Friday, February 26, 2010
All day I have been madly working, and I mean ALL day (got up at 5:00am and it's now 12:15) I'm not quite finished with them, because eventually they will have their own web addresses:
featherbookseries.com (still has the old one up)
but you can still see what I've got so far here!
Feather Book Series
Also, check out my friends: The Emerald Talisman
Brenda just entered the ABNA (Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award) and made it to the second round! She is now awaiting the next cut coming at the end of March. I am very excited for Brenda, and she deserves this! Trust me. Leave her a few good comments and make sure you watch her progress!
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Aren't we all??
When I went to get the mail yesterday, I had no idea that it would spark the kind of evening it did. You know the kind - eating lavish foods and enjoying velvety wine. Watching a great movie that encases it all...
And above all - making it affordable!
I enjoy the romantic things in life: A great book (no Kindle!), writing, wine, cooking, art, movies, rich and well made things - handmade.
Heaven forbid this should dent my wallet!
Well... I'm here to tell you - to show you - that is doesn't have to. Let me outline my evening for you, so that you can re-create it!
How It All Started
As I said earlier, it all started when I went to the mailbox. We (Husband and I) get Entrepreneur Magazine. My husband REALLY enjoys collecting wine, and he recognized the man on the cover right away. James Stewart, son of top winemaker, Michael Stewart, at Stewart Cellars in Napa Valley. James decided to break the mold of expensive Napa Valley wine. His father has long been the vintner of premium Napa wines, bottles priced near $100. His son, wanting to tackle a market that was suddenly suffering after the stock-market woes, decided to change things.
This was how my evening started, with a story...
The Big Guns
So, My husband finished the article, and looked at me. He then bounded down to the wine cellar (A bomb shelter under our garage, lol) and began to rummage. What you need to understand about my husband is that when he was in college, he spent more time researching wine than studying economics, though he's still good at both.
I watched him go through boxes and boxes of wine (he has too many)
Out comes these two.
It's one thing to read a story about a wine and wishfully dream, it's another when your husband just happens to have it. This here (orange label) is James Stewart's Father's wine.
We opened it... SO GOOD!
It was salty, velvety, REALLY easy to drink. But as we know, this is definitely not affordable unless you think the way I did - he bought it before we got married, lol.
A good substitute is naturally the Slingshot I spoke of, or a good $12 Cab. Sauv. bottle like Melange.
With it, I made the below recipe. I RECOMMEND!!!!!
the other wine (Benson Cab. Franc) I'll get to in a minute...
- Package of Smoked Salmon (not the hard smoked, the kind that looks raw) 4 oz. I got farm raised Atlantic, saves a lot of money and tastes good. If you can afford wild, though, do it. this package cost me $4.50
- Italian Bread, 4 slices about 1/2 inch. (Get the real waxy kind, NO SOURDOUGH)
- Capers (Those little buggers are pricey, but they last a long time)
- Herb Cream Cheese (I got onion and chive)
- Red Onion (a few slices. Slice as THIN and possible)
- 1 Tbls. Olive Oil
Toast the bread in broiler, or toaster. DON'T BURN! Spread with cream cheese while warm. Top with a few onions (5-6 little sliced pieces.) Divide salmon into four, one ounce piles and place on top of toast. Drizzle with Olive Oil so that the capers stick. Spoon capers (some juice is good!) over the top. ENJOY!!!!!
Now, if you don't have the Stewart, like I said, try the Slingshot! if not, eat with a general Cab. Sauv. The robust flavor of the salmon can hold it's own, and it does not overpower the wine. Quick and salty/delicious!
Affordable Main Course
Now is where I get to involving the other wine. 2007 Cabernet Franc. VERY peppery, rosemary, and cilantro. This wine has a serious punch of those flavors.
Below is a recipe my husband found through his wine club with Cakebread - another expensive wine, but the Benson Vineyard one above was the affordable option. Naturally Cakebread paired it with a Merlot, which would also be good. You can try this recipe with either.
What I'm showing you is two versions - the pricey and the cheap.
I substituted the Filet Mignon for Sirloin, and it worked GREAT!
Recipe Courtesy of Cakebread Cellars...
Their Version serves 4-6
2.5 pounds Beef Filet
1 head garlic
1/4 c. Olive Oil
2 sprigs Rosemary
2 c. Dried Morels, soaked in warm water
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz. Tomatillos
2 T. Cilantro, chopped
2 oz. Queso Fresco
Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut the pointed end of the garlic off to expose all the cloves. Place in the middle of a sheet of foil. Drizzle with one tablespoon of olive oil. Wrap in foil to seal and place in the middle of the oven to roast for about an hour until the garlic is soft. Remove and when cool enough to handle, squeeze out the pulp and mix with the remaining olive oil and chopped rosemary.
Clean the beef filet of any fat and connective tissue. Cut into two 3" sections across the grain of the meat. Holding a large knife parallel to the cutting board, cut the filet lengthwise to form thin steaks, about a ¼" thick. Place in a shallow dish and rub with the roasted garlic mixture. Refrigerate and allow to marinate for at least two hours.
To make the salsa, soak the morels in warm water for twenty minutes until soft. Drain and rinse to rid them of any dirt. Cut into small pieces and sauté in a small skillet with two tablespoons of olive oil. Once mushrooms start to brown, add the garlic and cook for another minute, reserve. Place a small saucepan of water over high heat. Once water comes to a boil, add the tomatillos and cook for 5 minutes. Drain and run under cold water. Roughly chop the tomatillos and avocado. Combine with the morel mushrooms and cilantro in a mixing bowl. Season with a squeeze of lime juice and salt and pepper.
To serve, remove the meat from the refrigerator and season with salt and pepper. On a very hot grill sear the steaks for thirty seconds to a minute per side. Serve with pinto beans, top with a spoonful of the salsa and garnish with the crumbled queso fresco.
Monday, February 22, 2010
In a children's room perhaps? So cute!
Not willing to ruin your books?
Try going to the local Good Will store and peruse their selection. It's likely you can pick up a few books for 25 cents, and you won't feel so guilty stabbing a drill through beloved stories.
What you need:
- Heavy duty cotton twine (Colorful ribbon works great, too!!!! Especially in a kids room! raid the sale bin at your local craft store.)
- A little hook to hang from ceiling.
- Drill with a bit long enough to go the depth of your longest book.
What to do:
- Take your book and center drill on cover. Drill (Slowly please. No need to burn down the house)
- Take your ribbon and tie a knot. Lace through hole you made (if you use a length of wire and fold it in half, you can use it as a needle, especially for thick ribbon) let the book rest on knot. You can make another knot on the other side of you like, it does look neat if ribbon was your choice.
- Repeat and hang on ceiling hook! Viola!!
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Friday, February 19, 2010
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Friday, February 12, 2010
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Monday, February 8, 2010
My highlight from last week:
Saturday I spent most of the day at the local pub (slowly consuming Hefe) Afterwards, my husband and I went to the Washington State University Basketball game where I met this big guy! He's a Golden Eagle, and if you look closely (at my admittedly blurry picture) you'll see that his eyes are quite black. This is because he was rescued when he was one, completely blind...
Needless to say I adopted him.
Well not ACTUALLY, but metaphorically through donation. Darn that beer, lowering my inhibitions till I buy a giant wild Raptor...
But it felt good, regardless :)
The good news is we won the basketball game, and I went home, I played a riveting game of Frisbee golf on the Wii...
Best Song of My Day
I was folding laundry, the most horrible chore in the world, aside from emptying the dishwasher, when I heard one of my newest, most favorite, songs. I've always liked Taylor Swift, and this song flexed her vocals away from the country, but not away from her talent. I'll leave you, this oh so bleary Monday, with the song :)