7 Things We Must Have In Our Handbags at All Times

1. Burt’s Bees

“Burt’s Bees Pomegranate Lip Balm” —Jeanie Scoggins Williams“Burt’s Bees lip shimmer” —Diane DiBiase“Burt’s Bees.” —Barbara Fritz


{Food} No-fail entertaining recipes and wine pairings, your guests will love!

We asked 3 of our FOF Food Gurus for their no-fuss, no-fail recipes for entertaining. They dazzled us with 3 mouthwatering dishes. Next, we turned to wine pairing guru FOF Jill Silverman Hough, author of the 100 Perfect Pairings cookbooks, for her wine picks for each dish.

The only thing you have to do now is set the table….


FOF Guru debg2 recommends:

Parmesan Chicken with Fresh Greens and Lemon Vinaigrette from Barefoot Contessa Family Style, 2002

“If I don’t know everyone well, I keep it simple with special details they’ll appreciate. Parmesan chicken topped with fresh greens and light lemon vinaigrette is impressive on the plate, mostly fail-proof and looks like a lot more work than it is.”

{Click here for the recipe!}

Parmesan Chicken with Fresh Greens and Lemon Vinaigrette from Barefoot Contessa Family Style, 2002
Serves 6.

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts – pounded down to about 1/4″ thick (rolling pin works)
1 cup flour
1 t. kosher salt
1/2 t. ground black pepper
2 extra large eggs
1 T water
1 1/4 cups seasoned dry bread crumbs
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for serving on top
unsalted butter (at least 8 T)
olive oil
salad greens for 6, washed and spun dry (recommended: spring greens)

For the lemon vinaigrette:
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 t. kosher salt
1/4 t. ground black pepper

Make the lemon vinaigrette by whisking together the lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.

Combine the flour, salt and pepper on a dinner plate. On a second plate, beat the eggs with the tablespoon of water. On a third plate, combine the bread crumbs and 1/2 cup grated Parmesan. Coat the chicken breasts on both sides with the flour mixture, then dip both sides into the egg mixture and dredge both sides in the bread-crumb mixture, pressing lightly. Heat 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large saute pan and cook 2-3 chicken breasts on medium heat for 2 – 3 minutes on each side, until cooked through. Remove to clean pan. Add more butter and oil and cook the remaining chicken breasts. Chicken can be prepared to this point then placed in oven preheated to 200 degrees to keep warm until ready to plate.

Assembling the dish:
Toss the salad greens very lightly with lemon vinaigrette. Place a mound of salad on each hot chicken breast. Shave some parmesan with a potato peeler and place a few shavings ontop of the salad greens.

Jill’s perfect wine pairing: Pinot Grigio or a crisp Chardonnay. Try: Grgich 2008 Napa Valley Chardonnay or Cupcake 2009 Pinot Grigio from Trentino, Italy.

“This dish has rich elements – the Parmesan coating, the skillet browning, and the meatiness of the chicken that are nicely complemented by a pile of brightly-dressed greens. A crisp Chardonnay will work with both. Pinot Grigio will be slightly lighter, but keep with the Italian feeling of the dish.”

FOF Guru gomargonm recommends:

Salmon en Papillote with Festive Molded Rice

“With this recipe, the prep work is done before the company comes. While everyone is enjoying drinks and appetizers, I pop it in the oven. I like to cut the packets open at the table. It makes for ‘ooohs’ and ‘aaahs’!”

{Click here for the recipes!}

Salmon en Papillote
Serves 6

6 – 6oz pieces of salmon fillet
1 carrot, cut in fine julienne
12 large mushrooms, sliced
½ lb sugar snap peas, or snow peas
2 small yellow squash, sliced
1 bunch green onions, sliced
Parchment paper or heavy duty aluminum foil.

For the Teriyaki Sauce
1 T minced garlic
1 cup soy sauce
2/3 cup dry sherry
Juice of 2 lemons
½ cup brown sugar

Make the Teriyaki sauce by blending together garlic, soy sauce, sherry, lemon juice and brown sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until reduced by 1/3. (May be kept in refrigerator for up to one month. Stir well before using.)

Place all vegetables in a mixing bowl. Add just enough teriyaki sauce to coat. Heat oven to 400 degrees.
Cut 6 pieces of parchment paper or aluminum foil. Place a portion of vegetables on bottom of each piece of parchment or foil. Arrange a salmon fillet on top of vegetables and spoon 1 T. teriyaki sauce over top.
Tightly seal the package and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes. Open packets carefully, as steam will escape.

Festive Molded Rice
Serves 6

1 ½ cups jasmine rice
3 cups water
1/3 cup chopped pistachios – reserve 3 T for garnish
1/3 cup chopped cilantro – reserve 2 T for garnish
Pinch of kosher or sea salt

Place all ingredients in a heavy pot. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 20 – 25 minutes. Let cool slightly.

Spoon rice into a rice mold, small ramekin or clean tuna fish can. Unmold on dinner plate. Garnish with reserved pistachios and cilantro.

Jill’s perfect wine pairing:
An off-dry Riesling or an off-dry Gewürztraminer. Try: Chateau St. Michelle 2009 Eroica Riesling

“The teriyaki sauce is going to make this dish slightly sweet. An off-dry wine will have just enough sweetness to complement it. Riesling will be a little lighter than Gewurztraminer, cleansing your palate between bites. Both are classic pairings for Asian foods.”

FOF Guru Apple Pie recommends:

Individual Beef Wellingtons from Sandra Lee on ABC News

“An easy one when you have leftover beef or even lamb and just as festive as regular Beef Wellington. Or if you wish, use tender chunks of filet.

{Click here for the recipe!}

Individual Beef Wellingtons
Serves 4  multiply as needed )

2 T. butter
1 cup chopped fresh mushrooms
1 cup frozen chopped onions
2 t. crushed garlic
1/2 t. salt
2 T cognac
1 sheet (from 17-ounce box) frozen puff pastry, thawed,
1 box (5.2-ounce) semisoft herbed cheese, softened, ex: Boursin
2 cups coarsely chopped leftover beef or lamb
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon water

In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add mushrooms, onions, garlic, and salt. Cook about 10 minutes or until juices released from mushrooms have evaporated. Add cognac; cook until cognac has evaporated.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out puff pastry to a 12-inch square. Cut into four 6-inch squares. Divide cheese among puff pastry squares, placing cheese in center of each square. Top with leftover beef; top with mushroom mixture.
In a small clear bowl, lightly whisk together egg and the water. Brush the edges of the puff pastry squares with the egg mixture. Pull the corners of each pastry square to the center; pinch edges closed. Place, seam sides down, on a baking sheet. Chill in refrigerator for 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Remove Wellingtons from refrigerator and brush tops of pastries with the remaining egg mixture. Bake in preheated oven about 25 minutes or until puffed and golden brown.

Jill’s perfect wine pairing:
Merlot. Try: Freemark Abbey 2007 Napa Valley Merlot

“Merlot will be big enough to stand up to the intensity of the beef and the rich puff pastry, but it also typically has some softness, which will nicely complement the semi-soft cheese.”

Images via Food Network, The Tea Chick, Forward and Williams Sonoma

{Gift Guide} GIVE wine gifts, RECEIVE a wine pairing cookbook and two bottles of wine

Our FOF vintage veterans handpick 7 top bottles to GIVE for the holidays.

Plus! enter to win below, and you may RECIEVE 100 Perfect Pairings: Small Plates to Enjoy with Wines You Love cookbook  and two bottles of wine from Casey Flat Ranch. (One FOF will win.)

To enter, comment below and answer: When you’re served wine at a restaurant, do you sniff and taste it before you drink it?

1. 2006 Wild Horse Cabernet, $18.99

It’s very smooth with a hint of smoke at the end,” says FOF Mary Maynard of the popular blog, “Happy Hour Mary.” “It’s just a bit over $15 but tastes more expensive!”

2. 2007 Open Range Proprietary Red Wine, $18

“This wine comes from Yolo County, California, an area at the forefront of seasonal, sustainable and organic agriculture.” says FOF Ursula Hemacinski, author of The Wine Lovers Guide to Auctions and VP of Marketing for Casey Flat Ranch. “With its notes of plum, black currant, fresh earth and cedar, it’s a great accompaniment to pastas, seafood stews, pork and lamb.”

2009 Open Range Sauvignon Blanc, $15

“This wine is also from the up-and-coming wine region of Yolo County,” says FOF Ursula Hemacinski. “With it’s crisp foundation, delicate minerality and notes of green apple, kiwi and lime, it holds its own against pork tenderloin and seafood pastas. It’s especially delicious with cheese trays.

3. Mumm Napa Cuvee M Sparkling Wine. $20

“The winemaker himself, Ludovic Dervin, told me he designed Mumm Cuvee M to taste like peaches and cream – and it does!” says FOF Jill Silverman Hough author of  100 Perfect Pairings: Small Plates to Enjoy with Wines You Love “It’s my favorite sparkler.”

4. Swanson Alexis Cabernet Blend (vintage years 2004 to 2007 from Oakville or Napa), $58-$79.99

“I enjoy Swanson’s Alexis Cabernet Blend from Napa,” says FOF Eve Bushman of Eve’s Wine 101 blog and the Santa Clarita, CA, newspaper column by the same name. “In the ‘04, I noted pleasant black fruit in the aroma and taste–dry with a lovely length.  The ‘05 was quite complex and the ‘06 had aromas of anise and eucalyptus.”

5. Dancing Bear Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon from Howell Mountain (vintage years 2005 or 2006), $106

“If you like mature jam on the nose and full flavors of cherry, blackberry, softened tannins and black pepper, you’ll like this,” says FOF Eve Bushman.

6. En Tirage 1992 Russian River Valley Recently Disgorged Extra Brut, $60.

“Longtime winemaker Don Baumhefner finally has released En Tirage, a bottling he’s let linger in the cellar for 17 years,” says FOF Virginie Boone, contributing reviewer for Wine Enthusiast Magazine. “Disgorged just this fall, it’s creamy, voluptuous and deep honey in color, with a lovely apricot nose and layers of texture.”

100 Perfect Pairings: Small Plates to Enjoy with Wines You Love cookbook by FOF author Jill Silverman Hough

“It’s full of easy, delicious recipes and makes wine pairing absolutely unintimidating,” says FOF author Jill Silverman Hough. “If you’re serving, for example, Chardonnay, turn to that chapter, pick any recipe, and it’ll go with Chardonnay. If you don’t have a particular wine in mind, pick a recipe you like and then get the wine to go with it.”

To enter to win 100 Perfect Pairings: Small Plates to Enjoy with Wines You Love cookbook and two bottles of wine from Casey Flat Ranch, comment below and answer: When you’re served wine at a restaurant do you sniff and taste it before you drink it?

Contest closes December 14, 2010.

(See all our past winners, here.)

Thank you for entering. This contest is now closed.