Friday, March 28, 2014

Wine of the Week - Cougar Vineyard 2008 Aglianico


I don't usually comment on the color of wine when I do these little write-ups, but this one was unique. There was an odd rustiness to the color. I wasn't quite sure what to make of that. Turns out I didn't need to worry.

Blooming roses and abundant strawberry scents take center stage. I also noticed some spices - cinnamon and nutmeg.

On tasting, there's a brief fruitiness up front, followed quickly by delicious earthy tones which I love. Finishes with a nice tobacco and black licorice. This is a great one.

12.3% alcohol

Friday, March 21, 2014

Wine of the Week - Carivintas "Ohio Bandit" California White

If you love green-skinned summery fruits, you've found your wine right here! This wine smells and tastes like green apples, pears, and green grape skins. Didn't wow me, but is a moderately tasty white wine.

13.9% alcohol

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Sun-dried Tomato Hummus

Remember my post about homemade hummus?

Well, I thought I'd be a little creative and take a stab at altering it based on that grid. And it came out well, if I do say so myself.

Sun-dried tomato hummus

Blend the following in a food processor and you're done!:
1 can chickpeas, rinsed
1/4 cup tahini
1 large clove of garlic, diced
1/4 cup packed sun-dried tomatoes (I used the ones not in oil)
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp dried italian seasoning (oregano, basil, etc)
1 tbsp lemon juice

I used this hummus as a spread for my lentil wrap (torilla, hummus, cooked lentils, sliced cherry tomatoes, arugula) and it complimented it perfectly.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Wine of the Week - Spin the Bottle 2011 Red


The unconvincing nose - basic cherry and blackberry scents - belies the complexity of the taste. A bit watery up front, tart cranberries soon overtake your palate, with a bit of black licorice underneath. The finish is maybe a little bit too sour, but overall this is a really good wine.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Mega Salad - Broccoli, Quinoa, & "Bacon" with Tahini Dressing

I started with this recipe for this Creamy Broccoli Salad and put it over greens. Which was good. But then I kicked it up a notch by adding crispy tempeh bacon and almonds.

I found there was plenty of dressing when I made the broccoli salad, so I only used half and saved the other half to top the salad right before eating.

Mega Salad - Broccoli, Quinoa, & "Bacon" with Tahini Dressing
Makes 2 gigantic servings (or 3-4 normal servings)

Creamy Broccoli Salad, plus leftover dressing
A few handfuls of greens (I used pre-packaged mixed greens, but kale or arugula would be great, too)
4 slices tempeh bacon
1-2 Tbsp Olive oil
2 Tbsp sliced almonds

Heat olive oil in a small pan, then fry tempeh bacon until crispy on both sides. Crumble or chop into small bites.

In a giant salad bowl (or several smaller bowls), lay down a bed of lettuce dress lightly and toss. Then add broccoli salad, almonds and tempeh bacon.


Note: If you're not eating right away, keep components separate so your greens and tempeh bacon don't get too soggy.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Wine of the Week - Sandler Wine Co. 2010 Zinfandel


If you're looking for a wine that comes on strong and sticks around for a while, you've come to the right place.

You're greeted with spicy scents, particularly nutmeg. There are also notes of blackberry, which match the color.

On the palate, this wine is bright and hot. That initial shock gives way to dark berry flavors and settles into a smokey anise.

I like this one quite a bit. If you like them bold, as I do, this one will be great for you.

15.1% alcohol

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Brownies (pt 2) - Black Bean Brownies

I know. It sounds crazy. But hear me out. These are gluten-free and made with oats and texturally they are somewhere between an undercooked brownie and silk. The texture from the beans is creamy and yummy. The maple syrup flavor is a bit rich as suggested, so I recommend swapping it out for grade A syrup, which has a less pronounced maple flavor, or swapping some of the syrup for sugar. Or follow the directions and then only eat one brownie per sitting (I guess some people might think this is the sensible route, but it just feels wrong to me).

Chocolate Covered Katie's Black Bean Brownies

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Apple Chimi-chimi-changas

I had bookmarked this recipe from quite awhile ago. And one night I just decided to make them.

Apple chimichangas

Rather than prop my laptop up on the counter like I usually do, I did this one from memory. And because of that, I forgot a few steps. But I wasn't starting with the original recipe either, so I guess I was just winging the whole thing.

A few weeks ago I was staring at all my jars of jams I made last fall and thought - dang, I really gotta start using these. I don't foresee the apocalypse coming so soon (or should I?...) so let's use these up. So rather than make the pie filler from the recipe, I used my Apple Pie Jam I made last fall with fresh apples I picked (similar to this recipe.)

I spread about 2 tablespoons of the jam on flour tortillas, rolled them up, and fried in veggie oil for a few minutes on each side until they got crispy. I laid them on paper towels to help soak up the grease - mistake as the towels stuck and I had to pick off the paper! Maybe I'll use cheesecloth or something similar next time.

I forgot about rolling the tortilla in the sugar mix (which might cover up some of the stickiness from the oil and eliminate the need to absorb that up) but honestly the pie jam was sweet enough. But they turned out well as is - as my coworkers cobbled them right up!