4th Annual Wine Pairing Evening

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It has become a tradition in our household to host a dinner/wine pairing evening with some of our closest friends. In fact, I blogged about one such night back in this post. My husband and I take care of the main courses and dessert (along with wine pairings) and the other two couples bring an appetizer/other course with a bottle of wine.

We hosted our 4th dinner the other night and below are some photos of the amazing food/wine we consumed over the course of the evening. I, of course, had to abstain from the wine so I’ll just have to make up for it next year, right?!

Appetizer Course:

Assortment of Bruschetta paired with Mateus Rose´ Wine (courtesy of our friends, Kevin and Steph)

IMG_3495From left to right: (1) Garlic tomato bruschetta with roasted garlic cream cheese and parmesan; (2) Bacon and caramelized onion marmalade with brie bruschetta; (3) Prosciutto and basil pesto with mozzarella bruschetta; and (4) Avocado, smoked salmon, and red onion bruschetta

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Main Course

Prosciutto wrapped stuffed pork loin accompanied by rough mashed potatoes and warm brussel sprout salad with apple and walnuts paired with 2007 Wolf Blass Black Label Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz Malbec Blend – that was a mouthful!

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Pork Recipe
Potato Recipe

Cheese/Charcuterie Course

Assortment of cheeses served with prosciutto, peppered salami, homemade pickled beets, and olives  paired with a 2013 Comoloco Jumilla Red Wine  (courtesy of our friends/sister and bro-in-law, Karissa and James)

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Dessert Course:

Molten chocolate cakes with whipped cream and berries paired with a 2012 Inniskillin Vidal Icewine

IMG_3492 IMG_3487Chocolate Cake Recipe

A couple years back, the six of us broke out in unison to Flo Rida’s “Good Feeling.” This year, it was Third Eye Blind’s “Jumper” along with some other massively cool hits from 1999. Yep, there’s no mistaking it – we are definitely Millennials a.k.a. Gen Y-ers a.k.a. Da Best….too far?

It was a great night with great company and conversation! I hope some of you think of starting this tradition too!

Thanks all for reading!

Pumpkin Pie (or something like it!)

I enjoy cooking in general, but for some reason, I always end up being in charge of dessert (it can’t be my massive sweet tooth, can it?). This past Thanksgiving weekend, I was in charge of dessert for two different dinners and I thought it wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without pumpkin in the mix! Here’s what went down:

Pumpkin Chiffon Pie

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This a recipe that I got from my mother-in-law – she has been making this recipe at Thanksgiving for years. I have never been a big fan of pumpkin pie but the fluffiness of this recipe converted me! I added my own touch by making a gingersnap crust (using homemade gluten-free ginger snaps to boot) and I garnished the pie with a sprinkle of cinnamon and chopped pistachios. Here’s the recipe:

  • 1 envelope of gelatin
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 nutmeg
  • 1 cup pumpkin
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup icing sugar

In a medium saucepan, mix gelatin with milk over medium heat. Add 1/2 cup sugar, salt, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, nutmeg, and pumpkin. Separate the egg yolks, whisk and add to pumpkin mixture and heat until thickened. In a separate bowl, whip the eggs with the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar until fluffy. Refrigerate the pumpkin mixture until cool. Meanwhile, whip the cream with 1/4 cup of icing sugar. Prior to serving, add the egg whites and half the cream to the pumpkin mixture. Pour into the crust, top with whipped cream, and garnish with cinnamon and pistachios.

Here’s the recipe for the gingersnap crust and the gluten-free cookies if you so desire.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Chocolate Tart

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This was my first time making this dessert and it was delicious. The combination of chocolate and pumpkin was spot on. This is an Anna Olson recipe and the recipe can be found here.

For the crust, I had to substitute g-free flour for the all purpose flour and it messed up the crust quite a bit, but it still turned out really tasty!

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I hope all my Canadian friends had a lovely Thanksgiving and that you feel as blessed as I do. Thanks for reading!!

Dinner For Six

We started a tradition in our house of having a few of our closest friends over every spring for a several course meal with wine pairings. My husband loves to cook and I love to bake/entertain so we always enjoy putting these things together….and of course, we both love wine so it’s a great excuse to drink copious amounts of it!!

This year, we did 5 courses. We asked both couples to bring an appetizer and a bottle of wine to pair with their dish (it’s too much work to do it on our own)!

The evening was a smashing success. It started with a crisp glass of champagne and ended with a rowdy game of Telephone Pictionary. If you’ve never heard of or played this game before, I highly recommend it. You will get a great ab workout from all the laughing! Somewhere in between all of this, the six of us belted out “Good Feeling” by Flo Rida.  I know what you are thinking and yes, we are that cool!

Let me set the scene first. Here’s what the table looked like:

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And without further ado, here’s each course with its wine pairing (if you are interested in any of the dishes, I’ve put some links at the bottom of this post):

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Roasted Red Pepper Hummus with Blue Corn Chips
Paired with Moët & Chandon Champagne

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Lettuce Wraps
Paired with 2012 New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc from Cloudy Bay

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Cream of Cauliflower Soup with Blue Cheese and Chives
Paired with 2010 French Chablis from Vielles Vignes

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Short Ribs with celery root puree and carrots
Paired with 2009 Châteauneuf du Pape by Roger Sabon

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Salted Caramel 4 Layer Chocolate Cake
Paired with a 2005 Riesling by Mission Hill


And just so that you don’t all think I am too much of a pretentious douche, this is how I pronounce Châteauneuf du Pape.

A special shout out goes to my mama who made 90% of the cake so that I could get other things ready! Thanks mom!!

Recipes Links

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Daniel Boulud Short Ribs

Salted Caramel Chocolate Cake  (To make it gluten-free, I swapped out the cake recipe for this one)

Thanks all for reading!