food for thought: 1st edition

Soooo in Wednesday’s post I mentioned how had been feeling uninspired the past few weeks. Do you ever have those moments? I was like, I have this beautiful blog space and I don’t feel like writing + sharing sh*t. I was down on myself because lately I’ve only been sharing wine content, which is great, don’t get me wrong, but this isn’t a wine blog. But it’s also not a fashion blog, food blog or my acting page. Bottom line is, I was having an identity crisis.

All the advice I hear when you start a blog is find your niche. And even though I’ve been at this for over a year, it still feels brand new! I’m still “trial and erroring” as I grow this site. WTF is my niche?? I’m a self proclaimed actress with an appetite for many aspects of life. I want to try it all!

This is where the “food for thought” series came to life. I needed a way to funnel down so I wasn’t all over the map.

It went a little something like this:

I was having an Aperol spritz with one of my best friends and I brought up how I was feeling so “meh/overwhelmed/gahhhhelpmeplease” about this site.  I knew the wine was working (when is it not?!) but I didn’t know which direction to go with other posts. I have ideas but lately they’d just been clouding my brain and no action was happening. I wanted consistency.  A) to help me fit writing into my schedule and B) so y’all + new readers know what to expect. 

Why don’t you do a “food for thought Fridays”? That way you have your wine on Wednesday and Fridays you can open up about your other areas of interest.  

**I nearly started crying** Ok sliiight exaggeration, but her idea was brilliant: An op-ed style Friday segment where I could write about acting, food, breakups, losses, wins, double standards, and why I hate the term “overnight success”.

A weight was lifted off my chest. This is my niche. Drinking and dishing my way through Hollywood. Serving up a slice of honesty with a side of do what makes you happy.

So here’s to many more editions of sharing my stories, words of wisdom, how I keep hustling…favorite restaurants sprinkled in their too.

Cheers friends!

xxNP

wine wednesday: grilled peaches and pét nat

So gonna level with you, I meant to have this last grill video up 2 weeks ago. EEEEEK. But life happens, and it got away from me. I was a) having a week of where I didn’t feel “inspired” to cut this together (sometimes I don’t wanna edit!) and b) I last minute ended up going to Chicago for a week due to a family emergency.

Getting away was much needed (LA you can take a toll on me sometimes!) but I’ve come back refreshed and ready to get back into the swing of things. So may I present:

GRILLED PEACHES AND PÉT NAT

This is the perfect way to end a BBQ (okay s’mores are amazing too!) but the low heat from the coals (or turn the gas burner down) caramelizes and smokes up the fruit. You’ve got yourself a naturally sweet finish, paired well with the “naturally sparkling” vino.


grilled peaches

GRILLED PEACHES (serves 2)

-2 ripe peaches

-salt

-pepper

-olive oil

-greek yogurt (optional)

-mint

-honey

Set the flames to low if using a gas grill or wait until the coals are petering out. You don’t want to put the peaches over too hot of a grill. Next cut peaches in half and de-pit. Brush the peaches with olive oil, dust with some salt and sprinkle with pepper (helps to bring out their natural flavor!). Place peaches flesh side down on the grill and let them cook for 3-5 minutes. If you want more of a smokey flavor, close the lid of your grill to trap the smoke. Once they are warm take ’em off the grill and drizzle with a little honey, honey. Add a dollop of greek yogurt if you wish and garnish with a sprig of mint. Serve immediately with a chilled glass of pét nat.


WINE PAIRING

Now I talked about pétillant naturel earlier this summer here but as a refresher (and yes pét-nat’s are refreshing AF) they are a sparkling wine that only goes through one fermentation. A “younger sister”  to champagne, this sparkling wine has softer bubbles and is usually unfiltered. That’s because during the initial fermentation, a crown cap (aka the kind that’s used on beer bottles) is added which traps the CO2 that’s created as the natural sugars and yeast interact. They’re fun, refreshing, dry and usually have high acid. Serve them chilled. And buy an extra bottle because it’s so easy to drink that you’ll be sad when the first one runs out!

In this video I was drinking CRUSE WINE VALDIGUIÉ PÉTILLANT NATUREL RANCHO CHIMILESIt’s their pét nat with a lady on the label.


CHEERS!

Enjoy the rest of your summer. Keep an eye out next Wednesday for another food + wine pairing episode, then I’ll take it back to the OG format. If there’s anything you want me to talk about let me know!

wine wednesday: grilled pizza and lambrusco

I want PIZZA: P-I-Z-Z-A, gimme PIZZA, P-I-Z-Z-A! (anyone remember that very old school MK&A pizza party video???…they couldn’t have been older than 11) it was one of my faves back in the day!

Just fact checked and that song was released in 1995, they were born in ’86- so boom baby they were 9! I called it.

Moving along to the present day, I was thrilled when Chef Adam said he was going to make pizzas on the grill. And let me tell you it’s genius. It’s a next level BBQ play that couldn’t be easier to do. It might even be cheaper than doing burgers and dogs if you stick to good old margarita za’s…you can fact check this yourself and let a girl know! pizza party with lambrusco

Are you drooling yet?? If not, all good, guess you’ll just have to test it out for yourself!

GRILLED PIZZA TIPS

  1. TAKE IT EASY Store bought dough will do just fine (or you can make your own!) just make sure you set it out to proof (aka double in size) so that the dough is lighter and more manageable.
  2. STRETCH THAT DOUGH Form your basic rectangle shape before placing on the grill and adjust accordingly once the dough hits the grill.
  3. GREASE IT UP Olive oil is your friend to keep things from sticking!
  4. CLOSE THE GRILL Once you have your dough set, close the grill for a few minutes to act like an oven. It’ll circulate the hot air to cook both sides.
  5. SWISH AND FLIP When the dough seemed nice a cooked and easy to lift off the grill, flip it over using tongs in a quick, confident motion.
  6. TOMATO/TOMAHTO Store bought sauce is just fiiiine, but you can buy late season “uglies/seconds” tomatoes that will be cheaper because they’re not as pretty, more sweet and ripe for a sauce.
  7. FRESH CHEESE FTW Adding hand torn mozzarella is the play, just have a paper towel handy to absorb some of the moisture once the cheese starts to melt. Shredded is totally fine too, but fresh wins.
  8. PLAY WITH TOPPINGS If you grilled up some veg, add it to your ‘za! Or some fresh herbs/basil to really make it homegrown. Prosciutto is totally a move too.

WINE PAIRING

When I think pizza, I immediately want a cold glass of bubbly red. It’s such a playful pairing. Soooo refreshing when it’s hot. Plus the ABV (alcohol by volume) is lower than your average glass of wine so it’s not as potent and you won’t get as tipsy. Now Lambrusco, the classic sparkling red of which I speak, hails from the Emilia-Romagna, a northern Italian region known for its food. Think balsamic vinegar, parmesan cheese, prosciutto and yummy bolognese sauce. The high acid factor in the wine plays well with the richer meats, so feel free to add meats to your pizza. The wine stand up! A few things to keep in mind when buying this frizzante aka “slightly fizzy” wine:

  1. LOOK FOR “SEC” on the label or ask for a DRY Lambrusco. Then there’s no risk you’ll open a slightly sweet bottle.
  2. DRINK ‘EM YOUNG! These wines are meant to be sipped and served within a year or two of production.
  3. CHILL THEM. You must. End of story.
  4. BUY IN BULK. Trust me, you’ll run out of it sooner than you think because it’s such a crowd pleaser.
  5. RELAX. Take a load off and just have fun with this wine, that’s really the best way to enjoy it!

Let me know if you find any favorite brands. Always wanting to try new labels.

Well I’m off to each some lunch. All this food talk is making me HUNGRY.

Cheers!

wine wednesday: street corn and chicken tacos

Who doesn’t love a good taco?? And tacobout a good wine pairing with a yummy chilled Grüner Veltliner. Corny I know.

…ok I’ll stop. BUT if you want a crowd pleasing, easy for parties set up, do a taco bar and grab a few bottles of GV. Corn is in season at the farmers market and cheap AF. Plus if you find the right ears, you won’t have to deal with adding those corn on the cob thingy’s–you know what I’m talking about right? That you stick on either end?? Corn skewers? Cob holders? Those things you forget are in your drawer until after you’ve eaten your cob? You get the point.

So it’s a date: chicken tacos, tomatillo salsa, guac, street corn and GV.

street corn

CORN/TACO TIPS

  1. IT’S ABOUT THE SLOW BURN: think about the corn like you’re trying to perfectly toast your marshmallow. You want to be turning the corn often, and if there’s a top rack, keep the corn up there once it’s about 80% done.
  2. SIMPLE SEASONING: Chef just used salt, pepper and dried oregano on the chicken breast. Add some chili powder if you want additional spice.
  3. HOMEMADE SALSA: it’s easier than you think! Char some tomatillos up, and combine with chopped white onions, jalapeños,  heirloom tomatoes, salt and pepper.
  4. SAME GOES FOR GUAC: add chopped onions, lime, cilantro and toms and s&p to season.
  5. SIMPLIFY STREET CORN: just head up butter and chili powder. Coat the corn with spicy butter and toss with grated parmesan cheese.
  6. BRING FLOSS: or toothpicks. Because no one likes stringy corn in their teeth.

LET’S A TACOABOUT WINE PAIRING

Grüner was an obvious choice for me because it’s usually a zesty, crisp glass of vino. Usually it has notes of lime, but goes down differently than a marg. And when choosing a Grüner aim to find an Austrian one. They’ll be nice and dry and less filling than a beer–perfect for a hot ass day. Oh, and don’t be scared of twist tops. Hello one less thing to worry about. And some of them might have a little bit of bubbly, who doesn’t like that?

Enjoy your Wednesday.

Cheers!

 

wine wednesday: roasted veg + rosé

I don’t know about you, but I’ve eaten more burgers and hot dogs over the past few weeks that I don’t know if I could do another for the rest of the week **drives to in-n-out tonight and immediately loses this battle**

Bottom line is, if you’re looking for a break from burgers/want a fun addition to any BBQ, roasted veggies are the way to go. Like Chef Adam said, prep is minimal (hell yeah!) and they can be added to pizzas, salads or stand alone. Here are a few quick grilling tips to make your veggies turn out like a pro.

GRILLED VEGGIE TRICKS

  1. BUY IN-SEASON VEG! Easiest way to do that is at the farmer’s market, straight from the source. But you can always ask what’s fresh at the store. Eggplant, heirloom tomatoes, zucchini, summer squash, corn, and onions are all summer staples
  2. FRESH HERBS FOR THE WIN! While at the farmer’s pick up a bundles of fresh herbs because they’ll really make your veggies sing. We got thyme, oregano, rosemary and basil.
  3. SEASON THAT $#@+! Use olive oil or avocado oil liberally, along with the fresh chopped herbs and plenty of pepper and sea salt.
  4. CUT THE VEG THICKER THAN NORMAL! This way it has less chance of ending up in the flames and more likely ending up on your plate.

LET’S TALK WINE PAIRING

Not only does roasted veg and rosé have a nice ring to it, but it’s easy to remember. There’s just something about the cold wine that really makes the roasted veg sing. As far as which one to choose, any lean, dry rosé will do the trick. I happened to pick up a super yummy bottle at Whole Foods, 2015 Mas de Cadenet Arbaude which is a Côtes de Provence rosé. But Italy, Spain, Austria and the US all make kick-ass French style rosé that is worth a try too.

Enjoy the pairing!!

Until next week, Cheers!