Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Back To Basics

School is back in session – signaling the winding down of summer and the beginnings of sweater season. Now is the perfect time to unwind with your friends before the mad dash to the holiday season. But let’s take a breather on fanciful wine pairings or dishes that require lots of prep time and ingredient shopping. We’re going back to the basics with a little help from our Wine Country Lifestyle partner, Salute Santé! Grapeseed Oil.

Based out of Napa, California, Salute Santé! is an award-winning purveyor of quality grapeseed oils and flours. They’ve teamed up with us to offer a delicious special to all Wine Tasting Hosts in the month of September: a bottle of Salute Santé! Roasted Garlic Grapeseed Oil included in your Wine Tasting Sampler.

These classic “back to basics” ideas will remain standbys in your repertoire for years to come.

#1. Easy Garlic Toasts
Slice a crusty baguette into ½ or ¾ inch-thick slices. Arrange them on a baking sheet. Drizzle with Salute Santé! Roasted Garlic Grapeseed Oil and place them on a grill for 5 minutes, turning once. Alternatively, bake at 375 degrees F until golden and crisp – approximately 15 minutes. Turn once during baking.

While still hot, sprinkle with salt, pepper, red chili flakes if you’re in a spicy mood, and a pinch or two of dried Italian seasoning or dried basil. Drizzle additional grapeseed oil to taste. Perfect on their own, you may also pair them with antipasti, olives, cheeses, or dare we say – in a salad. Pair with a crisp wine with custard-like aromas like the Halcyon 2013 Mendocino County Arneis or a dry red wine with good acidity like the Adagio 2014 Valle Central, Chile Carmenère.

Garlic Toasts

#2. Goat Cheese
We love finding the perfect cheese pairing for each special bottle of wine. But let’s face it – we don’t always have the time or inclination to search them out. Goat cheese to the rescue! Goat cheese can range in taste from strong and pungent, to delicate and mild. Find your favorite and stick by it for an easy grab-and-go appetizer. Pair with a crisp, citrusy Sauvignon Blanc like the McKenna 2014 California Sauvignon Blanc.

Here’s how we like to serve it:
Place a log of room-temperature goat cheese in a dish and smash gently with a fork until it’s spreadable, but still chunky. Drizzle over Salute Santé! Roasted Garlic Grapeseed Oil to taste and stir slightly. Sprinkle with a pinch or two of flake salt and serve with bread, crackers or celery.

Goat Cheese

#3. Easy Party Nuts

2 1/2 cups almonds
3 tbsp Salute Santé! Roasted Garlic Grapeseed Oil
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place nuts in a bowl and drizzle with grapeseed oil. Sprinkle with salt, garlic powder and pepper. Toss to combine. Spread on the baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until nuts are fragrant and brown. Cool for at least half an hour (nuts will crisp up as they cool). Feeling fancy? Serve with a sprinkling of fresh rosemary and flake salt. Pair with the slightly sweet, refreshingly bubbly Petit Cadeau Semi-Seco Sparkling Wine.

Easy Party Nuts

Tuesday, August 25, 2015


Are you in the habit of using sunscreen everyday? This post is sponsored by Oz Naturals and no other compensation was given.

When I wash my face in the morning, I always apply an eye cream and facial moisturizer with sunscreen. I feel that it is a good habit to get into all year round!

As runners, we are outside a lot and I have been concerned about wrinkles a lot more since I've hit my 30's.

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