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Sunday, December 18, 2011

2011 Smith-Roberts Holiday Party Summary

What a great time!!! Thank you for sharing it with us! I’m moving very slowly today as I expect are Becky, Dan, Karen, and Stacy. Without them this party would not  be possible!

And THANK YOU for your continued support for local non-profits. We raised $1910.00 for Classrooms to Crayons. This raises our 2011 total contributions to $3,865 and our total contributions (since we started this in 2008) to $12,461.00. We really appreciate that you give what you can. Special thanks to Elizabeth Wiley and The Meadowlark Restaurant for donating the Portobello Mushrooms.

The menu is available at noumena12dining.blogspot.com. And now for the interesting part…the SUMMARY.

Attendees: 117 (at least the best I could recount this morning)
Consumed: 10 lbs of skirt steak, 9 lbs pork, 6 lbs Chocolate Almond Bark, 45 Portobello mushrooms (that’s 3 cases)

Liquor 3487.5 ml
Beer 45 bottles
Red Wine 17 bottles
Champagne 19 bottles
White Wine 12 bottles
     
Pop 21 cans
Water 78 bottles

 

Have a safe and happy 2012!!

Ann & John

2011 Smith-Roberts Holiday Party Menu

2011 Holiday PartyThyme Gougères

Smoked Salmon Tarts

Sun-Dried Tomato and Pesto Torta

Stilton and Quince Jam Puff Pastries

Tiropoitas – Cheese stuffed filo dough
Okay, I admit that I did not make these but thanks to Olive, an Urban Dive for making them for me.

Party Squares

Spicy Grilled Shrimp

Italian Sausage Dip

Grandma’s Olive Chip Dip

Mango Chutney Dip

Jerk Pork with Cranberry Chutney

Korean Barbecued Skirt Steak

Korean Barbecued Portobello Mushrooms – use the marinade for the Skirt Steak

Brussels Sprout Slaw

Sweet Potato Salad with Orange-Maple Dressing – why roast your own sweet potatoes when you can buy them in packages?

Wild Rice and Lentil Salad – The dressing didn’t sound that interesting to me so I used olive oil, balsamic, and lemon juice instead.

Chocolate Almond Bark with Sea Salt

Brussels Spout Slaw

This recipe was provided by Olive, an Urban Dive.

Brussels Sprouts – did you know that you can buy these already shaved at DLM?!
Romaine Lettuce
Grated carrots & radishes

Quarter & blanch Brussels Sprouts (I steamed the pre-shaved sprouts in the oven)

Dressing (no there were no measurements):
Pesto
Sour Cream
Greek Yogurt
Whole Grain Mustard
Lemon Juice

Mix dressing and toss with all Slaw ingredients.

Party Squares

1/2 cup Mayonnaise
1/2 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
1-2 small shallots
Pepperidge Farm Pumpernickel or Rye Party Bread

Mix together. Spread over party bread. Bake at 350 degrees until brown.

Smoked Salmon Tarts

Based on a recipe from Epicurious…but why make your own pastry when you can buy Filo Shells?

For filling

  • 1/4 cup finely diced red onion
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3 1/2 oz sliced fine-quality smoked salmon, finely chopped (1 1/4 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream at room temperature
  • 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh lemon zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Make filling. Fill shells. Top with salmon roe (caviar). Simple, easy, no “cooking.”


Read More http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Smoked-Salmon-Barquettes-107404#ixzz1guv4f3Qs

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Holmes Family Thanksgiving Menu

It was a well received non-traditional Thanksgiving menu…already working on next year’s menu…

John’s Grilled Turkey (brine and grill with hickory chips – it’s that easy)

Organic Greens Salad (from our CSA) with Orange Sesame Dressing

Macaroni and Cheese

Yukon Gold and Sweet Potato Gratin

Spiced Carrots with Sherry and Citrus

Green Beans with Miso (forgot the almonds)

Pecan, Bourbon, and Butterscotch Bread Pudding

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Ciroc Sunset

Trying a new cocktail tonight…

DRINK INGREDIENTS:

1½ oz. CÎROC Vodka
¾ oz. pineapple juice
1 oz. cranberry juice
Splash of triple sec

DIRECTIONS:

1. Shake ingredients over ice.
2. Strain into a champagne flute.
3. Top with champagne and garnish with a lemon twist. 4. Rim glass with lemon sugar.

http://www.ciroc.com/mixology/drinks/sunset

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Dayton Visual Arts Center Artists Palate Menu

Join us for  the work of Julie Anderson and Lizabeth Whipps, two artists who paint still life gems that focus on slightly odd but meaningful objects. Whether of matchsticks or cicadas, wishbones or stacked rocks, their gorgeous little paintings capture a quirky urban sensibility.


Mushroom Puffs
Spinach Bites

Korean BBQ Skirt Steak

Korean BBQ Portabello Mushrooms
Wild Rice Salad
Brussels Sprouts
Blue Cheese Cole Slaw
John's Soba Noodles
Sweet Potato Salad with Orange-Maple Dressing

Something sweet and delicious for dessert

Monday, August 29, 2011

Grandma’s Curry

Rumor has it that my Grandmother got this recipe from Ladies Home Journal or Good Housekeeping or one of the magazines in the 50’s/60’s. This is by NO means authentic…but it is a good use of leftovers and is incredibly quick to make. I have made my own improvements…such as substituting Coconut Milk for regular milk…which will also work but I prefer the texture and creaminess that you get with the coconut milk. Don’t tell my family though…they apparently hate coconut milk…but love my curry!

3 T butter
3 T flour
1 c Chicken Stock
1 c Coconut Milk
1 T Curry Powder (we prefer Hot Curry Powder; and you can be as generous as you like)
3 c Chicken (cooked)
1/2 t salt

Mix butter and flour in sauce pan to make a roux. Stir in curry, chicken stock and milk until smooth. Add chicken. Cook until chicken is heated and sauce has a nice thickness. Season with salt to taste.

Serve over rice with accompaniments Chutney, bacon, boiled egg, peanuts…or make up your own.

A Rose Wine makes a nice addition to the meal.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Easy, Elegant Sunday Dinner

I remember the days before I found Christopher Ranch. Buying garlic and ginger to have on hand, only to go use it and find it wasn’t good anymore. The time spent peeling, chopping, and crushing. This menu is simple, easy and elegant enough to serve to guests.

Pan-Seared Tuna with Ginger-Shiitake Cream Sauce

Salad with Orange-Sesame Dressing

Fettucine Alfredo (athough, if we hadn’t already had rice 2 of the last 3 meals, I would have done a Jasmine rice)

Served with 2008 Pine Ridge Chardonnay Dijon Clones

Easy, Elegant Sunday Dinner

I remember the days before I found Christopher Ranch. Buying garlic and ginger to have on hand, only to go use it and find it wasn’t good anymore. The time spent peeling, chopping, and crushing. This menu is simple, easy and elegant enough to serve to guests.

Pan-Seared Tuna with Ginger-Shiitake Cream Sauce

Salad with Orange-Sesame Dressing

Fettucine Alfredo (athough, if we hadn’t already had rice 2 of the last 3 meals, I would have done a Jasmine rice)

Served with 2008 Pine Ridge Chardonnay Dijon Clones

Sesame-Orange Dressing

1 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon honey
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon hot red pepper sauce (optional)
1 shallot, chopped
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger

Cook the orange juice in a saucepan until reduced by half. Combine with the honey, sesame oil, soy sauce, vinegar, water and hot sauce in a blender. Add the shallot and ginger and process until smooth. Store in the refrigerator.

Read More http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Firecracker-Spinach-Salad-with-Orange-Sesame-Dressing-235683#ixzz1WMxSSQpd

Pan-Seared Tuna with Ginger-Mushroom Cream Sauce

This recipe was adapted from epicurious.com. Personally, I don’t know why anyone uses green onion when shallots are so much more interesting.

6 6-ounce tuna steaks, each about 1 inch thick
2 tablespoons peanut oil
3 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup thinly sliced shallots
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
4 garlic cloves, chopped
8 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, caps sliced (or mixed wild mushroom blend)
6 tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Lime wedges (optional)
Fresh cilantro sprigs (optional)

Preheat oven to 200°F. Sprinkle 1 side of tuna steaks with pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large skillet over high heat. Place tuna steaks, pepper side down, in hot oil and sear 2 minutes. Turn tuna over and continue cooking to desired doneness, about 2 minutes for rare. Transfer tuna to rimmed baking sheet; keep warm in oven.

Add butter, sliced shallots, cilantro, ginger and chopped garlic to same skillet and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Mix in mushrooms and soy sauce and simmer 30 seconds. Add whipping cream and simmer until sauce lightly coats back of spoon, about 3 minutes. Stir in lime juice. Spoon sauce onto plates; arrange tuna atop sauce. Garnish with lime wedges and cilantro sprigs, if desired.

Read More http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Pan-Seared-Tuna-with-Ginger-Shiitake-Cream-Sauce-100670#ixzz1WMumZVER

Pan-Seared Tuna with Ginger-Mushroom Cream Sauce

This recipe was adapted from epicurious.com. Personally, I don’t know why anyone uses green onion when shallots are so much more interesting.

6 6-ounce tuna steaks, each about 1 inch thick
2 tablespoons peanut oil
3 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup thinly sliced shallots
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
4 garlic cloves, chopped
8 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, caps sliced (or mixed wild mushroom blend)
6 tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Lime wedges (optional)
Fresh cilantro sprigs (optional)

Preheat oven to 200°F. Sprinkle 1 side of tuna steaks with pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large skillet over high heat. Place tuna steaks, pepper side down, in hot oil and sear 2 minutes. Turn tuna over and continue cooking to desired doneness, about 2 minutes for rare. Transfer tuna to rimmed baking sheet; keep warm in oven.

Add butter, sliced shallots, cilantro, ginger and chopped garlic to same skillet and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Mix in mushrooms and soy sauce and simmer 30 seconds. Add whipping cream and simmer until sauce lightly coats back of spoon, about 3 minutes. Stir in lime juice. Spoon sauce onto plates; arrange tuna atop sauce. Garnish with lime wedges and cilantro sprigs, if desired.

Read More http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Pan-Seared-Tuna-with-Ginger-Shiitake-Cream-Sauce-100670#ixzz1WMumZVER

Sunday, August 21, 2011

It’s a dinner…so it must be a party!

So I had drinks earlier this week with a woman from work. I’m sure this will frighten some of you but we really could have been separated at birth! So I decided to have a dinner party and introduce Darcy and her husband Matt to some of our friends. You can only imagine the chaos that will ensue.

Champagne with St. Helena Olive Oil Company  BALSAMIC VINEGAR Methode Tradizionale (19 year old)

Summer Corn Chowder
Roasted Lemongrass Chicken
Coconut Lime Rice
Grilled Summer Vegetables
2005 Dutch Henry Argos Hillside

Cheese Course (Mt. Tam, Manchego, Covadonga Spanish Blue)
Blueberry- Lime Parfait
2009 Mill Creek Vineyards Gewürztraminer Estate

1995 Dolce Winery Late Harvest

Improved Summer Corn Chowder

We’ve had lots of corn in our veggie box from our Fulton Farms Community Sustainable Agriculture (CSA) box. They have some of the best corn around but I was looking for something different than grilled corn-on-the-cob. Plus I need something that I could serve to 10 dinner guests.

I found a recipe for Summer Corn Chowder with Scallions, Bacon & Potatoes on Fine Cooking that looked good but the reviews were mixed. The changes I made were a hit with my dinner guests.

The original recipe calls for jalapeno peppers which I’m not a big fan of…they really don’t seem to add all that much flavor or heat. So I substituted chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. John isn’t a fan of scallions so I substituted shallots.

When making this for your vegetarian friends, I cook that bacon separately so that I can select to add it to individual dishes.

The final change I made was to not add salt while the dish was cooking. Instead, I added salt flakes to each dish just before serving.

Serves six as a first course.Yields about 5-1/2 cups.

5 ears fresh corn
5 shallots, chopped
3 slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (don’t be afraid to use more if you want)
1 Tbs. unsalted butter
2 chipotle peppers with adobo sauce (more if you like)
Freshly ground black pepper
3-1/2 cups low-salt chicken broth
1 large Yukon Gold potato (8 to 9 oz.), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 1-1/2 cups)
1-1/2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
2 Tbs. heavy cream
Salt Flakes

Husk the corn and cut off the kernels. Reserve two of the corn cobs and discard the others. Trim and thinly slice the scallions, keeping the dark-green parts separate from the white and light-green parts.

Cook the bacon in a 3- or 4-qt. saucepan over medium heat until browned and crisp, about 5 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper-towel-lined plate. Pour off and discard all but about 1 Tbs. of the bacon fat. Return the pan to medium heat and add the butter. When the butter is melted, add the shallot and the chipotle, and a few grinds of black pepper. Cook, stirring, until the shllots are very soft, about 3 min.

Add the broth, corn, corn cobs, potatoes, and thyme and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until the potatoes are completely tender, about 15 min. Discard the corn cobs.

Transfer 1 cup of the broth and vegetables to a blender and puree. Return the puree to the pot and stir in the cream and all but 1/3 cup of the scallion greens. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for a couple of minutes to wilt the scallions and blend the flavors. Serve sprinkled with the bacon and salt flakes.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Max’s Miso-Glazed Tenderloin of Beef

This recipe comes from Too Hot To Touch by Louisa Edwards.  Unfortunately, this recipe doesn’t appear on her website yet. I was especially excited by this recipe because I am a big fan of Yuzu!!

Ann’s Variation
We prefer many other cuts of beef to tenderloin. Hanger steak is one of our favorites because of the taste and price.
We also prefer grilling to roasting. Use the same approach – get a good searing on the outside of the beef before adding the first coating of glaze.

2-1/2 lb beef tenderloin
1 T butter
1 T neutral oil (like grapeseed or canola)

For the glaze:
2 T Toasted sesame oil
1 T Yuzu juice
2 t ginger
1/3 c Black Cherry Jam
1 T miso paste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Pat the tenderloin dry, then salt and pepper it all over.

Combine all the glaze ingredients in a blender or food processor, and blend until smooth and thick.

Melt the butter and neutral oil in a roasting pan over medium high heat. When the butter has stopped frothing, put the tenderloin in the pan. Brown it on all sides, about ten minutes, regulating the heat so that it doesn’t scorch or stick.

Brush the tenderloin  with half of the glaze, then put the pan in the over and roast for 15 minutes.  At that point, check the mean and apply the rest of the glaze. Roast to desired level of doneness, about 15 – 20 minutes more minutes for medium rare.

Allow the meat to rest for at least five minutes before slicing and serving.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

2011 Summer Restaurant Week Dayton–Saturday

I love having my own personal bartender!! Starting the evening with a Blueberry Gimlet (based on the great one he had at Meadowlark this week).

Dining tonight at The Firefly Building with friends – so not a restaurant at all tonight. Turns out we will have 11 for “family” dinner…wishing I had called Becky or Karen. Oh well, Ellen will be here…she loves to clean my kitchen.

Tonight’s menu:

Cook’s Illustrated “Best Grilled Chicken”

Blue Cheese Crusted Tomatoes

Cucumber, Tomato and PIneapple Salad with Asian Dressing

Macaroni and Cheese

Grilled zucchini with Citrus Salt

Ooops…can you tell I’m cleaning out the refrigerator of my CSA vegetables?

Oh and some wine…yet to be determined.

Friday, July 29, 2011

2011 Summer Restaurant Week Dayton–Friday

It is David’s turn to decide on tonight’s restaurant week restaurant…so we trek off to The Winds. It always seems so far away to me…but heck, David drives from Middletown so what do I have to complain about.

Deciding on dinner is a hard choice. The Winds is offering both their regular menu and their restaurant week menu. Our waiter complicates things by pointing out the Figs, Pigs and Goats appetizer. I was momentarily sidetracked from the restaurant week menu by the Game Hen Limoncello but David and I decide to come back next week for that. (Yes, John will once again be traveling the globe – his loss.) We are all adults…we can handle this. We opt to have the restaurant week menu PLUS the FPG appetizer. Figs stuffed with goat cheese wrapped in peppered bacon…SCORE!

In addition to the restaurant week menu, The Winds is offering $5 off all bottle wine sales during restaurant week with the purchase of a restaurant week dinner. Our first bottle is the Chateau Les Terrasses de Bouey 2009 Bordeaux which was very enjoyable. Our second bottle was the Mustguillo 2008 Mestis, a spanish wine from Bobal, Tempranillo, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot…a little something for everyone. We all agreed that it paired nicely with each of our entrees.

And we got a little sampling of everything tonight. David had the Gazpacho with Crabmeat Couton, Seared Wild Salmon with Lapsang Souchong Team with Sunonomo, and the Blackberry Roll Cake Cake for dessert. John had the Gazpacho, Ohio City Cheese Ravioli with Salsa Cruda and Eggplant Crouton, and Berry Soup with Raspberry Sorbet with Fresh Berries. I had the Grilled Skewered Artichoke Hearts with Romesco and Chorizo Vinaigrette, Grilled Sirloin with Salsa Verde and Creamed Corn (OMG), and Winds Donuts with Vanilla Cherry Compote (think beignets)…John and David shared my leftover steak.

This has been an excellent restaurant week!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

2011 Summer Restaurant Week Dayton–Thursday

Restaurant week is not complete without a trip to Meadowlark. This is their first restaurant week  at the new location. Meadowlark, like Savona, is only offering the special menu…no ordering off of the regular menu this week. Don’t let that scare you as you won’t be disappointed. For $25.11, you get four (4) courses and a choice from four (4) different entrees.

The new location offers a full bar. While waiting for our table, Linda and I ordered the special Watermelon Punch. A refreshing beverage that is guaranteed to sneak up on you if you fall into the trap of drinking it like water. David and John had the Blueberry Gimlet…which John is going to attempt to recreate for me at home…it was so good! Paul opted for a simple Watershed Gin and Tonic.

The first course offered is the Portabello Fries with Garlic Mayo. Definitely a favorite of the table. The second course is the battle of the corn: two of us chose the Fresh Corn Cakes with Red Pepper Cream while the other three chose the Fresh Corn Bisque with Crabmeat. While I didn’t get to taste the Corn Bisque, let me just say one word…BACON. the Corn Cakes were topped with bacon…why would you order anything else. Entrees were the next course and as I mentioned, diners could chose from four choices:

  • Tomato-Quinoa Chile Relleno Pinto Bean Succotash, Guajillo Chile Sauce
  • Sauteed Fresh Fish Summer Vegetables au Pistou
  • Grilled Pork Chop House-made Cherry Mostarda, Polenta
  • Grilled Duck Leg Spanish Garlic Potatoes

Our table ordered two (2) Grilled Duck Leg, two (2) Grilled Pork Chop, and a Tomato-Quiona Chile Relleno. Personally, the duck was my favorite.

Finally, it is time for dessert and there are three to choose from: Goat Cheese Cream Cake with Fresh Cherries and Red Wine Caramel or Crepes with Warm Chocolate Sauce and Chocolate Ganache or Profiterole with Peach Ice Cream and Raspberry Sauce. Our table ordered three (3) Goat Cheese Cream Cake, one (1) Crepe, and one (1) Profiterole.  The Goat Cheese Cream Cake was delicious and rich but not overwhelming. I’m still not really sure what Goat Cheese Cream Cake is but don’t be scared off by it. Definitely YUM!

Our wines tonight were the Taburno Falaghina (Italian White) and Martha’s recommendation of the Dumaine de Pajot (four grapes – a French White).  Definitely worth a try!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

2011 Summer Restaurant Week Dayton–Wednesday

Coco’s was our restaurant of choice Wednesday. John joined David and I. Ashley took great care of us and highly recommended the Barbera on the wine list which was very nice. Funny thing about this meal is that we each had the exact same thing. Well, John and I shared our meal…so David had none of my leftovers tonight.

More blueberries were on the menu with the Local blueberries served on mesclun greens topped with whipped Brie cheese, Captain Morgan spiced cashews and house blueberry balsamic vinaigrette. If you have had whipped brie cheese…you really need to try it. Our entrée was the Char-grilled 4oz center cut with BBQ spice, melted bleu cheese, drizzled with a Worcestershire syrup and cabernet reduction and tobacco onions, served with a chive potato cake. And who could resist the House made Chocolate Mousse Cake.

As always, a delicious meal!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

2011 Summer Restaurant Week Dayton –Tuesday

Everyone needs a friend who is a human garbage disposal. I’m lucky enough to have one! When John and I eat out, we will typically share a meal. The advantage is that it allows us to also enjoy an appetizer, salad, and/or dessert which we wouldn’t be able to do if we each ate a full meal. Unfortunately, John travels a lot…leaving me faced with having to eat an entire meal myself…or have lunch with David. Now what you need to know about David is that he is younger and has a metabolism that I would kill for. David can share and appetizer, eat his salad, and entrée, and still share dessert. And he still has room to finish what is left of my meal.

That was never more evident than Tuesday night at The Oakwood Club. BTW, this was David’s first visit to the Dayton landmark. We each ordered from the Restaurant Week menu. We each started with the Garden Salad with Oakwood Club House Dressing and dry blue cheese crumbles. For some reason, I had never had the House Dressing. Not sure how I missed that but YUM and you definitely want to order it “dry” – which means with the dry blue cheese crumbles.David ordered the pan-seared pork tenderloin medallions served over toasted almond rice with fresh peach chutney. I’m assuming he enjoyed it because he ate it all. I ordered the Char-Broiled Salmon with a Sundried Tomato- Artichoke Crust served over Angel Hair Pasta complemented with a basil beurre blanc sauce. This is where David comes in. I swear they served me a 12 ounce portion of salmon…this thing was HUGE. The sundried tomato-archichoke crust was fabulous and the basil beurre blanc sauce was very nice. Probably could have used more of the sauce for the pasta because it didn’t seem to have anything on it. This is where David comes in…he finished my salmon…isn’t that what good friends are for? We each finished the meail with the Fresh Blueberry Crisp. A spectacular ending…and, yes, I ate all of the crisp myself.

Wednesday Night – Coco’s

Monday, July 25, 2011

2011 Summer Restaurant Week Dayton – Monday

As part of full disclosure, readers need to know that I have a love/hate relationship with restaurant week. I love it because some restaurants do very creative things. I hate it because people who don’t normally dine out are in restaurants seeking “deals.”

Just before I left work, I checked the list of participating restaurants…I so didn’t want to go home and prepare something for myself. In the fine print, I found that Savona, which is not normally open on Mondays, was open tonight. It occurs to me that maybe they won’t be as crowded if people aren’t expecting them to be open. Adding to Savona’s troubles is that the City of Centerville has major construction going on and you can only reach them if you are south-bound on South Main Street. This all works to MY advantage…and it is all about me.

Savona is only offering a restaurant week menu for $20.11 with an option to chose from 2 additional entrees for $25.11. First course is a salad or onion soup. The Onion Soup was my choice and was very nice. Entrees included Trout with Israeli Cous Cous with spinach and a tomato vinaigrette; Beef Tips with Mashed Potatoes; and something else. The upgrades were a Blackened Salmon or Prime Rib. I chose the Trout while my dinner companion chose the Beef Tips. I WIN!! We both agreed the trout was spectacular! Dessert was a choice of Gelato or a Fresh Berry Shortcake. We both enjoyed the shortcake.

In addition, Savona offered a La Playa Sauvignon Blanc for $4 per glass. It was a nice accompaniment to the meal.

Great start to restaurant week.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Out of the Fire Cafe

What a great find! Seriously recommend reservations. And it is byob (iso it possible that PA has crazier liquor laws than Ohio?)

Chef prepared us pan seared scallops with a mango chutney and snow pea sprouts dressed in a champagne vinaigrette.

We shared two entrees:
Pan roasted wild striped bass with vine ripened local hot house tomatoes, crispy zucchini and yellow squash, sun dried tomatoes, saffron saioli, basil pesto

Spiced rum barbecue glazed pork shank: smoked white cheddar grits, chorizo sausage, sauteed sweet corn, crispy mustard greens

With a 2009 Gopfrich Zinfandel

Finished with Pineapple Upside Down cake: spiced rum sauce, blood orange sorbet


Monday, July 04, 2011

2011 Fireworks Party Recap

Thank you for making another party successful! We had a great time visiting with friends and meeting new people…and our generous friends raised $1800.00 for CultureWorks. That’s a lot of toilet paper in the theater!

John spent the night behind the bar disguised as Cocktail Geek (Photo by Taylor Putney)Special thanks to John who worked tirelessly behind the bar all night and truly earned his cocktail geek badge. The big hit was his Ginger Beer Mojito…enough of them to go through 4.5 liters of rum being consumed. In addition, we went through 3 cases of beer and 21 bottles of wine. And as usual, Becky and Sharon  made sure everyone was well taken care of. The menu and recipes are available at noumena12dining.blogspot.com.

Thanks to Wiley and the crew at Meadowlark for 6 lbs of SHREDDED cheese and providing the asparagus and mushrooms. Rob Leonard who played bar back and made sure there was wine available all night. David Strohscher for producing the ice shards…we are out now so can you please start production again. Dave & Lillian for providing MORE gin. Nik Hunt for bar advice and a great genever Negroni!

Thanks to Taylor Putney and Dan Hursh I actually got to see the roof through pictures. Thanks for the photos! I never remember to take them myself.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

2011 Fireworks Celebration Menu

Igel’s Onion Dip

Mango Chutney Cheese Dip

Meadowlark Meatballs

Grilled Ginger-Soy Marinated Skirt Steak

Grilled Korean BBQ Portabella Mushrooms

Grilled Asparagus & Onions with Balsamic & Blue Cheese

Blue Cheese Cole Slaw

“Everything But the Kitchen Sink” Orzo Salad

Cheddar Macaroni and Cheese – The Kids Version

Chipotle Macaroni and Cheese – Definitely for Adults

Orange Cucumber Salad with Sundried Tomato Dressing

Apple-Pear Salad with Lemon-Poppy Seed Dressing

Lemon Pound Cake with Balsamic-Macerated Berries with Basil

2011 Fireworks Celebration Menu

Igel’s Onion Dip
Mango Chutney Cheese Dip
Meatballs
Grilled Ginger-Soy Marinated Skirt Steak
Grilled Korean BBQ Portabella Mushrooms
Grilled Asparagus & Onions with Balsamic & Blue Cheese
Blue Cheese Cole Slaw
“Everything But the Kitchen Sink” Orzo Salad
Cheddar Macaroni and Cheese – The Kids Version
Chipotle Macaroni and Cheese – Definitely for Adults
Orange Cucumber Salad with Sundried Tomato Dressing
Apple-Pear Salad with Lemon-Poppy Seed Dressing
Lemon Pound Cake with Balsamic-Macerated Berries with Basil

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Igel’s Vidalia Onion Dip Recipe

3 cups chopped vidalia onions
3 cups shredded good quality Swiss Cheese (we use Emmenthal Swiss Cheese - we buy it at Sam's or Kroger's- it comes in a square) You need about 3/4 of a pound of the Swiss Cheese.
2 1/2 cups Hellmann's mayonnaise (the regular - do NOT use low fat kind)
Garlic salt to taste - just a good shake full


Mix all ingredients and pour into greased 1 1/2 quart baking dish. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 35 to 40 minutes until lightly brown. Serve with Frito corn chips - Scoops.

Igel’s Vidalia Onion Dip Recipe

3 cups chopped vidalia onions
3 cups shredded good quality Swiss Cheese (we use Emmenthal Swiss Cheese - we buy it at Sam's or Kroger's- it comes in a square) You need about 3/4 of a pound of the Swiss Cheese.
2 1/2 cups Hellmann's mayonnaise (the regular - do NOT use low fat kind)
Garlic salt to taste - just a good shake full


Mix all ingredients and pour into greased 1 1/2 quart baking dish. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 35 to 40 minutes until lightly brown. Serve with Frito corn chips - Scoops.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

John’s Ginger Beer Mojito

Normally, I’m not a huge fan of Mojitos…they are generally too sweet. But this is a beverage to enjoy on a hot summer day. WARNING: They sneak up on you…I try to limit myself to no more than 2!

2 oz Rum (we prefer Mount Gay Silver)
3/4 oz Lime Juice
Bermuda-style Ginger Beer
Mint
10.5 oz glass

Muddle the mint in a glass. Add the rum and lime juice. Fill with ice or use one of David’s homemade ice chards. Top with Ginger Beer. Stir gently. ENJOY!!!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The weekend was just too short…

It was a busy weekend…John’s birthday, Dad’s 75th birthday party…I don’t want it to end yet. But I also don’t want to spend the entire Sunday evening cooking. This menu was quick and easy.

Roasted Lemongrass Chicken

This chicken is definitely worth fixing for yourself or guest

Yellow Rice

Not sure I’d bother with this again…

CSA Greens with Sesame Soy Dressing

2009 Mill Creek Vineyards Gewürztraminer Estate

Roasted Lemongrass Chicken

Easy! Definitely worth serving to guests. Prep for the  marinade and sauce can be done ahead; finish is quick. We didn’t even bother to strain the sauce as the recipe suggests. And double the sauce. It is as good on the rice as it is on the chicken.

Makes 4 servings.

Original Recipe and photo from Epicurious.com

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon canola oil or vegetable oil
5 tablespoons fish sauce (such as nuoc nam or nam pla),* divided
2 tablespoons sugar, divided
2 tablespoons chopped shallot
2 tablespoons oyster sauce* 
4 fresh lemongrass stalks,** tough outer leaves removed, 4 inches of thick end finely chopped
1 teaspoon chili-garlic sauce*
1 garlic clove, chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 3-pound chicken, quartered
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Whisk 1/4 cup oil, 3 tablespoons fish sauce, 1 tablespoon sugar, and next 6 ingredients in large bowl. Add chicken; turn to coat. Marinate at room temperature 1 hour.

Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in 12-inch ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken, skin side down, to skillet (reserve marinade in bowl). Cook 4 minutes. Turn chicken, add reserved marinade to skillet, and transfer to oven. Roast until thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 175°F, about 25 minutes. Transfer chicken to plate.

Add 1/2 cup water, lime juice, remaining 2 tablespoons fish sauce, and remaining 1 tablespoon sugar to skillet. Bring to boil. Remove from heat, spoon fat from surface, and strain pan juices into small pitcher. Serve chicken with pan juices.

*Available in the Asian foods section of many supermarkets and at Asian markets.

**Available in the produce section of many supermarkets and at Asian markets.

Read More http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Roasted-Lemongrass-Chicken-232701#ixzz1N8B2nxGd

Friday, May 20, 2011

Watermelon Caipirinha

CIMG0348I think I’m craving watermelon. I found this recipe through a Fine Cooking blog post from No Recipes. This recipe for Watermelon Caiprinha looks like it will be perfect for our Fireworks party.

Photo is the view of the 2009 City of Dayton fireworks from our deck.

Watermelon Blush

Adding this to Johns’ cocktail list…thank you Fine Cooking! Doesn’t that look refreshing. Wonder how much longer before our CSA starts delivering watermelon??? I’ll be adjusting this recipe so it can be made by the pitcher.

by Samantha Seneviratne

Made with St-Germain, an elderflower liqueur, this summery drink is sweet, with a light effervescence.

Serves 1

1/2 cup watermelon chunks, seeded if necessary
1/2 fl. oz. (1 Tbs.) St-Germain
2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
Prosecco


Purée the watermelon in a food processor until smooth; strain. You should have 2 fl. oz (1/4 cup) juice.
Pour the watermelon juice, St-Germain, and bitters into a Champagne flute. Top off with Prosecco.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 80; Fat (g): 0; Fat Calories (kcal): 0; Saturated Fat (g): 0; Protein (g): 0; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 0; Carbohydrates (g): 12; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 0; Sodium (mg): 0; Cholesterol (mg): 0; Fiber (g): 0;

photo: Scott Phillips

From Fine Cooking 111, pp. 51

May 5, 2011

Flavored Water–Make It Yourself

I’m not usually much of a fan of flavored water. But these got my attention – they look so refreshing!

Watermelon-Basil Water

Cucumber-Mint Water

Blackberry-Sage Water

Photos by Scott Phillips

Steamed Mussels with Chorizo, Smoked Paprika, and Garlicky Croutons

On my list of things to try from Fine Cooking -- one of my favorite magazines!

by Dawn Yanagihara-Mitchell

Just 30 minutes to a delicious dinner party dish. The chorizo and mussels cook together, creating a briny, smoky broth that begs to be sopped up with garlic toast. Add a salad and you’re done.Serves 4

5 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
6 cloves garlic, 2 minced and 4 thinly sliced
1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
Kosher salt
3/4 tsp. smoked sweet paprika
1 cup seeded and diced fresh tomato or one 14-1/2-oz. can diced tomatoes, drained
1 cup dry white wine
6 oz. Spanish-style chorizo, cut into
3/8-inch pieces (1-1/4 cups)
3 sprigs fresh thyme
4 lb. mussels, scrubbed and debearded
1 baguette, cut on the diagonal into 1/2-inch slices
Freshly ground black pepper


Combine 3 Tbs. of the olive oil and the minced garlic in a small bowl and set aside.
Position an oven rack about 4 inches from the broiler element and heat the broiler on high.
In a 6-quart Dutch oven, heat the remaining 2 Tbs. olive oil over medium-high heat until shimmering hot. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned, about 3 minutes. Stir in the sliced garlic and cook until the edges of the onion begin to brown, about 1 minute. Stir in the smoked paprika and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes, wine, chorizo, and thyme and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Stir in the mussels, coating them with the sauce mixture. Cover and cook, stirring 2 or 3 times, until the mussels have opened, 8 to 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, arrange the baguette slices in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and brush them with the garlic oil, dividing the bits of garlic evenly among the slices. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and then broil, rotating the baking sheet as needed, until evenly browned and crisp, 1 to 2 minutes.
Discard any mussels that have not opened. Serve the mussels with the sauce and the croutons.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 820; Fat (g): 38; Fat Calories (kcal): 340; Saturated Fat (g): 9; Protein (g): 44; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 21; Carbohydrates (g): 60; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 4.5; Sodium (mg):1880; Cholesterol (mg): 95; Fiber (g): 3;

photo: Scott Phillips

From Fine Cooking 111, pp. 20

May 5, 2011

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Rainy Sunday Dinner

Picked up some Wild Snapper at Jungle Jim’s and topped it with some Spicy Soy Glaze

In a non-stick skillet heat 1/2 teaspoon oil over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking and sauté 2 fillets, skin sides down, pressing on fish with a metal spatula to help skin brown evenly, until skin is golden brown, about 1 minute. With spatula turn fillets over and sauté until golden, about 30 seconds more. Transfer fillets, skin sides up, to a non-stick baking pan and sauté remaining 2 fillets in 1/2 teaspoon oil in same manner. Bake fish in middle of oven until just cooked through, about 3 minutes.
Read More http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Red-Snapper-with-Spicy-Soy-Glaze-on-Sauteed-Vegetables-and-Sweet-Potatoes-14713#ixzz1MTHJK7EK

Braised Baby Bok Choy

Drinking 2008 Pine Ridge Chardonnay Dijon Clones http://cellartracker.com/w?627897

Spicy Soy Glaze

Great on Red Snapper. Expect that it would also work on Cod and probably Pork.

  • 1/2 pound shallots (about 5 large)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons plum or apricot jam
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated peeled fresh gingerroot
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lime zest

Chop enough shallots to measure 1 cup. In a heavy saucepan cook shallots in oil over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in soy sauce, water, sugar, jam, gingerroot, garlic, allspice, and red pepper flakes and simmer, stirring occasionally, until reduced to about 3/4 cup, about 20 minutes. Stir in lime juice and zest. (Glaze may be made 2 days ahead and cooled completely before being chilled, covered.)

Read More http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Spicy-Soy-Glaze-14714#ixzz1MTGNQgpU

Braised Baby Bok Choy

From epicurious.com

  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3/4 lb baby bok choy, trimmed
  • 1/2 teaspoon Asian sesame oil

Bring broth and butter to a simmer in a deep large heavy skillet. Arrange bok choy evenly in skillet and simmer, covered, until tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer bok choy with tongs to a serving dish and keep warm, covered.

Boil broth mixture until reduced to about 1/4 cup, then stir in sesame oil and pepper to taste. Pour mixture over bok choy.

Read More http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Braised-Baby-Bok-Choy-103970#ixzz1MSf3WT7D

Friday, May 06, 2011

Ginger Beer Mojito Friday

John is experimenting with a Ginger Beer Mojito recipe.
Tonight’s Menu:

Peruvian Roast Chicken with Garlic and Lime

Rice and Lentil Salad with Orange and Dried Cherries
Read More
http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Rice-and-Lentil-Salad-with-Orange-and-Dried-Cherries-103197#ixzz1LbrWqnkO
Grilled Carrots with Honey Glaze
Coat carrots with olive oil and salt. Grill. Toss with Honey Glaze. YUMMY!
Honey Glaze
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Read More
http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Honey-Glazed-Roasted-Carrots-and-Parsnips-233404#ixzz1LbsYCOxR

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Chinese Sesame Greens

2 cloves garlic, minced or 2 stalks green garlic, chopped
1 pound greens
2 teaspoons sesame seed oil
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
salt and pepper, as desired

Mince the garlic cloves. Wash the greens and shake them over the sink. They should remain a little wet. Remove and discard the stems from them and tear it into bite-size pieces. Save the stems for another use, such as vegetable stock.

Heat the sesame oil in the skillet over medium-low heat. Add the minced garlic to the hot oil and saute for about 20 seconds. Add the greens and water to the garlic and oil, and cover the skillet.

After 1 minute, stir them, then re-cover. After 1-2 more minutes, when the greens are wilted, stir in the soy sauce and sesame seeds. If desired, add salt and/or pepper to taste.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Passport Day 2: Seghesio

2011-05-01_15-48-41_22Seghesio was the perfect ending to Passport. The Big Easy came to life with music by Andre Thierry & Zydeco Magic. And somebody else joined the wine club! Randy is getting into dancing to the music! Seghesio was also a beautiful setting and just down the street from our hotel!

Plus a tasting room full of interesting wines: 2010 Arneis, 2009 Costiera Pinot Noir, 2009 Home Ranch Zinfandel, 2009 Rockpile Zinfandel, 2005 Diognigia

 

 

Another winery!! Woo Hoo!Tasso Shrimp Fettuccini
2008 Sangiovese
2009 Barbera

Seafood Gumbo with Andouille Sausage
2007 Home Ranch Petite Sirah
2008 Omaggio

Cajun Barbecued Ribs
2009 Sonoma Zinfandel
2008 San Lorenzo

Beignets

Passport Day 2: Truett-Hurst

050311134812In 2010, Truett-Hurst was one of our great finds…however, we were a little disappointed in 2011. One of the appeals is their barrel tasting.

Luci Zinfandel
Red Rooster Zinfandel
Black Sheep Pinot Noir
White Sheep Pinot Noir

Last year we were enamored with the Zinfandel futures…this year we were more impressed by the Pinot Noir.

The Beef Brisket Sandwich being served was VERY nice!

Passport Day 2: Fritz

050311134042Okay…Fritz was a bit of a disappointment but I think it was because we were hoping to have the Salt Side Down chocolates again this year. It was also hot and the wine and food were all being served in the sun. And the fact that only small quantities of food were being brought out at a time meant you were likely in the heat waiting for the food with wine that was sitting in the sun. I did pick up some of the (not yet released) 2010 Rose and the 2009 Vino Valpredo White from the tasting room.

Chardonnay with Turkey Kababs
Dry Creek Valley Syrah with Wild Boar Ragout
Dry Creek Valley Estate Reserve Zinfandel with Buffalo Tri Tip Skewers
Dry Creek Valley Estate Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon with Wild Mushroom Flatbread Salad

Passport Day 2: Dutcher Crossing

050311133001The great thing about Passport is that you get to experience a lot of different wineries…and you get to experience the wines with food. I have proof that I was here…but what I remember most is the food…I remember very little about the wines. Food was prepared by Preferred Sonoma Caterers.

2009 Sauvignon Blanc
Coconut Prawn Cones with Mango Chili Sauce

2008 Stuhlmuller Vineyard Chardonnay, Alexander Valley
Honey Roasted Apricots, Cowgirl Creamery Fromage Blanc

2007 Proprietor’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Lamb and Rosemary Focaccia Split Top with Cumin Onion Chutney

2006 Port
Frozen Chocolate Port Whoopie Pies

Honey Roasted Apricots

Recipe by Preferred Sonoma Caterers

1 pound Apricots (pitted and quartered)
1/4 cup Olive Oil
1 pinch Salt and Pepper
1/2 cup Honey

Place apricots in a baking pan with sides. Drizzle with olive oil and roll until well coated. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes.

Remove from oven, add honey. Serve over Fromage Blanc with toasted crostinis.

Passport Day 2: Ferrari-Carano

2011-05-01_12-23-14_864Another repeat favorite is Ferrari-Carano…not just because of their great wines and food but because the grounds are so beautiful as well. One of the nice things about the passport event is that you get a mini tour of the winery as well taking you through the tank room, barrel room and the underground cellar. The Chardonnay was one of the great finds of the weekend.

2011-05-01_12-00-29_568

2010 Bella Luce, Sonoma County, White Wine Blend
Meyer Lemon Cheve Mousse with Pear Chutney

2008 Fiorella Chardonnay, Russian River Valley
Orecchiette with Ham and Peas

2008 Merlot, Sonoma County
Chicken Cacciatore

2007 Home Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley
Prosciutto-Wrapped Dates

2007 Eldorado Gold, Sonoma County Sauternes-style Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc Blend
Panna Cotta with an Eldorado Gold, Apricot and Pistachio Compote

Steel Barrels @ Ferrari-CaranoBarrel Room @ Ferrari-Carano

Passport Day 2: Gopfrich Estate

2011-05-01_10-54-44_930One of our great new finds of the weekend was the first winery on Day 2. Gopfrich offers both California and Klemmer Family German varietals. Gopfrich Estate wines available for tasting: 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Dry Creek Valley, 2009 Syrah Estate Wine, 2009 Cuvee Estate, 2009 Zinfandel, 2009 Merlot, and 2008 Late Harvest Zinfandel. Klemmer Family German wines available for tasting: 2009 Riesling Auslese, 2009 Riesling Spatlese, 2009 Silvaner Spatlese, and the 2009 Huxelrebe Beerenauslese. Rodney and Don picked up the only bottle of Huxelrebe available on Sunday.Gopfrich

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Passport Day 1: Barndiva

After a day of drinking wine, I really want something OTHER than wine. Barndiva has become one of our Passport traditions because of their cocktail selection. I started the night with the Grow a Pear (Spiced Pear Vodka, Domaine de Canton, Luxardo Maraschino, Meyer Lemon Juice) but I think the hit of the evening was Debbie’s requested Mojito (made with Ginger Beer instead of Simple Syrup). John will soon be trying to replicate that at home.

Dinner was wonderful as always! We started with Goat Cheese Croquettes for the table and we were able to avoid any fighting.

Heirloom Beet & Endive
Avocado, Apple, Walnut, Warm Chèvre

Bacon Wrapped Gleason Ranch Pork Loin
Yukon Gold Potato Purée, Crème de Morel, Spring Favas

Delicious!!

Passport Day 1: Passalacqua

050311122034Passalacqua was our last stop for the day. Wines featured included: 2008 Dry Creeek Barrel Fermented Chardonnay, 2008 Dry Creek Valley Estate Zinfandel, 2007 Dry Creek Valley Old Vine Zinfandel, 2007 Dry Creek Valley Saini Farms Sangiovese, and the 2007 Dry Creek Valley TR Passalacqua Cabernet Sauvignon. The wines were paired with Pizza Margherita with Proscuitto di Parma; Pizza Blanco with Mozzarella, Parmigiano, Ricotta and Arugula; Cheeses from Cowgirl Creamery – Parmigniano Reggiano Organico & Fiore Sardo with Sourdough Baguettes; and Stracciatell Gelato by Massimio.

Seven wineries in one day is a lot!!!! And probably one too many.

Passport Day 1: Quivira

050311120500Another winery that John and I discovered years ago. Quivira was a last minute addition to the winery list for the weekend thanks to Gateway to Passport. During Gateway, they were pouring a Sauvignon Blanc – Gewürztraminer blend which was limited release ONLY available at the winery. In addition, John and I picked up some of the very last 2007 Quivira Zinfandel. Yippee!!!

Passport Day 1: A. Rafanelli

050311121207John and I have been visiting Rafanelli since we first started coming to Dry Creek 20 years ago. A family owned winery known for their Zinfandel, they go all out for Passport Weekend. In addition to the wine from last year, everyone was looking forward to the estate grown olives marinated in the secret family recipe. We tasted both the Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel along with an unbelievable amount of food. Rafanelli is a must visit for Passport weekend.

Passport Day 1: Michel-Schlumberger

050311120904I wanted to visit Michel-Schlumberger because (1) they are organic and (2) because of their sister winery, Humanitas. Humanitas is a unique winery with a very compelling story.  Simply they make wine, sell it, and give the profits to charity!  PERFECT!

We tasted the 2010 Michel Schlumberger La Bise Pinot Blanc, 2006 Michel Schlumberger La Source Syrah, and the 2006 Humanitas Gaps’ Crown Pinot Noir.

Passport Day 1: Lambert Bridge

Waiting for the Lamb from the wood fired ovenEveryone was looking forward to our stop at Lambert Bridge and we were not disappointed. Lambert Bridge wines were paired with food from Chef Andrea Mugnaini’s recipes from Discover the Art of Wood Fired Cooking. We are looking forward to Rodney and Don’s wood oven.

 

2009 Bevill Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc
Chilled Thai Chicken Mince in Endive Leaves

2008 Forchini Vineyard Zinfandel
Moroccan Spiced Pork Tenderloin with Zinfandel Jelly

2006 Sonoma County Merlot
Quattro Fromaggio, Fresh Oregano, Fra’Mani Lardo Pizza

VIP Area @ Lambert BridgeLast year, as Club Members John and I “snuck” off to the VIP tasting area. It is hard to sneak in 8 other people. So this year, Rod and Don and David all joined the Club allowing us to get everyone in and enjoy the special VIP pairings.

 

2009 Bevill Vineyard Viognier
Pt. Reyes Miyago Oysters with Cilantro Mignonette

2008 Sonoma County Chardonnay
Aged Gouda, Roasted Fennel Agrodolce, Pancetta Pizza

2006 Crane Creek Cuvee
Wood-Roasted Baby Lamb Chops with Mint Pesto

John and I are lucky enough to have all of these wines in our cellar!!!

Passport Day 1: Armida

2011-04-30_12-02-41_579Next stop was Armida which starts with a heaven and hell barrel tasting. We got stuck in the barrel tasting room not realizing that there was more to taste (and eat) outside. So I’m not sure we really gave them a fair shake. Although, you notice John looks right at home.
2011-04-30_12-02-52_460

Passport Day 1: Mill Creek

Mill Creek VineyardsOur starting winery is Mill Creek. We enjoy being the first guests to arrive because it gives us a chance to talk to Dan and Ann…two of the volunteers who greet us. The theme at Mill Creek is Hawaii and some great deals 35% off a case of wine. Yippee!!!

 

Waiting for the weekend to beginOur welcome wine was the 2009 Estate Sauvignon Blanc. We also tasted the 2010 Dry Rose, 2007 Reserve Chardonnay, 2006 Kreck Family Zinfandel (Gold Medal Winner), and 2006 “Pocket Corner” Syrah (Gold Medal Winner). We had Huli-Huli Pork, Coconut Prawns with Mango Chutney, Coconut Rice with nuts and peas, and Hawaiian Fruit Skewers with raspberry yogurt dressing.

Step up and get your picture taken at Mill CreekIn addition to the Passport wines being tasted, we tasted the 2006 Reserve Merlot, 2004 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, and the 2003 Reflections Meritage.

Definitely a GREAT start to Passport weekend!

2011-04-30_11-04-00_296John @ the start of the weekend

Passport Weekend: Gateway to Passport

2011-04-29_18-50-02_562Gateway to Passport at Charlie Palmer’s Dry Creek Kitchen is the kickoff for the weekend. We didn’t attend this event last year…a mistake we will never make again. The wineries participating were: Dry Creek Vineyards, Rued, Quivera, Pasterick, Williamson, Montemaggiore, West, Pezzi King, Dutcher Crossing, Del Carlo, Mantra, and Truett Hurst. (Photo: John Smith and John Germroth enjoying the sun and a little vino)

Charlie Palmer and the staff at Dry Creek Kitchen really outdid themselves. I had about 6 cups of the Wild Mushroom Veloute…and can’t figure out how I missed the Panko and Sesame Crusted Shrimp.

TRAY PASSED HORS D’OEUVRES

Wild Mushroom Veloute with Cognac Crème Fraîche, Truffle Essence
Truffled Arancini  - with Gruyere Cheese
Smoked Salmon and Caviar Tarts
Dungeness Crab Salad in Puff Pastry
Pulled Pork Sliders with Mustard Aioli
Panko and Sesame Crusted Shrimp with Citrus Aioli


GRILL STATION

DRY CREEK VINEYARDS MARINER, DRY CREEK VALLEY 2006
Roasted Whole New York Strip Loin - Wood Fire Charred
VINEYARD OF PASTERICK ESTATE SYRAH DRY CREEK VALLEY 2006
Garlic and Thyme Crusted Ham  - Hawaiian Alaea Sea Salt
WILLIAMSON CHARDONNAY DRY CREEK VALLEY AMOUREUX 2009
Stuffed and Slow Cooked Duck Breast - Brown Butter Poached

ACTION STATIONS

QUIVIRA ROSE NORTH COAST DRY CREEK VALLEY DRY CREEK VALLEY 2010
Hawaiian Ahi ‘Tartare Station’
MONTEMAGGIORE SYRAH PAOLO'S VINEYARD DRY CREEK VALLEY 2007
House Cured Andouille Sausage and Roasted Pepper Tarts
WEST WINES VIOGNIER DRY CREEK VALLEY 2008
Seared and Chilled Hamachi with Crispy Tempura and Carrot Threads
PEZZI KING SAUVIGNON BLANC DRY CREEK VALLEY 2009
Wild Arugula and Watercress Salad with Pickled Red Onions
DUTCHER CROSSING  SAUVIGNON BLANC DRY CREEK VALLEY 2010
Poached Shrimp, Oysters shooters, Chilled Lemongrass Steamed Mussels, Fennel Infused Manila Clams

 

DEL CARLO OLD VINE ZINFANDEL DRY CREEK VALLEY 2007
Balsamic Glazed Portabella Mushroom with Cracked Bulgur Wheat Pilaf and Pickled Red Onion
RUED CABERNET SAUVIGNON DRY CREEK VALLEY 2005
Seared and Chilled Filet Mignon with Espelette Grilled Local Vegetables and Pt. Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company – Original Blue

CHARCUTERIE STATION

TRUETT HURST RED ROOSTER ZINFANDEL DRY CREEK VALLEY 2008
Charcuterie Display Assorted House Made Charcuterie including Whole Prosciutto, Pork Terrine, Mortadella, and Spicy Salami
MANTRA OLD VINES ZINFANDEL RESERVE DRY CREEK VALLEY 2007
Locally Produced Assorted Cheeses Cowgirl Creamery - Fog Lights, Bohemian Creamery - Bo Poisse, Pt. Reyes Farmstead Cheese
Company - Original Blue
Antipasto Station - Pickled Cauliflower, Carrots, Jalapeños, Mushrooms, Roasted Peppers and Onion, Hummus with Pita Chips
and Yogurt Relish, Marinated Olives, Pickled Cornichon
Locally Produced Bread Station with Assorted Accompaniments

Finished off with a fabulous sampling of desserts.

That is just a small sampling of the wines that were available to taste and a GREAT preview of what we can expect over the two days that is passport! Oh, and we’ve already started planning next year’s trip…let me know if you want to join us!

Passport Weekend: Just Getting Geared up

After getting a manicure and pedicure at The Spa @ Hotel Healdsburg, it was off to explore the town before the rest of the Dayton contingent arrived.

Lunch at Bistro Ralph, a favorite that John and I love to visit when we are here. Unfortunately, it is not conducive to large groups. We had the special Skate Wing with a Kelley and Young (as in Robert Young) Rose followed by a cheese plate (a hard goat cheese, crottin, and a nice Point Reyes blue). Then it was off to taste wine at a few of the many tasting rooms right in Downtown Healdsburg.

First stop, The Wine Shop which is home to the distribution of many small wineries. We were specifically looking for some Saxon Brown but they were out. Instead, Anthony introduced us to some other great finds. Grow Chardonnay had no oak but sill some of the butter qualities that many associate with a chardonnay. 2009 Tre Rici Chardonnay has great balance. Lobjet Pinot Noir had a lot going on. OMG!!! That is all I can say about the George 2009 Hansen Vineyard Pinot Noir. The 2008 Gamba Zinfandel reminded us of the old Zins we drank in the 80’s. Anthony promised we would find the 2008 Vision Cellars Grenache to be a special find and he was correct. It is an affordable summer wine that would be great with a light chill…or not. Anthony was great because he listened to what we like to drink…then gave us a sampling of things that fit our tastes. And our first case purchase of the weekend was complete before Passport even officially begins.

Next, we wandered over to Topel. Again, we found knowledgeable staff to help us. There were about 10 wines to choose from…John and I chose to taste 6. Zephyr Chardonnay was aged in stainless and is clean and crisp. Birdsong is a great blend of Chardonnay, Viognier, and Sauvignon Blanc. We enjoyed the Monhoff Vineyard Zinfandel. The Battuello Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon was spectacular. The Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon was drinking well now but has a lot left to give. We learned a lot about Howell Mountain from the staff. There is a lot going on in Le Marriage, the meritage. And we finally finished with the Syrah Noir. We demonstrated considerable restraint and only sent 6 bottles home.

RoadhouseWe finished the afternoon at Roadhouse…a stop recommended by the people at Topel. We walked in to Disco Music that they were preparing for their upcoming release party. Even with flashbacks we enjoyed each of the wines we tasted: 2010 Sauvignon Blanc, 2008 Yellow Label Pinot Noir, 2009 Purple Label Pinot Noir, 2008 Black Label Pinot Noir, and the 2008 Grenache. Oops…there goes another wine club membership. And we can bring all of our friends to the release party on Sunday!

Now to rest before Gateway to Passport…

Friday, April 29, 2011

Passport to Dry Creek: The Adventure Begins

So, after bring awaken by storms 3 hours before my alarm and not bring able to go back to sleep, my day began with only 3 hours sleep.

Flights were ontime and I planned on taking the Sonoma Airporter where John would pick me up. Unfortunately, the bus broke down. Not wanting to wait around any longer, I'm now on the Bart headed to Pittsburg/Bay Point where (hopefully) John will pick me up.

Finally made out to Healdsburg around 2pm and made a quick stop for lunch at restaurant Charcuterie. Potato leek soup, Risotto cake with duck and mushrooms and a Hawley Sauvignon Blanc. Fabulous!

Off to the hotel to shower then out and about.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Belgian Rocket

For 42 drinks (roughly the drink dispenser):

4 cans frozen concentrated limeade

208 oz water (26 cups)

42 oz fresh lime juice (1 btl Sysco plus 1¼ cups)

42 oz vodka

42 oz club soda added last

Stir first four ingredients until well-blended. Stir in club soda. Serve in a tall ice-filled glass with lime wedge.

Star Daisy

Equal parts gin, Applejack, orange Curacao, fresh lemon juice

1/4 oz blood orange bitters

Warday’s

1/4 oz green Chartreuse

1 1/4 oz sweet vermouth

1 1/4 oz London dry gin

1 1/4 oz apple brandy or Calvados

Mix and strain into cocktail glass.

Star

1/4 oz grapefruit juice (5 dashes)

1 dash sweet vermouth

1 dash dry vermouth

2 oz apple brandy or Calvados

2 oz London dry gin

Shake and strain into cocktail glass

Star

1/4 oz grapefruit juice (5 dashes)

1 dash sweet vermouth

1 dash dry vermouth

2 oz apple brandy or Calvados

2 oz London dry gin

Shake and strain into cocktail glass

Ante

1 3/4 oz apple brandy or Calvados

3/4 oz Dubonnet

1/4 oz Cointreau

1 dash Angostura bitters

Serve in a cocktail glass (6.0 oz)

“25”

Johns Notes: unappealing color, probably from pink grapefruit instead of yellow. Calvados astringency and finish dominate but don’t overwhelm. Gin flavor (Beefeater) very subtle, more a balancing factor. May need ¾ oz Grand Marnier vs. ½, or a little more grapefruit juice. Considerable alcohol kick.

1 1/4 oz Calvados

1 1/2 oz gin

3/4 oz grapefruit juice

1/2 oz Van der Hum (South African tangerine liqueur…substitute Grand Marnier?)

Shake and strain.

Serve in a cocktail glass (6.0 oz)

Jack Rose

lemon wheel or lime wheel

1 oz grenadine (1 oz, 3 cl, 1/4 gills) pomegranate liqueur

3 oz applejack or Calvados (3 oz, 9 cl, 3/4 gills)

Shake and strain into cocktail glass

Serve in a cocktail glass (6.0 oz)

Calvados Cocktail

1 1/4 oz Calvados

1 1/4 oz orange juice

3/4 oz Cointreau

3/4 oz orange bitters

Add plenty of ice and shake carefully

Serve in a cocktail glass (6.0 oz)

John’s Green Ghost

A WORK IN PROGRESS

2 oz Bombay Sapphire gin

2/3 oz lime juice

1 oz green Chartreuse

1/3 oz simple syrup

Consider reducing simple syrup or replacing with Chartreuse.

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