Thursday, December 27, 2012

Lasagna Bites (an interpretation)

I was inspired by this idea I found on Pinterest. I couldn't find vegan wonton wrappers, but I've been on a puff-pastry bender lately and decided that would be a suitable substitution. It was! They were missing the crunchy bite of the wontons or the yummy crispy lasagna noodles at the edge of the pan, and they didn't quite stay closed during baking, but YUM.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Minty Chocolately cookies

Merry Christmas, everyone! I know you're probably sick of all the sweets already, but he's a cookie to top all cookies! I was looking around online for a recipe, and just couldn't decide. So I combined my favorite ones.
2 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 cups chocolate powder
1 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp vanilla
1 tbsp mint extract
1 cup almond milk
1/2 bag chocolate chips
Crushed peppermint candy canes

1. Mix the flour, baking powder, salt, and chocolate. Set aside.
2. Beat the butter until creamy. Add vanilla, flour mix, and milk in batches.
3. Stir in chips. Refrigerate for about 10 minutes for the dough to get sticky.
4. Roll a large spoonful of dough in your hands and flatten into a patty. Press one side of patty in candy canes.
5. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and bake at 325 degrees for 11-12 minutes and cool. 

So rich and sweet. A yummy Christmas treat.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Wine of the Week - Pago Florentino 2009 Tempranillo


This is an excellent wine at an affordable price.  A great value!

A variety of rich berries on the nose, and an array of deep earthy tastes on the tongue - wood, smoke, some mushroom.  But laying overtop of everything is the taste of honey-sweetened bacon.  Perfectly balanced.  Eye-opening and crowd-pleasing.  Highly recommended.

14.5% alcohol, which you will barely taste.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Chai Spice Snickerdoodles

Warning: These cookies get hard very quickly and the recipe makes 2 dozen. So make them the day you plan to serve them to some hungry people or sit in front of the TV all day watching a Biggest Loser marathon.

From The PPK

For the topping:
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch cloves

For the cookies:
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
3 tablespoons non-dairy milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
Mix the topping ingredients together on a dinner plate. Set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl, use a fork to vigorously mix together oil, sugar, syrup, and milk. Mix for at least a minute, until it resembles applesauce. Then mix in vanilla.
Sift in remaining ingredients, stirring as you add them. Once all ingredients are added mix until you’ve got a pliable dough. Get in there with your hands to mix, it’s the easiest way to get the dough to come together.
With clean, moist hands, roll dough into walnut sized balls. Pat into the sugar topping to flatten into roughly 2 inch discs. Transfer to baking sheet, sugar side up, at least 2 inches apart (they do spread a little). This should be easy as the the bottom of the cookies should just stick to your fingers so you can just flip them over onto the baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, they should be a bit browned on the bottoms. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Candy cane syrup

A few weeks ago, I came across this post for Candy Cane Syrup by Chica and Jo. We always have plenty of candy canes laying around...

Candy Cane Syrup

...and leftover ice cream from Thanksgiving - put two and two together and you get an awesomely sweet sugar high.

Ice cream with candy cane syrup

The directions made it sound like it would take just a couple of minutes, but I used 7 candy canes and it took quite a while for them to entirely melt. So allot yourself some time.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Wine of the Week - STO "Viva Las Vegas" 2010 white


A simple and good white wine blend from our friends at Sort This Out Cellars.

With scents of golden apple and some celery that carry over to the taste, this wine has a light minerality that goes down smooth and a tasty, biting acidic finish.

13.5% alcohol

Friday, December 7, 2012

Wine of the Week - Carivintas "Emmett" 2011 Rosé of Tempranillo


The first thing I noticed on the nose of this wine was a funkiness.  In a good way.  Then came notes of watery tomato and some celery.

Very dry on the tongue.  There's a sharp bite up front that hits you hard.  This wine seemed like it may have been semi-sparkling, but I'm actually not sure; there's a strong possibility that it was just the dryness pinging my taste buds.  The overall taste was reminiscent of ale.  There were notes of lettuce, celery and other light greens.  The quickly-receding finish leaves your mouth feeling refreshed.  Save this one for a mild summer day.

13.9% alcohol

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Winter Stuffed Squash

I had the ingredients, but nothing to do with them. That's when you make something up! Here's a yummy and filling recipe full of winter vegetables and Thanksgiving ingredient leftovers.

stuffed squash

1 acorn squash
1 yam, chopped in 1/2" pieces
1 large carrot, chopped
1 turnip, chopped
1/2 leek, sliced
1 cup fresh kale
1/2 cup cooked lentils
Olive oil
Thyme & savory
Leftover T-giving gravy

1. Slice squash in half and scoop out seeds. Spray a cooking sheet with oil, and bake face down at 375 degrees for 45 minutes. Go do something productive. 2. About 30 minutes in, cook the rest of the veggies and seasonings in an oiled pan for 15 minutes, or until softened. 3. Remove squash from oven. Scoop out the meat of the squash and mix with the veggies. Fill each squash half with veggie mixture. Drizzle gravy on top. 4. Reduce oven temp to 325 degrees. Bake stuffed halves for about 10 minutes and serve.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Wine of the Week - Munay 2010 Lucia's Blend


Mostly Syrah, blended with Tannat and Malbec, the dominant scent on this wine is sour cherry, with a little bit of woodiness detectable (which reads as the stem of the cherry).

A bit of a cough syrup taste, which coats the palate.  Complex notes of sour apple, cherry and caramel bubble up underneath.  A long finish that matures into a pleasant smokiness.  Although a little harsh up front, I recommend this wine for the way it develops.

14.5% alcohol

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Squash and Bean Bolognese

A different take on regular spaghetti...
I found the bean mixture recipe at

Then, rather than using regular ol' noodles, I used spaghetti squash - almost as easy to make as regular spaghetti!
1. Cut squash in half lengthwise. Place face down in a baking dish in 1 inch of water.
2. Bake for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Let cool for about 10 minutes.
3. Stand one half on its end. Take a fork and scoop out the pulp and seeds gently and trash it.
4. With the fork, scour the inside of the squash - it comes out in noodly strips!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Pumpkin stew

I saw this recipe from October issue of Vegetarian Times and wanted to try it.  A hearty fall meal!

I didn't have all the ingredients they called for on hand, so I devised my own filler:
2 small pie pumpkins
2 cups wild rice, cooked
1 carrot, diced
2 cups frozen sweet corn
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 cup spinach
2 cups pecans, chopped

1. Heat carrot, corn, onion, and garlic in olive oil in a skillet.  Cook until soften.
2. Carve off top of pumpkins and pull out the guts (save the seeds to roast!)
3. Combine rice, spinach, pecans, and carrot mix and fill each pumpkin.
4. Bake at 350 degrees for 90 minutes with pumpkin lids on.  Remove lids and cook for another 20 minutes.
5. Serve in pumpkins!

I really liked this meal, but I think next time I'll add a little cheese to the mix.  And possibly some peppers to give it a little kick.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A taste of New Orleans

Mmmm...Fall veggie jambalaya from Vegetarian Times

Instead of sausage or seafood, this recipe calls for scrumptious fall root vegetables.

I also made my Creole stuffed peppers as a sidedish.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Broccoli soup

Yes, this recipe from is vegan, but you'd never know it! It's very quick to make, and doesn't take many ingredients at all - basically just broccoli, onion, garlic, broth, and beans - and doesn't take much time either.
And I just realized I forgot the pine nuts, which would've been a nice addition! I think croutons would work great with this soup too, especially cheesy ones.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Wine of the Week - Cougar 2008 Primitivo


Just an absolutely delicious wine. Excellent balance. Strawberries, blackberries and cherries on one end; licorice and tree bark on the other. Complex flavors that develop with every sip. This wine comes with my highest recommendation.

13.7% alcohol

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese

I love fall produce! Here's a really tasty pasta made with a creamy butternut squash, from Better Homes and Gardens:

And if you're looking for a spooky pairing in time for Halloween, be sure to check out Joe's Halloween Wine recommendations!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Wine of the Week - Skinner 2010 Rosé


The nose is what I consider to be pretty typical for rosé: green apples, celery, and a general perfume aura.

What's surprising is the taste. There's a richness to this that I'm not used to with rosés, and a little bit of thickness to the mouthfeel (albeit very mild). Some tomato flavor, bordering on tomato soup. And a spiciness throughout that's more reminiscent of a red wine.

It's also surprising that a non-red can hold so much alcohol so well. At 14.1%, you'd expect this wine to be overwhelmed by alcohol. Instead, you can barely taste it.

This is an excellent wine, and a great counterargument for anyone who thinks they could never like a rosé.

14.1% alcohol

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Shepherd's Pie - Fall edition

I'm sooo loving autumn dishes this year!
Just recently, I revamped one of my fall favorites, my shepherd's pie.

Shepherd's Pie

Instead of plain potatoes, I used solely mashed sweet potatoes with a bit of almond milk. I also topped the pie with some pepitas and cayenne to give it a little crunch and kick.

I didn't use any gravy this time around because the frozen veggie pack I used was already in a butter sauce - didn't want to over sauce it.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Halloween Wines!

Not sure what wines to serve at your Halloween party this year?  Don't worry, we've got you covered!

Back in 2009, Eat Well and Prosper explored the resurgence of ciders in America. Ciders tend to taste similar to white wines and champagnes, and are a great thematic drink to serve at any fall function due to their being made of apples.

Read more about cider here.

A company called Bellwether conjures the Halloween spirit every year with a blackcurrant-blended cider called Black Magic.

Here are some other ciders from Bellwether previously reviewed on this site:
And Trader Joe's always has you covered with nice theme labels containing good wine.

And in case you missed it last week, there's a fun Elvira wine on the market from our friends at Sort This Out Cellars.


If you have any favorites, be sure to mention them in the comments.  Happy Halloween, everybody!!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Wine of the Week - ELVIRA's Macabrenet 2008


Here's a wine with a fun label that also happens to be good quality!

From Sort This Out Cellars, one of my personal favorites, comes this Cabernet Sauvignon featuring the Mistress of the Dark herself, Elvira.

Fresh-off-the-vine grape seeds are the first thing I picked up on the nose. It also smells very plummy, with a little black cherry underneath.

The taste is big, juicy and full of sour berries. There's also a streak of something burnt, a little like ash. A good drink now, and it promises to age well; decant in the meantime.

This bottle is great for lovers of bold wines with a dark streak, and a perfect table decoration for your adult Halloween party.

15.1% alcohol

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Butternut squash soup with ravioli

A great recipe from Very easy to make, and quick to whip up!
Butternut squash soup
I used about half a large squash, and bagged mini-raviolis from Trader Joe's. A yummy autumn meal that actually filled my belly!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Wine of the Week - Benefactor Cellars 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon


Fruity on the nose and darker to taste, this is a sort of harsh, hasty wine that would nonetheless suit a loud party well.

A lot of spiciness and acidity attack the tongue with this wine. Nutmeg, black licorice, and a little bit of pepperoni. These flavors come out over a bed of sour strawberry and a little black cherry.

Not a great wine, but it gets the job done.

14.5% alcohol

Thursday, October 11, 2012

"F it" Brunch (brunch foods that start with "F") Part 2

A great dish to make when you're having people over, because it doesn't create a lot of dishes. You can serve it right in the pan you cooked it in! I was inspired by a recipe from Martha Stewart, but altered it, because I wanted to use spinach instead of zucchini.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2/3 small onion, finely diced
  • 1/3 cup frozen chopped spinach, defrosted
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons cup milk
  • 1/4 cup shredded shredded white cheddar
  • 2 medium vine ripe tomatoes, cored and thinly sliced crosswise


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a 10-inch skillet over medium heat, warm oil. Add onion,  and thyme; cook, covered, stirring often, until tender but not browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Uncover, add spinach and cook until all the liquid in the pan evaporates. Season with salt and pepper; remove skillet from heat.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs, milk, and cheese, salt, and pepper. 
  3. At this point, since I don't have a non-stick skillet, I removed the onion mixture from the pan, and oiled it well. If your pan is non-stick, you could get away with skipping this step.
  4. Pour egg mixture into pan, then add back onion mixture (or, if using non-stick, gently lift the mixture to allow eggs to coat bottom of pan). Arrange tomatoes in an overlapping pattern on top.
  5. Return skillet to medium-low heat, and cook until sides are set yet still slightly runny on top, 15 to 20 minutes. Place in oven, and cook until the center is cooked through when tested with a wooden skewer, and the tomatoes are browned, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven; gently slide a heatproof spatula around the edges and underneath to loosen from skillet. Serve immediately.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

October goodies - Apples

The next installment of October treats centers around apples. So go pickin'!

Apple Sauce apple sauce

Apple Oat Bars Apple oat bars

Apple turnovers Apple turnovers

Slow-cooked Apples Slow cooked apples

Friday, October 5, 2012

Wine of the Week - Carivintas "Pico" 2006 Barbera


An excellent bold red wine with flavors of anise and tobacco, along with subtle red fruits - strawberries, cherries and a little bitter cranberry.  Highly recommended.

14.7% alcohol

Thursday, October 4, 2012

"F it" Brunch (brunch foods that start with "F") Part 1

We were having friends over for brunch this past weekend and I wanted to impress without having to, you know, slave in the kitchen all morning or especially while they were here. So I knew a French Toast casserole was in the cards - something I could prepare ahead of time and pop in the oven.

Baked Apple Cinnamon French Toast (I halved the recipe from the website, because there were only 4.5 of us. This version is my adaptation)

1/2 loaf of challah bread (I used homemade, because I made a rocking, but giant one for Yom Kippur)
3/4 cups non-dairy milk (soy, almond, rice, hemp, etc.)
1 1/2 tbs. cornstarch
2 tbs. white whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. allspice or nutmeg

1 1/2 tbs. vegan margarine (I like Earth Balance)
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 1/2 tbs. brown rice syrup
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. allspice or nutmeg
3 apples, peeled, cored and sliced (use a firm variety)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Slice bread into 2" pieces. Place into a 9"x9" glass baking pan. In a large bowl whisk together milk, cornstarch, flour, vanilla, cinnamon and allspice. Pour mixture over the bread in the baking pan and turn the bread over a few times to make sure the mixture is equally absorbed.
Melt the margarine in a large skillet over medium heat and stir in the brown sugar, brown rice syrup, cinnamon and allspice. Add in your apple slices and toss until they are coated in the brown sugar sauce. Pour the apple topping over the bread in the baking pan and evenly distribute. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes.
Remove pan from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes
Serve with maple syrup.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

October goodies - Pumpkin

Happy October! A monthly of ghostly parties and monstrous treats! To start the month, here's a list of our Eat Well and Prosper blogger's pumpkiny desserts:

Chocolate-soled Pumpkin Cookies: pumpkin cookies

Pumpkin Apple Muffins: Pumpkin muffins

Iced Pumpkin Cookies Pumpkin cookies

Pumpkin Bars Pumpkin bars

Pumpkin Pie Cake Pumpkin pie cake

Friday, September 28, 2012

Wine of the Week - Buttonwood 2007 Sangiovese

Found this great little winery on my most recent trip to Solvang.  Buttonwood is another one of those wonderful wineries that you can really rely on; even their worst wines are better than average, and you can expect to enjoy any of the wines you select from them.
This dark red wine is surprisingly floral on the nose, smelling mostly like rose petals.  Underneath that is a little bit of dirt and some rich earthiness, the kind of darkness I love in my bold reds.
On tasting, you get hit with lively brightness, acidity.  Very delicious.  Then that earthiness comes through.  A great tasting experience, and a delicious wine.
14% alcohol

Monday, September 24, 2012

Quinoa with Italian Veggies

Need a big dose of veggies? This meal is it! Packed with protein from the quinoa and vitamins from the veggies, it's a healthy bowl of goodness.

Quinoa with veggies

2 Green zucchini
2 Summer squash
2 Carrots
1 cup quinoa, dry
Olive oil
Italian dressing
Italian seasonings (basil, oregano, etc)

1. Cook quinoa according to package instructions. 2. Chop the veggies into large chunks. Cook in a few tbsp of olive oil on a stovetop about 20 minutes, or until softened. 3. Top veggies with seasoning. Mix in quinoa, add dressing and serve.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Wine of the Week - Mazza 2010 Bare Bones Rosé


It may be a little on-the-nose to say a rosé smells like roses, but this one does.  Also green apples, and I'd say a little bit of dandelion.

I detected a bit of honey right up front.  The apple scent gave way to a crisp, fresh apple skin taste (with some of the delectable bitterness that implies).  Also a little bit of grass.

This wine has a short finish, but dissolves clean and leaves your palate feeling refreshed.

11% alcohol

Monday, September 17, 2012

Fiery Potato Wedges

I had some potatoes on hand that I planned to make fries out of, but I was in the mood for something spicy. So I thought I'd throw some stuff together and see what happened. Turned out perfectly!

2-3 russet potatoes
Seasonings to taste
Cayenne pepper
Garlic powder
Lemon pepper
Black pepper
Hot sauce

1. Heat oven to 425 degrees. 2. Cut potatoes in half length, halve each half, then halve again (so each potato makes 8 wedges). 3. Mix potatoes with seasonings in a large bowl. Spread on an oiled cookie sheet. 4. Bake for 35 minutes and serve. Be careful - it'll plump your lips for sure!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Wine of the Week - Heredad Ugarte 2008 Rioja Cincuenta


Here's an easygoing wine that's a pleasure to drink.  A little watery up front, but fills out in the mid-palate.  There are some subtle spices to detect, but mostly it just tastes like good old red wine.  So easy to drink that I found myself compulsively sipping without even thinking about it.  That might sound bad, but no - this is just nice to drink.

13.5% alcohol

Thursday, September 13, 2012

My new favorite pancakes

Puffy Pillow Pancakes. The name truly says it all. My old favorite pancakes were puffy, but I always had a hard time getting them cooked through without overcooking them on the outside. I figured the same problem would crop up here, but oh boy was I wrong. I adjusted the recipe ever-so-slightly (whole wheat flour instead of white, and I added blueberries, because I love them).

Note: If you want leftovers and/or feed more than 3 people at breakfast, do yourself a favor and double the recipe.


1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup almond milk (or soy milk)
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1-2 cups of fruit, cut into small pieces, if necessary (optional)

In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Make a well in the center.
Measure the milk into a measuring cup. Add vinegar and ground flax seeds, and use a fork to vigorously mix the ingredients until foamy. This will take a minute or so.
Pour the milk mixture into the center of the dry ingredients. Add the water, canola oil, vanilla and fruit (if using) and use a fork to mix until a thick, lumpy batter forms. That should take about a minute. It doesn’t need to be smooth, just make sure you get all the ingredients incorporated.
Preheat the pan over medium-low heat and let the batter rest for 10 minutes.
Lightly coat the pan in oil (I used a non-stick skillet, which doesn't need oil). Add 1/3 cup of batter for each pancake, and cook for about 4 minutes, until puffy. Flip the pancakes, adding a new coat of oil to the pan, and cook for another 3 minutes or so. Pancake should be about an inch thick, and golden brown.
Rest pancakes on a cooling rack covered with tin foil until ready to serve. To reheat, place pancakes in on a baking sheet covered with tin foil in a  300 F degree oven for 5 minutes or so.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Zucchini brownies has yet to let me down. This recipe from Sparkpeople is a great vegan alternative to the classic brownie, and you wouldn't even know it's vegan!
Main ingredients - apple sauce, bananas, and zucchini. That means it's healthy, right?

Friday, September 7, 2012

Wine of the Week - Presque Isle Wine Cellar 2010 Dornfelder


This is my favorite pick from my recent excursion to northwest Pennsylvania's wine region.  This is very good stuff; sort of a Burgundy-style wine that I'd put up against the stuff I typically drink out here in California.

Blackberry and cinnamon scents on the nose, but much deeper flavors on the tongue: burnt leather and licorice.  Nutmeg.  Slightly on the watery side - the mouthfeel, that is; definitely not a "watered down" taste.  Highly recommended.

And a modest 11% alcohol.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Baked Polenta with (vegan) sausage and artichoke hearts

A very friendly cashier at Trader Joe's suggested this recipe to me. I made a few adjustments, to suit my taste, and it was great!


  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 white onion, thinly sliced
  • 1-2 vegan sausages (I like Tofurkey's Italian flavor), chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup marinated artichoke hearts, coarsely chopped
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 tube (18 ounces) prepared polenta, cut into 1/4-inch rounds
  • 1/3 cup vegetable stock
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley (optional), coarsely chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium. Add onion and cook until softened, 5 minutes. Add sausage and cook, until heated through. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds. Remove skillet from heat and stir in artichokes; season with salt and pepper.
  2. In an 8x8 baking dish, layer polenta rounds and spoonfuls of sausage mixture. Pour stock over top and bake until bubbling and polenta is pale golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Bean enchiladas

Wanted something spicy and Mexican one night, but I make tacos/burritos/fajitas pretty often. Time for something different.
Flour tortillas
Black beans
Yukon gold potatoes, mashed
Kale Pepitas
Shredded cheese
Medium salsa

1. Spoon some salsa on the bottom of a glass baking dish. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Heat tortilla in a pan on the stove top for a few minutes until soft and flimsy.
3. Line tortilla with the beans, potatoes, kale and cheese. Throw on a dash of spices. Roll up and place in dish.
4. Spill some salsa on top of tortillas. Cook covered for about 30 minutes and serve.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Wine of the Week - STO 2011 Late Harvest Dolcetto

This is a thick, rich dessert wine from Sort This Out.  The first Dolcetto I've ever had, and I was impressed.
On the nose was mostly plum, with a hint of spicy pepperoni and scent that I could closest equate to worcestershire sauce.
When you taste it, expect all sorts of plum.  That's definitely the dominant flavor.  But there's complexity.  I tasted some raspberry and some cherry.  Very long, sweet finish, with sustained acidity.
This wine is a little on the young side, and a bit harsh, but I decanted it (with a stopper) for a day and it was great.  (Unstoppered, it would probably need three or four hours to decant.)
As a late harvest dessert wine, you know it's going to be heavy on the alcohol.  17.5% to be exact.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Miso Tempeh and Kale wrap/salad

Oh yum. That's all I have to say. And it's great for a quick dinner or healthy lunch. Double the recipe and have plenty leftover to take to work the next day. I found it at

3 Tbsp white miso paste
3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp agave or maple syrup
black pepper
2-4 Tbsp oil (I used olive)
1 package tempeh, sliced into 8 logs
1 bunch kale
1/2 cup red onion, sliced thinly
1-2 tomatoes, sliced, diced or cut into weges
1 small avocado, sliced or diced

1. Mix miso, vinegar, agave (or syrup), a sprinkle of black pepper and 1-2 Tbsp of oil together to make dressing.

2. Heat another Tbsp or so of oil in a saute pan on medium heat.

3. Dip tempeh logs into dressing, then lay them into the hot pan. Allow them to cook for a minute on each side until all sides are carmelized, being careful not to overly blacken. Remove from pan and cool.

4. Remove kale leaves from stem and chop into small pieces.

5. Wash kale well. Run it under (or dunk in) hot water, then dunk it into very cold water. Then dry the kale in a salad spinner and/or with a towel.

6. Transfer kale into a dry bowl, toss with dressing and onions.

7. To serve, either make a salad of kale, tomatoes, avocado and 2 tempeh logs or put all of the components on a wrap (I used whole wheat tortillas) and enjoy.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Caprese Pizza

Oh, pizza, how I love thee. I'm always craving pizza. Could eat it every night of the week if I had no self-control. One night, I was itchin' for something a little different, and came up with this caprese pizza:
Throw these Ingredients on top of pizza dough/crust Pizza dough or crust Basil pesto Sliced heirloom tomatoes Fresh soft mozzarella Fresh basil leaves Bake for about 20 minutes and enjoy!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Wine of the Week - Behrens and Hitchcock 1996 "Ode to Picasso"


Excellent.  Just plain excellent.  Bold and full-bodied, yet balanced and rounded.

Red fruits aplenty on the nose, and a little bit of new car leather.

On the tongue is a nice, bitey acid at first.  Strawberry on the back of the palate.  A little bit of tobacco. Just a tasty, layered wine full of nuance; something new to discover with every sip.  Very long finish.

The very secretive label did not reveal the percentage of alcohol nor what blend was inside the bottle.  Some mysteries are best left unsolved.  Just drink and enjoy.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Strawberry yogurt pops

With summer coming to a close, I decided to make us a cool treat. I found this recipe from, but had to change some of the details. The quantities she used don't really work for the popsicle-makers I have.
A dozen strawberries, chopped 1 cup vanilla yogurt 2 tbsp orange juice Blend together and fill your popsicle cups. A very creamy yet healthy treat!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Wine of the Week - Mazza 2011 Pinot Grigio


This Pennsylvania wine opens with a strong nose of sour apple.

It starts out with a watery mouthfeel.  Light and crisp in the mid-palate; a little dry and sour.  Turns tart, like a modestly-flavored candy.  Great acid throughout.  A nice, gentle drink.  A great idea for a warm summer night, served lightly chilled.

12% alcohol