Two weekends ago I went to the Food Network in Concert Festival at Ravinia. My parents bought the tickets last May at a charity event, and I had been looking forward to it for months. During the day there were 50+ chefs and wineries serving, and at night Phillip Phillips and John Mayer played a concert. Win win.
I’ve been to other food festivals, so I had a pretty good idea what to expect. This event was by far the best one I’ve ever attended. Ravinia was an ideal venue because you never felt cramped (except for the 15 minutes of rain when everyone crowded under the tent) and you were always wondering what was around the next corner, like an Airstream speakeasy serving Don Julio Lavendar Palomas and Spicy Margaritas!
There were a few celebrity sightings including Fabio Viviani and a handful of Food Network celebrities. Ina Garten was not there, unfortunately. That would have been a highlight!
The food was incredible. I think my favorite bite was a corn and coconut chilled chowder from Graham Elliot and a seared scallop from…. well I can’t remember where that was from. It was amazing. The vendors did not skimp on portion sizes or quality ingredients. Another favorite was a healthy slice of foie gras with candied bacon and hazelnuts. Ridiculous.
We lucked out with the weather. It was warm, but they predicted a 60-80% chance of showers. We came prepared with a tarp.
I am loving Fall in the Midwest this year. We have had some beautiful summer-like days. Over the weekend I visited my parents at the lake and enjoyed 80+ degree days. On a whim I decided to make a fall-ish cocktail, even though it was not quite nippy outside. This Apple Cider Sangria is a WINNER.
I threw in some frozen cranberries. Not only do they act as little ice cubes, they also add great color. I actually like chomping down on the cranberries, but that might not be for everyone. You can also squeeze a few into your glass.
Apple Cider Sangria is going to be a new fall staple!
Apple Cider Sangria
Lindsay at Perfecting the Pairing
- 1 bottle (750 ml) white wine (I used pinot grigio)
- 2 cups apple cider
- 1 cup brandy
- 1 orange
- 1 apple, roughly chopped
- 1 cup frozen cranberries
- 2 cinnamon sticks
In a large pitcher combine the wine, cider, and brandy. Juice the orange and add the juice to the pitcher. Slice the rest of the orange into wedges and add along with the apple, cranberries and cinnamon sticks. Stir to combine. Chill for at least one hour. Serve over ice.