Stuffed Mushrooms with Cameron Hughes Wine

Thank you Cameron Hughes for sponsoring this post. Capture the celebratory spirit of the holidays, and toast to the season with Cameron Hughes wine!

One of my favorite appetizers in the world are stuffed mushrooms. They can be of any kind. But paired with another fav, the glorious Thanksgiving side dish I go crazy for; stuffing, the combination is deliciously lethal. But anything that goes perfectly well with a nice hors-d'oeuvre is a really nice glass of wine. Exceptional wine, extraordinary value. Great wine doesn't have to be expensive and Cameron Hughes wine's mission is simple: Buy the best possible wine for the best possible price. Which is why I'm so happy to partner with this San Francisco-based wine company founded by Cameron Hughes! In today's post, I'm sharing my thoughts on three different bottles of wine from this brand including my very own quick and easy stuffed mushroom recipe.

The stuffed mushroom recipe literally consists of only 3 items, minus the butter and boiling water. Aside from that, all you need are white mushrooms, sweet Italian sausage (or any sausage you'd like to try it with), and Stove Top's 'Savory Herbs' stuffing. I do know how to make homemade stuffing, which I do almost every Thanksgiving, but it does require more time and it does always taste better cooked in the bird. All that flavor you're missing out on! But sometimes, for something simple and painless this recipe takes less than an hour to prepare + make on top of going well with either a red or white wine. 

photos + recipe by ©   Suzanne Spiegoski

photos + recipe by © Suzanne Spiegoski

Stuffed Mushrooms

Ingredients:

24 oz fresh whole white mushrooms (about 28)

1/2 lb bulk spicy Italian sausage, cooked and drained

1 box Stove Top 'Savory Herbs' stuffing

Directions:

Heat oven to 375°F. Remove stems from mushroom caps; discard stems.

On an ungreased 15x10-inch pan with sides, place mushrooms, stem-side down. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until they just start to release their juices. Remove mushrooms from pan; drain. Remove any liquid from pan.

In a medium bowl, mix Stove Top (cooked) and sausage until well blended. Divide and spoon filling into mushroom caps, mounding slightly. Place mushrooms in the same 15x10-inch pan.

Bake 13 to 18 minutes or until golden brown on top and heated through.

My friends and I first tried the Chardonnay. The super fresh nose of honeysuckle, pear, and apple gains weight and complexity with a bit of air, adding papaya and orange creamsicle to the mix. Creamy and supple on entry, this wine really hits the “umami” button, with rich orange sherbet and vanilla notes riding that honeyed beam of acidity I find so thrilling about the Chardonnays from this region. Robust yet wonderfully complex even at this young age, it finishes in long waves of ripe fruit and creamy vanilla. Yum.

Next up is the beautifully balanced, complex Pinot Noir that will have broad appeal, providing ample punch but also carefully delineated flavors. Pale ruby in the glass, this Pinot starts with rose petal and earthy black cherry on the nose, opening up to reveal the warmer plum and brown baking spice notes with hints of pepper. Ample yet very refined on the palate, with perfect balance and emerging complexity that will definitely improve in the short term as this opens up in the bottle over the next month or two before settling in for long-term aging. Rich and concentrated on the palate with pretty yet ripe plum mingling peppery spice notes, this wine has plush texture and balance in a long, smooth, harmonious finish.

And lastly, no expense spared, icon-level winemaking. Aged in 50% new French oak, this opaque black wine is textbook, classic Rutherford Cabernet. Sumptuous and suave on the nose, it features a gorgeous mélange of blackberry, cherry, cassis, dark chocolate and mint underpinned with graphite and mineral wrapped in lavender florals. The palate is juicy and succulent, with red and black fruit and a finely knit but resounding kirsch/mocha punch. I have to say out of the three, the reds were my favorite, especially the Pinot Noir. What kind of wine do you normally drink with an appetizer? 

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

LOVE & XX'S,

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Kimchi Risotto

A rainy start to the work week, I wanted to create some new food content as a lot of you have been making several requests as of late. Plus, I've been going through a lot personally, and cooking has always been therapeutic, for me, at least. Eating well never sucks and having others enjoy the food I make results in me being happy, which also never sucks :) So let's talk about this wonderful recipe I tried out - it's nutty, buttery, and tangy with just the right amount of heat, and perfect for a chillier day like today... kimchi risotto! What the heck did I just say?!

Kimchi Risotto

photos by ©  Suzanne Spiegoski

photos by © Suzanne Spiegoski

Serves 2

Ingredients:

1/2c Kimchi juice (squeezed from kimchi)

1/2 Kimchi (minced)

3c Vegetable stock

2Tbsp butter

2 Cloves garlic (minced)

1c Sushi rice

3-4Tbsp Gruyére cheese (grated with a microplane)

Directions:

  1. Squeeze the juice out of the kimchi using your hands to make 1/2 cup of juice and then weigh out 100 grams of squeezed kimchi. Mince the kimchi.

  2. Pour the vegetable stock into a pot and bring to a simmer over high heat. Turn down to low to keep warm.

  3. In another pot, add the lard and garlic and saute until fragrant.

  4. Add the minced kimchi and continue sauteing until the kimchi is translucent.

  5. Add the rice and stir until the rice has evenly absorbed all the oil.

  6. Add the kimchi juice along with a ladleful of hot vegetable stock and stir the rice until most of the water has been absorbed.

  7. Continue adding vegetable stock a ladleful at a time and stirring until the rice is your desired consistency. You may not need all the stock.

  8. When the rice is done, add the grated Gruyère and stir into the risotto. Serve immediately.

I know, initially the idea sounded a bit peculiar. Swiss cheese with kimchi and sushi rice? But the combination of flavors go wonderfully within this dish, and though I've made risottos in the past, I've never tried a fusion recipe of this kind before. And the results were sublime, I'll tell you! One of my favorite dishes is risotto, which would make sense given I'm such a rice girl. But the creamy warm flavors delight my taste buds, as I'm sure they do yours. I love a mean, mushroom risotto, but this kimchi risotto certainly takes the cake! The flavors are really all there, you don't even need to add salt! 

I normally use arborio or baldo rice when it comes to making risotto, but I found sushi rice to be an interesting type of rice to use in this fusion recipe. Though this recipe is derived from here, I did a bit of my own tweaking in terms of measurements and the different use in rice. You could also try using a different form of kimchi, such as turnip/radish, which would still bring the acidity into the risotto. I'd love to give a zucchini kimchi a go, what do you guys think about the sounds of that? 

Here are a few tips to achieving the ultimate risotto: Number one - the broth you use to mix the risotto should be very heat, it better cooks down the rice giving it that smooth, creamy goodness that should be when making risotto. Number two - you can use lard instead of butter should you want a more rich flavor but I like to eat pretty healthy (not that butter is any healthier lol), should you not want to use butter at all, you can try making it with coconut oil! And lastly, when it comes to making your own risotto, try to live a little on the wild side. Mix up the flavors, try something you haven't tried before. Get creative. After all, that's part of the fun when it comes to cooking, am I right or am I right? :) 

LOVE & XX'S,

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Kimchi Hummus

I'm so glad it's the weekend! In the past, I always worked on the weekends and would get up extremely early (we're talking 4:30am folks) just to get to where I needed to be on time. Now, if I had the chance to redo it all over again, would I go back and change anything? No. Would I still want to do that though given the choice? Nope. I bet some of you are wondering what it was that I did to put me in such strange circumstances. I was a figure skating coach on-and-off for ten years. I loved what I did, to the point of sacrificing much of my time for it for a good chunk of my life (I was also involved in the sport long before and trained seriously for also nearly ten years) but I love what I do now even more.   

Weekends now are meant to be my downtime. Throughout the week there's shoots, meetings, events, edits, promos and let's not forget to mention the crazy amount of emails I have to go through on a daily basis. It's a constant hustle and I am not complaining in the least bit, but everybody needs to recharge their batteries and it's really good to make time for your loved ones. Healthy, even. So this is what I try to do on the two days at the end of each week. There is the occasional photo shoot or meeting that'll occur on the weekend. Last weekend I shot & styled  5 looks in one day because my main photographer, who is also my hubby, wasn't going to be available for a while due to work schedule conflicts and that's how I got sick... staying out in the cold too long freezing my butt off ha ha! Totally worth it, though.

Kimchi Hummus

photos + recipe by: Suzanne Spiegoski 

photos + recipe by: Suzanne Spiegoski 

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

16 ounces can chickpeas

¼ cups kimchi (napa cabbage chopped)

¼ cup tahini sauce

4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

¼ cup water

Directions:

  1. Add all the ingredients except kimchi a blender. Blend the ingredients on high until smooth. Add in chopped kimchi with juice, omit the juice if you want the hummus to have a thicker base. Serve with naan or pita bread.

But when I have more time I enjoy spending it at home. I love going out and exploring my city, but I love to cook and hang out with my boys. Because I've been so busy working on fresh, new fashion content for you guys (especially more on the regular lately and that it's all a one-person job - aside from my husband taking the photos) it's been rather crazy and I've had no room in my schedule to create more food content! And I know a lot of you have been missing new recipes so I'm going to try to do one once per week. We'll see how it goes and as much discipline as I have, life is unpredictable and I just have to go where the 'wind carries me'. 

On a more delicious topic, can we all get an amen to kimchi hummus?! I LOVE hummus. The rich, creamy texture paired with yummy naan bread is one of my favorite snacks. Even with veggies, like carrot or celery sticks, it's healthy and tastes heavenly. I paired it with kimchi, it's tart acidic flavor blended wonderfully together with the hummus. What's the secret to getting the ultimate creamy hummus everyone wants? The dryer the chickpeas are before you blend them is the trick. I love spiciness so I added in kimchi juice, which is why my hummus's texture is a little more smooth. I also didn't blend the chopped kimchi with the other ingredients for the hummus. 

I suggest blending the kimchi with the main ingredients if you want a creamier, paste-like texture to the hummus. I'm Korean and love kimchi and actually like the added punch it gives when you bite into it here and there. The grilled garlic naan bread goes really well with the kimchi hummus too. I didn't make the bread from scratch but you can get it at the store and grill it over the stove top or in a grill pan of some kind. I used my cast iron grill pan to give it a nice char, the smoky flavor is awesome with the garlic. I'm getting hungry again just talking about this! :) Hope you all have a nice weekend. I'll be back on Monday! 

LOVE & XX'S, 

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Gameday Kimchi Sweet Potato Guacamole Bites with Bacon

Sponsored Post: This post is sponsored by GOODFOODS but the content and opinions expressed here are my own. 


Hi, everyone! I have to admit - this week hasn't been my best week. I've had all sorts of technical issues when it comes to work, but I just keep telling myself,

"Chill. It's just a camera, not an arm or a leg."

However, having one of my 'babies' behave erratically during an already chaotic time is not exactly in my favor. And I also experienced, once again, the lesson of saving your work every five minutes. I know, I know. Before you lecture me about this, writers, perhaps, have a tendency to get in 'the zone' and will automatically forget to save every few minutes. I know, hit CTL + S and you're good to go - alas, when I did, my computer crashed and needed to restart. So three hours of (IMO) a pretty snazzy article had to be redone from the start. Dislike button, much? Ugh, it really irks me when too much is happening all at once and you feel like you'll never finish anything. But with discipline & hard-earned perseverance, there's nothing I cannot do! I will overcome and conquer! It's all about knowing what's really important and keep on keeping on, right?  

Which is why I partnered with GOODFOODS and had to #SHARETHEGOODNESS of fresh, never artificial-anything, ingredients when it comes to pre-made foods. Whenever it get absolutely crazy around the Spiegoski-Decamps house, I try and 'cheat' my way around certain steps when it comes to cooking. No, nothing like a tv-dinner, but rather, shortcuts or an alternative way to get through a recipe and save time & energy. Yet still remaining true to healthy eating and incorporating that into our lifestyle daily. 

Gameday Kimchi Sweet Potato Guacamole Bites with Bacon

photos + recipe by: Suzanne Spiegoski 

photos + recipe by: Suzanne Spiegoski 

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

2 large Sweet Potato, cooked, unpeeled and mashed

4 slices Bacon, cooked

4-5 GOODFOODS Grab N' Go Chunky Guacamole

1/4c. Kimchi, chopped

1/4c. chicken broth

salt & pepper, evoo

Directions:

  1. Clean sweet potatoes leaving skin on. Place in a large pot and cover with water. Boil potatoes for about 20 minutes until tender.
  2. Remove potatoes from water and cool. Peel and smash with fork. Mix in chicken broth, evoo, and s&p.
  3. Plate tortilla chips down on serving plate. Use a dollop of mashed sweet potato on each chip, followed by GOODFOODS Chunky Guacamole, bacon and kimchi.
  4. Serve immediately or refrigerate for later.

What I loved about GOODFOODS's Grab & Go Chunky Guacamole was not only did it come with tortilla chips perfect for appetizers along with the freshness of the guacamole, but its high quality taste. When you think of anything pre-made, your first instinct would be, 'no', but you want to know what is on their ingredients label? Hass avocados, tomatoes, red onions, jalapeño peppers, cilantro, lime juice, sea salt and garlic. Doesn't get anymore fresh than that! And this appetizer is perfect for any game day, no matter the team or sport, the combined flavors will leave everyone happy! Can make it for any tailgate or just an everyday snack too! I have to admit though, I'm more of a basketball fan rather than my husband's fascination with football. Boys.. ;)

You can find other GOODFOODS products here. They have different kinds of guacamole and other dips like a Greek yogurt one. Does artichoke jalapeño or feta cucumber sound enticing? Trust me when I say this, you won't be disappointed when you #SHARETHEGOODNESS with #GOODFOODS. To find a GOODFOODS store near you go here.

This post is sponsored by GOODFOODS, but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.


PHOTOS + VIDEOGRAPHY BY: SUZANNE SPIEGOSKI 

{NEW VIDEO PRESS PLAY} The latest on our YouTube channel - How to Make Gameday Kimchi Sweet Potato Guacamole Bites with Bacon! Mmmmm... Catch the RECIPE at www.suzannespiegoski.com Be sure to #Subscribe for new videos every week to see more of my style, food & cooking, beauty tutorials and more!

LOVE & XX'S,

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Sun Basket Two Breakfasts

Cheers to the long weekend! I just got back from a day retreat to Connecticut. It was such a scenic drive up to the country. I simply love fall and everything about it. We went up to escape NYC-living stress (trust me, there's nothing else quite like it) and more importantly, to catch up with a dear friend. Her parents house literally looks like a treehouse on top of the mountains. The foliage this time of year is also epic. So many rich vibrant colors, driving back today with the heat on in the car as the rain came down was somewhat magical. Romantic even. I think the reason I love taking drives so much is because of the amazing conversations I always used to have with my father. It never fails to remind me of what he taught me and to never forget how far I've come.

He wasn't the one to teach me how to cook, however. Basic 101, yes - but it was my Korean mother who taught me everything in the kitchen. And here we are on this rainy Sunday morning back home, and the usual outing is brunch. But sometimes it's even better to just stay home when the weather is really gross out. Extra cuddling equals extra warmth. And cooking at home is something I absolutely love! This morning I worked with a special two breakfasts meal kit from Sun Basket

Each meal serves 2, the first meal: Fried eggs with spinach and romesco. Catalan romesco is made with sweet roasted red peppers, garlic, almonds, and paprika. I never tried this sauce until today! It's sweet and nutty flavors are pure magic with the fried eggs and wilted spinach. I love a breakfast/brunch meal that's not too heavy from time to time. Food-induced comas are also pretty damn terrific, but I do try to make a habit of eating on the healthier side as well. The smoothie is even more nutritious. 

Sun Basket Two Breakfasts

photos by  Suzanne Spiegoski  recipe by  Sunbasket

photos by Suzanne Spiegoski recipe by Sunbasket

Serves 2

Fried Eggs with Spinach and Romesco

Ingredients:

4 pasture-raised organic eggs

2 ounces baby spinach

Romesco (roasted red peppers - almonds - fresh garlic - sherry vinegar - olive oil - salt - sweet smoked paprika)

1 tbsp butter

salt & pepper

Directions:

  1. In a medium frying pan, heat butter until hot but not smoking. Crack the eggs directly into the pan and season with salt and pepper. Cook until the whites have set and the yolks are slightly runny, 2 to 3 minutes. If you prefer firmer yolks, cook 1 to 2 minutes longer. Transfer to a plate.

  2. Add the spinach to the pan, season with salt, and cook just until wilted, 1 to 2 minutes.

  3. Transfer the spinach and eggs to individual plates and spoon the romesco on top. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

Mango-Matcha Smoothie

photos by  Suzanne Spiegoski  recipe by  Sunbasket

photos by Suzanne Spiegoski recipe by Sunbasket

Serves 2

Ingredients:

Fresh ginger

1 cup coconut milk

1 tablespoon maple syrup

2 cups mango pieces

1 ounce baby spinach

1 tbsp black chia seeds

2 tsp matcha powder

Directions:

  1. In a blender, combine coconut milk and maple syrup with the ginger, mango, spinach, black chia seeds, and matcha. Add 1 cup of ice. Season lightly with salt. Blend until smooth

  2. Pour into glasses and serve.

Packed with finely milled green matcha tea, this smoothie delivers a mega-dose of antioxidants and a deluxe detoxer. Also with fresh ginger, mango, spinach, black chia seeds, and coconut milk, this smoothie is heralded as an energy booster, a calorie burner, and just a great way to start your day. It certainly packed a punch and jumpstarted my morning! I couldn't wait to share my experience with Sun Basket and their amazing meal kits!

For a special discount of $30 off your purchase, please click here! Aside from the two breakfast meal, they also have a variety of other dishes such as Moroccan chicken and green curry shrimp with bok choy. I can't wait to try more of Sun Basket again! If you love healthy, fresh, and affordable meals with an ethnic twist, you definitely need to go and check them out! What are you guys up to for the long weekend? Apple picking? Pumpkin patches? Hay rides? Haunted houses? (Oh He** no). Ha ha! Whatever you're doing, I hope it is with joy and love. And lots of snuggles. Enjoy!

LOVE & XX'S,

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