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Friday Five

Happy Friday! It’s been feeling quite fall-y lately. Leaves everywhere, soups showing up in my weekly rotation more frequently, salted caramel hot chocolates being ordered multiple times a week.. Ah, yes, it’s fall in Napa Valley.1. David made a fall/winter cocktail that I’m currently obsessing over.

2. Because Jessica is trying to make me fat with this s’mores inspired recipe.

3. The always fabulous Mrs. O spent a luxury weekend in this Indian city. So, so jealous! She always knows how to travel in style.

4. Ugh. This crab news makes me so sad. And really hungry for crab from other areas…

5. The wino is celebrating a big birthday in Switzerland! She doesn’t even look close to the age she’s celebrating!


Celebrating Fall at Apple Hill

Do you have any fall traditions? I started a new one this year!

I’ve heard about Apple Hill for many years and I’ve been wanting to go for a while. Located about 90 minutes from Napa in Placerville, Apple Hill attracts people from all over northern California and is known for its gorgeous views, bountiful apple harvest, and great photo opps.

And who doesn’t love an opportunity to try apple beer, apple bbq sauce and pick out pumpkins?! Read the rest of this entry

Friday Five

 I love autumn in Napa. When we have an autumn season, that is. Cheers to autumn and Friday!!

 1. I can say that I’m a fan, especially if I’m flying solo, but what do you think about this list of things to love about Southwest?

2. As a baker, I don’t use food coloring as many as most do. But I still found this article on natural food coloring interesting. Here’s to hoping my favorite mac ‘n cheese doesn’t alter the flavor due to the now natural coloring! I swear I’m an adult.

3. The Daily Meal dishes on the 25 Best Dive Bars in America and I’ve actually been to one on the list (Snake and Jake’s)! However, I’m wondering how Pancha’s in Yountville didn’t make the cut? It’s a classic!

4. Can we talk about this slow cooker bolognese sauce? How good does it sound? I need it. 

5. This DIY scrub is everything I want to make for holiday gifting. Funny how the holiday season makes you think you’re Martha Stewart, right? 

Roasted Butternut Squash and Bacon Soup

It’s finally acting like fall in Napa and I am so absolutely thrilled! We had a very intense thunder and lightening storm all afternoon, which reminded me of the summer storms back in Tennessee. It was perfect. Well, almost. I was really wishing I’d been at home snuggled up in bed with Betsey, a book, and a huge bowl of my new favorite soup.

But instead, I was at work. Womp womp.

Let’s chat about my new favorite soup that I found on Damn Delicious, shall we?

I had a butternut squash I needed to use from my Apple Hill trip. You know, the one where I bought a million apples and I made the Brown Butter Apple Pecan Upside Down Cake to use up some of the apples? I swear I’m sharing more about that soon.

Anyway, I was on the search for a tasty butternut squash soup recipe and stumbled upon one on Damn Delicious. It seemed like it would fit my bill. As Damn Delicious blogger Chungah notes, “The secret is simple but very crucial to make this soup what it is is. It’s the process of roasting the butternut squash with bacon, and then blending them right up. That way, you have that smoky bacon goodness built right into the soup.” And boy is she right! The bacon adds a rich smokiness that makes the soup silky and decadent without the addition of cream or butter. Plus, the onions and garlic start to caramelize and it’s just absolute heaven.

And I cannot get enough.  Read the rest of this entry

Friday Five

Today’s Friday AND the beginning of Halloween weekend! It’s been a heck of a week. I’m looking forward to more than one of Ca’Momi’s delish Manhattans and finding a last minute Halloween costume. Now that we’ve settled that, let’s Friday Five!

I wish I could remember the name of this Manhattan at Ca’Momi in downtown Napa..

1. Oh man. I just discovered this amazing crockpot version of French onion soup! Can’t wait to try!

2. Ooh lala! I’ve been wanting to go to the Caribbean for.ever. and this makes it possible!

3. What are your go-to carry-on items when traveling? Do any of these make the cut?

4. I’m obsessed with upside down cakes right now. Like the one I just shared! But Jess made this one that might just.. take the cake. Sorry.

5. It’s that time of year again, folks. Practice breaking down your own bird by using Bon Appetite’s steps for butchering a chicken! Plus, you can save all the parts for various chicken dishes and use the bones for making your own stock! Yum.

Friday Five


1. It’s that time of year again! The holidays are quickly approaching which means it’s time for The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap. I’ve participated for the last two years and just signed up for 2015. Click here to see what I sent out in 2013 and in 2014! If you haven’t signed up yet, click here to sign up before November 1st!

2. Because I’m absolutely obsessed with my slow cooker and Thai food, I cannot contain my excitement for this recipe from Five Heart Home!

3. And continuing with the slow cooker obsession, Jess made the most amazing sounding breakfast in her slow cooker. I’m dying. I need this now.

4. As a lover of gifting homemade food gifts during the holidays, this recipe blew me away! Might have to mix and match with my Most Amazing Mixed Nuts!

5. Keeping with the food theme this Friday, I’m dying to get to the 21 restaurants from this 7×7 Big Eat list that I haven’t yet been to in Napa/Sonoma. I might have to make trying all the dishes listed a goal, too!

Let Me Upgrade You: Brown Butter Apple Pecan Upside Down Cake

I don’t know about you, but I’m a big fan of cake for breakfast. I’ll use any excuse to have cake for breakfast or to make a recipe for cake that could be eaten for breakfast. It’s almost a problem. Almost.

This “almost problem” came to light again after visiting Apple Hill in Placerville, CA a few weekends ago. More on that to come, but just know that I walked away with more than 10 lbs. of apples because I got a little overzealous with my shopping. And that’s not even counting the apple products I bought..

Clearly, I needed to find a recipe to use up a bunch of apples. So I made this for you.

Read the rest of this entry


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