Tuesday, November 25, 2014


It is said a picture is worth a thousand words, well this one eloquently describes my trip to California's Sonoma and Napa Valleys PERFECTLY!!!  Many wineries were visited, and much wine consumed....(hey, we were in the country of wine, what would you expect??)
Our group had private tastings at three wineries: (which were our FAVORITES out of the thirteen we toured)  Sherwin Family Winery, St. Helena Winery, and Mumm Napa.
We spent one entire afternoon at the beautiful Sherwin estate, touring, learning, lunching, celebrating a good friend's birthday, sampling every exceptional wine and enjoying great conversation.  Even the estate reserve Cabernet Sauvignon was sampled after Steve Sherwin's son climbed up the barrels for us with the wine thief, (a tool that looks kind of like a turkey baster)... Yumm, delicious...this is the life!!!
Vines everywhere
We passed through these gorgeous gates at St. Helena Winery.  A small lush hidden estate with exemplary wines.  It was like entering the secret garden.
At Mumm Napa we sampled sparkling wines.  Light and easy.  (My favorite: the Reserve Rose)  With our glasses filled with bubbly we toured the estate and had a private showing of the art gallery featuring photography by Ansel Adams and Graham Nash.  An experience for all the senses.
                                      And a true cork tree on the property!
Before heading back to the resort to sleep off our fun day (and our alcohol) we stopped by our favorite local Sonoma dive with the best food and local beer....The Freemont Diner.  Always worth a stop if you're in the area!
Freemont Diner

Thursday, November 13, 2014


not in another place
but this place,
not for another hour
but this hour.

Walt Whitman

"Cheri" T-shirt

                                How perfect is this....thank you J.Crew!

Thursday, November 6, 2014


Grandma's Apple Cake 
Torta di Mele della Nonna

This recipe is from La Tavola Marche, ( a truly exceptional blog, podcast and agriturisimo in Italy that I hope to visit someday soon!)  Check them out: La Tavola Marche   This cake is easy to make, delicious and comforting.  Grandma knows best!

3 Cups flour
1 Cup oil
1/2 tsp.salt
2 1/2 tsp. vanilla
5-6 apples, thinly sliced
1 1/4 cups sugar
4 eggs
1/3 cup orange juice
3 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon

Mix all ingredients except apples until combined and smooth.
Mix apples in a separate bowl with 1 tsp. cinnamon and 2 Tbsp. sugar.
Grease a 10 inch bundt pan. Alternately layer the cake batter and apples in three separate layers each, starting with the cake batter in bottom of pan and ending with an apple layer on top.
Bake at 350, for 1 hour and 15 min. until a pick comes out clean.

Monday, November 3, 2014



Fire above me.
Fire below me.

Wind rushes through
the tree top canopy.
 Ablaze with vibrant hues of
 yellow, orange, and red.

Branches throw glowing orbs,
radiant leafy shapes, 
to my burning feet

 I hear them cackle,