Have you heard the news??? Just today Nespresso announced a BRAND NEW LINE OF MACHINES WITH BRAND NEW TECHNOLOGY! Oh that's right- the best single serve coffee system out there has launched a new line of machines known as the Vertuoline that, through barcode technology, determine the optimum brewing for the inserted capsule. So why is this important? Well this new machine has the capability to brew a large cup (8 ounces) of coffee- with crema!
Now, I haven't yet gotten to test out the machines, however I will bring you as much information as I can on this as I learn more...but man - THIS is exciting!
As many of you know, a few years ago I attended the International Food Bloggers Conference that was held in Seattle, Washington. While I was there I had the incredible fortune to meet one of Seattle's best chefs, Matthew Farrer, and he became someone I count as a very dear friend today. Late 2012 he was diagnosed with advanced stage cancer. The restaurant community in Seattle has rallied around him and, for the second year running, are putting together a benefit dinner to assist with his medical bills. This dinner is scheduled for this weekend, February 16th.
Unfortunately I am unable to make it to the festivities but I wanted to commemorate the occasion in the best way possible- by toasting him with a glass of wine that I was first introduced to by him- White Burgundy. The Burgundy region of France, located in the mid -east region of the country, is the classic and often regarded as the best place where Chardonnay grapes are grown. The climate is cool to moderate which creates a more acidic wine.
I purchased a bottle of Vins Auvigue Charonnay from Villages de Davayé, 2011
vintage. These grapes are hand harvested, pressed and then aged in steel. Here this created a wine without any oak notes which is typical of the Maconnais portion of Burgundy. The wine had an incredible fresh lemon and citrus nose, clean, and moderate in intensity. It's flavor however was a beautiful mix of both lemon, and butter. It was acidic, had great body and was very pleasing to sip. It wasn't perhaps not the most complex wine, but at $20.00 for a bottle, inexpensive for the region, it was exactly what I wanted, and I could feel Matt's approval from across the country.
More information concerning Matt's dinner can be found here. If you can attend, or donate, every bit will help. Either way- I encourage you to raise a glass to his honor.
A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the wonders of Chia Seed Pudding. Since then I have been feasting on it for breakfast almost everyday since. Then, last week, I got a craving for Banana Bread. I blame it on the cold, but I came very close to mixing up the batter and baking up a loaf. However as I thought more about it I knew that there had to be a healthier way to satisfy my craving....and then I thought...Banana Bread Chia Seed Pudding!
The mix of warm spices, with mashed banana and crunchy nuts immediately satisfied my craving and made me glad that baking pans got to stay tucked away in my cabinets. My recipe makes two servings.
1 slightly over ripe banana
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup chia seeds
1/2 tsp honey (maple syrup or agave syrup would also work)
1 cup milk (low fat, almond, or soy as you desire)
1/4 cup chopped almonds or walnuts
Mash the banana and blend thoroughly with the cinnamon, honey and vanilla extract. When blended, stir in the milk and chia seeds. Refrigerate four hours or over night, stirring about a 1/2 hour in to make sure it's evening blended. When read to eat, stir in the chopped nuts.
I have some pretty exciting news to share with you all. As you all know, last year I had the incredible opportunity to visit the Jordan Winery out in Sonoma, California. I documented their incredible land, their beautiful tours, the passion that goes into their wine for you all. I wrote about the history of their process, their desire to appeal to a younger audience. I shared all of what I learned at the Winery except one thing- what it inspired in me.
See I've been a wine lover for years. When I was younger I was into beer and cocktails as many of my friends were, but as the years progressed, I shied away from cocktails more and more and turned to wine as my favorite drink. Accompanying a meal, relaxing in the evening, sipping on a waterfront veranda, to me, aside from a sporting event, there isn't a spot where wine isn't a perfect accompaniment. My time, however, at the Jordan Winery, opened my eyes to the whole world of wine in a much more in depth way. I learned a much more in depth take on the processes that go into making wine. The blending of grapes, the science of aging, the nutrients in the soil. The more the team spoke to me about the process, the more I wanted to learn.
Over the fall I spent more time learning the ideas of wine, I read books and articles, I spoke with sommeliers, I took some intro level classes. Now, I am incredibly pleased to announce that I have begun certification training. I am attending classes through the WSET, and am loving every minute of it. So for you, my readers, this means many many more discussions about wine here. My own tasting notes, pairings, and anything else I can get my hands on. Get ready guys- lots of new stuff coming!