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Monthly Archives: March 2017

About Vegetables On Grill

Use an oil base. Olive oil is popular. Grapeseed, sesame, and coconut oils are healthier.

Add lots and lots of herbs and spices.

Coat the grill with peanut oil to prevent sticking.

Grill quickly, but don’t over cook. Vegetables on the grill need to be done quickly.

Any vegetables can be done on the grill. Larger ones can be cut into smaller pieces. Zucchini, corn, green beans, asparagus, tomato (firm ones), onion, garlic (whole cloves), potato, squash, peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, beets, turnips are all good candidates. All fruit that are a little more solid are also good.

Get your fruits and vegetables from the farmer’s market. That way, you get the freshest vegetables. Fresh is important because fresh vegetables retain their structure. Firm vegetables are better.

Ever tried grilled peaches or watermelon? You don’t know what you are missing!

All meats can be done on the grill. Eggs and fish should be done in a pan or on foil, because they can fall through the grates.

Obtain your meats from a local butcher that uses local meats. This is far healthier, with a better fat profile (more heart healthy omega-3s). Find a local farm that sells eggs. See if they let their chickens run around and eat weeds and bugs, their natural diet. The meats and eggs taste better on a natural diet, and cook up so much better. Yes, you will taste the difference.

Best of all: you can’t cook breads, pastas, or any junk on the grill! Just don’t go adding it in.

Love Red Wine

It is made of dark grapes, it takes intense violet color initially but later it takes red brick color as it matures with time. Its production is a long tedious process but it could be understood in short. This red color comes from the skin of the grapes which consists of anthocyanin pigments which give rich texture, taste, besides colour that attracts all. Red wine is given treatment at the winery during fermentation. The process starts with selected grapes going through stainless steel crushers and later preservatives are added which help on timely fermenting as well as maintain good quality and texture to the drink. Yeast is added and later is goes through the cooling process and then the pressing, the second transformation through microbiological takes place. This is a very important process in wine making. Later it is kept to mature and the process is called racking and ageing. The older the wine is the better quality it would be. Then fining is done to rectify any faults in post production of the wine. Wine is filtered and finally bottling takes place. Bottling is generally done in glass bottles with cork stoppers which give it a classic look.

Consumption of wine depends on the menu being served with it. Red wine is always preferred with heavy red meat and roasted, roasted, cuisine whereas white wine is taken with light snacks like fish and poultry items. Red wine is the most loved liquor or drinks in this universe for various reasons. The foremost reason is that it is good for health if taken in a moderate quantity. It lowers the cholesterol and its consumption prevents heart ailments and some form of cancer as well. As grapes contain antioxidants which prevent oxidative damage to our body and act as a preventive measure in many types of cancer. In a recently published journal is stated that intake of red wine lowers the blood sugar level. In women, if taken in small quantity, it can prevent type 2 diabetes and it lowers sex hormonal levels and protect against breast cancer. Thus we can make out why it is so highly rated by everyone, as it takes care of our heart which is the most important part of our body. Today’s life is full of stress and pressures and we take various measures to release stress including medicines which may have some side effects but your friend red wine can relieve stress and relax your nerves. Well if you catch a cold you do not have to take any specified medicine for it, just a regular glass of red wine will solve your problem. We do not have to think twice as it takes care of our health as a trusted doctor and friend.

Drink To Health Organically

To get a real bottle of certified organic wine, consumers need to become familiar with what “organic” means and the process it takes to become certified organic. Further, a 100% organic wine must come from organically grown grapes and the juice must be processed according to stipulated standards. In the U.S. there are two certifying organizations that authored real organic regulations: Demeter-USA (1985) and USDA-National Organic Program (2002). These are uniform documented certification programs.

But, certified organic is not immune to clever games of semantics. Winery marketing departments will use such words as: Sustainable Practices, From Organic Grapes, or Natural. These definitions do not carry any legal authority and are pretty much self defined by any number of trade organizations.

Demeter-USA’s patented certification approach recognizes a farm (vineyard for our discussion) as a self contained living organism, known around the world as Biodynamic Certified. This certification dictates a stringent practice of grape production that basically says no synthetic pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers may be brought into the farm environment. Only unaltered natural products produced from within the farm may be used to produce grapes. Biodynamic certification even dictates how much of the farm/vineyard must be set aside for natural habitat.

Demeter-USA also stipulates a minimal manipulation of the wine, prohibiting non-natural yeasts, heavy use of sulfites, water, even malolactic fermentation. But they do allow the use of natural egg whites and bentonite to adjust wine minimally.

Bottom-line, Demeter-USA is the highest certification of organic wine attainable and Biodynamic certification can only come through Demeter-USA.

USDA-National Organic Program came about in 2002 to set a minimum standard for a product to be labeled “organic”. Several organizations can certify wines as organic, as defined by USDA regulations. Some states such as Oregon do their own USDA organic certification as do other entities.

Generally speaking, USDA Organic is not as strict a certification as Biodynamic certification. There are USDA restrictions on synthetic pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers; however there are no standards relative to the whole farm approach to managing the farm as an organism. In a winery, the USDA does allow more intervention with yeasts, sulfites, and acids in the wine making process. (Check the regulations for specific approved additives.)

Note: Wine may also be labeled as “From Organic Grown Grapes” and still not be an “organic” wine.

In summary, the differences between Biodynamic and Organic are:

· Biodynamic–the vineyard is to be viewed in the context of soil, all plants, and animal interaction in a defined area.

· Biodynamic–no dependence on imported or synthetic materials for fertilizing, weed control, and pest control.

USDA Organic-no synthetic materials in the vineyard but natural products can be brought into the vineyard.

· Biodynamic–focus is on sustainability of the farm/vineyard and minimized waste of water and natural resources. In reality, biodynamic wines have the smallest carbon footprint of any agricultural method.

· Biodynamic– wines must be produced with Biodynamic approved natural ingredients and protected from manipulation in the process of fermentation and putting into the bottle. These conditions are outlined in a Biodynamic Processing Standards document.

USDA Organic-allows the winery to manipulate the wine but only if they use approved materials.

· Biodynamic–the vineyard must be a self-contained eco-system.

· Organic is a less regulated wine than Biodynamic yet is still a powerful approach to healthier wines.

Other verbiage that might be misleading consumers looking for organic wine: Sustainable, Natural or just the words “From organic grapes”. Sustainable seems to be most indicative of vineyards or wineries who strive to conserve water, conserve energy and minimize their waste. In California there are grower associations who certify their members under – “SIP Certified” and “Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing”. This has nothing to do with use of pesticides, etc.

Comfort Foods and Wine

One of my favorite comfort foods around the holiday season is ham and cheese scalloped potatoes. My Mom used to make this every year when we had leftover ham from Thanksgiving and Christmas. Of course, potatoes were always plentiful around the kitchen.

This rich, wonderful casserole is a mixture of potatoes sliced thinly, bite sized pieces of ham, onions, peppers and canned cream of mushroom soup. Dotted with real butter and sprinkled with grated cheddar this is one of my guilty pleasures. It is easy to put together and I have even learned to use my kitchen mandolin to thinly slice the spuds. The most difficult part of the whole dish is to wait for it to cook in the oven! The last time I made this treat, I paired it with a crisp green salad and unoaked Chardonnay from Heron Hills, located in the Finger Lakes region of New York. This is a crisp white wine which reminds me a lot of Pinot Grigio, one of my faves, and it pairs well with a lot of food.

After a busy day of holiday shopping, what could be better than to call up your local pizza parlor and order a double pepperoni pizza with thin crust and have it delivered directly to your home. Set your table with cloth napkins, light a candle and pair this with inexpensive Chianti served in your best crystal wine glasses. This is definitely a guilty pleasure delight!

The night before any big holiday celebration try treating your self to warm from the oven, double fudge chocolate chip brownies. The cake portion of the brownie will be moist and the dark chocolate chips will still be gooey, OH MY! Pair this with a full bodied Cabernet Sauvignon from Chile and it will bring out the best in the chocolate as well as the wine. Total decadence!

I could, of course, go on and on about the joys of wine food pairing with comfort foods, but I am sure you get the idea. It is easy and fun to do.