Raspberry Lemonade Spritzer

This isn’t a very wintery drink, but when the sun peeked after a wind and rain storm last week, I was inspired to look forward to spring. Yeah, I know, it isn’t even technically winter yet, but a girl can dream, can’t she? So, here’s to a little looking forward to spring cheer. Sit yourself in front of a sunny window, ignore the snow, cold temperatures, dormant garden, and whatever other unpleasantries winter brings to your part, and pretend the baby birds are chirping, the bulbs are in full bloom, and new shoots of grass are green and vibrant in the warm sun.

Note: I’ve made this drink without alcohol, but if you want to spike it, I suggest using Vodka, as it doesn’t impart a lot of flavor. Mix in 2-3 ounces, depending on how big of a glass you’re using. (more…)

Food Alert: Silk Soy Milk

If, like me, you use soy milk in lieu of cow’s milk, you probably purchase, or have purchased, the brand Silk. Silk is the most commonly available soy milk in major supermarkets, especially if you live in a small town. But if you have the option to buy a different brand, now is the time to switch, if you’re still buying Silk. Why? There are several reasons. Take your pick.

1. Silk is owned by the mega corporation Dean Foods. (They also own the organic label Horizon, by the way.) Other commonly known Dean Foods brands include Meadow Gold, Land O Lakes, Mountain High, PET and Mayfield’s in the south, and Garelick Farms in the northeast.

2. If you don’t find mega corporations inherently evil in and of themselves, please know that Silk dropped their organic status on most of their products. I used to buy the original Silk, in the red box, and I don’t know how long I’d been buying it before I noticed the Organic label was switched to Natural. I think I cussed right there in the grocery store. What’s the problem with their Natural soy milk? Products labeled “Natural,” and even products labeled “Made with Organic Ingredients,” do not adhere to the strict standards that organic food is required to. They can still contain pesticides, herbicides, and other nasty things. In the case of Silk, their “natural” soy beans are often processed with hexane, a neurotoxin. Yum, right? (more…)

Drink This! Mourvèdre from Kestrel Vintners

Over Labor Day weekend, hubby and I met my dad and his long time lady friend in Eastern Washington for a wine tasting tour. The “tour” only ended up consisting of 2 wineries—Blackwood Canyon (in Benton City) and Kestrel (in Prosser)–but we spent 3-4 hours at each place. A very interesting 3-4 hours, I might add, where we tasted more wine than we knew we could handle. The Eastern Washington experience is far different from what I’ve found in Sonoma, the Willamette Valley, and, um Santa Fe. (As for the latter, well, there are better wine growing regions. Much better. Sorry Santa Fe.) I’m sure other wineries in the country (and abroad) are as lively, personal, and eccentric as those we visited, but I must say, it would be hard to top our experience at either place! Talk about a trip!! (I’m hoping the resident Wine Guru, aka Dad, aka Dan) will talk about Blackwood Canyon in a later post, as it was his mighty fine selection. In case you must know more right now, however, just Google Blackwood Canyon, and you’ll get an “earful.”) (more…)

Strawberry Pomegranate Wine

I’ve never been a fan of fruit wine. (Yes, I know, grapes are a fruit, but they are in an entirely different classification that is NOT fruit wine.) When I think of fruit wines, I think of sticky sweet, thin, bodiless, alcoholic cousins to fruit juice, and distant distant relatives to real wine. I can’t help it. And I’m only sort of sorry I feel this way. But! I’ve recently taken another look at fruit wine.

Strawberry Pomegranate Wine

Several months ago, my husband started home brewing. He’s done beer here and there in the past, but always from kits. Now, he’s making his own mash and wort for beer, and diving into fruit wines. His first fruit wine was a cran-apple. We spent hours coring and juicing apples, and I kept thinking: This is going to be a waste of time. I HATE fruit wine!!! I was stunned when I tasted it, and it tasted like, well, wine! Not exactly wine wine, but not a sticky sweet, thin, bodiless, alcoholic cousin to fruit juice either. This had a lot of body, depth, and flavor. (more…)