RSS Feed
Nov 30

Next Day Turkey Day Soup

Posted on Sunday, November 30, 2008 in Deep Dish

Next Day Turkey Day Soup

A friend told me about Better than Bouillon and after trying it in this dish I am sold. I also will recommend the new Rachel Ray Chicken Stock in a Box, it was great in the gravy and brussels sprouts recipes on Thursday.

6 tsp Better than Bouillon
2 carrots, coarsely chopped
3 celery, coarsely chopped
1 lg onion, thickly sliced
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 tbs dried dill and 1 Fresh sprig
2 Turkey Legs (pre-roasted)
1 cup Tubettoni Pasta, uncooked

Add, carrots, celery, onion and turkey legs to the bottom of the slow cooker. Mix 1 tsp of “Better than Bouillon” to every 8 oz boiling water and Fill the basin ¾ of the way with the broth. Season with salt, pepper, thyme & dill. Cook on Low for 3 hours. Cut the turkey meat from the bones and discard the bones. Add Tubettoni Pasta and if necessary 1 cup more broth and cook for another 20 minutes.

* If you don’t have roasted turkey legs, you can add uncooked, but increase the cooking time to 5 hours on Low.

Nov 29

Left Over Herbs

Posted on Saturday, November 29, 2008 in Deep Dish, Wallet Wise

Left over Herbs

If your thanksgiving menu looked anything like mine you have to have some left over herbs. My recipes Thursday called for rosemary, thyme, savory and chives. It is always a shame for them to go to waste. So before they begin to loose color or wilt do one of two things, freeze them or dry them and you will have fresh seasonings all winter long.

There are many methods to keeping herbs for the coming months and these I found very easy and quick.

Freeze whole leaves

Boil water in a 3 Qt Sauce Pan and blanch the leaves of parsley/ cilantro/ basil etc. for 3 -5 seconds. Dry off in a cloth and separate the leaves from the steam and lay flat in a freezer bag and place in the freezer.

Ice Cube Trays

Pulse the leaves of the herbs in a food mill. Mix in oil and fill each cube ¾ of the way full and freeze. Pop out frozen cubes into a sealed freezer bag. Another option is to keep the leaves whole and fill the tray ¾ full of water.



Pull the leaves off the stems and lay the leaves between two paper towels. Microwave on high for 2 minutes 20 seconds and brush the leaves on to a cutting board and chop. Place dried herbs into a spice shaker and they should keep for 6- 12 months.


Cheese Cloth

Place the whole stem and leaves across the cheese cloth and wrap tying off at each end. The herbs should be loose for good air circulation. Place them either upside down in a dark place or in your refrigerator. It will take 2 weeks to fully dry out. Untie the cheese cloth, discard any molded stems and shake the dried herbs to loosen them. Place them in an airtight storage container.

Nov 26

Pumpkin Biscotti & Bundt Cake

Posted on Wednesday, November 26, 2008 in Deep Dish, Gift Guide

This summer, I watched Mrs. C make biscotti and since she was able to sip wine, chat and modify the recipie as she went; I figured I should give it a try. Pumpkin is a great vegetable readily available this time of year and better yet it comes in a can. NYC = small kitchens therefore team cooking isn’t always advised, but M and I braved it anyway to make some treats for our Thanksgiving guests.

Biscotti can vary in hardness based cooking time and air exposure. They will continue to harden as they cool so seal in an air tight container if you wish them to stay more moist.   They make the perfect gift and afternoon snack with tea.

Bundt Cake is the easiest way to make a simple cake look fancy. The natural mold of the pan scallops the edges and helps the icing drip perfectly down the sides. The ingredients are basically the same so you can easily use up the whole can of pumpkin in one bake fest. We conquered all in under 3 hours.

Pumpkin Biscotti 

What a great gift to bring to the hostess. Pairs perfectly with Chai Tea

Tips: Keep the dough height under 1”

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees F

2 ½ cups Flour
1 cup Sugar
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Cinnamon
½ tsp Nutmeg
Pinch of Ginger
Pinch of Cloves
2 Eggs
½ cup of Pumpkin Puree
1 tsp Vanilla Extract


  1. Sift together flour, salt, sugar, baking powder and spices in a LARGE bowl
  2. In a small bowl, wisk together eggs, pumpkin puree and vanilla extract.
  3. Combine the pumpkin mixture with the flour mixture. Give it a rough stir until the dough is crumbly.
  4. Flour a clean surface and lightly knead the dough until the dough begins to get sticky.
  5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly grease.
  6. Form the loaf on the baking sheet. It should be relatively flat with rounded corners.
  7. Bake for 22 - 30 minutes at 350 degrees F, until the center is firm to touch.
  8. Let the biscotti cool for 15 minutes and using a bread knife cut into 1” wide pieces.
  9. Reduce Heat to 300 degrees F and bake for an additional 15 - 20 minutes, flip ½ way. Cool Completely.
  10. If you let them sit out they will harden more, if you prefer them more moist and chewy place them in an air tight container.

Pumpkin Bundt Cake

½ cup Packed Light Brown Sugar
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
¼ tsp Ground Allspice
½ Stick Butter

1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
2 Cup All Purpose Flour
1 ½ Tbs Ground Cinnamon
½ tsp Allspice
½ tsp Nutmeg
2 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Salt
2 Cups Sugar (1 Cup Splenda/ 1 Cup Sugar)
1/2 Cup Butter Softened
4 Large Eggs
1 ¼ Cup Pumpkin Puree
8 oz Light Sour Cream
2 tsp Vanilla Extract

1 ½ Cups Sifted Powdered Sugar and 2 tbs of Skim Milk. Wisk until smooth.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 12 Cup Bundt Pan.

  1. In a small bowl combine brown sugar cinnamon and allspice and cut with two knives until crumbly.
  2. In a medium bowl mix flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt.
  3. Using a mixer, begin beating sugar and butter and add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  4. Add pumpkin, sour cream and vanilla extract; mix well.
  5. Gradually beat in flour mixture.
  6. Spoon ¾ of the batter into greased bundt pan. Sprinkle streusel over batter, not allowing streusel to touch the sides of the pan. Top with remaining batter making sure the batter surrounds the streusel on all sides.
  7. Bake for 55-60 minutes. Cool for 30 minutes in pan. Invert on wire rack to cool completely.
  8. Drizzle with glaze
Nov 25

Non-Wine Charm Charms

Posted on Tuesday, November 25, 2008 in Ding Dong, Gift Guide, Toxic Twists

Wine Charms serve a great purpose for all those who love to entertain. The standard has been a metal ring and beads that clank, clink and swing around the bottom of the stem. Here are some cool alternatives that will make great gifts too.


Vino Taqz
















Wine Lines


















Chic Charms (UK)–LDV950601-details.htm
















Wine Glass Decals WINNER!

Expect to see these in PA this summer

Nov 24

Cheers to a Purple Tongue

Posted on Monday, November 24, 2008 in Gift Guide, Ticket Trips, Toxic Twists, Wallet Wise

As a right of passage from young to mature adult you will inevitably trade in your pilsner for a merlot.  I think that the best practice for learning about wine is to DRINK. Living in San Francisco afforded me the luxury of napa valley day trips. These trips broadened my appreciation for the grape growing and wine making process. It also gave me the confidence to open the restaurant wine list and buy cases at a time. Never forget that while there are some wine connoisseurs, it is all about personal preference.


Here are some of my favorite Napa & Sonoma valley vineyards:

Gloria Ferrer  

Chateau St. Jean


Robert Mondavi Winery



If you are fortunate enough to live in a state with permitted wine shipping laws,, step up and buy a case or join a wine club. I totally underestimated this gift until I had received it.


Ordering Online? I can personally recommend & Bottle Notes. The Wines of the World with mixes one red and one white each month and membership can be for 3 – 12months. This is a great way to hone in on vineyards considered to be the greatest wine regions in the world. offers the one stop shop for personalized and social driven packages. I personally benefited from picking a region like Argentina and get to know that county’s varieties inside and out.


I recently joined the Wall Street Journal’s Wine Club. The special introductory offer averages $7 per bottle in the first case. There is no penalty for cancelling so if you are unhappy you can get out before the price hikes to $11 per bottle in all future orders. We were happy with our red & white selection in the first case.


If shopping locally never pass up a Trader Joe’s, Stew Leonard’s Wine or BevMo store. Go with the intention of taking home a case, because there are many choices. No matter where you shop you should receive a 20% discount when you buy a case and if they don’t switch suppliers. is a great resource if you are trying to track down that special Boekenhoutskloof Chocolate Block bottle.


 * Not all Trader Joes and Stew Leonard’s sell wine so be sure to check out online.


Enjoy Sipping,




If you live in a state that has strict ship to customer laws join the FREE THE GRAPES campaign, to get change.

Nov 14

what it’s all about

Posted on Friday, November 14, 2008 in About Me

Thanks to years of various zip codes, southern friends, northern parents, mid west in laws and taste of the west I find myself in awe of living and its many possibilities. Mellow Mint is resource for those who seek style in life, goods, services, and self.


Mellow Mint is a lifestyle blog: categories to look out for:


Happy Home- decorating and design

Deep Dish- food and entertaining

Toxic Twists- exploring all varietals

Beauty Box- face, body and hair

Gift Guide- because its all about giving

Wallet Wise- for those fiscally responsible

Style Showdown- clothes and accessories

Drool n’ Diapers- baby things

Ticket Trips- places to go and things to do