Welcome to Lost Oak Winery's Blog.
Meet Cayla, our employee spotlight for December! Cayla is our event center keyholder and she constantly goes above and beyond to make sure events at the event center turn out perfect. If you are planning an event at Lost Oak, chances are you will get to work with Cayla and you couldn't be in better hands.
When Cayla isn't drinking wine, she loves to drink Dr. Pepper. She hangs out at home with her family when she is not here at Lost Oak Winery. Most of her binge watching on Netflix is controlled by her two little boys so she ends up watching a lot of Paw Patrol and Bubble Guppies. It's a good thing that she works at a winery because Cayla says that she lives off of chocolate, coffee, and wine. We can most definitely provide at least one of those things!
Cayla has 8 years of experience in customer service which she says has really helped her when she's giving hopeful clients a tour of our event center. Being able to connect with the client and have them fall in love with the event center like she has is always a bonus for her. She has been working as event center keyholder for a little over a year and she loves it. One of the funniest things that has happened to Cayla on the job was when a coworker spilled coffee on himself and she laughed at him. Right after that, she spilled an entire gallon of coffee all over, her white shoes, and the floor. While it wasn't funny at the time, she laughs about it when she thinks about it now and is just thankful that the event was already over when it happened.
We are so lucky to have Cayla as a part of our team and we know that you will love her as much as we do!
If you want a rich, savory holiday dinner without all of the work of stuffing a turkey, try this recipe for French Chicken Casserole. This delicious casserole pairs nicely without Holiday 2019.
French Chicken Casserole Recipe
- 1 chicken; cooked, de-boned and chopped
- 8 oz sliced mushrooms - optional
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 stalks of celery chopped
- 1 six ounce package of stove top stuffing mix
- 1 1/2 cup of chicken broth
- 1/2 cup of mayonnaise
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3 eggs beaten
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1 can of cream of chicken or cream of mushroom soup
- 1 cup of grated cheddar cheese
- In microwave safe dish, heat butter, onions and celery approx. 3 minutes until onions and celery begin to cook.
- Grease a 9x12 baking pan.
- Layer 1/2 of stuffing mixture in pan. Put chicken, onions, celery (and sliced mushrooms - optional) over stuffing. Top chicken with other half of mixture.
- Beat together the eggs, milk, mayonnaise, and chicken brother and pour over mixture.
- Let it sit in refrigerator for 5 hours or overnight.
- Spread 1 can of undiluted cream of chicken or mushroom soup on top of mixture.
- Bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees F.
- Spread 1 cup of grated cheddar cheese on top.
- Bake 15 minutes longer or until knife inserted comes out clean.
Nothing says it's the holidays like delicious food and wine. This recipe from Home Chef for beef tenderloin with a balsamic fid sauce is the perfect alternative to a traditional holiday dinner. This would pair nicely with our 2019 Holiday that is available in the Tasting Room or on our website now!
Beef Tenderloin with Balsamic Fig Sauce
- 2 beef tenderloins (about 3/4 inches thick)
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 small shallots - minced (3 tbsp)
- 2 plastic tubs of concentrated beef stock (Knorr Homestyle concentrated stock) OR
- 2 tsp of "Better than Boullion" dissolved in 1/3 cup hot water
- 3 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 4 tbsp fig jam (look in the cheese section of the grocery store)
- 4 tbsp water
- 1 tsp minced rosemary (fresh is better)
- Heat medium sized pan on med/med high burner
- Pat beef dry and season with salt and pepper
- Heat 1 tbsp oil
- Add beef to pan and cook to desired doneness (4-7 minutes per side)
- Turn only once
- Remove beef and wipe pan with paper towel
- Melt butter in same pan
- Saute minced shallot 1-2 minutes
- Add stock concentrate, jam, vinegar, water & any resting juices from beef
- Add minced rosemary
- Cook 2 minutes until slightly thickened
- Add salt and pepper
- Top beef with sauce and serve
Our Employee Spotlight of the month is Melissa Davis, one of our keyholders! Melissa is always a joy to work with and she is great at what she does! We are lucky to have her. Read more about Melissa below!
What do you binge watch on Netflix?
What do you drink when you aren't drinking wine?
Freshly juiced ginger, appole, beet, carrot & kale.
How many years have you been at Lost Oak Winery?
Where are you when you aren't at the winery?
At home thanks to COVID19.
What is your favorite food?
Yes!!!! But I especially like veggies.
What previous job experience do you have that helps with your current position?
I was a barista. Caffeine (like wine) is great for the soul.
What is the funniest thing that has happened in your time at Lost Oak Winery?
I decided to go run the trail one day and it had just recently rained. When I got to a portion of the trail known for flooding, I decided to keep going despite the water. At first, all seemed okay, but then I started to think about all the snakes that could be in the water that I couldn't see. I used some sweet ballet moves to get through and then hit another area of even deeper flooding. Needless to say, I did not finish the trail that day.
If there's anything we love to have with our wine, it's chocolate. Our friend Ellie from Black Bear Bakery whipped up these delicious mocha whoopie pies to pair with our Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve! Buy a bottle and try out this recipe and let us know what you think in the comments!
MOCHA WHOOPIE PIES RECIPE
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup shortening
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup hot water
- 2 cups flour
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 2 tsp instant espresso
- 1 tbsp heavy cream
- Cream sugar and shortening and add egg.
- Add all of the whole milk to the bowl and mix until just combined.
- Add the dry ingredients to the bowla dn mix until just combined
- Slowly add the hot water to the bowl.
- Spoon out roughly 2 tbsp sized globs onto a pan lined with parchment paper.
- Bake at 450 degrees for 5 minutes. Allow to cool completely.
- Disolve espresso into heavy cream.
- Mix all ingredients until well combined.
Hi guys, Me again with yet another COVID update. Let’s call this COVID 4.0. I’m loving this. I can’t wait to see how this evolves… again.
Governor Abbot has announced that Bars and Other establishments can now reopen at 50% capacity so as long as your local judge authorizes it. Thanks to Judge Roger Harmon and our Precinct 2 commissioner Kenny Howell, they have allowed Lost Oak Winery to reopen, safely.
Lost Oak Winery is dedicated to the safety of our guests attending wine tastings and tours in our inviting wide-open spaces. Our staff follows CDC recommended safety protocols including mask wearing, frequent facility sanitizing, and appropriate social distancing. When you arrive, you’ll enjoy a safe experience designed for your comfort. We also offer personalized virtual wine tastings you can enjoy from the comfort of your home.
See our commitment to best practices for safety here. Scroll down a little for tasting room.
So, here is what has changed since my last update.
We now let you bring your own food in to the winery. We are currently working on a better food menu to offer more options but we are still selling sweet items from Black Bear Bakery, Boar’s Head cheeses, various cheeseboard options, a snack pack to go and kids pack. (Menus are being updated on the website.)
We have added live entertainment Thursdays and Saturdays and will continue to do this until the weather does not permit. Stay tuned to our calendar.
Life is different now.
You need a break from everyday stresses, but your normal travel plans might have to wait. Lost Oak Winery provides all the allure of travel, without the usual time, expense, and concerns of traveling. Take a break wandering our picturesque grounds, listen to live music, sip wines curated just for you, and learn more about the art of winemaking. A perfect staycation... respecting just a few safety precautions.
- We ask you please wear a mask inside the tasting room.
- We are serving wine in glass unless it’s an event with lots of children then glass will be available by request.
- We are offering tastings on a first-come, first-served basis.
- Our tours are a huge hit now where you can get outside and get to know Texas wine. Tours are limited to 6 people and social distancing guidelines will be respected.
- During events, we will be serving wine through our outside bars to avoid too many guests loitering in close quarters.
- We encourage the use of outdoor space; there will be limited indoor seating.
- Outdoor seating area layouts will be modified to comply with the appropriate social distancing guidelines and tables will be limited to 10 or fewer guests. You can pull up your own chair to the table so as long as there are only 10 per table.
- If you choose to use your own chairs, you may sit out in the lawn beyond the Lost Oak seating area. We ask that you maintain social distancing, 6 feet between chairs.
- Floors will be marked to indicate standing areas so as to respect social distancing guidelines for staff and guests.
- We encourage contactless payment.
- We adhere to all food safety standards set forth by the Department of State Health Services.
Cheers! And a huge THANK YOU for your support.
Jim Evans is a pioneer in the Texas wine industry with 40 years of wine making experience. After graduating from Texas A&M in 1984, he joined University of Texas’ Experimental Viticulture and Enology program. In 1996, he began making wine for Lone Oak Vineyards. Lone Oak Vineyards would eventually become Lost Oak Winery and Jim has continued making wine here ever since. Wines made by Jim and his team have won countless awards over the years, including five Double Gold medals. He has personally won several prestigious awards. TWGGA awarded him the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011 and the Louis F. Qualia award for Outstanding Contributions to the Texas Wine Industry in 2017. He served as President of TWGGA in 2014.
A lover of all things wine, Jim also enjoys iced tea, although he says he usually wishes it were wine instead. When he isn't at the winery, he's at home in Odessa, thinking about the winery. He makes the trek to Lost Oak Winery many times throughout the year to make wine, and in his absence, our Assistant Winemaker, Angela, holds down the fort. When at home, Jim binge watches Goliath, Breaking Bad, Bosch, and Mondovino. When asked what his favorite food was, he replied, "Wine, with seafood." Jim is known around here as a guy with a great sense of humor who is welcoming and kind to everyone and always full of stories about making wine and drinking it.
Jim claims that wine is made in the vineyard and a winemaker should just guide the process while not interfering too much. We should let the wine be an expression of the grape. His knowledge, passion, and kindness make him a valuable asset at Lost Oak Winery, as well as a great friend.
Baked Acorn Squash with Cranberry Butter Sauce
Pair this wonderful fall recipe with your holiday ham or turkey and our new Tempranillo!
- 2 Medium size Acorn Squash
- 1/2 cup butter
- 2 heaping tbsp. brown sugar
- 1 tsp. Lawry's seasoned salt
- 2 tbsp. hot mango chutney (found in Indian section or with jellies in grocery store)
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- Chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
- Cut acorn squash lengthwise (in same line as ridges)
- Clean out and discard seeds
- Bake face down in 1/2 inch water at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until tender when touched with finger
- Put all ingredients in microwave safe glass dish (I use a cup pyrex measuring cup)
- Heat in microwave until butter and sugar are melted.
- Remove sqaush, invert and drain off excess water.
- Fill squash halves with sauce.
- Garnish with nuts if desired.
- Serve with pork, ham, turkey, or chicken.
Since 2015, Meals on Wheels has partnered with HEB and Lost Oak Winery to create a beautiful area for families to enjoy the outdoors, grab some cute Fall family pictures and support our senior neighbors.
From the idea 5 years ago, this event has raised over $12,720 for our senior neighbors and continues to be a community favorite! Throughout the years, we have struggled with rainy months, have celebrated the patch going “viral” and we all continue to be thankful to all who come out! It is a labor of love – a true community partnership. HEB generously donates the pumpkins and Lost Oak Winery generously provides the Fall decorations and creative designs to keep the area looking spectacular!
Meals on Wheels North Central Texas is a community-based, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that serves homebound seniors and disabled persons. Established in 1976 serving Johnson County seniors, expanding in 2001 to include Ellis County, and expanding once again in 2020 to serve Navarro County seniors.
The philosophy of Meals on Wheels is simple. Emphasis is placed on individuals versus numbers; communities as opposed to governmental boundaries; and timely services versus waiting lists.
Our mission is to end hunger and isolation while delivering dignity and Independence.
We mobilize across 2,772 square miles to ensure our seniors are well-fed, safe, and reminded of their value to their community. With almost half of our clients living alone, we are a formidable advocate for a vulnerable population facing food insecurity, unattended injury, and loneliness.
We are truly humbled, honored and thankful for our faithful partners in helping us raise awareness and funding for our isolated senior neighbors.
As the weather cools down, soups and stews start to sound more and more appetizing. This beef and bacon stew is sure to please and is perfect for those cool fall and winter nights. Let us know what you think if you try it out in the comments!
Beef & Bacon Stew Recipe
- 1 bottle of dry red wine (Our Double Diamond Merlot would go perfectly)
- 2 1/2 lb boneless beef chuck roast
- 1 tsp. black pepper
- 1 tbsp salt
- 8 oz bacon
- 3 medium red onions
- 3 medium carrots (or 1 package baby carrots)
- 8 garlic cloves
- 4 large sprigs of fresh thyme or 2 tsp dried thyme
- 2 tbsp white Miso paste or 3 tbsp Miso broth (Japanese section at HEB, Miso & Easy Sauce)
- 2 tbsp flour
- 1 cup fresh parsley leaves
- Open bottle of red wine and pour yourself a glass.
- Cut chuck roast into 2"x2" cubes. They will look like large chunks (try for relatively even sized pieces)
- Quarter 3 red onions. Peel and cut up carrots.
- Crush 7 cloves of garlic and add to bowl with carrots.
- Cut bacon into one inch pieces and add to Dutch oven. Cook over medium heat until crisp (11-13 minutes). Remove bacon, leaving grease in pan.
- Increase heat and place meat in one layer to brown for 5-7 minutes. Cook undisturbed (important step). Do not stir. Turn to other side 5-7 minutes then remove from pan.
- Reduce heat and place onions in pan on side and cook (undisturbed) for 2-3 minutes. Turn to other side and repeat for 2-3 minutes.
- Add carrots, garlic, thyme, and Miso seasoning with salt. Don't skip the Miso. It's an important ingredient.
- Sprinkle vegetables with 2 tbsp flour and stir for 30 seconds.
- Add the rest of the bottle of wine and cook for 2 minutes.
- Nestle beef and bacon into the pot and add just enough water to barely cover.
- Cook covered in 300 degree oven for 1 hour and 30 minutes.
- Uncover, stir, and return to oven until beef is very tender (30-60 minutes)
- Add more miso, salt, and pepper if needed.
- Serve with crusty bread or over mashed potatoes.