Recipe ideas using things you already have

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Getting stuck in a food rut is not only boring, it’s also not great for your health. Now more than ever, it’s tough to get specific ingredients, but don’t let that stop you. It’s time to get inspired and get cooking with what you probably do have in your kitchen already! We’re going back to the basics but with a fun twist. 

Read on for a whole day’s worth of fun meals and drinks. If you’re on the hunt for more recipes, we’ve rounded up a bunch at the end of this article that use your pantry staples.


Since most of us no longer have to face morning traffic, we have a little extra time to make the most important meal of the day a little more fun. Did you know that french toast was basically invented for those “running low on groceries” days? 

While calling this breakfast delicacy “French” may be a stretch — French toast was actually traced back to the Roman Empire (that’s right, you can thank them for mulled wine, and dessert for breakfast!) — the French do have their own name for this treat. “Pain Perdu” meaning “lost bread” is what you’d have to request if you were having breakfast with a view of the Eiffel Tower. The name is fitting since French toast was historically made with stale bread! Instead of throwing it away and wasting it, they transformed it into a morning favorite. That’s the spirit! 

While you’re at it, make yourself a fun morning libation. Hey, if the Barefoot Contessa says it’s okay, we’re on board! Blue Silk Sangria is basically juice after all.


We could all use a little comfort right? What’s more comforting than grilled cheese and tomato soup? If that seems a little boring, now is the perfect opportunity to test out your skills as a resourceful chef. Have some bacon in the fridge? Throw that into your grilled cheese for an extra treat! 

Were you planning to host a dinner party with a charcuterie spread, and now have a whole bunch of fancy cheese just sitting in your fridge? Put it to use by making a fancy grilled cheese! Throw some of that pancetta in too for a truly gourmet lunch.

No need to just settle for regular old canned soup. You probably have a variety of spices to choose from. Add some flavor! Not only are you going to get a gourmet lunch, but you’re going to improve your own skills and have some fun.


Okay, we need something that reheats well for leftovers throughout the week, that everyone in the house will like, that’s simple to make, and fairly healthy. Sounds like a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be. Pasta is a great, easy option since noodles stay good in the pantry forever and can be made about a million different ways. Pastas can seem boring and repetitive, but only if you’re not putting your own spin on them. Here are some ideas to get you out of your go-to spaghetti habit. 

  1. Try a new type of pasta. If you are headed to the store or ordering groceries online, why not try a new, healthier alternative to regular noodles. A lot of stores have been low on regular pasta, but have a lot of alternatives like chickpea pasta. These pastas are healthier and have a slightly nuttier flavor! They are more expensive, but worth it when you compare how much protein they have to a regular pasta.
  2. Make your own sauce. Have a can of coconut milk or cream handy? Adding coconut milk, some parmesan cheese, and a bit of garlic will give you an excellent cream sauce. Throw in some roasted brussels sprouts, mushrooms, and onions and you’ve got yourself a very healthy and filling dish.
  3. Try adding eggs. Ever made carbonara? It’s a perfectly italian comfort food using things you already have, like eggs and bacon!

All of these can only be improved with an accompanying beverage. Trying out your own cream sauce? Pair it with Traminette for a refreshing contrast. Going for a rustic italian carbonara? Our Frontenac will be the cherry (or meatball?) on top.

While all of these fun ideas might help you get out of your culinary rut, don’t just take it from us! We’ve rounded up a bunch of lists of recipes made with things you probably already have! Happy cooking! 

And remember, we are open for delivery! Your perfect pairing is only a call away! Stay well and thank you for your support!

Recipe Lists:

Mulled Wine Recipe with Frontenac

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Mulled Wine is a simple, delicious, traditional winter beverage that can be made in lots of different ways. Aside from that, it has healing abilities that made it pretty popular in ancient times. We wanted to share our Mulled Wine recipe using Frontenac. Whether you’re hosting a winter get together or enjoying a cozy night in, this recipe will warm your heart and body. Happy sipping!

The Rise and Fall (and rise again) of Mulled Wine

Did you know that West Michigan and Rome have something in common? They can both get chilly in the winter! …Okay, so a lot of places have that in common — BUT — there is a reason we’re talking about Rome specifically! Rome is where mulled wine was invented! Way back in the 2nd century, Romans would heat their wine during winter to keep warm. They also believed it helped them stay healthy and fend off illnesses. As the Roman Empire continued to grow, so did mulled wine’s popularity. Spreading across Europe, mulled wine began to change and differ from region to region. Some added spices to increase its healing ability, others added flowers and other natural sweeteners to make it more enjoyable.

Throughout the years, mulled wine gradually lost its popularity in most countries. In Sweden, however, it became more popular. There, it was known as glögg. Several spin-offs and recipes emerged with different names and flavors.

In the late 1800s glögg became associated with Christmas. Pretty soon, festively decorated bottles of glögg depicting the jolly face of Father Christmas were distributed across Europe, making the drink famous again!



The idea that mulled wine had healing properties wasn’t just a pre-western medicine myth!

While we’ve learned that a lot of ancient health practices weren’t so healthy, mulled wine’s health benefits hold up! Ingredients like cloves and cinnamon contain a mild anesthetic that can help with toothaches. Cinnamon is also an anti-inflammatory. Resveratrol, a component of red wine combats aging by helping to rejuvenate cells! Red wine has also been shown to reduce risks of osteoporosis.

No need to mull over things, this recipe is simple and delicious.

We love using Frontenac with this recipe because of its natural sweetness. The bold, intense flavors stand up to the spices and citrus to create more sweetness and flavor than a typical mulled wine.


For our mulled wine, we looked for organic and minimally processed ingredients to get the most health benefits and natural flavor. These ingredients can be found in most regular grocery stores, so no need for an extra trip!

You can adjust the recipe to your taste. Add as much or as little honey as you prefer to get the right level of sweetness.

A major bonus that comes with making mulled wine: your home will smell AMAZING. The citrus, spices, and wine combine to create a cozy aroma that will last long enough for you to finish your batch (depending on how fast you drink it)! After you pour your mulled wine into glasses, you can even save the strained out/extra spices and orange peels and use them to make a scent simmer later!

These drinks present themselves. The bold red color looks great in any mug — especially creamy white. Garnish with orange peels, cinnamon sticks, and star anise. Make sure to serve it warm for instant coziness and relaxation.

Mulled Wine with Frontenac Recipe


  • 1 Bottle of Frontenac
  • 4 cups of Apple Juice/Cider
  • ¼ cup of Honey
  • 2 Cinnamon Sticks
  • 5 Oranges
  • 4 Cloves (whole)
  • 3 Star Anise


  • Zest and juice 1 orange. Peel 4 oranges. Set aside peels for later.
  • Combine cider, Frontenac, honey, cinnamon sticks, orange zest, orange juice, cloves and star anise in a saucepan.
  • Bring mixture to a boil, then simmer over low heat for 10 minutes.
  • Pour into mugs and add orange peels for garnish.

Late Summer Charcuterie Board

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As summer trails off into fall, Michiganders can start to feel a little anxious about the impending cool temperatures and separation from our beloved Great Lakes. We should instead be enjoying the near perfect weather that lingers this time of year. Sun, cool breezes, and mild temperatures make September the perfect month to soak up the natural beauty of West Michigan. 

How can you make a beautiful day even better? Add wine of course! And some tasty, (mostly) healthy snacks! 

Charcuterie boards are the best. Not only are they a fun, social way to eat, they’re actually the way humans are meant to eat. Gradual grazing is better for digestion versus one large meal eaten quickly. Taking the time to compile flavors to your taste also helps us savor each bite. 

We put together this late summer charcuterie board to compliment the flavors in our wines. A good charcuterie board balances sweet and savory, crunchy and smooth, and heavy and light options. Aside from that, any fruits, meats, cheeses, veggies, legumes, spreads and breads can be used.  

Here are the ingredients we used:

  • Green Olives
  • Pickles
  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries
  • Salami
  • Prosciutto
  • Toasted Bread Slices
  • Fig Goat Cheese
  • Honey
  • Grapes
  • Dried Apricots
  • Almonds
  • Fig Jam
  • Bread Sticks
  • Stone Ground Mustard
  • Rosemary 

Dried fruits and jams are great ways to add a little sweetness to your board. While dried fruit can taste only mildly sweet on its own — when paired with salty prosciutto — the sweetness is much stronger. Prosciutto and fruit has always been a charcuterie staple. Other than dried fruit, you could try pairing it with cantaloupe or pear.

Another wonderful thing about charcuterie boards is that with the variety of flavors, many different wines pair well! If you’re bringing a board to a social event, make sure to bring a few different kinds of wine. You can try making bites to pair with each type!

Spreads like stone ground mustard, honey, jams, or even soft cheeses like the fig goat cheese we used serve as a great base for other toppings. 

Charcuterie boards — like wines — are meant to be shared. The key ingredient to a successful board is good company. 

Enjoy the last month of warm breezes before fall sets in. We’re pretty excited for fall at Tanglewood. Warm, cozy fall flavors and family-fun activities are coming soon, and… so will something new from our winery!

Let us know what your favorite things to add to charcuterie boards are! Do you have any tips or tricks? Which of our wines is your favorite to pair? Let us know in the comments! Cheers!


Summer Sangria Recipes

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Sunshine + Sangria = a recipe for a great afternoon! Sangria is perfect for entertaining. It’s one of the easiest and tastiest drinks to make, and bonus: it looks beautiful!

Tanglewood wines are already sweet and fruity so they are perfect in sangrias! Here are a few recipes using Blue Silk (Purchase Here). Let us know which ones you try. Cheers!


Refreshing Blueberry-Lime Sangria





1 Bottle of Blue Silk (purchase here)

4 cups Lime LaCroix (or other lime soda)

2 cups Blueberries, frozen

Blueberries (for garnish)

Mint Leaves (for garnish)




Mix Blue Silk and Lime LaCroix (or other lime soda) in a pitcher.

Add in frozen blueberries.
Pour over ice.

Using a toothpick, spear fresh blueberries and mint leaf and use to garnish your drink.



Blueberry and Cranberry Sangria




1 Bottle of Blue Silk

2 cups Cranberry Juice

¼ Brandy

2 cups Blueberries

2 tablespoons sugar

Lemon (Sliced)



Mix Blue Silk, Cranberry Juice, and Brandy in a pitcher.
In a bowl, mash Blueberries and Sugar together.
Add mashed blueberry/sugar mixture to the pitcher.
Add half of the sliced lemon.
Refrigerate overnight. (Minimum 4 hours)
Serve and garnish glasses with leftover lemon slices and blueberries.


Fresh Berry Sangria




*Fresh fruit amounts are optional depending on how much you like.


1/2 Pint Fresh Blackberries

1/2 Pint Fresh Blueberries

1 Pint Strawberries

1 Cup Club Soda

1 Bottle Blue Silk




Add fresh fruit to the bottom of a pitcher.

Pour in bottle of Blue Silk.

Refrigerate overnight (Minimum 4 hours)

Pour in club soda before serving.

Serve and garnish with extra fruit.



Pairing Tanglewood Wines with the Perfect Warm Winter Meals

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Two big problems with winter: It’s very cold, and we run out of things to do. One of the very best ways to warm up in this chilly winter weather is to cook a comforting warm meal. Cooking is also a fun date night in when the roads are too dangerous to venture out.

It’s tough to come up with dinner ideas that are both comforting and fun to make! We’ve rounded up a few great meals to keep you warm this winter that also pair perfectly with our wines!


  1. Fettuccine Alfredo


This creamy, warm Fettuccine Alfredo is both delicious and easy to make! Grab a bottle of Traminette and you’ve got yourself a restaurant-quality dining experience without having to put your boots on and brave the freezing temps!


  1. Barbeque Pulled Pork


Would you rather take a hot bath or cozy up in a blanket in front of Netflix than spend the evening cooking? Make this one in the morning and come home to a house that smells amazing and a ready-to-eat meal that is sure to please everyone in the family. Pick up some Blue Silk from your local Spartan Store before you get home for the ultimate treat yourself night!


  1. Spaghetti with Bacon, Breadcrumbs, and Arugula


Get the kids on board with Arugula and have an excuse to drink your favorite Michigan sweet red wine! Spaghetti is a reliable comfort food that may seem like old news, but this recipe adds some interest to a familiar favorite, and — when paired with Frontenac — feels like a brand new meal!


  1. Flourless Chocolate Cake


Whichever recipe you try for dinner, finish the evening with a major treat! Pair our Blue Blood Port with a flourless Chocolate Cake and enjoy chocolate heaven in front of a warm fire!


Tanglewood winery is a production facility. We do not have a tasting room.