Saturday, July 7, 2012

Cherry Pie and Cold Brewed Coffee

Rainier Cherries backlit by the Sun

Shade in the afternoon is a summer treat
This is the easiest and best way to make a pie crust. Put a cup of water in the freezer to chill. Blend two cups room temperature butter with three cups flour, folding, not over working the dough. Slowly add the very cold water, and roll your dough in a circle on a floured bread board. Use a lovely rolling pin, a cotton cover over it helps.
Stem, and pit 4 cups cherries, mix with two cups sugar. You can go less on the sugar. Add a bit of kirschwasser if you want, to you or the mix.
Bake at 350 degrees for forty minutes.
Lay the crust in a deep pie pan, and crimp the top crust on, or sprinkle the dough like a cobbler.
Serve with cold press coffee. Put coffee grounds in French Press, let sit for ten hours, et voila, less acidic coffee, perfect for summer. This really has a smoother taste.
Now, the sun beckons.....breeze, ahhhh

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Fresh Tomato Pasta with Blush Wine

Hanging Around Near Vantage, Washington in late June

Of course summer is the time to drink a rose, also called a blush wine, and Grocery Outlet has a great selection.
Have friends over, always preferable to dining out. To set the mood to cook, it is essential to watch this video from Vogue Paris, marking Emmanuelle Alt's ascension to Editor. It is supermodels covering Wham's Wake Me Up Before You Go Go.  It will give you all the energy you need to cook for loved ones, and you will know exactly what to wear. Watch the film here.
If you still feel like cooking, it must be something light and chic. And seasonal, as seasonal as white Levi's. Locavare is common sense, and common sense is comme il faut. Washington State can be full of surprises if you know where to look.
Wham! Here we go go!
Tomato Angel Hair Pasta
A classic favorite, it is simple and better without cheese. A great pasta sauce can be a light toss of fresh flavors from your garden or local market.
Seafood in a separate dish sauteed in garlic, oil, parlsey, and red pepper flakes goes well with this supper.
1 tbsp olive oil
4 plum tomatoes, finely diced
2 sliced garlic cloves
2 cups white wine
8 ounces angel hair pasta broken in half
pinch of sea salt
1/2 cup fresh chopped oregano
In saute pan, heat oil on medium/high heat.
Add tomatoes and saute, stirring oftem, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and saute another minute.
Add wine, pasta and oregano and stir to coat. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to meium. Simmer until pasta is done and liquid is absorbed. Season with salt and pepper, garnish with a bit of the fresh oregano. And white sneakers, no laces

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Cherries and White Wine

Cherries are wonderful alone or with a sweeter white wine such as Reisling.
A graceful way to serve fresh cherries is to heap them whole, stems intact, on pretty dessert plates. Serve finger bowls of ice water with the cherries so the fruit can be dipped as it is eaten.
At mother's knee I learned her favorite way to prepare cherries. Destem the cherries, put in a large glass bowl or jug with a pound of sugar and two quarts vodka. Let it set, covered for a month or so, and voila, slivovitz, cherry brandy from Yugoslavia.
Or, for Cherries Jubilee pit and stem two pounds of cherries, poach them 1/2 sugar and 1 cup water. If that seems like a lot of water, decrease the amount and add kirschwasser or Grand Marnier.
Then heap the hot berries in a flame proof dish, add 1/2 cup kirsch or Grand Marnier and ignite, away from table. These taste great spooned over vanilla ice cream. No ice cream- then it's vegan! Either way, practice this dish before guests arrive. Coup de Foudre!
Here is an easy sorbet recipe - poach the fruit in booze, then puree and freeze. I did this today, and added fresh grated ginger and wild ginger- a lovely afternoon treat. Or a meal!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Great Wines at Bargain Prices

2007 The Magnificent Wine Company Columbia Valley Pinot Noir
PINOT NOIR is a top selling Grocery Outlet wine lately. The bottles are substantial, the corks just right, the flavor perfect - wine has overstocks like anything else. The black and white labels are a clue you are on to something, big.
Charles Smith of K Vintners, the famed Syrah producer from Walla Walla, Washington, created The Magnificent Wine Company in 2004 with the goal of bringing outstanding wines into people's homes at an affordable, everyday price. HOUSE WINE Cabernet blend and Chardonnay blend is the flagship brand of The Magnificent Wine Company’s Washington wine portfolio, also home to TABLE WINE Merlot blend and Chardonnay blend, STEAK HOUSE Cabernet Sauvignon, FISH HOUSE Chardonnay and The Originals (Syrah, Pinot Noir, Cab & Riesling). HOUSE WINE is the wine you drink anytime with anything…honest, tasty and real. A term that’s as universally understood among wine drinkers as a STOP sign is among drivers, HOUSE WINE with its simple black and white label and rich blend of fruit is the iconic symbol of the wine drinking experience stripped to its core.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Breakfast at Timberline

This much snow in June!

Remains of the Bacon Sampler at Breakfast
Jason Stoller Smith's James Beard preview dinner was divine, from the sublte gelee appetizers to the sophisticated pear dessert left even the most gregarious guests speechless. So much fun, with more guests than ever, and going from the awkward standing around at the beginning of any evening, to a warm, well fed and slightly tipsy room full of dear freinds a few short hours later. I like it just for that aspect, men jingling the change in their pockets ending up telling racy travel stories with laughter filling Silcox Hut, as the wind blew its cheeks outside! Inisde the fire blazed and I discovered a new rose- Bergstrom. I also loved the Sigrid Chardonnay from Bergstrom.
Breakfast is hearty at Timberline. Where else can one get a bacon sampler?
It was a great success. The James Beard House is lucky to have Jason and his team coming to visit!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

You Don't Need a Wine Rating System to Enjoy Wine

You don't need a wine rating system or self appointed expert  - often a middle aged man in Mom jeans and a shag haircut- to tell you about wine. Learn foryour self, pair wine with a poem, a friend, a breeze, s sonnet, a cello concerto, a nicely set table, and tanned legs. Books and Paker and ratings are silly. Read some Emerson and be your own judge.
Sauvignon Blanc is a green-skinned grape variety which originates from the  Bordeaux region of France. The grape most likely gets its name from the French word sauvage ("wild") and blanc ("white") due to its early origins as an indigenous grape in  Southwest France a possible descendant of savignon, or Wild thing, you make my heart sing.
Sauvignon blanc is planted in many of the world's wine regions, producing a crisp, dry, and refreshing white varietal wine. Oregon, Washington, and California produce some very nice Sauvignon Blanc blends that can be found a plenty at Grocery Outlet.
Sauvignon Blanc's crisp acidity, bright citrus, and green herbs call for a sauce or dressing laced with lemon and herbs. This salad is a natural match for Sauv Blanc heavy blends.
Seafod Salad with Creamy Tarragon Dressing
Serve this salad on a bed of butter lettuce or a sandwich on crusty bread.
1 lb peeled shrimp
1/2 lb bay scallops
1/2 lb cleaned calamari
1/2 cup mayonnaise, best when you make your own
1 tsp grated lemon peel
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp Dijon
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup chopped butter lettuce leaves
1/4 cup drained capers
1 avocado pitted peeled and diced
Boil large pot of water over high heat. Add shrimp, scallops,a and calamari. Take a sip of wine.
Cover, remove from heat, and let steep until the shrimp are pink on the outside and and opaque but still moist inside. Drain the seafood, immerse in cold water and drain again.
Meanwhile, combining mayonnaise, lemon peel and juice, tarragon, mustard, whisk until smooth, or use a blender.
Combine seafood, lettuce, and capers in a large bowl, Gently stir in avocado, toast yourself with a nice glass of wine.