Sausage Bowtie Pasta

March 20, 2010 at 2:01 am | Posted in pasta, wine | Leave a comment

I am kind of addicted to www.allrecipes.com.  There are so many awesome recipes and I love that I can read tons of reviews.  I also love that I can search by ingredients – for example, if I have a ton of leftover buttermilk, I can type in buttermilk and recipes come up that use it.  Fabulous! 

I found this recipe while looking in the “healthy” recipes section and I knew I had to make it.  I am a pasta fanatic so anytime I can healthy pasta up I am there!  I adapted this recipe to make it more to our liking – seemed like a little too much meat for me with the way it is on the site.  Chicken and sausage?  Meh, not for me.  I would do either or.  The Pig likes sausage so I went with that for my first attempt. 

Ingredients

  • 1 (16 ounce) package uncooked farfalle pasta
  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (I omitted)
  • 1 pound spicy italian turkey sausage
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can crushed tomatoes (I used almost an entire 28 oz can as I like mine a little more saucy)
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • A dash of crushed red pepper

I never use anything but multi-grain or whole grain pastas – I don’t even notice the difference!

Directions

  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
  2. Wash chicken breasts and cut into large bite size pieces. Remove casing from sausage and cut into large pieces. In a large, deep skillet over medium low heat, put oil and garlic and saute to flavor oil. Remove garlic from oil.
  3. Add chicken and sausage to skillet and brown both lightly until they are opaque. Add the tomatoes and the wine. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 20 minutes. Season sauce mixture with basil, rosemary and salt and pepper to taste. Add cooked, drained pasta to the skillet mixture. Toss and serve.

Pig Rating:  The Pig really likes this one!  He loves sausage and pasta so this is a good one for him.  I have made it twice and he loves it every time and gobbles up the leftovers.  Score!

Mrs. Pig Rating:  This one is really easy and as far as a pasta dish is concerned, not too terribly bad for you.   The leftovers warm up well which is great for our busy schedules.  This is definitely now in our rotation!

Sauvignon Fruit Splash

May 31, 2009 at 5:40 pm | Posted in Drinks, wine | 3 Comments

It wouldn’t be ME actually coming back to the blogging world if I didn’t have a wine related post right?  With summer being here, I’m going to start making all sorts of yummy new fruity alcoholic drinks for dinners outside.  I saw this recipe for Sauvignon Fruit Splash on one of my favorite blogs, Good Things Catered last year and just never got around to making it.  I decided this weekend was the time!  I love Sauvignon Blanc – one of my fave wines so this sounded right up my alley. 

From Good Things Catered:

Ingredients:
1 large bottle of a favorite, fruity Sauvignon Blanc
1 large bunch mint
1 splash (maybe 1/8 c.?) all natural grapefruit juice
1/2 c. simple syrup (I made my own)
1/2 c. fresh raspberries
1 bottle sparkling water

Directions:
-Rip mint leaves in half and lightly muddle into bottom of large pitcher
-Add a large handful of ice and pour in wine.
-Add splash grapefruit juice and simple syrup and stir to combine thoroughly.
-Add raspberries and refrigerate for at least an hour.
-Remove from fridge, add more ice, top with sparkling water and serve.

(Doesn’t it look fun in my palm tree wine glass??  I have a stemware addiction….)

Pig Rating:  The Pig isn’t huge on wine but he liked this one.  🙂  He definitely had his share of the pitcher!

Mrs. Pig Rating:  This was SO yummy.  I will definitely be making it again.  My mom will love it as well!  I will probably add less mint next time and more raspberries but I think that is a personal preference.

My First “Dinner Party”

October 13, 2008 at 12:56 am | Posted in appetizer, Cakes, Cheese, Dessert, Fun, Menus, pasta, pizza, wine | 11 Comments

I use the term “dinner party” loosely because really it was me and two of my awesome co-workers who also happen to be very good friends of mine.  I decided I wanted to have them over for dinner so we turned it into a fun event – we all dressed up and made it a true “girls night” and had waaaaaay too much to drink.  And by that I mean that I had a bottle and a half of wine.  On a Thursday night.  I felt miserable on Friday.  Stupid, stupid.  HOwever, we had an absolute blast!!!  We are already planning our next one – Asian inspired food with a prom night theme…HA!

Here was my menu:

Appetizers:

Bruschetta with Fresh Marinated Mozzarella

Garlic Bread
Port Wine Cheese Ball with crackers

Dinner:
Stuffed Shells
Angel Hair Pasta with Fresh Pesto (recipe to follow)
Margherita Pizza (recipe to follow)

Dessert:
Chocolate Lasagna
Assorted Milano cookies (I couldn’t help it…I adore them!!!)

Drinks:

Gewurtztraminer
Pinot Grigio
Shiraz

 

Oh yeah, did I mention that I wore my wedding dress?  Yeah, I drink wine in it often so I decided it would be a riot to answer the door in it with an apron on.  My friends loved it!  HA!  That’s right.  I’m insane.  You know you love me.  : )

Caprese Salad and happy reminders…

May 15, 2008 at 12:06 am | Posted in salads, wine | 8 Comments

I’ll preface this with saying, excuse me while I have a moment to reminisce…I had a crappy day at work.  I deserve it.  : )

As a lot of you know, Tommy and I went to Hawaii on our honeymoon last July.  It was absolutely perfect – we could not have asked for a better trip all the way around.  Hawaii is magical – it was so relaxing, so beautiful, just everything we could have asked for.  We went to the Big Island and Oahu – Big Island was our favorite by far.  We can’t wait to go back!!

While in Hawaii, we ate and drank all sorts of great things – we of course had our Quizno’s stops and such, but we ate at some pretty good restaurants as well.  I think one of the best things about it was that every night for dinner, every day for breakfast, we ate outside.  You can’t just do that here in Indiana – it’s always too humid or too cold or too rainy or too many bugs, etc.  But there…it was perfection.  There is something so relaxing and romantic about eating dinner outside under the stars with your husband while on  your honeymoon….okay, I’ll stop now.  Sheridan tells me all of the time that I’m “too mushy” so…I’ll spare you a bit. 

Back to the point…one of the best dinners that I had while on the Big Island was one random night at a random restaurant where I had a Caprese Salad with a glass (er…or 3 or 4) of fab white wine.  The salad was absolutely excellent.  I have wanted to make Caprese Salad for awhile now but Tommy is not so into tomatoes and salads and such.  So while he is on the other side of the world, I decided to try it.  Such an easy and yummy dinner.  I served it with Organic French bread and of course….wine.  : )

While there isn’t really a set “recipe” per se for Caprese Salad (it’s pretty self explanatory), I did find one so I could post it for those who don’t know what this salad is (a tragedy if not).

Ingredients

3 vine-ripe tomatoes, 1/4-inch thick slices (better if not chilled)
1 pound fresh mozzarella, 1/4-inch thick slices
20 to 30 leaves (about 1 bunch) fresh basil
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Coarse salt and pepper

Directions

Layer alternating slices of tomatoes and mozzarella, adding a basil leaf between each, on a large, shallow platter. Drizzle the salad with extra-virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

This is so delish.  Such a good, light dinner.  Perfect for the summer!!

 

Foodie related Christmas gifts!

December 29, 2007 at 10:08 pm | Posted in Fun, kitchen utensils, wine | 3 Comments

I love Christmas!!! : ) I love buying gifts and I love receiving new things as well, especially new things for my kitchen since that is my latest obsession. I received a couple of gifts that I was really excited about so I wanted to share those.



I asked my mother in law for a food processor. I don’t know exactly how often I will use it but I really thought I needed one. I chop up a lot of veggies so I am thinking this will make things a lot easier for me. I was so excited to get it!! I used it last night for the first time. Will loves it. I think it is his favorite kitchen tool of mine. HA!

I love cookbooks. I love just looking through them. I get so excited when I get my new Cooking Light in the mail and getting a new cookbook is 10 times that excitement. Tommy and I came home late from his parents on Christmas Eve and there was a package waiting at our door. It was from my good friend and fellow foodie Clara!!! I couldn’t wait to open it!! The gift was so perfect for me – a wine lover’s cookbook!!! It doesn’t get any better than that for me! She was so sweet to send it…thank you Clara!!!!!!


My other two favorite gifts that relate to my kitchen are a Linens N Things gift card from the kids and a Winestyles gift card from Tommy. Now I need to decide what to buy at those stores…mmm… : )

Hope everyone had a great Christmas!!! : )

Chicken Marsala

November 5, 2007 at 1:41 am | Posted in Chicken, pasta, wine | Leave a comment

Yes, another pasta and chicken dish…no surprise there, huh? : ) And pasta and chicken with wine nonetheless…how me! Tommy eats this sometimes at our favorite Italian restaurant and I came across a recipe for it on another foodie blog so I thought I would give it a shot.

Ingredients

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I used 2 but used the same amount of sauce)
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
kosher salt (I used regular salt)
ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 slices of bacon or pancetta, chopped
2 cups white or cremini mushrooms
2 large garlic cloves, minced (about 1 tbsp.)
1 tbsp. minced shallot
1 tbsp. tomato paste
1 1/2 cups Marsala wine (sweet)
1 1/2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice (1 small lemon)
4 tbsp. unsalted butter cut into 4pieces, room temperature
2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley leaves

Directions

1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position, place large heatproof dinner plate on oven rack, and heat oven to 200 degrees. Heat 12-inch heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat until very hot (you can hold your hand 2 inches above pan surface for 3 to 4 seconds), about 3 minutes. Pat chicken breasts dry. Meanwhile, place flour in shallow baking dish or pie plate. Season both sides of chicken cutlets with salt and pepper; working one piece at a time, coat both sides with flour. Lift breast from tapered end and shake to remove excess flour; set aside.

Add oil to hot skillet and heat until shimmering. Place floured cutlets in single layer in skillet and cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Using tongs, flip cutlets and cook on second side until golden brown and meat feels firm when pressed with finger, about 3 minutes longer.

Transfer chicken to heated plate and return plate to oven.

2. Return skillet to low heat and add pancetta; saute, stirring occasionally and scraping pan bottom to loosen browned bits until pancetta is brown and crisp, about 4 minutes. With slotted spoon, transfer pancetta to paper towel–lined plate. Add mushrooms and increase heat to medium-high; saute, stirring occasionally and scraping pan bottom, until liquid released by mushrooms evaporates and mushrooms begin to brown, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and shallot Saute for 1 minute. Add cooked pancetta and tomato paste. Stir while sauteing, until tomato paste begins to brown, about 1 minute. Off heat, add Marsala; return pan to high heat and simmer vigorously, scraping browned bits from pan bottom, until sauce is slightly syrupy and reduced to about 1 1/4 cups, about 5 minutes. Off heat, add lemon juice and any accumulated juices from chicken; whisk in butter 1 tablespoon at a time. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and stir in parsley. Pour sauce over chicken and serve immediately.

My tips: I will add some cornstarch and cold water next time after the butter to make the sauce a little thicker. I will also use thinner chicken breasts next time (or beat them a little more than I did with the mallet) as they were not finished cooking in the oven on only the 200 degree heat. I had to crank up the oven a bit to get them to cook all the way through.

Pig Rating: He thought this was really good! He agrees that thicker sauce and thinner chicken breasts would make this dish perfect. Definitely a keeper.

Mrs. Pig Rating: I liked this one pretty well. My tips are above but I think those will make this a real winner. It is in my box of things to make again!

Weekend Winery Trip

October 21, 2007 at 11:30 pm | Posted in Fun, wine | Leave a comment

This weekend we took our annual fall long weekend trip to Lexington, KY. Tommy is a UK grad and we love going back there for a weekend to go to Keeneland, a walk around campus, a UK football game, etc. This year while Tommy was planning the trip he surprised me by suggesting that we go to a winery while we were there. I knew I married him for a reason! HA! : )

I chose Talon Winery. It is out in the country in a very quaint setting. It was a super windy day so we didn’t walk around too much but I did get one pretty funny picture in front of the vineyards with my hair blowing as if though I had stuck my finger in a light socket. : )

Moral of the story is that the wine was really good. I love Traminette and they had one and that was all I needed to hear for me to choose them. They also have one called “Sweet Evening Breeze” which is like a Reisling. Both of them were so good! I definitely bought a couple of bottles to bring home. : ) If you haven’t tried a Traminette before…do it!
Check out this winery at: http://www.talonwine.com/

My "Bad Day" Go-To Wine – Fetzer G

September 27, 2007 at 4:34 pm | Posted in wine | Leave a comment

As I mentioned, I love wine. Pretty much all of it – not so fond of merlot or chardonney, but I am willing to try any and all things wine before forming an opinion. Coming home after a hard day at work and having a glass (or two…or three…) of wine is a fabulous thing. My favorite go-to wine for this is Fetzer Gewurztraminer.

Gewurztraminer is kind of long name for a wine so a lot of people just refer to this one as “gevurtz” or I refer to it as “G”. This is a white, semi sweet wine. You can taste the honeyed apricot and peach flavors in the glass, and breathe deeply to capture the aromas of rose petals and honeysuckle. Mmmm….. The Fetzer vineyard is located in Hopland, Mendocino Co., CA. I love this wine because not only is it good, it is extremely reasonably priced. It is ~$10 a bottle. The bottle is usually gone before I know it because it is easy to drink. : )

You can check out the Fetzer website which has awesome recipe links for dishes that will go well with this particular wine if you want to pair it with dinner. I like to drink it alone typically but I am sure they know what they are talking about! Enjoy!

http://www.fetzer.com/

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