Monday, March 14, 2011

What's that green?

-DeborahWalking across Central Park this Friday afternoon I was floating on air; the promise of a new season had me elevated. Good fortune found me with my camera. Bad fortune showed the battery quickly dying. I managed to shoot a few Springtime sightings before the camera went black.
Daffodils are beginning to pop up at the 69th Street entrance on Central Park West.


and more buds!

The grass is doing its damnedest to make an appearance.

Even the sea lions at the zoo were taking advantage of the blast of sunshine.

My giddy mood altered quickly when I got home to discover my sweetie hubby sick and cranky with a wicked head cold. SOUP was all he wanted, so I got down to business, looked into my empty cupboard and fridge and improvised a simple miso soup to soothe his throat and warm the belly.

Miso soup is so easy to make and it can handle a variety of ingredients. The miso paste itself comes in several types. I like a medium flavored miso (red) for soups rather than the dark versions (barley) or the light (white) misos. I'm not a connoisseur, but I find the medium color the most versatile. It is fun to sample different misos to see which you prefer.

•Heat up a quart of water or vegetable stock in a saucepan.
•When it comes to a boil add a cup of thinly sliced or grated vegetables
-some possibilities are scallions, carrots, winter squash, summer squash, mushrooms, sprouts, leafy greens, tofu, green beans, sea vegetables
•cook for about five minutes until the vegetables are tender.
•add a swig of soy sauce.
•add a small bundle of rice noodles, stir and cook five more minutes.
•place a quarter cup of miso into a stainer and lower the strainer into the soup pot stirring to dissolve the miso into the broth, do not let soup boil once miso has been added.
•taste and adjust seasoning
My husband was grateful for the steaming savory liquid, but seriously questioned what the green stuff was. SPINACH, eat it!

Amanda I would love a glass of wine right now. Forget the miso soup. What will make me think of Spring?

In the wine world, nothing shouts "Spring" more than a beautiful, crisp glass of Rose! I haven't gone that route yet. Rather I am waiting, ever so patiently, for that first perfect Spring day. I don't want my first sip of Rose for the year to be wasted on a not-so-great day. I wait too long for that moment to have it thrown away if the weather is not "just right". So I will continue to wait.

There's nothing like sipping a glass of Rose outside, on a warm, sunny Spring day. Extremely versatile when it comes to food, pair a pretty pink wine with barbeque, grilled vegetables, salads, fish, and even omelets. There are so many wonderful values out there, and a plethora of styles to choose from. For a bigger, bolder style, seek out a Rose from the Bordeaux region of France. The Chateau Fontenille Bordeaux Clairet is a fine example, and only $11.99! A blend of Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon, this Rose is full of fresh fruit and fine character. For something more crisp and light, France offers plenty of options. Look for something from Tavel, or Cotes de Provence. Domaine Ott, while pricey, can offer beautiful representations of Provence. Their Les Domaniers is a spicey blend of Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah. At around $22 it's not necessarily an "everyday" wine - but it is worth the price! Looking for something with loads of fruit? Check out a Rose from Chile, Spain or Argentina. One of my perennial favorites is the Crios Rose of Malbec from Susanna Balbo. This Argentine gem can be found in the $10 price range.

Roses are fun, warm-weather wine. Remember, these are meant to be enjoyed when young - do not cellar these. Make sure the ones you are buying are recent vintages too - look for 2010's. Stay away from anything like 2008 or before. So, go stock up on some Roses! Crack open a bottle on the first perfect Spring day that comes your way!

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