Archive for November, 2012

30
Nov
12

Shopping for that perfect bottle of Gift Wine…

https://i0.wp.com/us.cdn3.123rf.com/168nwm/sandralise/sandralise1011/sandralise101100068/8337621-christmas-theme-with-santa-holding-magical-lights-in-hands.jpgIt is a season of hope and light at this time of the year. We (here in the United States) have concluded a bloody political season and are beginning to move on with thoughts of happy children and visions of sugar plums in our head. I’ve seen a shift from people seeking the perfect $10 bottle of wine as a hostess gift to wanting something really special for their best friends and family members.

While I pride myself in our selection of great wines, I still want to make certain you get a value for your dollar. Most of our shelf space remains under $35 per bottle of great wine. When you’re selecting a wine for a gift, I want to make a few suggestions that will help you help your wine merchant assist you in the process:

1)    Sweet wines have sugar in them and are “sticky sweet”, Dry-Fruit driven wines have a lot of fruity flavors, but are clean and fresh feeling in the mouth, and Dry-Spicy wines tend to have more oak and tannic characteristics and often are better for food pairing than as a sipping wine.

2)    Does the recipient of the gift Drink more Red, or White Wine?

3)    Do they usually drink the wine with food, or simply with a good glass?

4)    What dollar value do you want to stay beneath in your purchase per bottle?

5)    Do they have a sense of adventure, or like to stay inside the comfort zones they have established?

With those 5 simple questions, we small wine merchants can reach out and grab a couple of bottle for you to select from with a pretty good ratio of success in pleasing you and the person you’re giving that special bottle of wine to!

27
Nov
12

Flavors of the holidays!

Flavors of the holidays!

26
Nov
12

Cheese: Livingstone Gold

Livingstone Gold is a distinctive North Otago sharp flavored cheese produced in a traditional open vat. A natural additive, annatto is added to produce its golden color, inspiration for naming it Livingstone Gold after North Otagos historic Livingstone goldfields.

25
Nov
12

Recipe: Santa Bread

This recipe is relatively simple for bread, but very impressive this time of the year… have fun and enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 4 to 4-1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 raisins
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 to 3 drops red food coloring

Directions

  • In a large bowl, combine 2 cups flour, sugar, yeast and salt. In a small saucepan, heat the milk, water and butter to 120°-130°. Add to dry ingredients; beat just until moistened. Beat in the eggs until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a stiff dough.
  • Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
  • Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide into two portions, one slightly larger than the other.
  • Shape the larger portion into an elongated triangle with rounded corners for Santa’s head and hat.
  • Divide the smaller portion in half. Shape and flatten one half into a beard. Using scissors or a pizza cutter, cut into strips to within 1 in. of top. Position on Santa’s face; twist and curl strips if desired.
  • Use the remaining dough for the mustache, nose, hat pom-pom and brim. Shape a portion of dough into a mustache; flatten and cut the ends into small strips with scissors. Place above beard. Place a small ball above mustache for nose. Fold tip of hat over and add another ball for pom-pom. Roll out a narrow piece of dough to create a hat brim; position under hat.
  • With a scissors, cut two slits for eyes; insert raisins into slits. In separate small bowls, beat egg each yolk. Add red food coloring to one yolk; carefully brush over hat, nose and cheeks. Brush plain yolk over remaining dough.
  • Cover loosely with foil. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes. Uncover; bake 10-12 minutes longer or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.
24
Nov
12

How I’ve come to view the world…

23
Nov
12

Recipe: Leftover Turkey Pot Pie

Turkey Pot Pie

So, you had a great Thanksgiving Dinner and now you’re dreading a month of Turkey Sandwiches. How about instead making a Turkey Pot Pie with that leftover turkey? Sounds a lot heartier, more wholesome, and much tastier!

Not to mention this is simple, quick and kid friendly too!

 

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup chilled solid vegetable shortening

6 tablespoons ice water, or as needed

 

3 cups cubed cooked turkey

1/2 small onion, chopped

1 (10.75 ounce) can cream of potato

soup

1 (10.75 ounce) can cream of chicken

soup

1/2 (10.75 ounce) can water

2 (15 ounce) cans mixed vegetables,

drained

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Whisk together the flour and 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a bowl. Cut the shortening into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Drizzle the ice water, about 1 tablespoon at a time, over the mixture and gently work the water into the dough with your fingers. Add more water as needed until you can gather the dough together in a ball. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
3. In a saucepan, mix together the turkey, onion, cream of potato soup, cream of chicken soup, water, and mixed vegetables. Bring the mixture to a boil; reduce heat and allow the mixture to simmer while you prepare the crust.
4. Cut the dough in almost equal halves. Roll the larger piece into a circle on a floured work surface and fit into a 10-inch cast-iron skillet. Roll out the smaller piece into a circle to fit the top. Pour the hot turkey filling into the bottom crust. Place top crust over the filling, crimp the two crusts together with a fork, and cut several slits in the top with a sharp knife.
5. Bake in the preheated oven until the crust is golden brown, about 45 minutes.

 

** for a variation, you may want to eliminate the bottom crust and pipe leftover creamed potatoes for the topping.

 

**Don’t forget your wine to go with this dish, I recommend a light bodied Pinot Grigio, or Vouvray!

22
Nov
12

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today, we will only be open until 1:30pm … just in case you need that extra bottle of wine, or a great sherry to finish off that special gravy for dinner!




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