" I truly think it is best to be a robin lightly dressed concocting soup inside my nest" ~Maurice Sendak


I am a big fan of pairing foods with wine.

This Christmas I received a bottle of wine as a gift.
It said on the label that the wine went well with Hoisin Steak.
So I set out to find the perfect recipe to go with this wine however most of the recipes I researched had the steaks being grilled outside.
Well, we all know that right now it is way to cold to be outside grilling so I made up my own version using the oven.

Hoisin sauce is found in the Asian section of grocery stores. It is made from soybeans and spices.

I was so pleased with how this turned out and with the wine it was a match made in heaven.

Oven Hoisin Steak
  • 1/2 cup of hoisin sauce
  • 1/2 cup of soy sauce
  •  1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
  • 2 tbsp black pepper
  • 4 strip loin steaks
 Mix first 4 ingredients and place in a zip lock bag.
Add steaks and marinate in fridge for 2 to 3 hours.
Preheat oven to 375F
Place steaks and remaining marinade in baking dish.
Cook in the oven until streaks are done to your liking. (about 20 minutes for medium)
Let rest for a few minutes and serve with rice and broccoli. 

Wine Suggestion: Red Velvet by Cupcake Winery



Now that the cold weather has finally descended upon us our thoughts once again turn to warm comfort foods.
I have previously posted this recipe before however I recently made it again and revamped the ingredients. I think it is much better so I am posting it again.

Hungarian Goulash has been around since the early 19th century. It was very popular among herdsmen who worked in the fields. They cooked this cross between a soup and stew over an open fire in a cast iron pot.

This hearty dish can be served on its own with crusty bread, over potatoes or rice as I have done here.

I guarantee this dish will warm you from the inside out.

Hungarian Goulash

  • ~olive oil
  • 2 pounds of diced stewing beef
  • 3 onions sliced
  • 2 red bell peppers diced
  • 2 carrots diced
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup paprika
  • 2 tsp caraway seeds
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 2 cups of beef stock
  • 2 cups of red wine
  • 1 can of tomato paste
  • 1  cup of strained tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 325F
In a dutch oven heat the oil and saute the onions and peppers until light brown.
Add the beef and cook until browned.
Add garlic and seasonings and continue to cook until a few more minutes. Add the remaining ingredients bring to a low boil.
Cover and place in the oven.
Cook until meat is tender and stock is reduced.
About 3 hours.

Serve over potatoes, noodles or rice.

Wine Suggestion: Cabernet Sauvignon



Its that time again.
 Time to get back to reality. No more over indulgence. Time to get back to healthy eating and exercise  to work off all those holiday treats.
This side dish is made with one of the labeled "superfoods",  sweet potatoes.
Ive mentioned before that they are chock full of nutrients and goodness. I am always looking for different ways to prepare them.

This dish is pretty easy to get together and goes well with just about any meat, especially pork and chicken. You can vary the amount of bread crumbs and cheese you put on top to suit your liking.

So there you have it, comfort food that is also good for you!
What a way to kick start the New Year!

Two Potato Layered Gratin

  • 1/2 a garlic clove
  • olive oil
  • 1 pound of Yukon gold potatoes sliced thin (peeled if you wish)
  • 2 sweet potatoes peeled and sliced thin.
  • 3/4 cup of milk
  • 3/4 cup of light cream  ( or you can use all milk)
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • breadcrumbs
  • grated old cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper
 Preheat oven to 350

Rub a shallow baking dish with the garlic clove and then brush with a layer of olive oil.
Arrange Yukon gold potatoes slices in the bottom.
Drizzle with olive oil.
Arrange sweet potato slices over top.
season with salt pepper.
Continue layering in this fashion until you have used up the potatoes.
Heat the milk, nutmeg and cream if using together in a saucepan.
Pour over the potatoes . Top with bread crumbs and grated cheese.

Bake in the oven for about 60 to 70 minutes. Cut into squares and serve.