I received an email a couple of days ago from Felicia Mcclinton, here is what she wrote:

Hi, My name is Felicia and I’m one of johnonwine.com readers.

I’d like to thank you for the excellent information I’ve found on your website, especially your recipes are my favorites.

I have 35 years, live in Illinois and have a passion to share with family and friends recipes to help them eat healthy and try to prevent diabetes, high cholesterol and heart disease.

I figured you might be interested in including a guest article for johnonwine.com about the most common healthy recipes of the Mediterranean tradition as well (Italian, Greek, Middle Eastern, etc..).

Article in form of a little guide to help your readers experiencing with this topic and perhaps discuss the topic at hand.

Please, take a minute to consider this; it would be a pleasure and honor to contribute!  You can read more about what I do at http://www.mediterraneanrecipes.org/

With your help we can educate the public about the dangers of unhealthy eating and hopefully save some lives.

Either way, thanks for reading and keep posting your excellent information on johnonwine.com.

Hope you a good week.

Warmest Regards

Yours Truly Felicia

I went to Felicia’s site, loved the recipes, and invited her to send me something to post. Felicia is my first guest writer, and she provided a wonderful recipe/guest article:

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If You Don’t Make these Healthy Mediterranean Recipes Now, You’ll Hate Yourself Later

Greek  Crostini

Greek Crostini

Ingredients

1000 grams of bread

200 grams of Greek Kalamata Olives

100 grams of Greek Feta Cheese

8 tablespoons of Olive Oil

1 clove Garlic

Salt and Pepper

This recipe is perfect for 8 persons and you can prepare it in 35 minutes.  It is a very flavorful and sumptuous dish inspired by the Greek feta croutons and black olives.  This is also one of the easiest recipes to prepare.

Preparation

Make 1.5-inch thick slices of bread.  Place the sliced bread in the oven or toaster.  Rub garlic on each slice of bread after toasting.

Meanwhile, cut the feta cheese into small cubes.  Cut the olives into quarters or halves.  In a separate mixing bowl, mix the cubed feta cheese and olives and season with olive oil.  Make sure the toasted breads are still hot before sprinkling the cheese and olive mixture.  Serve and Enjoy.

Nutritional Value per each of 8 servings:

165.75 grams, 477.36 Kcal, 9.3 Fat, 88.06 Carb, 14.77 Pro, 3.82 Fib, 57.88 Water

About the Cooker – Felicia Mcclinton writes for Mediterraneanrecipes.org blog, her personal hobby blog focused on cooking tips to eat like a real Mediterranean and eat healthy to prevent diseases

Guest writer Felicia Mcclinton

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Thank you Felicia!

Okay, I did some math and tried this recipe out. 1,000 grams, a kilo, is roughly 2.2 pounds. I used two loaves, each was a pound – close enough, of Franco American Bakery sourdough from Santa Rosa, CA, it is the best bread available throughout Northern California. 200 grams of olives is about a cup, 100 grams of feta cheese is about 1/2 cup, so that’s what I used.,,and I added more garlic, but that’s me.

I paired this easy, fun, informal food delight, loaded with lots of delicious flavor, with an unusual wine I recently purchased when I visited the J. Lohr tasting room in downtown San Jose., the 2009 J. Lohr Wildflower Valdiguié, Montery County, a lighter, completely unpretentious red wine with low tannins and lots of forward juicy fruit notes. Made using some carbonic maceration, this wine reminds me of Beaujolais Nouveau and of Preston Vineyard’s past Faux, light, fruity, a red wine that makes you think of blush wines and Sangria. Berry, Cherry, Cran, spice, a little herb, a lot of fun. Only $10 a bottle, or $7.50 for wine club members.

J. Lohr’s Winery and Tasting Room, located right in the middle of San Jose.

Inspired by the tastiness of Felicia’s Greek Crostini recipe, I tried another of her recipes from her website last night, Authentic Italian-style Gourmet Mushroom Risotto.

Authentic Italian-style Gourmet Mushroom Risotto

Italian Risotto, photo credit: James Gallaher

This recipe requires 20 minutes preparation time and 30 minutes cooking time.  The dish should be ready in 50 minutes.  This will make 6 servings.  Each serving has the following nutritional value:  Calories 438, Total fat 17.1g, Cholesterol 31mg, Sodium 1338mg, Total carbs 56.9g, Dietary fiber 2.7g, and Protein 11.9g.

Ingredients
Chicken broth – divided into 6 cups
Olive oil (divided) – 3 tablespoons
Portobello mushrooms (thinly sliced) – 1 pound
White mushrooms (thinly sliced) – 1 pound
Shallots (diced) – 2 pieces
Arborio rice – 1 1/2 cups
Dry white wine – 1/2 cup
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Sea salt to taste
Chives (finely chopped) – 3 tablespoons
Butter – 4 tablespoons
Parmesan cheese (freshly grated) – 1/3 cup

Directions

1.  Warm the chicken broth in a sauce pan over low heat.

2.  In a large saucepan, heat 2 tbsp of olive oil over medium fire.  Add the mushrooms and stir.  Cook the mushroom for 3 minutes or until tender.  Then remove the mushrooms including the liquid.  Set it aside.

3.  In a frying pan, add one tablespoon of olive oil.  Stir the shallots and cook for at least 1 minute.  Add the Arborio rice and stir continuously for about 2 minutes to coat with oil.  Pour the wine when the rice changed its color to pale gold.  Stir continuously until the wine has been fully absorbed by the rice.  Then add half a cup of broth to the rice and stir continuously until the broth is absorbed.  Continue introducing half a cup of broth while stirring the rice.  Make sure the liquid is well absorbed.

4.  Remove the rice from the heat and add mushrooms with liquid, Parmesan, Butter and chives.  Stir continuously then season with salt and pepper.  Serve hot.

Okay, rarely content to leave a found recipe alone, I added Saffron because, hey, it’s risotto, right?

I wrote on facebook about how delicious this dish was, and 6 people “liked” my new status, and somewhere in a string of 23 comments, Parducci Wine Cellars asked me to guest chef for their next tweetup, for Chardonnay, on May 6.

Earlier today, I visited with Parducci’s Retail Sales Manager/Social Media Marketer Cindy Molchany; I brought some leftover mushroom risotto and she poured the 2008 Parducci Mendocino County Chardonnay and the 2008 Paul Dolan Vineyards Mendocino County Chardonnay. We talked about the menu I would like to cook to pair with these wines, and she sent me home with three bottles of each to play with as I experiment and fine tune recipes.

Delicious Risotto and Wine. Cesano and Parducci. May 6, 2010, 5-7pm

I plan on adding finely diced tart apple to the risotto, with the shallots, and expect they will sweeten and exude sugars as they cook for nearly 30 minutes. The apples in the new Apple-Mushroom Italian Risotto, along with the Saffron, inspired by Felicia’s original recipe, but made my own, will pair beautifully with the two fruit forward Mendocino County Chardonnays.

I will also make apple pies from scratch. Since apple pie needs ice cream on top, I will be crafting a Chardonnay apple ice cream to serve with the apple pie.

I am grateful to Felicia Mcclinton both for her initial request to write a guest article and for her inspiring recipes that started this incredibly exciting chain of events to unfold. Thanks to Parducci Wine Cellars for the invitation to do something I love.

Parducci Wine Cellars and Tasting Room, 501 Parducci Road, Ukiah, CA

I will certainly be writing more about the event as we get closer, but I hope that if you are within driving distance you will mark your calendar and plan to join me at Parducci Wine Cellars’ Tasting Room, on March 6, between 5pm – 7pm, at 501 Parducci Road in Ukiah California (707) 463-5350. This is a tasting, not a dinner, so if you live in Santa Rosa and don’t get off work until 5pm, don’t worry, you can make it to Parducci’s tasting room before the event ends.