Posts Tagged ‘Wine tasting descriptors’

We’re not vegetarians (yet) but it’s possible we are heading in that direction.  Peter always leaned that way for health reasons and I, in recent years, have become deeply disturbed over the exposes regarding the treatment and slaughtering of animals.  Sometimes if I find myself thinking about it, I can’t finish eating whatever meat was on my place.  I know this sounds weird coming from someone who just extolled the virtues of The Shake Shack.  Well, like I said, I may be headed in that direction but it’s long journey down that road.

However, I do love cooking with fresh vegetables and therefore I often make vegetarian meals.  Tonight we had a delicious dinner;  I made a Butternut Squash Risotto,  Roasted Cauliflower and a Mesclun Salad.  That and a freshly baked baguette from Fairway made quite a meal.


3 cups fat-free low-sodium vegetable broth

1 cup butternut squash puree

1TBS butter or olive oil

3 cloves of garlic, chopped

1/4 cups shallots, chopped

1 cup Arborio rice – I used Carnaroll rice

2 oz dry white wine

1TBS chopped fresh sage

1/4 cups freshly grated Parmiagiano-Reggiano 

Salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

2 cups fresh baby arugula, for garnish

In large sauce pan, heat broth and butternut squash puree over medium-high heat.  When it boils, reduce heat to a simmer and maintain over low heat, taste for salt and adjust as needed.

In large heavy sauce pan over medium heat, heat oil or butter until melted.  Add shallots, garlic and rice; saute till rice is well-coated with oil or butter, about 3 minutes.  Add the wine and sage and stir until it is absorbed.

Add a ladleful of the simmering stock; wait until it is absorbed before adding another ladleful stirring gently and almost constantly.  Stirring loosens the starch molecules from the outside of the rice  grains into the surrounding liquid, creating a smooth creamy-textured liquid.

Continue this process until the rice is creamy, tender to the bite, but slightly firm in the center and all the stock is used, about 25 minutes from the time you started.  When all the liquid is absorbed, stir in the grated cheese and remove from heat.

Serve immediately and top with baby arugula and extra grated-cheese if desired.  Makes 3 2/3 cups.

Recipe courtesy of Skinnytaste.com

English: Cucurbita pepo (butternut squash). Lo...

Photo credit-Wikipedia

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Gone are the days of the green bean and Campbell’s soup casserole, known in my house as White Trash Green Beans.  SOOoooo politically incorrect – my kids named it, not me. 

I grew up with the usual suspects on the Thanksgiving table.  It was Mashed Potatoes, Mashed Turnips, Candied Sweet Potatoes, Stuffing, Green Bean French Onion casserole,  Creamed White Onions,canned jelled Cranberry Sauce.  Not too exciting, but oh so familiar 

I said good-bye, farewell to those dishes years ago!!  And I love side dishes so over the years I have collected a lot of recipes.  If you are making the BIG meal at home, you might find one or two to try out and if you’ve been invited to a feast, why not bring a really special dish?

Old habits die hard so here is a modernized version of the traditional Green Bean Casserole.  It is Green Beans with Carmelized Onions and Tarragon. 

1 TBS plus 1 Tsp extra virgin olive oil

2 large sweet onions such as Vidalia, thinly sliced

coarse salt and ground pepper

2 lbs green beans trimmed

4 tsp chopped fresh tarragon leaves

In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 TBS oil over medium-high.  Add onions and season with salt and pepper.  Cook, stirring often, until softened and just beginning to brown, 10 minutes.  Reduce heat to medium; cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are deep golden brown and very soft, 30 minutes.  (Refrigerate in an air-tight container, up to 1 day.  Bring to room temperature before using).

Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook green beans until crisp-tender and bright green, about 6 minutes.  Drain and toss with tarragon and 1 tsp oil; season with salt and pepper.  Transfer beans to a platter and top with onions.

Recipe from Martha Stewart‘s Every Day Food

Green Bean Casserole with French Onions

The OLD Green Bean Casserole with French Onions (Photo credit: Moomettes)

martha stewart, every day food, white trash casserole,

The NEW Green Bean Casserole – Martha Stewart Every Day Food

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If you were a bee, bumble or otherwise, The Conservatory Gardens  is where you’d want to spend a productive afternoon.  Murray Head, our favorite photographer, captured several of these busy busy little creatures at work or play, you can never be really sure.

Central Park, Conservatory Gardens, bumble bee

Bee in a Bell Flower

Conservatory Gardens, Central Park, bumble bee,

Little Bee, Big Flower

Yellow Jacket

Yellow Jacket on Yellow Flower

Sitting on Top of the Flower

Investigating Your Inner Flower

All photos courtesy of Murray Head

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