Monday, August 24, 2015

Weekend Fun and Weekly Menu (August 24)

We had a good weekend. On Saturday, we met up with my brother-in-law and his family and did some wine tasting in Livermore Valley. It’s only about a 45-minute drive from San Jose, but we had never been. We did some research online and decided where to visit before we went. That was a good decision as there are wineries everywhere!

The first winery we visited was The Singing Winemaker. As the name says, there is a winemaker who sings, which is quite fun. And we also enjoyed the wines, especially the sparkling ones. The Singing Winemaker is part of Tesla Vintners - one property that hosts three tasting rooms. There is plenty of shaded outdoor seating available and even a grass area where you can have a picnic or play some games (definitely kid friendly). You could spend an entire afternoon at Tesla Vintners and visit all three tasting rooms for $20. We loved how laid back, unpretentious, and relaxing the place is. We may have had an especially good experience as we got there right at opening and it wasn’t crowded yet. 

TheSingingWinemaker02

The Singing Winemaker
  
TheSingingWinemaker03

We didn’t visit the other two tasting rooms at Tesla Vintners but instead headed to Murrieta’s Well, which was a short drive away. Most of the wines at Murrieta’s Well are only available for purchase at the winery, and we had had a Tempranillo from Murrieta’s Well about 10 years ago at some friends’ house, and it was so memorable that we still remembered it. Murrieta’s Well is a beautiful, upscale winery. The tasting fee is a bit steep at $20 for 5 tastings, but you can get a 2 for 1 coupon on their website. Also, if you decide to buy some wine your tasting fee goes toward the purchase.  

Murrietas Well
Murrietas Well 04
Murrietas Well 02   
The last winery we visited was Bent Creek Winery. For a $5 tasting fee, you get to taste 11 wines (which was way too many for me at that point, and I stopped after 4). It was later in the afternoon when we made it to Bent Creek, and it was quite crowded. However, there is plenty of shaded outdoor seating, right next to the vineyard. It’s a beautiful and relaxing setting.

BentCreekWinery 
Bent Creek Winery

I can’t believe we hadn’t explored Livermore Valley sooner! I have to honestly say it was the best wine tasting trip ever, mainly because the tasting experience was so relaxed and there was plenty of space to sit, talk, and enjoy the scenery. Plus, the kids had room to hang out and roam around. 

On Sunday, we went grocery shopping, and I also got some meal prep done. Here is the menu for the week:

Monday: Tomato soup with grilled cheese sandwiches. We got plenty of fresh tomatoes from my mother-in-law, and the kid LOVES grilled cheese sandwiches. I will skip the sandwiches and have a salad instead.

Tuesday: Salad with grilled salmon (the salmon is from the freezer; right before I left for Germany we grilled a lot of salmon when we had guests over, and there were a lot of leftovers. It was too much to eat at the time without getting sick of it, so I froze individual portions. I love having ready-to-use, tasty wild salmon to put on salads.)

Wednesday: Romanesco & brown rice salad & Caprese skewers.

Thursday: Sautéed grass-fed ground beef & veggies. I’ll sauté half ground beef & half veggies (onions, garlic, celery, mushrooms, and carrots). The boys will eat the beef & veggies with some pasta, and I will eat it over fresh spinach. I love spooning the hot beef/veggie mixture over the spinach to slightly wilt it.

Friday: Sautéed scallops & grilled veggies. I have a bag of wild-caught scallops in the freezer that needs to be used up. I’ll pick up some veggies at the Farmers’ Market on Friday morning.

Questions: What was the highlight of your weekend? What’s on your menu this week?

Be well,
Andrea

11 comments:

  1. It looks like you had a fun weekend. This week's menu looks tasty. I met up with one of my best friends this weekend. It was fun!

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    1. I'm glad you had a nice weekend, Pam! Have a great week!

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  2. Sweet recap of the Livermore wineries trip. Yes, the best winery trip yet - and we've been to quite a few... Looking forward to returning. ~Andy

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  3. NIce! I've never tasted in Livermore Valley. My coworker/ former boss used to live in Livermore. I do taste wines here in Santa Barbara though.

    I have to admit my limit these days is about 5 tastes / 1 glass or 1.5 glasses. Nevermind a "tour", I can only go to one place.

    Our weekend was busy with chores. We found a used bunk bed for the boys, and my husband spent time putting it up. Still need a mattress. Then beach for a bit. Now getting ready for school tomorrow. My little guy is sick though, so only 1/2 day today!

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    1. Santa Barbara is a nice area for wine tasting!

      We shared the tastings among several people, but, yes, even sips add up quickly... :-)

      Hope your little guy feels better soon!

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  4. What a fun trip, I would totally love doing a wine tour too.

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    1. Yes, it was great. We'll have to go back soon.

      Is there wine tasting close to where you are, Fran?

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  5. No not really, The Netherlands is not really a wine land although there is more produced nowadays. We did such a tour once when we were on vacation in Tuscany, that was fun.

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  6. This makes me really miss CA!

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    1. In many ways it's a great place to be! :-)

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