Jalapeño #errathang and #TGIF mixology @NIXSHartford

I have two current obsessions – one is the word “errathang” – the other is jalapeños – and both are in this blog title.  “Errathang” I discovered whilst writing the Fall Arts Preview.  It’s an imaginary word from the imaginary world of Frowhawk Two Feathers – which will be on exhibit at the Wadsworth shortly.  ERRATHANG.  I love it.  Thankfully my love of jalapeños is shared by one Rich Clemons – of Nixs in Hartford.  He showed be a step by step tutorial on how to prep one of my favorite Nix’s cocktails – the Jalapeno Business – and here’s the video for your viewing pleasure:

jalapeno business

Ze Jalapeño Business, yaaas

Ingredients: 1.75 oz. Tanduay Silver Ru, 1.75 oz lime juice, .75 oz jalapeno simple syrup, coconut water

In addition to drinking my jalapeños, I’ve been eating them.  Lots of and lots of them, thanks to my CSA with The Garlic Farm.  Fresh jalapeños are a delightful, crisp addition to our meals – plus they are organic.  And it’s fun playing “Russian roulette” with them, as the heat level varies wildly with each individual pepper.  Hehe.  Here’s a really simple corn, jalapeño, and bacon side dish.  I’ve also made it with goat cheese – and if you want to add a tablespoon to this recipe, it will blend all the flavors together nicely.

bacon

Begin by sautéeing several slices of bacon in a frying pan.  Drain the excess bacon fat.

corn in pan

Add fresh raw corn.  Just slice it right off the cob and you’re good to go.  Salt and pepper to taste!

jalapeno and corn

Select your jalapeño

jalapeno corn and bacon

Slice and add to the pan.  Cover and reduce heat slightly – cook for 5-10 minutes or until corn is juicy

fish tacos

I served mine with fish tacos and more fresh, sliced jalapeños on top.  Because I can’t get enough.

So there you have it.  Hot pepper season is almost over, so get out there and enjoy the fresh jalapeños while they last!

 

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Fun times in #Barnstable with Penelope

Ok, so real talk, I hash tagged Barnstable because I figured no one else will and it would be funny.  It’s a tiny little town in Cape Cod, but boy is is amazing:

barnstable yaaaas

Barnstable for life, homies

Mike’s coworker has a very nice little beach house in the Cape, and has been inviting us up for… well… over a year to be honest.  The timing finally synced up for a night’s journey, and it was really amazing

packing ugh

Not so amazing: drunk packing apres Talcott the night before, thankfully I got to sleep in the car.

Penelope is a real water baby – I think she is party mermaid- so I figured she would enjoy herself

p in her cover up

And she also got to model this fetching cover up – with googly eyes!- from Auntie Cait she loves it

After a quick, mercilessly traffic free drive up (which would not repeat itself on the way back, ugh) we arrived in Barnstable and headed straight to the beach, via boat

barnstable marina

Which is always the best way to get to the beach

I was strongly reminded of a wonderful spot in Jupiter, FL, that we used to frequent quite often before moving up north – Peanut Island!   But Barnstable is even the next level of the sand levys at Peanut – the entire beach is swallowed up by the sea at high tide, only to emerge again at low tide

im on a boat

Which makes for a beautiful curve and some seriously flat skylines.  I feel like I finally understand the current Wadsworth matrix by Ruben Ochoa – which conceptualizes a perfectly flat beach skyline in minimalist terms.

The Nannis are most excellent hosts and provided sandwiches, bloody mary cocktails, and a sweet jet ski modeled by Penelope

jet ski baby

Modeled by Penelope, who was quite understandably very into it

flip flops and bloody mary

Hello, bloody mary in the flat sand!  Nice to see you

In addition to the generous libations poured by our hosts, I provided a Hartford staple: Onyx Moonshine

onyx on the beach pretty

Seen here getting the glamor shot it deserves

The limited edition, summer edition Onyx is infused with cranberries from Cape Cod, so it seemed appropriate to bring it home.  And our hosts had Ripe Agave Lemon Sour mix in the fridge (again, good people) so we were in good shape for mixers!

As well as fun beach cocktails, we enjoyed the time honored New England of clamming.  OK, it was actually musselling.  The nature of the flat sands creates natural divots where savvy bivalves can hang out, even at low tide

musselling

And even savvier humans can harvest them

Penelope was more interested in taking the mussels OUT of the bucket vs putting them in, but she enjoyed herself regardless – I am still convinced she is a baby Lisa Simpson

tankini

She also rocked a fetching tankini

Because of the nature of the disappearing beach, we were forced to pack up and leave around 3 – just as the sun started to peak out – doh!  But it worked out well for the dinner festivities as the guys left for lobstering and we were awarded with an enormous, stunning dinner, pulled fresh from the sea

mussel and wine

One of my favorite things to eat in the whole world

yummy plate 2

A really gorgeous plate: fresh lobster, salt potatoes, and zucchini enchiladas

I’ve read about salt potatoes before – a Massachusetts staple – but I’ve never had the pleasure of trying them.  They were so good and simple to make – just baby potatoes boiled with salt (I mean, obviously) the flavors were perfect with the seafood, and the zucchini enchiladas were also delightful and a great recipe to have on hand when the zucchinis really come into season in the next couple of weeks.  I’ve copied it below in case anyone would like it!  Thanks again to our hosts for having us to stay – it was really an awesome mini-trip of food, beach, and general fun.

Zucchini Enchiladas

Ingredients:

10 oz Mexican chorizo

1 c yellow onions, diced

1 tbsp fresh garlic, chopped

1 tsp fresh oregano, chopped

1 tsp ground cumin

½ tsp ground coriander

1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed (15 oz)

1 can diced green chiles (4 oz)

Salt and pepper to taste

1 can red enchilada sauce (15 oz)

4 zucchini, halved lengthwise

8 oz shredded pepper jack cheese

Prep:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees

Scoop the flesh from the zucchinis and set aside

Cook the chorizo in a large sauté pan over medium high heat till browned.   Drain and set aside. Use a bit of the drippings to sauté onions, garlic, oregano, cumin and coriander until onions soften. Stir in beans, chiles, and return chorizo to the pan.

Spread ¼ cup enchilada suace in the bottom of a 11 x 15 inch baking dish. Sprinkle salt over the zucchini and place in the dish. Spoon heaping helpings of the filling into each ‘boat’ and top with cheese and remaining enchilada sauce. Cover dish with foil and roast 15 minutes. Remove foil and roast enchiladas until zucchinis are fork tender and cheese melts – another 20 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes before serving.

 

@HSOtweets Talcott Mountain Music Festival and a farm to chef BBQ

Summertime in Connecticut means that the Hartford Symphony Orchestra moves out doors to the Simsbury Meadows (double check info) for five fun and family friendly concerts, each featuring a different theme.  We attended last Friday and were blown away by the Orchestra’s collaboration with Morgan James, Capathia Jenkins, and Randall Craig Fleischer for Broadway Rocks!

hartford courant media partner

This is my favorite media partnership yaas

hartford mag and flowers

A Hartford Magazine on each and every table!  Nice

We had a very nice group of ladies in attendance (plus one gentleman boyfriend who graciously offered to snap this picture)

ladies at talcott

Pictured left to right: Diane Taha of the Greater Hartford Arts Council, Carolyn Paine of Connetic DanceRachael Forker of Onyx Moonshine, Me! of CTNow/Hartford Courant, and Emily Cahill of Yelp, Hartford.  Quite the power group.

Speaking of Onyx, Rachael was kind enough to bring us Cranberry Onyx Margaritas.  I’m glad I haven’t had the chance to try the Cranberry Onyx before this… the margarita blend was such a nice blend of citrus and tart – it was the serendipitous introduction.

moonshine yaaas

Plus, the Onyx looked really nice in my new mason jar cocktail glasses.

In addition to friends actually in attendance, we had friends who were there in spirit:

caitlin and 90 plus cellars

Haha, hi Cait!  Flanked by two bottles of 90 Plus Cellars, quite appropriately.

Emily mixed her 90 Plus Prosecco with a home made blueberry and basil simple syrup, which will hopefully serve as a nice base for many a future summer cocktail meet up.  We also had some great offerings from our partners for Talcott:

three sisters wine

The always amazing Rosedale wines

fruit tart

And finger foods from Fitzgeralds.  The fruit tarts are my actual favorites.  I crave them in the winter because I associate them with Talcott and summertime.

All the food, libations, and camaraderie were an excellent back drop to the main attraction: the music.  I’m a self professed classical music nerd, due to many, many hours on the piano in my formative years.  And who doesn’t like a good Broadway tune?  The beauty of Talcott is that it takes a higher brow concept, like the Symphony, and combines it with the mass appeal of pop music:

talcott crowd

Demonstrated with this crowd here.  The perfect weather probably didn’t hurt.

There was plenty of singing along to crowd favorites from Wicked, The Phantom of the Opera, and to round things off: a flash mob from The Age of Aquarius!

dancing onstage

Fun

Oh, also there were fireworks.  And a perfect, full Hunter’s Moon.

talcott moonlight

So, basically, the best night out I can remember in quite some time!

Also fun and relaxing was hosting a farm to chef BBQ on Sunday.  Yes, I know that term gets bandied about quite a bit, but the lion’s share of the ingredients were sourced from farms within 5 miles of my house that very day, so I feel like it’s justified.

p wiz tomato haz

Behold the tiny hunter gatherer

Penelope loves trips to the Garlic Farm, which is useful as I currently write their newsletter and we have a CSA starting up soon.  It seems like a great thing to do with a baby – tactile development, GMO and pesticide free vegetables, shapes, colors – plus, at the end, we have fresh delicious things to eat

hartford baking co

Hallo beauties

My friend Amanda and I headed up to Lost Acres for local wine whilst the men folk stayed at home with the kids.  Naturally, this led to a glass of wine on the patio, with jazz playing in the background

dry riesling

If you haven’t been to Lost Acres and you live close by, just go.  It’s so worth it

Once back home, I prepped a very simple bruschetta (recipe below) and cracked open another bottle – one I’ve been saving for some time, waiting for the right pairing:

ironside bruschetta

Tada!  Plus Ironside Cabernet – courtesy of Cait – from the same folks behind the 90 Plus Cellars Brand

The tomatoes from the Garlic Farm were beef tomatoes – rich and meaty, with a thick, juicy texture which I felt would pair better with red wine then a right.  The nicely balanced tannic quality of the Ironside blended nicely with the crunchy, balsamic  bruschetta.  Plus, I was pleasantly surprised at the thinnish mouthfeel of Ironside – it’s got a three dimensional, robust flavor palatte but a more maleable body then many cabernets, which also lends itself well to summer drinking!  Ok yes, I just learned “mouthfeel” and I’ve been dying to use it in a sentence.  True wine snobs feel free to attack me in the comments. 🙂

The Ironside also worked very well with Sweet Pea local burgers and watermelon feta arugula salad (stolen from the Capital Grille’s summer menu, thank you very much).  It’s the first wine created by the 90 Plus Cellars company, and the backstory is quite charming too!  Always nice to read about or drink a wine that you have a bit of a personal connection to, don’t you think?  (My connection, if it’s not obvious, is Cait, who now works for 90 Plus as a marketing lady extraordinairre).

hamburger and saladt

Also pictured: marinated shrimp.  And you can’t see it, but there is black pepper Sweet Pea chevre on top of the burger.

It’s definitely worth it to go local, fresh, and seasonal for a BBQ.  The bruschetta alone packed a much bigger flavor punch then many I’ve prepared in the past, due to the extremely fresh ingredients.  Plus, there’s the added satisfaction of sustainability and knowing you’re supporting local agriculture.  I’m thinking that when we go to the Florida Keys in August, I’ll try to make a Floridian version of farm to table (sea to table?) with fresh grouper and citruses.  Ah yes.  Let the good (summer) times roll!

Farm fresh bruschetta

Beef Tomatoes

Fresh garlic

Fresh basil

Balsamic vinagrette

Extra virgin olive oil

Rock salt and fresh cracked pepper

Fresh ciabatta bread

Cube tomatoes and combine with slivered garlic and torn up basil in a medium sized bowl.  Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic and season to taste.  Refrigerate for at least 1/2 an hour and up to four hours.  Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees, thin slice the ciabatta and drizzle with a bit of olive oil.  Lightly toast the ciabatta and then spoon the bruschetta on top and serve immediately.

 

Two awesome weekends with Penelope – @MillwrightsCT and @FunwithCarbsLG barbeque

I had every intention of posting last week, I swear.  But somewhere between working full time (which I adore) little Penelope (who is the best thing in the world), and a three day holiday weekend (yaaaas), time just got away from me.  So here’s a summary of the last two weekends’ festivities, starting with: dinner on the patio at Millwrights with my loves!

Oh, what’s better than dining outside on a glorious summer evening with the people you care about?  Just about nothing.  Well, the opening night of Talcott Mountain Music Festival would have been nice, but when our babysitter had to cancel, we went for a family evening – and it was fantastic.  Millwrights, for being somewhat (ok, very) fancy and farm to chef, is still down home, hospitable, and oh-so-baby friendly.  How friendly you ask?  Friendly enough for the General Manager, AJ, to hunt down sunblock from me for little Penelope when she got a bit too much early evening sun on the deck:

millwrights baby

Thanks to Chef Tyler‘s wife for lending us some and pretty much saving our dinner.  P practiced her naice walking al fresco and threw a jelly sandal in the pond, and she did not get sunburned in the slightest.  A very successful evening.

Dining with a 15 month old can be a bit chaotic, so we have a couple simple rules to manage the experience and make sure it’s pleasant for us and our fellow diners:

– Eat early.  The ‘witching hour’ for P is around 7:00 pm, as that’s her bed time, so a 5:00 pm start time typically works well

– Seek out family friendly places.  This tends to be less “Chuck E Cheese” and more “awesome, laid back staff – ” like Millwrights, as well as places with stimulation and some space to stretch the little legs and wander about.  Outdoor dining in general is, of course, fabulous for this.

– When all else fails, grab some to-go boxes and exit stage left.  To be honest yes, this has happened a couple times.  But thankfully not on this particular evening!

So there you have it.  I’m sure every parent has a trick or two up their sleeves – just happens that this works well for us.  It also helps that I occasionally receive gift cards as bonuses through my work place – as budgets for new parents can be tight also (and ours certainly often is!)

millwrights cocktail

Another parent staple – a delicious cocktail.  Pictured: the Violet Femme (vodka, creme yvette, lemon, rosemary)

amuse bouche

Chef Tyler sent out this delightful amuse bouche, which has an equally delightful French name which I remembered only as its translation: cheese puff (the Violet Femmes may have been to blame for this)

millwrights biscuit

Anyone whose been to Millwrights and doesn’t have a gluten allergy will most likely attest to the flaky delectable qualities of the biscuit and house infused butter combo

asparagus action shot

We ordered a side of asparagus for P, but it was enjoyed by all

steak millwrights

Mike’s entree: Tournedos of Beef Tenderloin.  The pickled scape garnish was incredible.  I’m canning scapes this week in an attempt to replicate at home.

duck millwrights

My Duck Breast.  The parmesan grits were a bit of a let down for me – I’m a purist when it comes to grits and the texture was a bit too rich, mealy, and not quite starchy enough for my taste.  But the flavorful, fatty, rare plus duck more than compensated, and it paired quite nicely with my Violet Femme.

This was my first opportunity to actually dine on the deck at Millwrights.  I can’t wait to go back, hopefully for drinks at sunset?  Who knows.  It’s awfully nice that its only fifteen minutes away from our house 🙂

arrigoni 16

Love it

So that was Friday evening – over and home before the sun had fully set – but that’s not a bad thing at all on a long summer night with a small child in tow.  Saturday, we had another family excursion to the Pickin’ Patch in Avon!  We arrived just in time for the last strawberries, which is why our berries are a bit small.  We worked hard for them and they tasted extra juicy because of it!

picked by penelope

Sun ripened, juicy beauties.

pickin patch baby

Someone got a special wagon ride from Daddy!

As well as berries, the Pickin Patch has a variety of ‘you pick’ vegetables.  We grabbed some snow peas, and I would definitely like to go back for more of a veggie array at some point in the future.  We plucked these particular berries for a very maple syrup infused brunch at our house the very next day and served them in maple syrup (naturally).  The entire concept of the brunch was birthed from a single bottle of maple syrup infused wine from Arrigoni Winery in Portland. I did a tasting when I picked the bottle for the party up, and a write up of many of their wine blends is coming tomorrow!  There were enough of them that they deserve their own post.  The maple syrup wine didn’t last long, but thankfully we had back up:

onyx and necklaces

Namely, Onyx moonshine infused with strawberries.  Paired with some delightful Lia Sophia necklaces which were also up for grabs at the brunch

p and hannah

Look at these fashionable ladies

Most of the cooking was done by a kindly guardian angel who arrived on a fluffy cloud from Billings Forge and professionally took over my kitchen, thus preventing a syrupy meltdown on my part.  Cathy AmaranteI can’t thank you enough for applying your professional catering knowledge to my chaos, and the food you prepared was tasty and beautiful:

egg cups

Pinterest worthy ham and egg cups

goddess pancakes

Bacon and apple pancakes.  I also provided really ugly and not very good Vegan pancakes.   Sorry vegetarians/vegans.  I tried.

brunch spread

Other tasty food stuffs!  Those giant muffins were so good and unfortunately can be purchased very close to my house.  I’m in trouble.

p and alex

Little people enjoying play time

p and amanda and spike jonze

…and necklace modeling.  Yes, it looks good on you P

On Independence Day, we celebrated with my husband’s family and a giant array of Italian delicacies (hello, cutlets!)  Unfortunately the weather was awful – fortunately – we got to attend Leeanne‘s barbeque the very next day!

l cheese plates

I made this and, heck yes, I’m very proud of it.  Blue cheese, Sweet Pea chevre, and prosciutto.

l blackboard

No lack of food or tasteful displays here! 

The highlight of the barbeque for me were the Broad Brook Beef burgers.  Ok, definitely the highlight for me were the Broad Brook burgers.  I’ve never tried this local beef before, and the meat was intensely flavorful and juicy.  Oh man.  Definitely going to stock up at some point in the near future.  There were also many delicious libations flowing:

l rose

Rose, because we classy

l onyx

Yet more Strawberry Onyx Lemonade. Great minds think alike.

rare luddite sighting

Also, Two Roads Brewing Company Road Jam beer.  Hi Rob!

p baba

I managed to photograph both camera shy luddites, but not a single group shot of the ladies.  DANG

cool kid

…except for P killing it in her glasses

Lack of taggable Facebook photos notwithstanding (the horror!  the humanity!) a terrific time was had by all, and it was an honor to be in attendance for Leeanne and Rob’s first BBQ.  The next day was the end of our three day weekend, so we opted for a low key hike to Enders

enders

Which I’ve blogged about before here and I’ll do so again because I absolutely love it

p and daddy

P and Daddy enjoying the waterfalls

bill murray

And a picnic!  Note how Mike is channeling Bill Murray from Caddyshack

sangria enders

Guess who just got mason cocktail jars and promptly filled them with sangria?  And posted the recipe at the end of this blog?  Awww yeah

p and mammy enders

Only seems right to end on a Mommy-Baby selfie

It’s the apex of summer – so many more long and sunshine filled weekends to come.  Hope everyone else enjoyed the sun, the beach, the awesome weather, and the long holiday weekend with friends and family xoxo

Easy Summer Sangria

2 bottles unoaked red table wine

1/2 cup cointreau

1/2 cup brandy

1/2 cup sugar

1 lemon

1 apple

1 orange

San Pellegrino Aranciata

Cut the apple and orange and place in the bottom of a large pitcher.  Juice the lemon over the other fruit and sugar.  Macerate the fruit with a long handled spoon, and add the cointreau and brandy, plus 1/2 bottle of red wine.  Place in fridge for several hours, stir, and add the remaining wine.  Keeps in the fridge for up to a week.  To finish and enjoy: strain out the fruit and serve over ice with a splash of San Pellegrino Aranaciata or other flavored Pelligrino (sprite or prosecco also work nicely)

 

A very special #TGIF featuring #Ortizfoodiepride

Instead of the usual cocktail mixology video for Friday, I have instead for this week a special cocktail recipe from my Uncle Stephen Ackley: master mixologist.  I do have a brand new cocktail video for next week from Friday for next week however – and  it contains rhubarb!  And it’s from Firebox!

But this week, my sister, Amy, visited me from San Francisco/the Bay area – which prompted a family get together in upstate New York with many delicious foods and libations: so this is a special post to honor that visit.  And yes, there is a cocktail recipe  copied at the end of this post.

gangs all here

With my sister and Penelope the day before we went to NY.  Note that baby Orlando looks like Yoda here.  Which is so adorable.

apple wine

The Lost Acres Apple Wine that we enjoyed al fresco on Saturday and also on Sunday

epic cheese plate #2

More local goodies: organic strawberries from Granby Village Health, Sweet Pea chevre, and apple and walnut bread from Lost Acres Orchard!

Here is the entire ‘gang’ who was at the party on Sunday – all from my father’s (Ortiz) side of the family – and all contributing delicious Cuban and Puerto Rican dishes from our heritage to dinner that day!

familia

I love you guys so much

Ok, back to the food.  It’s a bit of a family tradition to marathon eat, and as everyone is a foodie, the ingredients have to be top notch.  Therefore, we started with lobster tacos, with fresh soft shell lobster which my Uncle Greg, who was hosting the dinner, sourced from Maine the previous week

lobster tacos

Lobster with home made chipotle mayo, cilantro, radishes, and slaw on corn tortilla

uncle greg

My Uncle Greg rendering pork fat from the pulled pork (spoiler alert) to heat up the tortillas

lobster

Look at this beautiful, fresh lobster!

Following the tacos, Amy and I decided we needed a breather before course #2 (chowder) and we also, naturally, needed more cheese to go with the Sweet Pea chevre we had brought with us (naturally).  As it was a beautiful day, we walked to the local The Big Cheese in Rosendale.

boom baby boutique

I was too excited about the mix of cheese and vintage clothes (I bought a blazer!) to remember to take a picture of the cheese shop (dang).  But here’s another local shop that I put on my list for our next visit to Rosendale!

orlandito

Orlando being worn by his mommy and looking ridiculous hip in his baby sunglasses.  I can’t take it.

epic cheese plate

The finished cheese plate – featuring from left to right: manchengo, a marvelous ‘grilling cheese,’ jerk cheese, smoked gouda, a creme brie, and the aforementioned chevre.  Oh and olives.  Always olives.

The grilling cheese was a truly marvelous discovery which I will be repeating as soon as possible on our grill this summer.  It was so good and so easy to prepare!

cheese ungrilled

Before

cheese grilled

And after!

Naturally, it wouldn’t be a proper dinner without a soup course.  My Uncle Greg prepared a light and tasty seafood chowder, with, among other things, clams, bits of the lobster, and swordfish.

clam chowdah

Excellent

Don’t worry – we did take a bit of a breather before the main course.  There was pulled pork to heat up after its long sous vide bath

pulled pork

Ah yes.  This is what every Cuban wants, always

ropa vieja

Plus Ropa Vieja, brought by my Uncle Chris, to reheat

pastel de amarillo

Pastelon de amarillo to warm up (for the uninitiated: sweet plaintains mixed with a glorious medley of meats and olives, topped with cheese.  A riff on a traditional mofongo, if you will)  Courtesy of Uncle Stephen

rice

It wouldn’t be Cuban dinner without the rice…

blurry black beans

And the beans.  Blurry action shot because, again, I was excited

this is heaven

The combined plate of gloriousness with avocado garnish, paired with Lost Acres Apple Wine

After dinner, the focus switched to the adorable baby cousins

cousinssss

I mean, really, really adorable you guys

There were presents

smart phone 2

A smartphone for P!  of her very own!  How naice

orlandito macaras

Maracas and a tiny fedora for Orlando!  According to P, also hers

baby in fedora

Ah yes, P, it looks great on you too

maracas

There are giraffes on the maracas you guys.  I can’t even

And of course, there was chocolate (curry and toffee flavored) and many, many after dinner libations from my Uncle Stephen, who had also been mixing throughout dinner.  He showed up with about five boxes of liquor and at least ten types of bitters, so we were pretty spoiled.  My favorite cocktail of the evening was a replication of the ‘4th and Rye’ from 116 Crown in New Haven (rye, gin, St. Germaine, simple syrup, and heat).  The recipe shared below was from a close second favorite cocktail of the evening – one of my Uncle Stephen’s own creation

uncle stephen

Picture here immersed in his craft

Now that Amy and Orlando have continued their family tour (next stop for them – Florida!  lucky) I am a bit sad

sad_kitten2

Ok, really sad

But overall I feel extremely blessed to have such a wonderful and culinary focused family!  Would love to hear some of your family’s traditional dinners in the comments below, and please request any recipes you’d like to try out for yourselves!  Don’t forget to try out mixing Uncle Stephen’s cocktail too:

Earl of Plymouth Cocktail

2 oz Plymouth Gin

1.5 oz Earl Grey Infused Vodka

1 oz Lillet Blanc

.5 oz simple syrup

.5 oz lemon juice

Dash Lavender Bitter

Shake, strain, and pour into chilled cocktail glass; garnish with curled lemon zest

 

 

@90pluscellars rose sampling, paired with pesto salmon FTW #drinkrose

They say that good friends will have a glass of wine with you, and truly great friends will mail you adorable packages of wine and t shirts from Boston because they are just fabulous!

bottle and t shirt

Oh my very goodness.  Thanks Cait!

I’ve been saying for quite some time now that rose gets a bad rep – probably because the market is saturated with sweet, cheap rose imitators that just don’t get it (the basic betches of the rose world, if you will).  I experienced the good side – very good side – of rose at Lost Acres Vineyard last year.  Their local, peppery blend is not at all sweet and just what you’d want in a pink wine.  90 + Cellars’ version was predictably excellent too – stemming from their tradition of purchasing high quality wines, masking their labels, and discounting the price to bring us fabulous mystery wines of high quality!

cork

Look at this cork!  It’s from Langedoc, France, and it’s fancy.  But who knows what else it entails.  No, seriously, if you recognize this cork, tell me as I’m quite curious now.

This particular rose is from the same lot as 2013 for 90 Plus Cellars, and it’s their newest vintage.  The aroma was pleasantly subtle but still floral, and the flavor followed suite by being pleasantly acidic and subtle, yet still a bit on the fruity/floral sign.  But – and I think this is key for a good rose – it was not at all overly sweet: just a pleasant balance of acid and aroma.  A perfect late spring/early summer wine!

90 plus cellars front  back view

Penelope is a bit young for rose, but she enjoyed modeling the t shirt!  Featured with front and back views, because she has #drinkrose across her butt and that’s adorable

I decided to pair this rose with one of my family’s go to, almost-once-a-week proteins: salmon.  Why not pair a pink fish with a pink wine?  I was happy with the balance between the fish – baked in pesto – and roasted asparagus.

salmon

Bit of a messy kitchen shot.  Ignore the stray bits of rice, and focus on the pretty green foods if you could.

I am quite excited to be heading up to Boston on Saturday, June 7th, for 90 Plus Cellar’s 2nd Boston Rose Party Cruise.  Tickets are on sale now and are $10 off through May 15th when you enter the DRINKROSE33 at check out.

90 plus cellars drink rose

Cheers everyone.  Don’t ever doubt drinking a wine that looks this pretty in the glass.  Photo courtesy of 90 + Cellars Facebook Page

Roasted Asparagus:

-Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place asparagus on a tray with olive oil, sea salt, and lime juice to taste.  Bake 10-15 minutes or until charred and wilted –

Salmon Pesto:

– When you take the asparagus out of the oven, reduce oven heat to 350 degrees.  Place salmon, skin side down, in a ceramic baking dish and cover in 2-3 tablespoons of pesto.  Add a dash of lime juice and cook 15 minutes or until a fork goes easily through the center of the dish.  Rest the fish on the counter for several minutes and heat up the asparagus and then serve over rice if desired. –