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Posts from the ‘DRINK’ Category

How to get your kids to eat their greens…

To say it’s been a while is an understatement, however, it is a start.

After a complicated pregnancy, we were blessed with a darling little boy in early 2013 . It was a hell of a ride with tons of scary bits but we made it and are now enjoying life with our little one. However, with all of this change came some big challenges. The dietary needs of our tribe shifted from day-to-day. Most recently with our son who has severe allergies to dairy & peanuts.

It’s challenging to face these allergies in reality since you don’t want your kids growing up with limitations that can keep them from feeling “normal” yet you want to protect them. Unfortunately this is reality for a lot of kids. So, that being said, it’s time to get back in the kitchen with a new mission….

How To Eat n’Drink, now


When diary is in EVERYTHING, it’s tough to eat out, especially when time runs short during life’s hectic schedule. So we needed an easy go-to option full of only the good (safe) stuff and if it can include more yummy greens into his diet then, yay! That is how these little delicious green gems came to be. So, I had to share this recipe just to keep from having to write it down for strangers everywhere I go! Enjoy!

MEAG’S MIGHTY MUFFINS (makes 24 mini muffins)

10 oz organic frozen spinach (fresh works too but tends to make a dryer batter)

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (almond coconut blend vanilla is what we use)

3/4 cup maple syrup

1 ripe banana

2 tsp vanilla

2 cups gluten-free flour (bob’s red mill is our fave)

1 tsp xanathan gum (skip if your flour includes this)

2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp pink Himalayan salt or kosher salt

1 1/2- 2 tsp chinese five spice

Note: This recipe works best with a vitamix but a good blender should do the trick, just make sure everything is blended into a purée.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Purée all the wet ingredients (spinach, olive oil, almond milk, maple, banana, vanilla) in a vitamix until completely smooth and blended. In a large bowl add the dry ingredients together and whisk/sift to combine. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until combined. It will have a few lumps but shouldn’t be too loose or soupy. (If so, just add a bit of extra flour.)

Line a mini muffin sheet pan with paper liners or use a silicone mold oiled with a bit of olive oil. Scoop the batter into the molds until about 2/3 full…

Bake them until they are starting to brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Remove them from the oven and brush the tops with a bit of maple syrup to create a nice sweet crust, just make sure to do this when they are still hot or it ends up sticky. (It’s alright to skip this part if you like.)

Cool the muffins on a rack and enjoy! (Don’t forget to throw some in the freezer for later. Reheat at 200-250 degrees for 10 minutes to refresh.)

*this recipe was inspired by the sweet potato muffins in It’s all good by Gwyneth Paltrow & Julia Turshen & the delicious green muffins from Patricia G.

*photography + recipe © copyright howtoeatndrink

Funghi Pizza + Ribolla Gialla…

Everyone is entitled to a few guilty pleasures from time to time + this is one of our favorites…

In my last post I recommended Piccino’s in the Dogpatch where the funghi pizza is to die for. After moving to NYC we missed our little pizza joint until I met Jim Lahey the owner + chef at Co. + Sullivan Street Bakery. His vegan mushroom pizza was the star at an event he was cooking at + I was gobbling slices up like everyone else. This recipe is an hybrid adaptation combining the technique from the Master himself + the delicious topping from our favorite haunt. We served this at home with my friends family’s wine…The 2010 Grassi Ribolla Gialla.  A gorgeous wine with notes of meyer lemon, white flowers,  a touch of earthiness + minerality with a lasting finish. The Grassi Ribolla Gialla is a beautiful example of what a solid producer can do with an indigenous Italian varietal in Napa Valley.


1 portion Pizza dough (store bought or Jim Lahey’s recipe*)

*Here’s a link to Jim Lahey’s No Knead Pizza Dough + a video on how to knuckle it out!

4-6 cups of mixed mushrooms (shiitake, button, portobello etc)

1/4 more or less of quality olive oil

1-2 shallots

1-2 garlic cloves

1 tsp fresh thyme, plus extra for garnish

Pinch of red chili pepper flakes

Salt & Pepper to taste

*Set up is key with this recipe!

Bring pizza dough to room temperature  about 2 hours before baking…this will make for a crispier more bubbly crust.

Place a clean pizza stone (such as this one) about 4-5 inches from the broiler feature in your oven. Ours is electric but this works the same for gas.

Preheat oven to it’s highest temperature, usually 500 degrees F with stone in oven.  Heat oven for 1 hour then switch on the broiler to 500 degrees. Some ovens have a failsafe switch preventing the oven from getting hotter than 500 so to trick it open the oven door slightly for a moment or two.

In a food processor blend 4-6 cups of raw or sautéed mushrooms, shallots, garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper, thyme + red chili pepper flakes until consistency of chunky tapenade. You can add walnuts like Chef Lahey does if you want a heartier pie. (Note: sautéing the mushrooms, garlic + shallots will result in a richer paste)

Flour all work surfaces well.

Walk out your pizza dough onto a pizza peel by stretching the edges out first…then “knuckling” the dough until it’s thin + slightly see through.

Spread a mushroom mixture over the pizza dough leaving some small spots of dough peeking through.

Slip the pizza off your pizza peel or plate onto the hot stone. Cook until crust is bubbling with burnt little bubbles.

Remove + place onto your peel again, slicing into pieces. Top with fresh thyme + a drizzle of truffle or olive oil.


Cheers to everyone this 4th of July! Have a wonderful + safe holiday!



Napa…how to eat, drink + see the valley

As a native Californian + former Bay Area resident, I am often asked where is it that I go when back in Napa. So here is my ideal weekend trip to San Francisco + Napa. *Note: You have to make appointments at the wineries listed!

Off Minnesota Street in the Dogpatch is my favorite cafe, called Piccino’s. Order a bottle of white burgundy or the like, the fungi pizza, whatever salad is fresh that day + a plate of the pickled veggies.

Next up, The Ferry Building! Mecca to all SF foodies. Just go and wonder…

Next, make your way North to Napa via the Embarcadero. As you breach the Golden Gate, roll the windows down even if it’s foggy, it is some of the freshest air you can breath! Once you head up the hill, make sure to look back at the City…

As you drive through the Marin Headlands up toward Napa Valley you’ll hit Highway 37 which brings you to Sonoma/Napa. Once in Napa stay at The Westin Verasa, it’s not as posh as Meadowood but it’s centrally located and a block from the Oxbow Public Market. At the Oxbow, make sure to try, The Hog Island Oyster Co. The sweetwaters are their specialty…Another Napa hot spot not far from Oxbow, is Oenotri, fantastic charcuterie + perfect hand slung flatbread pizzas!

A morning tasting is to be desired at Domaine Carneros. Owned by Taittinger, this house is my personal favorite when it comes to bubbles in California + it has one of the most peaceful views of surrounding vineyards. Try a little smoked salmon plate to pair with their wines…

Escaping the tourist route, head up to Chappellet Winery. One of the most impressive vineyards overlooking Lake Hennessy. Just follow their directions online to avoid getting lost.

Take a stroll through Yountville, on your way to lunch at Bouchon. Thomas Keller’s favorite food is french bistro style cuisine + as a long time resident of Yountville, he does dine there from time to time.

The epitome of high design, Cade Winery sits at 1,800 feet of elevation + promises to be the gem in your memory box with it’s breathtaking views almost 60 miles south down the valley.

If you find yourself in St. Helena, try to pull up a chair fireside at Farmstead. Everything is grown or cultivated in house at the Long Meadow Ranch so relax while you nibble on freshly baked potato rolls right out of the oven.

Lastly, don’t forget to be a responsible drinker…



Cardboard + Crudité…

The holidays were a blur segueing into January with little reprieve from our busy schedules, not to mention we were moving! I know, we just got to our New York apartment in March but our landlord was selling his place so that meant while you were enjoying your holidays, I was searching for new apartments between my husbands busy travel schedule and holiday parties… ugh!

With all of this, comes crazy stress so my culinary juices were pretty dried up and frankly I’d drink just about any bottle of wine that was around because shopping for that “great bottle” was simply too much of a bother. Procrastination was rampant as the mountain of cardboard and packing paper plagued me from across the room. Two weeks out the packing started and the daunting task of what stays and what goes began. I made one last trip to dean & deluca for some green juice and veggies to energize our efforts without sacrificing the gourmet experience.

Two recipes for your disaster day, I mean moving day, that are going to rock your world next time you move and all you need is one pot, a microwave and some paper picnic ware. Light a candle and pop some champagne cause it’s packing time!

One Pot Veg Soup:

1 head of cauliflower

1 white onion

1 clove garlic

1 bay leaf

Himalayan Salt

Fresh cracked pepper


Olive oil

Grab that large dutch oven one last time before packing the kitchen… drizzle some olive oil in the bottom and crank up the heat to medium. Chop the onions into bits and smash the garlic (take out your frustrations of packing on this onion/garlic if you like…it’s going to all get pulverized later) Add the onions, garlic, bay leaf, pinch of salt/pepper to the pot and cover with a parchment lid (make like a 6 year old and cut out a pretty circle same size as your pot with a hole in the middle) Sweat them until they are soft and clear, about 10 minutes or so, just make sure they don’t color. Discard the parchment lid and bay leaf…Clean the head of cauliflower and remove the green bits. Pop the whole head into the pot and pour in a cup or so of water. Cover with the lid to steam for 15 minutes. Add the rest of the water and boil it until the cauliflower is tender and falling apart. Now get your immersion blender (or regular blender) and blend all of this to a beautiful silky smooth soup. Serve it in whatever dishes are not packed with a hunk of baguette and a drizzle of olive oil. Save the rest for the next couple of nights, it will beat the hell out of take-out!

Serve it with the Raventos Brut Rose, no corkscrew needed and at under $20 a bottle you can’t go wrong.

Crudite Salad (It will save your life)

1 small bag of baby carrots

1 bunch of celery

1 avocado

1 bunch of radishes

1 bunch of grapes

1 box of cheery tomatoes

1 cucumber

1 package of hummus

Now the french have it right, this “salad” is my lifesaver when life is getting a bit overwhelming and I just need to eat “something” but really don’t want to skimp on my healthy eating habits. It’s all finger friendly, great for kids too. You can change up the veggies to suit your own tastes or seasons but this is what we have been living on while wallowing in our sea of boxes.

Wash all the veggies unless they are already washed of course. Cut up any that need it like the cucumbers or avocado. (Asparagus is another good one, just snap the woody ends off and enjoy raw) Open the package of hummus…take the slices of avocado and  drizzle  with olive oil, salt and pepper. Gobble up the veggies with the hummus and treat yourself to some grapes in the end. Drink lots of water to stay hydrated while packing…I promise it will all be over soon!

Toasts You Ought To Know…Thanksgiving

On the table spread the cloth,

Let the knives be sharp and clean;

Pickles get and salad, both,

Let them each be fresh and green,

With small beer, good ale and wine.

O, ye gods! How we will dine!



Have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!




Pilgrims love Pinot…

Thanksgiving is a time to be grateful for the fortunate blessings in our lives, and most of us spend this holiday rushing around the kitchen or cheering for our favorite team while the smell of turkey hangs in the air. But this year, I encourage you get serious about the wine you serve. It’s a simple upgrade you can give yourself and your guests while elevating your thanksgiving meal to perfection.

First off, welcome your guests with a well chilled glass of sparkling wine. It will waken the taste buds and get your guests in the mood for food! Most sparkling wines you’ll find at the market are dry and not sweet, which is a good thing since we don’t want to sugar up our guests too early.

To start, I recommend my personal go-to for sparkling wine, the 2007 Domaine Carneros Brut Cuvée.  An exceptional value at $20 a bottle this perfectly balanced wine has just the right amount of bright crisp flavor and tiny bubbles making it the perfect choice for those delicate savory hors d’oeuvres. Made in Carneros California, Domaine Carneros is the US arm of the French Champagne House known as Taittinger.These grapes are grown organically and made in the traditional french method giving you an affordable “champagne” taste without breaking the bank. A true pleasure to drink alone or with food, enjoy well chilled.

Once your guests are seated and the celebration has begun, try pouring this dry white wine to start the meal off right. The 2009 Chateau du Champ des Treilles “Vin Passion” is a mouthful but I promise you it’s a crowd pleaser. This Bordeaux Blanc (white Bordeaux) is made up of three grape varietals, muscadelle, sauvignon blanc and semillon which give this wine tons of deep layered flavor. It’s bright citrusy notes and clean finish are excellent with light fish dishes or even turkey and stuffing. One sip and you will see why this budget friendly wine at $15.99 a bottle will be on my table this year.

For the pièce de résistance this Thanksgiving, I urge you to try the 2007 Willakenzie Estate Pinot Noir Dijon Clone 113. The tasting notes read like a thanksgiving menu…”aromas of red and black fruit including cranberry, blueberry and blackberry with some smokiness and subtle floral tones with concentrated fruit flavors of plum, cherry, and raspberry, while notes of cedar and pepper linger on the finish” With flavors like that why bother with the bargain bin wines? Now this wine is a bit more expensive at $38 a bottle but worth the splurge. Made from one specific type of pinot noir grape, hence the name, know as Dijon Clone 113 this wine will impress even your most discerning wine critic at the table this year.

With bellies full, why not sit back and relax by the fire with a sultry glass of port from Heitz Cellar. The non-vintage Ink Grade Port from Heitz Cellars is a real treat after a long day of cooking and entertaining with its dark mysterious color and rich flavor. This wine is a bargain at $15 a half bottle and since it’s fortified with additional alcohol you only need a little bit to take the edge off. Perfect with cheese or warm spiced nuts it will be the ideal companion for last moments of Thanksgiving. Just don’t blame me if your guests stick around for this one.

Here’s where to buy them… Cheers!

Domaine Carneros 2007 Brut Cuveé $26.00 pb

Wine comprises of 60% Pinot Noir + 40% Chardonnay

Chateau du Champ des Treilles, 2009 “Vin Passion” Bordeaux Blanc $15.99 pb

Blend of Muscadelle, Sauvignon Blanc + Semillon

Willakenzie Estate 2007 Pinot Noir Dijon Clone 113 $38.00 pb

100% Pinot Noir, Dijon Clone 113

Heitz Cellar Ink Grade Port, 375ml (half bottle) $15.00 pb

Blend of classic port varietals, Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz, Sauzao, Tinta Cao, Tinta Bairrada, Tinta Madeira, Tinta Amarela and Bastardo

The “R” word… Riesling, a Pre Holiday Guide to Wine

Quite frankly this year has flown by, in a true “New York minute” , so I can’t believe it’s already October with Halloween around the corner! This marks the start of the holiday season which is fun, wonderful, stressful and sometimes overwhelming so I wanted to share some wine tips along with a time-saving recipe that will leave you with time to relax.

During the holidays we often say to ourselves, “if I only had more hours in the day…” but how often do we say, “me, myself and I are going on a break!”? It’s challenging with all of life’s responsibilities to be thoughtful about ourselves, however, without this precious luxury we fall out of balance. Now I know we all experience a little guilt when taking “me time” but trust me, it will be your saving grace this season and with this recipe you’ll find you might just have that time… to relax!

For this recipe make a batch on Sunday and you’ll have lunch/dinner ready in minutes leaving time for that glass of wine!!!



6-8 large carrots, peeled

2-3 large yams or sweet potatoes

4 cups vegetable stock

2-3 tablespoons olive oil

1-2 large shallots

1-2 cloves garlic

1/4 cup pure maple syrup (skip/add to taste)

1 teaspoon ground ginger (add more to taste)

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon Himalayan salt

1 handful of flat leaf parsley

1 package fresh goats cheese

2 baking sheets

1 blender or food processor

1 sauce pot

Set your oven to 400 degrees.  Rinse the yams and place them on a baking sheet completely naked. Peel the carrots and place them on another baking sheet again naked. Roast the yams and carrots until when pierced with a knife there is no resistance. (I found that my carrots took longer than my yams so keeping them separate will give you better control) Although, if you like your soup a bit more rustic, cook the carrots until they are almost done, they will grind up a bit courser than the potatoes.  Once the vegetables are cooked to perfection, take a pairing knife to slit open the yam skins and peel them off, careful to not burn yourself. Set aside…

In a saucepan, add 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil. Set the pan to medium high. Zest the garlic and shallots with a microplane into the olive oil (now you don’t have to chop or blend up the  mixture!) Once it’s lightly golden brown you can reduce the heat to low and begin blending the soup.

Adding the carrots and yams in batches, blend with enough stock to make it loose. Once all the carrots, yams and stock are blended together, return the soup to the saucepan with the garlic and onions. Add the spices except for the salt and pepper, stir to combine. Add the maple syrup and taste…then add the salt/pepper. Return heat to medium to heat through.

At this point you could spoon yourself a bowl but this soup will only benefit from a night in the fridge…just cool before storing.

Serve with a garnish of goat cheese, basil oil, and fresh parsley, serve hot!



Riesling is best known for its German roots however, other countries like France produce some amazing bottles. Feel free to explore, you will find Riesling from all over the world  with benchmarks coming from Germany and France… Things to keep in mind, not all Riesling is sweet but it is generally high in acid and sugar with low alcohol.

On the label you will find one of these terms. This will give you insight to how ripe these grapes were at harvest and respectively, that equates to sugar content.

Trocken = dry

Tafelwein = Table wine…a bit harder to find as most imported Riesling is at least Qualitatswein or higher.

Qualitatswein = Quality wine…somewhat subjective here so ask your wine shop geek if they have tasted this before buying

Kabinett = First off the block in delicious dry quality Riesling. It’s dry, not sweet and generally fantastic with seafood or light game, hint, hint, like turkey.

Spatlese = Harvested riper than Kabinett, the term Spatlese means “late picking”. It’s sometimes sweet and sometimes not, so ask your wine shop if a particular bottle is sweet.  Try pairing the dry with poultry and lobster and the sweet with indian food, the sweet plays well with heat!

Auslese = Almost like a late harvest wine, its name means “out picked” since the berries harvested are hand-picked berry by berry. Most often, this wine is sweet and slightly fuller bodied (thicker) but some are dry and incredibly complex. The acid in this wine disguises the sugars so feel free to experiment with pairings…Perfect for spicy foods, but the dry could charm a pork or veal chop beautifully.

Berenauslese = A favorite of mine…this sweet high acid wine is the perfect pairing for rich foods like foie gras and pork belly.

Trockenberenauslese = Alas, this wine get’s its intense consentrative flavors from botrytis, a noble rot that sucks the moisture out leaving a perfect raisin in its place. Once pressed this tiny berry has just a drop or two to give but what it gives is legendary! Referred to as the “Sauterne” of Germany, entirely botrytised, this super sweet wine is amazingly balanced with striking acid, it’s perfection in a glass.  Savor this wine with a cheese plate post Thanksgiving dinner and your guests will be raving about it for years! (If you want to save a few bucks, go for a similar approach with the berenauslese, just make sure it’s sweet)

So there you have it, Riesling is not that complicated now that you know what to look for and since you have a spare moment thanks to my time-saving soup recipe, you can finally relax!