Today is National Soup Day! A warm bowl of soup regardless of the temperature outside can transform your day. Soup is comfort food at its best and it can go a long way in warming you and your soul. With so many soups to choose from, a creamy bisque, rich chowder, or a savory broth base soup can be a day-long simmering meal or a last-minute dinner. One thing however is for certain, soup will always hit the spot.
When I think of a thick and hearty soups like my Cheesy Potato Corn Chowder I always like to serve it with fresh baked bread. Of course the only thing better than a slice of bread with soup, is a bread bowl to fill with soup.
Soup has been traced back as far as 6000 B.C., notably it seems that Hippopotamus was the first known meat used for soups. In early Greece, Greeks sold soup in the streets of their market places, which means soup could be considered one of the first “fast foods”. Before soup makers began adding beans and other ingredients, soup was really just broth, the broth was used to pour over or dip bread into. The bread was called sop, which then became the word we are more familiar with, “soup”.
This recipe is an upgrade from a standard bread bowl recipe and incorporates layers of flavor with the addition of Dill Havarti Cheese and Garlic Infused Olive Oil. I used my bread machine to make the dough for this recipe. Also, by coating the shredded cheese in flour prevents the shreds from sticking together in the blending process.
1 cup Warm Water (110 – 115 degrees)
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Garlic Olive Oil
1 Tsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar
3 cups Bread Flour (or All Purpose Flour )
1 Tbsp Dough Enhancer
2 Tsp active dry yeast
1 Tbsp (Flour to coat shredded cheese)
1 1/2 cups Havarti Cheese with Dill. Shredded.
1 Egg White and 1 Tbsp Water whisked together for egg wash
Place the ingredients in the order listed into the bread machine (I layered the flour coated cheese between cups of flour to get a more even blending in the finished dough) and run the dough cycle. When finished, lightly knead the dough on a clean and floured surface. Divide the dough into 6-8 equal parts and form into the shape of a ball. Lightly sprinkle cornmeal onto a baking sheet and place balls of dough on top and allow to rise. Let rise for about 30 minutes in a warm place. When dough has risen, brush the top of each ball with an egg wash for a crisp and shiny finish. Bake at 350°F for 15-20 minutes or golden brown. Let cool slightly before cutting the tops out with a bread knife or scoop part of the inside out.
You can really used any flavored cheese with this recipe or a plain cheese that has been combined with your favorite herb.
With the Bread Bowl ready to be filled, now is the time to craft the perfect Cheesy Potato Corn Chowder.
Now your ready to enjoy a Bread Bowl of Cheesy Potato Chowder. Enjoy!
“Come, let us have some tea and continue to talk about happy things.”
As much as I love a good cup of tea, sometimes I crave something unique and a little bit stronger. As so much of the United States is recovering from the Polar Vortex, I wanted to share a couple of my favorite tea-inspired cocktail recipes. Let’s face it, the only thing that can elevate a good cup of tea to new heights, is the addition of a great companion, booze.
As some of the country is experiencing 100 degree temperature swings, I decided to share two tea inspirations. My twist on hot Blueberry Tea, and also a cold tea cocktail, a Chai Tea Cream. A great thing about both tea cocktails is that they are completely adaptable to your own taste.
In classic bartender guides there really aren’t many blueberry drinks. One exception is the Blueberry Tea Cocktail, which contains no blueberry or blueberry flavored ingredients. It’s one of those cocktail concoctions that draws on a handful of ingredients to transform it into something completely different. Hence, a classic Blueberry Tea cocktail that only resembles the taste of blueberries.
This warm and delicious tea cocktail has Grand Marnier, Amaretto and Orange Tea, which gives off hints of blueberry flavor.
The history of Chai tea can be traced back to the mid-1800s in India, and has long been a favorite in cafés and tea rooms. Now drinks are being crafted with the spiced tea as a way to develop more depth to cocktails. Whiskey and Rum are two of the more popular flavor pairings with Chai tea, because of their complementary oak and vanilla flavors. This Chai Tea Cream cocktail is paired with an Apple Brandy to include a mellow apple flavor. A simple syrup has been infused with a cinnamon stick to add an additional level of warmth to the cocktail.
CINNAMON SIMPLE SYRUP: mix 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and stir until sugar is dissolved. Add a cinnamon stick and remove from heat, cover and let cool for 20 minutes. Pour into a glass jar and cover. Makes about 1½ cups and will keep in the refrigerator for a month.
These cocktails are sure to keep you going through all the remaining long Winter nights!
First a warning. This Bacon Jam may just become your newest addiction.
It is insanely good on all kinds of dishes like quesadillas, sandwiches, burgers, breakfast, or served up on a dip. I added an extra step to a traditional Bacon Jam, but it will add a whole new level of flavor to your finished product.
Begin the Bacon Jam by roasting the onions in a flavorful red wine like this Merlot from Silvara Cellars.
3/4 cup Red Wine (I like to use a Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon)
2 tbsp Brown Sugar
1 tsp fresh Thyme chopped
1/2 tsp Sea Salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground Pepper
2 large Sweet Onions, peeled and sliced 1/2 inch thick.
4 tbsp Butter
1 pound Apple Smoked Bacon
Roasted red wine onions, minced
4 cloves Garlic, minced
1/2 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2 cup Packed Light Brown Sugar
1 cup Strong Brewed Black Coffee
1/4 cups Pure Maple Syrup
Cut the bacon slices into 1-inch strips. Add the bacon to a Dutch oven or frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook the bacon, stirring frequently, until the bacon is browned. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the bacon to a paper-towel lined plate. Drain all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon drippings.
Place the Dutch oven or frying pan back over the medium-high heat and add the onions and garlic. Stir well and reduce heat to medium. Continue to cook for about 2 minutes. Add coffee, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, and maple syrup, stir well.
Bring to a boil, stirring frequently, and boil hard for 2 minutes. After 2 minutes, stir the browned bacon into the onions and liquid.
Reduce heat and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally to make sure things aren’t sticking, adding 1/4 cup of water if it seems to be drying out. Cook for 45 to 60 minutes until the liquid is thick and syrupy, remove from the heat and cover to keep warm.
Any left over Bacon Jam can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one month.
Smoked Gouda Dip – A quick and easy dip recipe that is perfect for a party. Smoked gouda, cream cheese, thyme and spinach, baked together. Top with finished Bacon Jam and serve with baguette.
Recipe and Images © Drink In Nature Photography and Drink In Life Blog.
“It is the wine that leads me on,
the wild wine that sets the wisest man to sing
at the top of his lungs, laugh like a fool – it drives the
man to dancing… it even tempts him to blurt out stories
better never told.”
― Homer, The Odyssey
Late last summer I took a road trip from Washington State to the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia, Canada to share with my son his first wine tasting experience and discover some new Canadian wines.
What once was a huge glacier, the Okanagan Valley is comprised of soils that are mostly sandy, with white clay-silt on top of a gravelly sand made up of limestone, granite and other forms of ancient volcanic gravels. This soil combination is ideal for generating some intensely aromatic wines with layers of mineral flavors and a subtle level of tannins. Being in the 50th parallel, the Okanagon Valley has a short growing season and is most commonly known for its production of Ice Wine. Although the climate during the growing season is hot, dry and sunny, it is still quite short. To help ripen the red grapes the additional daylight hours in the summer months work in the Okanagan Valley’s favor.
Agriculture has a long history in this region, also known for growing apples, peaches, and cherries, the Valley is now becoming recognized for growing the grapes that produce the regions authentic wines. The wines of the Okanagan are more extensive than would be expected, to include Syrah, Bordeaux Blends, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Riesling, and Chardonnay to name a few. There is one varietal that I want to focus on from this wine region, Maréchal Foch.
I was introduced to the Maréchal Foch grape during a wine tasting at one of the first wineries that I visited in Kelowna, Quails’ Gate Winery. Quails’ Gate is a check off your list destination with a beautiful winery and impressive vineyards that overlooks the immense Okanagan Lake. Maréchal Foch is a hybrid grape variety that is grown in parts of the United States and in Canada. Cold hardy and disease resistant, the Foch grape was first developed in France in the 1910s by Eugene Kuhlmann, who crossed GoldRiesling and a native American Vitis riparia-rupestris to create what was then named Kuhlmann 188-2. In 1946 Maréchel Foch arrived in the U.S., where it was subsequently renamed, Maréchal Foch in honor of Marshall Ferdinand Foch, a distinguished French General in World War I. There is a rumor that this name was given to the grape do to the extensive casualties sustained by Foch’s troops, as Maréchal Foch wines are distinctly noted for their deep, blood-like color.
2015 Quails’ Gate Old Vines Foch
The grapes for this wine are sourced from 37-year old vines planted in a southern most vineyard located in Osoyoos, B.C.
2015 Old Vines Foch, this wine opens with rich aromas of cherry, tobacco and hints of coffee. On the palate you experience smooth dry tannins and notes of tart juicy cherries, dark chocolate, and a lingering smokey vanilla undertone. Decanting this wine for an hour or two before serving will enhance your tasting experience. For pairing try this Old Vines Foch with roasted beef, blue cheese or a sausage and mushrooms pizza.
Foch is a quirky hybridization of native American red varieties (a ripara X rupestris hybrid) with Goldriesling, which is itself an unusual modern cross of Riesling and Muscat. Once commonly grown in the Loire, today the Maréchal Foch grape is limited to a small number of hectares in Europe, it is restricted by European Union regulations because it is a hybrid variety. It’s one of a number of French-American hybrid grapes that were developed, mostly, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, with the dual purpose of creating new varieties that would be resistant to the phylloxera scourge in France and that would grow well and produce quality table wines in the relatively harsh climates of the Eastern U.S. and Canada.
Little Straw Vineyards-Family Estate Winery in Kelowna, BC
Little Straw Vineyard 2014 Single Vineyard Maréchel Foch
My last tasting was in Kelowna at the Little Straw Vineyard, a wonderful estate winery flanked by vineyards. Little Straw is a family owned established winery which strives to provide the customer with a true Okanogan wine tastng experience. The highlight of the winery was the last tasting of our trip, a 2014 Maréchal Foch. I knew instantly that I needed to bring home multiple bottles for myself and to give as gifts to friends.
This vintage Maréchal Foch has an incredible silky-texture and is deliciously fruit-forward. Jammy notes of blackberry, sour cherry and black currant greet the nose and palate, with subtle hints of smoke and coffee lingering on the finish. This wine is wonderful enjoyed on its own or paired with moderate curries, red meats, or strong cheeses.
Light and easy to drink the nature of the Maréchal Foch grape is what compelled me to share more about this wine grape. Musky with aromas of dark fruits and vanilla, the wines produced with this hybrid “forbidden fruit” would be a compliment to any wine collection.
Having now discovered the hidden treasure in the Okanagan Valley Wine Country, I am looking forward to another trip to visit wineries not yet explored and tasting wines exclusive to this wonderful region. I hope that you get the opportunity to explore this fantastic Wine region for yourself someday.
Images © Drink In Nature Photography and Drink In Life Blog.
“We must have a pie. Stress cannot exist in the presence of a pie.” David Mamet
Today is National Pie Day, an annual celebration of pie which started in 1975 when Charlie Papazian a nuclear engineer, brewer and teacher who declared his own birthday, January 23, to be National Pie Day. Why not celebrate the day by making a pie, full of flavor and fits in the palm of your hand.
For this recipe I used the strained pulp from Blood Orange juice along with 1 tbsp of the juice. Any Orange will work in this recipe.
This recipe yields 8 hand pies.
For the Crust: Use your favorite pie crust recipe or simply use a store bought pie crust.
For the Blueberry Bourbon Filling:
For Ricotta & Rosemary Filling:
Combine 1/2 cup ricotta cheese, 1/2 tsp Pink Himalayan salt, and 1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary.
For the Topping:
To make the Blueberry Bourbon Filling:
Assembly and Baking:
I hope that you enjoy this recipe and I look forward to hearing how your Blueberry Bourbon Hand Pies with Ricotta & Rosemary turn out.
Recipe and Images © Drink In Nature Photography and Drink In Life Blog.