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Two Super Tasty (and Affordable!) Summer Rosés You Can Get at Aldi

Two Super Tasty (and Affordable!) Summer Rosés You Can Get at Aldi

These delicious pale pink wines got the stamp of approval from a wide range of testers.

One of our favorite ways to usher in the warm weather is with a glass of cold rosé on the patio. Rosés are particularly fun to drink because they don’t take themselves too seriously—after all, they’re often bright pink and served over ice or in wine spritzers. They’re the F-U-N wine you have with friends, or drink by the pool on vacation.

And when the temperatures rise and days get longer, sometimes you just want a less-fussy (and less expensive) glass of vino.

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But what you may not know is that one of the best places to get good wine at a steal, is Aldi. Though they're known for rock-bottom prices on products you can't get anywhere else, their wine actually wins awards for the quality. That’s why we combed through the wine section at our local ALDI in an effort to find the best-tasting ones. (Yeah, working at Cooking Light is rough sometimes.) Here are the two we liked the most (and they’re both under $8!)

Less Sweet: La Rue Rosé

This $7.49 wine earned the title of “best rosé under $8” in the International Wine Challenge Great Value Awards. And we think it has a rightful spot on that list—it’s very well balanced, light, and easy to drink. It would pair beautifully with fish or light pasta, and for the low price you can stock up on several bottles for your next summer dinner party.

More Sweet: Moiselle Rosé

If you like a sweeter wine, or your goal is to make a flavorful poolside drink, we like this inexpensive rosé. At just $4.49 it's a steal, and has prominent cherry and watermelon flavors. It works especially well as a spritzer mixed with some club soda or your favorite La Croix!


31 Cheap Dinner Ideas That'll Leave Both You and Your Wallet Full

We're all staying closer to home these days, which means more time in the kitchen and more home-cooked meals for the whole family. If you're like us, that can result in skyrocketing grocery bills. Fear not, there are ways to get your spending in check while still putting meals on the table.

It's during times like these that you want to turn to cheap and easy meals. But just because they're cost-effective doesn't mean that they have to be boring&mdashor worse, sad. Requiring just a few simple ingredients, many of which you might already have in your pantry, these affordable dinners are satisfying and delicious. (If you're not sure if something's in your pantry, it may be time to devote a few hours to pantry organization.) There are plenty of chicken and pork options in here&mdashboth of which tend to be less expensive&mdashbut it's possible to eat beef as well without breaking the bank. We've also included some low- or no-meat options, which are not only inexpensive, but can also be healthier, as they cut back on saturated fats.

But these meals do not sacrifice flavor. And they're all sure to satisfy the whole family. So go ahead and put one of these dishes on the table tonight. And if time is more of a commodity than money, check out our quick and easy dinner recipes that make getting dinner on the table easier, or give evening-you a break and assemble an easy slow-cooker recipe in the morning so dinner will be ready to go when the troops get hungry (again).


Aldi Is Bringing Back Their $9 Bottled Mimosas, Including a New Mango Flavor

After the original orange mimosa saw so much success last year, Aldi decided to add to their bottled mimosa collection.

Earlier this year Aldi brought back a brunch favorite: their $9 pre-made bottled mimosas. The popular bubbly drink hit shelves in April with two flavors—orange and pineapple. Just when we thought it couldn’t get any better than that, they’ve added a mango mimosa to the collection. The mango mimosa bottles became available on June 19, and you’ll want to snag one soon because they’ll only be around for a limited time.

The 750-milliliter bottle contains eight percent alcohol by volume and is ready to be grabbed from your fridge and enjoyed whenever you feel like it. No need to worry about remembering to buy both the OJ and champagne at the store anymore. It also might save you a little extra cash to have both ingredients of the sparkling drink combined into one tasty ready-to-serve bottle.

So, instead of heading out for brunch next time, just grab a couple of bottles of any one of the flavored mimosa from Aldi to host your own. If mimosas aren’t your fruity drink of choice, no worries, Aldi has you covered with their sangria kits and super tasty (and affordable!) rosés.

With such popularity last year, we’re excited to see the bottled mimosas back (along with plenty of new Aldi products we can&apost wait to try), and even more excited to get our hands on the new pineapple and mango flavors.


50 Low-Calorie Bread Recipes You Can Enjoy Guilt-Free

Treat yourself and the family to the delicious aroma of bread in the oven! We found 50 of your favorite quick bread recipes, all made skinny, so you can enjoy without the guilt.

1. Skinny Pumpkin and Cream Bread: Pumpkin bread with a drool-worthy creamy layer for less than 200 calories a serving? Sign us up! This recipe yields two loaves with eight slices per loaf. Enjoy! Check out the recipe here.

2. Skinny Dark Chocolate Zucchini Bread: What if we told you we had a recipe for a chocolatey zucchini bread that is easy to make, delicious, and won&rsquot hurt your waistline? This bread does all that! Get our recipe here!

3. Pistachio Bread: Sweet and moist, this delicious bread offers a great crunch with the pistachios! Its green color is great for St. Patrick's Day and its flavor is great for every other day of the year! Get our recipe here.

4. Skinny Coconut Chocolate Chip Banana Bread: Banana bread is a fan favorite add some chocolate and coconut and you've got yourself a delicious twist that everyone will love! Click here to be taken to this recipe.

5. Blueberry Lemon Yogurt Loaf: Need a new breakfast idea? Start your day with this flavorful, fruity treat! Get the recipe here.

6. Skinny Pumpkin Banana Quick Bread: Need breakfast, dessert or a sweet snack? This quick bread recipe is perfect for just that! Get our original recipe here.

7. Skinny Zucchini Bread: Grated zucchini is mixed into the batter along with chopped walnuts, adding texture and a delicious taste to this spice cake. The bread stores great in the freezer and will last for weeks in the refrigerator. To get the recipe, click here.

8. Skinny Chocolate Chip Banana Bread: If you want to make a classic recipe skinny, try out this Skinny Mom recipe! It's got some great skinny swaps in it so you won't feel guilty! Click here for the recipe.

9. Skinny Pumpkin and Cranberry Bread: Enjoy the rich flavors of pumpkin and cranberry when you treat your family to the delicious bread! Get the ingredient list here.

(Photo: The Skinny Fork)

10. Gluten-Free Banana Bread: Enjoy this delicious bread, regardless of your diet! This recipe is made gluten-free so you can serve it to any guest! Click here for the recipe.

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11. Orange Chocolate Chunk Quick Bread: Pair this bread with a hot cup of coffee and you are guaranteed to have a fabulous morning! (via My Baking Addiction)

(Photo: My Baking Addiction)

12. Chai Spiced Banana Bread: The flavor of chai combines beautifully with banana bread. Infuse these two together into a delicious loaf to enjoy for breakfast or a snack. (via Once Upon A Chef)

(Photo: Once Upon A Chef)

13. Cranberry Nut Bread: Sweet, orange-scented and made with healthy ingredients, this bread is a delicious option you won't want to pass up. (via Once Upon A Chef)

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14. Chocolate Banana Bread: Take an old time classic and add your favorite flavor: chocolate! It's a hit with the kids and makes for a great breakfast! (via Once Upon a Chef)

(Photo: Once Upon a Chef)

15. Raspberry Chocolate Chip Quick Bread: For a sweet bread that will cure your cravings, try this delicious recipe! It makes a great pair with your morning coffee. (via Chocolate Covered Katie)

(Photo: Chocolate Covered Katie)

16. Chocolate Marble Swirl Banana Bread: This bread doesn't just look cool it also tastes amazing! It's moist, sweet and great for a dessert! This is also a great idea to bake and give to friend. (via Chocolate Covered Katie)

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17. Chia Seed Banana Bread with Pumpkin Cream Cheese: Whether you're craving a fall flavor or you just need something delicious to stuff your face with, this bread recipe is a great choice! (via Chocolate Covered Katie)

(Photo: Chocolate Covered Kaite)

18. Cinnamon Raisin Quick Bread: Cinnamon raisin is a classic taste that you'll find yourself craving when the weather gets colder. For a skinny recipe with bold flavors, try out this recipe! (via Weelicious)

(Photo: Weelicious)

19. Gluten-Free Grapefruit Cake: For a super tasty, super moist, cake-like bread, try out this recipe! Its sweet flavor isn't overbearing and makes for a great snack! (via Serious Eats)

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20. Gluten-Free Zucchini Bread: Love zucchini bread but can't eat it because of your allergy? This gluten-free recipe will change that! It keeps the great flavor and texture while making it accessible to everyone! (via Serious Eats)

(Photo: Serious Eats)

21. Fennel Fig Quick Bread: For a Mediterranean flavor, try out this bread. The fennel, fig and olive oil brings out the flavor while keeping a great texture! This is perfect for an afternoon snack. (via Serious Eats)

(Photo: Serious Eats)

22. Brown Butter, Honey and Jalapeño Skillet Cornbread: Sweet and savory, this cornbread isn't like what you've been making from a blue box. It's got a delicious balance of flavors and pairs well with our Slow Cooker Turkey Chili. (via Cookie + Kate)

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23. Banana Trail Mix Bread: Trail mix makes for a great snack, and everyone loves banana bread, so why not combine the two? You'll end up with a delicious loaf that your kids will love as an afternoon snack! (via Cookie + Kate)

(Photo: Cookie + Kate)

24. Honey Whole-Wheat Pumpkin Bread: This bread is made with 100 percent whole-wheat flour, unrefined coconut oil and sweetened with honey, but you don't need to tell anyone it's healthy! It retains all its amazing texture and flavor. (via Cookie + Kate)

(Photo: Cookie + Kate)

25. Cranberry Orange Bread: Looking for a sweet treat? This recipe has amazing flavor and can pass for breakfast, dessert or a snack! Eat it quickly though, because your whole family will be trying to get their paws on it! (via Marin Mama Cooks)

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26. Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bundt Bread: Grab your bundt pan and prep that oven! This recipe is perfect for hungry kids after school! (via Marin Mama Cooks)

(Photo: Marin Mama Cooks)

27. Skinny Pumpkin Spice and Cream Cheese Bread: It may not be fall anymore, but pumpkin is a flavor that can be enjoyed year-round. This bread makes for a great breakfast or dessert. (via The Skinny Fork)

(Photo: The Skinny Fork)

28. White Chocolate Chip Banana Bread: You've had banana bread, you might have had chocolate banana bread, but have you had WHITE chocolate banana bread? If the answer is no, it's time to change that! (via Nosh and Nourish)

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29. Cranberry Banana Bread: Add a little extra fruit to your banana bread with this cranberry version! It's sweet, tasty and perfect for afternoon snacking, not t0 mention it's vegan! (via Nosh and Nourish)

(Photo: Nosh and Nourish)

30. Chocolate Covered Strawberry Bread: You LOVE chocolate-covered strawberries, so why not make a delicious loaf of them? This bread is perfect for wrapping up and giving as a thank you gift or just for impressing the family! (via Nosh and Nourish)

(Photo: Nosh and Nourish)

31. Greek Yogurt Blueberry Banana Bread: Greek yogurt is a great skinny swap when you're baking, not only because of the great texture it yields, but also because of the calories it can save you! (via Nosh and Nourish)

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32. Whole Wheat Lemon and Yogurt Loaf: Bursting with lemony flavor, this bread is light, moist and hard to put down! (via Shrinking Kitchen)

(Photo: Shrinking Kitchen)

33. Coconut Chocolate Banana Bread: A delicious combination of flavors, this bread is a tasty treat. It's great served after dinner, or you can pack it for a mod-afternoon snack at the office. (via My Whole Food Life)

(Photo: My Whole Food Life)

34. Gluten-Free Butternut Squash bread: Moist and naturally sweet, this bread will make your house smell amazing. It's great for a cold day, so keep this recipe on hand this winter! (via My Whole Food Life)

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35. Apple Bread with Brown Butter Glaze: This recipe is easy to follow, so even though it looks like something you'd buy at a bakery, it's do-able for any busy mom! (via Two Peas and Their Pod)

(Photo: Two Peas and Their Pod)

36. Lemon Almond Bread: Don't let the cold weather keep you from enjoying a summery taste! This lemon bread is light and moist, perfect for when you start to get cabin fever. (via Two Peas and Their Pod)

(Photo: Two Peas and Their Pod)

37. Biscoff Banana Bread with Biscoff Cookie Streusel: Change up your banana bread with some crunch! The added biscoff gives your traditional treat a whole new flavor! (via Two Peas and Their Pod)

(Photo: Two Peas and Their Pod)

38. Cranberry Apple Pumpkin Bread: Rich and decadent, this recipe tastes so good you'll think you're cheating on your diet! (via In Sonnet's Kitchen)

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39. Orange Spice Banana Bread: Enjoy a tasty twist on banana bread. It's sweet, fruity and tangy! You'll love to start your day off with a warm slice of this bread! (via Goodlife Eats)

(Photo: Goodlife Eats)

40. Vegan Banana Bread: Banana bread is a family favorite. It's great for breakfast or a snack! This recipe is vegan so anyone can enjoy it! (via This Rawsome Vegan Life)

(Photo: This Rawsome Began Life)

41. Pumpkin Spice Bread: Pumpkin Spice Lattes may be gone for the season, but you can still enjoy that flavor you love with this skinny bread recipe! (via The Super Sisters)

(Photo: The Super Sisters)

42. Carrot Zucchini Bread: Need a reason to get out of bed this morning? This bread is it. It's moist and delicious and a great way to get your kids to eat their veggies! (via Shrinking Kitchen)

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43. Pumpkin Beer Bread: Proceed with caution: Telling your husband that this recipe is made from beer may result in an empty pan! (via Shrinking Kitchen)

(Photo: Shrinking Kitchen)

44. Nutella Banana Bread: Chocolate and banana is a great flavor combination, so why not bake it into a delicious breakfast treat? You can also serve this up as an after school snack! (via Shrinking Kitchen)

(Photo: Shrinking Kitchen)

45. Caramelized Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Bread: Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies are a great treat for the family, so why not convert that into a breakfast or healthy dessert? (via Shrinking Kitchen)

(Photo: Shrinking Kitchen)

46. Pumpkin Oat Bread: Made with maple syrup instead of sugar, this bread is sweet but not so sweet that you'd think it's actually a slice of cake. It makes for a great breakfast when you pair it with hot coffee! (via Cook Like a Champion)

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47. Cheese and Chives Beer Bread: Need an appetizer? This quick bread is a great choice! It's savory and tasty, perfect for serving as a side to a meal or on a platter at a party. (via Bright-Eyed Baker)

(Photo: Bright-Eyed Baker)

48. Apricot and Candied Walnut Bread: This is a quick bread like you've never had before. The combination of flavors will have your mouth watering for more, so you may need to make a second batch! (via Bright-Eyed Baker)

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49. Chocolate Espresso Banana Bread: Feeling sluggish in the mornings? We have just the cure. Turn on this playlist, brew a cup of coffee and warm up a slice of this delicious bread. (via Bright-Eyed Baker)

(Photo: Bright-Eyed Baker)

50. Za'atar, Feta, Olive and Green Pepper Bread: This recipe is 100 percent whole wheat and has a savory flavor to die for. Serve it up alongside a cheese platter at your next book club meeting! (via Kalyn's Kitchen)

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What old-fashioned or "outdated" dishes do you enjoy?

I have been so sick of oatmeal that I branched out into Cream of Wheat and Malt O Meal (hot porridges - farina). I didn't even realize they still made these and I've been enjoying them so much more than oatmeal. They're cheap, they're easy, and they're just as customizable as oatmeal. Plain oatmeal grosses me out, but the flavored kinds have so much sugar. I actually like the plain versions of Cream of Wheat/Malt O Meal, with just a little butter. I've cut down on morning sugar and greatly increased my iron intake, since they're enriched with iron.

Another example is a little TMI, but I've struggled with regularity for years, and prunes have been the most effective helper in that area. I balked at first because ew, prunes, right? But they're basically just giant raisins and they taste great. They're a little tart for me (I've never loved intensely tart, juicy fruit - I'm more of a banana person than a strawberry person), so today I decided to try making stewed prunes. Again, ew, right? It's that stuff that old people force-fed themselves to poop, right? Well, I'm a convert. Stewing them with vanilla extract and cinnamon mellowed them out and the resulting spiced syrup reminded me of cider. They were delicious! I can't wait to try them over yogurt or porridge or ice cream, although they were very tasty by themselves.

I'm curious what other kinds of cheap/healthy meals or foods I've overlooked just because of negative associations with them. Anyone else have any recommendations?

I garden and have enjoyed growing varieties that used to be popular in the past but nobody really talks about anymore. My favorite has been salsify, it's long and tapered like a carrot but tastes like a seasoned potato to me. It was popular in Victorian times but I never even heard of it until I came across it in a seed catalogue. Goose berries, lingonberries, turnips, beets, and rutabeggas have been tasty too.

Prunes are awesome, I've been eating those for years.

I've never tried Salsify! I'll have to find some!

I'm a big fan of pickled beets. I can eat a whole jar in no time!

Carrots and swede boiled and mixed together with butter is incredible.

I love to roast cut up rutabagas, or boil them like potatoes and mash them with butter and black pepper. There was an American Girl doll book for Molly that described mashing them with butter and sugar, and that is also tasty if you have a sweet tooth.

Hahaha um.. *rutabaga. But I like your spelling too!!

In the UK we call it 'swede'

Cream of wheat is great. I got so excited when I found a 5lb bag of it at Grocery Outlet for like $1. Grits are also a comfort food here.

After that. meatloaf. I'll often bulk it out with black beans, chopped mushrooms, lentils, zucchini, or whatever other shredded vegetables I have that are going bad.

Also liver. I'll eat it with onions and I'll turn it into a spread to put on toast.

I love a good meatloaf. Meat, onion, bell pepper, egg, saltines and a couple of cans of Hunt's meatloaf sauce. Never had better.

Banana Sandwiches! I think they might just be an older generation thing, but I've eaten them my whole life (31yo) and they're my absolute fave sandwich. I eat them with Mayo or Peanut Butter, and both are super tasty!

Yes peanut butter with some honey and cinnamon is good haven't had that in awhile. I'm 27 so we're pretty close.

I have had peanut butter and banana on toast pretty much every day for the last 20 year. A big cup of coffee with it, I never get sick of it.

I’m early 40s and grew up in Ireland where bananas were still the exotic fruit. We had not yet seen truly tropical stuff like a mango and a lot of fruit was still tinned.

We loved banana sandwiches with raspberry jam either on white bread or as toast. I don’t know if Americans do jam as in fruit spread with bits and seeds in rather than jelly made from the juice of fruit like grape jelly or if the jam/jelly transatlantic translation is less complicated than I think. But raspberry with banana is amazing and for me the soft banana needs some crunch to be the best.

Mayo however I loathe in all sandwiches. Give me old school British salad cream instead which is more tangy and vinegar based and uses cooked egg yolks instead of the oil and raw yolks of mayo. It’s runnier like a salad dressing (hence the name) and seen as inferior here to the more modern mayo now but I love it. So good with egg salad, cheese or anything you wish mayo and a good salad dressing could combine together on for taste and texture. Makes the best devilled eggs speaking of old fashioned classics.

I enjoy wholewheat toast, thick with butter and topped with coins of banana. My partner prefers his banana mushed up and spread out on the toast.

I love pearled barley. It's super versatile, too. You can cook it sort of like rice and use it the same way you use rice recipes. You can turn it into a risotto. You can turn it into a porridge.

You can also turn the barley water into a refreshing drink. If you roast the barley before turning it into barley water, in essence, you've created barley tea. You can find recipes online for barley water and barley tea. These are extremely interesting ancient drinks that are surprisingly good.

It’s great in soups and stews, too. Keeps its texture when frozen better than a noodle or rice.

I swear reading this thread I am aged 42 practically geriatric in food years because nearly everything listed so far is a favourite of mine.

Pearled barley is amazing. Makes fantastic salads similar to a lot of the ‘trendy’ quinoa bowls as well as the risottos and soups. You can also boil it and freeze portions of the cooked barley for homemade versions of 2 minute rice. I often have it as a side to things like curry or make quick dishes like combining it with sweet potato and kale in a skillet with some liquid to make a stew. Add chicken if your thing, keep it vegan with some cashews.

The barley water is really good for cystitis if you aren’t a big fan of cranberry juice but can also make really tasty non alcoholic drinks for summer. It’s very popular still in the UK as a cordial you dilute to make a long drink usually lemon flavoured but it flavours super well with those bags of frozen fruit for smoothies like pineapple or blueberry or anything with a bit of tang rather than sweet stuff like strawberries.

Such an underrated ingredient. I’ve been meaning to try some of the sweet recipes for desserts I’ve seen from the American South and SE Asia for it but I don’t have a very sweet tooth so been waiting for lockdown to lift to feed a small army because oooof, pearl barley expands. It does not make dinky portions at all. Which is no bad thing considering here in the UK a bag of supermarket own brand is about 75p or a dollar for 500g or a lb weight and that would make about 12 portions by cooked weight excluding any added ingredients.

Bring it, the gizzards, pickled beets, rutabaga by any name, polenta, cream of wheat, stewed prunes, stuffed marrow, cow foot, pulses, tapioca pudding (and all its milk pudding cousins from sago to rice to semolina), evaporated milk, tinned corned meat, dried peas, sauerkraut, beef dripping, lard and tongue on. I love it all. My Irish childhood of cuisine was not glam but it tasted good.

My hard line though is liver. I hate the texture unless it is chicken liver in pate. Tripe or kidneys yes. But never liver.


The Insider’s Guide to San Diego’s Behemoth Brewery Scene

Beer is everywhere in San Diego. Anyone who wants to experience the full breadth and depth of the city’s brewing scene faces a behemoth challenge. Not only is San Diego county geographically large (more than 4,500 square miles), and spread out across a wide variety of landscapes, but the sheer number of breweries to explore — 155 and counting — makes figuring out where to go and what to taste rather daunting.

Since craft brewing took hold on a large scale in the early 1990s, San Diego brewers have gained worldwide recognition and accolades. Most notable, perhaps, is what is widely referred to as the “San Diego style,” which is — in its simplest terms — characterized by beers that are turbo-hopped, bold, and highly flavorful.

But San Diego beer is about a lot more than hops. San Diego brewers have built a unique reputation for innovation, expanding the boundaries of style, and for creating perfectly balanced brews that deliver big character.

Every Beer Lover Needs This Hop Aroma Poster

Here’s a brief rundown of some of San Diego’s most notable breweries. These brief descriptions and suggested itineraries should help you decide where to start and what to drink.

An Overview

For the purposes of beer touring, it’s best to think about focusing on one or two of four basic geographical areas: the #78 Corridor (known as the “Hops Highway”), the Miramar region, the Mission Bay/Pacific Beach region, and the Downtown. There are numerous other areas that contain an impressive concentration of good breweries, but these four districts will get you the biggest bang for your brewery buck with the most variety and the least amount of travel. An asterisk (*) denotes breweries where food is readily available.

Photo credit: Facebook.com/purebrewing

The #78 Corridor/Hops Highway (North County)

The immediate area around the westernmost stretch of freeway #78 — a total of less than 20 miles — contains a stunning selection of excellent breweries. Some are right off the freeway, others are 5 to 10 minutes from an exit, but just about all of them are worth a visit.

Must See

Stone Brewing Co.* (Escondido): If you’ve heard of San Diego beer, you’ve probably heard of Stone. This is one of the breweries that put San Diego on the map. Stone is all about big, boldly flavored beers that don’t apologize for being brawny, like Stone Ruination Double IPA. The company’s affinity for aggressive hopping helped to establish the parameters of the “San Diego style,” but today the company does many other excellent beers that aren’t only about the hops. If you visit this spacious bistro and lovely beer garden, you’ll have access to nearly 40 beers on tap, in addition to a killer bottle list. Excellent pours include Old Guardian Barley Wine, Cali-Belgique, Russian Imperial Stout, or its excellent hoppy lager, Punk in Drublic.

Mother Earth* (Vista): There are two Mother Earth locations: the production brewery and the Taphouse on Main Street. The latter is a more comfortable, brick-lined space — plus awesome, thin-crust pizza is available from across the street. Mother Earth has an impressive variety of hop-centric beers, including Boo Koo IPA and seasonal IPAs. There are also other classic styles ranging from light and crisp to dark and malty. Don’t miss Sin Tax Imperial Stout. Start with a pour of Cali Creamin’, the brewery’s most popular beer by far it’s not complicated, but it’s awfully tasty and just plain fun. And if a bottle of a Four Seasons barrel-aged release is available, taking one or two home is highly recommended.

Photo credit: Facebook.com/MotherEarthBrewCo

Lost Abbey/Port Brewing (San Marcos): This spot is kind of like three breweries in one. The Port Brewing brand encapsulates all its American-style beers, which range from boldly hopped IPAs, to light and crisp lagers, to chocolatey-malty stouts. Everything Lost Abbey does is great, but don’t leave without tasting Judgment Day, Carnevale, Angel’s Share, and Devil Went Down to Georgia. Oh, and Red Poppy is one the best sours produced in San Diego. Alongside the Port Brewery lineup is a group of super-delicious beers called “Hop Concept,” which focus on recipes that highlight specific hop varieties. The real jewel, however, is the Lost Abbey lineup, which concentrates on Belgian-style beers (sours, barrel-aged beers, brettanomyces beers) and produces some of the most complex brews in San Diego.

Pizza Port Bressi Ranch* (Carlsbad): This iconic brewing company is one of San Diego’s originals — the lineup is all about classic American styles that deliver clean, straightforward, highly satisfying flavors — and the decor at all four locations reflects San Diego’s laid-back, surfing-centric vibe. Each location has its own brewer, so beers are unique to their brewery. Don’t miss Ponto Session IPA, Kook IPA, or any PP pale ale and malt lovers should try Chronic Amber, Bressi Brown, or Shark Bite, probably the best red in San Diego. The atmosphere here is especially family-friendly (which can mean loud), but it’s a popular homegrown favorite for an after-beach beer and pizza.

Thirsty for More

Bear Roots (Vista): A home brew shop turned brewery, this tiny place has a limited selection, but what it does, it does well. Malt fans will be especially happy here, with Bear Heart Scotch Ale, and the Black IPA. Bear Cookie Peanut Butter Imperial Stout is a fun sipper as well.

Photo credit: Facebook.com/bearrootsbrew

Belching Beaver* (Vista): One of San Diego’s fastest-growing breweries, Belching Beaver has locations in Oceanside, North Park, Ocean Beach, and two in Vista. The company made its reputation with its peanut butter stout, but its best beers are really its sours and IPAs (Double Mosaic IPA and Phantom Bride IPA are gems).

Wild Barrel (San Marcos): Wild Barrel is one of San Diego’s newest breweries, but the brewer and his partners have been in the biz for many years. All the beers are excellent, but the most unique offerings are the Vice Series, which are Berliner Weiss-style beers (kettle sours) made with various fresh fruits. If you’re a Berliner fan, you’ll love the Black Currant, Pink Guava, or Mixed Berry.

Rip Current (San Marcos): Celebrated home brewers that went pro, Rip Current won Best Very Small Brewing Company at the 2015 Great American Beer Festival. These guys are mostly about classic American styles (Lupulin Lust IPA is a standout) with an impressive range of other solid beers, including a delicious coffee porter.

Burgeon (Carlsbad): Minutes from Pizza Port Bressi, this medium-sized brewery does some of the nicest hoppy beers in town and has won numerous awards despite its young age. The beer lineup is impressive for its variety and daring (grisettes, cream ales, Berliner Weisses) but the real stars are always the IPAs, the best of which are Thuja, Treevana, and Mixed Greens.

Miramar (North-Mid County)

Miramar Road is the main artery that connects the #15 Freeway to the #5 Freeway and areas west. During the last five years, the Miramar area, now affectionately also called “Beeramar,” has seen more brewery growth than any other part of San Diego. Nearly 20 breweries reside within a 10-mile radius, and more are popping up every month.

Must See

Ballast Point Brewing Company* (Miramar): Like Stone, Ballast Point has done more than just about any other brewery to establish San Diego as the mecca of hoppy beer. The Sculpin IPA is popular worldwide, but this is a brewery that does nearly every style of beer known to humanity — and it does it all well. The Miramar location is the largest and most impressive of four Ballast spots in town. Outfitted with a full kitchen, a lovely outdoor patio area, and numerous indoor seating choices, Ballast Miramar offers a more sophisticated brewery experience than your average tasting room. IPAs of note include Manta Ray IIPA and Fathom. Ballast’s California Amber is nearly perfect, Black Marlin is one of the best porters in town, and Piper Down and Victory at Sea are two of the best malty beers in America. Like sours? There’s usually some version of Sour Wench Ale available, a wonderfully approachable sour augmented with blackberries, cherries, or other tart fruits.

Photo credit: Facebook.com/BallastPoint

Green Flash Brewing Company* (Mira Mesa): Green Flash, another of San Diego’s flagship breweries, is not technically in Miramar, but it’s easily accessible from either Ballast Point or AleSmith. The company made its reputation with aggressively hopped IPAs like the West Coast IPA, but it has since evolved into a brewery that offers some lighter styles, even some that are not all about hops. The large tasting room and family-friendly beer garden provide comfortable settings for casual sipping and conversation, and its brewery tour is one of the best in town. If you are a particular fan of sours, brett beers, and barrel-aged beers, jump on the shuttle for a 20-minute trip to Cellar 3, another of the company’s brands with especially adventurous selections. Hops cravings will be well satisfied by Jibe Session IPA, Soul Style, Remix, and the iconic West Coast IPA (hardcore hopheads: hit the Palate Wrecker IPA). Cosmic Ristretto Baltic Porter is also out of this world, and Belgian-style fans will freak for Le Freak.

AleSmith Brewing Company (Miramar): Whether you’re a hophead, a malt fan, a Belgian freak, or a lager enthusiast, you’ll find lots to love at this iconic San Diego brewery. (Among its many accolades, AleSmith was voted best in the world by RateBeer in 2014.) The AleSmith tasting room, the largest in San Diego, also includes a Tony Gwynn (“Mr. Padre”) baseball museum, a speakeasy-style tasting space with extraordinary barrel-aged beers, and a wonderful mezzanine tasting space where you can sip delicious things as you look down on it all. AleSmith IPA is a classic, .394 Pale Ale is one of the best pales in town, and Old Numbskull is the most-awarded barley wine in San Diego (maybe the country). Belgian-style fans are sure to fall in love with Horny Devil and Lil’ Devil.

Thirsty for More

Duck Foot • Pure Project • Amplified: From the back patio of Ballast Point Miramar, you can almost see the business park that houses three more excellent breweries. Unlike Ballast, these guys are small, but all deliver expertly made, creative, and highly satisfying beers. Amplified and Pure Project are side by side and, between them, you can find super-tasty IPAs, wheat beers, lagers, and even a few sours and Berliner Weisses. A couple of hundred feet away, Duck Foot produces an impressive variety of classic American styles and is notable for delivering lots of flavor in an entirely gluten-free lineup.

Photo credit: Amplifiedales.com

New English Brewing (Sorrento Valley): Head west from Green Flash for about 7 minutes and you’ll find New English, which is locally known as “the best San Diego brewery you’ve never heard of.” Tucked back from the road in a business park setting, this company has distinguished itself as one of San Diego’s best producers in a number of categories. Humbly Legit and Pure & Simple are two of the classiest IPAs in town, Dragoon and Explorer ESB are two of the best medium-malty beers, and Zumbar — its multi-award-winning chocolate coffee imperial stout — is among the most consistently satisfying stouts in San Diego.

Bay Park/Pacific Beach (South Mid-County)

This area isn’t as heavily concentrated with breweries as Miramar or along the #78 Corridor, but it does contain two of San Diego’s most iconic breweries. It’s also close to the beautiful Mission Bay and Pacific Beach, and such tourist attractions as Sea World, only minutes from Coronado Brewing.

Must See

Karl Strauss Brewing Company (Pacific Beach): One could make an argument that, without Karl Strauss, there would be no craft beer industry in San Diego. The company started brewing downtown in 1989, effectively sparking the craft beer revolution. Beer lovers of all stripes are sure to find beers that will satisfy their tastes, including a few interesting sours, excellent ambers, reds, and dark beers, and more than a handful of bright, juicy pale ales and IPAs bursting with fresh hop flavors. Red Trolley Amber made the company famous, but Off the Rails is even better. For more heft, go for Wreck Alley Stout and Two Tortugas Belgian Quad is a mystical experience. Hop pilgrims will like the excellent Aurora Hoppyalis IPA, Pintail Pale Ale, and Mosaic Session IPA, one of the best low-ABV single-hop IPAs in town.

Coronado Brewing Company* (Bay Park): Awarded Best Mid-Sized Brewery at the 2014 World Beer Cup, this 21-year-old company has been growing like gangbusters in the past few years. Similar to Pizza Port, Coronado celebrates the casual, laid-back beauty of San Diego’s beach-and-surf culture, and focuses its lineup on classic, clean, perfectly executed beers with big flavor. Visitors can now enjoy a variety of simple pub fare at the brewery, thanks to the newly opened kitchen here. Islander IPA is one of many excellent IPAs, along with Stingray and Idiot IPA. Malt fans should seek out the Mermaid Red and while you’re there, make sure to taste Orange Ave. Wit, Easy Up Pale Ale, and Early Bird Cold Brew Milk Stout.

Photo credit: Facebook.com/coronadobrewingcompany

Thirsty for More

Bitter Brothers Brewing Co. (Bay Ho/Pacific Beach): Only minutes from Karl Strauss, this small brewery made its mark with a limited number of clean, well-crafted beers. Its Bitter Pils is very good, but the brewery really hit its stride with the weizens: Golden Child Hefeweizen and Brotherly Love Dunkelweizen are especially noteworthy.

Amplified Ale Works* (Pacific Beach): The original location of this excellent small brewery is only 10 minutes away from Karl Strauss, and offers a small selection of beers plus a full menu and a view of the ocean.

Home Brew Mart/ Ballast Point (Linda Vista): Minutes from Coronado Brewing, this Ballast location is something of a beer landmark. Home Brew Mart is the business that eventually birthed Ballast Point Brewing and — in the 1990s — became the most influential brewing hub in San Diego. Brewers met here to share information, collaborate, and buy ingredients and equipment. The tap list here is extensive and often features a number of extra-special one-offs, collaborations, and R&D successes.

Downtown

By all accounts, San Diego’s hippest beer-soaked neighborhood has North Park’s 30th Street as its spine. This long stretch serves as a kind of “beer boulevard,” lined with breweries, tasting rooms, craft beer bars, and beer-centric restaurants and bistros. For the purposes of brewery touring, this area comprises residential neighborhoods just north of Downtown, as well as one or two locations in Downtown proper.

Must See

Fall Brewing Company (North Park): Tucked away on a mostly residential street, this brewery is a favorite of locals and brewers. The tasting room is small and the décor homey, but it’s the beer that shines. Plenty for All is one of the best pilsners in town, Rise Above is a great Czech pale lager, Green Hat IPA is a San Diego favorite, and 2AM Bike Ride is a chocolatey, malty sip of heaven. If there is any Bourbon-Barrel-Aged Jinx Remover available during your visit, don’t leave without trying it.

Modern Times (North Park): This company is known for its highly creative décor, affinity for literary references, and a somewhat offbeat collection of core beers and special releases. All are expertly done, but the Fortunate Islands Pale Ale and Fruitlands Gose are two of the brewery’s best. Modern Times also brews all its own coffee, which makes its Black House Coffee Stout especially wonderful.

Photo credit: Moderntimesbeer.com/

Eppig Brewing Company • Pariah Brewing Company (North Park): This facility houses three small, separate breweries. Before you settle in at Eppig, stop for a pint of Erotic City from Pariah it’s one of the most interesting ales made in San Diego. At Eppig, the IPAs are excellent, the Berliner Weisses are super satisfying (not too tart, but accessible), and the gose and dark sour are expertly done. Despite all those riches, don’t depart without trying some of Eppig’s lagers — especially the schwarzbier, not commonly brewed in San Diego.

North Park Beer Co.* (North Park): An expansive, dramatic, beautifully designed space, North Park Beer Co. offers a nice variety of classic styles. Hop-Fu IPA put North Park on the map, but the Covington Cream Ale and the Mocha Massage are also standouts.

Mike Hess Brewing (North Park): Almost directly across the street from North Park Beer Co. is Mike Hess Brewing. This cool, low-ceilinged space has long communal tables and a dramatic cross-section view of the brew house and tanks on the level below. This is a quality brewery all around, with excellent hoppy beers like Solis IPA and Habitus Double IPA. The Umbrix Rye Imperial Stout is rich and creamy, and the Grazias Vienna Cream Ale is a unique, delicious, and very satisfying change of pace if you have hop fatigue.

South Park Brewing Company* (South Park): It’s a little off the beaten path, but South Park Brewing is worth seeking out. This tiny brewery is set inside a casual pub and produces a surprisingly large variety of interesting, small-batch beers. The tap lineup is constantly changing, but you can’t go wrong here. Owner Scot Blair is a big-time beer nerd (who also owns Hamilton’s Tavern right next door) so it’s not uncommon to find lesser-done styles — gruet, squid ink gose, oyster stout — on his menu.

Thirsty for More

Thorn Street Brewing Co. (North Park): If you’re feeling really thirsty on your way down to South Park, you can always stop at Thorn Street (it’s about 8 minutes east off 30th Street). This small facility sits among the neighborhood homes on a quiet, tree-lined block. Inside, the vibe is distinctly chill, and the beer is simple but satisfying. Barrio Logan Mexican Lager is one of the nicest in town, and the Belgian Blonde is a crisp, flavorful thirst-quencher.

Monkey Paw Pub & Brewery* (Downtown): Monkey Paw is quite small, but you’d never know it from all the medals it’s won in competition. This is a great little pub in its own right (best cheese steaks in town get the Naughty Monkey sauce!), and it’s made even better by the fact that a bunch of great beer is constantly being brewed right on the other side of the tap handles. It does hoppy of all varieties extremely well, but it also excels in nearly every other category, from English summer ales, to dark milds, to rauchbiers (smoked beer) and stouts.

Mission Brewery (Downtown): Housed in the historic Wonderbread Factory in the shadow of Petco Park, Mission has one of the most dramatic interior spaces of any brewery in San Diego, with cathedral-like ceilings and exposed brick walls. Everything Mission brews is solid, but the Hefeweizen, Shipwrecked Imperial IPA, and Dark Seas Stout are among its most consistently satisfying core beers. There’s also a fantastic hard root beer.

Photo credit: Facebook.com/MissionBrewery

Complete Your San Diego Brewery Tour

Societe Brewing Company (Claremont Mesa): A darling of the San Diego brew scene, when Societe opened five years ago, its Pupil IPA made a splash — and it remains to this day one of the best beers in town. There are also Belgian beers (The Harlot) and malts (The Butcher), and sour lovers will adore the stunning “feral,” barrel-aged beers.

Council Brewing Company (Clairemont Mesa): Council is another Eden for fans of sour and barrel-aged beers. This small brewery has an impressive variety of brett styles, sours, and what it calls “tart saisons.”

Burning Beard (East County): The eastern reaches of the county have seen some of the most dramatic growth in brewery populations in recent years. Among the most outstanding is Burning Beard in El Cajon which, like Societe, has become one of San Diego’s most sought-after tap handles. Hopmata IPA and Rye the Lightning Pale Ale are two of the most satisfying hoppy beers around, and Banksy ESB is unmatched by any other brewery.

Bagby Beer*, Breakwater Brewing Co.* and Mason Ale Works/Urge Gastropub* (Oceanside): If you’re hankering for a day on the coast but don’t want to go without breweries, then Oceanside is a great choice. These three breweries — only minutes from one another by car — all offer a great selection of classic beer styles in addition to full menus in fun, casual atmospheres.

Gordon Biersch Brewing Company* (Grantville): Doug Hasker, head brewer for Gordon Biersch, has long been recognized by his fellow brewers as San Diego’s “godfather” of lagers. Though Doug enjoys other styles (such as some very nice pales and IPAs), his hefeweizen, dunkelweizen, festbier, and schwarzbier, are without equal.

Benchmark Brewing Company (Grantville): Benchmark’s cozy, charming tasting room offers a nice variety of styles. The brewery is particularly loved for its brown ale, oatmeal stout, Hop Chunks IPA, and a wonderfully flavorful, surprisingly accessible Belgian-style Table Beer.

Photo credit: Facebook.com/burgeonbeer


SUMMER COOKING GUIDE

This is the Bacon Wrapped Filet from Aldi. Keep scrolling to get my roasted potatoes with fresh herbs recipe!

One of my favorite things to do in the summer is COOK! Yes—although I love my dinner boxes during the winter months (it just makes life so much easier), I love experimenting in the kitchen when I have more down time and delicious fresh food (some from my backyard) at my disposal.

As I’ve been sharing my meals on Instagram and Instastories, I’ve had so many comments and questions about my food, I decided to create a post on all my favorite recipes I have tried via Pinterest and Google searches, as well as my favorite grocery picks of the year! I have a few special food blog posts in the wings, but this allows me to easily share all my favorite and recent dinners and recipes with you throughout the season as I cook and share on Instagram and Instastories.

GROCERY PICKS

I recently have tried out some new items from the grocery store, and they have recently become my favorites and go-tos! You definitely need to check these Items out!

I’m absolutely loving their Bacon-Wrapped Chuck Filets! At my local Aldi, they are $4.79 for two! What a great date night at a bargain! Grill these up along with a baked potato or oven roasted potatoes and a fresh veggies, like the walnut goat cheese green beans I made this weekend (keep scrolling to get the recipe!).

Frozen Fish—They have so many great frozen fish options! Some are already marinated or flavored, so all you have to do is pop them on the grill. Others requires a tad more work, but you get to be creative and whip up something semi-fast when needed.

Cheeses—There is nothing like Cheese and Wine on the patio in the summer! I love Aldi Goat Cheese logs and Goat Cheese Crumbles, as well as their mozzarella slices and marinated mozzarella (so good with a glass of wine!)

Guacamole and Salsa—Tacos are an easy summer meal, and you NEED guac and salsa as an appetizer! Pick up Aldi guac, salsa, and chips for a tasty Mexican side dish.

Their $3.99 olive oil is a great one on rotation and perfect for regular cooking.

Filled Belgian Waffles in the Frozen Food Section—Need I say more? These are hard to come by and were already sold out the second grocery trip I made to Aldi in July. You have either chocolate or cherry filling options. Top them with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and you are set.

GIANT EAGLE (AND SOME OTHER MAJOR GROCERY CHAINS IF YOU ARE NOT FROM CLEVELAND)

Stay tuned for a Summer Salads blog post, but you definitely need to check out the BITTEN salad dressing line. Their packaging is so cute, the salad dressings are unique, and are also super tasty for a summer salad!

Dr. Oetker Frozen Thin Crust Pizzas—These are so tasty and awesome! I’ve talked about these before, but my favorite is baking these in the oven and topping with garden fresh basil and oregano. You also drizzle with my favorite Williams-Sonoma Balsamic Vinegar, and you are set to go!

Talenti Gelato Layers—Gelato is the perfect cold summer delicacy. It fulfills your ice cream cravings but is a tad more refined. They added the Gelato Layers with cookies, sprinkles, crumbles, and mousse. I’ve tried the Black Raspberry but cannot wait to try the Cake Batter.

I picked up a quick salmon patty from their seafood and meats counter, as I knew I needed to cook that night but had no time to prepare something huge. I quickly put this on the grill, microwaved my sweet potato, and chopped a fresh salad. In 20 minutes, I was done. Scroll down to see a photo. The patty I got was the red pepper and mozzarella patty. I paired it with a chipotle mayo made for seafood (a little different than the simple homemade ones I’ve made), and it was soooooo good.

If you are lucky to live in the CLE or an area that has a Heinen’s, go check out their prepared Bruschetta. It is delicious and almost as good (if not better) than if I was to make it homemade. Brush some crostini with olive oil, toast in the oven, and top with bruschetta, sliced parmesan (I’ve linked up my gadgets below—keep scrolling), fresh homegrown basil, and my Williams-Sonoma Balsalmic Vinegar! Pair with some wine, and you have a wonderful evening ahead of you.

The Heinen’s Prepared Cheese Dips and Cheese Spreads are also great for a quick wine and cheese night. Sometimes I prefer these spreads over a cheese board, because they can be more filling and easier to eat with different flavors!

WILLIAMS-SONOMA

As I mentioned above, you absolutely NEED to pick up some high quality balsamic vinegar! This is a must during the summer, and I always try to have a bottle on hand, even during the winter months. I realize it is a little pricy, but it’s SO worth it if you want tasty food, and a bottle will last me the entire summer. I can realistically get by an entire year with two bottles, so it’s really not that bad of an investment.

I’m currently not using their high quality olive oil, but it’s also definitely something to consider too! I have used it many times and am a true fan. I still have the bottle of the one on my counter (linking up below!).

I’ve linked up my exact balsamic vinegar as well as some other picks!

PLATING AND SERVING

One of my favorite things to do in the summer is entertain. To truly host, you need to plate and serve your food well. Throughout the summer, I’ll be including some of my favorite pieces to serve your guests. Currently, I’m just linking up my favorite plate sets from Wal-Mart (the perfect square plates super cheap!) and my go to Acacia Wood Platter from Target (only $16!).

COOKING GADGETS

I have learned from my mom that the right kitchen gadgets are a game changer. They can make food prep seamless and professional. I always learn from her which are the right ones, and I’ve linked them up below. I may have missed some, so if I remember or discover a new one, I will definitely link up all the new ones!

I’ve also linked up my 11 cup Cusinart Food Processor that I use to make salsa, pesto, and hummus in the summer, as well as the wok I used to make my Thai summer dishes.


Guide to San Juan, Puerto Rico: What to Do, See, Eat and Where to Dance in San Juan and Viejo (Old) San Juan

Every trip to Puerto Rico needs to include at least a day or two in San Juan! Check out my guide to San Juan and Viejo (Old) San Juan to get the inside scoop on what to do, see, eat, and where to dance during your trip!


8 Stunning St. Helena Wineries To Visit

So, that brings us to my favorite St. Helena Wineries list! I think some of the best wineries in Napa Valley are in the St. Helena area for both aesthetics, friendly staff and top-notch wine. Here’s my favorites. (PS-Most are on that passport!)

Clif Family

Clif is our all-time favorite Napa Valley winery. If you follow on Instagram you know we always have a bottle of Clif on hand and we love their low-key tasting room that’s always filled with friendly staff.

You may recognize the Clif name from Clif Bars — it’s the same family! So, not only do they make amazing wines, they also really shine when it comes to food. That’s why we usually schedule a wine tasting here around lunchtime so we can stop by their food truck outside and pick up a tasty lunch to pair with our wine.

Brasswood Cellars

UG, this winery is so dang pretty!! Brasswood Cellars is tucked on the northern side of St. Helena on a beautiful estate that has a mix of trendy farm vibes with California luxury. Aka: good views of the mountains, cute decor, tons of comfy outdoor seating (because wine just states better outside!!) and lawn games.

We fell in love with our cheese and wine pairing tasting at Brasswood. So much so that we came back the next day to buy some of their handmade olives because I was OBSESSED!

Hall Wins

You can’t miss Hall Wines. I mean, they have a giant silver rabbit in their vineyards, which sort of marks your entrance to town along the St. Helena Hwy / Hwy 29. The bunny’s name is Bunny Foo Foo and yes, you are welcome to use him as the background of the perfect Instagram shot if you want.

You may also recognize Hall from Ari’s Season of the Bachelor (for all my Bachelor Nation members out there!!)

We found that AXR is a winery that a bit under the radar (but is stunning and has amazing wines, so I’d guess they’re going to blow up soon!) It’s easy to drive by this winery as the white house/tasting room is tucked back in the trees on a small plot of vineyards on the edge of town.

But, what you can’t see from the road is the small grove of Redwood Trees out back which yes, is one of the wine tasting stops during a visit. Seriously – sipping white wine on a hot day under the shade of a Redwood tree is MAGIC.

It’s by appointment only, so make sure to call ahead.

Ballentine Vineyards

Guys, this family-owned winery is too cute! We were the only ones there when we visited so we got a private tasting and had such a fun time chatting with our sommelier. Finding a wine tasting experience that feels small town is VERY rare in Napa Valley and we love tastings like these. They have fantastic reds, I especially loved their Petite Syrah!

Ballentine currently doing a lot of renovations and updates. I really hope they’ll paint their tasting room or barn this stunning shade of blue that’s used in their branding, but at the very least, you can usually find this cute AF blue truck parked outside that makes me smile and is the PERFECT backdrop for Instagram photos.

Freemark Abbey

Freemark Abbey was one of the first St. Helena wineries I visited a few summers ago and I still remember how relaxing their back patio is! Think tons of roses, shaded patio tables, etc. It made the perfect afternoon for a girl’s trip.

Freemark Abbey is the first female Napa winery owner on record!

They make some of the best Cabernet Sauvignons here. The winery has exclusive rights to some of the best vineyards in the valley so you know you’ll always get a fantastic wine tasting here!

These last two wineries aren’t technically in St. Helena but are both parts of the wine passport and are AMAZING to stop by!

Elizabeth Spencer

Elizabeth Spencer is technically one of the Rutherford wineries but it’s just 10 minutes down the road from St. Helena and is THE CUTEST lil place to stop by on your drive back to San Francisco! Plus, it’s part of the St. Helena wine passport.

The tasting room is in a historic brick building that dates back to 1878 and used to be the post office (how cool is that?!) Since it’s too small to sit inside, they have tastings outside in a garden. Soaking in the sun and tasting small production wines is what Napa Valley is all about.

Sterling Vineyards

Ok, Sterling is COOL! It’s up in Calistoga on top of a mountain and you have to take a tram to the tasting room. The ride alone is fun, but hot DANG, this winery is stunning once you reach it. We did their silver tasting which was in two parts.

First, a cheese and wine pairing on a patio among the trees. Such a great way to get to know Sterling’s wines and enjoy the weather. Then, a self-guided stroll through their winery which is painted a beautiful white color and looks a bit like something you’d find in Spain.

It all ends on their open-air terrace that simply has the BEST view of all of Napa Valley. You can see for miles. I could easily spend all afternoon sipping Sterling’s sparkling wines up here on a hot day.


Artichoke Pasta Salad

  • Author: Deborah
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 12 mins
  • Total Time: 4 hours 30 mins
  • Yield: 10 side dish servings 1 x
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Delicious and super easy to make, this Artichoke Pasta Salad is filled with pasta, artichoke hearts, prosciutto and an easy vinaigrette. This salad is perfect for summer potlucks or family dinners.

Ingredients

Vinaigrette:

  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 12 ounces dry bowtie pasta
  • 1 (13.75 oz) can artichoke hearts, drained and roughly chopped
  • 4 oz prosciutto, chopped
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

Make the vinaigrette: combine the vinegar, lemon juice, and mustard in a food processor or blender. (I use the twister jar on my Blendtec.) Stream in the olive oil until it is smooth and combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Make the salad: Cook the pasta according to the package directions drain and rinse. In a large bowl, combine the pasta, artichokes, prosciutto, green onions, parsley, basil and cheese. Mix well. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss gently. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 4 to 6 hours before serving.

Recipe Notes:

Nutrition information provided as an estimate only. Various brands and products can change the counts.

Nutrition

  • Calories: 306
  • Sugar: 1 g
  • Sodium: 258 mg
  • Fat: 21 g
  • Saturated Fat: 9 g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 10 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 10 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 20 g
  • Cholesterol: 39 mg

Did you make this recipe?

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