Living in San Francisco, I am only 1 hour away from wine country, yet I have never explored it this whole time I have been living here. My friend and I decided to start our Sunday by taking a tour at Tara Firma Farms, a sustainable, chemical-free, free-range farm in Petaluma, CA, followed by wine tasting in the afternoon at Benziger Family Winery.
My husband wasn’t anywhere near as excited as I was to take a farm tour, #1 because I am the major foodie in our relationship and #2 he grew up in Germany where there is beautiful “farm country” almost everywhere! Growing up as more of a “city girl” and being all about organic, free-range, local foods, I was so excited to learn more about this rare sustainable farm.
The farmers we met were all extremely friendly and enthusiastic about the way their farm operates, as it is very different from conventional farms. Have you seen the documentary Food Inc.? After watching that, I began to take more of an interest in where my food was coming from. It was so great to see all of the chickens, pigs, and cows being able to roam around the grass freely – every animal I saw looked so peaceful and happy, and they all lived in healthy, comfortable conditions. This is the food I would prefer to eat over the meats coming from animals caged in tiny, dark spaces on top of each other and being pumped with antibiotics and being fed unnatural foods.
I loved everything about the way the farmers at Tara Firma operate their farm.
After the farm tour, we headed over to Benziger Family Winery, where we took a tour of the facilities and tasted some of their wines.
It was a perfect Sunday.
How was your weekend? Did you do anything fun, or just have a relaxing weekend at home?
Aren’t these the cutest? I found this recipe from Cooking Light and thought they were just the cutest things ever! I think if my vegetables were served in these as a kid, I would have been way more excited about eating them. I made my phyllo dough from scratch, but the store-bought kind will cut down the time it takes to make these vegetable purses. For the ties, I wanted to choose something edible, so I tied them with chives from my herb garden. I also discovered a delicious sauce that goes great with these – red bell pepper sauce! This is also easy to make, just add red bell pepper, olive oil and balsamic vinegar in a blender and wa-lah! I added feta cheese, artichoke hearts, chopped red bell pepper, zucchini and butternut squash, but let your imagination run wild. You can serve these vegetable purses as an appetizer, side or light main dish.
Once I finished my work at the hospital today, I was craving something sweet. The entire way home, I contemplated if I should make cookies or not. Basically, the debate was over making something healthy like a fruit bowl vs. buttery, fattening, no-good-for-you cookies that I wanted so badly!) to satisfy my craving for sweets. Usually when I crave an unhealthy dessert, I try searching the web for a lower fat version. After an unsuccessful search for a low-fat cookie recipe (I couldn’t convince myself cutting the calories was worth ending up with for a suboptimal taste), somehow my mind went to chocolate mousse. I know what you are thinking. Mousse is way worse for you than cookies! All of that heavy cream…arrghhh. I thought, no way is there a low-fat mousse recipe out there, but I gave it a shot and searched for one anyway.
I found a recipe by Ellie Krieger, and immediately I thought to myself, “Ellie Krieger has a mousse recipe?!…it must be low fat!!” I was right – she used TOFU of all things as the base. Just like the black bean brownies I tried the other day, I was really skeptical about using tofu for mousse. Her recipe has so many high reviews, I just had to give it a try. I used even less sugar than she did, and it came out perfect. I was completely amazed. I don’t think I will ever make mousse the traditional way again – who needs all of that fattening heavy cream when you can’t even tell the difference swapping it with tofu? It was so easy too, the hardest part is waiting for it to chill (I didn’t and it was still amazing!). You seriously have to try this…
Cinco de Mayo is right around the corner! Are you doing anything special? I usually indulge in homemade Mexican food every year to celebrate. FLASHBACK! Two years ago around Cinco de Mayo, Fabi and I were hiking in Yosemite with our families It was so much fun! The time is going by so fast.
Although this vegetarian chili baked potato isn’t a “typical” Mexican dish, it is topped with some traditional Mexican food ingredients, like sour cream and freshly chopped, ripe avocados – yum! You can get creative with the toppings
1 can vegetarian chili (or your favorite homemade recipe!)
1 ripe avocado, pitted and diced
2 tbsp shredded cheddar cheese
¼ cup sour cream
1 tbsp chopped fresh chives
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Wash and dry potatoes, then rub with olive oil.
Using a fork, pierce holes into the potatoes in multiple places.
Wrap each potato in aluminum foil and bake in the oven for 1h 30min.
Once done, heat chili in a saucepan over low heat, then use a knife cut open the potato.
Squeeze the sides in to open the potato more, forming a bowl.
Add the chili, then top with cheese, sour cream, chopped avocado and chives.
April has been a fun month, there have been so many contests and giveaways I have been able to share with you guys! I have another fun contest to tell you about before the month ends. This year for Cinco de Mayo, Avocados from Mexico and Avocado will be hosting a fun photo sweepstakes! All you need to do is post a photo of you and your significant other celebrating Cinco De Mayo with your favorite dish made with Avocados from Mexico, or the avocado dish on the entry page. You can enter the sweepstakes via the I Love Avocados For Cinco De Mayo sweepstakes page on their web or mobile site, or through either Avocados from Mexico on Facebook.The prizes are as follows:
I love lettuce wraps. They are so fresh and crunchy, and the options are endless when it comes to choosing what ingredients you want to add in. I am still adjusting to my new full-time work schedule, so it has been important for me to find ways to cut down cooking time when I get home at night after a long day. At the same time, I don’t want to start eating a lot of unhealthy packaged foods to save time. Continue reading →