Travel Often

“I see my path, but I don’t know where it leads. Not knowing where I’m going is what inspires me to travel it.” — Rosalia de Castro

Love Deeply, but Laugh Along the Way

"Happiness is only real when shared." - Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild

View Marriage as an Adventure

"Love is a flower which turns into fruit at marriage." ~Finnish Proverb

Fuel your body with GOOD (It's the only one you get)

He who has health has hope; and he who has hope has everything. - Arabian Proverb

Open your Soul to Motherhood

A Grand Adventure is About to Begin - Winnie the Pooh

A New Kind of Love is Born

Mothers hold their children's hands for a short while, but their hearts forever.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

My favorite local wine of the month

Delicious local red wine I'm sipping right now

When I first started drinking wine, I loved Riesling.  So much so that my mom had to go out and get me a cool Riesling picture for our living room from Kohl's. (She's seriously the best.) Then I jumped over to loving even sweeter whites. Enter Moscato.

Then we got married and gave everyone in our wedding bottles of Cab Sauv from Matthew Fox (they were seriously $2.99 but REALLY good. Of course I had to make labels for everyone too - see sample below!!!) Then I started to dig Pinot Noir and Shiraz. The list goes on. Then we went to Greece and went to a winery there. And South Africa (hello Pinotage). Then California (Temecula and headed north through San Fran and had a private tour with Jake Fetzer). So I decided I love wine, period!

A local liquor store started offering FREE wine tastings every Friday and Saturday, so Karl and I go and usually buy a bottle every week. As you can guess, our wine rack is overflowing. During the colder months, I realized I jumped back into liking whites a lot. Now, as it gets warmer, I'm digging reds. So weird. My poor palette is all mixed up.

Last weekend on the way back from Karl's parent's cabin, we stopped at Winehaven. It's a local winery in Chisago, Minnesota. There were over 20 wines to sample. All GOOD wines, I might add. I recommend going there and trying them all. And better yet, it's all FREE sampling.

Anyway, we ended up buying a red. I don't know what it is about this wine, but I LOVE it. It reminds me of eating grapes off the vine. It's sweet but dry, and just awesome. I highly recommend trying it and let me know what you think!! Below is the description on the tasting sheet!

Deer Garden Red
A semi-sweet wine with bright cherry aromas and flavors. One-of-a-kind from our patented Chisago grapes! Silver Medal Winner 2011.

One of the wine labels I made for our entire wedding party!

Beef Ragu

Beef Ragu
serves 6
(recipe found in Good Housekeeping May 2011)

Beef Ragu

Salt and pepper
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 lb lean (93%) ground beef
1 lg carrot, finely chopped
1 lg. stalk celery, finely chopped
1 sm. onion (4 to 6 oz), finely chopped
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground coriander
Pinch crushed red pepper
1 can (28 oz) no-salt added-fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1 pkg (13.25 oz) whole-grain penne
1 c. packed fresh mint leaves, chopped

1. Heat covered 6-quart pot of water to boiling on high. Add 2 tsp salt.

2. In 12-in. skillet, heat oil on high. Add beef in even layer. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon each salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook 2 minutes or until browned; stir, breaking into pieces.

3. Add carrot, celery, and onion. Cook 5 minutes or until tender and golden, stirring occasionally. Add cumin, coriander, and red pepper. Cook 30 seconds, stirring. Stir in tomatoes; heat to boiling. Reduce heat to maintain steady simmer. Simmer 10 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, add penne to boiling water. Cook 1 minute less than minimum time label directions. Drain, return to sauce pot. Stir in tomato cause, cook on medium 2 minutes or until pasta is al dente and well coated, stirring. Stir in mint and 1/4 tsp each salt and black pepper.

Karl's reaction: "What kind of green stuff is that? Kinda tastes like a mojito. I like it though."

My take: I liked this. I would make it juicier though. It might have been a titch to dry for my taste.
The goodness!! (I used a different pasta to clean out the pantry!)

Tarragon-Citrus-Crusted Salmon

serves 4
(Recipe found in Good Housekeeping May 2011)

1 lemon
3 navel oranges
1TBS Dijon mustard
1 TBS extra virgin olive oil
1/8 tsp sugar
Salt and pepper
1 seedless (English) cucumber, cut in half and thinly sliced
8 oz very thinly sliced red cabbage (about 4 c.)
1/4 c panko (Japanese-style bread crumbs)
2 green onions, finely chopped
1 TBS packed fresh tarragon leaves, finely chopped, plus leaves for garnish
4 pieces skinless center-cut salmon fillet (4 oz. each)
4 tsp. fat-free plain Greek yogurt

1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Line jelly-roll pan with foil. From lemon, grate 1 tsp peel and squeeze 3 TBS juice. From oranges, grate 1 1/2 tsp peel; set aside. Cut off peel and white pith from oranges and discard. Cut oranges into 1/2-inch thick slices. Arrange orange slices, slightly overlapping, in center of prepared pan.

2. In large bowl, stir together Dijon oil, sugar, lemon juice, and 1/4 tsp salt. Add cucumber and cabbage; toss to coat. Set aside.

3. In a small bowl, stir together lemon peel, orange peel, panko, green onions, tarragon, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and freshly ground pepper.

4. Arrange salmon on orange slices, skin side down; spread 1 tsp yogurt on each fillet. Top with panko mixture, pressing gently to adhere.

5. Bake salmon 10 to 13 minutes or until opaque throughout. Transfer fillets with orange slices to 4 plates; garnish with tarragon leaves. Serve with cabbage mixture.

Karl's reaction: "Mmm...this is different. Mmmm...not sure about this one."

My take... Well, I definitely overcooked the salmon. The pieces I used were too big and didn't cook properly. So I kept sticking back in the oven. I cooked for 20+ minutes because it was so goopy pink inside. Buuuut, I guess I'd rather have that than overcooked. I'd try again. And if you make this, let me know how it turns out. The cabbage mixture was REAL good though!!
Salmon dinner (before oven). Looks kind of pretty!!

My fave part! The cabbage salad!