As the stay-at-home order continues, many of us are taking to our gardens, our kitchens (and, for the Spring Cleaners among us, our closets). Yes, we’re rolling up our sleeves and DIYing our way through this strange, difficult time. Whether you’ve been donning baking gloves, picking up the pruning sheers or welding a spray bottle of cleaner, we can bet you’re learning the ins and outs of making your own everything, especially food. We’ve got 5 nifty pairings to add to your new self-reliant cooking “routine.” Yes, we’re using that word pretty light right about now!
1. Stress Baking Sourdough?
Loafing around never looked so hip. Who knew sourdough starter would become such a “thing” in 2020? A quick scroll through Instagram these days reveals loaves and slices galore. If you’ve fallen hard for this new bread baking craze, you know exactly how satisfying (and addictive) it can be to go carb crazy. But what to do with all those leftover sourdough heels? Take our advice: Make killer croutons and toss with whatever greens you’ve got left. If you don’t have a ton of fresh protein around, don’t fret: Try this smoked sardine caesar salad with pan croutons recipe with or without salami. I mean, who doesn’t have a dusty can of sardines in the pantry tucked away just in case of this sort of crisis? Pair with a fresh white, like Brecon Estate’s seafood-friendly 2018 Albariño, which features elegant white peach and nectarine fruit nuances on the nose.
Mapping and Directions to Brecon Estate click here
2. Comfort Craving Banana Bread?
I mean, who’s sweet tooth isn’t out of control right now? Yes, banana bread—the stuff of happy visits with grandma—is all the rage among millennials (and those who follow them on social media). Not only is this easy-to-make treat delectable for breakfast or a midday snack (especially when toasted and spread with a bit of butter) but banana bread also serves as a great way to up-cycle those deeply speckled, brown (OK, almost black) overripe bananas. This recipe indeed calls for bananas that are looking a tad worse for wear. We swear, it just makes the banana flavor that much more decadent! Triple the recipe and freeze some for a rainy day or gobble it down now paired with an acid-driven white. We like Kiamie Wines 2018 White Kuvee, which boasts a slightly creamy mouthfeel and smooth finish. Delish!
Mapping and Directions to Kiamie Wine Cellars click here
3. Simmering Stock?
Look at you, so resourceful! Long gone are the days of picking up a quick quart of chicken broth on the way home from work. With less trips to the supermarket in our future, we’re making our own stock (and it’s so incredibly delicious)! Simply freeze leftover ribs, chicken carcasses—even the eye of that long gone steak—and keep in a ziplock bag till you’re ready to boil. Toss in carrot tops, leftover shards of onion and those sad, wilted stalks of celery, too. Waste not, want not. Now you’re halfway to a sumptuous, comforting broth! Use your stock to braise chicken, add flavor to rice, make yummy gravy or create from scratch stews and soups. Pair this succulent braised chicken recipe with Cass Winery’s 2018 Grenache, brimming with dried wild flower and baking spice goodness. Hey, you earned it!
Mapping and Directions to Cass Winery click here
4. Casserole Crazy?
Calling Betty Crocker, she wants her recipe back. Even if you’ve never worn a frilly apron in your life, our guess is you’ve been taking a seriously hard look at every housewife’s go-to potluck staple. Hearty, crowd-pleasing and forever freezable, these workhorses of your meal-plan will provide leftovers for weeks (and weeks, and weeks). Whether topped with bacon or filled with tuna, these are not your mother’s casseroles we’re suggesting. Want to create the equivalent of a happy hug from the inside? Try this mac and cheese recipe made totally grown-up by the addition of sophisticated truffle oil and rich Gruyere cheese. Pair with Robert Hall’s 2017 Cavern Select Cabernet Franc, with flavors of vanilla, bramble and spice. I’d like to see the PTA president do that!
Mapping and Directions to Robert Hall Winery click here
5. Cocktail Curious?
Of course you are. 5 p.m. sure does come along quicker than usual, doesn’t it? Many of us (who are not heroic essential workers) are living in a perpetual version of groundhogs day. Zoom meetings can blur into each other and it’s been a while since any of us put on real pants, which creates a sense of “blah.” That’s why we feel it’s more important than ever to mark each part of your routine, from coffee and emails in the a.m. to an “afterwork” cocktail. In fact, many folks are hosting weekly cocktail hours with pals via zoom. Even if you’ve got a sparse bar, we bet you can whip up one of these drinks in a jiffy. Try Krobar Distillery’s Navy Strength Rum with fresh lime juice (just make sure to keep those pours in check—this is one surprisingly smooth, sailor approved libation).
BONUS! Cinco de Mayo Frozen Margaritas? Olé!
We imagine that right about now, you are craving something way different and exhilarating to help buoy your spirits and virtually share with friends. Local Paso Robles master gelatier, Leo Leo Gelato, to the rescue! You don’t have to wait for Cinco de Mayo to imbibe in these refreshing DIY tequila drinks. Simply mix 2 ounces of tequila with one of their ingenious sorbet flavors and blend away…salted glass rims? Yes, please!
Without question, these Cinco de Mayo influenced favors (that you can purchase by the pint), will put an extra cha-cha-cha in your step: ☻Pineapple and Charred Jalapeño Sorbet, ☻Strawberry Lime Sorbet, ☻Blood Orange and Charred Serrano Pepper Sorbet, and ☻Spicy Mango Sorbet.
Throw in a piñata, a bowl of guac and chips for a festive Zoom session with friends. (We hear that Facebook has launched a FREE, NEW Messenger Room Service that does NOT have time limits!)
We love to buy from local businesses, and Leo Leo Gelato is one of many that we support wholeheartedly. We know that you too will relish these satisfying, new takes on frozen margaritas.
This blog is written by flavor fiend Hayley Cain. Follow her @flavorslo on Instagram or at astoldbyhayley.com.
Looking for a place to stay in Paso Robles?
The Adelaide Inn is an iconic, locally owned hotel known for its friendly staff and lush landscaping. With spacious rooms and a convenient location close to highway 101 and the event center – home of the California Mid-State Fair – this hotel is a great choice for most travelers. TOUR VIRTUALLY
Majestically set among vineyards, olive groves and fruit baring orchards, the 20-acre Allegretto Vineyard Resort is a world unto itself, offering breathtaking settings that inspire and bring joy to all who choose this memorable wine country haven. Featuring 171 rooms and suites, on-site spa, grand ballroom, wine tasting room, and inspired culinary creations at Cello, the resort’s full service restaurant.
Wouldn’t you love to wake up among the vines? Eden House at Carriage Vineyards Bed & Breakfast is on a real working vineyard and longhorn ranch in the Paso Robles Wine Region. Our rooms overlook vineyards, creeks and oaks, right in the Paso Robles Wine Country of Central California.
Spend an idyllic getaway at Briarwood Cottage at ONX Estate Vineyards in an English-cottage inspired vineyard-side home. Guests may rent rooms in the main cottage, reserve the entire main cottage for a large group, or book the fully equipped apartment. Wake up to peaceful vineyard views and spend twilight hours sipping wine on the back porch of the cottage. It’s a time you won’t quickly forget. Contact us for pricing and availability (see form below). Case, 6 Bottle, and 4 Bottle Collective Members receive preferred pricing.
Hoyt Family Vineyard Retreats Two very cool, tiny houses, designed using fertile imagination and repurposing of materials are located on Hoyt Family Vineyard.
Hampton Inn & Suites Paso Robles is nestled in the Central Coast wine region, home to over 200 wineries, beautiful beaches, mountains and diverse attractions. Relax and revive in a comfortable guest room with all you need for a successful stay. You can count on Hampton to deliver value, consistency and service with a smile. We love having you here®
Enjoy the elegance, style and natural beauty of California’s Central Coast at the JUST Inn®. Surrounded by vineyards, our JUST Inn Suites offer luxurious appointments like fireplaces, Tempur-Pedic®mattresses, Frette linens, hydro-spa tubs, and range in size from 600–1,200 square feet. An overnight stay includes breakfast and a tour of the winery and caves. TOUR VIRTUALLY
La Bellasera Hotel & Suites is an elegant boutique hotel nestled in the heart of Central Coast Wine Country. Influenced by Mediterranean and Italian architecture, the luxurious accommodations reflect the aged sophistication of the Central Coast region and the relaxed nature of the California countryside.
Experience the pristine countryside of Paso Robles Wine Country at Lekai Ranch. Lounge on the porch of your private suite and lose yourself in the tranquility and stunning views of the vineyards and oak studded hills beyond. This vacation rental is located just minutes from some of the most distinguished wineries and a premier olive oil estate, and only 15 minutes from downtown Paso Robles’ restaurants, wineries and shopping. TAKE AN AERIAL TOUR
Oxford Suites Paso Robles You’ll find that from our lobby, our on-site restaurant, to our meeting spaces, to our 101 spacious suites, every space is beautiful + functional as well as comfortable + chic.
Peachy Canyon Guest Inn Sits above Peachy Canyon Winery + acres of vines at Mustang Springs Vineyard. The house has 2 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, living room, family room + panoramic views.
Paso Robles Vacation Rentals, also known as PasoStay.com assists guests in creating memories and wonderful experiences by providing quality privately owned vacation home rentals in Paso Robles Wine Country. With over 90 vacation homes to choose from, small enough for a couple’s romantic getaway to large homes amongst local vineyards and olive orchards, PasoStay.com has the perfect option for you. Feel free to call 805-423-9174 to talk with a local expert or book online at PasoStay.com.