Friday, August 29, 2014

Congratulations Brangelina! Loving Your 2012 Miraval Rosé!

In all of the hype, last summer I ordered a bottle of 2012 Miraval Rosé from Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie's Provence estate, Château Miraval from  At the time of purchase, I received a note stating that it would be shipped when weather conditions were more suitable.  Great.

November rolled around and it arrived.  I was pretty excited! However, I had already made the switch to red wines at that point and decided to hang onto it until this summer.  

Once we started getting into warmer temperatures, I kept thinking, I need to open that and try it!  Well, with the recent announcement of Brad and Angelina's wedding that was held at their estate, I thought this would be the perfect time to pop the cork!  The hubby and I are celebrating 18 years of marriage this weekend - giving us another reason to raise a toast!

This wine is a gorgeous pink color (my favorite!) and arrives in a uniquely shaped bottle.  Once you take a sip, you will find that this is light and refreshing and can taste the berry and citrus flavors that come through. This is not sweet and is quite delicious!

This Rosé can still be purchased through for $24.99 and shipped straight to your house (depending on your state - sorry for those of you who cannot have wine shipped to you).  

Have you tried the Miraval Rosé yet?  If so, what did you think?  If not - have you tried any other "famous" wines?  I'd love to read your feedback!


Friday, August 22, 2014

Mexican Cheesecake - An Appetizer for a Crowd

As I shared earlier this week, I attended two back to back game nights which were both incredibly fun!  Friday night was Bunco with the ladies - I brought a easy, make ahead Blue Cheese Dip.  Saturday was Couples Euchre.

I kept seeing this recipe in my "Food for Thought" cookbook by the Junior League of Birmingham for years, and I never made it.  Unfortunately, the cookbook is no longer available, but this recipe was a success so I am here to share!

This is another make ahead dish, but takes more prep time than the Blue Cheese Dip - not difficult, just more time.  You will want to bring this for a crowd - it makes A LOT!  An alternative is to cut the recipe down and make it in a smaller springform pan - I am definitely going to see how that works in the future.

Give this one a try and let me know what you think!

Mexican Cheesecake
Serves 12-15
Recipe courtesy of Junior League of Birmingham in their cookbook:  "Food for Thought"

2/3 cup finely crushed tortilla chips
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 cup cottage cheese
3 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, softened
4 eggs
10 ounces grated sharp Cheddar cheese
1 (4 1/2 oz.) can chopped green chilies, drained
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco Sauce
1 (8 oz.) carton sour cream
1 (8 oz.) container jalapeno Cheddar cheese gourmet dip
Garnishes:  1 oz. chopped tomatoes, 1/2 cup chopped green onions, 1/4 cup pitted sliced ripe olives
Tortilla chips, for serving

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine tortilla chips and butter.  Press mixture into bottom of a 9 inch springform pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

Process cottage cheese in blender or food processor on high until smooth.  Transfer to large bowl and add cream cheese; beat at medium speed with an electric mixture until well blended.  Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Blend in Cheddar cheese, chilies, and Tabasco Sauce.  Pour the mixture over the baked crust, and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Combine sour cream and jalapeno Cheddar gourmet dip.  Spread sour cream mixture over the hot cheesecake, and bake 10 additional minutes.  Remove from oven, and let cool slightly.  Loosen the cake from the rim of the pan.

Cool completely before removing the rim.  Refrigerate cheesecake until ready to serve.  Garnish with tomatoes, green onions, and olives, if desired, before serving.  Serve with tortilla chips.

Cheesecake needs to be thoroughly cooled before serving, preferably for 12 hours.  Keep refrigerated, lightly covered.

Serve with tortilla chips.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Blue Cheese Dip - Easy Make Ahead Appetizer

This past weekend I attended back to back game nights on Friday and Saturday – so much fun!  Friday night was Bunco with girlfriends and Saturday night was our monthly Couples Euchre game night.  Both nights were a “bring an appetizer to share” type party and I was excited to prepare a couple of make ahead dishes for each one.  

Here is the recipe for a tried and true appetizer that is always a hit at any party - I brought this to the Bunco game.  A friend of mine brought this dish to many of the game nights and holiday parties within our neighborhood for years and was always willing to share the recipe {thank you!} 

This Blue Cheese Dip only requires a few ingredients, is easy to prepare, and is a little unexpected.  You’ll want to serve this at the next party you host...or attend - let me know what you think!

Blue Cheese Dip
Serves 10-12

2 cloves garlic, diced
1/2 cup red onion, chopped
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
8 oz. blue cheese, crumbled
1/2 – 1 cup olive oil (depends on the size of your dish – see below)
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 - 1 teaspoon black pepper

Sprinkle blue cheese in shallow dish.  Mix garlic & oil, sprinkle on blue cheese.  If you are using a less shallow dish, you may need only about ½ cup of the olive oil.  Pour slowly, and make sure you are getting the garlic on the blue cheese.  You’ll want the olive oil to coat vs. drown.

Combine vinegar, lemon juice, and pepper in a bowl.  Stir in onion and parsley and spread over blue cheese and garlic layer.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

The original recipe suggests that this is served with Fritos.  I like to serve it with Tostitos Scoops (multi-grain of course).