Gordon Valley Ranch

 

Napa, Ca was the first stop on our trek up to Washington.  Sure, many people would choose this as an excellent pit stop to at least have a glass of wine, but when you also have sweet friends who live on a secluded ranch in Napa Valley, it’s not just a pit stop, it’s a MUST stop.  Not to mention that they have an adorable new addition that we absolutely had to meet.  The environment is unique and whimsical and I so look forward to seeing our friends future on this beautiful ranch develop.  I typically like to tell you the story behind the photos in my blog, but with an incredible landscape such as this, the photos speak for themselves!

Mama & Baby

 

Poppin’ Bottles

Getting my fix <3

Thank you again to our friends Miles and Katie for giving us this one of a kind experience xx.

Cheers!

Traci

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Train to Santa Barbara (part one)

A few blog posts back I started a little “California Bucket List” of things Joel and I would like to see and do while living here in Southern California.  As soon as finishing writing that list, we decided the only decent thing to do was to start checking things OFF that list!  And why not go big and check TWO things off at once!  And if you didn’t guess it by the title, we took a train to Santa Barbara for the weekend.  CHECK CHECK!

We left on a Friday evening after work.  Unfortunately by that time the sun had set so we didn’t get much of a view on our way up, but I thought ahead and made sure our trip north would be a success no matter what with a mini cheese platter style spread!  Joel had packed a couple bottles of wine to bring along on our trip, so we popped one open and enjoyed our own personal happy hour aboard the Amtrak Pacific Surf Liner.  It was the perfect way to end a long week and start our week away…

Train To Santa Barbara

On this trip we decided we wanted to try out an Airbnb rental instead of a hotel and the one we chose was just a short walk to the beach, so our first morning began with just that!  They way to the beach included an area of preserved land that lend right up to a cliff with beautiful view of the coast line.  It also just happened to be a completely off leach dog area so we were greeted by lots of new puppy friends!  Just beyond the park is where we found the “Mesa Lane Steps” that lead us down to the beach.  The tide was high, so we weren’t able to walk on the beach this time, but we had the pleasure of watching the waves roll in, and surfers trying to catch them!

Train To Santa Barbara

Train To Santa Barbara

Train To Santa Barbara

Train To Santa Barbara

Train To Santa Barbara

Train To Santa Barbara

Train To Santa Barbara

Train To Santa Barbara

To avoid a suuuuuper long blog post, I’m dividing our trip up into a few different parts, kind of like a mini series!  So check back soon for more on our adventure!

 

Cheers!

Traci

 

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Homemade “Sriracha” Sauce

We enjoy some spice in our house!  We also like to *try* and grow our own veggies.  Sometimes we succeed and other times not so much.  This little jalapeno plant is something we are quite proud of though.  He’s come along with us in his little pot to every place we’ve moved to in California over the past 5 years, and every year he produces more and more peppers!  One thing we’ve learn about jalapenos through this little guy is that if you allow green jalapenos to stay on the plant and “ripen” they will eventually turn red in color and become Fresno chilies!  And guess what you can make with Fresno chilies….SRIRACHA!

Homemade Sriracha

Homemade Sriracha

Homemade Sriracha

The first time I made Sriracha our plant was overflowing with peppers, but right now since it’s winter the growth has slowed down to only a few baby peppers at a time.  So I got help from the grocery store to supplement our supply for this recipes batch.  Although you have to let the flavors of this recipe develop for 24 hours, it’s amazingly simple and SO worth it!  After eating my homemade Sriracha exclusively for a while and then having the store bought kind at a restaurant, I much prefer the homemade stuff.  It tastes so fresh, clean, and vibrant, plus I love knowing everything in it is real food!  **For all my Arbonne clean eating followers, I’ve included an “Arbonne for 30” friendly version too! Just one tiny switch! Homemade Sriracha

Homemade Sriracha

Homemade Sriracha

Homemade Sriracha

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Homemade Sriracha

Ingredients:

  • Approximately 2 cups sliced Fresno chilies with seeds (that’s about 19 peppers to make it easy)
  • 1 packet of Traders Joe’s garlic cloves, roughly chopped (if using a regular bulb of garlic about 7-10 medium cloves)
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon agave
  • 2 teaspoons ground Himalayan pink salt (sea salt is ok too)

In a 32oz mason jar add the Fresno chilies with seeds, garlic, both vinegars, and salt.  Close tightly with a lid and give it a shake to get everything well blended together.   Let the mixture sit for 24 hours on the counter.

The next day pour all the contents from the jar into a saucepan and add the agave, stirring to incorporate.  Over medium high heat bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer and let cook for 5 mins, stirring occasionally.

Once the 5 mins is up, remove the pan from the heat and let cool to room temperature.

When the mixture is cooled, pour it into a blender and puree until very smooth, scraping down the sides as needed.

After blending, YOU’RE DONE!  Just pour the Sriracha into a jar and store it in the fridge.  Stays good up to 3 months.

**For those of you who are following  the Arbonne 30 day Clean Eating Challenge, this recipe can be made Arbonne friendly by omitting the white vinegar and using all (1 and 1/2 cups) apple cider vinegar.  It will be slightly sweeter, but still dang delicious!

Recipe adapted from bluekaleroad

 

We put this Sriracha sauce on everything!  Tacos, eggs,  Asian dishes…really anything you like hot sauce on, this sauce will do the trick!  And that makes me pretty darn happy 🙂  I hope you give this recipe a try, and I would love to hear what you think!  Feel free to leave questions or thoughts in the comment section below.

Cheers!

Traci

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