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Wine, Women & (What Glorious) Song

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“Long live women, long live good wine! Sustenance and glory of human kind!” So sings Don Giovanni in the opera that bears his name and was first performed in 1787 in Prague. With music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and a libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte, Don Giovanni has enchanted music lovers ever since. ...
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Cookie, Cookie, Lend Me Your Tome

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Queen Elizabeth I (1533 – 1603) came up with the idea of having gingerbread cookies baked in the shape of people and decorated to honor noble visitors to her court. So the Gingerbread Man has been around a long time and quickly became a popular guy at Christmas time. So have Christmas cookies in ...
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TEA, ICE, AND HOT WEATHER

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The most frequently asked question at our Cooking School for the last 22 years has been “What is this tea?” And now the same question is being asked in the Market Cafe. It is Tropicana Tea and it has been making friends for us for a long time. We serve Tropicana iced tea (or “ice tea” if you are ...
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The Old Man and the Doors

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What is your idea of a great birthday celebration? If dining at a favorite restaurant is the answer, welcome to the club. By the way, this club has no membership card, no dues and no meetings. (If you’d rather that the restaurant staff didn’t surround your table and sing “Happy Birthday” and/or ...
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Stink, Stank, Stonk — Allium Sativum

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Some folks, like Count von Count, don’t like garlic. Some of us, like Iron Chef USA Chairman (for 2 episodes in 2001) William Shatner, love it. (The former Captain of the Starship Enterprise once said “Stop and smell the garlic! That’s all you have to do.”)Garlic lovers have historically been the ...
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Mise en place vs Messy Place – Release Your Inner Felix

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If I could give just one piece of advice to a beginning cook or any one who wants to improve their performance in the kitchen, I would do so with three words: mise en place. (meez ahn plahs) It is French for “setting in place.” My fellow newbies at the New York Restaurant School many years ago ...
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AN AMAIZING, CORNY STORY

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Anticipation used to be reserved for things like the last day of school and Christmas. Now it’s things like NFL season, a new John Sanford novel & the arrival of sweet sweet corn from Olathe, (Oh-Lay-Thuh), Colorado. Sweet Basil’s Martie Sullivan is a Colorado girl so this is about the latter....
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Big Bowl – Little Bowls – A Vendor’s Story

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One of the things Martie Sullivan knew by the time she opened Sweet Basil in Lisa Howe Potter - at Sweet Basil Gourmetware & Cooking School1993 was that stocking her store with the quality merchandise she would be proud of would not be a slam dunk. While working at two kitchen stores and attending ...
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The Raw and the Cooked – What is Doneness?

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The Biergarten bar in Wayward Pines, Idaho has a problem. (Other than THOSE problems.) When Secret Service Agent Ethan Burke (Matt Dillon) visits the bar, he orders a burger – “bloody no onions” from the bartender, Beverly. From the time she heads to the kitchen until she returns with the burger, ...
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The Pot of Basil at the Sweet Basil Market Cafe

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When the Market Cafe opened on March 13th, a print that has been on the wall at Sweet Basil for almost 20 years suddenly became more visible. The Market Cafe was formerly the linen and barware room and with all the shelves covering the walls Isabella was relegated to a corner. It won’t surprise you ...
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