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Fiery Buffalo Chicken Wontons for Game Day
This post has been created as part of a contest for JSL Foods Are you ready for game day? Even if your team is not in Super Bowl LV, you can take this as the perfect excuse to indulge in all of the game-day foods. The Uncorked Corner team was recently invited to participate in the Twin Dragon Blogger Challenge and we said put us in, coach. We brainstormed many flavor varieties for a game-day lineup but landed on one of our favorites: buffalo chicken. For us, a game-day table would not be complete without buffalo chicken dip. And, to spice it up and give it extra crunch, we stuffed Twin Dragon Wonton Wrappers with the recipe we've made almost every single game day for the past few seasons. We love the Twin Dragon Wonton Wrappers because you can fry them, bake them, broil them, etc. closed or open. So the buffalo chicken dip could get a baked bite, we decided to use a muffin pan for open face Fiery Buffalo Chicken Wontons. Instead of broiling all of our wontons, we left half of them bake before we hit the switch for crisping up the second half of our batch. You can approach this recipe in two different parts: 1) Chicken and 2) Dip & Stuff. For the chicken, you can use a slow-cooker pre-shredded chicken (we always keep some in the freezer for this type of recipe) or you can bake or boil two chicken breasts then shred them. Just let them cool down slightly before mixing them into your dip. Ingredients: 2 Chicken Breasts, Shredded 1 8oz Block of Cream Cheese, Softened .5 cup Shredded Cheese (Mexican, Cheddar, etc.) .5 cup Blue Cheese .5 cup Caesar Dressing .5 cup Buffalo Sauce .25 cup chopped onion Step 1
First things first, grease your muffin pans. We used two six-count pans for this recipe. Set your oven to 350 and start placing the wonton wrappers into your muffin pans as it heats up. If you or your company prefer extra fiery wontons (we love when the edges have a burnt crisp), double the wrappers on one pan to two in each. Once the oven is ready, pop your pans in and cook for about eight minutes until the wrappers are just starting to crisp. Step 2
Next, mix up all of your ingredients in a large bowl. Make sure your cream cheese is softened and chicken is shredded before you get to mixing so there is an even blend before you fill the wontons. This is the easiest part of the process and you don't have to worry about what order you're adding the ingredients to the bowl. Step 3
Once the timer goes off or your wonton wrappers are starting to brown, take the pans out of the oven and use a spoon to fill each and every cup to the top. Make sure you stay inside the wrapper or your buffalo chicken will be quite messy! For classic wontons: Using your single wrapper wontons, place the pan into the oven on 350 for about eight minutes. At the eight-minute mark turn your oven on High Broil and broil the wontons on the top rack for about two minutes. Take out and let cool. For fiery wontons: Forget baking. If you like your wontons extra crispy then pop this pan directly under the broiler and let it broil for about ten minutes or until that filling starts to bubble and crisp and your wonton edges are just darkening. We like it when ours are just burnt on the corners (so crispy) but remove earlier if you prefer otherwise. You can purchase Twin Dragon Wrappers at: Walmart, Albertsons, Shaws, Stater Bros, Fred Meyer, QFC, Safeway, Associated Stores, Giant Stores, Shop N Shop, Winco, and Price Chopper! If they are not in your local store, ask them to start carrying them. Find JSL Foods on social: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram Look out for more recipes from our team by subscribing to our newsletter and following us on social @uncorkedcorner. Cheers!
The Easiest Veggie-Based Pasta Recipe
Sometimes you just want a quick and easy recipe to toss on the stove when you're short on time and when you're just feeling lazy. That's what this recipe is for me. Very much like a traditional Italian Aglio e Olio, the main ingredients are olive oil and garlic. We take it up a level by adding a few simple ingredients. Ingredients: 1 container (12 oz. ea.), Supergreens Rotini 6 tbsp, Olive Oil 3 cloves, Fresh Garlic, Minced .5 Lemon, Squeezed 1 tbsp, Crushed Red Pepper .25 cup(s), Parmesan Cheese, Grated 1 Sprig Italian Parsley (Raw) Step 1 First things first, bring a pot of salted water to a boil and follow package instructions. We used Ronzoni SuperGreens because it's one of the veggie-based pastas we find actually cooks and tastes like a classic pasta (except, of course, it's green). The vegetables it's made up of are Spinach, Zucchini, Broccoli, Parsley & Kale. You can make this recipe with any pasta or noodle you have in the cabinet. It tastes great with every form of pasta from spaghetti to rotini and everything in between. Step 2 Once you've added your box of pasta to the pot and returned it to a boil, heat your olive oil in a saute skillet. Once it has warmed, add the minced garlic and cook on medium heat until softened. Garlic cooks quickly so keep an eye on it and turn the heat down to low, if necessary. You want to prevent burning it to maintain the flavor. If you are making the full recipe, we recommend using the biggest one you have so there is enough room to stir. We use the 12" from our Calphalon set. Step 3 Once the pasta is done, set your three tablespoons of water aside. Next, you will strain it and add to the olive oil and garlic. Stir the mix together then add your crushed red pepper, freshly ground black pepper, parmesan cheese, parsley, and the juice of half a lemon. Mix it again, taste, and mangia! you are good to eat. Add more or less of the cheese, spices, and lemon as you see fit. If you prefer less spice and more of a tangy flavor, use a whole lemon and nix the red pepper. Look out for more recipes from our team by subscribing to our newsletter and following us on social @uncorkedcorner. Cheers!
15 Virtual Food & Booze Events to Attend This Winter
With the holidays behind us and the new year at its beginnings, now is the perfect time to learn something new. In the past, we've focused on wine but we decided it was best to expand the opportunities to cover the full food & beverage industry. Our team plans on sharing a round-up of virtual food and booze events to attend each season. Eat, Drink & Learn January 01.18 | Exploring Sauvignon Blanc with Sommelier Shelley Bynum Monday, January 18th ~ 7 PM Love white wine or want to learn more about it? From New Zealand to France and California, Sommelier Shelley Bynum will be sharing the details behind Sauvignon Blanc. There is a recommended bottle list for tasting during the class. 01.21 | Kendall-Jackson Virtual Cooking Class - All About Crab Thursday, January 21st ~ 7 PM Having been born and raised in New England, we love seafood... and KJ wines. In this cooking class, you'll learn the ins and outs of cooking and cleaning a whole crab, something many of us have never done before! 01.26 | Behind the Taproom at Allagash Tuesday, January 26th ~ 4 PM The QC2 lab is popping the top off at Allagash Brewery in Maine. The episode will show you a sneak peek into their quality control program along with a bit of history on how their program got started. Plus, you can jump in with questions of your own. 01.28 | Speaker Series: Privateer's Maggie Campbell Thursday, January 8th ~ 6 PM ($15) Our former podcast guest, Maggie Campbell, from Privateer Rum will be joining Massachusetts-based Rebel Rebel Wine Bar for their Speaker Series event. They will be discussing inclusivity in the alcohol industry, her love of distilling, and more. 01.29 | 'Grande Cuisine to Grand Opera: The History of French Food & Opera' Friday, January 29th ~ 5:30 PM ($10) This one is for our fellow history buffs. Love learning about cuisines? The New York Adventure Club will be exploring classic Parisian food and opera, and how these two great aspects of French culture evolved and impacted the world we know. February 02.03 | Cooking at Home with Molly Stevens: The Art of the Braise Wednesday, February 3rd ~ 6 PM ($25+) It's no secret, we love the team at Milk Street. This event on braising will be led by cookbook author, Molly Stevens. If you've ever been curious about braising and want to get more comfortable with the technique, this event is a great fit for you. 02.06 | The World & Taste of Coffee Saturday, February 6th ~ 10 AM ($15) For $15 (including coffee), you can join our friends at Coffee Hounds Coffee Co. for a morning of history, tasting, and roasting. Plus, you will learn about brewing coffee at home and have an open forum to ask any questions you might have. 02.11 | Valentine's Day Wine Pairing feat. Campo Viejo and SkinnyDipped Thursday, February 11th ~ 6 PM Nothing screams "Hey, Valentine" like a sweet gift. This Valentines Day event with Campo Viejo and SkinnyDipped will include live music, giveaways, and a unique tasting session. If you love sweet & salty and you love wine, this live event is a great fit for you! 02.18 | Art After Dark: Feast Your Eyes Thursday, February 18th ~ 6 PM In this one-of-a-kind experience, the Hood Museum of Art will explore the intersection of art and food. Co-op Culinary Learning Center Educator Lindsay Smith showcases the composition of food-centric art with a following cheeseboard building session. 02.26 | Italian Mixology Class: Bittersweet Symphony Friday, February 26th ~ 4 PM Ready to perfect your negroni? In this class, join a mixologist in Florence to learn how to make a winning negroni and explore the history behind sparkling cocktails like Puccini and the Spritz. Ingredients and tools are listed on the event page. March More events will be posted for March soon! 03.26 | Interesting Inclusions in White Chocolate Friday, March 26th ~ 7 PM ($35) This class is a great opportunity to brush up on your chocolate expertise; it's not often we see white chocolate as the center of attention. You'll get to taste and learn about white chocolate inclusions like Pump Street's Brown Bread and Amedei's Pistacchi. There are so many opportunities that we couldn't possibly fit them all. That being said, we encourage you to look up your favorite winemakers, distributors, and shops to see if they are offering virtual classes or tastings to participate in. We will continue to post updates to this list as new events are announced.
10 of Our Favorite Kitchen Gadgets
In Episode 54 of the podcast, our co-hosts Bianca and Nick talk about a few of their favorite kitchen gadgets. Because they couldn't limit it to just three... each (they get a bit carried away), we've put together a round-up of the top 10. These are all great tools to add to your collection one gadget at a time. Upgrade your kitchen with some of our favorite gadgets Panini Press The product that makes every sandwich better: a panini press. Nick and Alex love using theirs and are ready to convince the masses to get one too. The best part? Some even have a waffle attachment available! Available on Amazon for $60. Meat Grinder A meat grinder is one of Paul's most used products. The (future) Hanson residence always has fresh game. There are stand grinders but the KitchenAid attachment makes grinding smoother and saves space in the cabinet. Available on Amazon for $80. Sous Vide The Starbucks sous vide egg bites are always in our order. But why go there when you can make them at home? Not to mention the sous vide takes meals to the next level and Anova has a handy app so you can find new recipes. Available on Amazon for $129. Knife Sharpener Nick takes his knives very seriously so it's no surprise a knife sharpener is on his list of necessities. From whetstone to electric and everything in between, there are knife sharpeners in a wide range of price-points. Available on Amazon for $15. Vacuum Sealer Vacuum sealers are great for many reasons. From sealing cheeses and meats to fresh produce, this gadget helps keep your food fresh for the long term. It's also a perfect companion for the Anova sous vide. Available on Amazon for $80. Food Processor We questioned whether or not this can be considered a gadget but it's great for so many things. The food processor works for shredding, grating, slicing, pureeing, and more. It's a must-have in every kitchen. Available on Amazon for $230. Bagel Guillotine The only guillotine we want in our kitchen (ha!). This is one of the best kitchen inventions around. Nick and Bianca disagree on the bagel slicing struggle but there's no question the guillotine makes for a perfect slice! Available on Amazon for $19. Coffee Warmer The most underrated gadget of all time: the coffee warmer. At home or in the office, we all have somewhere we want to keep our coffee warm. Keep your mug warm and fresh so you always have a caffeine boost. Available on Amazon for $11. Ratchet Mill Salt and pepper is a staple in just about every dish. The Sur La Table Ratchet Mill makes it possible to adjust the thickness of your grind to suit your preference. And it's not a bad looking gadget to have on the table! Available on Sur La Table for $19.99. Weber iGrill 2 For grill masters and bread bakers alike, the Weber iGrill 2 is a kitchen essential. The multiple probes make monitoring easy and hook up to a phone app so you can keep an eye on what's cooking from afar. Available on Crate & Barrel for $109.95. You can shop more of our Amazon favorites HERE.
3 Saucy Dishes for National Spaghetti Day
National Spaghetti Day is celebrated on January 4th and, though we eat pasta on the regular, we will take any excuse to showcase some of our favorite dishes. Plus, as many of us recognize, you can never have enough pasta. Its versatility is what makes the simple flavor of this classic ingredient special. Whether you purchase it in its traditional, veggie-based, or gluten-free form, there are so many ways to sauce it up. Did you know spaghetti was America's most popular pasta shape? It is! And, believe it or not, there are over 600 shapes of pasta available on the market. Before we share the gallery of our dishes, we wanted to encourage you to read up on the history of pasta. This simple timeline from sharethepasta.org provides a quick overview of how this traditional dish of flour and egg came to be. Now... let's get saucy with some spaghetti spotlights! There is an endless list of ways you can make spaghetti and it's an easy meal to serve a group (yes to pasta parties). Our page has many different pasta dishes but today we are sharing three of the saucy ways we stir up our spaghetti. 1 | Spaghetti with Gotti Meatballs The Palumbo family has traditionally made Spaghetti with Gotti Meatballs on Christmas Day and it is highly desired every year. So we didn't have to wait until next Christmas for our next batch, we poked the chef to share his recipe. We can't share our official recipe (family secret) but we found a similar one from Bobby Flay with the veal, pork, and beef HERE. 2 | Spaghetti alla Carbonara If you like a salty bite of meat with a fresh scoop of parmesan cheese, Spaghetti alla Carbonara is for you. Chop fresh parsley and grate your own parmesan to bring this dish to its full flavor potential. Check out this recipe on Food Network HERE. 3 | Spaghetti alla Puttanesca with Artichoke Hearts Most puttanesca has a tomato heavy sauce. Our lighter version is tossed with chopped grape tomatoes, kalamata olives, artichoke hearts, a light & flavorful white wine, and freshly ground black pepper. Find a similar recipe on Smitten Kitchen HERE. Our co-hosts Bianca and Nick frequently share what they're cooking over on Instagram @uncorkedcorner so be sure to follow for more!
Sparkling Wines to Uncork on New Years Eve
Are you ready for New Years Eve? Whether you're celebrating socially distanced or with family and friends, there is a place for sparkling wine on your table. From champagne to prosecco, there are many varietals to choose from... not to mention the wide range of prices your favorite celebratory bubbles are listed at. In this blog we're sharing a few of the bottles that we recommend in the splurge and steal categories. Stock your barcart for champagne toasts and get ready to fill those flutes high because New Years Eve 2020 is right around the corner! Splurge (Over $50) Dom Perignon, 2010 | $159.97 Moet & Chandon Ice Imperial Champagne | $129.99 Tsarine Cuvee Adriana | $94.99 Bollinger Brut Special Cuvee | $69.97 Veuve Clicquot Brut Rose Champagne | $55.97 Steals (Under $50) De Margerie Grand Cru Brut | $39.99 Olema Sparkling Brut | $24.99 La Vostra Prosecco | $11.99 Marques de Monistrol Brut Cava | $10.99 Mionetto Prosecco Brut | $9.97 We linked all of the above bubbles to Total Wine as they have locations around most major cities. Several of these are also available for 'Pick 6' so you can get a discount when you purchase. For those without a Total Wine nearby, these bottles are available at most liquor stores. Call your local shop for availability and more recommendations! Share your favorite bubbly wines with us on social using #UncorkedCorner
Festive Holiday Cocktails with The Boozy Ginger
The following is brought to you by our guest, Sarah Gualtieri The holiday season calls for festive cocktails from late November until January 1st. Holiday flavors happen to be some of my favorites for cocktails. Warm cocktails, like hot toddy's and boozy hot chocolates, can be comforting to sip on cold winter nights while dessert flavors like peppermint and chocolate hit the spot for seasonal indulgence. These three festive cocktails are all holiday editions of existing recipes. Adding some seasonal flavors to these recipes keeps things simple while also making them festive! To the French 75, a classic sparkling cocktail, I added cranberry juice and cranberries which makes it a perfect cocktail to accompany a holiday dinner. Add some fresh rosemary and cranberry for a little extra festive garnish. Cranberry French 75 ~ 1 oz gin ~ 1/2 oz lemon juice ~ 1/2 oz simple syrup ~ ¾ oz cranberry juice ~ 2-3 ounces champagne or prosecco An espresso martini is a great after-dinner option. If you love a peppermint latte then you will enjoy this holiday twist. Can’t find peppermint flavored vodka? You can easily make a candy cane infusion at home by adding candy canes to a bottle of vodka and allowing them to dissolve. Peppermint Espresso Martini ~ 1 oz Coffee Liqueur ~ 1 oz peppermint vodka ~ 1 oz fresh brewed espresso And finally, a Moscow Mule is a refreshing and simple cocktail. Add cranberry juice and cinnamon syrup to this classic cocktail for an easy holiday drink that anyone can make at home. Spiced Cranberry Moscow Mule 1.5 oz cinnamon infused vodka ½ oz lime juice ½ oz cranberry juice 3 oz ginger beer While many of us are keeping things very small this year, there are still plenty of Zoom happy hours with coworkers, friends and family. Keeping things simple is the best way to go when planning a cocktail menu for Zoom parties. This way, everyone can easily have ingredients ready to create holiday cocktails together. Follow Sarah @the.boozy.ginger for more outstanding cocktails!
The Best Vermont Beer and Cider Destinations
There is a lot to love about visiting Vermont. All year long you can enjoy endless mountain views, beautiful landscapes, and colorful trees. Whether you like to relax on the lake, hit the slopes, or kick back in a cabin, there is something for everyone. Nestled in all of this is one of the best craft beverage scenes in the country. We had the luxury of visiting some of Vermont's brewers on our trip to Vermont and recommend adding these stops to your itinerary on your next trip to the Green Mountain State. Not only do all of these featured locations make the best brews and ciders, but many of them also make great places to visit. Be sure to bring a big cooler with you because you are going to want to bring your trip home with you. Keep reading to hear about some of our favorite places in Vermont and the delicious drinks that they have to offer! Beer Hill Farmstead Brewery - Greensboro Bend, VT We can’t have a list of the best breweries in Vermont without including Hill Farmstead Brewery. If you look up any list of the best breweries in the state, country, or even the world there is a good chance Hill Farmstead cracks the list. This is especially impressive due to its secluded location in Greensboro Bend, VT. On our trip from Portland, Maine to Stowe, Vermont, I made sure to schedule a big detour to pick up some beers here. If you’re lucky, you might even find some of their beer on tap at a local restaurant. The ride up to Hill Farmstead is sure to please with some beautiful farms and quintessential views of the New England countryside. Once you reach the brewery to pick up the beers that you ordered ahead or to try some beers in the taproom the joy can continue. I was able to try a few different beers from Hill Farmstead during and after my trip. I will go so far as to claim that their Mosaic IPA is one of the best beers I have ever tasted. Although it may be a bit off of your route, this is definitely a must-visit brewery. The Alchemist - Stowe, VT The next brewery on our list might be the best known brewery in Vermont. Located right in Stowe, VT, The Alchemist is home to some of the highest rated IPAs you can find. Their two staples are Heady Topper and Focal Banger. We didn’t get a chance to visit the tasting room but you can find this beer at restaurants and liquor stores throughout Vermont. We stocked up our fridge with a few varieties from The Alchemist and none let us down. They hit the nail on the head for every style we tried including the Dark Schwarzbier, the Light Pilsner, and the Farmer’s Daughter Saison. This is another iconic Vermont brewery and another must-visit on your next trip. von Trapp - Stowe, VT The von Trapp Brewery and Bierhall is another unique stop on your Vermont Itinerary. The name may sound familiar from its roots in the classic movie “The Sound of Music”. The von Trapp family moved from their Austrian home and settled in Vermont. This spawned the Trapp Family Lodge, a cross country ski area, and the brewery. Unlike the previous two breweries, von Trapp’s beer can be found outside of Vermont but there is nothing like experiencing the beer straight from the taps and eating the delicious food in their casual bierhall. Make sure you reserve a spot because this is a popular destination for Vermont tourists in the Stowe area. Picking up a variety pack or a flight at the bierhall will give you the chance to try the Golden Helles, Vienna, Bohemian Pilsner, and Dunkel Lager. Idletyme Brewing - Stowe, VT Idletyme Brewing was one of our favorite stops during our Vermont trips. The brewery and restaurant has evolved over the years from a small brewery and pub to a chique restaurant with a wide variety of beer styles to offer. This is another restaurant that is in high demand due to the great food options (don’t miss the giant pretzel) and the ample beer selection. You can sit outside where there is a fire pit, tables galore, and an outdoor bar or head inside for the classy vibes and comfortable seating. They also still have the original pub for rent or overflow which was one of my favorite parts of the restaurant. Brewmaster Will Gilson is always putting out tasty new beers like The Mastermind Imperial Stout aged in Smuggler’s Notch barrels so add Idletyme to your list of breweries to hit during your Stowe trip. Fiddlehead Brewing Company - Shelburne, VT Now heading to the edges of Lake Champlain, Fiddlehead Brewing Company is another great stop if you are in the Burlington area. A small building on Shelburne Road right outside the Vermont Teddy Bear Factory is brewing up some great beer with some great views. Keep an eye out on your drive because you can catch beautiful views of Lake Champlain and the Adirondack mountains in the distance. Grab some Mastermind DIPA and some Folino’s Wood Fired Pizza and enjoy the views. My only regret is that I didn’t grab more beer to go. Foam - Burlington, VT Another craft beer destination along the shores of Lake Champlain is Foam Brewers. Foam is located right on the waterfront of Burlington, VT, only steps away from the water. This is a bustling location with a lot going on so when you want to relax and have a beer after exploring everything there is to do in Burlington, this is your spot. They offer a variety of hoppy beers as well as some stouts and sours. They have a rotating selection of beers and food and the beers are as highly rated as the views across Waterfront Park. Cider Woodchuck Cider - Middlebury, VT The first cidery that we will list here produces more cider than any other company in the country. The Vermont Cider Company is known for their flagship brand Woodchuck Hard Cider but is also the producer of some other great brands including Wyder’s Hard Cider and Magner’s Irish Cider. The state of the art brewery is quite impressive but don’t let the volume fool you, the Vermont Cider Company produces some of our favorite ciders. We love the Magner’s Irish Cider and the Wyder’s Reposado but don’t overlook their core Woodchuck line-up that you can find in stores near you. On your next trip to Vermont, head to Middlebury and visit the cidery and enjoy some of their offerings straight from the source. Listen to our podcast with Woodchuck Cider HERE. Stowe Cider - Stowe, VT Another great spot in Stowe, VT is Stowe Cider. Mark Ray had an idea to produce cider’s that can be enjoyed any time with friends and family. These ciders lean toward the dry side of the scale vs. sweet and are absolutely crushable. Stowe has a few lines of cider to offer that all have a music theme behind them. These are the Headliners, Rotating Tracks, Hit Singles, and Brainwaves. The Headliners which are Stowe’s core line-up include High & Dry, Tips Up, and Safety Meeting. These are all delicious ciders with no unwanted additives. One cider not to overlook is the Safety Meeting cyder that features Citra & Galaxy hops. This one surprised us in the best ways possible when we tried it for the first time. You can definitely taste the hops but the fruity and citrus flavors from the hops add a complexity that turns up the flavor. The Rotating Tracks line-up is also a must-try. It is seasonal ciders when they are actually in season. No marketing gimmicks here, just the freshest of ingredients available used to make some delicious and unique ciders. Listen to our podcast with Stowe Cider HERE. Cold Hollow Cider Mill - Waterbury Center, VT If you are heading from Stowe to the Ben & Jerry’s in Waterbury (you know you’re going to visit) you will pass a few gems along the way. One of these is the Cold Hollow Cider Mill. At this stop, you will find a quaint cider shop and country store that is serving up fresh food, cider, and of course cider donuts. You will also find a variety of local Vermont gifts and foods available for sale here. They offer a variety of ciders from hard cider to freshly made hot apple cider. Their cider donuts are rated some of the best donuts in the country by Gourmet Magazine. Stop by and grab yourself a donut and some cider if you are in the area. Citizen Cider - Burlington, VT Another one of Vermont’s premier cideries is located in Burlington, VT. Citizen Cider is the brainchild of a wine salesman, a chemist, and a farmer. They have been making their high quality ciders since 2012 and have developed a variety or core ciders. They also have their Origin Series and Rose series which include some uncommon takes on cider that are sure to hit the spot. We didn’t have the chance to visit Citizen Cider in person but luckily, their ciders can be found in stores throughout New England.
Our At-Home Cheesy Gordita Crunch Recipe
Everyone’s had a late night craving for fast food and nothing hits the spot like Taco Bell. One of my favorite menu items there is the Cheesy Gordita Crunch. What seems like it should be a gimmick turns out to be one of the most delicious menu items you can order and one of the best ways to get the crunch of a hard-shell taco without having the taco filling run wild on the first bite. And, hey, nobody is complaining about adding more cheese into each taco either. We’re here to share the best way for you to replicate Taco Bell's much-loved Cheesy Gordita Crunch in the comfort of your own kitchen with items you can get at most grocery stores. The recipe below mentions various brands that we used but feel free to substitute with whatever you have on hand. Step 1: Prepare the Spicy Ranch Sauce what you'll need 1/2 Cup Sour Cream 1 tbsp Ranch Dressing 2 tbsp Mayonnaise 2 tbsp Habanero Sauce Mix the Spicy Ranch sauce ingredients together in a small container until fully mixed and refrigerate until ready to use. * Use whatever you prefer for sour cream, ranch, mayo, and hot sauce. We personally used Daisy Sour Cream, Hidden Valley Ranch, Hellmann’s Light Mayo, and Cholula Sweet Habanero sauce. Step 2: Cook the Meat what you'll need 80/20 Ground Beef 1 Packet Taco Seasoning 2/3 Cup Water Start by adding the ground beef to a skillet on medium to high heat (7 or 8 out of 10) and cook the meat until fully browned and no more pink is showing. Add the 2/3 cup of water and the packet/ounce of taco seasoning and mix. Once incorporated, lower the heat to a simmer and let the water dissolve while you prepare the remaining ingredients. Step 3: Prepare the Cheesy Gordita Shells what you'll need 8 Hard Taco Shells 8 6” Soft Flour Tortillas Shredded Cheddar Cheese Start by trimming your soft tortillas to a size slightly larger than the hard taco shell. The best way to do this is to wrap the tortilla around a hard taco shell and trim, leaving about a quarter inch of soft tortilla extra. The tortillas will shrink in the oven slightly and this will give you the best results. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place soft tortillas on a baking sheet. Cover the sheet with foil or parchment paper to prevent tortillas from sticking to the tray. Fully cover each tortilla with shredded cheddar (finely shredded works best for this) and put them in the oven for 4-5 minutes. Place the hard taco shell down on one half of the soft tortilla and press down on the bottom so it sticks to the melting cheese. Using a spatula, flip the tortilla over to the other half of the taco shell sticks to the other side of the tortilla. Try to do this quickly while the cheese is still hot. I found it is best to do small batches of 3-4 shells at a time. Step 4: Filling the shells and finally getting a bite Start with a layer of your seasoned beef. Fill the whole bottom of a taco shell with about 3/4 of an inch of beef. Spread a layer of Spicy Ranch sauce on the beef Sprinkle a layer of shredded cheddar cheese next. For this stage, I used coarsely shredded cheese instead of the finely shredded cheddar that was used between the shells. This is just preference. Lastly, top off the cheesy gordita crunch with shredded lettuce and a taco sauce of your preference. If you can get your hands on it, nothing is better for these than Taco Bell’s own Fire Sauce which you can buy at many grocery stores. Look out for more re-creations on our blog in the future!
10 Virtual Wine Classes & Education Resources
Just finding the right class or source of information can feel like a daunting task. You pop your question into Google and hundreds upon hundreds of options reveal themselves. This goes for all areas of education, including wine. In support of your wine education, we have sifted through to provide you with a condensed list. Paid Classes 1 | Napa Valley Wine Academy I love Napa Valley Wine Academy because they have classes for three tiers: Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced. This means more options for all skill levels which is important when you're starting out! From food pairing to deductive tasting to selecting the right wines, they have a wide array of classes to pick from. 2 | James Suckling MasterClass Learn about wine appreciation with James Suckling, one of the "world's most powerful wine critics" and expert wine tasters. The class takes students on Tuscan vineyard tours where you will learn to explore stories, people, and the importance of all external factors that contribute to a bottle of wine. Plus, we couldn't forget tasting! 3 | WSET Global If you've developed an interest in wine then you've likely heard about the WSET programs. WSET Global education courses are approached in levels and are a great option for anyone looking to work with wine or spirits. Though the courses are longer and at a higher price-point, you may leave with a higher breadth of knowledge and expertise. 4 | Champagne MOOC Does sparkling wine peak your interest? This specialized course with Champagne MOOC teaches you about the creation of champagne, terroir, the history and heritage of champagne, and (our favorite part) tasting. We've heard great things and are looking forward to taking this course on for ourselves in the near future. Upgrades available for a certificate. 5 | Crash Course on Wine Introducing you to one of the most affordable courses on our list at only $9.99! This course with Sommelier, Ryan Vet, is a great option for beginners. The classes cover tasting notes and strategy, an introduction to the wine world(s), and many more topics for wine lovers from glasses to storage. The course has a 4.3 star rating on Udemy. Free Classes 1 | Wine Folly Whether you're just dipping your toes in the wine (yes, we went there) or you'd like some occasional refreshers, Wine Folly has all of the free education you need. This was one of our favorite ways to start learning! The Wine Folly book is also a great option to have on hand as you experience wines at home. 2 | V is for Vino If you have an Amazon Prime membership then you can access the episodes there or, if you don't, you can watch on the V is for Vino website. There are currently two seasons that run through wine regions and explore different varietals. If you want a hands-on approach to the regions and the wines being tasted, they sell episode wines on the website. 3 | Wine For Normal People One of our favorite podcasts for winos is Wine For Normal People. With over 300 episodes, they've likely covered many of your unanswered questions. Each episode has a unique topic that introduces listeners to a variety of wine types, regions, and the experts who are shaking them up. Plus, the hosts are very entertaining and make wine feel approachable. 4 | World of Wine: From Grape to Glass If a certification doesn't matter to you then we recommend jumping into the next round of World to Wine: From Grape to Glass. This course covers your wine basics from the grape growing process to the wine experience. One of the benefits is that it's self-paced and you can always add a certification in if you decide you'd like it. 5 | Wine Scribble If you love an upbeat personality and quick but informative wine videos, the WineScribble YouTube channel and website is great pick. Their videos are full of energy and the content covers everything from food and wine pairings to wine styles and varietal tastings. New episodes are posted every week so you'll always have something new to watch. We're always looking out for new courses so let us know if you've taken any that you would recommend for our readers!
The New England Foodie Gift Guide
There are many incredible brands out there offering gift picks for foodies but today we're highlighting some of our local favorites. Whether you're from New England or not, we know you will love these options. From tasty bites to sips and cutlery, we've aimed to include something for every type of foodie. Plus, there's no better gift than the one that supports small businesses and their craftsmanship. Without further ado... let's get to some holiday shopping! Flynn Rubs At $8 per container a collection from Flynn Rubs would be a perfect foodie stocking stuffer. Our favorite flavors include the Coffee Rub and Land & Sea Seasoning. They even have a Four Pack in a Gift Box that makes gifting easy. Shop the rubs and seasonings HERE. Duxbury Saltworks With gift sets ranging from $42 to $299, Duxbury Saltworks fits into most every gift budget. This 100% natural sea salt is hand-harvested and tastes fabulous in a wide variety of everyday recipes. Excite them with South Shore flavor HERE. Cabot's Candy Everybody loves a little something sweet. Our friends at Cabot Candy have outstanding fudge, taffy, and brittle that we can't get enough of. They even have curated gift packages that make your decision easy. Satisfy their sweet tooth HERE. Stonewall Kitchen From jams and jellies to dressings and mixers, Stonewall Kitchen has essentials we love. The Wild Maine Blueberry Jam is one of our pantry favorites. Plus, they have some of the cutest gift sets we've seen! If this is your jam shop HERE. Boston Harbor Distillery It wouldn't be an Uncorked Corner gift guide if we didn't include some booze. Our friends at Boston Harbor Distillery have a gift set that we think would be perfect: the Spirit of Boston Mixed Trio. Get them in the spirit HERE. Bar Harbor Tea Company Staying cozy this time of year (especially in New England) is necessary and a cup of tea can help you do just that. This team company out of Bar Harbor, Maine has gift boxes and tea blends for everyone. Provide them with winter comfort HERE. Curio Spice Most foodies get excited to play with flavor. Curio Spice out of Cambridge, MA has spices that really spruce up the spice cabinet. They have gift sets and spice blends that will have them scouring for new recipes. Enhance their palate HERE. A&E Stoneworks Cheeseboards are a trend and for good reason. A&E has the Original Slate State Cheeseboard™ that we love for our New England foodies. You can shop all of their gift options by visiting their Etsy page. Have them saying Cheese Please HERE. Coffee Hound A Mini Nitro Coffee Keg for Christmas? Yes, please! Coffee Hound has Maine-based coffee blends, portable pour-overs, coffee gift boxes, and A KEG that would bring energy into your holiday gifts. Get them caffeinated HERE. Lark Fine Foods Just around the corner from us in Ipswich, this Essex-based brand has scratch baked snacks and sweets your foodie will love. From savory biscuits to standout cookies, we're always happy to see Lark on our shelf. Upgrade their flavor HERE. Christie's Are Bloody Marys a part of your weekend regiment? Paul is right there with you. Christie's is an affordable mix deeming themselves 'New England's Best' that we always have a bottle of. Perfect for a Bloody Mary basket. End their weekends right HERE. Browne Trading Company Know a foodie with expensive taste? Browne Trading Company has caviar for a truly high-end gift. Their outstanding selection of Caviar Gift Sets range from $60 to $1,350 so they're accessible for everyone. Gift them with a luxury bite HERE. Kitchen Garden Farm Kitchen Garden Farm has so much goodness to offer including farm grown peppers, salsas, sriracha, and their Giardiniera. This Sunderland, MA farm knows how to pack in the flavor and satisfy the spiciest foodies. Pick them up with some pepper HERE. Northern Lights This farm stand is local to Ipswich, Massachusetts. If you're in MA then we highly recommend stopping by to put together a beautiful gift basket including their very own Northern Lights Honey, our favorite. Learn more about them HERE. Island Creek Oysters For $75 you can set the foodie in your life up with a new skill: shucking. Island Creek The Starter Pack includes 2 dozen oysters, a shucking glove, and a shucking knife. They even have salts and mignonettes available. Set them up for shucking HERE. Castleton Crackers If you follow us on social, there is no doubt you've seen Castleton Crackers on our charcuterie boards. These Vermont made crackers have flavors including Salted Maple and Alehouse Cheddar that we always reach for. Get your fix HERE. Lamson Cutlery Not only does Lamson have a killer Instagram feed, they are made right here in Massachusetts. From classic wood to bold reds, they have colors and styles that would be a great gift for the foodie on your list. Shop for something sharp HERE. The Spicy Shark Turn up the heat with this Portsmouth, NH sauce collection. Go all out with The Feeding Frenzy or hand select the ones that stand out most to you. Paul and I love the Caribbean Reef Shark and Thresher Shark. Set up their sauce collection HERE. Martha's Vineyard Sea Salt Is your foodie a bit more salty than sweet? Martha's Vineyard Sea Salt has salt collections and sea salt spritzers that will have them excited for cocktail shaking and recipe undertaking this year. Set them up for something salty HERE. Runamok Maple Gift your foodie flavor and style with Runamok Maple. The style of these bottles is a gift on it's own. You can shop by creating a Custom Gift Box or by choosing one of their curated syrup collections. Get them their maple HERE. What will you be adding to your 2020 gift list?
10 Food & Beverage Brands to Support on Giving Tuesday
Giving Tuesday was created back in 2012 to encourage people from all around the world to do good by giving back in some way. Volunteering in your local soup kitchen or donating a basket of canned goods to the shelter is a great way to give. But, it's important to take giving into consideration all year round. There are many mission-driven brands who make doing good a part of their foundation. Now you've arrived to the VIP (very important point)... your purchases can and do have an effect on the world we live in. You can eat and drink while doing good by purchasing from this curated selection of food and beverage brands, all of which we love. Each of these companies gives back to their communities in a big way so you can feel good about purchasing, consuming, and spread the word about their missions. Brewtality From bold flavors to kickass packaging, this is coffee we never tire of having in our mugs. Heart & Soul, of course, is a perfect fit for giving. The founders at Brewtality make it their mission to support Save The Music, a program that believes in the power of music for students. Shop the brews HERE. Tune into the podcast with Brewtality on Apple Podcasts. Ehlers Estate This Napa Valley vineyard and winery has a notable portfolio of both red and white wines. Jean and Sylviane established the Leducq Foundation to support research around cardiovascular disease and stroke, bringing great wine and a great cause together for the long haul. Find their wines HERE. Endangered Species Chocolate Do you have a soft spot for animals? Endangered Species Chocolate partners with National Forest Foundation and The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund to support wildlife around the globe. Plus, their chocolate is tasty and is beautifully packaged (hello, holidays!). Shop the spirit HERE. High West Distillery This Park City distillery makes American Prairie, a flavorful whiskey that supports the American Prairie Reserve. 10% of after tax profits from each bottle of American Prairie go towards protecting and preserving natural resources across the United States. Shop the spirit HERE. King Arthur Baking Company With all of the bread baking we've been doing, we had to include King Arthur on this list. Their Bake For Good program supports students from grades four through 12 with essential lessons in math, science, and giving. Traditionally the students would donate the bread to support hunger relief programs. Shop their products HERE. Maine Beer Company In tune with the states motto of "The way life should be" Maine Beer Company cares about sustainability and their environmental footprint. In addition to 1% For The Planet, they support several other charities and non-profit programs that are making change across the state. Shop their hops HERE. Proud Pour The team at Proud Pour was one of our first podcast guests so they have a special spot on this list. Not to mention their charitable contributions that 5x the typical give back company. Their wines and cider plant bee habitats, restore oyster beds, feed sea turtles, and grow and plant coral. Shop the wines HERE. Tune into the podcast with Proud Pour on Apple Podcasts. Purple Heart Wines Our grandfather, Thomas Luciano, has a Purple Heart from his time in the US Army so this red wine means something to us (he's one of the bravest men we know!). Purple Heart Wines donates to the Purple Heart Foundation supporting military men, women and families every year. Shop their wine HERE. Vermont Creamery Companies give back in many ways and Vermont Creamery is one of them. This New England company has fantastic cheese and shares an annual mission report highlighting their charitable efforts. From paid volunteer time to product and monetary donations, they make giving a part of their overall strategy. Explore their cheeses HERE. Victory Coffees The Founder of this veteran owned and operated company, Cade, knows how important our soldiers are because he was one. To continue giving back, Cade donates coffee to veterans homes and hospitals and participates in events supporting vets throughout the year. Shop the brews HERE. Tune into the podcast with Victory Coffees on Apple Podcasts. We look forward to another year of giving with charitable brands!