Lush Life

To be a lush chef, does not mean to drink in excess - this can result in scary fires and bad dishes. A lush chef is one who enjoys gourmet cooking/baking, often with fresh ingredients and the smart use of one's home bar. If there happens to be half a bottle of beer, a glass of wine, or a sip of brandy left over...well, one cannot be wasteful. I give you permission to imbibe.

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The Lush Chef
Twitter: @thelushchef Provenance: Santa Monica Dish: Coq au Vin Spirit: Whiskey Wine: Malbec Beer: Hefeweizen Farmer's Market: Santa Monica on Main Street
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May 25, 2011

Wine Cheese Balls

Since I definitely didn't feel like cooking this past weekend, I bring you another prepared gourmet food item.  The Lush Chef's parents introduced her to these wine cheese balls that they had at the tasting room at  Chateau Fontaine Vineyard in northern Michigan.  Whenever they visit this winery, they always mail back a couple packages of these dried seasonings, but if you don't have awesome parents like mine, you can order online from Monk's Meadow.  I always like to have at least one package of this in the pantry and the ingredients you mix with it are very inexpensive.  There are many different versions you can purchase, but the ones I've tried are the Cabernet Sauvignon & Seasoned Country Bacon and my favorite, the Chardonnay, Garlic & Cilantro.  The recipe is included on the inside of the package, but we use the Chateau Fontaine recipe, which lets you split the seasoning mix in 2 (great to save the other half for another occasion).

- Mix 2 Tbs of the mix with 2 Tbs of the wine
- Let the mixture soak for 30 minutes
- Blend in well-softened 8 oz of cream cheese and 8 oz (2 cups) shredded cheese
- Form into a ball and place in the fridge for about an hour