Easy Zucchini Egg Scramble

One of my favourite easy and healthy breakfasts is any veggie, a little onion, scrambled eggs and hot sauce. My favourite veggie to throw into this combo is zucchini. It’s a crunchy-in-parts, soft-in-others texture, and tastes incredible mixed with eggs and topped with hot sauce. (PS have you seen Beyoncé’s new music video?? #igothotsauceinmybagswag – instant classic)

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I made a little video on Snapchat (@sophiecaldwellc) so I thought I would share it here so you can make it too. It’s dead easy and almost embarrassing to write a recipe for, but I swear it’s delicious and can totally change your breakfast game! I spend 25% of my time when I’m home making cooking videos on Snapchat, so if you don’t want to see that do not follow me! Ha!

Easy Zucchini Scramble
Serves 1 because Peter had chocolate chip muffins (life is unfair). You can easily scale up for a big group.

1 tbsp olive oil
1 small zucchini, sliced thinly
1/6 white onion, sliced thinly
pinch of salt and pepper
2 eggs
Cholula hot sauce to taste (my favourite hot sauce for eggs and fish tacos)
Maldon sea salt to taste (the best salt in the entire world and will change your life trust me)

1) Heat pan over medium heat with olive oil.
2) When hot, add veggies.
3) Add pinch of salt and pepper. Cook veggies until soft.
4) Add eggs directly in pan, scrambling as they heat up.
5) As soon as they’re scrambled, turn the pan off.
6) Top with hot sauce and Maldon.

Happy Super Bowl Sunday!

My Favourite Kale Salad

I’ve been on a healthy eating kick leading up to the holidays. It may have something to do with the fact that I will be wearing a bikini in two weeks in Maui….but that’s besides the point. It’s a crazy time of the year so I like to take advantage of being healthy as much as possible. Luckily, I love vegetables so I have lots of yummy recipes up my sleeve. It may not taste like pasta but it will make you feel a lot better than pasta will! [Who am I kidding…nothing is better than pasta]

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Kale and Brussels Sprouts Salad
Serves 4-6 as a side (2-3 as a main)

2 bunches of kale
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
15 brussels sprouts, thinly sliced
half a shallot, diced
half a lemon, juiced
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1/3 cup olive oil
salt
pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup chopped almond or hazelnuts
1/3 cup shavings of asiago

  1. Slide kale thinly and toss into a big bowl with 1 tbsp olive and 1 tsp salt and massage until soft.
  2. Add brussels sprouts.
  3. Mix shallot, lemon, mustard, salt and pepper, and 1/3 cup olive oil in a bowl. Set aside.
  4. Add 1 tbsp olive oil to pan and when hot, add chopped nuts (cook for 2 minutes) and set aside on a paper towel.
  5. Add dressing to brussels sprouts and kale.
  6. Top with almonds and asiago (or any hard cheese you like).

Enjoy with a glass of red wine. The wine pictured above is a Côtes Du Rhône, which is one of my favourite red wines. It pairs with lots of different types of food, and is really a crowd pleaser. It’s my go-to red when I am ordering or feeding a group of people. At $20, this one is a steal (and it’s SO good).

Enjoy the holiday rush! xo

Photo from my instagram

Perfect Pairings

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I’ve always been fascinated with food and wine pairing. Growing up, my dad taught me the basics of wine pairing: lighter food with lighter wine, a little bit sweet with a little bit spicy and how to put wines together that truly complement each other. There are literally infinite ways to pair food and wine. At the end of the day, all that matters is your tastes, but it’s important to know a few basic ground rules so you can impress your guests.

Last weekend I attended Perfect Pairings at Cornucopia, hosted by WineDiva Daenna Van Mulligen and Rachelle Goudreau of Provence Marinaside. Both women are trained sommeliers who have loads of experience and seriously on-point palates. I learned so much from this seminar and can’t wait to attend more like it next year. Here are the top five things I took away from Perfect Pairings.

1) Portugese wine is delicious! I rarely head to the Portugal section at the liquor store, but the Adriano Ramos Pinto Reserva Duas Quintas Red Blend has me changing my tune. This red paired fabulously with Chorizo sausage. It had licorice understones and the tannins cut directly through the fat in the sausage.

What you need to know: Portugese red + spicy grilled sausage.

2) Rosé really does go with everything! As Daenna mentioned during her lecture, rosé is a great middle ground between the lightness of white and the complexity of red. Throw in the Gamay Noir grape and you have a wine that can pair with pork to popcorn. My favourites are here.

What you need to know: when in doubt, rosé all the way!

3) Pinot Noir can stand up to fatty foods. When I think of Pinot Noir, I think of light foods or even sipping on it’s own. However, little did I know I was missing the deliciousness that came with pairing Pinot with a super flavourful food. It was paired with a duck confit and the pairing got better with every sip.

What you need to know: light wine + heavy food can be amazing.

4) I used to think that every bottle with the word “Fumé” on it would be full of oak and smokiness. Boy, was I wrong (and embarassed). The first wine we tried at the tasting was the Joseph Mellot Le Troncsec Pouilly-Fumé from the Loire Valley. It was herbaceous, full of flavour and paired fantastically with a goat cheese crostini.

What you need to know: don’t judge a wine by the words on the label – try it!

5) I’m not a huge seafood person. I like it, I try it, but it definitely isn’t my preference. However, when paired with the right wine it can be quite lovely! We had a typical provençal seafood salad paired with the Monte del Fra Ca Del Magro (an Italian white) and all I could think while trying the pairing was “take me to Positano.”

What you need to know: wine really can change the taste of food – and vice versa.

That’s all for my recap of Corncuopia 2014! I highly recommend checking it out next year if you haven’t in the past. I’ll see you there!

*photo by Christine Williams Photography for Framework Magazine (post here)

Cornucopia: Sonora Resort

I, for one, have never been Sonora Resort. But after this seminar at Cornucopia, I’m wondering WHY! Sonora is a luxury eco-lodge (Relais Chateaux to be exact) only accessible by helicopter (not bad). It’s 50 minutes from Vancouver but when you get there, you’re given absolute world-class treatment, especially when it comes to food (mostly foraged from around the resort) and wine.

For this seminar, Chef Terry Pincher made us three courses and they were paired with a new favourite wine label of mine: Painted Rock.

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The first course was a Wild Mushroom Soup made with foraged mushrooms as well as broth which was enhanced with the seaweed above called dried lasagna kelp. This is a very special ingredient and added so much flavour to the broth. The soup was paired with the Painted Rock Merlot.

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The second course was a stunning “Scallop + Potatoes” served with the Painted Rock Rosé. This dish was potatoes done three ways, layered with a delicious, fresh scallop that was seasoned and cooked to perfection. The rosé was a result of othergrowth, but turned out to be a welcomed surprise.

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The pièce de résistance was the final course, pork cheecks with sunchoke pure and confit apples. Served with the Painted Rock Red Icon (another favourite), this delicious meal made me want to run to the nearest butcher and cook up some pork cheeks!

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A beautiful way to end a beautiful meal.

Cornucopia: Top Wines from CELLAR DOOR

Cornucopia was as fun as always this year! We were lucky enough to attend one of this year’s new events, Cellar Door. If you have been to Cornucopia before, chances are that you have been to Crush (the main gala on Saturday night). We always attend Crush and it’s always lots of fun. However, I really liked the change of pace that Cellar Door provided. All of the wines were “premium” (ie: over $35), there were less people, more time with the winemakers, and lots of delicious food. We had a blast and I will definitely be back next year!

Throughout the weekend, I rated wines on my new favourite wine app, Delectable. This is not a sponsored post – I truly loved the experience that Delectable provided. I’ve struggled with keeping track of my favourite wines (yes, first world problems), but Delectable makes it easy to store tasting notes as well as the label of the wine you are drinking for those moments when you’re at the liquor store and can’t for the life of you remember which wine you had a few weeks ago. I highly recommend it!

The wines below were my favourite from the night, and I will definitely be picking some up during the holiday season for gifts and special occasions.

Painted Rock Merlot 2012

I loved all of the wines by Painted Rock. This was an absolutely fantastic Merlot with smooth tannins. The flavours include blackberry and spice and I think this would be perfect paired with grilled mushrooms or something equally as earthy.

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Black Hills Estate Winery Syrah 2012

I’ve had Black Hills’ Nota Bene in the past on special occasions and I’m always really impressed by their wines. This Syrah was no exception. In my mind, it was the best wine of the night. This would be great with barbecue.

2012 Syrah 640

Moon Curser Petit Verdot 2012

Moon Curser was a surprising find for me. The wine rep described it as “if you bottled up all of the vampires from Twilight.” It’s certainly dark, very pleasant to drink, and has liquorice undertones.

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Hillside Winery Mosaic 2009

Never having been to Hillside Winery, this wine makes me yearn to get there ASAP. This wine had slight tannic undertones and is a fantastic bordeaux blend. Grilled lamb would be a fantastic pairing that would hold up very well.

No Unauthorized Reproduction @Jason Dziver

Road 13 Syrah Malbec

This was one of Cornucopia’s Top 25 wines, and there’s a reason for that. This wine has a full mouth feel, is ripe (meaning you can age it), and is leathery on the palette. I would pair this with a roast feast at Christmas dinner.

2012 Syrah Malbec

It’s always nice to try something new, so why not pick up one of these beauties this weekend?

#WineWednesday – Fall Harvest Sunday Night Dinner Edition

As you all know, one of the main focuses of my blog is finding great-priced, attainable, delicious wines. When roaming the liquor store, I tend to stick to a $20 price point (this may seem outrageous for my American readers, but I assure you this is reasonable here). While there are places to splurge: a special occasion, champagne, port, table wine needs to be accessible and affordable. Luckily, there are a lot of affordable wines out there so I’m happy to share them with you all!

I really like doing wine pairings with my meals. It may seem fussy (not what I’m about) but I assure you with a few tips and tricks, you’ll get the hang of it in no time. I wanted to serve a white with the butternut squash soup and harvest salad, a red with the chicken and a port for dessert. I often tend to stick to this variation: start with the lightest wine, move to a heavier option for dinner, and finish with the heaviest (and sweetest) in small quantities. Sometimes, I throw all of the rules out the window, but for the most part I like to progressively get heavier with the wine pairings. By the end of my dinner parties, after a nimble of port, you’ll be ready to snooze (or dance).

Read below for my pairings for the Butternut Squash Soup & Harvest Salad, the Chicken Marbella, and the Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes.

Bringing in the bottlesSip October-47 Sip October-46moschofilero boutari + harvest saladFirst wine of the night: Moschofilero Boutari

Moschofilero Boutari 2012 with Butternut Squash Soup and Harvest Salad

At $15.99 (this wine is on special until Nov 1), this Greek white really surprised and delighted me. Greek wine has a reputation for being very light – which is perfect with Greek food, but doesn’t lend itself to heavier flavours. The Moschofilero, on the other hand, is bursting with aromatic flavours and floral scents and stood up perfectly with the soup and salad.

With the Butternut Squash Soup, the wine tasted crisp, had hints of apple flavours, and cut through the creaminess of the dish. It was a perfect start to the meal, especially with the contrast of warm soup and refreshing wine. The wine brought out the sweetness of the soup while still injecting a hit of acidity. A great way to end the summer and start the fall.

With the Harvest Salad, the crispness of the wine matched the salad perfectly. It was a foil for the gouda honey thyme cheese as, again, it’s zesty profile cut through the creamy cheese and brought out the stronger herbaceous flavour.

This is the type of wine you can drink by itself or with light dishes.

red to go with the chickensecond wine: cotes du rhone brunel de la gardine

2012 Brunel de la Gardine Côtes du Rhone with Chicken Marbella

It is rare to leave the liquor store with a great French wine that is under $20. At $17.99, this wine’s value is unparalleled. Upon first taste there are hints of blackcurrant and light tannins on the end. Throughout the meal, the wine completely opens up and shows more of its complexity. For this reason, I would reccomend pouring it into a decanter even just for a few moments to allow some oxygen through the wine. It has a good balance and the after taste is reminiscent of green pepper and blackberry.

It’s light, which allowed the strong chicken flavours to stand out, and fruit forward, which complemented the sweet undertones of the dish. The slight chocolate flavours allow the richness of the chicken filled with capers, bay leaves and olives to come to the surface. This is one of those reds that most people will gravitate towards, and is a safe bet for those who are new to red or new to wine pairing. It can be aged in your cellar (or wine rack) due to its Mourvèdre grape, allowing the smokey undertones to develop more and more.

cap off the night with some port: dow's ten year old tawny portport + pumpkin spice cupcakes

Dow’s Ten Year Old Tawny Port and Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

When planning the Harvest Dinner, I wanted to keep it pretty simple. This, for me, meant buying dessert. While this may have been eschewed decades ago, in this day and age, sometimes you simply don’t have time to do it all. Enter Sweet Bake Shop, my go-to bakery in Yaletown for desserts and birthday cakes alike. Luckily, they had added some fall items to their menu, namely this Pumpkin Spice Cupcake which was perfect for finishing off the meal with. And, what is more perfect then some port at the end of a long dinner party?

At first sniff, the port is jammy and reminiscent of brown sugar and raspberries. As Port is much higher in alcohol, you can smell this ruminating off of the glass, but it is cut with the sweet undertones.

With the Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes, the intense dried fruit flavour allows you to sip slowly and enjoy. Surprisingly, the port cuts the sweetness of the cupcakes, allowing the spiced flavours to stand out and linger.

See – easy peasy! For your first wine pairing meal, trying pairing one or two wines and work your way up to it! It’s a fun process so enjoy!

Photos: Christie Graham Photography

Flowers: The Flower Factory

Wine: The Bacchus Group

Styling: Sophie Collins of Sip Savour Share