Sunday, June 29, 2014

CK Mondavi Wine for Summertime

If you're into tasty wines at a reasonable price points and fresh summer ingredients, you're going to love this blog post! As part of a Clever Girls Collective campaign, I was able to taste test 4 wines from CK Mondavi.The verdict? CK Mondavi is the perfect 4th of July wine!  Not only is it the only wine in this price point (under $10!) to be 100% American made &  grown, but a percentage of sales goes to supporting veterans. It's a win-win! 

I paired the brand new CK Mondavi Wine Blonde Five, a white blend with flavors of honey, baked apple and lemon zest with my favorite summer bean salad. This black bean, tomato and edamame salad is seasoned with lime juice, salt and pepper and is a perfect compliment to CK Mondavi's Blonde Five. (The recipe for the salad is at the bottom of this post.)

The Chardonnay would also pair well with this summer bean salad if you're more into chards. 

CK Mondavi also sent me a Cabernet and another red blend, Scarlett Five. These wines are easy to find as 

  • CK Mondavi wine is sold nationwide in every US state. Plus you know you are supporting a great cause because a

  •  percentage of each bottle sold between May - August is donated to Intrepid Fallen Heroes (up to $50,000). 

  • Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund (IFHF), is an organization that supports the men and women of the Armed Forces and their families.

  • So you're drinking yummy wine for a good cause, and it won't break the bank? Anyone can get on board with that!

    Summer Bean Salad
    Serves 8

    1 can black beans - rinsed and drained
    1 package shelled and cooked edamame 
    1 large avocado - diced
    1 pt. cherry tomatoes - quartered
    Juice from 3 limes
    Salt and pepper to taste
    Chopped Cilantro

    Combine all ingredients adding salt, pepper and lime until it tastes to your liking. Refrigerate until serving. Spritz with more lime juice before serving. 

    Enjoy and head to your local grocer to support veterans and their families by picking up a bottle or two of CK Mondavi!

    I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

    Wednesday, June 25, 2014

    Healthy Summer Salads (Not Boring, I promise!)

    Happy Wednesday! 

    I'm excited because I asked my Instagram followers what they'd like to see on the Jackie Fo blog this summer and they gave me some great ideas! (Btw, follow me on Instagram @jackiefo ). Sometimes a gal needs a little help with her inspiration, ya know? 

    The first topic I'm going to blog about is healthy summer salads. Sounds boring, I know, but I promise these salads are anything but dull! I need a lot of "stuff" on my salad to make it appealing, so I made sure to find salads brimming with summer vegetables and fruits. If you're anything like me, you're working hard right now to get healthy and maybe even trim down a bit, and these salads fit the bill. Plus they give you an excuse to hit up the farmers market which I love doing...Don't get me wrong, I love a good grocery store, but there's something a little more fun about the farmers market.

    Let's take a look at this summer salad bounty? All the links to these fine recipes are underneath the photos.

    It's no secret I adore the classic Italian Caprese salad, so I'm loving this twist on it using strawberries and walnuts. This would be a great addition to a buffet or even a light lunch. 

    This veggie salad has everything but the kitchen sink - lima beans, tomatoes, peppers and more. It's colorful and beautiful too!

    If you're in the mood for Mexican (and I am a lot in the summer months) this Mexican summer salad is right up your alley. Plus it has avocado, and everyone knows that things with avocado are instantly awesome.

    Maybe you're in the mood for a Greek salad instead? You know what they say, feta makes everything betta...

    This tomato and cucumber salad with cilantro would make the perfect side dish to any summer meal, don't you think? 

    If you want a little grain in your salad, try this quinoa and nectarine salad. This salad is nutty, sweet and hearty! Plus you can quiz your friends and see how many people know how to spell "quinoa."

    Is anyone else really into the peppery flavor of arugula right now? I am...especially arugula with prosciutto. This salad has peaches, arugula and prosciutto. YUM.

    This salad has grilled shrimp, salty cheese and romaine lettuce. Honestly you can add grilled shrimp to any salad and it goes in the win column.

    Since I love pasta salad of any kind, I had to include my lemon orzo salad I made for the site. Just try it and tell me you don't love it!

    Don't these recipes just make you want to whip up a hearty salad for dinner tonight? Like I said above, add grilled shrimp or grilled chicken to any of these salads for a main course meal. Who knew salad could be so delish?!

    Friday, June 20, 2014

    4th of July Mason Jar Parfaits

    Well hello and happy almost summer! Did you know that tomorrow (June 21) is the official first day of summer? In my mind summer started when I switched over to white wine but that's just me. Hehe.

    I've got a treat for you today on the blog. Perfect for summer, but really super duper perfect for the 4th of July. I whipped these up for a 4th of July photo shoot I did, but more on that later. First let me tell you how to make these super easy Red, white and blue Mason Jar parfaits.

    These no-bake desserts look adorable and would be the perfect addition to any summer BBQ. All you need is blueberries, strawberries, pre-made angel food cake and whipped cream topping. Plus mason jars, but if you're like me, you've got about a million of those lying around.

    First off, cut up your angel food cake into cubes. I like to get the small angel food cake cups because they are easier to cut than a big cake. 

    Place them in the bottom of your mason jar. 

    Pile on your berries.

    Top with whipped cream.

    And then top with more berries. 

    How adorable is this?

    See, how easy was that? 

     Red, White and Blue Mason Jar Parfaits
    Serves 4

    4 Mason Jars
    1 pint blueberries 
    1 pint strawberries
    Whipped Topping

    Follow the above directions and you'll have an adorable dessert in minutes!

    So, about that photo shoot I mentioned earlier. The wonderful site MomTrends (a great resource for busy but stylin' mamas) asked me to style a 4th of July photo shoot featuring some great products. I made these parfaits for the photo shoot and used one of the products (patriotic Duck Tape) to decorate the wooden forks. 


    You can see more photos like the below and see how else I used Duck Tape and other fun products by visiting the post HERE. Seriously, check it out for awesome 4th of July party inspiration!

    I hope you have a great first day of summer tomorrow! Do something extra-summery! 

    Wednesday, June 11, 2014

    Burgers Baby!

    Okay guys I've got something reaaaaaalllly juicy for your Wednesday. I'm talking about Burgers Baby! Summer is the official season of burgers in my opinion, and I love it. Beef, Turkey, Chicken, Veggie, I love it all. You can make them healthy or suuuuper unhealthy and you can pair anything with them - fries, salad, potato salad whatevs. Is it obvious I love burgers? Okay, let's get to it...

    Here are a few burgers I found via Pinterest...if you want to be overwhelmed with delicious options, just put in "burger recipes" in Pinterest. Wowza!

    Maple Bacon Beer Burger -
     Nothing goes as well with a burger as a beer, so you might as well just put the beer inside the burger right? With bacon of course.

    Caprese Burger -
     A Caprese Salad is one of my most favorite foods in the universe, so making it a burger is a no-brainer. 

    Chicken Jalapeno Burger -
     This chicken jalapeno burger with guacamole has a kick!

    Hawaiian Turkey Burger
    This Hawaiian burger has pineapple and teriyaki to give it that island flavor!

    Greek Burgers
    I have made these and I love them. These burgers have feta cheese and Tzaziki sauce. I could literally drink Tzaziki sauce btw. 

    Salsa Verde Turkey Burger
    This Mexican style burger is dripping with cheese and salsa verde!

    Black Bean Burger
    If you're a vegetarian, you can still enjoy a hearty burger. I happen to really like Black Bean burgers and find them really filling. 

    Burger Bar
    If you're having peeps over for burgers this summer (and you probably are), set out an easy burger bar with toppings galore.

    Finally, this last burger looks great....doesn't it?

    Surprise - it's actually a cupcake! Can you believe it? Mind...Blown...

    Here's to a summer full of delicious burgers!

    Friday, June 6, 2014

    Local Cocktail Feature: Vivace

    In honor of Friday, it's time for another edition of Jackie does cocktails! Unfortunately this time it's without Kristen because sniff, sniff she moved! Don't feel too bad for her, she moved back to her beautiful hometown of Charleston, South Carolina. So I'll be working to perfect my own photography skills and just pining away for Kristen's amazing talent and friendship. But now we have an excuse to visit Charleston more often! 

    Last night I went to one of my favorite spots for al fresco dining, Vivace which is in the Metropolitan shopping center close to Uptown Charlotte. Vivace has delicious Italian food including yummy bar bites and amazing flatbreads and of course, an extensive cocktail and wine list. 

    If you're familiar with limencello (and you should be), Vivace makes their own "cellos" in the flavors of lemon, orange and strawberry. I of course had to try the strawberry mojito made with the strawberry-cello. It was delicious and not too sweet.

    My other fave was quite a surprise as I'd never tried it before. It's called an Aperol Spritz. Aperol is a bitter spirit so to counteract the bitterness you add in some sweetness and prosecco. This spritz had:

    • Aperol 
    • Orangcello
    • Prosecco
    • Club Soda 

    It was absolutely delicious and beautiful to boot! Very refreshing. I'm sorry for the onslaught of photos of this Aperol Sprtiz but I couldn't stop taking photos of it...I can see how this photography thing could get addicting! 

    A few of my friends also enjoyed some sangria which is a perfect summer cocktail.

    Thank goodness for my down-to-earth, positive and intelligent girlfriends! Love our conversations. And they're not too shabby to look at either! 

    Here's Amy with her Aperol Spritz.

    And Liza with her interesting Japlapeno cocktail. She's an adventurous eater (and drinker!).

    We classed it up by pairing our fancy cocktails with pizza. Sometimes you just can't beat pizza. 
    Mmm cheese and bread.

    We also enjoyed salads  (bc we're healthy) and then promptly destroyed a couple bowls of pasta. Then we finished it off with dessert. Whatev, you would have done the same thing. 
    Vivace, I love you - don't ever change. 

    I'm going to leave you with one of the best things I've ever read. If you're a Barefoot Contessa fan (and who isn't really) you will love this article that gently pokes fun at her. Okay, gently is a lie, it's actually sort of harsh but completely 100% true. I've read it twice and laughed out loud every time. 
    It's. So. Funny. Seriously read this for a good laugh.
     Then watch Barefoot and want to live her life like I do.

    Have a great weekend!