Windsor Oaks 2012 Reserve Pinot Noir

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Windsor Oaks 2012 Reserve Pinot Noir - Colleen's Kitchen

I was recently invited by fellow blogger Renee of Renee’s Enjoy The Journey to try some wines from her winery, Windsor Oaks Vineyards, in gorgeous Sonoma County, California. Of course, I happily accepted, you know I love discovering new wines and the research is the best part.

Owned by Renee and her husband, Bob, Windsor Oaks Vineyards overlook the Russian River Valley, between Santa Rosa and Healdsburg. This area benefits from cool mornings and coastal evening fog, creating perfect growing conditions for Pinot Noir.Windsor Oaks Pinot Noir is estate grown, meaning that they grow the grapes themselves rather than sourcing them from another grower.

Windsor Oaks 2012 Reserve Pinot Noir is a recent release that is already garnering lots of attention, including winning the gold medal at the 2014 Sonoma Harvest Fair and scoring 96 points and the gold medal at the 2014 Press Democrat North Coast Wine Challenge. It’s no stretch to see why once you taste this Pinot Noir.

Windsor Oaks 2012 Reserve Pinot Noir - Colleen's Kitchen

As far as Pinot Noirs go, the Windsor Oaks 2012 Reserve is a bit bigger than most, which is exactly how I like them. It bursts with flavors of dark cherry cola, vanilla and spices and ends with a silky smooth finish. Yet it’s still light and fruity enough to pair with many different dishes.

I served the Windsor Oaks 2012 Reserve Pinot Noir with my original Fall Panzanella Salad for a scrumptious yet light autumn evening meal. The juicy Pinot Noir is perfect with the sweet cornbread, tart cranberries and earthy gorgonzola cheese in the salad. I may have gone back for another glass. Or two.

Get the recipe for Fall Panzanella Salad here.

Buy a bottle of the Windsor Oaks 2012 Reserve Pinot Noir here.

As with any part of a healthy lifestyle, always enjoy alcohol responsibly and in moderation.

Fall Panzanella Salad

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Fall Panzanella Salad - Colleen's Kitchen

Have you ever had panzanella? It’s one of my favorite summer salads, full of juicy tomatoes, basil, capers, fresh mozzarella, and chewy ciabatta bread.

Panzanella is an Italian bread salad that was created as a way to use up old bread. In fact, the secret to a good panzanella is to use stale bread, typically 3 days old. The tough bread soaks up the juices of the tomatoes and vinaigrette dressing making for a delicious and filling salad.

Fall Panzanella Salad - Colleen's Kitchen

I recently had some leftover cornbread and was inspired to create a fall-themed panzanella salad using the stale pieces of cornbread. I mixed the cornbread cubes with fresh leaves of baby kale, dried cranberries, gorgonzola cheese, toasted pumpkin seeds, and — my favorite — roasted sweet delicata squash. For a finishing touch, I tossed the salad with a maple syrup based vinaigrette.

Ah-may-zing!!

Fall Panzanella Salad
 
Author: 
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 3 servings
  • Calories: 390.9
  • Fat: 11.0
  • Saturated fat: 3.3
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 0.9
  • Carbohydrates: 66.7
  • Sugar: 28.7
  • Sodium: 706.8
  • Fiber: 6.0
  • Protein: 9.1
  • Cholesterol: 26.7
Recipe type: Salad
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Sweet cornbread transforms the traditional Italian bread salad into a tasty and filling autumn treat in this Fall Panzanella Salad recipe.
Ingredients
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 delicata squash, seeded and cut into ½" cubes
  • 1½ cups stale cornbread cubes (1/2" cubes)
  • 2 cups loosely packed baby kale leaves
  • ¼ cup unsalted pumpkin seeds, toasted
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp pomegranate vinegar
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 1 oz. crumbled gorgonzola cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425F.
  2. Brush a baking sheet with the olive oil and spread the delicata squash on the sheet in a single layer.
  3. Roast the squash for 15-20 minutes until tender and golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool for 10-15 minutes.
  4. In a medium salad bowl, combine the cornbread, kale, pumpkin seeds, cranberries, and roasted delicata squash.
  5. Whisk together the maple syrup, vinegar, and salt.
  6. Toss the salad with the maple dressing and gorgonzola cheese. Let sit for 30 minutes before serving.
Notes
If your cornbread is too fresh, cut it into cubes, spread the on a baking sheet, and bake in a 300F oven for 30-60 minutes until the cubes are dried.

To toast your pumpkin seeds, heat a small skillet on medium heat. Add the pumpkin seeds and cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes until the seeds begin to brown. Let cool before you add to the salad.

 

Andrew Rich 2010 Malbec

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Andrew Rich 2010 Malbec - Colleen's Kitchen

A few weeks ago, after a wonderful tour and tasting at Cana’s Feast, I had the pleasure of visiting the Carlton Winemaker’s Studio directly next door. This co-op in Oregon’s Willamette Valley was founded by winemakers Eric Hamacher and Luisa Ponzi and their partners Ned and Kristin Lumpkin as a way to help new vintners get into the business. Wineries supply their own equipment but use the shared space of the studio to process, ferment and barrel their grapes. Currently 11 wineries and 9 winemakers produce their wines at Carlton Winemaker’s Studio.

The tasting room is small but opens onto a lovely, secluded patio, dotted with tables and chairs, that makes for a perfect picnic spot. Unlike most tasting rooms with an outdoor space, here the hosts brought each wine we tasted outside to us, giving us plenty of time to enjoy our drinks and surroundings.

I think that what I enjoyed most about the studio, though, is the variety of wines available for tasting. With 11 wineries producing and marketing their product through the studio, there are multiple flights to choose from and the make-up of the flights changes each day. I went with a flight of mixed reds, starting with 2 different Willamette Valley Pinot Noirs and finishing with this Andrew Rich Malbec as well as his Roussanne.

Andrew Rich 2010 Malbec - Colleen's Kitchen

Now I am a sucker for a good Malbec. I love the bold, dark and fruity nature of it, and the Andrew Rich 2010 Malbec didn’t disappoint. It bursts with juicy Northwest blackberry flavor and a slight peppery finish. I think it will be even better laid up for a couple of years.

I picked the Andrew Rich 2010 Malbec to serve with my Chili Roasted Butternut Squash and Farro Salad and it was divine. The jammy blackberry tones of the wine soften the spiciness of the chili seasoning while also playing up the sweet butternut squash and chewy raisins in the salad. The start of the fall season simply doesn’t get any better than this.

Get the recipe for Chili Roasted Butternut Squash Farro Salad here.

Buy a bottle of Andrew Rich 2010 Malbec here.

As with any part of a healthy lifestyle, always enjoy alcohol responsibly and in moderation.

Chili Roasted Butternut Squash Farro Salad

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Chili Roasted Butternut Squash Farro Salad - Colleen's Kitchen

With the coming of fall, I always look forward to experimenting with the bounty of squash. I especially love butternut squash. It’s so versatile, lending itself to steaming, roasting, or baking cooking techniques. And the sweet meat of the squash can be used in so many different ways, from my savory Butternut Squash Lasagna to countering the sweetness with a little heat, like I did in this recipe.

For this simple salad, I peeled, seeded and cubed the squash then tossed the pieces with a mixture of chili powder, cumin, coriander and paprika. Roasting the spiced squash brings out a caramel flavor so that when you bite into a piece you first taste the heat of the chili mixture and then the soft sweetness of the roasted squash. The flavor sensation is so amazing that I’m actually working on another recipe incorporating the same roasting technique.

Chili Roasted Butternut Squash Farro Salad - Colleen's Kitchen

Once the butternut squash is roasted, I let it cool a bit and then mix it with nutty farro, tender baby spinach, sweet chewy raisins, and salty pistachios. A simple dressing of honey and lime juice completes this hearty, entree salad.

What’s your favorite fall vegetable?

 

Chili Roasted Butternut Squash Farro Salad
 
Author: 
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 2 servings
  • Calories: 425.2
  • Fat: 9.9
  • Saturated fat: 1.2
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 0.9
  • Carbohydrates: 79.3
  • Sugar: 21.3
  • Sodium: 230.0
  • Fiber: 14.8
  • Protein: 10.6
  • Cholesterol: 0.0
Recipe type: Salad
Cuisine: Vegan
Sweet butternut squash is roasted in a spicy chili mixture then combined with nutty farro for a hearty fall salad that explodes with flavor.
Ingredients
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 cups peeled, seeded, cubed butternut squash (cut into ½" cubes)
  • ⅓ cup dry farro, cooked according to package directions, drained and rinsed in cold water
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • 2 tbsp chopped, shelled pistachios
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • juice of 1 lime
  • pinch of coarse sea salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Brush a baking sheet with the olive oil and set aside.
  3. In a small mixing bowl, combine the chili powder, cumin, coriander and paprika.
  4. Toss the chili mixture with the butternut squash cubes in a medium mixing bowl until the squash is well coated.
  5. Spread the squash on the oiled baking sheet in a single layer and leaving room between the pieces so that they will roast up nicely.
  6. Bake the squash for 30 minutes or until browned and tender. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes.
  7. Combine the squash, farro and spinach in a medium salad bowl.
  8. Mix the raisins and pistachios into the salad.
  9. Whisk together the honey, lime juice and sea salt then pour over the salad and toss to coat.
  10. Serve immediately.
Notes
While high in carbs, the bulk of the carbs in this recipe come from the butternut squash, which is also an excellent source of potassium.

 

Cana’s Feast 2010 Montagna Rossa

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Cana's Feast 2010 Montagna Rossa

A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of visiting Cana’s Feast Winery in Carlton, Oregon. The weather was absolutely stunning as my girlfriends and I sat on the patio overlooking the countryside. The bocce ball court rested unused nearby as we sipped and tasted our way through a flight of delicious red wines. Afterwards, our host, Wes, took us in back and gave us a firsthand look at the production process, starting with the picking and sorting, the crushing, and then the fermentation.

While Oregon’s Willamette valley is famous for its Pinot Noir, I love to find wineries that step out of the geographic box. Cana’s Feast is one of those. They specialize in old world European varieties and blends, like this Montagna Rossa that is crafted in the style of a Super Tuscan from Italy.

The Tuscany region of Italy is dominated by Sangiovese just as the Willamette valley is dominated by Pinot Noir. Somewhere along the way, though, a brilliant winemaker got the idea to embolden the fruity Sangiovese with varieties like the chocolatey Merlot or dark Cabernet Sauvignon. Thus the Super Tuscan was born.

Cana's Feast 2010 Montagna Rossa - Colleen's Kitchen

Cana’s Feast 2010 Montagna Rossa is no exception. The bright red cherry of the Sangiovese is balanced by the dark berries of the Cabernet Sauvignon and satiny Merlot to create a Northwest wine with Italian soul. Sitting on the patio outside the tasting room, turning my face to the sunshine, sipping my wine, I almost felt like I was basking under the Tuscan sun. Almost.

Once I got my bottle of Montagna Rossa home, I knew I had to pair it with an Italian dish. I decided to use it both in and with my Farfalle Turkey Bolognese, a hearty pasta dish that hails from the Emilia Romagna region of Italy, adjacent to Tuscany. Of course it was absolutely perfect. The wine lends depth and complexity to the Bolognese sauce, making for an easy dish that is also absolutely scrumptious.

Get the recipe for Farfalle Turkey Bolognese here.

Buy a bottle of Cana’s Feast 2010 Montagna Rossa here.

As with any part of a healthy lifestyle, always enjoy alcohol responsibly and in moderation.

Farfalle Turkey Bolognese

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Farfalle Turkey Bolognese - Colleen's Kitchen

As I continue to test new recipes, I’m having fun digging back into my archives and making some of my old favorites. This Farfalle Turkey Bolognese is one of my favorites because it’s just so darn easy. I also love that the sauce is made hearty with lots of veggies so I can cut down on the pasta and still feel full.

Farfalle Turkey Bolognese Recipe - Colleen's Kitchen

I tweaked this recipe just slightly from the original. I cooked the onion, carrot and garlic first before adding the ground turkey whereas in my original recipe I cooked them all together. I also used the cheese as a topping on each serving instead of stirring it into the dish. And the recipe was just as good as I remembered it.

Farfalle Turkey Bolognese
 
Author: 
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 4 servings
  • Calories: 408.5
  • Fat: 11.7
  • Saturated fat: 4.3
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 0.1
  • Carbohydrates: 40.4
  • Sugar: 5.4
  • Sodium: 457.9
  • Fiber: 3.3
  • Protein: 32.0
  • Cholesterol: 91.1
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Poultry
A hearty meat and veggie sauce makes this easy, filling, and lean Farfalle Turkey Bolognese a true weeknight wonder.
Ingredients
  • 6 oz. dry farfalle pasta
  • ½ onion, diced
  • 1 lb. lean ground turkey
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ¼ tsp red chili pepper flakes
  • ½ cup red wine
  • 1 can diced, no salt added tomatoes, drained
  • ½ tsp coarse sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 oz. fresh basil, chopped
  • 1.5 oz. shredded peccorino romano cheese
Instructions
  1. Cook pasta according to pasta directions. Drain and rinse.
  2. Heat a deep skillet over medium heat and lightly coat with olive oil.
  3. Add the onion, carrot and garlic and cook until the onion is transparent.
  4. Add the turkey and continue cooking until the turkey is browned and crumbled.
  5. Stir in the the oregano, red chili pepper flakes, red wine, tomatoes, salt and pepper and cook until the liquid is reduced by half.
  6. Combine the cooked pasta with the sauce and mix well. Stir in the basil. Serve immediately topped with the cheese.
Notes
I have reduced the nutritional value of the wine by half, on the advice of my nutritionist, since it is reduced by half during the cooking process.

 

Sella and Mosca Cannonau di Sardegna Riserva 2009

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Sella and Mosca Cannonau di Sardegna Riserva 2009 - Colleen's Kitchen

I have such a treat for you this Wine Wednesday!

I’d like to introduce you to an uncommon varietal here in the US: Cannonau. Well, sort of. You see, Cannonau grapes, as they are called in Sardinia, are actually the same as Grenache, also known as Garnacha in Spain. Grenache wines tend to lack acid, tannins, and color so the variety is typically used as a blending grape with varietals such as Syrah, Carignan, Tempranillo, and Cinsault. Cannonau di Sardegna (translation: Cannonau of Sardinia) must be 99% local Cannonau (Grenache) by law, though.

Sella and Mosca Cannonau di Sardegna Riserva 2009 - Colleen's Kitchen

The Sella and Mosca Cannonau di Sardegna Riserva 2009 is particularly lovely. The intense bouquet is  alive with the distinctive smell of violets. On the palate, it bursts with dried berries, pepper and oak. The boldness of the wine gives way to a soft, supple finish, demanding that it be paired with a hearty dish that can stand up to the richness of the Cannonau. And did I mention that it retails for around $10-13 a bottle?

For all of these reasons, I love the Cannonau di Sardegna Riserva both in and with my Slow Cooker Italian Sausage and Bean Stew. Using it in the recipe lends rich depth to the stew, and with the meal the chewy berry flavors soften the spiciness of the stew. It is perfection in a glass!

Get the recipe for  Slow Cooker Italian Chicken Sausage and Bean Stew here.

Buy a bottle of Sella and Mosca Cannonau di Sardegna Riserva 2009 here.

As with any part of a healthy lifestyle, always enjoy alcohol responsibly and in moderation.

Slow Cooker Italian Chicken Sausage and Bean Stew

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Slow Cooker Spicy Italian Chicken Sausage and Bean Stew - Colleen's Kitchen

Have you ever had a truly insane day at work? One of those days where time seems to fly, everything is urgent, and it’s all you can do to find time to even slip away to the bathroom?

I had one of those days this past week. There were so many demands being made of me that I didn’t know where to start, and it seemed like it was never ending. As the day started to ebb, and my energy levels were sagging, I began to dread going home and making dinner. I was just too tired to even think about cooking.

Slow Cooker Italian Chicken Sausage and Bean Stew - Colleen's Kitchen

And then I remembered I had put this delicious Italian Chicken Sausage and Bean Stew in the Slow Cooker before I left the house that morning. My spirits were buoyed. All I had to do to complete the meal was to warm up some crusty bread and ladle some stew in a bowl. Heck, there was even wine ready to be poured with it!

I first published this Slow Cooker recipe almost 2 years ago, but it has remained one of my all time favorites. I find myself in a bit of a bind right now because, while I have many recipes in the hopper that I’m working on, I don’t have one that is ready to share with you yet. You need to realize that I’m very particular about having things just right before I publish a recipe to the world.

Slow Cooker Italian Chicken Sausage and Bean Stew - Colleen's Kitchen

So I decided to recycle one of my favorites, this gorgeously delicious Slow Cooker Italian Chicken Sausage and Bean Stew. It’s spicy and hearty, and the tomato and red wine infused broth is delicious soaked into a piece of warm, crusty baguette. What I love best, though, is that I can have a roller-coaster day at work, come home, and have dinner waiting for me. Perfect!

 

Slow Cooker Italian Chicken Sausage and Bean Stew
 
Author: 
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 6
  • Calories: 287.5
  • Fat: 3.9
  • Saturated fat: 0.7
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 0.3
  • Carbohydrates: 34.8
  • Sugar: 6.2
  • Sodium: 1139.6
  • Fiber: 9.6
  • Protein: 25.4
  • Cholesterol: 58.7
Recipe type: Soup or Stew
Cuisine: Poultry
Spicy sausage combines with buttery great northern beans for a hearty meal in this fix-and-forget-it Slow Cooker Italian Chicken Sausage and Bean Stew.
Ingredients
  • 1 lb. bulk spicy Italian chicken sausage, cooked and crumbled
  • 2 cans (3 cups) great northern beans, drained and rinsed
  • 6 medium carrots, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 can (6 oz.) tomato paste
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • 4 cups salt free chicken broth
  • 1 cup full-bodied, dry red wine (preferably Italian)
  • ½ tsp coarse sea salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 tbsp fresh Italian parsley, chopped
Instructions
  1. Combine the chicken sausage, beans, carrots, onion, garlic, tomato paste, herbs, broth, wine, and salt in the slow cooker and stir well.
  2. Add the bay leaf, submerging in the liquid.
  3. Cover and cook on low for a minimum of 8-10 hours.
  4. Serve with each bowl topped with 1 tbsp of chopped fresh Italian parsley.

 

Jacob Williams 2010 Hi-Valley Vineyard Syrah

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Jacob Williams 2010 Hi-Valley Vineyard Syrah - Colleen's Kitchen

Finding the right wine for a meal is seriously tough. I mean, you have to seek out and taste so many different kinds of wine to find just the right one. It’s so much work!

Oh, who am I kidding? The research is the best part of wine pairing. I especially love it when a winery asks me to try their new release.

Such is the case with this lovely 2010 Syrah from Jacob Williams Winery. If you’re local to or just visiting the Portland area, I highly recommend including the Jacob Williams tasting room in a day tour of Columbia Gorge wineries. It sits on a pretty rise overlooking the wild Columbia River, nestled quietly in a cherry orchard just off of busy state highway 14. The staff is cheerful and friendly, the view is lovely, and picnics and well-behaved canines are welcomed.

You might recall that I previously featured Jacob Williams’ 2009 Syrah, so I was eager to try their new release when the winery contacted me. And the timing was perfect, because as soon as I tasted it I knew it would be excellent with the 3 Pepper Sausage and Potato Skillet recipe I was working on. And of course I was right!

Jacob Williams 2010 Hi-Valley Vineyard Syrah - Colleen's Kitchen

The Jacob Williams 2010 Hi-Valley Vineyard Syrah is an excellent pairing with my 3 Pepper Sausage and Potato Skillet.

The Syrah is big and rich with notes of dark cherry, plum and cocoa, and a hint of green pepper in the finish. I knew that the green pepper finish would be perfect with the peppery 3 Pepper Sausage and Potato Skillet, and boy did it. The spices compliment each other well while the fruit and cocoa help to balance out the pepper and andouille sausage. As great as the wine is now, I think that the Syrah will be even better laid up for a couple of years.

Get the recipe for 3 Pepper Sausage and Potato Skillet here.

Buy a bottle of Jacob Williams 2010 Hi-Valley Vineyard Syrah here.

As with any part of a healthy lifestyle, always enjoy alcohol responsibly and in moderation.

Cosmos Creations Giveaway!

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Cosmos Creations Giveaway

DISCLAIMER: I was not compensated in any way for this post. While Cosmos Creations has donated a prize for the giveaway, I have not received any compensation and the opinions expressed herein are entirely my own.

Like many people striving to live a healthy lifestyle, I too have cravings for sweet or salty snacks. I know, you’re in shock, I am human, too. So I was very pleased to be introduced to Cosmos Creations through the International Food Blogger Conference. And the bonus? Like me, the company is from Oregon so I get to support a local business!

Cosmos Creations Premium Puffed Corn

Cosmos Creations makes premium puffed corn that is baked not fried. It’s non-GMO, gluten free, trans fat free, and the corn doesn’t have any kernels or hulls so it’s also easy on your teeth. In flavors such as Sriracha, Sea Salt & Vinegar, White Cheddar & Cracked Pepper, Sea Salt & Butter, Coconut Crunch, Salted Caramel, Caramel, and Cinnamon Crunch, there are sweet and savory flavors to satisfy every craving. And, they don’t leave me feeling guilty after!
Cosmos Creations Premium Puffed Corn

Would you like to try this delicious snack for yourself? Simply enter the giveaway below and you could win a Cosmos Creations Swag Bag with 2 big bags, 6 snack bags, and 4 single serve bags of assorted sweet and savory flavors. Just leave a comment telling me the flavor you’re most anxious to try. For additional entries, follow the instructions below.

BUT WAIT!

I’ve teamed up with 9 awesome bloggers to bring you a massive blogger giveaway! Once you enter my giveaway, head on over to I’m Gonna Cook That to enter the giveaway there for a handy Crisp 4 in 1 citrus peeler and get the link to the next blog giveaway. Wouldn’t it be something if you won all 9 prizes?! Be sure to check back here on 9/30/2014 after 8:00 am PST to see who won!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*This giveaway is sponsored by Colleen’s Kitchen and is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Cosmos Creations. Giveaway will end on Monday, September 29th, 2014 11:59 p.m. PST. One winner will be selected at random and will be announced (and tagged) in another post. Be sure to check back here on 9/30/14 after 8am PST to see if you’ve won. Winner will have 24 hours to respond to notification of win or a new winner will be chosen. Prize will be sent via US Post so you’ll need to provide your mailing address if you win. Please allow 6-8 weeks for delivery. Open to US residents only, must be 18 years or older to enter.*