foodie

Carrabba’s Sausage And Lentil Soup Recipe For Father’s Day

Potatoes Picante, Grilled Prosciutto Wrapped Peaches, Charred Corn Burrata Salad…find fabulous tapas recipes on the Roanoker Magazine blog. Here’s the link:

https://theroanoker.com/blogs/behind/it%E2%80%99s-time-for-tapas/

Did someone say SOUP?!

Here’s the most delicious soup you can serve Dad on his special day.  Tastes like a yummy chili with the spicy addition of Italian sausage.  Our bubbly friends Judy and Bill served this to us for an Italian themed dinner and I loved it so much I made it for dinner the very next evening!  Bill found the recipe on Copykat.com:

Carrabba’s Sausage and Lentil Soup

Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 1 cup diced white onion
  • 1/2 cup diced carrot
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
  • 1 pound Italian sausage
  • 1 48 ounce package low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning (I used Cavender’s Greek Seasoning)
  • 1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup brown lentils (I used red lentils)

Directions

In a large pot add onions, carrots, garlic, and celery and either butter or vegetable oil. Saute until the onions are transparent. Add sausage, and cook until browned. If the sausage is fairly lean drain the excess oil.

Add chicken broth, Italian seasoning, diced tomatoes and brown lentils. Cover with lid. And simmer for about 1 hour. You may want to add some additional water if too much water cooks out during the cooking process.

We found this 2016 Izadi Blanco Rioja to be an excellent pairing with the sausage and lentil soup. A blend of 80% Viura and 20% Malvasía grapes. Creamy texture with a fruit-driven freshness that balances well with the spicy flavors in the soup. Available on-line or locally at Mr. Bill’s Wine Cellar.

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National Cheese Day ~ Comeback Cow!

Cheese Glorious Cheese!

In celebration of National Cheese Day – June 4, 2018 – I am tasting a new cheese and it is delicious!

Dorothy’s Comeback Cow Soft Ripened Cheese

A pleasant surprise!

Dorothy was known to work tirelessly or, as they say, until the cows came home, perfecting her soft-ripened cheeses. Comeback Cow is one of her most unusual cheese –– a true creation. Nestled in the shape of freshly sprung flowers—this bloomy rind cheese is tinged orange with age. It’s made from cow’s milk with rustic, fragrant notes in every bite.

Behold, a tasteful artisan brie that surprises A lovely blend crafted with sheer love Flavor with a kick (that just keeps kicking) And creaminess that will keep you coming back… Until the cows come home!

I paired the Comeback Cow Cheese with Runamok Maple Syrups.  Made in northern Vermont these maple syrups are fabulous drizzled over soft-ripened cheese, in cocktails, and in many sweet and savory recipes. Here’s a link to Runamok’s recipes on-line: https://runamokmaple.com/recipes/

We found the Smoked with Pecan Wood Maple Syrup to be especially delicious.

Holmsted Fines Peach Chutney was another amazing pairing with the Comeback Cow cheese. It tastes so much like my mom’s homemade peach chutney, yum!

 

Holmsted Fines Chutney is uniquely different from other chutneys on the market. It is an English based recipe that Owner and Creator Rebecca Williamson developed after graduating  Le Cordon Bleu. The balance between sweetness and acidity make Holmsted Fines the perfect condiment for any meats, cheese and vegetables even can be added to cocktails or desserts.  https://holmstedfines.com/

I am always looking for quick and delicious appetizers to serve with wine and these syrups and chutneys paired with cheese was the perfect combination ~ so easy to prepare and serve.

Comeback Cow!

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Wine ~ Spirits Infused Grilling Planks For Father’s Day!

My blogger friend Anatoli sent me some Beyond Salt and Pepper wine infused cedar grilling planks to try on my grill. Please visit his blog

https://talk-a-vino.com/

to experience his inspiring stories about wine and food.

I was couldn’t wait to get grillin’… then it started to rain and rain and rain. Every day it rained buckets.  So it was difficult to find a time to grill. Then finally the sun peeked through the clouds  we decided NOW we grill!  As soon as we put the food on the grill it started to…you guessed it…rain!  We did not let the raindrops deter us, we were bound and determined to grill.

My sweet husband grilled under the cover of his umbrella.

 

Fresh swordfish sprinkled with sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, drizzled with olive oil,

topped with fresh lemon slices, ready for the grill.

Since the planks are soaked for 48 hours in their respective wines or spirits there is no need to pre-soak the planks.  I seasoned the plank by lightly toasting each side on the grill  before cooking the fish.  This imparts more intense flavor and helps prevent warping.

We tested the fish for doneness with a cake tester. This is a favorite chef’s secret:  Insert a cake tester into the thickest part of the fish and leave it there for three seconds. Immediately after removing the cake tester, touch the tip to the skin under your bottom lip for three seconds. (the skin under your lip is especially sensitive to temperature).  If the metal is warm, the fish is done. If it’s hot, the fish is probably overcooked, and if the metal is still cool, keep the fish on the grill awhile longer.

We kept a water bottle close by to spritz on any little flames as the plank got nice and hot. The aroma of the chardonnay coming off the grill was fabulous!

A simple sauce of fresh dill and melted butter was the perfect flavor for the chardonnay infused fish.  The chardonnay plank helped to keep the fish moist and tender.

The perfect pairing ~ Dill Butter Chardonnay Infused Grilled Swordfish with Delamotte Champagne.  Cheers!

Here’s a link to Anatoli’s blog post with more information about Beyond Salt and Pepper Grilling Planks:  https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/4534732/posts/19754

I am looking forward to trying the other plank flavors ~ champagne, merlot, bourbon, rum and beer.  They are easy to order directly from the website, or on Amazon (the website offers a bit wider selection).  For more inspiring grilling ideas follow Beyond Salt and Pepper on Instagram.  There are lots of fun recipes (grilled vegetable recipes for my vegetarian friends too!) on their website.  Recipes include Chardonnay Infused Cedar Planked Shrimps With Blood Orange And Peppercorns, Lamb Chops And Gnocchi On Chardonnay Infused Cedar Planked, Ginger-Marinated Pork Tenderloin On Bourbon Infused Cedar Plank…yum! Let’s get grillin’!

These flavor infused grilling planks will make a fun gift for Dad for Father’s Day on June 17, 2018!

 The planks can be used in the oven. Recommended to preheat the oven to between 360°F. To 420°F depending on the type of food you cook. Always place the planks inside the oven safe tray to prevent juices from splashing all over the oven.
Pop over to the Roanoker Magazine Blog to find some fun rosé wines to enjoy while you grill!

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Irish Boxty Meets The Flora Dora Cocktail In Dublin Ireland

Let’s lift a pint to Dublin!

 

We recently visited Gallagher’s Boxty Totally Irish Restaurant  in the Temple Bar area Dublin, Ireland

Our restaurant has been at the beating heart of a dynamic, contemporary community for over 25 years. Our customers experience a genuine taste of modern Ireland, full of eclectic talking points and the warmth of that country kitchen down the west. Today, our restaurant caters for up to 2000 local and international customers a week. The relaxed, warm atmosphere provides a natural habitat for conversation to flow easily and to share stories.

Crazy delicious and refreshing Flora Dora Cocktail served at the Boxty Restaurant in Dublin, Ireland. The cocktail was named after the first Broadway musical hit “Floradora” which made it’s debut at the Lyric Theater in London 1899  followed by a long run in New York.  So fantastic that I couldn’t wait to get home to make one.  Here’s my recipe:

Flora Dora Cocktail

makes one cocktail

1 1/2 ounce fresh raspberry puree (to make the puree:  Place fresh raspberries in a blender and blend until pureed.  Strain the raspberry puree through a fine sieve to remove any seed particles.  I keep my raspberry puree in a mason jar in the refrigerator.)

1 1/2 ounce vodka

A good squeeze of fresh lime juice

1 cup chilled ginger beer

lots of little ice cubes (I make miniature ice cubes in an ice tray that makes perfect little cubes, remove them from the tray and place in a plastic freezer bag in the freezer.)

Fresh spearmint and raspberries for garnish.

Place raspberry puree in a cocktail glass. Add vodka and lime juice and stir to combine.  Top with chilled ginger beer and ice cubes.  Stir gently to combine all ingredients.  Garnish with spearmint and raspberries. Cheers!

 

Boxty is a traditional Irish potato pancake.

Boxty on the griddle,

Boxty in the pan,

If you can’t make boxty,

You’ll never get a man.

Boxty on the griddle,

Boxty in the pan,

The wee one in the middle,

That’s the one for Mary Anne.

(Traditional Irish Rhyme)

 

http://boxtyhouse.ie/

Luncheon Specialties of the Boxty House:

Bacon Ribs

Slow-Cooked Bacon Ribs with House BBQ Sauce and Celeriac and Apple Slaw

Traditional Fish and Chips

Seafood Chowder served with Stout and Treacle Bread and fine Irish Butter + a pint

Fresh and Smoked Fish, Potato and Fennel Broth

Irish Pub Activities List!

Seriously Shamrocks are in these chips!

Our Shamrock & Sour Cream Potato Crisps are hand cooked in small batches using potatoes grown on our farm, the finest quality sunflower oil and seasoned with ingredients sourced from local Irish suppliers. They combine the delicious tangy taste of Sour Cream with the freshness of traditional Irish Shamrock. Our shamrock is grown in Ballinskelligs, Co. Kerry by Livingshamrock. This area has produced fresh Shamrock for the American President for St Patrick’s Day since 1952.

AND FOR DESSERT…

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Spring Fun With Champagne And Chocolate Lace Cookies!

It’s Spring…time to get out of the house and have some FUN!

Oatmeal Lace Cookies are THE BEST COOKIES!  Perfect for a Spring picnic.  The recipe is compliments of Gloria Smiley, Food Stylist Extraordinaire.  She served them for lunch when we visited her in Atlanta, Georgia and I didn’t want to look like a piglet, but I just could not stop eating them. They are so GOOD!  Thank you Gloria for sharing your recipe! 

OATMEAL LACE COOKIES

        These cookies are adapted from Nick Malgieri’s Lace Cookies.  There are many variations and substitutions, such as ground nuts instead of oatmeal; maple sugar instead of regular sugar, and sandwiched with bittersweet chocolate, yum.

8 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1 cup rolled oats, finely chopped – pulse in a food processor

1 cup sugar

½ teaspoon salt

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon orange juice

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a bowl, stir together melted butter, oatmeal, maple sugar, salt, egg, vanilla extract and orange juice.  Stir until all ingredients are well incorporated.
  1. Using a½ teaspoon measure, drop the batter onto sheet pans either lined with Silpat or buttered foil.  The cookies will spread, so leave at least 2 inches between each cookie.
  1. Bake the cookies for about 8 to 10 minutes, or until they are brown around the edges.  Remove from oven and slide the Silpat or foil onto a cooling rack.
  1. When the cookies are cool, lift them off the Silpat or foil and store in between sheets of parchment or wax paper in a container with a tight fitting lid.
  1. To make sandwiches, melt 6 ounces of bittersweet chocolate and spread on the bottom side of half the cookies; then cover with another cookie, top side up.  Store in the same manner as above.

Chambong!

$35 on-line or locally at Wine Gourmet in Roanoke, Virginia.  What is it?!  The Chambong is used for the rapid and enhanced
experience of sparkling wine / champagne consumption.  http://www.chambong.co/about/

Here’s their story from their website…they say it’s magical!

The origins of the first Chambong came about in early 2014, during a moment preempting the Super Bowl. We had an epiphany the week prior of the big event to create a “Super…Bowl.” The resulting device of our imagination harnessed an ability to hold an extraordinary amount of cannabis, however was sadly non-functional as a smoking apparatus. Fortune would prevail several evening later, while onlookers examining the piece remarked at how it looked like a fantastic wine “shooter”.  They promptly filled it with Champagne and experienced the resulting magic…And thus was born the glory that is — The Chambong.

Pop A Ball!

https://popaball.co.uk/

These fun little balls are made in the UK. I found the peach and strawberry flavors to be delightful. I enjoyed watching the balls dance around in my glass, but the set only came with one straw which would be awkward if serving more than one flute at a time. Fun for a one time party trick if you want to spend around $15 for a pack of two. I purchased them on eBay since Popaball in the UK does not ship to the United States.

MIMI ROSÉ SPARKLING WINE 

Grenache varietal. Notes of white flowers, fleshy white fruits, and citrus too. Serve as an aperitif or with dessert.  Perfect for porch sippin’ on a warm sunny day. Available on-line and locally at Mr. Bill’s Wine Cellar in Roanoke, Virginia.

River and Rail Restaurant

Cure For Sorrow Cocktail

Coconut Infused Buffalo Trace Bourbon, Bonal QuinQuina, House Tepache, Banana-Cream Syrup, Lime, Tiki Bitters. Pineapple, Coconut, and hints of spice. Shaken and served over a large ice cube. Grated cinnamon and pineapple wedge garnish. YUM!

Pop over to the Roanoker Magazine blog to enjoy my Beets, Bacon and Blue Salad (blue cheese and blueberries) recipe. Here’s the link:

https://theroanoker.com/blogs/behind/beets-bacon-and-blue-salad-with-ingredients-from-grandin-vil/

Happy Spring!

 

 

Fire And Ice Kentucky Lemonade ~ Celebrate Derby Day!

What’s shaken’ at the River and Rail Restaurant in Roanoke, Virginia?!

Find out and enjoy some of Shane Lumpp’s fabulous cocktail recipes 

on the Roanoker Magazine’s Blog:  

 

https://theroanoker.com/blogs/behind/cocktails-with-shane/

 

This year the Kentucky Derby is on May 5, the same day as Cinco de Mayo.  So let’s make “Cinco de Mayo Kentucky Lemonade”!  with Kentucky bourbon of course!

Fire and Ice Kentucky Lemonade 

Makes 8 cups

  • cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh lemon juice (from approximately 6 lemons ~ don’t worry about the seeds, they will be strained out later)
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves + a few mint sprigs for garnish
  • 2/3 cup Bourbon
  • cups ginger ale
  • large ice cubes
  • 12 slices fresh Mandarin oranges, cut slices in half
  • Maker’s Mark Bourbon Cherries for garnish
  • 8 very thin slices (adjust the number of slices to taste ~  these are hot, so be careful!) Serrano peppers, seeds and membrane removed
  • Fine sugar for cocktail glass rim (fine sugar is available at Fresh Market)
  1. In a small saucepan, combine granulated sugar and water and heat over medium heat.  Heat until sugar dissolves into water and mixture is clear.  Simmer 1-2 minutes, then remove from heat.

  2. Add lemon juice, mint leaves, Serrano pepper slices and Bourbon, then let mixture cool.

  3. Pour mixture through a fine strainer into a pitcher to remove solid particles and mint leaves.  Rim cocktail glasses with fine sugar.  To rim glasses place fine sugar on a small plate.  Rub the edge of each cocktail glass with a lemon wedge.  Roll the edge of the glass in the fine sugar.  For each lemonade cocktail mix 1/2 cup lemonade mixture to 1/2 cup ginger ale and stir to combine.  Add 2 or more large ice cubes and 2 mandarin orange slices.  Garnish with Maker’s Mark Bourbon Cherries and a sprig of mint.

    April was a happy month of celebrations for our family.  We enjoyed a special food and wine pairing dinner at River and Rail Restaurant in Roanoke, Virginia.  My bubbly sister-in-law Kelly is pictured above with a jeroboam of Billecart-Salmon “Brut Réserve” Champagne. (Jeroboam = 4 standard bottles of champagne).  We enjoyed pairing this champagne with a spectacular seafood display…Lobster, American Sturgeon Caviar service, oysters, shrimp, smoked trout rillette. 

     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Kumquat Champagne Cocktail With Candied Kumquat Garnish

Kumquats may look like miniature oranges but make no mistake they are very different…

Kumquats have an edible rind which is tender and sweet.  Oranges have inedible rinds.

Kumquat flesh is dry and very tart.  The flesh of an orange is sweet with a bit of tartness.

Kumquats are more expensive than oranges. I paid $6.99 for 12 ounces. Oranges would have costed me 99 cents for a pound.

Both kumquats and oranges are rich in vitamin C.  Both fruits have seeds.

For sweet cocktail lovers please note…this cocktail is NOT SWEET!  It has the tartness of kumquat with just a hint of sweet and lots of fun bubbles.

Kumquat Champagne Cocktail

This recipe is from Epicurious.com.

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

1 1/4 cups thinly sliced kumquats

1/3 cup Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur

1/4 cup sugar

1 750-ml bottle brut Champagne, well chilled (I used sparkling wine for this recipe since I rarely use true champagne to make cocktails.)

PREPARATION

    1. Using back of large spoon, mash first 3 ingredients in bowl. Let stand 5 minutes. Strain mixture through fine sieve set over bowl, pressing on solids.
    2. Pour 2 tablespoons kumquat syrup into each of four 6-ounce Champagne flutes. Fill each with 2/3 cup Champagne.

Garnish with candied kumquats.  (I saved the kumquats from the cocktail kumquat syrup to make the candied kumquats.)

Candied Kumquats

12 ounces sliced kumquats

1 cup sugar

1 cup water

Place water and sugar in a saucepan. Stir to combine.  Heat to boiling and then reduce heat to a simmer. Add kumquat slices and stir to coat the slices with sugar water.  Simmer over medium-low heat for 20 minutes.  Remove from heat and cool.

I also served the candied kumquats with Roasted Pork Loin finished with Oliveto Olive Wood Smoked Olive Oil…divine!   So easy, I just put a small pork loin in a baking pan, drizzled it with some of the wood smoked olive oil (gives the pork a little hint of smokey flavor)and sprinkled it with Cavender’s Greek Seasoning.  Baked in pre-heated 350 degree oven for 40 minutes.   After I took it out of the oven I drizzled it with some more of the smoked olive oil and served each portion of pork with a spoonful of the candied kumquats.

 

I always love the signs outside our local wine shop Mr. Bill’s Wine Cellar…

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