We Wine We Dine


January 2016

Blueberry Raspberry Muffins

These are fruitful, tasty, and basically hit the spot every time. What’s not to love?

1 egg
1/3 cup oil
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1/4 cup oat bran
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup frozen blueberries
3/4 cup frozen raspberries

Whisk together egg, oil and buttermilk in a large bowl. Add sugar, flour, oat bran, baking powder, baking soda, and mix. Gently stir in the berries and spoon batter into a muffin tin. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes. Makes 12 muffins.

Classic Vanilla Cake

A classic vanilla cake is a staple for birthdays and special occasions.  Here is a simple recipe that comes out delicious every time!

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup milk
1 3/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
pinch salt

Whisk butter until creamy and smooth. Add sugar and mix well. Stir in eggs, vanilla and milk. Add flour, baking powder and salt and mix together gently. Pour batter into a greased cake pan, and bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until cake pulls away from the edges of the pan. The baking time can vary for different sized pans.

2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1/4 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
food coloring, if desired

Melt butter in a bowl, and add all other ingredients. Add extra confectioners sugar if too thin, or more milk if too thick. Spread over cooled cake!

Black Bean Soup

Another great soup to warm you up on a cold day!

3 tbsp. olive oil
3 cans black beans
1 can diced tomatoes (with celery, onion, and pepper)
2 c. chicken (or vegetable) broth
1 large onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp. cumin (plus more to taste)
1-2 tsp. chili powder
1/4 c. cilantro, chopped

Saute the onions in olive oil a large pot until translucent. Add garlic and cumin and cook for another 30 seconds before adding in broth and 1 can of beans. Remove the pot from the heat and pour contents into a blender; blend for just a few seconds until smoother but still coarse. Return to pot, on medium heat. Add 2 more cans of beans, diced tomatoes, and chili powder (and more cumin to taste). Allow to heat for 5-10 more minutes and then stir in cilantro. Garnish with more cilantro and serve with tortilla chips or bread of choice.

Buche de Noël

This is one of the most complicated and intricate desserts we’ve ever made. Given the amount of time and number of ingredients and steps involved in the recipe, we are not going to put it all down on the blog, but feel free to send us a message if you want more details! The general process is as follows:

  1. Bake a thin chocolate sponge cake in a jellyroll pan. Roll in a towel dusted with powdered sugar and let it cool for several hours.
  2. Make marshmallow frosting and spread it all across the unrolled cake. If the cake cracks while being unrolled it is okay.
  3. Roll up the cake. This must be done very gently and there will probably still be some cracks, but they will go unnoticed later.
  4. Frost the top and sides with chocolate ganache icing, making lines in the ganache for the yule log appearance.
  5. Make meringues in the shape of mushroom stems and caps. See this video: . We used some of the ganache to attach the mushroom stems and caps. Dust the meringues with cocoa powder to make them look dirty on the log.
  6. Arrange the Buche de Noël as you please.


Zucchini Bread

This recipe was given to me by a trustworthy friend (thanks MT), and I was right to try it out! It was my first time making zucchini bread and now I’m hooked.

3 eggs
2 c. sugar
1 c. oil
3 c. grated zucchini
1 tsp. vanilla
3 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 c. walnuts (optional)
1/2 c. raisins (optional)

Beat eggs and sugar together. Add oil. Sift dry ingredients together and add to first mixture alternately with zucchini. Stir in nuts, raisins and vanilla. Pour into two greased and floured loaf pans (or muffin tins). Bake on lowest rack at 350 degrees for about one hour if making bread, or ~30 minutes if muffins. Let stand 10 minutes. Turn out on wire racks to cool. Breads freeze well.

Coconut Carrot Ginger Soup

It has been abominably cold out. This soup offers a flavorful temporary savior as it sticks to your ribs and warms your soul. The recipe is highly forgiving in that most measures can be (and were) approximated.

5 large whole carrots, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, chopped finely
2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut flakes
1 shallot, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 cups chicken stock

In a large pot, saute shallot in olive oil until translucent, and then add the garlic. Add chicken stock, carrots, ginger, coconut flakes, and chicken broth powder. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to medium and cook for 20 minutes or until carrots are soft. Use a hand pulverizer or a food processor to pulverize the carrots so that there are no large chucks. Serve immediately.

Chocolate Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies

These peanut butter cookies are for those who like some extra crunch and sweetness.

2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup creamy unsalted peanut butter
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup oats
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup water
pinch salt
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Melt butter and stir in peanut butter. Add egg and vanilla and mix well. Add flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, oats, and water. Mix in mini chocolate chips. Scoop spoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet and flatten so that cookies are about 1/2 an in thick. Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes or until dark brown on the edges.

Spinach Gnocchi Soup

I made a soup. It was delicious.

2 tbsp. olive oil
2 shallots, chopped
1 clove garlic
1 10-oz. package frozen chopped spinach
1/2 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
6 c. chicken stock
1 box (about a pound) of gnocchi
lemon zest (1 lemon)
Parmesan cheese

Saute shallots in olive oil in a large pot. Add garlic and saute for one more minute. Add box of frozen spinach and mix until spinach is defrosted and heated throughout. Add beans and chicken stock and bring to a boil. Add gnocchi and cook for 4 minutes. Pour desired amount into a bowl and top with pepper, lemon zest and Parmesan cheese.

Dad’s Lasagna

This is a modified version of the lasagna I ate all the time growing up. Perfect for a family dinner and stays well in the refrigerator if you have leftovers.

1 box lasagna noodles
1 lb. ground turkey or beef
32 oz. container ricotta cheese
8 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
1 egg
2 jars tomato sauce
2 c. spinach
shredded Parmesan cheese

Boil the lasagna noodles until mostly done, adding in a small splash of oil once the water is boiling. Drain the noodles and allow to cool. Mix ricotta, mozzarella, and egg in a bowl until thoroughly combined, and then stir in spinach. Put ground meat in a frying pan and cook until fully browned, making sure to break up the ground meat as it cooks. Drain the excess oil from the pan and add 1 to 1.5 jars of sauce to the meat. Lightly cover bottom of lasagna pan with a layer of sauce (from the jar that is not mixed with meat). Lay 4 noodles on the bottom, overlapping them so that there are no holes. Put half of the cheese mixture on top of this layer – 6-8 big spoonfuls will do, and it will melt so no need to spread thoroughly. Cover with another layer of overlapping noodles. Pour the meat sauce mixture over the noodles, and then cover with another layer of noodles. Add the rest of the cheese on top and cover with one last layer of noodles. Finally, cover the top with another layer of sauce (from the jar). Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake on 375 for about an hour. Serve with extra sauce and Parmesan cheese to taste.

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