Monday, 30 November 2009
Sweetie Pie's Pleasurable Pesto Polenta
Hello hello my darings! I have a rather delicious post for you this week. Who likes polenta!? Well it doesn't matter if you dislike it because I looooove it and I'm going to serve you up a tasty recipe. And here is the good news: it will pair perfectly with Drama Queen's Pinot Grigio! Ok middlesisters, preheat your ovens to 375 degrees F, pour yourselves a glass of wine and listen up!
Pleasurable Pesto Polenta
- 1 (18 oz.) package of polenta, cut into 1/4 in. slices
- 1/2 (24 oz.) jar of bottled marinara sauce
- 1/4 cup pesto
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F and oil an 11 x 7 x 2 in. baking dish.
- Take a sip of my Pinot.
- Arrange a single layer of polenta in the bottom of the prepared baking dish and spread a thin layer of pesto over the polenta.
- Spread half of the marinara sauce over the polenta and top with another layer of polenta and sauce. Don't be afraid to pile on the sauce, it is delicious.
- Take a sip of wine!
- Bake, uncovered, for 25 minutes. And here is the fun part: turn on the broiler! Top the polenta with mozzarella cheese and pine nuts. Broil until cheese browns and nuts are toasted.
I served this dish last night at my annual Happy Holidays dinner party and everyone loved it! My upper east side apartment was filled with full tummys, mildly intoxicated brains and excited smiles. I love the holidays! Enjoy this recipe darlings and please share your thoughts. Do you have any tasty recipes to pair with my Pinot? I'd love to hear them!
Posted on 11/30/2009 11:59 AM by Sweetie Pie
Monday, 23 November 2009
Philanthropology: The Study of Being Fabulously Charitable
Philanthropology: the study of being fabulously charitable.
Darlings, you might not want to hear this, so pour yourself a glass of my deilicous Merlot and listen up: it is time to clear out your closets. Yes, yes, yes, it will be time consuming and I know that many tears will be shed over the loss of a few coveted items. However, you know very well that the sweater Aunt Agnes gave you for your birthday two years ago is absolutely never going to see the light of day. What you do not know is that somewhere in this world, someone will absolutely love that sweater. How dare you deprive someone of their joy! Here is what you do:
1. Put on some cheery, upbeat music (we're going to need it to get through the losses we're about to endure).
2. Pour yourself another glass of Pinot.
3. Grab your suitcase
4. Fill that suitcase to the brim with everything you have not touched in over a year. That means shirts, jeans, blouses, trousers, hats, shoes, scarves. EVERYTHING that has depreciated in value by sitting in your closet, gathering dust, MUST GO INTO THE SUITCASE! You might find yourself saying, "But, but this lumberjack style plaid was so in last season." Let. It. Go. There are much more exciting clothes in this season.
5. Lug that suitcase to your nearest Goodwill, Salvation Army, church or homeless shelter and say "ciao bella" to your old, drab wardrobe.
Ok, breathe.. I think it is over...we survived...And look at the bright side: more room in your closet = more new clothes. We cannot have empty closets! This cool chick always knows when to give back to her community. It might not be entirely altruistic (hey, holiday sales are no joking matter), but we contributed our unused belonginigs to those who need them much much more. And that is something to toast to.
Raise your glasses and repeat after me: "I helped someone today and I am even cooler because of it!"
Posted on 11/23/2009 12:43 PM by Forever Cool
Monday, 16 November 2009
I'm Thankful For Food & Wine Pairing Tips!
Ah, what wine to serve up at those joyous holiday gatherings? Where people get together and peel potatoes and watch hours upon hours of football and then share a glorious meal. Later on, some have meltdowns. If you’re a three-year-old, we understand. But everybody else just needs to relax and have a nice glass of wine.
Thanksgiving is one of the more challenging meals to pair with wine. That’s because there are just so darn many flavors going on. Savory and salty tastes are not the issue; salty foods actually make wines taste softer and smoother. But sweeter tastes, like cranberries, sweet potatoes, and chocolate-covered green beans can make some wines taste bitter.
Luckily, we can offer you several excellent Middle Sister solutions. Any of us girls would be perfect gracing your holiday table, because our wines are made to for easy and effortless drinking in general. But if you’re in the mood for a white, may we suggest Wicked White? I'm a blend of Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc and Gewurztraminer (Gewurztraminer is a classic Thanksgiving wine, by the way).
What red wine compliments the carnival of flavors on the Thanksgiving table? It’s Rebel Red, a carnival of grapes, if you will, (Zinfandel, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah), artfully blended for your sipping pleasure Can’t decide? Why not serve both a white and a red and cover all your bases?
Posted on 11/16/2009 10:41 AM by Sweetie Pie
Monday, 9 November 2009
Wine Tasting 101
Here are some simple guidelines to help you enjoy wine AND look really cool.
As one of my FB friends said (I wish I could remember who!), “Hold your glass up to the light for maximum pomposity.” Actually, you can hold it against something white like a sheet of paper or napkin and you’ll be able to see the color of the wine more clearly. Is it reddish, reddish brown or more purple in color? Is the wine dark or light in color – can you see through the wine? Depth of color is a general indicator of whether a wine is a fuller bodied or lighter bodied wine. Is the wine cloudy and/or brownish – usually not a good sign – the wine could be oxidized. Epic wine fail. In a nutshell, too much air, for too long has come in contact with the wine causing a color, aroma and taste change. Blech.
A 'Corked' wine is a wine that has been bottled with a cork that is contaminated with TCA. It comes across as 'musty' aromas and flavors.
2. Swirl & Sniff
Your senses of smell and taste are closely intertwined, so take the time to sniff a glass of wine. Swirling the wine in your glass opens up the wine (that’s wine speak for letting in air) and helps you take in the aromas. Place your glass on a flat surface and swirl the wine. Then quick - put your nose inside the glass and give it a good sniff. What is the first aroma that comes to mind? Is it a fruity or woody scent? Wines that are oak aged sometimes smell more like spices and wood than fruits; so don’t limit your thinking to raspberries or blackberries. You could also smell cinnamon, cloves or vanilla due to the oak aging. Some wines even have vegetal scents like grass or green peppers.
Grapes, like other fruits, have unique characteristics depending on the type (varietal). Think of apples – there are hundreds of different apple varieties, each with a unique flavor and aroma. Grapes are no different – some are sweeter or fruitier; while others are more tart or vegetal by nature.
I don't think the commonly held notion that the bigger your nose the better you sniff is true. What do you think?
3. Sip (the best part)
Most people tense up when they get to this part. Relax, there are no wrong answers. Think about it, when you are talking about flavors in the foods you eat, do you get nervous and tense? Of course not…so start sipping.
Try taking a small sip, hold it in your mouth for a moment, and before you swallow or spit, take in some air through your mouth. This enhances the aroma and the flavors. How does the wine “feel” in your mouth? Think of milk…when you drink skim milk – it feels “light” in your mouth. Now, think of whole milk. It feels heavy in your mouth – right?
Now, you can move onto what you actually taste. Remember most of what you taste in wine (or food, for that matter) comes from your sense of smell. So expect to taste similar flavors as the aromas you sniffed earlier. However, most people can pick out more nuances in the taste of wine than in the aroma. For instance, you may smell more fruit aromas, but you will taste more of the woody or spicy flavors in wine.
4. Spit or Swallow?
Be a rebel! While it may not be pretty, spitting helps keep your palate fresh if you’re tasting a lot of wines. It also prevents you from getting so inebriated that any glass of wine tastes great!
Let me know if you liked or learned anything from my Tasting Wine crash course.
Cheers, Rebel Red
Posted on 11/09/2009 11:18 AM by Rebel Red
Monday, 2 November 2009
Hello Fall Fashion!
|I do not think I can accurately explain how excited I am about this post! Ok, yes darlings, we are in a recession, but should fashion suffer? Absolutely not! I, Drama Queen, do solemnly swear to post three of my favorite fall/winter fashion statements that will enhance your closet while preserving your wallet. Ok ladies, grab a glass of my delicious Pinot Grigio and pay close attention to my fashion tips!
Lets begin with the perfect trench coat. No, I am not talking about those ridiculous faux leather trench coat mafia knockoffs. I am talking about the classically classy trench coat. Burberry has perfected this design: THE classic trench coat. Oh how I love Burberry… but I do not love the $2,000 price tag. Now, here is a beautiful alternative to the classic design for a mere $250: Oooooooo I love this! Throw this chic coat over any outfit for any occasion. It is so versatile and should definitely be a staple in any woman’s closet.
On to the perfect day dress. I love love love to show off my legs (even in winter!) and here is a dress you can pair with a sheer pair of leggings to make it winter-appropriate while still looking fashionably fabulous: The perfect day dress. I love a cute boat neck dress, it’s my guilty pleasure and I happily feed the addiction! And did you see the price? $175! Fabulous Ann Taylor, simply fabulous.
And finally, the exclamation point at the end of every outfit…the shoes! Since we are traveling down the classic and chic route, look at these beauties for just $89: Shut up! These are $89!? If you want something a little trendier, get them in Pewter! It is still a classic style and the intense color only adds to the chic-ness of the design.
Ok ladies, enjoy my fashion tips and I better see you strutting your new looks around town! What are some of your favorite winter fashion trends? Share them with your middle sisters!
High heels and high fashion,
The Always Fashionable Drama Queen
Posted on 11/02/2009 5:40 PM by Drama Queen