Archive for the ‘Wine’ Category

This appetizer sampler was inspired by a lot of random things in my refrigerator… another time that my scrounging has led to yumminess! Sometimes I will make this for a little dinner for myself or I will make it for a group if I am entertaining. I didn’t list amounts in the ingredients since you can pretty much just make as much as you need! I love cheese and crackers at any time and the salami is an added yummy factor. Asparagus and proscuitto is a simple appetizer that a lot of people think sounds complicated but it it super easy and quick to prepare. Babybel cheeses are little and fun and they have so many different flavors to choose from: Original, Bonbel, Gouda, and White Cheddar (and I may be forgetting one or two). Try this little appetizer platter and you will wow everyone- yourself included!


  • Your favorite crackers (I like the big round whole wheat ones)
  • Sliced deli cheese (I like all kinds but especially Swiss and Cheddar for this)
  • Salami
  • Prosciutto
  • Asparagus
  • Babybel cheese (I love all flavors!)
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Olive Oil
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Drizzle olive oil over a large baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cut ends off of asparagus and rinse. Pat dry and roll asparagus in oil, salt, and pepper and place on baking sheet. Put in the oven and cook on both sides until it starts to brown (turn it after about 5 minutes but check in on it depending how hot your oven is).
  2. While the oven is preheating and asparagus is cooking, work on everything else. 🙂 Cut cheese slices into 4 and assemble salami and cheese onto the crackers. I like the big round crackers since the salami fits perfectly on top (I use Safeway brand whole wheat crackers but I am sure there are a ton of other similar kinds).
  3. When asparagus is done cooking, let it cool and then roll it the long way in the prosciutto.
  4. Arrange everything on a large serving plate (or you can have a plate for each appetizer if you are making lots of each). Something else fun that I like to do is make a little plate for everyone that I am entertaining but you can do whatever you want to. 🙂
Serve with: White or red wine and/or cocktails. This is a perfect starter for an Italian meal- I used it as my starter for a meal of stuffed shells and Caesar salad and it was a perfect pairing. 🙂

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Every single week a note about Wine Down Wednesday pops up on my twitter from owner @edstown, and every single week I think “I need to go and do that.”  But, despite my good intentions, I have to admit that yesterday was the very first time I ever actually followed through – something that may not have happened had we not had a nudge from Sky Cameron, a friend of ours who was conducting the tasting for the evening.

What is Wine Down Wednesday you ask?  Pure genius in my opinion.  The middle of the week is generally a bit hairy, no matter which way you slice it.  And what better way to unwind and re-energize for the rest of the week than over a four course wine tasting/food pairing in the company of some really fabulous friends? Pretty much nothing.

So, in keeping with this line of thought, Jacky, Tori, Justin, Haley, 15 wonderful strangers and I joined Sky at town in Kaimuki for an array of Argentinian wines from the Mendoza region (on the western coast about halfway down), paired with four complimentary dishes – all of which was divine.  Here’s what we were working with:

Sky...our fearless wine leader

Wine: Nieto Senetiner, Torrontes Reserva '09 (the ultimate summertime lounging-by-the-pool wine - Torrontes is only found in Argentina) - Food: Salmon skin, risotto cake, apple, fried capers

Wine: Vina Cobos "El Felino" Cabernet Sauvignon '08 (aptly described by Sky as "juicy" this one tasted even sweeter because of the spice in the food) - Food: Pa'i'ai hash (pulled pork), watercress

Miss Haley...the most well behaved (and adorable) two year old who has an incredible palate to boot!

Wine: Pulenta Estate "La Flor" Malbec '08 (from vines that are 5-15 years old) - Food: Porchetta, Mushrooms

Wine: Bodegas Renacer Punto Final Malbec Reserva '06 (from vines that are 50 years old and up - one of Wine Spectator's top 100 wines!) - Food: Grilled leg of lamb with mint infused chili

We ended the evening by sharing a crazy delicious bittersweet chocolate and apple banana panini served with ice cream and some whipped cream goodness. Haley demonstrated how one should most effectively get every single ounce of ice cream out of a dish once a spoon just doesn't cut it. Thank you Uncle Sky!

Remnants of a good time

We were all at one long table which didn’t make for the most ideal social or easy to educate situation, but Sky did an amazing job of explaining things and we had a most wonderful time overall.  We’ve decided that WDW would be a great thing to gather a bunch of friends together and do again (read: completely take over with people we know and have a raucously good time) – hopefully sometime very, very soon.  Want to join us?  Town does WDW every week at 6:30 – just make sure you call ahead for reservations as seating is limited.

On a side note, it has been not only wonderfully fun because of his overall fantastic-ness, but also very educational getting to know Sky because of his extensive wine knowledge.  My notes above only scratch the surface of what he taught us last night, but here is a little more info on Mendoza and the whole wine situation in that area.  Now all I have to do is convince Sky to take me on one of his fabulous wine trips someday!

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