Oh, my goodness…. this sauce is so delicious! A friend recently mentioned a crock pot dinner that she’d made that sounded good, but I didn’t want to use my crock pot. I got the basics of the recipe from her, looked at a few other recipes, and went to “work”.
2 TBSP butter
1/3 cup half & half (fat-free is fine)
2-3 forks of julienned sun dried tomatoes *I like to add a spoonful of the oil to this sauce as well
2 handfuls of spinach
1 TBSP Parmesan
1 wedge Laughing Cow light cheese
1-2 T white wine (I used Boordy Vineyards Vidal Blanc)
Salt and pepper to taste
Pasta water, as needed/if available, to thin or extend sauce
In a heavy sauce pan, simmer butter with half & half until butter melts.
Add sun dried tomato and fresh spinach, stir and allow spinach time to wilt.
Add Parmesan and Laughing Cow, stir to combine and allow the flavors to meld.
Add wine, salt & pepper, then taste sauce, adjusting flavors as needed. Add pasta water, if needed.
I typically spoon this sauce over baked chicken, pasta, and broccoli, as seen in the photo. I’ve also served this sauce over shrimp. It’s a delicious addition to enhance that plain chicken and vegetable dinner. It doesn’t take long to make this sauce and makes for a beautiful dinner plate!
I got to play in the kitchen today…. and chose to experiment with a scone recipe that uses my favorite @JiffyMixes baking mix. Jiffy mix has been made by the Chelsea Milling Company, a family-owned business started in 1901. Since we lived in Chelsea, MI for a number of years, I love to use this product for biscuits, scones, pancakes, or even fried chicken… it’s so versatile. Here’s a photo of the box – look for it in the baking aisle of your local grocery store.
1 1/2 cups Jiffy Mix
3 TBSP sugar
1 1/4 tsp lemon zest (I use the zest of one lemon)
1/2 heaping cup blueberries, if using frozen, don’t thaw (I use 1 handful of blueberries)
3 TBSP liquid (I used a mixture of half almond milk, half @BoordyVineyards white wine)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 375* F
In a large bowl, blend Jiffy Mix, sugar, egg, liquids, and vanilla. Add zest and berries and mix thoroughly, but gently.
Lay a piece of parchment on cookie sheet and scoop out dough into small scones. I use a medium size cookie scoop and lightly press the dough down to flatten slightly. I like to lightly dust dough with sugar before baking
Bake in preheated oven for 10-15 minutes until edges begin to brown.
Let cool for at least 5 minutes before drizzling with glaze.
If you choose, you can drizzle the scones with a simple glaze made with the juice of one lemon and confectioner’s sugar. In this case, I also added a dash of salt and a splash of fat-free half and half. This is all personal preference, but I think it makes the scones look delicious!
I’ve made this recipe using a lot of different blends of add-ins such as dehydrated raspberries with cocoa nibs and orange zest with mini chocolate chips. The basic recipe isn’t difficult and doesn’t take a huge time commitment, which makes it a winner in my book.
I hope you’ll try this recipe and let me know what different combinations you’ve found to be delicious as well.
I call these “Thank You Muffins” because I make them to thank anyone who comes to my house – our landscapers, the mulch guys, the electrician, the plumber, the septic guys, and sometimes even our UPS guy! It’s my personal way of letting them all know how much I appreciate the work these people do to make my life easier… and doesn’t everyone like to know they are appreciated?
I’ve been sharing this recipe for years… and I don’t think I’ll be stopping anytime soon. I love having a recipe in my arsenal that uses a short list of ingredients, comes together quickly, and is (in my opinion) fool-proof… this recipe hits every one of those criteria!
1 box cake mix – I used chocolate cake, but you can use any flavor or brand you like best. Sale brands are great to keep on hand for this recipe.
1 can solid pack pumpkin – I typically buy 10 cans at a time, simply so I am always able to whip up a batch of muffins whenever needed
A small handful of Mini chocolate chips – off-brands are fine to use – they play a supporting role in this recipe.
A small amount of wine – I use red wine with chocolate, carrot cake, or spice cake muffins…. white wine with yellow cake, or anywhere I don’t want that pink hue to show. This is a great way to use up any “leftover wine”.
Preheat your oven to 375*F
Cover two large cookie trays with parchment paper.
Put your ingredients into a large mixing bowl and stir until thoroughly combined. If using a carrot cake recipe, feel free to let the mixture rest a little to allow the dehydrated carrots to plump a bit… it’s not necessary, but can help as you’re doling the mixture onto trays.
Scoop mixture onto cookie trays using a small cookie scoop. NOTE: I use the smallest cookie scoop from Pampered Chef, but will occasionally use the medium sized cookie scoop. The only difference will be in your cooking time and the number of muffin balls you can make. If I use the smallest scoop, I can make approximately 25 muffin balls/tray. Using the medium scoop only allows me to make approximately 18 muffin balls/tray.
Bake muffins in preheated 375* oven for 15-18 minutes (18-22 min for medium muffins).
Remove and allow to cool – I pull the muffins/parchment off the tray so the bottoms of the muffins don’t continue to cook.
Here are some photos of the process:
Another alternative is to make this recipe into full-sized muffins, using a muffin tin, or even baking it in a 9×13 baking pan and cutting into pieces. The recipe itself is incredibly adaptable, but your baking times will need to be adjusted. I love having bites of cake to share with people, so this is my personal preference.
I hope you find this recipe helpful. I have written it down a few different times and have made many different versions, all of which have been delicious. Feel free to message me here, or on my FromTheBottomOfAWineBottle Facebook page, if you have any questions!
It’s summer! The time of fresh fruit and lazy days… the time when you want to be able to go outside and enjoy your friends and family… the time for easy or starter recipes… This is when I like to have a few recipes on hand that make my life a little easier, especially on those days when the temperature is high and my energy is not. For those days, I give you the Summer Watermelon Salad!
This recipe couldn’t be easier… four ingredients and easy to adjust for the number of people you’re feeding! This is actually one of my favorite lunches… light and simple, it just screams “SUMMER” to me.
Watermelon – cut into bite-size pieces. Use as much or as little as you like, but this is your *main* ingredient. I typically use about 3 cups.
Feta cheese – I like to use crumbled *light* feta, but you can use whatever type makes you happy. I dump in some from the container – about 1/2 cup.
Basil – if I have fresh, I take a small handful and cut into a chiffonade (little ribbons). If not, I take a generous pinch of dried. I’ve done both and fresh is definitely better in this – it’s a wonderful flavor!
White wine – I use what I have in my fridge, about 1/8-1/4 cup total. I’ve used dry (Chardonnay and Pinot Gris/Grigio) and I’ve used semi-sweet/off-dry (Vidal Blanc and Viogner)… use what you like!
Cut watermelon into bite-sized pieces and place in a large bowl. Sprinkle with feta cheese and basil. Toss lightly and adjust amounts as needed.
Thumb 1/8-1/4 cup of white wine over the salad and allow time to marinate before serving.
I typically drain a bit of the liquid off before serving. This ends up being a mixture of wine and watermelon juice that isn’t really necessary.
This is a great example of how I use “The Force” when cooking… so many variations to make this salad and it’s always delicious. Hope you’ll try it and come up with your own favorite way to make this salad!
This recipe is one that has been used in my family for as long as I can remember. As a child, my mom would make these cream puffs for her bridge club nights. She’d make the cream puffs, cut off the tops and fill them with vanilla ice cream, then frost them with some chocolate before serving them to her honored guests. Occasionally, we’d be given one of these treats before the ladies arrived and they always looked so incredibly elegant. What a gift to find out, years later, that this was a simple recipe that I could share with my own guests… and now I get to share that gift with you!
1 cups boiling water (I like to use 2/3 cup water and 1/3 cup white wine)
1/2 cup butter (don’t skimp… butter is the only way to go here)
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
In a heavy saucepan, combine the water/wine with the butter and bring to a boil. Once melted and fully boiling, add the flour/salt at once and stir, beating vigorously with a wooden spoon until the dough is smooth.
Remove from heat and add eggs, one at a time, stirring well after each addition. Drop by teaspoons onto 2 greased cookie sheets (or baking sheets lined with parchment), shaping dough to peak in center and round out on the bottom. Place dough 2″ apart.
Bake in preheated 375* oven for 10 minutes, reduce heat to 350* and bake for an additional 25 minutes. Cool and fill. Freeze or use immediately.
These cream puffs make a lovely dessert – slice off the top of the puff, fill with softened ice cream and replace the top, then frost with a bit of chocolate. My Red Fudge Sauce is fabulous with this dessert (as seen in the photo), but you can use whatever sauce you like best.
Another alternative would be to fill the puffs with a small amount of my Nutty Chicken Salad and serve for a fancy luncheon. You are only limited by your imagination when it comes to using these cream puffs! Enjoy!
I have a confession to make… I’m usually lousy at cooking salmon. Since I found two pieces on “mega-sale” at the store today, I thought I’d give it one more try to see if I could come up with something really yummy. I have to say that this entire meal ended up being one of my favorites… and it was ridiculously easy! This post isn’t just a recipe for dinner, it’s also got a great side dish (I serve these potatoes for Easter EVERY year) and a salad dressing. If you’re looking for an easy and impressive dinner, this is it. Yum!
Ingredients for Salmon:
Coconut oil (or your favorite fat/oil)
2T jam (I used Loganberry jam)
2t balsamic vinegar
2t white wine (I used a lightly oaked chardonnay)
Season the salmon fillets with salt and pepper. In a hot saute’ pan, melt coconut oil and then sear the seasoned side of the salmon filets.
As the salmon sears in the hot oil, blend the glaze. You’ll need to warm the jam for 10 seconds in the microwave. You’re not trying to melt the jam… you just want it loose enough to blend with the vinegar and wine. You’ll want to adjust the seasonings with a little salt and pepper…. make sure to taste the glaze before using it.
Once the one side of the salmon is nicely browned, turn the fillet over and pour the glaze over top. Since the salmon won’t be thoroughly cooked, I put the entire pan into the oven and allow the fish to roast until dinner is done.
NOTE: I started the potatoes about 30-40 minutes before I began making the salmon, so the house already smelled amazing before I started on the fillets.
Ingredients for Scalloped Potatoes (This recipe serves two/three. You can add/subtract as needed to serve more people)
Three medium potatoes (I like to use Gold potatoes)
Half an onion
Flour (1/4-1/3 cup)
Shredded cheese (I used 1/2 bag of sharp cheddar)
Milk (I only have skim in the house, so that’s what I used)
Directions for Scalloped Potatoes
Slice potatoes thin (I use a mandolin, but that’s not necessary as long as the slices are all equally thin)
Slice onion in half (you only need 1/4 onion for each layer) and slice as thin as potatoes
Layer your dish:
Sprinkle with flour (this will ultimately thicken your cheese sauce, so don’t skimp)
Season lightly with salt and pepper
Thumb wine lightly over mixture
Top with a light layer of cheese
Repeat layer, ending with cheese
Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 45-50 minutes or until potatoes are fork-tender and the top is bubbling and browned.
This recipe showed me that, with a little ingenuity and imagination, I could create a fabulous, easy, “guest-worthy” meal that would satisfy all my expectations. This is a starter recipe that will impress the pickiest visitor… try it and see what YOU think!
BONUS RECIPE: I’d like to share my absolute favorite salad dressing recipe with you. This recipe makes an impressive amount of dressing that is much lower in calorie than you’d ever imagine. I have NEVER actually measured the ingredients for this dressing, so you’ll have to forgive me for not including any.
Blend the following ingredients:
Balsamic Vinegar (a small puddle in the bottom of a salad bowl)
Mustard (I tend to use horseradish mustard or dijon mustard)
1 envelope of sweetener (Equal or Splenda, depending on what’s in the house)
1T of a prepared dressing (I typically use a creamy dressing of some sort)
Mix ingredients together and toss with thinly sliced romaine. This is full of flavor and better than you’d expect!
I have been making some version of “Shepherd’s Pie” for ages, but I wanted to try and make something that would be a simple recipe for others to duplicate. This recipe is pretty healthy, has lots of “hidden vegetables”, and tastes absolutely divine… a perfect comfort food dish for those who are just learning to cook and those who are proficient.
1 package ground turkey
Coconut oil – I used about a Tablespoon
1 onion, diced
1 handful of baby carrots, diced
1/2 sweet pepper, diced (I used 2 small yellow peppers)
3 mushrooms, diced fine minus stems (I was trying to hide them)
1 handful of frozen peas (added at the very end)
red wine (I like the flavor when added to ground turkey)
granulated garlic (or use fresh, if you have it)
1 dollop ketchup
flour (use as a thickener – I just sprinkled some over the pan)
mashed potatoes (I used a batch of leftover potatoes, but use what you’ve got… if you don’t have any on hand, just boil two or three potatoes and mash with milk/butter)
Brown onion and carrots in coconut oil over medium heat until onions are translucent. I then added the peppers and mushrooms but feel free to use whatever vegetables you have on hand. This is a great way to use up things in your fridge!
Once veggies are cooked, add the ground turkey and brown thoroughly. I use a potato masher to get all the meat separated so it browns evenly.
You’re now going to flavor your dish. I always use red wine when I’m cooking ground turkey – I feel it adds a depth of flavor to the turkey and gives it a more “full” taste. Once the wine was incorporated, I sprinkled granulated garlic, added salt and pepper, and flavored things with the Worcestershire sauce and ketchup. I like to add the ketchup in something like this because it adds a touch of sweetness without getting a cloyingly sweet/sugar taste.
When the flavors are balanced, I sprinkled on some flour to thicken the dish and tossed in the frozen peas. Stir all to combine and put into your serving dish.
Top your dish with mashed potatoes. I love to use this dish when I have leftover mashed potatoes but it’s not difficult to make a small batch of mashed potatoes if necessary.
Bake this dish for 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly, in a 350 degree oven. I love to serve this with garlic toasts (made from sliced ciabatta rolls, this is a simple side that can add a lot to the meal).
I hope you find this to be an easy recipe that makes your winter a little “warmer”. Comfort food that doesn’t take hours to make is something that makes me very happy! If you have any questions, as always you are welcome to message me and I’ll do my best to help walk you through the process. Cooking should be fun and enjoyable… don’t stress over making it too “perfect”… it’s simply food and you’re feeding the ones you love.
I’ve now made two or three different renditions of this recipe and it’s become one of my favorites. It’s a great way to use up any leftover vegetables in your fridge and is healthier than most of the things I can come up with to eat for a quick meal. Veggie cups (made with some white wine) are delicious, versatile, and even freeze-able!
A leafy green vegetable (I’ve used a bunch of Swiss Chard, Spinach, or even Kale), chopped fairly fine
Onion (I like to use 1/4-1/3 of a sweet onion), chopped fine
Leftover vegetables from the fridge, chopped. I used a small yellow pepper in these photos, but I chopped up a tomato recently and it was equally delicious
Shredded Cheese (I sprinkled a small amount on each muffin cup – it totalled about 3/4 of a cup). I have used Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheese – use your favorite
2 cups of egg mixture (I used 1 1/2 cups of fat-free egg substitute, 1/4 cup egg whites, and 1/4 cup white wine
Seasonings (I like simple salt and pepper, but go wild and use what you like!)
Chop all your veggies, put your egg mixture together, spray your muffin tin with cooking spray, and pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees.
Into each muffin cup, place some chopped greens, chopped onion, chopped veggie (yellow pepper, tomato, whatever you’re using), and top each with a sprinkling of cheese. Add seasonings.
Ladle a bit of the egg mixture into each muffin cup, using the ladle to push the veggies and cheese into the egg mixture. If you have extra egg mixture left over, add it to the cups so everything is as equal as possible but DO NOT overfill the cups. They should be about 3/4 full since they will puff up as they cook.
Cook the Veggie Cups at 375 degrees for 18-20 minutes until the egg is set. Allow the veggie cups to cook slightly before removing them from the pan and serving.
This recipe is extremely versatile. You can add bacon, sausage, or ham to the veggie cups if you’d like. You can substitute vegetables as you prefer. This is a great way to make a quick breakfast sandwich but simply toasting an english muffin and putting one veggie cup in the middle. Play with this recipe and see if it doesn’t become one of your favorites as well.
When you’re cooking, it’s always nice to have a great basic recipe for an easy pasta sauce in your arsenal. Something that you can pull together with items from your pantry can make you feel prepared to whip up a great dinner any night of the week. This is that sort of a recipe… it’s foolproof, yet easy to adapt to each family’s favorite tastes, which makes it a perfect “starter recipe” to have on hand.
1-28oz can of crushed tomatoes
1 can tomato paste (you’ll only need an amount the size of your thumb)
Seasonings (I like Italian Seasonings, Basil, and Oregano, as well as salt & pepper)
Red wine (Use as much or as little as you like – I used a dry red that I had in the fridge)
Balsamic Vinegar (One of my favorite ingredients to use to punch up the flavor)
Brown Sugar (I used 2 spoons-worth, but use as much or as little as you like)
In a medium saucepan, blend the entire can of crushed tomatoes, a thumb-worth of tomato paste, the seasonings and red wine. Once this mixture simmers for a bit, add a bit of the vinegar and the brown sugar… make sure to taste your pasta sauce as it cooks and adjust the seasonings as needed.
For the latest dinner, I roasted a few turkey meatballs and added them to the sauce before dinner. I served the meatballs and sauce on a bed of cooked thin spaghetti and it was a huge hit… everyone soaked up the last bits of sauce with pieces of bread, which is a positive sign in our house.
Hope you enjoy making this sauce for your own family… feel free to adjust and alter ingredients to make this sauce your own!
A few weeks ago, I was approached by a guy named Julien Miquel, who asked if I might be willing to create a recipe for his wine blog, Social Vignerons.
I had never been asked to “Guest Post” before, so this was a pretty big thing for me. Couple that with the fact that Julien found me on my Twitter account (@Alisportshots), his blog was recently voted the 2015 Best New Wine Blog, and is a trained wine maker…. this was HUGE to me!
I decided to create Stuffed Pork Chops with Dry Rose’ Wine for his blog. This is one of my favorite recipes but I had never posted it with a Dry Rose’ before… Sharing a special recipe with special people just seemed like the perfect fit. Julien also linked my formally-posted Twice Baked Potatoes recipe on his site, so I hope people find both recipes enjoyable!
I do hope that all who read this blog will begin to follow Julien and his wine blog… he offers a new perspective on some old-world expectations. Enjoy!