Posted in Bon Appetite, Drinks Galore

Recipe #1 – Plantain Crusted Chicken

“Everyday Dining with Wine”

Read about this ongoing cookbook challenge here

Plantain chips or unsweetened banana chips
dry mustard / dried thyme / allspice / ground cloves / kosher salt / ground black pepper
hot sauce
all-purpose flour
boneless, skinless chicken breasts
vegetable oil

Wine recommendations: California Central Coast Chardonnay
Lockwood, Morgan, Estancia, Bryon, Calera, Au Bon Climat

Picked up a chardonnay from Edna Valley

My Review:
The crust part got a bit overcooked and the chicken almost wasn’t cooked all the way through. I was able to finish cooking the chicken but worried that the crust wouldn’t taste good. Not a absolute favorite but it was a different tasty way to eat chicken.

Posted in Drinks Galore, Requires Travel

Cocktails, New Orleans Special Edition

from the 111 cocktails (you must try) challenge

Read about this challenge and see the list here

Part of the fun of going to New Orleans is to sample their unique foods and drinks. I was able to check 4 drinks off my list and 2 bonus ones. These are all specialty cocktails known for the area and I couldn’t skip trying them

#30 Daiquiri
Ingredients: (from the list)light rum, lime juice, sugar (blended) / (how they made it) blended, different flavored mixes
Drank on: October 2015
Location: the first one was at Melba’s in New Orleans
Notes: you can get “to go” cups and walk around on the street with them. And someplaces have drive-thrus for them.

#38 Gin Fizz “Governor Huey P Long’s Favorite”
Ingredients: (from the list) gin, lemon juice, powdered sugar, water / (how they made it) gin, citrus, cream, egg whites, sugar, orange flower water, shaken until frothy and topped with club soda
Drank on: October 2015
Location: The Sazerac Bar in the Roosevelt Hotel, New Orleans
Notes: (guide book mentioned this was the place to go for a gin fizz and it was very yummy, I had a sip or two from my friend’s drink, the sazerac is on the left, the bubbly in the middle, and the gin fizz on the right)

#49 Hurricane
Ingredients: light rum, dark rum, passionfruit, oj, lime, simple syrup, grenadine
Drank on: October 2015
Location: Pat O’Briens, New Orleans
Notes: (they are known for their hurricanes, and you can purchase their special mix) we drank these while in the piano bar room.

#111 Zombie
Ingredients: lemon juice, dark rum, orange juice, cherry brandy, light rum, grenadine
Drank on: October 2015
Location: one of the bars on Burbon Street, New Orleans
Notes: friend and I dressed as Zombies and I knew I had to have this drink as a zombie. The bartender had to look at the ingredient listed here but he was game to make it. I wasn’t sure how it would taste with all the stuff, but it’s dangerously yummy. This is a drink that will sneak up and smack you or make you into a drunken, dumb zombie.

Pimm’s Cup
Ingredients: British Gin based liquor & lemonade, splash of lemon-lime soda & garnished with a cucumber
Drank on: October 2015
Location: Napoleon House, New Orleans
Notes: (guide book said this was the place to go for it) Nice and refreshing drink


The Sazerac “The Official Cocktail of New Orleans”
Ingredients: rye whisky, bitters, sugar, and garnished with a lemon peel
Drank on: October 2015
Location: The Sazerac Bar in the Roosevelt Hotel, New Orleans
Notes: had to try while there



Posted in Drinks Galore, It's Artistic/Creative

I CAN Be an Artist

It seems there is a growing trend of learn-to-paint classes, which encourage novice artists to gather with a group of friends and create a piece of artwork, all while enjoying a cocktail or two.

This is not an item written down to check off my list, but it is something I’ve thought would be fun. March 2014, I went with a bunch of friends in my Active 20-30 Club to a place in town called the Painted Cork.

Have you ever felt like taking a painting class to unleash your inner Picasso, but felt as though you couldn’t even paint a stick figure? Are you looking for something different and new to do for a birthday party, ladies night out, team builder, first date, couples or even as a single person who is looking for some unique social interaction in the Folsom or Midtown Sacramento area? The Painted Cork “paint and sip” Art Studio creates a comfortable, fun, hip and exciting atmosphere where you and your friends can enjoy a fantastic time while a professional art instructor teaches you a step by step 2 to 3 hour painting classes. The Painted Cork offers a completely relaxed and social painting class/party where guests are allowed to bring with them their favorite wine or beer and delicious snacks to enjoy throughout the class!

I’m definitely not an artist, so I was guessing that my painting would turn out really bad. Got to the place and found the easels and paints all set up at tables. The artist instructor told me to grab an apron and then drinks, snacks, and a seat. I put down the bottle of wine and snack mix I brought and grabbed a glass and apron and a seat. The canvas had a penciled outline of the skyline we were going to be painting. Up front there were different paintings that were completed, the instructor told us to take a look at each one to use as a baseline for inspiration or ours. Then we started painting.

It was a very simple step by step processing. Mixing colors and watching what she did and then doing similar. By doing it this way, I realized that each person is different in how they paint the same object. This in turn means that no one is a bad artist. I don’t think I’d be able to do a painting like that without watching the steps to get it done.

Overall, it was a very fun evening and I’d totally do this again. I can see why it’s become so popular.

Posted in Drinks Galore

Cocktails #50 Irish Car Bomb

from the 111 cocktails (you must try) challenge

Read about this challenge and see the list here

Ingredients: Guinness beer, Bailey’s Irish cream liqueur, and Jameson Irish whiskey

Drank on: St. Patrick’s Day – March 17, 2016

Location: Pine Cove, Sacramento, California

Notes: I have had an Irish car bomb once before but it was before I started going through this list, so to check it off, I had to drink it again and get a photo. It had been so long, I had forgotten the trick of dropping in the shot and then drinking fast. The bartender said I could just pour in the shot instead of dropping in the glass. My friends said that would be cheating.

Down the hatch! Slainte

Posted in Drinks Galore, Super Duper Easy

#1225 – Have a V-8

I used to drink V-8 as a kid ALL THE TIME. Then got sick of it and couldn’t stand drinking it anymore. Recently I’ve been drinking it again, and back to enjoying it. Now, V-8 has also created fusion drinks with fruit added. Will try one of those some point.

I also want to try juicing my own V-8 some time. But at least I can check this off my list of things to do.

I always think of those old V-8 commercials when people are walking around sideways until they have a drink.

Posted in Drinks Galore

Cocktails #26 Chocolate Cake

from the 111 cocktails (you must try) challenge

Read about this challenge and see the list here

IMG_1246Ingredients: citrus vodka, hazelnut liqueur, and sugar coated lemon

Drank on: October 28, 2014

Location: DeVeres Irish Pub in Sacramento, California

Notes: Had to try this one around my birthday! I have no idea how this drink came about or how it got it’s name, since it doesn’t have chocolate in it. Except when you do drink it, it’s very much chocolate tasting. a little on the sweet side with the sugar rim but yummy.

Posted in Drinks Galore

Cocktails #18 Bocce Ball

from the 111 cocktails (you must try) challenge

Read about this challenge and see the list here

IMG_1528Ingredients: vodka, amaretto, orange juice, and soda water

Drank on: October 19, 2015

Location: Fanny Ann’s Saloon (in Old Sacramento), Sacramento, California

Notes: I asked the bartender here, what was a popular cocktail. He mentioned “Bocce Ball” and “Hop, Skip, and Go Naked”. I got excited when I heard Bocce Ball because I knew it was on my list and I haven’t really felt like trying any drinks from it in a while. This would be perfect to be able to cross one off and see about getting re-motivated.

I liked this drink, reminds me of a screwdriver. if you like orange juice drinks this one is for you. it can sneak up on you as you don’t really taste the alcoholic part.

Posted in Drinks Galore

Cocktails #16 Blow Job

from the 111 cocktails (you must try) challenge

Read about this challenge and see the list here 

P1100214Ingredients: Irish cream liqueur and amaretto

Drank on: December 18, 2014

Location: Pine Cove in Sacramento, California

Notes: (while on a ugly sweater/crazy santa hat pub crawl) I told my friends that I decided to give this shot a try. They were all for it and proceeded to tell me there is a specific way to drink it. You can’t use your hands (and one person said that afterwards you have to find a guy to give a kiss to) They also said that this location does it pretty good. So, I went up to the bar and asked for a blow job. The bartender gave me a strange look. She thought I said blue dolphin (which I learned is code for water). My friend repeated what I wanted. The bartender looked for whip cream to add. She made the shot for both of us.

I tried to lift up the glass with my teeth, which I realize now was dumb. Should have just been the mouth. It started spilling, so I put it down and then laughed which spilled it more. Finally I used my hand to shoot what was left. Guess I need to practice more 🙂


Posted in Bon Appetite, Drinks Galore, Requires Travel

#256 – Go Wine Tasting in Sonoma County, California

The first time went wine tasting in Sonoma County I think was in 2009. My family rented a house in the Russian River area for the weekend. This was a lot of fun because a number of them had been living in other parts of the country and so it was a big family gathering. While visiting, I went with one of my cousins and his girlfriend (at the time) to a few wineries.P1010199The only one I know is Hop Kiln because I got the name in a photo. There were two other places that were beautiful and had tasting rooms outside, but I’ve forgotten their names. Guess I’m just going to have to go back to match the photo to the place and re-taste the wine.P1010203What is neat about Hop Kiln is that the tasting room is in a California registered landmark.

This structure served the important hop industry of California’s north coast region, once the major hop-growing area in the west. Built in 1905 by a crew of Italian stonemasons, it represents the finest existing example of its type. The building consists of three stone kilns for drying hops and an attached wooden cooling barn with a two-story press for baling hops.

I definitely want to go back and explore more and taste more of the wineries. I would say that Sonoma, especially the Russian River area, is more pretty then Napa. But I would bet the prices for tastings are about the same.

Have you been to wineries in Sonoma, Russian River, or Napa? How was your experience?