This past weekend my husband and I went up to Apple Hill, as it is a tradition we've kept up since our first date! I've never been up in November and while the air is definitely a bit chilly, it is definitely the best time to go! All of the beautiful fall colors are in full swing and the crowds are not as insane as they are in late September/October. If you are in the Northern California area, you must make a trip up in the next couple of weeks to enjoy the beautiful scenery and the delicious food! Below are some of my favorite spots to visit.
This cute winery is a walk away from the popular High Hill and Boa Vista ranches. The team at the winery is very kind and helpful even when it is packed! We stopped in to taste some of their yummy wines and relax. My personal favorite is the Riesling (not the signature) as it is very light and flavorful!
After you have some wine, you must take a moment to walk over to the vineyards to take in the spectacular view they have right there at the winery. My husband and I actually took our engagement photos here and at High Hill. You can see some of those shots here.
After some wine we went over to High Hill, a popular Apple Hill spot. We spent some time taking blog photos here because of the beautiful backdrop and picked up some Pink Lady apples, my absolute favorite! This spot is a great place for kids because they have fishing and pony rides here as well.
This is the place to go for food! We walked onto the patio and we couldn't stay there without ordering the garlic fries! I also picked up a slice of apple pie and and an apple doughnut. Oh my gosh they were so good, I practically inhaled my pie! They also have lots of jams, unbaked pies and other treats to take home, although I tend to head over to Boa Vista for treats.
Jack Russell is a great spot to end the afternoon - they have ales, meads and ciders that are well known through the area. The brewery has lots of picnic tables as well as a patio area to relax with friends while you enjoy your beverage. While the pumpkin ale is what they are known for, I actually loved their meads. My personal favorite is the semi-sweet blackberry mead. You can even get a flight of the meads/ciders to taste while in their awesome cave.
Our last stop is always Boa Vista since we hit it up to pick up pies, salsas, apple butter and of course, their apple wine. I recommend that before you head back down the hill that you stop here to at least pick up the apple wine. It has amazing flavor and is the perfect addition to holiday dinners. We also picked up two pies to bring home to family and friends since they also make some pretty stellar pies. My favorite pie is the dutch apple pie!
Don't wait - make a trip up to Apple Hill and enjoy all of the fun and beauty this area has to offer! Click here for a map of the area with all of the different ranches and spots included.
Pinterest has tons of awesome recipes, although I’ve ran into a few that haven’t come out as well as I had hoped. This pumpkin whoopie pie recipe is not the case! I made these over the weekend for a friend’s birthday and they turned out delish and were a hit at the party! The recipe is actually pretty easy and the bake time is only 11 minutes! These are the perfect treat to make for Halloween!
Recipe is from Dreamy Desserts and makes 12-14 pies
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 - 15 oz. can of pumpkin
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Beat together brown sugar, granulated sugar, oil and pumpkin. Add eggs one at time, mixing well after each addition, followed by the vanilla. In a separate bowl, shift together the dry ingredients. Slowly incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet until just combined.
Using a pastry bag with a round tip, or a big zip top plastic bag with one corner snipped, squeeze out concentric circles of batter, starting from the middle and working outward until the circles are about 2 inches in diameter. Bake for 11 minutes and cool on a rack.
Helpful hint: I used my cupcake icing tool instead of a ziplock bag and it worked very well!
I picked up some of the Betty Crocker cream cheese frosting, which worked out great! If you’d like to make the icing, below are the directions to do so.
Cream Cheese Filling
1 - 8 oz. package of cream cheese, softened
1 stick of unsalted butter, room temperature
1 - 16 oz. package of powdered sugar
about a capful of vanilla extract
a pinch of cinnamon (to taste)
Beat together cream cheese and butter. Add powdered sugar, vanilla and cinnamon. Frost flat side of half the pies and top with another piece.
Once the whoopies are done, spread the icing onto the bottom of one and place another on top to make the whoopie pie. Enjoy!
Blondies: A Reilly Family Recipe
I am a total sucker for sweets and blondies are one of my favorite treats to indulge in! My husband's mom came up with this recipe and it is my personal favorite for this classic comfort food. My favorite surprise? The macadamia nuts make the blondies extra yummy!
What you will need:
2 Sticks unsalted butter at room temp
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 package white chocolate chips
1 package semisweet chocolate chips/chunks
1 small package chopped macadamia nuts