Saturday, February 28, 2009

Don't worry...because I've got the wine!!!

One of my all time favorite movie lines is in the horseback riding scene in The Wedding Planner. After Jennifer Lopez is rescued from the runaway horse, she and Matthew McConaughey (pause and dwell on his hotness) return to the rest of the group and M.M.'s future mother-in-law exclaimes..."Don't worry...because I've got the wine!" Why this is so funny to me, I don't know. But if you ever hear me say that in random conversation, its because I love that movie and that line.

A couple of years ago my former boss invited me and my coworkers to a wine tasting that he won in an auction. It was very intruiguing and informative, and since I have enjoyed learning about different wines. I have also made several trips to Napa and Sonoma where I have toured vineyards and wineries to learn about the winemaking process. I wouldn't call myself a wine enthusiast, but definitely a wine enjoyer. I can appreciate a good glass of wine, and love sitting down with friends to open a new bottle and try different kinds.

At first I was into reds, but then switched to blushes and whites. Then I moved on to the fruity stuff for a while, and now I am back reds. There is nothing like a full-bodied, bold, rich red. I just love all of the aroma and flavors in a red! The best description I think I have ever heard was about a red that is "strapping, muscular and downright powerful, with plenty of smoky aromas!" That's how I like my men! And...that's how I like my wine!

I have to admit I am not one who is well-informed about choosing the type of wine to go with a meal. I know your basics about red with red meat and heavy fish, and white with poltry and lighter dishes. But I do take advice well, and am willing to discover and try out something someone suggests. (I miss my Fort Worth wine guy!)

From time to time I am going to start suggesting a wine to go with certain dishes I make. I am also looking for suggestions from readers. If I hear anything good, I will be sure to include it. But please, feel free to leave suggestions about your tastes and preferences.

I started my own little wine collection that I have built up over the years. It's not much, and nothing expensive is in it, but I do have sevearal really good wines that I enjoy. I keep holding on and saving them, waiting for a special maybe I will have to break those out sometime soon!

Happy cooking! Don't drink and drive!

My current holdings:

2006 Moscato D'Asti - San Silvestro (Italy)
2000 Victorian Claret - Guenoc (Northern California)
2005 Los Carneros Syrah - Cline Cellars (Sonoma, CA)
2006 Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel - Sebastiani (Sonoma, CA)
2005 Riesling - Carrick (New Zealand)

And probably one of my most favorite I have tried...

2004 Syrah - Yelcho (Chile)

Friday, February 27, 2009

Stay tuned...

One of my goals this weekend is to design a logo for my blog. I also hope to start vamping up my entries and posting more frequently! (Of course, this will take time and effort on the computer.) I am inspired by one of my interns to be more intuned with online networking. Notice the twitter link on the side! You can totally follow me now! Also, look for a facebook page to come soon! (Hopefully!)

Good things are coming for this site! Stay tuned and happy cooking!

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Ultimate Bake-Off

Calling all cooks! It's time to get your best "semi-homemade" recipes ready! The Pillsbury Bake-Off is underway, and entries are due by April 20. Grand prize is a million big ones!

For more information about the contest, or to submit an entry, visit the Pillsbury Bake-Off website.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Chicken Veggie Pasta Yumminess!

I literally just make this stuff up as I go along.....
2 small chicken breasts, chopped
1/3 box whole grain/wheat penne pasta
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3/4 cup frozen mixed vegetables
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Italian seasoning (to taste)

Boil water for pasta. In a large skillet, cook chicken in olive oil until almost done (about 5 minutes). Season with Italian seasoning to taste. Add frozen vegetables and cook for about 5 more minutes. Cook pasta in boiling water for about 8 minutes. Once chicken and vegetables are cooked, add butter and minced garlic. Drain pasta and add to meat and vegetables. Stir in Parmesan cheese, and heat on medium until melted. Should be good to serve then!

Suggested sides: I love garlic cheese bread! Also good with any type of roll or salad. Since you have veggies and meat in the dish, there is really no need to do much else!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Sweet And Spicy Chex Mix

I started craving hot chex mix today. It is a favorite of my brother and his wife, and last time I was home, we scarfed down a batch in like 30 minutes! It's a great party snack, or just something for an afternoon treat!


1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 1/4 teaspoons seasoned salt
2 to 3 teaspoons red pepper sauce
**3 cups Corn Chex® cereal
**3 cups Rice Chex® cereal
3 cups Wheat Chex® cereal
1 cup mixed nuts
1 cup pretzels
1 cup bite-size cheese crackers
**I substituted a box of honey corn & rice chex to add the sweetness to it.

1. Heat oven to 250°F.
2. In ungreased large roasting pan, melt butter in oven. Stir in Worcestershire sauce, seasoned salt and pepper sauce. Gradually stir in remaining ingredients until evenly coated.
3. Bake uncovered 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Spread on paper towels to cool, about 15 minutes. Store in airtight container.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Long time no blog...

This blog has moved! it hasn't. This BLOGGER has moved! Yep...picked up and moved 2 states over in December. Life has been a crazy mess trying to get settled in a new town, a new house, and a new job. But guess what...I have a great new kitchen to try out and invent new recipes! YIPEE!!!! Stay tuned for lots of exciting yummy treats coming your way.

In the favorite potato dish is mashed sweet potatoes. Made them tonight. Yum-ee! All I did was boil a chopped sweet potato for 10 minutes, bang with a spoon, add a dash of salt, sour cream, and margarine, and wahlah! So good!

More good stuff coming soon! Happy cooking!