Category Archives: Recipes

What to do with Jalapeno Wine

Our second-most frequently asked question at our booth at the farmer’s market is: “What do you do with jalapeno wine?” This question is usually the one we get asked right after we answer this one: “Is it REALLY made with jalapenos?” And since our answer to that question is a simple and resounding “yes,” I decided it doesn’t need an entire blog post to explain. However, I’ve been asked a lot lately to do a post about how we use the jalapeno wine. Especially since we have customers who don’t drink but they do love cooking.  So without any further introduction – here’s that post. But if it leaves you wanting more, head over to jalapenowine.com for recipes!

Let me first point out that this list is in no particular order based on my favorite way to consume our jalapeno wines. Now that that’s out of the way, my FAVORITE WAYS ARE THESE TWO:

  • Crystal’s Mommy Mixer: Always a crowd pleaser, take a 1.75mL jug of Simply Lemonade or Simply Limeade (or your favorite lemonade/limeade brand) and dump enough out to allow for about 2/3 bottle of Mild Jalapeno Wine. Shake and love yourself for reading this post. Consider sharing with others.
  • Jalapeno Wine Margarita: I don’t like didn’t use to like margaritas. Now they make a noteworthy showing in our home on hot summer evenings or warm fall weekends. Our original recipe calls for cucumber but if you’re too impatient (like me) to wait an hour for the cucumber to marry with the margarita in the fridge, simply omit it and drink. Slowly, as to enjoy the fact that you have been enlightened to what a margarita should really taste like. All you’re missing is a beach on the Mexican Riviera. Find our recipe on this page, or you can simply use your own recipe and add a shot (or four?) of jalapeno wine based on your heat tolerance.

Now for more delicious uses – this is by no means an exhaustive list since our customers are coming up with new recipes all the time and we experiment with new recipes weekly as well. In fact, last month I baked a chipotle chocolate cake using the Chipotle Jalapeno Wine and it was delicious. I have yet to perfect the recipe, as I felt it actually needed more chipotle wine, but when I do I’ll post it. It will likely be when we have family in town so that I don’t have a bunch of chocolate cake sitting on my kitchen counter staring at me.

  • Salad dressing: Pour some jalapeno wine (any of the varieties) in the bottle cap and sprinkle over your salad along with some lemon juice and olive oil. I like how it’s super light with just a hint of jalapeno.
  • Bloody Mary’s: I’m not a Bloody Mary girl, but many of our customers come back to the market every month to purchase the Chipotle Jalapeno Wine just to use in their Bloody Mary’s, especially if they’re hosting a party. It makes sense that the smoke would compliment the concoction.
  • Soups and Stews: Right now I’m obsessed with soup, so this is something I’m currently drooling over – when you sauté your vegetables when making homemade soup, simply pour in some jalapeno wine. Or you can add it at the end for a more noticeable flavor. For me, the method I choose depends on what kind of soup I’m making. For tomato soup, I’ll add the wine at the end. For cauliflower soup (on tonight’s menu), I’m planning on sautéing with it at the beginning. Stay tuned for my Fall Soup Recipe Roundup post next week!
Photo Credit: Feastingathome.com

 

  • Sauté’s and Sauces: This is a popular use for jalapeno wine at our house. The Mild Jalapeno Wine makes excellent sautéed veggies, shrimp, and stir fry. Mushrooms and shrimp are probably the most popular choice among our customers but the options are pretty endless. Another favorite is using it to make a butter reduction sauce for pasta and fish. Add some lemon juice and you’re good to go.
  • Grilling/Marinades: This is definitely the Chipotle Jalapeno Wine’s area. We like to use about 1/4 to 1/2 cup in our marinades and have multiple recipes on the website. I have yet to find anything I don’t like grilled with this stuff!
  • Roasts: Since we’re on the subject of the Chipotle Jalapeno Wine, it has changed the way I feel about pulled pork. Another of our favorite ways to use it is slow cooking a whole chicken in the Dutch oven. Every time we make either of these things we’re reminded of why we enjoy cooking (and wine) in the first place.
  • Risotto: If my belly could support it, I would eat risotto once a week. As it is I make homemade risotto about twice a year and I always use the Mild Jalapeno Wine along with chicken stock. Most risotto recipes call for around 1/3 cup white wine, which I sub out for the jalapeno wine and then continue the recipe as instructed. You could play with this a bit and experiment with non-traditional risotto, like those made with quinoa or cauliflower.
  • Tequila!”: Alright, while I admittedly don’t have the heat tolerance to drink the jalapeno wine straight like many people do (my husband included), I do enjoy drinking it like a tequila shot now and then. Get your lime wedge, your salt and your shot glass. You know the rest.

Designing Wine Labels + Crispy Roasted Chickpeas Recipe

As I type this we are awaiting the final label design of our pumpkin wine, which we release in just two short weeks at the Boise Farmer’s Market (and is already nearly sold out just from pre-orders). As I drove to the studio this morning, the hubby and I chatted on the phone over which design we liked best (our graphics designer presented us with two slightly different versions) and it turns out Von liked one while I preferred the other. So how do we decide? We take it to the masses.

Well, in this case he took it to his co-workers for their opinions and by the end of the day we’ll have a decision and our graphics guy will run with it. So this may be a moot point but I thought it’d be fun to see which design YOU all like best and you’ll see which one we chose very soon. Here are the two rough drafts (a few other small details will be added but this is pretty much the gist). Which do you like best and why?

Potter_Wines_Pumpkin_Label1.jpg

Potter_Wines_Pumpkin_Label2.jpg

Keep in mind this wine won’t be going on store shelves simply because it’s in very limited production – we only self-distribute it once a year via the farmer’s market and pre-orders off social media, our email list and word-of-mouth. In years to come we’ll have it temporarily available to purchase on our website every fall until it’s gone.

I’ve gotta say, designing wine labels is more complicated than I ever imagined before starting this business venture. I for one, have been known to buy a bottle of wine solely for the eye-catching label. If the juice inside the bottle disappoints me then I won’t buy it again but I’ll always try it at least once if the label is intriguing. Now that we have our own vino to label it’s our intent to have eye-catching packaging (with the exception of one we learned a lesson on) so that we can set ourselves apart from the rest AND deliver good juice. At some point though, you realize being different from everyone else essentially means you’re being just like everyone else, because everyone’s trying to be different these days. There’s a fine line to walk in this wine labeling business! So we go with what feels right to us, our vision and our winery, which we’ve designed to be pretty atypical from the start.

That being said, once you have a label you like it doesn’t stop there. You’ve got to make sure there’s even a label paper that fits the size you need (the labels for our 375mL jalapeno wine bottles have to be ordered smaller than our normal-size wine bottle labels, obviously), then you’ve got to make sure that size looks right on your bottle. Or maybe you don’t even want a traditional label. Maybe you want bottle etching. Then there’s the foil decision – do you leave the tops of your bottles “naked” or do you seal the cork with something? Do you customize that piece, as well? And if you know exactly what you want – can you afford it once it’s been designed, printed and shipped? Are people even going to like it after all that?

For someone who really just prefers to make decisions and stick to them – leaving very little room for gray area – sorting out all these small details is often my weakness so it helps knowing I’m not the sole decision maker. Von will often offer a new direction on a label and although at first I’ll have a hard time envisioning it because it’s not what I had in mind, I usually realize he’s onto something. It’s just helpful to have each other to bounce ideas off of and in the case of choosing a label, it’s nice to have some validation (or direction) from someone if you’re doubting your own taste.

So that’s what’s shaking on the wine front this week.

On the food front, I’ve had a super easy and super yummy snack recipe to share with you for a while so I’m finally going to do that today.

If you like chickpeas and you need a crunchy mid-day snack or even a side dish for dinner, this is your thing (it’s a quick thing):

Crispy Roasted Chickpeas

You should know there are recipes for crispy roasted chickpeas all over the Internet, so I can’t really site a source because I just kinda saw a mentioning of them somewhere (can’t remember where) and had a craving for them so I originally looked up a recipe (can’t remember where) and then went my own way once I realized this is about as difficult as turning on the oven and pouring some water. So here you go – easy chickpeasy.

Ingredients

  • 2 cans garbanzo beans/chickpeas –  You’ll want two cans because only using one is kidding yourself – don’t think you won’t eat the entire thing in 4 minutes.
  • Olive oil – I don’t know – a drizzle maybe? What’s a drizzle anyway – a tablespoon? Sure, go with that.
  • Sea salt
  • Any other spice you want. Cumin is good although I normally just use a small amount of sea salt and call it. If you use garlic you should wait until the beans come out of the oven before tossing it in or else it will burn. Burnt garlic makes me sad.

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Drain and rinse the beans, then shake off as much excess water as you can. Lay the beans out on a few folded paper towels or a kitchen towel.

In the event it's impossible for you to imagine what chickpeas look like on a kitchen towel, here's your clarification.
In the event it’s impossible for you to imagine what chickpeas look like on a kitchen towel, here’s your clarification.

Lay more paper towels or another kitchen towel on top and press lightly to dry the beans as much as possible. Some people roll the beans around at this point in order to remove the thin layer of skin. I feel like this is totally unnecessary but do as you please.

Place the beans on a cookie sheet and drizzle your drizzle of oil over them. Then sprinkle your sea salt and other spice(s) as you like. Toss the beans around with a spatula so everyone is happy and covered with oil and spice (seriously, let’s keep this PG friends).

Roast them for about 30 to 40 minutes or until the beans are a golden brown. Don’t burn them because that will suck.

Crispy, slightly salty and GONE!
Crispy, slightly salty and GONE!

As if I have to tell you this, but you’ll want to consume these within 24-48 hours because they harden up the longer they are left out. The crunch factor is lovely with these but apparently too much crunch factor just tastes like chalk. It’s ok though because these won’t last in your kitchen longer than a few hours.

Remember: Sharing means caring!

The Tuesday Tank

It’s reflection time. I’m taking a moment to soak in all the little details that have shown their faces among the big happenings around here the last few weeks. All work and no play would be boring and obnoxious, after all. Times like these are when I’m grateful to my kids because they remind me to step away and get some play time in. Mostly they remind me by tearing the house apart and then drawing all over it. That’s when we go outside, breathe in the autumn air, ride bikes and crash nose-first into the concrete.

So here we have the second installment of “The Tuesday Tank.” This is where I share with you small tidbits I’ve either learned, read, cooked, purchased, attempted or simply found worth acknowledgment. You can catch the first installment of “The Tuesday Tank” here.

Read on, curious people.

Today’s Tank:

~It just wouldn’t be right if I didn’t start with breakfast.

You like oatmeal? You like eggs? You need 3 Minute Egg-White Oats from pbfingers.com. Possibly the most satisfying way to eat breakfast without overeating. This stuff happens in a microwave with a bigger-than-normal bowl (seriously, you will think I’ve lost my oats when you see how much it expands when cooked). My favorite way to eat this so far is by mixing in almond butter, pure maple syrup and flaxseed. Preferably before (or after) a good run or cardio workout.

Photo from pbfingers.com
Photo from pbfingers.com

~Speaking of breakfast, let’s speak of more breakfast.

I’m a big fan of steel cut oats but very rarely make them because they’re so dang time-consuming. Enter: Trader Joe’s Quick Cook Steel Cut Oats. I finally walked into Boise’s new Trader Joe’s not knowing what to buy and walked out with vino (duh), hummus and this brilliant timesaving container. Now I can enjoy my steel cut oats any day I want in under 10 minutes. Lila prefers to call them “steel cut oh’s.”

traderjoe'soats

~We’re on a roll, so let’s talk bread.

Specifically, oatmeal pumpkin spice bread. Yes, I’m a fan of the pumpkin bandwagon this time of year and yes, I jumped on it with this recipe a couple weeks ago. It makes 2 loaves and my intent was for the hubby to take one to work to share but turns out it was Friday. Whoops. Two loaves of fall-bliss-in-a-bite down this family’s hatch! It was originally a Paula Deen recipe but some nice people at Pop Sugar took the heart attack out of it.

Photo from popsugar.com
Photo from popsugar.com

~Now that you’re stoked about gluten, maybe this will make you feel less guilty about consuming it:

The findings in the study this article talks about are worth considering: “Science Proves Gluten Sensitivity Isn’t Real, People Are Just Whiners.” Don’t shoot the messenger. I’m just saying, “hmmm…”

~Drink your wine instead of doing an hour of exercise?

I managed to steer clear of reading this study as it was circulating Facebook but after multiple clients came in the studio doors claiming they could just go drink 8 glasses of wine and call it a week’s worth of exercise, I finally gave it a look: “Is Drinking Wine Better Than Going to the Gym? According to Scientists, Yes!” Well folks, the bad news is they’re talking about ONE glass in this case and they’re also only talking about red wine. Which, from this red wine lover’s point of view, is not a problem. But you’re more likely to see me getting my sweat on so that I can enjoy TWO glasses of the good stuff. Sooo…not really encouraging science to me, but maybe you’ll find a way to justify it.

~Hey parents, bath time just got easier!

I’ve admittedly had a Lush addiction for over a decade now, so when the connoisseurs of homemade bath and beauty products opened up a store nearby I leapt at the chance to go with my favorite females. While I left with a few yummy things, my favorite new find was their FUN line – yummy smelling multi-purpose moldable soap for kids (and adults who like to act like kids). Lila flipped for this stuff and honestly, so did I. Bath time smelled even better and both kids were completely entertained while washing their own hair with this Play-Doh-like stuff. We’ve only tried the Blue Fun bar because the sleep-inducing smells of chamomile and lavender sold me (earlier bedtime for the kids means earlier wine time for mom), but we will definitely be trying them all.

Photo source: dolcevanity.com
Photo source: dolcevanity.com

~So about this parenting thing, how’s it working for our marriages?

“How American Parenting is Killing the American Marriage is worth thinking about. Even if you don’t agree with it I think we can all applaud the author who, when met with criticism about her viewpoint, rebutted by saying “her outlook has had a positive impact on her children by giving them a sense of security in their parents’ relationship.” Read the original essay, “Truly, Madly, Guiltily” in The New York Times, here.

Thanks for scrolling, good people!

The Tuesday Tank

I’ve decided to create a segment on this blog that I will eloquently title “The Tuesday Tank.” That’s one of the glorious things about writing on your own blog – you get to make things like this up.

“The Tuesday Tank” will be just that – a little tank of information where I talk about things like what happened over the weekend, what’s happening the current week, random news I find appropriate to share (or just snippets I find cool), workouts I’m doing, recipes I’m making, crazy kid stuff that’s happening, and just….stuff. All good stuff.

I can’t promise “The Tuesday Tank” will make a showing every week but you’ll know where to find it thanks to the handy category menu on the sidebar of this here blog.

So let’s get this tank filled, already!

Today’s Tank:

~Check out the breakfast on this girl!

Many of you who read this blog (does anybody read this blog? never mind, don’t tell me) know that I love me some breakfast. I wake up, drink my warm lemon water, followed by a cup of coffee and cannot WAIT for breakfast. I don’t care if I have 3 minutes to eat or 20, it’s my favorite meal. I figure it’s a new day, a new start and I have this chance to do something really good for my body before @#$! gets crazy.

So here’s something I’m loving: Cookie Dough Cereal. You think I’m joking? I wouldn’t kid you about this. Try it. If you like cereal and you like cookie dough and you like knowing there’s a way to eat both for breakfast in a healthy fashion – you’re gonna love this.

Photo credit: Pinterest user Sara Vieira
Photo credit: Pinterest user Sara Vieira

I can’t take credit for the original recipe, which I found at Fitnessista.com, but I do alter it just slightly. Some mornings I use almond butter and others I use peanut butter. I use a small amount of raw honey or pure maple syrup for a sweet touch. I prefer to use unsweetened coconut almond milk and I don’t use protein powder unless I happen to have some, which I currently don’t because after years of disagreeing with my husband about protein powder being a luxury expenditure that is not REALLY necessary, I kinda sorta am agreeing with him now that I’m a mom of two who would rather put the same money toward her son’s Tumble Bus class. I know, if my pre-mom self knew then what my mom self knows now, she would have bought a LOT more protein powder!

That being said, if you have protein powder you should definitely use it in this recipe and enjoy!

Click here for the recipe!

~A workout for those who don’t want to think

Yesterday I did a quick circuit workout between clients at the studio and I was feeling a bit scattered. One thing that works for me when I don’t feel like counting my own reps so that I can shut my brain off is doing circuit workouts for time. Everything in this one was done for 1 minute with no rest between exercises. I repeated it one more time and would have done a 3rd round but there was lunch to be had before my next client. Exercise + fuel = good idea.

This took me about 30 minutes including a 5-minute warm up on the treadmill. Here’s the workout for you!

30 Minute Circuit Workout

~You know how some days you just know you’re a happy family and other days you wonder if you should be doing more together?

Check this out: 6 Things the Happiest Families Have in Common. Some of these things I can see happening as the kids get older (the family values talk) but some you might find you’re already doing (dinner together most nights, maybe?). I think back to my childhood and while we may not have done all of these all the time, we did most of them most of the time and I figure that must’ve worked seeing as how I’m happy with the way it all turned out. The point that hits on family history was particularly interesting to me.

…recounting your family history is not just telling kids, ‘Our family is awesome.’ Recounting the tough times, the challenges your family faced and overcame, is key.”

~Taking a healthy diet too far.

Back in July, a popular vegan food blogger came clean about having an eating disorder. The Blonde Vegan admitted to having orthorexia – a fixation on righteous eating – and restricting herself entirely from certain foods, even some vegan ones. You can read here for more info but my point in even addressing this in the first place is simply to say that I don’t believe any of us will get it right 100% of the time and I feel like we need to be OK with that.

I see so many fitness enthusiasts – moms, dads, trainers, nutritionists, professionals, coaches, athletes, teenagers, 20-somethings, the list goes on – who take it wayyyy too far. So I guess I just want to say to anyone listening out there who’s guilty of becoming obsessed with losing weight/getting fit and fitter and fitter/looking better and better and better, that hey – you’re doing just fine. Relax. Ruling out certain food groups entirely will hurt you more than help you. If you take it even further and rule out entire macronutrients (carbs, proteins, fats) you’ll definitely suffer.

Enjoy some junk now and then and between those times nourish yourself and take care of your body. If you’re doing the best you can it’s likely you’re doing it right.

Thoughts on this? By the way, kudos to this gal for coming to terms and getting help (and keeping her blog).

~While we’re talking about indulging yourself…

It’s Shameless Self-Promotion time! I happen to know some people who are having an End of Summer/Making Room for New Inventory Case Sale on their Riesling right now!

It’s like Christmas over here!!

Seriously though, at $8/bottle could you really deny the fact that this is news-worthy? That’s right, $96/case for Potter Wines Riesling, my friends! We currently sell it for $12/bottle and give 10% off when you buy 6 bottles. But THIS, this is a serious deal if you’re on the prowl for some off-dry Idaho Riesling!

Email me at crystalpotter@potterwines.com or comment on this post for details on how to order. Or go to potterwines.com for our contact info.

And that concludes this installment of “The Tuesday Tank!” Thanks for tuning in and scrolling down!

A Recipe for Kale Salad and Massage

As popular as kale has become, I think many people still don’t know what to do with it or how to eat it so it actually tastes good to them. I mean how many of you know that when using kale in salads you should actually massage it with a little bit of oil first? That’s right, massage your kale. With oil. Low sultry music is optional.

Turns out it makes a world of difference! Though I can’t speak to the music piece. I used to try making kale salad for my family by just dumping a bag of kale mix in a bowl and serving it as you typically would serve a salad – that never went over well. Kale is crunchy, chewy and tough. Which is cool if you have hooves.

Finally I came across some advice somewhere (if my mom-brain could remember where, I’d definitely give a shout-out) that pointed out how when you give kale a hearty rubdown it breaks down the fibrous cellulose structure and actually makes it wilt a bit, which makes it perfect for using in salads. Since I started massaging my kale (this is beginning to sound like an infomercial gone terribly wrong) my family looks forward to our almost-weekly fix. I assume Luke looks forward to it, we never really know whether he looks forward to food or if he’s just worried he might not gain a pound.

So how do we make this kale salad? Well if you can handle my stellar photography, I’ll show you how. Or if you trust you can figure it out without the frilly photo nonsense, scroll down for the recipe!

First, you start by toasting some sliced or slivered almonds. It has taken me about 1,562 times to do this without burning them. The secret is to not leave them unattended for longer than about 30 seconds because you need to turn them constantly once they start to toast. I put them in a pan on a burner set at medium heat. Turn away long enough to pour yourself a glass of wine to keep you company while you attempt to not burn the almonds.

Stick to one glass of wine, you don't want to mess this up.
Stick to one glass of wine, you don’t want to mess this up.

Once the almonds are browned nicely (and you’re buzzed – this should only take about 5 to 10 minutes for both to happen if you’re a light weight like me) remove them from the heat and let them cool.

Next, you need a lemon and a microplane or other zesting contraption. Zest away and put that citrusy goodness into a big bowl.

In case there's any question about what a lemon looks like.
In case there’s any question about what a lemon looks like.

Then juice the said lemon and place that in the bowl as well. Sorry, no photos of me juicing a lemon. I’m not that patient and my family morphs into wolves if I take too long making dinner.

Add extra-virgin olive oil and mix it up with the lemon juice and zest, I use a wire whisk for this.

Now, you need some fibrous kale – store bought or fresh from a market, it doesn’t matter. Put it all in the bowl with the oil and lemon stuff.

Get to massaging. You can put a little Marvin Gaye on if you’re so inclined.

"I feel good..."

The experts say to do this for 5 minutes. They do not have small children yelling at them. Since I do, I massage it well for 1 minute, maybe 2 minutes if I really need to squeeze the crap out of something.

Anger management meets the Food Network
Anger management meets the Food Network

Once your kale is nice and massaged and the oil and lemon are absorbed, top with some shaved parmesan cheese. Or shredded or grated or, if you’re lazy like me, thinly sliced.

I'm so glad I captured this before the Lila Cheese Snatcher showed up.
I’m so glad I captured this before the Lila Cheese Snatcher showed up.

Now top with the toasted almonds and a little ground pepper.

Wa-La!

finalkale

I know what you’re thinking, “She’s a trainer, of course her family eats that stuff.” First of all just because something is healthy does not mean any of us will eat it. Secondly, my husband would just as soon have bacon for dinner and he still can’t get enough of this stuff. Lila will actually eat it when it’s on her plate, unlike any other green substance, and refers to it as her yummy “salid.” And, well, we already know how Luke feels.

So now that you’ve witnessed the amazing photo gallery above, here’s the recipe plain and simple.

Lemony Kale Salad

(Adapted from Martha Stewart, who uses hazelnuts and does not talk about massage. Shame on you, Martha.)

Ingredients

  • Zest of one lemon
  • Juice of one lemon
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 bag of kale salad or 8 cups of coarsely chopped kale, major ribs removed if there are any (you’ll be fine with a bagged mix from the store)
  • ½ cup shaved, shredded, or thinly sliced parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup (or more) toasted slivered or sliced almonds (we buy them in bulk but you can otherwise find them in baking aisles usually)
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions

Toast the almonds in a pan on the stove on medium heat. Pay close attention, as once they start browning you’ll want to rotate them frequently and catch them before they start to burn. Once they’re nicely browned, remove them from heat and let them cool.

In a large bowl, whisk the lemon zest, lemon juice and olive oil together until well combined. Add kale and massage with your hands until the dressing is well absorbed and the kale starts to wilt. You’ll notice it starts to take up less space in the bowl as the fibers break down.

Top with the cheese and almonds, then add freshly ground pepper. Toss before serving.

Best wine to pair this with? One you can drink.