Archived entries for food

Why is Cupcake Wine So Popular?

In the past few months I’ve heard at least 4 women I know say that they love this wine.

It’s not often that something outside the realm of fast food appeals to the masses. Even less likely that it’s something like wine. But everyone likes to feel good, and a whole lot of people like to feel good via drinking, so here we go!

I first went to the Cupcake Vinyard site to see if they had any insight as to why they create wines that are so popular with the ladies. Well, they certainly do have a site that is feminine – birds, sunflowers, a cupcake and a piece of chocolate next to their line of wines. Wow. OK, I like it.

Cupcake wines are described as having qualities that will please the masses. For example, “a playful, crowd-pleasing style”, and “(Americans) would like a wine to be more generous than a European would. They want something that’s a bit easier to access, a bit easier to understand”.

From this article on popular wines, “Everything Cupcake is selling is on fire,” said Curtis Mann, director of client insights for SIG, a Chicago-based market research firm. “They are growing faster than practically anything I’ve ever seen.”

Are these attributes I want from a wine? For the most part, certainly if I’m entertaining. But I appreciate the subtle difference that I get from trying different wines, and in the past few years have come to enjoy wine pairings with dry whites and nuanced reds.

But the cupcake line is certainly drinkable, and I wouldn’t turn down a glass if offered!

Dinner for a Mom

I heard a knock on the door soon after giving birth to my son. I was disheveled and almost didn’t come to greet whoever was there, but I was so glad I answered! It was my neighbor from across the street, the one that’s my age and always in her front yard gardening. “Would you like it if I brought you some food Saturday night?”


Offering food to a new mom is the best present you can give. It doesn’t matter whether it’s her first baby, if she normally eats in the fanciest of restaurants, or makes everything from scratch. I found out my neighbor across the street is an amazing cook and baker.

The main item of interest was a salad with heirloom tomatoes, leeks, boiled eggs, cannellini beans, yellow peppers, and shaved parmesan over lettuce. I even got a little shaker of homemade dressing to go over it all. The flatbread was still warm from being cooked on her grill, and the dessert was a flat-out drool inducing chocolate cream pie.

I’m gloating a little about this meal that I got almost 3 months ago, but I have a much more noble intention with this post. I want to reach out to everyone that knows someone that just had a baby. Ask the Mom if she’d like you to drop off dinner. Ask if there are any dietary restrictions or allergies, but aside from that I swear she’ll have a rosy smile on her face at the prospect of food without worry or fuss. Do it!

Finally, I’d like to introduce my son, Zane Marcus Sawicki. Born July 23, 2012 :-)

Rose Hip Muffins

I LOVE rose hips!

I can’t quite figure out why they aren’t included in more recipes. They have bright citrus notes yet have an earthiness that is distinct and comforting. I grew up with a hot rose hip syrup drink for cold days and a sore throat. There is so much natural pectin in the fruit that making jams and jellies with them is supposedly a breeze.

Yes, they are a bit messy. There are stems and little round disks that need to get strained out, but the results are worth the bother.

Continue reading…

Grinding Coffee Beans

What do you do when you’re in a hotel room and your loved one has cruelly left the coffee grinder with a co-worker? Grind them yourself with an empty bottle of ale and a plate!

Bee Pollen and Banana Smoothie

Bee Pollen and Banana Smoothie

2 cups milk
1 ripe banana, sliced (preferably frozen!)
2 frozen strawberries
1 tsp bee pollen
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp honey

Add milk and cinnamon to blender. Piece by piece add banana and strawberry. Add bee pollen and honey last. I do it this way so that there aren’t a lot of chunks of things at the bottom of the blender that didn’t get incorporated into the smoothie.

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