Friday, May 20, 2011

Sonoma Trip

What an amazing trip! We woke up early Sunday morning, flew up to San Fran, and headed out to Sonoma wine country. Our first tasting appt. was Dutton & Goldfield in Sebastopol. We tasted some fantastic chardonnays and pinot noirs then headed across the way to red car which is known for its box car wines and its wine label art for “the fight” which is a Syrah label that has their “knockout” series of really outstanding artwork. We then headed off the dry creek inn to rest and get ready for our big dinner at Cyrus.

 Cyrus; 2 Michelin stars, amazing service, amazing food, and the epitome of fine dining. We wined and dined for 5 solid hours. The wine pairings with the food were absolutely incredible. The Sommelier was outstanding, not to mention the chef and the wait staff. It was truly an experience I will never forget!

The next morning we had 3 tasting appts, first, Walter Hansel. This was one of my favorite stops being that it was raining, and we stood outside under a tin roof, and could hear the rain pounding above us, while looking out to the vineyards- it was incredible! I also loved how Steve Hansel, the winemaker, had grown up and lived on this property all his life. It was passed down from his father to him and his brother, and you could tell he knew and loved the land with every fiber of his being. He knew every slope, hill, soil, etc. it was really neat to see and be part of the experience!

Littorai was our next stop. The vineyard is biodynamic and was a really beautiful property! It was landscaped really nicely, and the vines covered a vast amount of hillside- it was just 6 miles from the coast, which they were on the other side of a small mountain, so the climate stayed nice and cool, and hung in the valley they were in. they had a neat winery that had hay installed in the walls to regulate the climate inside the winery (if I remember right) all very biodynamic and granola-y. They also had chards and pinots

Copain (pronounced co-paaaan) was the most pretentious and poured the most money into their tasting room and winery. It was gorgeous, but was decked out with Adirondack (auto correct spelling?) chairs overlooking a breathtaking view, and had many pricey design elements incorporated in. We tasted through chards, and pinots, and he also boasted how Syrah is the next upcoming grape, and how they were making Syrah from grapes from the “deep end” of the Yorkville valley.

After a full day of tasting we ate at Zins restaurant and grabbed a few drinks from one of the local bars. The town of Healdsburg that we stayed in was awesome, and it would have been nice to walk around more, but it was raining pretty well for a majority of the trip.

We leisurely woke up on Tuesday and headed out to San Francisco! We had no plans for the day, except to hang out and see the city! We spent a bunch of the time at the ferry building which is a small marketplace that features many artisanal shops: the tasty salted pig part shop, mushroom farm shop, cowgirl creamery, baked breads, honey, and coffee! It really was a great stop. If I worked in the city, it would be a sweet place to come for lunch. Ooh and we caught the tail end of the farmers market too which was great!

We ate a late lunch at the salt house, which had a cool interior and we sat up on the loft. The food was amazing and the cocktails were delightful!

It was such an amazing trip. Ed took such great care of us, and it was awesome how he treated his managers, wine buyers, and chefs to such an incredible experience, that I know I will personally never forget! I am so blessed by this job, and the opportunities that have come along with it, and the priceless information I have learned an attained through the process. Cheers!
yummy pinot noir at walter hansel
winemaker steve hansel!

the ferry building in san fransisco was awesome! bakery, meat shop, cheese shop, wine shop, restaurants, coffee, it was all really trendy and vibey, and we were even there during the farmers market!

Monday, May 9, 2011

hot rods and muscle cars

on my 30 before 30 list one thing is to start to restore a late 60s muscle car. 69 el camino, chevelle, nova...some good ol fashioned american muscle :)
the del mar nationals was such an inspiration!


 pink 68 dodge challenger
el cam! el cam!

brown butter/sea salt bakies!

So i googled brown butter and sea salt cookies, and this recipe is from a really fun blog called yummy mummy kitchen. she also has some other really amazing recipes I'm stoked to test out too!

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. (i didnt use parchment paper, and they still were yummy!)

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
sea salt for sprinkling

In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter until it starts to caramelize. It should smell nutty and you will see brown bits at the bottom of the pan. Be careful not to burn the butter - in which case you will have to start over. Pour browned butter into a medium bowl and stir in brown sugar and vanilla. In a small bowl, whisk flour and baking soda. Add flour mixture to butter mixture until combined. Let cool to room temperature. Using a tablespoon or small scoop, drop dough onto cookie sheet. Sprinkle with sea salt and lightly press into top of cookies. Bake 15 minutes or until lightly golden. Don't overcook, or cookies will be too dry and crumbly.

**I also didnt let the butter cool completely, I poured it into the bowl with the brown sug and vanilla and then melted in the flour/baking soda mixture, and it all kinda melted together nicely. I also used a teaspoon measuring spoon and packed the batter into it, before placing on baking sheet- this made them less crumbly. :)
oh and i like to call "cookies" bakies because they are baked, not cooked, in my opinion.

enjoy! this recipe yeilds about 15 bakies. I made a double batch- prep time is maybe 10 minutes top and and my oven is psycho so i only baked them about 12-13 minutes, and they were golden brown. enjoy!