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 BHG.com. 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