Friday, September 30, 2016

Wine Tasting with a Napa Valley Winery





When you can't go to Napa Valley for a wine tasting, the next best thing is to have one of its oldest vineyards bring their wines to you. From time to time, our club hosts wine pairing dinners and we always try to go and experience some great food and new to us wines. Earlier this week, the Regusci Winery was the guest of honor and it was so interesting to hear the story of their long history in Napa Valley. The winery originated in 1932, but they have definitely kept up with the times, creating blends with both old and new grapes by collaborating with other established vineyards. Let me take you through the courses and wine pairings.


First course

Grilled red and yellow watermelon on a bed of arugula with goat cheese, pistachios and a balsamic vinaigrette. Paired with Tank Rose.


Second Course

Grilled Shrimp with a chimichurri sauce and paired with Regusci Sauvignon Blanc.



3rd Course

A duo of pepper and asiago cheese gnocchi with bolognese sauce and shaved parmesan. Paired with T Vine Hallowed Ground Blend.


Main Course

Filet Stack with grilled red pepper and portobello mushroom, mustard zip sauce and roasted brussel sprouts paired with two Cabernets: Farm Collective Cabernet and Regusci Stags Leap District Cabernet.


Dessert Course

Bananas Foster Bread Pudding served with coffee.


Hungry yet? It was a delicious meal that paired perfectly with the wines chosen to compliment the food. Of course, we were seated with friends and we had a great time discussing the food, the wines and life in general. Just an all around lovely way to spend the evening.

Have a wonderful weekend!


Monday, September 26, 2016

Early Morning Tailgate




Mimosas to start the morning right.


Group Shot including my husband, my daughter, her boyfriend and my sister and brother in law.



Early morning on campus.


Big Ten Tailgate live broadcast.


For a noon football kickoff, we need to be waiting in line at the parking lot at 7:00 that morning. That means leaving my house well before the sun is up or any sane person is awake on a Saturday morning. But, it's worth it when we arrive on campus and see we are not the only ones excited for the day. We quickly set up our tents, food tables and chairs and got down to enjoying the morning and anticipating the big game against Wisconson.

We had a table set up for mimosas (real glasses of course) and three other tables full of breakfast food. We even had someone making (to order) Crossaint Sandwiches. It was a little chilly to start the morning, but after the sun started to warm things up, we were fine in our sweatshirts.

The Big Ten Network had their first ever live tailgate show right next to our tailgate spot, so we were able to walk over to that area a few times and see what was going on. It was interesting to see their live broadcast and we might have even been in a background shot on television. I won't say too much about the actual game, because it was a bad day for Spartan Nation, but win or lose, the tailgating is always fun.



My contribution to the breakfast menu was Baked French Toast with Struesel Topping. It is great for early mornings, because you prepare it the night before and bake it when you wake up. It's delicious too served with a little warm maple syrup.

Happy Monday!


Friday, September 23, 2016

Book Club - Last Day of Summer







In order to accommodate schedules, we decided to change our Book Club night to Wednesdays this year and this first meeting in September just happened to coincide with the last day of summer. To mark that occasion, we toasted and looked back on a good summer with delicious peach bellinis (pre made from Trader Joe's - who knew?) on our hostesses backyard deck. As is always the case, we were so happy to be back into the routine of getting together every month.

Our dinner was beautifully presented and scrumptious as usual. The grilled pork tenderloin medallions had a slightly spicy rub that I loved and the cold pasta salad, as well as the fennel and strawberry green salad were the perfect side dishes for an end of summer feast. Dessert was a neopolitian cake, as delicious as it was pretty.



As for the book we read and discussed, this was another case of how being in a book club gets me to read a book I would normally not pick up, but end up enjoying very much. This book is based on the true story of the first black women to graduate from Vasser in 1897. The twist and the conflict in the story is that Vasser was not aware until the end of her senior year that she was black and that she had been passing as white all four years. We had a very thoughtful discussion and it seemed especially timely in the racially charged environment we live in today. If you like historical fiction, this is very well written and has a lot of interesting detail about the Seven Sister schools and the origin of women's college education in the late 1800's.

Have a wonderful weekend - tailgating on Saturday for me so Go Green!


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