Starting your day right: Big Batch Homemade Granola

Union Wine Company Granola
I know it sounds cliche, but a healthy breakfast is still the most important way to start every day. This month, our Field Notes has been focusing on ways to begin the new year right, with healthy approaches to diet and lifestyle. The habits you start now will hopefully carry you along and help create a more active and positive focus for the whole year.
Many years ago, in what almost seems like a past lifetime, I was a professional cook before making the switch to a full-time photographer. My last full-time cooking job was at the (now unfortunately defunct) restaurant Tasty & Sons. But after cooking there, I was lucky enough to be chosen to photograph their cookbook, “Hello! My Name is Tasty.”  The book is filled with a panoply of amazing recipes, (and photos!!) mostly originating from chef/owner John Gorham’s childhood all along the Eastern Seaboard.
Hello Tasty
There are also several recipes that were developed by John’s cooks and chefs, and this specific granola recipe was one of those. Kyle Prewitt, the opening chef at Tasty & Sons was tasked by John to create a light but healthy breakfast dish that John could eat in the crazy-busy early days of the opening of the restaurant that would fill him up and not slow him down.
This is what Kyle created. It’s a simple but very delicious recipe that lends itself to lots of variations as per your personal tastes. I will reprint the exact recipe here from the book, but feel free to make any adjustments you see fit.
KYLE’S HOUSE-MADE GRANOLA
6 C rolled oats (we highly recommend the local brand Bob’s Red Mill)
1 stick of unsalted butter
1/2 C local honey
1/4 C high quality maple syrup
1 1/2 C raw slivered almonds
1 1/2 C raw walnut pieces
2 C light brown sugar
1 T ground cinnamon
1 t ground nutmeg
2 t kosher salt
1/2 C dried currants or raisins
1/2 C dried cherries
Bob's Red Mill
STEP ONE
Preheat your oven to 275 degrees. In a small saucepan, combine butter, honey and maple syrup until butter is melted and the mixture is warm but not boiling.
STEP TWO
In a large mixing bowl, stir together oats, almonds and walnuts. Break up any clumps in the brown sugar and add this to the oats as well as the cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Stir well to evenly combine. Pour the warm butter mixture into the bowl and coat evenly with a heavy spatula or spoon.
Union Wine Co Granola
STEP THREE
Lightly butter 2 baking sheets and even spread the mixture between both. Place on separate racks in the oven and cook for roughly 2 hours. It is best to check the granola every 25 minutes, stirring it and rotating the pans to ensure even cooking. After the 2 hours, the granola will still seem a little wet and sticky, but not to worry. As it cools, the granola will crisp up. Most important is to not overcook the granola.
Union Wine Co Granola
STEP FOUR
Once the granola has fully cooled, fold in the dried fruit. This mixture can now be stored in airtight Mason jars and kept in a cool dry pantry for up to 1 month.
Union Wine Co Granola
SUGGESTIONS FOR SERVING:
 
This recipe will ensure delicious and healthy granola, but we encourage you to take any liberties you want with the recipe. This could include:
*other raw nuts such as pine nuts, almonds or macadamias
*different dried fruit such as golden raisins, blueberries or apricots
*coconut oil in place of the butter or agave instead of maple syrup and honey
This granola is perfect on its own, but can be served with milk, yogurt or fresh fruit as well.
Good Luck and Bon Appétit!
Photography and Text by David L. Reamer. (@dlreamer)
Recipe by Kyle Prewitt.

Mocktails and Cocktails with Seedlip

We get it, there comes a time when enough is enough and you just need to take a break from the nightly glass, or can, of wine. While we all enjoy the culture around drinking, it’s nice to give your body a little bit of a reset. For those of us who are participating in “Dry January,” you might still be craving a fun cocktail or the taste of Pinot or Gin. That’s why we are excited about Seedlip, a brand we discovered based out of England. They make distilled non-alcoholic spirits. We used 2 of their offerings: Garden with fresh herbal notes and Spice being aromatic with notes of citrus and cardamom.

Seedlip

Their tagline is “What to drink when you’re not drinking.” But we think the question can also sometimes be “what to do when you’re not drinking.” Drinking is such a large part of our culture, especially when it comes to spending time with people. Enjoying a glass of wine at a dinner party, checking out the newest happy hour with your BFF, geeking out over the beers at a new brewery and all holidays! When you’re not drinking for a period of time, what do you do with your friends—go out for coffee instead? With Seedlip you can still have evening hangs with your pals. Bring out the games and feel fancy with a garnished cocktail—just use Seedlip as a substitute for the hard stuff.

While we love the simple mocktails that can be made with Seedlip, we also love our wine cocktails. If you are taking a drinking break, you may have a friend who isn’t, so we made mocktails and cocktails with each Seedlip offering. Enjoy and don’t worry, there are only 2 weeks until February.

Union Wine Co Seedlip Mocktail

Spice Panoma Mocktail (Recipe from Seedlip’s website) 

2oz Seedlip Spice
1oz Fresh Grapefruit Juice
½ oz Fresh Lime Juice
½ oz Simple Syrup
1 bottle Fever-Tree Soda Water 

Juice half a grapefruit and half of a lime. Mix citrus, simple syrup and Seedlip Spice together in a highball glass. Add ice and top with soda water. Stir until combined.  

Underwood Pinot Noir Seedlip Cocktail

Spice, Soda and Pinot Cocktail 

2oz Seedlip Spice
1 bottle Fever-Tree Soda Water
2-3oz Underwood Pinot Noir  

Add ice, Seedlip Spice and soda water to a highball glass. Stir and top with Pinot Noir. Either stir again or let the wine slowly drip to the bottom of the glass.  

Underwood Pinot Noir Seedlip Cocktail


Seedlip Garden Mocktail

Garden and Tonic Mocktail 

2oz Seedlip Garden 
1 bottle Fever-Tree Tonic Water 

Pour 2oz of Seedlip Garden into a highball glass, top with Fever tree tonic water and stir.  

Seedlip Garden Underwood Bubbles Cocktail

Garden and Bubbles Cocktail 

2oz Seedlip Garden 
1 can Underwood Bubbles  

Pour 2oz of Seedlip Garden into a highball glass, top with Underwood Bubbles, stir and enjoy! 

Here’s to a Healthier New Year: Two ways to cook with wine

January is definitely a time of reflection and revision, a chance to clear out all the excesses that seem to pile up during the holiday months. Gym memberships are on the rise and most people are looking for ways to cut calories and just generally start this year healthier than they ended the last one.
 
Lots of people even (gasp) take a hiatus from drinking. Now, you might think that being winemakers we would hold this practice anathema, but on the contrary, here at Union we support that 100%. A little break is always a good thing to realign mind, spirit and body. And if this includes a short sojourn into teetotaling, then have at it. But we would be remiss if we didn’t mention there are many other, specifically culinary uses for our wines that will help you stick to your resolutions by making your healthy choices that much more delicious.
 
This week we present two recipes that each employ the use of our Underwood Pinot Noir. The first is an arugula salad with red wine vinaigrette; the second is oven-roasted lentils with red wine and winter vegetables. Both recipes are well rounded, healthy options to bolster your January resolutions.

Arugula Salad with roasted hazelnuts, quinoa, dried apricots, ricotta salata and a red wine vinaigrette 

For the salad, you will need:
1 large bunch of Arugula
1 C roasted hazelnuts
1 C cooked quinoa
1/2 C quality dried apricots
1/2 C ricotta salata cheese (or other crumbly salty cheese)
For the vinaigrette, you will need:
6 oz olive oil
2 oz red wine vinegar
2 oz Underwood Pinot Noir
juice of half a lemon
1/4 of a shallot, peeled and diced
1/2 t white sugar
salt and pepper

Kitchen Tip: How to skin hazelnuts

In most supermarket bulk sections, you can buy raw hazelnuts. These come with the skin on them. It’s okay to eat the skin, but much more delicious if most is removed. There is a very simple way to do this. First, roast the hazelnuts in a pan at 350 degrees until they just begin to darken. Let them cool slightly and then, in batches, place the nuts in a rough kitchen towel, vigorously rubbing to remove the skins. Pick out the skinned ones and repeat with all nuts until they are mostly skin free. (Some skin will always remain no matter how diligently you do this.)

Making the vinaigrette

Simply combine all the ingredients in a measuring cup and then transfer to a glass jar for storage. Since there are no eggs or dairy in the vinaigrette, it will stay good for a long time. You can store this in the refrigerator or the pantry. Shake well before using.

To finish the dish, dress the arugula in a bowl with the vinaigrette and then add all the other ingredients. And Voila!

Next up….

Oven Roasted Lentils with red wine, thyme and winter vegetables

For the uninitiated, lentils are in the legume family and come in three main color types, black, green and red. I recommend the green for this dish because I find them to be the most hearty. You can boil lentils,  but roasting them in the oven gives them a much richer flavor. (I was personally not a fan of lentils until I discovered this method.)

For this recipe, you will need:
1 C dried green lentils
4 C water
1 C Underwood Pinot Noir
4 sprigs fresh thyme
3 medium carrots—cut into chunks
1 large shallot—thinly sliced
2 medium parsnips
1/2 bunch of hearty kale
olive oil
salt & pepper

STEP ONE:

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. In a metal or ceramic roasting dish, place the lentils, sliced shallot, carrot chunks, and fresh thyme. Drizzle liberally with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place in the oven and roast uncovered for about 25 minutes, stirring every 5-10 minutes.

STEP TWO:
 
While you are roasting the lentils, sauté the parsnips and kale on high heat. You want some color on the parsnips, but do not cook them all the way thru.

STEP THREE:
Remove the pan from the oven. Add roughly 1 cup of the wine and return to the oven, still uncovered. Cook for about 15 minutes or until the wine begins to reduce. Then add the water and cover with tin foil. Cook for about 40 minutes.

STEP FOUR:
Remove the tin foil, add the parsnips and kale and return the dish to the oven, cooking uncovered for another 20 minutes or until lentils are tender but not mushy. Add more water if necessary. Remove the thyme, season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

Bon Appétit!

Photography, Text and Recipes by David L. Reamer. (@dlreamer)

A Healthy Start to the New Year: Making your own Kombucha

Homemade kombucha

In many ways, 2019 was a challenging year. (I think you know what I mean…) Well, we can’t control everything, but what we can do is look inward and start the new year with some healthy routines to keep the mind and body feeling great. The time for New Year’s resolutions is here again.

I can honestly say that just a few years ago I had never even heard of kombucha, but now it is a huge part of my diet and life. For the uninitiated, kombucha is simply a deliciously funky beverage made by fermenting sugar and tea with a SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast). This process creates living probiotic bacteria that are wonderful for digestion and all around general health.

When I looked into making kombucha at home, I couldn’t believe how easy and inexpensive it was. I did several test runs and came up with a recipe that is delicious and consistent, but I encourage you to adjust the ingredients as you see fit for a sweeter, more sour or less carbonated finished product.
The first step in making kombucha is to make a healthy SCOBY. This will become the soul and backbone of your kombucha. (I named mine Scoby-Wan Kanobi.) This process is similar to the actual making of kombucha but must be done first. Here’s what you will need:

MAKING A STRONG SCOBY

A One Gallon Glass Jar
Cheesecloth or Paper Coffee Filters
4 C store bought unflavored kombucha*
2 T tea*
1/2 C regular granulated white sugar
1 Quart tap water

*For this, I recommend two local shops right across the street from each other on SE Belmont Street. First head over to the Soma Kombucha Taproom to pick up your unflavored kombucha. Feel free to bring your own Mason Jars. Then head across the street to The Tao of Tea to pick up the loose tea you need. I experimented with many teas but found the Malty Assan always seemed to work the best.

Homemade kombucha

Place the water, tea, and sugar in a large pot. Bring the water to a boil. Stir to dissolve all the sugar. Turn off the heat and let the tea steep for 15 minutes. Strain the liquid into the gallon jar. When cooled to room temperature, add the unflavored kombucha and cover with the cheesecloth or coffee filter- secured with a rubber band. Wait about 3-4 weeks and you should have a fully formed Scoby. I’m not gonna lie. Scobies are pretty gross, but they are firm and resilient to handling.

It is said they have a tendency to mold- at which point you would need to throw it away and start over- but I have been making kombucha for a year and have yet to encounter any mold. If you are worried, there are many visual examples you can find online.

Believe it or not, this is what a fully formed healthy Scoby looks like:

Homemade kombucha

Now that you have your Scoby, it’s time to make the Kombucha. It’s a very similar process using all the same ingredients, just with different proportions. In general, this first batch is too acidic to drink, but keep 2 C of the liquid for making your kombucha. (You will do this every time you set up a new batch.)

HOMEMADE KOMBUCHA RECIPE

12 C water
1 and 1/4 C granulated white sugar
1/4 C loose tea leaves
2 C of the liquid from your Scoby process

Just like before, place the water, tea, and sugar in a large pot. Bring the water to a boil. Stir to dissolve all the sugar. Turn off the heat and let the tea steep for 15 minutes. Strain the liquid into the gallon jar. When cooled to room temperature, add the unflavored kombucha and the Scoby and cover with the cheesecloth or coffee filter- secured with a rubber band.

Homemade kombucha

You can keep your kombucha at any temperature but remember that the colder it is, the longer the process takes. You can let the kombucha ferment anywhere from 1 week to a month. Since I keep mine at a colder temperature, I usually wait the full month before doing the second fermentation. This is done to add a specific flavor to the kombucha. There are myriad flavor choices for this step and I encourage you to try a few. For this project, I chose ginger and mint as my flavors.

*VERY IMPORTANT SIDE NOTE

When your kombucha is ready, you must put it into sealable bottles for the second flavoring fermentation. I STRONGLY recommend getting 6-8 Grolsch Beers. Drink the beers (duh!) and then use those bottles. I have had several bottles explode from the pressure built up during the second fermentation, but I have NEVER had a Grolsch bottle fail me.

Homemade kombucha

Whatever flavor you choose, pour your kombucha evenly among the bottles, leaving some room for the extra ingredients. Add the juice, ginger, herbs, etc. and then allow these to sit for about a week before drinking. It is perfectly acceptable to open the bottles every 2-3 days to let a little pressure off. This will not detract from the final effervescence.

One gallon usually makes about 6 Grolsch bottles worth.

Homemade kombucha

Homemade kombucha

I know that this was a practice in healthy starts, but let’s face it, we are a wine company, so we couldn’t end the post without coming up with a simple cocktail to show off your new creation. So here for your drinking pleasure, I present:

AFTERPARTY AT THE CO-OP

2 oz ginger mint kombucha
1.5 oz Underwood Pinot Gris
.5 oz Giffard Caribbean Pineapple Liqueur

Measure all ingredients into a shaker, fill with ice, shake heavily and strain into a glass. Enjoy!

Homemade kombucha cocktail

I hope this post will inspire you to try your own kombucha. It’s cheap, easy and fun for the whole family.

Happy New Year and keep those #pinkiesdown.

Photography, Text and Recipes by David L. Reamer.  (@dlreamer)

Simplifying New Year’s Eve: A Sparkling Batch Cocktail

Underwood Bubbles French 75

Whether you are entertaining at home or just pre-gaming before a big night out on the town, perhaps at the Local & Legendary Tony Starlight’s Soft Seventies Rockin’ Dinner Show (it’s amazing BTW) it’s always fun to get New Year’s Eve started off on the right foot with a delicious cocktail. And since there is bound to be a few bottles of Bubbles around the house, we thought the classic French 75 would be a great suggestion.

A relatively simple drink to make, the French 75 got its start around WW1, when it was said that the drink had the kick of being shelled by a powerful French 75mm Field Gun. Here at Union, we believe in drinking responsibly, even on New Year’s Eve, but just one won’t hurt.

And we figure you won’t be drinking alone, so we decided to set you up with a batch cocktail—one who’s base can be made ahead of time and kept in the fridge. That way, when your guests arrive, just stir with ice, strain, and top off with Union’s Underwood Bubbles. Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy.

You can use your favorite Gin, but we recommend Portland’s own women-owned-and-run craft distillery, Freeland Spirits Gin. We have been loving this locally made brand lately and highly recommend checking them out.

Underwood Bubbles French 75
French 75
(This recipe is designed to make 4 drinks.)

6 oz Freeland Spirits Gin
3 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice*
2 1/2 oz simple syrup
2 C ice cubes
1 bottle Underwood Bubbles

*Since Meyer lemons are in season right now, we recommend them, but regular lemons are fine too.

***********

STEP ONE:

Measure out the first three ingredients into a glass mixer and place in the fridge until your guests arrive. When ready to make up the cocktails add the ice and stir well.

Underwood Bubbles French 75
STEP TWO:

Strain the chilled base into 4 coup or other stemmed glasses. No need to be super fancy or even have all matching glasses—sometimes its fun to mix and match your vintage-ware.

Underwood Bubbles French 75
STEP THREE:

Top off all the glasses with some ice cold bubbles and you are ready set go! It’s that simple.

So, from everyone here at Union, we would like to wish you and yours a safe and happy new year! Whether staying in by a roaring fire, or heading out for a night on the town, have a blast but please stay safe, keep those pinkies down, and for gosh sakes, take a LYFT!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Underwood Bubbles French 75
Photography and Text by David L. Reamer.  (@dlreamer)