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Toast the Derby with Bourbon Barrel Aged Cabernet Sauvignon & Giveaway

2 May

Will you be watching the Kentucky Derby at the track or in the comfort of your home? Have you picked your horses? Wherever you are you will want to have good food and drinks on hand. 

I’ve got a wine that you absolutely must try. The new: Robert Mondavi Private Selection Bourbon Barrel Aged Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine offers complex, rich fruit flavor with aromas of toasty vanilla and brown sugar. This is one of the first Bourbon barrel aged wines produced in the U.S.

 This special Bourbon barrel aged wine originates in the coastal vineyards of Monterey County, CA, where the region’s dynamic, geologic past brings forth fruit with an unmistakable sense of place. Grapes are picked at the peak of ripeness, after which the wine is aged and blended to deliver exceptional fruit flavors and complexity. Unique to this wine, a portion of the blend is aged for an additional three months, using a combination of new and used Kentucky Bourbon barrels, creating one of the first Bourbon barrel aged wines produced in the United States.

 Bourbon barrels are 100% American oak barrels that have been charred to help impart deep toasty flavors and hints of vanilla and brown sugar. Cabernet Sauvignon is particularly suited for Bourbon barrel aging because its intensely rich fruit character isn’t overwhelmed by the flavors of the charred casks. The wine is rich, weighty, and full bodied on the palette, and the 2014 vintage delivers robust flavors of black cherry and blackberry.

 The Robert Mondavi Private Selection Bourbon Barrel Aged Cabernet Sauvignon will be released in limited-production and is available nationally now. Suggested retail price is $13.99 for 750mL.

I know what I will be sipping on come May 7th. I see a fruit and cheese platter served with my wine. Would you also like to try a bottle? I was given an extra bottle to give away to one of my readers. 

GIVEAWAY: Answer this question: 

What will you pair with your bottle of wine?  Also leave your handles and emails in the comment section as well. 

Must be following my blog Five Little Words

Must be following me on Instgram: @nilimo

Must be following me on Twitter: @nilimonicky 

Must be following me on Pinterest: @Nilimo

Bonus: Like 

Giveaway ends: May 15,2016 winner announced on social media May 16. 

Disclosure: This post is not sponsored. I was given product to review. Opinions are mine 100% as always. 

New Unilever Ice Cream Varieties

2 May

Inspiring memorable moments, Unilever Ice Cream recently announced their newest family-friendly frozen treats across Breyers, Good Humor, Klondike and Popsicle. From summer movie premiers and picnics, to birthday celebrations and family camping – there’s a treat for all your favorite family moments!

· Breyers Ice Cream Cake: Helping you celebrate any occasion – this new variety features Breyers Chocolate Ice Cream and loads of chocolatey crunchies, sandwiched between Breyers Natural Vanilla Ice Cream.

(We have been fans of ice cream cakes for years. It’s always available and the flavors are great. After I delivered one of my kids I asked for an ice cream cake. Breyers ice cream cakes make me very happy.)

· Breyers Chocolate Snack Cups: Features smooth Breyers Chocolate Ice Cream made with fresh cream and rich Dutch cocoa, in a pre-portioned snack cup.

· Breyers Natural Vanilla Snack Cups: Features Breyers Natural Vanilla Ice Cream, made with simple ingredients like fresh cream, sugar, milk and Rainforest Alliance Certified vanilla beans, in a pre-portioned snack cup.

(I grew up in snack cups. Snack cups are so easy for little hands on the go. It’s simple, chocolate or vanilla. My kids and I enjoy these very much.)

· Good Humor Double Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwich: Share the nostalgia of a classic with creamy chocolate ice cream sandwiched between two chocolate cookies and topped with milk chocolate chips.

(Good Humor cookie sandwich. We used to make homemade ice cream cookie sandwiches. I am glad to see Good Humor keeping a classic treat around.)

· Klondike S’mores: Features creamy marshmallow ice cream laden with sweet graham cracker swirls inside a delightfully breakable milk chocolate flavored shell. All you need is a campfire!

(What would you do for a Klondike bar? Ok, now you went and got a S’mores version. I was so happy to see these in the ice cream section. My kids are super excited for this.)

· Popsicle Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles™: Michelangelo™, Donatello™, Raphael™ and Leonardo™ are the heroes of these frozen pops featuring four action-packed flavors: Orange Fury, Cherry Crush, Blue Raspberry Blast and Smashing Grape. Grab some before the movie premiere in June!

(Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles can do no harm. They were recently named Ambassadors of New York so it’s only right to have a Popsicle with the characters in yummy flavors. We will enjoy these this summer and definitely at the movie. ) 

 It’s hard to pick just one as a favorite so I choose them all. Don’t let the weather stop you from enjoying ice cream. Remember ice cream can be eaten all year round. 

For more info visit @unileverusa on Twitter and 

Disclosure: I was given coupons to review ice cream. Opinions are mine 100% as always. This is not a compensated post. 


My Review of @MonsterProducts #YouDeserveBetter 

21 Mar

As a blogger, traveler and mom I am constantly on the go and so are my tablets and cell phones. Nowadays just about everyone owns a cell phone and or tablet but I don’t see lots of people with portable cell phone chargers and I always wondered why. If there’s one thing I hate its looking for an outlet. I rather keep it moving and get to where I have to go instead of searching for a place with an outlet that half the time doesn’t work or is being used. 

I was so happy when portable chargers made the scene but some were so worthless it only charged my phone half way that I would have to still find a place to charge. Was there a powerful portable charger that could handle my phone and tablet and give me more than one charge for the entire day that I was out and about?

Monster Products saved my day. I don’t leave home without my portable Monster charger. Monster Mobile PowerCard Turbo Portable Battery. Monster’s Power Card packs serious punch. Super thin, it fits into your wallet for power on the go. A great value and easy to transport, it’s perfect for quick emergency charges. 

The Power Card charges up to 3 times faster than standard USB chargers. 3 LEDs on the Power Card show your battery level and charge indicator. Use it with anything that requires USB charging. Power Card quickly provides five hours of energy to your smartphone. 

Check out the link for details:

When it comes to my music I must have the best in-ear headphones so I can hear every beat, base and word in the song I’m listening to. My headphones have to zone out background noise so I can be at peace with my music. I also don’t like in-ear headphones or earbuds that fall out of my ear. 

Monster has done it again with their Clarity HD High Definition In-Ear Headphones. I mean just the name alone should make you say I need to know more about these headphones. I don’t know how many headphones I’ve purchased in the past but I know they are no where to be seen or found. That was money wasted. I’m not saying things don’t break  or just ware out I’m saying I shouldn’t have spent all that money knowing I wouldn’t own at least one pair that I can say I’ve had longer than a month or two. 

With the Monster Clarity HD High Definition headphones I have stopped looking. These headphones have superior noise isolation that keeps the outside world out so you can focus on the music. Combined with Monster’s ControlTalk Universal in-line microphone, you can take and make crystal-clear calls and control music from any smartphone or tablet. Multiple ear tips ensure the best possible fit for any set of ears–and they won’t fall out like other earbuds. 

Look at them here:

What’s a selfie without a selfie case? Selfie sticks are so banned and played out that Monster came up with a better idea. A selfie case for your IPhone that mounts to glass, mirror, acrylic, marble and other smooth, flat and glossy vertical surfaces. Special gel material functions like millions of tiny suction cups. It is also shock absorbent and impact resistant. Has high quality, flexible case body and provides improved grip. You can video chat and use GPS navigation hands free as well.

Did you see what I just wrote? It mounts to glass, mirrors, etc.. Hands free selfie case. When I first saw this demonstrated my mouth dropped. I love it and as much selfies as I take i couldn’t be more happier to own this. Want to see what I’m talking about? Here you go:

Disclosure: I am a Monster Nation Reviewer. Items were given in exchange for my honest review. Opinions are mine 100% as always. 

Getting Better for Cold & Flu Season with Homeopathic Medicines

20 Feb

Between January and February my kids and I get the sniffles, runny noses, asthma, sore throats, etc and I don’t like running to the emergency unless a cough lasts more than a week or asthma needs extra medication that I don’t have on hand. I feel like over the counter medicine doesn’t work all the time so I try home remedies and lots of fluids and rest. 

I recently attended Boiron’s Winter Well event with Blogger Brianne Manz (Stroller In The City) at Washington Market Pediatrics at 161 Hudson St.  Bloggers were invited to learn and prepare for cold & flu season. 

Last year we were all sick and I had to be hospitalized. This year I held out till recently where I caught a cold but it’s nothing compared to last year. I took my flu shot which seemed to help me out a lot because with my kids sick I just knew I would be home for a few weeks but I wasn’t. They were though. My 13 had his flu shot. We tried the nasal instead of the injection because he hates shots. It went well. 

I don’t know how many boxes of tissues I went through between my three kids. Now I have to restock. 

Dr. Lisa Kaufman from (Village Pediatrics) and Dr. Tiffany Knipe from (WMP) chatted with us for the morning about getting flu shots early, myths and facts and what ages should get their flu shots. I’m a germaphobe and carry hand sanitizer everywhere I go and make sure we are constantly washing our hands. It’s hard to watch my kids especially when their in school which is where kids gets sick the most because of the germs and other sick kids but I do make sure they carry sanitizer as well and wash their hands as much as possible. 

Boiron is a world leader in homeopathic medicines. Homeopathy is a therapeutic method that uses highly diluted natural substances to relieve symptoms. Boiron provide products that work without causing drowsiness or drug interactions. I am a big fan of providing my family with a healthier, more natural lifestyle so when I heard Boiron was also providing us with information about their products and giving samples I was thankful because this came at the right time while my kids were sick.  

I gave them Boiron’s Children’s Chestal Cold & Cough syrup which temporarily relieves symptoms of the common cold, such as sneezing, fitful cough, runny or stuffy nose, nasal and chest congestion and minor sore throat. Available for everyone ages 3 and up. I gave my kids this  and the coughing stopped, runny, stuffy noses disappeared I was very impressed. This is definitely a keeper. 

Other items included in the gift bag were Calendula Cream, Arnicare Gel, Children’s Coldcalm, Oscillococcinum and other goodies. 

To learn more about these homeopathic medicines check out @BoironUSA @OscilloUSA @ArnicareUSA @CamiliaUSA on Twitter and

I also downloaded the free homeopathic medicine finder app which is very useful at: 

Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post. Opinions are mine 100% as always. 

Doing Laundry is Fast with Three Easy Steps using Downy Ball

12 Feb

For most people, when they were growing up their mother did their laundry. Putting the freshly cleaned clothes up to your nose and breathing in a scent of a spring meadow. Laundry items and tools have changed over the years but the Downy Ball has remained the same since it’s debut in 1960. It’s simple design has been saving people time by preventing them from having to wait for the rinse cycle to begin to add fabric softener. It’s also the same tool that could help you get your clothes the same way mom used to. It’s easy to use, just fill the ball, toss it on top of your clothes and let the washer work its magic.
In the past, if you wanted to use fabric softener to give your clothes the softness of a cloud, there would be the time consuming task of having to wait for the rinse cycle before adding the softener. Dryer sheets do not give your clothing the same feel or scent of liquid fabric softener. Washers today are made with a built in fabric softener dispensers but they easily get clogged and create a mess. Downy has created a simple solution called the Downy Ball. Downy Ball helps you soften your clothes in 3 simple steps. Fill to the appropriate line on Downy Ball for the wash load size, pull the ring tightly to close the ball and toss the ball on top of your clothes before starting the wash cycle.

The Downy Ball releases the fabric softener automatically so that you do not need to wait for the rinse cycle to add your fabric softener. During the rinse cycle the washer’s spinning motion opens the Downy Ball releasing the softener and creating one less hassle for laundry doers. Top loading washing machines now have a built in dispenser but they can easily get clogged and make it more difficult for the softener to reach the clothes. The Downy Ball can be used in traditional washers. It can be used in some HE machines, but may not work in all front loaders and other HE machines because the water does not fill up high enough to open the ball and release the softener. Consult your machine’s owner’s manual for information regarding use of the Downy Ball. 

I’ve used the Downy Ball at my laundromat and my clothes were smelling great and feeling very soft. Easy to use, convenient and that extra time waiting that I used to do I can now run and get an Iced Coffee. 

 The Downy Ball is sold at Target, Walmart, and many other grocery, drug and mass retailers. The Downy Ball is available for $2.29. For more information please visit: 

 Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post. I was given sample to review. Opinions are mine 100% as always. 

Ninja Coffee Bar Review 

23 Oct

My name is Nichol Perez and I am addicted to coffee. I love coffee (all types). I’ve been drinking since I was a teen and I’ve tried so many. Some of my favorites are iced coffees, lattes, flavored hot coffees and just a good light and sweet cup of coffee. 

I was excited to find out actress Sofia Vergara partnered with Ninja to launch the Ninja Coffee Bar. This coffee machine was meant for me. I get to brew delicious coffee at home like specialty coffees, classic or rich brew and over ice brew. I can make a carafe, half carafe, travel mug or cup size of coffee in the comfort of my home. 

I was invited to hear Sofia Vergara speak on how she partnered with Ninja and why she had to have that fresh brew of Colombian coffee in her house. Sofia showed attendees how easy it is to use the Ninja Coffee Bar and why she loves it, she told us her favorite brew, and also let us know she can’t cook but can make good coffee. She was so sweet and funny. I enjoyed meeting her and so glad she partnered with Ninja. 

I was sent the Ninja Coffee Bar to review and at first I didn’t know what I was doing when I put coffee beans in the machine because it’s been that long since I brewed coffee so once I found out the beans needed to be put through a grinder I quickly handled that and had a great rich brew half carafe pot of coffee. I also made myself a coffee on the go in my travel mug which is sold separately. I enjoyed every sip of the piping hot coffee which has a intelligent warning plate on the machine and kept my coffee hot and also I was impressed my coffee stayed hot in my travel mug for about three hours. Love that mug. 

The Ninja Coffee Bar comes with a milk frother and amazing easy recipes which I can’t wait to try and it’s available now at major retailers nationwide starting at $149 MSRP. 

My favorite features are the Auto-IQ one touch intelligence, drip stop and the multi serve cup platform. All the features are great and I’m definitely hooked and now my wallet will be happy because I will save so much money with my Ninja Coffee Bar. Also great for hosting a coffee party with your family and friends. You bring the coffee I’ll make it and serve. 

Here are some facts about the Ninja Coffee Bar:

Ninja® is transforming the way Americans brew coffee with the Ninja Coffee Bar™. Ninja® has completely reinvented traditional drip coffee makers by designing a machine to unlock coffee’s full flavor potential and provide smooth, rich and well-balanced coffee in the size and style that you want. Perfect for daily coffee drinkers and coffee lovers, with the Ninja Coffee Bar™ you can choose a cup, a travel mug or a carafe, and you can choose from a variety of brew styles. From classic rich hot coffee, to refreshing Over Ice Brew or even delicious hot milk-based and frozen blended specialty drinks, you can do it all with one machine.

 Only the Ninja Coffee Bar™ has Thermal Flavor Extraction™ technology, which is designed to unlock the full flavor potential of your coffee, using automated controls for Temperature Calibration, Pre-Infusion, and Even Coffee Saturation.

 With Auto-iQ™ One Touch Intelligence, just set the dial to your desired size, select your brew type, and the Ninja Coffee Bar™ will automatically use the correct amount of water. Whether you like it hot or over ice, smooth or extra rich, this unique brewing technology knows just the right amount of flavor to extract to achieve just the right strength. Choose from four different brew types:

 1. Classic Brew: Smooth, rich, balanced flavor from your favorite ground coffee. 

2. Rich Brew: Richer than Classic with more intense flavor that really stands up to milk, cream, or flavoring.

3. Over Ice Brew: Richer than Rich Brew, designed to brew fresh and hot over ice leaving you with the perfect ratio of ice to rich, refreshingly cold coffee that’s never watered down.

4. Specialty Brew: Super-rich concentrate allows you to create your favorite hot milk-based and frozen blended coffee-house style drinks.

 “We are bringing Ninja®’s innovative technology to create a coffee maker that will transform the industry,” says Mark Rosenzweig, CEO of SharkNinja, the company that develops Ninja® housewares products. “Designed for coffee lovers, the Ninja Coffee Bar™ enables consumers to have the best coffeehouse in town on their countertop and make flavorful — never sour, never bitter — coffee with delicious, customizable coffee drink options.”

Adding an extra layer of convenience, the Ninja® Removable Water Reservoir enables users to brew multiple cups of coffee without refilling or measuring. The Precise Temp Warming Plate, available on select models, is designed to keep your coffee at the ideal temperature without burning it, even the last cup. With a two hour Auto Shutoff, the Precise Temp Warming plate will automatically turn off two hours after brewing and has an independent “Stay Warm” button that allows you to turn off the Precise Temp Warming plate prior to the two hour Auto Shutoff. 

Additional features of the Ninja Coffee Bar™ include:

· Easy-Fill Brew Basket – Slide out to quickly and easily fill with your favorite coffee grounds or fully remove for effortless cleaning.

· Removable Water Reservoir with Auto-Metering – No need to measure or constantly refill.

· Drip Stop – Stops the flow of coffee from the brew basket, allowing you to pour a cup mid-brew.

· Multi-Serve Cup Platform – Easily pulls down so you can brew directly into your favorite mug or cup.

· Programmable Delay Brew – Pre-set to brew automatically up to 24 hours in advance in any size.

· Intelligent Clean Cycle Indicator – Alerts you when your brewer senses that it needs to be cleaned.

· Ninja Easy Frother™ – Transform milk into rich creamy foam for your favorite indulgent specialty beverage.

· Available on select models:

o 43 oz. glass carafe with no drip ergonomics; included with Precise Temp Warming Plate.

o Double Wall Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Carafe keeps your coffee hot for hours, ideal for entertaining; not including Intelligent Warming Plate.

· Ninja Cup Options:

o 12 oz. insulated mug with handle

o 14 oz. insulated cup

o Stainless Steel 16 oz. Travel Mug

o Hot and Cold 18 oz. Insulated Tumbler™

I have attached a video I took of Sofia at the event.

I also periscoped my attempt at making coffee. Hopefully it’s still available. My periscope name is @nilimonicky. If it’s not available here is my you tube link to watch the 2nd correct video on:

For more info about the Ninja Coffee Bar and additional Shark Ninja Products:, and @NinjaCoffeeBar on Twitter. 

Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post. I was invited to event and given a Ninja Coffee Bar for review. Opinions are mine 100% as always. 



Part Of My Family: Honest Tea, Honest Kids Organic Drinks 

21 Sep

When it comes to drinks for my kids I aim for the ones without high fructose corn syrup. It’s very difficult and tricky sometimes when reading labels. You might have no sugar added but then you have ingredients you can’t even pronounce. Is there really no sugar added? Then there’s your flavors. I’m sure every kid likes their drinks to taste good. My kids are all about the flavors and I’m all about teaching them about the healthy but also flavorful drinks. 

That’s where Honest Kids organic fruit drinks come in to play. Yes, organic and sweetened only with organic fruit juice. The flavors are amazing I find myself sneaking a few pouches to take with me. 

In 2013, they removed the organic cane sugar from all Honest Kids varieties and found a way to deliver the same great taste by sweetening the juice drinks only with fruit juice.
Super Fruit Punch and Berry Berry Good Lemomade are my kids top two favorites. There are also Appley Ever After, Goodness Grapeness, and Tropical Tango Punch. Don’t these flavors sound incredible? They are, and I make sure to stock up for school lunches and adventures so my kids can stay hydrated with favorite quench thirsting drink. 

Honest Tea made sure to look out for the adults too. Today, Honest Tea is the nation’s top selling organic bottled tea, and is carried in more than 100,000 outlets. 

The Honest Tea Glass Bottles have awesome flavors like: Peach-Oo-La-Long Tea, Radiant Raspberry Tea, Moroccan Mint Green Tea and Mango White Tea just to name a few. 
The Honest Tea Iced Teas are certified organic, 100 calories or less per bottle and just a tad sweet are what I buy all the time. A few of the delicious flavors are Half Tea & Half Lemonade, Honey Green Tea and Lemon Tea. These come in plastic bottles. 


Honest Fizz is a refreshing take on certified organic zero-calorie soda with a modern (and Honest) twist. Zero- calories per can. Flavors include: Root Beer, Ginger Ale, Professor Fizz, Orange Pop and Lemon Limey.

Organic Lemonades, a Limeade and a Half & Half in family-sized bottles, sweetened with fair trade sugar. Love family sized bottles especially with all the thirsty members in my home. 

Honest specializes in offering beverages that range from unsweetened and zero grams of sugar to ones that are “just a tad sweet.” Their teas, juice drinks and sodas use a variety of natural sweeteners.

My kids packed two Honest Kids pouches each for lunch the first day of school. They still do. 


Check out Twitter: @HonestTea and on the web:

Have you tried Honest Tea? What flavors do you like? 
Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post. Honest Tea was kind enough to send me and my family samples to try for review. My opinions are 100% my own. 


21 May

The New York Baby Show presented by New York Family Magazine was in full effect over the weekend, May 16,17 at Pier 92 in NYC. I always appreciate these shows even though my kids aren’t babies anymore. However, I do have baby/toddler cousins. My readers also have babies/ toddlers and I’m sure they appreciate reading about the latest, greatest baby strollers, toys, clothes, furniture, etc. 

We went the first day and was there for the ribbon cutting ceremony with NBC News Anchors Erica Hill and Sheinelle Adams. Rosie Pope was in the house as well. Canon was the presenting sponsor of the New York Baby Show. Momtrends hosted the Blogger Lounge (#MomtrendsLounge) this year and child care was also provided. It was much needed and a big Thank You goes out to them for that. There was pampering for bloggers from GlamSquad giving the ladies manicures, hair and makeup touch-ups. My daughter immediately had her nails done. After we walked around and visited stations we came back to the lounge for a delicious lunch and raffles. My son decided to stay in the lounge because he’s not into baby things but he’s a great helper with kids and parents have told me he’s a very caring person and the kids love playing with him. He’s 12 and loving with his sister too. He had fun up in the lounge. My daughter saw a few of her friends in child care and wanted to play so I sent her off to have more fun. She was in good hands with The Nanny League. They are great with kids of all ages. 

NYC Dads Group hosted the Dad’s Lounge sponsored by Dove Men Care. They took care of the dad’s and moms by welcoming them in their lounge to change and feed their babies, get tips, advice and tricks from other dad’s. 

Quinny & Maxi-Cosi, Stokke, Evenflo Feeding, Delta Kids, Pottery Barn Kids, Mamas & Papas, Please and Carrots, Happy Family, Plum Organics, Shoosha True, Babies R Us, Britax, Vitamix, 92Y, Lincoln Center, The Bump provided reading material with the inside scoop of getting pregnant and pregnancy. New York Family Magazine another favorite magazine also provided reading material for helping parents enjoy raising kids in the city and beyond. 

Mabel’s Labels handed bloggers a pack full of labels with our names on it and a few dog tags. I use them for the kids school books, lunches and clothing. They come in handy. The goody bags were filled with fabulous items from lots of brands. A few of my favorite things from the goodie bags and on the floor were: Hatch Things have a lightweight caryall bag called “Sureshop” that won’t let your stroller fall over. I’m sure we’ve all experienced this with our strollers. I wish I had these when my kids were little but as a bag fanatic i can never say no to a good bag. While walking the floor my daughter found these cute reuseable garden snack bags from Green Sprouts. Comes in a 2-pack snack size and sandwich size. Fun styles. Safety 1st showed and awesome step and go stroller. Fold down is easy and to open just step down on the foot pedal and it fully opens up. No hands! Love it! Primary has amazing kids clothes for boys and girls for under $25. The softest material up to size 10. Mixed Pears make the cutest portable food scissors for parents to cut food to the right bite size. They are called “BiteSizers” and come in a variety of colors. 

Canon had fun interactive activities for the entire family. There was a play area where parents could take photos of their children, and have one-on-one guidance on capturing that once-in-a-lifetime moment.  There was also a Pregnancy Portrait Studio where expecting moms could had a professional photographer snap and print a baby bump photo. Canon experts also hosted two photography seminars to lead new and expecting parents through Baby Steps lessons for each stage of their child’s life.

These are just some of the brands that were in attendance. For more info check out @newyorkbabyshow and @momtrends on Twitter. 

Disclosure: I was compensated for this post. Opinions are mine 100%. 


Woodbridge Wine ‘Cue Sauce Launch BBQ Party w/ Alex Guarnaschelli at Butter

17 May

I recently attended the Woodbridge Wine ‘Cue Sauce launch party. Chef, cookbook author and Food Network personality Alex Guarnaschelli hosted a backyard BBQ party on the patio at her restaurant Butter, where she served her original BBQ recipes and Woodbridge Wine cocktails. There were also summer games including corn hole and jumbo-jenga and a live bluegrass band.

I am addicted to Food Network and have been a fan for years as well as a fan of Alex Guarnaschelli. I consider myself a foodie and chef and love trying new foods and recipes. I also love creating my own. I think I have more than 20 cookbooks. Love collecting them. Hopefully one day I’ll be on tv or become a cookbook author. BBQ’s are my favorite kind of parties. The smell of the food cooking in the grill and the taste is what I crave. Everything from steaks, burgers, corn on the cob and shrimps are a few of my favorites. I just recently found out you can even make a cake on the grill. I know what I’m doing this summer. 

I just have to say the food on the menu was so good you had to be there to taste it. I couldn’t stop eating. They were all great. This is what guests had the pleasure of eating: Slow Cooked Woodbridge Wine Pork Shoulder ‘Que, Oven-Baked Woodbridge Wine Chicken Wings, Woodbridge Wine ‘Cue Sauce Portabello Sliders, The Ultimate Woodbridge BBQ Shrimp, Summer Roasted Potato Salad, French Fries, Mix Green Salad with Woodbridge Wine Vinaigrette, Caramelized Woodbridge Wine Onion Party Dip and Grilled Pineapple with ‘Cue Sauce Glaze and Woodbridge Wine Granita. Did I say this food was banging? Just in time for Memorial Day, I will be making all of these recipes this summer. 

The drinks were perfect for a beautiful Spring evening. Frozen Woodbridge Moscato Mint Julep, Woodbridge Pinot Grigio Sangria, Woodbridge Orange Fizz, Woodbridge Moscato-Watermelon Smash all by Robert Mondavi. My favorite drinks were the mint julep and the watermelon smash. 

Inspired by a shared commitment to create quality products for everyday enjoyment, Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi and Daddy Sam’s partnered to create a one-of-a-kind Texas style sauce, infusing the robust taste of the winery’s beloved Cabernet Sauvignon into a grilling sauce that’s ideal for summer entertaining. The perfect accompaniment to backyard BBQ’s and gatherings of family and friends, the Woodbridge Wine ‘Cue Sauce combines the dark fruit and caramelized flavors of the Woodbridge Cabernet Sauvignon with a sweet and tangy molasses-based sauce. The limited edition Woodbridge Wine ‘Cue Sauce is available for purchase for $6.99 on from May 15-September 30. Here is the link: 

Alex Guarnaschelli recommends enjoying the sauce with a glass of Woodbridge Cabernet Sauvignon to truly amplify the flavors ($6.99 per 750mL bottle / $10.99 per 1.5L bottle) 

I couldn’t wait to try so I made baked chicken and shrimp and use the Woodbridge Wine ‘Cue Sauce and everyone loved it. I definitely have to stock up before it’s all gone. The best part is it contains no residual alcohol and is appropriate for all ages and contains no artificial ingredients, including high fructose corn syrup or MSG. A big plus in my book. I put a few of the recipes below. Let me know which one you try or if you try more than one and how you like the sauce after you purchase. I know you will love it. I love mine and can’t wait to get more. 

Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post. I was given a bottle of sauce for review purposes. Opinions are mine as always 100%. The last 3 photos are credited to Brian Zach.



Mixed Green Salad with Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Wine Vinaigrette

Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon is used to create the foundation for a fresh salad dressing.


Sauce is not used, but does use Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon as an ingredient


Pairs with Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon


Makes about 2 cups of dressing


2 teaspoons sugar

2 cups Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon

2 tablespoons smooth Dijon mustard

1 medium clove garlic, minced

¼ cup Balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon clover honey

½ cup Canola oil

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

½ pound arugula leaves

½ pound escarole

1 sprig fresh dill, stemmed


1.       Make the vinaigrette: In a small pot, reduce the Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon and sugar over medium heat until there is about 1/4 cup liquid. Slowly whisk together the mustard, garlic, Balsamic vinegar, honey, Canola oil and olive oil. Stir in the reduced red wine. Add a splash of water if needed. Taste for seasoning.

2.       Toss the salad: In a large bowl, toss the arugula, escarole and dill with the dressing, tossing a few spoonfuls at a time.



Oven-Baked Woodbridge Wine Chicken Wings

The chicken is brushed with butter and paprika then baked. The Woodbridge Wine ‘Cue Sauce is boiled, reduced, tweaked and then used as a glaze over the chicken after it is finished baking.


Incorporates Woodbridge Wine ‘Cue Sauce and Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon as ingredients


Pairs with Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon


Serves 4-6


2 cups Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon

¼ cup clover honey

2 large cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons dark brown sugar

3 tablespoons Woodbridge Wine ‘Cue Sauce

½ cup sherry vinegar

1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper

2 scallions, white and green parts both, cut into thin rounds

1 pound (about 16 pieces) chicken wings

Kosher salt

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

2 teaspoons hot paprika

The juice from 1 large lemon


1.       Preheat the oven to 350F.

2.       Make the honey glaze: In a large skillet, reduce the Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon over medium heat until there is only about ¼ cup liquid. Pour the wine into a medium bowl to cool. In the same skillet, bring the honey, garlic, dark brown sugar and Woodbridge Wine ‘Cue Sauce to a simmer. When it starts to foam and turn light brown, remove the skillet from the heat and pour in the sherry vinegar. Return the skillet to the heat and allow it to simmer until it becomes like a light glaze, 12-15 minutes. Stir in the black pepper and scallions and pour it over the red wine in the bowl. Whisk to blend. Taste for seasoning.

3.       Prepare and cook the chicken wings: Cut each chicken wing at each joint so each wing is cut into 3 parts. You will have 36 pieces including the wing tips. Season them with salt. In a small saucepan, melt the butter and stir in the paprika. Put the wings on a sheet pan and brush them with the melted butter mixture. Bake them for 5-8 minutes. Turn them on their second side and brush with the remaining butter mixture. Then, put the tray under the broiler and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes or until fully cooked.

4.       Finish the dish: Toss the chicken wings in the honey red wine glaze and squeeze the lemon juice over them.



Slow-Cooked Woodbridge Wine Pork Shoulder ‘Cue

Traditional pork BBQ adapted for a slow cooker with Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon and Woodbridge Wine ‘Cue Sauce, served “naked”. The pork shoulder is rubbed with some simple spices. The pork is cooked whole with the sauce, wine and herbs.


Pairs with Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon


1 bottle Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon

6 medium cloves garlic, grated

1 teaspoon Spanish paprika

2 tablespoons dark soy sauce

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 cup Woodbridge Wine ‘Cue Sauce

3 tablespoons Canola oil

3 pound piece pork picnic shoulder – If you can’t find a 3 lb. piece of pork shoulder, ask your local butcher to cut one for you

Kosher salt

2 tablespoons unsalted butter


1.       Marinate the pork: In a medium pot, reduce the Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon over medium heat until it reduces by half. In a large bowl, whisk together the garlic, paprika, soy sauce, red wine vinegar, Woodbridge Wine ‘Cue Sauce and oil. Stir in the reduced red wine. Drop the pork shoulder in the marinade and roll the meat around, coating all sides. Refrigerate the meat for (preferably overnight but for a minimum of) 6 hours. Take care that the meat is coated and turn the meat around in the marinade once or twice as it sits.

2.       Preheat the oven to 325F.

3.       Cook the pork: Place the pork on a tray with a fitted rack and low sides. Season the meat on all sides with salt. Place the pork in the center of the oven and roast until tender but still juicy, 2 ½ – 3 hours. Remove the pork from the oven and allow it to rest 15 minutes before slicing against “the grain” of the meat. In a small pot, bring the marinade to a full boil over medium heat. Simmer and reduce for a couple of minutes then whisk in the butter. Taste for seasoning. Pour the marinade over the pork slices.



Summer Roasted Potato Salad

Red Bliss potatoes roasted and tossed with an emulsified dressing made with Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon, mustard, scallions.


Sauce is not used, but does use Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon as an ingredient


Pairs with Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon


Serves 4 to 6


2 pounds medium Red Bliss potatoes, halved or quartered depending on size


The dressing:

1 cup Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon

6 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 medium shallots, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons smooth (Dijon) mustard

¼ cup mayonnaise

1 teaspoon chopped capers

6 gherkins, quartered lengthwise and sliced into ¼ inch pieces plus 1 tablespoon of gherkin liquid

1 small bunch chives, minced


1.       Preheat the oven to 400F.

2.       Arrange the potatoes on a single layer on a baking sheet and place it in the center of the oven.

3.       Make the vinaigrette: In a small pot, reduce the Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon over medium heat until there is only about 2 tablespoons of liquid. In a bowl large enough to hold the potatoes, whisk together the red wine vinegar, shallots, mustard, mayonnaise, capers and gherkins. Whisk in the reduced red wine. Taste for seasoning. When the potatoes are tender and yielding when pierced with the tip of a knife, 30-35 minutes, remove them from the oven. Allow them to cool for a few minutes. Peel half of them. Some potato skin is a nice flavor in the salad.

4.       Finish the salad: Place the potatoes (halved or quartered, pending size) in the bowl with the dressing and lightly crush them with the tines of a fork. Season lightly with salt and pepper and toss them in the dressing. Sprinkle with the chives.



Woodbridge Wine ‘Cue Sauce Portobello Sliders

Grilled Portobello mushroom “burgers” made by sandwiching two portobellos together with the cheese and with Woodbridge Wine ‘Cue Sauce onions inside. They are pressed and cooked on the grill (or could be baked in the oven) until completely hot in the center.


Incorporates Woodbridge Wine ‘Cue Sauce 


Pairs with Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon


6 large garlic cloves

2 medium red onions, thinly sliced

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus ½ cup olive oil for the dressing

Kosher salt

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons Woodbridge Wine ‘Cue Sauce

1 tablespoons clover honey

8 medium Portobello mushrooms

10 ounces whole milk mozzarella cheese, cut into 12 slices

½ cup finely grated parmesan cheese


1.       Preheat the grill. Preheat the oven to 350F.

2.       Roast the garlic: In a small bowl, toss the garlic cloves and onions with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and salt. Spread the onions on one end of a baking sheet and the garlic on the other. Place in the tray in the center of the oven. Cook until tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, 20-25 minutes.

3.       Make the dressing: “Mash” the garlic cloves and whisk them vigorously together with the balsamic vinegar, Woodbridge Wine ‘Cue Sauce, honey and ½ a cup of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

4.       Grill the mushrooms: In a medium bowl, toss the mushrooms in the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season with salt. Place them, stem side up, on the hottest part of the grill. Cook for 3-4 minutes, you may see liquid starting to emerge from the stem area. Turn on their second side and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes. Transfer them to a tray and place in the center of the oven. Cook for an additional 12-15 minutes until they are tender when pierced with the tip of a knife.

5.       Make the sliders: Arrange four mushrooms, stem side up, on a baking sheet. Top each with 3 slices of the mozzarella cheese and some of the cooked onions. Season with salt. “Sandwich” the cheese by topping each with another mushroom. Sprinkle with the parmesan cheese. Place the tray in the center of the oven and bake until the cheese melts, 5-8 minutes. Remove from the oven, slice in half and drizzle with the dressing.



Caramelized Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Wine Onion Party Dip

Caramelized onion dip with Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon and Woodbridge Wine ‘Cue Sauce cooked into the base of the dip and blended with cheese, fresh scallions, and served with pita chips.


Incorporates Woodbridge Wine ‘Cue Sauce and Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon as ingredients


Pairs with Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon


Makes about 2 cups dip; Serves 6-8


2 tablespoons unsalted butter

4 large yellow onions, halved and thinly sliced

3 medium cloves garlic, minced

½ teaspoon cayenne

Kosher salt

½ cup Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon

½ cup Woodbridge Wine ‘Cue Sauce 

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

3 ounces cream cheese

1 cup sour cream

2 scallions, thinly sliced, green parts only

12-16 baby carrots, peeled

Pita chips


1.       Cook the onions: In a medium sauté pan, melt the butter and add the onions, garlic and cayenne. Season with salt and cook over medium heat, stirring from time to time, until translucent, 8-10 minutes. Add the Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon and cook until almost all of the liquid evaporates, 8-10 minutes. Add the Woodbridge Wine ‘Cue Sauce and red wine vinegar and cook for an additional 15-20 minutes over medium to low heat until the onions are golden brown and tender. Set aside to cool.

2.       Make the dip: In a medium bowl, whisk together the cream cheese and sour cream until smooth. Stir in the onion mixture and scallions. Taste for seasoning. Allow the dip about 15 minutes to “rest” before serving with carrots and pita chips on the side.



The Ultimate Woodbridge BBQ Shrimp

Incorporates Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi wine and Woodbridge Wine ‘Cue Sauce in the recipe which is cooked, (grilled or) broiled and glazed.


Pairs with Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon


Serves 4-6


For the BBQ Sauce:

1 cup Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon

1 cup Woodbridge Wine ‘Cue Sauce

¼ cup cider vinegar

¼ cup Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons light soy sauce

1 tablespoon dry mustard (preferably Coleman’s brand)

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

3 tablespoons chili powder

4 medium cloves garlic, minced

1 lemon, cut into ½ inch thick slices


For the Shrimp:

16 – 18 “U-10” Shrimp, peeled, deveined

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 lemon

1 tablespoon freshly ground ginger


1.       Preheat the grill.

2.       Make the BBQ sauce: In a large pot, simmer the Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon until it reduces by about half. Stir in the Woodbridge Wine ‘Cue Sauce, cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, dry mustard, Dijon mustard and chili powder. Whisk to blend. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add the garlic and lemon slices. Simmer on the stove for 20-25 minutes until the aroma of the vinegar mellows slightly. Taste for seasoning.

3.       Cook the shrimp: Season the shrimp on both sides with salt. When the grill is hot, place a large sauté pan on the side of the grill to get it hot. Place the shrimp in a single layer on a “hot spot” of the grill. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Use a pair of tongs to turn them on the other side and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Add the butter to the sauté pan. Allow the butter to melt and the toss the shrimp in the pan, basting them with the butter. Squeeze the juice from the lemon and stir in the ginger. Drizzle them generously with the BBQ sauce. Transfer to a platter and serve with additional BBQ sauce on the side, if desired.




Grilled Pineapple with ‘Cue Sauce Glaze and Woodbridge Wine Granita

Grilled fruit that could be served as a dessert or as part of a party menu served with a red wine granita, made from freezing Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon with some spices and honey. There is a sweet and sour aspect; as well as a hot/cold temperature concept. This recipe could also be broken into two smaller dessert or “refresher” concept recipes. Makes about 2 ½ cups worth of granita.


Incorporates Woodbridge Wine ‘Cue Sauce and Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon as ingredients


The Granita:

1 cup water

1/3 cup sugar

1 bottle Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon

1 cinnamon stick

1 teaspoon dry ginger

1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar



1 large ripe golden pineapple, top removed, peeled and cut into 10-12 wedges

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

¼ cup clover honey

2 tablespoons Woodbridge Wine ‘Cue Sauce 

Juice from 1 medium lemon


1.       Make the syrup and cook the wine: In a medium saucepan, combine the water with the sugar. Stir to blend. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring from time to time, until the sugar dissolves. Transfer to a bowl to cool. Refrigerate. Pour the Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon into the same saucepan, add the cinnamon stick and ginger and cook over medium heat until it reduces by half. Refrigerate.

2.       Freeze and make the granita: When the wine and syrup are cooled, stir them together. Discard the cinnamon stick. Stir in the Balsamic vinegar. Pour out onto a baking sheet and put in the freezer until it hardens, 3-4 hours. When ready to serve, scrape the surface with the tines of a fork to remove the granita in large flakes.

3.       Preheat the grill.

4.       Grill the pineapple: When the grill is hot, arrange the wedges of pineapple in a single layer on a baking sheet and brush them with the olive oil. Place them on the grill in a single layer, cooking 3-5 minutes on one side before turning on the other. Meanwhile, put a medium pot on the grill and add the honey. Bring it to a simmer and let it froth and bubble 2-3 minutes until it turns a darker shade of brown. Add the Woodbridge Wine ‘Cue Sauce and lemon and simmer 3-5 minutes. When the pineapple is charred on both sides, arrange on a serving platter and spoon the honey wine reduction over them.


Dyson AM09 Hot+Cool Fan/Heater Review 

17 May

I recently received Dyson’s hot+cool to review. This is a bladeless fan/heater that cools you down or heat you up. This couldn’t have came at a better time. NYC weather has been crazy. One day it’s cold in the 40’s and the next it’s hot in the 80’s. Some days I don’t need to turn the air conditioner on so the fan cools us down without everyone freezing. Those nights when the temperature drops the heater keeps us toasty. There’s a personal mode you can choose from the remote control. This mode is for long-range powerful heating. The diffused mode heats the room quickly and evenly. The jet focus control focuses on the long-range powerful airflow or diffuses for a wide projection to mix the surrounding air. Wih the oscillation button on the remote air can be directed around a room. 

I also love how quiet it is. I can still listen to the television or music at a normal sound without turning it up loud. The Air Multiplier technology amplifies surrounding air, giving an uninterrupted stream of smooth air. My kids are impressed that there aren’t any blades and they can stick their hands through. I love that Dyson thought of Safety first. As a kid all fans had blades and for some reason I always wanted to put my hand inside. I did a few times and thought my fingers were going to fly off. Kids will be kids and try things even if it hurts, so I am glad Dyson thought of this and it also makes it easy to clean. I hated cleaning blade by blade and so much dust my asthma and allergies would do a number on me. 

It also comes with a 2-year warranty which is great. You can register your hot+cool on their website: Another cool feature is the sleep-timer. I need this because I don’t like to wake up in the middle of the night to find things running. This can be programmed to turn off after pre-set intervals ranging from 15 minutes to 9 hours. How great is that?

There are 10 airflow settings and the remote has a magnet that allows you to store the remote right on top of the machine. We lose remotes in our house quite a bit so I appreciate this. I wish my tv remote was magnetic. If you happen to lose the remote there is a button on the bottom of the fan that you push to turn on. The iron/blue color is beautiful. This tower fan/heater can fit anywhere with its sleek/tall shape. It can also tilt up or down. It’s perfect. 

There are different models to choose from. I have the AM09 model. The only thing you have to do out of box is put base on the fan. Plug in and feel the cool or choose the warm. That’s it! My family and I absolutely love it!!!! Thank you Dyson. 

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What features do you like about this model? 

Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post. I was given the hot+cool for review purposes. Opinions are mine 100% as always.