Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Wine: Pelee Island Winery Visit-2009

Aaron and myself visited Pelee Island Winery recently. We were running low on our white wine selection and I tend to enjoy their white selection. Opposed to the LCBO, the winery has limited editions as well as simply a larger selection available. We did a few tastings and found some we enjoyed and one or 2 we did not. We purchased the 2008 Eco Trail-White-VQA, a blend of Auxerois and Chardonnay, which I rather enjoyed. It was light and fruity with a hint of acidity, a bit green for Aaron's tastes but he thought it was alright for an unoaked white. We also purchased the 2008 Pinot Grigio-VQA which is always one of my favourits. This Pinot Grigio has a great balance of fruity and grassy notes and is great to sip on its own or with some fresh summer salads. We also tried their unoaked Chardonnay which neither of us was very keen on. It was flat and not very complex as you would expect a Chardonnay to be. We also grabbed a bottle of their 2006 Umbrealla-Gewurztraminer Riesling which is 50% of each grape variety. We had the bottle a while after our visit and it was alright. Not what I was expecting but not terrible. It was a bit unbalances for me. It didn't have enough acidity to accompany the fruity palate and dry finish, it needed some crispiness to it, if you know what I mean.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Aaron and myself drink our fair share of wine. We used to own a brew on premise wine store, which we have since sold, and we are currently members of the Opimian Society. The area we live in is home to a astonishing 13 wineries, some of which we visit frequently. Some being small and quaint such as Erie Shores and some are quite large such as Pelee Island. You can consider us self proclaimed "wine experts". Taking all of this into account, I think its just common sense that we write about the wines we drink and the wineries we visit. We will start writing all about the wines we drink and evaluating them and offer pairing suggestions.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Herb Garden: Pruning/Harvesting

Most herbs need constant pruning. I prune approx. 2-3 inches and try to keep the shape of the plant. Anything that looks like it may be dying I take off as well. It is best to trim just before the herb would flower since the oils are maximized at this point in time. Although I will just go out and pick a few leaves when I need them, it is good to do the full trim to keep the plant growing and to get the most out of one season. If your plant looks like it is struggling it should also be cut back so that the water and food can be more concentrated allowing the plant to regenerate faster.
A great Herb Garden Blog is herbgardeningguru. She has plenty of information about planting, pruning/harvesting, storing, etc.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Herb Garden: Small but Useful

Rosemary, Greek Oregano, Sweet Basil

Our super small herb garden is great. Everything is growing well and I only have to water once a week. I have been using the fresh herbs in lots of my cooking and in my salads. It makes me excited to get the gardens ready by this fall so we can have them up and running full on next summer. I am looking forward to having plenty of fresh herbs and vegetables to cook with and share with family and friends. It will be so great to just walk outside and pick fresh lettuce, herbs and other vegetables for a salad anytime I'd like.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Recipes: Main Course=Salad!

I made the most delicious salad for dinner last night. I simply used 1 small head green leaf lettuce and added 1/2 cup quinoa, 1 tbsp dried cranberries, 1/4 cup tomatoes, 1 tbsp sunflower seed (shelled of course), 1/4 cup feta cheese, 1 scallions and 1/4 sliced red peppers. I tossed it with some 2 tbsp Italian dressing and bin-appetite! Feel free to use any of your favourite dressings, seeds and dried fruit. You could also us 1-2 eggs instead of quinoa for protein.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Vegetable Garden: Vertical Garden

Aaron's brother had a great idea on how to utilize the space in our yard, or lack there of. He suggested to use vertical gardens on the fence. We thought this was a great idea. The concept is to hang baskets or boxes along the fence in the yard (another way is to set up standing garden fencing for vining type plants to grow up such as beans or cucumbers). This would allow us to have lots of gardens while not sacrificing the lawn space for the kids and dogs. This may have extra cost involved when compared to a regular garden but I think the saved space is worth the cost. This may be a project for next year or 2 since we would be building the boxes ourselves. Regardless of when or if we do it, I think its a wonderful idea.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Vegetable Garden: Construction has begun

Aaron, with help from his brother Gavin, took out our maple tree stump from the back corner of our yard. The plan now is to kill the grass (with herbicidal vinegar of course) and turn over the dirt. Hopefully we get this done in time for the snow... we have lots of time but will it get done?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Recepes: Lentils and Swiss Chard

A great vegetarian dish. Lentils are easy to cook and very nutritious. Soak 1 cup-dry lentils in water overnight and then boil them like pasta until desired texture. Once cooked, strain and set lentils aside. In a deep frying pan saute a total of 2 cups your choice of vegetables such as mushrooms, carrots, bell peppers or asparagus with 2 tsp-olive oil with 1/2 cup chopped onion and 2 cloves minced garlic. Salt and pepper as desired. Once vegetables are tender add 2 bundles swiss chard. Toss chard with vegetable mix and saute until wilted, approx: 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and add lentils to the pan with the juice of 1/2 a lemon. Toss and cover for 1 minute and serve with some fresh parsley and oregano with some shredded parmesan or mozzarella .

Monday, June 1, 2009

Locust Tree Bugs

We discovered bugs allover our Locust tree. They are these little green hopping bugs and they are allover it. After doing some research we discovered they are relatively harmless little bugs called treehoppers. The generally like Locust trees and come and go from year to year. From what I have read there isn't much we can do to get rid of them at this point and no real reason to worry.