Tag Archives: Chardonnay

Grill marks make food taste better

So. I’m not the only one jabbing at my eardrums with Q-Tips on a daily basis. This actually makes me feel much better about the habit. Thanks for all of your comments on yesterday’s little slice of self-indulgence!

Also: it would probably help if I got the date of my upcoming marathon right. CIM is on SUNDAY, DECEMBER 4. Not December 3. How awkward would that be if I showed up on Saturday?

Anyway. I am on my own for dinners this week, which usually means cooking and eating all of the things that my husband doesn’t like.

Like, um…tofu:

I know you are thinking: OMG TOFU! What a special, special thing to treat yourself to! Nah. It’s just that it had been sitting in the fridge for a while and needed to be used up.

And it was actually pretty delicious because of MAH GRILL PAN and those little stripes. Seriously. Why is that? Does food actually taste better when it has grill marks – even if they’re semi-fake? Or is is psychosomatic? (Or is it just me?)

Soba noodles, mini sweet peppers (Costco again!) and a delicious easy peanut sauce made this a quick dinner for one. I marinated the tofu slices in a bath of equal parts soy sauce and apple cider vinegar with a little brown sugar and sriracha sauce. Then I combined the leftover marinade with peanut butter to make the sauce.

As a certifiable peanut sauce fanatic, I offer you this tip: the creamy, processed stuff makes way better sauce than the natural stuff.

Much smoother and creamier. Probably the mono- and diglycerides. Mmmmm, delicious.

I popped open a bottle of Chard to enjoy with dinner:

Lately, I’ve been doing my grocery shopping on Sunday evenings. Because this is when the wine distributor reps are getting ready to shut down their sample table and are therefore likely to give extra generous pours. Which happens to make shopping in a gigantic supermarket on a Sunday night much more pleasurable.

A couple of weeks ago, they were pouring a bunch of Penfolds wines. The Australian brand is well-known for churning out decent affordable reds, but I liked their whites, too! So much so that I picked up a bottle of their 2009 Koonunga Hill Chardonnay.

Very light and crisp. No butter in here and just a hint of oak. Very fruit-forward with peaches and apricots and a little touch of both citrus and something a little earthier, like a sweet ripe fig. Definitely an enjoyable bottle, and one I’d happily serve to guests!

Bottom line: Buy it! (Purchased at Harris-Teeter, $10).

Off to do some productive stuff with the rest of my Wednesday. See ya later!

That’s a big cucumber you’ve got there

Just wait for it; it’s coming.  (Which is what…someone said.)

A couple of weeks ago, I had a cucumber salad at a friend’s house that was surprisingly delicious, in spite of the fact that it was filled with chunks of what would become – after a long soak in embalming fluid vinegar – pickles.

In case you were unaware, I hate pickles.  No, hate isn’t strong enough.  It’s actually an irrational fear.

What I am learning, though, is that cucumbers =/= pickles.  And I might be able to enjoy the former while loathing the latter.

A few days ago, I came across a recipe for cucumber gazpacho. It sounded delicious and refreshing and cool as…well, a cucumber.  I figured it could be Step Two in my plan to make friends with the fresh, non-slimy version of my nemesis.

At the store, I selected the largest gourd I could find.  Because I’ve never seen a pickle this big before (thank god – I’d probably faint) and therefore the connection was somehow less obvious.

But the connection to something else….yeah, yeah, I know.

Brief aside: the other day at work I had to call a customer to inform him that the “Stiff Stick” we had special ordered for him had arrived.  I can’t believe I did it with a straight face.  Ah, the challenges of specialty running retail.

Anyway.  I peeled and chopped that big boy and once the blender had its way with it, all thoughts of pickles (and Stiff Sticks) were long gone.

I made a couple of changes to the recipe (mango instead of melon; Greek yogurt + a little milk instead of regular yogurt) but for the most part stayed true to it.  Topped with a drizzle of olive oil and served with a side of bread, it made a perfect light dinner on a warm summer night!

Recipe: Cucumber Gazpacho with Shrimp and Melon [via Epicurious]

The soup practically jumped out of its bowl and demanded that I pour a glass of crisp white wine to accompany it.

This 2010 Vega Sindoa blend was comprised primarily of a grape I was not familiar with – the Viura.   If not for the 25% Chard, I might have passed it over. Because you know how much I love my Chardonnay.

It’s a Spanish wine, but the Viura (also known as Macabeu) grape is grown in both Spain and France.  According to Wiki:

The grape is used to make mildly acidic and young white wines mostly suitable for early consumption or blending with other varieties, both red and white. It is often the main grape of white Rioja and is sometimes blended in small amounts with Tempranillo and red Garnacha, both in unoaked and oaked versions.

Macabeu is traditionally blended with Xarel·lo and Parellada to make a sparkling Cava, the best known sparkling wine of Spain.

I adore Cava.  And while this blend wasn’t quite as nice as a glass of bubbles, I enjoyed it thoroughly.  Lots of fruity apples and a bit of tart lemon/lime, which was a lovely complement to the shrimp.  Light-bodied enough to sip on a warm summer evening, but definitely heftier than something like a Sauv Blanc.  I believe it would go best with food of some sort.

Bottom line: For $8 (at Whole Foods), this bottle was definitely a great buy!

Glad the new site seems to be working for everyone!  Remember to update your readers and such to point to http://www.eatdrinkandrun.com if you haven’t already.  There’s an RSS feed button on the side, now, too.  Look at me go, being all techy!

Now if I could just get my damn Google Analytics to work properly….

This feels rather familiar

Hey, guess what’s still totally worked over after last Sunday’s half?  Here’s a hint: it’s not my legs.

When will I ever learn to get better about core and upper body work?  Um, maybe never?  Because I know I complain frequently on this blog about how much I suck at strength training.  Sorry for sounding like a broken record.

On my easy run today, my legs felt jolly and ready to roll.  But my arms were ready to call it quits thirty minutes in.  Like: it was work to just keep them gently swinging along at a 90-degree angle.  And also, my whole torso felt like it got hit by a freighter.

I remember feeling like this after Chicago Marathon last fall.  And of course I made the requisite vows  to lift more weights and do more planks.

You can see how well that’s worked out.

Yeah, I know what I need to do.  It’s just a matter of doing it.  Grumble.

As much as I hate lifting weights, you know what I hate more?  Not being able to run very far because of the limitations of my arms.  That is sad.

Speaking of sad…

I swear, if I could put half as much effort in to running as I do in to looking completely miserable, I’d be a whole lot faster.

(Also, Brightroom, if perhaps you could position one of your photographers at mile four, where I look fresh and fabulous, then perhaps I’d consider purchasing one of your photos rather than snatching them for my blog.  Until then….)

Today’s EAT: Time for a Big Ass Salad!

Greens, shredded chicken, red onions, jack cheese, cashews and butter-fried bananas.  (OMG.)  With a chili-lime vinaigrette.

Today’s DRINK: A while back, I reviewed a $4 Cab from Three Wishes that was surprisingly decent.  So I was optimistic about the brand’s Chardonnay.

Eh.  It’s drinkable, but barely.  For $3, I guess it would make a good cooking wine or punch component.  But I think next time I’ll shell out a few extra bucks for something a little easier on the palate.

Today’s RUN: 6.5 miles easy, right around 9:00 pace.  Yawn.

Today’s QUESTION: It’s almost the freakin’ weekend!  Any exciting plans? I’d thought I might jump in a 5K race this Saturday, but as of now I’m passing on it.  Running fast just doesn’t feel possible right now.  Stupid dead-worm arms.

Red dirt road

I can’t think of a better way to spend a Monday afternoon.

The bridle path was ruddy, muddy and blissfully empty when I set out to do my long run yesterday.  No clusters of mountain bikes perched at the crests of hills.  No highway of runners down each side of the road.  No jockeying for a parking spot, only to be forced to retreat into the surrounding neighborhoods, where the cranky McMansioners leave snitty notes on your car.

Just me, the birds and critters rustling in the trees, and that ubiquitous brick-colored mud.

(Oh, and Joey – nice to see a familiar face among the handful of runners in the park!)

Any remaining surliness about my pathetic mileage last week disappeared as soon as I headed in to the woods.  I need to start doing my long runs on Mondays more often.

And a bonus?  There’s no shame in going to bed early on a Monday night, when you’re zonked from pushing hard on those muddy hills.

Today’s EAT: Sunday’s simmering pot of suspected deliciousness turned out to be delicious indeed.

Chicken Tagine with couscous!  I don’t have one of those neato pointy cooking vessels of the same name, but this cooked up just fine in a deep skillet.

Tagine (which means “stew” in Arabic) is a common North African dish.  It’s easy, inexpensive, and ridiculously flavorful.  The leftovers reheat beautifully.  I don’t know why I hadn’t made it before.

Recipe: Chicken Tagine with Apricots and Almonds (via Epicurious).  (I listed my modifications on the recipe page; the biggest one was using hacked up boneless skinless chicken breasts and thighs instead of a hacked up whole chicken.  You know, being healthy and all.)

Today’s DRINK: A light and crisp French Chard:

I really enjoyed this Cave de Lugny Macon-Villages Chardonnay.  It was quite dry with bright and crisp apple flavors.  Definitely a switch from the buttery Chards that I often favor, but it happened to pair nicely with the sultry spices in the Tagine.  At $9, I’d definitely buy it again.  It would be an excellent white to serve at a cocktail party!

Today’s RUN: Just for the hill of it….

My pace was kind of all over the place, but overall not too shabby at 8:19/mile.

It’s pretty easy to spot that pair of sub-8s on the elevation graph.  Can I just reiterate how excited I am to run on a FLAT course for my upcoming half?  These hills are good training and all – I’m sure they build character and blah blah blah – but I’m excited to run a little faster (I hope) in a couple of weeks!

Today’s QUESTION: It’s Fat Tuesday!  Are you celebrating? No beads, bare boobies or King Cake for me this year, but I do have a drinks-and-dessert date planned for tonight.  So, we’ll be celebrating the Fat part, anyway.