because what is life without good food?

Posts tagged “Wine

Shrimp & Tomato Bisque

Shrimp & Tomato Bisque

My girlfriends were coming for the weekend so I wanted to make them something super delicious … it was chillier than we expected it to be this weekend, so I decided a nice pot of hot soup would be just the thing.

It did happen just perfectly … two of my friends were staying in a camper and when they showed up at my house on Saturday, it was just about lunchtime plus they were quite chilled and hungry so the soup warmed them right up and filled our bellies before we went out to see the sights. I was so happy because they all raved about the soup and the two who don’t like things too hot & spicy said it was just right. Whew!

Shrimp & Tomato Bisque

Shrimp & Tomato Bisque

  • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 – 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 3 stalks of celery, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 cup of chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrot
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup Chardonnay or other white wine
  • 2 garden fresh tomatoes + 2 roma tomatoes (about 0.7 lb), peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup beef or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup mixed vegetable juice such as V8 (or tomato juice)
  • About 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
  • About 1 Tablespoon fresh tarragon leaves
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Sriracha (or other hot sauce … use more or less depending on how spicy you like your soup)
  • 2 cups fat free half & half
  • 1 lb shrimp, fresh or frozen
  • To garnish: freshly shredded Asiago or Parmesan cheese and fresh herbs


  1. Peel and chop the garlic and mix it with the olive oil in a small bowl. Set aside to let the garlic infuse into the oil while you chop the rest of the vegetables.
  2. Once you’ve chopped all the vegies, heat a saucepan or soup pot over medium heat and pour in the garlic and olive oil, then add the celery, onion and carrots and sautee until the onion is soft and translucent. If the vegetables get dry before the onions are soft, add the wine and cook until it has evaporated. Add the flour and stir to coat all the vegetables.
  3. Add the wine (if you haven’t yet added it!), tomatoes, broth, juice, herbs, seasonings and Sriracha and stir well to mix. Bring the mixture to a slow boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the tomatoes break up and you have a nice thick soupy mixture, about 20 – 30 minutes or so. Using an immersion or regular blender, puree the soup. (If you have a blender with a glass carafe, let the soup cool a bit before pureeing it to avoid cracking the glass.)
  4. Pour the soup back into the saucepan and add the half and half and stir to mix, then add the shrimp. Cook over medium low heat just until the shrimp is hot and cooked through. Serve hot, garnished with shredded cheese and fresh herbs if you like, with some flatbread or Naan on the side.

Shrimp & Tomato Bisque

This recipe was shared at Weekend Potluck and Scrumptious Sunday.

Caramelized Onion Mushroom Gouda Soup

“Soup is a lot like a family. Each ingredient enhances the others; each batch has its own characteristics; and it needs time to simmer to reach full flavor.”
~ Marge Kennedy

Caramelized Onion Mushroom Gouda Soup

The other day I was digging through my freezer trying to identify all the things that were too freezer burned to eat and I came across this “mystery” container with ugly brown stuff in it. I had NO idea what that was. I sniffed it. Poked it. Nope, couldn’t tell what it was. I set it in my pile of “things to discard” … and it wasn’t until morning that I realized it was MOREL mushrooms! Oh NO! my precious most favorite mushrooms in the whole world that my dad gave me … I just couldn’t let those go to waste! I quickly set my mind to thinking what to do with them …

Soup! Yes, mushroom soup. Something wonderfully creamy and cheesy … I originally thought I would puree this soup and make a rich cream of mushroom soup, but once I got it all done, I just didn’t want to do that to my soup. I wanted to savor the soft texture of the mushrooms and caramelized onions contrasted against the smooth creamy, cheesy broth. You can puree it if you prefer. I’m leaving mine with bits of mushroom and caramelized onion floating about in it.

I am SO glad I saved the mushrooms. I feel a bit super-hero-ish now. I have accomplished something most very worthwhile today.

Caramelized Onion Mushroom Gouda Soup

Caramelized Onion Mushroom Gouda Soup

This recipe makes about a quart of soup.

  • 1/2 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 1/2 cups thinly sliced onion
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups lowfat milk
  • 1 cup sauteed mushrooms (Measured after sauteeing … I used morels, but I think you could substitute any mushroom and it would still be a great soup! Whatever mushrooms you choose, try the Chardonnay mushroom cooking method to avoid putting loads of extra fat in your soup … )
  • 1 cup beef or vegetable broth
  • 3/4 cup shredded Gouda  cheese
  • Salt & Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • For garnish: freshly grated cheese & snipped green onions


  1. Heat a medium saucepan to medium and set the butter in to melt. Once it’s mostly melted, add the onions and sautee the onions in the butter. Cover and let cook for just a minute, then remove the lid and stir well. If the pan seems dry, add a little wine and stir well. Cover again and let cook, then remove the cover and stir. Keep repeating this process until the wine is gone and the onions are a lovely dark brown color.
  2. Stir the flour into the onions and stir to coat all the onions in a lovely jacket of flour, then add the milk, mushrooms, and broth and stir to mix well.
  3. Reduce heat to medium low and let cook, stirring frequently, until the soup starts to thicken a bit. Add the cheese and stir to mix. Cook until the cheese is melted and the soup is heated through. Try a small spoonful of the soup and add salt & pepper to taste. Serve immediately. Store any leftovers in a covered container in the fridge. I like to put my soup in a glass jar so I can gaze at it every time I open the fridge.

Caramelized Onion Mushroom Gouda Soup

This is an #OnionLove Post … Powered by Linky Tools

Click here to see all the other great #onionlove posts …

This recipe was also shared at Show & Share WednesdayCast Party Wednesday, Everyday Mom’s MealsFull Plate Thursday, Share it Saturday, and Scrumptious Sunday.

Peach, Pistachio & Chicken Salad

With Goat Cheese Crumbles and a Honey Lemon Ginger White Wine Vinaigrette

Peach, Pistachio & Chicken Salad with Goat Cheese

It’s one of the last lazy summer Sundays we have left and I’m thinking about peaches. It’s that peachy time of year when you are assaulted with their beauty every time you walk into the store and you can’t help but put some in the shopping cart. And then I get home and wonder what to DO with them all!

So of course the first thing I must make is a good salad. Fresh seasonal fruit is so lovely in salad. Peach, Pistachio & Chicken Salad with Goat Cheese Crumbles

Peach, Pistachio & Chicken Salad with Goat Cheese Crumbles

and a Honey Lemon Ginger White Wine Vinaigrette

  • Mixed greens
  • Chicken (1 patty or breast per person)
  • Peaches (1 peach per person)
  • Goat Cheese, crumbled
  • Roasted, salted pistachios, coarsely chopped
  • Honey Lemon Ginger White Wine Vinaigrette (recipe below)

First, make the dressing and set aside. Cook (or reheat) the chicken and chop into pieces.  (This is a good use for leftover chicken!) Make a good bed for your salad on a big salad plate or bowl.  Pit the peaches and cut into chunks. Tuck the chicken pieces and peach bits in and around the greens, sprinkle with goat cheese and pistachios, and drizzle with the dressing.

Peach, Pistachio & Chicken Salad with Goat Cheese Crumbles

Honey Lemon Ginger White Wine Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • Juice of 1/4 of a lemon
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 2 Tablespoons spicy brown mustard
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped fine
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Mix everything except the olive oil together in a bowl till well mixed. While whisking, slowly pour the olive oil into the dressing in a small stream. Keep whisking until the olive oil is well mixed into the dressing. Refrigerate any leftover dressing in an airtight container. Before use, take it out of the fridge for a few minutes to let the olive oil “melt” again (it will solidify in the fridge) and shake well.

This is a #peachlove post.

Powered by Linky Tools

Click here to see all the other lovely #peachlove recipes …

This recipe was also shared at Everyday Mom’s MealsRecipe of the Week, Fit & Fabulous FridaysSummer Salad Sundays and Scrumptious Sundays.

White Wine & Red Roses Sangria

White Wine and Red Roses Sangria

This is a white wine sangria with red rose petal-infused vodka and a tumble of wonderful fruits. It’s romantic and beautiful and tastes so wonderful that it’s a little dangerous. Please be careful not to drink too much of this if you’re driving … it’s probably best just to get a designated driver if you’re going to drink this, or stay home. I had a hard time keeping myself from drinking the whole pitcher myself …

My sister and her husband came for a visit this weekend and they left early this morning. I felt a little sad when they left, wished we could have made the visit longer somehow, but we both need to get back to our lives. I wish I had had time to make her some of this sangria too, but really we ran out of time.

White Wine & Red Roses Sangria

  • 1 bottle of white wine (I used Riesling)
  • 1/4 cup orange liqueur
  • 1/4 cup rose petal vodka (you can buy it, but if you have organic roses, it’s easy to make … here’s my recipe)
  • 2 Tablespoons very berry syrup (recipe here)
  • 1/2 of an orange
  • 1 lime
  • 2 plums
  • 3 strawberries (or more if you have them … I just had a few left so I tossed them in)

Put some of the fruit in a pitcher and muddle it around a bit to release the flavors. Add the rest of the fruit, the wine, and the liqueurs. Set the pitcher in the fridge to “steep” for at least a couple hours, then enjoy over ice. You can top it with a little club soda when you serve it to add some sparkle if you like. I didn’t this time and was perfectly pleased with it just like this.

White Wine & Red Roses Sangria

This recipe was shared at Serendipity & SpiceScrumptious SundaysFamily Fresh MealsWeekend Potluck, and Tastetastic Thursday.

Very Berry Basil Wine Spritzer

Very Berry Basil Wine Spritzer

Soooo I found another use for that wonderful Very Berry Syrup from the Very Berry Italian Cream Sodas. Add it to a little white wine with some club soda and it makes a really nice refreshing spritzer. The thing that makes this magic is really the syrup, which has two kinds of berries and a bunch of basil in it, along with a splash of vanilla. It’s delightful.

This is what I was sipping on as I was grilling up the pizzas last night …

Very Berry Basil Wine Spritzer

Very Berry Basil Wine Spritzers

  • White wine (I used Pinot Grigio)
  • Very berry syrup (recipe here)
  • Club soda
  • Ice cubes
  • Garnish: basil leaves and/or edible flowers like violets

Fill a wine glass about 1/2 full of wine, add a few ice cubes and a teaspoon or two of the very berry syrup. Taste it to see if it’s to your liking, and add wine or a bit more syrup to adjust to the level of sweetness you want, then add a splash of club soda (for the bubbles!) and garnish with flowers and/or basil leaves.

Very Berry Basil Wine Spritzer

This recipe was shared at Newlyweds Recipe Linky.

Barefoot in the Garden Basil, Wine & Rum Spritzer

“When the world wearies and society fails to satisfy, There is always the garden.”– Minnie Aumonier

Barefoot in the Garden Basil Rum & Wine Spritzer

“Spring is nature’s way of saying, “Let’s party!”– Robin Williams

Barefoot in the Garden Wine Basil Rum Spritzer

“Bread feeds the body, indeed, but flowers feed also the soul.” — The Koran

A rose in my garden

“Earth laughs in flower.”– Ralph Waldo Emerson

A rose in my garden

Barefoot in the Garden Basil, Wine & Rum Spritzer

  • 1 1/2 oz. white wine
  • 1 oz. golden rum (I used Bacardi Gold)
  • 1 1/2 oz. basil syrup
  • Club soda
  • Basil leaves & edible flowers for garnish

Fill a large wine glass 2/3 full of ice cubes. In order, add the white wine, golden rum, then the basil syrup. Top with club soda and garnish with basil leaves and a flower.

To make the basil syrup: Mix equal parts sugar and water in a saucepan. Heat till boiling. Toss in a handful of basil leaves. Cook for about 5 minutes, then strain out the basil. Let the syrup cool before using and store in a bottle in the fridge.

Barefoot in the Garden Basil Wine & Rum Spritzer

“All the wars of the world, all the Caesars, have not the staying power of a lily in a cottage garden.”– Reginald Farrer

This recipe was shared at Weekend Potluck and Summer Drinks Potluck Party.

Asparagus Pesto Rotini with Shrimp & ‘Shrooms

Asparagus Pesto Rotini with Shrimp & Mushrooms

So of course I had to make some pasta with my new love: Asparagus White Bean Pesto! I tossed in some fresh shelf mushrooms my dad gave me, but you can use any mushrooms of your choosing. I chose Rotini because the ridges in the little swirly pasta will “catch” the pesto nicely, so it won’t all slide off of the noodles.  It is a tasty, healthy meal that is fancy enough to  serve to company, but quick enough to have any weeknight.

Asparagus Pesto Rotini with Shrimp & Mushrooms

Asparagus Pesto Rotini with Shrimp & ‘Shrooms

If you have the pesto pre-made, this meal takes about 15-20 minutes to put together. If you don’t, it might take another 15 minutes to make the pesto. This makes two servings.

  • 2 servings (about 7 oz.) rotini pasta (I recommend using whole grain or high fiber pasta of some kind … it will keep you energized longer.)
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups chopped asparagus
  • 1/2 – 1 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 heaping cup of shrimp (I used frozen pre-cooked shrimp, but fresh is even better)
  • 1/2 cup Asparagus White Bean Pesto (recipe here)
  • For the top: Freshly shredded parmesan, toasted Pine nuts, and fresh basil


  1. Boil the water and cook the pasta. While the water is heating, chop the asparagus, mushrooms, and garlic.
  2. When the water begins to boil, add the pasta and heat a frying pan up for sauteeing the shrimp & vegies. Spray the pan with cooking spray, and when it’s hot, put in the asparagus, mushrooms, and garlic and sautee just a couple minutes, then add 1/4 cup of the wine. Cook a few minutes or until the asparagus is starting to look a little cooked (but still bright green), then add the shrimp and the rest of the wine and cook a few minutes longer or until the shrimp is cooked and the asparagus is crisp-tender. (It only takes a few minutes.)
  3. By now the pasta should be about done. Test it to see if it is. If it’s not, remove the shrimp/asparagus mixture from heat, and wait a minute or two. When the pasta is done, strain out the water, then return the pasta to the pan. Add the pesto and asparagus/shrimp mixture and stir until everything is mixed up well.
  4. Serve topped with a few toasted pine nuts, a bit of freshly shredded parmesan, and basil leaves for garnish.

Asparagus Pesto Rotini with Shrimp & Mushrooms

This is a #pastalove post!

Powered by Linky Tools

Click here to see all the other great #pastalove dishes!

This recipe was also shared at Mealtime MondayTuesday Talent Show, Delicious Dish TuesdayTotally Tasty Tuesdays, Cast Party Wednesdays, and Fit & Fabulous Fridays.

Apricot Chicken Salad on Wild Greens

with Blue Cheese, Cinnamon Pecans, and a Honey Lemon Ginger White Wine Vinaigrette

Apricot Chicken Salad with Blue Cheese & Cinnamon Pecans

It was a “make do with what you’ve got” kinda lunch day. I thought I would have a salad, but I didn’t have enough greens left to fill my bowl.

So I went scrounging in my yard for greens. My spinach is still too tiny to pick, so I came in with a bunch of dandelion greens and a couple flowers as well. I know, these common yellow flowers are not generally well loved. Most people don’t want them in their yard. But they do have a lot of health benefits, they cost nothing and they’re really quite tasty and beautiful. The only problem is the greens do tend to get bitter.

However, bitter greens in a salad are really lovely if you pair them with something sweet. So I went looking for something sweet. No berries left, but I did have some dried apricots and cinnamon pecans. I threw in some chopped chicken and tangy blue cheese and I had quite a nice, well rounded, tasty salad.

If you are averse to using dandelions in your salad, skip the dandelions and use different greens. Arugula mixed with some fresh spinach would be nice.

Apricot Chicken Salad with Blue Cheese & Cinnamon Pecans

Apricot Chicken Salad on Wild Greens with Blue Cheese & Cinnamon Pecans

  • Mixed greens (I used spinach and dandelion greens)
  • Cooked chicken (leftover chicken or natural chicken nuggets), chopped … I think this salad would be incredible with some apricot-glazed chicken … as you can see, I used the chicken nuggets.
  • Blue cheese crumbles (just a few)
  • Fresh or Dried apricots, chopped
  • Cinnamon pecans (recipe here)
  • Snipped green onion
  • Dandelion flower petals (optional … only use these if you have a safe, chemical-free source of dandelions)

Fill your salad bowl most of the way with greens. Sprinkle the salad with chopped chicken, blue cheese crumbles, apricots, pecans, green onion and flower petals. Drizzle with Honey Lemon Ginger White Wine Vinaigrette.

Honey Lemon Ginger White Wine Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • Juice of 1/4 of a lemon
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 2 Tablespoons spicy brown mustard
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped fine
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Mix everything except the olive oil together in a bowl till well mixed. While whisking, slowly pour the olive oil into the dressing in a small stream. Keep whisking until the olive oil is well mixed into the dressing. Refrigerate any leftover dressing in an airtight container.

Wild Apricot Chicken Salad with Blue Cheese & Cinnamon Pecans

This recipe was shared at Tastetastic Thursdays and Fit & Fabulous Fridays.

Basil-Infused Strawberry Peach Sangria

Strawberry Peach Sangria with Peach Basil Syrup

I suddenly had the urge to make some peach sangria yesterday and we were headed to my friend’s house for dinner. It seemed like the perfect thing to bring to go with our barbecue on an unseasonably warm spring night. We had chile lime burgers and chicken drumsticks, salad, strawberries and sangria on the patio. It was a lovely meal with  lovely friends. And we got to meet their new puppy. She is SO adorable.

Last summer my parents went on a peach canning spree. They decided instead of buying the cans of peaches at the store for the grandchildren to eat in the wintertime, they would just can the wonderful fresh peaches they had. So they canned a bunch … well they didn’t all get eaten over the winter like they planned and they ended up with too many peaches in their pantry. Which means I was the lucky recipient of some home-canned peaches. Woo hoo!

This sangria was such a nice refreshing drink. The basil adds a little subtle hint of taste to it that really makes it wonderful.

Strawberry Peach Sangria with Peach Basil Syrup

Basil-Infused Strawberry Peach Sangria

Basil-Infused Peach Syrup

  • 1 cup peach juice (the light syrup from canned peaches works well)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened peach-flavored iced tea (I used Lipton Peach Pomegranate Green iced tea)
  • a handful of fresh basil leaves
The Sangria
  • 1 750 ml bottle of white wine (I used Pinot Grigio)
  • 2 Tablespoons orange liqueur or Grand Marnier
  • A few kumquats or an orange or two, sliced or cut into wedges
  • Fresh strawberries
  • Fresh or frozen peach slices
  • Optional: sparkling water or sprite


First, make the basil-infused syrup: In a small saucepan, mix the peach juice, sugar, tea, and basil leaves. Heat over medium high heat till boiling, and boil for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and strain out the basil leaves. Set in the fridge or the freezer to chill.

Once the syrup has chilled, mix the basil-infused syrup with the wine, fruit, and orange liqueur. I think it would be fun to make ice cubes out of some of the liquid at this point, but I hadn’t planned ahead enough for that … I just froze my peach slices to keep the sangria nice and cold.

Put the fruit in the pitcher and add the wine mixture. If you want it bubbly, add a cup of sparkling water or sprite. If it’s too sweet for your tastes, add some of the unsweetened peach tea. Make sure to scoop some of the fruit into each glass as you serve the sangria. Eating the fruit at the end makes a lovely little dessert at the end of your drink.

Basil-Infused Strawberry Peach Sangria

This recipe was shared at  Talent Show Tuesdays, Trick or Treat TuesdaysCast Party Wednesdays, and Full Plate Thursday.

5-minute Dark Chocolate Red Wine Mug Cake

Post #4 of 5 in my Five Favorite Things for my Five Thousand Foodie Friends series …

Dark Chocolate Red Wine Mug Cake

#1 was salad. #2 was dip. #3 was bread. and #4 is … duh! CHOCOLATE! of course! … and wine … two of my greatest loves. Because red wine and chocolate are always there for you. They will be yours and yours alone … unless you choose to share them.

Whether you want to share this decadent cake is totally up to you … What I love about this cake is this: it has WINE in it! That alone is enough, but then it’s also dark, seductive, decadent and VERY chocolate. And it’s done in just a few minutes.

It goes great with red wine. It’s big enough to share, but small enough so you don’t have a huge chocolate cake hanging around for days, tempting you. … or maybe you want to double the recipe and make one for you, one for your friend? It kinda makes sense because one mug uses about 1/2 an egg, so to make two mugs, you’d just use a whole egg, then you really wouldn’t have to bother with whisking it.

Dark Chocolate Red Wine Mug Cake

Dark Chocolate Red Wine Mug Cake

  • 4 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened dark cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons whisked egg (about half of a large egg)
  • 3 tablespoons red wine (I used Pinot Noir … but I think you could use whatever red wine you love)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 squares (1 oz.) 70% dark chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons plain nonfat yogurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons good quality dark chocolate chips


  1. In a small bowl, mix the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.
  2. Put the butter in a microwaveable mug, break up the chocolate over it, then microwave for about 30 seconds. Stir well. If the chocolate isn’t melted yet, microwave for another 30 seconds.
  3. Add the yogurt, red wine, and vanilla to the mug and stir, then add the egg and stir that in well too.
  4. Add the wet chocolatey mixture to the dry ingredients in the bowl and stir till everything is well mixed.
  5. Now pick a good-sized mug to cook this baby in, spray it with cooking spray, and dump the batter in. Top with chocolate chips. Or you could mix the chips into the batter, whatever you prefer. I put mine on top.
  6. Microwave for 3 to 4 minutes on high or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. If you’re making two, microwave the first mug, then start the second one. The cake will puff up while it’s cooking, then fall when you take it out of the microwave. Don’t worry, that’s normal.

Dark Chocolate Red Wine Mug Cake

It’s amazing just like this, but if you want to make it completely decadent, you could top this cake with berries or nuts or ice cream or whipped cream … with a drizzle of hot fudge sauce? Mmm …

This recipe was shared at Fabulous FridaysSuccessful SaturdayStrut your Stuff Saturdays, Trick or Treat Tuesdays, Totally Tasty Tuesdays,  Midweek Fiesta, and Gooseberry Patch Pies & Cakes.

Sunflower Spinach Parmesan Peasant Bread

Sunflower Spinach Parmesan Bread

Is that bread … green? Yes. Yes, it is. I know it might look a little odd, but I wanted to try making a green bread for St. Patrick’s Day. Well, the color of the bread after it’s cooked isn’t quite as bright green as I might like, but it is still green. More importantly, it’s delicious. I ate about half of one of the loaves last night by myself. The slight crunch of the sunflowers with the subtle cheese and spinach taste play together so marvelously in this bread. I think this would be the perfect bread for garlic toast, bruschetta, sandwiches, toasted or just plain (like I was eating it last night). It’s tasty enough to munch on with no butter or anything added at all.

Sunflower Spinach Parmesan Bread

You could make this bread really fancy pretty by making the spinach-cheese into a swirl in the bread instead of incorporating the spinach right into the dough, like I did with my French Bread with Basil & Gruyere.

Sunflower Spinach Parmesan Peasant Bread

Inspired by Ally’s Kitchen’s Buttermilk Cranberry Walnut Bread. If you don’t have a bread machine, see Ally’s recipe.

  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 1 cup frozen spinach, thawed, with the extra liquid squeezed out, and then chopped fine … reserve any liquid to use as “water”
  • 1/4 cup water (or spinach juice)
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • ½ cup oatmeal
  • 3 cups bread flour (add a little more if needed)
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup freshly shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 – 2 Tablespoons fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • ½ cup sunflower seeds

Dump all the ingredients except the sunflower seeds into your bread machine and start it on the dough cycle. Check the dough a few minutes after you start it while it’s “processing” to see if the dough is sticking together properly and making a nice ball of dough. If it seems like there is too much flour, add a bit of water. If it seems like the dough is too sticky, add some bread flour.

About 25 minutes into the dough cycle (when it is near to done), throw in the sunflower seeds. I actually tossed mine in after the dough cycle was done and then I had to go back and knead them in myself.  I think it would be easier to toss them in just a bit earlier, so the bread machine doesn’t break them to bits, but incorporates the seeds into the dough.

Cut the dough in two and shape it as you like. I shaped half of the dough into a round loaf and the other half into a long, skinny french-bread-style loaf. They both turned out to be pretty big … I was kind of amazed to get that much bread from just 4 cups of flour.

Let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in size. This only took about 30 – 45 minutes for me.

Bake at 375 for 35 – 50 minutes or until the top is browned and the bread sounds hollow when tapped.

Remove from oven and let it rest for 5 – 10 minutes before cutting with a good bread knife. I like to spray my loaves with cooking spray to soften the crust and make it all pretty and shiny, but if you want a chewier crust, don’t do that.

Sunflower Spinach Parmesan Bread

Here’s my big old round loaf. I’m going to freeze it and take it along when I visit my sister this weekend. I think she’s gonna love it.

This post is a #greenslove post, powered by Linky Tools.

Click here to see the other great #greenslove posts.

This recipe was shared at Fit & Fabulous Fridays.

Chocolate Cherry Cabernet Talking Truffles

Chocolate Cherry Cabernet Talking Truffles

These truffles are very noisy. They keep talking to me. Waking me up in the middle of the night. Interrupting me while I’m trying to work.

Maybe they got lonely after I dipped them in chocolate on Friday evening, then we went away for the weekend, but my gosh, now they won’t STOP talking!

Hush you noisy things. Let me work. No, I can’t eat truffles all day long. I must have lunch sometime. And in the deep dark depths of night I should be SLEEPING for gosh sakes! I have to work in the morning!

No, I haven’t time for a truffle now … I have to run to the store … can’t you wait?

Gosh such pester-some truffles these are. So insistent on making me eat them! Are you sure you want them in your kitchen?

Chocolate Cherry Cabernet Talking Truffles

Yes, you do. You really do. With a nice glass of red wine. Honestly, right now I feel like I never want to live without them. I am savoring every little bite, slowly, deliberately, holding it on my tongue to make that creamy dark chocolate cherry taste last as long as I possibly can … they can just keep on talking …

Chocolate Cherry Cabernet Talking Truffles

Truffle Filling:

  • 2.5 oz. of good quality dark chocolate, melted (I used Ghirardelli 70% dark chocolate for the filling)
  • 5 chocolate graham crackers
  • 1/2 cup sour cherries, pitted (I thawed some cherries that my dad had frozen from his cherry tree … so they were kind of soft and small and squished down into the cup a lot. I suppose you could use sweet cherries as well, but I like the tartness with the dark chocolate … if you use fresh ones, you may want to increase the amount.)
  • 3 oz. light cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup cabernet (I think it would also work well with shiraz or merlot or malbec or some other dark, dry red wine)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (yes, trust me, the cayenne adds just a tiny bite that goes SO well with the chocolate, the wine, and the cherries …)
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 teaspoons of dark unsweetened cocoa powder

For dipping:

  • 1 and 1/4 bars of good quality dark chocolate, for dipping (I used Green & Black’s Organic 70% chocolate bars.)


  1. First make the filling. Put the graham crackers in a handi chopper or food processor and process until they are powdered. Add the cherries and process until the cherries and crackers form a paste.
  2. Put the cherry mixture in a bowl and stir in the remaining filling ingredients. Cover the bowl and set it in the refrigerator (or set it outside if it’s frigid outside like it is here!) for a couple hours to chill well.
  3. Spray your hands with cooking spray and form the sticky mixture into balls. This is a little tricky and sticky, and you may have to wash your hands and re-apply the cooking spray a few times. (I am thinking I may have to invest in some truffle molds one of these days … ) Set them on a tray as you finish the balls.
  4. Chill the truffle filling balls in a freezer (or outside!) for at least a couple hours or overnight.
  5. Time for the dipping! Line a tray or baking sheet with waxed paper. Melt the dipping chocolate over a double boiler or in the microwave. To melt it in the microwave, break the chocolate into small chunks in a bowl. Microwave on high for 60 seconds. Stir. Microwave for 30 seconds. Stir. A lot. If it’s not melted yet, microwave another 30 seconds, then stir again.
  6. Carefully roll the truffle balls in the melted chocolate with a spoon, then set them gently on the waxed paper, leaving a little space between your truffles.
  7. Once the chocolate has set, transfer the truffles into a covered containers and store in the fridge, somewhere in the back. Set something in front of them to hide them because you might have a hard time resisting these little chocolates.

Chocolate Cherry Cabernet Talking Truffles

This recipe was shared at Trick or Treat Tuesdays, Totally Tasty TuesdaysIt’s a Keeper Thursdays, Tastetastic Thursdays and Full Plate Thursdays.

French Onion Soup MTM

Mary Tyler Moore's Recipe for French Onion Soup

Back before there was internet, facebook, Google or Pinterest, when personal computers ran completely on floppy drives and the screens were about 5 inches square, all black and white, all text. Back then, you had to go to the library to look something up. Back then, my cooking inspiration came from cookbooks and Cooking Light magazines.

This is Mary Tyler Moore‘s recipe for French Onion Soup. It’s from one of my very favorite cookbooks: Love a Fare, given to me by my Aunt and Uncle for Christmas in 1982. The cookbook is all soups and appetizers. I have spent many hours with this book over the years, reading through it, picking out recipes I want to try, cooking my favorites. Can you tell it’s a well-loved book?

Love a Fare Cookbook

It’s filled with adorable cartoons like this. This one makes me laugh every time I see it. Yes, I am easily amused …

Artie chokes if he eats too fast

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve made this particular recipe. French Onion Soup is one of my very, very favorite soups and I was SO excited to find a good recipe for it. I guess since it’s Mary Tyler Moore’s recipe, it’s really American, not French. But it’s still delicious.

Mary Tyler Moore's Recipe for French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup MTM

From Love a Fare: the Cookbook with a Flair

Serves 4

  • 2 large onions
  • 4 thin slices of french bread (I used this bread recipe, made without the cheese/herbs)
  • 4 teaspoons of butter
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 4 cups beef stock (or water/boullion)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • salt to taste
  • 2 cups grated swiss cheese


  • Slice onion vertically and very, very thin. Melt the butter in a saucepan or heavy skillet and cook, covered, over low heat until the onions are soft and tender.
  • Uncover and cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until the onions brown lightly or your arms fall off. (It takes several minutes, and my arms always get tired on this step, but it is SO worth it.)
  • Add wine and cook until wine is almost absorbed. (This happens quite quickly.)
  • Add the beef stock and pepper and let simmer for 5 minutes. Taste the broth and add salt (or beef boullion) to taste.
  • Meanwhile, slice the bread thinly and toast or bake in 300 degree oven for 5 minutes.
  • Pour the steaming hot soup into 4 oven-proof bowls, top each with a slice of bread, then sprinkle with a generous amount of swiss cheese.
  • Bake the soup bowls at 350 degrees for 15 – 30 minutes or until the cheese is all melted and bubbly. Serve immediately.

This soup makes a great make-ahead meal. I like to make the soup ahead of time and keep it in a quart jar in my fridge … then heat up a bowl at lunch time. One bowl of this hearty cheesy soup is enough for me for lunch, but you can always add a salad or half a sandwich if you like. Or it’s a wonderful hot evening meal with a glass of white wine, like right here, right now, tonight.

Mary Tyler Moore's Recipe for French Onion Soup

This recipe was shared at Sunday Night Soup Night and Melt in your Mouth Mondays.

White Wine Mushroom Cream Sauce on Angel Hair

with fresh parmesan and basil leaves (and shhhh! … it’s kind of even  … almost … healthy)

White Wine Mushroom Cream Sauce over Angel Hair Pasta with Parmesan and Fresh Basil

There is a bit of a funny story surrounding this dish … we like to joke around a lot in my office. Normally this doesn’t extend to our clients, but today something came across the email trail and our client jokingly said “10 lashings for Mike” … which my boss responded to with “with a wet noodle … al dente”. I was sooo tempted to respond with “and a white wine mushroom cream sauce”.

Because I wasn’t sure how the client would react, I held my tongue and just went into the kitchen and made this. It’s a very quick dish to prepare …  You could have it for lunch or dinner just like this as an elegant vegetarian meal … and it is so amazing just like that! … maybe with a salad on the side? I didn’t have the patience to do that today … I was SO hungry. If you are a meat eater, I think it would be lovely to add chicken, shrimp, or a luscious grilled hunk of salmon … or some broccoli or asparagus or maybe a bit of chopped tomato.

I honestly could not think or wait to eat this for even a moment longer. It was SO hard to refrain from inhaling this while I took the pictures …

White Wine Mushroom Cream Sauce over Angel Hair Pasta (low fat, healthy!)

White Wine Mushroom Cream Sauce on Angel Hair Pasta

Serves one hungry person or perhaps as a side dish for two … multiply the recipe for the number of mouths you have to feed!

  • 1 serving of angel hair pasta (I recommend using whole wheat pasta or something like Smart Taste that has more fiber in it … )
  • 1 heaping cup of sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 cup of chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • Bruschetta seasoning and Red Robin seasoning (recipe here)
  • 1 oz. light cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup of fat free half and half
  • 1/3 cup shredded Parmesan or Romano cheese (or a mix of both)
  • Fresh basil leaves, sliced (or not)


  1. Start the water for your angel hair pasta heating.
  2. Spray the pan with cooking spray, then add mushrooms, onion, & garlic. Sautee briefly, then add the white wine and sprinkle on some of the seasonings. Sautee for a while and adjust the seasonings to taste.
  3. When the water starts boiling, throw your pasta into the water. The rest of this isn’t going to take long …
  4. To the pan with the mushrooms, add the light cream cheese and the fat free half and half. Cook and stir on medium to medium-low heat until the sauce starts to thicken a bit, then add most of the shredded cheese (saving a bit for the top).
  5. Check if the pasta is done. Throw it in the strainer.
  6. Once the cheese is melted and the sauce is thickened to the consistency you want, put the pasta on a plate, pour the creamy mushroom sauce all over it, then sprinkle with your fresh basil leaves.
  7. Try to slow down and savor it … I really wouldn’t recommend the inhalation method I used …

White Wine Mushroom Cream Sauce over Angel Hair Pasta ... a lower-fat, healthified recipe ...

This recipe was shared on Talent Show TuesdaysCast Party Wednesdays, Newlyweds Recipe LinkyTastetastic Thursday and Full Plate Thursday, {Fusion Friday}, Weekend Potluck, Meatless Mondays and Katherine Martinelli’s Pasta Blog Hop.

This recipe was FEATURED on Midnight Maniac Meatless Mondays.

Herbed Kumquat Honey Merlot Salad Dressing

and how the turnips ended up in the Merlot …

Kumquat Honey Merlot Salad Dressing

So my sister and I were having a glass of Merlot together as I was preparing the salad for dinner on Christmas Eve. I love making salad-scapes so the task of making the salad often falls to me …

I was cutting up a turnip from Dad’s garden to put in the salad and I noticed as I held the turnip slices up to the light, there was a beautiful pattern of lines there. I remarked on that to my sister, who said we should try soaking one in wine because that would bring out the gorgeous pattern in the turnip. She grabbed a slice from my pile of turnip bits and dunked it in her wine, pulling it out after a moment and yes, indeed the lines were more pronounced and the turnip had changed to a lovely purplish tone.

So I said to her that we should soak the turnips in wine for the salad … she said “are you serious?” … and in the wild sweet mood I am in that day, yes, of course I was. So we soaked half the turnips in a small cup of wine. The picture didn’t turn out all that well, but you can see the pattern of lines in the turnip … isn’t that just gorgeous?

Merlot-soaked Turnips

And then we turned to a discussion of salad dressing. I asked if we should do the tahini yogurt dressing again, but my sis wanted something different … A vinaigrette, she said. I didn’t want the same old boring vinaigrette, though, and that’s when she got the idea to use Kumquat juice in the salad dressing.

Now I have not ever had a Kumquat before, but apparently my aunt who lives in Florida had sent Mom and Dad a bag full of kumquats from her tree. My sister had already been experimenting with them before I got here. She told me the way to juice these tart little Kumquats is to roll the little fruit in your hands first, then slice off the top and the juice comes pouring out. She juiced three Kumquats for me and then we went to work finding things to put in the dressing. This is what we ended up with. We were really quite delighted with ourselves.

Herbed Kumquat Honey Merlot Salad Dressing

  • Juice of 3 kumquats
  • A small spoonful of honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • About 1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
  • About 1/8 cup Merlot or other dry red wine
  • About 1 Tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • About 1 Tablespoon fresh sage and rosemary, chopped fine
  • About 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste


  1. In a small bowl, stir together the kumquat juice, honey, garlic, vinegar, and Merlot till thoroughly mixed.
  2. Whilst whisking the juice mixture, add the olive oil in a thin stream to combine with the juices.
  3. Stir in herbs, salt and pepper.

We served this dressing with a salad of fresh spinach leaves sprinkled with Merlot-soaked turnips, tomato, avocado, shards of fresh Parmesan cheese, and thin slices of Kumquat. It was a delicious and decidedly unique salad. We had spiral-sliced ham and scalloped potatoes as well, but if you were to ask me, I would say the salad stole the show.

Herbed Kumquat Honey Merlot Salad Dressing

This recipe was shared at Melt in your Mouth MondaysRecipe of the Week: Healthy/Low Cal Recipes, KM’s Honey Bloghop and Katherine Martinelli’s Citrus Bloghop.

Michael’s Maple Walnut Cranberry Sauce

Michael's Maple Walnut Cranberry Sauce

I remember those awful jellied cans of cranberry sauce would find their way to our Thanksgiving table sometimes in my childhood, and I remember loving the sweet tart taste of the cranberries, but the jellied stuff was just so ugly and weird. I think we all eventually decided we just don’t like cranberry sauce because we don’t usually have cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving anymore.

But this year will be different. I remembered this cranberry sauce that Michael, an old boyfriend of mine, made one year when I lived far from my family. We were having Thanksgiving dinner in his apartment with his roommate. Michael worked at a French restaurant and was a total foodie. I told him I didn’t like cranberry sauce, but he said you will like THIS cranberry sauce. And I loved it.

So this year, I am making Michael’s maple cranberry sauce. He didn’t give me his recipe, but I think this is pretty close. I think my family will like THIS cranberry sauce.

Actually I hope they don’t like it TOO much because I saw a gorgeous and super simple appetizer idea made with cranberry sauce that I want to try: Just take a block of (light) cream cheese, put it on a fancy dish, and pour cranberry sauce over it. Serve with crackers. I have decided I will stir in a few chopped jalapenos into the sauce before I pour it over the cream cheese to give it a little kick. I have big plans for this cranberry sauce.

Michael's Maple Walnut Cranberry Sauce

Michael’s Maple Cranberry Sauce with Toasted Walnuts

Adapted from


  • 1 (12 ounces) package fresh cranberries, washed and picked over
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/2 cup red Zinfandel or other dry red wine (I used some of my dad’s California Trinity Red wine.)
  • 2 teaspoons ginger sugar (the reserved sugar from making candied ginger) or 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup walnut halves, coarsely chopped


  1. Place cranberries, maple syrup, juice, wine, and ginger sugar in a heavy saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and cook for 10 minutes, until cranberries begin to pop.
  3. Skim off any foam that rises to the top.
  4. Remove from heat and gently smash a bit to open the cranberries, but do not mash.
  5. Toast the walnuts by spreading them in a single layer on a baking sheet and baking for about 5 minutes at 300 F. or until they are just lightly browned and you can smell the scent of the walnuts.
  6. Stir in walnuts and vanilla. Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until ready to serve.

Maple Walnut Cranberry Sauce

Look at that gorgeous color! (And yes, in case you were wondering, that IS snow on the table. We had our first snow last night.)

This recipe was shared at Melt in your Mouth Mondays.

Thick & Hearty Curried Pumpkin Black Bean Soup

Thick & Hearty Pumpkin Black Bean Soup

I got in a fight with my teenage son this afternoon … it was, as usual, a very emotionally charged exchange. We were both livid by the time we left the house. I was driving him to his dad’s place and yes, I was angry, but after a moment, I forced myself to calm down and breathe so I could drive safely. Still, I was fighting back the tears of rage.

I was just crossing through an intersection where the light was green on a country road that crosses the edge of the city when a lady in a silver car turned right in front of me, just as I was nearing the edge of the intersection. Perhaps she didn’t see my little gray car coming; perhaps she wasn’t paying attention. I slammed on the brakes and managed to stop without hitting her. There wasn’t anywhere else for me to go, no other lane to swerve into. But in that moment I saw both of our lives flash before my eyes. I thought to myself how miniscule our argument really was, in the scheme of things. Apparently my son had the same thought because he looked at me and said, “that really puts things in perspective, doesn’t it?”

Now don’t get me wrong, we needed to fight today. There were things I needed to say to him, and he needed to get out some of the rage he was holding inside. But we also needed to remember how precious and fragile our connections to each other are.  They could be broken … gone … in an instant. So often in an argument, we say hurtful things and we forget.

This stranger, in a moment of carelessness, sent us a powerful reminder.

Curried Pumpkin Black Bean Soup with Feta

Thick & Hearty Curried Pumpkin Black Bean Soup

Roughly adapted from Smitten Kitchen

  • 3-5 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/2 large onion, peeled
  • 2 t. olive oil
  • 2 t. curry powder
  • 1/2 t. smoked paprika
  • 1 t. cumin
  • 1/4 c. chardonnay or other dry white wine — although I think a dry red might work even better
  • 2 c. black beans
  • 1/2 quart canned tomatoes with juices
  • 1 c. pumpkin puree
  • 1 c. beef or vegetable broth
  • Red Robin Seasoning or your favorite seasoned salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 – 1/2 t. cayenne seasoning (or more to taste)
  • Feta cheese crumbles and/or roasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas) and a few whole black beans for garnish
  1. Whirl the onion and garlic in a handi chopper or food processor till they are in tiny chunks (or chop into small bits with your knife).
  2. Over medium high heat, sautee the chopped onion and garlic with the cumin, curry, and smoked paprika in the olive oil until the onion and garlic is soft. It should be sort of a paste of onion and spices.
  3. Add the wine and cook for a few minutes until most of the wine has evaporated.
  4. Whir the beans and tomatoes briefly in the handi chopper or food processor (do them separately if your device won’t hold them all at once!) or mash with a potato masher to break down the beans and tomatoes to a sort of rough puree.
  5. Add the beans, tomatoes, pumpkin and broth to the pan. Season to taste with Red Robin Seasoning, freshly ground pepper, and cayenne.
  6. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 20 – 30 minutes or until the flavors have all mixed well.
  7. Serve hot with feta cheese crumbles and a few whole black beans and/or pumpkin seeds for garnish.
Thick & Hearty Curried Pumpkin Black Bean Soup

Chardonnay Mushrooms

Chardonnay Mushrooms

It’s a super busy day here … so I am rushing to share this very quick and simple post with you!

Do you ever wish you had a really delicious way to prepare mushrooms that didn’t involve a lot of butter? This is it.

Only 5 ingredients. Super fast to make. And SOOooo good that you will have a hard time saving some for your steak or toast.

But save some (or make sure you have more mushrooms on hand!) because I’m going to show you some other really great ways to use these babies.

Chardonnay Mushrooms


  • 2 1/2 c. sliced mushrooms
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • Red Robin seasoning (or your favorite tasty seasoned salt! … or if you want to try making your own there’s a recipe here.)
  • Bruschetta seasoning (I bought mine at World Market, but if you don’t have any on hand, don’t fret! I found a recipe to make it which is really good because I’ve used up all my bruschetta seasoning making these amazing mushrooms!)
  • a “splash” of Chardonnay (1 – 2 oz.)
  • Freshly ground pepper


  1. Heat a frying pan over med-high heat and spritz the pan with cooking spray.
  2. When the pan is hot, add the mushrooms and garlic and stir for a minute or so to get them started cooking.
  3. Sprinkle with a goodly amount of Red Robin Seasoning and Bruschetta seasoning, then add some freshly ground pepper.
  4. Pour a splash of chardonnay over the mushrooms–you don’t need much, probably 1 or 2 oz.
  5. Sautee the mushrooms, stirring frequently, until the liquid is reduced to almost nothing.
  6. Taste your beautiful mushrooms and adjust the seasoning if you need to.
Chardonnay Mushrooms
This is part of my series of 31 Days of Warmer Connections. Every day in October, I am blogging about connections through food.

Mahogany “Beef” Stew with Red Wine & Purple Potatoes

Mahogany Beef Stew with Red Wine and Purple Potatoes

Is it starting to feel more like fall for you yet? I notice it in the air here … chillier evenings, brisk mornings, a few leaves are falling already. And in the fall, I think of stews and soups and hearty warm dishes … so I know it’s still August, but the weather is telling me it’s time to make stew.

I say “beef” here because I didn’t actually use beef in this recipe … I used venison. I have a freezer full of venison and I don’t even eat meat that much! But everyone in my family hunts (besides me!) so there is always lots of venison. It’s a very lean and healthy meat, leaner than most any beef you can find. Some people think it tastes gamey, but really if it’s cooked and seasoned properly, you can’t tell the difference.

Now let’s talk about the potatoes. Have you ever heard of a purple potato? I think they are actually called blue potatoes … why on earth would they call them blue potatoes? They are most definitely purple! Nobody argues whether an eggplant is purple or tries to name it blue or red … it’s just PURPLE!

Anyway, about the potatoes. My dad grows them in his garden. You might have noticed I’m partial to purple if you’ve read any of my eggplant posts, but I’m also HIGHLY partial to potatoes. I could seriously eat potatoes all day long and never tire of them. So when you take a potato and make it purple? Yeah, these may just be the absolute perfect vegetable. My dad tells me they have as many antioxidants as blueberries. I don’t know if you’ve read about the super-powers of blueberries, but hey, trust me when I tell you that this is a super-good thing.

My dad’s purple potatoes have an intensely dark purple skin. Almost black.

Purple potato

And when you open these dark, dark purple potatoes, inside they are this lovely mottled lavender color. Look at that! Isn’t it pretty?

The lovely lavender inside of the purple potato

Maybe you have no purple potatoes … I know they are not easy to find! Don’t worry, red potatoes will stand in just fine for purple. (The lovely purple disappears into the stew!) Or yukon golds … or whatever potato you happen to have on hand, really. And if you don’t have venison, it’s okay, you can use beef. Choose a lean cut, though–and don’t worry if it’s tough. You’re going to slow cook it so it will be fall-apart tender and so tasty and warm it’ll toast your insides.

The secret ingredient in this stew is the hoison sauce. It will give your stew a complexity of flavor that nobody will quite be able to put their finger on. Shhhh! Don’t tell them! They don’t need to know all your mysterious cooking secrets … and they certainly don’t need to know how ridiculously easy this stew is to put together.

Mahogany Stew with Red Wine and Purple Potatoes

Mahogany Beef Stew with Red Wine and Purple Potatoes


  • 1 1/2 lb. venison or beef “stew meat”, chopped in rough hunks. You can use a roast or really whatever cut of meat you like.
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2-3 good-sized carrots, peeled and cut in thick hearty slices
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 c. of beef broth
  • 1 c. of red wine (I used Malbec, but any red wine that you like to drink will do)
  • 3-4 good sized potatoes, peeled and chopped. I used 6 of the purple ones, but the ones I have are small. Just toss in potatoes until you think there’s enough potato in there!
  • About 10 whole peppercorns
  • 3 T. hoison sauce (if you don’t have any on hand, it’s easy to whip up your own hoison sauce.)
  • Chopped fresh herbs: I used a sprig of rosemary (finely chopped), thyme, pineapple sage, parsley, and basil. (It’s ok to use dried herbs here too if you don’t have fresh.)


  1. I see a lot of crock pot stew recipes where you brown the meat and there are like 7 to 10 different steps. This is a crock pot recipe! It’s supposed to be EASY! I suppose you could do that … but frankly I am too busy … I just toss everything except the fresh herbs into a crockpot and let it cook all day on low heat. Towards the end (like in the last hour or so), add the herbs. (If you are using dried herbs, go ahead and toss them in at the beginning too!) You can add the rosemary earlier … rosemary can handle being cooked forever.
  2. Enjoy. Refrigerate the leftovers and heat them up as desired. It’s even better the next day.
Mahogany Stew with Red Wine and Purple Potatoes

This recipe was shared at Gooseberry Patch’s Slow Cooker Recipe Roundup.



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 572 other followers