Monday, April 11, 2011

Sangria!!! A guest blog

I was supposed to post this yesterday, but yesterday was 82 degrees and I had to have lunch at the beach and soak that day up. Then The Kennedy's mini series was on which I still haven't seen all of I had to TV'R it ( I can never remember if I have tivo or DV'R so there); no I didn't do muck work this wknd,forgive me. In other exciting news we have a guest blog post today! It's my sister Erin who has a thriving career as a model in Virgina.

Now lemme give you some background info on Miss Missy. I am solely and completely responsible for the fact that she's kind of a foodie. This gal didn't grow up really into food at all. Yea yea she eats but her love for food didn't develop till a few yrs ago. I don't actually remember her defining moment but I do recall something like this. She was leaving for Brazil in a matter of days??weeks??( this was summer of 05, I barely remember 5 days ago) and she had come to visit me and the food network was on.What else is new? We were watching The Barefoot Contessa and I remember her being really into her show, and even wanting to look for her recipes online. I remember thinking WTF?? this girl don't cook! Her and I have both become big fans of Ina Garten. You know what Erin says to me and I just looove when she says it " Domestic Diva you really make me wanna eat, you have such a zest for food". This is coming from a model ya'll, I make model want eat! That just tickles me. If you like her post,which I know you will, please leave ur sweet lil comments so that she will delight us with more guest blogs...maybe she will teach us how to make her paella, or smoked salmon & eggs....

Bloggers & Bloggettes, please enjoy this special post from my sister the foodie in training:

I adore shoes. I’ve always been a clothes horse, and purses are pretty nice, but shoes can make or break an outfit. In fact, an entire ensemble can be built around a pair of heels. Happens all the time. So when I see a pair that looks like it belongs on my feet, I do not let simple obstacles such as size, price or availability stand in my way. Case in point: about a month ago, I was out shopping for clothes in one of my favorite women’s stores, when I spied the cutest pink and white classic ballet flats. Visions of Sunday brunch along the harbor, or taking in the Cherry Blossoms in April while wearing those flats filled my head. I needed them. But alas, the store did not currently possess a pair in my size. No matter. I quickly called the other location in Washington, DC and they did not have them either, but they were expecting more shipments of them and gave me specific days to call back. It took about two weeks of checking both stores every few days until I hit jackpot with the downtown location and had the lovely salesgirl hold them for me until I could retrieve them that evening after work. Mission accomplished!

But now, there was the question of dinner. It had been a long day, it was getting fairly late in the evening, and I was becoming hungry. I decided to pop into the Qdoba a few blocks away from where I’d rescued the shoes, and ordered a chicken queso burrito. On the drive home, I began to imagine what type of beverage I could consume along with my hot burrito. I had some Corona at home, but I don’t like beer and just kept those for company. I love wine, but I was bored by the thought of it accompanying my spicy meal. Then I thought , “Sangria!” But I never trust the bottled Sangria one may find on the shelves of the local wine shop, and the only other alternative was to go to my favorite tapas restaurant and ask for a pitcher of wine to go, which I’m pretty sure is illegal, so I was left with having to make the Sangria myself. I remembered I did have some Pomegranate Vodka left over from a girls get together a few weeks prior, in addition to this yummy blueberry pomegranate juice in the refrigerator. Now all I had to do was find a good solid wine that could hold its own with those ingredients. I stopped at a Safeway grocery store (in Chicago it’s called Dominic’s) on my way home, and pored over the red wines. I knew I wanted something on the heavier side, a cabernet or merlot-which are two reds that I seldom partake of- but also something that had good fruits in the finish. And that wasn’t too expensive. This was an experiment after all, and if it turned out badly, I did not want to be stuck with a $50 bottle of wine if I did not even like the taste. After reading many labels and finding one Merlot by the name of Fish Eye produced out of New Zealand that promised the flavors of plum and other dark fruits, I promptly selected the bottle and went home to my lab.

Over ice, I poured slightly more Merlot than pomegranate vodka, then a generous splash of the blueberry pomegranate juice. The result: instantly gratifying. A warning to the readers: I like my drinks strong, and I am not fond of measuring, so you will most likely have to do some tweaking of the measurements according to your own preferences. But this particular Merlot was the perfect wine to go with the pomegranate and blueberry flavors, and while the vodka added the extra kick of alcohol that most Sangrias lack, it was not very pronounced at all and goes down very smoothly. The perfect Sangria in my eyes! Your guests will be so happy with the drink, they won’t even care if dinner is taking a little longer to come out the kitchen. For serving purposes, I would add some fruit. Of course how you garnish it is up to you, but I chose red grapes, blueberries and cubed a bright green apple to add a slice of contrast. I have pictures and the actual ingredients listed below.

Now, on another note, I’d like to offer you a variation if you’re not so interested in Sangria and would prefer more of a traditional cocktail. I call it Erin’s Sparkling Blueberry Pometini. This was conjured up after I had some champagne left over after a brunch and wanted to use it before it went flat. Two of the ingredients from the first recipe are the same; this time you’re just using champagne instead of Merlot, and you want to make sure all the ingredients have been well chilled. In a martini glass, I poured about 6 ounces of champagne, 1 ounce of pomegranate vodka, and 3 ounces of blueberry pomegranate juice. Et voila. A wonderful, and most importantly, easy martini to whip up in a matter of seconds for guests stopping by at your house before you all venture out for a night on the town.

Erin’s Moonlit Sangria™Tropicana Blueberry Pomegranate juice

Fish Eye Merlot

Smirnoff Pomegranate Vodka

Erin’s Sparkling Blueberry Pometini™

Tropicana Blueberry Pomegranate juice

Smirnoff Pomegranate Vodka

Korbel Brut Champagne
Author’s note: I am not endorsing any of the brands listed above. They are simply the brands I used in the recipes and they are the only ones that I would be able to recommend for like results.

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