Canadian Whiskey

  

In my quest to discover all things wonderfully whisky I am sometimes exposed to different ways of drinking different types of drinks. One of my favorite discoveries this year has been the various Canadian whiskies that exist that I was ignorant of. I have a  long way to go in terms of being well versed, however I am well on my way with a little research and some taste testing evenings, I have enjoyed this past winter.

Canadian Whiskey: The rules in Canada in regards to type of grain and label restrictions are rather lax. There is only one law required, that it is fermented, distilled and aged in Canada. Lots of Canadian whisky is called “Rye Whiskey” but are in fact blends of multiple grains. The primary grain used in Canadian whiskey is corn, a great example is Seagrams, they blend over 50 batches to make their whisky. Most though are blends of 15-20 different batches. This includes Crown Royal and Canadian Club. In terms of great Canadian whisky facts, I’ve read lots and lots of stuff and mostly it’s just not as interesting as simply tasting some good old fashion whisky from Canada. 🙂

I’ve also discovered a website dedicated to only Canadian Whiskey, it reads like a blog . It’s appropriately called Canadianwhisky.com (spelled how everyone besides Ireland and America spells it.)

 

List of Popular Canadian Whiskies (I have tasted) I have rated them accordingly… 1 ❤ = tastes better mixed, 2 ❤ = good for only 2 or  3 drinks, 3 ❤ = pretty good neat, 4 ❤ = would definitely drink again neat,  ? = can’t quite remember how much i like it

Black Velvet

Canadian Club

Canadian Mist ❤ ❤

Crown Royale ❤ ❤ ❤

Dr. McGillicuddy’s

Forty Creek ❤ ❤ 1/2

Gibson’s ❤

Lord Culvert ❤

Rich and Rare ❤

McCaster’s ❤

Seagrams ❤ ❤

Windsor ?

Wiser’s ?

Yukon Jack ?

Some awesome Canadian Whisky I plan on trying:

1.Masterson’s 12 year  straight wheat whisky ( 50 % by alc/vol )

Palate- It’s said to be quite hot and spicy but also sweet. Has a luscious mouth feel. There is an earthy tone and the finish is peppery and tingly with a hint of gingerly spiciness.

From all that I have read about this whisky, it is highly recommended and tastes absolutely wonderful. I have found it online priced for 79$ but I am not sure what size bottle that price is for.

 

  1. Crown Royal Black- At 90 proof  I’ve read many a review, at first taste it’s smooth and mellow and especially delicious served neat (with no ice) . There is a bit of a bite I would assume but is described as having caramel, vanilla and dark cherry notes. As I re-read this to edit I realized I have in fact tasted this whisky. My boyfriend Red loves this one! hehe I forgot. However I don’t drink this regularly nor did I remember having tasting it so it remains on the list of whisky to try. We will call this one a do over. 🙂

 

There are also so many weird myths about Canadian Whisky I have found on the internet and have overheard at bars. For example I read an entire article that apparently was published in some magazine about how Canadian Whisky is just brown vodka. That is just so absurdly absurd that I wound up reading the article again to make sure it wasn’t a joke or something. So for the sake of having another article and more to write about, keep an eye out for more interesting things about Canadian Whisky. I’ll let you know what I know as I figure it all out.

Hope you enjoyed this little snippet. 🙂

Happy sippin’

Cassandra

 

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Dude Dinners- Red’s Noodles and shrimp!

Today’s Dude Dinner is an oldie but good one that Red always makes me for me when I don’t feel well. If your new to my blog you might not be aware of my love of all things noodles. Well…I love noodles. Take a look at the name of this blog. hehe Anyhow, I also love seafood more than I love to breath so it’s just a great recipe to combine two of my favorite things.

Red came up with this dish one day, he was cooking and asked me what I’d like for dinner. So of course I just said two of my favorite ingredients “Shrimp and noodles”.  So that’s what he did. He decided to use whatever was in the fridge that day and voila! A dude dinner happened in under 30 minutes and still today it’s one of my favorite noodle dishes he makes for me. I already decided when we are like 40 and  have a pub/bar that serves food this will be on the late night menu. 🙂

Ingredients:

1/2 box of angel hair pasta                                    1 lb. of shrimp (fresh or frozen, cleaned and peeled)

1 red onion (diced)                                                    parmesan cheese (to taste)

duck sauce + soy sauce ( to taste)                           2 tbsp olive oil

1/2 stick of butter (4 tbsp)                                     4 or 5 cloves of garlic (diced)

Process:

  • Set your H2O to boil ( for the noodles)

  • Rinse and peel your shrimp while the water is boiling

  • Dice your onions and garlic

  • Add your noodles to the H2O ( 7-10 mins or per the instructions on the box)

  • In a seperate saute pan ( we use  a wok) heat your oil and butter

  • Add your garlic, shrimp, onions and let saute for 5 mins. (onions should be slightly translucent, shrimp should be slightly pink)

  • Add soy sauce and duck sauce to the wok ( cook 2-3 more mins)

  • Drain your noodles and add shrimp sauce mixture to the noodles. Toss it all together and remove from heat.

  • Add parmesan cheese, salt and pepper to taste and throw on a garnish of fresh herbs if you have any in the house, like parsley or even basil.

  •  You can even throw in whatever veggies you might have in the fridge to give it some crunch.

 

Hope you enjoyed today’s dude dinner!!! Thanks Red.

 

Cassandra

 

the things j.lo taught me

 

 

I’m giving a long shout out to Miss Jennifer Lopez herself.images (11)

I think J. Lo said it right, “Do what you want to do, say what you want to say , go where you wanna go”!!!!!!

If you wanna live your life she said  you got to do it , and do it your way. I really have a strong appreciation and love for Jennifer Lopez.  As most people who know me would know I love love love to dance and sing off tone to happy giddy semi booty shaking music.  First and foremost I love J. Lo because of all the very cheeky  dance songs she makes. I mean really you can take any J. Losong and make a Zumba routine to it. I  keep my abs looking toned and fit from lots of jamming out to J. Lo songs. 🙂  Almost all the lyrics to her songs are about how to either move on from a sketchy break up or how to live it up on the dance floor at one of those night clubs where you have to wait in line to get in unless you’re wearing the shortest skirt you have. Or maybe you might get in if you’re dating the door guy. I can attest to that being a decent  method in your 20’s 🙂

Thank you J. Lo for all the things you have taught me .

  1. J. Lo taught us that big toned booties are great! Remember “In Living Color” ? Well that’s right ladies contrary to popular belief J. Lo set the trend for big booty awesome-ness not Kim Kardashian. Now I don’t have a big booty but if I did I would wear awesome tight pants and shake what my mama gave me 🙂

  2. Thanks J.Lo for teaching us that giant snakes do exist in the amazon and, yes they can be defeated! ( This is a reference to that movie she was in with Jon Voight “Anaconda”)

  3. J. Lo taught me that you can have a hit single, hit movie, clothing line, fragrance and Loreal commercial all at the same time. So, you know, go for it. Although no one would probably buy a fragrance produced by me, it would most certainly smell like gummy bears or coffee or beer.

  4. Thank you for representing the Bronx(I’m not from there) but so many good things come out the Bronx. Outside of the large number of great actors that the Bronx gave us there is Orchard beach, Yankee stadium, amazing seafood and there is an actual Hall of fame in the Bronx for Great Americans. So there. Although I’m pretty sure I read somewhere online due to lack of funding they stopped adding people to it a while back. lol Too funny.

  5. She showed us the importance of having a good divorce attorney and how the cougar thing is actually doable. You date a younger, hotter guy that can dance better than the previous guy you were with.

  6. She taught me that “love don’t cost a thing” and well…..that is just true. So thanks for that.

  7. She is putting out her 10th album! Her vocal chops being mediocre and all, I would say that is awesome.

That’s all I have for now… I thought this list would go to number 10. It doesn’t

Thanks Jennifer Lopez!

Cassandra

A love of life, stand the fuck up

smiley-creator

I am feeling some kind of way at this moment, so of course, I decided to share.

I want to talk about “A love of life”. It should be noted that this was written while enjoying my 2nd glass of one my newly favorite beers that I will highlight in June as my  beer of the month, Maharaja. It is 10.5 % alc. by volume, however sometimes the best thoughts come to us when slightly enticed by life’s love juice, as I call it,  hahaha.

I have a strong love of life. And I am really sick other people’s annoyance that I do. I want to formally apologize to all the douchebags and douchettes out there that can’t get a grasp on your own feelings about life or whatever it  is that bothers you. I am so sorry that  despite life’s torrential down-pours of shit that I still somehow manage to stand tall and not fucking complain all the time. Now, this is not to be confused with life’s everyday trials that try us all, in a magnitude of ways, constantly, when we are generally not ready for it. But does that mean I should curl up in a corner and cry for the rest of my life, constantly complaining about things I can’t change and give up? No! I curl up for a day or two like a normal human being and cry out my issues at home, sometimes over a beer, then stand the fuck up and dust off the horrid sadness of whatever event or circumstance has temporarily crippled me and live my damn life.

Wasn’t it Kat Williams, the wildly, pimp like comedian who said in his HBO special…You gots to live yo damn life. yes, yes it was him. I know so because I recall him saying it when I watched that HBO special. People need to have a love of life. I do. I truly do… I have been through some shit just like the rest of everyone else. And accordingly, it has been as horrifying and debilitating as any other experience that any other human has been through. But life goes on, with or without you. So how about don’ shit on my parade just because I can still put a smile on the face in the face of adversity and tragedy.

Life can be sucky, tragic, horrendous and downright unfair but it’s also amazingly mysterious and wonderful and filled with a million things and people you are lucky enough to wake up to explore and possibly know everyday. It’s filled with opportunities that, albeit, you have to go out and grab, but they are there, everywhere. The world and life itself is so beyond beautiful that we often miss it “living”  our life. Build a bridge people and get over it. Because the other side is magnanimous.

Start with the small stuff… it’s the small stuff that always seems to matter. Go ahead, play in the rain and fall in love and buy those jeans that cost too much money.

That’s how I feel.

 

❤ Cassandra

Interesting Whiskey facts.

Hey whiskey drinkers, lovers and newbies!

I read somewhere that knowledge is power, and I always want to know more about whiskey. On my quest to live it and learn it, I’ve come across some general facts about whiskey. Some known and some not so known. I would say I wasn’t aware of most of the little whiskey truths I stumbled upon the day I decided to make this slightly intriguing list. If you have any really cool or strange facts I have over looked please feel free to comment and share. yay! Here we go.

images (9)

Whiskey on the rocks!

One shot has 0 fat and .04 carbs. Which basically sounds healthy to me.

 The word whiskey literally means “Water of life”. Ummm…. awesome sauce. It comes from the Gaelic word “Uisge Beatha”.

 Whiskey was a form of currency in 18th century Pennsylvania. Meaning you could have paid your cable bill with whatever money you didn’t spend on drinks that weekend. hehe

A closed bottle of whiskey is good for 100 years! An opened bottle is good for 5 yrs. So all in all… if you are planning on saving an awesome bottle  for one of your descendants, there is no need to fear, your whiskey will hold up. Just what I was planning 🙂

 

whiskey casks

A beautiful basement of whiskey barrels

May 17th of 2014 was World Whiskey Day. I can only say that I am almost certain I celebrated on this day because I stumbled upon this little treasure of a fact before May 17th and made it my business to put it on my calendar in order to have a random reason to celebrate something.

Tabasco sauce is aged in barrels that previously contained Jack Daniels. My boyfriend loved this one. He uses hot sauce like someone is paying him to use it. lol I’m serious. (keep an eye out for my upcoming list of my top ten hot sauces)

All bourbon is whiskey but not all whiskey is bourbon. If this seems confusing I have done you the pleasure of putting together a list within this list, that may or may not explain how this is possible and the differences:

Whiskey can be aged in re-used barrels but the law requires Bourbon  be aged in New charred American white oak barrels. H2O is the only thing that can be added to Bourbon and only to bring it down to proof. Other whiskey makers can add color (although I have read other sources that say otherwise so when I figure out if this is actually true I shall update this ). Whiskey is distilled from a fermented mash of grain which usually contains rye, corn, barley or wheat. Bourbon (by law in the US) is distilled from a mash of grain that contains no less than 51% corn and is made in USA.

In America we import 120 million bottles of whiskey a year. It should be noted that I found this “fact” on some random website but it seems extremely believable to me…. after all we are the country of over consumption. In all things.

monks

This may be a photo of monks harvesting wheat. 🙂

Whiskey was first made in Ireland, according to my sources, by missionary monks. They seem to create all the good stuff. Meaning beer and whiskey. I read that long ago, beer and wine was what people drank mainly as oppose to water, I guess in medieval times the water sources were often contaminated, not sure why boiling water first was difficult but nevertheless, yay monks!

 

In conclusion ( haven’t used that ending since junior high) these are some of the more interesting whiskey facts I have found then chuckled at.  Some are eyebrow raisers, either way it’s always good to be in the know in regards to my continuing efforts to be in the know about my favorite spirit.

 

 Happy sipping.

Cassandra

 

 

June’s Beer of the Month-Maharaja!!!!!

 

maharaja beer

 

Welcome to my choice for Beer of the month for June.

I have a really great one for you guys this time. I’ve chosen a beer from the Avery Brewing Co. Called Maharaja. This beer is brewed in Boulder, Colorado.

Beer style: Imperial India Pale Ale

Alc. by vol.- 10.5 %   Color- Deep amber

Hop Variety: Simcoe, Columbus, Centennial and Chinook

This beer is one of Avery’s breweries most popular and best-selling beers and is rated as such on sites such as ratebeer.com and beeradvocate.com . It’s the second installment of their “Dictators Series”. Be aware that the Maharaja is only available in the summer time and is a special edition, so what are you waiting for?

Food pairing: This beer was recommended to be paired with shrimp cocktail, however I paired it with a super cool dish Kedegree, that I have made a bunch of times and it’s an amalgamation of leftovers, rice and whatever is in the fridge. Kind of. You can definitely make this dish the day of. It is great for this yummy beer during the brunch hours. The recipe is at the bottom and also appears in a June 4th article I wrote for the “Fantastic Food” section of my blog. It’s originally from colonial India and was brought to the UK as a breakfast  like dish and is a perfect complement to the “grapfruity hops” aroma.

Flavor: The Maharaja has a mild bitterness but in a perfect way. I put lemon in my pint of beer and it seemed to be the perfect addition. Although made with an absurd amount of hops and described as tangy and pungent I think the intense flavor of the mass amounts of malty barley actually relaxes on the tongue, making this show stopper an extremely drinkable IPA.

Beer name history: Maharaja is derived from the Sanskrit words ‘Mahat’ meaning “great” and ‘Rajan’ meaning “king”. The beer is described as being regal just as it’s namesake suggests. All I can attest to is after a 10 oz. glass of Maharaja and an added lemon I was feeling like a queen.

Brewery History: Open since 1993, they claim to defy styles and categories of popular beers in search of like-minded palates, if you will, to express their true selves. Well I think my tastes buds can keep up and I happily place this beer and brewery on my list of life long beer adventures to come. 🙂

Drink merrily and enjoy! I know I will. 🙂

Cassandra

 

Kedegree My way!

Ingredients:

Rice (white or brown) 1 c                      Boiled eggs 4 (peeled and roughly chopped)        Paprika 2 tbsp

Lemon 1                                                        Red onion 1 (diced)                                                         Salt + Pepper (to taste)

Fish cutlets  5                                             Garlic cloves 4 (diced)

Broccoli 1 c (chopped)                           Curry powder 3 tbsp

Asparagus 1/2 c (chopped)                  Celery seed 3 tbsp

Rice:

Bring your h20 to a boil and cook your rice according to the packaging instructions, adding in a few slices of lemon and a 2 or 3 tbsp of curry powder. This might sound odd but I can assure you adding lemon and curry only makes things in life better. 🙂 After it has cooked, set aside and keep warm.

Veggies:

In a saute pan heat some olive oil and throw in your freshly washed and chopped asparagus and broccoli. ( I added a tbsp of butter because it makes everything tastes better ) Add salt and pepper to taste  and cover and let cook for 10-15 minutes, occasionally stirring. You want the asparagus and broccoli to become fairly soft.

Add your onions and garlic and let cook for 5 more minutes

Set aside and keep your veggies warm

Fish:

Rinse  and dry your fish. Sprinkle it with salt and pepper to taste and celery seed (I also sprinkled it with a bit of paprika) then heat a saute pan with a little olive oil. Cook on medium heat 4 or 5 mins on both sides or until flaky and fully cooked through.

Mix your rice and veggies by folding them into each other in a large casserole dish to serve it in, it will make it look very pretty and home-style. Flake in your fish and chopped boiled eggs and voila! Your done. Add some parsley or chives or whatever fresh herb you might have on hand that you like a lot.

This dish is super filling, healthy and is perfect for a fun group brunch in your own home. Get out that cork screw and open up some wine or pass around a few cold beers. Now it’s perfect. I hope you enjoyed this recipe because it truly is fantastic.

 

I would love to hear about your version or food that is just too fantastic not to share.

 

Cassandra

Side note: Swai fish

In case you were wondering what type of fish swai is, It’s native to South-east Asia, Vietnam, Thailand, Laos and Cambodia. It’s very similar to Catfish and belongs to the Pengasius family, has a sweet mild flavor and takes very well to sauces, frying, broiling and coating with bread crumbs.  A 3.5-ounce serving of plain fish contains around 90 calories, 4 grams of fat (1.5 saturated), 45 grams of cholesterol and 50 milligrams of sodium. Not bad. And it’s super affordable in comparison to similar types of fish. So try it!

Cool things I learned from the Aaron Eckhart movie, “Love Happens”

Love happens– 2009- Starring Aaron Eckhart and Jennifer Aniston, Directed by Brandon Camp-109 mins PG-13

 

 

aaron eckhart

So I watched this movie a few times, and I was incredibly touched by it. Brought to tears actually during so many scenes. The kind of tears that you are not prepared for in any kind of way at all. This movie doesn’t exactly seem at first glance like a tear jerker. Not necessarily. I mean I am definitely one of those people who cries even when I see a great Gerber commercial with a beautiful little chubby baby. But I just wasn’t prepared for the deeply embedded message of this movie. The loss of a loved one and the steps people take or don’t take to get through it. I had to find the transcribed script online and read through it because I was still not sure after several times of watching it randomly on tv why I was so passionately effected. I soon realized. Words are powerful. And if you get down to the meat and bone of the written words of this script it is absolutely a magical message, in my mind. A hard one to swallow and also feel, I think by so many of us who struggle with and carry it everyday. And there in lied my answer. Deep within the lines of the movie and in between those lines where silence spoke when the characters did not.

Aaron Eckart’s character is a self-taught inspirational speaker, as I am assuming all inspirational speakers are. He used his own grief and trauma and channeled it into a way of survival and then through his workshops and books shared it with others attempting throughout the movie to give them the tools to do so for themselves.

It was very interesting because this movie consisted of a few ingredients that make for a good romantic comedy/drama that I am a sucker for. It had two very relatable main characters unknowingly stuck in their own gel of grief and mistakes. Both of a very different kind. They then meet each other at times of their lives where neither is really open or ready for a partner or love because they are silently suffering through their own demons. But Love nevertheless finds a way, of course. I was thrilled by the ending as I am an eternal optimist. I’m just a big softy really. Well I’m not actually big I am a pretty small person but that is besides the point. I digress. 🙂

Shortly into the movie during one of his seminars he gives the people there a wonderful example of a metaphor that is so incredibly relevant. He shows them the busy city from below on the streets where they notice how noisy and busy it is. It’s very hectic, the noise from people and cars is loud and disturbing. Then they climb the stairs of a very tall building and go all the way to the roof. Here they can see everything that they saw from below but it is obviously very different. The people in the seminar notice that it’s quiet and can see things from above that you simply couldn’t see from below. The point being that when you change your perspective in a given circumstance and try peering at something from a different view or a different level you literally see things differently. He was trying to teach them that even through extreme grief and loss you must climb the stairs of life and see everything from a different perspective.

This is a very difficult thing to do in real life. For almost everyone at any given time this can seemingly be impossible. It takes great strength and usually a mistake or two to see things differently than you are used to looking at them That’s not to say we don’t all figure out how to do this throughout life. Grief brought on by the loss of a loved one, however, can be when this is the most difficult. I realized this watching this movie, as I have lost many people in my young life. Both my parents, a close cousin when I was a teenager (due to criminal violence), a grandparent in my youth, a grandparent as an adult, an aunt as a child. I lost all these people within a like 12 or 13 year period. That is a lot of loss for even one long life time, let alone a human who is only 30 years old.

I have my list of favorite actors and I can assure you Aaron Eckart has never graced this list but as I watched him in this movie deliver the emotions I have personally felt, watched him deliver the emotions of the trauma that the unexpected loss of a loved one brings on, I was shocked. I was impressed with the accuracy in which he relayed how and when this occurs, out of self-preservation we sometimes repress our emotions about these things. After all, life goes on no matter who dies. It doesn’t stop and therefore neither can you.

I learned all this in my 20’s, which is when I was able to process most of my loss in a healthy way. But this movie reminded me to never forget the struggle everyone in life goes through when they lose someone dear and that we carry this with us forever. The healing process can be long or short as long as it happens.

Thank you Aaron Eckart movie.

Cassandra