Gluten Free Cinnamon Raisin Bread

My mom found a bag of Bob’s Red Mill Cinnamon Raisin Bread on sale the other day so I finally decided to bake it up this afternoon. To add something a little special, I added white chocolate chips to the batch. Nom…Nom!


All you need for this easy bread is the pre-mixed bread mix made by Bob’s Red Mill, 1 1/2 cup warm water, 1/4 cup oil & 2 eggs. The bread, while crunchy on the outside is surprisingly soft on the inside. In total the recipe took about 2 hours with rise & cooking time. A bag of the mix retails for $5.59 but my mom found it for $3.50 on sale.


Wineries Without Walls

Bringing the wandering winos of Lane County in from the cold, Wineries without Walls at the Fern Ridge Chamber of Commerce spreads holiday warmth for palate pursuers around the area.

J. Scott and Noble Wines

In a cozy tasting space with a beautiful brown and black marbled counter balanced on top of wine barrels just 15 minutes west of Eugene, the Fern Ridge chamber visitor center showcases local bounty frequently less seen. Hosting local wineries without traditional tasting rooms and other special guest wineries, the chamber is connecting the consumer to some of the area’s smaller wineries and wine makers.

I popped over to Veneta last Saturday before the big University of Oregon vs. USC football game to sample, sips of J. Scott Cellars and Noble Estate Vineyards‘ wines. Two stellar, small wine producers with drastically different tasting line ups – the samples featured some of the best varieties of the Willamette Valley including Pinot noir and some lesser known types including J. Scott’s Viognier and Roussane.

I like making wines that people don’t always taste in this area, described Jonathan Oberlander, the winemaker, when asked about his wine variety. A range that I greatly appreciated and that other visitors seemed to enjoy as well.

There is still time this season to taste some new wines before the holidays. Stop in for a sip and savor the local wonders of Oregon wine.

Upcoming Wineries without Walls Tastings at the Fern Ridge Chamber of Commerce:

November 25, 2011

  • Friday, 2-6pm
  • Grand opening and wine tour weekend. Enjoy tastes from three winemakers: Kandarian Wine Cellars, Spencer Creek Vineyard and Abbelone Vineyard

November 26, 2011

  • Saturday, 2-6pm
  • Taste Abbelone Vineyard, William Rose and Kandarian Wine Cellars

December 3, 2011

  • Saturday, 2-6pm
  • Wine tasting with 5H.

December 10, 2011

  • Saturday, 3-6pm
  • Celebration of the release of the Territorial Wine Trail map. Ribbon cutting at 4pm. Enjoy tastings by Stanton Vineyard and Kandarian Wine Cellars along with music and food.

December 17, 2011

  • Saturday, 4-6pm
  • Wine tasting with 5H.

December 23, 2011

  • Friday, 2-6pm
  • Last day the wine shop is open for the year. Taste samples of Cottonwood Winery.

Fern Ridge Chamber of Commerce – 24949 Highway 126  Veneta, OR – (541) 935-8443

Tasting Wine Older than Me: 1974 Stag's Leap, 1977 Grgich Hills, 1976 Chateau Montelena

1974 Stag’s Leap

Lifting our glasses for a toast, my heart pounded as the rich, red liquid – 14 years my elder – awaited its fateful tasting high in the air. Cameras flashed to catch the 1974 Stag’s Leap Cabernet Sauvignon’s historic opening both for its age and story, while I fidgeted with excitement and salivated for a sip.

A surreal journey, I could hardly believe I was even there and this was only one ounce of the adventure.

The trip began with a tweet. Continue reading

#FriFotos: Molo from South Africa

South African flag stud

For three months of 2010 I lived and worked in Cape Town, South Africa. While wandering the vineyards each morning to my internship at Constantia Uitsig Winery to surfing on it white sand beaches, I fell in love with the country, people and lifestyle. I look forward to returning one day and getting to know the country even better. For now I will remember my trip through the trinkets that I brought back with me – like these South African stud earrings that I proudly strut. So for today’s Twitter #FriFotos, flags theme, molo from South Africa!

Buick Tweet House Road Trip: Eureka to Napa

The Buick Enclave in the Redwoods

After enjoying a warm, egg omelet with chocolate chip bread and a round of mind, rejuvenating coffee we hit the road for the final leg of the #BuickTweetHouse road trip to Napa.

Getting behind the wheel of the Buick Enclave it was finally my turn to drive – and what a section of Highway 101 to hug the curves.

Taking a short diversion from the road, we curved left and right past ancient branches along the Avenue of Giants and stopped for a photo opt with these infamous Redwoods.

Nearing the wine country, the sun began to sink as the first vineyards came into view.

For a short wine break (a very important aspect of any wine road trip), we swung into Portalupi to sample their California reds. The Barbera, grown in Mendocino County, offered a deep, plum and earthy spice flavor that pitched your cheeks with dryness.

Mondavi Entrance

The wine excitement didn’t stop there though. After dropping our bags off at the Napa Embassy Suites, where my room was practically as large as my apartment at home, and freshening up we jumped back in the car to go to the Napa Film Festival’s opening gala at Robert Mondavi Winery.

Pulling into the grand entrance, the mission style building almost glowed with class as the spot lights lit up the front arches. Sexy sports cars additionally pop with color outside the VIP check-in tables.

Walking into the party I was handed a logo wine glass filled with crisp and refreshing, Mondavi’s Fume Blanc, as the scent of various fine cuisine drafted through the crowded halls.

“How in the world did I get here – this is crazy, amazing!” I thought to myself in a surreal bubble of excitement.

“Welcome to the Napa Valley Film Festival,” the glitz and glam replied as we entered the party and kick-started the weekend of wine and film.

More photos from the final leg of the Buick Tweet House Road Trip: