recipe-aholic. Most of the things you see coming from my kitchen will be simple (I hate dishes), but maybe it will inspire you to do something differently, or maybe you will make a suggestion and I will learn something new too!

The title of this blog comes from the line I hear from my husband on many nights around 7:00.. what are we drinking with dinner? And hence a blog is born…..

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