I was extremely intimidated the first time I attended a wine tasting. Everything from how it actually works (when exactly is it appropriate to squeeze yourself between people crowded around that tiny bar?), to nodding in ignorant agreement to everything the sommelier says, to pretending as if I can tell the difference between the wines, to what-the-heck-is-a-sommelier anyway?
While wine is a complex and varied topic that can take anywhere from years to a lifetime to get a grasp of, there are a few basic tips about wine and wine tasting that can help you to follow a conversation about wine and maybe even confidently contribute. But more importantly, they’ll help you discover what your own tastes are so next time you’re staring at 87 different bottles of merlot at Trader Joe’s, you’ll be able to make an educated decision on your purchase.
So, today we’re going to talk about Wine 101 — what’s the difference between different types of reds and whites? What are some of the basic key words you need to understand? Then, next week stay tuned for part 2 in the series — “The Five S’s of Wine Tasting”.
So, what are the basics you need to know about wine to keep up with that friend who goes to Napa every year, or at least to not have to pretend at that wine tasting? Here’s a quick Wine 101 based on what I find useful in my wine conversing, tasting, and enjoying. At this point in the discussion I am going to focus primarily on American grape varietals for reference. In future posts we’ll talk more about wines from around the globe.
Yesterday morning I woke up and was surprised by snow blanketing the ground in Kansas City. It was breathtaking. But to be honest, I think I was more surprised by the surprise!
I think it has literally been a decade since I woke up to a completely unexpected snowfall, probably because everything from my phone to my computer to my car to the buzz around friends is always alerting the world to even the “slightest” chance of flurries. But not this week. Somehow snow snuck up on Kansas City, and for at least a brief little moment, I felt like a kid waking up on Christmas. Pure delight. (I didn’t even complain about the cold!!) :)
So since snow and a big bowl of comforting soup are pretty much a “given” combo in my book, I decided to heat up some delicious Ham & Cabbage Soup leftovers I had from creating this recipe for the Cooking For Comfort ECookbook with the National Pork Board. This soup is one of my longtime favorites, mostly because it is made with wonderfully flavorful homemade ham broth (my favorite!), and it is a breeze to throw together. I literally make it at least once a month in the winter, and always freeze the leftovers because it makes a nice big batch, which turns out perfect on chilly snow days that call for comfort food.
We are actually also giving away 10 copies of copies of the Cooking For Comfort ECookbook today on the blog too! So read below for the recipe, and also be sure to enter the giveaway to win a copy for you and a friend!
One of the questions I am most asked as a food blogger is what my recommendations are for desserts to serve at an event. You know, those crowd-pleasing, guaranteed-to-disappear-quickly, everyone-asks-you-for-the-recipe, “winning” sort of recipes? Well, when it comes to dessert, I’ve learned that you pretty much can’t go wrong with anything chocolate and peanut butter. I don’t know what it is, but people lose their mind over all things chocolate peanut butter!! Just say those magic words, and the world is your oyster. Well, your oyster if it’s filled with chocolate and peanut butter. :)
So get ready to lose your mind today, because this fantastic Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes recipe has officially arrived on the blog.
I know, I know. There’s another name that Americans give this day of the year, that rhymes with Aack Iday. But I can think of about a million other things I would rather be doing today than waking up at the crack of dawn for “doorbusters”, fighting through crowds, watching people push and shove, standing in line after line, and frankly, buying way too much stuff that I don’t need.
With baking season in full swing now, I have been getting lots of emails and comments from you wonderful readers asking about pie recipes (and requesting more!). So I thought it would be fun to create a huge roundup of some of my favorite bloggers’ amazing pie recipes as a little reference point. I was going to keep the list short, but the more I started poking around my friends’ blogs, the more mouthwatering recipes I had to share.
Alright folks! This recipe marks my second round of McCormick’s Go 4 Gourmet challenge, in which McCormick presents you with 4 ingredients and challenges you to see what deliciousness can result. As I mentioned with my chorizo and brussels sprouts soup recipe last month, it’s all very “Chopped”-esque, which I love.
I also happened to love this month’s 4 ingredients — ground ginger, veggie broth, shiitake mushrooms and fresh kale.