Doesn’t that sound fun? Wine and organization – Carrie Mixon from NeatSmart, (its smart to be neat!) and I came up with the idea over a bowl of ramen. This is our first time using FACEBOOK LIVE! We can’t wait to share good food and wine pairing AND super tips for organization!

Its stuffed mushroom season! What season is that? All year round! Mushrooms are a great way to serve your favorite foods – all in a bite-size package. You can even use this recipe to stuff 2 to 4 Big Portabellas and cook them up on the grill.

This recipe can be made vegetarian, vegan, pescatarian, and gluten free – you name it – it can be done with this simple and delicious method!

Pinot Noir would be an excellent pairing for these rich and flavorful mushrooms, but lets shake it up with a new pairing: Cotes Du Rhone.There are 22! Different grape varieties can be used to make the wine, but often you will see a classic blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre.  Côtes du Rhône (CDR) is the basic AOC (appellation or place) wine of the Rhône region.

The two kinds of Cotes du Rhone you are going to see often are Basic, or entry level CDR, ones called Côtes du Rhone village next up, and finally Côtes du Rhone with the name of the village. (There are also Crus, or the highest level of Côtes du Rhône, ever heard of Chateauneuf-du-Pape? Delicious, but pricey!)

You can find Côtes du Rhône in almost any grocery or wine store. Give it a try for a fun and tasty alternative to Pinot Noir. It’s got a little more density in the mouth and lots of juicy cherry flavor. Once you become a CDR convert, you’ll discover white CDR is tasty too!

Stuffed Mushrooms

1 (8 OZ) Pkg Baby Bella Mushrooms

1 TB Braggs Amino Acids or Tamari

2 Tsp Olive Oil

1 TB Minced Red Onion

1 Garlic Clove, Grated or Minced

3 TBs Panko or Crushed Rice Crackers

1 TB Freshly Grated Parmesan

2 TB Boursin or other Herb Cheese OR 2 TB Crabmeat OR 2 TB Toasted Chopped Nuts

Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Step One Preheat the oven to 375F. Rinse the mushrooms and remove the stems, and reserve them. Place the mushrooms on a sheet tray and sprinkle with Braggs. Slide into the oven, and cook for 10 – 12 minutes or until the mushrooms have released liquid. Remove from the oven and when cool enough to handle, pour off the liquid.

Step Two While the mushrooms are roasting, chop the stems. Sauté the stems and the red onions together in a large saucepan until the mushrooms have released all their liquid. Add the garlic and cook and stir for about a minute or until fragrant.

Step Three Add the panko, Parmesan, CHEESE OR… YOUR CHOICE to the mushroom mixture. Season it with a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper. Slide into the preheated oven and roast for about 15 minutes or until cooked through.

When I am entertaining for dinner, I don’t like to put out a big spread of appetizers – I like to whet my guests appetites with just a little something… and these roasted nuts are perfect. You can use any spice you like – just follow the simple recipe below. Your guests will rave, and they are the perfect pair for a glass of luscious, palate cleansing CAVA.

Cava is my FAVORITE go-to bubbles for sharing all year round! Its Spain’s answer to Champagne, made in the exact same method as the more famous fizz, so it retains is crisp biscuit-y bubbles. You can find it made in a more traditional method – blended with three grapes you probably have never heard of: Macabeu, Parellada and Xarello. It can also be made with Chardonnay, Pinot Noir – but this is more recent, staring in the 1980s.

Thank goodness – you can find Cava everywhere, and at a steal of a price. Don’t be afraid of the black bottle that you might have tippled in college, either. Its still good stuff, and less than $20 – which makes it very easy to share with others! Check out Rose Cava which has a small quantity of Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache or Mouvedre added to make it a beautiful rose color.

Roasted Nuts

4 Cups of Your FAVORITE Nuts

Olive Oil Spray

1 Tsp Your Favorite Spice or Seasoning Blend (Smoked Paprika, Garam Masala, Five Spice Powder, etc. I even have a friend who uses Steak Seasoning on his roasted nuts!)

1 Tsp Fine Sea Salt

Roast the nuts on a sheet pan at 400F, checking on doneness starting at 7 minutes. When lightly browned and fragrant, remove from the oven and spray with olive oil and toss with the spices. Allow cooling before you serve them.

Here’s a salad that is wonderful anytime of the year – but especially when you have some leftovers! I created the recipe one year after Thanksgiving, when the turkey didn’t seem to stop appearing in the fridge, and we were tired of heavy meals. The Asian touch in the bright flavored salad comes from the water chestnuts, sesame oil and seeds and the Tamari, a welcome “green” change from heavier fare.

Albarino is a crisp refreshing quaff from Spain, that makes a perfect match to salads and light seafood dishes. Rias Baixas is the area its from, and its made with rich flavors of stone fruits like apricot and peaches with a clean fresh finish. If you’re an unoaked Chardonnay drinker or enjoy Sauvignon Blanc, get ready to fall in love with Albarino! Its easy to find in the grocery, and hard to resist with its about $15 price tag.

Crisp and Crunchy Asian Salad

1 Bag Baby Greens

1 Bag Baby Spinach

4 Scallions, Thinly Sliced

1 Can Water Chestnuts, Drained and Rinsed Well

2 Cups Shredded Carrots

1 Cup Thinly Sliced Snow Peas, Blanched

½ Cup Sliced Toasted Almonds

1 – 2 Cups Sliced Holiday Leftovers: Turkey, Duck, Pork or Beef, even Tofu

1 Recipe Asian Vinaigrette

Toasted Sesame Seeds for Garnish

Toss the first 7 ingredients together in a large bowl, dress with vinaigrette and top with sesame seeds.

Asian Vinaigrette

¼ Cup Rice Vinegar

2 TBs Light Soy Sauce or Tamari

2 TBs Lime Juice

Zest of 1 Lime

1 TB Honey

1 TB Natural Peanut Butter

1 Garlic Clove, Grated or Minced

2 TB *Dark (Roasted) Sesame Oil

½ Cup Peanut Oil (*Roasted Peanut Oil if Possible)

¼ Cup Grapeseed or CanolaOil

Sea Salt and Pepper to Taste

Combine all the ingredients in a jar or bowl. Shake or whisk til well combined.

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