The Cat Box

Or any other themed Russel Stover box, this classic pairs nicely with an assortment of wines. Since there wasn’t a chocolate map in this one, I had to guess what the filling was.

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If you’re in the market for just one bottle to pair with an assortment, pick up a bottle of Banyuls or Barefoot Bubbly Moscato. Come back on the 14th to see the wine that wins Valentine’s Day pairings!

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Wine & Girl Scout Cookies

How could I not attend this pairing?? We visited Doyle’s Vineyard in Durham, NC for their 3rd Annual Girl Scout Cookie and Wine Tasting to benefit a local troop. They paired RagApple Lassie Vineyards with four different cookies. These are some flavorful and unique wines and paired delightfully with the cookies.

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Pairings:

Peanut Butter Patties with RagApple Vineyards Rockford Red

S’mores with RagApple Vineyards Kaleidoscope Red

Caramel Delights with RagApple Vineyards First Blush

Shortbread with RagApple Vineyards Kaleidoscope Gold

 

Find a booth sale near you by typing your zip code into the Cookie Locator through the links below. Your location will determine which one of the two bakeries your local council uses so if you aren’t in a Little Brownie Baker area, the website will show you who to contact to find cookies.

North Carolina Coastal Pines Cookie Locator

Little Brownie Baker Cookie Locator

 

 

Little Debbie Heart Cakes

 

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Along with your Cosmic Brownies, you may have a few of these left over. These beauties were a welcome blast from the past. The layered spongey cakes, the creamy layers, the salty but smooth-then-sweet chocolate coating, the irresistible instagrammy pink… I need to stop myself from buying another box of these. I paired these with the ever popular Barefoot Pink Moscato and I was in heaven.

Cosmic Brownies

The Valentine’s Day version. You probably found yourself needing to buy these for your kid’s class swaps and now you have a few left in the pantry. I remember the best part of a cosmic brownie being the little candy bits on top of them. Other than that, nothing really comes to mind. If you end up eating one, pair it with Asti to make the experience a little more worthwhile. You may be eating a broken brownie in the pantry, but with a nice bubbly beverage, your pantry becomes a quiet spa moment.

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Savory and Sweet

My cheeseboards are never complete without the blue cheese and almond thin pairing. In Vermont, we were spoiled with cheese and in North Carolina, I’ve had a little trouble locating some VT cheeses. I love Jasper Hill Farm Bayley Hazen Blue but got a Harris Teeter blue from their case which was a bit firm and salty but still paired well with everything below.

Okay so this cheese

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With these thins

Jules Destrooper Almond Thins Cookies, 3.5 oz (Pack of 12)

and this wine

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Delicious.

 

Try it out with some other savory and sweet pairings and let me know what’s good!

Wine & Peanut Butter Cups!

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Okay, I enjoyed this pairing more than I should. Correction: enjoying…

Anyway, I was struggling with this one. I had a line of wines, a bag of peanut butter cups and couldn’t place the pairing. I gave up, had an empty bag of pb cups (with the help of a husband), and headed to Total Wine. I went to the right place because the associate there had recently tried an odd combination that actually worked really, really well! I was skeptical at first thinking of the oaky, tarty taste of “Chardonnay”, but I am so glad I took his recommendation. Atrevida Chardonnay and peanut butter cups are a match!

Chatham Hill Tasting

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While exploring my new location, I’m finding delicious wineries throughout North Carolina. Chatham Hill Winery has a vibrant selection of dry and sweet wines. I opted for the dry tasting and tried eight. Second to last, they paired their Cabernet Sauvignon with Dove Dark Chocolate. Their wines have a cherry-chocolate hint which paired delightfully with the chocolate.

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I ended up falling for their Cab Franc and ended with a glass of that! Check out chathamhillwine.com or visit them in person if you’re in the area!

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14 Days of Wine & Sweets Day One

Welcome to February! To celebrate, I’ve put together 14 delicious wine and sweet pairings for all of your Valentine’s Day treat needs.

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What better way to kick off 14 days of wine and sweets pairing than to kick it off with the most iconic Valentine’s candy? I can’t remember the last time I actually ate these though. I was surprised that each color is a different taste! I admit, I’m not that big of a fan of the taste, aftertaste and residue but I did find that pairing these with a bubbly Moscato like Barefoot Bubbly Pink Moscato was very refreshing. The sugar makes the bubbles explode into an almost foam to cleanse your palate and teeth!

Framed Wrapping Paper

Love those boutique wrapping paper sheets but never had a reason to buy them? Here is a simple and quick craft idea to get your creative juices flowing and gives you a reason to get some of that adorable wrapping paper!

I found a Christmas frame on clearance and removed the canvas. You can also get inexpensive frames or artwork at the dollar store, Christmastree Shops, and at a craft store with a coupon.

 

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Glued some wrapping paper onto the cardboard backing, then glued a contrasting cutout of another wrapping paper on top of that. It would look fine with just one pattern as well!

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And that’s it! It’s inexpensive and can easily be updated.

Contrasting and matching patterns can be kind of a “huh?” thing but here are some really simple pattern matching ideas.

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Everything Bagels

Everything bagels are…. everything. I could eat a Thomas’ Everything Bagel with cream cheese and a Sunny D for every meal. I’ve reluctantly cut back that indulgence to maybe once every few months.

When I do have a bagel craving, I get Dave’s Killer Bread Epic Everything Organic Bagels, toast half of one, and spread half of a crushed avocado on top. Since the seasoning on an everything bagel prefers your plate, floor, and the bottom of a toaster, I make my own seasoning in bulk and sprinkle on top. Check out the simple recipe below and Everything Season EVERYTHING!

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A simple recipe I made once was I roasted some chicken breast added a little brie on top to melt, sprinkled with Everything Bagel Seasoning then drizzled with a balsamic reduction. Delicious. I should have added a few bacon bits… Next time!

Shopping List:

Sesame Seeds $7.99 on Amazon
Sincerely Nuts Hulled Sesame Seeds – One Lb. Bag – Delightfully Tasty – Healthy & Crunchy – Kosher Certified Product

Dried Minced Garlic $6.24 on Amazon
Garlic, Minced and Dried-4oz-Medium Sized Cut of Dried Garlic Spice

Dried Onion $5.98 on Amazon
McCormick Minced Onion, 8.25 oz

Poppy Seeds $7.49 on Amazon
Spice Select European Whole Poppy Seeds – 10 oz

Coarse Salt $8.95 on Amazon
Premium Atlantic Sea Salt – Coarse Grain 16 Oz.