Posts tagged cheese
A Taste of the Finger Lakes: 1 Day, 8 Wineries.

Hello!! It's been a while, huh? I decided to take a short hiatus from blogging. October has been a very busy month at work, a very busy month in general, and sometimes I just can't do it all.  In addition to work, there's been some really great times this month. One of my best friends, Corinne, came to visit philly, I got to travel to Ohio for work and this weekend we were able to head to the Finger Lakes in New York! Next weekend, I'll leave October with a bang in the Philadelphia Rock 'n' Roll half marathon. There's been a lot to be thankful for and a lot to look forward to. 

The Finger Lakes: 1 Day, 8 Wineries

Michael and I left PA on Friday night after work to head up to New York. Our friends Andrew and Lauren invited us to stay at their relative's B&B in Hector, NY, which is right off of Seneca Lake. Oh man. It is GORGEOUS up there. We stayed in Lauren's family's guest house, which resembled a rustic barn. Complete with two horses in the backyard, and a labrador named Maisey, who was the coolest dog ever. 

IMG_0210Michael And Maisy: The Finger LakesWe started off Saturday morning with a big breakfast and a short hike down to the gorge led by Maisey. Side note - she picked up a semi-fresh deer leg in the woods on the way down. Yum! Maisey & Deer Leg Taking the Hector PlungeIMG_0180 IMG_0181After our hike, we quickly showered and got ready for a full day of wine tastings. Around Seneca Lake, there are more than 20 wineries. We made it to 8 of them in a time span of 6 hours...we made pretty good progress! I will say that we tasted so many wines, that I don't remember each one. I have a few absolute favorites and I will explain in pictures. We took a group photo at every stop so that we could look back and remember each winery we stopped at. A full day of wine tasting leads to a blurry memory...who would have thought? The best part about tasting wine in the Finger Lakes...each winery averages about $4 to taste 6 different wines. 

Stop 1: Lamoreaux Landing Wine CellarsLamoreaux Landing Wine Cellars

Lamoreaux was one of my favorites. The wines were all amazing and the view was picture perfect. My favorite wine at Lamoreaux was the 2012 76 West, a Bordeaux blend that combines Cabarnet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Listen to this description: Bright notes of blackberry and blueberries harmonize with aromas of luxurious vanilla and espresso. A classic steak wine or an accompaniment to Roquefort cheese. Um YES PLEASE.

Stop 2: Standing Stone VineyardsStanding Stone Vineyards

At Standing Stone, we went for a wine and cheese pairing, otherwise known as a match made in heaven. The cheese really changes the way that the wine tastes and it's so fun to try all of the different combinations. My favorite combo at Standing Stone was the Smokehouse Red wine paired with a spicy chipotle cheddar cheese. Lauren noted that she downed a whole bottle of this watching Magic Mike XXL, and I can definitely see why because it's so smooth, so I am now referring to this wine as the Magic Mike Wine. 

Stop 3: Hector Wine CompanyHector Wine Company

Hector Wine Company looked like a classy brewery inside. The atmosphere was great, but to me the wines weren't as memorable as the other wineries we stopped by. They definitely win for best logo design, though - I love it! 

Stop 4: Damiani Wine Vineyards Damiami Wine Cellars

We stopped for lunch before heading to Damiani Wine Cellars - perfect timing because at Damiami we were able to pair chocolate with the wine for desert! My favorite pairing was the black tea dark chocolate (INCREDIBLE) with the Cabernet Franc. Another match made in heaven. 

IMG_0244 Damiami Wine Cellars

Stop 5: Ryan William VineyardsRyan William Vineyard

Ryan William Vineyard might have been my favorite in terms of the tastings. Every single one I tasted was so different and SO amazing. The Chardonnay was incredible. I ended up purchasing a bottle of Pinot Noir Rose´. I usually hate drinking Rose´ because it's way too sweet for me, but this one was a game changer. Had to buy it. The guys even loved it and termed it 'Brose´' Ryan William Vineyard

I don't even know what's going on here.

Ryan William Vineyard

Clearly excited about my new wine...

Stop 6: Atwater Estate VineyardsAtwater Vineyards

Atwater was awesome. I loved the cozy atmosphere and in addition to the wine tasting, they added on a special treat of a mulled wine tasting at the end. Oh. My. Gosh. Amazing. Can't get much better than heated and spiced wine. Perfect for a winter night. Atwater VineyardsIMG_0302

Had to buy a shirt to remember this experience. No coincidence that I spent more money as the day went feels great when you're a little buzzed until you look at your bank account later! Woops. 

Stop 7: Chateau Lafayette ReneauChateau Lafeyette Reneau

Chateau Lafeyette Reneau was beautiful inside will high ceilings and a view overlooking the lake, but these wines were mostly too sweet for my liking with an exception to their Cabernet Sauvignon - it was amazing.

Stop 8: Hazlitt 1852 VineyardsHazlitt

Hazlitt was by far the most fun. Hazlitt is super quirky inside, with a taxidermy grape weasel on the wall (yes, I thought it was a real animal at first,) and popcorn served to go along with the wine tasting. So great. The wines here were great, too, but the music playing was even better, so I think we were mainly focused on singing out loud and feeling that wine. 

It was a weekend well spent with great company. No 'wining' over here! However, I'm very ready to get back into a routine this week.


XO - Rach

Let's chat:

What's your favorite wine?

Bloggers - have you ever needed to take a hiatus from blogging?

How was your weekend?


High Protein Breakfast Bowl

It's hump day (YAY two more days until the weekend) and I've got another yummy recipe for you! High Protein Breakfast Bowl

I started today bright and early with a 3 mile run. I've been absolutely loving my runs lately, in case you were wondering. I think what has made running so great in the last few weeks is getting to explore a whole new neighborhood. If you're ever in Philadelphia, take a day to explore the Mt. Airy, Chestnut Hill area - it's gorgeous! As much as I love being in the city, the new area that I live in is more suburban, and it's such a breath of fresh air. I don't have to wait to cross the streets in the mornings and the greenery is amazing. It's fun to run past all of the little bakeries, boutiques and little markets. I also like to run down the streets where the "millionaires" live - looking at the big homes takes my mind off of all the HILLS.

After running, I came back to shower real quick and didn't really have time to cook anything for breakfast, so I threw together this easy bowl before catching the train to work. The high-protein main ingredient is...cottage cheese! I didn't want to title this post "Cottage Cheese Bowl" because I have a feeling that a lot of people get grossed out by cottage cheese. You shouldn't be - it's delicious! And super versatile. And packs a punch of protein.

Anyway, I threw together about a cup of cottage cheese, 1/2 a banana, 1 small plum, blueberries, a handful of chopped walnuts, a sprinkle of coconut and a drizzle of honey. It's a refreshing breakfast or snack. I would much rather eat fruit with cottage cheese or ricotta cheese than yogurt - is that weird? Who cares. I LOVE CHEESE.

Okay enjoy :)


Cottage cheese - love it or hate it? 

How do you get your protein in the morning?


Creamy Mushroom Risotto & Pan Seared Chicken

This was only the second time that I've made risotto in my life. I'm not going to lie, it's kind of a pain in the ass. It's definitely easy to make, it just takes a while. But it's SO worth it. You'll feel fancy when you eat it, I promise. Once you learn the process, it's the exact same every time. The only thing that changes are the flavors or the add ins that you want to include. This time, I made it with onion, garlic, mushrooms and a bit of spinach for some pop of color. My favorite part about making this dish is that it tastes like there's a million pounds of butter in it. I didn't use one hint of butter. WIN! chickenrisotto1


Here's what you'll need: 

  • 1 1/2 cups of risotto (arborio rice)
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 2/3 cup dry white wine
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Vidalia onion
  • 4-6 cloves of garlic
  • 1 lb mushrooms
  • 1 1/2 cup chopped spinach
  • 4 thin sliced chicken breasts
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/4-1/2 cup of parmesan cheese (more or less depending on your preference. I used about 1/3 cup)
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • Fresh lemon to taste

Here's what to do: 



  • Chop everything first to get that out of the way!
  • Heat 2-3 tbsp of olive oil in a LARGE saucepan on medium heat
  • Add in mushrooms, onions and garlic
  • Sautee until onions are just about transluscent
  • Add in rice and stir to coat with olive oil. Let it cook until it has a golden color and looks a little translucent
  • Add in the white wine and stir constantly until the wine is fully absorbed
  • Here comes the pain in the ass part: add in chicken stock 1/2 cup at a time. Once your 1/2 cup is dissolved, add the next 1/2 cup and repeat until the full 6 cups are absorbed. Keep stirring throughout.
  • While the rice is cooking, heat a medium pan with cooking spray on medium heat.
  • Season chicken with kosher salt and pepper and add to pan. Cook about 3 minutes on each side.
  • Once the chicken stock is absorbed in the rice, turn off the heat, add in chopped spinach and parmesan.
  • Now you're ready to eat! I squeezed a bit of lemon on top of mine for some freshness.




- Rach