During the summer, I usually look for affordable, family friendly activities. That way, we can enjoy numerous activities through out the year. The youngest likes to run around, dance, clap, and listen to music. My husband and I love to listen to music and experience new things. A free concert in Millennium Park was just what the doctor ordered. Now you might be thinking, what does this have to do with wine, Wine Mom? Everything!
Wine is about enjoying the little things in life (and sometimes finer!). You are at an outdoor concert, enjoying nature, the music, the weather, and your family. When you add a glass of wine, it can complement your experience through taste. Now believe me, I am not suggesting that you go throw down a few bottles of wine. I am saying that you can enjoy a glass of wine and it can complement your experience. We frequently “meet” other couples because they need to borrow the corkscrew because they forgot their gadget of choice. You can easily start talking about what you brought and what others might recommend. It never hurts to find out what others might be enjoying!
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We took a bottle of J W Morris Riesling. It sells for $3.99 at Trader Joes! You can’t beat it and it is a decent wine. It is great for someone looking to get familiar with Riesling. It isn’t overly sweet and is pretty smooth. I made spicy chicken quesadillas and sandwiches for our picnic and to go with the wine. I’ll share the recipe because my husband loved them (and he is picky!) Granted this “accidental recipe” was made from unused jalapeno and red onion from a salsa recipe, but it worked well!
Wine Mom’s Spicy Chicken (for sandwiches, tacos, quesedillas or whatever you might like!)
You will need:
4 chicken breasts, thawed
1/4 large red onion
1/4 olive oil or more to taste
1 taco seasoning packet
food processor / blender
First heat your grill to 400 degrees. Once it is heated, place the jalapeno and onion directly on the grill rack. Grill for 4 minutes and turn over for another 4 minutes. Sides should be slightly blackened. Let cool for ten minutes. Cut the top off the jalapeno and remove the seeds from the center (if you are brave and like very spicy foods, you can leave in a few seeds).
Put the jalapeno, onion, olive oil, and taco seasoning into a food processor or blender. Blend until it makes a nice paste (slightly runny so you may need to add more olive oil). Use the paste and coat the chicken pieces thoroughly. Place the marinated chicken in the refrigerator for 2 hours and up to overnight.
When you are ready to cook, heat the grill to med high or high heat. Cook chicken thoroughly.
I used the chicken to make quesedillas and panini sandwiches on a panini press. I added some chopped green onions, tomatoes, and cheddar jack cheese. I lightly buttered the bread and tortillas on the outside and used my press according to its instructions. You can add the chicken to any meal that you like!
Use the Internet or local newspapers / guides to find an outdoor concert venue near you. If you plan to pack at meal and bring wine, make sure you can do so BEFORE you go! We go to multiple outdoor concert venues, and different rules apply. Most of all, go and indulge all of your senses. It is a great and inexpensive way to spend an evening out!