salads

Wine Country

What a good weekend! Logan turned 19 months old and was such a goofy, cute, fun little boy all weekend. He decided he wanted to learn how to jump. I have some pretty hilarious and adorable videos of him trying to learn how to jump up and down. He’s not quite coordinated yet.

Also this weekend, Michael and I got to get away for a little but on Sunday. Logan got some quality time with the grandparents and we got to have adult time with friends! Win-win! I went swimming and then we met up with some friends and drove down to Dundee, Oregon together.

It was the Sokol Blosser wine club pick up party over the weekend and we went with friends who are also members. First, we stopped for lunch at a place they recommended. It was called the Babica Hen Cafe.

I ordered the Blue Cheese and Bacon Salad. It came with grilled chicken and avocado and an egg on top. The salad was really delicious and fresh. It was also a ton of food. I only ended up eating about 80% of it. And…despite the low carb diet, I did have the bread that came with it. It was warm and freshly baked with melty butter…and hard to pass up. Lunch was delicious.

I kind of got talked into having a raspberry mimosa, which was also delicious.

Michael got the smoked salmon eggs benedict, Charla got the taco salad (looked delicious) and Ben got this crazy fried chicken and waffle dish I had to share a photo of!

It looked like there was a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top of it, but it was mashed potatoes. With caramel syrup and coconut flakes on top. We all had a bite. It was super weird! But the presentation was great.

After lunch we arrived at the winery for the private members-only party. We weren’t sure if there was going to be “real” food there, hence the reason we stopped for lunch. But we arrived and there was a pretty decent spread of stuff. So next time, we’ll just bring a picnic lunch and supplement with the cheese, meat and olives they provided. They also had free coffee from a local place. Sadly, I forgot to get a sample of it.

We checked in and got a taste of their sparkling rose wine, which was really light and refreshing.

The place was packed but we found a cozy spot on the downstairs patio outside. The weekend had been super stormy, rainy and wet but we lucked out on Sunday to nice, warm and sunny weather instead.

It was kind of the perfect afternoon. We were all able to relax kid-free and have adult conversations. Way different than the last time we were there. ๐Ÿ˜‰

The wines were all so good. They were very generous with the pours. We spent a few hours tasting and hanging out.

Around 3:30 the place was starting to thin out. We were able to get a table inside and see the musician who was hired for the event. His name was Dante Zapataย and he was so good! I posted two videos on my instagram if yo are interested. When we joined the party, he was playing some old R&B songs acoustically. Loved the spin on some old favorites!

Charla suggested we stop at Argyle on the way home. She’s raved about their wines a few times.

It was a really cool, modern tasting room. There was tons of space both inside and outside, there was cool art inside and a private room in the back, plus outdoor covered areas and an area for bocci ball. It would be a fun place to go back to when we had more time.

Three of us shared some tastings. The wines were really excellent: smooth and rich and full of noticeable flavors that were easy to identify. It’s a shame their wine was too rich for our blood! I would have taken a bottle home but the cheapest one on the menu was $45! Ooof, little too much for my budget.

After that it was home to our little dude, who’d had a fantastic day with grandma and grandpa. Then Michael and I finished the season finale of Game of Thrones (holy crap that was crazy and intense!!!). What a great day!

Bridal Shower/Cooking Lesson

Saturday turned out to be a really nice day! I planned on going to the gym but Michael suggested we go for a walk as a family since it was so sunny and kind of warm out. It turned out to be a really lovely walk.

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Not too bad of a calorie burn for a long walk/jog. It was nice to go out as a family, too.

Also over the weekend, it was my cousin Anna’s bridal shower. Her friend Shawna planned a super fun and unique shower for her–a cooking lesson! Her friend Bernadette, who has been a chef in many Portland restaurants and now does some catering on her own, taught a cooking lesson for the shower and it was so much fun!

We were all instructed to bring our favorite recipe for Anna and $10 in one dollar bills…hmmm…what could that be for?? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Turned out there were a few rules for the party. You couldn’t mention the honeymoon, their new house or the fiance by name and if you did you had to put $1 in a jar as a tax. It was a funny idea. The money in the jar was going towards the purchase of a Kitchenaid Mixer for the happy couple. I love that idea!

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There were some snacks out while we mingled. Cheese, fruit, crackers, French bread. Lots of wine, sparkling water and lemon water. It was a big group, too, and my mom drove down and stayed with us overnight so she could go. A bunch of my aunts and cousins were there and it was nice to see everyone.

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We were all told to bring our favorite recipe, too. So we all decorated our recipe cards and put them in a book for Anna. My Grandma sent down her coffee cake recipe (which is the best you’d ever eat) and I put in Michael’s mac n’ cheese recipe in the book.

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The party was at my aunt Sheila’s house and the decorations were adorable.

The cooking instruction started. Dinner was salmon with Asian slaw, zucchini and rice.

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The cooking instruction was really fun and interesting and Bernadette answered questions (some just general cooking questions) and was a good teacher. She walked us through her recipe for the slaw and homemade dressing and recruited Anna to do the mixing:

Then she walked us through making the sauce for the salmon. It was tamari, brown sugar, garlic, red pepper flakes and cornstarch with water.

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We all got to taste the sauce after it thickened up and it was almost like a tangy, tamari caramel sauce. It was SO good!!!

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Here is the finished product:

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The food was absolutely delicious! Shawna is going to email everyone the recipe soon and when I get it I will post it. I definitely want to make that sauce because it was so amazing. I also loved that it was a simple, healthy, low-calorie meal that anyone could make.

After dinner we had dessert. Anna’s mom made a chocolate/whipped cream/walnut dessert and a raspberry cheesecake bar dessert. I had a small piece of both.

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The cooking lesson was a blast and it inspired me to look into some cooking classes in the future. It’s something I’ve done in the past and had fun but never stuck with.

It was such a fun night. I was so glad we all got together and celebrated the upcoming wedding. It’s going to be a blast!

Question: Have you ever had a cooking lesson? What did you learn to cook?