Summer Wine Tasting

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I have been meaning to write about the pork party we had in July, but, that would require actual writing, and finding of recipes. And since I've had little time at home this past month, I thought I'd post photos of a recent wine trip to Paso Robles instead. Photos and captions!
Sculptera Winery. Caption one, done!
Tipsy at Castoro. Still fun, after all these years.
Breakfast burritos in Cambria.
Someone found a beaver in the tree. He looks pleased.
Dinner time. Salmon bisque.
 More dinner. We had the best view (look past the glasses) of the ocean.
 Dusk walk.
Cheese platter love at Cass.
Post brunch Cambria stroll.
Wine trip close-ups are a must.
Wine tasting gangsters. 


The Potato Hash

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I am a sucker for potatoes. Maybe it's because I grew up in a household that made thick cut fries at least twice a week, or perhaps it was my third world childhood, where I recall gathering with the neighborhood children around a fire at night, and throwing potatoes in. We'd listen to the older kids tell scary stories, and then fish out the pipping hot potatoes with a stick, and juggle them in our hands until they were cool enough to eat. Oh, those were the times.

And these days, I crave potatoes for breakfast every weekend. And I've been making variations on the potato/vegetable/chorizo hash. The ideal situation is when you have vegetables left over in your fridge from either roasting or grilling the night before. You end up cutting your cooking time in half and there's already some great flavors built in. If you're starting from scratch, make sure to pre-cook you potatoes. I tend to use the microwave or par-boil them.

I usually will spice my potatoes with cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper, and whatever else I might be in the mood for. If you don't see me mention salt and pepper, well, it's because I don't make anything without them, so they are a given. And there's always hot sauce drizzled on top for a little kick.

Below are some recent potato hash dishes. These weren't solely eaten at breakfast!
Corn, squash, chorizo with grilled pasillas. This was the husband's favorite.
This hash had more vegetables, including celery, peppers and onions. And I served it topped with avocado and pickled onions.
My favorite hash was simple -- potatoes, Romano beans and lots of garlic, served with Florida's finest hot sauce, Gator Hammock.


Squash Blossom and Prosciutto Frittata

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Sometimes a dish is so pretty you just want to look at it, and look at it some more. That was the case with this frittata. I've made plenty of frittatas in the past year. All kinds. With greens, fancy cheeses, chorizo, but none have turned out so easy on the eyes. My guests did the whole "Oooooh" thing when I brought it out.

The thing about squash blossoms is that they are very subtle in taste. Hence they are mostly stuffed and fried. I was going to stuff and grill them, but decided against it. The grill was full and I wanted to use the fresh eggs from our friends' chickens. So a frittata seemed in order. And it turned out great. The blossoms and prosciutto complimented each other nicely and I added mild farmer's cheese, potatoes and squash for the filling.

Because I'm not the biggest fan of actual eggs, I always whisk in milk or cream with the eggs, and sometimes even sour cream. Anything to make my frittata less eggy. I know that probably sounds backwards to many of you, the husband likes to point that out to me often, but that's how I like my frittatas, less eggs, more vegetables, and lots of cheese. If the husband wants to complain, he can make his own frittata.