Happy Monday all! Today has been such a busy, but, FUN day for a Monday. I started off with a dirty latte, then, PHENOMENAL FOOD at Rutherford’s Grill, a “little” tasting at Mumm and finished with a delicious new recipe ~ Turkey Cranberry Meatballs in an Apricot Merlot Glaze or what I am calling, Thanksgiving in a ball!
P.S. On days like today, points just can’t count. ~ so glad they are far and few between 😉
This morning, I only had “dirty” thoughts when I woke up 😉 Ha, get your minds out of the gutter…you all should know me by now, I am talking about this beauty.
~ Grande, Fat Free, Decaf, 1 Pump Mocha = Dirty Latte!
I didn’t really eat anything else for breakfast because I knew we were taking an early lunch and going to Rutherford’s Grill. I have heard so many amazing things about this place and I couldn’t wait to try it. Just check out THEIR MENU and you will see what I mean.
I have no shame…I totally played “tourist” and snapped away 😉
I bet their fire pit looks awesome a night.
Our fall weather has been so warm (in the 80’s) and today was no exception ~ I LOVE how they have seating outdoors right across from the vineyards.
Harvest Tea that they make ~ it had hints of apple, but, really I am not sure what was in there at all. It was delicious and not sweet.
I think the ONLY way to test out new places to eat is to order up and share. So glad my co-workers agreed since we picked 3 appetizers and 3 entress 😀
Spinach Artichoke Dip ~ Parmesan like and well it has spinach so it’s healthy, right? I kid 😀
“Hacked” Chicken Salad ~ Julienned jicama, arugula, local greens, cilantro,
And rotisserie chicken with honey-lime vinaigrette and peanut sauce.
I have to say I LOVED all the different texgtures, crunchy, chewy, salty, sweet with hints of curry and herbs. By far one of the BEST salads I’ve ever had in Napa and I’d totally come back just for this alone….
OH and their freakin’ FANTASTIC SKILLET CORN BREAD!
Warm, cheesy, buttery, crunchy, crispy, melt in your mouth with hints of green chiles good!
I definitely need to work on re-creating that corn bread ~ I cannot even begin to describe to you all how good it is!
My plate with salad & bread x’s 2.
Entree # 1 I never made it around to trying ~ Rotisserie Chicken Sandwich.
Banger’s and Mash ~ Local Made Sausages (think chicken/apple and Italian) with spicy mustard and herbed mashed potatoes.
Can I just say they were “bangin’”?! LOL I have 1/3 of each sausage and like all the potatoes.
Entree #3 ~ Their take on a veggie burger! It was delicious and I could totally eat just the patty alone. It had brown rice, black beans, cranberries, herbs and more. I managed 1/3 of this before I had no more room.
After eating wayyyyy too much food, we had to stop at Mumm for a tasting and to pick out the Champagne for our holiday party.
Their winery and views are BEAUTIFUL and I honestly LOVE all the fall colors coming out in the grape leaves. I had to resist stopping on our drive over and snapping pictures like every 5 seconds.
You have the option of doing your tasting in 1 of 3 rooms, including outdoor on the patio overlooking the vineyard.
I already thought I LOVED Mumm because of their 2 for 1, but, I found out I could LOVE them even more when they decided to give us an industry discount on the champagne for our holiday party. I think it’s awesome when other businesses support local businesses.
They have a formal menu, but, the tasters really listen to what you like/don’t like and bring out several different options for you to try.
I also learned so much about how Champagne is made and things that are important like:
* the smaller the bubble the smaller the headache
* the sweeter the champagne, the bigger the headache
They give you these delicious light buttery crackers to “cleanse” your pallet in between tastes.
The first selection they brought out was made by/for Carlos Santana. I really WANTED to like it because he actually comes out to taste it/determine how sweet the champagne should be, but, in the end, Carlos didn’t win our hearts.
I LOVED the little mini champagne decor.
Did you all know there is actually RED Champagne using Red Wine Grapes?! I had no clue, but, I totally wanted to pick this one for color alone 😉
So many options…..
So little time 😉
Another “bathroom” shot. You know, I had a full on conversation with my co-worker that places like to put quotes in the bathroom just so people like me will take pictures of them 😉 LOL….I know I am NOT the only one 😀
It was such a fun way to spend the afternoon, but, I was pretty much NOT hungry the rest of the day. That actually worked out perfectly because I had to whip up an appetizer for tonight’s Better for you Holiday ~ Taste and Tweet. I can’t take all the credit for this idea though, it’s simply a spin on this recipe with what I had on hand and a few flavor additions.
These tasty little meatballs turned out even better than I envisioned. They are perfect as an appetizer or an an entree. You can definitely taste the fresh thyme, the seasoned bread crumbs, cranberries, Apricot and Merlots. The flavor combination tastes just like you’ve scooped up a little stuffing, cranberry sauce and turkey all in one bite!
THANKSGIVING IN A “BALL”
3 Tbsp. Butter or Margarine like, I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!, divided
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
1 large celery stalk, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 lb. extra lean ground turkey
1 large egg
1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs (or make your own)
1/4 cup dried cranberries, chopped
1/2 tsp. finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 cup organic fruit only apricot preserves
2 Tbsp Merlot (something you’d drink)
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
Additional thyme, cranberries and flaked sea salt as toppers, optional
1. Melt 2 tablespoon butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and cook onion, celery and garlic, stirring frequently, 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
2. Combine ground turkey, egg, bread crumbs, cranberries, onion mixture, thyme, salt and pepper in medium bowl; shape into 40 (1- inch) meatballs.
3. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in the same skillet and brown 1/2 of the meatballs over medium heat, turning frequently, 7 minutes or until golden brown and almost cooked. Remove meatballs and set aside; repeat with remaining meatballs.
4. Combine the preserves, merlot and cider vinegar. Return meatballs to skillet, then stir in apricot glaze. Cook over medium heat, stirring gently, 5 minutes or until sauce is thickened and meatballs are cooked.
5. Top with additional thyme, cranberries and flaked sea salt and Enjoy!
Although, I have not tested this, I think you could definitely make these ahead of time and keep warm on low in your crock pot serving with a container of toothpicks on the side.
Makes 40 meatballs
Nutritional information per TWO meatball serving, ONE Point+ EACH
STEP BY STEP
Melt you butter in a large skillet.
Meanwhile, use your handy dandy food processor or mini chopper to finely dice your onion, celery and garlic.
Add your celery mix to your butter and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
While your celery mix cools slightly, add all your ingredients to make your meatballs and mix with a spoon or your hands.
I like using my 1 inch cookie ball scooper to make sure all my “balls’ are the same size.
As you roll them place them on a cookie sheet sprayed with nonstick spray.
Add a little more butter to the pan and brown your meatballs on each side, about 7 minutes. You will need to do this in two batches unless your pan is big enough to hold 40 meatballs.
Make your glaze by whisking together your apricot preserves, merlot and cider vinegar.
Once all meatballs are browned, pour the glaze over them and continue cooking over until the glaze thickens and the meatballs are cooked through, about 5 minutes.
Since I served them up as appetizers, I used toothpicks, a little fresh thyme and cranberries to decorate. I also like scooping a little extra sauce on each meatball.
Dinner involved a few meatballs and this Creamy Butternut Squash Soup. It’s so easy to make and filling.
Phew! That didn’t seem like a long post when I was thinking about putting it together 🙂 Ha!
Tomorrow is another fantastic day ~ Work, Boot Camp, stopping to visit Annie The Baker then, it’s Biggest Loser Night! I cannot wait!