Spring is in the Air So Why Not Enjoy It?

Spring Picnic

Kevin and I finally had a weekend to ourselves without the hub-bub and commotion of friends, family, and constant travel. It’s not that we don’t like the go-go-go and adventures, in fact we live for it, but every once and awhile you just crave your own home, a glass of wine and the “How’s it going at work?” kind of conversation. For the first time in two months, were able to do exactly that.

While Kevin worked on one of his many inventions in the man cave, I prepped artichokes, sangria and one of my staples—bruschetta. I had never made the first two prior, but I’ve been hooked on bruschetta since the first time I tasted it in Italy. No wonder I’m hooked.

I looked up multiple recipes for Sangria, came away with the basic knowledge needed to prepare it and pulled my typical, “I got this” approach. Truth be told, all you really need is a bottle of wine (or three, like Kevin and I used) some white grape juice (half a cup per bottle should do you just fine) soda water (also half a cup) and a bunch of fresh fruit. I used strawberries, raspberries and granny smith apples for my fruit. Also, as much as I drink wine, the type of wine most sangria recipes recommended was foreign to me. Viognier, (pronounced VEE-un-yay) isn’t something you’ll find much variety of in your standard grocery store. After doing my homework, I discovered it was more mellow than a Chardonnay and less acidic than a Sauvignon Blanc (sad face.) So I met in the middle and used Pinot Grigio as the substitute.

Steaming artichokes was certainly a new experience and one I’m glad I just didn’t wing. I purchased my artichokes without any knowledge of what I was looking for—picture me in a super market going through a bin of artichokes, lulling over the “perfect” ones when in reality I haven’t got a clue. So make sure to read up on the entire process, buying and cooking, before you delve into this culinary adventure. I recommend a recipe I found on Simply Recipes by Elise Bauer: http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/how_to_cook_and_eat_an_artichoke/

Have you made sangria or steamed artichokes before? Be sure to tell me how many bottles of wine (and what kind) you used and what sauce you paired your artichokes with! P.S. I used a whipped garlic-parm heavy cream mixture.

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