Whether you’re hosting a party in the comfort of Your home or you’re planning a party at a local establishment, fill the air with the scents of sugar and spice with a soul-warming blend of mulled wine. Wrap your mitts around goblets and fill them with a bit of holiday cheer. 

SUGAR AND SPICE, EASY AND NICE 

Depending on which recipe you find, there are a variety of mulling spices, wine, liquor, juice and garnishes to create the perfect winter cordial. Basic mulling spices include cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and cloves. You can purchase a pre-made mulling spice mixture at Post Town Winery. Bonita Patton, co-owner, says, “We have a basic mixture of cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon and orange for sale at the winery for $3.95. We also sell mugs of mulled wine through the winter months using our First Embrace and Prairie Cougar red wines.”  

 

Nov/Dec
2016

At Home for the Holidays: Fill your Plate with Love and Happiness

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Written by Dawn Sanborn Photography by Dawn Sanborn Photography

Starting at a young age, many of us learn that food can make us feel better. Throughout our lives, we equate food with positive feelings like happiness and satisfaction, and we turn to food for comfort. It makes sense—who doesn’t feel happy, satisfied and even a bit sleepy after a big turkey dinner? 

CELEBRATION FOOD

All cultures have customs and traditions around food. For me, birthdays meant choosing a special meal and a type of cake and ice cream. We all have memories of happy times, and by eating foods that remind us of those times, we symbolically consume that past happiness. 

Comfort foods can also be linked to specific people in our lives: Eating a specific food that a loved one favored can produce happy thoughts by triggering fond memories or associations of that person.

 

Sep/Oct
2016

Women and Wine: Wine Cellars, a Place to Chill

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Written by Nicole L. Czarnomski

Wine cellars are meant to preserve aging wines, but they can function differently to suit the needs of the owner. Wine is a living, breathing thing, aging from infancy to maturity to old age; therefore, there is specific criterion to consider when building a wine cellar. There are two types of cellars: active, which are controlled environments, and passive, which are built underground.

ELEMENTS OF A WINE CELLAR

The elements of a wine cellar are similar to that of a cave. The average temperature for a wine cellar is around 55 degrees, and the humidity ranges from about 45 to 70 percent. If there is too much fluctuation in the temperature, it can increase the speed of spoilage. Higher temperatures actually cause the wine to “cook.” 

The cellar must also have minimal lighting, and the bottles should be laid at an angle, keeping the cork in contact with the wine. The wine should be stored away from any appliances that may cause vibration. Vibrations can affect the chemistry of the wine. These are all factors to consider when designing a wine cellar. 

 

Sep/Oct
2016

Brain Food: Food that Makes You Feel Smart

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Written by Dawn Sanborn Photography by Dawn Sanborn Photography

Eating well is good for you mentally and physically. The brain requires nutrients just like your heart, lungs and muscles. Simply, your brain likes to eat, And it likes powerful fuel: quality fats, antioxidants and small, steady amounts of the best carbs. The path to a bigger, better brain is loaded with Omega-3 fats, antioxidants and fiber. Give your brain a kick start By Eating the following foods regularly for results you will notice.

Smart Ingredients

Blueberries are possibly the best brain food on earth. They have been linked to reduce risk for Alzheimer’s and shown to improve learning ability and motor skills in rats. They are also one of the most powerful anti-stress foods you can eat. 

Wild salmon contains a good amount of Omega-3 fatty acids that are essential for your brain. These beneficial fats are linked to improving cognition and alertness, reducing risk of degenerative mental disease (such as dementia), improving memory, improving mood and reducing depression, anxiety and hyperactivity. 

 

Jul/Aug
2016

Aphrodisiac Attack: Food That Makes You Feel Sexy

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Written by Dawn Sanborn Photography by Dawn Sanborn Photography

aph·ro·dis·i·ac(afrə'dizē, ak,afrə'dēzē,ak)

noun: a food, drink or drug that stimulates sexual desire

Oysters, one of the most notorious aphrodisiacs, are high in zinc and have a reputation for being great for love and fertility. Oysters contain amino acids that trigger production of sex hormones.

  • Chocolate is sensual, from its taste to its aroma, but dark chocolate contains small amounts of a compound called phenylethylamine, which acts like an amphetamine, stimulating your brain cells to release dopamine which induces feelings of pleasure.
  • Served with champagne and fed to each other, strawberries are a healthy, vitamin C-packed dessert that help keep blood flowing to all regions of the body.
  • Decadent, yet light as air, it just isn't dessert without whipped cream. While there's no evidence that whipped cream will boost libido, it's sure to put you in the mood.
 

May/Jun
2016

Food That Makes You Feel Pretty: You Are What You Eat

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Written by Dawn Sanborn Photography by Dawn Sanborn Photography

How we feel determines what we eat, and in turn, what we eat affects how we feel. We want to feel good, so we should eat food that gives us the emotional response we want. However, when we’re feeling low, many of us grab chocolate because that's what makes us feel better (emotionally). Let’s take a look at natural ingredients that will make us feel better on the inside. These super foods and recipes make us feel pretty just looking at them.

The Super Foods

Stock up on these 10 superfoods. Although there are many more, you can start by eating these regularly to help yourself feel and look better than ever.

 

Area Wineries have become more than places to SPEND an afternoon sipping wine and munching on cheese and crackers. Many of the local wineries have event centers and outdoor seating for any type of celebration. If you’re looking for a unique setting for large parties or intimate groups, there are bountiful wineries to consider.

POST TOWN WINERY (posttownwinery.com)

First we explored Post Town winery in Rochester. They’ve hosted any type of gathering you can imagine including fashion shows, book signings, bachelorette and birthday parties, baby showers and small weddings. The winery is small and intimate and has a warm, cozy feel. 

 

Mar/Apr
2016

Hot Bartender: Making Drinks in Downtown Rochester

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Written by Dawn Sanborn Photography By Dawn Sanborn Photography

ROOTS IN MINNESOTA

Chris Fierst was born in the Brainerd Lakes area and moved to Wales at the age of 10. He spent 10 years there and moved around England for a couple of years before moving back to Minnesota in 2011.

I asked Chris if he always knew he wanted to be a bartender, and he replied, “I don’t think you ever really know. I think for me it was about the people. People are interesting. The little things that set people apart, the ability to help them in their situations, which are in each way different but some ways the same.” Similar to our previous “Hot Chef” features, Chris says, “I enjoy the people I meet every day and the experiences I get to share with them.”

 

Mar/Apr
2016

Women & Wine: The Art and Science of Whiskey

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Written by Nicole L. Czarnomski

Put down your pilsner of green beer this St. Patrick’s Day and discover the rich, smooth flavors of Irish whiskey. Ashley Danford, from the blog “The Whiskey Women,” describes Irish whiskey as light. “Irish whiskeys are definitely not as strong or peaty as Scotch or Bourbon, but they boast such great flavor and a rich heritage. You can never get bored with either the drink or the history.”

THE ART OF TASTING WHISKEY

St. Patrick’s Day is the perfect time to experiment with whiskey. Mike Sedor, Andy’s Liquor general manager, and Ari Kolas, whiskey aficionado from Apollo Liquor, have lots of Irish whiskeys to choose from. They can help you find the perfect Irish whiskey in the price range that fits your budget. But, if sipping straight whiskey sounds daunting, try mixing it with cream, coffee, chocolate or all three. 

 

Jan/Feb
2016

Women & Wine: Winter Wine Activities

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Written by Nicole L. Czarnomski

Winter can be long and dreary, and it can make many of us want to hibernate at home (with a good glass of wine). Get yourself out this winter with others who also enjoy festive spirits and a good tasting wine.

OUTDOOR WONDERLAND

Add SocialCE to your social calendar February 18, 19 and 20, 2016. The Rochester Downtown Alliance hosts this event in its eighth year, transforming Peace Plaza into an outdoor wonderland. It features seven 12-foot, uniquely designed and themed ice bars from select restaurants and bars in the downtown area. Rochester Downtown Alliance Executive Director Jenna Bowman says, “The ambiance this event creates is fantastic. It gives people a reason to get outside in our colder months. There are also unique events like marriage proposals that make SocialICE pretty amazing.”

 

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