Monday, September 5, 2016

Yes I joined a Wine Club....Winc/Club W.

I decided to join a wine club.  After all I had a wine rack to fill....:-)

I went online and studied my options. I decided on Club W.  I must admit I am a bit confused about their name because it appears they have changed it to Winc.  What ever the name I love it...
The first thing they will have you do is take a short quiz so that they can get a feel for your wine tastes.  The questions that are asked have to do with your preferences in salt, sweet, savory etc.  Some of the questions surprised me but they know what they are doing and I am a wine beginner.

Winc's story began in 2012 when we founded Club W: the world's first personalized wine club. We made the process of discovering and buying wine easier than ever — and as we expanded to other facets of the experience, we became so much more than a club.

After the quiz you are given a list of wines based on what they feel you would enjoy the most.  
You get free shipping if you choose 4 or more so I choose 4.
I was so excited to get my first shipment.   In NC you have to have an adult sign for wine so I had it shipped to a local FedEx office.  When I picked up the wine the FedEx person said this was the wine club they see come through their office the most.  Thats a good sign:-)




I have already tried one of the wines.  The Pas Ordinaire Saint-Chinian Blend.
I shared it with my girls and we all loved it.  (Blog post to follow.)
I like that each wine comes with a card that contains a description on one side 
and a recipe for pairing on the other.
On the site you can find a more in depth description and can watch a brief video on each selected wine.  What fun!!

So every month I will have the option to pass the month or order more wine.  You can order at any time.  You don't have to wait or you can do it monthly.  You can skip as many months as you like.
My goal is to learn more about wine.  To experience new wines and to learn to pair the proper food with the selected wine.  I believe this club will help me in this endeavor.
Try a new wine.
KathieyV:-)

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Restaurant Review Boheme in Durham NC

There is a new restaurant in Durham.  Their name is Boheme.  Here is how they introduce themselves on their website

"kitchen. garden. bar."

"Boheme is a family owned and operated venture by Chef Chelsea Mock.  Guided by the expertise of Chef William D’Auvray, Boheme has designed a menu that reflects the freshness of North Carolina’s offerings from farm raised vegetables, to local meat and East Coast fish.  Staying true to the design of the property at Straw Valley, the menu is a re-imagining of midcentury ideas about food combined with a modern, whimsical approach to preparation.  Boheme is an unconventional oasis offering diners an expression of flavors, art and hospitality."
Their menu...
We ordered our wine and studied the menu.  I decided on the Blue Crab Agnolotti/Parsnip Brodo and Garlic Chives.
I consulted wikipedia  for a few unfamiliar terms....
"Agnolotti [aɲoˈlɔtti] is a type of pasta typical of the Piedmont region of Italy, made with small pieces of flattened pastadough, folded over filling of roasted meat or vegetables"
Brodo, according to Google, is an Italian Broth.
It was very good.
 Erica decided on Sea Scallops/English Peas/Hazelnuts/Brown Butter/Caramel
That was delicious!  Scallops were cooked to perfection.
For dessert we shared the Creme Brûlée.  Amazing, smooth and creamy.  My favorite dish of the night:-)
 There was plenty of indoor and outdoor seating.  The service was great and the people very friendly.

We sat inside because it was such a hot summer evening.  
I think we will go back this fall and enjoy sitting outside with a glass of vino.
Get out and try a new restaurant.  If you have not been to Boheme I suggest you give it a try.  Do make a reservation because it is a popular place.
Happy Eating!
KathieyV:-)

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Recipe Review Ham and Gruyere Quiche Food Network Mag....

Erica was coming over for dinner.  I had just received a new Food Network Magazine.  What a great combination.  I scanned the recipes and chose to make the Ham and Gruyere Quiche.  It was easy and yummy.  I found the dressing to be a bit lacking in flavor so I added some sugar and then it was just the right combination of tart and sweet:-)


Ham and Gruyere Quiche
Recipe courtesy of Food Network Kitchen

Ham and Gruyere Quiche
Total Time:
40 min
Prep:
10 min
Cook:
30 min
Yield:4 servings
Level:Easy
Ingredients

6 ounces smoked ham, cut into 1/4-inch cubes (about 1 cup)
1 cup shredded gruyere cheese (about 4 ounces)
1 9 -inch pie crust, thawed if frozen
3 large eggs
1 1/4 cups half-and-half
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh chives
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 5 -ounce package mesclun greens (about 8 cups)
4 white mushrooms, very thinly sliced

Directions

Set a baking sheet on the middle oven rack; preheat to 425 degrees F. Scatter the ham and cheese in the pie crust. Whisk the eggs, half-and-half, chives, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper in a large bowl; pour into the crust. Transfer to the hot baking sheet and bake until the eggs are set and the top is lightly browned, about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk the vinegar and mustard in a large bowl. Gradually whisk in the olive oil until smooth. Add the greens and mushrooms; toss well to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Cut the quiche into wedges and serve with the salad.
Happy Eating Everyone!

KathieyV:-)

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Recipe Review Trisha Yearwood's Beef Stir-Fry from Food Network Magazine


Happy Day it is Recipe Review Time!

I had just received my new Food Network Magazine and I couldn't wait to try a new recipe.
I selected my recipe and gathered my ingredients.
I decided to go with.....


Trisha Yearwood's Beef Stir-Fry 
1 1/2 pounds skirt steak, cut into 4-inch-long pieces, then cut against the grain into 1/4-inch-thick slices
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1 serrano chile pepper, seeded and finely chopped
2 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (1 to 2 limes)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, grated
1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
6 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
1/4 pound snow peas or green beans
1 12 -ounce can baby corn, drained
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced (optional)







Directions

Season the steak with salt and pepper. In a medium bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, chile pepper, sugar and lime juice until the sugar is dissolved. Add the beef, toss to coat and set aside.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil until shimmering, about 1 minute. Add the beef and cook, stirring, until cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes.

Remove the beef from the skillet and set aside. Allow the liquid in the pan to reduce until thickened, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and scallions and cook 1 minute more. Add the mushrooms and cook for 2 to 3 minutes more. Add the snow peas, baby corn and bell pepper and continue cooking until all the vegetables are crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Return the beef to the skillet and toss to combine.

This, my friends,  is a serrano chile pepper.
I had no idea what it was.  I had to google it at the grocery store to find out what it looked like:-)  
It is there on top of the lime and the green onions.

 Now, what do I do with it???  I found a video on Youtube that helped.
I did not do a perfect job but I got the job done:-)
Prepped all my ingredients.
I like to get that complete before the cooking begins.

Cooked the beef and then slowly added the rest of the ingredients as the recipe directed.
 Erica came over to try it out.  We served it over rice with a glass of red wine.

This was really good.  I would give it an 8.5/10 on my cooking scale.  Yes, I would make it again.
The rice adds a nice touch.
If you try it let me know what you think.
Happy Eating!
Kathiey:-)

Friday, February 12, 2016

Coffee and OJ on Cereal??? Oh My!

I was reading Food Network this week and came across a blurb about cereal.  This little tidbit was on what some folks put in their cereal.  For me, it has always been milk, plain and simple.  Nice cold milk poured over your favorite cereal.  But, not everyone thinks alike.

According to the magazine 13% pour coffee over their cereal and 12% enjoy orange juice.  I don't fit in either of those categories.
That got me thinking if there are any other cereal oddities out there.  Let's consult Google.
Ice cubes in the cereal to make it colder is very common.
Almond milk rather then cows milk
Apple juice
Water
Red Wine
Egg Nog
Diet coke
Gin
I am not tempted to try any of them.  I will stick with my 2% milk.  I do like to soak my toast in my cereal.  Soggy and delicious.  Some would call that an oddity:-)
Now I am in the mood for some cereal. Oh no I am out of milk...
I could put some wine in my cereal or water.  No.  I will wait.  I am going to the grocery store today and will have milk on my list.
What do you put on your cereal?
Happy Eating!
Kathiey:-)

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Restaurant Review...Dinner at the Durham Hotel with Erica

Got a text from Erica, she wanted to go to the Durham Hotel in downtown Durham for dinner. 

Great, I thought, let's go!  Let me get my camera....

"A MID-CENTURY MODERN HOTEL IN THE HEART OF DOWNTOWN, THE DURHAM IS A VIBRANT DESTINATION, INSPIRED BY THE SPIRIT OF ITS NAMESAKE CITY."
I had wine
 Erica had Ginger Ale...It was great.

We looked over the menu and placed our order.  We decided to share the Cured Meat and Cheese Board.
CURED MEAT $18
4-year Chapel Hill country ham, pickled wild shrimp, Sam’s beef tongue, 
chicken liver pâté, pickled okra, Tin’s mustard, red onion,smoked king mackerel, everything crackers 
As I was studying the menu I realized what we thought were green beans were actually okra. 
  Not sure which was beef tongue but I believe it may be the meat in the foreground. 
Loved the pickled shrimp.

CHEESE BOARD
$12/15 
QUATTRO PORTONI Blu di Bufala 
FORMAGGI CIRESA Taleggio
BOXCARR Cottonseed 
SAINT-HILAIRE Pont l’Évêque
VIEILLE Ossau Iraty 











Looking at the names of the cheeses above I can't tell you which ones we had.  I will break our board down into layman's terms, from left to right.  Blue cheese, a type of goat cheese combo, 
apples, brie and bread:-)


"The Roof at The Durham is a year-round gathering spot for guests and locals alike, offering one-of-a-kind panoramic views of the city. Here you will find original, handcrafted cocktails, extensive wine and beer offerings and a seasonal raw bar and small kitchen menu."

We ate in the dining room on the lower level.  Erica has been to the rooftop and said the views are amazing.  We took the elevator up to take a look....



We had a very nice time at the Durham.  The food was unique and for me a new culinary experience.  
The staff was very friendly.  We felt well cared for and welcomed.
 I can't wait to try the rooftop lounge.  
Happy Travels and Adventures everyone.
KathieyV:-)

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Creamy Chicken and Mushroom Soup from Damn Delicious

I found a recipe on Pinterest that I could not wait to try.  Creamy Chicken and Mushroom Soup from a site called Damn Delicious and it was:-)

I gathered my ingredients...


Below is her recipe.  In red are my comments...
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Yield 6 servings

So cozy, so comforting and just so creamy. Best of all, this is made in 30 min from start to finish - so quick and easy! (She must be a very fast cook.  It took me far longer for the prep time..)
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 
  • 8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup half and half, or more, as needed*
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 sprig rosemary
Instructions
  • Heat olive oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper, to taste. Add chicken to the stockpot and cook until golden, about 2-3 minutes; set aside.
  • Melt butter in the stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add garlic, mushrooms, onion, carrots and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in thyme until fragrant, about 1 minute. 
  • Whisk in flour until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Whisk in chicken stock, bay leaf and chicken thighs, and cook, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened, about 4-5 minutes.
  • Stir in half and half until heated through, about 1-2 minutes; season with salt and pepper, to taste. If the soup is too thick, add more half and half as needed until desired consistency is reached.
  • Serve immediately, garnished with parsley and rosemary, if desired.


"Did you know that most of the table mushrooms we eat are all of the same variety? Its name is Agaricus bisporus, according to Wikipedia, and it includes portobello, cremini, and white button mushrooms.The Kitchn
The cremini mushroom, then, is just in between these two varieties. It's a moderately mature version of the white button mushroom, which is why it has a similar flavor. It's younger than the portobello, but still related, which is why these are sometimes sold as "baby bella" or "baby portobello" mushrooms."The Kitchn


It was a yummy soup.  I would give it a 9.5/10 on my cooking scale.  Rich and savory.  The thing that took the most time was the prep.  All the chopping and preliminary cooking to bring it all together, but it was worth it.
Happy cooking everyone!
KathieyV:-)