5 Fabulous Things To Do This Fall!


Labor Day has come and gone and those lazy Summer days have magically transformed into the pre-holiday countdown. In many parts of the country the arrival of Fall is heralded by the beautiful changing of leaves and a refreshing dip in the temperature, but in other parts of the country, like here in sunny South Florida, the change of season is not as discernible.

In these warmer climes it helps to usher in this oh so savor-worthy season with certain distinct rituals. Here are my 5 fabulous things that are sure to put you in the Fall frame of mind:



Butternut Squash Bisque, Porcini Mushroom & Barley Soup, Quick Coq au Vin and Pumpkin Pie Trifle are just a few recipes that beautifully showcase some of the favorite flavors of Fall. Simply pick a recipe based on one of your favorite flavors and practice up. By the time the holidays roll around you'll be ready to bring a delicious side dish or dessert and who knows, you might even feel like hosting the holiday meal yourself!



Rosé is the quintessential Summer wine and since 99% of rosé produced is best consumed upon release, NOW is the time to drink up! Maybe an "End of Summer Rosé Soirée" (yes, I used to have pink hair!) is the way to go depending on how many bottles you have left. But, in addition to drinking that rosé while it's fresh and delicious you also need to make room for those wines best suited for Fall such as Viognier and Pinot Noir, and let’s not forget those deeper, full-bodied rosés.



There's nothing like witnessing the changing of the leaves from vibrant green to magnificent shades of red, gold and brown to put you in the mood for Fall. And while we’re all a little reticent to hop on a place right now given the Coronavirus crisis, a great region for leaf peeping might be a quick road trip away! So pack your cozy sweater and comfy boots and head to one of the many U.S. regions known for fabulous Fall foliage. Some of our favorites include Boston, Massachusetts; Cashiers, North Carolina; and Boulder, Colorado (for more information, please click here).



Do you like to dress up for Halloween but usually end up throwing together a makeshift costume at the very last minute? Well forget that ratty old witch's hat and plan to host your own Halloween Costume party this year! With COVID still looming, keep things small and intimate but even planning something small will still get you in the spooky spirit. Put the word out now using these super fun, stylish invitations and have fun planning your costume in addition to all the party details. And NO Halloween party is complete without this deliciously gruesome recipe for Savory Severed Arm in Marinara Sauce!



Perhaps one of my favorite things about this time of year is the music. Whether you're driving in the car, making dinner in the kitchen, or taking a brisk walk be sure to keep your favorite Fall playlist on the ready. Some of our favorite songs for the season include Lady Gaga's "Orange Colored Sky"; Vince Guaraldi's "Great Pumpkin Waltz"; and "Autumn in New York" by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong.

I hope these suggestions help make your transition into Fall more enjoyable. What are some of your favorite things that put you in an Autumn state of mind?

And if you’d like to receive a decadent morsel of deliciousness in your inbox every Saturday, please sign up to receive my free, weekly newsletter, “The GG Guide to Wine + Food” by clicking here. It’s a treasure trove of seasonally-inspired, Sommelier-selected wines, recipes, pairings + travel tips. xo

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Florida Jambalaya with Shrimp & Sausage


When you’re first learning to cook, there are recipes that are so delicious and mouthwatering they instantly fuel the desire for further culinary exploration. You usually know when you’ve found them because your initial reaction is, “did I just make that?” I think most of us who love to cook remember these milestones that inspired our continued quest for deliciousness. This recipe for Florida Jambalaya is one such recipe.

I discovered this recipe in Bon Appétit magazine over twenty years ago, when I was first learning to cook. I would go to the grocery store, pick up the latest issue of BA, flip through the index and choose something that sounded good to me. And after making this recipe for the first time, I honestly couldn’t believe something so delicious came out of my small rental apartment kitchen. I was totally smitten with how the flavors of onion, garlic, sausage, shrimp and cilantro came together to create a synergy that was so superior to any of the ingredients on their own.

Florida Jambalaya quickly became one of my signature recipes and as I moved around the country in pursuit of grad school and a new career I had the pleasure of sharing it with friends from Denver, Colorado to New York, New York. As a native Floridian it was like taking a little bit of home with me and it has always, I repeat, always garnered rave reviews. One dinner party guest even ate the shrimp tails he enjoyed it so much!


The word jambalaya originated in Southern France as part of the Occitan language. Eventually it found its way to the US and today, the two traditional styles of jambalaya are Creole and Cajun.

Creole jambalaya hails from New Orleans' French Quarter and began as an attempt to make Spanish paella in the New World. Saffron, an intrinsic component of paella, was not readily available so tomatoes were substituted. Creole jambalaya also incorporates "The Trinity," a mixture of celery, onion and green pepper considered to be a hallmark of Louisiana cooking. It also calls for a combination of meats including chicken and/or andouille sausage as well as seafood.

Cajun jambalaya, on the other hand, originated in the rural, low lying swamp country of Louisiana where crayfish, oysters and turtles were plentiful. It is smokier and spicier than Creole jambalaya and does not call for tomatoes. The meat in the dish was usually browned to give the dish its color which is why it is often referred to as "Brown Jambalaya."


Florida jambalaya is an easy-to-make, Florida-inspired take on this Louisiana classic that’s only loosely based on these traditional preparations. It calls for sausage, seafood, rice and kielbasa instead of andouille sausage. And to give it a distinctly Florida flavor, I love using Key West pink shrimp but feel free to make it your own using whatever type of shrimp you like. For those allergic to shellfish, shredded or chopped boneless, skinless dark meat chicken also works very well - just be sure to allow enough time for the chicken to cook through.

Otherwise, the recipe itself is pretty straightforward and only takes about an hour to make.

For you wine lovers, a crisp, unoaked white wine is the best match for Florida Jambalaya, given the dish’s overall “weight” and bright flavors of shrimp, cilantro and turmeric. A Sauvignon Blanc-based wine like Michel Redde’s Sancerre "Les Tuilieres" from the Loire Valley would be a fabulous choice as would the juicy, tangy The Paring Sauvignon Blanc from Santa Barbara, California.

An unoaked Chardonnay like the Maison Joseph Drouhin Vaudon Chablis from Burgundy would also work extremely well, the key is to avoid wines with too much oak or heavy, astringent tannins that will clash with the flavors of the dish. I would also recommend using whatever wine you plan on enjoying with it, to make the recipe itself.


I hope you enjoy this delicious recipe for Florida Jambalaya as much as we do. It's perfect for an al fresco Summer meal or for a Florida-inspired Mardis Gras celebration - laissez les bons temps rouler!

Print Recipe


Author: Bon Appétit Magazine

Serves: 4


  • 3 Tablespoons salted butter

  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped

  • 1/2 cup chopped onion

  • 1/2 lb. Polska Kielbasa or other smoked sausage cut into 1/2" pieces

  • 1 cup long grain white rice

  • 1/2 cup dry white wine

  • 2 medium potatoes peeled and cut into 1" cubes

  • 2 1/4 cups canned chicken broth

  • 1 4 ounce jar of sliced pimientos with juices

  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric

  • Cayenne pepper to taste

  • 1/2 lb. uncooked shrimp, peeled & deveined

  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro


  1. ) Melt butter in a heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté until just soft, 3-5 minutes (be careful not to let the garlic burn).

  2. ) Add the kielbasa and cook until it begins to brown, approximately 5 minutes. Add rice and stir to coat. Mix in potatoes, broth, wine , pimientos and turmeric. Season with salt, pepper and cayenne to taste. Bring to a boil and stir well. Reduce heat to medium-low and cover and cook until the rice and potatoes are tender and liquid is absorbed, approximately 20 minutes.

  3. ) Mix in shrimp and cilantro. Cover and cook until shrimp are cooked, 5 minutes. Serve on a large platter, garnished with more chopped fresh cilantro.

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Perfect Pairings: Swordfish Niçoise & a Provençal Rosé!

“When the good Lord begins to doubt the world, he remembers that he created Provence.”
— Frederic Mistral

One of my favorite food and wine pairings during the Summer months is a Tuna Niçoise Salad paired with a dry, Provençal rosé - it is sheer Summer deliciousness! But why limit the wonderful Niçoise flavors to just ONE dish? That just doesn’t seem fair. So when a friend kindly offered us some fresh swordfish steaks, these delicious flavors immediately sprang to mind as we happily accepted his oh so generous offer.

Niçoise (pronounced nee-SWAZ) essentially means "in the style of Nice," the fabulous French city located in the luxurious Côte d'Azur. Dishes labeled as such typically include a combination of traditional, local ingredients such as black olives, capers, garlic, tomatoes and anchovies. This recipe for Swordfish Niçoise includes a delicious mixture of black olives, tomatoes, capers, garlic, shallots and a little Herbes de Provence which beautifully complements the flavor and texture of the succulent fish.

Herbes de Provence is a delightful mixture of dried herbs typically found in the Provence region including savory, marjoram, rosemary, thyme, oregano and lavender. It is usually sold in a traditional clay pot and greatly enhances the flavor of dishes ranging from grilled fish to savory stews.


We served the Swordfish Niçoise with my husband's favorite Summer staple - corn on the cob! We cooked the sweet, yellow corn on the grill, allowing for a little "char" for added flavor and then slathered it with butter and a healthy dusting of Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper before greedily consuming. Talk about simple but oh so very perfect!

To wash everything down and round out our Perfect Pairing, I stuck with one of my favorite pairing principles, if it grows together, it goes together! A refreshing glass of dry, Provencal rosé accentuates the dish’s flavors beautifully. On this particular evening we enjoyed the Miraval Rosé, the well-known Provençal winechild of Brad and Angelina, but any tasty dry rosé will do. Our favorite Provençal producers include Chateau Minuty and Chateau D’Esclans.


Before Summer draws to a close, I hope you have the chance to enjoy our Perfect Pairing of Swordfish Niçoise and a Provençal Rosé. In fact, why not invite a few friends over for an al fresco dinner and have everyone bring a bottle of their favorite rosé wine? What a great way to share your favorite and possibly discover a new one! What's your favorite Summer food and wine pairing? I'd love to hear about it in the comments section below!

Print Recipe


Stephanie Miskew | The Glamorous Gourmet

Serves: 2


  • 2 Swordfish steaks

  • 4 Tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon Herbes de Provence

  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped

  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped

  • 2 shallots, chopped

  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped

  • 1/2 cup pitted oil-cured, black or Niçoise olives, roughly chopped

  • 2 Tablespoons capers, drained and roughly chopped

  • 3 ripe red tomatoes, chopped

  • 1/2 cup dry rosé wine

  • Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper


  1. ) Combine 2 Tablespoons olive oil, thyme and rosemary in a glass baking dish. Place the swordfish steaks in the mixture and turn to coat on both sides. Marinate the steaks in the olive oil and herb mixture at room temperature for one hour.

  2. ) Heat remaining 2 Tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic and saute until softened but not browned, 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, olives, capers, Herbes de Provence and wine and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat and simmer for approximately 10-15 minutes. Season sauce to taste with Kosher salt and black pepper.

  3. ) Heat grill pan or outdoor grill over medium-high heat. Season swordfish steaks on both sides with Kosher salt and black pepper and grill until medium-rare, approximately 4-5 minutes a side depending on the thickness of the steaks.

  4. ) Plate steaks and top with Niçoise sauce. Serve immediately with a glass of chilled Provençal Rosé.

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Our Top 6 Summer Foodie Phrases

“‘Cause a little bit of Summer is what the whole year is all about.”
— John Mayer

Summer cooking is equal parts fun and fresh ingredients and if you do it right, you’re never more than ten minutes away from an exceptional Summer-inspired meal. And if you want to satisfy your appetite in style this Summer, here are my Top 6 Summer Foodie Phrases and recipes you definitely need to know about. Whether you prefer to order them off a menu (NO judgment!) or want to recreate them in your own kitchen, I’ve got ya covered:

1.) Salade Niçoise [SAL-ad nee-SWAZ]: Niçoise literally means "in the style of Nice" which is where this super chic salad originated (pictured above). While it typically consists of fresh, traditional flavors such as tomatoes, oil-packed tuna, hard-boiled eggs, Niçoise olives and anchovies dressed with a simple vinaigrette, this delicious salad's global appeal has led to many variations. Today, a piece of seared rare tuna is often used instead of canned, oil-packed tuna. Other accoutrements are also added including potatoes, haricorts verts, capers and/or roasted red peppers.

This delicious flavor combination is also frequently used to top meat or fish and one of our all-time favorite Summer recipes is my recipe for Swordfish Niçoise. And for wine lovers, nothing pairs more perfectly with this lovely salade than a glass of Provençal rosé - Sante!

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2.) Ceviche [seh-VEE-chay]: This classic Latin American dish which originated in Peru is a MUST for all seafood lovers! Ceviche is a combination of fresh, raw seafood (i.e. shrimp, sea bass, mahi-mahi, etc.) which is chopped and then "cooked" in citrus juices. The citric acid found in lemons and limes "denatures" the proteins in the fish, much like the application of heat, although the two processes are somewhat different.

The high acid of the citrus also creates an environment that is inhospitable to many pathogens, making the fish safe to eat as well. In addition to the citrus juice, ceviche is also given delicious flavor by adding garlic, onion and/or cilantro and is usually spiced with red chili peppers as well.

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3.) Gazpacho [gaz-PAH-cho]: This quintessential, tomato-based Summer soup originated in Andalusia, Spain hundreds of years ago. In addition to tomatoes, gazpacho also includes raw vegetables such as onion, garlic, bell pepper, cucumbers and parsley which are chopped and blended together using either a traditional mortar and pestle or blender. Some older variations of this ancient dish also include bread although this is not commonly seen today.

The soup is then seasoned using vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper and is always served chilled - making it even MORE perfect for a hot Summer day. I absolutely love this gazpacho recipe from the legendary Ina Garten that incorporates all the necessary key ingredients + delivers the most amazing flavor!


4.) Aïoli [ay-O-lee]: This sumptuous sauce's name literally means, "oil and garlic" in the Catalan and Provençal languages. Aïoli is a mayonnaise-like mixture of olive oil and garlic that’s particularly popular in the coastal Mediterranean towns of France, Italy and Spain. It is traditionally served alongside dishes such as steamed vegetables, poached seafood, shellfish and hard-boiled eggs. It beautifully enhances a dish's flavor with its garlicky goodness!

While the Spanish maintain aïoli should not include eggs which results in a more paste-like consistency, Provençal versions often do which gives the sauce a richer, creamier texture. To make aïoli from scratch, this is a fabulous recipe, and I also love this Provencal-inspired recipe for Grilled Swordfish with Rosé Aïoli and Fennel + Olive Salad that involves a little short cut.


5.) Semifreddo [se-mee-FRAY-doe]: This Italian, semi-frozen dessert will quickly become a staple in your kitchen this Summer! Semifreddo, which literally means "half-cold" in Italian, is a heavenly mixture of sugar, cream and eggs. The texture is somewhere between ice cream and decadent frozen mousse, however, semifreddo is not churned like ice cream which is where the main difference lies.

Semifreddo is made with whipped cream that is then frozen into a pan or mold and then sliced prior to serving. This deliciously divine Strawberry Pistachio Semifreddo is our Summer favorite!


6.) Elote [eh-LO-tay]: I don't know about you, but if there's one thing I CRAVE all Summer long...its corn. And the epitome of corny deliciousness can be found in Elote, aka Mexican street corn. In this dish, ears of corn are typically either boiled or cooked on the grill and then slathered with a combination of mayonnaise, crema (sour cream), lemon or lime juice, salt, pepper, butter, cheese (such as Cotija) and either chili powder or smoked paprika depending on how you roll.

We especially like Chef Michelle Bernstein's recipe for Mexican-style Corn with Lime, Ancho and Queso Fresco but feel free to use your artistic license and make it your own for a savory Summer treat!

I hope you enjoy these Top 6 Summer Foodie Phrases and that they help guide your enjoyment of the Summer season. I'd also love to hear about your favorite Summer dishes in the "Comments" section below.

And if you’d like to receive a little morsel of deliciousness in your inbox every week, please sign up to receive my free weekly newsletter, “The GG Guide to Wine + Food” by clicking here. It’s a treasure trove of Sommelier-selected, seasonally-inspired wine selections, recipes, pairings + travel tips. Thank you in advance and I look forward to joining you on your journey towards vinous + culinary enlightenment! xo

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Sweet Treat: Honey Lavender Ice Cream!

“I always make ice cream when I can’t sleep, so I’m glad someone was here to eat it.”
— Meryl Streep as Jane Adler in the film, "It's Complicated"

The brilliant and hilarious movie It's Complicated is one of my favorite foodie movies of all time. Yep, you heard me, I said foodie movie. Because despite all the juicy drama of the dysfunctional Adler family and the titillating love triangle between Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin, and Steve Martin, the underlying theme of the movie is French-inspired cuisine. It’s also where I discovered Honey Lavender Ice Cream which is one of my favorite Summer sweet treats. I like to imagine it was inspired by Meryl Streep’s character’s time in France and the lush lavender fields of Provence which is one of our favorite places.

Streep plays Jane Adler, a divorced, middle-aged, French culinary school graduate who owns a beautiful bakery and café in Santa Barbara, California. Her typically balanced, bordering on boring, post-divorce life is turned upside down following a steamy, one night liasion with her ex in New York City.

She then spends the remainder of the film manifesting her emotions through food. She bakes gorgeous pies for her girlfriends (played by the hilarious Rita Wilson, Ali Wenworth + Mary Kay Place) as she gleefully reveals the details of her affair, whips up pain au chocolat and croque-monsieur for her architect (Steve Martin) who she ends up dating, roasts chicken and bakes chocolate cake for her ex-husband and current lover (Alec Bladwin) and cooks elaborate feasts for her three, college age children who are in various stages of leaving the nest all while trying to navigate her tumultuous, yet hilarious, love life.


And while I absolutely loved ALL of the above mentioned dishes, for some reason Jane’s Honey Lavender Ice Cream sounded particularly good to me. Apparently, making this delicious recipe was her favorite remedy for insomia which did not go unnoticed by her ex (see quote above). She and ex-husband Jake share a very emotionally intimate scene in the movie while enjoying honey lavender ice cream together and reflecting on their lives post-divorce. The scene really reinforced to me the undeniable link between food and our emotions, something I write about more in depth here.

So on a hot Summer day I attempted to make Honey Lavender Ice Cream myself and after testing a few different recipes, I came up with one that combines the best elements of each.

The texture is rich and luxurious but not too heavy, the flavors are nicely balanced and the ice cream is sweet, but not cloyingly so. It is creamy and dreamy and I love the fact that no additional sugar is added to the recipe, the sweetness is determined solely by the honey and cream. Keep in mind, the type of honey you decide to use in this recipe makes a big difference.


Ideally, you want to use a honey with a mild flavor such as acacia honey which has a low acid content and is very light in color. I love the Langnese Acacia Honey from Germany ($14) which works perfectly in this recipe. Acacia honey comes from the black locust or false acacia tree and is light-colored with a mild taste and hints of vanilla. It is considered "raw" because it is cold-pressed and has natural antibacterial and antibiotic properties. And the only special equipment you’ll need is a candy thermometer and an ice cream maker (I really love this one) and you are good to go!

A few things to remember:

  1. Be sure to put the freezer bowl for the ice cream maker in the freezer the night before you make the ice cream.

  2. Be sure to use culinary grade lavender like the Lavande sur Terre from France ($10)

  3. The ice cream comes out white (see above photo) but if you want to make it a light lavender color, you can add a few drops of purple food coloring.

  4. Make the Honey Lavender Ice Cream the day before you plan to serve it in order to allow enough time for it to set up in the freezer.

  5. And most importantly - ENJOY!



Author: Stephanie Miskew | The Glamorous Gourmet

Makes approximately: 1 quart


  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream

  • 1 1/2 cups half and half

  • 2/3 cup mild honey such as acacia

  • 2 Tablespoons dried edible lavender flowers plus extra for garnish

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1/8 teaspoon Kosher salt


  • Bring cream, half and half, lavender and honey just to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently to prevent mixture from burning, then remove pan from heat. Cover and let steep for 30 minutes.

  • Pour mixture through a sieve into a bowl and discard lavender. Clean saucepan and return mixture to it and heat over medium heat until hot.

  • Whisk eggs and salt together in a large bowl, then gradually add one cup of the hot cream mixture to it in a slow stream whisking constantly to prevent eggs from cooking. Once mixed, add to remaining mixture in saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon and reaches 175 degrees on the thermometer, about 5 minutes - be careful not to let mixture boil!

  • Pour mixture through sieve again and into a clean bowl and allow to cool completely, stirring regularly to prevent a skin from forming on the top of the mixture. Once cooled, cover with plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator for at least 4 hours.

  • Freeze mixture in ice cream maker according to machine directions, transfer to container and chill in the freezer to harden, preferably overnight. Garnish with dried lavender flowers and enjoy!

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Bastille Day Menu: Frisée aux Lardons & Honey Fleur de Lys!


In France, the fourteenth of July is referred to as Le Quatorze Juillet, otherwise known as Bastille Day. This important date commemorates the 1790 Fête de la Fédération held on the first anniversary of the storming of the Bastille on July 14th, 1789. The Bastille was actually a fortress-like prison used by the King and Queen to imprison those who challenged their authority. It was viewed by many as a symbol of all that was wrong with the royalty. Finally, on July 14, 1789, a throng of French citizens stormed the Bastille in protest. Just as citizens of the United States celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence as the beginning of the American Revolution, so the French celebrate the storming of the Bastille as the beginning of the French Revolution.

Festivities and official ceremonies are held all over France on this day and the oldest and largest military parade in Europe is held on the morning of July 14th on the Champs-Élysées. And in solidarity with the French, I like to prepare a special Bastille Day Menu that brings the Champs-Élysées to Chez Miskew via one of my favorite French dishes of all time, Frisée Aux Lardons, a salad that’s a mixture of frisée lettuce, bacon (aka lardons) and a poached egg with a perfectly oozy, runny center.

Once the salty nuggets of bacon are browned, shallots, Sherry vinegar, olive oil and fines herbes (a combination of Mediterranean herbs such as parsley, chives, tarragon and/or chervil) are added to the fat in the pan to create a deliciously tangy, sinful concoction that’s perfect for dressing the hearty, bitter frisée.


Once the salad is assembled, top it with a perfectly poached egg and the result...sheer deliciousness! I love the recipe for Frisée Aux Lardons from The Balthazar Cookbook which is from one of my all-time favorite restaurants in New York City. This cookbook is a definite MUST for all Francophile foodies!

Conveniently, this deliciously decadent salad pairs nicely with a variety of French wines. White wine lovers should opt for a refreshingly crisp Sancerre from the Loire Valley. Crafted entirely from Sauvignon Blanc (remember, French and most Old World wines are named according to where they're from, NOT the grape variety!), this wine has a mouth watering acidity that stands up nicely to the richness of the bacon fat and complements the vinegary "tang" of the salad dressing perfectly. Exceptional Sancerre producers to keep an eye out for are Pascal Jolivet, François Cotat, Henri Bourgeois, Michele Redde and Lucien Crochet.

A dry, Provençal Rosé would also be a fabulous choice especially since there's something truly magical about the way these pink wines pair with any type of pork product. Crafted from a variety of indigenous French grapes including Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah, Mourvèdre and Rolle these wines exhibit soft, red berry infused flavors counterbalanced by a delightful minerality and refreshing acidity that make them imminently food friendly. Producers to look for include Chateau D'Esclans, Chateau Minuty, Chateau Miraval, Chateau Sainte Marguerite and Domaines Ott.


Red wine lovers should opt for lighter-bodied, chillable reds like cru Beaujolais. These vinous gems (that are not to be confused with Beaujolais Nouveau) hail from the Southernmost part of Burgundy and have long been darlings of the Sommelier world. Unlike the uber-expensive, Pinot Noir-based wines of Burgundy proper, Beaujolais is crafted from the Gamay grape and these fragrant, fruity reds are characterized by a bright acidity, minimal tannins and charming notes of black and red berry fruit, violets and cassis. Their easygoing texture and flavor also make them gloriously versatile at the table.

To ensure you bring home a “Cru” Beaujolais be sure to look for the name of one of ten different villages or “crus” on the label. These villages make the finest examples of these wines that generally retail for under $25 a bottle and include: Fleurie, Chénas, Brouilly, Côte de Brouilly, Moulin-à-Vent, Morgon, St. Amour, Chiroubles, Régnié and Juliénas. Producers to seek out from this region include Maison Joseph Drouhin, Domaine Marcel Lapierre, Louis Jadot Chateau des Jacques and Domaine du Pavillon de Chavannes.

I like to round out my Bastille Day meal with something sweet like these simple, yet utterly delicious, French Honey Fleur de Lys cookies. I discovered them years ago on Laura Calder's show "French Food at Home" and they are still on regular rotation in our home today. They’re extremely easy to make and the key is to bake the cookies until they are a rich, brown color which makes them taste like the burnt sugar topping of a creme brulée - ooh la la! I ordered a fleur de lys shaped cookie cutter from Amazon ($5.99) and a few days later voilà - delicious Bastille Day cookies.


I hope you enjoy this Bastille Day Menu featuring mouthwatering Frisée Aux Lardons Salad paired with the wine of your choice followed by delicious Honey Fleur de Lys cookies and I'd love to hear what you think! Please let me know in the Comments section below and if you’d like to receive my weekly newsletter, “The GG Guide to Wine + Food” featuring seasonally-inspired, Sommelier-curated recipes, wine recommendations, pairings and travel trips, please click here to sign up ~ Joyeux Le Quatorze Juillet!!!

Print Recipe


Author: The Balthazar Cookbook, Keith McNally, Riad Nasr + Lee Hanson

Serves: 6


  • 6 slices of brioche, preferably stale

  • 4 heads of frisée, cored, rinsed, spun dry and torn into bite-size pieces

  • 1 tablespoon plus 1/2 cup Sherry vinegar

  • 1/2 pound slab bacon (rind removed), cut into 1/2-inch lardons (thick cut bacon can be substituted if slab bacon is not available)

  • 1/2 cup olive oil

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste

  • 3 Tablespoons fines herbes

  • 6 large eggs

  • Sea salt, preferably Maldon


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Trim the crusts from the bread cut into 1/2-inch cubes. Place on a sheet tray and bake in the oven until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Shake the pan halfway through to toast evenly. Combine the croutons in a large bowl with the clean frisée.

  2. Prepare the pan for poaching the eggs: Fill a wide-straight-sided saute pan with water (about two-third fulls) and add the tablespoon of vinegar. Over a medium-high flame, bring to a gentle simmer, and adjust the heat to maintain it.

  3. In a dry skillet or saute pan over medium heat, brown the lardons well on all sides, about 10 minutes. Add the minced shallots and continue to cook for 2 to 3 minutes, to soften and lightly brown them. Without pouring off the fat, add the 1/2 cup of vinegar to the pan. Bring to a boil, using a wooden spoon to scrape any delicious bits that have caramelized on the surface of the pan. When the vinegar has reduced by half, about 3 minutes, turn off the flame. Add the olive oil, salt and pepper, and stir well to combine. Pour this warm vinaigrette with bacon into the bowl of frisée, along with the croutons and fines herbes. Toss well to combine. Divide the salad among 6 serving plates, piled into small heaps.

  4. Crack the eggs, one at a time, into a small saucer and then slide them into the simmering water. Poach for 4 minutes, resulting in a set white and a cooked but runny yolk. With a slotted spoon, scoop out the poached eggs, one at a time, drain, and position on top of each pile of frisée. Sprinkle with crunchy sea salt (like Maldon) and a few turns of a peppermill. Serve immediately.

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The Complete Guide to Summer Flavor + 3 Wine + Food Pairings to Inspire Your Palate During the Pandemic

“Summer breeze, makes me feel fine, blowing through the jasmine in my mind.”
— Seals + Crofts

Ah Summer! The intoxicating season that inspires feelings of carefree bliss and joyful abandon and is usually spent frolicking on a white sandy beach or other equally relaxing locale. And, as with all seasons, Summer has its own unique coterie of flavors and signature dishes that are an intrinsic part of the seasonal experience. During these warmer months, we usually seek out lighter fare with bright, lively flavors that takes full advantage of the abundant seasonal produce Mother Nature provides.

Below is a breakdown of some classic Summer flavors - just looking at it makes my mouth water and inspires me to combine these elements in oodles of delicious ways! And since my goal is to help you Empower your Palate, please take a minute to study it and jot down some combinations that sound especially appealing to you.

For instance, I love to combine crispy prosciutto, basil and burrata cheese for a delicious and easy Summer dinner. In addition to the ingredients, be sure to keep in mind the method of preparation as well, instead of braising and roasting, Summer is the perfect season for grilling and even using citrus juices to do the cooking for you (aka denaturation).


The wines we gravitate to in the Summer share many of the same characteristics as our favorite foods, they’re usually lighter-bodied with bright flavors ranging from tangy, tart citrus to juicy red berries that are usually complemented by a lively acidity.

In light of the global pandemic, however, this typically carefree season is going to play out a little differently for most of us this year. We may forego our Summer travels and social outings, and opt to stick closer to home instead. For that reason, this Summer is the perfect time for creating seasonally-inspired pairings in the comfort and safety of your own kitchen.

For many of us, our kitchens have already provided much needed respite from all the pandemic stress and become a sanctuary where we nourish ourselves and our families (for 5 Ways to Find Joy in your Kitchen this year, please click here). This post is intended to inspire and awaken your senses to the flavors of Summer and encourage you to indulge and enjoy them in your own home. Below are three of my favorite Summer-inspired food and wine pairings (all wines are $25 or less), please feel free to prepare them “as is” or use them as inspiration for creating pairings of your own:


WINE #1: Loimer Grüner Veltliner Langenlois Kamptal, Austria ($16): I couldn’t think of a better place to start than with the delightful, signature white grape of Austria, Grüner Veltliner. This grape produces charming, lively white wines known for possessing aromas and flavors of green apple, citrus and stone fruit accompanied by an endearing peppery, spicy note. This wine is also perfect for Summer enjoyment because it’s generally fermented in stainless steel tanks. These large, neutral containers preserve the fresh, fruity characteristics of the grape itself without imparting any secondary aromas or flavors like oak barrels do. So, when shopping for Summer whites, gravitate towards those that are “stainless steel fermented” and you’ll be rewarded with crisp, refreshing wines that will delight your palate and pair with a variety of Summery dishes.

FOOD PAIRING #1: Clams with Fennel + White Bean Sauce: This pairing works for a few different reasons, (1) the weight of the wine matches weight of the food, and by that I mean neither one overwhelms the other; (2) the flavors complement each other beautifully, the citrus of the wine acts like a squeeze of lemon on the clams, and (3) the textures create great synergy as well, the creaminess of the wine harmonizes nicely with the creaminess of the white beans.


WINE #2: Château Minuty “M” Cotes de Provence Rosé, Provence, France ($18): Established in the 1930’s, Château Minuty has been making rosé for over 80 years - long before the relatively recent #RoseRevolution! Located on the breathtaking St. Tropez peninsula with vineyards a stone’s throw from the ocean, Château Minuty is the best selling rosé in Cannes, Nice and St. Tropez. Their classic Provençal, rose petal pink rosés are crafted from predominantly Grenache, the superior rosé-making grape, as well as additional regional grapes including Cinsault and Syrah. This wine has beautiful aromas of soft red berries, minerals and lavender while on the palate wild strawberry, cherry and spice predominate along with a cleansing, refreshing minerality. For more on the fascinating Château Minuty, please check out my interview with owner Francois Matton by clicking here.

FOOD PAIRING #2: Grilled Swordfish with Rosé Aioli + Fennel, Olive + Spinach Salad: This pairing follows one of my favorite pairing principles of ALL time, “If it grows together, it goes together.” Who can argue with centuries of culinary research found in these Old World regions? Aioli is a mayonnaise-like mixture of garlic, olive oil and salt that originated in the South of France and I must say, something truly magical happens when you combine rosé with garlic! And then add the combination of Mediterranean flavors including the olives and fennel and the glorious texture of the swordfish and you’ve got INSTANT synergy!


WINE #3: Maison Joseph Drouhin Hospices de Belleville Fleurie, Beaujolais, France ($25): Beaujolais is the southernmost part of France’s world renowned Burgundy wine region. But unlike Burgundy’s famous, yet notoriously pricey Pinot Noir-based red wines, the red wine of Beaujolais, which are made from the Gamay grape, represent one of the best values in the wine world today. Gamay produces wines with a lovely translucent red color, high acidity and minimal tannins. And since they are usually fermented entirely in stainless steel (remember that?) the wine’s fruity characteristics are allowed to shine which, in this case, include enticing notes of rose petal, black cherry, plum and a hint of spice. It’s important to note that when shopping for Beaujolais, avoid the mass-produced, insipid Beajolais Nouveau wines. Instead, you want to seek out “cru” Beaujolais wines that will have the name of one of ten unique villages on the bottle. These villages produce the best examples of these wonderful wines and are still a phenomenal value, these are the names to look for: Fleurie, Chénas, Brouilly, Côte de Brouilly, Moulin-à-Vent, Morgon, St. Amour, Chiroubles, Régnié or Juliénas.

FOOD PAIRING #3: Quick Coq au Vin: If you’re looking to get your French on this Summer but don’t want to slave over a hot stove for hours, try this positively deeelicious “Fast + Fabulous” version of this classic French dish that’s ready in about 30 minutes. Once again, this pairing features a wine and a dish from the same geographical region so just go with the flow! And while Coq au Vin is typically made with a heavier, Pinot Noir-based Burgundy, using a lighter-bodied Gamay makes the dish perfect for Summer. Incorporating thyme also gives the dish some lemony lightness and lift and feel free to substitute white meat chicken if you like but the chicken thighs are ooooh soooo gooood!

“Everybody’s palate is different, but nobody’s palate is wrong.”
— Stephanie Miskew

***An important thing to keep in mind when shopping for these or any wines and a key step to “Empowering your Palate” is developing a good relationship with your local wine store. Because, as you may have already discovered, all wines are unfortunately not available in all places at all times. So when you visit your local shop, ask for the featured wines and if they don’t currently have them in stock, and this part is KEY, simply ask for something similar!

For instance, if you’re looking for the aforementioned Drouhin Fleurie Beaujolais and they’re out or don’t currently stock it, ask if they have a Fleurie from another producer. And if they don’t have a Fleurie, ask if they have any Cru Beaujolais that’s similar - it’s really that easy! Sometimes the shop will even order the wine for you, it’s always worth asking. Once you develop a good rapport with a sales person you’ll also feel more comfortable “talking the talk” of wine and you’ll also have someone who can anticipate which wines you might like based on the wines you’ve already purchased.

I hope this post inspires you to go forth and celebrate the flavors of Summer, even if this year it means doing it in a slightly different way in the unexpected comfort of your own home. And instead of it being the Summer you missed out on your favorite trip to the beach because of the pandemic, it could be the Summer you discovered your new favorite wine. xo

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