Wine and Food Pairing Event — Scott Harvey and Taste

The Scott Harvey Wines and Taste Restaurant wine and food pairing for wine club members and guests was a hit. Wine club membership has its privileges!

You’ve heard that membership has its privileges. Well, that is very true when it comes to wine club membership at local wineries in Gold Country. Scott Harvey Wines had its February Wine Club Release Extravaganza for wine club members and their guests this past weekend with food pairings from Taste Restaurant in Plymouth. A sign outside the winery welcomed wine club members for the wine and food pairing event. As you may know, I love my bubbly and the Jana Mendocino Blanc de Blanc is delicious. We arrived a little early and Jack poured the Blanc de Blanc for us while we waited for the food stations to finish setting up. Wine and Food Pairing We looked over the wine and food pairing menu while we waited and were eager to get started. Mark Berkner, chef and owner of Taste, kept the Fanny Bay oysters coming once the tasting began. These…

Continue reading

Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Cooking for One — My Favorite Meal

When you are single, cooking for one can sometimes be a challenge. Here's my favorite go-to meal. It's quick, easy, with clean up that's a snap.

When you are single, cooking for one can sometimes be a challenge. Sure, I like casseroles, soups and roasts and have my freezer stocked with leftover meals, but a single person can’t cook like that every night. The freezer would be overflowing in no time. And what do you do if you forgot to start the slow cooker or even take something out to thaw? Of course, you can thaw one of your leftover meals in the microwave but what if you want something fresh and simple? When I buy chicken thighs/breasts, pork chops or salmon, I lay them out in a single layer on a cookie sheet to freeze. Once they are frozen, I seal them with my FoodSaver. I can take them out one or two at a time and they thaw pretty quickly, but I can also give them a little help thawing in the microwave if I…

Continue reading

Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

The Murals of Downtown Harlingen

The more than 20 murals that depict various aspects of the Rio Grande Valley's history and culture, is one of the main things for which Harlingen is known.

I just got back from a week-long trip to La Feria, Texas. I was visiting my Dad and helping him celebrate his 95th birthday. What a blast we had! He has bad knees so it is hard for him to walk a lot, which meant we didn’t go many places — we spent most of the time just visiting. If you follow me on Instagram, you know that one of the things I did want to do while I was there was check out the murals of downtown Harlingen. It is probably best to do this as a walking tour but because of my Dad’s knees, we did it in the car. I wasn’t sure my Dad was going to enjoy this because he was having to drive in an area he wasn’t familiar with, but he wanted to do it for me. He was getting a little frustrated in the…

Continue reading

Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Pasta with Pumpkin Cream – Not Just for Fall!

Pasta with Pumpkin Cream, Butternut Squash and Chicken Sausage - my version of a delicious dish we had at Villa Toscano from Chef Tim Benham.

Several weeks ago, the Vineyard Vixens had a pasta dish for lunch at Villa Toscano that we all just loved. Executive Chef, Tim Benham, explained his process to us and told us the ingredients but didn’t give us any specific amounts. I played with the recipe and tweaked it until I came up with a version that I find quite yummy. I’m calling my version of this delicious dish Pasta with Pumpkin Cream, Butternut Squash and Chicken Sausage. The original dish had an even longer name! One of the ingredients of the dish is soy sauce soaked, roasted pumpkin seeds. There weren’t any on the portion I got from the buffet at Villa Toscano so I didn’t get to taste them. I thought this sounded like an odd ingredient but, what the heck, he’s the chef, right? So I made them. You just might want to make up a bunch for…

Continue reading

Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Most Viewed Posts of 2016

A look back at 2016 and my most viewed posts of the year. There were a few surprises and some things I knew would be there.

It’s the beginning of a new year and I’ve been reflecting on the blog, looking back at old posts and setting some goals for 2017. Even though the blog hasn’t been in operation for a full year yet (my first post was published on March 7th), I thought you might be interested in knowing what my most viewed posts have been since then. 5 Most Viewed Posts of 2016 I was a little surprised that my Kodiak Canvas Truck Tent Review (September) came in fifth. This post gets most of its traffic from search engines and Pinterest. I like that a nuts and bolts review is doing so well. My most popular recipe for the year was 5-minute Microwave Fudge (December) which came in fourth. This post got a lot of views in a very short time — it has been up for less than a month. It is the quick and easy version of my Vino…

Continue reading

Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Women Traveling Alone — Are You One of Them?

I marvel at the brave women traveling alone in foreighn countries. These days, I'm more interested in exploring what my local region has to offer.

As a single, female, 60 something, baby boomer, and with the state of the world, I’m no longer comfortable with the idea of overseas travel, especially as a woman traveling alone. Perhaps some of you feel the same way. I read lots of travel blogs, mostly written by young millennials. Some are women traveling alone in remote places and I marvel at their bravery and sense of adventure. I’m OK with traveling alone in the US. In fact, this past spring I took a 10-day road trip, with just my cat for company, to a pet blogging conference in Phoenix. I stopped in Orange County in both directions and had a great time in spite of planned meetups with friends not working out. In January, I’ll be going to Texas to visit my Dad and help him celebrate his 95th birthday. I haven’t seen him in three years so I’m pretty excited…

Continue reading

Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Awe Inspiring Giant Sequoias in Calaveras Big Trees State Park

Did you know that the giant sequoias are the largest living thing to ever have existed on earth? You can visit them at several locations in Gold Country.

Seeing the giant coastal redwoods (sequoia sempervirens) has always been on my bucket list. You would think that someone who has lived most of her life in California would have checked that item off her list after all these years. Somehow, I have never made it there even though I made many trips over the years from Southern California to Northern California. I had no idea when I moved to Pine Grove that I would be barely more than an hour drive from the coastal redwoods’ relative, the giant sequoias (sequoiadendron giganteum). In fact, I didn’t even know they had relatives. The giant sequoias, also knows as sierra redwoods, are the largest living thing ever to exist on earth! That statement alone just blows me away. The coastal redwoods grow taller but the giant sequoias are more massive. They date back over 180 million years to the age of the dinosaurs and can live 3,000 years.…

Continue reading

Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Schmitz 24 BRIX Wines and Barrel Cellar Tasting Room

Schmitz 24 BRIX Wines Tasting Room is relatively new to the Shenandoah Valley. All their wines are highly rated with the Winemaker's Blend the most popular.

24 BRIX is a relatively new kid in the Shenandoah Valley. We watched over a period of weeks this past year as the old antique store on Highway 49 in Plymouth was transformed into the Schmitz 24 BRIX Barrel Cellar Tasting Room. When the Vineyard Vixens visited, we got a warm welcome from the owner and winemaker himself, Paul Schmitz. The 24 BRIX Vineyards I love learning new things about wine and winemaking when I go wine tasting. The name of the winery comes from the fact that they harvest their grapes when the sugar content is at or close to 24 brix (brix is a measure of the sugar content of an aqueous solution). They feel this natural sugar level is the optimal ripeness for the fruit and dramatically influences the quality and taste. 24 BRIX wines have no commercial yeast added. The grapes are fermented using naturally occurring vineyard yeast. The…

Continue reading

Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •