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Amy Collins
www.amyccollins.com
Interests: reading, writing, essays, fiction, wine, food, cartoons, design, color, drawing, painting, cooking, eating, gardening, observing, talking.
Recent Activity
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At a shrimp boil a couple weeks ago, I had the rare opportunity to try some wine from Georgia, one of the oldest wine producing countries on the planet. You can't get this wine in Alabama, and maybe not in the United States (it was smuggled in), but it was certainly interesting enough to write about anyhow. Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Pig&Vine
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Simple ingredients with simple preparations are the basic combinations for cooking no matter where in the world you go. People use what's in front of them and they develop creative ways to make few ingredients taste delicious, especially when people have very little. Chef and memoirist Jaques Pépin shares one of his mother's signature recipes, Les Oeufs Jeanette, in his book "The Apprentice: My Life in the Kitchen." It's classic French country cooking, simple, beautiful and flavorful. Continue reading
Posted Jul 8, 2014 at Pig&Vine
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My friend and fellow No'Ala columnist, Sarah Gaede (she writes "Food for Thought" in every Shoals and Huntsville edition) gave me these gorgeous chanterelles, which she plucked from her front yard and which I threw into a light and tasty veal stew. Recipe included. Continue reading
Posted Jun 17, 2014 at Pig&Vine
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A family trip to central Georgia always means great country eating, hugs, crazy stories and a country view that elicits youthful nostalgia. Continue reading
Posted Jun 10, 2014 at Pig&Vine
Amy Collins gets it. We have a definite vision for our magazine, and when we assign editorial to Amy we never have to worry. What she delivers is concise, well-researched, and a delight to read from beginning to end. Our readers look forward to seeing her byline; we love working... Continue reading
Posted Jun 3, 2014 at AmyCCollins
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One of my favorite wine-food combinations is lamb and Syrah. More often than not, that means lamb stew and white beans with tomatoes and fresh herbs, like sage or rosemary, paired with a Côte du Rhône or a St. Joseph. But sometimes it means lamb chops and Hermitage or, when life is extra sweet, a Côte Rôtie. Or in this case, Joey Tensley's absolute dream in a bottle California Syrah. Continue reading
Posted Jun 3, 2014 at Pig&Vine
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One of my favorite wine-food combinations is lamb and Syrah. More often than not, that means lamb stew and white beans with tomatoes and fresh herbs, like sage or rosemary, paired with a Côte du Rhône or a St. Joseph. But sometimes it means lamb chops and Hermitage or, when life is extra sweet, a Côte Rôtie. Or in this case, Joey Tensley's absolute dream in a bottle California Syrah. Continue reading
Posted Jun 2, 2014 at Pig&Vine
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Ethiopian born, adopted to Swedish parents, Marcus Samuelsson's memoir Yes, Chef tells of his grueling kitchen training, often working for free (room and board only) in Europe, and later in New York. In New York he landed at a Swedish restaurant, Aquavit, which had a good reputation, especially among the Swedish-American crowd, though it had not yet garnered the prestige of a New York critic's praise. Continue reading
Posted May 26, 2014 at Pig&Vine
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Originally discovered by my friend and artist Tim Stevenson in Delft, Netherlands, this curry-Camembert-carrot snack is light yet packed with flavor and texture, surprising to consider and yet naturally complimentary. Continue reading
Posted May 13, 2014 at Pig&Vine
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To be completely honest, I wasn't all that certain where in France the Perle à Boule was produced. Sometimes this is the best way to experience a wine, or a film, or a person, for that matter. If you know nothing going into it (except that it came with a positive recommendation), then you take no predjudices along either. Continue reading
Posted May 8, 2014 at Pig&Vine
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Sometimes living the freelance life means you go through dry periods when there's not a lot of money coming in, which means one has to be frugal. Creativity abounds with ways that make one feel not-so-poor in happy exchange for sweet, delicious freedom, and this fancy-ish tuna salad has become an inexpensive lunch of late. Continue reading
Posted Apr 27, 2014 at Pig&Vine
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The prose in Sous Chef moves quickly, mirroring life in the kitchen, and the dialogue between the chefs is appropriately creatively explicit. It's not for the easily offended, nor is the grueling job these men and women perform. The novel demands well-earned respect for Back of House staff, and every waiter, waitress and patron should read it. Continue reading
Posted Mar 26, 2014 at Pig&Vine
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Subtle cherry and strawberry fruits, mineral with bright yet not racy acidity. Excellent finish. It's a wine for seafood, cheese and fatty charcuterie (as if there is any other kind), popcorn and patio drinking. Continue reading
Posted Mar 11, 2014 at Pig&Vine
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Chill your red wines in warm Spring weather for a refreshing drink and a different vibe. Continue reading
Posted Mar 9, 2014 at Pig&Vine
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The Les Darons 2012 is a Languedoc blend of 60% Grenache, 25% Carignon and 15% Syrah made with fruit from vines over 40 years old by freelance winemaker Jeff Carrel. Continue reading
Posted Feb 28, 2014 at Pig&Vine
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Food and sex are connected. Each require the use of several senses: sight, smell, touch, taste. We're all familiar with the idea of aphrodisiac foods, like chocolate, raspberries, oysters. Maybe our bedroom preferences are reflective of who we are in the same way that how and what we eat reflect who we are, just not in direct, or clear, correlation. Continue reading
Posted Feb 20, 2014 at Pig&Vine
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Democratizing wine isn't a fresh notion but Betts approach, easy and playful, might be. He's taken the ultra snobby, intimidating and too often exclusive club of wine and broken it down into basic concepts, building on the one essential tool required to appreciate wine: smell. Continue reading
Posted Jan 14, 2014 at Pig&Vine
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The beauty of this soup is you don't have to bake it and so you don't need the extra dishware, those French onion soup specific bowls. It also cuts out that extra baking step, but the flavor and aromas of tender onion and distinctive sherry come through along with the comfort of savory melted cheese. Continue reading
Posted Jan 11, 2014 at Pig&Vine
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I've made this new Roasted Carrot Soup recipe a few times now and it has quickly become a favorite. It's fairly quick and if you have a dutch oven, like a cast iron enamel coated Le Creuset, and an emulsion blender, it's also a one-pot dish. Roasted Carrot Soup 1 lb baby carrots 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil Kosher... Continue reading
Posted Dec 23, 2013 at Pig&Vine
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Food is the New Rock podcast is the brilliant idea from Zach Brooks, of the blog Midtown Lunch, and Chuck P from KCRW to interview chefs and food people about music, and musicians about food. There is a distinct correlation between those who slave all night in the restaurant kitchen and those who rock all night for the fans. Continue reading
Posted Dec 17, 2013 at Pig&Vine
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Pinot Noir is one of my favorite grapes, and this delicious little value from Jean-François Mérieau in the Loire Valley is one of my latest favorite sippers. Bright, easy drinking Pinot with cherry fruit and alluring minerality. Continue reading
Posted Dec 3, 2013 at Pig&Vine
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I haven't been blogging much lately. Despite leaving the 8 to 5 behind, and thus freeing up more time to write, getting back into regular posting has been slower and more challenging than I'd assumed. Everything is always more difficult and takes longer than you expect. Truth be told, I've been struggling to be happy, and additionally, to be productive.... Continue reading
Posted Nov 27, 2013 at Pig&Vine
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For those of you who are new to Pig&Vine, I write a wine column for No'Ala magazine titled "The Vine." It's a sister project, per se, of this blog, with a brief anecdote and a little education in each issue. The November/Decemeber 2013 issue is now available at newstands and various local businesses around the Shoals and in Huntsville. Pick... Continue reading
Posted Nov 13, 2013 at Pig&Vine
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There are actually two stories here. First, there is the wholesale nursery business, Maple Valley. Second, there is the seed-to-plate Cooking Light farmer and her contribution to the magazine's "From the CL Garden" column on the Cooking Light blog. Both are perfect examples of people following their hearts, trusting things will work out, and then reaping the benefits of a life well-lived. Continue reading
Posted Nov 11, 2013 at Pig&Vine
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I wish this story followed a plot line where a poor, sad, mange-infected chicken with nowhere to turn is rescued from imminent danger and swaddled with love and a cashmere throw, and later, with the continued support of good friends and an adoptive family (not to mention a great therapist), writes a best selling memoir about her experiences, possibly titled,... Continue reading
Posted Oct 30, 2013 at Pig&Vine