Thursday, December 1, 2016

Blue Apron Recipe Review Baked Campanelle Pasta


Happy Day it is here.  My first Blue Apron delivery.  I am so excited.
I received 2 recipes with all the ingredients delivered right to my front door.  If I had any questions about the ingredients or how to handle or prepare them I could go on their site for a quick tutorial.
First up, Baked Campanelle Pasta with Cauliflower and Fontina Cheese...Sounds good.
I studied the recipe and gathered my ingredients...

Preheat the oven to 475°F. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Heat a large pot of salted water to boiling on high. Cut out and discard the cauliflower core; cut the head into bite-sized florets. Peel and small dice the onion. Peel and roughly chop the garlic. Small dice the Fontina cheese (discarding any rind). Pick the rosemary leaves off the stems; discard the stems and finely chop the leaves.
Add the pasta to the pot of boiling water and cook 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Reserving 1½ cups of the pasta cooking water, drain thoroughly and transfer to a large bowl. Wipe out the pot.
While the pasta cooks, in a large, high-sided pan (or pot), heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the cauliflower and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 4 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add the onion and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 4 minutes, or until softened and fragrant. Add ½ cup of water; cook, stirring occasionally, 7 to 9 minutes, or until the water has cooked off. Turn off the heat; season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to the bowl of cooked pasta.
While the vegetables cook, in the pot used to cook the pasta, heat the butter on medium-high until melted. Add the flour and cook, stirring frequently, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until thoroughly combined. Slowly whisk in the milk and reserved pasta cooking water; cook, whisking frequently, 2 to 3 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Add ¾ of the Fontina cheese and up to half the rosemary; cook, whisking frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until thickened and thoroughly combined. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Transfer the Mornay sauce to the bowl of cooked pasta and vegetables.Toss to thoroughly coat and season with salt and pepper to taste; transfer to a baking dish. Top with the breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese,remaining Fontina cheese and as much of the remaining rosemary as you’d like; season with salt and pepper.
It was fun to use all the new ingredients.  I learned the best way to cut my cauliflower and and to chop my garlic.  I read about Campanelle Pasta and Fontina cheese.  What fun...


So what was the end result?

Yummy creamy goodness with a crunchy top.  It was very good.  I would give it a 9/10 on my cooking scale.  As far as leftovers.  It was a bit dry, but just add a touch of milk and the creamy goodness returns.
I can't wait for my next Blue Apron meal to arrive.
Happy cooking!
KathieyV:-)

Thursday, November 3, 2016

NC Wines...Cloer Family Vineyards Apex NC

Cindy and I decided to check a local winery, Cloer Family Vineyards in Apex NC.  We went with a meetup group that we are members of.  What a fun afternoon of wine, music and friendly folks.

Here is what they say on the website...

"When you visit Cloer Family Vineyards, you will be welcomed by a member of the Cloer family. We love growing the grapes and making the wines, but we also enjoy meeting the people who come to our winery and buy our products. Our goal is to ensure everyone who visits our vineyard feels at home. That means no stress and no pressure – just friendly folks enjoying a common interest."

I found that to be true.  We were warmly welcomed and and did feel right at home:-)

We enjoyed a wine tasting and sampled all of their wines.  As we sipped we listened to the history of this winery and information regarding their wines.  Yummy and informative!
We took a walk around the property...
 Furry Friends...

Lovely Vineyards



I did buy a bottle of their Riesling.  It did not last long in my house:-)
Check out their website for events and tastings.  I recommend you visit.
Happy Wine Tasting
Kathiey

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

What in the world is Marsala Wine?

I found a recipe I wanted to try,  Chicken Marsala from All Recipes Magazine.  I love wine but have zero knowledge of Marsala Wine.  I consulted Google...
Marsala is a wine, dry or sweet, produced in the region surrounding the Italian city of Marsala in Sicily. 
While the city's natives sometimes drink "vintage" Marsala, the wine produced for export is universally fortified similar to Port, Madeira and Sherry. Originally, this addition of alcohol was to ensure that it would last on long ocean voyages, but now it is made that way because of its popularity in foreign markets.

Marsala wine is frequently used in cooking, and is especially prevalent in dishes served in Italian restaurants in the United States. A typical Marsala sauce, for example, involves reducing the wine almost to a syrup with onions or shallots, then adding mushrooms and herbs. One of the most popular Marsala recipes is chicken marsala, in which flour-coated pounded chicken breast halves are braised in a mixture of Marsala, butter, olive oil, mushrooms, and spices. Marsala is also used in some risotto recipes, and to produce rich Italian desserts such as zabaglionetiramisu and shortcake.
Wikipedia

I was not sure if I should use Marsala specifically for cooking or just grab a bottle of Marsala wine.  I still don't know the answer to that.  I used the cooking wine based on the suggestion of the store clerk.
My finished product.....








Yummy dinner.  You can find the recipe on an earlier blog post of mine.  Chicken Marsala ll from All Recipes Magazine.  
The wine above is one of my favorites.  No, it is not Marsala but I think next time I go to the store I will pick up a bottle to add to my wine rack:-)
Happy Cooking and Wine Tasting Everyone!
KathieyV:-)

Recipe Review...Chicken Marsala ll from All Recipes Magazine

What is on the menu today?  Chicken Marsala from All Recipes Magazine.


Chicken Marsala II

  • Prep
  • Cook
  • Ready In
Recipe By:CMITCHEL97
"Flour coated chicken sauteed with a mushroom and Marsala wine sauce. Mmmm, rich Marsala sauce, tender chicken - this recipe is sure to please! Great served with rice and veggies, if desired."

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup butter, divided
  • 2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
 
  • 1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken meat - cut into 12 pieces
  • 2 slices bacon, diced
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup dry Marsala wine
 

Directions

  1. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a medium skillet. Saute mushrooms until soft, remove from skillet and place in a small, covered bowl.
  2. Mix flour, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a shallow dish or bowl. Dredge chicken in flour mixture. Place bacon in same skillet and cook over low heat until cooked but not crisp. Add 2 tablespoons butter to skillet and saute coated chicken over medium heat for 2 minutes each side, adding remaining butter as needed to prevent burning.
  3. Place chicken on a dish, cover and keep warm. In a medium bowl, slowly add water to cornstarch and mix together, then mix in wine. Pour liquid mixture into skillet, together with reserved mushrooms. Heat until mixture begins to boil and thickens, then pour over warm chicken and serve
I studied the recipe and gathered my ingredients...






As I was looking over the menu I realized I did not know any thing about Marsala wine.  Check out my next blog post on "What in the World is Marsala Wine?"
So what is my rating of this recipe.  I would give it an 8.5/10.  It is really good.  I would double the sauce and the mushrooms.  The chicken breasts I used were a bit thick and took much longer to cook then the recipe called for.  All in all a really good recipe.
Happy Cooking and Wine Tasting Everyone!
KathieyV:-)

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:-)