Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Somerset Ridge Vineyard

and Winery Tasting Room

Great news for women my age...As a woman approaching the age of 70 (several years away, thank goodness!) it was announced today that drinking alcohol will increase the mobility in women, not men. Check it out

It is about time we older chicks got some good news!

And it came just in time for the release of the Somerset Ridge Tawny Port! I had a chance to sample the new Tawny Port last month....I thought sipping Somerset Ridge Ruby Port was a wonderful way to end a meal, but let me tell you, the Tawny is pure pleasure. I know the vintner, Dennis Reynolds, is my son-in-law, and I am very fond of him, but I am not just blowing smoke....He is a genius! How in the world do you "just know how" to make Port, or any wine for that matter! As a chef, I am well aware of the process of following a recipe, but for wine? He just knows what grape, or what blend of grapes, steel or wooden barrel, many variables. He has many little "wine experiments" brewing away in the winery....time will tell what they turn out to be! Knowing Dennis as I do, trust me, they will be perfect!

I haven't painted for over a week. I moved the studio from the basement up to a small bedroom upstairs, and I haven't done one thing towards getting it set up and organized. Since I've had an eye injury and a cold, I didn't even get to my class at ARTichokes! The eye is doing well and the cold is just about gone. By Friday night, I will have brush in hand! Friday Open Studio & Live Music 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm Michael McClintock & Jordan Shipley, brazilian folk & jazz, 7:30 - 8:30 pm. Professional acrylic artist Kristin Goering will be in the studio to help you be creative!

Now for a little alchemy and magic at work. I'm talking Port and Chocolate...again! There is just nothing like it in my book! Take a bite of chocolate....good chocolate, like Christopher Elbow, made right here in Kansas City. Let that bite melt on your tongue, gently warming it. Then take a sip of Tawny Port. Pause........................................
AH-h-h-h, heaven.

You'd better plan on joining us at the vineyard this weekend! Go to for winery hours and directions to the vineyard. Just heard, it is going to be in the 60s this weekend!

When you pick up that bottle of Tawny Port, go home and make

Truffle Brownies...

Makes about 1 dozen
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for pan
3 ounces good-quality unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 ounces good-quality semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2/3 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter a 9-inch springform pan, and set aside.
Make batter: Put butter and chocolate in a heatproof medium bowl set over a pan of simmering water; stir until melted. Let cool slightly.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl; set aside.
Put sugar and eggs in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and beat on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add chocolate mixture, milk, and vanilla, and beat until combined. Add flour mixture; beat, scraping down sides of bowl, until well incorporated.
Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake until a cake tester inserted into brownies
(avoid center and edges) comes out with a few crumbs but is not wet, 27 to 30 minutes.
Let cool completely in pan.
Make topping when brownies are cool: Put chocolate in a medium bowl. Heat cream in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until just simmering. Pour over chocolate; let stand 5 minutes. Gently stir until smooth. Allow ganache to cool, stirring every 10 minutes, until slightly thickened, 25 to 30 minutes.
Pour ganache over cooled brownies in pan; let set, about 20 minutes.
Refrigerate until cold, 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Let brownies stand at room temperature at least 15 minutes before serving. Lift out brownies; cut into wedges, wiping knife with a hot, damp cloth between each cut.

Brownie mixes are a great convenience, but....
nothing takes the place of a
Homemade Brownie!

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