Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Wine Tasting Party

Here are a few pictures from the latest event, a beginners wine tasting party honoring Stephanie, the bride to be.

Everyone took home their personalized tasting glass made with chalkboard paint.

We tasted: 
Sauvignon Blanc, Line 39 2009 Lake County, California
Glazebrook 2009, Marlborough, New Zealand
SEBASTIANI Chardonnay 2009, Sonoma County
VILLA MT. EDEN Pinot Noir 2009
TENSLEY "Johnny's" Syrah 2009, Santa Barbara County, California
LILY Riesling Sp├Ątlese 2009,Rheinhessen, Germany
All courtesy of Bin201
Great use for a wine glass, flip it upside down and add a tea light. Adds some great height to a table.


Friday, December 9, 2011

Fab Food Friday!


That's right I said it, these are seriously the most fun to make and a great meal to take to all those Holiday Potluck's going on this time of year.

This recipe comes from these guys

at a restaurant in New York that is on my "food & wine" tour list some day called The Meatball Shop!

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup Frank's Red Hot sauce or any other favorite hot sauce
  • 1 pound ground chicken, preferably thigh meat
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 celery stalk, minced
  • 3/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 450°F.
Step 2: Mix together the butter and hot sauce in a small saucepan, and cook over low heat, whisking until well incorporated. Remove from the heat and allow the mixture to cool for 10 minutes. 
Step 3: Combine the ground chicken, hot sauce mixture, egg, celery, bread crumbs, and salt in a large mixing bowl and mix by hand until thoroughly incorporated.This is the fun part!
Step 4: Roll the mixture into round, 3/4-inch balls, making sure to pack the meat firmly. Place the balls in the greased baking dish, being careful to line them up snugly and in even rows vertically and horizontally to form a grid. The meatballs should be touching one another.
Step 5: Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the meatballs are firm and cooked through.

Allow the meatballs to cool for 5 minutes and serve with fat free blue cheese dressing and celery sticks. Doesn't get much better than this!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Magazine Trees

I have been completely OBSESSED with these magazine trees. Chris kindly rolls his eyes after I whip up another one and show him with excitement what I've created!

It's a great way to get rid of all those Christmas catalogs that come this time of year and creates a really great decoration!

Step 1:Spend some time breaking in  the bind a bit, it will be easier to work with. Then fold the top right corner of the first page into the center. Give it a good crease.
 Step 2: Fold that triangle page in half again. Bringing the creased part to the binding. Crease it again.
 Step 4: Repeat these steps for the rest of the magazine. Keep creasing...
 ...and creasing..
 ...and creasing...
 ...and creasing...
 It will look like this.
 Step 5: Now we need to make a flat surface for the tree to stand on. Start from the back and fold the bottom flap up along the line and crease.
 Step 6: Tuck the little corner into the triangle.
 Repeat this through the rest of the tree.
 Open up the tree and fold it around itself in a cylinder shape.
 I spray-painted them in gold to match our silver & gold Christmas tree.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Mary's Story: part 1

With Christmas right around the corner I've been spending time studying Mary and Joseph, their relationship and the way that God cared for them leading up to the time Jesus was born.

It's so hard to imagine what is was like for Mary. She was engaged to the man of her dreams, the excitement and gittiness about the future filled her heart and mind everyday. She and Joseph must have dreamed together, planned a future together and imagined their new life as husband and wife.

Mary was a virgin and for Joseph to be the two of them to share that very intimate night together for the first time was something they had been dreaming about and anticipating with innocent anxiety. Joseph loved Mary and could not wait to express that love in a completely different way with her. He was ready to be her man, her white knight, protector and providor.

Just the same, Mary respected Joseph. She honored his decisions and was ready to show him her respect by sharing something only a husband could receive. She couldn't wait to make a home with him and was ready to take on the role as the akaret habayit, or mainstay of the home. Joseph, a carpenter, was going to build them a home together and Mary was ready to fill and nurture that home.

But before any of that was supposed to happen, there was going to be a wedding! A glorious wedding to show the world how much they loved each other and to begin building their family with a solid foundation of marriage built first.

God had other plans....

Right in the middle of the planning and gittiness and anticipation comes an angel with news that changes everything!

“Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
"Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God.  You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.” Luke 1: 28-33

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Fab Food Friday (on Sunday)

I made this dish on Friday as an experiment when Chris' family came over for a post-thanksgiving meal.

I wasn't really sure how it would turn out so I didn't take any pictures. was delicious and so simple to make.

White Bean Soup: 2 Ways 
From Gwyneth Paltrow's My Father's Daughter

3 tbs EVOO
1 fennel bulb, stems and fonds removed, use bulb thinly sliced
1 lg yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced
2 lg cloves of garlic
pinch red chile flakes
1/4 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
2 14oz cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
2 pints veggie stock

1. Heat EVOO in soup pot over medium heat. Add the fennel and cook for 10min, stirring occasionally.
2. Add the onion and garlic, let soften for 30min as low as can go. Stir once in a while.
3. Add the chile flake, oregano, and peppe.
4. Add the beans and vegetable stock, bring to a boil, then let simmer for 1 hr.
Add S&P to taste

With Kale
Stir in one bunch of kale leaves torn into bite sized pieces and let cook for 7min. Ladle into bowls and drizzle with the very best olive oil.

French Onion Soup Style
Ladle the soup into ovenproof bowls. Float thick slices of toast on each bowl and pile on the Parmesan cheese. Put the bowl sin the broiler until cheese is bubbly. (About a minute)  

P.S. Shout out to Gwyneth's hubby...the new coldplay album Mylo Xyloto is AMAZING

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving Contribution

Here's what I'm contributing to the Thanksgiving table this year from Cooking Light Mag. Totally easy, affordable with just 5 ingredients, and a really great source of nutrients!

Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes with Chipotles


6 medium sweet potatoes, unpeeled (about 3 1/2 pounds)
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 tablespoon finely chopped chipotle chiles, canned in adobo sauce
1 teaspoon adobo sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 green onions


1. Preheat oven to 400°.
2. Pierce potatoes with a fork; place on a baking sheet. Bake at 400° for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until done. Cool slightly. Cut each potato in half lengthwise; scoop out pulp, leaving a 1/4-inch-thick shell. Combine potato pulp, butter, chiles, adobo, and salt in a food processor. Finely chop white bottom part of onions; add to pulp mixture. (Reserve green onion tops.) Pulse mixture 5 times to combine.
3. Arrange potato shells on baking sheet. Spoon potato mixture into shells. Bake at 400° for 10 minutes or until hot. Thinly slice green top part of onions, and sprinkle over potatoes