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
 
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 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
Instructions
  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)

Adding to the Zoo

Clifford (1 of 1)

You might be able to start calling our house the zoo. Literally. With 3 dogs and a pig it’s feeling a bit zoo like. We’ve got Tanner the 13 year old Jack Russell, Clifford is a Chihuahua/Jack Russell and is 6, Henry the pig is almost 9 months and now we have Jack!

 

Jack is a 7 week Vizsla and will be Scott’s hunting dog. We’ve been on a waiting list for him for more than a year! We drove to Illinois to get him and he comes from a line of Grand Champion show, sport and hunting dogs. It took a little bit of convincing to get him but know that he’s here I love him. His little face, curiosity for the world and I know Scott is so excited to hunt with him.

 

Jack (3 of 3) Jack (2 of 3) Jack (1 of 3)

 

 

But it is feeling more and more zoo like. Theres a lot of animals around here! Everywhere I turn I hear a bark, whine, oink. Thankfully we are 2.5 acres, have a pool and have a lot of room for them to run around.

 

P.S. Bridget was the winner of the Applegate Farms Giveaway

 

Clifford (1 of 1) Henry (1 of 1) Tanner (1 of 1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Secret Recipe Club: Basil, Goat Cheese and Sun Dried Tomatoes

Basil Sun Dried Tomato Dip

I think if Laura, from Mother Would Know lived near me; we would be friends. Truly. She loves Mark Bittman (how can you not love that man) and is all about. She’s a self taught (and some from family) cook and loves to try new things in her kitchen. What’s not to love about that!

 

For The Secret Recipe Club this month I picked a really simple appetizer. In fact, I had everything I needed already at home. Basil (in a potted plant outside), goat cheese (I always have that), sun dried tomatoes (amazing in salads), olive oil and crackers. How easy is that?

 

In one of those marathon conversations with my friend and neighbor we managed to polish this entire bowl of dip off. I am not going to lie, the dogs may have had a bite or two (and the pig). This is the ultimate summer entertaining dish and so darn easy. Vegetarian friends, gluten free friends (if you use gluten free crackers or just veggies) and is incredibly delicious.

 

The fresh basil makes this amazing and I happened to have a herbed goat cheese at the house. Just pour the olive oil, basil an sundried tomato mixture over the goat cheese and you have an appetizer people think is fancy but took you 19 minutes.

 

Basil Sun Dried Tomato Dip

 

Dip on Crostini

 

 

Basil, Goat Cheese and Sun Dried Tomatoes
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: Serves 6-8
Ingredients
  • 10-12 basil leaves, cut into ribbons (chiffonade)
  • Sun Dried Tomatoes Packed in Oil, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 3 ounces goat cheese
  • Cracker or Veggies to serve
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl mix basil, sundried tomatoes, garlic, olive oil and salt/pepper
  2. Pour over goat cheese and serve!


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Wine Wednesday: All About Rosé

Today is all about rosé. That perfect Summer wine. Light, crisp and you just feel sophisticated drinking it. Or at least I do! I was at a tasting a few weeks ago and had this amazing Tavel Rosé. A true French style with a beautiful dark pink almost light red color. This is from the Southern Rhone valley and is one of my new favorite wines. I bought 3 bottles that night!

 

At $14.99 this is a great wine for entertaining and it may even convince non rosé drinkers to like it!

 

 

Applegate You Grill Girl Giveaway

Yeah for Summer! And grill season. We grill pretty much 3-4 times a week when it’s nice out and it’s such a time saver. Last night Scott grilled up hot dogs, chicken sausages, and chicken breasts. We are going to be good for the week. A few salads, grilled meats and veggies makes me a happy girl. I am a huge fan of Applegate meats, especially their hot dogs. So good! All natural, no crap in them and with all the people we have over on a regular basis I would much rather have them eating these hot dogs than any other brand. Pair these with all natural buns, ketchup and mustard that is free of high fructose corn syrup and actually tastes good, and what’s not to love about this cute apron and the hot dog holders.

 

My typical Summer entertaining menu:

Hot Dogs

Homemade Venison Burgers

Chicken or Turkey Burgers

2-3 salads: usually a mixed green, kale and a pasta salad

Veggies and hummus

Fruit

Chips and Dip

Water

Soda

Beer/Wine

 

Keep it simple!

 

Want to win this awesome prize pack? You get all the great stuff shown below. Just leave a comment with your favorite summer food and I will pick a winner on Friday. 

 

 

 

Fitness Friday: Class Pass, Kettletoning and Flex It Pink

I am off today since we are heading to pick up our new puppy! We are driving to Illinois to pick our vizsla out of the litter. Pretty exciting! Although our house is feeling more and more like a zoo. Even though I am off I was still wide awake at 6am. The animals were awake and ready for their morning routine and I needed to clean, get the car packed up, get Tanner and Clifford stuff ready too. Scott is taking them up to his parents for the weekend, the neighbor is stopping in on Henry and I still need to get a workout in! Busy morning.

 

I’ve had a lot of conversations this week with various friends (online and in person) about making time for fitness. It is so much a part of who I am and it truly keeps me healthy and happy. I can tell a huge difference when I don’t get my workouts in (so can those around me!).

 

Workouts this Week:

 

Sunday: Checking out Alchemy on Class Pass and it was amazing! A mix between crossfit, bootcamp and yoga. I loved it and it was HARD. With a warm up and cool down, a workout consisting of muscle ups (I ended up doing mostly jumping pullups) and snatches I was definitely feeling sore on Monday

Monday: Even though I was sore I came home and did a workout after a long day at work and immediately felt better. The kettletoning routine from Tone It Up felt really good. Lots of stretches and pushing myself to do more of the moves with my 25lb kettlebell. A little Fitness Blender jump rope cardio at the end too.

Tuesday: Yoga Sculpt and a 30 Minute No Excuses Cardio Class via Class Pass. So much fun! It was a combo of pilates, cardio and we even did some weighted hula hoop abs.

Wednesday: My body needed a rest day!

Thursday: I had planned to workout but life just got in the way. And that happens sometimes and I am ok with that.

Friday: As soon as I hit publish I am headed to the gym for some cardio and weights. I’m excited for a good sweat session.

Saturday: Since we will be driving home the plan to have it be a rest day

Sunday: Trying my 2nd Barre class at a studio in St. Paul

 

I am even rocking my new Flex It Pink tank today for my workout. So soft and I love the messaging on it! This was a sample but I am planning on ordering a few of their other styles. So cute.

 

 

 

The winner of the yoga bag is Kate, I will email you!

Wine Wednesday: Openers

If you asked Scott he still might say I am horrible at opening a bottle of wine, but I swear I am decent at it. That is all because I actually learned how to use the opener properly and learned a little trick about the opener on our recent trip to Sonoma.

 

My opener of choice is pretty basic but it is by the far the best opener I have found! Invest in a sturdy one (around $10-$15) and cut the foil off and then twist it in until the first curve is flush with the cork. When we were at Ledson the awesome wine staff gave Bridget that tip and it has worked every single time. So handy!

 

 

 

 

 

I do have a fancy electric one too, and it does come in handy if I have to open a few bottles quickly!

 

Oster FPSTBW8207-S Electric Wine Bottle Opener, Silver

 

 

Or to avoid having to do this opt for a screw top bottle. :) There is no difference in quality! I swear.