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!!

Flourless Chocolate 5-Spice Pudding

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I have a HUGE sweet tooth and a love for baking. This makes for a very lethal combination. I try to only bake when I have company so I don’t devour it all myself (believe me, I’ll do it)! We had dinner guests a few weeks ago and I made this dessert.

Baking is a little tricky at my house because I am married to a gluten-intolerant fellow, but I found this delicious and flourless recipe by Anna Olson.  I  took her advice and served the puddings with a vanilla cranberry compote.

The puddings (which were actually more like individual-sized cakes) were really moist which is usually  the downfall of gluten-free recipes. The five-spice added a really unique flavour as well. This is what Anna says about it:

Chinese 5-spice powder is a blend of star anise, cloves, cinnamon, Sichuan pepper and fennel seed that matches very well with chocolate.

I also dusted each cake with icing sugar before serving.

The result: delizioso!