MIAMM: Wine Cubes

Ever run into the problem of having extra wine sitting around? I know, it’s a very rare occasion but it happened to us. After my roommate’s baby shower,we had a few of the big wine bottles open with varying amounts of wine.

Wine CubesSure, Greg and I enjoyed the wine while we relaxed from throwing the best baby shower ever but we barely put a dent in the open white wine (mostly due to us polishing off the red). I’m super picky about white wine as in I don’t like drinking it after it’s been open for a day or two.

So what’s a girl to do?

Freeze it! Grab an ice cube tray, pour in the wine, and pop it in the freezer.

Wine CubesOnce the wine ice cubes freeze, pop them out, and put them in a freezer bag.

If you’re asking– why? why? why? The reason is simple– you can use the ice cubed wine to chill other wine or add it to your cooking. Making sauteed vegetables– add a cube; crockpot stew time– throw in a few red cubes; or use as ice cubes in a sangria.

Enjoy!

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MIAMM: Merlot Jelly

Sure, jelly doesn’t truly constitute as a meal but a bottle if wine does. Now if you’re having an occupational week like mine, a PB&J sandwich with Merlot jelly seems a bit better than a glass if Merlot for lunch.

merlot jelly recipe

Before you start questioning my alcohol sandwich consumption, please note the alcohol cooks out of this recipe.

What you may question is what’s going on in my brain to even think of merlot jelly. An answer for that is easy– I was seeing my Aunt Janet who is a big fan of my infused vodkas and I wanted to make her something since I had no vodka for her. Enter the wonderful world of Pinterest and my $3 bottle of Merlot.

If you’re now wondering what one would do with merlot jelly, the answer varies. We like it on cheese and crackers, one of our taste testers loved it on her roasted brussel sprouts. I can’t wait to try it with baked Brie and you can see how endless the possibilities are.

The recipe is simple, wine, sugar, and liquid pectin. If you have an hour, you’ll have jelly.

Side note: I don’t have step by step pictures because my dark pots blended too much with the dark wine. It would be like looking into a black hole and not helpful at all.

merlot jelly recipe

 

Merlot Jelly Recipe (from America’s Test Kitchen)

Ingredients/Supplies

  • Mason jars ( I used the small ones)
  • 1 bottle of red wine (750-ml)
  • 3 1/4 cups of sugar
  • 1 (3-ounce) envelope of liquid pectin
  • 1/8 teaspoon butter

1. Bring 1¼ cups wine to boil in small saucepan over medium-high heat, and cook until reduced to ⅓ cup, 15 to 20 minutes; set aside.

2. Bring remaining wine and sugar to boil in large saucepan, stirring frequently. Stir in pectin, lemon juice, and butter, and return to vigorous boil, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in reserved reduced wine.

3. Transfer jelly to jars with tight-fitting lids and let cool to room temperature before refrigerating; let jelly set for 12 to 24 hours.

4. Enjoy!

merlot jelly recipe

If you like this recipe, you can play around with different types of wines and flavorings.  Just google around and you’ll find some interesting ones.  Next up for us is a jalapeno champagne jelly!

Five on Friday: Organize! Organize!

Our house is a mess.  It’s a mess for a multitude of reasons:

  1. Laziness
  2. Projecting on two closets
  3. Never organizing things correctly when we moved in.

You see, number two and three are our biggest contributors to the hot mess.  When we moved in, we kind of organized but if it wasn’t a regularly used item, we placed it somewhere, anywhere.  Three years later, we realized this might not have been the smartest move on our part.

We’ve (ok, I’ve) been on an organize/ring cleaning rampage recently because items need homes which lead me to Pinterest.  So today’s Five on Friday is all about organizing and cleaning.

Enjoy!

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1. Label Maker

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I love label makers.  When I worked at my old job, it was taken away from me due over use of labeling . . . just because I labeled a coworker’s chair.  Now I label bins and files at home!  It might seem silly but I find the label maker highly helpful at Christmas because I label my storage bins with the rooms each bin handles.

2. Peg Board

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We keep talking about organizing the garage and installing peg board to hold tools.  If you don’t have peg board or never heard of it, it’s great because you can easily hang items or small storage cups on it.  Greg and I will add this to the list of things we probably should get done in 2013.

3. Spring Cleaning

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I hate to clean.  Ugh.  Greg learned pretty quickly that I refused/wasn’t going to be that 1950s housewife who was fine with all the housework/laundry.  In fact I stated that I hated laundry and cleaning bathrooms, if he wanted both of them done, he was going to have to take one.  Needless to say, he handles the bathrooms.  Sometimes a general cleaning isn’t enough especially when the under the bed dust bunnies into out from under the bed godzilla sized dust bunnies.  Peter Walsh’s list helps you breakdown what needs to be done.

4. Closet Organization

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Ever spend a day organizing your closet to have it look like WWIII two days later? We’ve been battling that for three years in our hall closet but a few of these tips helped us hold off the impending war. Now I just have to get the hubster to cut new shelves for our closet (longer ones) and we will be all set.

5. Wine

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After all the organizng and cleaning, you’re going to need a cocktail– go enjoy a bottle of wine!

Time Flies

10 months ago we were in Paris when Greg found out about his settlement date for the house.  Since then, we’ve been going non-stop on house related projects.  A few months into our project, I started blogging for you all to read about.

As the summer progressed, we felt we deserved a vacation and most definitely took one over the past few days.  On Wednesday we journeyed up to Seneca Lake in the Finger Lakes region of New York to enjoy a little sightseeing, some wine tasting, and the thought of doing nothing for a few days.  Greg might need to build us a wine cellar for everything we brought back but it’s not because he wants to start making wine.

Although he was very tempted.

Sure, we might have been up at 7:30am on a saturday but it wasn’t because we had to stain a deck or paint a room but because we wanted to bike around the lake.  We spent a sunny afternoon hiking the Watkins Glen Gorge to view their 19 waterfalls.  I might have started requested a waterfall feature in the backyard after seeing this.


For two of the days, we enjoyed a bottle of wine each night while sitting outside which made us very thankful for our new patio set.  But nothing is better than having a romantical evening with your boyfriend, enjoying a bottle of wine, then watching him pause, listen to the sounds around him, and go:

“I think I hear racecars.”

Be still my heart.