Monday, July 5, 2010

Recipe #51: Wine Tasting & The Big Apple

(43 recipes to go.)
Chico Resort is well-known for its wine cellar. Thanks to Simply Wine for ordering some bottles of vino for us. (The only one unavailable is Steele's Late Harvest 1991, but everything else suggested in the cookbook can be reserved.) Our first two on the list; Luna Vineyard's Pinot Grigio & Steele Chardonnay. We shared them with family & friends during May & June. These nice little springtime treats proved Chico's wine reputation; they were tasty!
The Luna really got around. I first sampled it on a fabulous girls night out at the Cancer Society's Sex In the City 2 movie premiere party. Yummy! It then drove with us to Devils Lake, ND where we fished with Travis' cousin Marcus & his wife Lacey. Travis, his Aunt Cindy, & I sipped the bottle while playing a hilarious round of Apples To Apples (We love this game, been playing it a lot with my parents lately too.). And the final Luna bottle flew the open skies with us to Minneapolis for our nephew Caleb's high school graduation. A gift for the hostess with the mostess, my sister-in-law Shannon drank it during the cowboy-themed grad party and seemed to really enjoy it. Overall, the Luna Vineyard got great reviews, except Travis thought it had too much of an alcohol taste.
The Steele Chardonnay accompanied me on the trip of a lifetime; a girls retreat to New York City! I surprised Jamie & Janel with this indulgence our first night there, on our way to a fantastic biker jazz band. Simply magnificent! With my mind still on The Big Apple upon my return, I made the cookbook's APPLE Chutney Frenched Pork Chop with Cornbread Stuffing for my darling husband. Delish. And in lieu of Independence Day, I accompanied the apple pork chop by recreating the most delectable treat I discovered in NYC; the infamous Magnolia Bakery's cupcakes (as seen on Sex & The City). Check it out! I found the recipe online. It certainly fulfills any sugar cravings you may have...
Magnolia Bakery Cupcakes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake papers. Combine 1 1/2 c self-rising flour & 1 1/4 c all-purpose flour. In another bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream 1 c (2 sticks) of butter until smooth. Add 2 c sugar gradually and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add 4 room-temperature eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the dry ingredients in three parts, alternating with 1 c milk and 1 tsp vanilla. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated but do not overbeat. Carefully spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, filling them about three-quarters full. Bake for 20–25 minutes.
Magnolia Bakery Frosting
Place 1 c (2 sticks) of butter in mixing bowl. Add 4 cups of sugar and then 1/2 c milk and 2 tsp vanilla. On the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat until smooth and creamy, about 3-5 minutes. Gradually add 2-4 more c of sugar, beating well after each addition (about 2 minutes), until the icing is thick enough to be of good spreading consistency. You may not need to add all of the sugar. If desired, add a few drops of food coloring and mix thoroughly.
~Rating of Luna Vineyard's Pinot Grigio: 8 stars (out of 10)
~Rating of Steele Chardonnay: 8 stars (out of 10)
~Rating of Frenched Pork Chop with Cornbread Stuffing & Apple Chutney: 8 stars (out of 10)
~Rating of Maple Cornbread, a repeat from recipe #39 (& mentioned in recipe #44), that was used in the pork chop's stuffing: 8.5 stars (out of 10) ~My parents were excited I brought them the leftovers!
~Quote of the day: Miranda from Sex & The City: "Do you have a rolling pin?" Carrie: "On me?" Miranda: "In your kitchen." Carrie: "Are you kidding me? I use my oven for storage."
~Music while cooking: Rocky Horror Picture Show, & Abba Gold

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