Most of the time when I am trying to decide whether to cook a recipe, I look at how many ingredients it has and what I’ll have to buy to make it. I like simple, cheap ingredients: garlic, onion, maybe some regular old all-purpose flour. But when a recipe requires something I don’t already have — whether it’s actually expensive or not — I immediately get pissed and don’t want to make it.
Wine is one such ingredient.
You’d think I’d be happy to open a bottle of wine for a recipe, but more often than not, I don’t. It’s just a waste. Sure, I can drink it, and I do sometimes, but it seems like every recipe I want to make calls for white wine, and the fact is, I’m a merlot girl. I’ve tried freezing the leftover wine in cubes, but I often forget to use them, or get them mixed up with my frozen broth cubes (an overpacked freezer is the plight of the woman cooking for one, am I right?) so it just becomes a frustrating ingredient, and, if I want my food to not taste like Hamburger Helper, an expensive one.
However, I recently picked up a tip from Cooking Light that is so simple, yet so life-changing, I don’t even know how to act. You know those mini bottles in hotel rooms or on planes that seem a little bit ridiculous when you’re trying to get all warm and toasty and you have to keep opening another one for each new drink?
Well they are perfect for cooking wine!
Seriously, most recipes only call for a quarter-cup or half-cup of wine, and those bottles are perfect. A four pack is around $6 and you won’t have to worry about wasting the leftovers. Plus, once you buy one pack for a recipe, you’ll have three more servings on hand and won’t have to make an emergency run to the liquor store while you’re in your apron. (Plus, if you’re cooking on a Sunday morning and this happens, like it did when I was making edamame risotto, you’re going to look like a raging alcoholic.)
So this had already opened up a whole new world of recipes for me, and then, this week, I discovered Three Thieves wine.
It comes in super good-for-the planet packaging and is just way cooler than those little Sutter Home bottles that make you think of your grandma.
It’s like a freaking juice box! I mean, yes, I love it for cooking (it’s way easier to lug home from the grocery store and it takes up no space in the fridge) but I’m not above whipping one of these out when I want to toast with vino and not chip my tooth taking it straight from the bottle.
Now no wine is getting wasted, but you might be.