Wine Wednesday: Columbia Crest H3 2014 Sauvignon Blanc

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Even though fall has officially started, it doesn’t mean you can’t still drink white wine. Last night, I put a bottle of Columbia Crest H3 2014 Sauvignon Blanc in the fridge and had a glass once the tiny humans were in bed. My mouth thanked me!

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My first thoughts on this variety…fresh, slightly fruity, but not overpowering, almost has a bubbly feeling at the beginning which I enjoy, crisp with a citrus smell. After my first few sips, I immediately jotted those notes down. I now look at what the tasting notes are and apparently, I’m spot on! “Our Sauvignon Blanc opens with citrus aromas followed by a layer of minerality and pear flavors that give way to a crisp, clean finish.”

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Nestled alongside the Columbia River in eastern Washington, Columbia Crest winery opened its doors in the heart of the acclaimed Horse Heaven Hills (H3) in 1983. Year after year, the winery maintains its commitment to quality, heritage and innovation in grape growing and winemaking to craft exceptional wines.

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Retailing for a mere $15, $12 if you’re a club member, makes this bottle a must-buy! Don’t wait until spring or summer to discover this great find!

 

Wine Wednesday: DRNK Pinot Noir

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Here’s a secret about my wine reviews…I usually plan out what I’m going to drink and when for reviews. On Saturday night I didn’t do that. We were re-watching The Godfather Part 2 and I had a craving for a glass (or two) of red wine. I reached for DRNK 2013 Pinot Noir, Anderson Valley which I had planned on blogging about but not at that moment. One sip and I was having my husband pause the movie so he could try it too!

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This pinot is so smooth…from the moment it first touches your tongue until your entire mouth has been able to enjoy it. There are hints of berry and a fullness from a cola flavoring. From the winemaker, “Clear, dark-cherry to crimson color. A highly aromatic initial hit of sweet cherry and herbaceous notes of green bean give way to dark raspberry, strawberry, and cola. A round soft, yet lively mouthfeel awaken the tastebuds with flavors of sarsaparilla, crispy peppered-bacon, and lingering undertones of savory graphite pencil shavings on the back end.” This bottle retails for $40, so not normally something I casually open up while watching a movie, but let me tell you…it made the movie so much better!

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The wine is called DRNK and I think that alone is so much fun. You might think it’s a twist on drinking but it’s actually the initials of the family, Dale, Ryan, Nancy, and Katie. I have more varietals from DRNK that I’ll be sharing with you in the near future, so stay tuned! 

Wine Wednesday: White Oak Chardonnay

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Sunday was a dreary day in the Bay Area and we finally saw a trace of rain, but you would’t know it was cold and cloudy by the looks of this fabulous Chardonnay in my dining room. If you’re on the hunt for a Chardonnay that is full bodied with a hint of butterscotch, then look no further!

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White Oak Vineyards & Winery Chardonnay is a true chardonnay in every sense; from the honeydew melon and tropical fruit flavors to the toasty oak finish. My personal preference when it comes to Chardonnay is to taste a bit of fruit and not a ton of oak. There’s a reason this variety is one of White Oak’s best sellers that they’ve been producing since the 1980’s.

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This bottle retails for $26 and is truly worth every penny. You’ll want to savor every sip…as I am right now while writing this post! 

DIY: Bridal Shower

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Me, The Bride-To-Be Cindy, Sara and Tracy
Me, The Bride-To-Be Cindy, Sara and Tracy

A couple weekends ago I was the lucky guest at my girlfriend, Cindy’s bridal shower. Her friends, Rose and Christine hosted a gorgeous event at Christine’s home and I had to share some of their fabulous decorations and ideas. They mostly came from Pinterest which is where I love to get ideas for everything from cooking to bathroom remodel ideas. 

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The event was a champagne brunch with delicious quiches, french toast, cheeses and croissants. There was even cake for dessert of course!

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The cake was so beautiful that I can’t wait to see the wedding cake! 

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The champagne area included a mimosa bar with 3 kinds of juices and if your champagne was getting a bit warm, then there were champagne ice cubes to help keep it cool (genius!). To keep the champagne cool, Rose made ice cubes filled with gorgeous flowers just for decoration. 

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Mimosa Bar

My gift to the bride was four bottles of wine for four of the “firsts” the newlyweds will experience in the coming year (first wedding night, first anniversary, first dinner party, and a bottle for just because). I should have taken a picture of it in the basket I put it in…much cuter than the bottles just sitting out!

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I love a great brunch. I love it even more when champagne is involved and it’s even better when you can enjoy it all with good friends! We have one last hurrah to celebrate Cindy next weekend before she gets hitched! 

Foodie: Slow Cooker Deep Dish Pizza

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I lived in Chicago for a couple of years and hands down one of my favorite places to eat was Lou Malnati’s. I loved it so much that when I moved back to California, my neighbor and friend, Aleida shipped me their pizza for my birthday. Recently, I found a slow cooker recipe for deep dish pizza on Pinterest. I was a tad skeptical and Ted was definitely questioning my judgment, but we tried it anyway.

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Trader Joe’s makes an awesome fresh pizza dough, so I decided to use that. The original recipe calls for a sautéed onion and to simmer the crushed tomatoes. I omitted the onion and skipped heating up the tomatoes. It turned out to be spectacular! Sure, it still isn’t Lou Malnati’s but it definitely satisfied my craving for deep dish pizza without having to fly all the way to Chicago! Even better was that it all went into the slow cooker so I didn’t have to rush at dinner time and adding the parchment paper meant no mess! 

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Slow Cooker Deep Dish Pizza
Serves 2
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Prep Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 pound homemade pizza dough (Trader Joe's works great!)
  2. 2 tablespoon cornmeal
  3. 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  4. 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  5. 2 teaspoons dried Italian Seasoning
  6. 1 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  7. 1 teaspoon salt
  8. 2 cups shredded italian blend cheese
  9. 1/2 pound italian pork sausage, cooked
  10. Garnishes: Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley
Instructions
  1. This recipe works best in a large oval 6-8 quart slow cooker. Roll the pizza dough out onto a large piece of parchment paper. Make sure to roll and stretch to dough into an oval 2 inches longer and 2 inches wider than the crock of the slow cooker. Sprinkle with cornmeal and press into both sides of the crust. Then use the edges of the paper to lower the crust into the crock.
  2. Mix garlic powder, Italian Seasoning, salt, sugar, and crushed tomatoes.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the pork sausage in a separate skillet, breaking apart with a wooden spoon.
  4. Spread the cheese over the bottom of the pizza crust. Lift and stretch the sides of the dough so they stand up past the cheese. Sprinkle the crumbled sausage over the cheese. Then spread the tomato sauce over the sausage. Lift and stretch the sides of the crust again so it is above the edge of the sauce.
  5. Cover the slow cooker with a long piece of paper towel. Then place the lid over the paper towel and pull it tight. This helps catch excess moisture.
  6. Slow cook the pizza for 2-4 hours on high, or 4-6 hours on low. When you are ready to serve, lift the pizza out of the crock by the edges of the parchment paper and sprinkle the top with parmesan cheese and parsley. Cut into 4 pieces.
Adapted from A Spicy Perspective
http://www.mysimplifiedlife.net/