Friday, August 23, 2013

Four Things Friday: Napa Edition

homemade pizza, wine tasting, bread pudding, the fremont diner
Last weekend, the H-bomb and I took a trip to Napa for my brother-in-law's 40th birthday.  Yes, 40.  It sounds old, but it's ten years younger than how old Johnny Depp and Brad Pitt are, so take that hot old actors.  I knew the weekend was going to be awesome, because my sister planned it and in our family we call her the vacation manager (cause she's really good at planning stuff, in case you couldn't put that together).  In all honesty, I have no clever way to connect this post to a break-up except to say that Napa would be a great place to visit if you're trying to forget an ex.  There's lots of wine to drink and tons of good food.  However, there is apparently NO dancing.  It got me thinking that instead of going away for bachelor(ette) parties or milestone birthdays, we should all plan weekends away with friends and family when we're going through a tumultuous break-up.   So...let's just pretend that was actually what the weekend was all about:
Homemade Pizza
We headed to Napa from Samira and Jake's place (sister & bro-in-law) in San Francisco and stopped at Pizzeria Delfina on our way to pick up pizza dough and sauce.  This place is legit.  I could tell purely from the fact that when my sister and I went in asking for eight pizza doughs, they would only sell us six, because it's three doughs to a person.  Say what?  We had to drag Jake in from the car, so we could get the two extra balls of dough.  My sister packed their pizza stone + all sorts of ingredients and toppings for the pizzas.  Part of the fun of renting a house instead of doing a hotel stay is that you get to get drunk while you cook it up in the kitchen.  The pizzas were delicious.  Also, if you're in search of a fun date night but on a tight budget, what better activity than making pizza together?  The answer is: there is no better activity. 
Elizabeth Spencer, my brother, Frog's Leap, group shot
Wine Tasting
You can't go to Napa for a weekend and NOT go wine tasting.  We did two tastings while there, one at Frog's Leap and the other at Elizabeth Spencer (named for a husband and wife-- her first name is Elizabeth, his is Spencer.)  The ambiance at Frog's Leap was gorgeous-- we were basically on a farm with one of the most impressive vegetable gardens I have ever seen.  But I thought the wine at Elizabeth Spencer was better.  Honestly, I have no idea.  It all tastes good to me.  Actually, here's something BLOW OFF one of the wineries my sister's friend ran into her bestie's ex who was with another woman.  Awkward.  So naturally, we poisoned his wine.  He's dead now.
Chocolate Bread Pudding
Bread pudding is one of my all time fave desserts, as long as it comes with chocolate instead of raisins.  We needed dessert after the day of wine tasting, so I decided to make these super easy individual bread puddings.  Click here for the recipe.  I prefer not to use the bananas, but I have to admit the ones I made in Napa were too heavy on the chocolate, so make sure you have some vanilla ice cream on hand like we did.  If you're trying to score points at the office, this is also a great recipe to leave in the break room for everyone.  Let's just say it won me a lot of fans at my office Christmas party six years ago.
The H-bomb & me, I'm wearing my brother's T-shirt
The Fremont Diner (2698 Fremont Drive, Sonoma, CA)
On the way back to San Francisco, hungover and exhausted, we stopped at The Fremont Diner for a pick me up.  This place was bittersweet for me, because the wait for a table took so long that by the time we got back to SF, my adorable nephew was taking a nap and I didn't get to see him that day.  Damn you, biscuits & gravy.  But if you have time to spare and need something to make you feel better from all the drinking, make sure to stop in Sonoma and get a bite to eat here.  According to my sister, it's tastier at lunch and she's the vacation manager so you should listen to her.   
Some more pics from the weekend:
this is real.  Napa is apparently where Footloose took place. 
my parents + Saedi family photo

drunk bro-in-law, kia with a fake stache, the pool, sister & bro in law

The moral of this story and the last way I'm going to tie it to a BLOW OFF is that my sister had her fair share of heartbreak before meeting Jake and he, well, he apparently wore bad jeans before he met my sister.  I'm so grateful they found each other and that they know how to manage vacations.

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