Monday, July 30, 2012

Carmel CA and the 17 mile road

Today we visited the aquarium in Monterey very good, but a tad crowded for me, the one in Virginia beach is equally good.

After Monterrey we grove to Pacific grove lovely area and quiet. Here you can drive along the famous 17 mile road to Pebble Beach the historic golf area. This was a stunning drive along a wild coastline complete with sea lions, sea otters and wonderful scenery be sure to take your time and have strolls to soak it in.

Lovely little cottage

Sea lions

Wild flowers

Thistle this reminded me of Scotland where I grew up

We ended the drive in Carmel a cute little town with the most gorgeous gardens very English :-) I guess the cool climate helps the flowers

Traditional English sweet shop, although expensive as a Brit had to get some to stock up for when I get my cravings of home !

Amazing homes and gardens

Thanks for joining us :-) home tomorrow to NC

Have a lovely start to the week

Hugs Rebecca
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Good Coffee and Friends

We just had a fun couple of days in the San Francisco Bay area. On Friday I met a couple of dietitians for lunch at Spruce restaurant Katie Moreford and Trish of @dishbytrish. The restaurant deserves a mention first class food, and beautiful they even iron the tables ! It was hard with a teething baby though to enjoy but highly recommend it.

Later in the day I met Sumner @mydietitian I have tweeted with her for a while lovely person from LA and luck would have it she was in San Francisco to run the marathon today.

The wee man was crying a lot and I think she got scared away as promptly headed to her hotel for wine hour he he !

One of the things I wanted to tick of was a coffee at Blue Bottle coffee one of Americas premier coffee shops. It was first class and is an experience not only do they make wonderful espresso drinks with latte art, but they are famous for Japanese style slowly drip filtered see below-

I ordered a Kyoto iced coffee so good smooth and earthy.
Here's the website to learn more

If in town be sure to visit, they have a few locations and even in NYC. The cakes and food are also great I had a coffee and brandy cake and had quite the buzz!

Then on Saturday we had another wonderful meet up with Beth from @omgyummy, Orly @yumivore, Lynn who plans to start blogging again and EA @thespicyRD. We all brought our families, hubby's and kids it was magic like meeting old friends sad the west coast is so far will miss them.

The lovely crowd- Beth, Orly, me, Lynn and EA

In the evening we stayed in Sunnyvale south of San Francisco honestly one night in the downtown with two little ones was enough and it was super expensive.

I couldn't not meet two more blogging buddies who live in the area Kankana of Sunshine and Smile and Prerna of Indian Simmer. We went for South Indian as my hubby is from there :-) in silicon valley there is a huge community.



Me, Prerna and Kankana

Food blogging, twitter and Facebook are truly amazing have made amazing friends and it is so special when we get to meet in person.

Last leg of the adventure now as we head south to Monterey we were keen to take kids to aquarium.

Have a fab Sunday all

Hugs Rebecca

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Sonoma Valley - Food, Wine, Fun.

We arrived in Sonoma area yesterday after a long day of travel on Tuesday. Actually we were due to fly Monday via Chicago but the flight was delayed and we would have missed the connection. So we flew the next day getting up at 4am and flying over 5 hours with the little ones. Unfortunately I got sick after arriving why do I say all of this, well because as me and hubby joked about how hard it was traveling with the kids today made it all worth it :-)

When we booked the trip Napa hotels were crazy expensive so we decided to stay in Santa Rosa. It's a great little town in Sonoma county California. Today we drove down the scenic highway 12 and stopped at Saint Jean vineyard you can see me tasting wines in the top picture. This was a beautiful place with lovely gardens, knowledgeable staff and top notch wines.

Lovely vineyards here and there are so many in both Sonoma and Napa area it's best to just pick a couple and enjoy them especially with kids. Also pace yourself with tastings :-)

For lunch we headed north of Santa Rosa to the Russian River growing area. We ate at a great restaurant called The Cork at the Indian River vineyard. Great farm like area with nice outside seating, it's own chickens and old world decor.

Old truck there

Bay area sea bass this was excellent

Cool pizza oven

Pretty bridge on another scenic drive to Healdsburg

California cows, this region produces great cheese, yogurt and butter :-)

Healdsburg great little town with tasting rooms, great restaurants and antique shops.

Bacon cupcakes !

An evening farmers market there, adore the local produce culture.

In the evening we headed back to Santa Rosa and went downtown to a lovely event called Wednesday market. It is a farmers market complete with live music, food trucks and fun for the kids.

Our daughter coming down the slide :-) so mummy and daddy enjoyed the vineyards in the day then kids had fun later :-)

Fig and bacon pizza made in outdoor oven so good. The food trucks had great fresh foods at a reasonable price a must do.

Today was magic and I forget all about the difficulties of travel and being sick. Thanks for coming along :-)

Hugs Rebecca

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Asian Style Pork Meatball Soup

I recently got some lovely minced pork at the farmers market with some shitake mushrooms and came up with a noodle and meatball soup. It ended up making a huge pot and was good for leftovers. I adore a good ramen soup with a tasty broth, full of vegetables. Funny one of the best soups I have eaten recently was in the center of Munich we took the train into the center and were starving a Japanese restaurant was the first place we saw and it was so good. Our little ones love slurping their noodles too.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Peach Eton Mess

Eton mess is a traditional British dessert mostly made with pieces of Meringue, fresh strawberries and whipped cream. I decided to make meringue, use peaches and Greek yogurt for a healthier version. In fact the sweet meringue with the peaches worked perfectly with the yogurt. Eton mess originated in Eton College a famous and very grand private school in Windsor England. In fact if your visiting London, I highly recommend a visit to Windsor its a stunning little town, you can stroll along the Thames, and visit the mighty Windsor castle, the Queens residence. 

 I have visited castles all over the world and this is one of my favorite it has over 1000 years of history there. The town itself is full of pubs, hip restaurants and tea rooms and good high street shopping. It also makes a great overnight stay when flying out of Heathrow as its only a few miles away. 

Windsor Castle 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Mini Fisherman's Pies

I love mini servings of dishes and this was a star dish I made recently I enjoy a good fisherman's pie, you can add any seafood to it, and its a good little one pot meal. To be honest my 10 month old is a little on the small side and so was his big sister on the lowest percentile. So dishes like this made with fish (protein), milk, cheese, mash potatoes and vegetables are easy for him to eat and nutritious for an active growing boy. For an adult go a easy on the butter, and added cheese, use skim milk instead and less cheese. 

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Tips for Finding your Blogging Niche

Here are my thoughts on how to find your voice/ niche as a blogger, hope they help what are yours?

have a great weekend all


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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Blackberry and Muesli Parfait

I know I know another Parfait recipe :-), blogs are filled with them right now, but why not its easy, healthy and a nice light summer dessert. I got a big box of blackberries last week from the farmers market and to be honest they were a tad tart for me. So a great way to use fruit like this is to simply cook them with some sugar and make a sauce. This can be used for parfaits, with oatmeal or save for later in the freezer. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Sole Poached in Salsa

I don't know if your like me but with the heat wave we have been having lately it takes a lot of motivation to cook elaborate meals. This was invented on a whim, was fast to make and bursting with fresh flavor. I have called it a salsa as thats basically what it is but instead of cilantro I used basil.


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