Monday, July 20, 2009

Weekend Wanderings in the Valley (With Lots of Good Food!)

I love summer- especially when it comes to putting meals on the table. It's been so easy now that I have time to shop for delicious food at the Farmer's Markets and everything is just so wonderful! Those stuffed squash blossoms are making weekly appearances on our dinner plates-I made this batch after picking up a few from the Culinary Institute's gardens at the St. Helena Farmers Market.
Munch and her cousin picking out honey sticks,enjoying the iced tea,and playing in the park next to the marketWhile there, I also got some treats for dessert-the cookies are my new favorite find- peanut butter with peanut butter cups and toffee milk chocolate chunk- both from Annie the Baker. I'm going to be hunting these down again really soon! The chocolate chunk bar cookie is made by Sweetie Pies. The flavor was really good- a graham cracker base, fudgy chocolate with macadamia nuts, marshmallows, and cereal mixed in. Unfortunately the texture wasn't quite right- the cereal, rather than staying crisp, got chewy- but not in a pleasant way and the graham cracker base was so dry it just crumbled- it really didn't have enough butter to hold together. It might be interesting to recreate this one at home and play with the mix-ins a bit.
On the way home, I swung by Sunshine Market after my sister told me about their amazing fresh pasta. I picked up a package of tagliatelle, made in-house, found a great lemon cream sauce recipe, and served this for dinner-
I thought the beef broth was a strange addition, but it really gave the sauce a nice meaty/mushroomy flavor that complemented the lemon well.
The next morning was another treat- spa treatments at the Bardessono Resort in Yountville.I especially loved the elevated pool area with its cool cabanas-Afterwards, it was off to Redd for a late lunch. I thoroughly enjoyed my duck confit entree as I settled into my corner banquette seat (I was feeling like a noodle after my wonderful massage), but it was the peanut butter-milk chocolate gianduja dessert that made me sit up and pay attention- this was definitely one of my favorite desserts I've EVER had (I've been on a peanut butter kick lately). The sweet frothiness of the peanut honeycomb parfait that accompanied it was entirely unexpected. I need to make a return trip to dine there again soon!


Veronica Lee said...

The food looks yummy and the kids seem to be having a whale of a time.
Thanks for sharing this lovely post.

Tami said...

I think I might want to move in with you LOL, I'll sleep on the floor. The drive way even!

Looks so delish! Even though I'm a creature of habit, I'd try your food, it looks SO GOOOOOOOOOOOOD!

I'm a HUGE p'nut butter fan.. everything is P'nut butter and nothing but P'nut Butter. LOL

Laurie said...

I am lurking through your older posts now and officially have gone into a food coma..