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Casey

FoodWine

Types of Wine – A Complete Guide

types of wine

Depending who you ask about wines, they could be referring to styles, different types, or even list off a few examples of grapes used for each. In my opinion, learning the types of wine isn’t complicated. What’s complicated is the difference in opinions when people describe the different “types”. So, I wanted to make this complete guide on the types of wine to get rid of any confusion!

We’ll go over the five main groups of wine, what separates them from each other, and some examples of wines in each group!

In this article

  1. Wine Lingo
  2. 5 Main Wine Types
  3. Types of Red Wine
  4. Types of White Wine
  5. Types of Rose Wine
  6. Types of Sparkling Wine
  7. Types of Dessert Wine

 

wine lingo

Wine Lingo To Know

Before we go over the types of wine and subcategories of each, there are a few key terms you should know. 

  1. Tannin – used to describe how dry the wine is, high tannin means it will feel like it’s drying out your mouth. 
  2. Round – used to describe how smooth or lush a wine is. 
  3. Spicy – used to describe how tart and acidic a wine tastes. 

Different Types of Wine

All wines can be grouped into five basic types. Each group is composed of several other wine types that can differ by grape, taste, and process used to make it. Below are the five main wine groups!

Red Wine

A wine made from the pulp of red or black grapes. The pulp is then fermented with the grape skin, giving the wine it’s darker color. 

White Wine

White wine is made in a similar way to red wine, but with white or red grapes that are fermented without the skins. The grapes are pressed and juiced and that is then fermented using yeast. 

Rosé 

A rosé is more closely related to red wine concerning it’s production. While a red wine is fermented for multiple weeks with the grape skins, a rosé only allows the skins to touch the wine for a few hours. 

Sparkling Wine

Sparkling wine takes more effort and has a more involved process to make it. What makes sparkling wine more tedious to make is the bubbles. Basically, sparkling wine is made by fermenting the wine twice, once to make the wine and another to make it bubbly! This process can be done in a few different methods that I’ll go over later, adding to the complexity of sparkling wine.

Dessert Wine

A dessert wine is usually known for it’s sweetness, which is due to it’s higher sugar content. This happens during the fermentation of the wine, which is stopped early so that the yeast doesn’t eat up all of the sugar! Also, grapes that have been on the vine longer can be used. The longer a grape is on the vine, the more it can raisinate, increasing the sugar in the grape. 

This group also includes fortified wines, which are combined with spirits. 

types of red wine

8 Different Types of Red Wine

The majority of red wines will fall into three sub-categories of being herbal dry, sweet, or fruity dry. These make up the general taste of most red wines and we’ll cover eight of the most common reds you’ll come across. 

These wines are made by fermenting red or black grapes with the grape skins still in the mix. Most commonly left to mature in large oak barrels or vats, a red wine can take months to years to mature. 

Cabernet Sauvignon 

Made from the most common grape in the world, Cabernet Sauvignon can range from a herbal to fruity taste depending on the vintner and vineyard where the grapes were grown.

A good pairing for cabernet is with most red meats including burgers and lamb. 

Zinfandel 

A light bodied red wine that packs a bold taste. Expect a fruity taste including blueberry, cranberry, cheery and others that are followed up by a spice.

Zinfandel also goes great with red meats and lamb, similar to cabernet. But, depending on the brand and other varieties zinfandel can have, quail and turkey are great secondary pairings. 

Merlot

The second most planted grape on Earth, Merlot is a great starting point for beginners looking to get into wine. I would be cautious of the first brand you drink though, as I’ve personally had some very bitter Merlot’s that temporarily ruined my cravings for red wine. 

Some great food pairings for a merlot are chicken, duck, or quail. 

Syrah/Shiraz

Known as Syrah mostly in Europe, Shiraz is described as peppery, spicy, and bold. It has a strong flavor that makes it a great wine to truly enjoy, even on it’s own. 

But, if you’re looking for some food to go along with it, this is a great wine for a charcuterie board full of cheeses and crackers!

Pinot Noir

One of my personal favorites, Pinot Noir is a much lighter red wine that goes down smooth. This is another great wine to start a beginner on if they aren’t a fan of a full hitting flavor. 

Even though it’s a red wine, it goes great with fish such as salmon or sushi!

Malbec

A deep purple wine originating in France, but more popularly produced in Argentina, Malbec is an alternative to Cabernet Sauvignon if you’re looking to save money. 

While a Malbec goes decent with some steaks, I highly recommend it for spicier food such as Mexican. 

Sangiovese

A giant grape native to Italy, Sangiovese has a wide variety of characteristics that depend a lot on where it was grown. It’s a very diverse grape and adapts depending on it’s environment. So if you don’t like it the first try, I still recommend tasting another from a different vineyard as it could be vastly different. 

Unsurprisingly, a prominently Italian wine goes great with pizza and pastas!

Nebbiolo 

A wine with strong tannins, Nebbiolo is a surprising wine that packs a punch despite it’s lighter color. Most notable wins made from this grape are the Barolo and Barbaresco.

Some great food pairings for Nebbiolo include fatty meats such as goose, boar, or pork.

types of white wine

7 Different Types of White Wine

Okay, we’ve covered the red wines, but what about the second most popular option, white wines. 

Unlike red wines, a white wine is made by pressing the grapes and juicing them. This juice is then mix with yeast to ferment it without adding in the grape skins. There are additional differences that could include using different tanks to ferment in (not always barrels), filtration, or other additives that could differ among other white wines. 

Chardonnay 

The first white wine on the list is incredibly popular (the most planted white grape) and one of my favorite. Originally from a small town in France, unsurprisingly named Chardonnay. This grape has the option to be used for a white wine or can be used for a sparkling wine and champagne. 

Personally, this is my go to white wine for chicken dinners. But, this wine also works well with salmon. 

Sauvignon Blanc 

A bright flavored white wine, sauvignon blanc can take on tastes ranging from a sour green apple to a sweet pear. This depends a fair amount on where the grape was grown, as grapes grown in Australia may lack the usual fruity flavor and be much flatter. 

As a food pairing, it goes well with seafood, white meat meals, or salads. 

Moscato

Remember how I said Chardonnay was “one of” my favorite white wines? Moscato is probably my favorite of all the wines. Your favorite might be something else, but I love the signature sweet and fruity flavor of a Moscato.

It goes great by itself, but a Moscato is a great sweet wine to accompany most desserts (another reason it’s my favorite).

Pinot Grigio

A very versatile white wine, Pinot Grigio is a much dryer wine and has a slight kick. It’s hard to describe what I mean by kick, but essentially you feel the flavor fill your taste buds the same way it’s aroma fills your nose. 

There isn’t a main food pairing for Pinot Grigio, it can go with almost anything. 

Riesling

Much lighter than a Chardonnay, a Riesling can vary depending on the vintner. I’ve had Riesling that was smooth and low in tannin. However, most of the brands I find are dryer and have a slight bitter bite. 

This wine goes great with most seafoods but can go well with chicken as well. 

Semillon

A full body similar to Chardonnay with a taste closer to Sauvignon Blanc. That of course depends on the ripeness of the grapes being harvested, which can range from a lemon taste to a papaya. 

While not my favorite wine, it is the third most planted grape and is common to eat with clams or salads. 

Gewürztraminer

A dry white wine that is as refreshing to drink as it is to pronounce. Not to say that this wine is bad, but it definitely lacks the excitement of other dry white wines. Some people will find these qualities to be a positive, which is why it’s still a solid choice. 

Another key quality that makes this wine something to keep in mind is its positive pairing with Asian cuisine! 

types of rose wine

10 Types of Rosé Wine

Rosé is a phenomenal wine choice and there are plenty of options depending on the meal/occasion. 

Similar to red wine, Rosé is made by fermenting the grape juice with the skins. But, where this wine differs from red wine is that the grape skins are taken out shortly after being added (a few hours to a day). This gives the wine a slight pink hue, but doesn’t give it the full dark red you would usually see in a red wine. 

Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé

Made using the Saignee Method (to bleed off), this Rosé comes from bleeding off some of the red wine used to make Cabernet Sauvignon before it continues to mature. Because of this, the wine will have red wine flavors, but much less acidity as it wasn’t allowed to ferment longer with the grape skins. 

Zinfandel Rosé

The Zinfandel Rosé, also known as the White Zinfandel is incredibly popular and there’s no doubt you’ve heard of it (even if you’re not a wine enthusiast). Usually served cold and coming in a variety of fruity and zesty flavors. It’s very versatile and can go with most sweet or even slightly spicy foods depending on your preference. 

Sangiovese Rosé

A medium-bodied Rosé that is often served cold, the Sangiovese has a unique cherry-like flavor with an acidity similar to a tomato. This is my preferred wine for hard cheeses but can also go well with roasted meats. 

Pinot Noir Rosé

Pinot Noir is already an amazing wine, but in Rosé, it delivers a gleaming acidity and soft, subtle aromas of crabapple, strawberries, and watermelon. This wine is almost refreshing to taste and goes well with seafood dishes, especially crab. 

Tavel Rosé

The Tavel has a savory and rich taste and a strangely dry feel for a Rosé. It has most of the trademarks of a normal full red wine, but without the accompanying darker color. 

While it may sound weird being a Rosé, it goes well with barbeque or other smoky and rough meals. 

Syrah Rosé

Another wine prepared using the Saignee method, the Syrah has a wide range of flavors that can be detected. It’s also a bolder Rosé than it’s counterparts but is amazing with pizza!

Provence Rosé

A wine that is comfortable in just about any situation, the Provence is great to drink alone or add to almost any dish. It has the notable tastes of strawberry and watermelon that most Rosés do, but with an added salty hint at the end. 

Mourvèdre Rosé

If there was a wine that encapsulated the feeling of vacationing in France, this is the closest you’d find. The Mourvèdre is a fruity and floral mix that will leave your nose as satisfied as your taste buds. Despite it’s feel being so French, the best food pairing for this wine is a Greek dish filled with lamb and pita bread. 

Grenache Rosé

Another great Greek pairing, the Grenache is best served cold and has a surprising hint of orange hidden beneath the many layers of flavor it has. 

Tempranillo Rosé

Not the most known Rosé, the Tempranillo shouldn’t be pushed aside. This wine has the recognizable Rosé trademarks of strawberry and watermelon, but with a strange meaty note. No, it’s not a wine that tastes like chicken, but it does have the feel of a light meat filled meal. 

types of sparkling wine

6 Different Types of Sparkling Wine

Sparkling wine can be made using quite a few methods, the Traditional, Tank, Transfer, Ancestral, Continuous, or Carbonation Method. While there are multiple ways to make sparkling wine, it mostly comes down to fermenting the wine twice. One fermentation is the initial start like most wine making, forming alcohol in the grape juice. The next fermentation is done under pressure to create the wine’s bubbly consistency.

So what are the types of Sparkling Wine?

Champagne

One of the most popular sparkling wines, anyone who’s reading this has undoubtedly heard of it. The go to drink for basically any of life’s celebrations, Champagne has a sweet and fruity taste but will go with any dish.

Prosecco

Originating from Italy, the grapes used to make Prosecco have a sweet and fuzzy taste when finished. Using the tank method for fermentation, Prosecco tends to have much larger bubbles. This particular sparkling wine is also common in cocktails such as Mimosa’s! 

Crémant

Produced using similar methods to Champagne, Crémant is made in France and can have different flavors depending on the grape used. Despite being created using the same methods, this wine tends to have a creamy and nutty taste instead of the sweet usually associated with Champagne. 

Cava

A sparkling wine from Spain, Cava is made using the traditional method. The general taste of Cava tends to be lemony with undertones of fruits. It’s not quite as sweet as Prosecco and is a more toned down sparkling wine, making it great for a relaxed celebration. 

Sekt

Made using multiple methods, Sekt comes from Germany but is becoming more popular in other areas. It has floral aromas and fruity flavors like most sparkling wines, but with significantly less alcohol percentage (usually 6%). 

Rosé

Yes this can be made still, but a sparkling rose puts a nice twist on an already fruity and delicious wine. 

 

All Types of Dessert Wine

A common rule of thumb when pairing wine with food, is that your food shouldn’t be sweeter than the wine you drink with it. That poses an interesting problem for dessert though! 

Thankfully, dessert wines exist to solve the previous problem and are extra sweet to go along with an already sweet dessert. 

So what are the options for dessert wine?

Sparkling Dessert Wine

Some normal sparkling wines can be used as a dessert wine depending on the dessert. There are options to have sweeter sparkling wines, but I usually stick with the normal champagne or cava. 

Noble Rot Wines

These are also known as the Botrytis-Affected wines, as it’s a mold that can grow on the grapes. The mold causes the grape to shrink and become dehydrated, giving the grape an increased sugar content. Some examples are the Hungarian Tokaji or Sauternes, these wines are usually paired best with creamy desserts.

Fortified Wines

Like the other wines, there are small differences in how a wine can be fortified. The gist is that a fortified wine is one with added alcohol that also wasn’t fully fermented, leaving more sugar in mix. Common examples of fortified wines are Sherry, Port, and Vermouth! These go great with those chocolatey desserts or cakes.

Ice Wine

Ice wine (or eiswein) comes from grapes that were left on the vine as they froze. Because of how they’re made, this makes the wine very viscous and sweet. During my time in Germany, this was one of my favorite wines to have with any dessert!

Late Harvest Wine

The name is fairly straight-forward, these wines come from grapes that were harvested after their best period of ripeness. This makes the sugar in the grapes very concentrated and sweet. Riesling is an example of a late harvest wine and can go great with the more citrusy desserts like key lime pie.

all kinds of wine

All Types of Wine!

There is so much to learn regarding the production, taste, and storage of wine! The above lists cover the major categories and give a great introduction into the world of wine. 

If there are any questions or maybe there are corrections to be made, please say so below!

 

Cooking SubstitutesFood

Celery Salt Substitute

celery salt substitute

What is Celery Salt?

Celery salt itself is not a complex concoction. While the ratios vary, it’s mainly 1 part celery powder to 1 part salt. 

It’s a common addition to cocktails such as a Bloody Mary and gives a nice kick to meals. One of my favorite uses of celery salt is for the Chicago style hotdog, but that’s just my preference. 

Regardless of why you love it or what you plan to use it in, sometimes we run out of spices. So what do you do when you run out of celery salt and need a substitute for your cocktail?

Celery Salt Substitutes

There aren’t a lot of alternatives to celery salt, but thankfully there are a few. 

Homemade Celery Salt

The first alternative is to make your own homemade celery salt. It’s not a complicated mixture at all, simply mix 1 part salt with 1 part celery powder and you’re done!

Some brands might use different ratios, but a 1:1 offers a nice balance for taste. If you’re wondering where to get celery powder, it can be made at home as well. Taking celery seeds and grinding them into a powder is the simplest way to get the celery powder you need for your celery salt substitute! 

Use Fresh Celery

The strong flavor of celery can still be used as the leaves and stalks will give you the familiar flavor. 

Since it’s not powdered, this substitute won’t work to well in cocktails or dressings. However, it will still go nice in soups or solid dinner dishes.

Dill Salt

Dill or dill weed is in the same family as celery and will have a similar taste profile. This makes it an easy go to for a celery salt substitute. 

You can purchase it premade, or go the same route as making homemade celery salt. Grinding dill seed into a powder and mixing with salt using a 1:1 ratio. 

Cooking SubstitutesFood

6 Grenadine Substitutes

grenadine substitutes

Replacements for Grenadine

Grenadine itself is pretty simple to make and if you don’t have access to store bought, it can be homemade with only a few ingredients. Homemade is also the closest you’ll come to getting a similar taste for grenadine syrup. 

That’s our first grenadine substitute, homemade! So how do you make it?

1. Homemade Grenadine Syrup

  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups unsweetened pomegranate juice

You can’t just combine all of these ingredients and be done, there is a short process to get your grenadine syrup to the right consistency. 

First, place all ingredients into a pan and begin to cook on low heat. Be sure to stir the mixture as it heats.

Once the mixture is homogenous, bring it to a boil while continuing to stir. After the sugar dissolves and there are no lumps, reduce heat and place a lid on the pan and allow the mixture to simmer for 15-20 minutes or until it’s a consistency similar. IMPORTANT: the syrup will thicken as it cools, so you don’t have to cook it until it’s at it’s finished consistency. 

Once it’s removed from heat, allow it to cool and pour into a sealed bottle/container, storing in your fridge!

2. Raspberry Syrup

The second alternative to grenadine is raspberry syrup! 

Use the same amount of raspberry syrup as you would grenadine syrup for whichever recipe you’re following. It won’t be the exact same flavor, but it will add a sweet tang and color it nicely.

Additionally, raspberry syrup makes for a great addition to some ice cream desserts!

3. Pomegranate Molasses

Another replacement for grenadine syrup is pomegranate molasses. It gives the similar tangy taste the raspberry syrup will and a splash of color. 

Pomegranate molasses can also be made at home if there isn’t any available locally. Simply boil pomegranate juice, some sugar, and lemon juice until it reaches the desired consistency. The recipe is unsurprisingly similar to homemade grenadine syrup. 

4. Cranberry Juice Cocktail Concentrate

The fourth grenadine substitute is cranberry juice cocktail concentrate!

This has basically everything grenadine does, but is made entirely from 100% cranberry juice and adds a nice bit of juicy flavor. 

5. Unsweetened Pomegranate Juice

As we get further down the list of grenadine substitutes, you’ll find that they begin to differ more and more.  This is the case with unsweetened pomegranate juice.

You’ll notice a slightly bitter taste in comparison to grenadine syrup. This isn’t a bad thing and is commonly an alternative to people who think grenadine is too sweet or if they want to cut down on their sugar.

You will still have a great taste for your cocktails though, it just won’t be as sweet! 

6. Cocktail Cherry Juice

Cherry juice has a multitude of uses for cocktails and acts as a great substitute for grenadine. 

There is a difference in flavor comparing cherry juice to grenadine syrup, but you’ll have a similar sweetness and red color added to your cocktail. 

Another great aspect of cherry juice are the health benefits! Believed to boost immunity and combat inflammation, you can have a delicious cocktail while staying healthy!

Overview of Grenadine Substitutes

If you’re ever without grenadine syrup and have the ingredients to make some from home, I suggest you go that route first!

Alternatively, the other grenadine substitutes on this list work just as well with only a few difference in flavor or sweetness. 

For more info on making your own grenadine syrup, check out the video below!

 

 

Also check out our other great substitutes for your culinary adventures!

grenadine substitutes

 

BreakfastFoodKetoRecipes

Balsamic Onion Scrambled Eggs – Easy Recipe

balsamic onion scrambled eggs

I’m surprised everyday by the new ways you can cook simple meals or the small additions that make them much more delicious. 

Most people already add onions to eggs to spice them up a bit, but have you ever considered balsamic vinegar? I hadn’t but was happy I did. Less then a teaspoon of balsamic vinegar for four eggs adds an enormous amount of taste!

There are other healthy options as well for your morning breakfast. A great example is Marcellina’s Egg White Frittatas! While such a simple ingredient the egg is, there are never ending options on how to cook it!

Balsamic Onion Scrambled Eggs

balsamic onion scrambled eggs

Balsamic Onion Scrambled Eggs

A simple scrambled egg recipe with a twist!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Servings 2
Calories 450 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 4 Eggs
  • 1/4 Onion (diced)
  • 1 tsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • Shredded Cheese (optional)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Pepper (to taste)

Instructions
 

  • Coat frying pan with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and begin heating on medium heat.
  • Add in diced onion and begin cooking until caramelized.
  • While onions begin to caramelize, whisk eggs in separate bowl until evenly mixed, adding in shredded cheese, salt, and pepper to taste.
  • Once onions are caramelized, pour in egg mixture.
  • Continue cooking and scrambling over medium heat to desired consistency.
  • Serve with toast or biscuits.
Keyword balsamic onion scambled eggs, Balsamic vinegar eggs, breakfast egg recipes

What else for breakfast?

While I like to eat my balsamic onion eggs with buttered toast, there are other options to add to your plate as well like pancakes! I prefer the healthy option of almond milk pancakes, but to each their own.

Regardless of your extra addons to breakfast, I hope the balsamic onion scrambled eggs are what you wanted out of a meal to start your day!

BreakfastFoodRecipes

Almond Milk Pancakes Recipe – Homemade

almond milk pancake thumbnail

Many breakfast meals are rich in dairy and to some that’s exactly what they want. But, not everyone want’s that and look for dairy free options. Well here we are, offering an awesome almond milk pancake recipe!

almond milk pancakes

Are you a fan of pancakes? Do you pour way too much syrup on them like me? Well what about trying them without milk?

The normal recipe for pancakes require milk to mix them, but sometimes you run out and forget to grab some on your grocery trip (definitely not speaking form experience). So what do you do? Well if you’re me, you use the almond milk you find in the fridge and discover what an amazing and healthy alternative it is!

almond milk pancake stack 2

Can You Make Pancakes with Almond Milk?

Yes you can make pancakes with almond milk as a substitute to dairy milk. In fact, the pancakes I made with almond milk were slightly sweeter and a bit more flavorful than those used with animal milk.

Can You Make Pancakes with Coconut Milk?

Absolutely! Another great dairy free substitute for pancakes is coconut milk. While this recipe uses almond milk, the same could be substituted with coconut milk for a slightly different, but still sweet taste!

Dairy Free Pancakes

There aren’t any other uses of dairy in this recipe. The only milk used is Almond Milk which is plant based. 

You may be asking, “what about butter?”. Another alternative here is if you plan on coating the pan or would usually use butter in the batter, different kinds of oils can be used as a substitute. The alternative oils you could use include olive oil, canola oil, sunflower oil, or coconut oil. 

Egg Free Pancakes?

I do want to clarify these aren’t egg free pancakes. This means the pancakes are NOT VEGAN and I’m not claiming that at all!

If you want vegan pancakes, simply take the eggs out of this recipe and substitute them with more almond milk or another egg substitute. 

Ingredients & Directions

almond milk pancake ingredients

The ingredients are minimal and will take roughly five minutes to combine/mix. Flour, egg, oil, sugar, baking powder, and of course almond milk are all it takes to make dairy free pancakes!

The first step is mixing together all of these ingredients until the pancake batter is smooth and there are no lumps! (picture below)

almond milk pancake batter

Heat the pan you want to cook with on medium heat with a little oil. Once the oil begins to shimmer, you’re ready to make your almond milk pancakes!

Depending on how big you want you pancakes will determine how much you pour. If you want pancakes like mine (4-5 inches in diameter), I use a 1/3 cup to pour the pancake batter into the pan. 

Cook the pancake until it begins to bubble like this.

almond milk pancake bubbles

Then flip the pancake and cook for the same amount of time on the other side! On first flip, your pancakes should look like the one below!

almond milk pancakes cooking

Continue cooking all your pancakes and serve!

Almond Pancake Toppings

These pancakes won’t naturally be the sweetest pancakes you’ve ever had. If you want a sweeter taste, I recommend adding at least powdered sugar and maple syrup. What you put on your pancakes is entirely up to you though! Below are a few extra suggestions for pancake toppings!

  • Butter
  • Strawberries
  • Banana
  • Blueberries
  • Powdered sugar
  • Syrup

Printable Recipe

almond milk pancake thumbnail

Homemade Almond Milk Pancakes

A delicious and easy dairy-free pancake recipe!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Servings 10 pancakes
Calories 80 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 tbsps Sugar
  • 2 tsps Baking Powder
  • 1 1/3 cups Almond Milk
  • 2 tbsps Canola Oil
  • 1 Egg
  • Toppings (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Whisk flour, sugar, and baking powder in a medium sized bowl.
  • Add almond milk, 1 tablespoon canola oil, and egg to flour mixture. Whisk until smooth and there are no clumps.
  • Heat pan with 1 tablespoon of canola oil over medium heat until oil shimmers.
  • Pour batter using 1/3 cup and cook until there are bubbles in the batter. Flip once you see bubbles and cook the other side for an equivalent amount of time (1-2 minutes usually).
  • Once cooked, stack and serve with toppings of your choice.
Keyword almond milk pancake, dairy free pancake recipe, no milk pancake

Shareable images

almond milk pancakes pin 1 (1)

Cooking SubstitutesFood

Beef Consomme Substitute – 3 Best Options

beef consomme replacement

What is Beef Consommé?

Beef consommé is a rich brown stock that you get from simmering roasted beef bones that has been combined with some vegetables, herbs, and spices. That stock is then turned into consommé by simmering with egg whites and lean ground meat. Doing this creates a light film that floats to the top of the broth, gathering all of the fats and food particles. What’s left is a clear liquid that is usually eaten as a soup!

There are some alterations to how it’s prepared, but that’s the gist. 

Despite being used as a soup, consommé has other uses in cooking. It’s also used to make aspic a jelly containing meat or seafood. Not the most appetizing sounding Jelly, but many people swear by it’s delicious taste and consistency. Some other uses may be as a soup side dish, dumpling pouring’s, or in casseroles. 

If you’re trying to find a beef consommé substitute, then I would suggest beef broth, beef stock, or mushroom consommé. However, if you have the time to make homemade beef consommé, I highly recommend doing that instead. 

How is Beef Consommé made?

The basic process of preparing beef consommé isn’t difficult, but time consuming. 

  1. First, prepare eggs by separating the egg whites from the yolks and whisk them, temporarily allowing them to aerate. 
  2. Mix chosen vegetables and beef with the egg whites used in the previous step. 
  3. Add in whatever seasonings you want.
  4. Simmer the stock on low heat allowing the stock to clear.
  5. Using a cheesecloth, strain the stock to obtain the cleared liquid. 

Check out this video to help make homemade beef consommé! 

Beef Consommé Replacements

The three options for beef consommé substitutions were mentioned earlier, but now here’s why.

Beef Stock

Beef stock
Beef stock replacement

Beef stock is the first option to choose as a backup if you don’t have beef consommé. It’s great as it comes in easy to purchase packs or containers if you don’t have time to prepare the ingredients yourself. If you do have the time though, there are some great beef stock recipes to act as your replacement.

Personally I prefer homemade beef stock over store bought when it’s done right!

Beef Broth

beef broth
Beef broth replacement

Beef broth is another alternative to beef consommé. Although they both have a strong flavor, broth won’t be as intense and takes shorter time to prepare. It works as a time saving option, especially if you buy it premade. 

There are clear differences between beef broth and beef consommé, such as consommé has a thicker consistency. Beef consommé is also much clearer and doesn’t have the same amount of impurities. To get it a little closer, beef broth can be simmered for 15-20 minutes to reduce it and bring it a little closer to beef consommé. 

Mushroom Consommé

Some of you may want a vegetarian or plant-based option for your consommé. This is substitution is for you! You still get a similar earthy taste of a hearty beef broth, but with the benefits of being meat free.

I haven’t been able to find any premade mushroom consommé near me. If you’re in a similar situation, you may have to make it homemade. If that’s the case, the NYTime’s has a great post that uses porcini mushrooms to make their recipe.

Takeaway

If you want to find a replacement for beef consommé as a soup to be eaten on it’s own, you’re better off finding a new meal altogether. Beef consommé as a soup cant be replaced, but as a sided ingredient there are three main options. 

The best replacements are to use beef stock or broth. They act as great substitutions for beef consommé with only losing some consistency and a few changes in nutrition. If you’re looking for a vegetarian option, then mushroom consommé is the answer!

If you have any thoughts please let us know. Especially if you plan on doing something as interesting as making beef consommé while crockpot cooking.

OutdoorsTravel Tips

What to Bring Hiking – A Checklist

what to bring hiking checklist

What to Bring Day Hiking

There is nothing that compares to spending a day in the woods or slowly ascending a mountain. Every time I need a reset or just need to get some space, engorging myself in nature is my top go to. 

Regardless of why you’re hiking or where you plan on going, there are a few key essentials to make sure your trip is safe and fun! To figure out what you need for your hike, there’s a few things to consider. The first consideration is how long you plan on being on your hike and will you be camping? What is the weather predicted to be like in the area you’re hiking? Are you going to be in a remote location for most of the hike?

All of the previous questions go into deciding what kind of clothing to take with you, if any extra safety gear should be brought, and how much food you should bring with you. There’s a lot of options for hiking gear to take with you, so be sure to pay attention!

Also, if you’re looking to get hiking gear for a friend, check out our gifts for hikers guide!

Day Hiking Checklist

There will be sub-items to these that fill specific purposes, but the following list is composed of what you should keep in mind when planning a hike. 

  • Clothing (depending on weather)
  • Hiking boots/shoes
  • Food (however many meals you’ll miss plus snacks)
  • Water
  • Safety equipment (via-ferrata if needed and first-aid kit)
  • Navigation (map or phone with service)
  • A hiking bag to carry it all!

clothing for hiking

Hiking Clothing

The clothing you bring on a hike will depend mostly on the weather and how long you’ll be on the trail. 

If you’re going hiking in the winter, make sure you have an adequate hiking jacket, multiple layers depending on the temperature. Likewise, ensure you have the right clothing for hotter climates as well. That includes thin clothing that covers your skin to avoid sunburns!

Hiking Boots-Shoes

Another VERY important item to consider when preparing for a hike. You’ll spend a long time on your feet, possibly traversing rough terrain, it’s important to make sure your feet are well protected! 

You don’t have to spend an arm and a leg on good hiking boots, but I will say I spent about $250 on a pair of Lowa Gore-Tex boots roughly 7 years ago and they’ve yet to give me any issues. So remember, buying a set of hiking boots may be a decade long investment!

Don’t forget about socks! It didn’t take me long to learn the lesson of having a proper pair of socks when hiking (thank you professor blister). I recommend high quality compression socks that help circulation and feel comfy!

hiking snacks

Food

I feel like this one goes without saying, but it’s understandable that some people underestimate how much they’ll need. You’ll want to have plenty of healthy carbs and have enough food to replace all of the calories you lost while hiking. If you’re on a short day hike, having some snacks to hold you over might be all you need.

However, if you plan on camping and cooking, make sure you bring enough food to replace the meals you miss!

Water

I’ve gone hiking and left behind food, but you should always triple check the amount of water you need for a hike or camping trip. During one of my hikes in New Hampshire, about halfway through I ran out of water because I didn’t realize how long the hike would take (I’ve learned a lot since then). There is no worse feeling than that, running out of water at the top of a mountain. Needless to say, my legs were fairly shaky by the time I reached the end. 

If you’re curious to know how much, check out REI’s article on hydration basics!

Safety Equipment

Another important thing to consider on any outdoor trip, how to stay safe!

Every hiking trip should have at least a small first-aid kit.

That’s not the only piece of safety equipment that you might need for a hike. Most activity guides will offer what safety equipment is needed for what you’ll be doing. For example, if you’re on a trail with dangerous parts to clip into, you’ll also need climbing gear and a via ferrata.

Some hikes will have minimal cover and require sunscreen. It all depends on what your trip entails, so make sure you look up the safety equipment specific to your hike. 

hiking navigation

Navigation

You’re out in the wild (maybe), trees may be obscuring your vision, and it’s an unfamiliar area, getting lost happens. 

The best way to not get lost is to prepare in advance and have the right navigational tools. This may be a map and a compass, but not many people know how to properly use a topographical map. There’s nothing wrong with that, but make sure you know how to read a map if you bring one. 

Most people will opt to have a GPS tracker or ensure their phone has service (that’s my preference).

Hiking Backpack

Where are you going to carry all of this gear? A hiking backpack! 

Hiking backpacks come in a variety of sizes and prices. I have two hiking bags depending on the kind of hike. A day hiking bag (small and lightweight) and a larger trekking bag that is essentially a rucksack for hiking to a camping spot. 

There are some great options for day hike bags here!

Hiking Extras

There are some extra things you can take with you that may come in handy, but aren’t really needed.

  • Flashlight
  • Binoculars (wildlife spotting!)
  • Camera
  • Cellphone
  • Personal ID

Have fun and be safe!

Nothing compares to a nice day on the trail, but make sure you’re safe! Hopefully this short checklist helps and makes you more prepared for what to bring hiking!

DinnerFoodRecipes

Homemade Kung Pao Chicken Recipe

easy kung pao chicken recipe (1)

My taste buds are always ready for an Americanized Asian dish. Yes, I love genuine Asian food, but let’s face it, most of us grew up on the American version of General Tso’s Chicken. Likewise, I grew up with Kung Pao Chicken and love the Chinese inspired sauces mixed with peanuts!

Thankfully, this recipe for Kung Pao Chicken means you don’t have to order out anymore. You can make this delicious meal straight from the comfort of your kitchen. 

Healthy Kung Pao Chicken!

If you want to skip to the recipe below feel free! I want to add that there were some specific things we did to prepare this meal and what makes it a little different than the usual recipe for this dish. 

First, we use chicken breasts and filet them into thin 1/2 inch slices. Those slices are then diced into cook-able squares. Yes you can just cut the chicken breast into 1 inch cubes, but we cook in bulk and tend to make other things out of leftover filet’s. 

Another specific aspect of this recipe is that we don’t use normal salted peanuts. During the first attempt at cooking Kung Pao Chicken, all we had were honey roasted peanuts, so we decided to give it a shot! Now, anytime we make this recipe we use honey roasted peanuts as it adds a nice zest. Feel free to add normal salted peanuts to your meal though.

easy kung pao chicken recipe (1)

Homemade Kung Pao Chicken

A healthy kung pao chicken recipe, inspired by Chinese sauces and spices.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Chinese
Servings 6
Calories 750 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 1/2 ponds boneless chicken breasts (chopped into cubes)
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tbsp red cooking wine
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 red bell pepper (chopped julienne style)
  • 3 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
  • 1 tbsp ginger
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/3 cup honey roasted peanuts

Instructions
 

Sauce prep

  • Combine water, 1/2 cup soy sauce, 1 tablespoon red cooking wine, balsamic vinegar, hoisin sauce, honey, and 1 teaspoon of cornstarch.

Cooking chicken

  • In medium sized bowl, mix together chicken and cornstarch.
  • Once chicken is evenly coated, add in 1 tablespoon of soy sauce and 1 tablespoon of red cooking wine.
  • Heat olive oil in pan for 1 minute over medium heat.
  • Add chicken to pan and toss to cook until crispy.
  • Once chicken is crispy (roughly 5 minutes), add in bell peppers, garlic, and ginger, cooking for another 3 minutes.
  • Pour in sauce from preparation and cook until the sauce thickens and is evenly coated around the chicken.
  • Finally, stir in the sesame oil and peanuts, cooking for another 2-3 minutes.
  • Serve with rice.
Keyword asian chicken recipes, healthy kung pao chicken, homemade kung pao chicken

Be sure to check out more recipes if this doesn’t fit your needs!

DinnerFoodRecipes

Healthy Shepherds Pie on a Budget

Simple Shepards Pie

Easy Shepherds Pie Recipe

Shepherds Pie is one of the most revisited recipes for us, as it’s so easy to make!

While the traditional shepherds pie recipe uses lamb or mutton, I like to stick with ground beef. You can use whatever you feel like, but I wasn’t a fan of chicken (yes I’ve tried it). 

Regardless of what meat you decide to use, a Shepherd’s Pie or Cottage Pie, is a casserole or meat and vegetables layered with mashed potatoes. This wonderful concoction is then baked until the mashed potatoes are slightly browned. 

Simple Shepards Pie

Homemade Shepherds Pie

An easy and quick Shepherds Pie that you can make on a budget!
Prep Time 1 d 30 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 8
Calories 450 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 1/2 lbs Russet Potatoes
  • 1 1/2 lb Ground Beef
  • 1/2 can Corn
  • 1/2 can Peas
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Pepper (to taste)
  • 2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tbsp Basil
  • 2 1/2 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Butter
  • 1 pack Shredded Cheese (your choice of type)
  • 3/4 cup Whole Milk

Instructions
 

Potato Prep

  • Skin and chop all potatoes into 1 inch cubes.
  • Boil potato cubes in water until soft.
  • Drain potatoes and put in mixing bowl.
  • Mix in Whole Milk, Butter, & Shredded Cheese (your preference for amount of cheese) while mashing the potatoes until all clumps are gone.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.

Beef Prep

  • Stove top fry the ground beef until nearly brown.
  • Drain fat and drippings from the pan.
  • Mix in Worcestershire Sauce, Basil, Garlic Powder, Salt & Pepper.
  • Continue cooking until fully browned and remove from heat.

Vegetables Prep

  • Stove top cook peas and corn until soft.

Combining & Baking

  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Layer meat and vegetables together in a baking pan or bowl. If you're using a bowl, you can make multiple layers.
  • On top of the meat/veggie mix, lay an even layer of mashed potatoes.
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until mashed potatoes are desired crispiness.
Keyword cottage pie recipe, homemade shepherds pie, shepherds pie recipe

Shepherd’s Pie Variants

potatoes for shepherds pie

This recipe has been around for a LONG time so there will undoubtedly be other recipes for this dish. I prefer the simple way I make it since that’s how my family always cooked it. 

That being said, some people add extra ingredients such as carrots or onions. Another great example of this recipe is from Simply Recipes where she adds beef broth! Definitely a nice addition, but I’m a lazy cook.

If you try this recipe or have another variant yourself, please leave a comment about it below and also check out our snack options!

Food

Can You Put Bananas In The Fridge – Storing Banana’s Properly

can you refrigerate bananas

Refrigerating Bananas

Who doesn’t like a ripe banana? That sweet taste and chewy texture make for an excellent snack or addition to a meal (especially pancakes).

Plus the health benefits you get from eating one, such as plenty of potassium and other vitamins!

But, the important question here is can you refrigerate bananas? 

Yes, you can refrigerate bananas to keep them fresher for longer. However, if the banana isn’t ripe yet, refrigeration will stop them from ripening and the peel will begin to turn dark. Alternatively, if you refrigerate them while they’re already browning, they will spoil faster. The best time to refrigerate them is when they’re ripe but not browning heavily.

how to store bananas

How to Store Bananas

Are there alternatives to leaving bananas out on the counter or sticking them in the fridge?

While refrigerating a ripe banana might keep it edible for longer than leaving it in a bowl, there must be better options.

Thankfully there are, such as a container and tips to ensuring bananas last longer. 

Banana Storage Containers

There are numerous storage options to keep bananas fresh. Some are small containers only for one banana, but I recommend getting storage bags, especially if you’re an avid hiker like me. Having a fresh snack is a must on a long hike!

You don’t have to go all out, the 2-Pack Banana Bags below are perfect and don’t cost a lot.

banana fresh storage bags

A bag or small container is my recommendation to slow down the spoiling of your potassium filled treat. There are a few things you could do outside of purchasing a bag or container. 

Extra Tips for Keeping Bananas Fresh

In addition to having a storage container or putting them in the fridge, here are some easy methods to increase the life of bananas. 

Hang bananas from a “tree”

Hanging bananas from something in your kitchen can stop them from bruising on the bottom where they would usually rest on the counter. 

Keeping them away from other fruits

All fruit decays and can release gases to quicken the pace in which they ripen. 

Other options?

This post probably won’t be all inclusive of the methods to store bananas. If you have any suggestions or best practices, please leave them below in the comments!

Interest