Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Quinoa and Black Bean Cassarole

With the New Year, most of us focus on losing weight, eating healthier, etc. Me included. So I've started up with Sparkpeople.com again to track what I eat and how I exercise. As I was browsing around, I found this recipe for Quinoa Black Bean Casserole.

A filling, high protein vegetarian meal!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Wine of the Week - Bonny Doon 2009 Muscat


A simple, pleasant dessert wine that's easy to enjoy.

Honey, mellon and citrus (particularly lime) on the nose, this wine tastes nice and sweet up front with a mild tart aftertaste.  Great for after meals, or as a stand-alone drink.

12.7% alcohol

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

How to Make Enchilada Sauce

Matt made an awesome enchilada sauce that we used tonight, based on the following recipe from About.com.

2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp flour
2 tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste
2 cups water
1 8 ounce can tomato paste
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp salt

Heat the oil, flour and chili powder together in a large pot.
Allow to cook for a minute or two.
Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a slow simmer.
Stir well to combine and dissolve tomato paste in water.
Allow to cook for at least 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add more spices as desired.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Gnocchi with Zucchini Ribbons

I have a weakness for pasta. It's just so yummy! So I'm always looking for a new pasta combination to keep it interesting.

I found this recipe from EatingWell.com and I was not disappointed.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Wine of the Week - Dascomb 2005 Riserva Red


A blend of cabernet sauvignon and sangiovese, this wine if full of rich, complex flavors. You taste something new with every sip. I love it!

On the nose, it's mostly black cherry.  But also some blueberry and a bed of black pepper.

Rich and silky on the tongue, this bold-flavored wine is smokey and leathery overall.  There's some cherry taste, as well as some greenery... maybe a little spinachy, but I might not commit to that.  The point is, as noted above, this wine is very complex and has surprises for you with every sip.  I highly recommend it.


14.6% alcohol

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Orange and Pecan Cookies

This recipe I found in the Christmas issue of Vegetarian Times. They turned out perfectly - sweet, but not overly sweet, and not horrible for you!

1 tbsp ground flaxseed
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1 3/4 cups wheat flour
2 tsp grated orange zest
1/4 tsp salt
12 cup sugar
4 oz butter
2 tbsp orange juice
1 cup powdered sugar

1. In a small bowl, mix flaxseed with 2 tbsp water.
2. Grind pecan in a food processor. In a large bowl, whisk together with flour, zest, and salt.
3. Cream together sugar and butter. Add flaxseed mixture. Beat until smooth. Add flour mixture a bit at a time until a smooth dough forms. Add a tad of water if needed.
4. Divide dough in half and roll into logs on wax/parchment paper. Chill for at least 2 hours.
5. Slice each log into 1/2 inch slices. Line a cookie sheet with parchment. Bake slices at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.
6. Meanwhile, whisk orange juice and powdered sugar together to make a thick glaze. Spread glaze onto each cookie while still warm. Cool on baking sheets and sprinkle with orange zest.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Wine of the Week - Bella Cavalli 2009 Pinot Noir


I drank this Pinot Noir under rushed circumstances, so I didn't take notes; but I can still recommend it! With blackberry flavors and a hint of cranberry, this is a good wine. Especially for those who like a little bit of tart on the tongue.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Veggie Pasta bake

Pasta makes everything taste better!
Here's a recipe to use up a bunch of your stock veggies before they go bad.

As I was thumbing through the latest issue of Better Homes and Gardens, I came across this recipe I had to try. Here's the recipe, with a few of my alterations:

2-3 cups penne pasta
2 1/2 cups cauliflower, chopped
1/4 cup onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, sliced
10 cups kale
1 cup frozen veggie mix (carrots, peas, etc)
1 cup milk
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Parmesan cheese

1. Cook pasta according to instructions. Add cauliflower during last 5 minutes of cooking. Drain.

2. In a large pot, heat olive oil and cook onion and garlic for ~2 minutes. Add carrots and cook until tender. Add kale and cook until wilted.

3. Combine pasta and cauliflower with the kale mix and mixed frozen veggies in a large oven-safe bowl (like Corningware).

4. In a small pot, melt the butter and stir in 2 tbsp flour, and a dash of salt and pepper. Add milk and stir until thickened. Add cheese and cook until melted. Stir this mix into the pasta and veggie bowl.

5. Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes covered. Sprinkle with Parmesan and bake for 5 more minutes. Serve.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Wine of the Week - STO 2008 Cab Franc


Another winner from Sort This Out Cellars.

The first thing you'll notice as you pour is the deep purple color.  Always a good sign for me.

Aromas of overripe strawberries and blackberries on the nose.

The light mouthfeel contrasts amusingly with the bold flavor.  This wine is spicy up top, followed by dark tastes of tobacco and leather.  No wonder its modeled on the Rat Pack.  A fully fleshed out mid-palate, which I find a lot of wines lacking.  And a tasty, active finish that leaves you looking forward to your next sip.

14.2% alcohol