Catching up on January

I’m about to say something I have never said before in my life. January was great.

By now, you know I don’t like winter, so I won’t bore you with another tirade. But January was pretty good – I had a lot of things going on, discovered some new places and products, and drank a gallon of Icewine during the Festival.

Well, not really a gallon.

So I thought I’d share some of my January life with you. Catch up a bit. Talk about some things that are coming up on the blog next month. Talk about some other stuff that you might find interesting.

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Well, I don’t know if you will find this part interesting, but I’ve been waking up super early lately. At 5AM, my eyes just automatically open. Seriously. I would give anything to sleep past 5, so I don’t know what’s going on. The good thing about it, is that it gives me a few more hours of productivity. Honestly, I’d rather sleep longer.

At least I have some good tea to keep me going, but after about an hour or so I crave fried eggs. Yes, fried eggs (???). Hence, the photo above. I don’t have them every day, because that’s probably not a good idea. But this photo is my ode to January early morning quiet. And fried eggs.

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This is one of the most brilliant things I have found lately. Being the only drinker in my house, I don’t buy sparkling wine or champagne very often. I’m not going to drink a whole bottle of it, and the few brands I can find in little bottles aren’t my favourite. But Between the Lines Winery has come to my rescue! They sell their new Origin Sparkling Wine in 250 mL cans – just perfect for me. This sparkler comes with a kiss of Vidal Icewine, which adds just a hint of sweetness. Putting Sparkling in a can was a very lengthy process, involving much work and research. I suggest you stop by the winery and get the whole story from them. And get some Origin too.

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I recently paid a visit to Niagara Presents, and I’m so glad I went. Not only do they have lots of delicious products, but they are a wonderful example of social enterprise here in Niagara. I’ll be playing in the kitchen with these products, so you will see them in the blog in the future, but I just thought I would give them a mention in this post too. Some are great to keep in mind for Valentine’s themed goodies. How does Berries Dipped In Chocolate Liquour Sauce sound? I’ll leave some of the things you can do with it to your imagination. For Valentine’s, anyway.

Aside from all the things I’ve blogged about, I had several other outings this month. You’ll be seeing all of this stuff on the blog in the upcoming weeks. Here’s a sneak peek.

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Butterflies!

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No, that drink is not alcoholic. It’s delicious though, and good for you! It’s coming up in a post very soon

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Had a Burger Night at OLiV Tasting Room and Restaurant

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Spent a fun morning walking around downtown St. Catharines

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And a fun morning in Welland. Starting at the market with the smiling faces of Kevin and Louis from The Smokin’ Buddha.

Then, it was time to hit the road. You know I love my road trips, but this one’s taken me a little bit further than usual. We took four days to drive through the USA down to Florida. I thought four days would give me some time for sightseeing, but surprisingly, there wasn’t much time for it. I did get in a little bit of fun, though.

Our second night we stayed at a B&B in Greenville, South Carolina. We made a stop there so that my Mom could have a visit with some relatives she hadn’t seen in over fifty years. While she did that, Ken and I had a night in Greenville. I have to say it was a really, really lovely town. I want to go back there for sure.

Our B&B, Pettigru Place.

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Gosh, the breakfast was good. Look at this beautiful fruit tart, our first course.

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And this sausage and egg quesadilla. I LOVED this, and must recreate it. However, when I make quesadillas, the filling never turns out like this. I was amazed it all stayed together, and cut perfectly. What’s the secret?

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I also finally tried Southern Cooking. It was so, so good. Tupelo Honey Café, thank you for introducing me to this deliciousness.

Ooey, gooey, yummy Pimiento Cheese. I had to hold myself back from licking the plate.

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Then my bowl of heaven, Tupelo Shrimp and Grits, with a side of fried okra. Why, oh why, have I wasted all these years without grits in my life?

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Ken had the classic, Buttermilk Fried Chicken. Accompanied by Mac & Cheese, and buttered green beans.

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Then Friday we reached our destination – Gulfport, Florida. A beautiful blue sky and warm breezes greeted us. This is the view from our patio.

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So we’ve been getting settled, found the beach, and for me, the wine boutique. There’s a great one nearby that focuses on small batch producers, with a good variety especially of American wines. I’m looking forward to sampling a bunch of them, and attending some of their wine tastings.

So January, you’ve been good to me. In February, you’ll see a mix of Niagara and vacation content. I hope you’ll enjoy it!