Friday, June 4, 2010

Fun Times Part 2

This is the second part to a 3 part blog.  Our visit to a few local wineries!!!  Lots of fun stuff!

So Part 2 of this trip takes us to wine country!  We have some wonderful wineries in the area and we actually have one of the oldest wineries in California.  We decided to tour three (originally four - but we ran out of time) of the local wineries for wine tasting.

Our first stop:

Sobon Estates (click the link to check them out)  this winery is one of the oldest if not the oldest in California.  They have wonderful wines.

And the vineyard is beautiful and they have a museum that was so fascinating to walk thru.  Wonderful people work  here - and they are very knowledgeable.  We had a great time tasting the wines and checking out the museum.  I came here the week prior to the group tour and I had a great time.  I bought a few bottles at that time -  like the one below- this is a wonderful white wine - I enjoy both white and red wines.  Our area produces mainly reds but a few of the wineries do have white as well - like Sobon Estate.

Second Stop:  
 Dobra Zemlja (pronounced: dobra zem-ya) means "Good Earth" in Croatian.  Click on the link to check it out!  We had a good time here - great wine and a wonderful atmosphere!  They have beautiful gardens and a pond - so very relaxing.  Great wines! (did I say that already - LOL) One of my favorites is the Kikas!  I think a lot of people in the group liked it as well.  

I love their label - I keep a wine journal and I enjoy looking thru it on occasion to just look at the labels I have collected.

This is a picture of the entrance to the tasting room.  See those doors well this picture does not do them justice they are huge and beautiful!  I love these doors!

Here's a group shot of us inside the tasting room!  We sure did have a good time here as well!  But we had to head out after purchasing a few bottles - it's on to our next winery.  

Third and last stop:  
Our last winery visit of the day is a very special one to me and my family it's The Bray Vineyards (click on the link to see more).  This is a wonderful vineyard and of course we love their wines so much!  My only regret they are not related to me! LOL  I truly wish they were related!  I am actually a member of the wine club though and we get bottles of their wine on a regular basis.  One of their wines is called Brayzin Hussy a great red wine and it has the cutest label.  I have given these out as gifts at Christmas along with my Gorgonzola Cookies (savory and very yummy).

Isn't this the cutest label. They have this tub at the entrance to the tasting room! To cute! I think my favorite is their Barbera or the Cabernet Sauvignon or Sangiovese.

This is a signed bottle of the Bray Vineyards wine we won at an auction - you can't really tell but this is a larger than normal bottle of wine.

We also had a group shot taken in front of a cute truck that is just outside of the tasting room - but our picture didn't turn out!  So this is a group call out anyone who has that shot please send it to me via email if you can and I will get that pic posted!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Inlinkz Challenge #1

An invitation came to play along in the first Inlinkz challenge.  Okay I thought this is new for me and I have been wanting to try my hand at making a joy fold card.  Yes - I'll combine these two and see what I come up with.  Well I think it's cute - love that the challenge colors are terrific for a boy!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Fun Times

Boy have I been bad!  Well not so much bad as just sick and when I thought I was getting over it I would get sick again -Yuk!  I finally did shake it and I am feeling so much better!  In fact I was feeling so much better that when my DH's parents came for a visit with a few of there friends from Oregon I hosted a dinner for the group Sunday night and joined in on a few of the planned activities.   We spent time Saturday and Sunday together and we all had a great time.
BIG Thanks to Susan, Bruce, Jodi, Paul, Diane, Bill, Brenda, Ron, Sue and Kenny!  

The group met at a local place for dinner on Saturday - not just any old dinner but a BBQ with a little bit of gold panning thrown in.  What fun we had!  The group had signed up with a local place called The Roaring Camp Mining Co.  click on the link and click on Saturday BBQ for some fun details.

We drove down to Roaring Camp after signing in and then loaded up on a huge pick up truck with bench seats for the drive down to camp.

Did I mention there were 12 of us!  We almost filled the truck up!
This is no little dinner it's a five hour treat starting with the drive down to camp, a tour of the camp, a little gold panning, entertainment and dinner.

See the beautiful river, the picnic tables and the entertainment stage.  You can see a few people hanging around waiting for the dinner bell to ring!

This is where you pan for gold.  You get a shovel full of dirt in your pan and swirl the pan in the water and hopefully find gold in that there pan!  :(  I was not lucky enough to have any gold but two of our group had a good hunk in their pan's.  Yee Haw!

This is after the dinner and since it was cold outside we all were invited inside for a little bit of Brandy, Coffee and story telling by our host.  We had loads of fun and a good time was had by all. 

We did have to load back up on the pick up and with music playing we headed back up top for an end to the evening.  

More fun to come so check in tomorrow and read about the wine tasting tours!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Mojo Monday 138

Well since I have not had a chance to participate in any challenge over the past week I decided I would make time for the Mojo Monday challenge even if it is Thursday! Ha! You can check out all the goodness over at Mojo Monday at the link above.
This sketch is by Julee Tilman

Here is my take on this sketch - we've have had a few days of sunshine which I was needing very badly!  I've had a terrible head cold for the last few days and finally today am feeling somewhat normal!  Yay!  No more vertigo!

I think this is so bright and cheery!  I love these colors together!

{You are my sunshine - supplies}
PaperDCWV/Brights, Citrus & PTI Cream
card stock
Stamps: PTI sentiment from the Frames 3 set

Ink: Orange Zest from PTI
Other: Flowers cut from Cricut/Plantin cartridge, pop ups

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Cinco de Mayo and Friends

Well I have not had a chance to get any challenge play in of late.  But I did have a Cinco de Mayo party to attend this past weekend!  We had lots of fun and I would estimate about 40+ people showed up.  A good time was had by all!  This is a yearly event put on by a couple who announced last year they had gotten married!  Surprise! for sure.  So this being their one year anniversary I figured I should come up with a card to give them.  I wanted something elegant and not related to Cinco de Mayo and I think I accomplished that.  


Thursday, May 6, 2010

Color Challenge Photo's

Kristina Werner is asking for photo posts for a color challenge.  When I saw this challenge I immediately thought of a couple of photo's I have always liked.  Of course - when you start to look for that one photo you end up looking at lot's of photo's.  So I ended up with a couple of choices to pick from.  I thought I would post the two photo's then make my choice.  So here are my photo's below.

So I thought once I posted the two photo's I would be able to choose one really quickly - Ug!  Not happening I really love both of these!  These photo's are a trip to Disney Land we took a few years ago.  In the first photo - Teacups!  I love the teacups they are just so colorful and pretty.  The second photo with the Sunburst and the Mickey Mouse outline and the reflection on the water I thought was fabulous.  To find out which one I chose to submit head on over to Kristina's blog and check it out.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

French Bread Recipe "Easy"

A few weeks back I posted a yummy corn chowder recipe!  Very tasty and easy!  I also had made a loaf of french bread which I said I would post the recipe here.  Very easy!  Very Yummy!  I love the smell of bread baking.  Love warm bread with butter spread all over.  Oh my!

So you will need the following to make this bread.  Active Dry Yeast (not rapid rise), sugar, salt, flour, olive oil, and hot water (at least 110 not over 125 degrees).

Put your yeast into your mixer bowl along with one teaspoon of sugar.  Add hot water and proof until yeast is bubbly (about 5 minutes).  Add two and a half cups of flour, one teaspoon of salt into the yeast mixture.  With bread dough hook attached to mixer, mix the yeast and flour mixture until it starts to pull away from the mixing bowl.

Then take the dough out of the mixing bowl and dust your surface with a little bit of flour and knead until dough is no longer sticky (add flour as you go).

Place dough in a well oiled bowl and rub oil on top of dough and cover with plastic wrap.  Set in a warm place to rise (if your room is really warm it will take about 30 minutes) for approximately 45 minutes.

Punch dough down and spread out into an oblong shape - roll dough up gently and place in a french loaf pan or a cookie sheet cover with plastic wrap and let rise again for approximately 30 minutes.

Once bread has risen the second time remove plastic wrap and place bread in a pre-heated 450 degree oven for approximately 20 minutes until golden brown.  Remove from oven and let cool slightly before slicing and buttering.  Enjoy! (I put melted butter on top of this loaf after it cooled slightly)

French Bread Recipe
1 packet of active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup hot water (110 - 125 degrees)
3 cups all purpose flour (I use unbleached flour)
1 tablespoon olive oil

Preheat oven to 450 degrees
Mix yeast, sugar with hot water until yeast becomes bubbly (proofing the yeast).  Add two and a half cups of flour and mix until dough pulls away from the bowl.  Place on lightly floured surface and knead dough until smooth and no longer sticky (use the remaining flour as needed).  Place dough in bowl with olive oil and rub top of dough with oil and cover with plastic wrap.  Let rise for approximately 45 minutes.  Punch dough down and gently spread out into oblong shape, roll up into jelly roll shape and put in french loaf pan or cookie sheet.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rise again for approximately 30 minutes.  Remove plastic wrap and bake in preheated oven for approximately 20 minutes until golden brown.  Enjoy!

Tip:  For those who do not have a stand mixer you can still do this recipe.  Follow the directions using a hand mixer but only add a half cup of flour at a time (do not add all the flour at once).  Depending on your hand mixer after adding one to two cups you will need to turn the dough out onto the counter and knead in the rest of the flour until it becomes smooth.  This process will take longer because you are actually adding the flour by kneading it into the dough.  Follow the rest of the recipe normally.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Spring Weather

Well I don't know about everyone else, but our weather has been just wacky!  One weekend will be nice and the next we have snow and hail.  I just wasn't sure if planting flowers and my garden were going to be in the works this year.  I actually started on a project that I had found in my home file and my DH was willing to help out!

These are corner planters that my DH built from my file plans and I decided to get some spring color on the deck and painted them tangerine!   Is that the brightest orange you've ever seen.  I saw the color and thought why not!  I was thinking with some pretty flowers it would look great.  Then I thought flowers - um!

So I painted yellow flowers on the boxes to go with the orange - bright and spring like  don't ya think?  It's been weeks since these were completed and finally today I decided to plant flowers.  My only problem now is they are calling for snow all the way down to 4000 ft I'm hoping it doesn't get any lower or I'll lose what I planted today. :(   I just couldn't wait any longer and bought these flowers yesterday.  I am so ready for nice spring weather.

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Play Date Cafe Challenge PDCC #26

It's that time PDCC!  This week the sponsor is Mod Podge Rocks and the awesome host is Amy Anderson!  She is very generous and is offering up a Mod Podge Rocks "Starter Pack" for "Cup of the Week".  As Julie Ranae said this is not your mama's Mod Podge check it out at Amy's blog click the Mod Podge Rocks link above.

This week's celebrity guest designer is Jen Tapler of Jen Tapler Designs.  Jen said, "I'm really into hybrid papercrating (digi meets traditional).  Let me tell you with all her lists of other accomplishments and her addiction to all things paper - she has to be one busy gal!

So this week's Cafe Challenge is from Julie Ranae - inspired by the Sundance catalog.  Yummy eye-candy for sure!

This is PDCC's celebrity guest Jen Tapler's design!  Wonderful eye-candy as well!  Along with all the other design teams creations - well! I just had to play! 

Check out all the gorgeous creations over at PDCC.  Lot's of wonderful talent there to ogle over.

Here is my card for this challenge!  I'm always having fun playing with the Play Date Cafe Challenge. - so this card was just a bit different for me!  I used foil for the silver in my card!  Hope you like it?  The sentiment is a little light in this picture but it say's "thinking of you".

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Moxie Fab Challenge!

Moxie Fab World issued a challenge in honor of the Go-to Sketches Week. This sketch was from Kim Kesti the Paper Crafts Go-to Gal. You can find this sketch in the Go-to Sketch issue and it is Sketch #28 and located on page 94.   Here is that wonderful sketch if you don't have your  issue yet.

My first time for using a bubble sentiment - how fun! Well if apples could only talk! I altered a little bus cut from cricut into a truck so it could haul some apples to market! Hope you like!

{Apple Truck supplies}
 Paper: PTI/ kraft, black, DWCV /bright
Other: Computer generated bubble with sentiment, silver, and green pens, cricut cuts


Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Play Date Cafe Challenge PDCC #25

Yes! Another great inspiration over at The Play Date Cafe so click on this link to check it out!  It's Color Splash Challenge again (my first time playing).  Every six weeks or so a color challenge is introduced and this time the color's are Black, White, and Orange.  I've posted the inspiration photo below!  Eye catching don't ya think?  Also a little gift is offered on this Challenge and is from the "celebrity" Guest Designer Kelly Marie Alvarez of Lawn Fawn Designs.

Kelly says she loves designing fun and bright creations that make people smile.  I think she's doing a wonderful job, she sure made me smile with this giveaway gift for this week's color challenge.

Isn't this so cute! :)

So this is my creation for this challenge - I know most people think of black and orange and Halloween comes to mind. Confession - I'm one of those people and I thought twice about playing this week because I am horrible at anything Halloween! But I started thinking a little more about the colors and this is what I came up with.   A bit more than a splash of orange.  Hope you enjoy!  
P.S.  Let's hope Julie is feeling better soon!

{Thanking of you supplies}

Paper: DCWV Brights & Glitter, Staples basic white cardstock
Stamps: PTI / Vintage Picnic Sentiments
Ink: PTI True Black
Other: Stick Pin tied w/ orange tulle, Black sparkle cord tied into a tassel, Pearl dots

Friday, April 16, 2010

Magic Carpet

I fly!  No not by flapping my arms up and down (insert giggle).  If you notice in my profile I say I'm interested in all things from A - airplane to Z - zinc.   (Short version) My husband had a bright idea one day that he wanted to build an airplane.  Well he did lots of research and decided we would build an RV9A, which is a kit plane.  Basically you order the plane parts and build this plane in sections.  We actually started in 2003 when we first received the tool kit for building the plane and it went from there.  Several years and many long weekends later we had our plane built. 

This is the plane we built.  So you'll notice the smudge look near the tail of the plane.  I just used the edit software to remove our "N" number.  So no - that is not part of the paint job.  My DH actually designed the paint job for the airplane.  Nice!  So why is this post titled Magic Carpet - because this is what we call our airplane on occasion.  We have been able to fly to some interesting places since building this thing.  We have actually flown from California to North Carolina for Christmas one year.  Yep - that's right!  So my Birthday is next week and my DH decided to surprise me and planned a trip to San Diego. 
We have flown to San Diego several times but it is a bit iffy sometimes in April with the weather and everything. Hopefully by Monday we will have a better look at what the weather will be like for the week. We are going to be staying here at The Dana - if you ever get a chance to stay here ask for the rooms on the marina side. It's such a nice view and very peaceful and quiet. The waterfront view is okay too I just prefer the marina side. You can actually walk to Sea World from this place. It's an amazing place to stay. I'm going to keep my fingers crossed and hope we get to take off.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Jalapeno Corn Chowder

I have such an easy peasy recipe here!  If you don't care for Jalapeno you could leave it out but it really doesn't make it hot it just gives it some flavor.  This is also a quick recipe! (always good)
Here is a list of ingredients:  Butter, onion, red bell pepper, jalapeno pepper, cumin, flour, chicken broth, evaporated fat-free milk, frozen yellow corn, chopped fresh cilantro.  Oh did I tell you this is surprisingly creamy but not a stitch of heavy cream!

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add the chopped onion, bell pepper, jalapeno and cumin.  Cook stirring for 10 minutes or until the onion and peppers are tender.

Chopped veggies

Add flour and stir for 1 minute.  Stir in broth and evaporated milk.  Increase heat to high and bring to a boil while stirring.  Add the corn and cook for 2 minutes.  Top with chopped cilantro and if you have any left over bacon from breakfast well you can use that as well.

Add flour

Add broth
Add milk

Here's a picture of the finished recipe!  I also baked a loaf of french bread (I have the easiest recipe for that I'll share in a later post) we had a glass of white wine from a local winery.  This really was quick less than 20 minutes from start to table.  Above all else it was Yummy! 

Jalapeno Corn Chowder
2 tsp butter
1 cup diced yellow onion
1 cup diced red bell pepper
1 jalapeno pepper seeded and finely chopped
1 tsp ground cumin (more if you like cumin)
3 Tbsp all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 cup evaporated fat-free milk
1 lb. frozen whole yellow corn, thawed  ( I have used canned corn in a pinch)
2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onion, bell pepper, jalapeno, and cumin.  Cook, stirring, for 10 minutes or until onion and peppers are tender.
Add the flour and stir for 1 minute.  Stir in broth and evaporated milk.  Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil while stirring.  Add the corn and cook for 2 minutes.  Top with cilantro.
Serves 4 / serving size 1 1/4 cups  220 calories, 25 calories from fat, 41 g total carbs.

TIP:  Place the frozen corn in a bowl in the frig in the morning and it will be thawed by dinnertime.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Moxie Fab Challenge!

Wow - talking about cutting it close!  I decided to enter "Picking Up the Pieces" challenge over at the Moxie Fab World.  I already had contemplated entering so I had an idea somewhat in my brain already.  Of course, seeing everything that Cath showcases makes your head twirl.  Such lovely pieces click on the link above to view all of the beautiful pieces.  I have added a few pieces to look at below - fun stuff don't ya think?

So I had an idea it was just going to take me a little bit of time to get it completed.  So with the flower picture above several flowers where punched out and then pieced back together to make a complete patchwork flower.  My card was created with this same sort of technique even though my flowers are a bit smaller and they were a challenge creating. (LOL - my fingers are stiff from all that tiny cutting).

I created tons of flowers in two different sizes and cut the petals off of each flower and then started piecing them back together randomly.  The water fountain was an idea I thought of after seeing a plate in one of my cricut cartridges (altered of course).  I stamped the flower stems, little bird and the water from the fountain.  I colored the bird in blue using my markers.   I added stickles to the center of each flower to make them sparkle.  Lastly stamped the sentiment from PTI and added a blue bow.