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Beer Wine Spirits

Rosemary Sweet and Salty Dog Cocktail

January 21, 2018

This mixed drink gives a fun, earthy twist to the traditional salty dog cocktail. A simple syrup is infused with rosemary from the herb garden and combined with freshly squeezed red grapefruit juice and vodka. It’s served in a glass with a rim of fine ground sea salt. 

Rosemary Sweet and Salty Dog Cocktail Recipe |

It has come to my attention this week that there are quite a few people out there who do not like grapefruit. 

I suspect that much like those who do not like kale, they cannot be trusted. 

Just kidding. 

To be honest, I’m not quite sure when I turned the corner on the stuff. For years, it was a grandma and grandpa breakfast accompaniment.  Served alongside poached eggs and whole grain toast. 

For the record, I refuse to think that my love for the fruit correlates with getting older. Proof is in in the fact that I’ve loved grapefruit for at least 10 years now. 

I think it’s because I was introduced to red grapefruit. 

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Food on Tap Cookbook! The Day Is Here!

October 10, 2017

Food on Tap: Cooking with Craft Beer by Lori Rice

It is finally here!

Food on Tap:  Cooking with Craft Beer publishes today!

I’m so grateful to everyone who helped make this book possible and to those who have been so excited to share about it. Notes from Instagram stories and other social outlets have been flowing my way over the past couple weeks and it’s like a big virtual hug. 

I’m not sure how other cookbook authors feel, but I find it a bit awkward to promote my own book. I share bits and pieces on social, but I’m never quite sure what to write about it here on the blog. 

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Roasted Grape and Rosemary Cocktail

August 6, 2017
Roasted Grape and Rosemary Cocktail Recipe |

I’ve always considered grapes to be a fall food. Maybe it’s their deep purple color, or that I was always used to concord grapes growing up. Those are a fall fruit, but table grapes are harvested in the summer here. As in right about now. 

That’s one of the cool things that one gets to witness here in the Valley. Harvest of just about everything is an incredible operation to observe. 

So I bought a few crisp, sweet red and purple grapes, which are really purple and almost black. Beautiful. 

They are, of course, good fresh, but they are also excellent roasted. A half hour in the oven and they become even sweeter with caramelized notes. So if you can stand heating up the oven in the summer, roasted grapes are the way to go. 

They go well in desserts, on pizzas, and in cocktails…

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Pineapple Sage Bourbon Lemonade

August 4, 2017
Pineapple Sage Bourbon Lemonade Recipe |

Pineapple sage was a new addition to the herb garden this year. What an amazing plant. First of all, the leaves taste like pineapple. And it smells like it, too. Mine hasn’t flowered yet, but it will also bloom with beautiful reddish pink flowers that attract humming birds. 

It’s taken off well in the garden. Some of the older leaves are burning in the sun, but I was pleased to find some new, pretty growth in the inner part of the plant. It seems to be sticking around. 

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Tomato Purple Basil Vodka Cooler

August 2, 2017
Tomato Purple Basil Vodka Cooler Cocktail Recipe |

I had a purple basil plant back in our Kentucky garden. I love the deep purple color it adds to a landscape that is otherwise all green. When I found one here earlier this spring, I decided to give it a go. 

After our first hot spell, I thought it had bit the dust. The strong sun here tends to turn the leaves a brownish gray, not the purple I was hoping for. But a couple weeks ago, it started coming back a bit. I’ve upped the watering and it now has new purple leaves peeking out. 

Next year I think I’ll try it in more shade, but for now, I have enough purple basil for garnishes and cocktails.

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Garden Cocktail Week

August 1, 2017
Garden Cocktail Week on

I’m still working on cracking the code for successfully growing food here in the Central Valley. Blueberries and citrus are going well and I can pull off some kale through winter. 

Peppers last year were a no go, and I’ve murdered a few tomato plants as well. As I continue to attend workshops and talk with others, I’m slowly gaining more knowledge. I do see a few tomatoes and maybe an eggplant in the near future. 

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White Summer Sangria

July 10, 2017
White Summer Sangria recipe with riesling stone fruits and berries |

I rarely have an occasion to make sangria, but last week we had a little Fourth of July party to break in the new kitchen. 

It was a simple affair – charcuterie, salad, and sausages on the grill. I had a lot of fruit around so stepping things up in the drink department seemed like a good idea. 

A fellow blogger and friend visited the Saturday prior and brought us some beautiful plums. I’ve also been trying to take advantage of the last few days of berry season around here so I’ve been buying up way more than we can eat. Sangria was a natural fit for all the fruit.

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Crab Cakes Benedict with Buttermilk Herb Sauce

April 18, 2017

This twist on one of my favorite brunch meals pairs Crab Cakes Benedict with the crisp 2013 Oak Knoll Chardonnay sent to me this month from Cultivar Wine.

Crab Cakes Benedict with Buttermilk Herb Sauce Recipe | Fake Food Free (sponsored post)


We were at least a year into our time living in the Bay Area before I discovered Crab Cakes Benedict. To be honest, I’d probably only started eating regular Eggs Benedict not long before that.

The crab cake version, though? Well, it blew the old standby away. In all honesty, I can’t say that I was a super huge fan of the original anyway. The Canadian bacon on the English muffin didn’t do much for me, nor did the sauce. 

But Crab Cakes Benedict is a whole different story.

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Date and Bacon Tarts with Mascarpone and Hazelnuts + Savory Fig, Rosemary and Parmesan Cornmeal Cookies

December 22, 2016

These sweet and savory holiday party snacks pair well with the 2013 Leaky Lake Cabernet Sauvignon I received from Cultivar Wine

Holiday Appetizer Recipes | Date and Bacon Tarts with Mascarpone and Hazelnuts + Savory Fig, Rosemary and Parmesan Cornmeal Cookies | Fake Food Free #freeproductreview

Tis the season for snacks and appetizers. At least that is what I’ve been telling myself as I’ve snacked my way through breakfast, lunch, and dinner the past week. I try to rotate a carrot or celery stick in every now and then, but who am I kidding. 

At this point, it’s best to cast dietary caution to the wind and enjoy some holiday food. And drink a little wine. 

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Dark Chocolate Bark with Cashews, Coconut and Currants

June 14, 2016

This dark chocolate bark is studded with salted cashews, toasted coconut and dried currants. It makes a delicious dessert when paired with the Laphroaig 10 Year Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky I recently received for review. 

Dark Chocolate Bark with Cashews, Coconuts and Currants paired with Laphroaig Scotch | Fake Food Free | Product review

If my Dad could total up the number of pounds of cashews he has received as Father’s Day gifts over the years, I have little doubt it could fill the back of a pick-up truck. There has always been something essential about a can of his favorite nuts being a part of his gifts. 

I suspect my tendency to give food as a gift is rooted in this family practice. But these days, while my family tends to stick with things like cashews, our gift giving has expanded into the drink category. 

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