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Entries in naked wine (1)

Good News and Great Books for Giving

How did it get to be December? I flew into JFK this past week and there was holiday music playing throughout the terminal…I was immediately jolted into reality. Wake UP girl! The holidays will be here before you know it, so you might as well enjoy it and stock up on Prosecco. I do feel like I have already received an early Christmas gift. Two actually, and I’d like to share them with you.

First, I’m so pleased to have made the acquaintance of Mary Taylor Simeti, the author of “On Persephone’s Island: A Sicilian Journal”, one of my favorite books about one of my favorite places and required reading if you’re traveling to Sicily. Here’s the good news...we have been invited to visit her (!) at Bosco Falconeria, her home and vineyard this April during our Divine Sicily Spring 2012 Food & Wine Tour. Take a moment to read about Bosco and see why I’m so excited about spending time with this extraordinary woman and her family. Why not join us in April and meet Ms. Simeti? You can sign up here.

My second early gift was a path-crossing re-connection with another gifted woman, the food and wine writer Alice Feiring. Her new book, “Naked Wine”, is an eye-opening read about the wine industry, specifically the controversy surrounding natural wine, and the pioneer natural wine makers who are finally being recognized. This book would make a thoughtful gift for all of your wine-centric friends and they'll realize how hip you are to the wine scene. You can order it here on Amazon.com (Book Cover link)

For your foodie friends on your gift list, I suggest you check out the gorgeous cookbook "PLENTY" by Yotam Ottolenghi. This recipe from his book, “Crusted Pumpkin Wedges with Sour Cream” is uber-easy and I’ve found that you can substitute just about any type of winter squash for the pumpkin.

Photo via Proud Italian CookTake about a 1 ½ to 2 pound pumpkin, cut it in half, scoop out the seeds and cut into wedges. Brush each wedge, front and back with olive oil. The take about a handful of freshly grated parmesan, and another handful of breadcrumbs and toss in a bowl with a generous amount of chopped parsley and thyme, 2 cloves of crushed garlic, zest from 1 lemon, and salt and pepper to taste. I like to add a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes to mine. Press the mixture onto both sides of the pumpkin and roast on a parchment lined baking sheet at 400 degrees F for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with sour cream. It's a perfect side dish for the holidays.