Last week, we attended our 3rd wine dinner at Carrabba’s Italian Grill. These dinners are great because you get to eat your favorite recipes, sample dishes on their hidden menu, and taste four wines for between $40-50 per dinner. During our last dinner, a couple was asking us about our wine adventures. This is something people ask us from time to time so I thought I’d share. Jeremiah estimates we’ve been to 30 wineries for tastings. Here are a few of our favorites.
- Sommerset Ridge Winery and Vineyard – Located in Miami County, KS just about a mile and half past the Louisburg Cider Mill, this is the home to absolutely one of our favorite wineries. On the weekends, they often have music in nice weather months and occasional food trucks. Here are a few of our favorites: Oktoberfest, Buffalo Red, Avalon, Ambrosia, Citron, and Tawny Port. Did I mention we love them so much that we used one of our wine corks from them on Jeremiah’s boutonniere he wore during our wedding?
- Windy Wine Co. – Located just east of St. Joseph, MO, we loved so many of their wines. My husband and sister had a chance to sample them at the Northwest Missouri Wine Fest. It started storming by the time arrived so I wasn’t able to test any. That lead us to a Sunday Drive to the winery. They even have a bottle called Peanut Butter & Jelly. Apparently, the owner is a huge fan of giant Reese Peanut Butter Cups. I’m talking one of those several pounds big. His family bought him one from the store while we were sampling. Here are some of our favorites: White Chocolate Strawberry, Caramel Apple, Raspberry, Good News Dread, Spiced Pear, and Blackberry Cobbler.
- Weston Wine Company – Located in downtown Weston, we sampled this winery on our way to my 40th birthday weekend at Arbor Lodge. It was raining and this cheery purple building was home to some delicious wines. I liked them so much, we joined their wine club. Quarterly, they host a “Book Club” where they review a wine related book and we get to sample some great wine. Trilliant Cut is my absolute favorite but I also like Navette Cut. If you are up for mixing, Princess Cut and Navette Cut are great mixed together. Although I am not a huge fan of Bubly carbonated water, the Mango and Apple to mix well with Princess Cut and Navette Cut to make a spritzer.
- Van Till Family Farm Winery – Our first visit to this winery was on an icy morning after a December getaway to The Elms in Excelsior Springs. The owners were organic farmers in California before moving to Missouri just before September 11th. On Friday and Saturday nights, they crank-up a wood-fired oven on the outdoor patio they had brought in from Italy. Although it was starting to getting icy, we stayed for some pizza. OMG – it’s sooooo good. The recipes are the owner’s creation and use ingredients from their farm. The crust is light enough you can eat three pieces and not feel too stuffed. I’m not talking your traditional pizza topping either. Plus, they pay their employees a live wage so you don’t need to tip. In fact, they ask you not to. We like their: Peach Wine, Strawberry Festival, Farm Shed Red, and Prairie Fire.
Want to sample some dish food and wines for yourself? I hope you will purchase a ticket for Harvesters’ Forks and Corks. For $125, you get to sample food and libations from over 60 vendors. All proceeds help feed over 141,000 people in our community who rely on Harvesters to help feed their families. Who knows, you might just find a new wine you like or a winery you’d like to visit.
We love breakfast foods. I’m always pinning new recipes to try. My original plan on the morning I made these was to make a biscuit and gravy casserole. When I realized I was missing one of the ingredients I needed to make that recipe, I made this recipe with some of the ingredients instead. Jeremiah has already asked me to make these delicious filling breakfast treats once again.
Sausage Egg & Cheese Stuffed Breakfast Biscuits by So Fab Food
1 package of Grands biscuits
8 sausage patties
8 slices of cheese
Make scrambled eggs and season with salt and pepper. Cook sausages according to packaging. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Flatten biscuits to about 5-6 inches wide. Break cheese slices into four pieces. Stack on top of biscuit. Top with scoop of scrambled eggs. Place sausage patty on top. Pull biscuit from opposite directions to cover entirely. Place wrapped side down on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Brush with butter and top with favorite seasonings. Bake for 15-20 minutes, turning pan halfway through baking. Let it sit for 10 minutes before serving.
- I added a little milk to my eggs to make them fluffier. I’d also suggest maybe 5 eggs would be enough.
- I used turkey sausage and Cheddar cheese.
- I topped mine with fennel seed to bring out the flavor of the sausage.
I hope you haven’t thrown your Crockpot away after watching the This Is Us episode where Jack died. This soup recipe is too delicious not to make. Jeremiah and I cooked it during a recent icy storm that caused us to work from home.
Crockpot Creamy Chicken Taco Soup by Eating on a Dime
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 can of black beans
1 c. frozen corn
½ onion chopped
1 can of diced tomatoes with green chilies (8 oz.)
2 c. chicken broth
2 T. taco seasoning
1 tsp. garlic salt
1 package of cream cheese
Toss everything except cream cheese in Crockpot. Cook on low for 5-7 hours. Remove chicken and shred with forks. Add back in chicken and cream cheese. Cook for an additional 30-60 minutes. Top with shredded cheese, green onion, sour cream, pico, or crushed tortilla chips.
- I used frozen chicken breasts and cooked for the full time.
- I used reduced sodium chicken broth, reduced sodium black beans, and 1/3 less fat cream cheese.
- I also used a local brand of taco seasoning – Spanish Gardens. It has only ingredients you can read – no weird things like those packages in you find in your new pair of shoes.
- I added a salsa, a little queso and shredded cheese to my bowl. I ate mine with Xochitl tortilla chips. Jeremiah added fresh pico, fresh cilantro, and shredded cheese.
Although Spring is just around the corner, a few weeks ago we were reminded winter wasn’t over. That promoted Jeremiah and I to cook up a few new soup recipes. I call this recipe the soup version of Canyon Chicken.
Crack Chicken Noodle Soup by Plain Chicken
3 c. chopped chicken
1 can condensed cheese soup
6 c. chicken broth
1 c. milk
2 carrots, thinly sliced
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 package ranch salad dressing and seasoning mix
1 package Bacon Bits
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
8 oz. dried fine egg noodles, uncooked
In a large stock pot, combine chicken, cheese soup, broth, milk, celery, carrots, ranch packet, and bacon. Bring to a boil over a medium-high heat. Then, reduce to a simmer for 20-25 minutes, until vegetable is soft. Stir in noodles and shredded cheese. Cook for 5-10 minutes, until noodles are soft.
- I would suggest using leftover rotisserie chicken since this recipe doesn’t have any seasonings except ranch. I added a little parsley.
- I used low sodium condensed soup, low sodium broth and skim milk.
- I didn’t have celery so I omitted it from the recipe.
- I used real bacon. I suggest maybe just sprinkling on top before serving so ensure the flavor isn’t overwhelmed.
My nephew doesn’t like breakfast foods. This is a kid who didn’t put milk on his cereal and never ate eggs (often an evening dish in my house growing up). Probably the only thing he does like to eat that’s breakfast food is pork products and pancakes. While they were visiting, I made pancakes and bacon.
Brown Butter Pancakes by Grandbaby Cakes
2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
6 T. brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 ¼ c. sour cream or Greek yogurt
½ c. milk
6 T. melted salted butter
1 T. vanilla extract
Bacon Maple Butter (optional)
6 T. butter
1/3 c. pure maple syrup
3 slices of cooked bacon
Mix dry ingredients in large bowl. In another bowl, whisk eggs with sour cream, milk, melted butter, and extract. Pour into dry ingredients and mix. The result will be slightly lumpy. Cook pancakes. Recipe makes 12 pancakes.
Melt butter and syrup together. Add bacon and pour over pancakes.
My family has always made a Danish fruit braid at the holidays. Typically, they are ones my sister has purchased from a student’s fundraiser. Since I was hosting Christmas (for the first time and in my brand-new home), I saw this recipe on Facebook and decided to make it for the day after Christmas. It’s a pretty easy braid. I tried to replicate the candy cane design online. Mine wasn’t as pretty as the pros at Pillsbury made but I’m sure it tasted just as good.
Raspberry Cream Cheese Danish by Pillsbury
1 package of Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
4 oz. cream cheese
2 T. sugar
2 T. raspberry preserves
¾ c. fresh raspberries
1 T. butter, melted
sprinkle with sugar
¼ c. powder sugar
½ T. milk
Cover cookie sheet with parchment paper. Open crescent rolls and separate into eight triangles. Cut each triangle in half. Lay on cookie sheet in a line, slightly overlapping. Press together. Mix softened cream cheese with sugar. Spread on crescent rolls where they connect. Mix raspberry preserves with fresh raspberries. Top cream cheese mixture with it. Fold small part of triangles over fruit mixture. (Curve with you want to make a candy cane. )Top with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 375 degrees for 16-20 minutes. Mix powder sugar and milk together. Pour over warm braid.
- You could substitute strawberries and strawberry preserves. If you like blueberries more, I think it would be fine without the preserved. It reminds me of this crescent roll recipe.
It’s New Year’s weekend and I have three consecutive days off. It’s also the coldest its been in years with wind chills temps of -15 so staying in seems like a great plan. That means I’m also cooking up a storm. This morning, I created a breakfast quiche that would use up more of that leftover holiday ham. Very tasty.
Ham and Swiss Quiche from Pinterest
1 Pillsbury pie crust
½ c. onion
1 T. butter
½ lb. ham
6 oz. Swiss cheese
2 c. light cream
¼ tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
pinch of cayenne pepper
Remove pie crust from fridge. Let it sit 15 minutes before unrolling. Place crust in sprayed pie pan. Pinch up corners of crust and over with parchment paper and metal beads. Cook at 450 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Let cool slightly.
Sauté onions in butter until translucent. Let cool slightly. Dice ham into small pieces. Cover crust with onions, ham, and cheese.
In a bowl, mix eggs, milk, and seasoning. Pour over mixture in crust. Sprinkle with chives.
Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Turn down to 350 degrees and cook for an additional 30 minutes. Let cool for 30 minutes before cutting quiche and serving.
- I don’t have those beads for baking pies so I improvised by placing a spoon on top of the parchment paper. It worked.
- I used one shallot instead of a regular onion. I sautéed it in Wildtree Basil Pesto Grapeseed Oil.
- I used probably 1 ½ cups of ham. As a result, I only ended up using half the egg/milk mixture.
- I had some leftover Gouda and Fontine cheeses from Christmas. I shredded probably 2 oz. of these cheeses and combined with 4 oz. of Swiss cheese. The result was a very cheesy quiche. You could also do a Cheddar cheese if you prefer.
- I messed up and bought buttermilk instead of half and half. I ended up using Skim Milk. It worked just fine. However, I was only able to get about half half the egg mixture into the quiche. I decided to cook the leftover mixture on the stove top. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able those to get that egg mixture to cook on the stove top – too runny.
- I didn’t have any chives so I sprinkled with parsley instead.
If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you know I love Bubble Pizzas. The beauty is you mix everything in a bowl and dump into a pan. Who doesn’t love less dishes? I’ve made traditional Bubble Pizza (first made for me by my Uncle Tom and Aunt Annette) and Mexican Bubble Pizza.
This morning, I was trying to use up some of our leftover Christmas ham. Jeremiah and I bought a Smithfield ham (my favorite brand – local and support my favorite charity with donations of product to feed hungry people) at Sam’s Club. The ham was the most delicious ham I’ve eaten in a long time but we had way too much left – even with my nephew whose favorite meat is all pork products didn’t finish it off. You’ll love this super easy, five ingredient breakfast casserole. Plus, it looks beautiful. It turned my day around that started with a smoke detector we couldn’t get to stop beeping and a tv that was frozen on an infomercial.
Incredible Breakfast Bake by Key Ingredient Recipes
½ c. milk
1 c. ham
1 package (8 oz./2 c.) cheddar cheese
1 package of Grands biscuits
Salt & pepper
Beat eggs in a large bowl and top with salt and pepper. Add milk, ham, and cheese to bowl. Cut biscuits in fourths and fold into egg mixture. Spray a 13 x 9 baking dish and pour mixture into dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.
Jeremiah and I had some extra ham and a half bag of hash browns. I found this breakfast dish but I think you could very easily use it as a meal you make with Christmas leftovers. Not as cheesy as your traditional cheesy hash browns but still good.
Ham and Cheese Hash Brown Casserole by Plain Chicken
1 bag of frozen hash browns
1 lb. diced ham
2 cans condensed cream of potato soup
1 – 16 oz. container of sour cream
2 c. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 ½ c. grated Parmesan cheese
Spray a 13 x 9 pan with non-stick spray. In a large mixing bowl, mix everything but Parmesan cheese. Pour into dish. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Cook for one hour at 375 degrees.
- I halved the recipe and baked in a smaller baking dish for the same time.
- I added a little salt and pepper.
- I think you could easily add some onion or garlic salt to this recipe.
- You could use Greek yogurt in lieu of sour cream. I think you could also skip the Parmesan cheese and still enjoy this recipe with less fat.
I was looking for a new recipe to cook for our company Thanksgiving gathering. This recipe was especially appealing because it required nothing more than pulling out of the fridge at meal time. Since I was working the front desk, this sold me. Additionally, this dish is very visual appealing and vegetarian friendly.
Winter Fruit Salad with Maple Lime Dressing by Julias Album
2 red apples, cored and diced
2 pears, cored and diced
4 clementine oranges, peeled and separated
3 kiwi fruits, peeled and sliced
½ c. dried cranberries
1 c. pomegranate seeds (one pomegranate)
2 T. maple syrup
1 T. fresh lime juice (half lime)
Mix and serve.
- Cut open pomegranate and place in a bowl of water. Poke with fork to loosen seeds. Let it sit for a little bit. Then, peel back pomegranate peel and pull out seeds with fork or fingers. Pour bowl of seeds through strainer to remove water.