Saturday, October 22, 2016

Shelton Vineyards in Dobson NC

It's fall, my favorite time of year.  Now is a good time to travel up to the Blue Ridge Mountains to feel the cool crisp air and hopefully see the colorful fall leaves.  Erica and I decided to stop a few of the many wineries in NC on our mini vacation.  On the way to Blowing Rock we took a slight diversion to Shelton Vineyards in Dobson NC
Here is what they say on their website...

Located in the Yadkin Valley American Viticultural Area, the vineyard shares a similar climate and growing season to that of some of the best wine growing regions in Europe. The vineyard is one of the largest on the East Coast.

One thing I like about Shelton Vineyards is the fact that they have a restaurant. We decided to eat lunch and enjoy some of their delicious wines.  First stop was the Harvest Grill 
 We decide to try their wine flight.  It came out on a tiered display.  Five wines of your choosing.  As they brought the flights out there were many Oohhs and Aahhs from our fellow diners.  It also sparked lively conversation and we made new friends:-)
 I know you are wondering if we finished our flights.  Let's just say Erica was flying a bit higher then me.  I drove after our adventure.  (She drove for me the next night:-)

Erica and I split the Grilled Carolina Mountain Trout.  Delicious!

After our dinner we walked around a portion of the property. ...

We went into the wine store.  We did not have time to do the tour.  I have done it in the past and recommend it.  I did buy a bottle to take home. This was my favorite wine in my flight...
Harvest White...Yummy
Happy Travels, Eats, and Wine Sipping...

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Wine Tasting 2015 Pas Ordinaire Saint-Chinian Blend

One of the first wines I tasted from my wine club was the 2015 Pas ordinaries Saint-Chinian Blend red wine.  I fell in love with it.  Here is what the WineC site says about it.
An anything-but-ordinary, all-natural red made from the Languedoc’s classic blend of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, and Carignane. Take it straight from the maker — Pas Ordinaire is "rugged, pure, and exhilarating.

I have served this wine with a couple of different dishes.  They suggest it be served with stews and braised meats.  The also recommend lamb, cassoulet, stuffed eggplant, Camembert.  The recipe that came with the wine as a suggested pairing was French Inspired Cheese Fondue.  
I found it went well with pizza....
 ....and with Chicken Marsala

They said it smells like white pepper, mint, redcurrent, raspberry, and rhubarb.  When I did my tasting the best description I could come with as far as aroma was "fruit":-)

On the palate they describe spices, herbs, lavender, and soft tannins with a peppery finish.    My description was fruit:-)  Granted I have a lot to learn!

If I had a million dollars I would take a trip to the location of origin of this wonderful wine.  That means I would be going to France.  Saint-Chinian, France.  Lets go....
We would fly into Beziers, a 30 minute drive from our hotel Chateau Les Carrasses.
(Photos from their site)

And look there is a castle near by....
Yes, you are right I can't afford to go to France but I can pretend and I can pretend while sipping a delicious glass of 2015 Pas ordinaries Saint Chinian Blend wine:-)

Happy wine tasting and travel even if it is dream travel

Monday, October 10, 2016

Monday Morning Motivation....Disconnection and God's Promise

The last 2 sermons I have listened to have touched on the fact that many of us feel disconnected.  Just what is the definition of disconnected?

Disconnected: Having a connection broken.  To feel separated, separate, divorced, cut off.  

I am sure there are many life events that leave us feeling cut off or disconnected.  For me it was the end to a very long marriage.  For you it may be something else.  Whatever the circumstance it is a comfort to know that we are not disconnected from God.  Please remember His promise
"I will never leave you or forsake you"
Thank you God!  
That makes me smile:-)

Happy Monday!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

What in the world is Marsala Wine?

I found a recipe I wanted to try,  Chicken Marsala from All Recipes Magazine.  I love wine but have zero knowledge of Marsala Wine.  I consulted Google...
Marsala is a wine, dry or sweet, produced in the region surrounding the Italian city of Marsala in Sicily. 
While the city's natives sometimes drink "vintage" Marsala, the wine produced for export is universally fortified similar to Port, Madeira and Sherry. Originally, this addition of alcohol was to ensure that it would last on long ocean voyages, but now it is made that way because of its popularity in foreign markets.

Marsala wine is frequently used in cooking, and is especially prevalent in dishes served in Italian restaurants in the United States. A typical Marsala sauce, for example, involves reducing the wine almost to a syrup with onions or shallots, then adding mushrooms and herbs. One of the most popular Marsala recipes is chicken marsala, in which flour-coated pounded chicken breast halves are braised in a mixture of Marsala, butter, olive oil, mushrooms, and spices. Marsala is also used in some risotto recipes, and to produce rich Italian desserts such as zabaglionetiramisu and shortcake.

I was not sure if I should use Marsala specifically for cooking or just grab a bottle of Marsala wine.  I still don't know the answer to that.  I used the cooking wine based on the suggestion of the store clerk.
My finished product.....

Yummy dinner.  You can find the recipe on an earlier blog post of mine.  Chicken Marsala ll from All Recipes Magazine.  
The wine above is one of my favorites.  No, it is not Marsala but I think next time I go to the store I will pick up a bottle to add to my wine rack:-)
Happy Cooking and Wine Tasting Everyone!

Recipe Review...Chicken Marsala ll from All Recipes Magazine

What is on the menu today?  Chicken Marsala from All Recipes Magazine.

Chicken Marsala II

  • Prep
  • Cook
  • Ready In
Recipe By:CMITCHEL97
"Flour coated chicken sauteed with a mushroom and Marsala wine sauce. Mmmm, rich Marsala sauce, tender chicken - this recipe is sure to please! Great served with rice and veggies, if desired."


  • 1/4 cup butter, divided
  • 2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken meat - cut into 12 pieces
  • 2 slices bacon, diced
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup dry Marsala wine


  1. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a medium skillet. Saute mushrooms until soft, remove from skillet and place in a small, covered bowl.
  2. Mix flour, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a shallow dish or bowl. Dredge chicken in flour mixture. Place bacon in same skillet and cook over low heat until cooked but not crisp. Add 2 tablespoons butter to skillet and saute coated chicken over medium heat for 2 minutes each side, adding remaining butter as needed to prevent burning.
  3. Place chicken on a dish, cover and keep warm. In a medium bowl, slowly add water to cornstarch and mix together, then mix in wine. Pour liquid mixture into skillet, together with reserved mushrooms. Heat until mixture begins to boil and thickens, then pour over warm chicken and serve
I studied the recipe and gathered my ingredients...

As I was looking over the menu I realized I did not know any thing about Marsala wine.  Check out my next blog post on "What in the World is Marsala Wine?"
So what is my rating of this recipe.  I would give it an 8.5/10.  It is really good.  I would double the sauce and the mushrooms.  The chicken breasts I used were a bit thick and took much longer to cook then the recipe called for.  All in all a really good recipe.
Happy Cooking and Wine Tasting Everyone!

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Recipe Review....Jiffy Creamy Corn Muffins

I was making veggie recipes this week.  I made a tomato pie and stuffed peppers.  I wanted a side so I decided to make Corn Muffins from Jiffy.  I found the recipe online and it was made up of 3 simple ingredients.  Easy and yummy.  I would give them an 8/10 on my cooking scale.  I will make them again:-)

Creamy Corn Muffins

(8 - 10 Muffins)

  • 1 pkg. "JIFFY" Corn Muffin Mix
  • 1 can (8.25 oz.) cream corn 
  • 1/4 cup sour cream 
  • 2 eggs 

Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease a muffin pan or use paper baking cups.
Combine ingredients. Blend well. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake 15 - 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Happy Cooking Everyone!

Monday, September 5, 2016

Yes I joined a Wine Club....Winc/Club W.

I decided to join a wine club.  After all I had a wine rack to fill....:-)

I went online and studied my options. I decided on Club W.  I must admit I am a bit confused about their name because it appears they have changed it to Winc.  What ever the name I love it...
The first thing they will have you do is take a short quiz so that they can get a feel for your wine tastes.  The questions that are asked have to do with your preferences in salt, sweet, savory etc.  Some of the questions surprised me but they know what they are doing and I am a wine beginner.

Winc's story began in 2012 when we founded Club W: the world's first personalized wine club. We made the process of discovering and buying wine easier than ever — and as we expanded to other facets of the experience, we became so much more than a club.

After the quiz you are given a list of wines based on what they feel you would enjoy the most.  
You get free shipping if you choose 4 or more so I choose 4.
I was so excited to get my first shipment.   In NC you have to have an adult sign for wine so I had it shipped to a local FedEx office.  When I picked up the wine the FedEx person said this was the wine club they see come through their office the most.  Thats a good sign:-)

I have already tried one of the wines.  The Pas Ordinaire Saint-Chinian Blend.
I shared it with my girls and we all loved it.  (Blog post to follow.)
I like that each wine comes with a card that contains a description on one side 
and a recipe for pairing on the other.
On the site you can find a more in depth description and can watch a brief video on each selected wine.  What fun!!

So every month I will have the option to pass the month or order more wine.  You can order at any time.  You don't have to wait or you can do it monthly.  You can skip as many months as you like.
My goal is to learn more about wine.  To experience new wines and to learn to pair the proper food with the selected wine.  I believe this club will help me in this endeavor.
Try a new wine.