Mexican Black Bean Burgers
( adapted from Homemade Bean Burgers at Kath Eats Real Food

  • 1 1/3 c. cooked black beans
  • 1/4 c. whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • Pinch dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 c. diced red onion
  • 1/4 c. diced, seeded roma tomato
  • 1/4 c. cooked corn kernels
  • 1/4 c. finely diced fresh cilantro
  • 1 medium avocado
  • 4 whole wheat buns

Directions: Mash the first six ingredients together. Mixture will be slightly dry, so add water as needed until the mixture becomes moistened. Add the onion, tomato, corn and cilantro; mix well. Meanwhile, divide the bean mixture into fourths and form four patties by hand. Heat a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Spray the saucepan with cooking spray, and cook the patties on each side for 3 to 5 minutes. Resist the urge to flip them or check on them too soon; just let them sit there and cook. Once the burgers are done, slice the avocado into strips and split between the four burgers. Smoosh on a bun, top with condiments of your choice and enjoy! Makes 4 burgers.

Star Recommends: Catena Chardonnay
Full yellow-gold. Rather exotic aromas of apricot, orange, honey and smoky oak. Then sweet but firm, with very intense flavors of apricot, peach, kiwi and minerals. Catena described these flavors as “acidic tropical fruits.” Catena’s Chardonnays are consistently among the elite of Argentina.

Fennel Kohlrabi Slaw
(adapted from Harmony Valley Farm)

  • 2 fennel bulbs
  • 3 kohlrabis (purple is prettiest!)
  • 1/4 c. rice vinegar
  • 1/4 c. red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbs. lemon juice
  • 1 Tbs. honey
  • 1/2 c. olive oil

Directions: Matchstick the fennel bulbs and kohlrabis. In a small bowl, mix the 2 kinds of vinegar and the lemon juice. Next add the honey (if you need to melt it a little beforehand to get it to dissolve faster, that’s cool). Then, whisk in the olive oil. Add that to the matchsticks and you have a delicious slaw!

Star Recommends: Ecologica Syrah/Malbec Organic
Aroma has a nice roundness to it. The cherries, blueberries, and strawberries smell just a touch overripe in a good way. There was a nice juiciness to them. The tannins are medium-heavy and very nice. The structure is delicate like a spider web in the way it is laced together and airy. An excellent example of how well Malbec and Syrah complement each other.

Berry Oatmeal Scones

  • 1 c. all-purpose white flour
  • 1 c. whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 c. oatmeal
  • 1/4 c. evaporated cane juice crystals or turbinado sugar
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 8 Tbs. chilled butter
  • 1 c. dried berry mix (cranberries, blueberries, cherries & raisins)
  • 3/4 c. nonfat milk or soymilk (you could also use almond or rice milk too)

Directions: Preheat the oven to 375ºF. In a medium bowl, combine all the dry ingredients. Then, cut the chilled butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture is crumbly. Add the dried berries and milk, mixing until the dough forms a ball. On a lightly floured surface, pat the dough into a circle about 1 1/2” thick. Cut the dough into 8 wedges. If desired, sprinkle the tops of the scones with extra cane juice crystals or sugar. Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes, or until lightly brown. Enjoy!

Star Recommends: AeppelTreow “Perry” Pear Cider
AeppelTreow Perry is a Sparkling Pear wine, hand processed in the traditional Champagne method. Perry is fermented from a select blend of dessert pears. AppelTreow Winery is located in Southeast Wisconsin. Family-owned and -operated since 2001.

Irish Brown Bread

  • 3 1/2 c. whole wheat flour, preferably stone ground (the coarser, the better)
  • 2 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  •  4 Tbs. cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1/2 c. finely ground old fashioned oats
  • 1 1/3 c. whole milk
  • 1/3 c. apple-cider vinegar

Directions: Preheat oven to 350ºF and line a baking pan with parchment paper. For Homemade Buttermilk: Mix milk and vinegar in a small bowl, and let stand until thickened, about 5-10 minutes.Whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a large bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry cutter or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in ground oatmeal. Pour milk mixture into flour mixture; stir until dough just holds together but is still sticky. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead gently about 4-5 times. Pat, press and shape dough gently into a round, dome-shaped loaf, about 6-7 inches in diameter. Transfer to prepared baking pan.Lightly dust top of loaf with flour. With a sharp knife, cut an X into the top, 3/4 inch deep. Bake, rotating halfway through, until loaf is golden brown and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Allow to cool on wire rack. Yields 1 loaf.

Star Recommends: AppelTreow Appely Doux Cider
Appely Doux is semi-sweet, fruity and floral. It is inspired by French Country Ciders, and crafted from a blend of modern and heirloom apple varieties.

Fried Green Tomatoes

  • 4 large green tomatoes
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 1 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 c. cornmeal
  • 1/2 c. bread crumbs
  • 2 tsp. coarse kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 quart vegetable oil for frying

Directions: Slice tomatoes 1/2 inch thick. Discard the ends. Whisk eggs and milk together in a medium-size bowl. Scoop flour onto a plate. Mix cornmeal, bread crumbs and salt and pepper on another plate. Dip tomatoes into flour to coat. Then dip the tomatoes into milk and egg mixture. Dredge in breadcrumbs to completely coat. In a large skillet, pour vegetable oil (enough so that there is 1/2 inch of oil in the pan) and heat over a medium heat. Place tomatoes into the frying pan in batches of 4 or 5, depending on the size of your skillet. Do not crowd the tomatoes, they should not touch each other. When the tomatoes are browned, flip and fry them on the other side. Drain on paper towels.

Star Recommends: Casa LaPostolle Merlot
Casa Lapostolle Merlot has “typical Merlot” aromas: ripe blackberry, plum, black pepper, earth and a twinge of roasted green bell pepper. The nose also exhibits elements of boysenberry, mulberry and spice. The first thing you recognize on the palate is a very smooth texture, carrying ripe, forward fruit and spicy vanilla notes.