Creamy Chicken Soup

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This rich and Creamy Chicken Soup, loaded with veggies, is a healthy and easy to make meal that your entire family will love.

This rich and Creamy Chicken Soup, loaded with veggies, is a healthy and easy to make meal that your entire family will love.This is the time of year I love to cook big meals. Gone are the days of endless fresh and local produce choices. Winter time in the Pacific Northwest is a time when most everything stops growing and we have to rely on what I consider the basics for my fruit and vegetables. That is why I’m especially fond of hearty soups. Not only do they incorporate lots of fresh veggies, but they are so comforting and satisfying, its easy to forget that we still have many cold and wet months ahead of us before the local produce makes its way back.

This rich and Creamy Chicken Soup, loaded with veggies, is a healthy and easy to make meal that your entire family will love.This time of year I love stocking my freezer with prepared meals. I don’t know if it has to do with the possible threat of getting stuck at home because of that once a year snow storm, but it just makes me so happy to cook meals in big batches and store them for another day. This soup is a perfect freezer meal because you can double or triple the batch and then just freeze what you don’t plan on eating that night for another day. Not all soups, especially ones with pasta, freeze that well. This soup, however, does.

This rich and Creamy Chicken Soup, loaded with veggies, is a healthy and easy to make meal that your entire family will love.I prefer to use chicken thighs because the meat is so flavorful and it shreds really well. Even though I add a bit of olive oil to my pan, the chicken almost always sticks. Have no fear… the part that sticks to the bottom is the best part!  I use a little white wine to release all of that wonderful flavor and I can definitely taste it in the final soup. I prefer to chop all of my veggies by pulsing them in the food processor. Not only does that save me time, but I think having a wide variety of sizes, from minced to chopped, not only enhances the texture of the soup but also the taste.  I also continue to use the same pot to cook the chicken, then the vegetables, then the roux which turns into a cream gravy and then eventually the soup. By keeping all the ingredients going in the same pot, you don’t lose any of those wonderful flavors along the way.

This rich and Creamy Chicken Soup, loaded with veggies, is a healthy and easy to make meal that your entire family will love.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Creamy Chicken Soup
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This rich and Creamy Chicken Soup, loaded with veggies, is a healthy and easy to make meal that your entire family will love.
Author:
Recipe type: main
Yields: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 pound skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 5 T butter, divided
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 4 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 T flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt, to taste
Instructions
  1. In a heavy bottom dutch oven over medium high heat, cook chicken thighs in olive oil for about 15 minutes, flipping once. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly on a plate. The chicken likely stuck to the pan. Deglaze the pan by adding the white wine over low heat and scraping the bottom of the pan until all of the cooked bits have been loosened. Transfer the cooked chicken bits in white wine to a separate cup.
  2. Add one tablespoon of the butter to the dutch oven and and set heat to high. Add onions, celery and carrot and allow to cook until slightly golden brown while stirring only occasionally for a total of about 10 minutes. While vegetables are cooking, shred chicken meat. When vegetables have finished cooking, remove them from the dutch oven and set them on the same plate as the chicken.
  3. Return the pan to the stove and melt the remaining 4T of butter over medium high heat. Add the garlic and allow to cook for about a minute, then add the flour and stir to combine to make a roux. Allow to cook for a few minutes until fragrant.
  4. Add the milk and heavy cream to the roux and whisk constantly until thoroughly mixed. Allow to cook while constantly whisking until thickened. Whisk in the chicken broth. Add shredded chicken and cooked vegetables to the broth and stir. Add salt, to taste, and pepper, as desired.
  5. Serve with a warm crusty bread or some rosemary crackers.

This rich and Creamy Chicken Soup, loaded with veggies, is a healthy and easy to make meal that your entire family will love.
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Perfect Prime Rib Roast

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This holiday season, serve your friends and family a Perfect Prime Rib Roast for dinner. Its an elegant yet easy to make main dish.

This holiday season, serve your friends and family a Perfect Prime Rib Roast for dinner. Its an elegant yet easy to make main dish.

Once a year I’ll make a prime rib roast. Why only once a year? Well, because every year we order a quarter cow from a local ranch. Once you buy local grass fed and finished beef, it is really hard to go back go buying any beef at the grocery store. Not only is the taste and quality far superior to most anything you’ll find at the store, but for me, the convenience of having so many cuts of meat at the ready is necessary to keep me creative in the kitchen. When you buy a quarter cow, however, you only get one rib roast and that’s only if you specifically request it.

This holiday season, serve your friends and family a Perfect Prime Rib Roast for dinner. Its an elegant yet easy to make main dish.

This has always been my favorite way to cook a rib roast. It’s actually incredibly simple. As with any large cut of meat, you must depend on an accurate thermometer. Long ago I stopped following directions that just gave oven temperature and time. When you cook a giant hunk of meat in a roasting pan, you have to get the inside to the exact right temperature and you have to let it properly rest if you want a perfectly cooked, tender, juicy roast. There are so many factors involved including the size of your roast, its starting temperature (did you pull it straight from the refrigerator or did you let it rest on the counter for a bit?), the temperature of your oven, and how consistently your oven cooks. I’ve learned all of these things over time through the practice of ruining several large meals. Lessons learned! Now, I won’t cook anything like this without my thermometer. When I make prime rib roast, I like to offer two different kinds of sauce. This recipe makes a bold rich red wine sauce but I’m also of the opinion that a good prime rib roast always deserves a little horseradish kick on the side too. Enjoy!

This holiday season, serve your friends and family a Perfect Prime Rib Roast for dinner. Its an elegant yet easy to make main dish.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Perfect Prime Rib Roast
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This holiday season, serve your friends and family a Perfect Prime Rib Roast for dinner. Its an elegant yet easy to make main dish.
Author:
Recipe type: main dish
Yields: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 (4-5 pound) bone in beef rib roast
  • 1 (750 mL) bottle red wine
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons garlic
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, minced
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
optional:
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1-2 teaspoons creamed horseradish
Instructions
  1. Allow meat to sit at room temperature for at least an hour prior to cooking.
  2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F and ensure top rack is low enough such that the roasting pan will be in the middle of the oven.
  3. Using a roasting pan with a rack, add 2 cups of wine and the beef broth to the pan. Reserve the remaining wine for later. Set the roast in the rack, rib side down and fat side up. Mix olive oil, garlic, herbs, salt and pepper in small bowl and spread on top of roast.
  4. Insert meat thermometer into meaty part of roast avoiding contact with the bones.
  5. Roast in 450 degree oven for 20 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees and continue cooking until the internal temperature reaches 115 to 120°F for medium rare (125 to 130°F after resting), or 125 to 130°F for medium (135 to 140°F after resting). And remember, a roast will continue to rise by 5 to 10°F as it rests. I removed my roast from the oven when it hit 125°F. Total cooking time will depend on size of roast and initial temperature. Once removed from oven, transfer roast to plate and loosely tent with foil and allow to rest for at least 15-20 minutes.
  6. While the roast is resting, place the pan on the burner with the rack removed. Add remaining wine and cook on low temperature to burn off some of the alcohol and work in all the flavor from the bottom of the pan. When roast has finished resting, skim off any fat from the wine sauce and serve warm sauce along side the roast.
  7. If desired, mix sour cream and horse radish to serve along side roast as well. For planning purposes, this roast takes about 15 minutes per pound of cooking time plus resting time, so based on the weight you can work backwards to figure out when to start the cooking process.

This holiday season, serve your friends and family a Perfect Prime Rib Roast for dinner. Its an elegant yet easy to make main dish.

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Tender Pork Marsala

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Ready in just 30 minutes, Tender Pork Marsala made with marinated pork tenderloin smothered in a mushroom wine sauce, is perfect for any night of the week.

Ready in just 30 minutes, Tender Pork Marsala made with marinated pork tenderloin smothered in a mushroom wine sauce, is perfect for any night of the week.

Oh yes. It is once again the start of homework season, soccer season, chess club season, volleyball season, PTO meeting season… and the list goes on and on. As much as I crave the routine and structure of a busy return to fall after a fun yet extremely chaotic summer, I realize that I just don’t have much time to do anything. Despite our hectic schedules, one thing I am committed to is putting a delicious hot meal on the table for my family to enjoy.

Ready in just 30 minutes, Tender Pork Marsala made with marinated pork tenderloin smothered in a mushroom wine sauce, is perfect for any night of the week.

Gone are the days when the kids napped all day and didn’t have to be transported from one event to the next. Now, finding quick and easy dinners has become a mission of mine. I feel like I’ve hit the jackpot when I’m able to make something in under a half an hour. Last night, I made dinner with Smithfield® Marinated Fresh Pork that I purchased at Safeway. One of my favorite things about cooking pork is that it can be prepared any night of the week for an easy and delicious meal, and Smithfield Marinated Fresh Pork is especially versatile because it can be grilled, roasted or sautéed. It’s an easy way to get real flavor, real fast, for quick and simple back to routine meals.

Ready in just 30 minutes, Tender Pork Marsala made with marinated pork tenderloin smothered in a mushroom wine sauce, is perfect for any night of the week.

There are so many ways to cook a pork tenderloin, but cutting it into two inch thick medallions and then smashing each piece with your hand to further tenderize it might just be the quickest possible way to cook it.

Ready in just 30 minutes, Tender Pork Marsala made with marinated pork tenderloin smothered in a mushroom wine sauce, is perfect for any night of the week.

Smothering an already flavorful piece of pork with a homemade mushroom Marsala sauce is about as close to heaven as my taste buds get.

Ready in just 30 minutes, Tender Pork Marsala made with marinated pork tenderloin smothered in a mushroom wine sauce, is perfect for any night of the week.

Whether you choose to serve this savory meal over pasta like I did, or some creamy mashed potatoes, you will love this tasty and satisfying quick meal.

Ready in just 30 minutes, Tender Pork Marsala made with marinated pork tenderloin smothered in a mushroom wine sauce, is perfect for any night of the week.

Be sure to stop by Safeway on your way home from work to pick up some Smithfield Marinated Fresh Pork so you can have family dinner on the table in under 30 minutes tonight! I chose Smithfield Marinated Roasted Garlic and Herbs Pork Tenderloin but they have a variety of different flavors to choose from like Applewood Smoked Bacon Pork Loin Filet, Steakhouse Mushroom Pork Loin Filet, Slow Roasted Golden Rotisserie Pork Tenderloin and more!

Ready in just 30 minutes, Tender Pork Marsala made with marinated pork tenderloin smothered in a mushroom wine sauce, is perfect for any night of the week.

Tender Pork Marsala
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Ready in just 30 minutes, Tender Pork Marsala made with marinated fresh pork tenderloin smothered in a mushroom wine sauce, is perfect for any night of the week.
Author:
Recipe type: main dish
Yields: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 Smithfield Marinated Roasted Garlic and Herbs Pork Tenderloin
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 2 medium shallots, finely diced
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 12 ounces mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup Marsala wine
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Instructions
  1. Cut the tenderloins into 2 inch thick medallions and flatten each medallion slightly with the palm of your hand. They should flatten easily. Season both sides with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat a large sauté pan over high heat. Add the olive oil and just 1 tablespoon of butter. Once heated, add the pork and allow to brown 2-3 minutes on each side. Once both sides have nicely browned, remove from pan, transfer to clean plate, and loosely tent with aluminum foil.
  3. Using the same pan, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and add the shallots. Cook for about a minute until they start to brown and then add the garlic to cook for just a minute more. Stir while scraping the bottom of the pan to release any browned bits.
  4. Add the mushrooms, stir well to distribute butter and flavor, and allow them to cook undisturbed for a couple of minutes before stirring. This will allow your mushrooms to get slightly brown. Continue to cook until the liquid has evaporated and the mushrooms are golden, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle with the flour, stir, and allow the flour to cook for a couple of minutes until fragrant.
  5. Add the Marsala wine and allow to cook down until almost completely evaporated. Then, add the chicken broth and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes while stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the heavy cream and parsley. Then return the pork and any accumulated juices to the pan. Cook the pork in the mushroom sauce, flipping the meat once, until it's firm to the touch, about 2 to 4 minutes or until it's no longer pink inside. Add salt and pepper, as desired.
  6. Serve over pasta or mashed potatoes and a crisp green salad.

For more delicious Smithfield Fresh Pork recipes visit www.smithfield.com/meal-ideas/real-flavor-real-fast/

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Smithfield® Marinated Fresh Pork. The opinions and text are all mine.

Ready in just 30 minutes, Tender Pork Marsala made with marinated pork tenderloin smothered in a mushroom wine sauce, is perfect for any night of the week.
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Chicken Marasala

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Homemade Chicken Marasala made with tenderized lightly breaded chicken breasts and a mushroom wine butter sauce is a favorite dinner at our house.

Homemade Chicken Marasala made with tenderized lightly breaded chicken breasts and a mushroom wine butter sauce is a favorite dinner at our house.

I had a craving. For whatever reason, I wanted chicken marsala and I wanted it bad. The thought of perfectly tender chicken smothered in a mushroom wine butter sauce… well, let’s just say I couldn’t get the idea out of my head. What can I say? When this girl has a craving, the only way to stop it is to satisfy it.

Homemade Chicken Marasala made with tenderized lightly breaded chicken breasts and a mushroom wine butter sauce is a favorite dinner at our house.

Now, melting an entire cube of butter into this sauce may seem a bit extreme, but its not. Its nothing but good. The trick is to reduce the wine down by half if not more, then cook up those mushrooms in the reduced wine with some chicken stock, and then let that butter melt until its oh-so-good.

Homemade Chicken Marasala made with tenderized lightly breaded chicken breasts and a mushroom wine butter sauce is a favorite dinner at our house.

This recipe nearly didn’t make it onto the blog because I made it before daylight savings and it was a really dark rainy day here in Oregon. I refuse to get out my extended lighting set up so I cranked the ISO on my camera up to 3200. If you know how to shoot in manual, you know that is pretty high and it results in some grain in the photo, but this dinner was so tasty I thought it was worth it.

Homemade Chicken Marasala made with tenderized lightly breaded chicken breasts and a mushroom wine butter sauce is a favorite dinner at our house.

Add this delicious chicken with mushroom sauce to some pasta with fresh herbs and finely grated cheese and you have one satisfying meal. Enjoy!

Homemade Chicken Marasala made with tenderized lightly breaded chicken breasts and a mushroom wine butter sauce is a favorite dinner at our house.

Chicken Marasala
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Homemade Chicken Marasala made with tenderized lightly breaded chicken breasts and a mushroom wine butter sauce is a favorite dinner at our house.
Author:
Recipe type: main dish
Yields: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds (about 3) chicken breasts
  • oil for cooking (I use avocado oil)
  • 1 teaspoon (about 2 cloves) garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups marsala wine
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter
  • 16 ounces thinly sliced mushrooms
  • Fresh herbs such as chives or grated cheese, for garnish, optional
Instructions
  1. To prepare the chicken, tenderize by placing inside plastic storage bag and beating with a meat tenderizer or rolling with a heavy rolling pin.
  2. Season the flour with salt and pepper. Coat the chicken with the flour mixture and shake off any excess.
  3. Heat a large frying pan or dutch oven medium heat and add enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan. When the oil is hot add the chicken and cook until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes each side. Remove from heat and transfer to a plate tented with foil to keep warm.
  4. Add the marsala wine to the pan and scrape bottom of pan while cooking over medium high heat. Continue cooking the wine until the volume decreases to about a forth of what you added, then add the sliced mushrooms and chicken broth. Allow to heat through.
  5. Stir in the butter and finish by spooning over the cooked chicken. Serve with pasta or mashed potatoes. Garnish with fresh herbs or cheese if desired.
  6. Note: Mixture will be very liquidy which is how I like it because I combine with cooked pasta, but if you'd prefer to thicken it, you can combine equal parts (about a tablespoon each) of corn starch and water in a small dish and whisk it into the mixture to thicken it.

Homemade Chicken Marasala made with tenderized lightly breaded chicken breasts and a mushroom wine butter sauce is a favorite dinner at our house.
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Filet Mignon with Malbec Mushrooms

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Create a delicious and sophisticated dinner when you make this mouthwatering Filet Mignon with Malbec Mushrooms.

Create a delicious and sophisticated dinner when you make this mouthwatering Filet Mignon with Malbec Mushrooms.

I am a lover of wine. I definitely would not consider myself an elite expert. Far from it. But much like food, I can tell when a wine is a) delicious and b) of good quality.  I bought a new bottle of wine and my first instinct was to make hamburgers because I really wanted to enjoy this wine with red meat, but then I took it to the next level and went above and beyond hamburgers and used filet mignon. I also knew that I not only wanted to enjoy a glass of wine with my dinner, but I also wanted to incorporate it into the recipe.

Create a delicious and sophisticated dinner when you make this mouthwatering Filet Mignon with Malbec Mushrooms.

Steak (or any cut of beef, really) and mushrooms are meant to be together. Its just one of those pairings that have to happen. That part was easy. I wanted to add some depth and flavor without over powering the dish, so I opted for scallions over traditional yellow onions. Of course, garlic and herbs were a must as well.

Create a delicious and sophisticated dinner when you make this mouthwatering Filet Mignon with Malbec Mushrooms.

After the mushrooms, green onions, and garlic were beautifully cooked and the cooked steak was resting, it was time to finish off the meal with the Malbec. I added the wine to the sizzling mushrooms, scraped all those wonderful bits off the bottom of the pan to incorporate into the sauce, and then added the herbs and the butter to create a rich and wonderful sauce.

Create a delicious and sophisticated dinner when you make this mouthwatering Filet Mignon with Malbec Mushrooms.

This dinner along is beautiful. You can’t beat a good steak, creamy mashed potatoes, and dark green broccolini. But add these Malbec mushrooms and it takes a really good meal over the top and makes it unbelievably good.

Create a delicious and sophisticated dinner when you make this mouthwatering Filet Mignon with Malbec Mushrooms.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Filet Mignon with Malbec Mushrooms
 
Prep time
Cook time
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Create a delicious and sophisticated dinner when you make this mouthwatering Filet Mignon with Malbec Mushrooms.
Author:
Recipe type: main dish
Yields: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 pounds filet mignon steaks
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup Malbec wine
  • fresh thyme and rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons butter
Instructions
  1. Allow steaks to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes prior to cooking. Insert a meat thermometer into one of the steaks. Season meat with salt and pepper.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degress F.
  3. Heat a large oven safe skillet over high heat. Add olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the steaks and allow to brown, undisturbed, for about 5 minutes. Turn the steaks and immediately transfer to preheated oven. Cook until you reach an internal temperature of 125-130 degrees F. Remove from oven, transfer steaks to a plate, and loosely cover with aluminum foil.
  4. Using the same pan, cook mushrooms and green onions over high heat, stirring only occasionally, until browned. Reduce heat to medium, add garlic, stir, and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
  5. Add malbec wine and fresh herbs. Use a wooden spoon to scrape the bottom of the pan and allow wine to reduce by about half. Remove from heat and stir in butter to finish off sauce.
  6. To serve, top steak with a large spoonful of the mushrooms with extra sauce.

Create a delicious and sophisticated dinner when you make this mouthwatering Filet Mignon with Malbec Mushrooms.
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Pumpkin Cheese Ball

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This delicious Pumpkin Cheese Ball made with real pumpkin and three different kinds of cheese is the perfect fall party appetizer when served with wine.

This delicious Pumpkin Cheese Ball made with real pumpkin and three different kinds of cheese is the perfect fall party appetizer when served with wine.

Last fall my friend hosted a “Pumpkin Dinner Party” where all guests had to bring a dish, sweet or savory, that had pumpkin in it. What a fun night that was! The hostess, herself, made a pumpkin cheese ball and, with my glass of wine in hand, I couldn’t stay away from it. That party had all sorts of delicious food, but the cheese ball was my absolute favorite.

This delicious Pumpkin Cheese Ball made with real pumpkin and three different kinds of cheese is the perfect fall party appetizer when served with wine.

There are lots of recipes out there that tell you to make your cheese ball with shredded cheese and cream cheese. To me, that’s boring and not super delicious. The addition of the third Gournay cheese makes this cheese ball irresistible.  I used freshly roasted pumpkin because I happened to have some in my refrigerator, but you can easily use canned pureed pumpkin. The addition of the smoked paprika and cayenne not only adds to the flavor, but it makes it more orange in color.

This delicious Pumpkin Cheese Ball made with real pumpkin and three different kinds of cheese is the perfect fall party appetizer when served with wine.

Because I let my cheese get real soft before mixing in order to make the final cheese ball very well mixed, I had to wrap it up and stick it in the refrigerator. Be sure to let it get cold enough so that its easy to shape into a pumpkin. I was a little too eager and could have waited a bit longer, but I really wanted to eat it!  This cheese ball pairs perfectly with white or red wine.

This delicious Pumpkin Cheese Ball made with real pumpkin and three different kinds of cheese is the perfect fall party appetizer when served with wine.

Everyone will love this pumpkin cheese ball. Just watch… they won’t be able to stay away.

This delicious Pumpkin Cheese Ball made with real pumpkin and three different kinds of cheese is the perfect fall party appetizer when served with wine.

And if you’re worried about it tasting like pumpkin, I honestly couldn’t taste it. I put it in for color and also because I couldn’t call it a pumpkin cheese ball without some pumpkin puree in it, now could I?

This delicious Pumpkin Cheese Ball made with real pumpkin and three different kinds of cheese is the perfect fall party appetizer when served with wine.

Pumpkin Cheese Ball
 
Prep time
Total time
 
This delicious Pumpkin Cheese Ball made with real pumpkin and three different kinds of cheese is the perfect fall party appetizer when served with wine.
Author:
Recipe type: Appetizer
Yields: 12 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 (5.2 ounce) package garlic & fine herb Gournay cheese, softened
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup shredded extra sharp cheddar
  • 3 tablespoons pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attached and mix on medium speed until well combined, about 5 minutes.
  2. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate or freeze until cold enough to mold into a pumpkin shape.
  3. Set on cheese board and shape into a pumpkin. Use a stem from a bell pepper to complete the look. Serve with wine and crackers.

This delicious Pumpkin Cheese Ball made with real pumpkin and three different kinds of cheese is the perfect fall party appetizer when served with wine.
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Antipasto Pasta Salad

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This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. The following content is intended for readers who are 21 or older. #SummerToGo #CollectiveBias

This mouthwatering Antipasto Pasta Salad is filled with delicious cured meats, Italian cheeses, and marinated vegetables and is perfect for a wine picnic.

This mouthwatering Antipasto Pasta Salad is filled with delicious cured meats, Italian cheeses, and marinated vegetables and is perfect for a wine picnic.

This mouthwatering Antipasto Pasta Salad is filled with delicious cured meats, Italian cheeses, and marinated vegetables and is perfect for a wine picnic. 

Want to know what my most favorite date in the world is? Well, I’ll tell you. Do I love fancy restaurants? You betcha. Do I love being wined and dined? Uh huh. But my most favorite thing to do on a date is to have a picnic with wine, cured meats like dry salami, a variety of cheeses, olives, marcona almonds, ice cold fruit like sliced apple or grapes, and a crusty baguette. Whether this picnic occurs on a blanket outside, in a cabin in the woods, or in front of the TV in our movie room – these delicacies make me smile.  You know what else is fun? Enjoying a nice glass of wine and all of my favorite foods with a bunch of friends. Think about it – how fun does it sound to spread out a few blankets and enjoy an outdoor concert with a few other couples and a delicious spread of food. The problem is that all the foods that I enjoy most don’t always travel well, nor does a bottle of wine. Enter: boxed wine (Black Box Pinot Noir to be precise) and my antipasto pasta salad.This mouthwatering Antipasto Pasta Salad is filled with delicious cured meats, Italian cheeses, and marinated vegetables and is perfect for a wine picnic. 

So, wikipedia tells me that antipasto means “before the meal” and here I am turning it into a meal. Are you totally confused? Allow me to explain. Wikipedia also told me that traditional antipasto includes things like cured meats, olives, mushrooms, artichoke hearts, various cheeses, and vegetables in oil or vinegar. I figured that I would take all of these delicious ingredients and toss them with some pasta and a dressing to make an easy and portable meal. The recipe makes at least 8 healthy sized portions and, what do you know, that awesome little box of wine actually contains the same amount of wine as four separate glass bottles. By my calculations: (equivalent of 4 bottles of wine) ÷ (4 couples) + (8 servings of antipasto salad) – (one wine bottle opener) = a fantastic evening of food and friends. This mouthwatering Antipasto Pasta Salad is filled with delicious cured meats, Italian cheeses, and marinated vegetables and is perfect for a wine picnic. 

I used a ton of ingredients in this pasta salad and the combined flavors are outstanding. Some of the ingredients were purchased ready to go and I just chopped them up. For the mushrooms, tomatoes, and garlic I chose to roast them myself. It really doesn’t take any extra time to do this because while they are roasting, you’re cooking your pasta on the stove as well as chopping up all of your other ingredients.This mouthwatering Antipasto Pasta Salad is filled with delicious cured meats, Italian cheeses, and marinated vegetables and is perfect for a wine picnic. 

I wasn’t sure if I even needed a dressing because once I tossed everything with the pasta, it already had incredible flavor. But pasta is a flavor sucker and its always better to have a little more sauce than not enough. This red wine vinegar, olive oil, and basil vinaigrette was the absolute perfect addition to the pasta salad and it completely held everything together.This mouthwatering Antipasto Pasta Salad is filled with delicious cured meats, Italian cheeses, and marinated vegetables and is perfect for a wine picnic.

I’ll never pretend to be an expert on wine. I’m the kind of person who will taste it and can say if its good or not-so-good. I’d love to tell you that I can identify the kinds of flowers that were growing within 20 yards of the vines, or what kind of barrels the wine was aged in, or whether there are notes of smokey alder or dried cranberries, but that is out of my area of specialty. I will tell you, however, that this wine is wonderful and I absolutely love how portable it is as well as how the wine stays fresh because its in a vacuum sealed pouch. Why isn’t all wine packaged like this? Considering Black Box has won over 50 Gold Medals for its quality, and it’s available for 40% less than comparable bottled wines, and it stays fresh for up to 6 weeks… what’s not to love?

This mouthwatering Antipasto Pasta Salad is filled with delicious cured meats, Italian cheeses, and marinated vegetables and is perfect for a wine picnic. 

This is one of those recipes where I wish I could feed you a bite through the screen. I don’t think the photos do it justice. To have all my favorite flavors combined into one bowl alongside a delicious glass of red wine – I’m a happy girl.This mouthwatering Antipasto Pasta Salad is filled with delicious cured meats, Italian cheeses, and marinated vegetables and is perfect for a wine picnic. 

Is your idea of a perfect date similar to mine?  Be sure to visit the Simple Entertaining Social Hub for more great entertaining ideas!

Now… who wants to WIN A TRIP to the California wine region of your choice?  I do!  I do!  Just click THIS LINK to enter!  In the meantime, plan your adult-only picnic and be sure to let me know what you include in your picnic basket along with a box of wine.

This mouthwatering Antipasto Pasta Salad is filled with delicious cured meats, Italian cheeses, and marinated vegetables and is perfect for a wine picnic.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Antipasto Pasta Salad
 
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This mouthwatering Antipasto Pasta Salad is filled with delicious cured meats, Italian cheeses, and marinated vegetables and is perfect for a wine picnic.
Author:
Recipe type: main dish, pasta, side dish
Yields: 8 servings
Ingredients
Red Wine Vinaigrette:
  • 1 big handful fresh basil, stemmed and leaves chopped (about 1-2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup oil from marinated artichokes
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Antipasto Salad:
  • 8 ounces fresh mushrooms, stems removed and halved
  • 8 ounces grape tomatoes
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound pasta (I used penne)
  • 8 ounces artisan salami, sliced thick and then into strips.
  • 4 ounces proschiutto, sliced into strips
  • 12 ounce container fresh mozzarella (I used marinated)
  • 1/4 cup green and/or kalamata olives, halved and pitted
  • 1/4 cup roasted yellow and red peppers, cut into strips
  • 1/2 cup marinated artichoke hearts
  • 1/4 cup grated romano cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. To make the dressing, combine all dressing ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Add mushrooms, tomatoes, and garlic to a baking dish and drizzle with olive oil. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes.
  3. While the mushroom mixture is roasting, boil a pot of salted water. Once boiling, cook pasta al dente, about 2 minutes short of recommended cooking time. When done, drain and toss in a bit of olive oil to prevent sticking. Set aside until salad is ready.
  4. While mushroom mixture and pasta are cooking, cut up all remaining salad ingredients (except for the romano cheese) and combine in a bowl. Once pasta and mushroom mixture have cooled, add to salad and toss.
  5. Pour dressing over mixture, toss to combine.
  6. Can be served right away but tastes even better the next day after flavors have developed.

 

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Wild Mushroom Rosemary Potato Flatbread

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Discover the art of entertaining by pairing a bold Pinot Noir with a delicious Wild Mushroom Rosemary Potato Flatbread appetizer.

Discover the art of entertaining by pairing a bold Estancia Pinot Noir with a delicious Wild Mushroom Rosemary Potato Flatbread appetizer.

I regularly enjoy wine and definitely consider myself a wine enthusiast, but more like your typical every day American who just knows a delicious wine when she tastes it. I don’t have a sophisticated palate to tell you if there are notes of grapefruit or how long it must have been aged in an oak barrel, but I certainly appreciate drinking wine and know a good one from a bad one. I picked up this bottle of Estancia Pinot Noir and it immediately became one of my favorites. That’s pretty impressive, because you know I’m a total food snob after all, right? The brand’s mantra is “Handcrafted with great purpose.” Now that’s what I’m talking about.

Discover the art of entertaining by pairing a bold Estancia Pinot Noir with a delicious Wild Mushroom Rosemary Potato Flatbread appetizer.

I selected their Pinot Noir because I live in the Pacific Northwest and we love Pinot Noir up here. Pinot Noir is great for dishes with earthy flavors made with ingredients like mushrooms, herbs and potatoes. The flavors taste great with reds like Pinot Noir, which are light-bodied but full of savory depth. Entertaining means appetizers, so I decided to make a delicious earthy flatbread and let me tell you – these paired so well together!

Discover the art of entertaining by pairing a bold Estancia Pinot Noir with a delicious Wild Mushroom Rosemary Potato Flatbread appetizer.

This recipe starts with basic pizza dough. Now you can go all out and do the right thing by making your own homemade pizza dough, or you can just buy some pre-made stuff at the store. I promise I won’t tell anyone. You just need to roll it out as flat and as thin as you can and cook the rectangles on a screaming hot pizza stone for a few minutes. Its pretty fun to see how puffy it gets, but its even more fun to smash the air out of it. Trust me.

Discover the art of entertaining by pairing a bold Estancia Pinot Noir with a delicious Wild Mushroom Rosemary Potato Flatbread appetizer.

I used dehydrated mushrooms instead of fresh. Why did you do that, Krissy? Well let me tell you. First, I already had them in my pantry, and you know I like to pretend I’m on Chopped and entertain the delicious possibilities I can create. Second, you re-hydrate these babies with boiling water and then I took that flavored mushroom-y water to make a garlic parmesan wild mushroom sauce. Oh yeah. Third, dehydrated mushrooms are just cheaper, and less expensive mushrooms means even more money for WINE!

Discover the art of entertaining by pairing a bold Estancia Pinot Noir with a delicious Wild Mushroom Rosemary Potato Flatbread appetizer.

So what you do is barely cook the rectangles and then squeeze the air out. Then you make this wonderful sauce to spread on top of the flatbread.

Discover the art of entertaining by pairing a bold Estancia Pinot Noir with a delicious Wild Mushroom Rosemary Potato Flatbread appetizer.

Then you mix up the potatoes and mushrooms, cook them up a bit in butter because butter is good, toss them with rosemary and more cheese because cheese is good, then you put it on the flatbread and bake it some more until its all melted and delicious.

Discover the art of entertaining by pairing a bold Estancia Pinot Noir with a delicious Wild Mushroom Rosemary Potato Flatbread appetizer.

Just look how pretty that turned out! Honestly, this flatbread is quite delicious, but when you pair it with a bottle of this wine, it is over-the-top-gimme-some-more good.

Discover the art of entertaining by pairing a bold Estancia Pinot Noir with a delicious Wild Mushroom Rosemary Potato Flatbread appetizer.

Good food with good friends allows you to enjoy every moment, so inspire your table tonight and entertain!

Discover the art of entertaining by pairing a bold Estancia Pinot Noir with a delicious Wild Mushroom Rosemary Potato Flatbread appetizer.

5.0 from 3 reviews
Wild Mushroom & Rosemary Potato Flatbread
 
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Discover the art of entertaining by pairing a bold Estancia Pinot Noir with a delicious Wild Mushroom Rosemary Potato Flatbread appetizer.
Author:
Recipe type: Appetizer
Yields: 4-6 servings
Ingredients
  • 16 ounces pizza dough (homemade is best but you can buy prepackaged)
  • 2 (0.88 ounce) packages mixed wild dried mushrooms (I used a combination of porcini, shiitake, and oyster)
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 2 tablespoons rosemary, minced and divided
  • 2 cups parmesan, grated and divided
  • 4 small potatoes, sliced thin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt salt
  • pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven or grill with a pizza stone to 450 degrees F. On a lightly floured surface, roll out pizza dough to the largest thinnest rectangle you can make without the dough separating. Use a pizza cutter to divide the dough into four quarters. Place two of the dough pieces on the hot stone and cook for 5 minutes. They will puff up during cooking. Remove from oven and set aside with the side that was touching the stone facing up. Reduce heat to 350 degrees F.
  2. Rinse the mushrooms in warm water and then cover them with one cup of boiling water and a lid. Allow to steep in the hot water at least 10 minutes.
  3. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook the garlic until golden brown, about 2 minutes, taking care not to burn the garlic. Add the tablespoon of flour and allow to cook for a couple minutes while stirring. Add the steeping liquid from the mushrooms and 1 tablespoon of the minced rosemary and whisk together. Remove from heat and stir in half of the grated parmesan.
  4. In a large bowl, combine 1 tablespoon of olive oil with thinly sliced potatoes and rehydrated mushrooms.
  5. In a large heavy bottom melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter over high heat. Spread potato mushroom mixture to cover entire pan and allow to cook until the potatoes and mushrooms begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Flip with a spatula and cook for another 5 minutes. Return cooked potatoes and mushrooms to bowl and mix with remaining rosemary, remaining parmesan, salt and pepper.
  6. Evenly spread the garlic mixture over each piece of flatbread and then top with mushroom potato mixture.
  7. Heat in preheated 350 degree oven until bread gets golden brown and cheese has melted, about 15-20 minutes.
  8. Slice and serve with an Estancia Pinot Noir for the perfect entertaining appetizer.

 

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Autumn Punch

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You can’t go wrong with the Fall flavors of plum, pear, apple, cranberry, spices and wine in this delicious and easy to make Autumn Punch.

Autumn Punch | Self Proclaimed Foodie

I have to admit, this Autumn Punch was pretty darn tasty. You can really taste how the cinnamon stick, vanilla bean, and cloves transforms the apple cranberry juice. You can always put those items in a little cheesecloth bag or some kind of spice bag so they’re easier to dig out.  Don’t do what I did.  “What did you do, Krissy?” you might be asking your monitor or phone.  Well, my foodie friends, I tried cutting a square of cheesecloth and wrapping my cinnamon stick, vanilla bean, and cloves in it to soak in the juice.  “Why was that a bad idea, Krissy?” I can hear you asking.  It was a bad idea because cheesecloth, when cut, unravels.  I immediately had little pieces of string floating in the top of my juice.  I fished out my attempt of a spice bag and just let them float without any kind of barrier.  I was afraid I would miss a clove and someone might bite into one, so I counted how many cloves I put in and they were easy to find because they float.  So, the moral of the store is that you don’t need a spice bag if you count your cloves.

My kids were salivating over this pretty red spiced juice with thinly sliced fresh fruit, so I gave half the juice to them and added wine to the other half for the adults. I’m a big fan of making everyone happy.  This was delicious served cold over ice, but it would be equally as wonderful served warm.  You can just put everything in your slow cooker, heat on low, then change the temp to the keep warm setting and have people ladle out scoops of pure Fall goodness all evening long.

Autumn Punch | Self Proclaimed Foodie

AUTUMN PUNCH
 
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You can't go wrong with the Fall flavors of plum, pear, apple, cranberry, spices and wine in this delicious and easy to make Autumn Punch.
Author:
Recipe type: Drinks
Yields: 12 servings
Ingredients
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 1 64 ounce bottle apple-cranberry juice
  • 4 medium purple and/or green plums, pitted and sliced
  • 1 pear, seeds removed and sliced
  • 1 750 milliliter bottle Gewurztraminer, or other fruity white wine
  • Ice cubes
Instructions
  1. Place cloves, cinnamon stick and vanilla bean in a large container with the apple-cranberry juice. Add plum and pear slices. Cover and chill for 4 to 24 hours.
  2. Remove cloves (they float so they're easy to find), cinnamon stick, and vanilla bean and discard. Stir in Gewurztraminer. Serve punch with sliced fruit over ice. Omit wine and serve just the juice or add soda water if you want a non-alcoholic version.
  3. If desired, omit the ice and heat the juice mixture with the wine in a Dutch oven or slow cooker until hot.

You can't go wrong with the Fall flavors of plum, pear, apple, cranberry, spices and wine in this delicious and easy to make Autumn Punch.
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Vanilla Wine Poached Peaches

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There are many ways to enjoy fresh summer peaches, but few are better than these Vanilla Wine Poached Peaches made with vanilla bean and reduced white wine.

Vanilla Wine Poached Peaches

I love peaches. I love vanilla beans.  I love wine.  ‘Nuf said.

There are countless things you can make with fresh peaches.  One of the best things you can do for this fuzzy stone fruit is poach in a a liquid made of white wine, brown sugar and vanilla bean.  Oh my.

I made these when I was staying at my sister’s home in Northern California.  We got the big beautiful peaches at the farmers market.  Aside picking them straight from the tree, the farmer’s market is the next best place to get your fruit.  I knew I wanted to use vanilla bean when I made these, and low and behold there was one old dry vanilla bean in their spice drawer.  You see, my sister doesn’t cook much.  I believe they bought a small container of vanilla beans years ago to make creme brulee.  When I visited them 2 years earlier, that same container of vanilla beans sat in their spice drawer. At that time, there were two pathetic beans just begging to be used and I used one.  Now, during my last trip, I put that last lonesome dried out vanilla bean to good use.  Now at my house, I have an endless supply (even for me) because I make big batches of homemade vanilla extract, and while I bottle up the extract, I use the vanilla beans throughout the year.

Vanilla Wine Poached Peaches

See that gorgeous liquid?  That is the result of fresh peach juice, wine, sugar and a very old vanilla bean cooking down into a heavenly syrup.

We used our peaches to top the crepes I made for breakfast, but you can easily serve them with a creamy vanilla bean ice cream or, dare I say, eat them alone.  You will love them.

Sweet Blender Crepes

Vanilla Wine Poached Peaches
 
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There are many ways to enjoy fresh summer peaches, but few are better than these Vanilla Wine Poached Peaches made with vanilla bean and reduced white wine.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Yields: 4-8
Ingredients
  • 4-5 ripe yellow peaches
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 1 vanilla bean
Instructions
  1. To remove skin from peaches, submerge into boiling water for 30 seconds, then transfer to ice bath for another 30 seconds. Skin should easily peel off.
  2. Peel and slice peaches, set aside.
  3. In large sauce pan, heat brown sugar in white wine until melted. Reduce heat so that your mixture is just under boiling.
  4. Split vanilla bean and scrape out those wonderful black seeds. Add all the seeds and the split bean to the wine and sugar mixture. Wipe any remaining seeds stuck to your fingers on the peach slices. You don't want to waste a spec.
  5. Add the peaches to the wine, sugar and vanilla mixture, cover, and poach for 15 minutes.
  6. Remove peach slices with slotted spoon. Increase heat to bring liquid to a gentle boil and cook uncovered for 10-15 minutes or until liquid is reduced by half.
  7. Serve peaches with syrup warm, room temperature, or cool. Top with mascarpone and garnish with fresh mint, if desired. Use to top crepes, ice cream, or enjoy on their own.

 

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