Monica Wants It: A Lifestyle Blog: Wine & Dine {Recipe & Review}

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Wine & Dine {Recipe & Review}

My husband and I love to eat out, but doing that too often drains our bank account and expands our waistline. So, we try to eat in as much as we can at home. We make the usual things like pasta, chicken with wild rice or grill up some burgers. But sometimes you want something special to eat that is tasty, affordable and makes the meal feel a little fancier. We love to do that sort of thing on Wednesday nights because we love to watch comedy Wednesday together on ABC. It’s 2 hours of laughing, cuddling together and forgetting about work stress.

And one way to forget about stress?

Wine.

My husband and I both like wine, though I’ll safely say I like it a lot more than he does. He only likes the sparkling kind, which works out great because sparkling Moscato-type of wines go with anything. I love to try new wines, and I tend to usually buy wine that’s about $8-$15 a bottle. Depending on the stress levels at work during the current week, I tend to have wine about 3-4 times a week with my dinner.

Yesterday we headed to Walmart after work to put together a quick, bistro inspired meal to have with some tasty wine. Usually we look at recipes and pick something to make, but this time we just decided to walk around and see what inspired us. We took the Sandra Lee (from Food Network) approach and decided on a semi-homemade meal. Ingredients that are already prepared + some creativity=restaurant quality meal at home.

For a lot less.

I decide on sliced french bread to create our bistro style mini sandwiches. This will be great with wine!

Daniel and I decide on the arugula and spinach organic salad blend. Arugula is spicy and tasty. Perfect!

Any good salad needs yummy tomatoes. Plus it'll go great with wine/bread.

Daniel and I ended up settling on mini roast beef & cheddar sandwiches paired with an arugula & spinach salad garnished with grape tomatoes. For dessert, a vanilla strawberry shortcake. And of course, wine. This meal is affordable (you can easily serve 4 people), healthy/fresh and QUICK to make.

Mini Roast Beef Sandwiches:

-Roast Beef (we bought the one from the deli)

-Brown gravy (optional)

-Sliced french bread

-Shredded cheddar

Salad:

-Arugula & spinach organic salad blend

-Grape tomatoes

-Dressing

Dessert:

-Angel food cakes

-1 cup fresh strawberries

-2 tbsp Torani french vanilla syrup

-Whipped cream

-Chocolate chips (optional)

If you’re making this right after you get home from the grocery store, make sure to chill your wine in the freezer so it’s cold and ready by the time your meal is done.

Heat your oven to 200 degrees, and put your sliced french bread on a cookie sheet. Bake for 4-5 minutes.

DSC02823

After the 5 minutes is done, take out the bread and garnish each slice with a pinch of shredded cheese. Bake an additional 2-3 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Then turn oven off and leave bread in oven until you’re ready to top with roast beef.

DSC02828

Meanwhile, warm up your gravy according to the package instructions (we bought the gravy in a jar since we like the ease of storing leftover gravy). Once your gravy is warm, add in roast beef. Let cook on medium for about 5-7 minutes.

DSC02831

Once your bread and roast beef are warmed up, prepare your salad. This is such an easy, yet flavorful salad. We halved the grape tomatoes and put them in a bowl with the arugula and spinach salad. Add in some salt, pepper and about 2 tbsp of dressing and toss until everything is coated.

DSC02837

DSC02843

Then grab a plate, load up half of it with your healthy salad, mini roast beef sandwiches (I drizzled mine with gravy) and enjoy with a glass of wine.

DSC02855

DSC02892

The wine we picked out for our TV night bistro meal is Moscato D’Asti by Bella Bolle. At $7.97 it was an affordable way to jazz up a simple salad and sandwich meal. It has a nice, yet subtle sweetness to it that makes it a wine that will be universally liked by anyone. Some people don’t like reds or pinot grigio, etc. This wine is easily palatable by anyone. It’s bubbly, refreshing and classy. It would also be great for a girls night in movie night or to use in a spiked punch. I’ll be buying this wine regularly from now because my husband actually really, truly liked this wine.

It must be the bubbles.

And since I have the world’s largest sweet tooth, I had to whip up a quick dessert. This takes 5 minutes, tops.

Take about 2 handfuls of strawberries and cut off the green stuff. Then slice them up into bite size chunks.

DSC02865

Put strawberries in a microwave safe bowl and add in 2 tbsp of Torani sugar free vanilla syrup. Make sure all the strawberries are coated and microwave for 1 minute.

DSC02869

Then you just top the angel food cake with some strawberries and whipped cream. I garnished mine with some chocolate chips, too. The vanilla syrup tends to drip down and soak into the angel food cake which makes it so delicious.

DSC02878

And then it’s time for another serving of wine in my most favorite wine glass.

DSC02895

Having wine with dinner at home makes an everyday occasion into a special occasion. With wines as low as $2.97 at my local Walmart, it’s nice to know that adding wine to our grocery list won’t break the bank. And it’s also so much more affordable than wine at a restaurant. My fave wines are Moscatos, but another really good one is the Barefoot Sweet Red.

image

It is amazing, and I don’t even care for red wine. If your dinner guest doesn’t like wine all that much, then the sparkling wines are a great option. Need some wine on the go (legally, of course)? Then look at these new wine pouches.

These lovelies are new. They are also pretty convenient for picnics or girls night in.

I may buy some wine pouches next time I need some for girls night in.

How often do you have wine? Where do you buy it from? Any brands or wines you’d recommend to a gal like me?

This post has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias.  All opinions, photos and ideas are all my own. #cBias

2 comments:

  1. Nice sharing, I love the pictures of this post, especially for the wine picture...

    Thank you

    ReplyDelete

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Wine & Dine {Recipe & Review}

My husband and I love to eat out, but doing that too often drains our bank account and expands our waistline. So, we try to eat in as much as we can at home. We make the usual things like pasta, chicken with wild rice or grill up some burgers. But sometimes you want something special to eat that is tasty, affordable and makes the meal feel a little fancier. We love to do that sort of thing on Wednesday nights because we love to watch comedy Wednesday together on ABC. It’s 2 hours of laughing, cuddling together and forgetting about work stress.

And one way to forget about stress?

Wine.

My husband and I both like wine, though I’ll safely say I like it a lot more than he does. He only likes the sparkling kind, which works out great because sparkling Moscato-type of wines go with anything. I love to try new wines, and I tend to usually buy wine that’s about $8-$15 a bottle. Depending on the stress levels at work during the current week, I tend to have wine about 3-4 times a week with my dinner.

Yesterday we headed to Walmart after work to put together a quick, bistro inspired meal to have with some tasty wine. Usually we look at recipes and pick something to make, but this time we just decided to walk around and see what inspired us. We took the Sandra Lee (from Food Network) approach and decided on a semi-homemade meal. Ingredients that are already prepared + some creativity=restaurant quality meal at home.

For a lot less.

I decide on sliced french bread to create our bistro style mini sandwiches. This will be great with wine!

Daniel and I decide on the arugula and spinach organic salad blend. Arugula is spicy and tasty. Perfect!

Any good salad needs yummy tomatoes. Plus it'll go great with wine/bread.

Daniel and I ended up settling on mini roast beef & cheddar sandwiches paired with an arugula & spinach salad garnished with grape tomatoes. For dessert, a vanilla strawberry shortcake. And of course, wine. This meal is affordable (you can easily serve 4 people), healthy/fresh and QUICK to make.

Mini Roast Beef Sandwiches:

-Roast Beef (we bought the one from the deli)

-Brown gravy (optional)

-Sliced french bread

-Shredded cheddar

Salad:

-Arugula & spinach organic salad blend

-Grape tomatoes

-Dressing

Dessert:

-Angel food cakes

-1 cup fresh strawberries

-2 tbsp Torani french vanilla syrup

-Whipped cream

-Chocolate chips (optional)

If you’re making this right after you get home from the grocery store, make sure to chill your wine in the freezer so it’s cold and ready by the time your meal is done.

Heat your oven to 200 degrees, and put your sliced french bread on a cookie sheet. Bake for 4-5 minutes.

DSC02823

After the 5 minutes is done, take out the bread and garnish each slice with a pinch of shredded cheese. Bake an additional 2-3 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Then turn oven off and leave bread in oven until you’re ready to top with roast beef.

DSC02828

Meanwhile, warm up your gravy according to the package instructions (we bought the gravy in a jar since we like the ease of storing leftover gravy). Once your gravy is warm, add in roast beef. Let cook on medium for about 5-7 minutes.

DSC02831

Once your bread and roast beef are warmed up, prepare your salad. This is such an easy, yet flavorful salad. We halved the grape tomatoes and put them in a bowl with the arugula and spinach salad. Add in some salt, pepper and about 2 tbsp of dressing and toss until everything is coated.

DSC02837

DSC02843

Then grab a plate, load up half of it with your healthy salad, mini roast beef sandwiches (I drizzled mine with gravy) and enjoy with a glass of wine.

DSC02855

DSC02892

The wine we picked out for our TV night bistro meal is Moscato D’Asti by Bella Bolle. At $7.97 it was an affordable way to jazz up a simple salad and sandwich meal. It has a nice, yet subtle sweetness to it that makes it a wine that will be universally liked by anyone. Some people don’t like reds or pinot grigio, etc. This wine is easily palatable by anyone. It’s bubbly, refreshing and classy. It would also be great for a girls night in movie night or to use in a spiked punch. I’ll be buying this wine regularly from now because my husband actually really, truly liked this wine.

It must be the bubbles.

And since I have the world’s largest sweet tooth, I had to whip up a quick dessert. This takes 5 minutes, tops.

Take about 2 handfuls of strawberries and cut off the green stuff. Then slice them up into bite size chunks.

DSC02865

Put strawberries in a microwave safe bowl and add in 2 tbsp of Torani sugar free vanilla syrup. Make sure all the strawberries are coated and microwave for 1 minute.

DSC02869

Then you just top the angel food cake with some strawberries and whipped cream. I garnished mine with some chocolate chips, too. The vanilla syrup tends to drip down and soak into the angel food cake which makes it so delicious.

DSC02878

And then it’s time for another serving of wine in my most favorite wine glass.

DSC02895

Having wine with dinner at home makes an everyday occasion into a special occasion. With wines as low as $2.97 at my local Walmart, it’s nice to know that adding wine to our grocery list won’t break the bank. And it’s also so much more affordable than wine at a restaurant. My fave wines are Moscatos, but another really good one is the Barefoot Sweet Red.

image

It is amazing, and I don’t even care for red wine. If your dinner guest doesn’t like wine all that much, then the sparkling wines are a great option. Need some wine on the go (legally, of course)? Then look at these new wine pouches.

These lovelies are new. They are also pretty convenient for picnics or girls night in.

I may buy some wine pouches next time I need some for girls night in.

How often do you have wine? Where do you buy it from? Any brands or wines you’d recommend to a gal like me?

This post has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias.  All opinions, photos and ideas are all my own. #cBias

2 comments :

  1. Nice sharing, I love the pictures of this post, especially for the wine picture...

    Thank you

    ReplyDelete