Thursday, March 27, 2014

Chewy Peanut Butter Drizzle Cookies

 Are you in the mood for a chewy peanut butter cookie?  How about with some chocolate drizzled on top?  Sounds good to me!  These Chewy Peanut Butter Drizzle Cookies have mini chocolate surprises inside by way of a few mini chocolate chips baked inside rather than throughout the cookie like a chocolate chip cookie does.  

I love to bake and my children love cookies. This cookie baking occasion was for a going away treat for one of our little buddies, although, anytime is a good time to bake cookies.  Wouldn't you agree? Especially if you have kids.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Garlic Hummus

Making Garlic Hummus at home is easier than you may think and it tastes great. It requires minimal ingredients and one kitchen appliance.  

The first time I made it I was impressed by the flavor and haven't bought hummus since. When you buy it from the store it is nice and creamy, and as long as you have a good food processor or blender you can replicate the texture.  My husband prefers it with a little texture, so that is how I make it.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Wine Review - Jacob's Creek Shiraz

Jacobs Creek Shiraz has been one of my favorite wines for a while now. It's a reasonably priced wine, between $8-10 a bottle.  Don't let that deter you. This just increases how often you can enjoy the wine. 

Shiraz wines are Australian and are made with Syrah grapes.  In Australia the Syrah grapes are known as Shiraz grapes. Thus, Syrah and Shiraz wines are made using the same grape. Shiraz grapes are the most popular and widely planted red grape in Australia. Shiraz grapes have a beautiful deep purplish-blue color. 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Wine Tools - Part 1

An important component of appreciating wine is the tools and accessories.  There are an assortment of devices that can enhance your wine drinking experience. Some are necessary and some are just gadgets.  

As you can tell from my blog, I am a wine enthusiast.  I enjoy sharing my experiences with you.  While I don't have all the tools that I would like to have, I do have an assortment. In trying to educate the novice about the different types of wines available and how to savor them, the only tools I have discussed are the types of glasses they should be sipped in. I have also touched on chilling wine, but have not gotten into the different methods of chilling wine other than using your refrigerator.  I currently do no have a wine cooler, as it stopped working, so I also use the refrigerator - which works just fine.  

Sunday, March 2, 2014

No-Egg Pancakes

Pancakes are a standard on the weekends in our home, but occasionally we are in the mood for "breakfast for dinner".  I'm not sure that we have ever had no-egg pancakes before this particular evening.  It's not that we wanted or needed to make pancakes without eggs.  It just so happened that my family was in the mood for pancakes, but we were a little low on the grocery staples. Actually we were more than a little low, we didn't have eggs, milk, or oil! How does that happen?  I must have done a lot of baking that week.  It figures that the one thing they wanted required all those items.

You know when you are in the mood for something, and you are bound and determined to get it. Well, that was my family.  I am not one of those "run-to-the-grocery-store-last-minute" kind of people, so that was not about to happen. Instead, I put on my super-mom cape and came up with what I hoped would satisfy their craving.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Wine Review - The Naked Grape Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir is a varietal wine.  It has a profound fruity flavor and little acidity. A medium bodied wine, garnet in color - especially when young. The color and flavor change in Pinot Noir as it ages.  Kind of like how we ladies change with age...for the better of course! It tends to take on a more vegetal aroma.      

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Cooking with Cast Iron

Cooking with cast iron may seem old fashioned, but there are many reasons you should consider making it your go to cookware.  You may remember your grandmother or great-grandmother cooking with it.  There's a reason they didn't give up those heavy pans.

Cast iron comes in many shapes and sizes. There's the traditional black cast iron, but there's also the colorful enamel covered cookware. There are benefits to both types.

Traditional cast iron can be used for more than just camping.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Wine Review - Mad Housewife Merlot

Time for another wine review.  This time, lets evaluate a Merlot.  A beautiful deep red Merlot.

Merlot wine is one of the most popular red wines available, and as a matter of fact, Merlot grapes are the second most planted worldwide.  The Merlot grape is a thick skinned, dark blue colored grape. It helps soften other wines, and is used in varietal wines and blends. Merlot's are known to be smooth and rich in flavor.  They go well with a variety of meat dishes and heavier creamy/cheesy dishes.  There is also no need to age Merlot wine.  They taste great young, but you can experiment with aging them to see what satisfies your taste buds.         

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Homemade Vegetable Stock

Make your own vegetable stock.  It's one of the easiest things to prepare, and you'll be glad you did!  Vegetable stock is not only good for soup, it is great when used in boiling rice or other grains.  It's can also be added to a stir fry, if you need some extra liquid.  This adds flavor rather than watering down your recipe.  You can also use broth to moisten left-overs when reheating them.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Healthy Stove Top Popped Popcorn

With the New Year and resolutions, have you been looking for ways to improve your eating habits?  Have you always considered popcorn a healthy snack?  Popcorn is a light, healthy snack but are you aware that it is made unhealthy by those microwave bags of popcorn you buy at the store?

Microwaveable popcorn bags are coated with chemicals linked to certain types of cancer and reproductive system damage.  These chemicals are called perfluorochemicals or PFC's. They are added by the manufacturers to make the bags grease-proof.  When heating up a bag of popcorn in the microwave these chemicals are leached into our food.  A serious concern with PFC's is that once ingested, they stay in our system for a long time.  That can't be good.   


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