Tag Archives: prosecco

my finished DIY Christmas pine wreath

pumpkin spice waffles, good bubbles + how to make a holiday wreath

Well, we finally got a Christmas tree a little over a week ago. If we are lucky, maybe we’ll even decorate it before the 25th! Not a likely story. So far, the potted evergreen bears only a loosely hung string of LED lights on its small branches. But it is so adorable just as it is!

This is the first year that Steve and I purchased a living Christmas tree. We even have a spot in the front yard dedicated to its earth-bound arrival in late spring. I scoured the rows of now-small evergreen trees at City Floral and found the perfect one. It’s a little crooked, but its trunk is strong and solid. On the way to check out, I spied some loose tree trimmings in a box and was instantly inspired to create a handmade wreath.

Luckily, one of my favorite garden bloggers, Erin of Blackberry Burrow, had recently posted a beautiful evergreen wreath tutorial, so I took down a few of her tips and made an adorably wild wreath happen.

Armed with an obscenely large cup of coffee, alongside my new Christmas tree buckled in the passenger seat of my car, I set out to find a sturdy wreath frame and some floral wire. And some bubbles for later. Because I love bubbles.

That was last weekend. My boyfriend and I were gifted a day off together, which never happens in the month of December, when life is blowing by at full-speed at the restaurant. Late nights, late mornings, baggy eyes {thank God for concealer!}, and copious cups of coffee are all commonplace this time of year. But those wouldn’t bog us down that day. Not one bit.

Steve and I have an annual tradition of compiling a holiday playlist and even burn it out, old-school-style, on a CD. Kind of a “best-of” compilation of music that catches our ears throughout the year. While Steve was mixing a first-pass at the computer, I set out to make my first-ever evergreen wreath. But first, more coffee and some pumpkin spice waffles. I’ll get to those in a moment.


how to make your own evergreen wreath


  • floral wire
  • evergreen boughs, branches, or pieces
  • a wire wreath frame {found at craft stores or a floral shop}
  • yard scissors or “pruners”
  • wire cutters
  1. Forage for stems and boughs from evergreen trees or grab some from your local florist. Erin suggested gathering branches after a winter storm, but since we had been experiencing 75-degree weather, that wasn’t an option for me. I found some at City Floral here in Denver. I even saw that Whole Foods sold evergreen pieces for only $5 a “bouquet” – not a bad price.
  2. Bunch together a few branches of evergreen and tie together with a few wraps of floral wire. Depending upon the thickness, I used either three or four branches. You may also trim the branches along the way, if you want a more uniformly sized wreath. You can always trim it later, though.
  3. Set out your wreath base on your working area. I used this 18″ wire wreath base from Michael’s.
  4. Using your wire cutters, clip a long piece of floral wire. Take your first “bouquet” that you tied together and tie it securely to the wreath frame. In the third photo below, you can see the back of the frame and notice how I secured the groupings of evergreen pieces.
  5. Stagger the next evergreen bouquet a few inches away from the first one, sort of layering each time. Continue in this fashion, until you reach the place, where you began. It’s really that easy. Now you can decorate it or leave it in its unruly, woodsy glory!

So, yeah, I was super stoked with my results! I actually ran out of evergreen pieces during the wreath-making process, so Steve kindly trimmed some of our overgrown bushes in our yard and came to the rescue. The little blueish pieces and the long, wispy pieces are from his handiwork!

We took a break to make some pumpkin spice waffles from Cookie + Kate. I made only a few adaptations from her original recipe. You can find her detailed post here. I am constantly inspired with her vegetarian cooking and creative ways to make healthy treats taste delicious.

I also had a bottle of Prosecco to taste and review, so I figured I’d taste it in the morning and make mimosas with the leftovers! And just in case you’re someone who needs a little brush-up on how to make the perfect mimosa, I’ve got that covered, as well. This post I wrote at the Kitchn a few months back will definitely hone your mimosa-making skills.


pumpkin spice waffles {gluten-free}


  • 2 1/4 cups oat flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice or cloves
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 packed pumpkin purée
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  1. In a large bowl, whisk all dry ingredients together until combined.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs together. Add the remaining wet ingredients and stir until thoroughly blended.
  3. Now add the wet mixture into the dry mixture. Stir just until combined. There will be some small clumps, and that’s okay. Let the batter rest for about 10 minutes. Now is the time to preheat your waffler.
  4. Once the time’s up, give your waffle mix one more toss with a spoon. Waffler sizes vary, but I found success scooping out a hefty 1/2 cup onto the surface of my waffle iron. This is the one that I use, but I am dying for a Belgian waffler {swoon!}.
  5. I took Kate’s advice and preheated my oven to 200 degrees, so that I could make the entire batch of waffles and place them in the heated oven, until I was ready to serve them. This was perfect advice!

  • Make your own oat flour. If you don’t have oat flour on hand, simply toss 2 1/4 cups of whole oats into a blender, until the oats turn into a fine flour.
  • Freeze your own pumpkin purée over the summer. Since I grow so many pumpkins and squashes, I always have pumpkin purée on hand. I roast up a batch of two or three, purée the roasted pumpkin, scoop out 2-cup portions, and freeze them in plastic bags. There’s no need to purchase any from a can!
  • Make these waffles ahead and freeze them. I placed them in freezer bags and removed as much air out of the bag as possible. I have enjoyed them multiple times over the past week!
  • Get creative. I infused my maple syrup with fresh thyme and added toasted pecans. I have definitely done this before, and here is the proof.


Nino Franco “Rustico” Prosecco, Valdobbiadene Superiore, Italy, MV


  • On the eyes – bright, pale straw.
  • On the nose – floral overtones, supported by golden delicious apple, green melon, white peach, and orange pith.
  • On the palate – This is a leaner style Prosecco and is great if you don’t gravitate toward bread-like, biscuit-y sparkling wines. It is moderate in acidity, has a chalk-like finish, and definitely showcases all of the aromas listed above. Delicious on its own and complemented with a little grapefruit juice!
  • On the table – Excellent with oysters or shellfish.
  • On the shelf – about $16.
  • On the ears – paired with SOHN‘s “Artifice” from the album, Tremors. I am freaking in love with his sound and am bummed that I missed him, when he passed through Denver earlier in November. The entire album is gorgeously written, and his haunting vocals deliver the words poetically. A couple of his tracks definitely made it to our Best-Of playlist. I’ll post a link soon, and if you would like a hard copy {ie: a compact disc}, I can make that happen, too. I’m all about music swaps!

Have an inspired, authentic, and profoundly creative rest of your week!

XO,

Jayme

peach sage galettes | paired with bellinis

…because summer is such a hard habit to break!

Fare thee well, summer, but just before I officially express my sorrow, concerning your all too soon departure, I think I will sit and savor the lingering ripe peaches you’ve recently sent my way.  You’d better cue the music.  I picked up about ten last-of-the-season peaches from the farmer’s market a couple weeks ago.  They were harvested a little early and tasted a bit under-ripe, but with a little bubbles-inspired creativity on a chilly afternoon, some magic happened.  And I know it has been a while since I last posted, but I’ve got some pretty good excuses for my absence…

Proudly grown by Ela Family Farms, these peaches hail from Hotchkiss, Colorado.  The almost ripe peaches actually gave the galette a firmer texture, a blessing in disguise.  Riding Colorado’s proverbial fall mood swing, along with our trending weather patterns, I have found myself vacillating between wearing sandals and thumbing fashion magazines for riding boots.  Making sangria and dreaming of pumpkin spice lattes.  Sunning on the back porch and selecting yarn for my next chunky scarf.   Our garden has also been in what I’ll call an “indecisive panic mode” for about two weeks now.  An early fall frost sent our red, ripe tomatoes directly off the vine and into the Vitamix, but our late plantings of radishes, arugula, and parsley are still thriving.  This particular recipe bridges the gap between that slow, lazy sweetness of summer and invites the cozy, spiced warmth of fall.

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What exactly is a galette?  It is basically a free-form tart or pie.  Widely used in French cooking, galettes provide a rustic, crisp crust and are much less pretentious than a formal tart.  Don’t fret that you won’t be able to bake this simple, rustic galette because peach season has ended.  Substitute fresh peaches with other stone-fruits, pears, apples, or berries that are in season right now.  Galettes can also be prepared sweet or savory; I am going to tinker around with a chanterelle and caramelized onion version this week, since I happen to have some leftover mushrooms from my recent trip to Oregon.

Peach Sage Galette

Ingredients for the filling:

  • 4 to 5 yellow peaches, pitted, and sliced [slightly under-ripe, if possible]
  • juice of one lemon
  • 2 teaspoons good quality vanilla extract
  • 1 heaping tablespoon finely chopped, fresh sage
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons raw sugar
  • lemon zest for garnish [optional}

Ingredients for the crust {yields two crusts}:

  • 2 cups  flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, cold and cubed
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons cold milk
  • 1 egg, beaten, for brushing the crust
  • 1 tablespoon raw sugar, for garnish

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine the pitted, sliced peaches, lemon juice, vanilla extract, sage, and raw sugar.  Set aside.
  3. In a separate mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt.
  4. Pour into a food processor.
  5. Add the cubed butter and “pulse” the processor, until 1/4″ sized lumps of butter are visible.
  6. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and milk.  Add to the flour mixture and pulse just until incorporated.
  7. Remove dough from the processor and form into a ball.  Divide into two balls; this recipe yields two crusts.  Bonus!
  8. Store in refrigerator until needed, or you may safely freeze the other ball of pie crust until your next project.
  9. When ready to roll out the dough, set out a large sheet of waxed or parchment paper and lightly flour the surface.  I like to roll my dough on floured paper because I have more control, when lifting it onto the baking sheet.
  10. Set the ball of dough on the floured paper.  Roll and press the dough to form about a 12-inch circle.  You can always alter the size or quantity of these galettes.  Do not over-knead.
  11. Using your hand or a flat spatula, slide under the waxed paper and lift.
  12. Flip the dough-side down onto a floured, rimmed baking sheet.  Carefully lift the wax paper off the rolled-out dough.
  13. Spoon the peach filling onto the center of the dough and carefully fold the outer edges of the dough, overlapping along the way.  Garnish with lemon zest.
  14. Brush the exposed dough with the beaten egg and sprinkle raw sugar over the crust.
  15. Place  in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, until the crust is browned.  I actually took a propane torch and caramelized the exposed fruit and browned the crust a little further.
  16. Let cool for at least ten minutes and garnish with some vanilla bean ice cream.

Notes:  You may make the crust ahead of time and keep refrigerated.  This particular dough recipe yields two crusts – one for now and one to freeze for later.  I use this versatile dough recipe for my pies and for quiches.  The frozen crust will keep in the freezer up to two months, if stored properly.  If you feel a little lazy or are short on time, a store-bought 9-inch pie crust will substitute nicely.

Yes, as a household, we are still awaiting the delivery of our counter tops.  Until our kitchen renovation is completed, we continue to employ our outdoor grill, the bathtub, and the camping stove as functional appliance substitutes.  In fact, I made this peach galette entirely on the back porch, baking it in our outdoor Weber grill; however, I have adapted this recipe for those of you, who have an actual ovens in your kitchens!  Goes to show that with some Pollyanna-inspired ingenuity, good things can happen.

Always seeking out a cocktail or wine pairing opportunity, I actually found the inspiration for a simple cocktail, while rummaging in my refrigerator door.  Prosecco and peaches are a classic combination:  bellinis are comprised simply of peach purée and a healthy dose of the aforementioned sparkling wine from Italy.  How to make this refreshing, bubbly treat?  Take one pitted peach and blend it until smooth.  Don’t even bother peeling it.  Depending upon the peach’s ripeness, add a little agave nectar or a squeeze of lemon to balance the acidity.  Spoon a dollop of the purée into a martini glass or Champagne flute and slowly top with dry bubbly, like Mionetto Prosecco.  I garnished my bellini with a freshly picked pineapple sage leaf.  Gently squeeze the sage leaf in your hands to further release the aroma.

I am closing with some snapshots of the garden before last weekend’s freeze.  In one afternoon, the previous months of bounty aside, we harvested almost 200 tomatoes, 6 acorn squashes, over 100 peppers, 50 tomatillos, along with one amazing cantaloupe, a head of red cabbage, one giant Blue Hubbard squash, and too many herbs to dry at once.  I am gearing up to make some green tomato chutney this afternoon, before heading in for work.  And after enjoying two consecutive days off, I can say that I feel fully rested and ready to tackle almost anything.  Over the past three weeks, I have either been studying for my level two sommelier certification exam with the Court of Master Sommeliers, creating and crafting juice “mocktails” for a farm dinner, or stomping grapes and making wine for a week in Oregon.  More on those adventures soon.  So ready for a slower paced fall.  Way too ready for another peach bellini!