MEAD

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There is a nice new wine trend that is about to happen. Some say it is more like wine, others like beer, but in looking at the chemical synthesis, I would say it should be classified as a wine. Honey Wine. MEAD.

Mead is mentioned in a lot of Norse Mythology, which is very interesting. Its origin was definitely from the Germanic roots. As a lover of mythology, knowing Zeus and other gods were sipping on some Mead is pretty cool! (Greek Mythology is littered with Mead references, honey Nectar of the gods for sure.)

The Fermentation process is pretty standard at this point in time. Honey being the fermentable sugar, it can ferment from 8-20% ABV. It has a taste of wine and beer at the same time with a neutral honey flavor. A pale yellow color, some can be unfiltered and some not. You can get strong notes of honey on the nose the minute you open a bottle.

Utica, NY has seen a very large growth of local farms, breweries and restaurants join this clean living, farm-to-table lifestyle. One farm in particular, Heartsease Hill, honey and honey product producers have gotten into the Mead industry. Sue and Joe have become close personal friends of mine, and their product of Mead is high quality and evolving everyday for the best. You might even be able to find this Mead on tap at Nail Creek in the near future. Playing with different styles and flavors, this style of wine has become my favorite after dinner Digestif! Sweet, but not sugary. As a fan of dry wine, I think everyone should give it an opportunity.

As the NYS Craft Beer and Wine industry begins to expand, you should be seeing a lot more high quality and unique products from very talented people.

Keep an eye out, wine lovers!

XOXO, Cheers!

Farm to Table

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Recently I have taken a position with two delightful establishments run by the most amazing people I have met in a long time. Utica Bread and The Tailor & The Cook. We take much pride in our service and quality of product. Both places use local NY State local farms for produce and all other products we use to make you your delicious foods!

Utica Bread is a brand new bakery with such delicious treats for a quick on the go, healthy and local meal. We do have a case of pastries to die for that aren’t healthy per say but a treat once in a while is never a bad thing. The bakery uses no preservatives and there is always a wonderful happy face there to greet you and inform you of all the lovely products we offer. From cheeses, breads, pastries and deli salads, you will never walk away without a smile on your face. It’s a lovely place in Baggs Square, Utica. We want you to stop by and support the local community!!

UB EarlyUB Later The Tailor & The Cook has just been rated one of the top 100 restaurants in America. THAT IS AMAZING. I am so proud to be apart of all of this we some of the most talented and beautiful people I have been around in a while. The menu is to die for and changes based on availability of products and the season. The servers are all so wonderful and smiling all of the time. You will enter and leave with a smile on your face. As I learn more and more, so will you!

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Utica, New York: A Day of Fun, A Story of Hope

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Utica, NY!!! Truly a lot of love.

The Urban Phoenix

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So often we think of vacations as far away places where we spend lots of money for 3-7 days of relaxation, activities and bliss.  Vacations are seen as things we reach for but experience so rarely, especially in today’s work world.

I’ve found a very different truth.  I’ve found that one can experience the benefits of a vacation without spending much money at all.  I’ve found that while it’s good to get out of your town for a bit, you don’t have to go far to feel like you’re getting away and having a good time.  And finally, I’ve found that in many cases, you can do this in one day.  Yep, that’s right… any given Saturday, you too can experience a cheap day away… one that will leave you feeling refreshed and feeling good about yourself before you dive back into the work week!

For example, did you know…

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The Italian Wonders of Utica, NY

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For those of you who did not grow up or ever visit central NY, there are a few delicacies that came out of the Italian aspects of Utica. Reasons that Utica is known for it’s many Italian assets is due to the Mafia. The Italian Mafia ran the greater portion for a long time and all their old, rich familial traditions stuck with the area.

Here are my favorite Italian Utican delicacies. I hope you all enjoy!

1. Chicken Riggies – I made my own Riggies yesterday. They were so freaking delicious. Cream and red sauce, peppers and onions, lots of spices and slow roasted chicken, all poured over a bed of Rigatoni. SO AMAZING!

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2. Half Moons – The infamous black and white cookie. The only truy good kind can be found in Utica.

3. Italian Wedding Soup – Became very big in Utica when the ‘Wedding Soup’ was introduced. Originally came from a Spanish nation, they definitely knew what they were doing. Italian wedding soup contains meat and greens in a clear broth; the meats either sausage or small meatballs, the greens escarole, chard, cabbage, spinach, broccoli, rabe, chicory, endive, lettuce, or kale.

4. Utica Greens – My favorite dish. The way some restaurants cook these greens, there is no explanation of the delicious flavors. It is just that good. Buttery and spicy, this appetizer NEEDS to be eaten with every meal. ESCAROLE WITH PROSCUITTO, HOT PEPPERS, GRATED CHEESE, AND BREADCRUMBS.

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5. Tomato Pie – A cold, pizza like baked good. Tomato sauce and a lot of Italian spices, with Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top. Certain bakeries in Utica make some so delicious, you want to eat the whole sheet.

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