We are excited to announce that, with your help, we are able to donate $2,170 to the North Bay Fire Relief Fund! All proceeds go directly to fire victims and aid relief efforts. Please accept our sincere thanks for your help and participation in this effort!
Recently many people in Northern California were affected by tragic wildfires. The Redwood Credit Union (RCU), in partnership with the RCU Community Fund, Inc., The Press Democrat, and Senator Mike McGuire, is accepting financial donations for the North Bay Fire Relief Fund to assist fire victims and aid relief efforts.
For every purchase of GIFFT wine that you make between now and November 30, 2017, GIFFT Wines will donate 10% of our revenue to this fund to support fire victims in Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino, and Lake Counties. For more information about the fund, click here.
Homemade Turkey Rice Soup
You’ve enjoyed a delicious Thanksgiving dinner with family and friends. Everyone is stuffed like the bird, but there’s still leftovers filling the fridge. You’ve probably asked yourself the same question every year, “What do I do with the leftover turkey?” Here is a recipe that is easy and uses every bit of the bird that is left over.
1 leftover turkey carcass (from a 10- to 12-pound turkey)
2 1/2 quarts water
1 large onion, cut into wedges
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 bay leaves
2 cups chopped carrots
1/2 cup uncooked long grain rice
3/4 cup chopped celery
½ small onion, chopped
¼ tsp celery salt
¼ tsp poultry seasoning
1 can (10-3/4 ounces) condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1. Place the turkey carcass in a stockpot; add the water, onion, salt and bay leaves. Slowly bring to a boil over low heat; cover and simmer for 2 hours. (If you are not boiling the turkey carcass and using leftover turkey you’ve already carved, you can substitute 2-3 quarts chicken stock or broth and start with step 3.)
2. Remove the carcass and set aside to cool. Strain broth and skim fat. Discard onion and bay leaves. Remove turkey from bones; discard bones and cut turkey into bite-size pieces.
3) Return the broth to the pan. Add the carrots, rice, celery, chopped onion, celery salt and poultry seasoning; cover and simmer until rice and vegetables are tender.
4) Add turkey and Cream of Chicken soup to the broth; heat through.
Yield: 8-10 servings (about 2 quarts).
After winter rains throughout the state put an end to years of drought, temperate weather patterns produced ideal grape growing conditions in Monterey County. At the beginning of harvest, the crop outlook seemed to be slightly lower in volume compared to years past, although quality was high. We kicked off the season with sparkling grapes in early August, with still grapes following just a few weeks behind. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Cabernet Sauvignon all ripened slowly and evenly with persistent warm temperatures through the end of the month.
Then September arrived with a bang. The record-setting heat wave of 100+ temperatures across the state and throughout Monterey County caused spikes in some areas that were 25 degrees above average, compared to previous years. With these high temperatures motivating our vineyard teams, harvest kicked into high gear. Minor “sunburn” could be seen on some grapes and in the canopies, but, for the most part, the heat helped increase sugar content and intensify flavors.
Fortunately, mild temperatures throughout the rest of September helped preserve grape quality. When the temperatures dropped again, so did the sugar levels. In Monterey County, our ranch managers are accustomed to these types of fluctuations, and they know that being patient and not picking before the flavors have fully developed is key.
The Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc harvests are complete, while Chardonnay will wrap up by the end of September. Merlot is next, then the harvest of the Cabernet Sauvignon grapes will complete this year of very high highs, but not too many lows. Harvest should be finished by the end of October, or the first week in November.
Everyone can reap the benefits of kids heading back to school. Certainly if you’re a parent with young kids in grade school, you have newfound freedom to catch up on your to-do list kid free or head off to work with a clear mind while your kids head off to school. Or, you may have just sent a child off to college and you’re wondering what to do with the extra space around the house. Maybe you’re a grandparent who enjoyed spending extra time with your grandkids over the summer and now you’re looking forward to hearing about their next achievement. No matter what your age or stage in life, we’ve gathered a few tips to help you focus on you.
Get together with friends.
With a bit more free time in the morning, invite a few friends over for a back-to-school brunch. Eggs Benedict is a classic and the combination of poached eggs, ham, and an English muffin with a big, bold hollandaise sauce pairs beautifully with GIFFT Chardonnay. Melon and prosciutto, veggie quiche, or smoked salmon pair well with our GIFFT Pinot Noir Rosé. Or for something simpler, set up an acai bowl bar with all the toppings – granola, shaved coconut, strawberries, blueberries, bananas, etc. Although wine may not come instantly to mind when thinking acai bowl, it’s yay for GIFFT Rosé, a wine that pairs with just about everything! Whatever you decide to serve, remember to relax and enjoy the time with friends while catching up on your summer adventures.
Use your phone for more than social media.
Posting pictures and seeing what your relatives are up to on Facebook is nice, but really connecting with the ones you love is so important. Let’s face it, with busy summer schedules, vacations, and just having kids about the house, it can be hard to find even a minute to pick up the phone and call a loved one or old friend. Now is the time to use your extra quiet moments during the day to catch up with those who you are missing or haven’t seen in a while. Connecting with friends and family feeds the soul.
Print summer memories.
You probably took hundreds of pictures during your vacation or throughout the summer. Now is the time to do something with them. Upload your photos to your favorite photo site to have specialty prints made, or just print a few from your computer at home. With a collection of simple frames, you can create a fun family collage to fill that empty space on the wall.
Clean and declutter.
Yes, spring is supposed to be for cleaning, but the in-and-out of summer activities seems to bring in dust, dirt or sand. The remnants of back-to-school shopping and organization are also probably piled up in different parts of the house. Take this time to thoroughly clean those areas that have lacked some cleaning love, like the baseboards, kitchen cabinets, or the kids’ rooms. Focus on one small area each day and in just a couple of weeks, you will have your house reorganized and clutter free.
Take care of you, part I.
Parents are great about taking care of their children – scheduling doctors’ appointments, dentist appointments, and whatever-else-they-need appointments – but what about your own health needs? Take the time to evaluate the appointments that you’ve put on hold and make them today. General check-up, teeth cleaning, dermatologist skin check, mammogram, colonoscopy….yeah, we know they’re not fun. But your health is important not only to you but your family and peace of mind feels great. Get out your calendar and take care of yourself by being your own health advocate.
Take care of you, part II.
There are countless hours in your life that you have spent taking care of others. Take some time to take care of yourself. Enjoy a long walk, get engrossed in a good book, or schedule a rejuvenating appointment for a pedicure, facial or massage. It's amazing how a refresh of your mind, body and spirit can restore your energy and open your heart to new ways of giving and sharing the true joys of life with others.
Labor Day is dedicated to the achievements of the American worker and honoring the strength, prosperity and well-being of our country. It’s also time to enjoy a well-deserved day off and celebrate with a BBQ or enjoy the outdoors with family and friends. Here are a few ways that you can enjoy GIFFT wines while you wrap up summer and move easily into fall.
Get the BBQ Going.
It’s Monday and there’s no school, no work, nothing you need to do but take advantage of the opportunity of an extra day off to relax with family and friends. Plan a BBQ in your backyard and celebrate the last long days of summer with a lovely bottle of chilled white wine. Keep it simple by grilling up some shrimp skewers that pair well with our GIFFT Chardonnay. Herb-marinated chicken with grilled asparagus is another easy combination that tastes great with GIFFT Pinot Grigio.
Plan a Picnic.
What food makes the perfect picnic? Fried chicken, of course! When you’re loading up your basket, start with some cured meats, soft cheeses and crusty bread, then add a tangy potato salad for a side. With a beautiful blanket, some easy-to-carry, on-the-go stemless glasses and a bottle of GIFFT Red Blend, you are all set. Just choose your favorite picnic spot and treat friends and family to great food, great wine, and most importantly, great company. Remember, it’s not about creating the picture-perfect picnic – it’s about enjoying the moment with family, friendship, laughter and love.
Look at your Local Events Calendar.
If you do an online search or look in the local newspaper for Labor Day events in your area, you are bound to find a bevy of activities. From sand sculpting challenges to concerts in the park, many towns and cities provide events that are free and open to the public. Put aside the To Do list for a day and pick something that’s right up your alley or outside of your norm. The important thing is that you make time to enjoy the company of family and friends while doing something fun. You deserve it!