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Sexy Wine, Lazy Sangria, or Delusions of “Healthy Drinking”

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Sometimes we just want to feel special and fancy.

Sometimes we just want to spice things up.

Or

Sometimes we are just too lazy to make sangria

Well, I was thrilled and inspired by my friend, Carly, the other night. She had a few girls over to catch up and see her new house. When we arrived, we were all intrigued with a beautiful plate of fruit and adornments that she had placed next to the open bottles of wine. All of us were excited to dress up our simple glasses of reds and whites, to resemble something more sophisticated and sexy.

What really caught my eye was the sugared rosemary. I was totally enamored with the idea of such conflicting flavors, not to mention that it looked like a little frozen branch of evergreen to compliment a winter drink. This concept was so simple yet sophisticated.

I also preferred to think that I was totally making my wine more healthy, therefore part of my diet. I will continue to believe this every time I slip out of compliance, for that is what makes me happy!

Whether you are hosting a girls night out, Valentine’s Day dinner, or a cozy night in by the fire, I highly encourage you to sexify your wine. It just makes you feel more special!

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Ingredients: (You can be more creative, feel free to add or change)

  • Pomegranate Seeds from 1 pomegranate
  • 1 starfruit, sliced
  • 2 oranges, sliced (I used Cara Cara oranges)
  • 1 pint of raspberries
  • 1 pint of blueberries
  • 1 pint of strawberries, sliced
  • 8-10 small sprigs of rosemary
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • spray bottle of water
  • Wine of your choice, red or white (I used Prosecco & Pinot Noir)

Preparation:

  • Wash & dry all fruit.
  • Remove the seeds from the pomegranate.
  • Slice the oranges, starfruit, and strawberries.
  • Spritz the rosemary with water.
  • Dredge each sprig through the sugar, shaking off the excess.
  • Arrange on a platter and open wine.

Mixing the Drink:

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  • Place desired fruit in the bottom of the wine glass.
  • Pour selected wine over the fruit.
  • Enjoy!

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  • Repeat with each refill. You can keep the same fruit in your glass, or snack on the fruit and add more with each serving of wine.

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Fall Apple and Pear Sangria

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Just because its fall does not mean that you have to abandon fruity cocktails. This recipe allows you to hang on to a fabulous fancy drink, while embracing the flavors of fall. I made this for a harvest girls’ night out, but it would also work well for a Sunday Funday football gathering. I also plan to add it to my Thanksgiving menu this year. The added bonus is that the potency of the wine is cut by the fruit, soda, juice, so it is a nice cocktail to sip on throughout a party. So sit back, sip away, and enjoy the fruits of your labor!

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Fall Apple & Pear Sangria

Ingredients:
1 bottle of white wine (I used a sweet white blend)
3 cups of apple cider
1 cup of club soda
1/2 cup of brandy
2 chunks of fresh ginger cut into 1 inch pieces
2 apples (I used Pink Lady)
2 pears (I used Bosh & Anjou)

Preparation:
1. In a saucepan, simmer the apple cider and ginger for about 5-7 minutes. Remove the ginger and set aside to cool.
2. Meanwhile, mix the wine, club soda, & brandy in a large pitcher.
3. Wash the apples and pears, and then slice horizontally through the core, creating thin large circles. Remove any
seeds. Set aside.
4. Add the cooled cider to the pitcher and mix well.
5. Add the sliced fruit and chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour. You can make it up to several hours ahead.

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Braised Short Ribs (That will cause you to lose your manners)

This was good. This was so good that I wanted to abandon all the manners that I have taught my children and lick the plate! And then, when dinner was over, and we were doing the dishes, I yearned for lunch the next day so that I could have leftovers. This is just one of those meals.

Don’t save this for company. Make this for yourself. It is perfect for a lazy Sunday. Oh, and put your pajamas on before you eat, because when you are done, all you will want to do is lay on the couch and not move your overstuffed belly.

Ingredients

  • 6 boneless short ribs
  • Kosher salt & ground pepper
  • 1 cup of flour
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large Spanish onion, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3 ribs celery, cut into chunks
  • 2 carrots, cut into chunks
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2 shallots, peeled & chopped
  • 1 cup of tomato sauce
  • 1 750mL bottle of Cabernet, or dry red wine
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme & rosemary, tied with kitchen string
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cups of beef broth

Directions

Sprinkle each short rib generously with salt & pepper.

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Then coat each rib in flour, shaking off any excess.

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Coat a large dutch oven or stock pot with olive oil and bring to a high heat. Add the short ribs to the pan and brown very well, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Do not overcrowd pan. Cook in batches, if necessary.

Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees F.

While the short ribs are browning, chop all the vegetables coarsely in the food processor.

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Don’t forget the shallots & garlic!

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When the short ribs are very brown on all sides, remove them from the pan.

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In the same pan, and remaining oil, saute the vegetables until soft.

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Use a wooden spoon to scrape the schmuge* off the bottom of the pan. Once the vegetables are soft, transfer them to a food processor and puree.

* Schmuge– n. 1. The very browned bits at the bottom of a pan that contain all the good flavor for your dish. 2. n. The gross, grayish gook that collects at the corners of your child’s mouth, usually when your mother-in-law is about to come over, or when you are walking into a fancy function with your children in tow.

Return the pureed vegetables to the pot and add the tomato sauce and add the wine. Heat until it starts to boil.

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Return the short ribs to the pan and add the thyme/rosemary bundle and bay leaves.

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Cover the pan and place in the preheated oven for 3 hours. Check periodically during the cooking process and add beef broth, if needed. Turn the ribs over halfway through the cooking time. Remove the lid during the last 20 minutes of cooking to let things get nice and brown and to let the sauce reduce. The meat should be very tender but not falling apart. Serve over mashed potatoes with the braising sauce.

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Now, this is where the sweat pants come in handy. Just look at how yummy!

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And then…you get this!

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…which is where it all gets awkward, because you will want to lick your plate, in front of your children, and husband. Plus, you may find yourself “stealing” bites from the pan, or your family member’s plates. But it is all good! You can now retire to the couch with a full belly, and a happy heart knowing that you produced something so fantastic!

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Serendipitous Sangria

Serendipitous Sangria

A sip by the pool
A mommy time-out
A night with the girls is what it’s about
So sip without guilt
Just rest and de-stress
This punch you’ll soon see…that it is the best!

Ingredients:
• 1 large bottle or Moscato or other white wine
• 1 2L bottle of Fresca
• 4 cups of diced, frozen tropical fruit—(available pre-cut in the frozen foods section)

Preparation:
1. Mix wine & soda, add fruit, and stir.
2. Serve in a glass pitcher or large beverage dispenser.