August 27, 2019 // Archive

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27 Aug

Forbes Finds Wine Glasses

A few weeks ago, I judged the New York Wine Classic run by the The New York Wine & Grape Foundation. It had been a few years since I’d tasted such a broad overview of New York state’s wines in a mere two days. The exercise was informative. From hybrids to Vitis vinifera, made in a range of whites, reds, sparkling, dessert, and fortified styles, the state proved it can make a broad array of wines, though to varying success. However, not every producer submits to the competition, and tasting wine in a sterile, blind setting provides only a glimpse at what’s transpiring in a particular region. So, in a nod to support the state’s intrepid producers by hearing from people on the ground in each appellation, I contacted winemakers in Long Island, the Finger Lakes, and the Hudson Valley for interviews.

I met Nancy Irelan, winemaker and co-owner with Mike Schnelle of Red Tail Ridge Winery near Seneca Lake, several years ago. Her intellect, business experience, and pragmatism impressed, as did her line-up of cool climate European varietal wines. At the time, and to this day, it’s odd to find red grapes like Lagrein and Teroldego growing in New York. But her science background and experience with experimental vineyards informed her decision to make those wines in a climate similar to their origin. After fourteen years, those efforts were acknowledged by the James Beard Foundation with a semifinalist nod in the category of Outstanding Wine, Spirits or Beer Producer.

What’s the story behind the name Red Tail Ridge?

Back in 2005, Michael and I were clearing the land for our first plantings. We were picking rocks and loading them in the trailer behind the tractor. We’d been discussing what to name the property for weeks. Nothing really seemed to truly fit. We were chatting about this across the trailer bed, as we lobbed the rocks into the bed. We weren’t that far apart, but it was getting progressively harder to hear each. Finally, it got so loud we were flat-out yelling at each other. Simultaneously we stopped and looked up. Flying low over our heads were two redtail hawks…screeching and circling over the freshly cleared land. They were hunting. Turns out that, when we cleared the land, the property became a premium hunting ground for varmints and critters. It has been a mutually beneficial relationship ever since.

Given your reputation for Northern Italian, Austrian, and even German red grapes, how did you first decide what to plant?

Before starting this project in the Finger Lakes, I spent 18 years in California. The initial years were spent getting my PhD in Grape Genetics while I was in the Viticulture and Enology Department. I was hired straight out of grad school in the mid-90s to start a Quality program for E&J Gallo Winery. During my 12 years with the company, I was involved in a wide range of technical projects ranging from long-term innovation projects for the future, to practical problem solving and day to day commercial practices during harvest. As farmers, we all knew back in the 90s that the climate was changing. It was getting hotter in the Central Valley. I was part of a team charged with evaluating alternative grape varieties that might be better suited to the changing climate. Some of these vinifera varieties were relatively unheard of in the US back then. We planted a large experimental vineyard with multiple varieties from several European origins: Portugal, Spain, Italy, etc. Individual, micro-lots of wine were made from each variety. The wines were put through sensory analysis and then finally tasted by the company winemakers and viticulturists. Today, you will see the resulting best-performing varieties as blend components in many of the wines coming out of that area. 

When we decided to relocate to the Finger Lakes, we knew that Riesling would be our focus for white wine production; but we thought a lot about how we wanted to go forward with red varieties. With our glacial, calcareous soils and our cool climate, we have a relatively short growing season. We wanted to focus on varieties that could provide full flavor ripeness in a relatively short period of time. Obviously, Pinot Noir fits the bill; although it is an absolute heartbreaker in the vineyard and requires laborious and meticulous vineyard practices. I knew the genetic heritage of Dornfelder, Teroldego and Blaufränkisch from my previous experimental vineyard work. And I was familiar with their viticultural personalities. They have loose clusters, thick skinned berries, and they are able to achieve full flavor ripeness in a relatively short period of time. Under the proper climatic conditions, they can consistently produce beautifully balanced wines that speak to where they are grown. More recently we’ve added Cabernet Franc, Lagrein, and Zweigelt to the mix, bringing our current red plantings up to 15 acres.

Which grapes have you found the most success with, whether in the complexity of the wine you produce or commercial sales?

I want to talk bubbles. Finger Lakes climate and soils are pure perfection for production of ultra-premium “grower champagne-style” sparkling. Be it Riesling, or Chardonnay, or Pinot Noir….frankly any variety we grow here…we can rock the bubble year in and year out. In fact, that is the heritage of this area. Pre-prohibition, this place was very much focused on sparkling production, primarily of the French hybrid varieties. We had solid representation from the Champagne region working/collaborating here: Fournier, Roederer, Veuve Clicquot. 

Stylistically, I am talking about wines that see extended tirage time, with very lean dosage levels-Brut, Extra Brut, Brut Nature. Our sparklings have distinctly unique personalities, and they are world class. They will stand the test of time. Here at RTR, we are convinced that sparkling is the future for this region. We are more and more, committing wine to tirage. Unfortunately, putting wines down to tirage aging for multiple years is a major investment for a little family winery; so we have to be prudent about how we ramp up. Also, I’m not a very patient person, so I can’t wait around 4+ years to drink bubbles…so…I make PetNat! We drink Pet Nat while we wait for the real serious bubbles to develop. It’s a win-win.

On the red side, we are moving more toward harnessing the diversity and complexity of our estate red program and funneling it into a proprietary estate blend: Rebel with a Cause. Our first and current release is a blend of estate Lagrien, Teroldego and Blaufränkisch. As the Cab Franc and Zweigelt come to maturity, they may also become a component of this wine as well. The percentages will change with the vintages, as we find the best marriage that reflects the unique climatic influences of that year.

Share a little about your path to winemaking and your ethos at RTR. 

I was a full-time chemist, going to night school to get my undergraduate degree. As an older student, and one with some with technical experience, I decide to focus on specific professors…based on their research programs. I was immediately smitten with Carole Meredith’s program on grape genetics and molecular biology. Back in the late 80s, it was a relatively wide-open field with lots of opportunities to carve out your own niche. Toward the end of my career at Gallo, I had been promoted to Vice President of Viticulture and Enology R&D; I had a crew of about 20 to 25 people who were incredibly knowledgeable and competent. I had become an administrator. My days were spent delegating tasks and going to meetings. Long story shortened, I was losing myself. I felt like I wasn’t learning or maintaining momentum anymore. 

Michael and I wanted to find a place where we could afford to start a project with just our savings. Sometimes, timing can be everything. Fourteen years ago, folks in the Finger Lakes were just starting to realize the true potential of the region to make great wines. You could feel the energy and the opportunity. And here we are now, fourteen years later. In many ways, Red Tail Ridge is the antithesis of my earlier life in grapes and wine. We make small batches of handmade wine. We are minimal interventionists, preferring to do all the work upfront in the vineyard during the growing season.

Do you think wines in the Finger Lakes have improved over the last few years?

Yes, Finger Lake wines have generally improved over the 14 years that Michael and I have been here. The speed of this evolution has increased more recently as folks apply more skill and attention to vineyard and winemaking practices. Over time the regional producers have begun to move beyond the tasting room model and to commit themselves to becoming competitive on the national and international playing field. Improved wine quality and consistency are core to being a successful player in the market. Access to this wider audience has also led to international recognition and appreciation of our unique terroir and wine styles. There are very few wine regions in the world that have soils and climatic conditions similar to the Finger Lakes.    

Would you share some of the difficulties in working with Finger Lakes fruit and vineyards?

I would have to say that the challenges and strengths of this region are completely opposite to what I was familiar with in California. Here, in the Finger Lakes, we have weather. The climate is fairly unpredictable and subject to constant flux. Folks are always asking me about global warming and suggesting that the added heat will make the region more suitable for varieties that are grown in hotter climates. But my experience has been that basically the weather is becoming more extreme, with less periods of moderation. We have been experiencing extreme fluctuations of hot, cold, moisture, drought, wind, hail, humidity, yada yada. The outcome of this is that as growers or winemakers, we must be nimble and able to roll with the changes. This means that there are no recipes. Most importantly, if you want to make great wine, you must be completely in tune with your vineyard and how the fruit is developing. Fundamentally, by the time the fruit arrives at the crush pad, you should already know exactly what you are going to do with it. It can be a bit challenging at times; but the outcome can be so incredibly rewarding. Our wines are a complete reflection of a moment in time. They are a living memory portal to the vintage in which they were grown. No two vintages are the same in the Finger Lakes. Hence, as a winemaker you can go back and do a vertical and relive the challenges and accomplishments of each individual harvest. I have learned to embrace the challenges that mother nature constantly throws at us in the region, because the outcomes and results are so unique and rewarding. 

Discuss some of the difficulties with consumer perception of Finger Lakes wines.

I actually think the hurdles are slowly diminishing as folks continue to expand their palates and explore new tastes. When I first started selling Finger Lakes wine outside of the Finger Lakes, I was met with a bit of skepticism. The region has a history of jug wine production; and 10 or so years ago, there was still a major focus on making inexpensive, sweet wines for tasting room sales. Consequently, there was a significant stigma about Finger Lakes wines, even within our own region. Things have changed. Many consumers are becoming interested in lighter and more lifted styles of red and white wine. This style is something that comes naturally in the Finger Lakes.

Selling Riesling also has its challenges. But it is a challenge that the Finger Lakes must tackle, because it’s what our terroir demands. Unfortunately, many folks still see a Riesling on the shelf and physiologically pigeonhole it as “sweet”. But Riesling can be soooo much more than that. It is a changeling and can be many personalities, ranging from a minerally lean, racy über dry wine, all the way to a heavy tropical and honeyed dessert wine. It’s a long road, but we have to stay the course. Looking at the popularity of dry rose, I have renewed hope that Riesling may someday find the love it has deserved for so long.

As of now, you don’t work with hybrids, correct? Some are saying they are the future of New York given the looming climate change crisis. Any thoughts on this?

You are correct. Aside from Dornfelder, which is a recent vinifera:vinifera cross, we are not growing or working with hybrids. Michael and I moved to the Finger Lakes to make vinifera-based wines. It’s true that we have a challenging climate; but with the proper site selection and viticultural practices, we can sustainably grow and make classic vinifera wines here. There are a number of other vinifera-focused producers here who feel the same. For the past 14 years, Michael and I have basically invested all of our savings and sweat equity in building a vinifera-based brand. There are other folks who were here long before us that devoted everything to the cause as well. We have devoted a great amount of effort to raising national awareness and understanding of Finger Lakes wine styles-based on vinifera wines. It’s been challenging, but we are beginning to see a level of understanding now in consumers across the country.

I respect everyone’s right to grow grapes and make wine as they see fit. Given my training in grape genetics, I do have a bit of experience with traditional breeding and hybrids. I acknowledge that there are wine regions in the state where growing conditions are much more difficult and extreme. Vinifera varieties struggle in those regions and hybrids offer a more economically sustainable option.

Winegrowing is fundamentally farming. It takes about 7 to 10 years for a vineyard to reach full maturity and to start to show its true personality. We intend to stay the course with vinifera. Should we consider new varieties, they will most likely be other old world vinifera alternatives that make sense for our climate and soils. There are literally 1,000s of vinifera varieties in existence in other parts of the world. There is reasonable likelihood one or two of them may offer potential viability in the vineyard, and ultimately, in the glass.

What regions of the world do you enjoy wine from when not drinking NY state wines?

My wine preferences are pretty omnivorous. I usually stay away from the higher alcohol and extractive styles. For a while I was doing a lot of German Spätburgunder, and non-Sauv Blanc whites from New Zealand. More recently I’ve been on a Pinot Blanc kick. Mostly Austrian and German. I’m currently trying to get some examples from Okanagan Valley, but they are hard to find around here. But mostly I drink bubbles…of all kinds. Because life is too short to not have bubbles on a daily basis.

Anything else you to add?

This might be a good time to point out that we, a New York state wine producer, were nominated for a James Beard Award. We are the first, but the region is on the radar now. There will be more.


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27 Aug

Formula Overview

$26.00/0.12 oz. – $216.67 Per Ounce

NARS has reformulated their core lipstick range, which now includes 72 shades across three finishes: matte, sheer, and satin. The formula is supposed to go on “smoothly and evenly with a light feel” that is “long-lasting” and “resistant to bleeding and feathering.” The sheer finish has “subtle, sheer color that shines,” while the satin finish has “creamy rich color” and the matte finish has “intense color with a velvety finish.”

The matte finish has a very thin, featherweight feel to it, but they didn’t feel clingy or too prone to dragging during application, though they were definitely a firmer texture in the tube. There was enough glide from the inclusion of dimethicone (first ingredient for the matte finish) that went on evenly, felt velvety but didn’t feel as powder-like as some of the other more silicone-heavy matte lipstick formulas that have been released in the last couple of years. Most shades were pigmented and nearly opaque to opaque. The wear ranged from three to six hours with deeper, richer shades staying on a bit longer and leaving slight stains. They were comfortable to wear but felt more non-drying than particularly hydrating.

The satin finish has more slip, feels thicker (though not actually thick or heavy) compared to the matte finish, and of course, there was subtle to light shine/sheen. They applied smoothly, comfortably, and for the most part, went on evenly and didn’t sink noticeably into my lip lines but there was some variance between shades. They were typically semi-opaque to opaque in coverage with four to six-hour wear that was lightly hydrating.

The sheer finish had coverage that ranged from semi-sheer to true medium coverage but most had some translucency to them, which gave them a sheerer finish. I found most of the shades I tried were buildable to some degree. The texture was a bit firmer, but they felt more emollient and “melted” a bit more against my lips than I recall the original line of lipsticks doing. Some shades applied well with even application and were flattering on, but there were a few that sank more noticeably into my lip lines. This finish tended to wear between three and five hours.

I don’t have many of NARS’ original lipsticks in my stash (I have mostly Audacious as they haven’t been releasing many in the core range) to compare to. The matte finish was definitely thinner, more matte, and had a velvetier look on lips compared to the original which had a subtle sheen to it. The satin finish seemed a bit more pigmented and not quite as luminous/glossy as the previous formula, while the sheer finish was creamier, more emollient, and was easier to apply. It didn’t feel like a vastly different formula, but it felt a bit easier to work with (smoother, more emollient but still lighterweight and thin, far less slip than any of the Audacious range) and was more comfortable to wear across the board for me.

I didn’t notice any scent or taste, though there is “fragrance (parfum)” listed in the ingredients–it smelled neutral, not waxy but I just didn’t get any scent.

Browse all of our NARS Lipstick swatches.


Matte: Dimethicone, Synthetic Wax, Polyethylene, Isohexadecane, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Microcrystalline Wax/Cera Microcristallina/Cire Microcristalline, Kaolin, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax/Candelilla Cera/Cire De Candelilla, Sorbitan Sesquiisostearate, Cetearyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Tocopheryl Acetate, Passiflora Edulis Seed Oil, Moringa Oleifera Seed Oil, Tocopherol, Polysilicone-11, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Hydroxyapatite, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Isopropyl Titanium Triisostearate, Propylene Carbonate ·Simethicone, Bht, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance (Parfum), Linalool, Citronellol, Limonene, [+/- ( May Contain): Bismuth Oxychloride (Ci 77163), Blue 1 Lake (Ci 42090), Iron Oxides (Ci 77491), Iron Oxides (Ci 77492), Iron Oxides (Ci 77499), Mica, Red 28 Lake (Ci 45410), Red 33 Lake (Ci 17200), Red 6 (Ci 15850), Red 7 Lake (Ci 15850), Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891), Yellow 5 Lake (Ci 19140), Yellow 6 Lake (Ci 15985)]. Sheer: Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacyladipate-2, Bis-Behenyl/Isostearyl/Phytosteryl Dimer Dilinoleyl Dimer Dilinoleate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Polyethylene, Triisostearin, Diisostearyl Malate, Microcrystalline Wax/Cera Microcristallina/Cire Microcristalline, Octyldodecyl Stearoyl Stearate, Pentaerythrityl Tetraisostearate, Moringa Oleifera Seed Oil, Passiflora Edulis Seed Oil, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tocopherol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Diethylhexyl Syringylidenemalonate, Aminobutyric Acid, Aluminum Hydroxide ·Fragrance (Parfum), Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Butylene Glycol, Hexylene Glycol, Limonene, Linalool, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, [+/- ( May Contain): Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891), Blue 1 Lake (Ci 42090), Iron Oxides (Ci 77491), Red 6 (Ci 15850), Red 7 Lake (Ci 15850)]. Satin: Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Synthetic Wax, Polyethylene, Dimethicone, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacyladipate-2, Hydroxyapatite, Diisostearyl Malate, Microcrystalline Wax/Cera Microcristallina/Cire Microcristalline, Hydrogenated Polydecene, Phytosteryl/Octyldodecyl Lauroyl Glutamate, Calcium Sodium Borosilicate, Glyceryl Behenate, Sorbitan Sesquiisostearate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Tocopherol, Passiflora Edulis Seed Oil, Moringa Oleifera Seed Oil, Isopropyl Titanium Triisostearate, Calcium Stearate, Tin Oxide, Simethicone, Bht, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance (Parfum), Linalool, Citronellol, Limonene, [+/- (May Contain/Peut Contenir): Blue 1 Lake (Ci 42090), Carmine (Ci 75470), Iron Oxides (Ci 77491), Iron Oxides (Ci 77492), Iron Oxides (Ci 77499), Mica, Red 28 Lake (Ci 45410), Red 33 (Ci 17200), Red 33 Lake (Ci 17200), Red 6 (Ci 15850), Red 7 Lake (Ci 15850), Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891), Yellow 5 Lake (Ci 19140)].

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27 Aug

Luck and Gronkowski faced a litany of physical issues in their careers, but in Luck’s retirement press conference, he made clear the mental toll was the true burden.

Gronkowski was known for his happy-go-lucky nature as a player, which is why it was so startling to see him on the verge of tears while talking about how football sapped joy from his life.

“Obviously that must have been a mask,” Pugh said. “Obviously the partying and the outward trying to be happy and find some happiness was a cover for deep down he probably was really, really sad at times. And he had a lot of injuries. It was major things that were happening to him. So you could definitely tell. Just seeing him reflect on it, that’s tough as a player to watch that. I don’t know Gronk from a hole in the wall – I’ve met him a couple times – but I feel for that guy because he’s ‘X,’ whoever you want him to be in this locker room right now.”

Pugh’s goal is to get a constructive dialogue going with his teammates, and he said the Cardinals players are doing a nice job of opening up to each other. He wants everyone to be well-rounded so when football ends, they won’t be wandering souls.

“That’s the thing a lot of guys struggle with when they get done,” Pugh said. “They lose their identity as a player. They’ve always been told where to be, when to be there, what to do. I think it’s huge for guys to go out and explore what else is out there, and what else you have a passion for, because at the end of the day, football ends for all of us.”

Pugh knows there are great benefits to playing in a league that has made him a multi-millionaire. Beyond the money, he loves the camaraderie in the locker room and the competition on the field.

However, the words of Luck and Gronkowski took a major toll on him this week, and Pugh hopes it can kickstart progress to abate toxic masculinity.

“It’s us as athletes breaking that stigma, that we can talk about mental health,” Pugh said. “It’s across all aspects of life, though. I don’t want to say regular civilian life, but like, my family, we don’t talk about how you’re feeling and things like that. A lot of families don’t. Like when you sit down at the kitchen table, how often do you guys (ask), ‘How are you feeling today? What are your emotions like today?’ It’s not something (common). I think it’s more of an American problem, and it gets magnified because we play such a macho game. No one wants to show any weakness.”

“Just go back and look into Andrew Luck’s eyes and see the pain that guy has,” Pugh added. “That gets me upset, because I know there are guys in this locker room and every locker room that are going through the same thing.”

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27 Aug

We know that the prevalence of insomnia increases as we age, and there are a number of reasons for that, reports MD Magazine.

One of the major and most important reasons is that sleep seems to naturally fragment as we age. As we age, we wake up more. We sleep less during the course of the night. And the older individuals become sleepier during the course of the day and nap more. In addition, they seem to have a shortened amount of slow-wave sleep or some of the deeper stages of sleep, and an increased amount of shallow sleep or stage I sleep. There seems to be a natural deterioration in the sleep-wake cycle as we age.

The question has always been, are these changes a result of the natural process of aging? Or are these caused by medical and psychiatric and other conditions, which also increase in prevalence as we age? And the data seem to suggest that not all these changes are due to comorbid conditions. That there seems to be a natural degradation in sleep as we age. We simply cannot sleep as much as we age.

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27 Aug

Wrestler and MMA fighter-turned-powerlifter Robb Philippus discusses squatting 905 naked-knee his first year, lifting over 2,200 pounds in competition, and why thinking can hurt you in the cage. Learn how this father of two channels his mindset, drawing as much inspiration from Freud as from Fight Club, and why committing to a task can enable anyone to hold their head high against any challenge and persevere.

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27 Aug

Marmalade Pudding. Photography by Yuki Sugiura / Recipe Development and Food Styling by Edd Kimber

It’s always a momentous occasion when your favorite television show returns for a new season, but to us bakers, nothing is quite as exciting as a brand new season of The Great British Bake Off! As everyone’s favorite British baking show returns to Netflix for its tenth season on August 30, we’re celebrating with a menu of British-inspired recipes. From gooey Lady Grey Chelsea Buns to our best ever English muffins, these are the ultimate British recipes to bake up as you watch this year’s contestants compete in the tent. 

Lady Grey Chelsea BunsLady Grey Chelsea Buns

Lady Grey Chelsea Buns

We added golden raisins and Lady Grey Tea Jelly to the standard currant bun, a sticky, sweet treat often enjoyed at teatime. Proof the dough in the refrigerator overnight for an impressive and quick breakfast.

Banoffee PieBanoffee Pie

Banoffee Pie

This British pie import has been thoroughly absorbed into American tradition. With the winning combination of ripe bananas, sticky toffee, and whipped cream, it’s not hard to see why.

Photography by Yuki Sugiura / Recipe Development and Food Styling by Edd Kimber

Traditional English Scones

Edd Kimber, the blogger behind The Boy Who Bakes, believes there aren’t many things better than a scone topped with clotted cream and jam. Scones are known the world over for a good reason! His recipe is fairly traditional but incorporates a slightly unusual kneading and resting technique he learned at Le Manoir, a two-star Michelin restaurant he spent a little time in after winning the first season of The Great British Bake Off. If you don’t have time for the resting, don’t worry—bake the scones as soon as they have been formed. They will still taste excellent; they just won’t look quite the same.

Matcha Battenburg CakeMatcha Battenburg Cake

Matcha Battenberg Cake

This dessert is perfect for anyone who can’t decide on their favorite flavor. A traditional English dessert, the Battenberg is constructed of two different cakes and arranged in an iconic check pattern. For our tea take, matcha and almond sponge cakes form the signature checkered pattern, with a layer of apricot jam sandwiched between the cakes and a cover of homemade marzipan to seal it all together.

English MuffinEnglish Muffin

Traditional English Muffins

Though often seen as the perfect base for eggs Benedict, this stalwart classic works as a wholesome breakfast all on its own. Try one toasted with butter and honey or with a slather of tart marmalade. With our straightforward and tasty recipe at your disposal, your days of buying English muffins will be numbered. Look to this visual guide when dividing, rolling, and shaping your dough.

Marmalade PuddingMarmalade Pudding
Photography by Yuki Sugiura / Recipe Development and Food Styling by Edd Kimber

Marmalade Pudding

This Marmalade Pudding by Edd Kimber is about as traditional as it gets when it comes to old-school British puddings. Served warm with a little (or maybe a lot of) vanilla-infused custard, this is the sort of pudding you want to curl up with on a cold British night. Traditionally, this would be steamed, but Edd prefers it baked as it is quicker and, frankly, less fiddly to make. The real twist in this pudding is the addition of Earl Grey tea, which makes this dessert reminiscent of breakfast—toast with lashings of butter and marmalade served alongside a mug of Earl Grey tea.

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27 Aug

1 Prep the oven and the baking sheets. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter two large cookie sheets, or line them with silicone mats or parchment paper.

2 Brown the butter: Place sticks of butter in a thick-bottomed medium sized stainless steel saucepan or other pan with a light, reflective interior. Otherwise you won’t be able to see the butter browning.

Heat on medium. Melt the butter, whisking so that the butter melts evenly.

Continue to cook the butter. As it cooks, the butter will foam up, and then the foam will subside. Whisk frequently to check underneath the bubbly surface.

At some point, browned bits will form at the bottom of the pan and the butter will begin to smell nutty. Watch carefully—it’s easy for the butter to go from browned to burnt.

When the browned bits begin to form, remove the pan from the heat. Pour the melted butter, with the browned bits, into a glass or metal bowl. Allow to cool a bit while you prepare the other ingredients.

3 Mix the dry ingredients: Vigorously whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, nutmeg, and cinnamon together in a large bowl.

4 Make the dough: Place the browned butter (along with the browned bits) in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the brown and white sugar. Beat on medium-high until smooth, about 3 minutes.

Add the eggs and vanilla. Beat for 3 more minutes on medium speed until smooth and light.

5 Stir in flour mixture and some water: Using a wooden spoon, stir the flour mixture into the batter.

Stir in 2 tablespoons of water (note that if you are using jumbo eggs, and not large eggs as the recipe calls for, you will probably not need this much extra liquid.)

6 Stir in chocolate chips and oats: Stir in the chocolate chips, and the pecans and shredded coconut (if using). Stir in the rolled oats.

Up to this point you can make the dough up to a day and a half ahead and store in the refrigerator.

7 Spoon cookie dough onto lined cookie sheets: Spoon out heaping tablespoons of cookie dough and lay them on lined cookie sheets. Make sure you have about 2″ of space between each cookie, as they will flatten a little and spread on the cookie sheet as they bake.

8 Bake: Bake at 350°F for 10 minutes, or until they are just brown around the edges, but still soft in the center. They will firm up as they cool. (If you want them crispier, you can bake them from 12 to 14 minutes, but 10 minutes will yield a more chewy cookie.)

9 Cool: Take the cookies out of the oven and let them cool for two or three minutes on the hot baking sheet. Then, using a metal spatula, carefully transfer the still-hot cookies to a wire rack to cool.

They will continue to be soft until completely cooled. Once completely cooled, store in an airtight container for 3 to 5 days.

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27 Aug

Stop me when I’ve gone too far. Here’s a wine that’s: Lightly fizzy. Sweet. Low alcohol. Designed to be served chilled. And red.

Vipra’s Dolce Sweet Red was designed for millennials who have a sweet tooth and an aversion to alcohol: At 7% abv, this is pretty much soda for grown-ups. (It’s also being used as a mixer.) I’m no millennial and all of this sounds awful, but as Vipra is imported by wine maven Frederick Wildman, I was willing to take a chance.

Thoughts follow. Here goes!

Big blueberry and raspberry notes kick things off, with a fresh and indeed sweetly fruity attack. If not for a slightly sour zippiness, one could easily assume this was simply fruit juice — with only a hint of grape must to prove this isn’t actually some kind of very lightly fizzy carbonated beverage. As it stands, it drinks more like a sangria than a table wine, and indeed could serve admirably as a substitute — or at least a base — for the beverage. Vipra grew on me after a while, but it took some reprogramming my mind to get to a place where I could appreciate it. Having a table full of tapas is probably not a bad idea, either.

B / $14 /

Similar Posts:

NV Vipra Rosso Dolce Sweet Red


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27 Aug

Porto Velho (Brazil) (AFP) – Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro said Tuesday he was open to discussing G7 aid for fighting fires devastating the Amazon rainforest, but only if his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron “withdraws insults” made against him.

Bolsonaro’s remarks come amid an escalating war of words with Macron over the worst fires to hit the Amazon in years — blazes that have sparked a global outcry and threatened to torpedo a huge trade deal between the European Union and South American countries.

A top Brazilian official had earlier rejected the G7 countries’ offer of $20 million to combat the fires devastating the forest in Brazil and Bolivia, saying Macron should take care of “his home and his colonies.”

“Mr Macron must withdraw the insults he made against me,” Bolsonaro told reporters in the capital Brasilia.

“To talk or accept anything from France, with the best possible intentions, he has to withdraw these words, and from there we can talk.”

Macron and Bolsonaro have repeatedly locked horns in the past week, with the French leader accusing Bolsonaro of lying to him about his commitments on climate change and vowing to block the EU-Mercosur trade deal involving Brazil that took decades to negotiate.

– ‘Extraordinarily rude’ –

On Monday, Macron rebuked the “extraordinarily rude” Bolsonaro after the Brazilian leader personally expressed approval for a Facebook post implying that Brigitte Macron was not as attractive as his own first lady, Michelle Bolsonaro.

Bolsonaro has hit back, accusing Macron of treating Brazil like “a colony or no-man’s land.”

The latest official figures show 1,659 new fires were started in Brazil between Sunday and Monday, taking the total this year to 82,285 — the highest since at least 2013 — even as military aircraft and troops help battle the blazes.

More than half of the fires are in the massive Amazon basin.

The governors of several states in the Amazon told Bolsonaro in a meeting Tuesday that international help was needed.

Their plea comes after Norway and Germany halted around $70 million in Amazon protection subsidies earlier this month.

Bolsonaro — a climate-change skeptic — has faced criticism at home over his delayed response to the fires, and thousands have protested in Brazil in recent days to denounce the destruction.

But US President Donald Trump tweeted that the Brazilian leader was “working very hard on the Amazon fires and in all respects doing a great job for the people of Brazil – Not easy.”

In response, Bolsonaro replied: “We’re fighting the wildfires with great success. Brazil is and will always be an international reference in sustainable development.”

“The fake news campaign built against our sovereignty will not work. The US can always count on Brazil.”

– ‘Under control’ –

In the hard-hit northwestern state of Rondonia, thick smoke has choked the capital Porto Velho in recent days as fires blacken swaths of the rainforest.

Defense Minister Fernando Azevedo e Silva on Monday said the fires were “under control.”

“It has been exaggerated a little that the situation was out of control — it wasn’t,” he said. “The situation isn’t simple but it is under control.”

Nearly 2,500 troops and 15 aircraft, including two C-130 Hercules, have been deployed, according to the defense ministry, which has published satellite data it says show a reduction in the number of fires in the nine states spanning the Amazon.

More than 43,000 troops were available to help put out fires, the government said previously.

Images posted on the presidential office Twitter account Monday showed firefighters wearing bright orange or yellow clothing using water backpacks to douse flames.

Rain in some of the affected areas is also helping.

“The situation with the fires is much better,” said Sandra Mara, an ice cream shop owner in a small town on the Bolivian border, some 240 km (150 miles) from Porto Velho.

“It rained several times in the past few days,” she told AFP.

Experts say increased land clearing during the months-long dry season to make way for crops or grazing has aggravated the recurring problem this year.

Although about 60 percent of the Amazon is in Brazil, the vast forest also spreads over parts of eight other countries or territories, including the French overseas territory of Guiana on the continent’s northeast coast.

Bolivia’s leftist President Evo Morales on Tuesday gave a half-hearted welcome to the G7 aid pledge, which he described as “tiny.”

Morales and his rival for the Bolivian presidency have suspended campaigning to deal with the voracious fires that the president said had destroyed 1.2 million hectares, or more than 4,000 square miles, of forest and grassland since May.

The country has enlisted a Boeing 747 “Supertanker” from the US to bolster its effort to quench the fires from the air.

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27 Aug

I couldn’t leave you without some inspiration for fall lip colors — so many to choose from! While I’ll absolutely wear any color or finish during the year, autumn makes me think of richer colors, whether they are brighter (but saturated) or deeper, vampier. I’ve created three collections of shades: creamier, more matte to satin copper-hued lipsticks, plum-hued lipsticks, and shimmery lipsticks across color families.

Copper in Cream

Visionary (14), Night Rose (203), Sierra, Mama, Mind Trick, Freckle Fiesta, Palm Street (62), Ziggie, Chili, Foolish, Spice for Me, Gallop

NYX Sierra Matte Lipstick ($5.99 for 0.16 oz.) is a muted, medium-dark copper with warm, orange undertones and a satin finish. The pigmentation was…

NYX Sierra Matte Lipstick ($5.99 for 0.16 oz.) is a muted, medium-dark copper with warm, orange undertones and a satin finish. The pigmentation was…

Decadent Plums

Plumful, Activist, Tea Rose (277), Glowing Jen, Mon Coeur, Stronger (19), Dark Rosewood, Cutie Fruity, Kate, Plum Rose, Trip, Unfaithful, Audrey, Matinee (30), Bated Breath, 27

MAC Plumful Lipstick ($15.00 for 0.10 oz.) is described as a “blossoming rose-plum” with a Lustre finish. It’s a pinky-plum with a little brightness…

MAC Plumful Lipstick ($15.00 for 0.10 oz.) is described as a “blossoming rose-plum” with a Lustre finish. It’s a pinky-plum with a little brightness…

MAC Mon Coeur Love Me Lipstick ($19.00 for 0.1 oz.) is a bright, medium plum with cool undertones and a cream finish. It was a bit less luminous–a…

MAC Mon Coeur Love Me Lipstick ($19.00 for 0.1 oz.) is a bright, medium plum with cool undertones and a cream finish. It was a bit less luminous–a…

Urban Decay Trip Vice Lipstick ($17.00 for 0.11 oz.) is a bright, medium-dark plum with warm undertones and a satin finish. The lipstick had opaque…

Urban Decay Trip Vice Lipstick ($17.00 for 0.11 oz.) is a bright, medium-dark plum with warm undertones and a satin finish. The lipstick had opaque…

Audrey is a ric,h, medium-dark red-plum with warm undertones and a satin finish. The pigmentation was completely opaque in a single layer. The…

Audrey is a ric,h, medium-dark red-plum with warm undertones and a satin finish. The pigmentation was completely opaque in a single layer. The…

Colour Pop 27 Lux Lipstick ($7.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a deep, reddish-plum with subtle, warm undertones and a satin finish. It had rich color payoff…

Colour Pop 27 Lux Lipstick ($7.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a deep, reddish-plum with subtle, warm undertones and a satin finish. It had rich color payoff…

Rustic Glitz

The Red (400), Wrath, Dare You, Hong Kong by Night (27), Candied Guava, Bronze Icon (59), Faith, Festival Lights (51), Goldpearl Plum, Elliot, Sugar Flower, Flesh Fatale, Flesh 3, Dressed to Kill, Love Train, Apollo, Spanish Fly, Accident, Roach, Ember

The Red (400) is an intense, medium-dark red with cool undertones and a cream finish. It had very nearly opaque pigmentation (but I could see the…

The Red (400) is an intense, medium-dark red with cool undertones and a cream finish. It had very nearly opaque pigmentation (but I could see the…

MAC Dare You Lipstick ($18.50 for 0.10 oz.) is a rich, medium-dark red with warmer undertones and a fine, pearl shimmer and luminous sheen. It had…

MAC Dare You Lipstick ($18.50 for 0.10 oz.) is a rich, medium-dark red with warmer undertones and a fine, pearl shimmer and luminous sheen. It had…

NARS Dressed to Kill Lipstick ($26.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a brighter, medium red-plum with warm undertones and barely-there pearl paired with a cream…

NARS Dressed to Kill Lipstick ($26.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a brighter, medium red-plum with warm undertones and barely-there pearl paired with a cream…

MAC Spanish Fly Lipstick ($17.50 for 0.10 oz.) is a medium-dark, plummy brown with warm undertones and blue-to-teal shifting pearl. It had…

MAC Spanish Fly Lipstick ($17.50 for 0.10 oz.) is a medium-dark, plummy brown with warm undertones and blue-to-teal shifting pearl. It had…

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