Bon Voyage with A Suitcase and A Spatula

Raspberry Croissant Bread Pudding, photo (c)2013 La Domestique

Bonjour! Today we travel to France with Tori Haschka’s new cookbook, A Suitcase and A Spatula! I’ve followed her beautifully written recipe blog, eatori, for years and couldn’t wait to dive into Tori’s debut book of “recipes and stories from around the world.” The book is divided into 4 chapters dedicated to breakfast, then summer, winter and finally, dessert. Tori tells the tale of traveling the world with her other half, The Hungry One; each page a new destination with a story (sometimes funny, sometimes serious, always touching) and a recipe. She has a way with words, demonstrated perfectly in the book’s intro, ” More than a photo, a journal entry or a pair of souvenir cufflinks, it’s the food that keeps the journeys alive.” 


Cook in the Moment: Recipe for Mussels Cooked in Rosé

Recipe for Mussels Cooked in Rosé (c)2012

On September 30, 2008 I met Michelle Obama. Just before the November election, Mrs. Obama came to CU-Boulder with the purpose of rallying students to register to vote. It was an exciting time, before the recession had taken its toll on the American spirit. I could feel the importance of the moment, that Michelle Obama was going to be our next first lady, and this was a golden opportunity to get close to her- one that would probably not happen for me again. Being several years out of college, it was intimidating to walk onto campus at CU-Boulder, so I was relieved when one of my best girl friends wanted to go with me. The Colorado sun shone brightly on that warm September day, and we felt the audacity of hope warm us through as we stood in line at the football field, waiting for the gates to open.


10 Ways Tuesday: Rosé Wine

Red Grapes in a Vineyard, Niederweiler Germany (c)2012

I’ve got creative ideas for enjoying Rosé wine during the warm days of late spring:

1.  Rosé Steamed Mussels

Dry rosé, with its mineral character and hint of fruit, is the base of a spicy broth infused with the briny flavor of mussels in this recipe from Food & Wine. It’s a simple dish and quick from stove to table, as the mussels need only sauté in garlic, shallots, red pepper flakes, and rosé for about 5 minutes before they spring open and are ready to eat. A pat of butter enriches the broth and parsley leaves sprinkled over at the last minute add fresh, herbal flavor.

2.  An Aperitif with a Salty Snack

Rosé was made for aperitif, the endearing French habit of enjoying a drink and a little snack to stimulate the appetite for supper. In the charming book, Aperitif, Georgeanne Brennan writes, “A rosé made in the French style, dry and let, yet full of body and substance, is a most alluring aperitif.” She suggests pairing chilled rosé with “the indigenous flavors of Provençe terroir” -an assortment of olives, roasted garlic, anchovies, charcuterie, or tiny sautéed clams. Just remember, aperitif is supposed to stimulate the appetite, not satiate it.


Ingredient of the Week: Rosé Wine

This week I suffered my first (and only) sunburn of the season. It’s now warm enough to steal a Friday afternoon at the pool before the kids get out of school and ruin all the lovely peace and quiet. Each year, I cautiously don my bikini and creep out to a lounge chair in the sun, soaking up the rays until I’m warmed through. Sweating in the sun feels good, and makes me thirsty- not for water or lemonade, but for rosé. This dry “pink wine” is something I look forward to every spring when the latest vintage is released. Meant to be drunk young, for the most part, rosé should be enjoyed within the first year or two of the vintage. To really appreciate rosé, you’ve got to understand what it represents. Mark Oldman describes Provençe as the original home of rosé in his book, Oldman’s Brave New World of Wine, writing, “that paradisiacal region of sun-kissed slopes and lavender meadows remains a locus of rose’s spiritual soul.” A Mediterranean coastline of fun and sun in the southeast of France, the mother of the best rosé in the world, Provençe produces blushing pink wines with minerality, floral essences, a hint of berry or melon fruit, and a truly refreshing acidity guaranteed to quench your thirst on a hot day. The beauty of any rosé is its ability to be crisp and refreshing like a white wine, with the depth of flavor and body of a red wine.