wine tasting

Playing Hooky & Celebrating

On Friday I took a vacation day at work and we played hooky! It was a planned hooky…It was our friend Shawna’s 40th Birthday and she planned a day of wine tasting to celebrate with friends and family. Her parents were visiting from California.

So I took Logan to daycare, went to the gym, and then Michael and I drove out to the Gorge to meet up with everyone!

The first stop was at AniChe Cellars in Underwood, WA, just across the bridge from Hood River. Ironically, it was about a mile away from the little house we rented last 4th of July and we had no idea there was a cute winery nearby!

I really liked this winery. Shawna was a member so we all got complimentary tastings. Yay! And we got a tasting plate that paired with each wine tasting. It was different kinds of dried fruits, cheese and chocolate.

My cousin Anna, her husband, her sister Carrie and their parents came, too, plus some friends.

I ended up buying a bottle of the “Lizzy” (Southern Rhône styled blend of 62% Marsanne and 38% Roussanne). From their website: This dry wine elicits a more complex palate of chamomile, dried herbs, honeysuckle, beeswax and green tea. Enjoy with fresh fig, salty proscuitto, and baked chicken with Provencal herbs.

I liked how crisp and slightly sweet it was.

I also bought a bottle of “Be Holden” (a blend of Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, and Merlot, from the Horse Heaven Hills and Rattlesnake Hills).  Bold quince and blackberry followed by rich vanilla, tobacco and spice. YUM!

I loved that they named all their wines references literary greats. After the tasting we ended up buying a bottle of red and white to share with everyone outside. It was a drizzly, cold day in the Gorge but the firepit area was covered and the firepit was warm. So we all hung out and snacked on the pimento cheese, crackers and the sheeps cheese Michael and I brought.

Then it was time to hit the next place. Michael and I made a pit stop at a random taco truck. He got a small burrito and I got a street taco. It was really good! We will definitely stop there again in the future.

The next stop was Syncline. We used to be members there but suspended it last fall. I hope to start up again in the future. It’s a great place for the summer. It definitely looked different in the winter! No hammocks, corn hole, bistro tables…but there was a great fire pit!

It was raining a bit. But somehow it wasn’t miserable. It was just fun hanging out by the fire, doing our tastings, chatting, celebrating Shawna.

There weren’t a lot of people there, either, so it was quiet and peaceful.

Shawna brought a bunch of cheese, bread, crackers, fruit and Anna brought an amazing pasta salad. I did half a tasting but we were short on time and had to leave to get back to Portland in time to pick up the munchkin from daycare. Hugs and well wishes and then we went home. The rest of the group was going to head to another place and then out to dinner.

It was an excellent day. PLUS, Michael and I were kinda celebrating, too, because….HE GOT A JOB!!! As you can guess, we are SUPER excited and relieved. I might tell you guys in the future where, because it’s pretty awesome. 😉

It’s a contract-to-hire type of thing. So hopefully like at his last place, it was a 30 Day contract and then they hired him permanently. We’re crossing our fingers for this time.

We picked Logan up from daycare and the other big news: we converted his crib to a “big boy” bed by taking one side off. He’s been successfully climbing out his crib for a few weeks now. It was definitely time!

So that was our exciting weekend! How was yours?

Lately

Last Thursday Logan turned 2 officially! We took donut holes to daycare so the kids could all celebrate together and everyone told Logan Happy Birthday. After daycare, he had his 2 year checkup with the doctor and he’s doing great. The doctor was really impressed at how well Logan is doing. Logan showed off and pointed to all the body parts he knows (his eyes, ears, mouth, elbow, hair, etc). Logan is 36.5 inches and grew almost 3 inches since his 18 month appointment! Holy cow! He’s 96% for height.

After the doctor appointment we went out to dinner to Mike’s Drive In in Oregon City. Michael and I got burgers. Logan got a corndog! And he loved it. 😀 He did so great. He had a great day.

In other Logan news, he might be ready for a big boy bed. Which is both exciting and scary for this mama! He’s starting to try and climb out of his crib. And he’s tall, so it’s easy for him. OY.

On Saturday (after the gym), we met some friends at Sokol Blosser for the spring pick-up party for members. It was so much fun and we were really glad we were able to hang out with our friends. We hadn’t seen them in awhile and it was nice to catch up.

The Sokol Blosser party is very nice. We were there in October with some other friends. When you first get there, you get a glass of their sparkling white. Love it!

The place was packed. There was a bunch of food–yummy smokey steak with chimichurri sauce, polenta, roasted veggies, toasted chickpeas, salad, salami, cheese, crackers, olives. All of the food was really tasty and it was enough for a light lunch while we did our tasting.

After the party, we decided to stop at one other place none of us have ever been to: Stoller. The venue was gorgeous! It was huge. I guess in one section they were having THEIR spring pick up party for members. We went to the tasting room. It was a huge, cool venue with lots of room. The place was packed so we walked to the back tent. The tent area was huge and had nice tables set up and it was heated and comfortable. The wine tasting was at your table, so that was nice.

It was a really nice Saturday!

On Sunday I decided to give my pressure cooker a test run in the “slow cooker” setting. I was hoping that I could get rid of my crockpot if this worked well. After my swim, I got all the stuff ready and put it in the pressure cooker. I had a packet for the “country rice” and used frozen chicken tenderloins.

I used the slow cooker setting on my cooker. Then I ran some errands and stuff and when I got back I checked it and realized that it was already cooked! It was like 2pm and I had thought I set it on “low” for 7 hours but at the 4 hour mark, everything was all cooked. BUMMER. I was kinda irritated because then I had to just put the food in the fridge and reheat it for dinner. Which is fine, but not ideal and not like my crockpot. So….I guess I can’t get rid of my crockpot yet.

The dinner doesn’t look pretty, but it was really flavorful. We had salad with it. Yum!

Anyways, any ideas on the slow cooker setting for the instant pot?