Building the Perfect Cheese Board

Gimme some wine, gimme some cheese & let's have ourselves a party shall we! Excited to be sharing a French inspired cheese board with you & how to pair it with delicious wines. Creating a cheese board can be quite intimidating, but with these 3 tips you will be making the perfect French Cheeseboard in no time.

First, let's chat about the Ile de France brandIle de France is one of the top sellers in soft gourmet cheeses in the United States, which you can find in some of your local grocery stores. 

CHEESES:

ILE DE FRANCE PLAIN GOAT CHEESE, which is a traditional fresh Chevre from Poitou Charentes, using only the freshest goat’s milk in the region. This cheese offers a dense yet rich texture with a hint of slightly salty and tangy taste. Best paired with Bordeaux or Beaujolais wines.

ILE DE FRANCE BRIE, is a double crème Brie, which offers a milky yet buttery taste with a touch of hazelnut.  This product is fresh, daily collected cow’s milk from the Normandy region; delivering a unique rich creamy flavor. Best paired with white wines such as Légende Blanc or Georges Duboeuf Pouilly-Fuisse 2015.

SAINT AGUR BLUE CHEESE, is creamier in texture & make from cow's milk. It is a unique and intense Blue cheese with a smooth buttery finish, rich in butterfat (double crème). Best paired with  George Duboeuf Beaujolais-Villages 2015 or a heavier red wine, like a Cabernet Sauvignon.

SAINT ANDRE, is a soft ripened triple cream cheese with a salty tang from Normandy. The rich taste it very distinctive & perfect for any occasion. Great to pair with white wines, champagne or white beer. This was by far one of my favorite cheeses!)


Now onto the wines. I mean who doesn't love a good wine paired with the perfect cheese?

WINES:

George Duboeuf Beaujolais-Villages 2015, is a food-friendly wine perfect for every occasion. This light-bodied red wine tastes similar to a Pinot Noir. This wine grows primarily in France in Burgundy. This light-bodied wine offers a smooth velvety mouth feel and a touch of cinnamon on the finish. Best served lightly chilled.

Georges Duboeuf Pouilly-Fuissé 2015, is made from 100% Chardonnay. This wine offers an aroma of roasted almond with hints of peach & can be enjoyed with an array of cheeses and fruits or on its own with a long lasting savory finish. 

Légende Rouge, a 2016 vintage and deep crimson color. Offers an intense and very expressive nose, dominated by fresh fruit aromas (red currant, raspberry) blended with discreet notes of oak. On the palate, structured, round and easy, nicely oaked with firm but silky tannins and a long, fresh and fruity finish. Pairs wonderfully with beef, lamb, duck and dark-aged cheeses.

Légende Blanc, is a palele straw color color. On the nose, refined and aromatic, combining citrus notes (grapefruit, lime) with aromas of exotic fruit (passion fruit). On the palate, fresh, lively and seductive, very aromatic. Exotic notes on the finish.


CREATING THE PERFECT CHEESE BOARD

1. Find the Cheeses

ILE DE FRANCE PLAIN GOAT CHEESE
ILE DE FRANCE BRIE
SAINT AGUR BLUE CHEESE
SAINT ANDRE

2. Pair with a vehicle

water crackers, toast, sourdough bread,
baguette.

3. Add something salty.

Cured meats (charcuterie):
Salami, Prosciutto, or Cooked panchetta or bacon,
Assortment of olives, nuts or pickles

4. Touch of something sweet

Added a peppered jelly, honey or fig jam

5. Sip on some delicious wine

George Duboeuf Beaujolais-Villages 2015
Georges Duboeuf Pouilly-Fuissé 2015
Légende Rouge
Légende Blanc
 

Early Morning Routine: Nothing Comes Before Coffee

I don't know about you, but I must have a cup of coffee or espresso drink before starting my day because nothing comes before coffee. Now, this has not always been the case -- coffee hasn't always been my thing, but it has quickly become part of my normal morning routine over the past couple of years since starting my full-time job as a Physician Assistant.

Working at a busy Urgent/Primary Care office as a Physician Assistant requires that I be fully alert and awake when I start seeing my patients. My mornings start bright and early around 8 AM, which means I need a McDonald's McCafé coffee before I get my day started. Conveniently, there is one right by my office, so I don't have to go without a delicious coffee beverage before starting my morning.

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Since nothing comes before coffee, before heading into the office, I enjoy a quick walk over to McDonald's to grab a McCafé beverage & get my day started by sipping a delicious coffee while answering emails, reviewing labs and patient documents. Getting in a cup of coffee helps me get through the day efficiently. Without it, I can’t seem to take the day head on. It helps me stay alert and be there for my patients. My go-to beverage has been the McCafé Caramel Macchiato, which tastes delicious iced or hot. If you aren't a Caramel Macchiato fan, there are a bunch of new McCafé espresso drinks at participating McDonald's.


McCafé Menu

Peppermint Mocha (Nov 7 – Dec)
Hot/Iced Caramel Macchiato
Mocha (iced or hot)
Cappuccinos
Americanos


You can try any small McCafé for only $2*! Plus, when you buy 5 any size McCafé beverages, you’ll get one any-sized McCafé beverage free with the McD app! (Valid 1/18/17 – 12/31/17. McD App download and registration required. Valid only at participating U.S. McDonald’s. ©2017 McDonald’s). Find a store near you and try a new McCafé beverage today!


*A la carte only. Limited time only at participating McDonald's. Cannot be combined with any other offer or any combo meal. ©2017 McDonald’s.

How To Survive The Holidays

It is that time of year ... the Holiday Season! Whether you are prepping your turkey, wrapping gifts, traveling or entertaining you probably need these tips to get through the Holidays with all of your sanity intact.

1. Plan Ahead

Don't be that person that starts prepping for everything last minute, that doesn't do any one any good. If you need to make list after list then do it -- whether thats a shopping list, gift list, grocery list or a list of things you need to get done around the house. Make those lists, you won't regret it! Along with those lists, make sure you have the right food necessities at home, grab all the goodies you need for gift wrapping early & make sure you have gifts stashed around the house like wine. This year I decided to stock up on some of my favorite wines & Wente wines is one of them. Delicious and affordable. If you like a good sale, right now, you can get 25% off of single vineyard or estate grown wines online though an exclusive offer by entering 25TOAST at checkout!

2. Relax & Don't Stress The Small Things

Hey you, yeah you! Don't stress, just relax. Things are not always going to go according to plan. All those lists I told you about -- maybe you should throw them out ;) Just kidding! But if your entire list doesn't get done, it is ok! Also, Wine. Drink all the wine. That will help you relax.

3. Enjoy The Things That Are Important To You

What I love most about the Holidays is family time. I love watching Christmas movies, baking holiday desserts, decorating the house with all of the holiday decor & shopping for all of my friends and family. Making sure you take a step back when things get overwhelming & enjoying the little things is really important. Enjoy that glass of Wente wine with your family, while watching your favorite Christmas movie & decorating the Christmas tree. You will appreciate it.