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Recipe and Drink Recommendations

Sticky Orange Cake with Marmalade Glaze
Adapted from
This is an easy teacake to whip up, and turns out fragrant with citrus and sticky with marmalade.

  • 3 c. all-purpose flour

  • 1 1/2 c. sugar

  • 1/2  c. dark brown sugar, lightly packed

  • 2 tsp. baking soda

  • 1 tsp. salt

  • 1 navel orange, zested

  • 2 c. freshly squeezed navel orange juice

  • 2/3 c. vegetable oil

  • 2 Tbs. apple cider vinegar

  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

  • 1/4 c. orange marmalade

  • 1 Tbs. rum (or water)

Directions: Preheat oven to 350˚F. Lightly grease 2 9-inch round cake pans. Line the bottoms with rounds of parchment paper, and lightly grease the paper. Set aside.
Place the flour, sugar and brown sugar, baking soda, salt, and orange zest in a large mixing bowl. Whisk until thoroughly combined.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the orange juice, vegetable oil, apple cider vinegar, and vanilla extract. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk to combine.
Divide the batter between the 2 prepared cake pans, and bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (some crumbs are ok). Allow to cool in the pans for 20 minutes, then run a paring knife around the inside of each pan to release the cakes, and turn onto cooling racks.

Make the glaze by combining the marmalade and rum or water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Warm, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, until hot and bubbly. Remove from heat, and use a slotted spoon to lift out solid bits of marmalade, and place them in a small bowl.

Glaze the cakes while they’re still warm, but not hot, and the glaze is still hot. Transfer one of the cake rounds to a cake plate. Pierce the top in several places with a toothpick. Pour half the glaze over the cake. Place the second layer over the first, and repeat the process. Spoon the reserved marmalade bits on top of the cake. Allow to cool completely, then serve. Makes a 2-layer 9-inch round cake.

Star Recommends: Grand Jauga Sauternes—Extremely fine, dried apricots, figs, tangerines, honey, notes of wood barely noticeable. An olfactory symphony that prepares royal mouth. The balance between sweetness and freshness is perfect. A vortex of evanescent fruity flavors, honey, light vanilla tones and a faint bitter note harmoniously completes the whole.

Poppy Seed Pancakes with Navel Orange Syrup
Adapted from
Using whole wheat pastry flour instead of all-purpose would work here, and would bump up the nuttiness from the poppy seeds and toasted sunflower seeds.

  • 2 navel oranges, peeled, segments torn into small pieces

  • 1 lemon, peeled, segments torn into small pieces

  • 1/3 c. agave nectar

  • 2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour    

  • 1 tsp. baking powder

  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda

  • 1/2  tsp. salt

  • 1/3 c. poppy seeds

  • 1/2  c. sunflower seeds, toasted until deeply golden

  • 2 1/4 c. buttermilk

  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten

  • 2 Tbs. butter, melted, plus more (un-melted) to serve and for pan

Directions: Combine the orange segments, lemon segments, and agave nectar in a medium saucepan. Heat, stirring, over medium-low heat, and bring to a gentle simmer. Simmer5-6 minutes, then remove from heat and set aside. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, poppy seeds, and sunflower seeds. Add in the buttermilk, eggs, and melted butter, and stir until just combined – lumps are okay.

Heat a skillet or griddle over medium-high heat and brush with a little butter. To test the heat of the pan, add a drop of water. If it sizzles and jumps the pan is ready. Add batter in 1/3-cup measurements for each pancake. Cook until the bottom of each pancake is deep golden, then flip with a spatula and cook the other side. Repeat with remaining batter, andserve with more butter and citrus syrup. Makes 12 large pancakes.

Star Recommends: Schramsberg Cremant—Schramsberg Crémant Demi-sec is a delicate, off-dry dessert-style wine: an American original. Crémant is French for “creamy” and traditionally refers to a sparkling wine with softer effervescence.

Perfectly Light Asparagus
Adapted from
Good springtime asparagus doesn’t need a lot of preparation to become a stellar part of a meal.

  • 2 lemons

  • 1 bunch asparagus, bottom 1/2-inch trimmed

  • 2 Tbs. grated Parmesan

  • 1 Tbs. olive oil

  • salt & pepper

Directions: Bring a 1/4-inch of water to a simmer in a wide sauté pan.  Add the juice of one lemon. Arrange the asparagus in the pan, and cook for 5 minutes, or until bright green. Use tongs to transfer the asparagus to a serving dish. Squeeze the remaining lemon over the asparagus, and top with Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper, and serve. 2 generous servings.

Star Recommends: a Sauvignon Blanc:—This hand-harvested, un-oaked, 100% Sauvignon Blanc is produced from a blend of three Casablanca Valley vineyards: El Ensueño, Belén, and El Principal. The sandy, clay soils and cool, coastal climate contribute to a bright, fresh character in the wine. Citrus notes of lemon, lime, and grapefruit, combined with a mineral undertone lead to a crisp, elegant, and well-balanced finish.

Chicken Stuffed with Goat Cheese and Spinach
Adapted from
This might turn into your new favorite dinner: really easy to put together, but full of flavor and healthy to boot.

  • 1 lb. spinach, trimmed and washed, but not dried, roughly chopped

  • 2 tsp. olive oil, plus 1 Tbs.

  • 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut in half

  • 8 oz. herbed goat cheese

  • 3 green onions, trimmed, white and light green parts sliced

  • 1 tsp. dried basil

  • 1/2 tsp. salt

  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper

Directions: Preheat oven to 375˚F. Grease a casserole dish and set aside.

Place the spinach in a large pot and cover tightly. Cook over high heat for about 2 minutes, until the spinach begins to wilt. Using tongs, squeeze out any water. Toss with 2 teaspoons of the olive oil, then transfer to a large bowl and allow to cool.

When the spinach has cooled, add the goat cheese, green onions, remaining tablespoon of olive oil, basil, salt, and pepper, and mix to combine. Taste and add more salt and pepper as needed. Set aside.

Use a sharp knife to cut a pocket in the middle layer of the chicken breasts, making sure not to cut through the outer layers. Stuff each chicken breast with the spinach and cheese mixture, then place in the prepared casserole dish. Spread the remaining spinach and goat cheese mixture over the chicken breasts. Cover and cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of at least 170˚F. Serves 4.

Star Recommends: Alain Jaume & Fils Les Gelonettes Ventoux—The color is intense, purple-tinged garnet. The aromatic range of thenose goes from fresh berries to black fruit (blackcurrant, blackberry). The palate is full-flavored, with very soft tannins and aromas of the fruit already mentioned. This is a gorgeous style of wine, fruity driven, for every day drinking…anytime!

Shirred Eggs with Sausage and Spinach
Adapted from
This baked egg dish is made by layering the ingredients in muffin tins, making them simple to serve and a pleasure to eat.

  • 1 bunch spinach, trimmed and washed, but not dried, roughlychopped

  • 5 Tbs. butter or ghee, divided

  • 1 onion, diced

  • 2 bratwurst or kielbasa sausages, cooked and diced

  • 1 small red pepper, diced

  • 1/2 tsp. salt, plus more to taste

  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper, plus more to taste

  • 12 slices cured pork (ham or prosciutto)

  • 12 eggs

Directions: Place the spinach in a large pot and cover tightly. Cook over high heat for about 2 minutes, until the spinach wilts. Use tongs to thoroughly squeeze out any liquid, then set aside. Heat 1 tablespoon of butter or ghee in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and sausage, and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions are softened. Stir in the red pepper and sauté for 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and set aside. Preheat oven to 425˚F. Melt the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter or ghee and use it to grease a 12-cup muffin pan. Press a slice of ham into each muffin cup, making a little bowl.  Divide the spinach among the 12 muffin cups, then add some of the onion, pepper, and sausage mixture to each. Crack one egg into each muffin cup. Bake 15-20 minutes, until the eggs are cooked to your liking. Allow to cool for 1-2 minutes, then enjoy. Serves 6.

Star Recommends: Zorzal Pinot Noir—This hand harvested, single vineyard from Gualtallary is 100% Pinot Noir and is completely un-oaked to let the fruit driven quality of the wine shine. Bright red fruits, predominantly raspberry, jump out of the glass with gamey notes, cola, dried leaves, and forest floor. The mouthfeel is rich, soft, and supple with light tannin and medium acidity. The chalky soil comes through in the long finish, great with or without food.

Lamb and Saffron Rice with Spring Vegetables
Adapted from
This one-pot meal is light and can be served hot or cold, great for spring. The rice is soft and subtly flavored with saffron.

  • 2 c. white basmati rice

  • 2 small pinches saffron threads

  • 2 Tbs. hot water

  • 2 lamb sausages, casings removed

  • 1 small white onion, minced

  • pinch of sea salt

  • 3 1/2 c. chicken stock

  • 1 c. sugar snap peas, trimmed,

  • 1 bunch thin-speared asparagus, ends trimmed

  • 1 c. pea shoots

  • 2/3 c. almonds, toasted and chopped

Directions: Rinse and drain the rice in cold water several times, until the water runs clear. Drain and set aside. Grind all but one of the saffron threads in a mortar and pestle. Add the hot water and the last thread of saffron, and let infuse for 20 minutes. Heat a Dutch oven or other large pot over a medium flame. Add the lamb sausage and use the back of a wooden spoon to break it up. Sauté until cooked through. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to a bowl and set aside. Add the minced onion and a pinch of salt to the Dutch oven and sauté until translucent. Stir in the drained basmati rice, then pour in the chicken stock. Raise the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium-low and cover tightly. Cook, undisturbed, until the liquid is absorbed, 17-20 minutes. Let sit with the lid on for 5 minutes. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the sugar snap peas and asparagus, and cook for 2-3 minutes, until bright green but still crisp. Transfer to an ice bath. When cool enough to handle, remove from ice bath and chop into bite-sized pieces. Pour the saffron water into the pot of rice. Add the lamb, sugar snap peas, and asparagus, and fold to incorporate. Check the seasoning, and add more salt if needed. Serve hot, topped with pea shoots and chopped almonds. Serves 6.

Star Recommends: Marzianno Abbona Dolcetto di Dogliani:—Rich and focused on blackcurrant and black cherry flavors, this red is both supple and solid, with the texture and structure fitting together like a hand in a glove. Spice and orange peel accents add depth.

Asparagus, Radish, and Avocado Salad
Adapted from
A simple salad dressed in a light and creamy dressing full of fresh herbs.

  • 1/3 c. olive oil

  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh chives

  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

  • 1 clove garlic, crushed

  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh thyme

  • 8 c. washed and dried Bibb lettuce

  • 1 avocado, pitted, peeled, sliced into eighths

  • 4 radishes, trimmed, very thinly sliced

  • 1 c. chopped asparagus

  • 1 c. ribboned asparagus (use a potato peeler)

  • 1 c. snap peas, trimmed

  • 1/2 c. sour cream (or plain yogurt)

  • 4 Tbs. freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • salt & pepper

Directions: Place the olive oil in a medium bowl. Stir in the chives, parsley, garlic, and thyme. Set aside to let flavors develop. Place the lettuce in a large bowl. Top with the avocado, radishes, chopped asparagus, ribboned asparagus, and snap peas. Whisk the sour cream into the bowl of olive oil and herbs. While whisking, slowly drizzle in the lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Drizzle the dressing over the salad, gently toss to coat, and serve. Serves 4.

Star Recommends: Tamaya Sauvignon Blanc—Pure and dazzling pale yellow with green shades introducing a nose of green and white fruits, citrus tones and flowers. Sharp at the palate, good volume with a crispy, mineral freshness and a bright fruity ending.

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