Cooking with Kids: Chocolate Souffle Safe Crock Pot Recipe

Chocolate SouffleI wanted to share with you some of my recent experiences spending time and cooking with my children.  Cooking with your kids creates a great bond, and it’s something that you will have in common in this high-tech world where your little ones are moving through life at faster than light speeds on their digital devices.  These articles will focus on letting the kids take over, cook with safety, and focus on great presentation of their work.  I’m going to turn this over to my daughter, Alyssa…

“Hi I’m Alyssa, 15 years old.  I do enjoy cooking and spending time with Dad.  And, I LOVE to cook desserts!  🙂

Today I’m going to tell you how to make a souffle in the crock pot and my experience making it…

Stuffed Pizza with Prosciutto, Mushrooms, Garlic, Basil

Stuffed Pizza with Prosciutto, Mushrooms, Garlic, BasilIf you are looking for a filling, satisfying dish to decorate your dining table, try this stuffed pizza. Filled with Prosciutto, Mushrooms, Garlic, Red Onion, Spinach, Fresh Basil, Tomato, Brie, Mozzarella, and White Wine, it’s sure to enthrall your family, both with it’s complex flavor and dazzling appeal to the eye.

Stuffed Pizza Clipart Photo Gallery

Stuffed Pizza Clipart Photo GalleryStuffed Pizza with Prosciutto, Mushrooms, Garlic, Red Onion, Spinach, Fresh Basil, Tomato, Brie, Mozzarella, and White Wine. These original clipart images may be downloaded and used freely (see image rights).

Tilapia with Garlic, Onion, Pine Nuts, Basil, White Wine

Tilapia with Garlic, Onion, Pine Nuts, Basil, White WineFor a healthy diet, it is recommended to eat fish at least twice per week. Try this fantastically healthy and delicious recipe of pan-cooked tilapia filets, blended with rich garlic, red onion, olive oil, pine nuts, finished with basil and white wine to brings out the delicate flavors of the fish!

Tilapia Clipart Photo Gallery

Tilapia Clipart Photo GalleryTilapia with Garlic, Onion, Pine Nuts, Olive Oil, Basil, White Wine, Served over Pasta Photo Gallery. These original clipart images may be downloaded and used freely (see image rights).

Mollydooker Carnival of Love 2-Year Vertical Wine Tasting

Well, the 2006 Mollydooker Carnival of Love Shiraz hit the shelves about a week ago. After the well-deserved 99-point rating by Robert Parker for the 2005, you could almost feel the anticipation in the air.

Two very good friends invited my wife and I over this last weekend. And, they suggested doing a two-year vertical tasting of the 2005 and 2006 Carnival of Love. Gads, can you think of anything better?

Mollydooker 2006 Two Left Feet Wine Tasting Review

Mollydooker 2006 Two Left Feet Wine Tasting ReviewAfter the cult-buzz of the Mollydooker 2005’s, there was a great deal of expectation when the current vintage hit the shelves. Between the “Two Left Feet” and “The Boxer”, I prefer the later. That is not to say the Two Left Feet isn’t a good wine…it is! In fact, both varieties are absolutely delicious for the price.

Perfect Filet Mignon Original Recipe

Perfect Filet Mignon Original RecipeWhen it comes to steak, filet mignon is the granddaddy. There is no bone, less fat, and it is the most tender cut of beef you can get. Is it expensive? Yes, but for those special occasions when you simply need the best, filet is sure bring dining success to your table!

Homemade Pizza: Artichoke Sun-Dried Tomato Mushroom Garlic Original Recipe

There are a myriad of choices available in this day-and-age when it comes to pizza. When you come right down to it, however, there is nothing quite like homemade! This is a white-sauce variety, which is a bit untraditional, but becoming more popular. The ingredients are vibrant colored, fragrant, and the taste of these mingled together is spectacular.

How to Build Your Own Wine Racks and Wine Cellar

How to Build Your Own Wine Racks and Wine CellarSo, you have a passion for good wine…  You know what you like.  You have developed an understanding towards the myriad of qualities, complexities, and attributes that structure a wine. You may now purchase in quantity and, perhaps, have begun to build a collection. One thing remains certain, however.  To store and age your precious selections for any length of time, you are going to require a wine cellar.

And, there is nothing quite like passing through the doorway to your own, private wine sanctuary.  The cool air of the cellar washes over you.  You inhale the pleasant fragrance of the hard wood racking.  It is a place to ponder…to appreciate…a place you can call all your own.

Filet Mignon Tips in a Cabernet Cream Sauce Original Recipe

When the mood of your dining experience call for classic steak, but merits something really special and perhaps a bit untraditional, give this dish a try…filet mignon prepared in a red wine sauce with garlic, red onions, and finished with heavy cream. The  rich garlic undertones, softened by the cream come together magnificently to brings forth the delicate flavors of the filet.

When purchasing the filet, ask the butcher to cut it to your specifications. Look at the meat first. Request the cut to come from the thickest end. Ideally, get a single piece that you can then cut into the individual steaks when you get home. And, ask the butcher to trim off any excess fat. Typical cuts of filet will range from 6 to 12 ounces. For our recipe, we will prepare generous 10 oz. pieces for four guest.

Roasted Garlic Basil Mashed Potatoes Original Recipe

For that traditional home style "meat and potatoes" meal, there is nothing quite like true, homemade mashed potatoes. To take this classic side dish a step further, we will be blending in roasted garlic and fresh basil leaves. The full flavor of roasted garlic will add incredible richness.  The basil adds beautiful presentation, color, fragrance, as well as great flavor to polish the dish.  The aroma in your home will be heavenly! When served, this variation is sure to bring applause to your dining room table.

2004 Estate Carnaval Meritage Leal Vineyards Wine Review

2004 Léal Estate Carnavál Meritage.  It's unfiltered (I love unfiltered wine!), silky in the mouth, leading to a lasting finish, firm but soft tannins, should age well for years. While I have a bit of a preference for their Cabernet, this meritage is complex and enjoyable…a favorite "every-day" drinking wine. And, a nice job at blending selections. Would highly recommend, especially for the cost, and I will undoubtedly purchase it again.

Léal Vineyards is one of my personal favorites.  They offer a variety of selections, and, they are all quite simply delicious!

Leal Vineyards Wine Review

Léal Vineyards is one of those little known wineries that you are not likely to hear about unless you are in the right place at the right time. But, once you stumble upon one of their wines and give it a taste, you are sure to be a longtime fan. In fact, as most of their releases are small productions, and the wines are so good, it may be tempting to keep your newly discovered secret all to yourself.

Winemaker and owner Frank Léal has a vision and does things, not necessarily the traditional way, but his way.

2006 Mollydooker Shiraz The Boxer Wine Review

After experiencing The Boxer from 2005, there was a certain expectation when the release of the 2006 hit the shelves.  I'm happy to say I wasn't disappointed, and in fact, I might be so bold as to say it is even better than it's predecessor!

The Boxer is bold and powerful.  The color is a deep, inky, purple.  It's bursting with fruit.  And, wow, what a finish!

Comments from the Winemaker:

This Shiraz is a knock out! The 2005 was an enormous hit, after receiving 95 points from Robert Parker and being selected by him as the "Best Value Wine in the World under $20".

The Art of Wine Pairing

So, you have just prepared the perfect meal. But, if you are going to serve wine, which one would be best to "pair" with the dish? Depending on your guests, this might be single most important selection to consider for the success of your dining experience.

As a general rule, white wine works best with light sauces, pastas, and light meats. Red pairs nicely with red tomato sauces and red meats. These are just a general guidelines, however. Keep in mind that you may have guests that *only* drink whites or only reds. Consider serving both white and red if possible, perhaps serving a light white to start off with hors d'oeuvres. This suites my own personal tastes very well. I often like to start with a glass of white wine served with appetizers before dinner to clear my palate.

Presentation is Everything!

Whether you are cooking for a roomful of guests for a special occasion … or just preparing something delicious for your family, the final "presentation" of your dish can make all the difference. Try to imaging how your guests will react when presented with a wonderful work of art rather than just a simple meal. The idea is that they should say "ooooooohhhh…look at that!". It should be something fresh and surprising…something that will add satisfaction and enjoyment to the dining experience as a whole.

The Perfect Fajitas! Original Recipe

Fajitas can be prepared in a huge number of varieties and styles. The presentation factor can be incredible with the aromas during preparation and the wildly sizzling pan as the dish is being served to the table. Remember these things and try to plan the timing just right to accomplish our goal of preparing “The Perfect Fajitas”.

Roasted Garlic Mushroom Shrimp Alfredo Original Recipe

For pasta-lovers, classic Alfredo is more than just tradition…it’s pasta perfection! Let’s start with this classic sauce and bring in the delightful taste of seafood, finished by the succulent background flavors of roasted garlic, mushrooms, and basil. You’ll be sure to please even the most selective pasta enthusiasts!

Recommendation: Serve with fresh, warm bread. For wine, pair it with a full-bodied white, such as a rich, buttery Chardonnay or Viognier.

The intense, roasted garlic undertones in the sauce will meld wonderfully with a full-bodied white.

Garlic Chicken Spinach Mushroom Lasagna Original Recipe

Lasagna is an especially nice dish for preparing in advance of a gathering. You can even make it the day before and keep in the refrigerator, where the flavors will continue to marinate.  It will bake in less than an hour. The quantity is suitable for feeding a dozen or more guests, especially if accompanied with side dishes.

For the best “presentation”, it is especially nice to serve it whole in an extra-tall glass pan.  The cheese on the top should be browned and singed along the edges. And, the anticipation for this dish will only increase as the aromas waft through the house as it slow-cooks in the oven.

A Passion for Great Food and Great Wine!

This blog is dedicated entirely to the noteworthy topics of great food and great wine…

My name is Mike, the “Amateur Chef and Wine Connoisseur”, a title which I have embraced as author and enthusiast. As an explanation to this and as an introduction to myself, I have several premises that I would like to submit.

These statements will provide you with some insight as to what inspires me and all of the articles within.