There are so many wonderful things available to us here in the wine country. I am constantly finding new wines, restaurants and food items worth writing about and I hope that you will enjoy my discoveries.

This blog is not just about weddings, but about what makes this part of the world such a draw; great food, excellent wine and wonderful people. I hope you enjoy reading these posts and can find yourself here, enjoying the same amazing things we do.

Friday, August 24, 2012

The Perfect Space

After 12 years in our home, our patio is finally finished and what a fabulous spot for entertaining it has become.  We have hosted many gatherings and while it wasn't perfect, it still was always a lot of fun. However now it has truly become an extension of our house, another room and one that we are finding ourselves in morning, noon and night.  We are very lucky here in the wine country that the weather allows us to be outside almost 9 months a year.  I know not everywhere that is the case, but I still urge you to create a little oasis, a private respite from the outside world where you can simply be with your family and friends under the sun and stars.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

My New Favorite Pasta

As many of you know, I love to cook but I sometimes find it a challenge to come up with recipes that will appeal to my whole family...Grace in particular.  However this is a definite winner....if you like the classic combo of melon and prosciutto, you will love this recipe.  Perfect with a glass of rose bubbles!

Pasta Salad with Melon, Pancetta, and Ricotta Salata

4 servings
    active: 30 minutes
    total: 30 minutes
Recipe by Soa Davies
Photograph by Romulo Yanes
Bon Appetit, August 2012
    2 ounces thinly sliced pancetta (Italian bacon)
    4 ounces orecchiette (ear-shaped pasta)
    Kosher salt
    3 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    2 1/2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
    2 cups 1x1x1/4" pieces peeled melon (any variety)
    1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint, divided
    3 tablespoons thinly sliced scallion
    Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
    Freshly ground black pepper
    1 ounce ricotta salata (salted dry ricotta), shaved, or crumbled feta

            ~ Heat oven to 350°. Arrange pancetta in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake    until brown and crisp, 20–25 minutes. (Alternatively, place pancetta on folded layers of paper towels on a microwave-proof plate and microwave on high until brown and crisp, about 5 minutes.) Let pancetta stand until cool enough to handle, then break into bite-size pieces.
            ~ Meanwhile, cook pasta in a medium pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain pasta; run under cold water to cool. Drain and set aside.
            ~ Whisk oil and vinegar in a large bowl. Add half of pancetta, cooked pasta, melon, half of mint, scallion, and red pepper flakes. Toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle remaining pancetta and mint over. Garnish with shaved ricotta salata

Nutritional information

One serving contains:
    Calories (kcal) 320
    Fat (g) 20
    Saturated Fat (g) 5
    Cholesterol (mg) 15
    Carbohydrates (g) 29
    Dietary Fiber (g) 2
    Total Sugars (g) 7
    Protein (g) 8
    Sodium (mg) 320