House of Cards is BACK!

Teaser

Oh yeah! Today is a big day: House of Cards is back on Netflix! (Technically, I believe it was available this morning at midnight, so maybe you stayed up all night watching? More power to you, if yes!)

We’ve got our canned Underwood wine, so we’re ready to go.

Underwood canned wine

To refresh your memory, here is the latest on what’s going on:

Backstabbing

I found a couple of drinking games that we may or may not play. I wanted to share them with you though, just in case you want to play:

Drinkinggame2

Drinkinggame

And if you’re not into drinking and want to make a healthy game of it, or if you’re binge watching and need to try and stay awake, here is a House of Cards workout game:

Workout

Happy watching and cheers!

Dinner at the Herbfarm

Truffle Treasures at the Herbfarm

Truffle Treasures at the Herbfarm

Brandon and I have a lot of stuff. There I said it. So for Christmas, we decided that instead of more stuff, we would do an experience. We’ve always wanted to visit the Herbfarm, so we started scoping out menus and selected the Truffle menu.

You see, the Herbfarm does theme eating monthly. Right after my own heart! We opted for the “Truffle Treasure” of January and we were very glad that we did!

The Herbfarm is an award-winning restaurant in Woodinville, a suburb of Seattle. It’s on the expensive side and the nine courses (nine!) are paired with drinks for the most part. It also takes several hours. We won’t be going back monthly, but this was a great experience and one that I would recommend you do at least once during your time in Seattle! 

My parents watched Michael and we feasted on…

Herbfarm first course

Herbfarm first course

Truffledom: White truffle shumai; black truffle soup with red beet cream; Dungeness crab with truffle butter; and, beech mushroom tempura, truffle salt, Idaho lemon wedge.

Drink pairing: Blue Mountain Vineyard Brut, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia

Herbfarm second course

Herbfarm second course

Albacore & Pickles: Grilled rare Oregon Albacore tuna, assorted pickles put up from our larder.

Drink pairing: 2013 Dr. Loosen Eroica Riesling, Columbia Valley

Herbfarm third course

Herbfarm third course

Earth ‘n’ Trees: Oregon chesnut angolloti, cipollini onion, chervil, Oregon white truffle sauce.

Drink pairing: 2002 L’Ecole No. 41 Semillion, Fries Vineyard, Walla Walla

Herbfarm fourth course

Herbfarm fourth course

Black, White & Blue: Buttermilk-poached blue-footed chicken breast, chicken-skin-crusted salsify, sauce perigourdine.

Drink pairing: 2012 Broadley Vineyards Pinot Noir, Jessica, Willamette Valley

Herbfarm fifth course

Herbfarm fifth course

Mr. Kuro Goes to Washington: Bay-braised Gold Beach Oregon Wagyu beef short rib in feuille de brick, turnips & their greens, our Roy’s Calais Flint corn polenta, huckleberry sweet-sour sauce, black truffle puree.

Drink pairing: 2012 Gorman Winery Winemaker’s Reserve Malbec, Red Mountain

Herbfarm sixth course

Herbfarm sixth course

Parsnip in a Pear’s Pad: Grated parsnip and pear, shave Willamette Valley Boerenkaas cheese, nocino sauce.

Herbfarm seventh course

Herbfarm seventh course

Glass & Ice: Sorbet of muddled Idaho Valencia orange rind and sake, gin glass, Douglas Fir snowbank.

Herbfarm eighth course

Herbfarm eighth course

Oh, Sweet Truffle: Sourdough ice cream, black truffle-caramel apples, fromage blanc, Oregon olive oil cake.

Drink pairing: 2005 Thurston-Wolfe 8-year cask-aged Tawny Port

And course nine: 

Extra desserts!

Extra desserts!

Accompanying dinner: truffled wood-oven foccacia

Thankfully little Michael had equally as fun of night with Grandma and Grandpa. He passed out!

Sleepy Michael

Sleepy Michael

Next on our Seattle food bucket list? Canlis. Maybe next Christmas?

Cork snowmen ornaments (or wine charms or cute decor!)

Can you believe that Christmas is this week? I certainly can’t. The past four months — well, year, really — have flown by. We did manage to get Michael’s first Santa photo in, and we’ll hopefully visit two more Santas this week. Of course I’ll share the photos soon.

Last week I shared yarn ball ornaments. I have another super easy ornament to share with you: Snowmen wine cork ornaments!

As you know, I enjoy a good wine. As a result, I often have a cork or two on-hand for crafting purposes. (Sometimes I have hundreds of corks on-hand, when I want to make a cork wreath or something.) These little guys are so cute and so easy.

Wine cork snowmen!

Wine cork snowmen!

Gather your supplies:

  • Cork(s)
  • A block of orange Fimo or Sculpey modeling clay from your local craft store (The only difference that I’m aware of is that Fimo used to be hard before you warmed it up by sculpting with it. Sculpey has always been soft from the get go. Now they’re pretty much the same.)
  • Screw eye (also available at your local crafts store — in the jewelry-making section — or at your local Home Depot of Lowe’s.) These are one per ornament, so buy the appropriate amount.
  • Black Sharpie pen or black paint pen
  • Super glue (possibly already on-hand from your Thanksgiving appetizer platter making!?)
  • Toothpick
  • Ribbon (optional)

Instructions:

1. First, roll out the carrot noses. Mold the clay with your fingers to the appropriate size. Mine are approximately 1/2″ long and 1/8″ thick. I roll mine a little wider on the base, to look more like a carrot. I also use the toothpick or my fingernail to add some lines. I sculpt the base of the carrot against the pad of my finger, so it’s a little rounded, matching the curvature of the cork. (This will help with the gluing in step 3.)

Sculpt the noses

Sculpt the noses

 

"Carrot" lines

“Carrot” lines

2. Bake the noses per the instructions on the clay. I overcooked my first batch, so watch them carefully and err on the side of under cooking them. They will burn, turn color, and stink up your house for days if cooked too long.

3. Once the clay has cooled, add a dab of super glue to the base of the “carrot” and attach to the cork. You’ll need to hold it there for 10 seconds or so, to secure it.

4. Use the Sharpie to draw on the eyes and mouth of your snowman. You don’t need mad drawing skills for this as you’re drawing circles. (Like I said, so easy!)

Snowmen in process

Snowmen in process

5. Screw the screw eye into the top of the cork.

6. Add a decorative ribbon if you’d like. Your new cork snowman can double as an ornament or as an accessory to a bottle of wine you’re gifting friends or family. Or, you can just set them out since they’re so dang cute.

The possibilities are endless with these cuties. You can omit screw eyes and instead slice the top of the cork and turn these into place card holders! (Be sure to slice at an angle, which I didn’t do.)

Ornaments OR place card holders! All ready for Christmas!

Ornaments OR place card holders! All ready for Christmas!

Now, open a bottle of wine so you have a cork for this fun project!

I hope you have a great week! Now I’m off to brainstorm 2016 resolutions. Anyone have any ideas for me? Please share!

 

{Wine Wednesday} Thanksgiving pie wine pairings

WineWednesday

While I’m busy chopping and prepping items for tomorrow’s big Thanksgiving celebration (I’m making my turkey-shaped appetizer platters from 2013 AND 2014), I’ll leave you with this chart on Thanksgiving pie wine pairings from VinePair. (They’re the best!)

2015 thanksgiving-pie-wine-pairing-chart

VinePair also posted wine, beer and booze Thanksgiving pairings in 2014, which might come in handy for your celebrations!  

Photos of my spreads to come tomorrow! I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving eve!

 

Halloween preparations on Megan’s Island {2015}

2013-10-31-Halloween1

Man, this baby vacation is flying by and I’m not doing nearly the amount of fun festive crafting and blogging that I had hoped I would be! I had grand plans of decking the house (and the kid) out for Halloween, but I’m nowhere close. Alas, he’s worth it — and I followed through on decking him out!

Michael & Beary Goldberg: best friends!

Michael & Beary Goldberg: best friends!

BOO! It's Michael!

BOO! It’s Michael!

First things first, I found a bottle of wine for Halloween: the 2013 Dearly Beloved Forever Red. There are many bottles out there and this one matches Michael’s skeleton costume the best, so I had to have it. Plus the price was right at under $10.

Skeleton baby & skeleton head wine!

Skeleton baby & skeleton head wine!

I’ve seen lots of Halloween-y wines at QFC and Trader Joe’s, and here are some wine-specific candy pairing ideas I found this year. If wine isn’t your thing, VinePair had some great Halloween Candy/alcohol pairings last year. Read my post here.

For a festive dinner, I’ve been scouring Pinterest during middle-of-the-night feedings and have settled on a “scary” lasagna. I opted for this “Cheesy Brussels sprout lasagna” with a scary face topping. I’m hoping it looks like this, but without the red sauce:

Scary lasagna!

Scary lasagna!

Last year we made a zombie meatloaf (this is awesome, delicious, gluten-free, and quick and easy, if you need an idea!).

Turkey meatloaf zombie

In 2013, we made squid ink pasta with “brain” sauce.

Spooky Halloween Pasta | Megan's Island Blog

For more Halloween ideas, check out my Pinterest “Halloween Inspirations” board. So many great ideas that you could even do on short notice for this year!

{Wine Wednesday} Game day wine pairings

WineWednesday

VinePair always has the best wine pairing ideas and infographics! (See Halloween candy, Thanksgiving, and Christmas cookies.)

They scored once again with these football foods and wine pairings. I’m sure these would all be great with beer, but that’s not my thing, so this is especially poignant for me. Especially since I’ll be spending the bulk of my sportsball-watching at home, in front of the TV with my little guy. Don’t nachos and malbec sound delightful right now?!

 

2015-9-16 football-gameday-wine-pairings-infographic
Happy drinking and go Huskies, Broncos and Seahawks! 

{Wine Wednesday} Upcoming drinking events

WineWednesday

Over the weekend we celebrated Brandon’s birthday by going wine tasting. I only stole very small sips of some of my favorite reds, but enjoyed spending time with our friends and family. Brandon, on the other hand, enjoyed all of his favorites from Pondera Winery, Robert Ramsay Cellars, Davenport Cellars and Pomum.

My cousin Mike was in town from Florida, experiencing the Woodinville Warehouse District for the first time

My cousin Mike was in town from Florida, experiencing the Woodinville Warehouse District for the first time

We skipped Efeste because they refused to accommodate a group of our size (10) at the time we were planning on stopping by– or even a nearby time. Too bad for them because our group bought many bottles on our afternoon of tasting! It’s also likely the final straw and this next release will likely be our last as club members.

We’ve been club members at Efeste longer than we’ve been married (we joined in October 2010) and over the years their wines and customer service have been going downhill, in my opinion, and getting more expensive.

The service and wines at Pondera were very good.  If I were drinking, we’d likely join their club. We’ll see what happens come September and Baby Mo’s birth.

We also greatly enjoyed our time at Robert Ramsay Cellars and Pomum, enjoying both the wine and the company. However, the highlight was probably our stop at Davenport Cellars. They were kind enough to let us bring in a birthday cake for Brandon, which he loved. The group not only really enjoyed their wines but their kitchen too, the only reliable place to eat in the warehouse district, a big hit to a hungry group.

Bakery Nouveau classic chocolate cake pairs VERY nicely with Davenport's Orange Muscat!

Bakery Nouveau classic chocolate cake pairs VERY nicely with Davenport’s Orange Muscat!

Anyway, if you are interested in checking out Davenport’s wines, you can stop by and see them and a variety of other local winemakers at these upcoming events. Drink local. Cheers!

TOMORROW, Thursday, April 23rd: The annual STEM event at the Pacific Science Center. This is a fundraiser for the PSC and includes a souvenir wine glass, unlimited wine tastings and appetizers. For more information please visit STEM:Science Uncorked.

May 2nd from 1 to 5pm: Join Davenport Cellars, Des Voigne Cellars and Pondera Winery for their annual Vino de Mayo event. You will receive 10 tasting tickets good for tastes from any of the wineries, a gourmet taco plate by Chef Anne Marie, mixed case discounts and some fun in the sun. Cost is $25 and totally worth it! Additional tasting and food tickets will be available for purchase. Please RSVP with your name and the number in your group before end of day Tuesday, April 28th to Jeff at Davenport Cellars: jeff@davenportcellars.com

May 8th: The Downtown Kent Wine Walk. For more information please visit Downtown Kent Wine Walk.