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Easter Basket – Inspired Recipe: The Jelly Bean Cocktail

When presented with a bowl, bag or basket sprinkled with jelly beans I’ve always gone straight for the red ones. When shaking up a jelly bean cocktail recipe it seemed appropriate to pay homage to my childhood favorite. This sip is sweet but not cloyingly so and it’s the perfect way to enjoy the nostalgia of an Easter basket in a grown-up glass.

Continue reading Easter Basket – Inspired Recipe: The Jelly Bean Cocktail at the Kitchn

Chicken Meatloaf With Sun-Dried Tomatoes

This is no ordinary chicken meatloaf recipe. The couscous here easily replaces the breadcrumbs as a binding agent while keeping the mixture nice and moist, ideal when using ground chicken or turkey because of their tendency to dry out. Alongside sweet sun-dried tomatoes, we fold in some shiitake mushrooms for an awesome earthy flavor. This meatloaf is great for dinner alongside mashed potatoes or a salad, and it rocks when piled high on a sandwich (photo credit via dulcedoblog on Flickr)

The New Wild West

If you’ve ever taken a yoga class you’ll know at the beginning of class the instructor usually asks if there are any injuries. Yesterday, I was surprised to hear the guy next to me say, “I got laid off”. I had never really thought of unemployment as an injury. But, I guess it’s the ultimate blow to the ego. Endless numbers of people graduate from college, maybe even grad school, take a job and then ten or twenty years later find themselves holding a pink slip. The economy is depressing but the way I see it, the playing field has blown wide open.

Did you ever hear the saying, “It’s hard to look for a new job when you’re so busy with the one you’ve got”? Well now’s the time, people. Here’s your chance to reinvent yourself. That job that just gave you the boot is a pittance compared to the opportunities that await you. Remember Silicone Valley and the dot com start-ups? Well, this time it’s far more intense. The economic downturn is not just spanning coast to coast; now it’s global.

Which brings me to a quick tidbit on wine history in America—the pioneers of the industry blossomed out of the Great Depression and then had to live through an infestation of vine-eating bugs (a.k.a. Phyloxera). But today, California wines can take on any of the globe’s greatest, sip for sip. There’s a lesson to be learned here—while some of you are wallowing, others are like cowboys on an open prairie, blazing new trails. This is the new Wild West and it’s worldwide. Beauty is in the eye of the optimist. Take your skills, your bruised ego, and go do something that makes you happy. Somewhere in the 9 to 5 you may have lost sight of the American Dream—the one about being anything you want to be when you grow up.

Why am I yammering on about this? Well, many of you know New Jersey Life Magazine has reinvented itself and moved into the world of Health and Beauty. Which leaves me to say farewell to our beloved By the Glass. No worries, you can still read me on the internet. But for now we must make room for something new. Here’s to what’s new in your life!

A Wine Pioneer—While California wine is rich in a history of hardships, here’s just one to taste for inspiration. The legacy of Charles Krug is still carried on by Pete Mondavi. so pick up a bottle and you can sip and swirl while reinventing yourself.

Charles Krug, Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon, $21 Even unemployed, this intense red will make you feel like a rich man. It’s got great body, luscious fruit, and a finish far from subtle.

Basic Red Wine Reduction Sauce Recipe

Ever wonder what to do with leftover wine? That is, if you have any. This red wine reduction sauce is the perfect way for oenophiles of all levels to use up wine from last night or to put that just-opened bottle to use for something besides sipping. Half a cup of wine can be reduced into a rich sauce for two. This one is simple and fast to make. You can easily drizzle it over a filet or pork chops, or even use it as a base to braise short ribs. No need for culinary school to achieve success here, even the kitchen rookie can accomplish this rich sauce (photo credit via Sifu Renka on Flickr).

Continue Reading “Basic Red Wine Reduction Sauce Recipe” on Food Republic


I Heart Wine, How to Pick the Perfect Wine for Valentine’s Day

When it comes to Valentine’s Day, there’s nothing I heart more than a thoughtfully chosen pour. You may think a wine writer would want anything but more wine, yet here it’s really the thought that counts. I’d happily skip the scentless roses in lieu of intoxicating perfumes from a special bottle of wine. It doesn’t have to be the most expensive sip you see in the store or the one with a love-laced label. It could be something that conjures up a wonderful memory, or maybe from a vintage that meant something to your and your honey. Think about why you love the one you’re with and then celebrate that with wine.

It doesn’t have to be a brainteaser. As far as vintage goes, here are a few ideas to inspire you: the year you first met, the year your baby was born, that year you spent finding yourself and your loved one still stuck by your side. If it’s a memory you would like to relive it could be as easy as a bottle that reminds you of a favorite vacation, or maybe just something that you shared on a great date.

If you’re a planner and want to really wow your Valentine, set up a flight of wine and walk down memory lane. Flights are simply smaller pours of several different wines, usually progressing from light to heavy or dry to sweet. You could pair each with a small morsel that matches the wine and end with a new sip to add to the memory making. For me a V-day isn’t complete without a little Brachetto D’Aqui from Banfi. I’ve spoken of these raspberry-infused bubbles before, yet I never tire of their alluring aromas spilling from the sexy silhouette of a champagne flute on Valentine’s Day.

Banfi Rosa Regale, Brachetto d’ Aqui, $21- If this were a dress I would definitely wear it on date night. It’s sexy, fun, and finishes with a sweet kiss. It’s ideal alone after dinner and is smashing when presented alongside a box of chocolates (artisanal of course-after all it is Valentine’s Day!)

Red Velvet Cake With Cream Cheese Icing

Grown-up Southern boys each have a love of their Mama’s red velvet cake. Luckily, those of us whose Mamas baked straight from the Dunkin Hines box can also enjoy this awesome dessert — and not just because it comes in a box now. Just try this red velvet cake with cream cheese icing recipe. A rising star in the world of cupcakes and now ice cream, red velvet ranges from shockingly bright red in color to darker shades of reddish brown, depending on the amount of cocoa and food coloring you use. We’ve mastered a happy medium and top ours with a rich cream cheese frosting (photo credit via bionicgrrl on Flickr)

Continue Reading “Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Icing” on Food Republic

Simple Mac-N-Cheese Recipe

Have you mastered the Food Republic best basic mac-n-cheese recipe yet? If so, and even if you haven’t, we think it’s time you tackled the next step. This simple mac-n-cheese recipe offers up the very same Zen-like balance of melted cheese and soft noodle goodness as the original. But switching from the usual cheddar to a smoked gruyère gives this mac-n-cheese hidden smoky depths. Serve some Sriracha or your favorite hot sauce on the side for a kick (photo credit via roboppy on Flickr).

Continue Reading “Simple Mac-N-Cheese” Recipe on Food Republic


How To Make Fresh Whipped Cream For Your Hot Cocoa

As a child my friend’s mother always had fresh whipped cream for her hot cocoa. To me this was the ultimate indulgence. When I finally realized how simple this is to master I’ve never gone back to canned, and I promise once you taste this, you won’t either.

Fresh whipped cream can top off any dessert, a stack of hotcakes or your cafe latte. But it can also be folded into pudding, tiramisu or used to ice a cake. Simply achieved with only two ingredients this whipped topping is easily had in just moments. However, you can alter this base flavor by adding your extract or alcohol of choice (photo credit via thepinkpeppercorn on Flickr).

Continue Reading “How to Make your Own Whipped Cream on Food Republic

How to Make the Perfect Manhattan

My mom has always held her Manhattan close to her heart.  She always orders it the same way, stirred not shaken- rocks on the side, and until recently never veered from her go-to whiskey- Canadian Club. Recently, she’s been choosing Bourbon in lieu of her Canadian whiskey.  It’s simple to make a perfect manhattan you just need to choose your favorite whiskey and follow these simple steps.


2 ounces whiskey

2 ounces of sweet vermouth (the red one)

a couple of dashes of bitters

maraschino cherry, for garnish

In an cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine the whiskey, sweet vermouth and bitters.

Stir until well- chilled.

Strain into a martini glass and garnish with a maraschino cherry.

Makes 1 drink