Category Archives: Wine

Date Night Recipe

I feel like I have not seen the inside of my house since Thanksgiving. This is not entirely true, but it feels that way. I travel a lot with my job and I am pretty sure we have had “holiday” events every other day since Thanksgiving. Which I love. However, I do miss my house, reality tv and pajamas.

We are now constantly busy with shopping, Christmas concerts, and work -related holiday celebrations, so when we finally didn’t have plans this Monday (woo hoo!) I decided it was time for a date night – in the living room!

I wanted to make it seem fancy and special but had no intention of going out to a restaurant with all the people and noise (I know I sound like I am 80!). So I made a quick menu that was special but so easy, lit some candles and cranked on the music…. Oh and we let the wine flow freely!

Edamame Appetizer

Ingredients

shelled soy beans (edamame)
feta cheese
salt to taste

Directions

I use frozen shelled edamame 100% of the time. There are a lot of reasons to go frozen, but obviously if you can find and want to use fresh go for it! I like to have edamame on hand, so having some in the freezer at all times is ideal. Plus the convenience of simply having to cut the bag open is great AND the nutritional value is supposed to be higher in frozen veggies than fresh in the produce section of the store.

Toss the edamame in boiling water with salt, for about 3-4 minutes. Drain them and rinse with cool water to stop the cooking process. Put in a fancy dish and sprinkle salt and feta cheese on top. The heat from the freshly cooked beans heats up the cheese and softens it, soooo yummy! I like my edamame really salty, but do whatever you prefer here – you don’t need the salt.

Scallops, Spinach Salad, and Balsamic Dressing

Homemade dressing is my favorite; I love being able to make the type of dressing I want right before eating and it tastes better. If you want to make your own dressings always keep the basics on hand: vinegar, oil, lemons (or lemon juice), garlic, and seasonings. I keep balsamic, red wine, white wine, and apple cider vinegar on hand at all times – you can make any dressing combo if you have these items!

Ingredients

scallops (fresh or frozen)
baby spinach leaves
goat cheese
cranberries (dried)

dressing:

balsamic vinegar
olive oil (preferably a good quality oil)
oregano
lemon juice
brown sugar
salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Heat some olive oil in a saute pan for the scallops. Be sure you rinse the scallops with water before use (even if they are frozen) and remove the extra little muscle on the side. When the oil is hot place the scallops in – and be careful! The oil may go nuts and splatter everywhere so step back! You may want to have a splatter screen ready if you own one. Do not move the scallops, you want to let them sear in the oil for about two minutes on each side. Brown and crispy is what you are looking for.

To make the dressing you just eye ball it, I use about three parts oil to one part vinegar. Just a few squeezes of a lemon and a tablespoon of brown sugar will take some of the “tang” out. Sprinkle in your seasonings and taste before serving! Add whatever you think it needs to suite your own taste.

Sprinkle the dried cranberries and goat cheese on the spinach and drizzle the dressing over top. Serve alongside the scallops. Enjoy!

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Wine, Sweet Wine.

I have an obsession with dessert wines. I fall head over heels for a sweet wine over a dry wine every time. I have found cheap plenty of cheap moscato varieties that I adore, but my true love? Ice wine.

We bought a case of wine (for the discount!) a few months ago and I got to pick half of the bottles myself. I had to get an ice wine. Yes it was a tiny bottle and more pricey than I would normally pay. But I love it. So I saved it for months. Every time it seemed like the right night to crack open the bottle I changed my mind. I couldn’t bear the thought of drinking that tiny bottle when the moment wasn’t right!

This week it happened. I bit the bullet and opened that sweet bottle. One word: luxurious.

Ice wine in a glass

So what is ice wine? It is a dessert wine that is made from grapes that have been frozen while still on the vine. The water in the grapes freezes allowing for the flavor to be extremely concentrated when the grape is pressed.

Cork

Why is it expensive? Ice wines can only be produced when the conditions are perfect, meaning that they are rare (in comparison to other wines). They are labor intensive to produce and can only be made in small amounts.

What to pair them with? Well, I am not expert, so I just go with my own judgement here. I am sure there are professional sommeliers that would disagree. I prefer a strong cheese with my dessert wine, but have read that rich desserts, nuts or fruit also pair well.

Jackson-Triggs Ice Wine Bottle

The bottle we drank this week is from Jackson-Triggs Winery in Canada and is very creamy and rich. It is too sweet (in my opinion) to go with a dessert. It could stand alone as your dessert or would go perfectly with a strong cheese. I suggest a Chevre – my favorite being the Three Peppercorn Chevre from Redwood Hill Farm. Chevre is goat cheese, so it is soft and tart balancing perfectly with the acidity in the ice wine.