Thanksgiving Feasts


When you retire, birthdays and major holidays are week long events. This past Thanksgiving was no different for us. Even the 415 mile round trip drive to Sun Valley, ID., via Twin Falls and the Blue Lakes. We took our friend and neighbor, David, to Sun Valley to see his parents, Susan and Walt – they treated us to a delicious buffet at the Sun Valley Inn – via Twin Falls and the Blue Lakes. Here you can travel and eat and drink wine with us on our sojourn. Enjoy the photo-trip! Left-Click the photos to see them enlarged.

Thanksgiving with Marnie and family and friends.

Robin, Mui Stowe and Myra Heueta

Myra, Myra’s friend, Eric and Marnie
Anna. Chris was helping in the kitchen.
“A little wine for thy stomachs sake.”
Mui made an awesome Thai Squash Soup.
Eric made this great fresh Salmon Dip.
Chris made the Wilted Lettuce Salad.
Dinner is plated.
Pumpkin Pecan Pie and Anna’s Cheese Cake with Strawberries.

And then we drove the 415 mile round trip sojourn to Sun Valley via Blue Lakes in Twin Falls, ID.

Blue Lakes, Twin Falls, ID
Blue Lakes
David at Bridal Veil Falls, Blue Lakes Canyon. The green in the water is watercress.
Sun Valley Inn Thanksgiving Buffet.
Salad Bar
Steamship Roast.
Ham
Turkey
Plenty of desserts were offered.

But no week is complete with some breakfast. How about –

Turkey Omelet with Cranberry and Crema. Acme Bakeshop Toasted Sourdough with Huckleberry Cranberry Jam.
And after returning from Sun Valley and Blue Lakes – where we (David) picked fresh watercress – I made Robin this Toasted English Muffin with Cream Cheese, Fresh Watercress and Lox.

Ah! Retirement is so great with family and friends. Cheers!

Robin’s Birthday Lunch at Bacquet’s Restaurant in Eagle, ID


Bacquet’s Restaurant, Address: 1117 E Winding Creek Dr #150, Eagle, ID 83616, Hours: 11:30am – 10PM. Phone: (208) 577-6238. Easily a 5-Star French (the best in the area and the only one) restaurant and well worth the trip. Suggest you call for reservations, though. Here is some of what we had. Enjoy. We did.

Menu

House Salad
organic greens, tomatoes, shallots, parmesan cheese house balsamic dressing

Delicious!

French Onion Soup

Traditional Flatbread
bacon, shallots, Swiss cheese, cream on a cracker-like crust

Salmon with Pasta and Capers

Salmon Champenoise
fresh salmon filet baked in white wine, cream, pesto and crusted with Parmesan cheese and served over vegetable basmati rice

Birthday Lemon Cheesecake

Chocolate Mousse

An awesome, 5-Star late lunch. Thanks Chef for a great Birthday meal. Thanks Marnie for treating us.

Bacquet’s Restaurant in Eagle, ID. 5-Stars!


OK. This is an awesome French restaurant in Eagle, ID, just west of Boise. I know of no other French restaurant in the area of this caliber. Definitely a 5-Star restaurant! It really replaces Le Café de Paris and Andrea’s. Both of which have closed. Great interior ambiance – like sitting in a French café. The patio offers seating also, but on our visit, it was very hot. You may also have live music on the patio. It would be best to call for reservations if you decide to go. Both Chef Franck and his wife Michelle are very warm, charming and interesting. Anxious to answer question you may have. Here is some of the dishes we had and they were awesome. Delicious! Beautifully presented. Enjoy. We did. We’ll be back! Left-Click any of these photos to see them enlarged.

Robin is happy with the food.
House Salad and Dressing.

Escargot in Garlic Butter

Coquilles St Jacques in Saffron
Super with 2016 Bourgogne Pinot Noir

Beef Tenderloin with Fois Gras and Baby Vegetables
Super with Les Jamelle Merlot

Opera Cake with Almond and Chantilly Cream

Chocolate Mousse with Chantilly Cream

We were treated to this awesome port. Thank you Chef Franck and Michelle!
Glass of port
Robin and Chef Franck Bacquet
Bob and Michelle Bacquet discuss photos and port.
Specials board
Anyone in Boise remember this French restaurant? Right now, Bacquet’s Restaurant is the only one that I know of.

Japanese Special March Festival


I found this to be interesting. That’s probably because of my Cultural Anthropology background.

Hina Matsuri in Japan

Source: https://matcha-jp.com/en/753
Although it is not a national holiday, March 3rd is a special day for girls. Families who don’t have young daughters might not do anything special on this day.
March 3rd is Japanese Girls’ Day or Hinamatsuri. Ornate dolls are displayed in the family home to mark the beginning of spring and to wish good health and good fortune for all of the girls in the family.
However, a tradition of this festival is still passed down until now. Actually, how people celebrate Hina Matsuri is different from place to place. We will introduce here what the Japanese people usually do on this day.
Hina Dolls represent what the imperial family was like in the ancient times. The dolls on the top tire of the platforms represent the emperor and the empress. The rest of the dolls are three court ladies, five musicians and the minister of the Right and Left who used to support the government in the old days. There are some decorations such as Gissha (oxcarts), small cupboards, Japanese paper lamps called “Bonbori”, and orange and peach tree branches displayed on the tire of platforms.
The facial expressions and costumes of each doll are also different depending on their personality and position.
The special meals for Hina Matsuri are Amazake (sweet drink), Chirashizushi (a style of sushi) and Hina Arare (sweet colorful rice crackers).
Amazake is a traditional Japanese sweet and thick drink made from fermented glutinous rice. Amazake literally means “sweet alcohol” but it has less than 1 percent of Shirozake alcohol in it. So children are also able to drink it.

Shirozake
Drinking Shirozake, which is a traditional sweet sake, was one of the customs to get rid of bad things out from your body. But Shirozake is an alcoholic drink, so Amazake was made with the children in mind.
Hina Arare are colorful and cute small rice crackers. The colors of these rice crackers have meanings. White represents the earth of the winter, pink and red represent life, while green represents the green shoots in the spring. Hina Arare is a snack showing our expectations toward the arrival of spring after the long cold winter. People also say that you will live healthy for this coming year if you eat each color of Hina Arare.
Chirashizushi is a type of Sushi which has lotus roots, shrimp and thinly shredded egg omelet on the top of vinegar rice. It has been a dish enjoyed widely at celebrations.
The ingredients in Chirashizushi have meanings as well. The lotus root is said to give one the power to see what will happen in the future, shrimps are a symbol of longevity and so on.

Source: https://www.thespruceeats.com/japanese-girls-day-hinamatsuri-party-dishes-2031057
As with almost all holidays, food and drink play a role on Girls’ Day, with rice wine and rice cakes taking center stage, along with flower blossoms. Hinamatsuri is also called Momo no Sekku, which means a festival of peach blossoms. Peach blossoms, shiro-zake (white fermented rice wine) and hishi-mochi (diamond-shaped rice cakes) are placed on the stand with the hina dolls. Hishi-mochi are colored pink representing peach flowers, white representing snow, and green representing new growth.
Traditionally, girls in Japan invited their friends to a home party to celebrate this festival. Many people prepare a special meal for girls on this day, including savory dishes such as chirashi, which is sugar-flavored, vinegared sushi rice with raw fish on top; clam soup served in the shell; and edamame maze-gohan, mixed rice usually consisting of brown rice and soybeans.
Other popular dishes to serve at a Girl’s Day celebration are inari sushi—rice-stuffed tofu pockets—with miso grilled salmon and cabbage ramen salad. Sweets are on the menu as well, incorporating a feminine shade of pink, like chi chi dango, which are pink pillows of mochi (glutinous rice flour and coconut milk), a favorite among children, and sakura-mochi, a pink, sweet rice cake. Some families include an impressive edible centerpiece, such as the layered chirashi sushi cake.

Some recipes for Hina Matsuri
(The recipes listed below can be found at the link above.)

Chirashizuchi
Easy Seafood Chirashizushi: Use a shortcut of packaged sushi seasoning to quickly season steamed rice and add pre-cooked gomoku vegetables for this delectable dish. Add your favorite toppings of choice.
Edamame Maze-Gohan (Mixed Rice): Is easy to prepare, especially for large crowds. Steamed rice is mixed with furikake seasoning, bottled nametake (seasoned mushrooms), and shelled edamame for a delicious rice dish.
Inari Sushi: Preparing a dish for a large crowd doesn’t need to be complicated. Find out the secrets of making quick inari sushi with impressive results.
Cabbage Ramen Salad: This spin on the traditional Chinese chicken salad recipe uses crunchy dried ramen noodles, cabbage, and shredded chicken to create a zesty Japanese-fusion salad.
Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken Wings: Let your slow cooker do all the work to whip-up a batch of delicious teriyaki chicken wings with just a few ingredients, and use the free time to prepare a few other dishes.
Miso Ginger Marinated Grilled Salmon
Miso Grilled Salmon: Miso-grilled salmon can easily be prepared by making the marinade ahead of time and then letting the salmon marinade for a few days in the fridge. All you need is an oven or a grill to cook up delicious fillets in under 40 minutes.
Clam Soup: A traditional soup that is often enjoyed on Hinamatsuri is clam soup. This clear style soup is known as sumashijiru and is simply seasoned from the broth of the clams.
Chi Chi Dango: These pillowy soft bites of mochi are made of glutinous rice flour and coconut milk. These pink, soft mochi are an absolute favorite among children.
Sakura Mochi: Sakura mochi is a glutinous rice dish that is often enjoyed during Hinamatsuri. This slightly sweetened, pink mochi is filled with sweet red beans (koshian) and wrapped in a salted sakura (young cherry blossom) leaf.

Bobby Burns Birthday Party


The Bobby Burns Supper Night is coming up on the anniversary of his birthday on January 25. He was born on January 25, 1759. The supper night is celebration of his poetry and songs.
“Robert Burns was born on 25 January 1759 in the village of Alloway, two miles south of Ayr. His parents, Willian Burnes[s] and Agnes Broun, were tenant farmers but they ensured their son received a relatively good education and he began to read avidly. The works of Alexander Pope, Henry Mackenzie and Laurence Sterne fired Burns’s poetic impulse and relationships with the opposite sex provided his inspiration. Handsome Nell, for Nellie Kilpatrick, was his first song. [robertburns.org]”
According to Wikipedia,

Robert Burns (25 January 1759 – 21 July 1796), also known as Rabbie Burns, the Bard of Ayrshire, Ploughman Poet and various other names and epithets, was a Scottish poet and lyricist. He is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland and is celebrated worldwide. He is the best known of the poets who have written in the Scots language, although much of his writing is also in English and a light Scots dialect, accessible to an audience beyond Scotland. He also wrote in standard English, and in these writings his political or civil commentary is often at its bluntest.[robertburns.org]

He died July 25, 1796 at the age of 37. So why is he so famous?
“The Ploughman poet. Poems Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect – The Kilmarnock Edition. The main reason Burns is so popular today is because of the themes and language of everyday life that he used. His poems were humorous and he used small subjects to express big ideas. [robertburns.org]
So, you say, what prose or poetry did he write that I might know? Try Auld Lang Syne But the poetry that I like best is,

A Red, Red Rose (1794)
O my Luve’s like a red, red rose,
That’s newly sprung in June:
O my Luve’s like the melodie,
That’s sweetly play’d in tune.

As fair art thou, my bonie lass,
So deep in luve am I;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a’ the seas gang dry.

Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi’ the sun;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands o’ life shall run.

And fare-thee-weel, my only Luve!
And fare-thee-weel, a while!
And I will come again, my Luve,
Tho’ ’twere ten thousand mile!”

You can find a list and links to his works at Robert Burns Works.

OK. But what about the party? The dinner or supper?
“The annual celebratory tribute to the life, works and spirit of the great Scottish poet, Robert Burns (1759-1796). Celebrated on, or about, the Bard’s birthday, January 25th, Burns Suppers range from stentoriously formal gatherings of esthetes and scholars to uproariously informal rave-ups of drunkards and louts. Most Burns Suppers fall in the middle of this range, and adhere, more or less, to some sort of time honoured form which includes the eating of a traditional Scottish meal, the drinking of Scotch whisky, and the recitation of works by, about, and in the spirit of the Bard.

Every Burns Supper has its own special form and flavour, though there are probably more similarities than differences among these gastro-literary affairs. Individual tastes and talents will determine the character of your Burns Supper. Some celebrants may contribute the composition of original songs or poems; some may excel at giving toasts or reciting verse; while others may be captivating storytellers. A particular group of celebrants will, over time, develop a unique group character which will distinguish their Burns Supper celebration from every other.” [robertburns.org]
Let’s start here –

A Bottle And Friend (1787)
There’s nane that’s blest of human kind,
But the cheerful and the gay, man,
Fal, la, la, &c.

Here’s a bottle and an honest friend!
What wad ye wish for mair, man?
Wha kens, before his life may end,
What his share may be o’ care, man?

Then catch the moments as they fly,
And use them as ye ought, man:
Believe me, happiness is shy,
And comes not aye when sought, man.
__________
from Burns Night: My Supper With Rabbie

Is there that o’re his French ragout,
Or olio that wad staw a sow,
Or fricassee wad mak her spew
Wi’ perfect sconner,
Looks down wi’ sneering, scronful’ view
On sic a dinner? [robertburns.org]

Here is one recipe for the traditional supper.

BRIDIES

Pastry
2 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
1/3 c. butter
1/3 c. shortening
5-6 T. ice water

Meat Filling
1 and 1/2 lean steak (flank or round)
4 tsp. butter (or suet)
1 onion- finely diced
1 carrot- finely diced
salt and pepper

1. Sauté vegetables in the butter until soft
2. Slice meat into very long thin slices, on the diagonal. Cut into pieces 1 inch long. Mix with sautéed veggies. Salt and pepper to taste.
3. Roll out pastry and cut into 4″-5″ circles. Arrange meat on top, brush edges with egg wash, fold over and crimp together. Slit a hole in each pie. Egg wash tops if desired. Bake 30 minutes at 400 degrees. Makes 10-12 small pies.

For the rest of the Bobby Burns Supper Menu, including Cullen Skink (haddock), Bridies (recipe above), The (Bagless) Haggis and Neeps and Tatties (turnips and potatoes), follow this like – Burns Supper Recipes [robertburns.org].

Wine Dinner at Grit – American Cuisine and 3 Horse Ranch Vineyards Wines


A very good dinner and some fine wines. Grit – American Cuisine, located at 360 S Eagle Rd, Eagle, ID 83616, Hours: 11AM–9PM, Phone: (208) 576-6666, presented a very good wine dinner showcasing 3 Horse Ranch Vineyards, 900 Pearl Rd, Eagle, ID 83616, Phone: (208) 863-6561. This was thee first time Robin and I have been to Grit – American Cuisine and it is worth a 4-Star rating, out of 5-Stars. Good food, especially the French Lentil Soup, pictured below. It was superb. The appetizers, Seared Beef Filet and Crab Cakes with Aioli were also superb. They are also pictured below. The wines with the appetizers, a Roussanne, were paired perfectly. The wine with the soup, Eagle Foothills Sangiovese was also a perfect pairing. Left-Click any photo to see enlarged.
Gary and Martha Cunningham, owners of 3 Horse Ranch Vineyards, did a fantastic job keeping us informed about the wines that were served and some of the specifics of the wines. The parings with our dinner were well received. 3 Horse Ranch Vineyards is in the Eagle Foothills AVA, Idaho’s newest AVA. Look at what we had. Hope to see you next time at an interesting Wine Dinner someplace.
 

Appetizer
Amuse Bouche of Bleu Cheese Crackers with Seared Beef Filet
Crab Cakes with Aioli
Roussanne

 

French Lentil Soup with Rye Croutons and House Cured Ham.
Sangiovese – Eagle Foothillsills

 


Frisee Salad with Lardons
Poached Egg
Champagne Vinargrette
Pinot Gris – Eagle Foothills

 

Sorry, but the photo I took of the next course was not good enough to post.
Mussels with Pernod
Fennel and Basil
Syrah – Eagle Foothills


 
 

Beef Wellington
with
Cognac Shitake Mushroom Duxelle
Glazed Carrots
Potato Puree
Sauce Bearnaise
Beau Geste – Eagle Foothills

 

Beef Wellington

 

Baba au Rhum
with
Cream and Vanilla Strawberry Jam
Riesling – Snake River Valley

 

Really a good night of fine food and delicious wines. Great to meet and make new friends.

Luau at TVWS in December


TVWS Logo
 

On December 14, 2016, the TVWS is presenting a Sparkling Wine Buffet Dinner – it’s going to be a Luau Roasted Pig – and a Silent Auction. Here is but one of many baskets that will be auctioned off. The face value on this one is $80.00. See you there.
All of the TVWS Wine Dinner Buffets are ticketed. In other words, you must purchase tickets to attend. The tickets will be made available online on the Treasure Valley Wine Society Blog each month.

Online-Purchase – $25/person
At The Door – $35/per person

 

Cooking Basket donated by Bob and Robin. The Parma Ridge Syrah is 1 of just a few left. There are no more at the winery!!
Cooking Basket donated by Bob and Robin. The Parma Ridge Syrah is 1 of just a few left. There are no more at the winery!! Basket value – $80. Let it be yours!

Chilean Wines Served at TVWS


10Sept2014_1_TVWS-Basque-Wines_2012-Serres TempranilloMany, many thanks to Garry Scholz for putting on a great event, even though he was fighting laryngitis. Some really good wines were presented to almost 30 people who attended. It seems as though the pre-pay through Brown Paper Bag was a success. If you want to attend, you will need to buy tickets in advance of the event. The TVWS then informs Meadowlake of the number of people who have paid and will be attending. The fee is non-refundable! I had to find someone to take one of our tickets as Robin could not be there. If you want to be on the invitation list, please let someone on the Board and you will be sent an invitation. (Here is a link to the TVWS Board of Directors) Here is what we had tonight. Enjoy!

One of the better wines, in my opinion.
One of the better wines, in my opinion.
Some goodies on the appetizer table.
Some goodies on the appetizer table.
Cheese Platter
Cheese Platter
Some of the wines that were served.
Wines that were served.
Salad Fixings - Tomato, Onion and Carrots
Salad Fixings – Tomato, Onion and Carrots
Appetizer
Appetizer
Appetizer
Appetizer
Appetizer
Appetizer
Veggie Empanadas
Veggie Empanadas
Meat Empanadas
Meat Empanadas
Corn and Potato Pancakes
Corn and Potato Pancakes
Dulce de Leche
Dulce de Leche

European Tour at The Buzz Wine Dinner


10Nov2015_1e_The-Buzz-Monthly_Blind-Tasting_Buzz-InsideAnd a great tour it was! Cristi and her daughter took a cruise through parts of Europe, touching the shores of France, Italy, Spain and Gibraltar. And Cristi brought to the table some different, and some very good, wine and entrée treats. Here is what we had. Enjoy! It really was an exciting evening with all these different foods. Hope you can make the next one. $20 a plate plus five or six wines. Sorry that I did not post the Buzz last month, but the photos I took were terrible. Hopefully, this month, the photos are better.

Antipasti (Italy) and Croquettes (Spain) NV Minnonetto Prosecco [18] $18.00

Antipasti (Italy) and Croquettes (Spain)
2013 Tannat
[19] $20.00

Traditional French Salad 2013 Tannat [19]  $20.00

Traditional French Salad
2012 Eguren Temprenillo
[15] $15.00

A perfect match between the wine and the salad.

Potaje (Gibraltar)2012 Eguren Tempernillo [15] $15.00

Potaje (Gibraltar)
2013 Chateau Pilet
[18] $24.00

Pork (Portugal) Pasta (Italy) Grilled Vegetables (Portugal) 2013 Chateau Pilet [18] $24.00

Pork (Portugal)
Pasta (Italy)
Grilled Vegetables (Portugal)
2007 Lan Rioja
[18] $24.00

Tiramisu (Italy)NV Marguis dela Tour [17] $14.00

Tiramisu (Italy)
NV Marguis dela Tour
[17] $14.00