Happy New Year!

Happy 2015!  Wow, it has been WAY too long since I’ve blogged.  Since July I have made all kinds of delicious foods that I’ve failed to post, probably because I was too interested in consuming the foods soon after cooking or baking….so as many people after the holidays, I need to lose some LBs.  Now, just because I’m “watching it” does not mean I will sacrifice my taste buds, no no no.  Any fad “diet” (ie paleo, gluten free, juice cleanses, etc) are against my religion (my religion is love and happiness).  For me, it’s everything in moderation and I really need to emphasize on the moderation!  You will be seeing less baking posts because that has been my problem area.  Any who, here’s a recap of all my food happenings July – December!

So what have I been up to since July…..well, to start we had our annual McVicker camping trip in July.  This year we decided on Fort Bragg and it was so beautiful and amazing!  I highly recommend camping at Mackerrichter State Park!  An added plus, someone caught some fresh fish and decided to leave it hanging on our campsite…score!  We grilled those suckers up and dug in!  I also made my Campfire Nasi Goreng on this trip.

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Son Devours Fish

Soon after the camping trip my husband and I celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary in Sonoma.  It was beautiful and peaceful.  On our way up we stopped in Petaluma for the Lagunitas Brew tour….wow was it worth it.  I mean how could it not be…its delicious Lagunitas beer and it was free!  We stayed at the Old Crocker Inn in Cloverdale, hit up some wineries off Dry Creek Road, and stopped at our favorite little restaurant in Geyeserville called Diavola Salumeria.

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Once we got back from Sonoma the kids started school so that consumed much of my time which is part of the reason I haven’t posted in a while.

In November we did manage to get in a pretty kick ass rijastaffel (Dutch Indonesian feast).  We BBQ’d satay, made nasi goreng, kroepoek, cucumber salad….it was amazing!  And of course the people and the company are the most important ingredient 🙂  All the love we put into the food (especially the satay pricking which I did not do but did delegate the task and micromanage lol), the conversations…I just love my family!

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In the beginning of December my Godmother, Mom, and God sisters had a holiday bake day and it was deliciously sinful.  Shots of fernet, too much sugar and carbs, old school Christmas records, it was so fantastic!  This was the first year we did this and I hope we can make it a tradition!

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For Christmas Matt and I hosted our 3rd annual Pho Christmas and I can’t even believe I took NO pictures of the amazingly delicious Pho!  Darn!  However I did snap a pic of my festive white holiday cake topped with candied cranberries and edged with fresh rosemary.

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And finally we have New Years.  We had my cousin and her husband over.  I made classic cheese fondue from a cook book my husbands late grandmother gave me (she used to make fondue every Christmas Eve).  We also had plenty of fernet and champagne!

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Happy 2015!!!

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Sonoma Birthday Weekend

Usually for my birthday we spend a weekend in my “heaven on earth”, Capitola.  However this year I decided to mix it up a bit.  We spent the whole weekend (3 days, 2 nights) in Sonoma County and it was wonderful.  We stayed at an adorable, quaint bed and breakfast in Cloverdale called The Old Crocker Inn, which I will touch on in a minute.

We started off the weekend with a day in Healdsburg.  We hit up the Bear Republic Brewery first and enjoyed lunch complete with fish and chips, chili with antelope, boar and venison, and of course bear.  Our favorite beer is Racer 5 but we had to do a tasting of their seasonal varieties.

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My favorite out of the tasting was the ADHA-527 Rebellion.  Next, we walked off our lunch and enjoyed window shopping in this adorable town.  I have heard and read so much about Healdsburg and it’s wineries, but unfortunately we were limited with our time there so we did not get a chance to check it out.  We did, however stop at a wonderful coffee shop called Flying Goat Coffee .  I got a vanilla latte and Matt went with a cappucino.

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Adorable coffee shop, definitely make a visit if you’re in Healdsburg (they have one in Santa Rosa too).

Now it was time to make our way to Cloverdale.  We wanted to check out the downtown before checking into our B and B.  It was cute, very quiet, not much going on.  Apparently THIS is art in Cloverdale:

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There were a few artists displays on the sidewalks which I thought was cool.  There’s another coffee shop called “Plank Coffee” that I wanted to try but I was already too hopped up on caffeine, maybe next time.

Now onto the Old Crocker Inn….instant relaxation!  It was tucked away up on a hill with amazing views of Alexander Valley.   It is so peaceful and quiet, nature just surrounds you.  The owner, Tony, was my Grandpa’s best friend since the 7th grade so this is how I originally heard of the place.  Him and his wife Marcia are amazing hosts, they make you feel right at home.  I wrote a review of the Old Crocker Inn here on Yelp: http://www.yelp.com/biz/old-crocker-inn-cloverdale#hrid:XxkDElYtkF0PDSWf1buaBw

Some pictures:

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They serve a wonderful, full course breakfast every morning. Coffee, tea, and baked goods are available 24/7 as well as free movie rentals.  If you have any questions about the area, Tony is more than helpful.

Relaxing at the Inn was the main part of our trip, however we did hit up a few wineries off Dry Creek Road and had an awesome lunch at Diavola Pizzeria and Salumeria in downtown Geyserville….what a treat that was.  IMG_2388

I love taking fun little weekend trips like this.  The Bay Area has SO much to offer and it just inspires the creations I like to make in my kitchen 🙂