Menu planning is difficult. Every weekend, I look through my cookbooks and notebooks to decide what I'm going to make for the week ahead. But even with the hundreds of recipes available, sometimes I want to change things up a bit.
I follow about a hundred food blogs so you can imagine how inundated I am with recipes every day. When I see a particular recipe I love, I email myself a link to that blog post. Then I tag it with "Recipes" in my Gmail. So anytime I feel dissatisfied with all the books and all the ripped-out magazine pages (I know, poor me, right?), I turn to my email. Which is how I discovered this gem: Wine-Marinated Grapes, which I virtually dog-eared from the blog Thursday Night Smackdown. I dog-eared it in 2008.
I was looking for inspiration this past Saturday. Adam was out of town, visiting his own Soul Twin (husband to my own Soul Twin), and Bug was wiped out from a 3-day camping trip. Which is code for she-was-going-to-sleep-a-lot-and-watch-lots-of-TV. So what to do with all that free time? Make drunk grapes!
Michelle at Thursday Night Smackdown got the recipe from Bon Appetit...and aptly, brilliantly named the post "The Snozzberries Taste Like Snozzberries". Come on, children's literature folks, you know where that line is from. God, the parallels of food and kids' lit never cease to amaze me.
ANYWAY, the recipe is ridonkulously easy. Click the Bon Appetit link above - you'll see. And here's where I might scare away potential dinner guests (and maybe even the ones in current rotation): the recipe requires a bottle of dry white wine and I used a bottle of white Zin that a guest had brought over for dinner. White. Zin. I am not drinking that. Ever. And this is the moment where everyone who ever comes over to my house for dinner (and reads this blog) panics. So, for that, I am sorry.
One thing that Michelle mentions is that you can strain the marinating liquid and save it for wine spritzers. I was skeptical. I mean, wine spritzers? With white Zin? A little froofy, right? Oh, no. This was soooo good:
The wine, the grape juice, and the lemon zest are rather sublime. Add a splash of seltzer and a couple of lime slices and you have the perfect summer apertif. Really wonderful.
This is a ridiculously long blog post about drunk grapes but I can't resist. What a fun way to spend my Saturday afternoon while Bug was watching Wizards of Waverly Place.
Eat, drink, and snozz some berries.
Okay, I'll bite. As a non-wine drinker, what's wrong with a white zin? (Just so I'll know why not to bring it to people! ;))
Have I ever told you about how wonderful Evernote is for storing and organizing recipes? You can bookmark, organize, and tag whole webpages, but also highlight and clip just the highlighted text - perfect for just getting the recipes from a long blog post. There's still a trackback link, so you can refer back to the original post if you want. It has a great iPhone app, so I can refer to recipes on my phone. I love it!
Plus, the grapes sound awesome.
Laura ~ White Zins are akin to the McDonald's of the wine world (well, maybe that's actually Boons...). They're highly manufactured and more driven by their marketing than their quality. That said, they do have their place - I hate to completely discourage anyone from buying a bottle and I fear I was too harsh in my blog post. They're usually sweet so they'll pair with spicy foods, also burgers and pizza. But with those foods, you might be better served with a rose, Riesling, or Sauvignon Blanc. There are a lot of good quality ones at the $10-$15 price point.
Anali, I don't think you've mentioned it so I'll check it out. Especially since I also have recipes marked on my Epicurious account. Recipes all over the place! I'd love to streamline everything. And the grapes were awesome. Thursday Night Smackdown actually froze hers, which I tried, but it was too cold for me. But can't you imagine popping wine-y frozen grapes in the heat of the Arizona summer? Yum!
Dude, I am so making this! Thank you! I have two bottles of two-buck Chuck rose chilling a hole in my fridge (my husband bought 'em as an experiment -- BZZZT -- and I made sangria from one and was trying to figure out how to turn another into popsicles, but this sounds funner). Let it be known that I am NOT a TJ's wine snob -- sauvignon blanc, I will chug you! come into my belleh!-- but dang, the rose tastes like the Bartles & Jaymes of my dissolute youth. So excited to try a THING with it!
Marjorie ~ This is JUST the recipe for that sort of thing. It really doesn't make a difference the quality wine you use. In fact, the added sugar and the lemon zest make something that you might normally drink incredibly quaffable. Have at it.
Wine popsicles?! For reals? Um, recipe? (It can't be as easy as putting wine in popsicle molds and freezing them, can it?)
Laura, here's Bobby Flay's sangria popsicle recipe: (http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/bobby-flay/sangria-ice-pops-recipe/index.html) -- I was gonna use TJ's unsweetened cherry juice instead of the pomegranate juice, simply because I have it. And I have no corn syrup so I was gonna put in a little honey or agave syrup even tho I think he used the corn syrup for textural reasons, oh well. (FWIW, the other boozy popsicle I keep wanting to try is the Gourmet magazine recipe for Campari and grapefruit ice pops --every year I say I'm gonna make 'em and then flail. I am not a big Campari fan, but I can tolerate it with grapefruit, and it was my dad's favorite cocktail (and sorbet) and it would be fun to make 'em in his memory.
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