Baked Rice with Butternut Squash
We are so glad that you have decided to join us once again for our Cooking Light Virtual Supper Club. This is a monthly event where 5 ladies nationwide get together to create a delicious meal with a theme in mind. For the month of October we are "COOKING WITH WINE". The Baked Rice with Butternut Squash is very reminiscent of risotto without all the watching and stirring. It was not only flavourful and seasonal but every bit worth trying from the pages of Cooking Light magazine!!!!!
For this months dinner we shared a few bottles of wine virtually as well as creating a delicious menu from the pages of Cooking Light. As an excellent beginning to our incredible menu Shelby brought Cheese Fondue with Apples. Next on the menu was a gooey, cheesy French Onion Soup brought to the table by Helene. Jamie prepared our main dish of Salmon with White Wine Mustard Sauce which was the perfect balance of flavours. As a side dish to pair with the salmon I offered a baked risotto dish, Baked Rice with Butternut Squash as you see above. It was so flavourful and a perfect accompaniment. For dessert Aggie brought the most luscious seasonal Red Wine Pear Crisp with Spiced Streusel. What would you bring to the table? Visit the Cooking Light blog Test Kitchen Secrets and make something delicious from the pages of the magazine to add to our dinner...the more the merrier!!!!.
Autumn is here in full force in Okanagan Wine Country. These crisper, shorter days are a perfect time to watch the grapes ripen in the sun and indulge ourselves in the harvest celebrations. There are three main seasons of wine production in the Okanagan... Spring, Fall and Winter. The third, is the ice wine season which is a relatively new enterprise for our area. The Annual Okanagan Fall Wine Festival is an experience for anyone who loves fabulous wine accompanied by great food and unique events. Who wouldn't love a party that goes on for 10 days!!!! No wonder this event is rated as one of the top 100 events in North America!!!! Most of the tours of the Okanagan wineries are free and include sample tasting of this year's newest vintages. Special events, such as lunches, banquets and formal wine tasting gatherings require prepurchased tickets.
The Okanagan Valley is British Columbia's oldest and main grape-growing region. We lie on the same latitude as northern German and French vineyards but the Okanagan Valley is not all classified as a "cool-climate" growing region. We have distinct microclimates throughout the Valley, from the hot, sandy, desert soils in the southern valley to the cooler vineyard sites in the north, with their deep topsoil and clay. Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir grow in the south, while Pinot blanc, Pinot noir, Pinot gris, Riesling, and Gewürztraminer are grown in the mid and northern regions, some left to freeze on the vine for our region's famed Icewines.
The British Columbia wine industry was reborn in the late 1980s when many cool-climate, hybrid grape varieties were uprooted and replaced with vinifera wine grapes which now thrive along Lakes Okanagan, Skaha and Osoyoos and as far north as just above the 50th latitude. As a result of this bold government-subsidized "pull-out program," 90% of the hybrid-grape vineyards in the Okanagan Valley were removed, setting the stage for plantings of vinifera grapes. Less than 10 inches of annual rainfall are typical here since this region falls within the northernmost extension of the Sonora Desert...a desert that shares its influence with both the Okanagan and eastern Washington wine regions.
This month our Cooking Light Virtual Supper Club chose the theme COOKING WITH WINE in honour of the season. We all share a love for Cooking Light magazine which has an emphasis on healthy eating and living. Each issue covers light cuisine and includes more than 70 delicious and flavourful recipes. It also explores food and nutrition news as well as fitness, health and beauty.
We would love to share these ideas with you each month by putting together a delicious meal for each other through our Virtual Supper Club. The idea is simple because we all share a common interest in cooking and all things "foodie". This is a team effort where we get together virtually once a month and combine what Cooking Light readers like best...good food with great company!!!
Ultimately this is what has brought myself Val of More Than Burnt Toast, Helene of La Cuisine d'Helene, Shelby of The Life and Loves of Grumpy's Honeybunch, Jamie of Mom's Cooking Club and Aggie of Aggie's Kitchen together to share their love of food, blogging and their commitment to a health conscious lifestyle to create the very 1st ever Virtual Supper Club sponsored by Cooking Light magazine!!!Check out this months menu where we share our ideas for a succulent dinner where everything is made with the nectar of the season.....WINE!!!!
We will also be featured on the Cooking Light blog site as well as sharing their fantastic recipes with you all!!!!!! Although distance prevents us from gathering as a group in each others homes we have enjoyed getting to know one another and have developed a menu from Cooking Light magazine that is sure to bring smiles when your family and friends share your table this autumnal season. See us on their blog Test Kitchen Secrets!!!
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