Category Archives: Holiday

Foodie Friday: THE Ultimate ALL Chocolate Valentine’s Day Edition

ValentinesDay

Chocolate Cakes with Liquid Centers

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 4 (1 ounce) squares bittersweet chocolate
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Butter and flour four 4 ounce ramekins or custard cups.
  2. In the top half of a double boiler set over simmering water, heat the butter and the chocolate until chocolate is almost completely melted.
  3. Beat the eggs, egg yolks and sugar together until light colored and thick.
  4. Beat together the melted chocolate and butter. While beating, slowly pour the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture, then quickly beat in the flour and mix until just combined.
  5. Divide the batter between the four molds and bake at 450 degrees F (230 degrees C) for 6 to 7 minutes. The centers of the cakes will still be quite soft. Invert cakes on serving plates and let sit for about 15 seconds, then unmold. Serve immediately with fresh whipped cream, if desired.

Nutritional Information

Amount Per Serving  Calories: 475 | Total Fat: 37.1g | Cholesterol: 270mg

What to Drink?

Wine Port
Hot Non-Alcoholic Coffee

More…

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Chocolate 101

Use the highest-quality chocolate and cocoa you can buy. Good chocolate has a glossy sheen and a smooth taste. Here’s a quick primer on different varieties and their uses:

  • Unsweetened (chocolate liquor):Made with about 50 percent cocoa butter, this is pure, unadulterated chocolate. Use it in cooking and baking, but don’t bother eating it straight.
  • Bittersweet: Made by adding cocoa butter, sugar, and vanilla to chocolate liquor, bittersweet chocolate has a dark, rich taste. Use it in baking.
  • Semisweet: This variety is made the same way as bittersweet, but with more sugar. A classic for chocolate chip cookies.
  • Milk chocolate: Sweet and creamy, this chocolate is made with milk solids, which give it its light color. For some people, milk chocolate is a clear winner over dark.
  • White chocolate:Because it’s made with cocoa butter and not chocolate liquor, white chocolate isn’t strictly chocolate. Use it in baking, but don’t expect a chocolatey taste–it’s sweet and mild.

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Foodie Friday: Superbowl Edition

Superbowl

Pre-Game Goodies

When you’re a true fan, the lead-up to the main event is just as compelling as the game itself. Check your local TV listings to see when the pre-game show starts, and make sure you’ve got plenty of snacks on hand to fuel your guests until kickoff.

Football Classics

There’s something about football that makes us want to eat with our hands, and we’re not talking about delicate tea cakes. No sir. We reach for pizza, hot wings, hearty dips and hefty sandwiches. Drinks are easy: just keep plenty of beer on ice. And for dessert, how about football-shaped sugar cookies iced in team colors?

Super Bowl® Brews

What would a Super Bowl party be without beer?

Along with an impressive spread, beer is an essential part of the side-line action. While some football fans will care less what kind of beer they drink as long as it’s cold, many will prefer a variety to choose from.


Pale, Amber, Brown, Dark

Your best bet in planning a party is to supply a range of beers–from light (lagers and pilsners) to dark (porters and stouts)–to match everyone’s tastes and to complement the entire Game Day smorgasbord.

Flavor Pairings

Keep in mind as you choose brews for the big event that certain beers taste better with different kinds of food.

  • Dark chocolaty stout is the perfect accompaniment for fried foods like fish and chips, while crisp, light Mexican beer with a squeeze of lime works great with chips and salsa or chili.
  • Flavorful ales are usually a safe bet because they are not too dark or too light, and they go well with most food. If you are on a budget, cases of beer or a keg might be the way to go. Either way, it’s always best to plan the game day menu before you head to the grocery store.
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Thanksgiving Day Feast

Monster ThanksGiving Dinner Recipe from AllRecipes.com

Easy Menu

Keep it simple and classic 

 

Advanced Menu

Add new twists to the traditional meal

  •   Store-bought rolls or bread

Game Plan for Easy Menu

The trickiest part of preparing a holiday meal is the timing. The key is to make as many items ahead of time as you can, and reheat them on Thanksgiving Day.
One to Two Weeks Ahead:

  • Make a shopping list; beat the holiday rush
  • Make and freeze Yummy Yam Casserole (omit topping)

Two Days Before Thanksgiving:

  • Place turkey in refrigerator to thaw (birds larger than 12 lbs. will require 3 days to thaw)
  • Make cranberry sauce
  • Bake pecan bars. Cool completely; slice bars. Store tightly covered with plastic wrap in a cool, dry place.

Day Before:

  • Toast almonds for green beans in ungreased skillet over med. heat until golden and fragrant. Transfer to a bowl or lidded container. Cook bacon for green beans, if using; crumble and mix with toasted almonds & refrigerate.
  • Make mashed potatoes; store in the refrigerator
  • Make stuffing; store in the refrigerator
  • Prepare Pumpkin Cream Pie
  • Set the dining room table. Include serving dishes for gravy, dinner rolls, butter, and green beans, plus serving utensils.

Night Before:

  • Place Yam Casserole in the fridge to thaw
  • Chop onion for Jazzed up Gravy; sauté with herbs as directed. Add to prepared gravy; store jar or container in fridge.

Thanksgiving Morning:

  • Remove an oven rack, if necessary. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Roast turkey as directed. Remove from oven and let stand for 30 minutes before carving.
  • Add pecan topping to yam casserole.

An hour before dinner:

  • Increase oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Replace oven rack. Bake the mashed potatoes, the stuffing, and the yam casserole.

Half an hour before dinner:

  • Wrap dinner rolls in foil. Place in oven to heat.
  • Warm gravy in saucepan over medium-low heat.
  • Melt butter for green beans in a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Cook beans until tender. Stir in almonds and crumbled bacon and cook until heated through.

Finishing Touches:

  • Transfer gravy, rolls and green beans into serving bowls.
  • Carve the turkey and arrange meat on a warmed platter.

Game Plan for Advanced Menu

One to Two Weeks Before:

  • Make a shopping list; beat the holiday rush
  • Make dinner rolls; proof for twenty minutes, then freeze. When firm, transfer rolls to plastic freezer bag.
  • Make pastry for pecan pie (use recipe of your choice). Chill dough, then roll out and line a nine-inch pie shell. Freeze until firm. Wrap frozen dough and pan with plastic wrap and store in the freezer.

Three Days Before:

  • Thaw turkey in refrigerator
  • Prepare and bake cheesecake crust; cool and wrap with plastic wrap. Store at room temperature in a cool, dry place.

Two Days Before:

  • Make chutney
  • Cube bread for stuffing: use a mix of multigrain, rye, and country white bread for Old-Fashioned Stuffing, or make pumpkin bread for Ibby’s Pumpkin-Mushroom Stuffing
  • Bake pie shell (see Perfect Pie Crusts for instructions on blind baking). Cool and wrap with plastic wrap. Store at room temperature in a cool, dry place.

Day Before:

  • Remove giblets and neck from turkey cavity
  • Brine turkey
  • Make stock out of turkey neck and giblets (do not use the liver for making stock, as it can make broth bitter), celery, onion, carrot and aromatics
  • Bake cheesecake
  • Bake pecan pie
  • Prep veggies for roasting
  • Toast pine nuts and cook bacon for Brussels Sprouts; store in refrigerator
  • Make stuffing

Night Before:

  • If you have room in the fridge, arrange frozen dinner rolls on sheet pan and thaw overnight in the refrigerator. (Otherwise, thaw at room temperature on Thanksgiving morning.)
  • Set the dining room table. Include serving dishes for gravy, dinner rolls, butter, and side dishes, plus serving utensils.

Thanksgiving Morning:

  • Brush dinner rolls with egg wash
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake rolls and stuffing.
  • Light coals; prep grill
  • Increase oven temperature to 425 degrees F and roast vegetables
  • Grill turkey

One hour before dinner:

  • Make mashed potatoes. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and rest bowl over pan of simmering water to keep warm.

Half an hour before dinner:

  • Collect drippings from roasting pan under turkey. Make gravy.
  • Prepare Brussels sprouts
  • Keep stuffing and roasted vegetables warm in a 300 degree F oven.
  • Wrap rolls in foil and warm in oven, if desired

Perfect Pairs Wines for Thanksgiving

Red Wines

Try lighter reds with a bit of acid and some fruitiness.

Beaujolais (gamay): A light, food-friendly red that you can serve just slightly chilled.

Oregon Pinot Noir or French Burgundy: Earthy, fruity Pinots often work well with the meal’s many competing and contrasting flavors.

Italian Reds: Like Pinot Noir, Chianti can have an earthy quality and a good amount of food-friendly acidity, which makes it a terrific Thanksgiving wine. It’s not just for pasta anymore! The same goes for Barbera from Piedmont. Excellent, versatile food wines.

Zinfandel: Fruity Zinfandel shows many personalities; it’s also an American original, and so a fitting choice for America’s favorite feast. Choose a lighter style that’s not booming with alcohol.


White Wines

Chardonnay: The Thanksgiving table is loaded with rich food. It’s the right time to break out a rich, round California Chardonnay with ripe fruit balanced out by refreshing acidity.

Riesling: This is a tremendous, often overlooked food wine. With all the flavors competing for attention, dry Riesling’s acidity and slight touch of sweetness should complement them all.

Champagne/Sparkling wine: Often forgotten once the toasting’s done, Champagne and sparkling wines can be a fun alternative for dinner. You might pop a bottle before dinner and find that you’re enjoying it clear through to dessert. Try a fruity rosé sparkling wine.

Sauvignon Blanc: This wine’s lively acidity and herbal characteristics make it a great choice for Thanksgiving dinner.


Red or White? Why Not Both?

For traditional thanksgiving meals, it need not be an either/or situation. Sometimes the best choice is to offer both red and white and let the guests choose for themselves. Sometimes it pays to place a couple glasses at each guest’s table setting. He or she can try a splash of white here, a sip of red there, comparing and contrasting before settling on a favorite. Offering a few choices can also make for fun conversation.

 

Foodie Friday: Sweet & Spicy Chicken Wraps Lite food for the holiday weekend

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Simple Sweet and Spicy Chicken Wraps

I’m going to go with something Easy to make as I’m sure most people will not want to cook excessively due to the Memorial Day Holiday! So Happy Memorial Day ahead of time.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped seedless cucumber
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ground black pepper to taste
  •  
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves – cut into thin strips
  • 1 cup thick and chunky salsa
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 8 (10 inch) flour tortillas
  • 1 (10 ounce) bag baby spinach leaves

Directions

  1. Mix together the mayonnaise, cucumber, 1 tablespoon of honey, 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper, and black pepper in a bowl until smooth. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a skillet on medium-high heat, and cook and stir the chicken breast strips until they are beginning to turn golden and are no longer pink in the middle, about 8 minutes. Stir in the salsa, 1 tablespoon of honey, and 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the flavors have blended, about 5 minutes.
  3. Stack the tortillas, 4 at a time, in a microwave oven and heat until warm and pliable, 20 to 30 seconds per batch.
  4. Spread each tortilla with 1 tablespoon of the mayonnaise-cucumber mixture, top with a layer of baby spinach leaves, and arrange about 1/2 cup of chicken mixture on the spinach leaves.
  5. Fold the bottom of each tortilla up about 2 inches, and start rolling the burrito from the right side. When the burrito is half-rolled, fold the top of the tortilla down, enclosing the filling, and continue rolling to make a tight, compact cylinder.

Nutritional Information

Amount Per Serving  Calories: 488 | Total Fat: 22.6g | Cholesterol: 57mg

What to Drink?

Beer Beer

 

More Recipes at AllRecipes.com

Foodie Friday: Post Cinco de Mayo Grilled Fish Tacos w Chipolte-Lime Dressing

Foodie Friday: Post Cinco de Mayo Grilled Fish Tacos w Chipolte-Lime Dressing

 

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Grilled Fish Tacos with Chipotle-Lime Dressing

Ingredients

  • Marinade
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons lime zest
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons honey
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon seafood seasoning, such as Old Bay™
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce, or to taste
  • 1 pound tilapia fillets, cut into chunks
  • Dressing
  • 1 (8 ounce) container light sour cream
  • 1/2 cup adobo sauce from chipotle peppers
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons lime zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon seafood seasoning, such as Old Bay™
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Toppings
  • 1 (10 ounce) package tortillas
  • 3 ripe tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 1 small head cabbage, cored and shredded
  • 2 limes, cut in wedges

Directions

  1. To make the marinade, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, lime juice, lime zest, honey, garlic, cumin, chili powder, seafood seasoning, black pepper, and hot sauce in a bowl until blended. Place the tilapia in a shallow dish, and pour the marinade over the fish. Cover, and refrigerate 6 to 8 hours.
  2. To make the dressing, combine the sour cream and adobo sauce in a bowl. Stir in the lime juice, lime zest, cumin, chili powder, seafood seasoning. Add salt, and pepper in desired amounts. Cover, and refrigerate until needed.
  3. Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat and lightly oil grate. Set grate 4 inches from the heat.
  4. Remove fish from marinade, drain off any excess and discard marinade. Grill fish pieces until easily flaked with a fork, turning once, about 9 minutes.
  5. Assemble tacos by placing fish pieces in the center of tortillas with desired amounts of tomatoes, cilantro, and cabbage; drizzle with dressing. To serve, roll up tortillas around fillings, and garnish with lime wedges.

Footnotes

  • Cook’s Tip
  • The marinated fish in this recipe can also be cooked in the oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Bake fish in preheated oven until it easily flakes with a fork, 9 to 11 minutes. Assemble tacos according to directions. Mahi-mahi can be substituted for the tilapia.

 

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Strawberry Sauza®-Rita

Ingredients

  • 1 (12 ounce) can frozen limeade concentrate
  • 12 ounces champagne
  • 8 ounces Sauza® Blanco Tequila
  • 4 ounces DeKuyper® Strawberry Liqueur
  • 12 ounces water

Directions

  1. Pour limeade into pitcher with ice. Fill limeade can with champagne and pour into pitcher. Then fill limeade can with 2/3 Sauza Blanco Tequila and 1/3 DeKuyper Strawberry and pour in. Lastly, add a can of water, stir and serve over ice. Makes 9 delicious drinks, perfect for any ladies night in.
  2. Looking for a lighter option? Swap soda water for the champagne and 2 cups of sliced strawberries for the Strawberry Liqueur.

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Foodie Friday peeps! St. Patrick’s Day FEAST!

Foodie Friday peeps! St. Patrick’s Day FEAST!

 

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St. Patrick’s Day Feast! ENJOY!

Upon Waking Up Ragged

Knock back a glass too much of the black stuff? Revive yourself the Irish way.

Irish Boxty

Photo by: baskervill…

A True Irish Dinner

For a taste of tradition, try these dishes instead of corned beef.

Roast Leg of Lamb with Rosemary

Photo by: chibi chef

 

St. Patrick’s Colcannon

St. Pat’s Potatoes

MORE….

 

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Corned Beef and Cabbage II

Ingredients

  • 4 1/2 pounds corned beef brisket
  • 5 black peppercorns
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 onion, peeled and left whole
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 small head cabbage, cored and cut into wedges
  • 6 large potatoes, quartered
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons butter

Directions

  1. In a 6 quart Dutch oven, Place the beef brisket, peppercorns, garlic powder, onion, bay leaves and salt. Fill pan with water to cover everything plus one inch. Bring to a boil and cook for 20 minutes. Skim off any residue that floats to the top. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 2 to 3 hours, until meat can be pulled apart with a fork.
  2. Once the meat is done, add the cabbage, potatoes and carrots, pressing them down into the liquid. Simmer for an additional 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Skim off any oil that comes to the surface. Stir in the butter and parsley. Remove the pot from the heat.
  3. Remove meat from the pot and place onto a serving dish and let rest for 15 minutes. Also remove vegetables to a bowl and keep warm. Slice meat on the diagonal against the grain. Serve meat on a platter and spoon juices over meat and vegetables.

Nutritional Information

Amount Per Serving  Calories: 515 | Total Fat: 24.4g | Cholesterol: 117mg

What to Drink?

Cocktail Shaggy’s Manhattan

YES More!

 

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Irish Cream Brownies

Ingredients

  • 1 (20 ounce) package brownie mix
  • 1/2 cup Irish cream liqueur
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons milk
  • 2 tablespoons Irish cream liqueur
  • 1 teaspoon brewed coffee
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup toffee baking bits (such as Heath Bits ‘O Brickle®) (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9×13 inch baking pan.
  2. Stir together the brownie mix, the 1/2 cup Irish cream liqueur, vegetable oil, and eggs. Spread in the prepared pan.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven until the top is dry and the edges have started to pull away from the sides of the pan, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven to cool completely on a wire rack.
  4. Place the milk, 2 tablespoons Irish cream liqueur, and coffee in a small, microwave safe bowl. Microwave on High until the mixture boils. Set aside to cool completely.
  5. Beat the butter and confectioners’ sugar with an electric mixer in a bowl until smooth. Add the vanilla extract and the cooled Irish cream mixture, and beat well. Spread evenly over the cooled brownies. Sprinkle evenly with the toffee bits.
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Irish Cream Liqueur II

Ingredients

  • 1 (750 milliliter) bottle Irish whiskey
  • 8 3/4 ounces milk chocolate
  • 2 (14 ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 (12 fluid ounce) cans evaporated milk
  • 2 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon instant coffee granules

 

Directions

  1. Pour a small amount of whiskey into a large bowl. In the top of a double boiler, melt chocolate, stirring constantly until smooth. Mix the melted chocolate with the whiskey in the bowl. Gradually stir in the sweetened condensed milk and the evaporated milk. Stir in the cream, instant coffee granules, and the remaining whiskey.
  2. Pour mixture into 3 (750 ml) bottles, seal and store in refrigerator. Best if kept at least 1 month before using. To serve: shake bottle well, serve in small glasses over crushed ice.

More Recipes at AllRecipes.com

 

Weekend recipes are now Foodie Fridays: This week Cajun & Creole Feast

Weekend recipes are now Foodie Fridays: This week Cajun & Creole Feast!

 

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Cajun and Creole Cooking

Cajun Cuisine

Cajun cuisine is a robust mix of French and Southern food. The recipes use simple ingredients and often include a dark roux thickener of flour and pork fat. Cajun dishes include dirty rice, catfish, gumbo (a stew thickened with okra pods) and jambalaya (a rice dish cooked with shrimp, oysters, chicken, or ham and seasoned with herbs and spices).

Most recipes rely on sautéing onions, celery, and green bell peppers (otherwise known as the “holy trinity”) and adding a lot of spices and filé powder, which is made of ground sassafras leaves and used as a thickener.


Creole Cuisine

Caribbean, African, French, and Spanish immigrants created Creole cuisine. Creole recipes frequently include butter, cream, and tomatoes. Just like Cajun food, Creole cooking uses sautéed onions, celery, and green peppers and filé powder for thickening. Famous Creole recipes include oysters Rockefeller, bananas Foster, and shrimp rémoulade.

Click the link below to see the how to make a Hurrican video

New Orleans Hurricane

 

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Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup ice
  • 2 fluid ounces light rum
  • 2 fluid ounces passion fruit flavored syrup
  • 1 cup lemon-lime flavored carbonated beverage
  • 1 ounce lime juice
  • 1 fluid ounce 151 proof rum

 

Directions

  1. In a shaker, combine ice, light rum, passion fruit syrup, lemon-lime flavored carbonated beverage and lime juice. Shake well and pour mixture into a Hurricane or other large specialty glass. Float the 151 proof rum on top of the drink.

More Recipes at AllRecipes.com

VALENTINES Weekend Recipe: Dinner for 2, wine, desert & a romantic movie

 

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Happy Valentines Day!

 

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Dinner Choices

Surf and Turf Temptation


“Serve a California Chardonnay with the Seafood Stuffed Avocados to complement the creaminess of the avocado and the mayo. A Cabernet Sauvignon is always a solid choice with steak.”

Mediterranean Passion


“Cabernet Sauvignon is delicious with Parmesan. It should also go well with the lamb. Try a Cabernet Sauvignon from the Columbia Valley, Yakima Valley or Walla Walla in Washington State; these cooler-climate Cabernets often have aromas and flavors of mint and herbs, which would pair nicely with the demi-glace. A Washington Merlot would be nice, too, for the same reasons.”

Love Birds


“You could go with a Sauvignon Blanc or a white Bordeaux. Either one would be nice and versatile with these dishes. I’d be tempted to stick with a red here, like a Barbera from Italy’s Piedmont region. It should work with the tomatoes in the mussels appetizer and shouldn’t overpower the Cornish hens. A light Chianti Classico might be just as nice.”

Lust for Lobster

“A white Burgundy or a Chardonnay should pair nicely all the way down the line here, working well with the creamy avocado, the slightly sweet grilled rock lobster and earthy flavors of the portobello mushrooms. Cooler-weather Chardonnays might also have apple aromas and flavors that would be nice with the apples and walnuts in the Waldorf Salad.”

Garden of Eden


“I might stick with a red wine here. Milan is not too far from the vineyards of Piedmont, so I might be tempted to go semi-local and drink a Barbera. It should be nice with the mushrooms and the salad, and work well with the gorgonzola, too. Otherwise, try a Beaujolais from France. It would go nicely with the strawberries in the salad and will be light and acidic enough to deal with the gorgonzola. Beaujolais could be your best bet.”

Dinner and a Movie

Turn down the lights, snuggle with your honey and enjoy classic tales of romance on the silver screen:

  • An Affair to Remember
  • Casablanca
  • Moonstruck
  • Sabrina
  • Sleepless in Seattle
  • The Princess Bride
  • When Harry Met Sally

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

 

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Ingredients

  • 16 ounces milk chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons shortening
  • 1 pound fresh strawberries with leaves

 

Directions

  1. Insert toothpicks into the tops of the strawberries.
  2. In a double boiler, melt the chocolate and shortening, stirring occasionally until smooth. Holding them by the toothpicks, dip the strawberries into the chocolate mixture.
  3. Turn the strawberries upside down and insert the toothpick into styrofoam for the chocolate to cool.

 

Champagne 101

 

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Vintage vs. Non-Vintage Champagne

All Champagnes are made from grapes grown in France’s northeastern region, the Champagne province. Most Champagnes are non-vintage: that is, they are made from a blend of grapes from different years, aged in the bottle for 18 months. Vintage Champagne is made with high-quality grapes from the same year; they must be aged three years before they are released.


Champagnes from Dry to Sweet

In addition to classifying Champagne as vintage or non-vintage, 6 classifications are used to refer directly to the Champagne’s sweetness:

  • Brut: dry, less than 1.5% sugar
  • Extra Sec: extra dry, 1.2 to 2% sugar
  • Sec: medium sweet, 1.7 to 3.5% sugar
  • Demi-Sec: sweet, 3.3 to 5% sugar (Served as a dessert champagne)
  • Doux: very sweet, over 5% sugar (Served as a dessert champagne)

Other Wines with Bubbles

Sparkling wines made by the same process can’t be called Champagne unless they’re made in their namesake French region. Chardonnay and pinot noir grapes are the main varieties used to make Champagne, and they’re grown all over the world; many regions produce fine sparkling wines that are somewhat less expensive and more widely available than French Champagne. Italian Prosecco and Asti, Spanish Cava and German Sekt are all delicious varieties of sparkling wine.

As a side note: the small clusters of grapes sold in the supermarket as “champagne grapes” are just using the cachet of the name: they’re actually fresh zante currants.


Serving Champagne

Chill the wine in the coldest part of your refrigerator. Open the bottle by twisting off the wire cage over the cork, keeping your thumb over the cork. Keep the bottle at an angle, with the cork pointing away from you. Grasp the neck of the bottle with a dry cloth; with your thumb over the cork, gently twist the bottle. You should feel the cork easing itself loose. Don’t go for the dramatic pop: removing the cork should be almost soundless.

Serve Champagne in clean, dry flutes–narrow glasses with tall sides–which show off the color and the fine bubbles while keeping the carbonation from dissipating. “Prime” the glasses by pouring a small amount of wine into the bottom of each glass, letting the foam subside before filling them fully

More recipes at ALLRecipes.com

SUPERBOWL Weekend Recipe: Taco Dip, Wings, Pizza and Beer

 

 

Pre-Game Goodies

When you’re a true fan, the lead-up to the main event is just as compelling as the game itself. Check your local TV listings to see when the pre-game show starts, and make sure you’ve got plenty of snacks on hand to fuel your guests until kickoff.

 

Football Classics

There’s something about football that makes us want to eat with our hands, and we’re not talking about delicate tea cakes. No sir. We reach for pizza, hot wings, hearty dips and hefty sandwiches. Drinks are easy: just keep plenty of beer on ice. And for dessert, how about football-shaped sugar cookies iced in team colors?

 

 

Super Bowl® Brews

What would a Super Bowl party be without beer?

Along with an impressive spread, beer is an essential part of the side-line action. While some football fans will care less what kind of beer they drink as long as it’s cold, many will prefer a variety to choose from.


Pale, Amber, Brown, Dark

Your best bet in planning a party is to supply a range of beers–from light (lagers and pilsners) to dark (porters and stouts)–to match everyone’s tastes and to complement the entire Game Day smorgasbord.


Flavor Pairings

Keep in mind as you choose brews for the big event that certain beers taste better with different kinds of food.

  • Dark chocolaty stout is the perfect accompaniment for fried foods like fish and chips, while crisp, light Mexican beer with a squeeze of lime works great with chips and salsa or chili.
  • Flavorful ales are usually a safe bet because they are not too dark or too light, and they go well with most food. If you are on a budget, cases of beer or a keg might be the way to go. Either way, it’s always best to plan the game day menu before you head to the grocery store.

Weekend Recipe: Top 10 recipes of 2010

 

Top 10 recipes of 2010 

 

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Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

 

Ingredients

  • 1 (2 pound) pork tenderloin
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle root beer
  • 1 (18 ounce) bottle your favorite barbecue sauce
  • 8 hamburger buns, split and lightly toasted

Directions

  1. Place the pork tenderloin in a slow cooker; pour the root beer over the meat. Cover and cook on low until well cooked and the pork shreds easily, 6 to 7 hours. Note: the actual length of time may vary according to individual slow cooker. Drain well. Stir in barbecue sauce. Serve over hamburger buns.

Nutritional Information

Amount Per Serving  Calories: 335 | Total Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 49mg

What to Drink?

Wine Zinfandel
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Best Brownies

 

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour an 8 inch square pan.
  2. In a large saucepan, melt 1/2 cup butter. Remove from heat, and stir in sugar, eggs, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat in 1/3 cup cocoa, 1/2 cup flour, salt, and baking powder. Spread batter into prepared pan.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Do not overcook.
  4. To Make Frosting: Combine 3 tablespoons butter, 3 tablespoons cocoa, 1 tablespoon honey, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and 1 cup confectioners’ sugar. Frost brownies while they are still warm.

Nutritional Information

Amount Per Serving  Calories: 183 | Total Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 47mg

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Best Steak Marinade in Existence

 

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 3 tablespoons dried basil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons dried parsley flakes
  • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon dried minced garlic (optional)

Directions

  1. Place the soy sauce, olive oil, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, basil, parsley, and pepper in a blender. Add hot pepper sauce and garlic, if desired. Blend on high speed for 30 seconds until thoroughly mixed.
  2. Pour marinade over desired type of meat. Cover, and refrigerate for up to 8 hours. Cook meat as desired.

Nutritional Information

Amount Per Serving  Calories: 145 | Total Fat: 13.6g | Cholesterol: 0mg

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Ingredients

  • 4 cups sweet potato, cubed
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Put sweet potatoes in a medium saucepan with water to cover. Cook over medium high heat until tender; drain and mash.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the sweet potatoes, white sugar, eggs, salt, butter, milk and vanilla extract. Mix until smooth. Transfer to a 9×13 inch baking dish.
  3. In medium bowl, mix the brown sugar and flour. Cut in the butter until the mixture is coarse. Stir in the pecans. Sprinkle the mixture over the sweet potato mixture.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven 30 minutes, or until the topping is lightly brown.

 

Nutritional Information

Amount Per Serving  Calories: 226 | Total Fat: 11.1g | Cholesterol: 54mg

 

 

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Alfredo Sauce

 

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Directions

  1. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium low heat. Add cream and simmer for 5 minutes, then add garlic and cheese and whisk quickly, heating through. Stir in parsley and serve.

What to Drink?

Wine Chardonnay

 

 

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No Bake Cookies

 

 

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups white sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
  • 3 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, milk, butter, and cocoa. Bring to a boil, and cook for 1 1/2 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in peanut butter, oats, and vanilla. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto wax paper. Let cool until hardened.

 

Nutritional Information

Amount Per Serving  Calories: 110 | Total Fat: 4.9g | Cholesterol: 7mg

 

 

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Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons hot water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Cream together the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Dissolve baking soda in hot water. Add to batter along with salt. Stir in flour, chocolate chips, and nuts. Drop by large spoonfuls onto ungreased pans.
  3. Bake for about 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges are nicely browned.

 

Nutritional Information

Amount Per Serving  Calories: 266 | Total Fat: 12.4g | Cholesterol: 38mg

 

 

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Ultimate Twice Baked Potatoes

 

Ingredients

  • 4 large baking potatoes
  • 8 slices bacon
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
  • 8 green onions, sliced, divided

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Bake potatoes in preheated oven for 1 hour.
  3. Meanwhile, place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble and set aside.
  4. When potatoes are done allow them to cool for 10 minutes. Slice potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop the flesh into a large bowl; save skins. To the potato flesh add sour cream, milk, butter, salt, pepper, 1/2 cup cheese and 1/2 the green onions. Mix with a hand mixer until well blended and creamy. Spoon the mixture into the potato skins. Top each with remaining cheese, green onions and bacon.
  5. Bake for another 15 minutes.

 

Nutritional Information

Amount Per Serving  Calories: 422 | Total Fat: 29.5g | Cholesterol: 63mg

 

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Chicken Marsala

 

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour for coating
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves – pounded 1/4 inch thick
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup Marsala wine
  • 1/4 cup cooking sherry

Directions

  1. In a shallow dish or bowl, mix together the flour, salt, pepper and oregano. Coat chicken pieces in flour mixture.
  2. In a large skillet, melt butter in oil over medium heat. Place chicken in the pan, and lightly brown. Turn over chicken pieces, and add mushrooms. Pour in wine and sherry. Cover skillet; simmer chicken 10 minutes, turning once, until no longer pink and juices run clear.

 

Nutritional Information

 

 

 

Amount Per Serving  Calories: 448 | Total Fat: 26.6g | Cholesterol: 99mg

What to Drink?

Wine sangiovese
Cocktail Negroni Cocktail II

 

 

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Basic Crepes

 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted

Directions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and the eggs. Gradually add in the milk and water, stirring to combine. Add the salt and butter; beat until smooth.
  2. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each crepe. Tilt the pan with a circular motion so that the batter coats the surface evenly.
  3. Cook the crepe for about 2 minutes, until the bottom is light brown. Loosen with a spatula, turn and cook the other side. Serve hot.

 

Nutritional Information

Amount Per Serving  Calories: 216 | Total Fat: 9.2g | Cholesterol: 123m

More recipes at AllRecipes.com

 

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