Thursday, June 4, 2009

Camp Fire Cooking, Wine & Announcements

Hubby and I traveled down south to Parvin State Park this weekend to host the first annual Cultural Art Expression Open Mic camp side. Renting two campsites for a number of my open mic poets and musicians to come and relax, fish, canoe, and just sit for a while turned out to be a fun get away for me. I kept my foot propped up on a cooler, as my cast iron skillet did a little work.

I sauteed some ramps, asparagus, and seasonings for a quinoa side to some grilled Danish blue stuffed portobello burgers. I also cooked up some beef chili-pepper jack chili dip to tide everyone over; while hubby and others went out in the canoe. No alcohol is allowed in the state parks, so we made due with a good bottle of New Jersey tap filtered water.

I am boarding a plane for Texas. I will be posting, but have found three guest host to entertain you the next three Fridays!

June 12th- Melissa Gaffney @ Sable Minded will be watching our condo while we are gone, and hosting a video of my cooking domain (to show you just how dinky and small my quarters well as the crummy lighting I have spoke about). I am sure you will get the birds eye view of it all! Yikes, what have I gotten myself into...

June 19th- Irish Gumbo will be cooking up a good story for you, and blowing some dust off his dutch oven he prizes...

June 26th- Girlichef, I trust it will be entertaining, and full of some great food as she always displays; it is in her hands, so we will see what she does...

August/2009- American Wine Society of Central Jersey will be hosted by CookAppeal, LLC, Elizabeth & Robert Stelling this August, and if anyone in the local area would like to join us, please contact me for more information.

We had the opportunity to visit a New Jersey Winery, Amalthea Cellars, and found them to be the best of the state! Meeting with the wine maker, was a great opportunity to hear first hand at what their goal is in bringing the best to the area. They normally only produce about 1500 cases of wine each year, keeping their top favorites in demand. We will be featuring a few of their bottles at the AWS tasting in August. Visit AWS for more information on joining... writes, 'A Winery at the Top of its Game'!

-In 1976, Louis Caracciolo planted his first rows of wine grapes on a small Camden County farm he had purchased a few years earlier just after graduating from college. The South Jersey native was beginning a career in food science, but as a kid he loved helping his Italian grandfather make wine in the basement.

Now, he wanted to try it for himself.

Robert and I had to opportunity to speak with the wine maker and had a few laughs about Texas wines. My company, 'The Cork Screws Wine & Food', once hosted a wine tasting for the Dallas Farmers Market Board, and was asked to serve up left over cases of Texas wine that had been sitting in a heated upstairs closet. Texas is far from New Jersey's best. If you can get over to Amalthea Cellars you will be pleasantly surprised with their knowledgeable staff, and many many bottles they pour for you!