Murphys, CA (you simply MUST go!)

Oh how I love Murphys.   It tis the quaintest little town, full of darling shops, wineries, and delicious restaurants.  It’s super cozy, and you’ll fall in love upon arrival!

On President’s Day weekend they do a “Wine Weekend” where you pay $20 for a glass and get to taste in almost all of the store front wineries (there’s a lot!).  I’ve been the last two years, and have happened upon beautiful weekends!  The drive up from the Bay Area is gorgeous, and only takes 2/5 hours.

My mood for the weekend 🙂 The sun is shining, the wine is flowing, it’s a great day.IMG_2263Make sure to grab a coffee and pastry (their savory scones are to die for!) from Aria Bakery & Espresso Cafe and take a 2 min stroll to the creek!  

If you’re hungry for a bigger breakfast, swing by the Murphy’s Hotel.  Great portions and good prices.  Grab a seat on the patio if you can!IMG_2276

History buff?  The town is full of historic buildings, and there’s a cool museum too!

Lavender Heaven!  Yes, Lavender Ridge is a winery (wine is ok…) their shop is absolutely darling, and they have everything lavender  you could possibly want!  As well a cheese pairings.  A must go.

Need a sweet treat?  Or two?  Swing by Lila & Sage’s Cupcake store and drool over the delicious cakes, AND hop on over to the Peppermint Stick for a decadent shake!

For dinner we hit the new Luck Penny Public House, and boy o boy were my fish & chips delicious. They also have live music!  Super cute joint.

Each building in Murphys is darling!  Such old charm mixed with shabby chic.

I hope you’ll trust me when I say GO TO MURPHYS!  You won’t regret it.

God is good friends, God is good.

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A Day in the North Bay

After an extremely lazy day 1 of 2016 (I mean LAZY!) I had to be out an about the next day.  I can only sit on my painfully comfortable couch for so long…

Since we were long overdue with our wine pickup, we decided to make a day of it – and it twas lovely!

Breakfast in Petaluma
Tea Room Cafe (A MUST!!) 316 Western Ave, Petaluma, CA 94952
You may have to wait in line, but it’s worth it!  We showed up around 11:00am on a Saturday and had no trouble finding a table.  We had the croissant breakfast sandwich and the chorizo scramble, with a chai latte and coffee.  Everything was delicious.  Don’t forgot to stop at the darling little shop next door (got this cute red beanie there)!

Wine tasting and relaxing
Paradise Ridge Winery  4545 Thomas Lake Harris Dr, Santa Rosa, CA 95403
We became members here… so you know it’s good!  Love love love this place.  The grounds are gorgeous – they have TONS of artwork/sculptures all throughout.  The tasting room is super cozy and the view is lovely.  This was the first place that I loved all the wines – red and white!  Definitely check this out.

Cruise down HWY 12 and enjoy the scenery between spots!!

Sipping tea and strolling
Sonoma Plaza 453 1st St E, Sonoma, CA 95476
There are so many great shops here!  From wine shops, to estate jewelry, from consignment boutiques to “general stores”.  A must stop if you’re in the area.  The plaza encompasses a beautiful park, and has plenty of delicious restaurants to choose from!

Basque Boulangerie 460 First Street East, Sonoma, CA 95476
We stopped here for a mocha, hot tea and chocolate covered macaroon.  YUM!

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A truly lovely way to start out the new year!

Egg & Veggie Pie

My workday starts at 6:30 in the morning, and I have a 30-45 minute commute…so it goes without saying I don’t have time to make breakfast in the morning.

I do however know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so I definitely make an effort to eat a nutritious meal. Here’s a recipe I whipped up that will last me all week! Hopefully I don’t get sick of it…

Ingredients

  • 1 cup chopped bell pepper (I prefer red)
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped zucchini
  • 1 cup chopped crimini mushrooms
  • 1 cup diced pancetta (Italian bacon)
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 store bought pie crust (don’t you judge me!)
  • Salt and peppa!

Preheat oven to 350°. Read defrosting instructions on your piecrust. Line 9 inch baking dish with piecrust.

Prep veggies   In a nonstick pan, over medium heat, cook the pancetta, stirring occasionally. I cooked this for about 10 minutes, or however long you would cook your regular bacon. I like it crispy so I went a little longer.  Scoop out the pancetta and put onto a plate lined with a paper towel to absorb extra grease.   With remaining grease in pan sauté veggies, season with salt and pepper, about eight minutes or until soft.   Beat six eggs, season with salt and pepper. Combine all ingredients into a bowl and pour into piecrust.   Bake for around 30 minutes and enjoy! Refrigerate whatever is left over.  

Mangia!

God is good friends, God is good

Silverado Trail Part 1

Today was glorious.  Started out at church, followed by a delicious brunch and wine tasting!  Perfect way to spend a Sunday.

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Here’s where we went:

Brunch:  Alexis’ Baking Company & Cafe (ABC) Downtown Napa.
They change their menu seasonally (maybe monthly) so we ate off the March Spring Menu* & Everyday Breakfast Menu.

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Food:  Creme Brulee French Toast with Fresh Strawberries* ($14.95) and Smoked Salmon Sandwich with Eggs, Cream Cheese, Red Onions and Capers on a Potato Bun ($12.95) with a side of Potatoes with Cheese ($4.95).  Hot Chai Latte & Cold Chair Latte – YUM!  (Around $3.50/each)

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Wineries:  Regusci Winery, Robert Sinskey Vineyards & Chimney Rock Winery.

Regusci:  Stumbled upon this gem after we missed our turn for Chimney Rock!  A flight of 4 wines for $20.  A BIG thank you to Brittany for waiving the tasting fee when I asked about military discount.  Today we tried a Chardonnay, Zin, Merlot and Cab.  I hate to say it.. but we really only enjoyed the white – and I’m not normally a big Chardonnay fan, but this was a good one.  The tasting room and outdoor patio was really charming, the grounds were lovely, and the old building was beautiful!

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Robert Sinskey Vineyards:  This spot was recommended by Brittany from Regusci.  We pulled in, and though it was under construction, it was lovely!  A flight of 4 wines for $25.  Another BIG thank you to Kyle for offering a waived tasting fee for my military discount, and throwing in an extra taste.  We had an Abraxis, Orgia (label made of acid paper…), Pinot Noir, Cab and a POV.  The Abraxis was pretty tasty, especially on a warm summer day.  The reds were good, but we didn’t walk away with any.  What I especially liked about this winery was that they included a little food platter to sample with your tastings – and everything on here with yummy!  Especially the roasted almonds with rosemary, sage, olive oil and salt.  MMMmmmm

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Chimney Rock:  Found this on the Winery Finder App offering discounts, and also on yelp.  And boy are we glad we came here!  We made this the last stop for the day, and it was perfect.  A flight of 1 white and 4 reds (2 different flights to choose) for $35, and a flight of 3 whites and 1 red for $25.  A BIG thank you to our sommelier for offering a 2 for 1 taste for my military discount.  I’m going to be honest here… it was the end of the day, and the wines were blending at this point.  I had the 3 whites and 1 red, and enjoyed them all!  Ha!  My partner had 1 white and 4 reds and enjoyed them as well.  What we really enjoyed was the grounds.  The back patio was just lovely, a perfect spot to spend the afternoon.  The only bummer was you can’t picnic here due to Napa laws (or something beyond my scope).  We will definitely be back here!  Loved it.

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It truly was a beautiful day in wine country, and I am looking forward to the Silverado Trail part 2.  This part of the trail was the Stags Leap region – and it was beautiful and tasty!  Great day to be a Californian.

God is good friends.  God is good.

Occidental & Healdsburg

Saturday called for early afternoon rain – so I figured I could get a quick bite and some wine tasting in before it came!  California thinks it’s spring – so the hills are luscious green are flowing with mustard flowers!  Such a beautiful day!

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Here’s what I did:

Travel time: 3.5 hours total

Locations:  Breakfast in Occidental and Wine Tasting in Healdsburg

Cost:  Irish Eggs Benedict, Coffee & Chai Tea Latte – $25 including tip.  Private tasting (fee waived) and 2 bottles of wine – $64.

Breakfast was delicious!  I stumbled upon Howard’s Station Cafe this past President’s Day when I was exploring on my own, and I had to bring my Beau back!  The first time around I had the Original Eggs Benedict with a side of fruit and a Chai Tea Latte.  YUM!  The second time we had the Irish Eggs Benedict with a side of potatoes.  We had a snack on the drive up (1.5 hour) so we split the dish – which was perfect.  Out server was great, and all the staff helped each other out.  Good experience x 2!

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Alex enjoying MY Chai Tea Latte!

Wine Tasting was delectable!  We go wine tasting quite frequently – and I always try to find new spots.  To be honest – I mostly look for spots with great reviews and great views!  I stumbled upon Acorn Winery in doing a random yelp search – and boy am I glad I stopped in!  Their license requires patrons to make an appointment – which was fine by me.  Betsy – owner and darling lady, was wonderful!  We were the only ones in their small tasting room, and had the most intimate tasting.  We learned so much – and for the first time ever, I enjoyed all of the wine.  They do not mass produce, and they’ve definitely poured their heard into their “second career”.  I purchased Cabernet Franc and my beau got their Dolcetto.  Yum!

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As always, we had a great time!

God is good friends, God is good.