Doing what we do best... dining

Monday, September 5, 2011

Summer revisited

It's September.  Already.  Currently, it's mid 60's and has been raining at least since we got up this morning just before 7:00.  Two day ago, it was 97 and humid.  Ahh... late summer/early fall in Ohio.  Where oh where did the summer go..... here's a recap.

First, at the very beginning of summer, we headed west for 10 glorious, relaxing days in California.  We spent a couple of days in San Francisco site-seeing and, of course eating.  

We revisited the restaurant where we became engaged, The Stinking Rose.  The Garlic ice cream sundae with caramel mole sauce was perfection and our entrees were pretty outstanding as well.  


We enjoyed more than our fair share of sourdough bread and dungeness crab, trekked up the steep and unforgiving hills that make San Francisco, and enjoyed a pedi-cab when we simply couldn't walk another step.  

We found some time to just goof around too...

After spending two full days enjoying the city, we hopped in our burnt orange convertible Spyder and headed north to Napa Valley.

It was quite cool and foggy the morning we left - perfect for two mid-westerners with a convertible.  With me behind the wheel, and the top down, we were on our way.  

We arrived before 10AM and found ourselves unable to check into our 'wine cottage' yet... so we headed to a winery for a tasting.  And it began....   

For the next 7 days, we drank some of the most amazing wines, ate at world class restaurants, and just RELAXED.  Everywhere we went, the scenery was perfection.  You couldn't help but to relax.  And oh my oh my the wines.  

One of the highlights was our tour of Truchard Vineyards.  Mrs. Truchard was our hostess and tour guide.  Several years ago, my dear friend Lili, who owns a fabulous wine boutique BellaVino, introduced me to the 2007 Chardonnay.  Having the opportunity to sip that wine, with the owner, at their winery - amazing.  

We ate at a Thomas Keller restaurant, Bouchon, Michael Chiarello's Bottega, an incredible Thai restaurant called Mini Mango, and so many others.   It was an amazing vacation, and I can't wait to go back again.  

We brought home plenty of Napa's finest... but a revisit/restock will be needed.  

About a week after returning, we closed on our new house and moved days later.

Per usual, it was over 100 degrees when we began the move.  But we took our time, spending the better part of a week cleaning, painting and prepping for the big move.  Now that we're in and settled, we LOVE it.

There is so much room.  We have art and heirlooms proudly displayed.

We even have the beginnings of a wine cellar. 

Gracie has toys in every room.... it's home. 

We're even planning to host our first ever holiday.... Thanksgiving at The Millers!

We've kept ourselves busy, for certain.  And clearly, not blogging much.  Until today.  

This recipe is a great one, especially as summer is becoming autumn.

Noodle Kugel with Applesauce 

You'll need:  

1 package egg noodles
1 cup butter or margarine 
1/2 cup sour cream
6 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
16 oz. jar of applesauce (we get ours at the farmers market)
1 teaspoon cinnamon, to taste 

The steps:

First, preheat the oven to 350.  Coat a 13 X 9 inch baking pan with cooking spray.

Cook egg noodles per package directions - al dente.

In a large bowl, combine butter, sour cream, eggs, sugar, lemon juice, vanilla and applesauce.  Combine well.  

Then, stir in cooked noodles.

Pour into baking pan and sprinkle the top with cinnamon.
Bake for 45  minutes to an hour until set and top  is browned.  

Serve along with a savory veggie for a yummy, hearty, autumn meal.