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Amy C. 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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Bacchanal has been around for about 15 years, in a building over 200 years old on a corner in the Bywater neighborhood, part of the 9th Ward that escaped flooding during Hurricane Katrina. The entrance opens into a retail shop where you select your wine and cheese plate, if you are so inclined, and a back door leads to the open air backyard dining room where you grab a table and order food at a modest window. We drank a friendly bottle of Croatian Babic, an indigenous Croatian wine grape. Continue reading
Posted Nov 16, 2014 at Pig&Vine
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There's something inherent to acupuncture that invites a heightened sense of self-awareness. When you're lying on the table in your underwear with needles stuck in your toes, calves, belly, side, neck and jaw, there's little choice but to keep still and feel your own presence. Miso Soup with brown rice, tofu and cilantro... Continue reading
Posted Nov 8, 2014 at Pig&Vine
Anytime, CityGirl. Come back for more!
Toggle Commented Nov 2, 2014 on Esporão Portuguese Red Reserve at Pig&Vine
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Esporão red Reserve is a tasty sipper made from a blend of Alicante Bouschet (a French varietal grown mostly in the south), Arogónêz (called Tempranillo in Spain), Trincadeira (a Portugues native variety that favors the dry, hot climate of southern Portugal) and Cabernet Sauvignon (French/international variety). Continue reading
Posted Nov 1, 2014 at Pig&Vine
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I can't remember exactly when I had my first runny egg, but I'm fairly certain my father prepared it. At the very least, he influenced the moment. He often ate a soft boiled egg for breakfast, gently broken into a bowl and eaten with a spoon, while sipping black coffee and reading the Florida Times-Union front to back. On Christmas morning, eggs benedict was a tradition, with poached eggs and Hollandaise that oozed across my plate, savory gold and decidedly adult. Liquid yolks were my first "adult food" I embraced with 100 percent of myself, no urging necessary. Continue reading
Posted Oct 26, 2014 at Pig&Vine
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The venerable Mimi Sheraton's 1962 "The Seducer's Cookbook" reads as a guide for those wanting to seduce, be it your wife, your husband, someone else's husband, and everyone in between. Sheraton's tongue in cheek prose, reflective of her honest, dry sense of humor, is at times hilarious, at times feminine retro to the point of submission. Illustrated and paired with recipes, this book is easy proof that food and sex are inextricably linked. Continue reading
Posted Oct 18, 2014 at Pig&Vine
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It's been so long since I've checked in here it might look like I've abandoned my readers altogether. The truth is I've been crazy busy with my freelance writing business and by the end of the day I have little energy left to devote to writing, or screen time. It's definitely a good problem to have, though I do feel a little guilty about neglecting my beloved Pig&Vine. How fitting that the wine I've chosen this week - C'est pas la mer à boire - is a French idiom that translates to "it's not the sea to drink," meaning, "no worries, it's no big deal." Continue reading
Posted Oct 10, 2014 at Pig&Vine
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Reina sells her handmade traditional Central American tamales at the Sale Barn every Tuesday morning. For $1 a piece, you get a taste of homemade goodness and a little cultural trip outside the norm. Continue reading
Posted Aug 13, 2014 at Pig&Vine
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The Domaine La Manarine is situated in the southern part of the Côtes du Rhône appellation where the unique soils in the domaine's 18 hectares produce unusually refined Grenache, Syrah and Mouvedre wines. The vineyards are farmed organically and proprietor and vigneron Gilles Gasq vinifies the white and rosé wines in cement vats, which allow the wines to become the elegant specimens they are. Continue reading
Posted Aug 2, 2014 at Pig&Vine
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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 Jul 22, 2014 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's strong knowledge of wine and smart writing style have added a much needed element to our website by informing our customers with great story telling that has ultimately helped us sell more wine. That she's professional and easy to work with is just an added bonus. - Warren Fraser,... 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