Valentine’s Day

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Smoked Gouda Polenta

Doin’ a little dance in the kitchen. Polenta for dinner! The only thing better than creamy, buttery, luscious polenta is polenta with smoked Gouda added to it! The smokey, rich, cheesy flavor is a decadent treat! Polenta has to be my all time favorite starchy side dishes. I know it’s not a potato, which I adore…..but it is so fast, so easy, which means I get to eat even sooner and that makes me a happy girl! This fact alone could give it it’s elevated status, but don’t stop there. Polenta loves to bring more friends to the party. Toss in your favorite melting cheese, some fresh herbs, a little bacon or pancetta and you have a million different varieties of a very satisfying, filling side dish. Creativity reigns supreme when it comes to polenta’s possibilities! What could be better than that? Continue reading

Chipotle Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with Whiskey Cherry Sauce

Chipotle Rubbed Tenderloin with Whiskey Cherry Sauce

Oh, oh, oh it’s magic! One of my favorite things about fine dining in a restaurant is getting a meal that I would not usually tackle at home. Tackle is the operative word. The complexity and labor intensiveness of the recipe, special ingredients and the multitude of components involved in the plating of a beautiful dish can make it a daunting task. A little of this, a drizzle of that is just what the dish calls for but the recipe is for a much larger amount than a few plates need. The home cook typically is not running a restaurant or catering business out of their kitchen and the little touches that make a delicious meal amazing go to waste in our kitchens. When I can create a meal that looks and tastes like a restaurant chef was in my kitchen but it was just little ol’ me,  I feel like a super star! The satisfied sounds and compliments coming from my husband and friends are the best part. That’s the kind of recipe I have for you today. Make a super star reputation for yourself without being dragged through the flaming knothole just to get it on the table! Continue reading

Heart Shape Salmon en Croute with Dill Sauce

I think I bit off more than I could chew but what I did get my teeth into was very yummy! David and I like to have an intimate Valentine’s dinner at home and I planned a doozy! But I ran out of time trying to be the caterer of all courses gourmet, the flower arranger and table designer, the sommelier and the relaxed, fetching wife! Something had to give! Continue reading

Valentine’s Day at Eagles Nest Winery

We’re off for another wonderful day with our friends at Eagles Nest Winery in Ramona to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Leave it to Julie to think of a fun twist for our wine tasting pleasure.

She has combined wine tasting with the sharing of appetizers and desserts in their newly re-decorated tasting room. Each taster is invited to bring their favorite recipe for a dessert or appetizer to share with everyone. There will even be prizes of their Viognier Port given for the top 3 in each category. Wonder who will tempt us most? Continue reading

French Kiss Friday’s 5 o’clock Wet Your Whistle Call!

One name, so many recipes! Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and a romantic cocktail is just what we need to get the loving feelings flowing. I found recipes that ranged from a simple half ‘n half of sweet vermouth and dry vermouth chilled and shaken to creamy dessert like drinks or bubbly cosmos to ones that were just plain boring. And boring is not what we want for Valentine’s Day! These two versions felt special yet different from each other. Take your pick or try both but don’t forget, this time it’s OK to French Kiss and tell me which cocktail put you in the mood.

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