Wine Wednesday David Akiyoshi Sauvignon Blanc Musque Clone

Another Naked Wine that I loved! And I will say so far I am loving my experience with Naked Wines. Great value, I like supporting smaller winemakers and you can really tailor a case to your likes. This Sauvignon Blanc is light, crisp and refreshing and if you are not a huge fan of the grapefruit notes in traditional New Zealand wines you will love this one. The Angle price is only $9 and I got this in my latest case. A really great wine to sit out by the pool and have a glass. Especially on the hot days we have been having here in Minnesota!


When I got home from work last night I had about a glass left of this in the fridge and I went right to it. After a stressful day that wine was so darn good!



Chorizo Paella

Chorizo Paella (1 of 4)

I am here, just a little late. As I mentioned on Friday I am stressed. More like STRESSED. It is slowly getting better today but the next month at work is going to be crazy busy. It’s a good thing I love my job and team. With all that stress going on I needed some time in the kitchen. Cooking makes me happy. The moment I walk in, pour myself a glass of wine and get chopping and stirring I am a much happier person.


This paella is easy. And I mean really easy to make. It also happens to be delicious and one of my favorite cured meat products (well besides bacon), chorizo. It’s best when dried and I usually pick it up at a higher end grocery store or Mexican market.

Chorizo Paella
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4
  • 8 cured chorizo, sliced
  • 1 14½ ounce can diced tomatoes with garlic or onion
  • 1 16 ounce package rice mix (such as quinoa and rice, or brown rice)
  • 1 12 ounce jar roasted red peppers in oil, chopped, juices reserved
  • ⅓ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  1. in large, deep skillet, cook chorizo over medium-high, stirring occasionally, until browned, 4 minutes. Add tomatoes and their juices and cook, stirring often, 5 minutes. Stir in rice and its seasoning, 4 cups water and reserved pepper juices from jar; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Stir in peppers. Garnish with parsley.


Chorizo Paella (1 of 4) Chorizo Paella (4 of 4)

Fitness Friday: Dealing with Stress

It has been a long time since I’ve been this happy to see Friday! Even though this week flew by it was stressful. Work is insane and the next few weeks are going to continue to be so. I am actually looking forward to the end of August. And I wasn’t feeling all that great Monday or Tuesday either. Adds even more stress. When stress hits like this I do what I can to maintain my routine since I know that working out really does keep me sane. But this week is was a bit challenging. Opting to skip my workouts on Monday and Tuesday, Wednesday was just too crazy.


By yesterday morning my body was seriously needing a workout. I headed to  Yoga Sculpt but didn’t push myself too hard. After a few days off I didn’t want to burn myself out even more. By the time sculpt was over I was feeling a lot better. Heat, sweat, cardio, weights and yoga will do that. Getting that workout in helped with stress levels yesterday too, it was a very tense day and I tried my best to keep things in perspective.


When stress hits like this the first thing that tends to be impacted is my sleep. It was atrocious this week. Averaging less than 6 hours a night. Ouch! That is so bad for you and my body is feeling it. Along with that stress and not feeling well I didn’t get enough lean proteins, fresh fruits and vegetables this week either. Another thing that really impacts your body. As soon as I got home from work last night (much later than usual) I poured myself a glass of wine and made a healthy dinner. I headed to bed as early as I could (10) and managed to eek out 6 hours of sleep last night too. Hopefully a low key night evening tonight will help guide my body back to more than 6 hours of sleep.




Sunday: Cardio and weights at the gym

Monday-Wednesday: Off

Thursday: Yoga Sculpt

Friday: Cardio and weights at the gym

Saturday: Trying a spin class at a new to me studio

Sunday: Hoping to head to an Alchemy A10 class or a Barre class


My go to techniques to help reduce stress:

  1. Workout!
  2. Snuggle with all of my animals
  3. Go for a long walk with the dogs
  4. Get in the kitchen and cook
  5. Clean
  6. Organize something
  7. Watch a funny show (like Lip Sync Battle)
  8. Read a magazine






Wine Wednesday: Freakshow Cabernet

I disappeared a bit this week, so sorry! Work is crazy. That will happen. In fact I had a great work dinner last night with the team and had this cab. I LOVE this cab. It’s a lovely Lodi wine and a little random fact about the label; it is the largest printed wine label. So fun!!


It is usually $15 to $20 a bottle and worth it. Rich, dark, fruity and it is such a great wine on it’s own or with food.


Fitness Friday: A Week of New Workouts

As I sit at my desk this morning every single muscle is sore. And I love it! It was a great week of workouts including 2 new to me formats. With a new puppy at home we have to make sure we aren’t gone too long. Jack is in a kennel but he is only 10 weeks old and we can’t make him wait all day. I did 2 days of at home workouts this week to help cut down on the amount of hours that I am gone. On a day that I head to the gym or yoga in the morning I am leaving the house by 515am and not home until after 5pm. Scott tries to leave no earlier than 730 so the dogs aren’t cooped up too long. But even 8 to 9 hours is still a lot! And with Jack being so tiny he can’t hold it that long.


Sunday: Off

Monday: Off, it had been a while with 2 off days in a row and it felt good! My body needed it.

Tuesday: Fitness Blender Kickboxing and Upper Body Weights (my arms and obliques were really feeling this)

Wednesday: 21 Day Fix Extreme Upper and Home Workout Revolution. A new program I picked up that has interval style workouts that don’t require much equipment. They are short, high intensity workouts that really push you.

Thursday: Yoga Sculpt and Mat Box. I was invited to check out a preview class of Mat Box at Pilates ProWorks in Edina and it combines boxing (full on hand wraps and gloves, cardio, pilates and yoga). To say this class was hard would be an understatement. Every muscle in my body is feeling it today. I was dripping in sweat and punching at  that heavy bag was a fantastic stress reliever.



Friday: Off. My body was feeling 2 hardcore workouts yesterday

Saturday: Heading for some interval training and weights

Red Gold Giveaway

If you look in my kitchen cabinets you will always find Red Gold tomatoes, the diced are great for adding flavor to a dish and I love the tomatoes with chilies for guacamole. So tasty! They are also great to add to burgers that you are grilling! Or on fish. Like this halibut recipe:



2          (14.5 ounce) cans of RED GOLD® PETITE DICED TOMATOES, drained

¼         cup extra virgin olive oil

3          cloves garlic, minced

1⁄2       tablespoon kosher salt

10        fresh basil leaves, chopped

10        ounces Kalamata olives, sliced 1/4 inch

1          small red onion, diced

3          ounces feta cheese, dry

2          tablespoons red wine vinegar

2          tablespoons canola oil, or salad oil of choice

2          pounds fresh halibut filets

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


Blend all ingredients, except the halibut, together and refrigerate for a few hours

Pre-heat grill to 400 degrees with indirect heat.

Season halibut filets lightly with salt and black pepper.

Place seasoned halibut on grill and roast for 8-10 minutes or until the fish just begins to flake.

When fish is almost done, place a small amount of the tomato relish on top of the fish and allow to warm through.

Remove fish from heat and place it on a small pile of the tomato relish allowing the heat of the fish to warm the tomato relish through.  Serve warm.



The winner will receive a a variety-pack of tomatoes that includes Red Gold’s New Sriracha Ketchup, an insulated tote bag and even a coupon from Red Gold’s promotion partner Laura’s Lean Beef — I love the tote bag, it’s part of the big pile of reusable bags that stay in my car for my grocery store trips!


Just tell me you favorite recipe with tomatoes! I will pick a winner on Tuesday the 21st. In the mean time check out the great promotion to win a Big Green Egg. 



RG_Summer Grilling

Wine Wednesday Italian Dessert Wine



I am not normally a huge fan of sweet, dessert wines but these Italian Dessert Wines are delicious! A cute mini bottle of Moscato and a Sweet Sparkling Red that had the cutest printing on the bottle. And while both were sweet it was not over the top and they were delicious!


The Nivole Moscaato comes from Piedmont and is around $13 for a half bottle. It is very floral with hints of apricot. Light, a bit bubbly and delicious.


Caposaldo Sweet Sparkling Red has notes of berry and so many lovely bubbles. Delicious! It is especially good with salty foods and of course, dessert! (These were both samples but I would purchase these on my own!)




Italian Dessert Wines (1 of 1)

Kale and Arugula Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing

We shall call 2015 the Summer of Salads. With all the outdoor patio and pool bar work we’ve been doing it has been all about quick and easy dinners. Usually that means a huge a$$ salad and some sort of grilled meat. I just stock up lettuces, veggies, cheese, beans, avocados, seeds and dried fruit and get going on building a salad.


I grab my favorite huge bowl with a tomato printed on the inside and start buidling. Scott and I can usually get a dinner and a lunch out of one of those. Or if we happen to have friends or neighbors over it’s gone within a few minutes.


This creamy avocado dressing is addictive. It may become my new go to dressing. So easy!! And so delicious.


Kale and Arugula Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing
Prep time
Total time
Serves: 4
  • 2 cups baby kale
  • 2 cups arugula
  • 1 cup broccoli slaw (contains broccoli, cabbage, carrots)
  • 1 can beans (such as black beans, chickpeas, salad beans), rinsed and drained
  • 1 avocado (1/2 for dressing, ½ for salad)
  • Shredded Cheese
  • Cucumber
  • Corn
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • ¼ cup plain Greek Yogurt
  • Juice and Zest of 1 small lime
  • Salt/Pepper
  • ¼ cup cilantro
  • 1 clove garlic
  1. Combine kale, arugula and broccoli slaw in a large bowl.
  2. Layer toppings across bowl, beans, corn, cucumber, avocado, cheese, sunflower seeds
  3. In a blender combine Greek yogurt, lime juice and zest, salt/pepper. cilantro. garlic.
  4. Top salad with dressing if you are serving immediately or portion out if you plan to stretch the salad out for a few meals.

Southwest Salad with Avocado Dressing (1 of 2) Southwest Salad with Avocado Dressing (2 of 2)

Life Lately July Edition

It’s the middle of July!? How did that happen. This summer has been one giant project, from our brand new patio and pool bar area, adding Jack to the family and having our 3rd Annual Beer Pool Ooza party. A few images from the last few days:


One of my nearest and dearest friends was up for the annual party and we had a blast together. Working out, catching up, drinking wine, and enjoying our pool days!





My new favorite Door County wine and the one word that shows that I am from eastern Wisconsin. I still say bubbler!


All the work in progress! The patio is all done, all the tools are cleaned up and we just need to put the exterior of the bar up (the material is on backorder) and the roll up door. With 20+ people over on Saturday and a pool full of kids my entertaining heart is happy! I love having a house/yard full of people! Scott worked so hard on this, between his Dad our friend Dan and many other helpers there are 5000+ pavers and the bar is built. It truly is the ultimate entertaining area and we love it.




We even picked up a floating beer pong table that Tanner rode around the pool and the kids played with. Somehow we never ended up using it!



The zoo throughly enjoyed the party and everyone was exhausted on Sunday!




Wine Wednesday: Sicilian Wines

Italian Dessert Wines (1 of 1)

Taking a little trip to Italy this week and oh how I wish it was a REAL trip to Italy. I will get back there someday soon! And we are going to the far reaches of Italy; Sicily. A region that could probably be it’s own country. From the diversity in produce, so many different varietals of wine grown there and a rich culture and history.


Sicily is known for their reds in the U.S. but the whites are delicious too. Rich, deep, dark reds like Nero D’Avola. Vigna di Pettineo is an organic winery in Italy and has been producing high quality Nero D’Avola. Fruit forward with nice soft tannins. It’s one of my favorite wines!


And the Timbune Grillo which was a new grape for me. It was commonly used for marsala and is now gaining popularity as a everyday Italian white. It has a beautiful almost golden yellow color and is almost nutty with bright citrus notes. It usually retails around $12-18 dollars. I really enjoyed this!


Nero D'Avola (1 of 1) Timbune Wine (1 of 1)