Fudgy Family Brownies

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In honor of the holidays this month we’re featuring a classic (with a twist) that’s best made with the help of little hands and lots of love.

These brownies are easy to make, and even easier to eat.


1 Box Brownie Mix of your choice (and the ingredients specified)

Frosting (I used chocolate)

Powdered Sugar



  1. Follow instructions on box to make brownies.
  2. This recipe is really about baking with your family and getting into the holiday spirit. Depending on your children’s ages, and your artistic abilities, there’s a variety of options for the following steps. We decided to make our brownies into ornaments, so I cut them into circles. You could choose to do presents, candy canes, trees, snowmen, etc.
  3. Frost your brownies after you’ve cut them into your chosen shape. We used chocolate frosting, however you could also use vanilla frosting and die it to be your ideal color (ie green if you did a tree etc).
  4. Sprinkle brownies with powdered sugar (optional).
  5. Apply sprinkles, or garnishes of your choice. We did sprinkles on our ornaments however you could use candies to decorate the trees, icing to draw bows on presents, etc.
  6. Pour some Malbec for mom, and enjoy!

Chipotle Brisket Sliders

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If you love Football

chances are you love game time munchies.

If you love Football

chances are you’d rather be watching the game, than stuck in the kitchen.

If you love Football

these Chipotle Brisket Sliders will be the best part of your Sunday.

Do all the hard work the night before, and let the beef soak up the flavor overnight. Toss the beef and sauce in a crockpot for 8 hours, and you’ll only need 15 minutes to put these sliders together before the game.


For the Beef:

2 pounds beef brisket

1 medium onion, chopped

2-3 cloves garlic, minced

3/4 cup ketchup

1/4 cup beef broth

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 tbs Worcestershire sauce

1-2 canned chilies in adobo, minced

1/2 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp dry mustard

1/2 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

2 packages King’s Hawaiian Rolls

8 slices Havarti cheese, cut into quarters

For the Caramelized Onions:

3 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced

3 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons olive oil

  1. Place the brisket and chopped onion in the bowl of a lightly greased slow cooker.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the ketchup, beef broth, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, chilies in adobo, and spices. Pour over the brisket.
  3. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours, or until meat shreds easily with a fork.
  4. Remove the brisket from the slow cooker and shred. Cover and keep warm.
  5. Pour the sauce from the slow cooker through a fine mesh sieve into a medium saucepan.
  6. Simmer for 15-20 minutes over medium heat until sauce thickens and reduces by about half.
  7. While brisket is cooking, caramelize your onions. Heat the butter and oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are dark golden brown.
  8. Toss the shredded meat with the sauce (that you simmered in step 6).
  9. Slice King’s Hawaiian rolls horizontally.
  10. Pile beef on the bottom half of the buns.
  11. Top with a quarter slice of cheese and some caramelized onions.
  12. Add the top half of the bun and enjoy alongside a rich Malbec.

Chipotle Brisket Sliders featured on Barrington, by Element Stone.

Antipasto Skewers

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Everything tastes better in skewer form, especially antipasto.

Try out these delicious Antipasto Skewers at your end of summer bash.


10 oz. cheese tortellini

1/2 cup Kraft Zesty Italian salad dressing

1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning

50 kalamata olives

25 green olives

50 grape tomatoes

50 thinly slices of salami (I used Calabrese)

25 marinated baby mozzarella balls

100 spinach leaves can subsitute basil

25 12-inch wooden skewers

  1. Cook tortellini according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water. In a sealable container, combine the tortellini, dressing, and seasoning. Refrigerate for 1-4 hours, stirring the contents a few times.
  2. Gather remaining ingredients when ready to assemble skewers.
  3. Thread the wooden skewer the following way:
    1. kalamata olive
    2. tomato
    3. spinach *fold leaves in half
    4. tortellini *there will most likely be leftover tortellini so grab tortellini directly from the container and put it on the skewer.
    5. spinach
    6. salami *fold slices into fourths
    7. mozzarella ball
    8. tortellini
    9. spinach
    10. salami
    11. green olive
    12. spinach
    13. tomato
    14. kalamata olive
  4. Pull out the chilled Sauvignon & enjoy!

*This should prepare approximately 30 skewers, but you can easily halve or double this recipe as needed.

Prosciutto Wrapped Breadsticks

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More Prone to Burning your Food then Perfecting It?

This is the party appetizer you’ve been looking for.

This delicious appetizer can be eaten with one hand, and satisfies every salty crunchy craving.

Perfect for the mom-on-the-run, the dad-on-duty, the girl-on-the-go, this appetizer is as easy to make as it is to eat.


8 thin slices of prosciutto

8 grissini breadsticks

  1. Wrap one slice of prosciutto around each breadstick, leaving 5-6 inches of the breadstick exposed on one end.
  2. Pour a glass of your favorite Pinot, and enjoy!

Garlic Chicken Wings

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Who Says the Hostess Can’t Have Fun Too?

These delicious wings are the perfect party appetizer. Perfectly paired with a rich Cabernet these Garlic Chicken Wings are astoundingly easy to prepare.

Don’t let cooking ruin your party fun! Prep your wings tonight, and bake them tomorrow.

Wow your guests and leaving their mouths watering for more, with hands-on prep time taking less than 2o minutes.


3 pounds chicken wings



1/2 cup Lite Soy Sauce

1 tsp Magic Mushroom Powder (or Porchini Powder)

2 tbs Lite Brown Sugar

2 tbs Minced Garlic

1 tbs Honey



2 Green Onions, thinly sliced

1 tbs Furikake

  1. Combine all marinade ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
  2. Trim off tips of chicken wings.
  3. Combine marinade and wings in a large ziploc bag for 10 hours, or overnight to thoroughly marinate.
  4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  5. Remove wings from marinade and place on a shallow roasting pan, don’t overcrowd the pan.
  6. Roast for 20-25 minutes. When they’re ready the skin will be caramelized and crispy, and the juice should run clear.
  7. Garnish the wings with the green onion and Furikake.
  8. Pour a glass of your favorite Cabernet and enjoy!

Beef and Blue Flatbread

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The perfect pairing for this Wine Wednesday? Look no further.

With weather this nice, any day can become a party.

This Beef and Blue Flatbread is the perfect appetizer for a last minute Wine Wednesday, and will accentuate the smoky finish of a rich Malbec.

Guests coming at 7, but you’re not leaving the office til 6?

Ready in under 20 minutes this delicious appetizer will leave your guests raving, and give you time to pour yourself a glass before company arrives.


1/2 of a medium red onion, cut into thin slivers

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 flatbread shell

8 ounces thinly sliced cooked roast beef

1 small sweet pepper, seeded and chopped

4 ounces crumbled blue cheese

1/4 teaspoon pizza seasoning (optional)

  1. Position oven rack in center of oven and preheat to 425.
  2. In large skillet cook onion in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium-high heat for 3 to 5 minutes, or until onion is just tender.
  3. Place bread shell on baking sheet, brush with remaining tablespoon of olive oil, and bake 5 minutes.
  4. While bread shell is baking, stack beef slices on cutting board and slice into strips.
  5. Then top shell with beef, sweet pepper, onion, cheese, and pizza seasoning.
  6. Change oven setting to broil.
  7. Broil pizza 4 to 5 minutes, or until toppings are heated through and crust is browned.
  8. Cut in wedges, and pair with a glass of the Malbec of your choice.

Teriyaki Tuna & Avocado Poke Nachos

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Looking to enjoy the delicacies of going out, while staying in?

Poke bars are hot right now, and you can set your own stunning bar with this delicious fusion appetizer. Sashimi-grade tuna is readily available at most fish mongers and also available frozen in national food chains, like Whole Foods, across the country. Raw not your thing? Substitute cooked shrimp, or even extra firm tofu.

Set on this beautiful stone and paired with a dry and crisp Sauvignon Blanc, you’ll be in with the in crowd with this yummy little bite.


  Teriyaki Sauce:

¼ cup low sodium shoyu (Japanese soy sauce)

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1 teaspoon of sushi vinegar

1/4 teaspoon finely minced garlic

1 teaspoon finely minced fresh ginger

¼ teaspoon black pepper


12 ounces sushi-grade tuna, cut into 1/2” cubes

1 ripe avocado, diced

 1 scallion, white part-minced, green part- sliced

mini tortilla cups (scoops)


chopped scallions and toasted sesame seeds to garnish

  1. Make the sauce by combining the soy sauce, brown sugar, honey, garlic & ginger in a small saucepan. Stir over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. Pour into a medium bow and place into refrigerator to cool completely, about 15 minutes.
  2. Add the tuna, avocado, and the scallions to the cooled teriyaki sauce.
  3. Place on your favorite tortilla chip, top with minced scallions and toasted sesame seeds and serve immediately

Caprese Crostini with Burrata & Prosciutto

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Taste Tuscany Today

These little bites pack all the flavors of Italy’s famed caprese salad, but with an updated twist. The dry yet fruity notes of the Pinot Grigio we’ve paired it with allows the flavor of this salty/sweet/herby Tuscan treat to shine through.



1 whole ball of burrata (or fresh mozzarella)


1 baguette

olive oil for brushing on

¼ lb prosciutto di parma


caprese mix:

½ pt sweet cherry tomatoes, quartered

8 fresh basil leaves, chopped

½ clove of garlic, finely minced

¼ cup good olive oil

1/2 tsp salt

fresh cracked pepper to taste


balsamic vinegar for drizzling on top

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut the baguette into ¾” slices and place on foil lined baking sheet. With a pastry brush, brush lightly with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake till lightly toasted, about 8 minutes.
  3. Toss all the ingredients for the caprese mix in a bowl, mix well and set aside.
  4. Slice the burrata into 8 wedges that will fit on the toast. It is a soft, runny cheese, so don’t be afraid if the filling runs. You can scoop up with a spoon and top the crostini with any spillage.
  5. To assemble the crostini, first cover the toast with the tomato mix, then layer a wedge of the burrata, and top with a clump of prosciutto. Drizzle with excellent, syrupy balsamic vinegar and good olive oil, sprinkle with some chopped basil, and enjoy!

Heavenly Chocolate Fondue

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What’s more perfect than chocolate?

Whether it’s a night with friends or that special someone, this personal pot of happiness will make everyone smile. We’ve paired it here with a Cabernet Sauvignon.  The cab’s bold flavors and subtle undertones of vanilla and currant compliment the richness of the chocolate wonderfully.


6 ounces good quality milk or semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons unsalted butter


fun dippers

Assorted berries, fruit, pound cake, cookies, biscotti, chopped nuts, shredded coconut, marshmallows…(the possibilities are endless!)


  1. In a microwavable dish combine cream, vanilla, and chocolate chips.
  2. Heat 1 minute or until chocolate is warmed & begins to melt.
  3. Add butter and whisk until smooth and creamy
  4. Pour into individual butter warmers or a warmed ramekin and serve with mix berries, fruit and an assortment of your favorite things


Korean Style Skewered Beef with Spicy Asian Aioli

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Korean barbecue is the latest and greatest thing to hit the food scene. Pair this yummy bite with the fruity tones and smoky finish of a delicious Malbec for the perfect party duo.

(This marinade is also great on chicken thighs or quartered cremini mushrooms & zucchini for a vegetarian option)


1 pound good quality beef, such as filet mignon, sirloin, or hanger steak


3 cloves garlic
1 inch peeled fresh ginger
1/2 small onion
1/2 an Asian pear or 1 bosc pear
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon honey
1/8 teaspoon pepper


Dipping Sauce:
½ cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Small garlic clove, run through press or finely minced
(about 1/2 of teaspoon)


toasted sesame seeds & chopped scallion to garnish

  1. Blend the marinade ingredients together in a food processor or high-speed blender until everything is pureed and well blended. Place in a freezer bag.
  2. Cut the steak into 1 inch cubes and place in the marinade. Marinate for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
  3. To make the dipping sauce, place the mayonnaise in a bow and whisk in the sriracha, soy sauce, sesame oil and garlic. Whisk till well combined. Can be made up to 3 days ahead.
  4. Thread the steak onto wet skewers that have been soaked in water for 1 hour.
  5. Sear the skewers in a skillet or on a hot grill till caramelized and golden on each side (about 3 minutes per side for medium rare)
  6. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and chopped scallion and serve with dipping sauce.