Posts Tagged ‘Facebook’

Rosemary, Spinach, and Walnut Pesto: A Recipe By Request

June 16, 2012

The other day, the fine folks at Rodney Strong Vineyards came across my post in which I paired their 2008 Alexander Valley Cabernet with Kara’s Rosemary, Spinach, and Walnut Pesto Pasta and Crusty Bread…



After sharing the post on their Facebook page, there was quite a response from the fans of Rodney Strong.

They wanted the recipe.


Screen grab from my iPhone. Looks like I forgot to charge it last night.

Who am I to deny such a devoted fan base?

Keep in mind that this dish was whipped up on the spot after a few glasses of wine, but this is pretty accurate (as far as we remember).


Ladies and gentlemen…

Kara’s Rosemary, Spinach, and Walnut Pesto:

Get out a big pot of water and bring to a boil.  Salt that water, and add in your favorite dry pasta (or fresh, if you’re a baller).  Cook according to instructions.

While the pasta is doing its thang, get out your food processor.  Throw in a couple of handfuls of fresh spinach, two coarsely chopped cloves of garlic, a handful of chopped walnuts.  Get yourself 5 big twigs of fresh rosemary from your garden, the grocery store, or your neighbors hedge and pull the leaves off of the stems by pulling against the grain.  Scoop up all that rosemary and toss it in the food processor as well.  Drizzle in about 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, and top it off with fresh cracked black pepper and kosher salt.  Put on the lid, and pulse the food processor until the pesto reaches the consistency that you desire.  If it’s too chunky, you can add more olive oil or even a bit of water.  Be sure to taste the pesto along the way, and add more salt or pepper if needed.

Once your pesto is looking, feeling, and tasting right, pour half of the pesto into a large serving bowl.  Once the pasta is ready, drain it, and dump it over the pesto in the serving bowl.  Scoop the rest of your pesto over the top of the pasta, and mix everything up until the pasta is evenly coated with pesto.

Serve in a soup bowl, and garnish with a big slice of warm crusty bread.

Eat it with a fork.

Though it paired very nicely with the big tobacco flavors of the Rodney Strong 2008 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, I could also see this working well with a minty Rioja or a well-balanced Merlot.


Stay Rad,



Whining about Chili

May 28, 2012

Last week, I made the best chili in my entire life!

Veggie chorizo, diced onions, and diced chilies were all sauted in some olive oil and deglazed in Lagunitas IPA.

I added diced tomatoes and let it simmer down for about 10 minutes.

Pinto, black, and refried beans were mixed in, along with salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, carne asada seasoning, and habanero sauce.

I let it all do its thang over low heat for a couple hours, then served it up with cilantro and avocado.

You know I had to take a picture…



I was so stoked on this one, that I challenged all my friends on Facebook to chili cook-off.


In the wine world, a different challenge is presented when it comes to chili…

What do you pair with it?

In my mind, beer seems to be the beverage of choice to go with this hot and hardy dish.

I have some ideas for wine pairings, but have never actually tried them (’cause beer is always there).

So I ask you…

What wine do you pair with chili?

Leave a comment below, and let me know.


Take a picture of your wine and chili pairing and post it on the Stay Rad Facebook Wall.

I’m gonna try my own pairing later this week.

Stay Rad,


Still Facing My Fear… and ready to #CrushIt!

July 23, 2011

A while back, you read about my life-long hatred of eggs.

What’s that?

You didn’t?

How dare you!

Click here to catch up.

Now as gung-ho as I was about attacking all of the recipes in Jodi Liano’s “Egg” book

"Eggs" by Jodi Liano. You know what time it is! Yeeeeaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh Boooooooooyyyyyyyyyeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!

writing the post about it, and reliving the Hulkster’s Powerful Protein Shake experience was really tough for me. The more I wrote, the sicker I felt.  After I published the entry, I avoided eggs for about a week.

Now look…

I’m not one to give up so easily.  All I needed was a little BREAK from the EGGS (You like that one?).

A few days ago, I decided to jump back on the egg wagon.  Here’s what I made…

Jeff and Kara in a Hole.

I really liked this one.  The letters that I cut out of the bread were a little too small.  As the egg was frying in the hole, a lot of it piled on top of the bread.  This increased the cooking time, and made for a messy presentation… But… It was delicious.

Kara would have liked it to be a little more runny, but I’m beginning to like mine over hard.

This morning, I made this…

Egg, Bacon, and Smoked Mozzarella Panini

Now, in the book, Jodi uses brie, but I had some smoked mozzarella that I wanted to finish off… so I did.  I got the ciabatta and bacon from Trader Joe’s.  One problem was that the ciabatta loaf was too fat, so the panini could not get as flat as I would have liked.  Another issue was the bacon.  Trader Joe’s is a nice store.  I love it.  Their bacon selection, however, is HORRIBLE.  I got this crappy turkey bacon that did not get anywhere as crisp as I would have liked.  Next time, I’m going to Safeway to get me some real crispy pork action.

By the way, the sandwich was f-ing AWESOME!  I can only imagine how good it would have been with better ingredients.



Here’s the deal…

Since we returned from Healdsburg, I haven’t tasted any new wines… but I have been reading a lot recently.  I wanted to share some of these books with you.

I know.  I know.  This is a wine blog, so let’s see if we can tie in some wine…

When I was in high school, I was in a punk rock band called The Willies.

I'm the skinny kid, practicing my punk rock jumps with a mic in my hand.

A few weeks back, my old friend and drummer, Nick Thedrummer, suggested that I read “Crush It!” by Gary Vaynerchuk.

“I know Gary!” I wrote back to Nick.  “I’m a huge fan of his video blogs Wine Library TV and Daily Grape.  He even follows me on Twitter.  I just don’t know if I want to read a book about business.”

“Just read it, dude.”

A few days later, I was kicking it with my buddy Dave Thevegetarian when I meantioned Gary’s book.  Dave was all, “I’ve got Crush It right here.  You want to borrow it?”

"Crush It!" by Gary Vaynerchuk... and you should too.

I was all like, “Sure.”

The book is a quick 142 page read (including two appendices).  It’s all about tapping into things that you are passionate about, creating blogs, and using social media to build your personal brand.  This book is very entertaining, and… dare I say it… inspiring.  I was just a few weeks into this blog when I read Crush It, and have since been inspired to take on the world.  If you like blogs…  If you have a Facebook or Twitter account…  If you are passionate about anything… You must read this book!

One of the things that Gary preaches in his book is to become an expert on your passion, by reading as much as you can on the topic.  So last week, I picked up this…

"Kevin Zraly's Windows on the World Complete Wine Course" next to some spheres inside some cubes.

This well-written 338 page textbook is the number one selling book about wine in the world.  Kevin takes the reader through a step-by-step guide on getting to know all the wines on the planet.

Right now, I’m in the middle of Class One: The White Wines of France.  I am stoked on the way he presents information in this book.  Zraly makes wine a whole lot easier to understand.  If you like wine, and want to know more about it… Grab this book!

As interesting as Windows on the World is, I’m realizing how much more I have to learn about the subject of French wine (and wine in general).  The good news, according to Zraly, is that the best way to understand wine is to TASTE it.

Looks like someone’s gonna have to make a run to the wine shop and make a raid on the Alsace section.  Riesling, Pinot Blanc, Gewürztraminer, and Pinot Gris better watch out… None of them are getting out alive!

Stay Rad,


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