Tag Archives: wine

Fitting It All In

I’ve heard nothing but, “Man, the holidays are going by so fast!” and “Can’t believe Christmas is only 2 weeks away!” lately.

So far all my planning ahead has helped a little, but I am still scrambling, stressing and scurrying, however at the same time, trying to enjoy the season. Fortunately all events that are near and dear to us fell on different days so we’re able to attend everything, but it does make for one crazy month.

I wanted to have our neighbor friends over for a simple, little dinner to celebrate Jay’s birthday and the only option was to do it on Friday. Since I was in the midst of getting the Christmas cards out and afternoon dance class last Friday, I needed to have a menu that I could make ahead of time and be ready for entertaining when we got home close to 7:oopm.

I chose to do something in the crock pot so that could be simmering all afternoon and make a dessert ahead of time that was fancy enough for guests, but easy!

I took my chances with two new recipes and they both worked like charms.

Crock Pot Beef Stroganoff

{I followed the recipe, but used more like 3 pounds stew meat and added one small carton fresh mushrooms to the mix ~ a must for beef stroganoff as far as I’m concerned and served over [No Yolks] egg noddles}

Pumpkin Creme Brûlée

{Used low fat evaporated milk and the 4 eggs not the egg substitute}

The most difficult part about this recipe is the water bath and not splashing it into the ramekins! Please don’t be afraid of creme brûlée if you love it…you can make it at home easily. We have a kitchen torch to do the brûlée, but if you don’t, there are broiler instructions at the bottom of the recipe.

I decided to make up a {Wintery White Wine Sangria} which was just two bottles Chardonnay, 1 liter ginger ale, 1/2 cup triple sec, some orange slices and some fresh cranberries.

{I threw the ingredients into this glass canister in the morning and let the flavors marry all day in the ‘fridge. The cranberries floated in the glasses and looked very festive!}

If you’re doing some entertaining this holiday and have a busy schedule as well {who doesn’t?} this is the perfect type of menu that will leave you able to sit and visit with your guests and not be slaving over a hot stove or pulling things out of the oven as they arrive. All I had to do was boil some water for the noodles after the guests arrived and we sipped sangria & Blue Moons and visited until the noodles were ready. See, I was so busy mingling that I was too busy to snap a photo of the stroganoff so I have nothing to show for it other than echoing praises from all who consumed it. The meat was super tender {I cooked on low for about 8 hours…added the cream cheese in at about hour six. Next time I may substitute sour cream for the cream cheese, but it was excellent this way}.


So, keep it simple and don’t stress. Put your crock pot to work, bake up a dessert ahead of time and have pre-mixed drinks ready to go at your next get-together.


{Simply Citrus} Sangria

We had one of those ginormous 1.5L bottles of cabernet sauvignon leftover literally from Christmas. I was going to cook with it, but then yesterday afternoon as we were sitting out in the front watching the kiddos play while our power was out, I got the idea to turn it into sangria. It was a gorgeous mid-70s Saturday in JANUARY on a 3-day weekend…so why not?


I just threw the following into a pitcher:

1 navel orange, thinly sliced

1 lemon, thinly sliced

1 lime, thinly sliced

3/4 of a 1.5L bottle of cab {or any red wine…but you could use the whole bottle obviously}

1/2 cup triple sec

Half a 2-liter bottle of lemon-lime soda {I used diet}

Stir and let marinate for at least an hour.

It was gone in a jiffy so I didn’t have time to snap a pic. But I think this is the recipe I’ll be using from now on.

Light and refreshing.

And so easy!


Enchiladas And Olympics And Wine…Oh My

Last night we had a nice, relaxing Friday evening with the female half of the Sullivan family ~ our friends who live 2 doors down.

I found these scrumptous looking enchiladas on one of my favorite blogs and decided it was the perfect night to make them. I’m going to rename them “You had me at cilantro” chicken enchiladas, though.

I LOVE me some cilantro. Forget the chicken, cheese, sour cream, tortillas…..I made these for the cilantro! This flavorful herb runs throughout this recipe and I was chompin’ at the bit to try these.

Here is the line up:

Two ingredients are missing from this pic…the ginormous bunch of cilantro is covering up the little sour cream tub and I also used some jarred roasted red peppers which didn’t make the photo shoot.

The meat from one whole rotisserie chicken made eight HUGE enchiladas.

And here is the final product:

They were SUPER DUPER yummy, but I was expecting them to be a little spicier…we added some jalapeño rings and then they were absolute perfection on a plate!

These paired with Gramma K, good friends, a couple bottles of wine and the Olympic Opening Ceremonies was the perfect way to wrap up the week and welcome Valentine’s Day weekend.

So, if you don’t know what to make for your special Valentine, may I suggest these…spicy, creamy, cheesy, cilantro(y)!