valentine’s day

Happy Valentine’s Day

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I guess there are some of us who celebrate Valentine’s Day and some who don’t. And that’s ok…

It has been said that we shouldn’t have to wait for a certain day of the year to give a gift to that special someone in our lives. I believe that is true. Make each day special. Take the time to say a kind word or give a hug. It’s those moments that people remember. (of course they remember the diamond ring you gave them too ūüėČ ) But a continuous loving heart all year round is really what it’s all about.

Happy Valentine's Day


Happy Valentine’s Day


Passaggio Wines



Dungeness Crab Bisque with Passaggio Unoaked Chardonnay

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We had so much fun during the Passaggio Passionista Wine, Food, and Friends Get Together, we are planning another!!! Take a look at what The Sassy Kitchen might be cooking for us… “YUM” – and what a great recipe for Valentine’s Day!!! Enjoy!

Here in the bay area, it is Dungeness Crab Season.¬† This makes me very happy.¬† ūüôā

A few days ago I had the pleasure of attending one of my best friends 50th birthday party.  The part was a surprise and we were all asked to bring something yummy.  I had an hour drive so I needed something that would transport well, reheat in a crock pot and still be delicious.

For me, there was an easy answer. Dungeness Crab Bisque!!!

I had never made it so I searched recipes, read reviews and chose one.  Of course then I changed it.

This soup can be prepared in a couple of hours if you are using live crab and in under an hour if using shelled crab meat.

Are you ready?

You will need

2 Dungeness Crab (approx 2 pounds each)
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Medium Carrot, Chopped
1 Stalk Celery, Chopped
1 Medium to Large Tomato, Chopped
3 Cloves Garlic, Chopped
3 Medium Shallots, Chopped
2 Springs Fresh Tarragon Leaves, Chopped
2 to 3 Tbsp Cognac (Brandy)
1/3 Cup All Purpose Flour
1 Cup Passaggio Unoaked Chardonnay
1 Tbsp Tomato Paste
5 Cups Crab Boiling Water (you can use stock or water )
1/2 Dried Bay Leaf (or 1 small – you want a subtle flavor)
Fresh Pepper
Cayenne Pepper
2 Sprigs Thyme Leaves
1 Cup Heavy Cream
2 Tbsp Butter
Parsley or Chives (optional)
Long Matches – I’m adding this because it’s important for lighting the Cognac

My recipe is based on one made by Wolfgang Puck. I loved it but it was too thin for me ¬†so I made it a little thicker. I also precooked the crab in my recipe. ¬†I have no problem putting live crabs into boiling water, I can’t bring myself to cut them in half while they are still trying to pinch me. It’s just one of those weird things.¬† (I’m the same with lobster.¬† Ok killing it one way but not another – weird but true)¬† The original recipe was also doubled.¬† It makes a lot and for Valentine’s day, this could be the perfect “Dinner for Two”.
Start by filling a large stock pot with water and bringing to a boil.  Add crab ( I had to do them one at a time).  Bring back to a boil, cover and turn off burner.  Leave the crab in the pot for 10 minutes.  They will not be fully cooked.  Move them to a sink or large bowl full of cold or ice water to stop the cooking.
Reserve the boiling water.  I only have one stock pot that large so I poured the water into a large bowl.

When the crab is cool enough to handle, pull of the claws and legs and cut the body in half.¬† Pull off the top shell and toss it.¬† (You can keep and freeze it for stock)¬† Clean out the gills.¬† You really don’t want those getting mixed up in your soup.

Add the Olive Oil to stock pot over medium heat.  Add the crab legs and bodies.  Saute for about 10 minutes.  This is bringing the flavor to what will be your soup base.  (and it will finish the cooking of the crab)  Remove the legs in about 5 minutes, keep stirring and turning over the bodies and claws.  Pull out of the pot and set aside.

Add the tomato, carrot, celery, shallot, garlic, tarragon to the pot.  Cook for 15 minutes.

Add the cognac and light it using a long “fireplace” match.

Once the flames die out, sprinkle the vegetable mixture with the flour and stir until well coated.

THEN add that delicious Passaggio Unoaked Chardonnay (that you’re probably already sipping)
Add slowly while using it to de-glaze the pan and loosen the floured vegetable mix.

Now add the tomato paste, crab boil water, the bay leaf, thyme, a little salt, pepper and a dash of cayenne.

NOW add the crab bodies again.  Not the legs or claws, just the body pieces.

Bring up to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.

Pull out the crab and set aside.

With either an immersion blender or a standard blender, blend the soup.

Reduce heat to low.  Keep the soup warm but do not boil. Taste and adjust salt, pepper and cayenne as desired.

In a small sauce pan add the cream and butter.  Reduce by about 1/2 (less is fine, it still works well)

SLOWLY add the cream to the soup.  DO NOT BOIL.

Still well to blend.

Taste and adjust seasoning.

Now it’s time to get back to that crab.¬† Crack and clean the crab.¬† (I did the claws and legs while the soup was simmering and then the bodies as soon as they were cool enough to handle)

To serve, ladle soup into bowls and add the crab meat. Top with chives or parsley if desired.

Serve with Passaggio Unoaked Chardonnay.
The Sassy Kitchen Crab
The Sassy Kitchen

A Great Recipe with Liquid Gold for Valentines Day

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There’s a lot of talk about Valentine’s Day and the whole gift giving idea…but if you plan on getting your¬†significant other¬†a diamond for this Valentine’s Day good for you.¬† One of the best recipes I have found for such an occasion is¬†diamonds, flowers, and a great bottle of wine.¬† You could¬†say¬†the Passaggio Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio¬†are like liquid gold¬†that pairs very well with diamonds.¬†¬†Do you think they would fall for it?

Sounds good to me!!!

Oh…and don’t forget the card ūüôā


Happy Valentine’s Day

Passaggio Wines



Thinking Outside the Bag for Valentine’s Day

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Valentine’s Day is approaching…are you ready?¬† This year let’s think outside the bag…let’s think in terms of white instead of red.¬† Oh my goodness, yes I said white instead of red!!!¬† For Valentine’s Day?¬† Why not…?¬† Why can’t we drink white wine on Valentine’s Day?¬† How about if I give you a “red” bag to put it in? ūüôā

Better yet…how about a “red” bag with Follow Your Passion stamped on it…?¬† If you¬†place your order between now and Feb 13th, Passaggio Wines will send¬†you red wine¬†bags to match your order,¬†and a set of¬†wine glass charms…all reminding you to follow your passion.

Let’s see…”red” bag…that goes with Valentine’s Day.¬†¬†“Follow Your Passion”…that goes with Valentine’s Day.¬† Great “Wine”…that goes with Valentine’s Day.¬† “Charms”…that goes with Valentine’s Day.¬† I think we got it covered don’t you?

When you place your order¬†of Passaggio Unoaked Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio you will get a “red” bag mailed directly to you for each bottle ordered (and don’t forget the charms). If you don’t want to use¬†the red bag or the charms¬†for the Passaggio Wines that’s ok too – just don’t tell the winemaker…LOL

Cheers and Happy Valentine’s Day!

Passaggio Wines

Happy Valentine’s Day

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Follow Your Passion Today…Enjoy

Passaggio for Valentine’s Day

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Valentines Day usually means red roses, cards, and chocolate. It’s a day to explore new loves…this year let’s add wine to the list of gifts. Red or white, buy a bottle and share it with your sweetheart. Buy a bottle of wine that you have not had before and explore new horizons…

There are many stories of how and why Valentines Day started. My challenge to you for 2010 is to start your own tradition for Valentines Day…create something just for the two of you. Something special…something unique…

As you think about this Valentines Day I hope you choose to order a bottle of Passaggio Unoaked Chardonnay. It will arrive to your door in a red bag, stamped with “Follow Your Passion” and four wine charms hung on the neck of the bottle (4 charms per order)…the card and flowers are on you. Check out the website and order today…

Follow Your Passion
Passaggio Wines