This past week was joyful one for me. My sister Michelle and my 16-year-old niece were here to stay with me in Sonoma County for their annual visit. We spent the week wine tasting, walking on the beach and visiting Stanford University to see about the application process for Maddie next year. Stanford had 38,000 students submit applications last year, and just over five percent were accepted. We have our fingers crossed that Maddie will succeed in her life-long dream to attend. Go Maddie!
Lynmar Estate was one of our wine tasting destinations. I was introduced to Lynmar a little over a year ago, and it has become a favorite of mine. Naturally, I wanted to introduce Michelle to the wonders that await there. Lynmar produces superb wines... especially well-crafted pinot noirs. Lynmar is situated in a stunning corner of the county near the laguna of Santa Rosa. The location truly is breathtaking and the gardens are beautiful and amazingly well-designed. This is a treasure not to be missed if you plan to go wine tasting in Sonoma.
Next up, being that Michelle is a former beach girl who now lives in the Sonoran desert... beach-time is a must. We visited on two different days. One foggy, and one sunny, but both were cold. North Salmon Creek Beach provides ample opportunities for us to indulge in our favorite passion other than cooking... photography. Michelle and Maddie just happen to be two of my favorite models.
And then there was a sunny day... but it was also crazy windy and even more cold!
And as always when we are together, there is food. Really, really good food. And where there is food, you will also find us sipping a cocktail or two. Since stone fruits are just coming into season, we picked up some white peaches at our local farmer's market and went to town... well, just down the street. I live about two blocks from a great Saturday farmer's market.
And then there was the food…
Étoile of French Carrot Salad
Salvation Sister's Baby Back Pork Ribs
Homemade garlic bread made from Juliette's famous sourdough recipe.
And what would a Sistercation be without the duck fat oven fries?
Our cocktail adventure was inspired by the one and only, Bobby Flay from a recipe in his new book Barbeque Addiction, and trips that both Michelle and I have taken to Venice, Italy. Our grandfather, Earl, discovered Harry's Bar there many years ago, and he told both Michelle and me, that if the fates should ever take us there, that we must visit and have Bellini's. Fortunately, we have both done this on separate occasions, and we must add, if ever you should find yourself in Venice…
2-3 ripe white peaches, peels discarded
1/2 cup of simple syrup
Juice of 1/2 fresh lemon
Chilled dry rosé sparkling wine
1. Slice the peaches and purée in a food processor. Add the simple syrup with the juice of a lemon. Process until smooth.
2. Put some of the peach purée into the bottom of champagne flutes, and top with cold sparkling wine. Stir. Fill flute to the top. Garnish if desired.
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