Saturday, July 31, 2010

Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

As far as I'm concerned, ranch dressing is one of the wonders of the world. It is a wonderful, magical substance that comes out of a bottle and that taste cannot be replicated outside of the processed food world. However, it turns out may not be the case...

I had some buttermilk I needed to use up, and figured I would bake something (scones, most likely), when I stumbled upon this recipe for buttermilk ranch dressing. Hm... could it be? I knew I had to give it a chance.

 Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

1/2 cup mayonnaise (light is OK)
1/2 cup sour cream (non-fat is OK)
1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 Tbsp. lemon juice
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 small bunch chives, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped (I used minced jar garlic)
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. dill (optional)

Combine all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor starting and blend for 10 seconds. Check the consistency and taste and blend in additional buttermilk as desired. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Adapted from Annie's Eats, original recipe here.

It was so fresh and absolutely delicious!! I ended up adding about a teaspoon of dill. While I don't think the dill is a traditional "ranch" flavor, it definitely worked and added a bit of complexity. And I am definitely going to make this again with some fresh, finely diced bacon bits, or finely diced cucumber as well.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Peach and Prosciutto Salad

Sometimes I have recipes bookmarked for a long time, waiting for the perfect opportunity to try them. And sometimes, you could say I just happen to stumble upon them. This would be one such such recipe.

I am signed up for a number of different recipe mailing lists that email you a different recipe each day. One of them is Cooking Light, who sent me an email of "13 No Cook Meals" the other day. Being as hot as it's been lately, I was all for some "no cook" ideas. I opened it and the first thing I saw was a peach and prosciutto salad. We still had peaches from the cobbler, and prosciutto from the gratins lying around, so I took it as a sign that this needed to be made immediately.

Peach and Prosciutto Salad

4 cups mixed spring greens
2 large, ripe peaches
3 slices prosciutto, torn into strips
1/2 cup feta cheese
1/4 sunflower seeds (shells removed)
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Fresh ground black pepper

Wash spring greens and divide onto 2 large plates. Pit and slice peaches, leaving skin intact for texture. Arrange over spring greens. Top with strips of prosciutto. Sprinkle with feta cheese, sunflower seeds, and black pepper to taste. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and olive oil, and serve immediately.

Adapted from Cooking Light, original recipe here.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Scallops Gratin

Every so often, I try a recipe that I have high expectations for, and it ends up absolutely blowing those expectations away. This recipe was certainly one of them. Seafood? Garlic? Butter? Wine? I didn't see how it could be anything but delicious... but I wasn't prepared for exactly how awesome it turned out. It is extremely impressive for how easy it is.

Scallops Gratin

3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3 large cloves of garlic, minced
1 medium shallot, minced
1 ounce thinly sliced prosciutto, minced
1 Tablespoon dry parsley (or fresh)
1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup Panko
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 pound bay scallops, patted dry
Lemon, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 425. Place 3 gratin dishes on a sheet pan and place 1 Tablespoon of white wine in the bottom of each dish.

In a small bowl, combine the butter, garlic, shallot, 1 Tablespoon of the white wine, prosciutto, parsley, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Use a fork to combine, mashing as you go. Drizzle in the olive oil, and continue to combine. Fold in the panko and set aside.

Use a paring knife to remove the muscle from each scallop. Divide the scallops evenly among each dish, and spoon the butter mixture over the tops.

Bake 10-12 minutes, or until the topping is golden brown and sizzling, and the scallops are just barely done. For a crispier top, turn on the broiler for the last 1-2 minutes.

Remove from oven and finish with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and the remaining parsley. Serve immediately with crusty French bread.

Adapted from Pink Parsley- recipe here, originally from The Barefoot Contessa.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Peach Cobbler

I hope everyone had a good weekend!

Ours was relaxing, but went by too fast (as always). We enjoyed a quiet night in on Friday. On Saturday, we had a family reunion on H's mom's side of the family, which was great fun. The food was absolutely delicious, and it was really good to see a lot of family we haven't seen since our wedding (almost a year ago- when did that happen??). And then we enjoyed a nice (albeit crazy hot and humid) night out on the boardwalk with some of H's cousins. Sunday was more relaxing, but with a trip to the farmer's market for some Jersey fresh tomatoes (and peaches) and the beginning of my next project.

This is one of the two matching nightstands we currently have in the guest room. They're from IKEA and we got them when we first moved into our first apartment. They have since been banished to the guest room, and I didn't feel the oak finish was working in there. I decided they would look a whole lot better all pretty-ed up in a really pale spring green.

So here are the two drawers in their new color. I'm super excited about it, I'm positive they'll look great when they're all done. I also got some new hardware for them at Lowe's, that looks just like those super cute and fancy ones from Anthropologie. Score!

But unfortunately, that's all I can show you for now... because that's all I've done so far (I know, I'm easily distracted)! Those peaches we picked up at the farmers market were calling my name, begging me to turn them into this:

Peach Cobbler

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar, divided
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 cups fresh peach slices
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon 
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg 


Melt butter in a 13- x 9-inch baking dish.
Combine flour, 1 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt; add milk, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Pour batter over butter (do not stir).
Bring remaining 1 cup sugar, peach slices, and lemon juice to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly; pour over batter (do not stir). Sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg.
Bake at 375° for 40 to 45 minutes or until golden brown. Serve cobbler warm or cool.

from Southern Living, on Original recipe here.

It was super-easy, and absolutely delicious. I halved the recipe, because somehow I knew we'd probably devour the whole thing in one sitting. I also used skim milk, which didn't affect it at all. All in all, a wonderful way to use up fresh peaches!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

New Recipe- Zucchini and Ricotta Fritters

Even though I enjoy really cooking, I tend to struggle when trying to think of things to make for dinner most nights. I do create a meal plan in the beginning of the week, but it's a long, drawn out (and sometimes torturous) process. In short- I lack inspiration.

So I've been scouring cooking blogs lately. And I know this must sound absolutely ridiculous, but I've never truly realized how many recipes are out there that I want to try. I know, I know, have I been living under a rock? Apparently. But I've compiled quite the list and I'm excited to get started with some fresh inspiration.

And without further ado, I present the new recipe of the week... Like quite a few people do this time of year, we have a number of zucchinis on hand. So during my blog-searching, I was looking for something that I could maybe possibly use them up. I came across these Ricotta and Zucchini Fritters on Pink Parsley, and was definitely intrigued.

They were delicious! The only problem I had was that I didn't measure the breadcrumbs (oops), so I probably could have used a bit more, and they would have stayed together a little better.

I served the fritters over a spring green salad with cherry tomatoes, jumbo lump crab meat, lemon wedges, and a simple balsamic and olive oil dressing. It was a delicious, light summer meal. Perfect!

Friday, July 16, 2010

New Recipe Review- Key Lime Pie

For my new recipe this week I decided to make Key Lime Pie. H's parents, brother, and aunt were coming over for dinner and I needed a dessert. I'm kind of "known" for making cupcakes, so I wanted to do something unexpected. I wanted something easy and summery and thought key lime pie would be perfect. I didn't have a recipe bookmarked for a while, so I turned to good old Google (and made sure it had a couple good reviews). Here is the recipe I found, on and it seemed to fit the bill. 

It was super easy to make, which surprised me a bit, and turned out to be absolutely delicious! I did have to use regular limes, because my grocery store didn't have Key limes but I couldn't taste a difference. This is definitely something I will be making again!

And bonus- the directions for the crust definitely made more than needed for a 9" pie dish, so I got to shove heaping spoonfuls of graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and sugar into my mouth. You can't beat that :) Below is the original recipe from, with my changes in italics.


16 graham crackers, crushed
3 tablespoons sugar
1 cube (1/4 lb) margarine or butter

4 large or extra large egg yolks
1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup fresh key lime juice (approximately 12 Key limes) (I used regular limes- needed about 4)
2 teaspoons grated lime peel, green portion only

Whipping Cream For Garnish
1/2 cup whipping cream
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla


Mix the ingredients and press them into a 9" pie plate. Bake in a preheated 350F oven for 10-12 minutes until lightly browned. Place on a rack to cool.

Pie Filling:
Use an electric mixer and beat the egg yolks until they are thick and turn to a light yellow, don't over mix. Turn the mixer off and add the sweetened condensed milk. Turn speed to low and mix in half of the lime juice. Once the juice is incorporated add the other half of the juice and the zest, continue to mix until blended (just a few seconds). Pour the mixture into the pie shell and bake at 350F for 12 minutes to set the yolks and kill any salmonella in the eggs.

If you are using the whipping cream garnish, prepare the cream. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream. (I spread the whipped cream on top of the entire pie before serving to pretty it up, as the shell was only 3/4 filled and it looked a bit empty and sad)

One Sweet Surprise

Whoo hoo! I won something! I actually won something. I can't believe it, I've never won anything before!

Alright- back up a little- I've been reading Sarah's blog Pink of Perfection for quite a while. I love her recipes, style, entertaining ideas, and just her nod to the simple pleasures in life. And when I saw there was a give-away for the cookbook Booze Cakes, my heart may have skipped a beat. I love booze (what can I say?) and I most definitely love sweets, so in my mind it doesn't get much better than that (as you may have guessed). I entered, and didn't give it a second thought. When I got an email the next day saying that I had won, I did a little happy dance in my chair. And when the book came the very next day(!) I may have even let out a bit of a squeal.

Naturally, I had to make something right away. I flipped through the book, book-marking almost every other recipe and marveling at all the wonderful ideas. I asked H to help narrow it down, and he chose the Mudslide Cake. It is two layers of chocolate cake with a hint of coffee and Irish cream, Irish cream whipped cream between them, and and Irish cream caramel sauce to top it off and covered in chocolate shavings. WOW. Good pick, H :)

This was truly delicious, and I can't wait to make the next one!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A Little Makeover

I gave my blog a bit of a makeover today... I felt the old layout was getting too "cutesy" and I was over all that brown! I decided to make my own header, and play up the word "slice" in the title, by going with a piece of pie. And since this has turned into a cooking blog more often than not, I figured that would be perfect. I'm loving the clean, simple look right now. What do you think?

Friday, July 9, 2010

Patio Furniture Makeover

Remember the spray-painting patio furniture project?

Well, I had finished up the painting a few weeks ago, but I was putting off posting pictures because I had yet to find the perfect cushions for them (and of course I need the full shebang!). Have you ever looked for patio cushions in June? Seriously... they are everywhere in April/May, but good luck with that after summer actually hits! But H noticed they had got a new shipment of them at Lowe's one day, so off we went. I found some that I really liked, and voila! Here is the final result of our patio furniture makeover :) What do you think??

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Vacation Art

I love the print we bought on our honeymoon, which now hangs above our sofa. Besides the fact that it's bright and cheery and I love the color and style, it reminds me of our honeymoon every day. So much so that I asked H what he thought about picking up a piece of artwork on each vacation we go on as a souvenir. I like the idea because they'll be things that we see every day, to remind us of the memories of each trip we go on together. And what did I know (surprise, surprise), him being the amazing husband that he is, agreed!

So on our recent trip to California, we picked up a few pieces. The first is from Studio 6 in the Mission Village in Balboa Park, San Diego. It's called "Date Night" (how fitting!) and it's by Michelle Gonzalez. We bought a mat and frame for it and put it above our wine and beverage cart (maybe someday wine fridge... ) in the dining room. It looks perfect there! I love the color; the yellows and blues tie it in with the colors in the open living room (basically one big room), while it's a bit warmer, which I think works in the dining room.

The other pieces we got were from Studio Gallery in San Francisco. We bought a (self-created) series of three lithographs by Linda Pederson. They are cute, clean, fun little images of asparagus, beets, and a pineapple. The colors in the three pieces work perfectly together, you never would have known that they weren't created for each other. I was thinking these would go perfectly in the kitchen (they're food after all!), but I don't think they'd work on the blue wall, so I'd have to find space on the white wall- which is limited. They are currently in a vertical row to the left of our cabinets, but I'm thinking they look a bit cramped there and I may look for another spot.

New Recipe Review- Cherry Tomato Salad and Turkey Cheddar Burgers

It's been so hot lately (we've had 3 days straight of highs in the lower 100's), that I haven't been in the mood to do a whole lot of cooking this week. We have mostly been grilling outside as to not heat up the house, and I think my brain may be quite fried as well. So what to do for my new recipe this week? Well, the answer is to kind of take the easy way out...

I made both of these dishes before, so I'm not sure if this is cheating, but I have never used these recipes before, so I'll say it's not. Well... that and I'm the one who makes up the rules!

The recipe for Turkey Cheddar Burgers is from Epicurious and can be found here. I usually make turkey burgers with a bit more add-in's- egg, breadcrumbs, ketchup, garlic, Worcestershire, etc. in addition to the salt, pepper, and onion (shallot in this case)- so I admit I was a little nervous about a possible lack of flavor. I also forgot to make the sun-dried tomato mayo with this (told you my brain is fried), so instead we used ranch dressing as a spread, and topped them with more cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, and slices of avocado.

They were good, especially on the grill! Probably not what the recipe intended, as I turned them into somewhat of a Southwestern burger, but I liked them. The cheddar melted inside the burgers, so that definitely gave them the flavor I was hoping for. And the extra sliced cheddar on top gave them the cheesiness I need in a burger. I would probably add Worcestershire sauce next time though... or make them with beef, not sure if turkey was as "meaty" as I felt these should be.

The recipe for Cherry Tomato Salad is from Annie at Annie's Eats can be found here. It was a couple more steps (for me anyway) than the usual tomato-cucumber-feta salad, but it was well worth it! Letting the tomatoes sit in the salt and sugar definitely brought out their flavor, in addition to the juices. The salad was so light and flavorful, definitely a perfect summer side dish.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

New Recipe Review- Salmon Burritos with Chile Roasted Vegetables

For my new recipe last week, I tried Salmon Burritos with Chile Roasted Vegetables from The ingredients were different, and the combination sounded interesting to me, so I figured I'd give it a try.

I didn't make many changes. I used chili powder instead of the dried chiles, since I couldn't find them in my grocery store. I also added some shredded pepperjack cheese to them at the end, since a burrito is not a burrito without cheese, as far as I'm concerned. The salmon also needed to cook more than the recipe said, I actually doubled the time.

Although I never would have thought to put these ingredients together in a burrito, but they turned out really well. The cabbage gave it a nice crunch, and it had a lot of flavor. It was really hearty and filling. I'd definitely make them again.

Monday, July 5, 2010

New England Clambake- Right at Home

Happy Fourth of July (weekend)! Hope everyone is having a safe and enjoyable weekend :) So far, we've had time with friends, both of our families, multiple barbecues, and the beach! And so, we're taking it a bit easy today. How was your weekend? Any celebrations?


H and I started the weekend off with a bang and had a couple friends coming over for a barbeque Friday. I was dying to try something different; I didn't want to do the usual hamburgers/hot dogs/chicken, and the last time they came over we had seared ahi tuna steaks on the grill (yum), so I didn't want to do that again either. So after a bit of searching, I found a recipe for a backyard clambake from Rachael Ray. Hm, now we're talking!

Her recipes tend to be pretty hit or miss with me, but I was hoping this one would work out! It looked surprisingly easy, and I figured it would taste great on our charcoal grill. I didn't make many changes- except that I used all the same type of clams (just littleneck instead of littleneck and steamers), dried thyme instead of fresh, and well, didn't really measure too much. I just used what we had/seasoned to what looked good. It turned out really well! Everyone was satisfied, and it really tasted great on the grill.

I was also inspired by another Rachael Ray recipe, Blackberry Ginger Sour Highballs, for our drinks. I didn't make this exact one, because, well, it sounded too difficult. That and I was nervous the blackberry syrup at the bottom being too, ah... chunky. Nothing ruins a good drink for me faster than pulp or seeds. Strawberry smoothies? Gross. Pulpy orange juice? Gag me with a spoon. Anyway... I decided to make a mix of three quarters lemonade and one quarter club soda, and then mix that with the gin. I froze black berries to use as ice cubes, so it was kind of a blackberry gin lemonade.

Throw in a salad, and some deliciously, perfectly sweet summer watermelon and you have yourself a summer feast!

Friday, July 2, 2010

The Great Doughnut Cupcake Experiment

A couple weeks ago, before we left on our trip, it was H's birthday. I meant to blog about this before but things got so hectic, it had to wait.

But anyway... H likes doughnuts. Really, really likes doughnuts. And for his birthday, I decided I would bake him something he would really appreciate- doughnut-inspired cupcakes! So... I found these two recipes in my Martha Stewart Cupcake book, and decided they would be perfect. The first one is Boston Creme pie cupcakes and the second was called Strawberry Jam Teacakes (which isn't online) and I was going to do that one with a cinnamon-sugar topping, inspired by a jelly-filled doughnut.

Well, let me say the Boston Creme ones turned out fantastic! I did have to bake them a little less than 15 minutes (13 should be plenty), since they were starting to get a bit too dark. But the custard and the ganache, and everything together- YUM!

The teacakes on the other hand... didn't exactly turn out. I followed the recipe exactly- which said to fill each tin with 2 T. of batter, 1 T. of jam, and then the rest of the batter on top- but the bottoms completely collapsed out when I tried to get them out of the pans.

  (the batter and jam, ready to be topped off)

(hm... not exactly what I was expecting)

(oh well!)

Don't worry, they didn't go to waste! I topped them with powdered sugar and we ate them like that. Still delicious!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Back in Business! (aka the longest post ever)

So I have been MIA (again), as you can see.

But... I have a better excuse this time! H and I just got back from a bit of a road trip we took to California. It's somewhere that we've always wanted to go, and were excited to see as much as we could. So, we flew into San Diego, rented a car, stayed there a few nights, drove up to Los Angeles, stayed there a few nights, drove out to Yosemite, stayed there, then San Francisco, and then Napa. Whew, it was quite a trip!

I figured I would share a little (OK, a whole lot!!) about the trip and some of my favorite pictures.

First of all, I loved San Diego, it's a gorgeous city- from the weather to how clean it is to the views, to everything! The first evening, we drove to the other side of the Bay to the La Playa area. We had dinner at Point Loma Seafoods (we split a crabcake sandwich and the shrimp Louie salad). We then hiked down to the beach at Sunset Cliffs, and had an incredible view there.

We spent the entire next day in Balboa Park and if we had more time, I think I could have spent another day there. There are so many museums, attractions, and gardens there that no matter what you're interested in- from the Museum of Natural History to the Air and Space Museum to the Museum of Photographic Arts- there is something for you.

We chose to do the San Diego Zoo- which was awesome. We went early, before it got too hot, and the animals were so active! They are usually sleeping and hidden from view most times I have been to zoos. (I think it was near feeding time for a lot of them as well, and I'm sure that helped.) We also went to the Spanish Village, the Rose and Cactus Garden, Museum of Man, the Japanese Friendship Garden, and the Koi Pond and Botanical Garden. We had lunch at the Cafe at Sculpture Court in the SDMA, which was delicious (I had a grilled shrimp and mango salad with feta and toasted almonds, and H had a grilled portobello sandwich with fresh mozzarella and arugula on focaccia).


That evening we went to the Altitude Sky Lounge at the top of the Marriott at Gaslamp Quarter for a couple drinks, which had awesome views of the city. We were lucky enough to have a Padres game going on at Petco Stadium below as well, which was great to see.

The next morning, we had brunch at La Puerta in Gaslamp, which has authentic Mexican food and $1 mimosas! The food was delicious and the decor was really cool. I had the carne asada and egg burrito and H had a pork pozole. The homemade chips, salsa, and salsa verde were awesome as well!

Then we made our way up stopping at Mission Beach and La Jolla. Mission Beach was cool, but very touristy. We walked along the boardwalk for a while, then the beach, and then wandered around the amusement pier, taking in the sights. In La Jolla, we hung out on the beach and then went kayaking in the caves, which was incredible. I wish we had a waterproof disposable camera to take pictures of the caves and the sea lions on the rocks, but unfortunately we didn't. But trust me, it was gorgeous!

After that, we made our way north to Los Angeles, stopping in Laguna Beach for dinner and a sunset. Laguna Beach was pretty, but very upscale and we were certainly underdressed for almost everywhere. We ended up just getting pizza (and my suspicions were confirmed- NY/Phila/NJ pizza > Laguna Beach pizza), but the pizza place served giant glasses of wine and we were able to sit on the front patio and people-watch, so who was I to complain.

The next day in Los Angeles, we hit all the touristy Hollywood places- the Chinese Theater, walk of fame, the Wax Museum, and the Grove. Got some great "celebrity" pictures in :) We also did a bit of traveling up and down the Pacific Coast Highway for some views, which was great. We spent some time at the beach and lagoon in Malibu.

Then we went to Venice Beach for dinner, as we stayed in Marina Del Ray away from the downtown area and it was close to our hotel. That night was... interesting. The place that we went for dinner was a Swiss (cuisine) pirate (that's how the waitresses were dressed) beer garden (that's what they called themselves). And for drinks after that, we somehow ended up at what I can only describe as a hippy motorcycle bar. Yeah, I never thought those two could go together- but it does exist.

The next day we went to Joan's on Third for breakfast (delicious- I had a NY breakfast sandwich with egg, cheese, and bacon on sourdough and H had chocolate French toast) and stocked up on cupcakes for later. We then did a WB studio tour, which was a lot of fun. Touristy, of course, but they had a lot of soundstages and sets of movies and TV shows and it was really informative. They also had a costume and prop museum (that you can only get to by doing the tour) and the entire top floor was Harry Potter related costumes and objects (the real things!). Unfortunately, you weren't allowed to take pictures there, but I was in heaven :P

We had the obligatory In-N-Out burgers for dinner, and called it an early night to be able to get up for the trip to Yosemite at 6AM.

The next day we drove up to Yosemite, which only took about 5 hours, rather than the 6-7 we were planning on. We stayed at the Wawona Hotel, which is the farthest west and south so I'm sure that helped. We did three trails at Yosemite (only stayed 2 days)- the meadow trail, which was easy, but not much meadow; the Mariposa Grove of giant sequoias, which was really cool to see; and the Chinaluna Falls trail, which was 9 miles total and provided awesome views. We aren't terribly out of shape, but we're no athletes either, so I was super proud of us for that one! (the mountain/hump in the third picture below is where we hiked to!)

All in all, Yosemite was gorgeous. June is the perfect time to go, as that's when all the snow up in the mountains is melting and the falls are at their strongest. It's also when most of the wildflowers are in bloom. We drove up to Glacier Point as well, and the views were absolutely breath-taking.

After we left Yosemite, we drove out to San Francisco. We stayed on the border of the Nob Hill area and the Financial District, which was pretty nice. Our first day we took the cable cars down to Hyde Street Pier, Fisherman's Wharf, and Pier 39. The food was great- we had chowder in a sourdough bread bowl, and a giant ice cream sundae at Ghirardelli Square. There were lots of cute shops and it was great to see the sea lions on the Pier.

We got some exercise walking back to Lombard Street (the line for the cable car at the Wharf was ridiculous!), which is the most crooked street in the city. Crazy! A couple blocks later was Filbert Street, the steepest street in the city. We stopped for some photo ops, then headed to Coit Tower. The stairs up to it were nuts! I'm not sure if we were still tired from Yosemite, but it was rough! But once inside, we found that sadly, the stairs were closed so you couldn't see the murals going all the way up the walls. The 360 views from the top were great though. And they had some murals to check out on the bottom floor.

Then we headed to the Ferry Building for dinner, which was great. We ate at Ferry Plaza Seafoods first, where I had shrimp spring rolls and DH had shrimp and avocado salad. We walked around, checking out the cute stores and snacked on a salted caramel donut, hazelnut macaroons, and a chicken empanada (I couldn't resist!).

The next day we took a tour of Napa. We booked the daily tour through Beau Wine Tours, and they really took care of us. We had to drive up to Napa, since they don't pick up in San Francisco, but they recommended a great hotel to meet us at, right in the downtown area. We stopped at Sweetie Pies Bakery (delicious and oh-so-cute inside) to fill up on carbs before drinking copious amounts of wine for breakfast, and then we were on our way. We were on the tour with another young couple, and an older couple with their two daughters. They were all really nice, the driver was friendly and informative, and we stopped at four wineries- Bourassa, Trefethen, O'Brein Estate, and Silenus. We also got a great lunch out of the deal, learned a lot, and picked up quite a few bottles of wine!

After they dropped us back off, we walked around downtown Napa for a bit before getting back on the road and check out all the cute stores and do some souvenir shopping (fine, and sober up!). We drove back over the Golden Gate Bridge (truly awesome!) and being the troopers that we are, decided the night was still young and walked down to Akiko for some awesome sushi.

And we had an early morning the next day, so sadly, that was our last day in San Francisco and of a wonderful vacation.