Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Wine Wednesday - Sancerre

This French wine from the Loire valley is now one of my favorites.

As soon as you bring the glass to your nose you get mineral and melon. It's a light wine you will enjoy with dinner and a cheese course, hard to stop at one glass its so juicy. Very affordable under $15 from Trader Joe's store in Tallahassee.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Angel Hair Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Goat Cheese

It’s time for Potluck at I ♥ Cooking Club and I am bringing a dish from Giada De Laurentiis' cookbook, Everyday Pasta.

Angel Hair Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes with Goat Cheese is an easy meal to put together. Honestly, I had it on the table in under 18 minutes and that was because the pasta took 15 minutes to boil.

I don't know why I haven't had Giada's book out in a while. As I flipped through I found quite a few recipes I would like to prepare. Since we have issues with wheat now I made a substitution from the angel hair pasta to a wheat free pasta from Tinkyada.

The sauce comes out rich and thick with minimal time on the stove top. Usually I simmer a sauce for a long time but this combo is perfect for a fast meal.

Angel Hair Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Goat Cheese
from Everyday Pasta


1 8-oz jar of sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil. (Chop the tomatoes unless you buy the julienne cut)
1 small onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
¼ cup tomato paste
1 cup dry white wine
1 pound angel hair pasta (I used Tinkyada brand)
3 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
Salt and pepper
3 to 4 ounces goat cheese (I used Ile de France)


Use roughly 3 tablespoons of the oil from the sun-dried tomatoes. Heat in a saucepan and add the onions. These will cook and get soft in 3 minutes. Add the garlic and stir for another 2 minutes or so. Add ¼ cup tomato paste and mix well. Add a cup of white wine and 8 ounces of sun-dried tomatoes. Let this simmer a bit until it reduces.

While this is simmering boil the pasta and get your table set. Once the pasta is in a bowl and sauced up, scoop out a generous helping of goat cheese and add to the pasta.

We had a small salad and a bottle of Sangiovese with this meal. Lovely pairing. This is a vegetarian meal but if you had to have some meat I’m sure some crumbled bacon or sausage would go well too. It was perfect all on it’s own though and I’m sorry to say there weren’t enough leftovers for lunch the next day.

This is my second book in the Cookbook Countdown hosted at Kitchen Flavours. Check out the other Potluck selections at IHCC.

Coming up will be some wine reviews, book talk and more on Nigel Slater.
Hope all is well in your world!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Against the Grain

I have had one of those weeks that seemed to last a month. Ok, it’s not that bad but wow, I am delighted to see the weekend arrive. We are going to have a pizza and chill out and watch a show we ordered from Netflicks.

First let me tell you about the pizza. It’s from Against the Grain and it's one of the best wheat-free pizzas we have had in a loooooong time.

Some Friday evenings past we would grab a pizza from Oscar’s, open a quaffable wine and pop a DVD in the player. It’s relaxation night. Mindless entertainment after a week of doing the Government Drone duties. It’s not quite like Azkaban but when you have a longish week, there is my comparison. So, here is the pizza which we topped with juicy tomatoes, green bell pepper, scallions, olives, mushrooms and garlic.

Served with a loaded salad and you have a substantial meal.

Since I didn’t intend this to be a long post (just a hello from Squirrel Head manor), let me give a shout out to my friend Janel. She is an author and just released her book Pies and Peril. How cool would it be to see your name on a published book? I would be over-the-moon excited!

Now I am going to shamelessly steal a theme she has on her website (Check it out HERE) to give you a snap of what’s happening here.

I am......

Reading…In The Woods (Dublin Murder Squad) by Tana French
Getting ready to watch Boardwalk Empire from Netflicks
Cooking… Pizza and salad
Writing…letters to family
Loving…My new Kindle reader
Hating…All the branches we need to pick up and drag away this weekend
Planning…A few projects I want to take on soon

I think it’s a very cool idea for mini blogging. You should copyright this meme, Janel. Apologies for stealing borrowing.

Also want to send a happy birthday wish to Jo, Welsh cook extraordinaire, and her mum Vin. Hope you ladies are enjoying all the good things France has to offer you. Lucky devils.

Ok, happy weekend all! Off to eat, drink and be merry!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Wine Wednesday - Kono Sauvignon Blanc from New` Zealand

A 2013 Kono Wine of New Zealand

This is a 2013 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, 13% alcohol volume with a harsh finish. First sips were fine but there was a certain aftertaste, hard to put my finger on it. I look forward to trying more New Zealand wines but will stock up on other whites for the hot weather.

It would do during an apocalypse when wine was scarce. Otherwise we'd would give this a pass next time we shop for wine.

Friday, August 08, 2014

What? We're out of brandy? Then I will adapt and make
Bourbon and Brown Sugar Pork Tenderloin

It was starting to look like slim pickings from our freezer as we hadn’t made a Jones Run for meats in quite a while. I spied a small pack of pork tenderloin pieces and decided to use a different recipe from the brandy and apple stand by.

You don’t need a high quality bourbon for this recipe since you’ll not be drinking the leftover marinade juices. Well….you shouldn’t drink it, I wouldn’t advise that after it’s had pork stewing in it for hours. That would be unpleasant.

Bourbon and Brown Sugar Pork Tenderloin
with a bottle of Bordeaux Chateau Blouin


1/3 cup bourbon
¼ cup brown sugar
3 TB olive oil
½ teaspoon each ground sage and pepper
1 pound of pork tenderloin


Combine all of the above in a freezer bag and marinate at least 5 hours.

Grill the pork until cooked through. Nothing simpler than that. Our tenderloin was cut into medallions and small chunks. However you decided to grill and serve it, chunked or one big piece, you won’t be disappointed in the flavor. It’s tender, it’s juicy and went with a Bordeaux extremely well.

Not a clear photo but never mind that, it was a good meal. We were fortunate enough to eat outside on the patio. One of those rare evenings when the humidity doesn't chase you in.

This Bordeaux was great with the pork but I think we'll be preparing more white or Rose wine meals. Love the reds but the summer just screams for a more refreshing wine.

Do you have favorite go-to recipes for pork? Any marinade with bourbon is great but brandy works well too.

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Wine Wednesday - 2013 Picton Bay South Island

This refreshing wine was made from grapes grown in Malborough and Nelson. Not too sweet, very quaffable and a great porch wine from New Zealand. It always surprises me that some pinots are so pale in color. Never mind that, I'll take another glass on outside now.

A bargain at Trader Joe's for under $10.

Monday, August 04, 2014

Thyme and Feta Lamb is served for
I ♥ Cooking Club

Can you believe we are in the first full week of August? This summer is buzzing by, not that I mind the advance on the calendar toward cooler weather but wow…..August already.

This is the time of year we would take our son to the school’s open house and meet his teachers and see his classroom. (That was almost 20 years ago). It’s also the time of year we would drop him at band camp loaded down with saxophone, lunch and a large jug of water. (That was just 10 years ago.)

Ok, I am getting lost in reminiscing and forgot about the fantastic lamb dinner we had. The theme this week at I Heart Cooking Clubs is Moreish – as in I want more, please, another helping for me!

From Nigel Slater’s book Kitchen Diaries I present Thyme and Feta Lamb. It’s so good you will want more. I can only eat two chops, especially with the appetizer and sides we had with this meal.

Thyme and Feta Lamb
from The Kitchen Diaries

Ingredients and method:

12 small lamb chops (I used 8 thick ones)
2 TB lemon juice
2 TB olive oil
3 garlic cloves, crushed
Approx.. 2 TB fresh thyme leaves
¼ lb. Feta cheese
Small handful of mint leaves, chopped

Place lamb chops in a small dish. Squeeze the lemon and add to olive oil and thyme. Add garlic and sea salt. Now let lamb marinate I this gooey mixture for at least one hour.

Grill the lamb (Doug grilled over a charcoal fire) and when done remove to plates. Now add a bit of thyme and feta to the hot chops.

We served the lamb chops with golden buttery potatoes, asparagus and eggplant caviar

This is my contribution to this weeks theme Moreish at I ♥ Cooking Club. Join in, it's a fun and friendly group!


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