Archive | September 2016

Fall is the Time for Festivals

I was driving to work when I heard a brief mention of a festival  in West Virginia.  Since our wine club has its girls weekend there I have a special love for the state. It has been a long time since I have been to a Festival of any kind.  When I mentioned it to my husband he was all in. So off to Shepherdstown, W Va we went for the Mountain Heritage Arts and Crafts Festival.

The day turned out to be perfect.  The temperature was in the 70’s with a breeze.  The sun would come out every once and awhile just enough to warm things up.  Posted on the gate where people paid to get in there was a sign that said:

No Pets allowed, No alcohol permitted, No firearms or weapons.

Sad that this has to be stated but consider the times.  Or maybe this has been the rules at West Virginia Festivals forever and a day. I will have to check with West Virginia Mountain Mama.

Anyway we paid our admission and went in.  As we entered there was a band playing called Patent Pending.  They were good, doing a blend of country and bluegrass.  While I am not a big country listener I really enjoyed their music. Up the hill were all the crafters and it was hard to resist their wares.  In fact, we picked up a number of things.

There were also several wineries handing out samples of there wine.  I found a blended red that was very good called stoplight.stoplight

The wine is full bodied, dry with a definite spiciness about it.

Near the artisans we saw this long line and went to check it out.  It was the BBQ food truck and talking to people waiting on line the food was suppose to be great.  My husband stood on line for an hour to get a pulled pork sandwich.  Let me just say this, there is no denying that the pulled pork sandwich was delicious.  But I personally do not think it was worth an hour wait.  I guess I am not a big enough fan of BBQ.

 

heritage-mt

Overall we had a great time and look forward to attending next year.

Cosmos out of this world

Cosmos
We drink a lot of wine  when we get together but we certainly enjoy our cocktails.    Wine club as a whole feels the need to dedicate itself to being open to all wine and spirit drinks so we usually start off our meeting with a cocktail.   Marge is always shaking up a great cocktail and one of my favorites is her comso. If you were a Sex and the City Fan the Cosmo was Carrie Bradshaw’s drink of choice.    I did a google search and there are many variations to the cosmo but I personally like Marge’s recipe best.  Maybe it is because she puts a cherry in mine.  All I know is they are cold , smooth and the perfect combination of sweet and tart.
Marge agreed to share her recipe.  And let me tell you they are delish and strong.  Just the way we like them.
cosmos:
2 shots absolute vodka
one shot Cointreau
one shot sweet lime juice
one shot cranberry juice
garnish with lemon peel twist
or for Susan  a maraschino cherry!!!!
Cheers!

When the Moon Hits Your Eye Like a Big Pizza Pie

Pizza by design

When Margarita Maggie hosts wine club at her cabin emails fly back and forth about everything.  There are decisions about what the menu will be.  What the craft will be and if there are any games to be played.

One of the great things about having wine club at the cabin is we are able to drink as much as we like or not at all and there is no need for designated drivers.  It is also a weekend to eat whatever we want.

We have fallen into a pattern when it comes to menus.  The first night is always pizza night. Pam is our Pizza crust capo. (That’s boss in Italian).  Pam’s secret ingredient for the pie crust is King Arthur’s flour. Silly me I thought all unbleached flour was the same.  So not true which is why her crust beats out mine hands down.

I did a little research because I wanted to know why and here is what I found. First of all King Arthur is the oldest flour company founded in 1790.  Henry Wood began importing flour so that the young American Colonies had access to a high quality flour. The interesting thing about the flour is that the company does not mill the flour.  It purchases it from other mills but it’s standards are extremely strict.

According to this website I found Joy The Baker the make up of King Arthur’s flour is extremely consistent especially when it comes to the protein content.  She is a professional baker and that seems to be the consensus among people who do a lot of baking.  I could not easily find a professional comparison of  the specific make up King Arthur versus other flours and I really don’t want to bore you with too much chemistry.  Bakers use the brand because their baked goods consistently taste the same.

So that is the scoop on the crust.  The toppings are another story.  All club members suggest toppings that they would like to see on the pizzas. Then by a democratic vote we all decide what the toppings on Pizza Friday will be.

I think the best one ever was The Surf and Turf Pizza.  Our Navy Mom, Mary Ellen brought this incredible crab dip.  Surprisingly, we did not finish it when she set it on the table for Happy Hour.  I guess we were too busy drinking.  The night before we had grilled steaks.   We broke tradition and had steak night Friday and Pizza night Saturday due to the prediction of inclement weather.  Yes it did rain.Again don’t know how there were leftovers but there were and we used them.  We spread the crab dip on the partially baked crust, added the sliced grilled steak and topped it with shredded cheese.  So great.

I think in all the years we have been doing pizza creations only one turned out not quite right.  It was the banana bacon pizza.  Everything tastes great with bacon but the pizza just didn’t work.  I wouldn’t call the pizza a dud, just a creative mishap.

Pam willingly shared her recipe.

Add 1 tsp. yeast and 1 tsp. honey to 1 cup of warm water.

Mix 2-4 cups Unbleached all-purpose flour (it really depends on how

dry it is) with 1/4 c. Olive oil and 1/2 tsp. salt.  Add the water and

yeast mixture while mixing with a flat beater in a stand mixture.

Gradually add the flour until the dough forms a ball.  Change to a

dough hook and add sprinkles more flour until the dough stops being

sticky.  Cover and let rise at least 1 hour (can put in a resealable plastic bag and refrigerate for 2 days; bring to room temperature before rolling out).  Roll out and bake at 475-500 deg. F for 5-7 minutes if you want to pre-bake before topping.  Makes 2 full-sized or 3 thin-crust pizzas.

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FootBall Foodies Here is Reuben Dip

 reuben
It is football season.  Unlike bears who are thinking about going into hibernation, football fans are waking up and rearing to go.   In my house, Sundays mean  waking up to find my husband sitting with his coffee deep in thought and contemplation.  It is time to enter his starting  lineups for all of his Fantasy Football Teams.  Once the games start he sits in his commander’s chair (recliner) with two remotes in his hand for the two televisions.  He has his laptop on his lap and his iphone on the table next to him.  Football season is the most beloved season of the year to him.
A long time ago I tried to sit down to watch football with him but I have since given up.  It is not because I don’t like football.  It is because he flips between channels and games.  Did I mention we have Direct Ticket so there usually are several games going at one time.  Just when I am really into the game we are watching, CLICK, he changes the channel.  So for me Sunday is my day to catch up with all the stuff I need to do.
Food is a big part of football.  If any of you have seen Silver Lining Playbook, one of my favorite movies, crabby snacks are served every Sunday.  The menu never changes in that household since Pat Sr is OCD and doesn’t want to upset the mojo of his Philadelphia Eagles.
My wine women excel in football munchies.  One of my personal favorites is Sharon’s Reuben dip.  It is like eating a Reuben sandwich but you can serve it with raw veggies, crackers or toasted rye bread squares.  Personally If it were politically correct I would just dip my finger into this gooey dip and eat it off my finger.  No need to add anything else to what is in my opinion the perfect dip. But others would not be happy with me and I would probably  burn my finger since it is served hot out of the oven.
So if  you are looking for a fantastic finger food for Football Sunday, Sharon is sharing her recipe.  May your favorite team win as long as they are not playing against my favorite team.
Reuben Dip
1/2- 1 pound corned beef (chopped)
1/2 pound Swiss cheese (diced or shredded)
1/2 pound cheddar cheese ( diced or shredded)
Large can sauerkraut (squeeze out liquid)
8 ounces 1000 island dressing
Add mayo to make it creamier
Mix all ingredients. Heat in microwave for several minutes. Stir. Heat again until hot
My favorite thing to serve it with are rye triscuits. Nice crunch
It can also be serves with party rye or pumpernickel bread
Easy to make and It’s always a hit!

A Very Beachy Wine

Beach House Wine

Our very own Marge picked this Sauvignon Blanc  wine.  Her reasoning for  picking it out? Just because of the name and in honor of our Beach Lady Sharon.  Even though we were not drinking it st Sharon’s ” Happy Place” all of us agreed it was a great wine. I plan to pick up a couple of bottles just to remind me of summer.  I know there are several places in Maryland to buy this wine but I found mine at Total Wine.

It is a light citrus flavored wine but the citrus is not overwhelming and it has a hint of pineapple.  It is one I have on my list to buy again and again.

Since it is a light wine it goes well with fish and seafood. I also like it with grilled or roast chicken.

Do you know the Way?

maps

When you work in Home Health you are spending your day on the road.  Nothing is more frustrating than not knowing where you are going.

In today’s world we have google maps but believe it or not, Ten years ago, google maps was maybe in its infancy.  In 2004 two Danish brothers Lars and Jens approached Google with a web app that would provide people with a searchable map that you could zoom in on places.  THANK GOD.

Google saw a good thing and bought the company. So now with smart phones and google maps we can get directions immediately.

On the other hand mapquest has been around for awhile.  Quite often our clinicians would come into the office and pull up mapquest, put in an address and get directions.  They would then print them out and off they’d go.That was all fine and dandy if they had their schedule planned ahead of time.  Often that wasn’t the case and they would call into the office as they were driving because they did not know how to get somewhere or took a wrong turn and needed help.

They called the office for one reason and one reason only.  Pat.  She was our version of google maps.  She knows every nook and cranny of our county and the counties that surround us and so our staff and our group nicknamed her Patquest.  Let me tell you she saved many people who took a wrong turn and needed help.

I do admit we still ask her where something is.

Thank you Pat for always being there. You are appreciated.