Celebrating the Color Red with FOOD

As I realize Valentine’s Day isn’t for everyone, therefore I decided to write on a color instead. From November thru February I feel like red is such an important color. There is red in nature, holidays, AIDS Awareness, the Election, and so on. Red has so many interesting meanings and brings different feelings to light when observing the color. So in the celebration of the color of red, I thought it would be fun to discuss some of my favorite “red” foods. Food is something that is so incredibly important to me as discussed in other posts like What’s In A Kitchen? and Creating Your Secret Garden Part 4: Keeping Your Harvest. Red food stuffs are some of my favorites: tomatoes, peppers, beets, strawberries, wine, and meat – the list is endless! So in the spirit of the month of love, I wanted to pay tribute to my red food loves.

Drinks – Let’s start with my favorite drink… wine! Wine brings lots of familial memories for me. Growing up with family who is Italian, wine is always not only an essential spirit, but also a pivotal ingredient at family celebrations. I love how this beverage has such a history and nuance of being produced (at least the good ones do) and can literally be paired with anything. My favorite red grape is Tempranillo. This grape typically is grown in Spain but is also produced in Portugal, USA, and Australia. I love this wine because it is a medium to full body red that pairs with many foods. If you have never had it before, it is very similar to a Sangiovese or Cabernet Sauvignon. If you need more information check out this great article by Wine Folly on Tempranillo. Honestly though, any red wine is going to probably be high on the list for me.

 

If wine isn’t your thing here are some other great red drinks to add to your beverage list…

Non-Alcoholic Red Drinks are also great for those who want to skip the booze.

Apps – I LOVE appetizers. I think I could seriously live on small plated food. That being said my favorite red appetizer is sausage stuffed peppadews. What I love about this appetizer is that it is so easy to make and can totally be adapted as well. Basically you take your favorite spicy sausage and stuff them into prepared peppadews (usually found in the olive bar at a grocery store). Then you place them in the oven at 350° for about 30 minutes (or until the tops are crispy) and then enjoy. You can also mix the sausage with mushrooms, spinach, and cheese to give them a more robust flavor. But the classic sausage is just as good. It has become a staple at our gatherings and will definitely be a crowd pleaser for you as well.

Here are some other great red appetizers to try out as well…

Entrée – When I think of a red entrée I automatically think of a red meat with a traditional red-wine demi-glace. I love to make this for my family. Its relatively quick and takes less talent than you would think to make it. Also, since it is a more old-world traditional dish it has lots of rich complex flavors. I tend to pair this dish with some sautéed mushrooms, onions, and asparagus. If I do choose to add a grain it is usually with couscous only because I despise making mashed potatoes. But honestly the dish goes best with mashed potatoes so you can enjoy all that fantastic red wine demi!

Here are some other great red entrees for you to enjoy!

Dessert – I don’t typically make dessert… but when I do make dessert it is usually chocolate of some kind or mini pies. I love to make mini pies because they are great for sharing, cook in a fraction of the time, and are great to freeze. My favorite is the mixed berry pie. I use strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries. Then I mix in some sugar, orange juice, and lemon zest. It is so incredibly delicious and fresh tasting. I prefer to enjoy my pies with Cool Whip but I know my husband and many others enjoy these pies with vanilla ice cream. This type of pie is not only great for the red months, but would also be great for the 4th of July.

16177583_10103115865267948_2438079957892890736_o{Picture of strawberry pies taken by Lauren C. Carlisle}

Here are some other great red desserts for you to check out.

Red is such a vibrant and rich color in food that you can find it in every cuisine. It can be savory, spicy, or even sweet, lending itself to please even the pickiest of eaters. I hope showing you the variety of red foods will help you not only celebrate with the color red, but also open up some new and exciting tastes for you and your family. So if you are celebrating Valentine’s Day or just need a pick me up of color in the kitchen, I think these great recipes will go a long way to creating happy taste buds and guests at your table. Bon appetit!

ciao_laurencop_sig-01Lauren Cop is a SAHM (Stay At Home Mom) of Irish Twins and Senior writer/editor of the Olive Shoe Blog. Currently Lauren and her family live in Tallahassee, FL where she helps teach at a local pre-school. A Clemson fanatic, alumni and general sports enthusiast. She loves reading, gardening, food, and traveling. Follow her Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

The Olive Shoe | Paperie & Design | Celebrating Creativity and Creatively Celebrating is designed and run by Lauren {LAC} James © 2015 LAC James All Rights Reserved.

Lauren {LAC} James is a Sr. Designer of Product Graphics for an international manufacturing company by day and a creativity crusader, designer, planner extraordinaire, artist and blogger in her “free” time. Follow her and The Olive Shoe on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram! Pleasesubscribe to receive emails, of course, come back and visit again soon!

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