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Friday, February 14, 2014

Costco wine blog
Costco fans know that it's a good place to shop for food, office supplies, electronics, etc. etc. but it's also a very good place to fine some great wine treasures at great prices.

Our daughter who lives in Germany mentioned a new inexpensive wine she and our son-in-law recently discovered, and in my search for it I stumbled on this Costco wine blog which I've added to my blog list. I noted some of the recommendations and will see if our local Costco has them. He mentioned a Vila Antonori which we discovered years ago in a restaurant in Tusacany and we were happy to see it at Costco in recent years.

My plan for dinner is my Mexican inspired chicken, onion, tomato, serrano chili saute with margaritas. I don't use a recipe for this, just saute some one or two sliced onion in a bit of olive oil, then add a few sliced serrano chiles and  2 large cloves of garlic chopped. Saute about a minute to release the aroma of the garlic, but don't allow any browning. Then add 3 of the  4-5 or more chopped tomatoes I use, depending on how many I'm cooking for. I cook  on low/medium about 5-10 minutes or till the tomatoes start breaking down.  Then I add about a pound of boneless chicken breasts cut into about 1" pieces (I allow about 1/2 lb of the boneless chick per person), salt, pepper and some oregano. When I add the chicken, I also add the one or two reserved diced tomatoes. Saute till chicken is done which only take another couple of minutes. You can taste for heat before you add the chicken and if not hot enough you can add a bit more of the serrano chiles. This is a delicious dish, but you'll have to make it according to your own taste level with the seasonings and the heat. If I have to err, I err on the side of adding more tomatoes because they just add to the lovely, spicy sauce.

I serve this with re-fried beans topped with melted cheese, and of course margaritas. If I have company, I also serve corn tortillas with it, otherwise we skip the extra calories.

I've already started some of my seedlings and the broccoli, escarole and cauliflower and cabbage (I think) are up. The peas have sprouted on damp hand towel paper so I need to get out and plant them today. It's been raining on and off for days now, so it's going to be tricky to find an opportunity to get those planted in my raised beds. This was a small test batch, so I might just put them in a couple of seedling pots if the weather doesn't cooperate.

I ordered a new Earth Box planter for this season. They work really well and are help extend my vegetable gardening since our back yard is mainly containers and a couple of 4X8 foot, 2 foot deep raised beds I had constructed last year. The first year I had two eggplants in one and last year did  hot pepper plants. Everything did great. I think this year I'll plant bell and frying peppers in one and maybe  Eggplant and serrano chiles in the other.

My summer square foot gardening plan is done and now I just have to wait for some good weather to get out there and prep my beds. I checked them out several days ago and garlic is up, chives are coming up and even potted tulips nearby are up several inches. I'm going to have to do a major cleanup of all my potted plants. With the unusual, below zero temperatures we had over a month ago, I suspect we lost a lot of our perennials. I'll be better able to assess it all in another month.

With all the cancer causing GMO foods on the market we are eating mainly organic and I'm trying to grow as much of our spring, summer and fall veggies at home. Our son and daughter in law have a 9 large raised beds and some in ground garden space at their ranch and I will be able to do some planting there. I'll probably plant most of my potatoes, squash, fava beans, late heirloom beefsteak tomatoes, and whatever extra seedlings of everything else there.

Their ranch is right on the Rogue River, so I never mind driving over there, letting our dog Bodhi visit his furry cousins and get a good run; and if I want I can always cast a few after some garden time. It's a great fishing spot and beautiful on the eyes as well.

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