when you spell restaurant right on the first try
Cheers: Shopping correctly! You will spend less, shop less, and require less!
Before diving into this year’s Christmas list I highly suggest a pep talk and a few deep breaths. You don’t have to be a yogi to understand the benefits of deep abdominal breathing, so go ahead and do it with me. Inhale toward your abdomen, hold the air deep in your lungs… keep holding… now extend your exhale by one or two seconds. Phew! What is it that you’re trying to achieve this Christmas? We know gifting is about seeing others get excited over gifts, but all too often we think it’s better to give a few gifts to someone rather than a high quality item we think we can’t afford. What ends up happening? We end up spending the same amount of money on multiple cheap substitutes and very similar to a $10 bottle of wine, the cheaper items will most likely lose its quality within a year or so of release. The reverse is also true, the better quality the item, the longer of a life it will have.
For this week’s #Foodiechats #perfectpairings we chose a 2009 Dominus Bordeaux Blend (97 RP) from Napa Valley. This is a blend of 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc, and 4% Petit Verdot. We chose this wine to emphasize the need to sometimes make bigger, worthwhile, long lasting purchases because if stored in a proper place (cool, dark location) Dominus should drink well for 20-25 years. When splurging on higher quality items such as this you want to make sure they are stored properly. Just like you hand wash or dry clean clothes to preserve their quality, you never store a wine near heat in order to allow them to age to their potential. The kitchen, especially over a refrigerator is the worst possible place. Dominus also finishes at 14.5% natural alcohol, which is slightly higher than usual and never a bad thing!
There are reasons they say this wine is a classic of its historic estate. The richness is compelling and the finish is long lasting. The flavors were youthful and vibrant in the first few sips, yet pairing it with Lollipop Lamb Chops and Filet Mignon seemed to amplify the blackberry and plum flavors even more. Along with both dishes came potent smells and flavors like mint in the salsa verde, goat cheese with arugula and blue cheese with the steak, which seemed to integrate with the wine’s complex structure nicely. Pairing the wine’s long lasting finish with the food showed off the outstanding length and noteworthy juiciness of the Cabernet blend.
Rushing combined with shopping never goes over well. It leads to remorseful feelings in the check out line with a cart full of random things, too much money spent and yet not a real understanding of what was purchased. First of all, know that it’s not always your fault. Stores make prices so low and appealing and studies have shown that they actually use science to trick you into buying junk. Where you enter in the store, how the registers are positioned to steer you in certain directions, and knowing we can’t resist shiny things are just a few of the ones you may not recognize, but the people selling you things sure do. Basically, just like they have rotational patterns figured out in herd animals, they have spent years analyzing how humans move throughout a store.
Tonight we realized that a big chunk of the world might run their Christmas shopping on peer pressure, but after a pep talk and wine we saluted to starting New Year’s resolutions early! Cheers to keeping purchase habits contained in the high quality deal category and not the “wow, the pizza’s were only $5 from Domino’s so I bought three” category. Whether you are holiday shopping or casually shopping, pay attention to the way you feel. At the end of the day, don’t let yourself feel unsatisfied and unfulfilled because you’re still lusting over that high-quality item. You will end up buying more cheap duplicates to fill that void.
Aging Tips: There is a general, rough guideline that says a wine can age for about half as many years as it spent months in the barrel. For example, a wine that spent 12 months aging in the barrel can be kept for 6 years in the bottle.
Things to try at home: Give the gift of learning. Help teach someone about wine and for Christmas gift them a few bottles or even a case of whatever wine you are considering letting age. Try one and take some notes. Wait a few months, or even a year and try another. Compare your notes from the first time to see if you like it better or if it still seems young (overly tannic, fruity, too thick). Keep repeating and at some point you should see that the tannins have softened, the colors have faded, and the wine is very smooth.
Things not to try at home: Stuffing your stockings with useless junk when you can purchase some of the best quality wines in half bottles! (Stay tuned next week!)
Also, a BIG Congrats to @DukeofYolk for opening his Fourth Yolk Location in the West Loop!! WOOT!
Photo Credit: Jackelyn and Taki
Once again Krispy Kreme proved to be a delicious host! We were thrilled Krispy Kreme wanted their third chat with #Foodiechats to be holiday themed.
Before I recap the my favorite moments from the chat, I need to tell you about an epic deal from Krispy Kreme!
The Day of the Dozens is coming! On December 12, in the US and Canada buy a dozen original glazed doughnuts and get a second dozen original glazed FREE at participating shops.
Download your coupon at http://DayoftheDozens.com/
(Print or show your coupon).
About Monday’s chat…
Let’s start with my favorite question, the Red Velvet question. It also happened to be question #1 of the night!
Whitney and Danielle, I agree!
I’m not one for Monday Night Football, but I am one for sweets in the shape of a football! Question 4 had great answers.
Julie killed it with her holiday themed football treat!
Alicia made me giggle! Bruschetta has a very special place in my heart.
Thank you to Krispy Kreme for being such a delicious host!
Tweet me at @SabrinaWottreng & tell me what your favorite red velvet treat!
We all know that when you think of doughnuts, you think of the tastiest flavor you have in mind. @KrispyKreme did just that by sharing some of their delightful holiday flavors last night during our #Foodiechats “Holiday Treats” chat.
Check out what Krispy Kreme offers! Holiday Doughnuts
Many of our friends haven’t yet tried all the wonderful flavors that @KrispyKreme has to offer…
They even did their research to find out where the closest location would be from their homes!
It seems like Krispy Kreme is going to be full of our #Foodiechats friends throughout this Holiday season especially during “Day of the Dozens.” Be sure to download your coupon today! We got some great answers when we asked our community what their plan for the day was.
Krispy Kreme it was so fun having you host #Foodiechats for the third time. You really are something special!
As always, see you next week and tweet me at @RKStraub87 with your favorite Krispy Kreme memory!
They say the third time is a charm, but we have a blast with Krispy Kreme every time they host! We were so thrilled when they wanted to host a holiday themed chat.
With Day of the Dozens coming up in two days, it was the perfect time to discuss doughnuts and holiday treats!
There was so much excitement from our community when we announced the theme on Thursday. We weren’t very surprised by this though. After all, Krispy Kreme makes the best doughnuts around and there is nothing more fun than discussing sweets and holiday treats.
We started the chat off on a very fun note, asking everyone what their favorite way to enjoy Red Velvet was. Our participants can’t get enough of this flavor!
I also loved learning about the different ways people use doughnuts. I am definitely not as creative as some the fabulous members of our community.
I really couldn’t get enough of all the questions last night. All of my favorite flavors were discussed, like lemon and mocha. I don’t have the most unique way of indulging in these flavors, but it was so much fun learning the ways that they can be enjoyed!
Thank you to Krispy Kreme for being such a wonderful host! Head on over to your closest Krispy Kreme on Thursday for Day of the Dozens. If you buy one dozen Original Glazed doughnuts, you get another dozen of them for free. How can you beat that?!
Tweet me at @RoryRoselyn and tell me what your favorite doughnut is!
Holiday Treats and Fun with @KrispyKreme
For our 136th #FoodieChats Episode, join Krispy Kreme as we discuss a special day with doughnut lovers in mind- “Day of the Dozens.”
Also, Learn how you can celebrate the holidays @KrispyKreme and make your party planning easy. Light Up the Holidays with the flavors of the season- Red Velvet Cake Doughnuts, Holiday Sprinkles, and the Snowman doughnut. Sip and savor the flavor of winter with our new Peppermint Mocha. Chat with Krispy Kreme and be prepared for a tasty culinary journey.
If you know us, we love the @ChicagoBears, and they will be kicking off for Monday Night Football tonight against the @DallasCowboys in Chicago! The Krispy Kreme Football Doughnuts are the perfect treat for tonight! Let’s GO BEARS!
Cheers: To Cents Well Spent!
A man in a white lab coat has his head bent over his worktable (our kitchen countertop) breaking in our new top of the line Japanese knives while using fancy techniques to slice up casual starters for our guests. The thought of having a stranger in our kitchen is new to me and just as the thought crosses my mind that it must be more awkward for him, he stops what he’s doing and notices the can of evaporated milk on the counter. His eyes light up and instantly he has a story to share about his mother growing up with a quirky trademark involving this same milk in her coffee. Officially, my mother is not the only individual to have this same characteristic. At that moment, I knew Thanksgiving 2013 with Wolfgang Puck Catering was a perfect match!
Whether Thanksgiving means traveling somewhere to be with friends and family or sitting at home relaxing with a can of SpaghettiO’s, it should be a day where you reflect on the things in your life that are most important. Being that both our mothers have been cooking Thanksgiving dinner for the last 35 years, paying a chef to take over their title was a difficult thing to grasp. I mean, what would Thanksgiving be without our mothers slaving away in the kitchen? Thank you to Wolfgang Puck Catering and chef Sean Meyers we found out! This year welcomed us to an entirely new level of appreciation. All the normal physical and mental energy used up in the kitchen was instead dispersed amongst our best company. That also meant, no burnt skillets or timers set. The only time that mattered was the time we spent laughing lightheartedly over a rotating assortment of Bacon Wrapped Dates, Seared Beef Tataki, Sweet Maryland Crab Cakes, and Truffled Goat Cheese and Caramelized Onion Turnover beginning at 3 o’clock.
For this week’s #Foodiechats #PerfectPairings we chose Barnett Vineyard’s 2011 Pinot Noir and 2012 Chardonnay from Savoy Vineyard in Napa Valley. One of the most important things to consider when pairing wine with food is to look for the most prominent element in your dish. You pick out the dominant ingredient, which is usually the sauce or seasoning rather than the main ingredient like chicken or beef. With an abundance of honeyed, maple cured and savory flavors in the Slow-Roasted Turkey and Herb Pork Tenderloin, the very round and balanced wines settled into our pallets perfectly. The way the Pinot Noir’s spicy, cinnamon notes bounced off the Jewel and Garnet Yams was a personal favorite amongst our guests! Simply put, these wines were chosen because they stole our hearts and luggage space away on our first visit to Napa!
In wine you find geography, climate and history but above all our Thanksgiving food and wine pairings was about enhancing friendships and conversations. On top of the wines’ structure and deliciousness, having pictures and a personal experience with Barnett Vineyard to share with our guests made for the best choice for the day’s special occasion. Tonight we raised our glasses to money being well spent and watching our mothers sit back and relax. Wolfgang Puck Catering took charge of cleaning up and both our mothers happily surrendered to not cooking next year! This is how the day should be spent.
Winemaker Notes: This hand picked Pinot Noir was cold soaked for 5-6 days with dry ice in small open top fermenters and punched down twice daily. The wine was aged in 50% new French oak. The individual clones were racked and blended before bottling.
Tasting Notes: “The full rich center of this wine coats your mouth like cream chocolate. The fruit continues with full cherry pie, coated around the gravel like minerality.”
Taki and Jackelyn’s Notes: This Pinot Noir wine has good cellar properties and is easy on the wallet and plush on the pallet!
On Monday at 8 p.m. ET, we chatted about “Specialty Foods Holiday Gifting” sponsored by Specialty Food Association.
Who knew there are so many flavors associated with the holidays? Question three had a variety of answers.
Some mentioned flavors include pumpkin, peppermint, gingerbread, vanilla beans, chestnuts, ginger, fig and cranberry.
Question five produced a lot of great responses! I truly beleive gifting food and beverages is gifting from the heart.
@Clownface3 has some lucky friends!
Craft beer is extremely giftable, and I’m in total agreement with @joneisen
Every Christmas my Dad always asks for bourbon. @BoskosTrattoria also loves to receive bourbon!
Couldn’t agree more with @NanerADay!
Can’t wait to tweet with the #Foodiechats community next week! Tweet me @SabrinaWottreng with your FAVORITE beverage to receive as a gift!