Category Archives: Be Merry


Chez Christenson (aka Vikingshem aka our house) was a slice of bliss for our very favorite holiday of the year: THANKSGIVING! We hosted our 9th annual Friendsgiving. Inspired after a trip to Blue Hill at Stone Barns Restaurant in New York, I began my Thanksgiving table madness in the early summer. The cream colored ceramic plates with the organic deep brown edges were actually used at Blue Hill (designed by Mondays and I was able to purchase them from the Blue Hill Market ( I decided to mix it up this year with a second set of insanely gorgeous black plates by Eric Bonnin Ceramics ( which I found at Spartan Shop

I obsessively hunted down the most perfect Laguiole cutlery with black and brass handles, and accented with black linen napkins from Dot and Army which I found on one of my favorite CURATED sites: Food 52 ( And I could not resist the brass touches from the coolest napkin rings from West Elm (  The table was anchored with the perfect shade of grey linen table cloth from Crate and Barrel (

Of course, cozy grey Icelandic Sheep Skins from DWR ( gave us the feel of fall as draped a bench and a few chairs.

The table was the perfect setting to share a loving and delicious meal with my most treasured friends.

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Cooking wth Cristina Brino at Finca Adalgisa – Modern Mendoza Barbecue

Amid the majestic Andes mountains lies the Finca Adalgisa Hotel, Vineyard, and Winery.  This gem is quietly situated in Chacras de Coria, a small village in the north province of Mendoza, Argentina.  As you will find with a simple google search, we are not the first to be enchanted by the magical Finca Adalgisa and it’s prized attraction: a cooking class with chef Christina Brino.  Hosted in an outdoor kitchen featuring a clay stove fueled by wood and fire, just adjacent to the the estate garden and vineyard, we embarked on a tasty journey with the charming Chef and her modern take on traditional Mendoza barbeque. Fresh, estate grown ingredients were featured throughout the night as we started from scratch making empanadas, garden fresh chimmichurri, fresh veggies, then ventured to grilling thick steaks on the open flame and finished with a caramelized fresh grilled fruit desert. The class was a casual blend of demonstration and hands on cooking techniques, accompanied by bountiful amounts of Finca Adalgisa’s opulent estate bottled wine(we really loved the malbec).  This beautiful evening of cooking, eating, and drinking fine food and wine was one of the most memorable events of our adventures in Argentina.

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Eat, Love, Drink Wine from Finca Adelgisa, and Live Curated!

More info on Finca Adelgisa

To see additional images of Finca Adalgisa Hotel, Vineyard, and Winery visit our facebook page.

Bar Agricole, Another San Francisco Treat

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In a metropolis of legendary food and drink, where quality is not only expected but easily found, Bar Agricole is one more gem to be enjoyed in the “City by the Bay”. This clean, modern, and warm space, with industrial accents, creates an  inviting environment that allows the food and drink shine. The vibe is friendly and laid back, but the cocktails and menu are nothing short of creative and sophisticated. Cocktails are constructed using only the freshest and highest quality ingredients, and we especially enjoyed Rum Agricole drinks. The menu, like one would expect in San Fran, changes daily and is littered with the best available ingredients from local farmers and artisans. If you are having a hard time justifying a visit to the amazing San Francisco food and drink scene, Bar Agricole is reason enough.

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Eat, Love, Drink, Be Merry, and Live Curated.

See more photos on our facebook page

Bar Agricole355 Eleventh Street, San Francisco, CA 94103

High West Distillery & Saloon, good whiskey and times in Park City, Utah

In the picturesque mountain town of Park City, Utah, sits an unassuming structure where a new style of American Whiskey is being realized. High West Distillery finds its home at the base of the of the Park City Ski Resort and during the winter months may be the worlds only ski-in distillery. High West was founded by David Perkins in 2004 and is the first legally licensed distillery in Utah since the end of Prohibition. They are producing some of the most innovative and delicious New-American whiskeys and spirits ranging from Vodkas made from oats to whiskey blends featuring rye, bourbon, and scotch, and a barreled aged Manhattan (of which we are huge fans).  The Distillery’s self proclaimed Gastro-Saloon serves up refined comfort pub food featuring locally sourced ingredients. We were pleased to discover that the High West Distillery gives all their finished mash (which was used to make the whiskey) to a local farmer who feeds it to his dairy cows then, in turn, makes cheese for the saloon’s restaurant from the cows milk. High West will will satisfy the hardcore whiskey enthusiast and intrigue those new to whiskey. The high quality craft approach, which embodies the essence of the wild west, can easily be tasted in the spirits produced by the forward thinking yet traditional alchemist at High West Distillery.

The whiskey at High West is well crafted and quite enjoyable we love the them all especially the American Prairie Reserve, Campfire, 21 Year old Rocky Mountain Rye, and the 36th Vote Barreled Manhattan!

Well worth a visit or three, Cheers! Eat, Love, Live, Be Merry, and Drink Curated.

For more information on High West Distilleries fine whiskeys, spirits and history, see below (most of there whiskeys are available throughout the United States):

High West Distillery & Saloon


Old Vine Cafe, Community Wine Dinner-Terlano Wines and Peter Neptune

Take one part amazing young chef, one part Master Sommelier, add some amazing Italian wine, garnish with an fantastic kitchen and wait staff, and you have yourself an Old Vine Cafe Community Wine Dinner. Old Vine Cafe, located in Orange County, California, is the five year old Restaurant of Chef Mark McDonald–a rising star of the southern California food scene. Old Vine is built around the idea of pairing great wine with great food to enhance and elevate both to a new level of flavor sensation.  Every few months Old Vine holds community wine dinner, the most recent featuring Master Sommelier Peter Neptune and Italian wines from Cantina Terlano. Chef McDonald and his staff concocted 7 creative Italian inspired courses with market fresh ingredients that were meticulously paired with the pristinely crafted wines from Terlano. Do you believe in Magic? We do after this magical evening of wine history, stories, and education, camaraderie with fellow winos and foodies, and of course phenomenal wine and food.

Master Sommelier, Peter Neptune explaining everything you ever wanted to know about Italian wine

Chef McDonald explaining one of the many wonderful wine and food pairings

First-wild baby arugula, dandelion greens, pea sprouts, granny smith apples, prosciutto, extra virgin olive oil and balsamic reduction, paired with 2011 Terlano, Pinot Grigio

One of many amazing wines from Terlano

Second-chilean sea bass, toasted rye crumbs, pomegranate and buerre rouge paired with 2010 Terlano, Pinot Nero

close up of the chilean sea bass, toasted rye crumbs, pomegranate and buerre rouge paired with 2010 Terlano, Pinot Nero, quite a unique pairing of a red wine with a white fish, it was excellent

Third-salmon two ways: sashimi with meyer lemon vinaigrette and salmon rillette with wonton crisp and sunlower sprouts paired with 2009 Terlano ‘Vorberg’ Pinot Bianco

Peter explaining more interesting things about the Terlano wines

Fourth-kumquat infused beets, mung bean sprouts, marcona almond crusted feta cheese, and kumquat extra virgin oil paired with 2009 Terlano ‘Quarz” Sauvignon

Fifth-Stewed Hidden Valley Farms Rabbit with warm pickled cabbage and potato gnocchi paired with 2008 Terlano ‘Nova Domus” Riserva, Pinot Bianco/Chardonnay/Sauvignon

The Master giving us many more great insights into the wine

Sixth-slow roasted Australian lamb shank with bacon-potato pancake and lamb demi glace paired with 2008 Terlano ‘Gries’ Riserva Lagrein – Wow the Bacon Potato Pancake- speechless!

Seventh and Final-house made savory goat cheese and orange blossom ice cream with fresh goat cheese crostino paired with 2006 Terlano ‘lunare’ Gewurztraminer

To Chef McDonald and Staff, Peter Neptune, and all comrades Cheers to one Magical evening.

Eat, Love, Drink, Live, Be Merry, Live Curated and Visit Old Vine Cafe first chance you get!
For more information on Old Vine Cafe and Chef McDonald, Peter Neptune, and Cantina Terlano see below:
Old Vine Cafe
Peter Neptune
Cantina Terlano Wines

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