Beverages

Recipe—Summertime White Sangria

So I have this incredible friend named Brandy. We have many things in common. One of which is our fabulous taste in refreshing adult beverages. A few weeks back I was at her home for a summer birthday party, and she made this white wine sangria. It was incredible! I would define it as being the perfect summer drink. I have had red sangria before but found it to be a bit heavy for a warm summer day. (I’m more of a white wine gal anyways.) This could not be further from the traditional sangria. It is light and super refreshing. I decided to make Brandy’s recipe for 4th of July for my aunt who says she doesn’t like sangria. (She had a bad experience.) Well guess what, my aunt could not get enough. Who am I kidding? No one could get enough! We had the pitcher wiped out within an hour. It could have been the 100º+ day that had us drinking glasses hand over fist, but either way every drop was enjoyed. This is the perfect drink for a summer party or just a lazy day by the pool. And don’t forget to eat the fruit. That is one of the best parts! Gotta get in your vitamins.

Note: For the white wine I used Pomelo’s sauvignon blanc (one of my favorite summer wines). It has a nice refreshing grapefruit flavor. Anything with citrus notes will give you wonderful results. I recommend using a pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc. I actually bought two bottles and made ice cubes with one of them. This way rather than get watered down as the ice melted, the sangria just got better. 😉

INGREDIENTS
750 ml bottle of sweet white wine (see above note)
2/3 c peach schnapps
1 peach, sliced
1 mango, sliced
1 orange, sliced
1 lime, sliced
1 1/2 c raspberries
2 c ginger ale

STEPS

  • In a large pitcher combine together the wine, peach schnapps, and all the fruit.
  • Place the pitcher in the fridge and allow it to set overnight. (This step is not necessarily but it is highly recommended. Sitting overnight will allow the fruit to soak up some of the boozy goodness and allow the fruit flavors to infuse into the wine.)
  • Add the ginger ale to the pitcher right before serving.
  • Top off the pitcher with ice.
  • Pour. Relax. Enjoy.
Dinners

Recipe—Shrimp in Creamy Red Pepper Sauce Over Linguine

A couple weeks back I was having my good friend Sarah over for dinner on a work night. Work nights are already crazy so I needed something snazzy but yet quick and easy so I wouldn’t be spending our whole night together in the kitchen. Well one thing that cracks me up about Sarah is that she eats whole bell peppers like an apple. This girl loves her bell peppers! So I knew I wanted a dish that had a nice red pepper flavor. This one was it! The pepper flavor is very mild and goes great with the rich creamy wine sauce and of course shrimp cook super quick. We had a winner! This recipe was a huge hit. I served this pasta dish with a green salad and a fresh baguette for a quick and impressive dinner you’d think came out of a restaurant.

INGREDIENTS
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp garlic, minced
1 1/2 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined
salt and pepper
1/4 c white wine
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 tsp chili paste (more if you like things on the spicy side)
1 pt whipping cream
1/4 c fresh bail, chopped

STEPS

  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add the garlic and heat through for about 1 minute making sure not to burn it.
  • Add the shrimp and season with salt and pepper.
  • Sauté the shrimp and cook most of the way through, about 3–5 minutes.
  • Transfer the cooked shrimp to a bowl and cover with foil.
  • Pour the wine to the skillet and cook until it reduces by half.
  • Add the bell pepper, chili paste, and cream.
  • Simmer for 5–6 minutes or until the cream begins to thicken.
  • Add the shrimp back into the skillet and simmer in the sauce for another 3 minutes.
  • Stir in the majority of the basil leaving some for garnish.
  • Serve the shrimp and a spoonful of the sauce over cooked linguine and garnish with some of the leftover chopped basil.
Side Dishes

Recipe—Garlic Roasted Mushrooms

How many times have you had mushrooms on hand and you just sautéed and served them up as a lackluster side dish? Never again! Okay, I’m sure we will do it again, but after having these flavor packed oven-roasted mushrooms my eyes have been opened to a whole new super easy way to prepare the fabulous fungi. I won’t deny, I have simply sautéed mushrooms an abundance of times myself but mushrooms deserve so much more than that! These roasted mushrooms are so simple and the flavors come together very nicely. This dish really has an elegant flare to it, perfect for a romantic dinner night. I served it with sliced tri tip and some crusty bread to sop up all those yummy juices. Can’t let wine go to waste after all!

Note: Chop any large mushrooms in half so that they all cook evenly.

INGREDIENTS
1 lb mushrooms (cremini or white)
2 tbsp capers
2 tsp garlic, minced
2 tsp olive oil
1/4 c white wine
salt and pepper
3 tbsp butter, sliced into pieces
2 tsp lemon juice
1/4 c flat leaf parsley, chopped

STEPS

  • Preheat oven to 450º F.
  • In a small baking dish toss together the mushrooms, capers, garlic, olive oil, wine, salt, and pepper.
  • Top with sliced butter.
  • Roast stirring occasionally until the mushrooms are tender, about 15–20 minutes.
  • Remove mushrooms from oven and stir in the lemon juice.
  • Top with parsley and serve immediately.
Dinners

Recipe—Shrimp Scampi

I am a girl that loves her seafood. How can you be from California and not love fresh fish? Shrimp scampi is one of my favorite ways to eat these delicious little crustaceans. Not only does it taste delicious, but it also has a very elegant appeal to it. If you are a garlic and butter lover then this is right up your alley. I have been making this for years and I was shocked when I made this last week and even my toddler kept asking for more, and more, and more. The little guy just couldn’t get enough. I think it is safe to say he likes shrimp scampi and thankfully doesn’t have a shellfish allergy. Phew! Shrimp scampi is wonderful served over pasta and is just as good when eaten with a green salad and some crusty bread to soak up all the garlicky buttery goodness. This recipe really is quick and easy. Most of your time will be spent cleaning and peeling your shrimp so to help expedite the process I recommend purchasing shrimp that are already cleaned and out of the shell. You might pay a little more, but in my mind it is so worth it.

Note: Cooking time may vary based on the size of the shrimp you use. If serving with pasta I recommend linguine.

INGREDIENTS
1 lb large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
3/4 c white wine
1/4 c olive oil
1/2 c butter
3 tbsp garlic, minced
1/4 tsp paprika
salt to taste
1/2 tbsp parsley
grated parmesan cheese

STEPS

  • In a large skillet over medium heat combine wine, olive oil, butter, and garlic. Bring just to a boil.
  • Allow sauce to simmer for 3–4 minutes to reduce.
  • Add in paprika, salt, and shrimp.
  • Cook for 6–7 minutes or until shrimp turns pink. Be sure not to overcook.
  • Mix in the chopped parsley and remove from heat.
  • If serving over pasta pour a good amount of the sauce into your pot of cooked, drained pasta and toss to coat.
  • Spoon the shrimp over pasta or onto a serving dish, top with more sauce, and finish off with a liberal amount of parmesan cheese.