Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Weekend Outing

Eating lunch at Trattoria Grappolo, in Santa Ynez, is like taking a mini-trip to Italy. The waiters are dancing around, speaking in Italian and all the dishes are true Italian goodies.
Beef Carpaccio with Arugula and shaved Parmesan.
Seafood Linguini with fresh, tender seafood and a tomato white wine garlic sauce. Bravissimo!
Spaghetti Carbonara prepared with egg, Speck, and Parmesan cheese.
After lunch we went in search of a new brewery in the area called Figueroa Mountain Brewing Company. The sampler was a lot of fun and served with pretzels and mustard. My favorite was the Red Lager - full of flavor and smooth.

On the way home, we took a detour and drove out to Jalama. Jalama is a favorite spot on the coast for surfers and campers. It's basically in the middle of nowhere so you truly feel like you actually escaped "real" life especially because there is no cell service there and people have to use a payphone to communicate with the outside world. Seen below are a few shots of the beach and coast.

Inspired by our outing, we had a few friends over to share 3 growlers of beer we had purchased - one red lager, one stout, and one IPA. And to keep with the spirit of things, I decided to whip up some pretzels. Having never made them before, it was really fun to discover this new recipe!
After rolling out and shaping the pretzels, you boil them in boiling water and baking soda and they puff up a bit. A little egg yolk and salt and into the oven they go...
...and voila! Pretzels! Really fun to make. And now I can get creative and add things like garlic to jazz things up. Don't forget the strong, spicy mustard to dip the pretzels in!!