Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Apple Cake with Ginger

It is 70 degrees and windy in Turlock today. It feels like just yesterday the weather was breaking 100. I don't know when fall decided to start in California's central valley, but apparently it has arrived. I have been waiting for this day since I started working for Gallo in July. 

Making wine has shown me what sweating really feels like. I kid you not, every part of your body has the ability to sweat. At first I hated it. As a freckled person, I had to reapply sunscreen every two hours before I would sweat it off. Wearing a respirator may make you feel badass preparing for the apocalypse or making meth for Breaking Bad, but the reality is a face full of sweat and pimples. Even Bob Gallo mentioned how pink I get from a combination of sweat and sunburn. I may look like I am going to pass out, but in reality I simply always look like this doing manual labor in 100+ weather.

Working, on average, ten hours a day outside in the heat makes time disappear. I have been so stressed everyday, trying to be the best I can be, and keep up with the wine professionals around me, that I wasn't aware of how much I was learning, or the life that I was living. My life has changed. I have been striving for something, but never stopped to realize that I all ready had it. I make wine. I make wine everyday. When I mess up at work or have a bad day, I take a deep breath, and remind myself that everything here is new to me. I am still learning, but more importantly I am making wine. Everything worth doing has a learning curve. I would much rather be making mistakes making wine than sitting in a lab or doing paper work. 

Apple Cake
Prep time: 20 min.
Total time: 50-60 minutes
  • 5 medium apples
  • 2/3 cups all purpose flour 
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs 
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 6 tbs butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • powdered sugar
Cut up apples into small wedges. Caramelize apples in butter, but save 1-2 apples for decorating the top of the cake. Combine dry ingredients. Combine wet ingredients. Fold dry ingredients into wet ingredients. Add carmelized apples. Bake at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes. After cooled, sprinkle with powdered sugar
Adapted From

Feel what I am feeling and listen to:

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Favorite Mac 'N Cheese

The most difficult part about moving to a rural farm area is the lack of diversity when it comes to food and groceries. James came down to visit for a week, and we quickly exhausted all the best restaurants. So for his next trip down, I had to get creative when it came to date night. 

The first thing that came to mind was mac 'n cheese with bacon, and beer. I knew I was on to something, but it still felt lacking. I needed a way to make the evening special outside of my makeshift shared apartment. So I packed up the pre-made mac 'n cheese, and drove him out into the country. After passing Costco, civilization ended, and we were engulfed by cornstalks and almond orchards. The roads narrowed, and barefoot children followed dogs carelessly chasing our car. Despite being utterly lost, we found a nice spot between an orchard and a corn field with a clear view of the sunset.  

A little music and conversation is all we needed to keep a smile on our faces, and the laughter flowing, as the sun melted away in front of us. However, the bacon mac 'n cheese was not neglected. James had his IPA, and both of our tummy's were full. 

Monday, September 2, 2013

Apple and Chive Salad

This salad makes me pucker, but I love it all the same. 


  • 1 bag of spinach and arugula
  • 1 apple
  • 1 avocado
  • 2 tbs. gorganzola
  • 1 sprig of chives
  • lemon juice (1 small lemon)
  • cracked pepper
  • olive oil

For the dressing combine lemon juice, olive oil and pepper to taste. 3 parts olive oil and 1 part lemon juice. Toss the ingredients together in a large bowl and serve immediately.

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