Super Dishes for the Super Bowl

Nearly 13 years ago, on February 3, 2002, the New England Patriots and St. Louis Rams took the field at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans for Super Bowl XXXVI.

Super Bowl XXXVIIt was nearly 5 months after the September 11th attacks and, after a powerful rendition of the National Anthem from Mariah Carey and coin toss by George Bush and Roger Staubach, Tom Brady led the Patriots to a 20-17 victory that, in many ways, symbolized America’s resilience, strength and determination.

In a beautiful tribute to the victims of 9/11, U2 took the stage at halftime to perform an incredibly moving and touching performance with the famed song “Where the Streets have No Name.”

It is from this Super Bowl that we discovered the recipes for what have come to be some of our favorite family appetizers. Simple, delicious and easy to make, we’ve continued to make them each Super Bowl and hope you will enjoy them as much as we have.

Happy Super Bowl XLIX! 

See here and here for related Super Bowl information.


Hot Super Bowl XXXVI Corn Dip

Super Bowl RecipesIngredients:
1 bag frozen corn (have used yellow and yellow/white mix)
2 tbsp. butter or more for sautéing
1 cup chopped onions (have used yellow and white)
1/2 cup or more of chopped red bell peppers
1/4 cup chopped green onions
4 tbsp. more or less as desired chopped jalapeño slices
1 clove garlic minced
1 cup (more or less as desired) mayonnaise
4 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
Tortilla chips, for dipping

Instructions:

  1. Melt 1 tbsp. butter and sauté corn (partially defrosted) in large, heavy skillet over med. heat until kernels turn golden brown.  Transfer to bowl.
  2. Melt remaining butter in skillet. Add onions, bell pepper and cook stirring often until onions are wilted. Add the green onions, jalapeño and garlic and cook until red pepper is softened. Transfer to bowl with corn. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Add mayonnaise, half of the Monterey Jack cheese and half of cheddar cheese and mix well.
  4. Pour into 8-inch square baking dish and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.
  5. Bake in 350 degree F oven until bubbly and golden brown.  Serve with chips.

Almond Parmesan Chicken Tenders with Sauce

Ingredients:
1 cup crushed butter flavored crackers (we use Ritz)
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup plain dry breadcrumbs (we use fresh)
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/4-inch strips, or “chicken-finger-sized” pieces
2 egg whites, lightly beaten
Several tablespoons butter and olive oil for frying

Ingredients for sauce:
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup mustard
1/4 cup mayonnaise

Instructions:

  1. Combine cracker crumbs, almonds, cheese, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper in food processor or blender and pulverize. Transfer to shallow bowl.
  2. Dip chicken in egg whites then coat in cracker mixture and place on clean plate.
  3. Heat about 2 tbsp. of olive oil and 2 tbsp. butter in skillet and fry on med. high heat until golden brown (approx. 2 min. per side). Place in ovenproof dish and put in 400 degree F oven to finish off cooking chicken thoroughly.
  4. Mix honey, mustard and mayo until well blended and serve with chicken.

Super Chili – For Hot Dogs, Chile, Cheese and Fries!

Ingredients:
2 pounds fresh ground beef
1 quart Campbell’s tomato juice
1 29 ounce can tomato puree
1 15 ounce can red kidney beans – drained
1 medium onion – 1 1/2 cups. chopped
1/2 cup celery, diced
1/4 cup chili powder
2 tsp. cumin
1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. each, black pepper, oregano, sugar
Crushed red pepper flakes as desired

Instructions:
Sauté onion and ground beef in 1 tbsp. olive oil and 1 tbsp. butter in a large soup pot until browned.  Add all other ingredients stirring until ingredients are well combined.  Let simmer on low for hour or so and serve with, or on top of, hot dogs with warm melted cheese of your choice!

American Gladiators

Deflategate New England Patriots “In addition to the hopes and dreams of his team, the quarterback carries the flag for entire cities, regions, and metaphorically, ways of life,” writes Kofi Bofah in his article from Wall St. Cheat Sheet, “The 10 Greatest NFL Quarterbacks of All Time” (December 2014). He continues:

“The pressure is unreal, considering the fact that sports-obsessed Americans look to the gridiron gladiator strength, controlled violence, and an escape from the routine fare of the daily grind. The quarterback is viewed as the one member of the entourage that combines leadership, intelligence, and strategic thought alongside brute force to control games and emerge victorious…

“…Sports fans, of course, recognize that the greatest NFL quarterbacks of all time emerge as icons that define cities, dynasties, and eras…indeed, the term “Quarterback” entices the imagination to personify ‘all that is right’ with America.”

It is in the spirit of excitement and anticipation of Super Bowl XLIX that we put forth ATG’s top quarterback picks from the past, followed by our favorite quotes of theirs:

Johnny Unitas (1933-2002):
Born near Pittsburgh, PA, in college he played for the University of Louisville after being rejected by Notre Dame, his dream school, for being too skinny.  In 1956, after being let go by the Steelers’ draft in 1955, he signed with the Baltimore Colts #19.  Nicknamed “The Golden Arm”, he had a 17 year career with the Colts and is best remembered for what has been called “The Greatest Game Ever” in 1958 leading the Colts to a sudden-death win against the New York Giants (23-17).  The game, televised by NBC, can be credited with the rise in popularity of football becoming a favorite American pastime. He led the Colts to 1 Super bowl Crown and 3 NFL Championships. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1979.

“There are no shortcuts and no magic carpet methods to success. It’s nothing but hard work. And its teamwork…everybody’s got to be on the same page.” – Johnny Unitas

Roger Staubach (1942- )
Born in 1942 in Cincinnati, Ohio, he attended the U.S. Naval Academy where he received the Heisman Trophy in 1963. Upon graduation he went on to serve in Vietnam. He joined the Dallas Cowboys when he was 27 years old in 1969, where he developed a reputation for “making the big play.” He led the team to two Super Bowl Championships: Super Bowl VI & XII.  He was Super Bowl MVP (VI) and became the first of four players to win both the Heisman Trophy and Super Bowl MVP (Jim Plunkett, Marcus Allan and Desmond Howard were the others). He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1985.

“Confidence doesn’t come out of nowhere. It’s a result of something…hours and days and weeks and years of constant work and dedication.” – Roger Staubach

Joe Namath (1943- )
Born 1943 in Beaver Falls, PA (north of Pittsburgh), he played for Paul “Bear” Bryant (1943-1983) (University of Alabama) who called Namath “the greatest athlete I ever coached.” In his 13-year career with the New York Jets, he led the team to a championship in Super Bowl XIII against the Baltimore Colts and was named MVP. Nicknamed “Broadway Joe” for his flamboyant lifestyle he was the first quarterback to pass more than 4,000 yards in one season and was listed in 1999 #96 on Sporting News’ list of 100 Greatest Football players. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1985.

“How you recover from what life’s throwing at you is what matters.” – Joe Namath

Heinz Field Stadium Pittsburgh
Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA; Christmas 2006

Terry Bradshaw (1948- )
Born in 1948 in Louisiana, he joined the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1974. Bradshaw was known for his powerful arm and for calling his own plays, as well as for his field leadership. He led the team to an unprecedented 4 Super Bowl Championships and was Super Bowl MVP twice: Super Bowl XIII & Super Bowl XIV.

“You’ve got to stand up and do your own battles. My daddy taught me that a long time ago, that you fight your own battles.” – Terry Bradshaw

Joe Montana (1956- )
Montana was born in 1956 in the coal-mining town of Monongahela, PA (south of Pittsburgh). Nicknamed “the Comeback Kid” or “Cool Joe”, he played for the San Francisco 49er’s from 1979-1992.  Known for his “calm under pressure” demeanor, he led the 49er’s to four Super Bowls and was Super Bowl MVP three times. He was also deemed the #1 “clutch” quarterback of all time” by Sports Illustrated. 

“Winners, I am convinced, imagine their dreams first. They want it with all their heart and expect it to come true. There is, I believe, no other way to live.” – Joe Montana

Dan Marino (1961- )
Born in 1961 in Pittsburgh, PA, he played for the Miami Dolphins from 1983-1999.  Remembered for his “quick release” and his powerful arms, he led his team to the AFC Championship in 1984. Though the Super Bowl title eluded him, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2005.

“I just try to be myself, whatever that is. I don’t think about how I’ll be remembered. I just want to be consistent over a long period of time. That’s what the great players do.” – Dan Marino

Our thoughts on #deflategate? See here.

Meanwhile, Over On This Court

In the midst of every winter, I eagerly anticipate the excitement and hype that comes from two major sporting events. One, perhaps not surprisingly, is the Super Bowl – in all its splendid, commercialized and global glory – and the other, perhaps less celebrated by the general public, is the Australian Open Tennis Championship – one of the four major Grand Slams that takes place each year in the middle of January.

Deflategate New England PatriotsIn the past week, however, the excitement of the Super Bowl has been quickly “deflated” with talk of the Patriot’s latest “cheating” scandal involving their handling of a “deflated” football allegedly used to help them secure their victory over the Indianapolis Colts at the AFC Championship game.

Such disappointment naturally leads one to ponder the evermore-disappointing state of professional sports and, more specifically, the behavior and conduct of professional athletes. Indeed, it may be difficult to maintain hope in the “business” of sports and in the possibility of there ever existing true “sports heroes” for the young to aspire to.

Yet, “cheating” or “immoral conduct” in sports is certainly not new. A quick look back at the 1904 Olympics and the 1919 Chicago White Sox (explained here) confirms that, even before the modern day obsession with sports, not all athletes have been interested in winning by honest means.

The difference today, however, seems to be in the frequency of such incidents – incidents which can be partially explained by the higher stakes, fiercely competitive atmosphere and globalization of the sports industry. Indeed, between the Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson, Donald Sterling and Luis Suarez scandals, 2014 proved to be quite the year for the professional sports industry.

But, be that as it may, sportsmanship in its most pure form – defined as “fair play, respect for opponents and polite behaviors by someone who is competing in a sport or other competition” – can still be found. Perhaps not on the 2015 Super Bowl field, but over on a tennis court in Australia where Roger Federer, despite his recent third round loss, continued his reputation as a “picture of class and composure.”

Considered “one of the greatest players of all time” – surpassing Pete Sampras’ 14 Grand Slam titles with 17 – it is not just his statistics, titles and records that have earned him this status.  It’s the way he conducts himself – both on and off the court – that supporters, commentators and even opponents agree make him truly “great.”

Humble, classy and dominant, he truly is an all-around class act with poise and grace, in both victory and defeat.

U.S. Open Tennis Championship Roger Federer
Arthur Ashe Stadium, Queens, NY; U.S. Open 2014

In fact, when asked about an illness he endured during a tournament after losing to Novak Djokovic in the semifinal of the 2008 Australian Open, Federer responded with the utmost sincerity:

“I have spoken about my health throughout this tournament, but not tonight, because Novak deserved this victory. He didn’t win because of my health or anything else. Never take anything away from somebody who beat me because I was trying my absolute best.”

As for Federer’s conduct “off court”, Andy Roddick (a long time rival of Federer’s) says it best: “He’s a real person. He’s not an enigma. Off the court he’s not trying to be somebody. If you met him at McDonald’s and you didn’t know who he was, you would have no idea that he’s one of the best athletes in the world.”

Perhaps, like the recent proposals for mandatory ethics training for our Congressmen, the NFL would be wise to do the same for their coaches and players. And who better to “teach” sportsmanship and model respectable athletic conduct than Roger Federer? Maybe that should be his next career.

Now wouldn’t that be a grand slam!

Head on over here for our top NFL quarterback picks and some of our favorite quotes!

And don’t forget to check out our suggested Superbowl appetizers here!

What’s for Breakfast in the South?

Cahill's MarketIf you’ve spent a considerable amount of time in the South, you’ve probably experienced your fair share of southern food – i.e. pulled pork, fried chicken, grits and biscuits, sweet potato pie, etc. – and would quickly relate to comedian Jim Gaffigan’s “Southern Food” routine that pokes fun at the southern penchant for cooking with a heavy emphasis on “fried” and “filling.”

But Sunday brunch at Cahill’s Market & Chicken Kitchen – a generational family country farm, market and restaurant a few miles from historic Bluffton, South Carolina – is no laughing matter. That is, until you start reading the menu.

Serving the best of home-style southern cooking with ingredients that have been grown on their farm or locally sourced, the atmosphere transports you back in time, inspiring you to embrace the “down home country feel” while enjoying a laugh or two as your read the titles of dishes on the menu’s extensive offerings:

Southern food “Lipsmackin’ Toecurler”: “A cheesy grit cake topped with sliced tomato, avocado, a poached edge w/ hollandaise sauce served with home fries”

“Belly Bomb”: “Four hand breaded chicken tenders smothered with sausage gravy served with two eggs, grits, toast, and your choice of sausage or bacon”

“GutBuster”: “White toast topped w/ meatloaf and poached eggs w/ hollandaise and home fries”

Southern fried chicken“Old Elvis Breakfast”: “A candied bacon waffle topped with crunchy peanut butter and chopped bananas served with 1 egg, hoe fries, and a half order of biscuits ‘n gravy”

Or a personal favorite:

“Bateau Breakfast”: “2 eggs, grits, toast, and a dozen ‘May River’ fried oysters”

All laughing matters aside, after a brunch at Cahill’s, you won’t have to eat the rest of the day! Guaranteed.

* * *

In the spirit of Southern style and cooking, we feature renowned Southern fictional writer and New York Times bestselling author Pat Conroy, and his recipe for grits* from his cookbook, The Pat Conroy Cookbook: Recipes and Stories of My Life (see below).

Conroy’s interest in food came late in life when cooking dinner became his domestic responsibility while his wife attended law school. Seeking a beginner’s cookbook, he landed on the French classic Escoffier**.

Pat Conroy Prince of Tides ReviewHaving grown up in a large southern Catholic family with a mother who thought cooking was “a kind of slave labor” and “who looked upon food as a sure way to keep her family alive”, and described the kitchen as a “place of labor” instead of a “field of fantasy and play”, Conroy carried with him a feeling of not being deprived of food, but being deprived of “good” food.

His journey into food and cooking took him to Paris, where he learned about French cuisine while writing his bestselling novel, The Lords of Disciple (1980), and to Italy, where he lived and learned about Italian cuisine while writing another bestseller: Prince of Tides (1986). You can read more about Pat Conroy on his website here.

*Of interest:

Grits is a southern staple that is made from either ground white or yellow corn and is similar to polenta, the Italian version of one of many thick maize-based porridges from around the world.

Three-quarters of the grits sold in the United States are sold in the south from Texas to Virginia in what is referred to as the “Grits Belt.”

Below a proposed bill from the South Carolina General Assembly on the prominence of Grits in the state:

Stone Ground Grits“Whereas, throughout its history, the south has relished its grits, making them a symbol of its diet, its customs, its humor, and its hospitality, and whereas, every community in the state of South Carolina used to be the site of a grits mill and every local economy in the State used to be dependent on its product; and whereas, grits has been a part of the life of every South Carolinian of whatever race, background, gender, and income; and whereas, grits could very well play a vital role in the future of not only this State, but also the world, if as Charleston’s ‘The Post and Courier’ proclaimed in 1952, ‘An inexpensive, simple, and thoroughly digestible food, [grits] should be made popular throughout the world.’ Given enough of it the inhabitants of planet Earth would have nothing to fight about. A man full of [grits] is a man of peace.”

South Carolina General Assembly 113TH Session, 1999-2000, Bill # 4806

**Auguste Escoffier (1846-1935) is a French chef who was referred to as “The Chef of Kings and the King of Chefs.” His most famous books are “Le Guide Culinaire” and “A Guide to Modern Cookery.”

Speaking of grits, check out our post from earlier this week, “Smarts, With a Side of Grits.”


Pat Conroy’s Grits Casserole

Southern FoodIngredients:

½ pound of sweet or hot Italian sausage
1 cup slow-cooking stone-ground grits
2 ½ cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
3 large eggs, beaten
¼ cup heavy cream
Tabasco sauce
½ tsp. kosher salt
Pepper

Instructions:

  1. In large saucepan bring 4 cups of water to a boil and then add salt and slowly pour in the grits, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat and cook stirring occasionally, until grits are done, about 30 minuets or so
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  3. In saucepan sauté sausage until slightly crispy and then set aside
  4. Remove grits from stove and add the cheese, stirring until smooth. Beat in eggs and cream. Add the sausage and season to taste with Tabasco, salt and pepper.
  5. Pour grits into a 2-quart soufflé dish and bake until they are set and lightly browned on top, about 40 minutes

Smarts, With a Side of Grits

Intelligence and education in public schoolsEducation. It’s a topic that has always stimulated vigorous debate and yielded staunch opinions from both professional academics and the public at large.

With talk about expanding access to education, improving our educational system and outcomes and, most recently, President Obama’s proposal to offer free community college to students nationwide, it’s an issue that continues to feature prominently in our nation’s dialogue – and for a good reason.

Politics aside, the importance of education cannot be overstated. It is what lays the foundation for our development, gives us knowledge of the world around us and broadens our perspectives. It helps us form opinions, develop ideas and mature as both a people and a society.

But, while it’s easy to reach a consensus on the importance of education, it is the seemingly ever-changing proposed curriculums, programs and standards – such as the No Child Left Behind Act and the more recent Common Core – that tend to elicit fiery debate and controversy.

A recent article in the New York Times’ “Op-Talk” blog is a pertinent example. Entitled “Smarts vs. Personality in School”, it discusses the recent push in “character-based education” and the role that “self-control, curiosity and grit*” play in helping children do well in school.

According to a 2014 paper by the Australian psychology professor Arthur E. Poropat, research has shown that “conscientiousness” and “openness” (i.e. creativity and curiosity) are more important to student success than intelligence. A bold assertion, but worthy of consideration.

In fact, it is not so much whether one is more important than the other, as it is that both are given their due respect. Accordingly, it is difficult to argue against the benefits of teaching character – and the qualities of self-control, curiosity and grit – to children who are in the process of developing and forming their identity.

Turning to the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., whose wisdom extends well beyond the sphere of civil rights, he makes a compelling case for the function of education, writing in the campus newspaper the Maroon Tiger (1947):

“It seems to me that education has a two-fold function to perform in the life of man and in society: the one is utility and the other is culture…

“Education must enable one to sift and weigh evidence, to discern the true from the false, the real from the unreal, and the facts from the fiction…

The function of education, therefore, is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. But education which stops with efficiency may prove the greatest menace to society. The most dangerous criminal may be the man gifted with reason, but with no morals.”**

So, does it have to be smarts vs. personality? Character vs. intelligence? Can it not be both? Can not both smarts and personality, character and intelligence be combined in such a way that students will not only acquire knowledge and understanding, but develop the key attributes of honesty, integrity and grit that are necessary for a healthy and functioning society?

Indeed, to wholly dismiss character in favor of intelligence might just be counterproductive. As Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote:

“We must remember that intelligence is not enough. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.”

That certainly sounds intelligent to me.

*Grit is defined in the Miriam Webster dictionary as “mental toughness and courage” or “the strength of mind that enables a person to endure pain or hardship”

**See thoughts on the importance of morality and education in society in our previous post, “I’ll Vote For That”

Eat. Drink. And Learn.

If only our history books in school were as beautiful, lively and interesting as the Mount Vernon Ladies Association book, Dining With the Washingtons: Historic Recipes, Entertaining, and Hospitality from Mount Vernon (2011), perhaps we Americans would be a little more passionate about our history lessons.

Dining With the Washingtons Cookbook ReviewAs Walter Scheib, a former White House Chef, wrote in the introduction:
“For years, my view of George Washington was probably similar to that of many Americans, I pictured him as the gracious and influential statesman I had seen in his renowned portraits and learned about in history classes.”

It was only through his research and subsequent cooking that Scheib developed a deeper understanding and appreciation of Washington. Asked in 2000 during his position as White House Chef to create a “circa-1800” menu for the 200th anniversary celebration of the “people’s house”, Scheib came to see Washington not only as an upstanding moral citizen of his time, but as a fountain of knowledge and wisdom to be brought forth with us into the present.

As its name suggests, the book is a beautiful invitation to learn what it must have been like to dine with George and Martha Washington and their clan at their Mount Vernon estate where they gave “much time and attention to the cultivation of both food and the pleasures of the table.”

Not only do we learn about one of Mrs. Washington’s favorite cookbooks by Hannah Glasse (1708-1770) entitled, The Art of Cookery, Made Plain and Easy (whose equivalent today would be The Joy of Cooking**), and the importance of “gracious hospitality”, food preservation and gardening, we also learn how to make “Scotch Collops” – a dish that we would call “Veal Scallopini.”

If nothing else, the book serves as a reminder of the beauty and inspiration found in the communal act of dining and eating, and the enthusiasm many of us share today for cooking with seasonal, local ingredients (as we are currently witnessing in the Farm-to-Table movement).

After all, as is written in Life is Meals: “Food has shaped human society since the very beginning…the rhythm of working and eating defines the life of every individual…[p]rimitive man did not eat at certain hours but simply when hungry. Gradually regularity developed. Families and clans ate together, and in fact, for ages most eating was communal.”

**Please find below the recipe for “Scotch Collops” (Veal Scaloppini) taken from Dining With the Washingtons, slightly adapted (pictured below):

Veal Scaloppini recipe

Scotch Collops (Veal Scaloppini)

Ingredients:

2 ½ – 3 pounds veal scaloppini (about 6-8 slices of veal or can substitute thinly sliced boneless chicken breasts)
Salt
Pepper
6-8 tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 ½ tsp. freshly grated lemon zest
3 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
Flour
2 cups chicken broth
About 4 ounces white button mushrooms

Instructions:

  1. Season veal with salt and pepper
  2. Combine 3 tablespoons melted butter with nutmeg, lemon zest and 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon salt
  3. Mix the above mixture with the three egg yolks
  4. Dip veal in egg yolk mixture and then dredge in flour and set on waxed paper.
  5. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in large sauté skillet and cook until browned on both sides (about 2-3 minutes per side) adding more butter if necessary. Remove from skillet and place on plate and cover with aluminum foil and set aside.
  6. Sprinkle about 1 ½ tablespoons of flour in the pan, stirring up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan.  Stir in chicken broth and bring to a boil. Pour the gravy into bowl and set aside.
  7. Using a clean sauté pan, melt 2 tablespoons of butter and add quartered mushrooms and sauté on medium-high heat until they start to brown nicely and then adjust heat.  When nicely browned add gravy back into the pan and stir.
  8. Arrange veal on ovenproof dish and pour mushroom/gravy on top. Before serving, place in preheated 350-375 degree F oven for 5 minutes or so to heat thoroughly.

Serve with sautéed green beans or oven-roasted carrots, a nice salad and cornbread (see recipe below)!

Of interest: “Scotch”, as defined in Samuel Johnson’s Dictionary of the English Language, means to “cut with shallow incisions” 

“Collop”, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, is of obscure derivation, perhaps connected with coal, or later to mean a slice of meat.

Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread (taken from Barefoot Contessa “At Home”)

Jalapeño cornbreadIngredients:

3 cups flour
1 cup cornmeal
¼ cup sugar
2 tbsp. baking powder
2 tsp. salt
2 cups milk
3 eggs, extra large
2 sticks melted butter
8 ounces cheddar
1/3 cup scallions
3 tbsp. jalapeño peppers

Instructions:

Mix all dry ingredients. Mix milk, eggs and butter in a separate bowl. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Stir in cheese and jalapeño peppers, pour into glass baking dish, sprinkle scallions on top and a little bit of cheese. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30-35 minutes, or until done.

In the spirit of Washington and Jefferson, we are featuring Dreaming Tree Wine (pictured below), made by acclaimed winemaker Steve Reeder and Dave Matthews, whose Blenheim Vineyards is one of the 30 vineyards that can be found on the Monticello Wine Trail in Virginia. 

Dave Matthews Dreaming Tree Wine


**For dessert, try this delicious recipe for Molasses Cookies from the Joy of Cooking:

Ingredients:

¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) margarine or unsalted butter
1 cup sugar or packed brown sugar
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
½ tsp. salt
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 large egg
¼ cup molasses
1 tsp. baking soda

Molasses Cookies RecipeInstructions:

Beat butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in the remaining ingredients until well blended. The dough will be soft. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes or until easy to handle. Preheat the oven to 350 degree F. Grease or line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. Shape the dough into 1-inch balls. Rough the balls in a separate bowl of sugar and place 2 inches apart on the cookie sheet. Bake for about 8 minutes. Let stand briefly. Then remove to a rack to cool.

These are especially delicious with the butter cream frosting we use on our homemade sugar cookies, found here.

I Have A…

Hilton Head Island beach palmetto dunes

Happy Martin Luther King Day from ATG!

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.”    – Martin Luther King, Jr.