Wine Tasting Party

I love wine. I love the food that compliments wine. I love wine culture. I love that my husband loves wine. I love that wine reminds me of Paris.

During winter break Stephen and I went to quite a few wine tastings. I adore the atmosphere and new information I learn. However, I don’t love the lack of community or silliness that is often left out of tastings. This absense got me thinking and I was inspired to fix this gap!

The solution: a wine tasting party! This past weekend my friends and I gathered to enjoy our favorite wines and hang out.

yay for hosting!

yay for hosting!

The rules were as follows: everyone bring their favorite wine for submission. Each submission would be ranked and the wine with the highest rating “won.”

submission cards

submission cards

This protocol was hard to follow as you can imagine. The winner was instead determined by which bottle had the least amount of wine left. Stephen’s selection won 🙂 The prize was…well…. camaraderie and shenanigans.

7 submissions total.. all were welcomed!

7 submissions total.. all were welcomed!

Image (14)

Let the tasting begin!

In addition to having a ton of wine, we also had a lot of food. I haven’t had the chance to cook recently because of my schedule so the idea of preparing for a whole party thrilled me!

The Menu:

Cheese Plate:

Image (11)

Sweet Pears (recipe below)
Brie
Blue Cheese
Garlic and Herb Goat
Compt
Grapes
Dried Figs
Unsulfered Apricots
Crostinis

slice unripe pear, sprinkle sugar on top, place in oven at 200 for 1 hour and serve

slice unripe pear, sprinkle sugar on top, place in oven at 200 for 1 hour and serve

Finger Foods:

the spread

the spread

Chocolate Dipped Dates
Goat Cheese and Thyme Stuffed Dates
Brie and Cranberry Stuffed Dates
Red Pepper, Artichoke, and Olive Bruchetta
Stuffed Mushrooms
Caprese Kabobs
Chocolate Covered Strawberries
Rosemary and Thyme Crackers
Melba Toasts
Edamame Crackers (gluten free)

Stuffed with: chopped tomatoes, red pepper, black olives, basil and topped with mozzarella

Stuffed with: chopped tomatoes, red pepper, black olives, basil and topped with mozzarella

sprinkle with balsamic

sprinkle with balsamic

slice dates, stuff with blended goat cheese and thyme, top with pecan

slice dates, stuff with blended goat cheese and thyme, top with pecan

We had some fine submissions and attendants! Clearly we all took the process very seriously (note the sarcasm).

Stevi's sophisticated judging: "do not pair with gum"

Stevi’s sophisticated judging: “do not pair with gum”

Kendra advocated for the white wines

Kendra advocated for the white wines

decisions

decisions

these two.

these two.

It was a great party and I want to do it again! I can’t wait for a summer themed wine party… I dream big!

Advertisements

Holiday Left Overs Done Right

Do you have random amounts of left overs from the holidays? We do and the random odds and ends can be annoying. Last year we discovered the PERFECT way to remedy this situation… Stuffing Quesadillas.

First I have to say that I LOVE STUFFING. My entire life I thought it was gross and I think that’s because it was always a boxed brand that required chicken broth. I no longer have such ill feelings towards this holiday treat. During Thanksgiving I made stuffing from scratch and it was yummy, however the best stuffing ever comes from a bag. I am referencing the cranberry stuffing from Wholefoods. I don’t know what it is about this stuff but HOT DANG… its so good.

stuffing_mixFor Christmas I prepared a 4 course meal. We did not eat this meal though. Late Monday evening we were asked to join friends for Indian food and Jewish shenanigans. We took the offer and put all of the food in the fridge. I was okay with this choice because I did’t put a ton of effort into dinner.

One of the dishes I had prepared for us to eat was the 365 stuffing. I did not use all of the recommended butter and I added Seitan strips to the mixture. The directions on the bag call for the mixture to soak in butter and water. During this process I placed the seitan in the pot so that it would also soak up the flavors.

I took pictures of the finished product however they were accidentally deleted. You must trust that these are delicious!

Leftover Stuffing Quesadilla

Ingredients:

  • 2 tortillas (if you are trying to watch your diet I recommend 1 “roll up” for 90 calories)
  • 1/3 c of part skim mozzarella OR brie if available *Ideally you just use whatever cheese you have leftover, however these two compliment the stuffing well
  • Leftover gravy (we made cremini mushroom gravy)

Directions:

1. Spray non stick pan with organic PAM or butter lightly.

2. Heat pan on medium heat and place assembled quesadilla into pan.

3. Brown both sides of tortilla until crispy.

4. Re-heat gravy while quesadilla cookies

5. Remove tortillas, cut into forths and serve with gravy.

Now that those leftovers have been eatten, clean out the fridge and cleanse yourself of all of the holiday treats (that’s what I am trying to do!).