Friday, October 16, 2015

Dinner at the Shetler's

Chinese food done Shetler style, which is to say "gourmet Chinese food." As always Mark went over the top and Melissa decorated to the max. It was beautiful. Each setting had a menu of course, but each setting also had our names in Chinese. They called for Pinot Noir, not my favorite, but appropriate for this meal. I struggled to find a Pinot I'd like.

We were greeted by their two Corgi puppies, Valentino and Eleanor.

We started with Turkey Lettuce Wraps
Then the platters started coming out: Orange Chicken
Kung Pao Beef
Shrimp Fried Rice
Garlic Noodles
Ginger Scented Brown Rice
And finally all set up on my plate...

The final touch: Sweet White & Wild Rice with Fresh Mango and Fried Wonton Crisps
And of course the wine! We chose a Pinot Noir in a non-traditional region, Mokelumne River. When we complained about having to bring a Pinot, the Milliare Winery suggested their Pinot which was grown in the foothills. Miraculously, we won again. The Shetler's came in second place with SCV, 2011 Bodega Ridge Block, Pinot Noir. The Wades came in third with a yummy Joseph Phelps, Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Dinner at the Wade's

Taste of the Mediterranean
A family style meal celebrating the foods of Israel, Lebanon, and Turkey. As always the Wades out did themselves... always setting the bar higher. Dan spent most of his Navy days in the Mediterranean and came away from that experience with an appreciation of the food.

Israeli Hummus and Pita Bread
Israeli Tabbouleh
Israeli Falafel with Tzatziki
Lebanese Lamb Kefta
Turkish Chicken Shish Kebabs
Mujadarra (Lebanese Rice and Lentils)

A Sweet Ending
Revani (Turkish Semolina Cake)
Assorted Dried Fruits and Nuts
Turkish Cardamon Coffee

The Gilberts won with a California wine; Cypher, Pistil 2013 Paso Robles, CA (the darker one)
The Shetlers came in second with Bandol, La Pont 2013, France
The Wades got third place, but the prettiest bottle; Gerard Bertarnd, Cote des Roses, France

Friday, July 24, 2015

Vinspire Publishing

I'm excited about this beautiful new ad created by Vinspire

4th of July at the Gilbert's Cabin

We decided to have an old fashioned BBQ to celebrate America's birthday.  I thought it would be fun to decorate with 4th of July picnic-style red, white, and blue. It's amazing how many cheesy decorations are out there! I threw some glow bracelets on the table for fun.

The wine competition was a bottle of red under $15. It was a lot of fun trying them all :)

Guacamole with Quinoa & Black Bean Tortilla Chips, and Sliced Radishes
Olive Cheese Spread with Raincoast Crisps

Crunchy Veggies & Kale Salad with Poppyseed Dressing
Corn on the Cob with Chili-Lime Sauce
Hebrew National Dogs with Spicy Mustard Dip
Barbecue Chicken with Citrus Onion Sauce

Mom's Strawberry Shortcake
(Buttermilk Biscuits, Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, and Fresh Strawberries)

The Wades won the cheap wine competition with a delicious Apothic Crush. The Shetlers came in second with Soban Estate Rocky Top Zin. We finished with Predator.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Dinner at the Shetler's

This time we experienced "Food on a Stick". Mark got a new barbecue for his birthday, so of course the men had to inspect it.

We started with assorted cheeses: Fontina, smoked chili Cheddar and Havarti on pretzel sticks.

Assorted Italian meats wrapped with creamy cheese around bread-sticks.

Greek Sticks: Kalamata olives, Jerusalem feta & marinated mushrooms.

Spinach and lobster ravioli on a stick.

Grilled shrimp on a skewer.

Meatballs on a stick.

Seasoned corn on a stick.

Grilled veggies & potatoes on skewers.

Sundried tomato chicken sausage & Andouille chicken sausage corn dogs with dipping sauces.

Frozen yogurt-covered blueberries on a stick.

Apple slice on a stick with salted caramel dipping sauce.

Cheesecake with chocolate ganache on a stick.

The numbers represent the carafes not the winning order
They asked us to bring a Tempranillo which turned out to be a difficult wine for the huge variety of flavors we experienced. Of course the Shetlers won with their 2011 Hatcher Tempranillo out of Calavaras County. The Wades came in second with a 2005 Prado Enea Muga Rioja from Spain. We came in dead last (not bitter am I?) with a 2003 Parador from Napa.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Wades' Gastro Pub

Welcome to the Wade household where you come prepared with elastic waistbands. The tasting was Grenache/Garnacha and Dan provided Dogfish Head Beers

Beer Tasting
Dogfish Head Aprihop
Dogfish Head Namaste

Beer Battered Asparagus (I became addicted to these...I just couldn't stop eating them)
Candied Bacon (and a little spicy too)

Small Bites
Chorizo Grilled Cheese (the chorizo was shredded and mixed with the cheese)
Blue Cheese Pub Burgers (stuffed with blue cheese, so I took off the bun and chowed on the burger)
Four Cheese Mac & Cheese with Crisp Pancetta
Garlic Herb Fries (of course Joe stole mine)

Grilled Nutella Banana Croissants (surprisingly delicious)

The Winners? We came out in last with a Spanish Garnacha from Alto-Cinco. The Wades and the Shetlers brought the same wine, but different years of D66 by Orin Swift. The Wades came in second with 2010,  the Shetlers won with the 2009.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Everything Tastes Better With Bacon

This was the first time Joe masterminded the entire meal. He said, "Let's make an entire meal with bacon!" So we did. He practiced on me with so many different recipes I was almost sick of bacon by the time our dinner party rolled around...almost. I didn't know bacon came in so many flavors and cuts.

We decided to let the Wades and Shetlers choose what wine varietal they thought would pair with bacon. It was interesting to say the least.

Smoky Gouda with Bacon, Prosciutto and Crackers. 
We also made this simple little delicacy of maple-bacon wrapped smokies (chicken and apple smokies to be exact). Just dump on a layer of brown sugar and bake them until the brown sugar is a caramelized gooey mess.

Warm spinach salad of course. I sauteed the mushrooms and onions first, then tossed in the plain crunchy bacon, and topped it with some slivers of strawberries.

Main Course:
Twice baked potatoes with plain bacon.
Filet Mignon medallions wrapped with pepper crusted bacon and then topped with Cambozola  cheese. Sorry for the photo without cheese, but we all attacked our food so fast I could only get a photo of Joe's plate, and he doesn't think steak and cheese should mix :)

Dessert: (You're curious about this aren't you)
I purchased a dark chocolate cake from the bakery (I don't know how to bake) and separated the two layers with a thin metal spatula. Once lifted, Joe lay paper-thin crispy bacon, and then put it back together again.

The wines were two Zins and a Syrah. The Shetlars won with a 2012 Mettler Old Vine Zinfandel. The Wades brought a 2011 Michael David Lust, also a Zinfandel. We presented a 2010 Syrah from Dobra Zemla.