Monday, September 10, 2012

Fall means Comfort Food....

It's been what?? Months!!!

Hi Foody Friends!

It's been a long time since I blogged, well couple months, basically a whole summer has passed and not one blog posted by yours truly.  A lot of food has been cooked on my grill this past season.  Summer was great, but I am ready for Fall.  I am ready for the term that many Chef's use when the cooler season arrives....Comfort Food.  Oh yeah!  There's nothing like a good homemade soup, a warm home baked Apple Pie or a simple delicious cup of Pumpkin Spice Coffee from Dunkin Donuts!!!  Yes, I have not had mine yet, but mark my words, I will be driving through for quick pick up.  I don't even know why I haven't tried the Pumpkin Spice Coffee yet from DD.  I'm sure I am the only one.  People are crazed over this stuff.  There were posts on Facebook of friends waiting for the day Pumpkin Spice came available.  Well, I guess I'm the same way when a new wine comes out...yeah, the countdown is always on at that time! LOL.

Back to "Comfort Food".  As you already know, I am a Consultant for Tastefully Simple.  There's two items from our Fall/Winter Line that I love.  One is the Rustic Herb Seasoning and the other is Mama Mia's Marinara Sauce Mix.  These two products scream comfort! It's "Get my Snuggie out comfort!"  Just let those two words roll of your tongue. Rustic. Herb. If that don't wake up your pallet I don't know what will!  The Rustic Herb seasoning is a mixture garlic, rosemary, thyme and other spices that makes any meat or vegetable taste like it just came out of Paula Deen's kitchen! It's delicious and so's all you need to spice up your food and get that pallet bursting.  I recently made a Roast Pork and used the Rustic Herb Seasoning. It was so delicious and just added the right amount of flavor to make you smile after every bite. 

The other product I love is the Mama Mia Marinara Sauce Mix.  Yes, I know everyone likes to make there own homemade sauce.  "I like to grow my own tomatoes, then can them, then crush them, yadda yadda." Yes, I do also, but I'm not growing them or crushing them myself.  But, when you have kids, and you have softball practice at 5:30, or you are working late and you need a quick dinner minus the McDonald's. Wouldn't you love to make a good sauce in less than five minutes?  Well, you can. All you need is a 28 ounce can of  Crushed Tomatoes and 1/4 cup of Mama Mia and you will have a fabulous, quick Marinara. While its simmering you can pour yourself a nice well deserved glass of wine and relax.  Once you top this sauce on your pasta, I must tell you, it is tasty! For being a homemade tomato sauce kinda girl, this works very well on busy night during the school year.  It has a little kick to it also, which I love! There's nothing like food with a little spice to get you jumping for more...and more wine! And of course, I love a good batch of homemade sauce, grown, crushed, squeezed, whatever!  I will eat it! LOL

So when you're running late and you stop by McDonald's for those Happy Meals, and a Number 1, remember this blog and visit me at  I will make you a Master Chef in your own kitchen!

Happy Fall Everyone!

Donna Wright

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

First you take a piece of bread....

Hi My Foody Friends!

Have you ever created a meal or a food that you just always talked about but never tried? Sounds weird right?  But I have a short story for you.

Years ago, a friend and myself were in the kitchen, talking about food.  We decided to create something.  Create meaning, talking the recipe out over a beer. LOL. So we started, first you take a piece of bread...lightly toasted...smear of cream cheese...spat of chives...I don't remember anything after that, it was so long ago and the beers were just flowing! LOL But my point is, it's become an everlasting recipe that we never made!  In fact, we joked about for years and still do.  When I attended their wedding, I gave them a beautiful frame and took out the picture that was in the frame when you purchased it, and printed out the recipe and stuck it in there.  Funny part of the story is, when his wife opened the gifts after the wedding, she was looking at the frame and read the recipe out loud, in total confusion!!! Her husband ran in the room to see what she was reading and started laughing! So till this day, when I see them, the recipe always comes up in conversation..."first you take a piece of bread".  We could be talking about the weather or children, and the piece of bread comes up!!!

Recipes are such a personal item.  They are passed down from generations of family members.  It's something that holds a part of that person in them.  I don't have a recipe book from my parents or my grandparents, but I am going to start one for my own children.  I want my girls to reflect back when they were young and I made them eat that dreadful meatloaf, which, let me add, my meatloaf is not dreadful, it's juicy. In time, when they make that meatloaf, they will know what they were missing.  LOL, but to kids, meatloaf isn't on the top of their menu. I want them to have a part of me when they become adults and cook for their own family.  Cooking and food always brings family and friends together.  A good dinner with family makes a bad day better.  Especially if you have some good wine! We have dinner at our table at least five nights a week.  Friday and Saturday nights, are pizza and eat whatever days.  Having your family around the table, together and enjoying stories about your day is the best part. You can't beat it!

My motto in my kitchen is "Live~Laugh~Love".  We live for a fun and happy life and my dinners, we laugh because everyday we're funny people and we crack ourselves up and we love food and each other! LOL.  I know that's not the actual meaning of that saying, but it is in my kitchen! Happy Spring Everyone!


Donna Wright

Thursday, March 8, 2012

A New Venture...

Hi Foody Friends!

I am excited to share something with you.  Its a new venture I'm taking on very soon as a Tastefully Simple Consultant.  I'm really looking forward to being a Consultant.  I've been a Stay at Home Mom for two years now.  I love it. Nothing beats being able to take care of your family, cook great dinners and most importantly have time for your children and school.  There's always something to clean out, iron, wash, or cook.  But don't get me wrong, I have days where I'm twiddling my thumbs thinking..."ugh I'm bored, I need something to do!!" At least till 3:45pm, when the kids get home from school.

 Tastefully Simple has wonderful and quick meal ideas amongst other things. What's better than that for all those "on the go parents"?  I know there's times I need something quick for dinner especially during sport seasons.  Plus I am very fond of food and cooking if you haven't realized that yet.  Oh, and wine, of course.  I came across TS (Tastefully Simple) on Facebook, surprise right!  Anyways as I read on, I noticed I could host a  TS Party.  How much fun would that be?!  I invited a bunch of friends, will have drinks on hand and food to taste!  I have no doubt everyone will enjoy a party like this.  You're not just sitting and listening to someone talk about dishes, utensils and some lame recipe that is supposed to make you want to buy hundreds and hundreds of dollars of merchandise from the catalog.  You are going to taste foods, dips and breads along with a lovely glass of wine and great conversation.  Those are the type of parties I like.  It's all about having fun and enjoying what you are doing.  Since, I love to host parties and cook, I will be in my glory!

This is right up my alley and a step in the right direction.  I've said this before, how I would love a career in cooking.  If it's owning our own Cafe, or just starting as a consultant, it could lead to open doors, as with any adventure you want to take on.  Plus, I'm making extra money for our family.  You never know what the future has in store for you.  I didn't, I have an amazing husband, two wonderful daughters and a happy life! Now that I have all this, I'm ready to continue on, and make the best of what I enjoy.  Cooking and in this case, selling food. LOL. I'm ready! Watch out BSpa!

I suggest you to visit the website and check out all they have to offer at  If you are interested in having a party, I will be booking parties soon!


Donna Wright

Monday, February 27, 2012

Do you like wine? I love wine!

Hi Foody Friends!

Well, should I say "Hi Wine Friends."  I am a huge fan of wine.  I love wine, I have grown to say I can't live without wine.  What's the next best thing from food?  Wine!  You know what place I think is relaxing to me, and I may sound like a "wino" or crazy, a liquor store.  I can walk around a liquor store and check out wines for however long it takes to read each one! LOL.  I have never stayed that long, but I have been in there for some time just browsing and checking out different wines and labels.  Try it sometime! LOL Seriously I'm not crazy!

Anyways, I'm not a wine fanatic.  I love to drink it, but I don't know everything and anything about wine.  I went on a Wine Tour two years ago.  What a great time it was! I recommend to go on one if you haven't already.  We went on The Seneca Lake Wine Tour in Seneca, New York.  It was called "Deck the Halls" Wine Tour.  It was close to Christmas, actually November, at the beginning of the tour we received a wreathe and every winery we visited we received an ornament.  One of the wineries was The Hazlitt Winery, which is home to Red Cat.  I never had Red Cat until that weekend.  Everyone knows the Red Cat chant! To be honest, I didn't know it. I played it off real well, you would think I wrote it, the way I said it that day!  LOL.  Delicious wine but be careful with it!  *wink wink*

When I first met my husband, Chris, he opened my refrigerator and I had a big jug of Carlo Rossi White Zinfandel sitting on the shelf. I obviously wasn't much of a wine drinker then.  Carlo Rossi?  It's like drinking Chianti, you don't. And a jug? Really?  Barefoot is my favorite wine.  They have a Moscato, Riesling, Pinot, and many more.  Every one is better than the next. They just launched the Red Moscato. If you like a sweet wine, which is my favorite, you will love Red Moscato or even the original Moscato. You can't go wrong with Barefoot.  If you visit the website or Facebook page they have several recipes and marinades.  They all look delicious!

Cooking with wine is fabulous!  I think its such a great addition to your food, it gives such flavor and aroma.  Having a glass while you're cooking is also a treat itself! I do it all the time, its relaxing.  You kind of get into a zone, and you're taking your time and making a great meal all while sipping on a fabulous glass of wine.  It doesn't get any better than that.  Make it fun, loosen up and appreciate good wine and great food! It's a blessing in disguise.

Donna Wright

Monday, February 20, 2012

Burgers...sloppy or neat?

Hi Foody Friends!

Who doesn't love a good, juicy, ginormous burger? I do! The more you put on it, the better it is!  The toppings for a burger are never ending.  You can do as little as a piece of American Cheese, to Chili piled high with bacon, radishes, jalapenos and god knows whatever else you can fit between those yummy rolls.

I had to blog about this because I started to think about the TV show, Triple D, and my husband Chris while making dinner tonight.  Guy Fieri is the host, ever watch?  Sum it up it one sentence, he visits restaurants and diners through out the country that have the "best food."  Its one of my favorites!  Anyways, to get back to my thought, on "Triple D",  Chefs make these huge burgers that you can barely fit your mouth around.  It has everything and anything on the burger and looks absolutely delicious.  My mouth is watering every time I watched this show because the food and the burgers look scrumptious!  The reason my husband, Chris came to mind, is that he always says the same thing when a burger episode is on.  "Oh my god, I cannot eat something that has so much stuff on it!".  Me on the other hand, is licking the TV screen...actually no, but close. LOL   So, Chris is a simple cheeseburger eating kind of guy.  Hamburger, slice of American, lettuce tomato and mayo, The All American Hamburger! LOL.  Which is absolutely fine, there is nothing wrong with that at all!

Tonight, I made burgers for dinner.  I sauteed garlic and onion, roasted red peppers, green onions and made a Wasabi Green Onion Spread.  I used toasted sliced Italian Bread instead of the normal hamburger roll.  I added American cheese, lettuce and sliced radishes, instead of tomato, for the "crunch".  I also made herb Roasted Steak Potatoes for a side.  As I am making this, I'm thinking, this is not the burger for the All American guy in the living room!  Surpisingly,  he loved it!  I thought I would get a look and ask for a fork to scrape off some of the toppings, but not at all! In fact, he said it was the best burger he had!  He DOES like a sloppy burger after all. LOL

I grew up with the basic All American Burger.  It never went any further than cheese, and if there was some raw onions, lettuce and tomatoes on the table, someone else was helping in the kitchen.  Normally it was me or one of my sisters sneaking a little extra on the table for the god forsaken burnt burgers!  I mean does every Tuesday night have to be burnt burger night??  What if we were out of cheese that day!!!! Oh know, a plain burnt burger between two buns! How do you sleep at night giving us that!!!!   Why not mix it up a little.  Here's something very simple to juicy up your burger, add Campbell's French Onion Soup or some Worcestershire Sauce.  You can also cubed up some cheese and add right into your meat before making the patties.  Oh the list goes on and on! 

One of my favorite burger places is Five Guys. Oh my, I could eat in there every night!  Those burgers are so delicious and fattening! That's why its a "once in a while, lets go eat at Five Guys" place for us.  The burgers are always piled high with several different choices of toppings.  And of course, the enormous side of fries you get!  My favorite is the Bacon Cheeseburger with sauteed onions, jalapeno peppers and grilled mushrooms with lettuce and tomato.  Its sloppy and spicy just how I like it! LOL

Next time you cook up you favorite burger, pile it high and pour a glass of Barefoot Riesling.  They go together well!


Donna Wright

Thursday, February 9, 2012

When enough is enough, but with food?

Hi Foody Friends!

I know everyone has said this term, at least once, or once a week, "I am going on a diet!"  I know I have said that many times!   I don't know how Chefs do it.  Is it because they are busy running around in a kitchen sweating and enjoying what they are doing so much, that eating the food, is probably the last thing on their mind???  No, they are going to eat that food because it's what they enjoy doing!  I'm not a Chef, I like to cook, occasionally I wish I was a Chef and act like I have my own show in my kitchen, but so what. We all do that too...LOL. But there comes a time when you say, "Enough is Enough."

We keep making excuses, "next week I will start", "I can't exercise when the kids are home", I will do right after they get on the bus.  That's me.  I sit and look at my treadmill everyday, why not unfold and hit start?  NO!  That's just ridiculous, I don't have time, I will start next week!  Well, today I have decided to start watching what I eat.  Try to cut back on the carbs and eat a little more healthier.  Maybe, even cut back on the wine.  We all know the calories that are in wine!!!!  I shared a photo on my Cooking page that my friend Jamie posted, It says, "I cook with wine and I sometime put it in my food."  That explains me to the fullest! Nothing like a glass of Pinot while you are making a scrumptious dinner.

I hate to diet. Dieting sucks! It's so time consuming and I hate it.  You can't enjoy life being afraid of what to eat or how many calories is in that!  Also, if you do eat something unhealthy or fattening, you are spending the entire next week working that off and making yourself crazy! That's just my opinion, which doesn't matter.  Who am I to say what everyone should do. You want to know what I believe in?  I believe being healthy and happy no matter what size you are.  If you are larger person, and you are healthy, toning, and enjoying life to your fullest, than good for you!  I'm not looking to be skinny.  I was never a skinny person.  I always had some meat on me.  I enjoy good food, great company and good glass of wine!  My problem is I need to tone up and get it together! I have my goal set, if I make it, I make it! Yay for me! If not, at least I'm heading in the right direction and there's always room for improvement.

So, next time you have a nice sizzling steak and a lovely bottle of Red, savor those flavors and enjoy life! I am.


Donna Wright

Friday, February 3, 2012

I learned something new...

Hi My Foody Friends!

Last weekend, we visited friends in Canajoharie, NY.  I must add, that besides "passing through" Canajoharie, I never actually said I'm visiting.  Of course, Canajoharie, or as locals call it, "Canjo" is where the Beechnut Factory is located. That is pretty much all I know about Canjo and the fact that Ed and Jessica live there! LOL. So, Ed and Jessica, I am sharing that little device I learned about when pouring the Dreaming Tree Cabernet Sauvignon, which by the way, is a must to try! You will love it.

Red Wine tastes it's best when we let it breathe.  This is where the wine opens up and releases tons of aromas and flavors you are looking for.  Decanting is one way to let your wine breathe, or aerate as some call it. Decanting usually takes longer as it sits.  Another device used, which I learned about last weekend, is a Vinturi.  The Vinturi offeres immediate aeration in a glass of wine. I'm talking instant aeration in the time it takes to pour a glass of wine! The Vinturi aerator is placed on top of the bottle, and the wine is poured through a screen and used as a filter.  As the wine flows through the Vinturi, it sucks air through the pinholes, stirring up the all the juices and flavors. By the time you are done pouring that glass of wine, the aeration process is finished!  Your result is a smooth, palate exploding glass of wine!

Rio Sabadicci is the inventor of this fine product.  He was a Scotch drinker and was not a wine lover.  He ponder the thought of why a friend of his, poured wine into a Decanter.  His friend replied, "the wine needs to breathe".  Mr. Sabadicci knew there had to be an easier and quicker way to have your wine "breathe."  And this my friends, is where the Vinturi all began!

So next time you visit Bed, Bath & Beyond, Macy's, Nordstrom or Crate & Barrel, pick a Vinturi up! You won't be disappointed! I wasn't.


Donna Wright

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

My Palate is Bursting! What does that mean?

Hello Foody Friends!

My Palate is Bursting!  Have you heard that term before? It always makes me giggle. Palate? Bursting? Who says that on a day to day basis?  It's a funny term, that if you were someone who never heard it before...your mind may go straight to the gutter.

I love hearing sayings from Chefs. I find it amusing. Gordon Ramsay has very humorous sayings, if you ever watch Hells Kitchen, you will get a taste of Ramsey's humor. "Piss Off", "Donkey", and don't forget the infamous F Bomb that he throws around through out the show!  But we all know that Chef Ramsey is a World Famous Chef so I know he has some fantastic talk going on in his kitchen!  

Well lets get back to to my palate bursting...what does it mean? Well, its very simple, the roof of your mouth, which is the palate, gives you a sense of taste. Once the  flavors hit your mouth, your taste buds on your tongue open up and those magnificent flavors just seep through your palate and just explode in taste!  When this happens, most people will say, "mmmm" or "this is delicious."  How man times do you hear, "my palate is bursting"??  You just don't. LOL.
Chris and I had a lunch date yesterday and he took me to Shalimar Restaurant in Clifton Park.  Shalamar's is an Indian/Pakastani Restaurant.  The food was delicious, spicy and full of flavor.  Did my palate burst you ask? Yes, over and over!  It was fantastic! I loved the food.

Wine tasting.  Sometimes, when tasting wines, you are given a sorbet or some water to "cleanse your palate".  This is to prepare you for the burst. LOL.  You want to remove any taste of the wine you were tasting before tasting another.  This way, you get the full effect of flavors on your palate!   Isn't the palate wonderful?  I mean, what other part of your body can you clean and burst with food or wine? None!

So, remember, next time you bite into that delicious steak or sip on a great glass of wine, make sure your palate is clean, because it may........burst!


Donna Wright

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

How It All Began...

Hi my "Foody Friends"

Wow...I'm starting a blog! I'm quite excited about doing this. I guess before I begin down the food and wine trail of blogging, you should probably know some information about me.

I am 38 years old, recently married as of November to the best DJ in the world, Chris. Yes, its never too old to tie the knot.  We have two daughters, Halle is 8 and Mariah is 5.  We live in Ballston Spa, NY for the past 2 years. Great place to live, small community and nice people!  Love it here!  I love food and a huge fan of wine! 

I guess I could say I cooked all my life, but my food actually started tasting good a few years ago. Yes, I was a terrible cook once. I'm not bragging, but it wasn't good.  Once I became a "Stay At Home Mom", I really began to find a passion in food and cooking.  Food Network is one of my favorite channels, along with the Food Network Magazine.  You can learn so much from Food Network.  I am a huge fan of Emeril, Rachel Ray and Guy Fieri! Triple D! You have to love that show!!!!  Monday nights are usually "Foody Night". Chris and I would watch Emeril, Triple D and Unwrapped.  Sounds exciting right? It is if you love food!

As many of you know, I was always posting pictures of dinners I have made for my family.   While making Christmas cookies this year, the idea of a cooking page on Facebook came up.  I was toying with the idea since then.  I was a little nervous because I wasn't sure if anyone would enjoy a page like this.  But if you liked my pictures I posted, why wouldn't you like the page?? So, Cooking Wright with Donna was born!  I have to give props to my girl, Julie Brennan, who helped me come up with the name! She was throwing page names out left and right, but this title fit perfectly, since of course, Wright is my last name!  Thank god my last name wasn't "Wrong"...that was one of my first posts on my wall from Tim Wedeman! lol.

I would love to own a small Cafe one day.  Possibly right here in Ballston Spa.   A place where you can come in a enjoy a home cooked meal, lovely wines and yummy deserts!  Who knows! Anything is possible.  For now, I am going to continue blogging, sharing some great recipes and tasteful wines with you!  I hope you will enjoy!

Donna Wright