{Wine Wednesday} A new type of bottle

WineWednesday

This Wine Wednesday I have a secret that I must confess: I miss wine. I haven’t had booze of any sort this year and won’t for awhile. Why you ask? Well, we’ve got an announcement for you…

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Brandon is still drinking and I can still read tasting notes and attend winery release parties, even if I don’t drink anything, so this isn’t farewell for too long. More wine news and information coming soon!

Valentine’s Day desserts

GonePinning

I’ve been a bit preoccupied with my day job and Seattle’s run at the Super Bowl (here, here) so February sort of snuck up on me.

Luckily I still have a few days (eight to be exact) to get my “stuff” together and plan a special day for my one and only.

We’ll likely plan a fun adventure either around town or just out of town: think breakfast at the Market or a quick ferry ride west for some wine tasting or beach combing.

We’ll also likely plan a dinner at home. (We’re not much for the often jacked-up prices on Valentine’s Day…) And with dinner comes dessert. Here are some delicious-sounding desserts that would round out our (and your!) fancy dinner quite well!

Macarons

Brandon is getting better at macarons. Maybe we try these out? They're cute and delicious-looking!

Brandon is getting better at macarons. Maybe we try these out? They’re cute and delicious-looking!

More macarons

An even fancier macaron! These scream Valentine's Day!

An even fancier macaron! These scream Valentine’s Day!

Strawberry shortcake or these Puff Pastry with Sabayon Custard and Strawberries 

These are pretty fancy. I'd settle for these as strawberry shortcakes!

These are pretty fancy. I’d settle for these as strawberry shortcakes!

Champagne sorbet 

Champagne + sorbet = Yes, please!

Champagne + sorbet = Yes, please!

Conversation heart Rice Krispie treats (These would be perfect to bring to the office!)  

Rice Krispy treats with conversation hearts

Rice Krispie treats with conversation hearts

Perhaps a chocolate lava cake?! 

For any and every chocolate lover: lava cake!

For any and every chocolate lover: lava cake!

Happy Valentine’s Day prep to you! If you decide to make any of these, let me know about your experience!  

 

Super Super Bowl successes!

Using ideas featured in last week’s “super Super Bowl” posts (snacks and sips), the following ideas were inspired by Megan’s Island!

Football bean dip with sour cream laces!

Football bean dip with sour cream laces!

Skittles vodkas for the whole party!

Skittles vodkas for the whole party!

A homemade football bread bowl with kale dip!

A homemade football bread bowl with kale dip!

A big thank you to my readers for a) reading and b) sharing your works of art with me!

UPDATE: The kale and artichoke dip in the football bread bowl received rave reviews! Here it is for you to enjoy!  

 

 

Super Super Bowl snacks

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Yesterday I shared some super Super Bowl sips. To help soak up some of that booze, here are my super Super Bowl snack ideas.

Chili bar

Chili bar

Chili bar

Nacho bar

Nacho bar

Nacho bar

Football bowl 

Dip in a custom football bread bowl

Dip in a custom football bread bowl

A guac football field

A guac football field

A guac football field

Team-specific candied popcorn

Everyone loves popcorn!

Everyone loves popcorn!

And on to dessert!

Chocolate-covered strawberries

Healthy, cute and delicious! The perfect combo!

Healthy, cute and delicious! The perfect combo!

Cupcakes!?

So many ideas!

So many ideas!

Chocolate peanut butter football cookies

Peanut butter + chocolate + football = Yes, please!

Peanut butter + chocolate + football = Yes, please!

Ice cream sandwich footballs!

So cute, so tasty!

So cute, so tasty!

Brownie footballs! (As featured on my Q13 segment to kick off the 2014-15 NFL season!)

Q13 tailgating segment

However you end up snacking, you know it’s going to be good! Let me know if you end up trying out any of these great ideas! Oh, and GO HAWKS!!

{Wine Wednesday} Super Super Bowl sips

WineWednesday

It’s that week! It’s a big, big weekend for Seattle (and New England) football fans! It’s also a big weekend for those of us who like to throw parties (me) and watch the best-of-the-best TV commercials (me, again).

While I won’t be throwing a party this year (I’ll be working), I love to plan them and I love sharing my tips with you. Today’s post is all about the drinks of Super Bowl. Tomorrow we’ll have appetizers and on Friday, decor! There is plenty of time to make Sunday memorable. (Even if you’re not the Seahawks re-Pete-ing!)

Enough with the puns. On to the cocktails! Cheers!

Jell-O shots

Seahawks Jell-O shots made by my friend Laurel

Seahawks Jell-O shots made by my friend Laurel

My friend Laurel made these and they’re beautiful! I’ll bet they taste amazing too!

Washington Apple Twisted Shotz

Washington Apple Twisted Shotz

Washington Apple Twisted Shotz

I can’t find these online for the life of me, but I did see them at the Downtown Seattle Cost Plus World Market. They’re blue and green whisky-flavored liqueur and sour apple shots. Doesn’t sound the most appetizing, but they fit the bill in terms of Seahawks colors!

Skittle vodkas

Skittles vodka! Given some time, these will be vibrant

Skittles vodka! Given some time, these will be vibrant

I made these Skittle vodkas for my Q13 debut at the beginning of the NFL season. They’re super easy and super quick! Literally: you open the bottle and pop in a Skittle or two! Voila!

12th Blend Wine

Seahawks 12th Blend: Red, White and Rose!

Seahawks 12th Blend: Red, White and Rose!

Now we’re talking! There are several “12th {wo}man” wine options out there. These come from the Eye of the Needle in Woodinville. It’s not one of my most favorite wineries, but I do enjoy popping by there from time to time!

Plain old beer

Beer koozies

Beer koozies

Nothing wrong with plain old beer! While the alcohol content is there, you can still step up the presentation for this super SportsBall drinking event.

Drinking wine?

AstroTurf wine tags

AstroTurf wine tags

Spice up — and identify — your glass with a football-related tag.

Water

Water!

Water!

Oh yeah, and water. You need water to live (or to sober up after the game!) These are a cute presentation to your standard plastic water bottle. Don’t forget to reuse or recycle them when you’re done!

CHEERS!

{Wine Wednesday} Washington wine: WTF?

WineWednesday

Are you interested in learning more about Washington wine?

My friend Zach at Vine Trainings is starting a new set of wine courses, targeting different wine growing regions and varietals. For the low cost of $45 per class, you’ll get to taste some great wines, talk about the most exciting growing regions, and even discuss the history of the industry.

When: Monday, Jan. 26, 6:30 p.m.

Where: Grub on Queen Anne, 7 Boston St, 98109

Why: Everything is better with wine, especially learning about wine while drinking it!

Read more about my experience with Vine Trainings on the Island!

Washington Wine Map

MegAn’s Pretty Little LiArs pArty

As a blog reader, I’m sure that you know that I love TV. And this week is a very good week for TV because the shows are BAAAAACK!

I’m especially excited for some of my mid-season shows to return: Downton Abbey (last night), Pretty Little Liars (1/6), and Parks & Rec (1/13)!

Today’s blog post is about the Pretty Little Liars (PLL) premiere TOMORROW on ABC Family. I’m having my friends Liz and Emily over to watch the show and I know that many more of my friends will be watching… even if they pretend that Pretty Little Liars is for pre-teens. (Which it so isn’t!)

If you’re unfamiliar with Pretty Little Liars, here’s a quick tutorial:

Rosewood is a perfect little town. So quiet and pristine, you’d never guess it holds so many secrets. Some of the ugliest ones belong to the prettiest girls in town: Aria, Spencer, Hanna and Emily, four friends whose darkest secrets have been unraveling since Alison, the Queen Bee of their group disappeared. As the mystery surrounding Ali’s disappearance resurfaces, the girls begin getting messages from a mysterious “A,” who they quickly realize is out to get them. Now, after years of tormenting and numerous shocking revelations, the Liars are united and ready to kick some “A” and uncover the truth! No longer just wanting to sit by and wait for “A’s” latest cruel attack, Aria, Emily, Hanna and Spencer take matters into their own hands and try to finally put a stop to their tormentor. As relationships are put to the test, new and old secrets are revealed and the stakes are raised higher than ever before as the Liars come closer to the truth. Will all of their sacrifices be worth it in the end?

When Liz and Emily come over, we’re doing it up in full PLL style! Here are some of my ideas for what I’ve coined as:

M-PLL-partyAn “A” food 

Autumn apple and sausage scramble

Salad with Apple cider vinegar dressing

Asparagus, Artichoke and Mushroom Saute Over Pasta

Maybe a pizza with a pepperoni “A” on it? (We do have a wood-fired oven in the backyard…)

An "A" pizza? Maybe!!

An “A” pizza? Maybe!!

Or anything arugula! (So many “A” food options!)

A PLL beverage

The Liars are all about coffee, but I’m not, so I’m thinking wine instead. Depending on what I decide for dinner plans, I’m thinking a nice Ravenswood blend, after the PLL spinoff that got cancelled (very sadly) last year.

Decor

Since we’re having a party of three (five if you count the cats!), I’ll go easy on the decor, but have to do something!

Here are some of the ideas I’ve found on Pinterest:

"A" letters throughout the house

“A” letters throughout the house

"A" cookies, pictures, letters, oh my!

“A” cookies, pictures, letters, oh my!

Handmade notes, maybe put them in fortune cookies!?

Handmade notes, maybe put them in fortune cookies!?

Maybe some homemade wine glasses are in order?! 

Maybe some homemade wine glasses are in order?!

Very special "A" shot glasses 

Very special “A” shot glasses

So many great ideas are swirling in my mind right now! I’m so excited for the premiere and our partAy!

 

{Wine Wednesday} Holiday wine crafts

WineWednesday

Last week, I asked you to save your bottles for this very post and the great ideas I am about to share. These ideas are for all-things wine and while I haven’t actually done any of them, I plan to before Dec. 25! All of my wine-related crafts can be found on my “Respect the Grape” Pinterest board.

Without further ado, here are the ideas:

Cork crafts:

Santa corks 

Santa corks

Gingerbread cork man 

Gingerbread cork man

Wine cork tree 

Wine cork tree

Snowman corks 

Snowman corks

Snowman wine tag 

Snowman wine tag

Glass crafts: 

Mr. & Mrs. Claus wine glasses 

Mr. & Mrs. Claus wine glasses

Gingerbread wine glasses 

Gingerbread wine glasses 

Christmas light glasses 

Christmas light glasses 

Naughty or nice? Pour accordingly with these glasses 

Naughty or nice? Pour accordingly with these glasses

Snowman wine glasses 

Snowman wine glasses

Bottle decor:

Gnome bottle covers

Gnome bottle covers

Christmas wine tags 

Christmas wine tags 

Happy crafting and happy wine Wednesday!

{Wine Wednesday} Thanksgiving wine pairings

WineWednesday

Lucky us: Vine Pair came through again (Halloween candy-booze pairings) and created this infographic pairing wine, beer and booze with almost every Thanksgiving dish option:

thanksgiving-wine-beer-booze-pairing

If your Thanksgiving drinking plans call for wine, keep the corks and bottles! I’m working on some fun holiday wine bottle and cork crafts that I’ll showcase next week! Three cheers for Thanksgiving!

 

{Wine Wednesday} Job well done, winemakers!

Brandon and I had a few open hours last weekend, so we cruised up to Woodinville and did some wine tasting! We stopped by our favorites (Davenport Cellars and Robert Ramsay Cellars) where they were hard at work finishing the last of this year’s de-stemming, fermenting, and barreling. As we know firsthand (well, Brandon, but you know… royal “we”) wine making is hard work!

Our glasses are raised to you, winemakers and everyone who helps support the process. Thank you for your great work and making Wine Wednesdays possible!

Here are some fun photos I shot at Pomum Cellars and Stevens Winery, some of our new favorite spots to frequent:

Brandon sneaking a peak at the Pomum process

Brandon sneaking a peak at the Pomum process

The warm grapes at Stevens -- the fermenting actually creates heat!

The warm grapes at Stevens — the fermenting actually creates heat!

Working the grapes at Stevens Winery

Working the grapes at Stevens Winery

Happy Wine Wednesday! Cheers!