Monday, May 30, 2011

A Day in Amador County

The temperature today was in the high 60's and the sun was out, finally, so we decided to take a drive to Plymouth which is a thirty minute drive from the house in Amador County for a little bit of wine tasting. 
Our first stop was at Karmere Vineyards.  Their wines are all named after the women in the family.
We bought a bottle of their  Empress Daisy Zinfandel and a bottle of their Empress Juana Primabera They also do a very tasty Barbera. The property is beautiful and has wonderful views.  A great place for a special party or wedding.

Our next stop was Sobon Estate Winery and Vineyard. Their tasting room in my opinion could use a cleaning and an update.  I would highly recommend paying the five dollars to try their "Rezerve" wines. Our favorite was the 2008 Rezerve Zin.

Also on the property is the Shenandoah Valley Museum which displays wine making equipment used decades earlier as well as a textile display showing early examples of spinning wheels and weaving looms.
Historical marker in front of the vineyards.
Our last stop was at Jeff Runquist Wines.  The property is on six acres but they don't do any estate bottling.  All their grapes are purchased from other growers.
Since they get grapes from different regions they offer cabernet and we enjoyed their 2008 Colina Poca Vineyards from Paso Robles.  They also had a great spicy 2009 Zinfandel from the Massoni Ranch in Amador County.

The weather was wonderful, the company great and the wine was an adventure. 

I'd also like to take a moment
on this Memorial Day to thank all those that have served and are serving our country so we can enjoy our everyday freedoms.  We are so grateful for your sacrifices. I raise my glass to you.  Thank you!!!!!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Strawberry Summer Cake

I am very much a creature of suggestion.  Cathie mentioned to me a recipe for Strawberry Summer Cake.
I had gone to the farmer's market and bought strawberries.  Strawberries are just wonderful right now.  So sweet and juicy and hard not to buy.   So this recipe calls for a pound of strawberries and I just happen to have that amount.

This is what is left from work today.

  I am looking forward to breakfast tomorrow.  Jim will be having eggs and bacon and I will be enjoying "dessert for breakfast".
I am tempted to have my breakfast tonight.  There 'might' be some left for tomorrow but it's just him and me so who's going to tattle.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Fava Beans

This season we are not getting a CSA box.  I enjoyed our CSA box last year from Soil Born Farms but there were some weeks we got a little tired of eating greens and tomatoes.  It did push me to can and I plan to do some again this summer.  Instead of getting a CSA box I have been trying to go to the farmers market every Saturday.  For those that know me that is a little bit of a  push as I normally work Saturdays so I have to get up an extra 45 minutes.  I really do like my sleep in the mornings
This past Saturday I made my way to the farmers market and along with the strawberries, cherries and a basil plant I purchased three pounds of fresh fava beans.

Fava beans are a lot of work.  First you have to shuck them, then they need to be blanched so the outer skin can be removed.  But they sure are delicious!!

 Here is a recipe for Egg Noodles with Fresh Fava Beans and Bacon

3 lbs. fresh fava beans, in their shells
1 lb. egg noodles
2 tbs. olive oil
2 slices thick cut bacon, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Shell the fava beans and blanch in boiling salted water for two minutes. Let cool and then slit the outer skin of the beans and slip beans out. 

While  the egg noodles are cooking to al dente heat the olive oil over medium heat, add onion and bacon and cook until the onion is translucent.  Add the minced garlic.  Add the fava beans and heat through.  Add cooked pasta and sour cream.  Add the Parmesan cheese and season to taste. 


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Lemon Raspberry Meringue Sponge Cake

My friend Cheryl seems to think I'm somewhat of a pyromaniac.  Could be when I got ready to torch the creme brulee we were having for dessert one evening I pulled out this.

No sissy torch for me.  I get my kitchen propane tanks at the hardware store.  I was really bummed when I moved to California I couldn't move the one I owned.  It was red, taller and thinner and a little easier to handle but this is my new one that Jim has also used for a project outside.  We are a multi-purposing family.
Anyhow, Cheryl sent me a taunt, I mean link recently about this Mother's Day Cake .  The gauntlet was thrown down and I accepted.
Today was the last day of the KAL at the store for the Rose Stole and I decided to treat the ladies.
I made the sponge cake, the lemon curd and layered the cake with the raspberry jam and lemon curd last night.  This morning I made the meringue and decorated the cake.  I didn't really have time to make the roses so I just piped the meringue on top.
The final touch was torching the meringue.

Not necessarily beautiful or evenly torched but VERY tasty.
I ran out of propane.  Could have been because the husband had used it.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Cat Bordhi

Today I had the pleasure of taking a class with Cat Bordhi at Meadow Farm Yarn Studio in Nevada City which is a little over an hour drive northwest of our home in Sacramento. The class focused on Cat's techniques for knitting toe up socks from her book "New Pathways for Sock Knitters".

Here is my baby sock sample with a garter stitch toe and the Upstream increase technique. 

I have now started a pair of socks using Cat's methods out of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in the new colorway 'Cat Bordhi's AHAH!'  The class was packed full of information and I would highly recommend taking a class with Cat Bordhi if the opportunity presents itself.

Just an aside.  During the class this morning I watched through the windows rain turn to snow.  I'm really amazed how the weather here in California is just crazy!!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Prom 2011

Hard to believe that my "baby" is growing up.

All dressed up for prom.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

My Mother's Day

Earlier this week I received a lovely bouquet of flowers of tulips and iris.  

Today I received calls from all three children although one may have been prompted by his older sister. And since none of the children were here to cook I got the next bestest dinner - Popeye's Fried Chicken.  Yes, fast food can make this girl happy.


 Two dark piece chicken, red beans and rice and a biscuit. 

Can I say I love my Husband.  This was a 40 minute round trip journey.  I actually got a little worried if something had happened to him.

My life is good!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


I've been needing to go to Napa to pick up our club member shipment from Domaine Carneros -  I know it's a rough life but someone has to do it. I also have been wanting to visit Knitterly in Petaluma which is another 20 minutes west.  Today I wasn't working so off I headed.

First stop was Domaine Carneros.  The weather was gorgeous and I enjoyed a glass of 2007 Vermeil Demi-Sec while knitting on a scarf I was working on for Paul.  The yarn Marion Foale 3 ply is 100% wool. Paul plans on publishing the pattern soon.

Next I headed west to Petaluma to check out Knitterly. What a wonderful shop!!  I told Jim when I got home I wish it was closer so I could hang out there.  It has wonderful cubbie areas and antiques being used to display their yarn.  The ladies working were also friendly and helpful. I got to fondle some yarn that I haven't seen and bought 4 skeins of lace weight Isager 1 100% alpaca .  I'm going to use it for the Tiered Shawl by Two Old Bags.

A few blocks down and around the corner I stopped in at the Petaluma Seed Bank. Charles would be in hog heaven. 
I couldn't resist the zinnias. They're my colors!! The squash is just for fun and I'm looking forward to the tabasco peppers. This heirloom was first introduced into Louisiana in 1848 and is the main ingredient in Tabasco Pepper Sauce. Now maybe I can finally get my spicy in California.

All in all it was a wonderful way to spend a Tuesday.