Showing posts with label wine. Show all posts
Showing posts with label wine. Show all posts
Easy Strawberry Bellini Champagne Cocktail

Easy Strawberry Bellini Champagne Cocktail


We've made it to Friday! Another week behind us, and the weekend ahead! I hope you all enjoyed a wonderful Valentine's Day yesterday. With the holiday on a Thursday this year, I feel like that lends itself to being celebrated all weekend, don't you? And these strawberry bellinis are a perfect weekend brunch cocktail!

I love a good mimosa, but sometimes it's fun to mix up the brunch routine. Bellinis are traditionally made with a fruit puree, and topped with champagne. What that means is that unlike mimosas with orange juice, you can really control how much sugar goes into these. Perfect if you're like me, and like your drinks on the dry side!


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I love that this is an easy cocktail for a crowd - ladies brunch, anyone? But you can also make the puree and store it in the fridge for a few days, so whenever your fancy strikes for a champagne cocktail, it's prepped and ready to go! 


Serves 2

Ingredients:

1/2 cup fresh strawberries
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon granulated sugar (optional)
Your favorite sparkling wine (I'm currently loving this one!)

Directions: 

Puree the strawberries, lime juice and sugar in your blender or food processor. Top with champagne or sparkling wine and serve!


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Kirsten Bell
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3 Perfect Wines For Valentine's Day

3 Perfect Wines For Valentine's Day


There's only one more week of January - can you believe that?? We're almost one month down of 2019. I should probably start working on my resolutions haha! And that also means that Valentine's Day is just around the corner, and will be here before we know it! Now you guys know me, and you know that I love wine. So I put together a list of some of my favorites that would be perfect for a romantic dinner, girls night, glass after the kids go down and you eat thai takeout - whatever the evening looks like for you, it will look better with a glass of one of these delicious wines in your hand!


Maryhill Winery, 2012 Serendipity

I've loved Maryhill's wines for a long time - we finally joined their wine club about a year ago (we should have joined sooner!) and always look forward to those shipments! They have tasting rooms in Goldendale, Spokane, and are just about to open a new tasting room in Vancouver this April! Definitely pay them a visit if you're in the area. I really love all of their wines, and the Serendipity is no exception. It's really smooth, and would pair well with whatever your Valentine's Day meal looks like! We drank it while eating my White Wine and Parmesan Risotto, and it was soooo delicious! It would also be amazing with a steak or pork. (When you order this wine, also grab a bottle of their rosé! It's my favorite!!)

Merry Cellars, 2016 Dolce Vita

Merry Cellars is our local winery in town - you probably see me mention them all the time on Instagram stories! We love their wine and hanging out in their tasting room in Pullman. I'm not usually a fan of dessert wines, but I looooove Dolce Vita. It's made from merlot that's co-fermented with blackberries, which makes for a really deep, jammy and fruity wine. Dolce Vita is really special, and would be the perfect Valentine's Day treat!

Yarden, 2008 Blanc de Blancs

No Valentine's Day wine list would be complete without a sparkling wine, am I right? This sparkling wine is so good - I love how bright, fresh and fruity it is! It would be perfect with light appetizers like a cheese plate or these smoked salmon appetizers, and would also be amazing for a brunch! If you're looking to pair this with your Valentine's Day dinner, I'd recommend it with my Lemon and Garlic Salmon, or a light chicken. And grab another bottle while you're at it, because I know you'll love the Blanc de Blancs as much as I do!

I hope you all find a new wine to love on this list - be sure to let me know if you try one and report back! And if you love wine, check out this recipe for Merlot Chocolate Truffles - they will blow your mind!!

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Kirsten Bell
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Chateaux & Merlot in Bordeaux, France

Chateaux & Merlot in Bordeaux, France



After our time in Scotland (which you can read about here, here and here), we made our way over to France. I was really looking forward to our time in Bordeaux, which is basically the Napa Valley of France! We spent four days touring the region, soaking in as much wine and information as possible. I wasn't at all disappointed - it was grapevines as far as the eye can see, and a new winery around every corner!

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Kirsten Bell
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Frosé (Frozen Rosé Sorbet)

Frosé (Frozen Rosé Sorbet)


You may have noticed by now if you're following me on Instagram that I really enjoy wine! Despite how much I love baking, I would choose a glass of wine over dessert any day. My interest in wine is actually a relatively recent one, and I've been having so much fun learning about it for the past few years. I'm really excited because next month (cue panic mode as my to-do list flashes before my eyes) we're going to leave for our vacation in Britain and France. On that trip we'll be visiting Bordeaux, and doing soooo much wine tasting! I can't wait to learn as much as I can about Bordeaux wines!



I was trying to brainstorm fun sorbet recipes the other day, and opened my fridge for inspiration. Voila! Rosé sitting right in front of me! So I poured a glass (naturally) and got to work! I love that this sorbet has a hint of fruit and citrus, but the flavors only compliment the rosé flavor - they don't overwhelm it. This recipe includes kiwi, which was actually the suggestion of our friend Patrick who is the winemaker at Merry Cellars Winery in Pullman. I would never have thought to add that flavor, and I love it! This is perfect for enjoying on a hot summer day! 

Ingredients: 

1/2 lb strawberries, hulled and sliced
1 kiwi, peeled and sliced
1 cup water
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 cups of your favorite rosé wine (I used Merry Cellars)
2 oz fresh grapefruit juice



Directions:

Rinse, hull and slice strawberries and kiwi into smallish slices. Place the fruit into a medium saucepan, and cover with water. Bring the fruit water to a boil, and them reduce to medium and simmer for about 15-20 minutes. You will know it's ready when the berries have lost their color, and the water is dark pink. Strain the fruit out using a fine mesh strainer, being careful not to squish the berries or kiwi. Discard the fruit once the liquid is strained out. 

Pour the liquid back into the saucepan, and add the sugar. Bring to a boil again, and then simmer for about five minutes, stirring as the sugar dissolves. Once all the sugar is incorporated, take the syrup off the burner and allow to cool completely. 

Pour the rosé into a medium bowl, and whisk in the grapefruit juice. Add the strawberry kiwi syrup a little at a time, tasting as you go. Sweetness is a personal preference, so it's nice that you can so easily control it in this recipe. Once the ingredients are combined, transfer the frosé to a shallow baking dish, cover carefully with plastic wrap, and freeze overnight. I know, that's the hardest part!! The first time I made this I tried to freeze it in my ice cream machine, but because of the alcohol I found it didn't really work.

The next day you will be able to enjoy your cold, refreshing frosé and instantly become the most popular person on the block! 

Do you like wine as much as I do? Then you will also love my Merlot Chocolate Truffles!

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Kirsten Bell
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Merlot Chocolate Truffles

Merlot Chocolate Truffles


wine chocolate trufflesOne of our family traditions growing up was enjoying special treats that we only got once a year. We made all kinds of Norwegian cookies together and bought decadent truffles from our favorite local stores.

This year I thought I would try my hand at making truffles myself! I was a little intimidated, especially because recipes I looked up talked about fancy things like tempering chocolate. I don't even know what that means!

I decided that I wanted to make merlot chocolate truffles, because let's be honest - is there anything better than chocolate and wine? Surprisingly, I couldn't find any recipes that looked decent for this, so I decided to make my own. My first few batches were fine, but I had a really hard time getting the wine flavor to actually come through. That's when Jordan had the excellent idea to make a red wine reduction, and use that instead of straight wine. The result? Magic.

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These are actually really easy to make. If I can do it with a baby on my hip, you got this too! (And no children were harmed in the production of this recipe).
Try it below, and start a new truffle tradition of your own!

Red Wine reduction:

2 cups Merlot (Or your preferred red wine. I used Merlot because I was looking for that deeper fruit flavor. Note that while you might not want to use an expensive wine, you definitely want to use one that you would enjoy drinking, because you will taste it in the truffle.)
1/4 cup sugar

Bring to a simmer, and cook until it thickens to a syrup - JUST thick enough to start coating the bottom of the pan. If it goes too long, it turns into a gloppy disaster (I tell you from experience). This usually takes me about an hour, but you do NOT need to stand and wait over it, so don't let that discourage you.

The reduction can also be done ahead of time. I made mine in the morning and let it sit on the stove for about two hours until I came back to it, because #momlife.

Truffles:

1 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup red wine reduction (recipe above)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
1 Tbs butter

Add the semi-sweet chocolate chips to a large heat proof mixing bowl,and set aside. Bring the milk to a boil, whisking regularly so it doesn't scald.  Pour the hot milk immediately onto the chocolate chips. Wait about five minutes, and then stir until the chocolate chips are melted and smooth. If the chocolate doesn't melt completely, microwave the mixture in 10 second increments, stirring each time.

Once chocolate is completely melted, stir in the salt, red wine reduction and vanilla extract.

Put the chocolate mixture in the fridge and let set for 1.5-2 hours. Spread a piece of wax or parchment paper on a baking sheet. I like to store my baking sheet in the fridge ahead of time, so it's cold for the next step. Take the chocolate mixture out of the fridge, and roll balls (approximately 2 tsp per ball) with your hands.

wine chocolate truffles

Try to move quickly, as the chocolate melts. If you notice that your chocolate is melting especially quickly, you can always put the mixture back into the fridge and let it re-set.

Place each truffle ball on the lined backing sheet. When you've formed all of the truffles (I usually get around 25), place them back in the fridge on the baking sheet.

Melt the bittersweet chocolate and butter together, either on the stove or in the microwave (using increments again so the chocolate doesn't burn). Stir until chocolate and butter mixture is blended and smooth.

Take the truffles out of the fridge, and dip each truffle ball into the bittersweet chocolate mixture. You can use a fork for this, and they also sell special chocolate dipping tools. The first time I made these I used a corn on the cob holder, because it had thin but sharp tines. Super random, but it's what I had! This time I used these tools, which are designed for it, and it was way easier.

wine chocolate truffles

Put the truffles back in the fridge again until the chocolate sets - about 30 minutes. These can be served cold or room temperature, whatever your preference. Decorate however you like!

wine chocolate truffles

Since the truffles have no preservatives in them they should be stored in the fridge, and are good for two weeks.

Let me know what you think in the comments!

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Kirsten Bell
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