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Tag Archives: Wine Tasting

Wine-Soaked Grape Cake

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Shouldn’t every cake recipe include wine?

Obviously the baking Gods were not smiling upon me.  First, I realized that I didn’t have any oranges, an integral component of orange zest.  Then, I almost mixed up the measurements for baking soda and baking powder.  This was a mistake I made in an elementary 4-H project.  I have lived in fear of repeating it ever since.

Finally, when the recipe called for a cup and a half of grapes, no problem.  However, it only required one cup of wine and I might have mixed that up with the grape measurement and put in a little extra.  I know baking is an exact science and all, but I just tossed in the little bit of flour that was left at the end of my bag and hoped for the best.

It worked out all right, but I did get a little buzz when I licked the spatula.  The grapes really soak up the alcohol too.

This is the last installment in Sharon O’Connor’s Wine Tasting series.  As much as I’d love to move on to Cooking with the Blues, I think it’s time for a change.  I have it narrowed down to a few selections, so stay tuned.

Eat Well and Savor.

 

 

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Mascarpone and Balsamic Vinegar

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I really wish that this was some complex recipe that I could go on and on about.  This made for some really nice pictures, so it’s going to be hard to narrow it down.

Just mix some brown sugar and balsamic into the cheese and you have an instant appetizer.

The recipe card from Sharon O’Connor and Music Cooks also suggests that you can used Grand Marnier and orange zest instead.  That is on my list of things to try some day.

I’m not an authority, but I’m pretty sure you can dip a lot of other things in there.

Isn’t it a shame that Jake avoids fruit at all costs and I’ll have to eat all of this myself.

Eat Well and Savor.

Renaissance-Style Lamb Chops

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With Spinach, Pine Nuts, Raisins.

I am not an expert when it comes to preparing lamb, or when it comes to eating it for that matter.  But I can tell you that this was an easy prep, it smelled wonderful, and I think it came out pretty good, if I do say so myself.  It’s simply rubbed with a mixture of coriander, cumin, pepper, cloves, salt, and my favorite — cinnamon.  Hence the lovely aroma.

Brown in some olive oil.

Then Sharon O’Connor in the Wine Tasting collection from Music Cooks says to roast in the oven at 400 for about seven minutes.  I didn’t even set off the smoke alarm.

These took just a few minutes longer.  I think they were a little thicker than hers.

You know it’s good if I stop to take a picture in the middle of the meal.

So apparently the beginning of the Renaissance coincided with the opening of the spice route.  I know y’all knew that.  I know I used to know it, but I’m not sure I would bring it up at cocktail parties.  Anyway, the point is:  I get it.  That makes sense:  spice = Renaissance-Style.  What I can’t figure out is what that’s got to do with the raisins and pine nuts.

I loved it.  It just didn’t make me feel like going out for a joust or anything.  I’m just saying.

Eat Well and Savor.

Penne with Zucchini and Italian Sausage

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A simple pasta with robust flavors.  That’s what Sharon O’Connor says at least.  I don’t know that I would use the word robust.  But it was pretty creamy with all that cheese in there.

Five cloves of garlic.

And four diced zucchini.

More important is the cup of parmesan.  I guess technically I should say that the wine is important too, since this did come from the Wine Tasting Collection of Music Cooks.

It was the perfect night for dinner on the deck and the extra wine came in handy.

I used the parsley from my own scrawny little plant.

I guess scrawny is the theme for my little balcony garden.

Some day this little guy is going to make a beautiful sandwich.

btw – Jake loved this, even with the zucchini.  Of course the main topic of conversation at dinner was about what other vegetable could be substituted.  Turns out the recipe recommends spinach or chard.  He didn’t really go for either of those.

Eat Well and Savor.

Prosciutto-Wrapped Chicken with Toasted-Almond Pesto

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If you’d asked me this morning if I was excited about making this dish the answer would have been a big no.

But it was fairly easy and it turned out to be very pretty.   In addition to the almonds, the pesto has basil AND arugula.  Tonight we used it to top the chicken, some leftover pasta, and a baked potato.  Frankly, I swirled my roasted zucchini around in it a bit too.

Shame on me, I almost forgot to mention the parmesan that’s swimming around in there.   Earlier Jake said something along the lines of not liking to eat the color green, but he conceded that this was wonderful.

The chicken was simply browned, wrapped in the prosciutto, and baked in the oven.   Speaking of the prosciutto, the one I had in the fridge seemed a little suspect, so I sent Jake to the Kroger to pick some up from the deli.  Fortunately, I had this little guy to keep me company while I waited.

This is Murray.  I picked him up at the airport in Maine.  He’s taking care of my chardonnay for me.  Wouldn’t you love to open your fridge and find Murray in there?  I figured since this recipe is from the Wine Tasting section of Sharon O’Connor’s Music Cooks then I should at least drink some wine.  Yeah, right.  Like I need an excuse to drink the wine.

Eat Well and Savor.

 

Spanish Potato Omelette

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Tonight we had breakfast for dinner.  My favorite.

This is obviously not your traditional omelette.  In fact, Sharon O’Conner in her Music Cooks Wine Tasting collection refers to it as tapas.  Which sounds good to me, since it goes nicely with some rioja.

Trust me when I tell you that three russets makes a lot of potato slices.  And it’s a lovely opportunity to use my mandolin.

Just cook with onions until tender and golden and then add five beaten eggs.  After a while, this is what you get.

Yummy on the inside and crispy on the outside and my husband had the leftovers for his actual breakfast.

Eat Well and Savor.