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Monday, June 18, 2012

This was a busy weekend here at the Buzz.  We enjoyed some amazing wines from BCI's own Joe Ross on
Friday along with the music of Gayle Chapman.  We did add a couple of BRJs wine from Paul Colwell as well.  Steve Testardi treated us to his own Buzz Lemonade.  Then Saturday morning (very early) we had our first distribution of Bountiful Baskets.  If you are not familar with this Produce copperative go to and learn how you can participate.  Along with the regular baskets, one of the "add-ons" was blueberries, did some research into blueberries and froze most of mine for use over the next few weeks.  Do not wash blueberries until right before you are going to use them, open the containers and spread them out in a single layer on a cookie sheet and place in the freezer.  In a couple or three hours they will be individually frozen and then can be placed in ziploc bags for future use.  bountiful Baskets is offering these again this week as an add on. 

Today's recipe from last week's wine dinner is Iced Black Bean Soup.  Although Lyle has informed me that is is really good if you heat it up as well. 

4 Tbs olive oil
4 green onions (chopped)
4 cloves garlic (minced)
1 jalapeno seeded and finely diced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons coriander
1 bunch of cilantro chopped
1 pound black beans (cooked according to directions on the bag)
3 cups chicken stock (boiling could use vegetable stock)
sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
2 chipotles in adobo sauce
1 cup sour cream
4 Tbs half and half

Heat the oil and saute the onion.  Add the garlic, jalapeno, cumin, coriander, cilantro, and half of the beans.  Heat until very fragrant.  Pour the sauted beans and spices into the boiling stock.  Boil for about 10 minutes, then using an immersion blender puree the soup.  Bring back to a boil and add the other half of the beans back into the stock.  Boil for about 5 minutes.  Take the soup pot and place in an ice bath to cool the soup down then refrigerate until ready to use.  Just before serving mix the chipotles, sourcream, and half and half in a food processor mix until smooth.  Serve a dollop of the cream in the middle of the bowl and garnish with cilantro if desired.  We had this soup with Duragutti 2010 Malbec an amazing combination. 

Tonight I am making a taco pie for dinner I will let you know how it turns out, since Bountiful Baskets has a Mexican add-on this week It should be a lot of fun . 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Busy week at the Buzz.  Had two wine dinners, focusing on picnic foods and fun day trips in Idaho.  All the foods were transportation friendly but still a little on the exotic side.  Per request I am beginning to post the recipes.  My favorite dish of the night was a terrific salad that I found some inspiration from on Cooking Light.  Always trying to eat healthy but still yummy.  Thanks to Bob Young for the gun picture.  So here goes the recipe:

  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons pomegranate infused balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Molasses
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • two shakes tabasco
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup uncooked couscous
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 2 chopped green onions 
  • 1 diced cucumber
  • 2 diced tomatoes
  • chopped fresh parsley for garnish
  • Chopped Romain Lettuce
  • salt and pepper to taste

Put all the dressing ingredients into a food processor and process until mixed through.  Will keep in the fridge for about 5 days in an airtight container. 
Place the broth in the microwave and heat on high for 3 minutes.  Remove and stir in the couscous.  Let stand 10 minutes and fluff with a fork.  Cool.  Meanwhile combine carrots, green onions, cucumber, and  tomatoes in a large bowl.  Toss well.  Once the couscous is cooled place on top of the veggie mix pour the dressing over it and toss well.  Place the romaine on a plate and top with the couscous mixture.  Garnish with parsley.  

We enjoyed this with 2011 Apaltagua Chardonnay (Chile) 13.5% alcohol.  
2011 Reserva Chardonnay (winemakers notes)
These Chardonnay grapes come from personally selected vineyards in the Casablanca Valley. This region is known for the strong maritime influence and for being the first valley in Chile to receive cold weather, making it ideal for the production of white wines.

The Reserva Chardonnay has a golden color and is fresh and clean to the nose. It is characterized by notes of vanilla, cream and banana. In the mouth, it is crisp, dry and refreshing.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Summer is here, the kids are out of school and all the craziness that goes on with the end of school is behind us.  Now, to focus on friends, food, wine, and business.  As many of you know I (on occasion) just make up my own recipes by mixing and matching flavors and ideas from others.  yesterday was one of those days, usually these invented dishes are tasty but sometimes they are quite outstanding and this is one of those dishes.  Fairly easy to do, great if you are having a bunch of people over and just want to throw something together.  I have been asked to make sure I write this one down so here it goes:

Cristi's Picadilla Enchiladas

3 pounds ground beef
1 pound pork sausage
1 can fire roasted tomatoes
2 cloves garlic (minced)
2 tablespoons cinnamon
2 tablespoons cumin
2 teaspoons ground cloves
Flour tortillas
diced fresh cilantro
sliced green olives
shredded colby jack
crema casera (mexican sour cream)
diced fresh tomatoes
diced onion
canned enchilada sauce
chopped lettuce

Brown the beef and sausage with the canned tomatoes and the spices.  Drain all the fat and juice off the meat.  Spread the meat on the tortilla, sprinkle with a little cheese, fresh cilantro, and olives.  Roll up.  Top with enchilada sauce, a dollup of cream, fresh tomatoes, onion, and lettuce.  Enjoy.

We enjoyed these with Montgras Quatro an amazing 4 way blend from Chile.  Cheers. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

As we continue through the recipes I must take a moment to comment on the pictures that I will be posting.  A very dear friend of mine, Bob Young, has taken fantastic pictures at nearly everyone of the wine dinners, we have hosted at the Buzz.  He has several blogs that he is consistently updating, the pictures and dinner reviews are carried on his Boise Foodie Guild blogspot, this offers a lot of fun recipes and events and reviews of many of the restaurants in the Boise area.

This is a picture of our Roasted Vegetable Salad that we featured at our May 2012 wine dinner.  

Red Wine Vinagrette

  • Makes 1½ cups
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 small shallot, peeled
  • 2 clove garlic, peeled
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and mix until shallots and garlic are very finely minced.  Pour into a jar with a good seal so it can be shaken just before serving.  Can keep in the refrigerator for 10 days. 

Salad  Serves 8 as a side or 4 for dinner

  • 1  parsnip, peeled and cut into 1-inch dice
  • 2 zucchini, cut into 1-inch dice
  • 1  eggplant, cut into 1-inch dice
  • 1/2 butternut squash, cut into 1-inch dice
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons dried thyme
  • 1 bag of mixed greens (or chop up different lettuces)
  • 1 cup mixed Italian cheeses (shredded) 
 Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Combine the parsnip, zucchini, eggplant and squash in a mixing bowl and evenly coat with olive oil, and thyme (salt and pepper if desired). Turn out the vegetables onto a roasting pan and roast for 15 minutes, or until softened and slightly browned.  Cool the vegetables.

Plate the greens, top with vegetables, drizzle with red wine vinaigrette, and top with cheese. And enjoy.
If you have extra vegetables refrigerate them and use them with some boiled rotini for a repeat meal, could toss in vodka sauce or Alfredo with the pasta for a vegetarian dinner the next day.

We served this salad with a 2008 Australian Red blend by Pillar Box.  (Always good to have a salad that goes amazingly well with a red wine). 


Monday, May 14, 2012


Hello.  It is now May of 2012 and as a family, a nurse, a mother, and a business owner we are making some big changes.  every day in May at our business we are introducing something new.  For 2009 and 2010 we published our own cookbooks of the recipes that we utilized in our wine dinners, in order to coordinate all of our social media, marketing and networking efforts I am going to present a recipe in this format along with the wines we enjoyed with the dish.  Every so often we will continue to offer our cookbooks for the cost of printing them so you will have the recipes all together, but hopefully this format will allow easier access for everyone.  I also here will be able to show the modifications that I made to each of the recipes (as I get inspiration from multiple locations but usually do not follow the recipes as presented by others).

Recently, the most requested recipe, was the mushroom soup that we served at the May 2012 Wine Club dinner.  So here it goes for about 10 servings
  2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  1/2 pound bacon diced
  1 onion, chopped
  4 cloves garlic minced
  1 tablespoon dried thyme
  40 ounces mushrooms (use 3 different types, baby bellas, button, and crimini is what I used)  Chopped
          fairly thick
   4 stalks celery, chopped
   1 pound carrots, chopped
   375 ml of chardonnay
   2 cups vegetable broth
   2 tablespoons Italian seasoning 
   6 tablespoons flour
   6 tablespoons dry rose wine

Fry the bacon until crisp, drain and set aside.
In a Soup pot, saute the onions in the olive oil until translucent.  Add the garlic and thyme.  After it is quite fragrant add the mushrooms.  Stir occasionally until the mushrooms have released their moisture and are reduced in size.  Add the celery and carrots.  Stir in the wine and broth and Italian seasoning, bring to a boil, add the bacon and then reduce heat to simmer and simmer until carrots are tender.  (About 20 minutes)

Just before serving whisk the flour and the rose together,  once smooth add a cup of the broth from the hot soup and continue to whisk once smooth add the rue to the pot of soup and stir.  

Salt and Pepper to taste.  For a vegetarian version omit the bacon. 

We enjoyed this soup with 2008 G3 Red Blend from Goose Ridge Cellars.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New Years Day was a relaxing day for us at our house. We ate all day focusing on our traditional New Year's meal of Chinese food. Boy was it good, we even had left overs for the next day, with my busy days I am a huge fan of leftovers. We played games and visited with family and friends. I made a Coke cake and frosted it two different ways, so as to suit everyone's tastes. This is one of my favorite cakes as it is chocolaty, rich, and moist. I can satisfy my sweet tooth with only one or two bites. (Much better for my waist line).
Along with this scrumptious cake we enjoyed a bottle of Snoqualmie 2008 Merlot. This is a Columbia Valley Merlot. I personally enjoy Merlot from Washington State, as they tend to have a fuller body and slightly more tannin at the back then Merlot from other regions of the world. This is a great everyday wine with a very reasonable price point. In my blogging I am trying to keep with wines that are readily available in Boise. If you have interest in purchasing any of these just let me know so that I can ensure we have them at the shop.

This weekend I will have Coke Cake at the Buzz for the dessert special for all of us to enjoy.


Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year/New Beginning

With the beginning of a new year, I find myself reexamining where I am in relation to where I want to be. I have set some goals for the year that are very reachable; with a little organization and discipline. The kids and Tommy are going to be involved in helping to achieve these goals. The first step in this is to blog about the food and wines we have been enjoying and will be enjoying.

I will continue to present foods and wines in what I refer to as the real world approach. These are wines that are affordable and palatable and foods that can be prepared with ingredients from the grocery store. As a mother of two teenagers, a practicing RN, owner of a small business and assisting in the care of my in-laws I live in the real world and that is where my focus will be.

We, of course, rang in the New Year with a little bubbly. We enjoyed a toast of Schramsberg Cremant. What a great start to the new year. This was a slightly dry cremant without the chalky taste of a true Champagne. Price is under $40. I served mine in a white wine glass, over the past few months I have been exposed to some research that states that the flutes cause the carbon dioxide of sparkling wines to build up at the top of the glass and alter the nose and even effects the taste, I do have to say that I enjoyed the cremant more out of a glass than a flute. Try it the next time you are enjoying a sparkler and see what you think.

At the Buzz last night we had a group that was playing Pathfinder (a game similar to Dungeons and Dragons), I put out a small buffet for them to enjoy with their game and had compliments from them all on my Chicken Enchiladas (by the way went very nicely with the cremant) I was very excited to inform all of the participants that this is one of the entrees that we have in stock for our take and bake line. They are good.

I should go now and decide what to make for New Years and which wine to drink tonight. Happy New Year to everyone.