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

-Dario Zucconi

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Sunday Family Supper: Soulful BBQ Ribs w/Black Beans and Rice

This weekend was a super busy weekend for the Warner family. It all started with a one-night camping trip with my daughter's Girl Scouts Troop at the Anthony Chabot Regional Park on Friday (http://www.ebparks.org/parks/anthony_chabot).  The Campground is just about 10 miles from our home, but I didn't know this spectacular place existed. It was a fun night.  The kids enjoyed playing with other kids and the adults enjoyed some grown-up time and catching up with one another.  On Saturday night, Patrick and I went to this lovely party for the parents of my daughter's 4th Grade class.  That was a great way to "toast" to surviving another year of school.  On Sunday, my 4-year-old had a little performance with his gymnastics class.  He was sooo cute!  After that, my daughter and I went to watch one of her best friends' ballet performance.  Her friend was very lovely!

With this jam-packed weekend, it was a wonderful surprise when my friend Keith (my 4-year-old's Godfather) texted me to say that he was smoking some BBQ ribs in his smoker on Sunday and he wanted to bring over dinner for us and the kids. 

To go with the ribs, I made some Black Beans and Rice (Haitian style) -- one of Keith's favorites and one of my favorite comfort foods.  I don't really follow any particular recipe for the rice since it's something that I have been making since I was about 12 years old.

While his BBQ was smoking for 5+ hours, Keith decided to make these yummy, finger-licking, day-dreaming cupcakes.  The kids were super happy to see "Uncle Keith" walk into the house with a container full of cupcakes.

As a starter, I made this super simple, but delicious, appetizer using (1) Smoked Salmon; (2) cream cheese, (3) chopped chives, and (4) dried toast (you can find it in the same isle as crackers).  First, I mixed about 1 Tablespoon of chopped chives with about 1/4 a cup of fresh cream cheese (you can use whatever cream cheese you have in the Fridge). I then sprinkled a pinch of salt in the cream cheese mixture.  To assemble, I took one piece of toast, spread a little bit of the cream cheese mixture on top, and then top it with a little bit of the smoked salmon. VoilĂ ! You have a delectable one-bite appetizer. 

To accompany this soulful and comforting meal, we had Arrowood's 2007 Merlot (Unfined and Unfiltered - true Arrowood style): http://www.arrowoodwinery.com/wines/MerlotSC07.html. This Merlot is not your typical Merlot. It's a full-bodied and complex wine that more closely resembles a Cabernet Sauvignon than a Merlot. When you open it, your nose is pleasantly welcomed by aromas of dried cherries, licorice, cedar and a hint of vanilla.  With your first sip, the taste on your palate is smooth, rich, and velvety, but with some nicely balanced ripe tannins.  The toasty oak finish lingers in your mouth as you take the second sip.  This is one of my favorite and more versatile wines. 

The weekend may have been loaded with activities and a little too short - I could use another day.  But, thanks to Uncle Keith, we had a nice and relaxing family Sunday dinner.  I hope you had a chance to enjoy this weekend with your loved ones.
Until next time . . . Cheers!


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