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

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Pinto Bean Queso

A yummy alternative to salsa, and very filling. Use at your next picnic!

A recipe from

One thing the recipe neglects to mention is to blend the queso before serving. It never says to mash the beans or anything like that, so unless you like chunky queso, be sure to blend to tasty smoothness.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Wine of the Week - Jost 2010 Riesling


There's so much going on in this wine.  It's easily the best Riesling I've ever had, and possibly the best white.  I can't say enough about it.  Caught me completely off guard.

Great scents of sour green apple and white grapes, and a little bit of cantaloupe.

On the tongue, this wine is the gift that keeps on giving - complex and layered.  It starts off feeling a little watery, but soon reveals itself to be medium bodied.  There's a nice, light bite up front.  Then some tastes of honey on melons come through.  Finishes with nice acid.  All throughout, the flavors are gentle and subtle and perfectly balanced.  The low alcohol content is a nice change of pace from the norm.

8% alcohol

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Veggie Burger Roundup

Over the last few months, several people have approached me looking for new ideas for meals and were interested in different from-scratch veggie burgers. I always refer them to this blog, but I figured rather than making you all search for the perfect patty recipe, I list my favorites out right here:

Lentil 'BK Broiler'

BBQ Bean Burger

Bean Sliders

FYI: I would normally cook these patties on the stove top b/c it's quicker, but the patties end up kinda smooshy. So lately, I've taken to baking them at 350 degrees - bake for 30 minutes, flip, bake for another 10-15 - and they shouldn't fall apart on you.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Wine of the Week - STO 2009 Rockabilly Red


Sort This Out Cellars, a longtime favorite winemaker of mine with a rockabilly theme, presents this Rockabilly Red blend.

The inky black color while pouring makes me immediately optimistic.  The spicy pepperoni scents on the nose, even moreso.

On the tongue, there are so many of the dark and earthy flavors I love in a wine.  Tree bark and tannins, a little bit of anise, and more.  Develops into a sweet, sour finish.  Very good.

13.5% alcohol