Europa Village

It’s Winery Wednesday!

Today, we are visiting a winery in the Southern California wine area of Temecula.

Europa Village

Europa Village Sign

It was almost two years ago to the day, Handsome and I arrived here in the wee hours of the morning, it was still pitch black outside.  We were meeting our pilot to soar over Temecula in a hot air balloon, and Europa Village was the beginning of our extraordinary day drifting above the clouds.  It was nice to be going back to do some wine tasting this time.

Europa Village tasting area

The wine tasting room has one of the smaller bar areas we encountered throughout our wine tasting tour. There are many delightful gift items to browse through and purchase in the tasting room.  One of the staff members told us that in the near future there are plans to expand the tasting room.  We really enjoyed the cozy atmosphere of the wine tasting area.

Europa Village wine

The staff are friendly, knowledgeable and happy to discuss the European-style varietal grapes that are planted across their 30 + acres of land.

Europa Village grounds

There is several outdoor seating areas amidst the lovely gardens.  When you sit under the covered patio area, the lower part of the vineyard is right next to you.  It is easy to lose track of time and where you are in this beautiful location.

Europa Village glass

I love receiving this wine glass as a memento from our wine tasting.  Whenever I drink out of it now, I immediately go back to the wonderful times Handsome and I have shared at Europa Village.

Europa Village grapes

I am always amazed looking at grapes on the vine, then thinking of the long processes winemakers endure while producing that beautiful glass of wine.

Europa Village Arch

The entrance into Europa Village gardens and wine tasting area.

Europa Village

33475 La Serena Way, Temecula, CA 92591

951.506.1818

 

St. Supery

It’s Winery Wednesday

Today’s winery brings us to the charming Napa Valley city of Rutherford.

St. Supery Estate Vineyards & Winery

St. Supery wines

St. Supery wines ELU wines (

I loved going to St. Supery, it’s newly renovated tasting room is bright and hip.  You know you are not at tasting room just like the one you just left 10 minutes ago.  It has a young feel to it, from the moment you walk in the door.  A beautiful piece of bright orange art greets you at the entrance.

St. Supery entrance art

As you stroll up to the tasting counter you have already been greeted by several of the staff who are friendly and welcoming. They are excited to share their love of wines with you.

St. Supery wine tasting area

They also have gift items that I could not resist buying, like this jam.

St. Supery jams

One of my favorite places in the tasting room was the back room area.  It was a little more private and displayed bottles and bottles of their delicious wine.  I love that all their wines are estate grown, produced and bottled on site at this family winery.

St. Supery wines roomOne of my favorite photos I photographed is this black and white I took of the back wine tasting room.

St. Supery wines black and whiteTheir outdoor seating at the entrance to their tasting room made me feel like I was sitting in a French cafe.

St. Supery outdoor

I love this wall of greenery. It totally transports you to another place in time.  The colors were changing on the leaves…it is stunning.

St. Supery entrance

 

St. Supery Estate Vineyards & Winery

8440 St. Helena highway, Rutherford, CA 94573

707.963.4507

 

Lemon Scones

Lemon scones on a plate

The very first time I tried a scone, I was living in England.  I was staying at a bed & breakfast, I ended up staying so long the owners used me as their live in babysitter from time to time.  Their home is also the first place I ever encountered a ghost (I will have to tell you about that at another time).

Back to the lemon scones…

 On the weekends, when most of their guests stayed (other than the British football team that was living there, as well (again, a story for another time) the lady of the house would make fresh baked scones for all her guests to enjoy.  The scones were a bit more cake-like than the other scones I have ever tasted since. After a few weeks, I also started helping her in the kitchen.  I had my own motive, I wanted that recipe.  She was happy to pass it along to me In exchange for my help in the kitchen.

Sadly, I never did get that recipe, and I have searched for a more cake-like scone, to no avail.

Here is what I have come up with…

Lemon Scones flour and butterCombine dry ingredients with the cold butter until the mixture resembles small crumbs.

Lemon Scones making batterAdd in the buttermilk.

Lemon Scones pre-oven Form dough into a disk and cut wedges about 3/4 of the way down the dough.

Lemon Scones bakedBake until golden brown.

Lemon Scones 1 piece Top with glaze.

Lemon Scones
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup refined sugar
  • 1 stick cold butter cut up into cubes
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon corse salt
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • raw sugar for sprinkling
  • FOR GLAZE
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons milk
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Place a silpat or parchment paper on a baking sheet.
  3. In a bowl combine, flour, sugar, baking power, salt and butter. Use a pastry cutter until the mixture looks like small crumbs.
  4. Add buttermilk, vanilla, slightly beaten egg, and lemon zest. Mix until just combined. Do not over mix.
  5. Turn mixture onto a floured surface and shape dough into a 6 inch flat disc. Transfer to the baking sheet.
  6. Cut wedges into the dough, making sure not to cut all the way through the dough.
  7. Sprinkle the top with the raw sugar.
  8. Bake for 35 minutes until the tops are golden brown and a tooth pick poked in the center comes out clean.
  9. Cool completely on a wire rack.
  10. FOR GLAZE:
  11. Combine powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk until smooth.
  12. Drizzle over scones.

Enjoy!

Roasted Garlic

Have you ever tasted the sweet flavor of Roasted Garlic?

Chances are if you have been to a Italian restaurant you have tried it, maybe without even knowing it! Roasted garlic adds a delicious flavor to soups, stews, and roasts.  Add it to mash potatoes and it will taste like you are at a five star restaurant.  Add it to mayo and you have roasted garlic aioli.Roasted garlic cloveIt so easy to make and the roasted garlic adds such a depth of flavor to whatever you are cooking.

And here’s how easy it is to make…

Roasted garlic clove choppedChop off the top portion of the garlic head to expose the cloves inside.  Place head on a piece of aluminum foil.

Roasted garlic with olive oilPour about a tablespoon of olive oil over the top of the exposed garlic cloves.Roasted Garlic in foil

Wrap the entire garlic head up in the foil and place on a baking sheet.  Bake in the oven until the garlic cloves become soft and caramelized.

Roasted Garlic

Wait until the clove is cool enough to handle and enjoy the fruits of your labor.  Sometimes, if the stars align perfectly and I have a piece of freshly baked bread hanging around in my kitchen, I take the slightly warm roasted garlic and spread it directly on the piece of bread.  It is just like a little piece of heaven!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Roasted Garlic
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • I or more garlic heads
  • Olive oil
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Trim about ¼ inch off the top of the head of garlic, exposing the garlic cloves.
  3. Place garlic head on a piece of foil.
  4. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil over the top of the exposed cloves.
  5. Wrap the head completely in the foil and place on a baking sheet.
  6. Place the baking sheet into the oven and bake for 35 to 45 minutes (depending on the size of the garlic heads) or until the cloves are soft when pierced with a small knife.
  7. Let cool until easy to handle.
  8. Press the garlic cloves out of it's paper sleeves.
  9. Use right away or store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or frozen up to 6 months.

 Roasted Garlic head

Enjoy!

Peju Winery

It’s Winery Wednesday!

Our 8th winery on the tour brings us to…

PEJU

  When you first drive onto the property you are greeted by an embrace of Sycamore Trees which gently bend in the direction of the wind.  Peju winery is located in one of the most unique buildings located in Napa Valley.  The tower of the building is 50 ft. high.  The building is surrounded by several fountains, gardens, and a reflective pool.  You will walk through a metal sculpture that reminds me of a bottle of wine, as you enter onto the property from the parking area.

Peju Winery metal sculpture

One of the many water features located on the grounds.  It is lovely to walk by this fountain as you enter the winery.

Peju Winery fountain

The entrance door to the winery is hand carved and depicts a scene from Greek mythology.  Inside the tasting room the tile floor has been imported from Turkey.

Peju Winery

Don’t you just love this beautiful garden gate?  The garden grounds are a vision of Tony Peju (his life long hobby) and are maintained by Herta Peju.  Chances are, you will see Herta planting and pruning the garden on a daily basis.

Peju Winery garden gate

I fell in love with this outdoor entaining area located amongst the vineyards.  I would love to have dinner at sunset there.

Peju Winery outdoor seating

Many wine barrels were outside as the winery was in the midst of the harvest.  The very nice staff member allowed Handsome and I to go in the back of the winery where the harvest process was happening.

 I was so enthralled by the process I forget to take pictures!

Peju Winery barrel

One of my favorite wines at Peju was, Liana, Orange Muscat.  I just love dessert wines and this one was especially yummy.  I really loved the hint of orange and ginger.  A perfect dessert wine to enjoy with some after dinner cheeses and fruit!

Peju Winery sign

Peju

8466 St. Helena Highway, Rutherford, CA 94573

800.446.7358

Sequoia Grove

It’s Winery Wednesday!

Today’s winery makes you feel like you are in the Sequoia National Forest,

but you are really at…

Sequoia Grove Winery

Sequoia Grove Winery vineyard in Rutherford, CA

From the moment you drive on the property of Sequoia Grove Winery you feel like you are transported to the Sequoia National Forrest.  The statuesque trees are such a presence when you arrive on the property.

Sequoia Grove Winery located in Rutherford, CA

The tasting room is located in a 110 year old barn, surrounded by a beautiful large grove of sequoia trees that have been growing for more than a century.  The barn is nestled within the grove of trees.Sequoia Grove Winery tasting room (1 of 1)The tasting bar, made of redwood is the perfect place to taste Sequoia Grove’s wide selection of wines in a casual friendly atmosphere.  This tasting area was once a hay barn and later on it was the hub of operations for the winery before it became the wineries tasting room.

Sequoia Grove Winery Barrel in tasting room

This huge wine barrel is located in the tasting room.

Sequoia Grove Winery Fountain

Enjoy this private seating area with a glass of wine listening to the soft sounds of the flowing fountain.  It is the perfect place to enjoy the cool breezes of Napa Valley with friends and delicious wine.

Sequoia Grove Winery vineyards

A small view of their 24 acre Estate Vineyard.

Sequoia Grove Winery vineyard fountain (

The fountain located right outside the tasting room door.

Sequoia Grove

8338 St. Helena Highway, Rutherford (Napa), California 94558

707.944.2945

Hours ~ Daily 10:30 am – 5:00 pm (except major holidays)

No appointment necessary

Please check out their website for further information at:

www.sequoiagrove.com

Not Your Mama’s Grilled Cheese

Growing up, my family’s grilled cheese sandwiches we’re not like the neighbors.  In fact, nothing in my home was.

Not Your mamas Grilled Cheese

  As a child, I was always a little bit embarrassed when a friend came over to my house.  For several reasons, we were louder than the neighbors, we didn’t have the same family rules (I was not allowed to spend the night at friends homes…and a few other rules that I didn’t understand at the time) and we certainly didn’t eat like the neighbors ( I would have left over eggplant and manicotti in my school lunches).  Nothing came from a box, can, or the freezer.  Everything was fresh and my mom went to the grocery store daily.  At the time, I didn’t realize just how lucky I was.

One of my favorite Autumn lunches when I was a child was my moms grilled cheese sandwich and tomato basil soup.  If she didn’t bake the bread herself that day,  my mom would make a drive to La Prima’s Italian Market, their fresh bread and rolls were delicious.  She always bought one extra roll when they were warm for my brother and I to share in the car. There is nothing better than a warm piece of bread fresh out of the oven.

My mom would go to a different Italian market to buy cheeses.  Every cheese had a purpose. There were the cheeses to eat after dinner with fruit, the cheese to grate over pasta, and the cheeses to go in grilled cheese sandwiches.

And here is how she made that delicious Grilled Cheese Sandwich…or Panini as she would say!  I am happy to say I am carrying on my moms way of making the ultimate grilled cheese sandwich!

Grilled cheese with cream cheeseAdd the cream cheese to the inside of each piece of bread.

Grilled Cheese cheesesAdd the cheeses, I have found if you cut the slices of cheese on the thinner side they will melt quicker.

Grilled Cheese with basilAdd the basil on top of the cheeses and close up the sandwich.

Grilled Cheese with butterAdd the butter and you are ready to grill!

5.0 from 3 reviews
Not Your Mama's Grilled Cheese
Author: 
 
This recipe is for 1 sandwich.
Ingredients
  • 1 loaf of Italian bread, cut in half lengthwise and then into individual sandwiches.
  • 1 tablespoons cream cheese, per sandwich half
  • 3 slices of Gouda cheese
  • 3 slices of Gruyere cheese
  • 1 slice Peper Jack cheese
  • 3 fresh basil leaves per sandwich
  • Butter
Directions
  1. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat.
  2. Spread the cream cheese to both halves of the bread.
  3. Layer the cheese on the sandwich and top with the basil.
  4. Close sandwich and add a few pats of butter to the top of one side sandwich.
  5. Place sandwich butter side down on the hot grill pan.
  6. Place a heavy pan on top of the sandwich. Pressing the sandwich down.
  7. Grill for about 2 to 3 minutes until the bread is toasted.
  8. Add butter to the non-grilled side.
  9. Turn sandwich over and continue cooking until the bread is toasted and the cheese is melted.

Grilled Cheese Panini

Grilled Cheese Panini with basil

Enjoy!

Daou Vineyards

It’s Winery Wednesday!

Today’s winery is…

Daou Vineyards

Daou Winery entrance, paso robles

There is nothing like enjoying a excellent glass of wine, except if you are enjoying that moment over looking a spectular view.  That is exactly what you get at Daou Vineyards, in the exceptional wine country of Paso Robles, California.

As you drive up the two lane road to Daou mountain, you have no idea of the beauty you will be soon enjoying.

Daou Winery onyx tasting area

The tasting room, also known as the tasting room in the sky, in itself is stunning.  The tasting bar is made of onyx and lit to perfection showing all the beauty of such a magnificent stone.Daou Winery wine pour Their wine is excellent, our taste buds are very happy.  Handsome and I purchased a nice little collection for ourselves and have been enjoying them ever since we have arrived home.

Daou Winery fountain

The grounds that surround the tasting room are impressive.  Everywhere you look is stunning.  I think I could have sat on the rim of this fountain, stared at the breathtaking view and listened to the water all day…as long as I had a full glass of wine.

Daou Winery places to sit  Seating is plenty outside as well as inside with a wide variety of areas to choose from.  I can only image how lovely it would be on a crisp Autumn evening to sit in front of anyone of their many fire places enjoying a glass of their superb wine.

 Handsome found his favorite spot as I photographed the winery.

Daou Winery favorite place   I love the day bed and adirondack chairs under this large tree.  How wonderful it would be to spend a lazy afternoon enjoying the striking view?

Daou Winery  Bocce Ball Court  Not in the mood to relax?  How about a friendly game of Bocce Ball?

Daou Winery spectacular view

If you are in the Paso Robles area this is a winery you don’t want to miss.

Daou Vineyards

2777 Hidden Mountain Road, Paso Robles, California, 93446

805.226.5460

Eberle Winery

It’s Winery Wednesday!

Today’s winery is taking us to the vineyard town of Paso Robles, California

Eberle Winery

Eberle Winery cabernet sauvignon bottleEberle Winery became a favorite wine of mine a few years ago when Handsome and I were just newlyweds.  A longtime friend of Handsome’s had his and his fiancé’s engagement party at his families winery.  It was my first time in the Paso Robles wine country so Handsome and I did some wine tasting along with the engagement party festivities.  Eberle Winery was one of the first wineries we visited.  I fell in love with their Muscat Canelli and even though I have tried many others, their Muscat Canelli is still my favorite.  I love pairing it with cheeses although, it is mostly known as a dessert wine.  There is something about the saltiness of the cheese and crackers paired with a sweet wine…yum!

Eberle Winery in paseo robles entrance to the cave

Eberle Winery wine barrels

On our last visit, we decided to take one of Eberle underground private cave tours.  In 1994 Eberly Winery decided to expand their winery underground, at that time they were the first winery to do this.  There is 16,000 square feet of cave tunnels.

Eberle Winery in Paseo Robles cave dining area There is also dining areas in the cave where the winery hosts private parties for their Cellar Club Members.  How fun would it be to have a party in a cave?

Eberle Winery patio areaThe other wonderful space that Eberle Winery has to host a great party is their outdoor scenic deck.  When Handsome and I were there we enjoyed a glass of wine and a few snacks that we had brought with us (if you call ahead, you can order a gourmet lunch to be ready for you when you arrive).  The deck overlooks 38 acres of vineyards and the Santa Lucia Mountains in the distance.  They also have a bocce ball court for your pleasure.

Make sure when you are in Paso Robles you go visit Eberle Winery and ask for a taste (or a class) of their Muscat Canneli and let me know what you think.

Eberle Winery

3810 Easy Highway 46, Paso Robles, CA 93446

805.238.9607

Corison Winery

It’s Winery Wednesday!

Today our winery tour brings us to…

Corison Winery

Corison Winery logo

Corison Winery was like no other winery we visited on this trip.  It is small quaint and family owned, it definitely has that welcoming feeling.  Just like you are walking into a good friends home.  Cathy Corison, the proprietor, is one of the first women winemakers in Napa Valley.  The winery is located in a replica Victorian barn that was designed by Cathy’s husband, William Martin.  William, runs the day to day operations of the winery.

Corison produces two artisanal hand-crafted Cabernet Sauvignons.  The 2011 harvest marks Cathy’s 25th year of making wine at Corison.

Their tastings are intimate and located at casual tables right next to the stacks of wine barrels in the tasting room.  Included in your tasting is a guided tour of the winery and the goings-on in and around the winery, including a few interesting stories.  The experience last between 45 and 60 minutes.

Corison Winery stacked barrels

Corison Winery intimate tasting

 Their patio area is just stunning, with a rustic picnic table and a few well place adirondack chairs and patio umbrellas, the view of the vineyard takes your breath away.  I could have sat there for hours and hours.

Corison Winery picnic table

Corison Winery view

 I fell in love with this somewhat hidden swing, located in front of the winery.  I could imagine Handsome and I swinging a Sunday afternoon away with a bottle of Corison Cabernet.

Corison Winery swing

There are also a couple of adirondack chairs in front of the Victorian inspired barn.Corison Winery chairs

 You don’t want to miss this unique experience.  Go ahead a make an appointment for your glimpse into the Corison family business the next time you are in the Napa Valley.  You won’t be disappointed, and you will be making some new friends.

Corison Winery corks, Napa Valley

Corison Winery

987 St. Helena Highway, Saint Helena, CA 94574

707.963.0826

**Wine tasting is by appointment only.

Corison Winery sign