With your New Year’s Eve hangover in the rear view mirror, here are 5 Fabulous Wine Resolutions to guide your vinous exploration in the New Year. From becoming a better taster to planning a trip to your favorite wine region, I’ve got ya covered:
1.) Mix It Up: Because the world of wine can be confusing it’s often easier to just stick with the same wine day in and day out – but how boring is that?!? To break out of your vinous rut, why not vow here and now to sample a different wine every week or at least every month. I’ll have plenty of great recommendations here on The Glamorous Gourmet as well as my weekly Facebook LIVE Show “Wines of the Week.” I also recommend finding a local retailer who can guide you towards selections based on your preferences. To sign up for my weekly newsletter with ALL the latest wine dish, please click here.
2.) Start a Wine Collection: If you’ve been drinking wine long enough to have a favorite wine region and/or producer why not sock a few bottles away for a later date? Aged wine can be a truly enjoyable revelation but collecting wine does NOT mean you have to commission a custom built, 15,000 bottle capacity cellar, in fact, far from it! All you’ll need is a small wine fridge and a few age-worthy bottles to put in it. This piece of equipment is VERY important since varying temperatures and humidity levels as well as any mechanical vibration (i.e. refrigerator, A/C unit) are the arch-enemies of wine. Also, if your budget allows, purchase a fridge with a little room to grow, wine lovers have a habit of outgrowing them faster then they think.
3.) Learn to Taste Wine: I know we all know how to physically “taste” wines, just take a sip, right? But to really learn about wine you need to taste it in a particular way, utilizing ALL of your senses including sight, smell AND taste. This sensory information provides valuable insight into a wine’s place of origin, grape variety and “terroir” which are all critical factors to learning about and understanding wine. So if becoming a better wine taster is on your list of New Year’s Resolutions, please join me every Friday at 5pm EST for my brand new Facebook LIVE show “Wines of the Week” where you can taste four wines along with me EVERY week (click here to be taken there).
4.) Drink more sparkling wines: The focus on sparkling wine/Champagne consumption around special occasions like New Year’s Eve leaves the majority of the year unbearably bubbly-free. While Champagne’s price tag may limit it to more of a special occasion wine, there are many sparklers from around the globe that are priced for everyday consumption. Wines like Prosecco, Cava and Crémant (for some examples, please and here) are perfect for enjoying on a Tuesday night after work or when a friend stops by to visit. As an added bonus, sparkling wines also have less calories and alcohol than a glass of Chardonnay or Pinot Noir – affordable, delicious AND figure-friendly – what’s not to love about that?
5.) Wine-related Travel: Next time you’re booking a getaway why not head to your favorite wine region? Whether you’ve collected wine for years or are new to it, nothing will give you a greater appreciation for what’s in your glass than standing in the vineyard where the grapes are grown and talking to the people who make the wine. Most wineries offer tours and tastings which you can sign up for via their website and they’re usually very happy to hear from you! Here’s a link to some of my travel-related articles.
I hope these suggestions inspire you to further embrace the world of wine in the New Year! If you have any other wine-related resolutions I’d love to hear about them, please let me know in the Comment section below.
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I truly adore this quote and if one of your New Year’s resolutions is to travel more, you are in luck!
We’ve covered some fabulous getaways over the last couple years, Glamorous Getaways to be exact, that are perfect for food and wine lovers. From the charming L’Auberge Carmel in Carmel, California to the pet-friendly Park on Main Hotel in Highlands, North Carolina, grab a glass of wine and have fun planning your itinerary while perusing these wonderful options:
1.) L’Auberge Carmel – Carmel, California
2.) The Cloister at Sea Island – Sea Island, Georgia
3.) The (Pet-friendly) Park on Main – Highlands, North Carolina
4.) The Epicurean Hotel – Tampa, Florida
5.) The Inn on Fifth – Naples, Florida
Be sure to send us a virtual postcard by using #Glamorous Getaways on social media! What are some of your favorite food and wine related travel destinations? I’d love to hear about them in the Comments section below.
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While our first recipe in this week of New Year’s healthiness was the perfect snack to get you through your January indulgence withdrawals, this recipe for Lamb, Harissa & White Bean Soup with Turmeric Yogurt is the perfect healthy meal.
Inspired by a vegetarian recipe I recently saw in Food & Wine Magazine that takes over 8 hours to make, I’ve reduced this recipe to under 2 hours (including prep!) without sacrificing one iota of flavor. I also glammed it up by adding some ground, grass-fed Australian lamb. Not baaaaaad, if you ask me. Apologies for the lamb humor.
And while you could omit the lamb, I must say the succulent meat melds deliciously well with the flavors of the spicy harissa, creamy white beans and sweet Hungarian paprika. While I originally intended to freeze some of the soup for later consumption, the Hubs had other plans. It was so delicious it disappeared from my kitchen in record time!
In addition to its fabulous flavor, this dish also contains some super trendy, healthy ingredients including (1) turmeric, (2) savory yogurt and (3) harissa.
Native to southern Asia, turmeric has been used in both culinary and medicinal applications for thousands of years. With its earthy flavor and bright orange-yellow hue, it is a key ingredient in Indian, Iranian and Pakistani cuisine and also gives curries their hallmark golden hue. The health benefits of turmeric stem from an active compound called curcumin which is known to have powerful anti-inflammatory properties. It is especially beneficial for cardiovascular health, join pain and diabetes.
Savory yogurt has also enjoyed a recent surge of popularity. This unsweetened yogurt offers the same nutritional benefits (i.e. calcium and protein) without the additional calories and sugars of fruit yogurts. Savory yogurts are also perfect for healthy add-ons such as chopped tomatoes, cucumbers and Kalamata olives or drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and topped with flaky sea salt. Unsweetened yogurt can also be used in place of sour cream…imagine the possibilities! As with many dairy products lately, whole fat varieties are being recommended over slimmed down versions (i.e. non-fat, reduced fat) which don’t have as much staying power.
Move over sriracha, harissa is the new spicy condiment in town! This North African hot chili pepper paste is essentially a blend of chili pepper, olive oil and garlic commonly used in Tunisian and Moroccan cuisine. It can also include coriander, cumin, mint and a variety of other ingredients. Use any harissa you have left over from this recipe to flavor dishes ranging from fried eggs to roasted chicken for a delightful kick of heat. It’s metabolic boosting properties have even been touted by Dr. Oz! Also, for those of you doing the Paleo thang, harissa is “Paleo-approved” so feel free to get your spice on.
Since Old World wines are especially waistline friendly and on our agenda for January, we enjoyed a delightful cru Beaujolais from Maison Louis Jadot with the Lamb, Harissa and White Bean Soup. The 2011 Chateau des Jacques Moulin-a-Vent, made from the Gamay grape, had lovely notes of blackberry, plum, minerals and cassis with supple tannins and a delightful finish.
Since this dish is somewhat spicy, a light, fruity wine with friendly tannins is the best pairing. Bold tannins and hot, spicy foods tend to clash on the palate, creating a very unpleasant flavor situation. Another lighter red like Pinot Noir would also be a wonderful choice.
I hope you enjoy this healthy and delicious recipe for Lamb, Harissa and White Bean Soup with Turmeric Yogurt as much as we do! I’d love to hear your thoughts in the Comments section below. Stay tuned for more healthy, delicious goodness coming this week.
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Following the decadence of the holiday season, January is generally a month of self-imposed restriction and deprivation. While I used to eagerly vault up onto that band wagon, eschewing wine (except for the occasional waistline-friendly glass) and delicious food for the entire month, I’ve come to believe this approach only set me up for failure.
Let’s face it, it’s virtually impossible to go from a 5 candy cane and 2 Pumpkin Spice Latte a day habit to surviving on a bowl of fresh blueberries sprinkled with sawdust and a shitty diet shake each day. Am I right? Instead of embracing restriction and deprivation, why not focus on enjoying reasonably sized portions of nourishing food that feeds our bodies and souls?
As I’ve said before, healthy and delicious foods need not be mutually exclusive, and this week I’ll be featuring recipes that demonstrate this fact – buh-bye, restriction and deprivation! The first such recipe is for Bone Broth. This relatively simple “soup” became an uber-hot culinary trend in 2016 and for good, healthy reasons we’ll get to in a minute. And while I wouldn’t consider this a meal, it actually fills a much more important role.
I don’t know about you, but my dietary kryptonite isn’t necessarily meals…it’s snacking. When those in-between-meal cravings start beckoning, encouraging you to reach for those savory salt and vinegar potato chips or vanilla bean ice cream, I’ve found that simply heating up a cup of this flavorful broth quashes those craving in their tracks. It is rich, hearty and supremely satisfying and essentially healthy comfort food. The fact you can flavor it with your favorite ingredients makes it even more appealing. I find it tastes even better sipped from a beautiful cup such as this lovely pink Wedgwood “Williamsburg Husk” cup. We eat with our eyes first, right?
As if its deliciousness wasn’t enough, bone broth is also chock full of healthy goodness like anti-inflammatory agents, minerals, healthy fats and soothing, gut-healing proteins. During the lengthy cooking process, the collagen in the bone marrow is broken down into gelatin which promotes healthy tendons, bones and joints as well as thick, luxurious hair and strong nails. Bone broth also benefits those with generalized joint pain and conditions like rheumatoid and osteo-arthritis. Additionally, the glycine and glutamine found in this magical broth also mitigate problems with digestion, particularly IBS and leaky gut.
While this recipe calls for beef bones, you can also make bone broth from the bones of virtually any animal. Fish, chicken and beef are the most popular. For this recipe, select beef bones with the most marrow, the brownish, spongy looking material located within the actual bones is where all the nutrient-rich goodness lies. Knuckles, shanks and short ribs are great choices. Once you’ve selected your bones, have fun experimenting with different ingredients to flavor the broth. While I like adding tomato paste and smashed garlic cloves to beef bone broth, you might enjoy onion, thyme and black peppercorns in your chicken bone broth. There’s no right or wrong here, just cater to your own palate!
Another important note for those of you have dogs like we do, please resist the urge to give your dog the bones. Both cooked AND raw bones can splinter and seriously hurt, injure or even kill your dog if they become lodged in the mouth, esophagus or digestive tract. For more information, please click here or consult your own veterinarian.
I hope you enjoy this recipe for Beef Bone Broth as much as we do and you’ll join us on the bone broth bandwagon! If you have any recipes that are also healthy and supremely satisfying, please share in the Comments section below. Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more healthy deliciousness!
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With the indulgence of the holidays behind us (literally!), January is the perfect time to renew our dedication to living a healthful existence. I’m a strong believer that breakfast is crucial to starting your day off right and this deliciously healthy recipe for Blood Orange, Grapefruit, & Mint with Acacia Honey is perfect for getting your metabolism going! There’s no... Read More
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With the indulgence of the holidays behind us (literally!), January is the perfect time to renew our dedication to living a healthful existence. I’m a strong believer that breakfast is crucial to starting your day off right and this deliciously healthy recipe for Blood Orange, Grapefruit, & Mint with Acacia Honey is perfect for getting your neurons and metabolism going! There’s no cooking or advance planning required other than purchasing ingredients; simply slice, arrange, and drizzle and it’s ready to go.
Blood oranges are named for the color of their flesh which is a gorgeous, deep, crimson-red. Most varieties look just like a regular navel orange we’re used to seeing here in Florida; it’s not until you cut into the fruit that the differences are readily apparent. The blood orange originated in Italy where it is still the primary orange grown and has a delicious tart, citrusy, herbal flavor that tastes like Aperol, the Italian liqueur (for more on Aperol, click here). As indicated by their rich color, blood oranges are higher in antioxidants than regular oranges and are also chock full of vitamin C, vitamin A, and fiber making them a very healthy and flavorful option. They can be served simply sliced in recipes like this one or used to make marmalades, compotes, cocktails, and granitas as well.
In order to slice the citrus you’ll need to remove the skin first which is much easier to do if the fruit has spent about a half hour in the fridge. Start by slicing off the top and bottom of the fruit, giving yourself a firm base to work with. Then, using a sharp knife, start at the top of the fruit and slice from top to bottom, following the curve of the fruit in order to remove only the skin and white, bitter pith. It may take a few passes to get it all and once you’re done slice the fruit crosswise and you’ll have beautiful, jewel-like slices which you can then arrange on a platter. Once arranged, scatter the mint leaves over the citrus and drizzle with the acacia honey. The light taste and delicate sweetness of acacia honey really lets the wonderful flavor of the citrus to shine through (for more on acacia honey, click here). I really hope you enjoy this recipe and what are some of your favorite healthy breakfasts options? Please let me know in the comment section below!
“Blood Orange, Grapefruit, & Mint with Acacia Honey”
1 Blood Orange, peeled and sliced crosswise
1 Grapefruit, peeled and sliced crosswise
1 Meyer or regular lemon, peeled and sliced crosswise
Handful of fresh mint leaves
Acacia honey for drizzling
Arrange citrus slices on a platter overlapping the different colors. Once arranged, scatter fresh mint leaves over the citrus and then generously drizzle with the acacia honey. Enjoy!
Many countries around the globe have culinary traditions designed to bring good luck in the New Year. In Spain, revelers consume one grape for every stroke of the clock at midnight; in Italy it’s customary to eat sausages and green lentils after midnight; in Cuba, roast pork is said to bring good fortune, and in the Southern United States black-eyed... Read More
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