Friday, August 30, 2013

Wine of the Week - Corgi wine!


From Carivintas Winery comes this 2011 100% merlot.

Bright and tart, it has traces of cranberry and chocolate. A little dry, but balanced. Nothing complex, but easy to enjoy.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Lavender cookies

I just realized I never shared this recipe before! Shame on me.

Lovely cookies to snack on - not too sweet, and great with a cup of tea! From

Lavender cookies

Rather than eggs, I used ground flax seed. I also used gluten-free flour rather than all-purpose, and they came out just fine.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Wine of the Week - Wiens 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon


Rich, full strawberries and traces of tobacco scents as you sniff. Definite tobacco flavor, as well as a variety of red fruits. This wine is so good! Full bodied, yet balanced. Top notch all the way. Highly recommended.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Wine of the Week - Project Happiness 2009 Syrah


This is a wine with a lot of dark, moody flavors, which is a personal preference of mine.

Black cherry and blackberries on the nose. The taste builds on that fruitiness, adding some lightly burnt toast, leather and a hint of tobacco.

If you like your flavors dark, this is a pretty good basic wine at a very affordable price.

13.8% alcohol

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Mexicali Burgers

A friend of mine told me about this recipe years ago, but I never got around to making it until recently. Big mistake. Instead of making sliders, I made big burgers, because I had big burger buns and it just made more sense. And I skipped the Spicy Mango Sauce, because I hate both mangoes and spicy food. And in the salsa I used my new favorite salsa, Trader Joe's Organic Tomatillo & Roasted Yellow Chili Salsa.

Chef Chloe's Mexicali Sliders

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Strawberry jam

My first attempt at canning - although I was worried at first, it turned out to be a success!

For my birthday, I received this book and a starter set for canning. My first recipe was a basic one for strawberry.

The recipe came with some tweaks, including adding vanilla bean or balsalmic vinegar. I decided to experiment - yes, without even trying the basic recipe first - and added a vanilla fig balsalmic vinegar to the batch.

In the end, the vanilla flavor is very faint. But the jam is still really tasty!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Wine of the Week - Maurice Car'rie Winery: Cody's Crush


Here's a good example of wine that tastes nothing like how it smells.

On the nose, there's a lot of strawberry and fresh cut grass. There's also a little bit of dirt to go with that grass. And there's a general funk permeating the whole thing - smelly cheese or feet.

But on the tongue, it tastes very jammy. Blackberry jam. Nice and tart, followed up by some heat. Ends with a good, medium finish.

This is a Southern California winery I've only recently discovered, and look forward to trying a lot more.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Fiesta salad

Somewhat similar to my fiest corn salad, here's a tasty sidedish from A Teaspoon of Happiness that's really easy and quick to prepare. No cooking involved!

I cut the recipe in half. That makes more than enough for two people.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Wine of the Week - Carivintas 2008 "Aspen" Syrah


I have to admit I was a little bit disappointed with this one. It was sour, with sort of strawberry and dirt tastes. Overwhelmingly tannic. Maybe in a couple years this will develop into something better; but it's already five years old, and I don't think it was designed for longevity.