Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Trip to Napa Valley

On the Mother’s Day weekend, we decided to take a trip up to Napa Valley in Northern California. About 90 miles north of where we live, it was a pleasant drive. Napa Valley is one of the premier travel destinations in the world. Breathtaking views abound at every turn, picturesque rolling hills planted with vineyards year-round and wineries of every stature dot the landscape.  Napa Valley is mainly famous for its wineries. From the world famous Robert Mondavi to Rubicon Estate (now Inglenook), each winery is unique in its beauty. For Wine lovers, Napa Valley is a heaven on earth destination.
Our first stop was Bosko’s Trattoria, an Italian restaurant in Calistoga; CA. Calistoga is about 30 miles from town of Napa. Bosko’s is famous for its authentic Italian food. The appetizers boast of tasty Garlic bread to addictingly delicious baked artichokes. Add to this your choice of Red or White wine. The garlic bread is probably one of the best I have had in any Italian restaurant. Each of their Pasta dishes boast of large servings with right use of sauces whether tomato cream or alfredo or marinara. 

Chicken Made with Alfredo Sauce

Spaghetti with red peppers in Marinara Sauce
On that day there was a vintage car show in downtown Calistoga. Sharing some pictures of Vintage Cars. 

Our next stop was the Rubicon (Inglenook Winery). The winery has links to the Coppolla family (Godfather fame). Here are some pictures. 

After a good lunch, we had to have some coffee with desserts. So we went to Bouchon Bakery which has some of the best desserts.

Napa is also famous for a well known French restaurant called The French Laundry. You need to book a table weeks in advance to have dinner. They grow their own vegetables. Here are some pictures.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Tea time treats

Today the recipes that I want to share with you'll are interesting and very yummy too:) It is special too as it is prepared by my dear Aunt,Mrs Neena Dewan, who prepared these yummy treats for us.When I tell you what it's made of , you are going to be just as pleasantly surprised as was I.  Enjoy these visual treats :))

Bread Idlee

Bread Idlee's
1 packet plain white bread
4 to 5 medium Potatoes
1 cup green chutney
1 stick butter
2 tsp red chili powder
2 tsp salt
1 tsp mustard seeds
4 to 5 curry leaves
1/4 cup fresh coriander leaves
200 gm Plain yogurt(curd)

Bread Idlees
1.Using a pizza or cookie cutter Cut out round 5 inch disc's from bread slices. Keep the sides of the bread aside.
2.Make sandwiches,by applying butter on bread and green chutney on the other round slice.
3.Boil potatoes,peel and mash them to create a stuffing for the sandwich.Add salt,red chili powder. Add 2 tbsp of  mashed potatoes to the round slices to  make sandwich.keep aside.
4.Heat a non stick pan,add butter.Next add in mustard seeds,curry leaves.Keep aside.
5.Beat some curd in a bowl.Add salt,sugar,pepper.Coat the top's of the prepared sandwich evenly with a spoonful of curd.
6.Heat each sandwich in the nonstick for 2 to 3 minutes, with the curd side up. Remove and garnish with mustard seeds ,curry leaves and serve hot.Enjoy these delightful sandwiches with hot tea and surprise your guests:)
 The best part is still to come...., guess the next dish??? a delicious pudding. As we relished the pudding we couldn't believe that it was made from leftover bread sides!!!how cool is that :))

Bread Halwa 
Bread Halwa
The sides of  remaining bread sides
1 tbsp clarified butter(ghee)
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups milk
1/4 cup dry fruits (cashews and walnuts )
1.Put remaining sides of bread into a blender, grind to a coarse powder.
2.Heat clarified butter.Add powdered bread ,stir 5 to 6 minutes on medium heat . Next add milk and sugar,continue stirring 3 to 4 minutes, remove into a star shaped cake tin mold. Garnish with nuts before serving.This bread pudding tastes so good and the best part those bread sides got recycled to make this halwa (pudding)
I loved both the recipes and am sure you'll will too :-)

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