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