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“Blush Your Summer”: BE Rosé Guide

Craving Rosé the instant the nice weather arrives is like a Pavlov’s dogs experiment.

I have been sipping Rosé for almost two decades and it is refreshing to see the interest and supply, and frankly the quality rapidly growing.

This post is the first of a three part series (make sure you sign up for automatic blogs on thebourneexplorer.com) with Rosé suggestions and descriptions, food pairing ideas, and entertaining tips featured in June, July, and August 2017.

As summer officially started on the 21st, I felt this blog was relevant and rather important, especially for us winos 😉


Chêne Bleu Rosé

For my first wine, I selected Chêne Bleu. We were recently holidaying in Maine and my husband was under the weather one evening, so I postponed our dinner reservation, lit a fire, and headed to Kennenbunk center to pick up some snacks, Mexican street food and some wine.  I spotted Chêne Bleu, and gave it a shot.  I was very impressed with the elegant nose and complexed palate.

Description: $31.95

  • Appearance: Clear, pale rose pink
  • Nose: Strawberries and citrus with hints of jasmine blossom and passion fruit
  • Palate: Expressive summer fruit, bright abundance, full bodied with a long clean finish
  • Food pairing: Goes well with seafood and shellfish but also a perfect accompaniment to lightly spiced dishes, summer salads, and grilled lamb



Mulderbosch Rosé 2014

Next up, the Mulderbosch Rosé, I originally found this wine at my neighborhood wine shop about seven years ago. When my sister was deciding on the Rosé she would serve at her outdoor Cape Cod wedding, I suggested Mulderbosch Rosé 2014.  After sampling it, we ordered several cases; it was a crowd pleaser amongst our guests and an easy drink on a hot summer day. I am often weary of the quality on bottles priced around $10-12, but I savor its Cab flavor profile as it is juicy without being jammy.

Description: $11.00-$13.99

  • Appearance: Deep red tone
  • Nose: Bright spectrum of fruit aromas, clean red cherry and wet stone bouquet with hints of green pepper-like aromas
  • Palate: Acidity with a crisp, clean, and dry finish; super drinkable
  • Food Pairing: Serve well chilled. An excellent picnic wine. Pairs well with grilled fish (seared tuna steaks and swordfish; veal milanese and sushi.

Wölffer Estate Rosé 2016

For my final wine, I chose the Wölffer Table wine, Rosé. Table wine might suggest that it is basic, but it is anything but. It can be drunk with no food, paired a cheese plate, or a spread of fish and fire roasted veggies…

I have fun with their Summer In A Bottle Rosé, but it doesn’t have the complexity and sheer elegance of the Estate Rosé. (I like using the flower printed bottle as a vase for a fresh flower bouquet).

Plus, I love the energy of the Wölffer winery. The property is picturesque out in Bridge Hampton, Long island. The owners host summer music nights featuring local bands, which has created a wave of loyal followers.

Description: $18.00- $19.99

  • Appearance: Light copper-salmon in color
  • Nose: Pure and fresh floral and flinty aromas
  • Palate: Fruit notes of peach and apricots. Fresh and vibrant with lively acidity and well balanced. The finish is classic–dry with subtle, fine tannins and minerality
  • Food Pairings: Serve chilled. Pairs well with smoked salmon, poached lobster, raw shellfish, beef or tuna tartare, and soft cheeses. And grilled meats and fish.

Hope you enjoy! I would love to hear about your favorite Rosés.


Satisfy your senses,
Amanda (follow me on Twitter!)

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Be a User…

In the refrigerator that is…

Food waste upsets me, but it is inevitable with our “juggling act” schedules; and meal planning sometimes takes a back burner, per say.

I dress my dishes with a variety of fresh herbs, but their shelf life isn’t as strong as their flavor. (if only I had out door space for a garden).


Whipping up a simple pesto is a tasty and practical way to lessen fresh herb waste. Pesto also lasts several weeks in an air tight container. Bonus: you can incorporate the pesto into fish and meat, eggs and pasta dishes for quick weeknight meals.

Roasted Almond. Parsley and Cilantro Pesto


1 cup of cilantro, mostly leaves

1 cup of Italian parsley, mostly leaves

1/4 cup of roasted unsalted almonds

1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil (approximately)

1/4 cup of aged parmesan, grana, or manchego

a generous squeeze of fresh lemon juice

kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper


Add the nuts to a small blender or food processor. Crush them. Then, add the herbs and some oil. Allow that to blend. Add more oil until it is at a desired consistency. Add cheese. Season with S & P. Taste and adjust with additional, seasoning, oil and cheese.

Another culprit is the trusty, or should I say fickle shroom.

The button or crimini mushroom start off dry and earthy in texture and taste but can quickly transform into soggy and wet specimens.


Sauté them up and use the extra mixture for future eggs, pasta, and salad meals.

I experiment with mushrooms in so many dishes and cuisines where you wouldn’t even think to utilize them. #staytuned

A Simple Saute Mushroom


2 cups of a variety of fresh mushrooms (white button, crimini, sataki to name a few)

1 small onion, (Spanish, white, or vadalia), thinly sliced

2 cloves of garlic, whole or thinly sliced ***refer below

1 T of extra virgin olive oil

1-3 T of dry sherry or wine

kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper

a little unsalted butter

pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)

squeeze of fresh lemon juice


With a medium to large sauté pan, heat pan, allow to get hot before adding oil. Then pour oil in and add onions. On medium heat, allow onions to cook for a few minutes, then season with S & P. Add garlic, stir occasionally and watch to ensure that you do not burn the garlic. When translucent and slight caramelized, remove from heat and set aside in a bowl.

While pan is still hot, add a touch of oil, and add mushrooms in a single layer. If they don’t fit, cook in batches. Do not play with them too much, you want mushrooms to brown and gain extra earthy flavor. Season with S & P.  Add onions back in with the mushrooms. Splash it with the sherry and let alcohol cook down. Add butter, let melt and mix.

Squeeze lemon juice. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

If you have been reading the BE blog, when you know I rarely follow recipes. So when I invited a friend over for a late afternoon brunch on a rainy Saturday; I had the mind set of making a delicious meal with ingredients that I had in my refrigerator.

Fettuccine with Pesto and Wild Mushrooms

(I used fresh egg fettuccine but you can use whatever pasta you have in the pantry.)


Bring a medium to large sauce pan of water to a boil. Add several tablespoons of Kosher salt. Cook preferred pasta as directed. Reserve some of the salty starchy pasta water in a mug to the side when draining pasta. Return pasta to warm sauce pan. Stir in several tablespoons of the pesto and the mushroom mixture. Add some pasta water to loosen and marry ingredients together. Plate in a large serving bowl. This dish can be enjoyed warm or at room temperature. Bon Appetit!


If you are interested in more helpful tips in the kitchen, sign up to receive the blogs conveniently right to your inbox. I encourage ingredient and blog requests. Just add a comment below. Stay hungry!


Satisfy your senses,
Amanda (follow me on Twitter!)

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Tastemaker: Wisdom and Friendship Packaged in an Airbnb Rental

As life changes and evolves, so does our traveling style. Or, should I say our travel accommodations. We have a baby girl, Sunny Bea, who is almost two years old which in itself is crazy how times flies. But since then, we have been renting homes vs. staying in hotels on our getaways. Initially, the mind-set was to have more space, to create a balance of cooking and eating out, and enjoy the comforts and informality of renting a home vs. booking a hotel.
This switch has become so rewarding and such a fun way to travel– regardless of having a growing family. Besides gaining a substantial amount of living space and a kitchen in which to experiment with the local ingredients, the immersion into the culture and area goes so much deeper.
More on this topic, as I am collaborating with brands to showcase how to get the most out of your travels by choosing home rentals over hotels… #staytuned
Last summer we rented a home on Martha’s Vineyard, very last minute. Visiting the island for many years, we have learned the island’s many hidden gems and nuances.  Our experience was so positive and relaxed, marrying staying in and enjoying the beauty of the home and exploring;  it was another confirmation why I have switched my travel stays to rental homes over the hotel option…most of the time.
Below I interview a well-rounded, spiritual woman who has lived a life peppered with travel, discovery and exploration. Let me introduce you to Gracie Barrie, the home owner of the MV rental we stayed at last summer but now I consider a life long friend…
BE: How did you end up in Martha’s Vineyard, one of my favorite places in the world.
GB: So always being up for an adventure and a new learning experience, I was on a break from having been in college for 4 years of undergraduate studies and 4 years of post graduate study. I was studying for the MCATS, with the intention of going back to Medical school to become an MD who preached preventive medicine. I accepted a summer job  as the Head Professional at a local club and  jumped at the opportunity to explore this beautiful island. As fate would have it, I now own 3 homes on the beautiful island of Martha’s Vineyard and 1 in Florida!!
BE: I know you teach tennis in Florida. Is tennis your true passion?
GB: I would say that tennis is One of my true passions. Having played #1 for Duke University and being part of a team, I am always drawn back to the sport and still find it very rewarding. It’s also a sport that is constantly evolving so I am able to  grow along with the game and continue to learn. Learning new things in general is my greatest passion.
BE: With airbnb and VRBO, home rentals have exploded. I was so impressed by your upkeep and care for your home. Tell me about how you got into renting out homes?
GB: I have had my real estate license since 1999 in Massachusetts and recently in Florida and enjoy everything about this profession. I love to explore different properties and have learned what looks terrific and how best to maintain a propertys’ value to maximize it over time. I have a very good eye for decorating learning from talented friend who is a true master of designing and building on the island. Renting my homes came as a natural progression as my 2 sons graduated and moved on with their lives.
BE: What do you love most about the Vineyard?
GB: The natural beauty of the Vineyard is most captivating. From its beautiful, serene beaches to unique clay cliffs and winding little roads that lead to trails that I love to spend hours walking with my 3 dogs. The beauty of the island is unmatched and continues to draw me back every year.
BE: When I rented your home last summer, I noticed you were in photos with some heavy hitters. What was your most interested encounter?
GB: Tennis continues to give me the opportunity to meet the most interesting people in my journeys. Since I never talk about anyone I am actively teaching, the following persons from my past have left a very lasting impression. While on Marthas Vineyard I have taught  Princess Diana, Bill and Melinda Gates, John F Kennedy Jr, Katharine Graham and Michael Straight.
BE: What is one of the best lessons you have learned along your journey?
GB:  One of the best lessons I have learned is that God has Given to each one us the grace and the capacity to endure all of life’s challenges.  Giving and Loving is much more rewarding in this life than Receiving.
BE: What is on your bucket list for travels or personal exploration?
GB: I very much enjoy spending quiet and personal explorative time at  places of Personal Well-being. Because the more inside you can go to find your joy, the more you have to offer in the way of healing others in this lifetime.

Satisfy your senses,
Amanda (follow me on Twitter!)

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50 Shades of Discovery

50 Shades of Discovery:

I have had a pivotal few months on many platforms. But, haven’t we all…
This time, these moments– are what make warriors. I have come out a warrior. I welcome you to read my personal prose, my badge. (Think of an underlay of rap and eighties music while reading) 😉
My challenge to you: play this game, create your own!
Jot down—-
     Where have you been
           What have you seen
                 Who has rocked you
                            How have you improved….
 Amanda Bourne:
I have danced with Weasels and folded napkins with Angels
My ethos for BE is and will always be to follow the unpaved tracks and be authentic.
I have taken a company from bankruptcy to millions with fearless youth and passion.
A spicy margarita is equally vital as a green juice.
I can sell ice to a thirsty giraffe but I choose to pick my prey.
I give more than I receive but ironically that has hurt me.
Perfect strangers have become my soul mates.
I learned from the food luminaries but have been transformed by the behind-the-scenes masters.
Francesca, my mom, lost her mother and father in the last 8 months and I lost my mentor/best friend; a heroic soldier/ humble gentlemen. (they were 94, 95 and married for seventy years). We celebrated their lives while we they lived and after they were gone.
There is a third bathroom (transgender) in the Whitney but there are swarms of men who can’t admit they are gay across America.
Dog’s are great training wheels for having kids: it teaches you compromise, team work, and restrictions. And if you are lucky they instill selflessness, composure and grace.
I have danced with Weasels and folded napkins with Angels
And become more internally worldly.
I have skied in the snowest place in the world, ducked through ice caves in Iceland, climbed the cliffed beaches of Hana, felt like a butterfly touring Tuscany but I am always seeking more.
I have sent a Jerry Maquire note to 980 employees once…
I go big and bold and than if that doesn’t work, I go home
But, I never give up…I show up, I grow up, I live up. I fall…And float.
But see, we—we ain’t that kind, we are Peterpan, Pooh bear, Bruno Mars.
I tested the law of attraction—and failed. And than switched vibrations and I am on my way to Unshakable…
I played with coke heads, visionaries, artists, and blowhards,
My blog is peppered with recipes of Chia seeds, broth bones and Chaga, before this type of content flooded instagram…
Snuffleupagus and Peppa have become my companions…
I explore from a clearer lense through Sunny’s guide. A child should always be your life coach.
Thats’s life, Take Action, BE you….The you, with a fresh set of scales.
Sometimes just reading and observing leads to the answer.
I worked in the Meatpacking when it was mostly whores and meat and characters with some beat…
 Todos Santos is being talked about recently, make sure you buy clothes from Zii Ropa
I am the Bourne Explorer…
I can come and go because this space will always be mine.
I have surpassed unknown obstacles and slipped on projects that I assumed were easy. Never assume.
I buzzed and plugged on collaborations–partnerships, and came out knowing, I want more seclusion and selection. The best and only the best will be my war mates.
One of the smartest men I know always barks, “Progress makes people happy”, that simple…
We dance on the cloud of music and suffer only when we believe we did the damage.
I have met more unsettled people in NYC but NYC sometimes feels like the safest place.
I have danced with Weasels and folded napkins with Angels
What we discover is that our power is often our weakness.
Cambridge was my home for a summer in high school, and it is hard for me to run through a day without a lick of posh or cockney…
I have cooked beside Rachael Ray, Lidia Bastianich and dined with Bobby Flay, but we all can admit the geniuses are the people who are never seen.
We are green-eyed Jews, and proudly sing with tone deaf voices.
 I have had bouts of thinking discovery has to be physical. As much as exploration is learning about eighteen different species of octopus in a narrow market in Kyoto Japan, it sometimes happens when you dive into the Self.
So much more to come on Bourne Explorer: Recipe Philosophy, Traveling Around the corner, Food for Thought, and more…

Thanks for your patience and for joining the journey 😉


Satisfy your senses,
Amanda (follow me on Twitter!)

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Alfredo Miccoli, A layered chef & a dash of beet juice

“A restaurateur can weave a perfect palette for a dining experience, but true chivalry is a forever patron.”

-BE Quote


I have been a constant at Almar restaurant, located in Dumbo, even before it was named named Almar.

But only recently had I met Alfredo Miccoli, the co partner and Executive chef.

One night, I was locked out of my apartment and my lemon of a time transformed into an evening of old story telling (a realization that I worked on a Food Network show with his GF), coastal Italian dishes, and a web of collaborations that will continue to spin…

His authenticity of self married, with his articulate Puglia- style cuisine, linger with you like an aromatic sauce.




1. Your approach to cooking by celebrating the ingredients always wows me. Can you explain a little bit of how you’re so true to that style of cooking?

If you grow up in Puglia (Italy), it’s impossible not to stay true to the flavors. The freshest, cleanest recipes require the best ingredients and finding them here is a challenge. It becomes difficult to replicate these dishes in a different place. So, to recreate the same dishes with ingredients from New York is a challenge. I buy seafood from the best vendor and I inspect produce and meat personally, to make sure it’s at a level that I would want to eat.

2. As an owner and executive chef to Almar in Dumbo, how do you please your American clientele while still staying true to your southern Italian cooking?

Even though I grew up in Puglia, I moved here when I was 22. I lived here for years, working as a editorial photographer before getting into the restaurant industry. During that time, I came to understand what New Yorkers want. I had a lot of dinner parties and learned that certain dishes don’t work here. Like anywhere though, fresh ingredients work for everyone and everyone can appreciate when ingredients are of high quality.

3. Who, past or present, is your biggest inspiration?

In the past, my grandmother, Giuseppina, is probably the biggest inspiration, she came from Altamura, from the hills in Puglia. She raised her children during the War (WWII) without her husband around, with very little food available. Giuseppina never got away from using super fresh ingredients that were a testament to the flavors that come from the land and the sea. She made simple dishes that allowed each flavor to speak for itself. That’s something that I continue to practice. And, that’s where I differ with so many modern chefs. They want to add so many different ingredients and flavors. For me it’s overlooking each flavor. It’s about breaking down each ingredient, not piling them one on top of another.

And now, I think of my parents, I think of what would they say about my food. My mother, Nietta followed up with my grandmother’s cuisine, refining her dishes, and my father, Nicola loves food so much. He brought it to an extreme, by requesting certain things for a meal and then giving my mother feedback. Once on vacation in Corfu (Greece), he had a few ‘bad’ meals at the resorts, then he decided to walk for an hour along the cliffs and found this house run by an older couple. They cooked on charcoal, over the ground, a chicken and a whole fish (Orata) from their farm and beachfront. It was one of the best meals I’ve ever had and I wouldn’t have had it save for my father’s stubbornness to get a decent meal.

4. Where do you see your cooking career in the next five years?

My first step would be to have another restaurant with a better equipped kitchen with a grill because I like the rustic, basic style of cooking. Then, I love the sea, so maybe closer to fresh seafood, like somewhere out on the North Fork where access to fresh fish is easier.

5. As you told me earlier, you used to be a travel photographer. Has that every influenced your cooking? Do you think you will ever revisit that passion again?

Traveling for commercial photo shoots reinforced my approach to cooking. When you visit the locals in an area, they cook locally and simply. Plus, their food is about sharing an experience. Once when I was shooting in Louisiana in Eunice, I found myself on a Saturday morning in a place where everyone hangs out listening to a live Zydeco band eating sausages, drinking beer and dancing together. It’s the sharing that gets me, it felt like home. As for continuing with photography, I have my iPhone and I like to use Instagram to document my life, food, loves, in a way that’s not for a client, it’s for me any my friends.

6. When you are not cooking at Almar, and at home, what is your go-to meal that you would cook for your family and your lovely girlfriend Shelley?

My family and I like to eat raw oysters, which isn’t doesn’t involve a process other than cleaning and shucking. We love east coast oysters. Again, it’s part of my basic approach to food. Raw oysters are so fresh and natural. They aren’t altered; they taste like the sea from where they come. We always enjoy some sparkling Franciacorta with them. Also, I like to grill: seafood and vegetables whenever I can.
7. When you’re not in the kitchen, what do you do for fun?

I like tasting new wines, watching documentaries. Whenever I can I like to drive to the ocean, go to the beach as the sea is where I am most comfortable.




Referring to the title, you must try his innovative beet juice cured fluke crostini. Manjar!

Satisfy your senses,
Amanda (follow me on Twitter!)

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