Friday, July 16, 2010

Spinach And Barley Bake Recipe

I found this recipe on but I modified it a bit.

2/3 cup pearled barley
1 2/3 cup water
1 box (10 oz size) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
3 medium cloves of garlic diced or crushed
1 red pepper diced
2 cup grated parmesan cheese (add more if you wish---we LOVE parmesan or use cheddar---be creative!)
1 egg
1 tablespoon unbleached flour
1 teaspoon of fresh or dried thyme
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 container or 250 ml of sour cream (use low fat if you wish)

Place the barley and water in a 2-quart pot, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 40 minutes, or until the barley is tender and the liquid has been absorbed. Stir often so barley doesnt burn.

Place the cooked barley and all of the remaining ingredients except for 1 cup of the Parmesan in a large bowl, and stir to mix well. Coat a 1 1/2-quart casserole dish with cooking spray, and spread the mixture evenly in the dish. Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan over the top.

Bake uncovered at 375degrees for 50 to 60 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbly. Remove the dish from the oven, and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.
Serves 4

The kids and the hubby loved it and it was easy to make. I prepared it in the morning and then let it sit in the fridge until dinner time. Then I baked it off and we enjoyed. I think the time it got to sit made it tastier!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Wine Review: Cab Franc where have you gone?

I love Cabernet Franc, I have a passion for that grape in particular. I think its bold, tough and has great flavor. I found that wineries used to produce great Cab Francs in the past. Everything I loved about Cab Franc was showcased in these wines. Now I find that it has become a grape of icewine and blending. It is extremely hard to find a Cab Franc that isn't an icewine. So I have been shopping at my local LCBO's and trying to find a Cab Franc that stands up to my memories of the varietal. Its been awhile since I have been back in the wine industry but I was hopeful to find something tasty!

I first bought the Vineland Estates Cabernet Franc 2007. I was disappointed, where was the raw bold flavors I was used to. This was a everyday wine, something anyone could buy and enjoy. I understand the reasoning behind producing wines like this, obviously they sell more if they are produced with an average palate in mind. If you enjoy red wine and aren't picky then it is a very nice wine. At just over $13 it is a reasonable everyday wine. I hated it!

So try another, I bought the Henry of Pelham Cabernet Franc 2006. This is a winery known for their bold Baco Noir. I was hoping to find their Cab Franc to be as outstanding as their Baco Noir (and I love their Sibling Rivalry red as an everyday wine). I opened it and poured it into my glass, the aromas were heavenly. I was getting excited...this is it! I tasted it and I was disappointed all over again. The flavor just doesnt match up to the nose of the wine. It smells of blackberry and leather and tastes of grapey water. There was no tannins left in the wine, I was so upset with the taste I wont drink it again so it has been relegated to cooking wine.

So my search continues for a Cab Franc to live up to my lofty standards ;)