Throwback Thursday: Girls Weekend in the Great State

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Unless your a resident of the Lone Star State, I have a inkling you’ve not. Fun Fact! Fredericksburg is the 5th largest wine producer in the US! Cheers y’all!

Last weekend Aunt Tina and I surprised Mom with {another} 60th Birthday Celebration! She knew she was heading to the GREAT STATE with two of her favorite people, but little did she know all the surprises we had in store!

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We told her to pack her bags- we were heading to Texas! Friday morning we were wheels up for Texas, flying from Atlanta to San Antonio. We picked up our rental car and I played Uber driver for our 57 mile commute to our VRBO rental in Kerrville. (About 25 minutes from downtown Fredericksburg.) Mom just couldn’t wrap her head around WHY we had to rent a house if it was just the three of us. Even though we told her it was cheaper than staying in town and probably a lot nicer than the local Holiday Express Motel.

This home was stunning y’all and Erin, the owner, was fantastic to work with. The house was updated and the views were spectacular- the rolling Texas hills made us feel like we were up in the hills of Hollywood. The Master Bathroom had a walk-in shower with three, yes THREE, shower heads! Don’t get me started on the backyard with the fire pit, outdoor kitchen and  infinity pool- absolutely breathtaking y’all! Highly recommend this property if you’re heading to Fredericksburg for any occasion! Wish we could have spent more time there!

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The real reason we needed a larger house? It was not going to be just the three of us spending the weekend together hopping around tasting wine. We were spending the weekend with a few of our favorite Texas women- sorority sisters, family, friends from fifth grade and friends that are like family! SURPRISE TG!

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Friday Night was spent with guests arriving sporadically surprising Mom. Catching up, laughing like school girls and of course cheers-ing to our Birthday Girl!

Saturday we got up bright and early to hit the Texas Wine Trail! We used The 290 Wine Shuttle Company, which was fantastic! They charter guests around to 13 local wineries for a very reasonable fee. It was so nice not having to worry about calling an Uber or having a one of the girls miss the fun and play Designated Driver.

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We started at Barons Creek for a quick tasting of five or six varieties.

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They have a huge tasting room, complete with multiple private rooms, a lovely back garden space and gift shop. The Viognier was one of our favorites from the tasting- it has ripe apricot and delicate lemon zest flavors combination in this delicious Texas Viognier. This wine has a long, creamy finish. It’s a fantastic companion for shrimp or lobster with butter sauce.

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Mom also really enjoyed their Muscat Canelli, a deliciously sweet and balanced wine bursting with flavors of peach, honeydew and a hint of grapefruit. It is a perfect aperitif on a warm day but you can also pair it with fruit salad or Thai cuisine. That has her name all over it!

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From Barons Creek we had a short wait for the 290 Bus and headed to Grape Creek: The Tuscany of the South.

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Grape Creek is a local favorite. The property was beautiful! You really did feel like you were in Tuscany! The tasting area was VERY crowded and on weekends they do limit the number of guests per tasting groups. This vineyard was highly recommend, so we broke into small groups for tasting prior to our arrival. Our tasting experience was ok. Our guide was not full of that Southern Texas hospitality until I decide to sign up for their Wine Club. We had to wait over an over an our for a tasting, their restaurant was packed and the check-in station seemed a little frazzled and not able to give us real information the wait time, availability, etc. I wish the customer service experience as a little different because the wine was quite good. We ended up finding a spot to sit and share a bottle and a stunningly delicious charcuterie board together before heading to our final stop of the day.

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Our third winery was Fat Ass.

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Our favorite for the atmosphere! {With a name like Fat Ass, how could it not?}  It was such fun y’all! Very laid back, low key environment with a live band. So, so much fun! Their wine supply was down when we were there, but they make a wine slushy that went down way too easily! A perfect drink for Summer days. Definitely plan to stop by Fat Ass when you head to the Texas Wine Country! We had the best time!

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Whew! Feeling wined-up yet? Hang on and pop over next week for our Travel Tuesday series when we wrap up our weekend in the Wine Country!

We hope you’re enjoying your Newly Newlywed or Nearly Newlywed moments as much as we are!

Cheers Y’all!

Adam & Holly

PS: Remember, we’re newlyweds, not experts!

Monday’s Menu: Party Dips

Remember our post a few weeks ago about Adam’s Surprise 30th Birthday Party? Well as promised, I have a few of our favorite appetizer recipes to share! These “dips” have been a hit with our friends and family and I’m sure will be at your next gathering as well!

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Southwestern Corn Dip is a super easy, tasty, warm dip I got from my Mom. It is best served with Tositio Scoops.

Ingredients:

  • 1 15-ounce can yellow corn kernels
  • 1 2 1/4-ounce can sliced black olives
  • 1 4-ounce can chopped green chilies
  • 1 medium fresh jalapeño pepper (for about 2 tablespoons chopped)
  • 2 jarred roasted red peppers, optional
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack or Colby- Jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • Cooking oil spray
  • Tortilla chips, for serving

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Drain the corn, olives, and green chilies. (You can pour them all into the same colander to drain.) Place the drained vegetables in a medium-size mixing bowl.

Cut the jalapeno pepper in half, and remove the ribs and seeds. Finely chop the pepper, and add it to the bowl. If using the roasted peppers, finely dice them and add them to the bowl. Add both cheeses and the mayonnaise. Stir well.

Spray a 2-quart baking dish lightly with cooking oil spray. Place the dip into the dish, and smooth the top. Bake until the top is bubbly, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve warm with tortilla chips.

The Great State of Texas Caviar is one of Adam’s all time favorite snacks. He was introduced to it from a coworker and is also best served with Tostito Scoops. It is the healthiest appetizer out of the 3.

Serve with chips.

(Note* Of course I had to add in “GREAT State” to the Texas Caviar name.)
Ingredients:
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans white corn, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chiles, undrained
  • 1 jalapeno chile pepper, seeded and finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 red bell pepper – cored, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper – cored, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch cilantro leaves, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Mix the black beans, pinto beans, white corn, green chiles, jalapeno pepper, red and green bell peppers, red onion, and cilantro together in a large bowl.

To make the dressing, stir the rice vinegar, olive oil, sugar, and garlic powder together in a pan. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat, and cool. Pour dressing over bean mixture, and toss to mix evenly.

I prefer to let the mixture sit in the refrigerator for a few hours prior to serving. It is much better as it sits, but is not necessary.

Serve with chips.

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The Pig Skin Cheese Ball is oh-so-yummy! I mean tell me something that isn’t good that has bacon in it’s name? My Aunt Tina gave me this recipe and it’s a huge hit for the guys! A cheese ball smothered in bacon and served with Ritz Crackers….in the wording of Rachael Ray “yum-o!”

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 lbs sliced bacon
  • 1 medium jalapeño, cored, seeded and finely chopped (if you want extra heat keep the seeds)
  • 16oz soften cream cheese
  • 1 cup shredded, sharp white cheddar cheese, plus 1tbsp for decorating
  • 1 tbsp of chopped scallions
  • Crackers for serving

Preheat oven to 400*  Lay bacon in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Bake in oven 15-20 minutes until crispy. Drain bacon on paper towel and let cool. Reserve 2 tbsp of bacon grease. Once bacon has cooled, coarsely chop and set aside.

Cook the jalapeño in the reserved bacon grease over medium heat, until soft. Using a stand mixer (I have a Kitchen-aid) mix together 1 cup of chopped bacon, sautéed jalapeño, cream cheese, 1 cup of shredded cheese and the scallions until well combined. Form mixture into a ball and cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Before serving, form ball into an oblong football shape and roll in the remaining chopped bacon to coat. Decorate the top of the football cheese ball with the remaining cheddar to resemble laces.

Serve with crackers.

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I don’t know about you, but I sure am hungry now! Do you have a favorite party recipe? I’d love to hear about it!  Can’t wait to start planning my next gathering- a Stella&Dot Trunk Show! Love girls nights and jewelry!

We hope you’re enjoying your Newly Newlywed or Nearly Newlywed moments as much as we are!

Cheers!

Adam & Holly

PS: Remember, we’re Newlyweds, not experts!

Monday’s Menu: Birthday Cake

What better way to start your week than with BIRTHDAY CAKE!

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Last Monday we celebrated Adam’s 30th Birthday (yes, again) when I surprised him with a little weekday gathering!

My @Helihubby is one of the hardest, if not the hardest person to surprise! He knows every gift before opening it and can catch on to any planned surprise. How he didn’t figure out this party, I will never know!

I invited a few of our closest friends and local family over for an intimate Monday Night Party. Appetizers were out for our guests to snack on before the birthday boy arrived- Southwestern Corn Dip, The Great State of Texas Caviar, and a Pig Skin Cheese Ball all served with chips or crackers. {Don’t worry- I will share these recipes soon too!} Our friends Josh and Kristy came over early to help me with last minute details and Josh manned the grill- Burgers and Hotdogs with all the fixxins’ for supper! Nothing says a Summer Backyard BBQ than burgers and hotdogs with Root-beer Baked Beans and coleslaw alongside!

Our cute little house is decked out in 4th Of July-Americana Decor, so I did not add too many decorations for this party. {Needless to say I really didn’t have the time to do it either!} Black plates, napkins and silverware for all. I filled various sizes of mason jars with lollipops, jelly beans and bubble gum. With chalk spray paint, I covered the lids of the jars and once dry wrote “30 Sucks” to the jar with lollipops, “30 Blows” to the jar with bubble gum and “30 Bites” to the jar with jelly beans.

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A simple, cute centerpiece for our dinning room table.

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The best part of the night….THE CAKE! Another amazing creation from Hailey Monette and Cherry On Top Delights! Hailey made a delicious 2 tier Vanilla Cake with chocolate icing between the layers. It was covered in a yummy buttercream frosting and wrapped in fondant to look like a Corvette tire. It could not have been any better- just perfect! Our guests and the man of the hour loved, loved, loved the cake!

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{If you’re an Atlanta local you’ve got to check out Cherry On Top Delights!}

Of course I can not share the cake recipe, but stay tuned for the details on all of our yummy apps!

Hope you are enjoying your Newly Newlywed or Nearly Newlywed moments as much as we are!

Cheers Y’all!

Adam & Holly

PS: Remember, we’re Newlyweds not experts!