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Life beyond chowhound.com

A couple of years ago, some friends and I formed a "wine club" and, I'm proud to say, we've actually done a pretty damn good job of maintaining our momentum and sticking to schedule/agenda.  Each month, a different member will host the gathering at her apartment.  Prior to the night of, the hostess will have chosen a particular type/region of wine with the expectation that we, as her guests, will each arrive with a bottle in tow.  Heavy hors d'oeuvres - and in some cases, a full dinner - are provided. 

To make a long story short, November happens to be my month to host wine club.  And to tell you the truth, I'm completely stumped as to which color of grape I should choose.  From golden bruts and bubbling rosés, to French pinots and the driest whites, I feel like, over the years, I've spotlighted nearly every type (of wine) there is!

For those of you out there that know me best, then you're fully aware of my passion for playing the role of "hostess with the mostess."  There's nothing I enjoy more than cooking dinner for friends or throwing a party at my apartment, just because.  So it would be more than safe to assume that, on those one or two times per year that I get to host wine club, I'm probably the happiest gal in the entire world.  Well, in most instances, that's true.  But for November's upcoming rotation?  Not so much.      

If I can't solidify a theme on my own, then I resort to scouring the glossy e-pages of chowhound.com or epicurious.com.  But just last night, as I was surfing the web for some culinary inspiration, I happened upon the following website: www.delish.com.  Aside from the fact that its parent companies are MSN and Hearst, two of media's biggest and best, I really fell in love with all of its diverse content and user-friendly functionality.  Unlike chowhound.com, Delish is a much less intimidating one-stop culinary shop.  Seriously, give it a go.  While you're there, make sure to check out my personal favorite feature, aptly called CookChat.  It's a great place to begin forum discussions - without feeling bullied by other users who think that they're the culinary equivalents of Jesus Christ - and quickly get answers to your most random cooking questions like this one, for example: "What fat is the best to use when making a pie crust?  Butter, shortening, or lard?" 

Now I know what you're probably wondering, "So, after all of that complaining, did you figure out a theme for November's wine club, or what?"  Yes, dear readers, I did.  In fact, with my upcoming trip to Hong Kong fast approaching, I have chosen to forego wine all together.  As I once opted to serve margaritas over Merlot on Cinco de Mayo, I've decided to build November's theme around Chinese beer.  Gānbēi!  That's Mandarin for "cheers!"


Read it & eat,

The Lunch Belle

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