Happy New Year!
It appears that I missed a good opportunity to discuss inexpensive but good sparkling wines/champagnes, but you can never get ready for next year too early and, after all, champagne isn't only for New Year's Eve.
We started out our evening by opening a bottle of Greg Norman Sparkling Chardonnay Pinot Noir. It's a very nice sparkling wine - not too dry and not too sweet. I love the different flavors that come through - often sparkling wines that have sweet, flavorful tones are too sweet for me, but not this one. It's just right. And at about $14 on sale, not a bad price, either.
Other champagnes (I like to call them all champagne, even if they are, technically sparkling wines) that we like that are reasonably priced are Domaine Ste. Michelle Cuvee Brut (about $11 a bottle, often on sale for $9), Chandon Brut Classic (Sam's carries it in the low teens, I believe) and Jacob's Creek Chardonnay Pinot Noir (we can get it on sale for about $9). Seems there are others, but they are not coming to mind at the moment. Our local grocery store was running a special on Moet & Chandon White Star (the only true "champagne" in the bunch) - selling it for $22.99. I got one bottle to treat ourselves.
Speaking of champagne - ever since buying new champagne flutes at World Market, I've been in the mood to drink champagne! The flutes are fun, elegant and festive and they helped to feed my glass fetish. I'm fickle when it comes to stemware, so I'm starting to collect just a few of whatever strikes my fancy at the moment. These glasses have just hint of gold tone in them - World Market also had some with a nickle/silver tone and others with a red tone. I liked the gold - it seemed appropriate for champagne.
Our party last night was fun, but I was not really in the mood. I ended up spending more time with the kids than with the adults! Sometimes I find adults tiresome and have more fun with the excitement and innocence that kids exude. I cooed at and carried the babies, talked with and helped the older kids with their art project and just generally hung out with the little guys.
The onion dip I made did receive several very positive reviews, but honestly, a lot of the food there went untouched. Strange - sometimes people really chow down and devour everything in sight and other times, things just don't get eaten much. The peanut butter cups, however, DID garner a lot of enthusiasm. The peanut butter part did start to get a little too soft and they were a bit messy, but that didn't seem to stop people. I still wish I could think of an easy way to coat the bottoms with chocolate, but I'm afraid that it would make the recipe too time-consuming and perhaps ruin the fun appearance of the candies.
Stay tuned later today or tomorrow for more recipes, including a better pumpkin waffle...................