Collections and Obsessions, Cucina, food, Fountain of Youth, Galleria, Happiness Project, Photography, sweets, Wine Wednesday, Winery

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Nutella

Over Valentines Day weekend I was in charge of Red Velvet Cupcakes for the Pleasant Valley wine Trail, since we are a part of the trail. Everyone had something they made and then paired with a wine. We paired our cupcakes with our Late Harvest Zinfandel. I heard nothing but good things, so I was very happy that it was warmly received.

I made 100 cupcakes on Friday night, and then another 100 on Saturday night. I used the recipe that was passed down from my Great Aunt Nelle. She was a great cook, and it was said in the family that she asked about the recipe one time when she was visited the Waldorf Hotel. I later learned that many southern women told the story about asking for the recipe from the Waldorf. She was a traveler, and was a fantastic cool. I never questioned the story!

My Great Aunt used to make Red Velvet Cake for my dad every year on his birthday. It was his favorite cake. She also would make a mayonnaise cake that was so delicious. Although, I remember that she didn’t like to say the name around me, it made me sick to think of mayonnaise being used to bake a cake. When we would love something that she made, she would give an index card with the recipe to my mom. We would cherish those recipe cards. There was a special wooded box that we kept them.

Never the less, here is the recipe for the cake…

  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 ½ cups olive oil
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1  teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ pounds canned beets, drained and pureed
  • 1 tablespoon red food color
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature (I make my own by adding vinegar, and waiting for 10 minutes, 
  • 2 tablespoons red food coloring (1 ounce)
  • 1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Start preheating your oven to 375, drain and puree your beets. If you don’t have buttermilk in your fridge, I never do…Add one tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice to your cup of milk.

Meanwhile, add your dry ingredients together, add you eggs, beets, food coloring, vanilla, vinegar, olive oil and finally, the buttermilk. Mix until all the ingredients are wet.

Add the paper cupcake holders to the cupcake pans, fill up the cupcake papers about 1/2 full. This will make about 18 cupcakes. They will take about 25 minutes to bake.

While your cupcakes are baking, you can make the frosting…

8 ounces of cream cheese (softened)

1 Stick of butter (softened)

4 cups of powdered sugar

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.

Blend your ingredients together to make the frosting. I used a pastry bag for the first time last week when I made these for Valentines day. I had to end up asking my husband to take the pastry bag away from me, since mine didn’t look good. His looked lovely!

Now, if you want to add the Nutella, it does taste delicious, but it is time consuming. We took a melon baller, and scooped out the center. After each one was done, we then added the frosting. Like I mentioned earlier, my frosting job was a little frightening, so I had my husband make them look pretty.

 

 

 

country, Galleria, Happiness Project, orchard, Photography, San Luis Obispo Sites, San Luis Sunday, Winery

Cinquain Cellars

Beth and Dave Nagengast are the owners of Cinquain Cellars, which has some awesome wines. Cinquain Cellars is on the Pleasant Valley Wine Trail, and is open with an appointment. They are also open during our special weekend events that the trail offers.

This simple 5-line poem, called a Cinquain (pronounced sink-cane), embodies the spirit of Cinquain Cellars, from nurturing 10,000 vines on their estate vineyard, to crafting small lots of artisan wines for your pleasure and theirs. They like to think of their wine as bottled poetry and hope you will agree.

If you’re interested in knowing more, here you go…The owner and winemaker, David Nagengast, graduated from the Fresno State University Enology program in 1985 with the dream of someday having his own vineyard and winery. In 2000, the search for the perfect site culminated in the purchase of a small hillside property, overlooking Hog Canyon and the Estrella River basin from 1000-ft elevation, in the Northeast area of the Paso Robles Estrella Appellation. In 2002, the 14-acre vineyard was planted with 10,000 vines including nine different Bordeaux, Rhône, and Port varieties. In 2007, the construction of their simple 1200 square-foot winery was completed. And now, after 31 years of making wines professionally for a variety of small and medium sized wineries in Santa Cruz Mountains, Santa Clara County, and Oregon, the culmination of this dream is evident with the establishment of Nagengast Estate Vineyard, Cinquain Cellars and the availability of 1500 cases annually. Please, don’t be shy about making an appointment, they are happy to share their beautiful facility with you.

http://www.cinquaincellars.com/#contact

 

Here are some fun photos of the property…

Fountain of Youth, Galleria, Happiness Project, San Luis Obispo Sites, Wine Wednesday, Winery

Paint and Sip @ San Marcos Creek

Last month we had a great turn out for our paint and sip class.

Everyone did such an amazing job on painting their roosters. Everyone did a different back ground, and everyone had a rooster that seem to have it’s own personality. I love doing paint and sip classes, it’s fun, and really brings out the Michelangelo in everyone. I am not a good artist, and in fact, my painting is usually the worst one.

I hung mine up in the tasting room, and someone offered to buy it. I couldn’t sell it, but I did give it to them. I even wrapped it up for them. LOL! We are offering another class on the 20th of January. So, if you are interested in having a great time…You ought to come and join us for the fun, and let your creative juices flow. We will have some wine available as well as some light snacks. Seats are sold at CASA Dell ARTE.

Collections and Obsessions, Design, Galleria, Happiness Project, Museum Monday

Evgeny & Lydia Baranov

I own several pieces from this couple. They work together on their compositions. Which results in a dynamic feeling in the painting. The passion of the couple seems to leap off the painting.  

 
This is one of my favorites. People attending a masquerade ball. The red cape flying behind the gentleman as he greets his fellow friend donning a beautiful shade of green. The treo seem to be caught mid stride. Actions are conveyed through heavy brush strokes. Lingering too long at the painting allows the viewer to become a part of the action. Are you ready for the ball?

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Party!

I attended a great party last week! My husband and I had so much fun at the home of our great friends. Before the party there were hours spent at the salon.

Spending time at the salon is like passing time with good friends. Talking away for the hours like young girls. It is easy to forget that before leaving there is the  bill for all that beauty! Before going to the salon I drank lots of tea, and had some soothing honey to feel better. I was starting to feel a little under the weather. By the end of all my treatments, there was a second wind.

The party had music, and many of the people were new to us, but there were some that we already knew well. My husband and I would meet up, tag, and then we were off again to meet others, talk, and eat. There was lots of wine, and Italian food, and water.

We left the party just in time, just like Cinderella my time was gone. My nose started to run like a fire hydrant, and then my eyes started to water. It is a good thing my husband was driving because I was blinded by tears. IMG_3098Here I am in my red dress ready for the party. This undo is my favorite.

The day after the party I was not doing so well. I drug myself to take care of business the next day, but the past couple of days have been brutal. This little bit of typing is a bit of a struggle.

My husband and children got our tree, but it look like the ones our ancestors had…bare. Not one ornament on the tree. It smells nice…it is just naked! LOL!

Enjoy your holiday fun. I will try to make the best of it. I am just grateful for being able to sit up this evening, and that I can actually smell the Christmas tree.  Merry Christmas to you all, and if you don’t celebrate the holiday…I hope your spirits are bright and cheery for the season. Be positive and share joy!