Last month M<3 and I took a trip to California’s Wine Country.
We both love wine and thought a trip to Sonoma County and Napa Valley would be a great, long weekend getaway where we could relax, enjoy some delicious California reds, and refine our wine pallets.
We started our trip off with a tour of Lagunitas Brewery in Petaluma. This was, by far, the BEST brewery tour either of us had ever been on. The guide was engaging, the beer (and oh, there was a lot of beer) was delicious, and learning about the history of the brewery was fascinating. I highly suggest a visit to Lagunitas if you make your way to California. It’s quickly become our favorite brewery.
We also visited many wineries, including Buena Vista Winery, the oldest winery in California, Robert Mondavi (home to Mondavi’s high-end wines, not the cheap-mass produced bottles you find at your local wine shop), Failla Wines, which cellars its wines in caves within the mountains of Napa Valley, and a few other select wineries. All were wonderful. We split tasting at most wineries, which kept us even-keeled throughout the whole trip.
Over the weekend we enjoyed ourselves, indulged in some delicious red and white wines, relaxed and bought 5 bottles to ship home to Texas.
What surprised us during our trip though, is that most of the other winery visitors were at least twice our age — making us the youngest patrons at all of the wineries! We always knew we were old souls but we were surprised by this fact.
Evenings during our trip were a bit slow. We found that most of the attractions and shops within Sonoma (where we stayed) closed by 6pm. Restaurants, of course, remained open but after sipping wine all day our appetites were small.
We weren’t sure if shops were closed because most people had gone home after wine tasting all day (and passed out) or if the town just didn’t offer many evening activities.
During our trip, we indulged in some delicious, wine country food. The Girl & the Fig in Sonoma. We split a memorable goat’s milk cheese plate there one night for dinner and came back again the next evening to enjoy a true meal. I even came home with a fig spread to enjoy with our own cheese plates!
And of course, I couldn’t go on vacation without trying a local cupcakery. Healdsburg’s Craft Cupcakes was recommended to us but we were sadly disappointed with our choice of cupcake – the Cherry Almond – which tasted like nothing more than a vanilla cupcake.
Although many meals throughout our trip were wonderful, fresh and delicious, my Avocado & Egg Toast I had for breakfast at Sunflower Caffe in Sonoma stood out as a favorite — something I knew upon first bite that I had to make at home.
The breakfast is simple, light and refreshing with an added twist of a lemon-y ricotta smeared beneath a layer of avocado on a crusty multi-grain bread. The lemon added a brightness to the dish while the creamy, cool ricotta gave it a contrasting texture when compared to the chewiness of the bread.
Arriving back home in Austin, I immediately recreated this dish, of course, healthifying it some with a skim-milk ricotta so it could be enjoyed on a daily basis rather than as an indulgent vacation breakfast.
Here’s my version of Sunflower Caffe’s Avocado & Egg Toast – though I call mine, the California Breakfast. It isn’t as grand of a meal as Sunflower Caffe’s but I am definitely willing to bet on the flavor and the ease of which it comes together during a weekday morning rush!
- 1 slice Oroweat, Health Nut bread, toasted
- 1/4 cup fat free ricotta cheese
- 1 hard boiled egg, sliced
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1/4 of an avocado (about 1 ounce)
- salt and pepper to taste
- White Lemon Balsamic Vinegar, optional
In a small bowl, mash the avocado and set aside.
In a separate bowl, stir together the ricotta, lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt & pepper to taste.
To assemble, spread your toast with the avocado, layer on the lemon-y ricotta followed by slices of the egg. Sprinkle with more salt & pepper to taste and a drizzle of balsamic.
Serve with a side of fruit for a complete meal.
Nutrition: 260 calories, 26g carbs, 11g fat, 17g protein,