Sharon's Shenanigans

My crafting, cooking, dieting, and workout blog!

OWH Sketch 58 February 28, 2011

Filed under: Cards,Crafts,HOME — Sharon @ 11:13 am

Here is Sketch 58~

I liked this Sketch and decided to try out 2 of my new stamps. 

1st Attempt~  My Cute Star Fish Stamp.

2nd Attempt ~ Equally as cute Dog Paw print stamp

Same Sentiment & Same Sketch makes for 2 very different cards.  Which one do you like better?

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Food and Wine Pairing February 27, 2011

Filed under: HOME — Sharon @ 1:45 pm

Have you ever wondered what would make a good wine pairing for a certain dish or what to bring for a hostess gift?     It isn’t all about Fish = White Wines and Meat = Red anymore.   

   I think I tend to make my wine decisions by price.  Some times when I have an extra few bucks in my pocket I will try something more pricey.  This Naked Grape Pinot Grigio was $8.00 I think you can get a really good bottle of wine for about $14.00  I have had cheaper and more expensive but I think the $14.00 is a good middle of the road priced wine.      This Murphy Goode was $14.99 and went great with chocolate.

 

 I also like to go to wine stores that have a description of the wine.    This place by my house (and also next door to my gym, dangerous!)  has great descriptions of the wines and sometimes offers tasting and pairing suggestions.  I usually like Pinot Grigio but have been experimenting in the reds lately and I find that I like the flavor with food.  I think that some reds are so dry they suck the moisture out of your tonuge.

 

 If all else fails buy something that you like the name or the picture on the label.  If you are drawn to it by sight before taste than you are probably going to remember if you like it or not for the future.     This bottle caught my eye because of the cute little doggie paw print but it did NOT taste as good as it looked.  Oh well, but at least I will remember not to be fooled by the paw print again. 

 

 I found this website in my google searching and thought it made some great suggestions for the layman like myself. These little points from http://www.chiff.com/wine/food-match.htm were worth mentioning:

Ten Rules-of-thumb for Food and Wine Pairing

1. Match quality of food and wine
If you are taking wine as a gift to a dinner party, don’t worry about matching the wine to the food unless you have been requested to do so and have enough information about what is being served to make an informed choice. Just bring a good wine. A grand dinner party with multiple courses of elaborately prepared dishes deserves a better wine than hamburgers on the grill with chips in a bag.
2. Light before full-bodied, dry before sweet, low before high
When you’re serving more than one wine at a meal, it’s customary to serve lighter wines before full-bodied ones. Dry wines should be served before sweet wines unless a sweet flavored dish is served early in the meal. In that case match the sweet dish with a similarly sweet wine. Lower alcohol wines should be served before higher alcohol wines.
3. Balance flavor intensity
Pair light-bodied wines with lighter food and fuller-bodied wines with heartier, more flavorful, richer and fattier dishes.
4. Consider how the food is prepared
Delicately flavored foods—poached or steamed—pair best with delicate wines. It’s easier to pair wines with more flavorfully prepared food—braised, grilled, roasted or sauteed. Pair the wine with the sauce, seasoning or dominant flavor of the dish.
5. Match flavors
An earthy Pinot Noir goes well with mushroom soup and the grapefruit/citrus taste of Sauvignon Blancs goes with fish for the same reasons that lemon does.
6. Balance sweetness
But, beware of pairing a wine with food that is sweeter than the wine, although I do like chocolate with Cabernet Sauvignon. I also like chocolate with good dark beer.
Come to think of it, I like chocolate with just about anything.
7. Consider pairing opposites
Very hot or spicy foods—some Thai dishes, or hot curries for example—often work best with sweet desert wines. Opposing flavors can play off each other, creating new flavor sensations and cleansing the palate.
8. Match by geographic location
Regional foods and wines, having developed together over time, often have a natural affinity for each other.
9. Pair wine and cheese
In some European countries the best wine is reserved for the cheese course.
Red wines go well with mild to sharp cheese. Pungent and intensely flavored cheese is better with a sweeter wine. Goat Cheeses pair well with dry white wine, while milder cheeses pair best with fruitier red wine. Soft cheese like Camembert and Brie, if not over ripe, pair well with just about any red wine including Cabernet, Zinfandel and Red Burgundy.
10. Adjust food flavor to better pair with the wine

 

And that is Sharon’s Shenanigan’s Wine Pairing 101!  Now go out there and try something new.

 

Egg Frittata Brunch February 26, 2011

Filed under: Food,HOME,Recipe — Sharon @ 10:20 am

Monday is usually brunch day at my house.  So Ron and I whipped up a Frittata and his AMAZING Homefries.    He used to work at a breakfast joint a million years ago and he still can sling some homefries.  Anyone remember “The Colonial?” – yup.  I think he was 15 when he worked there.   Ok, trip down memory lane over back to the food. 

~Roasted Red Pepper, Baby Spinach and arugula Frittata with Asiago Cheese~

Start with a few ingrediants. 

A few eggs cracked and whipped.  Ron’s secret to a good Frittata is whipping the aggs really well to get lots of air in them  This makes the Frittata rise and fluffy.

Then sautee up some onion and sliced up roasted red peppers.

Then add in the arugula and baby spinach mix.  I didn’t know that arugula wilted down like spinach does and never would have thought to put it in a egg dish. Did I say Ron and I made this?  Ok, maybe I meant Ron made the food and I took a few pictures.

 

Salt and Pepper and then add in the cheese.

This Frittata was made with eight eggs.  I also like it with egg whites or half whole eggs and half whites.   To lighten it up a bit.

Then add more cheese and cook on the stove top until the egg starts to separate from the sides.  You can also spray some extra PAM on the sides of the pan and pull the eggs down a bit.  You NEED to use a non-stick pan and one that can go from stove top to oven so NO plastic handles.

Bake on 350 for about 15 minutes until if you poke it with a tooth pick it comes out clean.

Flip it onto a cutting board and let it cool a few minutes before cutting.    This is why a nonstick pan is very important.

Once cooled cut a nice large slice like a pie.  ENJOY!  This is an easy brunch recipe and lends itself well to any veggies or cheeses.  Some people may call this a “crustless quiche” I call is Fabulous.

 

Antipasto doesn’t mean I hate Pasta? February 25, 2011

Filed under: Food,HOME,Recipe — Sharon @ 10:56 am

Antipasto in Italian literally means “before the meal” but sometimes I like to enjoy it AS the meal.    A fun plate off food with lots of flavors and varity.  You can make it with anything you have left over and pair it with some cheese and bread.   I used to love when my mom made plates that we could eat with our hands: little pieces of rolled up ham and cream cheese cut into slices and apple chunks with peanut butter.  It was great.   I liked to make stuff from my  Strawberry Shortcake Cookbook   that had finger foods for kids.   I loved that book.

 Strawberry Shortcake Cookbook by Michael J. Smollin, copyright 1980, publisher Random House NY

Well I still like to eat with my hands and pick at my food.  .  It is more like ‘grazing” than eating dinner but it fills you up just the same.  Last week Ron had a busy day and after work I was not in the mood to cook, plus the kitchen was a mess so to cook meant I had to clean first and that was NOT gonna happen.  So I came up with a quick solution and used some of the stuff that was in the fridge and pantry and had one KICK ASS Antipasto platter for dinner.  I ran to the store for some fresh fruit and cheeses.  And this is what I came up with.

  Sliced hard salami

marinated mushrooms and black olives

Two kinds on cheese.  I went with a Brie and Goat Cheese.  I like the Chavrie and added a little pepper, oil, and oregano.

I love this bread from Stop and Shop it is a garlic ciabatta with big chunks of roasted garlic.

This was SOOOO Good. 

I threw in some roasted red peppers and grapes and a few pieces of chocolate to finish it off.

We enjoyed it with a bottle of wine and a movie.  This makes an awesome platter for a party or a great no cook weeknight eat with your hands type meal.  No Cooking  = No Cleaning!  

 

Midweek Throw Down OWH- February 24, 2011

Filed under: Cards,Crafts,HOME — Sharon @ 11:35 am

OWH Midweek Challenge is an “Any Occasion” card.  I decided to do a few Thank You cards from the cricut Cartridge “Beyond Birthdays”  How many ways can you say thank you?  Here is three!  

 

Thank you all for reading my blog and for subscribing.  Keep the commments coming I love the feedback!

 

EVO – Worcester, MA February 23, 2011

Filed under: Food,Travel — Sharon @ 11:32 am

EVO~ American Dining EVOLVED~   Ron and I checked out the bar at EVO.  They have a cool trendy bar that has a fun water sculpture type thing that changes colors.

We sat at the bar and I ordered a “Shock Top” and Ron went for a “Sierra Nevada”

The menu is as trendy as the water feature.  They have an open kitchen and you can see the Chef’s working away.    We couldn’t decide between all the apps so we went with the Sampler.  From their Website~

Taste our Favorites: Crispy Chicken Bites, Tuscan Bruschetta, Baked Spinach and Artichoke Dip,Egg Rolls and Arancini.  ~$16.00
 

 

The bread was warm and slightly grilled.  The spinach dip was the creamest I have ever had.  They make it with a blend of three cheeses.  IT was freaking amazing.

 

I didn’t know what Arancini was but it is a Pesto Risotto and Mozerella ball fried and served with marinara sauce.  OMG!  Love~

They served the Bruschetta with tomato, roasted red peppers, red onion, garlic, olive oil, balsamic and  GARLIC!  lots of garlic.    The bread was chewy and crunchy.  Perfection.

I was getting full and didn’t try any of the chicken strips but I did save room for an egg roll.   They had good flavor and were served with a garlicy soy dipping sauce.

They have Vegan and Glutten Free options for all those new aged dieters out there BUT they also have an amazing bottle beer selection for all us non-treandy types.

We went on a Sunday afternoon and they had a Brunch and Breakfast Menu  that we HAVE to go back for.   Loved EVO!

 

ONESIE FAIL~ They can’t all be masterpieces- February 22, 2011

Filed under: Crafts,HOME — Sharon @ 11:59 am

I decided that I was going to try to use the Cricut for Fabric Cutting.   I had read that all you needed to do was to spray starch it and get it stiff enough to cut with the Cricut blade.  Sounds easy enough right?  I figures that I would try to make a few custom-made onesies for some friends that are having babies.  I had big dreams of beach theme onesies, and holiday onesies and all sorts of stuff. 

What I used:

  • Cricut and Cartridge
  • Fabric
  • Spray Starch
  • Dreft or other baby friendly detergent
  • Heat and Bond Fabric Adhesive
  • Sharp Scissors
  • Iron

The instructions said to make sure that you wash and dry the fabric as well as the medium you are using whether its a T-Shirt or in this case a Onesie.   So I washed them all together and worried that the red fabric was going to run and give me a bunch of pink stuff.  Thank goodness in this case that did not happen.  So I washed, dried and ironed everything.

Then I sprayed it with some spay starch a few times and ironed again.  So far so good.

Then I used the Cricut to cut a few apples in different sizes on a piece of paper.  I wrote the size of the cut on them so I could remember when I went to cut the fabric which size.

Then I took the sizes and checked the size against the onesie.

Ok, so now it got a little tricky for me.  The Heat and Bond instructions are freaking confusing.  It said to put the fabric on the “wrong side” of the heat and bond and iron.  Ok~  What side is the wrong side?  I peeled of the backing to the bond paper and tried to get the fabric to adhere to it.  This did not work.  I tried to stick the bond paper and the fabric to the Cricut cutting board.  I loaded it into the Cricut and it just pushed the fabric around and the bond paper stuck to the cutting board.  SUCKED!  Can you see the apple?  Now I can’t get this crap off the cutting board so it ruined the board as well. 

 

So I decided to use the paper cut out to trace it on the fabric and cut it out. 

So then I still could not figure out what the “Wrong Side” of the Heat and Bond was.  So I think I put the wrong side (?right side?) down and then I got some sticky bond on my iron and it kept sticking to the fabric.  I ironed it down to the onesie and  you can see the marks that I made when I was tracing the pattern.   I could not stop the fabric from fraying also.  SHIT!  I cut a little ribbon in  green and attached it to give it a little more color.  The stem is not attached right and the leaf is ready to peel off.  I think I might give this a second try but I was too frustrated last night to figure out how or what the heck i did wrong or how to use this Heat and Bond crap.  So friends don’t expect to get any custom made onesie from me any time soon.

Here is the final product.  It looks cute from a distance but it is a disaster.