Archive for 2012

Nuccio’s Meatball Mixes – Effortless Meatball Perfection

Monday, December 31st, 2012

NucciosMeatballs are easy, but great meatballs? Those are hard. They are coveted and sought after in a sort of fervent mysticism meets adventurer kind of way. We’re pretty confident we found the perfect shortcut to making the perfect meatballs: Nuccio’s.

Their recipe comes from an Italian family lineage where decades were spent perfecting and fine tuning each ingredient until what we have on our shelf was thrust forth in a seemingly modest package. It’s not over spiced or heavy handed, it’s delightful. It’s like being an old Italian grandmother’s kitchen as soon as they cook up. We also love the mix in meatloafs for a great blend of flavor, added in dashes to hamburgers for interest – there is something just so tasty about this meatball blend. Like your meatballs with a touch of heat? We do too sometimes, and the zippy spice provided from Nuccio’s Spicy Meatball mix is great. Adds interest to an otherwise normal bowl of pasta and meatballs or spice up a Chicken Parm. Anyway you add their mixes in, they’ll give it some real authentic Italian flavor.

Pick up a pack of either (or both) and get cooking with your inner Italian grandmother. Have you had Nuccio’s? Leave us a comment, or share your ideas.

Alpha Zeta Soave – Just Right Pairing White

Friday, December 28th, 2012

soaveWhen winter comes and the deluge of dark chewy reds comes down the pipe, sometimes all we want is a light and tasty white wine. That is where Alpha Zeta Soave comes in handy, it’s a great drinking wine that everyone is sure to enjoy.

It’s light and flowery, but not like being bashed with a bouquet like some white wines. Lots of bright fruit and citrus lend it to be an easy drinker; perfect with a plate of nearly any seafood, it’s just about everything you’d expect from a white with real character. The Soave is very fruit forward due to it’s late harvest, non-sulfuring and cool fermentation – apples and pear are strong throughout, from the nose, across the palate, and mellows out to the aftertaste. It’s easy on the jaw, no tart bite, it’s great for light pastas and chicken dishes – a perfect ‘any-day wine,’ but has enough flavor and gusto to impress special dinner guests.

Pick up a bottle of Alpha Zeta’s Soave, a fantastic white wine, today.

Uncle John’s Apricot Cider – Sweet Success

Wednesday, December 26th, 2012

uncle john ciderWe’ve carried Uncle John’s Cider for a few years. It’s great on those first fall nights or to crack open in the deep winter in front of a fire or on the patio with a warm breeze rolling through. Cider can be the perfect alternative to wine or beer at all times of the year, but we can’t help but think of them when the leaves start turning.

When we got our hands on some Apricot Cider we couldn’t turn it down, but when it hit our lips we wanted to keep them all to ourselves – although we knew we should really share. This cider is just a bit more sweet than John’s original cider, the apricots smooth out some of the punchy tartness that can come from just apples. It’s got a slight pinkish-orange hue and lots of tasty stone fruit flavor. We think it’s the perfect compliment or alternative to picking up a bottle of their original. A couple of bottles of tasty, easy drinking could be just what is in order for a cool winter’s evening.

Grab an Apricot Cider from Uncle John’s Cider off our shelves – it’ll be a sweet addition to any occasion, big or small.

Field Recordings Fiction Red – Simple and Subtle Complexity

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

Fiction RedWe’ve talked up Field Recordings before – super tasty white blend and the any-time-of-year rose. Recently we got our hands on some of their red. So tasty.

With a Zinfandel base, it’s lighter than expected, but it’s balanced by six other grapes to create a wine that will shock those who turn up their nose at Zinfandel. It’s got punchy brightness and nearly jammy with blueberry and raspberry notes. The blend, which includes Petite Sirah, Grenache, Syrah, and Tempranillo add their dashes of spice and herbs. Such a simple base with a wide breath of grapes strikes up a mellow complexity ideal for dinner or a party. It’s an unfiltered French and American oaked surprise ready to drink straight out of the bottle. Grab one to have with lunch in the cafe or take one with you to a BYO dinner – it’ll fit right in anywhere. A fantastic wine that even the sharpest tongue will love, but will also have grandma asking for a second glass.

Pick up a bottle for yourself and one for a holiday dinner – no wrong way to share Field Recording’s Red.

eSutras Flavored Agave – Sweet Tasty Fun

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

From the mashing up of fourteen year old plants comes a sweetener that dissipates as fast as simple sugar in drinks, like needy cocktails, or as a sugar substitute in baking. But some of this is old hat when it comes to Agave. But What about tasty infused flavors?

Well eSutras has brought us two pretty dang tasty versions of their naturally flavored agave nectar – Chai and Mocha. The chai is great in coffee, lending a decent dose of sweetness but also giving a dash of all those nutmeg-cocoa-indian-spices that come with good chai. The flavor is smooth and not heavy-handed, as some flavored sweeteners can be – we love the Chai in a hot toddy or topped in vanilla ice cream. Their mocha agave is just as versatile, and eSutras take is luscious and delicious. The obvious flavor combo is coffee, but it’s fantastic in chocolate cupcakes when substituting a portion of sugar, or glazed on some thick pork chops. Both of these are hand crafted artisanal products made with a healthy helping of love which we think shows through in these two great flavored agave nectars.

Pick up a bottle, or both and give them a whirl, they’ll make any dish dance with sweet flavor.

Quince & Apple Rhubarb Hops – Tasty Tongue Wrestling

Thursday, December 6th, 2012

In the vast expanse of flavor combinations, from sweet and savory, salty and sugary, and more – there is one often forgotten, one that is overlooked often because it can be hard to nail down well. Guess who brought a hammer?

Quince & Apple, brought a sledgehammer of sour and bitter. In a simple rhubarb meets hops syrup that isn’t so straightforward for the taste buds. It’s punchy tart like shoveling warhead candies in your maw but the citrus bitter hops give the rush of sour the heave-ho, a kick off to a battle of flavor changing like the spinning backdrop of a Jefferson Airplane concert. Open a bottle to sparkling water for dashes of spring-season in your glass, or layer into a Tequila Sunrise allowing it to brighten your day, it’s great in just about any wheat beer too for added tasty-sparkle, drizzle on ice cream to mellow it down and add yet another flavor layer – no matter how you use it, you’ll want more.

Pick up a bottle and let it take over your imagination like it did ours. Quince & Apple have done it again.

Southport Holiday Stroll 2012

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

Once again, now that December is here, Southport puts it’s collective Santa hats on and the whole street stays open late – us included. That’s right! We’ve got your SPG fix for dinner. We’re serving the favorites from the cafe, our wine guy – Jim – will be pouring samples from handpicked selections just for us, and of course more holiday cheer you can shake a stick at. All this going down on Friday December 7th, from 6:30 to 9. Join us in some festive fun!

Make sure to check the Lakeview Chamber website for other great happenings on the street too!

Our Christmas Cookie Countdown – A Post in Photos

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

Now that thanksgiving is over – we’re revving up our mixers all while blasting the carols real soon. That can mean only one thing: Christmas cookie season. There are wafts of sugar and butter floating in the air, the smell of melting warming cookies is simply unrelenting. So we decided to share these gratuitous close ups from last year to get ya salivating. Don’t worry – they are due out 12/15.

It all started with grandma, owner and chef Lisa’s grandmother to be exact. A long standing family tradition which we’re lucky enough to have been brought to the store many years ago.

Butter cookie candy canes with light touches of sweet frosting, dense and nutty almond cookies impossible to ignore, rich Christmas trees with crunchy nonpareils, a chocolate covered peanut butter square that makes it tough to eat just one, and the beautiful checkerboard cookies, – all boxed into just-right size for home munching or taking to the family.

These cookies have become a heartfelt tradition that we carry on you. We put all the Christmas cheer, love, and a fair amount of sugar and butter into each cookie.

Want to get your hands on a box or six? Run on by or call ahead to make sure we’ve got some because they’ll be hitting the shelves 12/15 this year. We only make a limited supply, and they go fast.

GrownUp KidStuff Dairy Free Chocolate Sauce – Tastiness for all

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

We’ve got this thing, this… obsession with chocolate, and if you know anything about us – we love GrownUp KidStuff. Its so rich and just about perfect in every way. A chocolate sauce that we love to bring for a dessert side, bring to a holiday party, or just sneak a spoonful from the fridge.

But what if everyone wants to indulge? Why not those out there with a lactose aversion? Well, GrownUp KidStuff has brought the awesome to those had not had a chance to get down on a jar of their tasty chocolate sauce. This is just as good as their original: thick and rich, loads of chocolate but not overpowering, smooth and coating in the way you wish all chocolate was in some way. It’s amazing, simply stated.

Pick up a jar off our shelves and start into this always great chocolate sauce.

Force of Nature Tempranillo – A Beautiful, Stormy Wine

Friday, November 16th, 2012

There are good reasons behind the name of this line of wines from the diverse soil plot of Paso Robles – from the driving ocean winds, shifting temperatures of forty degrees in a day, hard snowfall winters, and blazing hundred degree days during the summers, the vines grow in a ecology unlike anywhere else. This does well for the grapes though, creating a uniform flavor and strong terroir. This all accounts to a low yielding plantation but some very focused wines, rich and wonder wines in the sheer Force of Nature.

Our good pals at VineJoy brought us this beautiful bottle; swirls of blue and stamped letterpress hand painted label unlike anything we’ve ever seen on a bottle before. Stunningly gorgeous and right down our ally – but it was when we sipped this powerful Tempranillo that we found it impossible to resist. A small batch winery with all of these together is the kind of thing we would gift or sit on till that perfect party arose. It’s juicy in a way your grandmother’s famous cherry pie is, and rich in warmth like a new leather chair – you feel destined for greatness when drinking this wine. It’s cool and comforting, it’s the hard winds of Paso Robles, the lunging temperatures all bottled into this perfect package.

This truly is a do-not-miss wine, super-duper small batches, fantastic in every way, and waiting to go home with you.