By now you have likely heard about the damaging 6.0 earthquake that woke the residents of Napa and Sonoma wine country this past Sunday morning. I couldn’t let Wine Wednesday go by without sending out good energy and love to the people of that area, especially Napa, which was one of the worst hit spots. Napa continues to experience aftershocks, and from social media, it’s evident people’s nerves are frayed.

The people of wine country have always been incredibly welcoming to me in all of our visits, supportive of my blog, and many of them shared support both personally and on a larger scale via social media when Boston experienced one of its darkest hours. I feel a little helpless watching so many people I interact with on a daily basis go through such a scary time. While I will be in wine country in just a few days, I thought I would share a few ways to help with anyone who is interested.  If you know of anything additional, please feel free to share in the comments.

Napa Valley open for business

(Source – Visit Napa Valley)


Two organizations that I have seen spoken about are Napa’s food bank, Community Action Napa Valley, and the Red Cross, which is always a good option in a disaster.

Community Action Napa Valley

Red Cross of Napa Valley

Buy wine direct!

So many wineries lost wine and had damaged facilities. If you can, do good and drink well at the same time! At the end of the day, wine involves farming, science,  and artistry, and this quake coming at harvest time can have many layers of damage to the businesses involved in a place where tourism and so many other jobs rely on winemaking. Think of drinking wine as a way to help the economy!

Plan a trip to Napa Valley! It is open for business and ready to extend its world class hospitality.

Many beautiful wineries such as Trefethen have taken hard hits while many, many businesses were closed for at least the day after the earthquake. Wine country is the perfect getaway for food and wine lovers and is pretty ideal year-round.

For a few ideas you can visit the below blog posts and check out Visit Napa Valley.

Mumm Napa – a favorite!

Jessup Cellars – they had quite a bit of cleanup but are back at it again!

Napa & Sonoma Wine Country

Where to Stay in Wine Country – a few ideas for your home base

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Tags: earthquake, Napa, Napa Valley, outreach, wine

Our eighth anniversary seemed like the perfect time to have a farewell dinner at Hamersley’s Bistro in Boston’s South End. This spot has been an institution in the city for the 27 years it has been opened, and it will certainly be missed. Classics like this don’t come along often, and along with places like Icarus, Hamersley’s helped to define the South End as a dining destination. Gordon Hamersley, in his signature cap, is so well known and loved around the city. . . let’s hope his future continues to include gracing Bostonians with inspired cuisine and perfect wine pairings!


{Hamersley’s Bistro patio}

Commanderie de Peyrassol

{Cheers! Commanderie de Peyrassol rosé wine – pure summer in a bottle}

pork rillette

{Pork Rillettes with Figs and Raspberry Vinegar}


{Blackened Bluefish with Horseradish-Infused Beet Slaw and Smoky Maine Shrimp Butter}

Hamersley's roast chicken

{The famous Hamersley’s roast chicken! We had to have it, and I want to learn to make it!}

strawberry shortcake

{Strawberry Shortcake with Whipped Cream, Caramel and Aged Balsamic Glaze}


Hamersley’s Bistro was the perfect choice to toast to eight years married (11 years together!). Wishing Gordon and Fiona Hamersley the absolute best in their future!

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Tags: Boston, Food, Restaurants, South End

Well happy Friday! I am only working a couple of full weeks in August, and this was one of them. Getting used to taking Fridays off definitely makes the five day work week harder!

Luckily we have some delicious local produce to talk about today. Our Red Fire Farm CSA is bountiful and summery, bringing us tons of joy in addition to a lot of healthy local food. The past couple of weeks have yielded tons of tomatoes, eggplant, blueberries, peppers, peaches, chard, cabbage, lettuce, and more. Each week is such a fun surprise!

Red Fire Farm CSA

In the past week, I used dandelion greens for the first time, both in a salad with a honey balsamic dressing and goat cheese and in a frittata with eggs, local onions,  and parmesan cheese. Dandelion greens are SO good for you but are very bitter. Tailoring the ingredients around them to cut that bitterness makes them a flavorful delight. Aren’t they pretty?

dandelion greens

At a backyard BBQ over the weekend, I enjoyed peach margaritas made by my husband’s cousin. The peaches weren’t from our CSA, but they were as delicious as ours. I don’t know that there’s anything more summery than fresh peach margaritas. Here’s a peach margarita recipe from Bobby Flay.

peach margaritas

summer dinner at home

CSA veggies have made their way into just about every meal this week, lots of times in salads or on the grill. Above is from a night out in the garden, just the two of us and some great filets, grilled eggplant, salad, and a Lavau Côtes du Rhône Rosé 2013. It was the perfect summer meal, paired with an incredible wine. More Rhône Rosé love to follow on Wine Wednesday.

freezing vegetables for winter

Finally, I have been doing a little prep work for life beyond our CSA.  I have made and frozen some tomato and other veggie purees, hoping that sometime in January we can open them up and they will be like time capsules of summer. It’s a nice thought, anyway.

Enjoy your weekends!

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Tags: cocktails, cooking, CSA, dinner, farm, farm to table, Food, healthy, recipes. recipe, rose wine, summer, wine

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