"True wine enthusiasts don’t collect wines.
They collect memories of wines shared with friends and family."

-Dario Zucconi

Saturday, June 11, 2011

From the Farmers' Hands to Our Dinner Table

With our busy schedules - work, kids, chores, errands, occasional exercise -- it surely is difficult for us to take the time and enjoy what mother nature has to offer.  For me, Saturdays are always one of my favorite days.  It's a day that I stop and breathe after a long week of work. 

Whenever possible, here is how I love to spend my Saturdays: Being woken up by the kids (well, I wouldn't say that's necessarily our favorite part since the kids don't seem to comprehend the concept of sleeping in!).  A scrumptious breakfast with the kids.  Going to the Lakeshore Peet's Coffee Shop to get a Cappuccino (a Latte for my hubby!).  Going for a run around Lake Merritt.  Taking the kids to the playground by the Lake.  Walking to the Farmers' Market where we can sample all kinds of fresh fruits and picking out the freshest produce in season.  Having lunch with the kids (sometimes after Nelianne's ballet class).  Running errands (those little things that we intended to take care off during the week, which somehow we were never able to do).  Thinking of what to make for dinner, based on what I picked up from the Farmers' Market.  Preparing a delicious dinner for my family (sometimes, with friends!).  And, sitting at the dinner table and eating together as a family.  Nothing compares!  Well, today was one of those Saturdays when my heart was filled with some wonderful memories of spending an exceptional day with my family.  It was, as it always is, a busy day for us.  But, it ended with a delicious dinner.

I wanted to share some of the highlights with you.  For dinner, we had some New York steaks (pan seared and finished in the oven, thanks to my steak master husband).  The side dishes consisted of these beautiful and incredibly delicious sweet multi-colored carrots that I picked up from the Farmers' Market, simply prepared (see below for recipe).  I also sauteed some Swiss Chards (recipe also below). 

Carrots Recipe:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Wash and peel the carrots. Peel and slice some red onions. Place the carrots and onions on a baking sheet.
Sprinkle some extra virgin olive oil on the carrots. Season with salt and fresh ground black pepper. Sprinkle about 1/2 teaspoon of Italian Seasonings.
Bake the carrots in the oven for about 30 minutes.

Swiss Chard Recipe:

Wash Swiss Chard under cold water (very important to wash well and remove any dirt). Cut off the tip of the bottom and discard. Chop chard into bite size pieces. Dice 1 clove of garlic. Heat up about 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil over medium heat. Saute the garlic. Add a pinch of red pepper flakes. Add the chopped Swiss Chard. Saute until softened (about 5 minutes). Remove from heat and serve.

Okay, for those who know me well, you know that I don't usually make dessert. Every once in a while, I'll make some simple dessert.  Tonight, I decided to make a Peach Cobbler with some crunchy and sweet white peaches that I picked up from the Farmers' Market.  I used this simple recipe from the Food Network (http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-specials/peach-cobbler-recipe/index.html). The result was pure heaven! 

Of course, a dinner at the Warner household wouldn't be complete without some great wine. Tonight, we tried an incredible Cabernet Sauvignon (unfiltered) that we picked up from BevMo's $.05 sale. It's Arrowood's Cabernet (Sonoma, CA 2004). With the $.05 sale, it came to about $24/bottle. Not necessarily cheap, but OMG, that was an amazing bottle of wine. Perfect accompaniment to the New York Steak.

I hope your Saturday was an enjoyable one.

Until next time . . . Cheers! ZinAdel

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