Saturday Sippers: Sangria

June 7, 2014

Sangria

Summertime. Hot weather. Sunny days. Blue skies. Relaxing with friends. Fresh, juicy fruits. Sitting by the water. Sipping chilled drinks. And do I have one of the best chilled drinks for you. The classic sangria. You can whip it up by the pitcher or by the cooler, depending on how big your crowd is. Sit out glasses and an ice bucket, as well as a ladle for the fruit, and you’ve got a self-serve cocktail that packs enough of a punch to enjoy, but not so much that your friends will be teeter-tottering into the pool.

The wonderful thing about sangria is there are so many options, and you can make do with whatever you have on hand. Red, white, rosé, sparkling – all make a wonderful sangria. Pick your fruit, pick your juice, pick your liqueur, and pick your soda. Balance it out with a little pre-punchbowl taste test, adding a bit more of this or that to bring a harmony to the flavors – not too sweet, not too fruity, not too alcoholic, but Goldilock’s-approved ‘just right’.

This Goldilock’s has already found her ‘just right’ however for the classic red wine sangria, so she shall share her secrets with you forthwith. (more…)

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Sunday Suppers: Lasange Verdi Alla Bolognese

January 20, 2013

Lasagne Bolnese

Continuing to build on the list of cool weather foods I intended to make this winter, I finally decided to tackle lasagne verdi, made with fresh spinach pasta and Bolognese and bechamel sauces. For many years I’ve drooled over the recipe in my Food of Italy cookbook, but it was an article in an issue of La Cucina Italiana magazine that propelled me to figure out the perfect recipe for this dish.

If I had a recipe, why the quest, you ask? Well, funny thing about the recipe in the Food of cookbook. While you could obviously see that the pasta was a spinach pasta, there was no recipe for spinach pasta in the book! A slight oversight. (more…)

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Southern Favorite with a French Twist: Soup Beans with Red Wine

October 22, 2012

French Soup Beans

At the age of 18, I moved away from Tennessee to the midwest, and I had more than my fair share of culture shocks. Most of these had to do with food. A ham biscuit at Hardee’s was made with deli ham, because no one north of Kentucky had ever heard of country ham. White Lily flour was only sold in Williams-Sonoma, and a small bag would cost you eight dollars. Barbecue was most often beef, most often ribs. And in the self-proclaimed barbecue capital of the world, being invited to a barbecue didn’t mean you were going to get smoked meat, but that you were simply grilling out some burgers and hotdogs. And soup beans… no one knew what these were. How was I to explain it? I had no other words for soup beans – they were soup beans, cooked and served with cornbread most usually. (more…)

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Wine Pairings: Brunello and Lamb

February 22, 2011

Braised Leg of Lamb with Brunello

When my husband and I were in Venice on our honeymoon, we stopped into a small restaurant for lunch just off Piazza San Marco. We were the first people in the door for lunch, and we were the last to leave, with the waiters sweeping up around us after closing up until dinner. We enjoyed many great foods that day, but the wine was what really stuck out in our head. We enjoyed a bottle of La Fiorita Brunello di Montalcino that day, and when I was at a loss for what to buy my husband for his birthday this year, I decided to stock up on this memorable wine. (more…)

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