Saturday, December 21, 2013

Wine tasting

We hosted a wine tasting at our house! The purpose was to get through some of the bottles we had been hoarding for a couple of years, and share them with our wine-appreciating friends. We themed up and tasted 9 Zinfandels. About 6 years ago, we were really into going to vineyards and wineries, visiting little tasting rooms up and down California, and having nice little getaway weekends. We ended up returning from one of these trips with more wine than we could store efficiently. We bought a wine fridge, AND got an offsite storage facility for the overflow. We kept up and bought more and more, and one day I realized that our entire wine fridge only held Zinfandel. It turned out, I was sick to death of Zinfandel too! So a lot of the Zin sat, especially offsite because it was easy to forget about.
Keven made this cheese snowman - all edible!
Over the years we had whittled down some of the Zin, but still had enough to host a tasting for about 11 of us. We didn't want the tasting to be too structured, but enough so that people could taste and learn and enjoy (and not just get drunk, though that happened too). We did a blind tasting, covering up the labels and numbering them. We figured it was easier to remember you were on number three, instead of relying on remembering a name you had never heard of before. All in all, the night was a success!
Lots of cheese and crackers that night

Swiss Enchiladas

Once Thanksgiving is over, it's as if the only food in the world is Mexican food. It's the right time of year for tamales, enchiladas, champurrado, tacos, hot carrots, pozole, chips, salsa, negro modelo….. As if summer doesn't have it's own built-in daily taco need, especially fish tacos. I digress. I love Thanksgiving, but after the main meal, I rarely want leftovers, it's weird. The food is rich, plentiful, takes a lot of preparation, and the occasion (for many) equals travel, effort, coordination and patience. I love it, and it's all worth it! But after the meal, I don't want to see it again for a good long while.
Back to Mexican food. I made these enchiladas when some friends came over, to celebrate and hang out, and eat something other than turkey and stuffing! We drank lots of wine, and hung out at the house. Great times.
A couple of food notes- in my haste I grabbed gluten-free tortillas, and I really noticed how different they were in the final product. They did not absorb the milk, and so were a little tough and dry. Next time, I will make sure to grab the right thing. Also- I made the "Mexican Caesar" salad dressing from a recipe I found online. It was delicious! Thanks to my food processor, it was a cinch. Next time I can probably halve the recipe because it made a ton.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Almond Milk

I made almond milk at home! So fresh and so much better for me that the store-bought stuff.