Monday, August 25, 2014

Wine Tasting! Making My Way Through Washington State One Wine Taste at a Time.

This past weekend I finally had a chance to go wine tasting.  Yea, I've been here in the Northwest over sixteen years and still have not gone wine tasting. Bad me!  Anyway, a friend had her 40th birthday and decided to hire one of those tour buses to take about 20 of us on a wine tour!   We toured three wineries in Washington State (Ridgefield and Battleground to be exact.)   It was so much fun!   On top of visiting wineries I had never heard of, the drive through the countryside of Washington was beautiful.

Gouger Cellars was the first stop.  I'll be honest, I didn't care for too many of their white wines but their reds were amazing!   He even had a red wine with chocolate in it.  I didn't care for that though.  The classics....Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel....all were very smooth.  Oh wait!  I take that back..he had a Voignier that was lovely so there was one white I liked.  :)


The owner himself served the wine.   He was full of great information on how the wines were made and combined.    He even had his own ice cream made with wine.   Dangerous territory for me, right there.   Picture it....me having a glass of wine with a bowl of wine ice cream add a few more servings and then me, collapsed in bed.  Yea, that's exactly what would happen.


Now the next vinyard was Three Brothers.    For this one I chose to taste all white.   There were only two white wines I liked and I was pleasantly surprised with them.   A Riesling and a Dry Riesling were the two I tasted.   I'm not much of a Riesling fan but these were amazing.  I see I'm going to have to reconsider my opinion.  Also goes to show that it's not so much the kind of wine but the vinyard that makes them.




My dream is to have one of these. :)



Such sweet grapes.


I'll take every last barrel!


Now the last vinyard was also very nice but I stopped the wine tasting at this point BUT....I hear they have great Pinot Grigio (which is my favorite of all.)  Being a migraine sufferer (and combined with the heat of the day) I had to really be careful so I drank water the rest of the way.   If it were a cooler day I wouldn't have stopped.  I just know what sets off my migraines.  :)


All in all, I really, really enjoyed it!   I want to try the Oregon wines (Willamette Valley).   I'm thinking fall would be a great time of year to go wine tasting.


I'm headed home to California for a visit with the family this week but if I have time I will post a delicious eggroll recipe I just made recently!   

Until then...enjoy every minute of your life!  xoxo



Thursday, August 21, 2014

~Swooning over Small Spaces~

So I've been daydreaming lately about small houses and cottages.   Seems so often I hear people dreaming of mansions and bigger homes but who wants to clean all that space?   I can barely clean my 1300 sq. ft. condo!   Let's get serious here, the older I'm getting the lazier I'm getting about cleaning.     I really only probably use half the space in my condo anyway. I want efficiency.  I want small.  I want practicality but still cute.  :)  In fact, I'd rather have a small cottage (Eco friendly) and room for chickens and a garden to live off of.  One year my girlfriend and I lived off her garden for an entire summer! The veggies were fresh, organic and they tasted like nothing I tasted that came out of a store.   So, I'll continue to dream of a goal of having this all one day.  

Here are a few ADORABLE cottages I can see myself living in.    I love, love, love the idea of a screened in porch for the cats and here in the Northwest since it rains a lot, it will be a nice way to kind of relax in the outdoors without getting wet.


(click picture for source link)

(click picture for source link)

Now this is a prefab home.    I wouldn't mind purchasing a prefab home, paying it off quickly and be mortgage free.  


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The inside is sweet!


 Its own screened-in porch on one side.





Another prefab!   Only 777 sq. ft.  Serious swooning here!

(click picture for source link)

Who would have thought a prefab home could be so cute!  My alternative way of thinking is dreaming of an alternative way of living.  :)  Conformity is overrated anyway.  At least in my opinion.

Mr. Fancy Pants says hi.  


Hope you're all having a wonderful week!   xoxo

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Lavender Everywhere!

While I haven't grown lavender myself this year on my little deck garden, I did get to harvest TONS from a friend's yard....and I mean tons!   



So I found this really cute idea of using the dried buds once I get them off their stems and stored in jars.   


Or I could do this....


I know...I will go for the drink first, make the candles, light them and put them on my deck, kick back and enjoy a nice summer evening.

Hope you're all enjoying the wonderful summer weather!  Perseus is.  :)


xoxo

Monday, August 11, 2014

Quick Samosas!

So my relationship with cooking (and food) has moved to the next level. We've blossomed into a new stage.  I no longer fear it.  I no longer run from it.  I no longer believe it tries to tie me down.  I dare say that I may have committed to this relationship.   Probably the only relationship (besides my crazy cats) I've been able to commit to in a long time BUT that's another story.

I've made it my goal to try to make something new at least once a week aside from my usual dishes and yes, I'm one of those Pinterest fanatics who has to post to the Pinterest-Success board all the time.  In fact, I get most of my recipes from Pinterest and I kinda go from there by either adding some of my own ingredients or taking out the ones I don't like.  I was always so afraid to veer from any recipe, thinking I needed to stick exactly to what it says, but I have broken free of that and I'm so proud of myself!  Baby steps.  :)

I made these Indian goodies the other night.

Wonton Samosas

I got the base recipe here.

However....when I was making the filling, I did add about a tablespoon of curry powder and a little more salt and pepper to taste.  I also upped the cumin another tablespoon.  :)   It was more of a pinch and dash until the taste was just the way I wanted it and it was so worth taking my chances on my ability to pinch and dash.






Of course I had to have it with rice...and a dollop of cilantro on top!   I set some leftover aside and made another batch of appetizers for a hair party with the girls.   It was even amazing as leftovers!

Quincy and Perseus wanted to drop in and say hi.   Quincy is still a pill as usual but a LOVER as always and Perseus has become a mama's boy.  :)  Hope you're all doing wonderful and well.   Apologies for the long break.  Trying to get back into the swing of things on blogging is harder than I thought with a busy life!  

                                                                                   
xoxo



Monday, February 24, 2014

Stuffed French Bread!

I thought I'd bless you all with the most delectable, most gooey and the most savory yummy goodness I know of.  My mouth is watering just thinking about it.  When my friends get together, this recipe comes up quite often. The preparation is easy and it's a great quick appetizer to throw together. If you don't like artichokes, garlic or cheese, first of all you are strange, second...then this recipe isn't for you because it's chock full of these!

STUFFED FRENCH BREAD

1 long loaf of French bread, unsliced
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
6 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbsp. sesame
1 1/2 cups sour cream
2 cups jack cheese, cubed
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
2 tbsp. parsley
1 tsp. lemon pepper
1 can (4 oz.) artichoke hearts
1/2 cup cheddar cheese (topping)

Slice bread loaf in half horizontally.  Hollow out each half and tear insides into small pieces.  Combine butter, garlic, and sesame seeds in a small saucepan until butter is melted.  In a bowl, combine all other ingredients. Mix thoroughly.  Add bread pieces.  When the butter is melted, pour over bread mixture and mix well. Place mixture back into the hollow bead halves.  Place bread on baking sheet and sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Slice and serve!  How much easier can a recipe get?






 
 
On that last picture, I meant to take a picture of it before tearing through it like a starving beast...but oh well. Who says life is perfect?  ;)  Enjoy!

A cute little side note.   I had to interview for new cat sitters.   Quincy was relentless with the questions but he loved her in the end.   Yay for a new cat/house sitter!  Lol!

So where are your references? What are your hobbies? What kind of car do you drive? Do you like cat hair? Do you understand the word fish flakes?

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentines Day from our House to Yours!

Happy Valentines Day!   Although we try to celebrate this day every day of the year.

Valentines Day is made for drying sweet smelling rose petals.....


And chocolate dipped strawberries...


And a house full of happy furbabies


Need we say more?


Saturday, February 8, 2014

Egg and Bacon Maple Toast Cups - OMG

So my best friend and I went to Seattle a few weekends ago to visit our other best friend and made the most DELICIOUS breakfast I have ever laid my mouth on!    These are very easy and it's like having an entire breakfast in one little cup.    I will guarantee you will not be disappointed.   You can find the recipe here and there are several variations going around the web and Pinterest.   This is a MUST try in my book.   We used duck eggs instead of regular eggs though.  If you've never had duck eggs before, you will LOVE them.   A little richer and bigger. There's nothing wrong with those two adjectives going together, right?


Brush each side with maple syrup.
This part may require a tad of patience. 


Drizzle a little more maple syrup.  Such sweet goodness!
These are duck eggs.  Worth trying if you can get a hold of some fresh local duck eggs!

Who doesn't like cheese?


Perfection.
Enjoy!   I've been snowed in for about 3 days now.  That's another post though.  ;)