We had a wonderful Valentine’s Day this past weekend. Andy and I decided to stay in and cook for each other instead of battling the landmine of multi-course (no substitution) wheat, sugar and dairy heavy pre-fixe menus arranged by local restaurants.
And deciding to avoid the crowd and the high cost of dining out (both to the wallet and to our waistlines) it turned out to be a great decision, because I had one of the most fun Valentine’s in years. 🙂
We decided we would each make one dish (paired with a wine) for the other person, and then eat them together family style.
I made this Chicken Korma for Andy, with a 4-ingredient gluten and dairy free naan to eat with it.
Andy made me one of my favorite things that he makes a few other times a year: Eggplant Moussaka. He uses the Primal recipe that can be found here at Mark’s Daily Apple.
I bought the ingredients for the Chicken Korma dish at Nugget Markets, and the rest of the ingredients needed to complete our dessert, a Black Bean Brownie mix I was sent by Breads from Anna.
The gluten free mix contains powdered honey, cocoa powder, tapioca starch, arrowroot, millet flour, chia flour, chickpea flour, navy bean flour, pinto bean flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, sea salt, xanthan gum, so I was pretty happy to make it. All I did was add some coconut oil, a cup of coffee, and a can of organic black beans (following the package intructions).
I baked them in a cupcake pan (because portion control, baby!) and when they came out, I poked holes in the top and drenched each one with Kahlua. Kahlua makes everything taste better. 🙂
Then I frosted them with melted semisweet chocolate, and decorated them with coconut manna that I had melted a bit and sweetened with stevia (and colored with a few drops of food coloring to make it pink).
I made this candle holder for the table to sit out on every anniversary or Valentine’s Day. It’s made from 36 corks from bottles of red wines we have enjoyed together over the past three and a half years.
I made it with a glass plate, glue gun and ribbon for less than $10, including the candle. 🙂
This blog entry would be incomplete if I didn’t mention the wines we drank with dinner!
To start things off right, we toasted with a glass of Ayala Champagne. Because you should drink Champagne and not sparkling wine on Valentine’s Day! 😉
The next wine to the right is a Riesling made by Gainey. You can find their current release of Riesling here. The 2004 on the bottle worried me slightly, as I thought it might have been over-the-hill, but it still tasted great and was a perfect match for the Chicken Korma.
Then, with the Eggplant Moussaka, we drank a 2011 Stag’s Leap Petite Sirah (one of Andy’s favorite wines I had bought for him for Christmas). I would say this Petite Sirah is for you if you think you don’t like that particular varietal—because Stag’s Leap makes theirs so…velvety, soft and sophisticated.
You can find Breads from Anna on Facebook here, and on Twitter here.
Thanks again to Nugget Markets for sponsoring our stay-at-home Valentine’s celebration. You can find them on Facebook here and on Twitter here.
February 18, 2015 | Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: Ayala, Ayala Champagne, Breads from Anna, Champagne, Chicken Korma, Eggplant Moussaka, food, Gainey, Nugget Markets, recipes, Stag's Leap, Valentine, Valentine's Day, wine | Leave a comment
Hello, Sweethearts! I have compiled a few Valentine-themed events & gift ideas that l find lovely and delightful, and I would like to pass them on to you!
and Cupid have teamed up to create the perfect gift for your special someone. They teamed up with Chef Joe at the Flower Farm Cafe who is busy baking and decorating these delicious (and beautiful) Cake-Pops. They paired them with some of our favorite wines and added a couple of stemmed glasses for the perfect gift!This Friday, Saturday and Sunday (February 8-10),
they will be offering the following special: 2 Cake-Pops, 2 Stemmed Casque Glasses, and Bottle of your Choice ~ Sauvignon Blanc, Calotte Blanc or Vermentino for only $28. The Cake-Pops will also be available individually for $1.50 each. Stop by this weekend for some Cake-Pops and Casque!
With the perfect mix of scrumptious, decadent flavor, SMIRNOFF
Kissed Caramel Flavored Vodka possesses a seductive aroma to complement its smooth caramel flavor while its counterpart, SMIRNOFF Iced Cake Flavored Vodka, offers a light, sweet aroma met with a refreshing, smooth iced cake flavor.These luscious and tastefully satisfying new flavors from the world’s #1 premium vodka are sure to add a nice touch of sweet romance to anyone’s Valentine’s Day.
Here’s a drink recipe featuring the Smirnoff Iced Cake vodka:
CUPID’S KISS: ½ oz. Smirnoff Iced Cake, ½ oz. Godiva White Chocolate Liqueur, ½ oz. Chambord. Directions: Add ingredient in a shaker with ice, shake and pour into martini
glass. Add white chocolate to rim.
Andy, will you have that ready for me when I get home from work on Thursday? 😛
He loves me, he loves me not…It’s complicated. If your relationship is dark, yet spicy and complex with many layers, then Sobon Zinfandel Fiddletown
is the wine for you! If you thought your relationship was complicated, this full-bodied red will have your palette changing its relationship status.
A stunning multi-faceted wine featuring intriguing aromas and flavors of spice, black currant, plum, smoky oak and a dusty-cherry component typical of the Fiddletown area. Massive and full-bodied, with an impressive, complex finish. Sustainably farmed. Thanks to Total Wine & More for the feature!
wines by Rosenblum Cellars. Stark Raving wines are playful and bold blends that prove a little dose of madness can lead— nay, will lead – to extraordinary things. Four inspired varietals including: ”Red
,” and “Malbec
,” have hit shelves nationally, inciting wine lovers to get out of the comfort zone and explore some daring new wine choices. As Wayne Gretzky once said, “You miss 100% of the shots you never take.”
Buy your Valentine tickets to the Piatti Ristorante
Anniversary party on February 25th! Tickets are only $25 per person and can be purchased here
. The party will feature creative bites from Piatti Executive Chef Lance Carlini, distinctive wines, craft beers, a special cocktail bar and live music from Natalie Klempau & The Knockouts. Proceeds from the event will benefit Assistance League of Sacramento
. It’s a great way to try several things on the menu and check out the renovated space, while giving to a great cause!
is pretty much a one-stop Valentine’s shop! You can pick up these truffles made my Truffle Gateau
. Handmade locally, these chocolates are made with fresh ingredients and are designed to be paired with a variety of wines and cheeses.
Here are a few other products and recipes Nugget Market
is featuring this week!
are made from all natural ingredients and contain no artificial flavors or preservatives and no high fructose corn syrup — the licorice is naturally sweetened with cane sugar. Available in two flavors, Black and Strawberry. They were a big hit amongst my coworkers!
(Pronounced sah-HA-lee SNAX) sent me this little goody box complete with a reusable fabric bag and an aluminum bottle. Go for the Pistachio Pomegranate
, it’s pretty much like crack in a bag. It’s sweet and salty and spicy. Mmmm. You can buy Sahale Snacks online here
, and never even have to change out of your jammies. 😉 BTW: Their production facility and products are certified gluten-free! 🙂
: the first chocolate designed to complement wine. This collection is just $25.99 and available through their website
. It contains a full pound of premium Brix Chocolate in all four varieties, the Brix Collection features 4-4 ounce bars of Milk, Smooth Dark, Medium Dark and Extra Dark varieties, and include a full page chocolate-and-wine tasting guide.Suggested Wine Pairings: Milk Chocolate: Port, Sherry, Rose, Burgundy • Smooth Dark:
Champagne, Riesling, Pinot Noir, Vintage Port • Med Dark:
Merlot, Shiraz, Zinfandel, Chianti, Rhone• Extra Dark:
Cabernet Sauvignon, Bordeaux, Barolo, Malbec
FOR THE COOK
Char Crust® Dry Rub Seasonings
: First created in 1957 at their family’s fine Chicago steakhouse, Al Farber’s. Every steak we served was the best prime meat, dry-aged in coolers. Every steak was seared to juicy perfection with their signature Char Crust® dry-rub seasoning. And now it is available to the public! It’s the only rub that “Seals in the Juices!®”
My favorite flavor (and the newest in their product line is Java Buzz! Order your favorite flavors here: http://www.charcrust.com/order/
. Get FREE SHIPPING on every order of $24.00 or more, placed between now and midnight, Central Time, on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2013. Order any combination of items from their website: Char Crust® dry-rub seasonings (from hot to mild), aprons, golf shirts, cookbooks, and yes, even, “Rub Your Meat” T-shirts. Nice.
I really dug this recipe for a Chocolate Almond Flour Beet Cake on my friend Julia’s site, The Roasted Root, so I am sharing the link with you. I encourage you to check it out here! If you need a taste tester, I’d be happy to help!
Happy Valentine’s Day to all and thanks to all the product sponsors and advertisers in this post!
February 9, 2013 | Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: casque wines, events, food, love, Nugget Markets, Piatti, Valentine's Day, wine | 2 Comments