Friday, April 1, 2011

A glass full of cake!

I bought a yummy little cake mix, *Betty Crocker Spring Party Chip mix and frosting. I bought it because it looked so bright and sunny. I decided to bake it today...and well what could go better with a bright and cheery cake mix than a bright and cheery wine… Tonight was one of my very favorite vineyards, Cupcake. The flavor: Shiraz. The meal; Grilled London Broil with my creamy horseradish sauce, boiled teeny tiny potatoes with butter and bacon, balsamic brussel sprouts, sugar snap peas and aunt Joyce’s homemade bread. The result; PURE HAPPINESS!

this looks like spring to me!

First of all, if you’ve never tried a Cupcake Vineyard wine…go out and get one right now. Seriously they are wonderful! At $8.99 a bottle you can’t lose.
Ok here’s the educational part:
Shiraz and Syrah are basically the same grape, dark-skinned, grown throughout the world and used primarily to produce powerful red wines. Syrah seems to be the French, European or U.S. version while Shiraz is the Australian, South African or Canadian version.
Here’s the part you care about:
Cupcake Shiraz is tasty…I can sip, gulp, chug or bathe in this stuff! It’s smooth; it’s fruity and chocolaty too. It went perfect with dinner right down to the cake that started it all!
Give it a try and let me know what you think.
the sawyer's all gathered around the table
Husband Ratings (for those in a hurry)
With the dinner? what’s a word for good but better than that?  
By itself? same 

**Toss split fresh brussel sprouts in balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt pepper and agave nectar. Bake flat side down @ 400 for 10 minutes,

“steak” sauce**:
A couple spoonfuls of sour cream
1 tbsp horseradish
½ tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp Worcestershire
Slat & pepper to taste

Whisk together and serve chilled

**No nutritional info tonight as it varies per your choice of ingredients
*The cake was my inspiration for the meal, I added a box cheesecake flavored instant pudding to the mix and substituted the water in the recipe with heavy cream.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Verdict on Vinho Verde...and Seafood Stew.

Last night I had a wine that I normally LOVE, Trader Joe’s Espiral Vinho Verde. So much so that I keep it on hand always and do not feel the least bit bad about going through two bottles in one night, with my husband or a good friend by my side of course.
What I know about the wine:
  • It’s light and fizzy. Think featherweight champagne!
  • Drink it fully chilled. If there’s no time for that a coupleof ice cubes won’t hurt (I warned you in my first post that I am by NO means a wine snob!). Plus it's a tall bottle that won't fit upright in most refrigerators.
  • It’s slightly tart, not overly sweet. I don’t care for sweet wines generally but this is a bit “drier” than I normally drink.
  • It is an out and out perfect summertime wine! I actually love to drink it when it’s cold to remind me of the summer weather to come.
  • It costs $3.99!!!!! Holy Cow, there were some mean reviews online about this poor fella. But my thought on that is: What the hell did you expect from a 4 dollar bottle of wine? Drink more, it’ll taste better!

What I learned online:
  • It is comes from Portugal, somewhere in the Northern region.
  • It should be drunk in the year after its harvest. So in 2011 we should be drinking a 2010 vintage.
  • It’s naturally low in alcohol. This fact has me rethinking how much I love it as well as the sharing part!

Going back to my initial statement, I normally love this wine. However, last night it was not as pleasing for me as usual. The problem was the meal I served it with. You used to always hear, white with fish and chicken, red with beef and so on (I know this is not the norm of today). Last night I made the most delicious and easy Seafood Stew (recipe to follow) that went horribly with this wine. Not only that, it then turned around and made my stew taste weird! It was very disheartening. But then I got to thinking…”I’ll drink water with dinner. Why throw the baby out with the bath water right?” If you love two things dearly that are wonderful on their own but not so great together…Just do your best to keep them apart and enjoy their company separately whenever you can.

Husband One Word Ratings (for those in a hurry)
With the stew? Budweiser   By itself? OK 

Seafood Stew
Makes 4-6 servings

4 small to medium potatoes peeled and evenly diced
2 stalks of diced Celery
1/ 2 Yellow Onion, cut into medium pieces
32 oz carton Chicken Broth
32 oz Water (refill the stock carton)
1 pound of Cod, frozen or fresh cut in to 1 inch cubes
1/2 pound (or more) 31-40 shrimp peeled, cleaned and cut in half
8 oz Half & Half
1 TBSP Old Bay seasoning
1 Tsp Garlic Powder
Pepper to taste (I like a lot)
Salt to taste

In a stock pot, bring the stock and water to a boil. Add Old Bay and garlic powder. Add potatoes, celery and onions. Cook until potatoes are just fork tender, about 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium low. Add the cod, shrimp and cream. Let cook at low heat for about 5 minutes more until the shrimp is pink and the cod is cooked through. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with cornbread and anything but Vinho Verde!

**I would normally add some lump crabmeat (about 4-6 ounces) during the last couple minutes of cooking, but didn’t have any on hand. Feel free to change up the amounts on the fish and type- as long as it is a thick white fish you’ll be fine.
*** By request I will start including nutritional info- approximate and for informational purposes only.
***  Total Calories 1409
        Carbs 156
        Fat 124
        Protien 138
***   Per Serving (5)
        Calories 282
        Carbs 31
        Fat 5
        Protien 28

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Please...Let Me Explain!

Okay, just to explain so that we all get off to a good start; the title of this blog implies that I am “Drunk Daily”. This is not the case- quit your snickering! However, it is meant to imply that I will do my best to sit down once a week and introduce you to a tasty wine that you might enjoy. This blog will be about the sort of wine that is meant to be drunk daily, on a non special event basis. It will cost (preferably) under $10.00 and will also make a great showing at a dinner party. Along the way I intend to throw in a recipe or 2 and some meal ideas as well as reviews.

I would like to encourage responses on my input as I am not a wine connoisseur. More so a mother, wife and secretary who happens to REALLY enjoy red wine and chocolate and honestly cannot tell the difference between a $75.00 bottle of Limited Release Cabernet Franc and a $3.99 bottle of Trader Joe’s Pinot Noir. Please feel free to comment on everything from the wine choices to the pictures that accompany them along the way. It would be wonderful to have guest writers as well. I would truly love for this to be an interactive experience for us all.
With that said, let’s get on with the show……