Friday, February 9, 2018

Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars Chase Creek Cabernet Sauvignon 2012, Napa Valley, CA - $125


This Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars Chase Creek Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 is a winery exclusive which we received in a wine club shipment a couple of years ago. It retails for $125 at the winery.

This is the first time we’ve opened a bottle of Chase Creek, and it did not disappoint. Dark cocoa and soft tannins are a hallmark of the Cabernet Sauvignon this winery produces. Truly lovely!

Robert Biale Vineyards Black Chicken Zinfandel 2015, Napa Valley, CA


This Black Chicken 2015 Zinfandel from Robert Viale is so tasty! 

Luscious with dark, jammy fruit and no discernible tannins, it provided smooth and easy-drinking accompaniment to my Spaghettini Ortolano (need to tweak this pasta recipe before posting). 

What a special gift from my sweet friend, EP!

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Bishop’s Peak Cabernet Sauvignon 2015, Paso Robles, CA - $15


This Bishop’s Peak Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 is wonderful, with dark fruits and moderate tannins.

This is such a value at $15 per bottle at Costco. I’m going back for more!

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Yogurt-Zucchini Bread - Recipe

I made this wonderful Yogurt-Zucchini Bread for Mom's birthday brunch. I found the original recipe at Food and Wine, but made my own adjustments (I don't like nuts in bread). Here is my version of the recipe:

  • 1 cup organic all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup organic whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon organic sea salt
  • 3/4 cup organic brown sugar
  • 2 large organic brown eggs
  • 1/2 cup organic extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup fat-free plain organic Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup coarsely grated organic zucchini (about 1 medium zucchini)

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°. Oil and flour a 9-by-4 1/2-inch metal loaf pan, or use a silicon loaf pan. 
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder, baking soda and salt. 
  3. In a medium bowl, mix the sugar with the eggs, EVOO, yogurt, and zucchini. 
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until the batter is evenly moistened. 
  5. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 1 hour and 10 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 
  6. Let the loaf cool on a rack for 30 minutes before removing from the mold, cutting, and serving.
  7. The zucchini bread can be wrapped in plastic and kept at room temperature for up to 4 days, or frozen up to 1 month.


Baked Eggs with Chorizo and Potatoes - Recipe

I originally found this fabulous Baked Eggs with Chorizo and Potatoes recipe at Food and Wine, and made it for Mom's birthday brunch. Of course I made a few adjustments - my version is below.

  • 2 pounds organic Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed and chopped into 3/4 inch pieces
  • 1 large organic onion, chopped
  • organic extra-virgin olive oil
  • organic sea salt and freshly-ground pepper to taste
  • 1.5 pounds fresh chorizo, casings removed (or vegetarian chorizo - I used the one from Trader Joe's)
  • 8 large organic brown eggs
  • organic whole wheat toast and hot sauce, for serving

  1. Preheat the oven to 450°. Toss the potatoes and onions with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast the mixture for 25 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a 12-inch cast-iron or stainless steel skillet and add EVOO. Cook the chorizo over moderate heat, breaking it up with a wooden spoon until cooked through and lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Scrape the chorizo into a bowl.
  3. Add EVOO and the potatoes to the skillet and top with chorizo. Using a ladle, make 8 indentations in the potato-chorizo mixture about 1 inch apart, and crack an egg into each one. 
  4. Bake the skillet in the middle of the oven for about 12 minutes, or until the egg whites are just set but the yolks are still runny. 
  5. Serve at once with toast and hot sauce.


Friday, January 26, 2018

Braised Chicken with Tomatoes and Olives - Recipe

Sorry about the photo - I completely forgot to take one before everyone gobbled this up! Here's the lone piece I was able to save for hubby's lunch tomorrow!

I've made a similar dish before, but I really enjoyed this recipe from the New York Times. Of course I made adjustments. Here is my version:

Serves: 5-6 people
Time: 1.5 hours

  • 2 tablespoons organic extra virgin olive oil
  • approximately 3 pounds of chicken (I use a combination of boneless skinless breast and thigh meat)
  • Organic sea salt and freshly ground black peppercorns, to taste
  • 2 medium organice onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves organic garlic, minced
  • 1 28-ounce can organic diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1 cup organic homemade chicken stock
  • 1 cup organic Kalamata olives, pitted
  • 1 t dried thyme
  • Put the oil in a large, deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. 
  • Add the chicken and sprinkle with salt and pepper
  • Cook undisturbed, adjusting the heat so the chicken doesn’t burn, until the pieces are browned on the bottom and release easily from the skillet, 5 to 10 minutes. 
  • Continue cooking, turning the chicken every few minutes, until brown all over, 5 to 10 minutes more. Remove the chicken from the pan.
  • Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 3 to 5 minutes. 
  • Add the garlic and tomatoes, and cook until the mixture starts to bubble and the tomatoes thicken slightly, 2 to 3 minutes. 
  • Stir in the broth and let the mixture bubble for another 2 minutes.
  • Add the olives and thyme, and return the chicken to the skillet, nestling the pieces into the sauce. 
  • Adjust the heat so the liquid bubbles gently but steadily, then cover the skillet. 
  • Cook, turning the chicken every 10 minutes or so and adding a splash of stock or water if the sauce looks too dry, until the chicken is tender and cooked through, 20 to 30 minutes (an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh should read 155 to 165). 
  • Taste the sauce, and adjust the seasoning, and serve.

Note: Ciabatta bread goes so nicely with this!


Sunday, January 21, 2018

Educated Guess Pinot Noir Rosé 2016, Napa Valley, CA - $12


This Educated Guess Pinot Noir Rosé 2016 is great! Light and dry with no bitter aftertaste. Really like it, and such a great bargain at only $12 a bottle at Trader Joe’s.

Had it with Veggie Fajitas. I'll post the recipe soon!

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Averaen Pinot Noir 2016, Willamette Valley, Oregon - $16


This Averaen Pinot Noir 2016 is lovely, just like its label. Fresh fruit, not too acidic, with a nice, dry finish. I purchased this for $16 a bottle at Costco. 

Will definitely buy again!

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Hazaña Viñas Viejas 2014, Rioja, Spain - $8


This Hazaña Viñas Viejas 2014 Tempranillo blend is such a steal at just $8 per bottle - thank you, Costco! It’s fairly rich with medium body and soft tannins at the end. I love that I don’t taste the barrel at all.

And yes, I know this isn't a red wine glass, but I love my new coupe from Crate and Barrel, so I'm using it. Don't judge!

Yum - time to get more of this wine!

Kirkland Pinot Noir 2015, Willamette Valley, OR - $15


This Kirkland Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2015 is wonderful - smooth and dry without the sting of a highly acid wine. Hubby described it as “buttery” even though I would not. It’s heavier-bodied than the average Pinot Noir, with a dry finish, crisp minerality, and moderate tannins.

I really love this wine! I purchased it at Costco for $15 a bottle. Yum!