Over the river lakes, and through the woods plains,

To Grandmother’s house Flipflop Wines’ Headquarters we go! :)


Greetings from Livermore, CA, home of Flipflop Wines, where I arrived yesterday with a several other bloggers for a quick, 2-day trip to learn about the company, their Soles for Souls initiative, and drink some juicy wine, of course! (This is their Bubbly Moscato – to die.)


Today we’ll dig into the meat of our trip, but last night was all about a nice, relaxing time with food and wine pairings at the Underdog Wine Bar, right on the grounds of Flipflop Wines’ headquarters.


We sipped on whites paired with delicate salads and crab cakes.

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Reds with meatier dishes like Beef Shortribs.


PS can we please all acknowledge the baby carrots under my beef shortribs that I did indeed try…and kind of liked?!?!

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But dessert – wine soaked berries and whip cream – totally did it for me.


How can something so simple, taste so GOOD?!


I’ll fill you in with more later, but in the meantime please enjoy my favorite finds and beyond in this week’s Friday Favorites – and have a great weekend guys! (Also, will you still read my blog if it changes to Iowa Girl Transplanted to Northern California Eats? – gah I just love wine country!)

Favorite gotta have it: Salted Nut Squares. Can you say homemade salty nut roll?! Chewy, dense and sweet – gotta have it.


Favorite view: Yosemite National Park. I have been dying to go to Yosemite for the past 5 years or so. Just got to find a summer to do it!

Favorite app: Deli Skewers. What a blissfully light bite of deli meat and cheese. These would be so nice to bring to a party, so you know you have at least one healthy item to snack on.


Favorite space. I adore this serene and girly office space. PLUS THAT CHAIR.


Favorite dinner: Queso Taco Pasta Bake. Forget the pasta – with a sauce like this, pass the tortilla chips! ;)


Favorite funny: Clementine the Dog. I want to wrap this dog up in my arms, hug her so hard, and tell her everything is going to be all right. AWWWW!


Favorite recipe: Perfect Strawberry Poppyseed Dressing. Sweet, tangy, and just right.


Favorite fashion: Leopard Print Bracelet. I’m not a huge animal print girl, but can definitely appreciate cute accents like this bracelet.


Favorite sweet: Key Lime Pie Poke Cake. I am such a sucker for poke cakes – especially one involving tangy-sweet key lime flavors.


Favorite pooch. Cute. Overload.


Favorite fresh: Corn & Blueberry Salad. I hereby declare Corn & Blueberry Salad THE salad of summer 2012. I cannot wait to make it!


Favorite feature: Herringbone-Patterned Brick Floors. I’m obsessed with this incredibly unique home feature. Would you do it?


Favorite yum: Gratineed Pineapple. I have never seen a recipe like this before in my life. In the words of the blog writer – “It’s sweet and juicy and warm and crunchy and gooey…and just plain damn good.” WOW!

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Favorite practical: Express 4 1/2″ Shorts. Here’s the thing. I’m too old to be wearing the little booty shorts everyone’s selling these days (although, for the record, I never did wear them) so I totally appreciate shops that carry shorts in longer lengths, like Express’ 4 1/2″ shorts. They’re just long enough, but not too long, and come in fabrics that can be dressed up or down. I bought three pairs of ’em last weekend. :)


Favorite bite: Raspberry Lemonade Bars. Now these just scream summer!, don’t ya’ think?


Favorite room: Sun Room Kitchen. A food bloggers dream kitchen with all that natural light.


Favorite finger food: Chili Lime Mango Papaya. Juicy mango & papaya slices dusted with a smoky-sweet combo of spices. I adore this idea!


Favorite accent: Houndstooth Rug. I’ve always though houndstooth is one of life’s perfect patterns. It goes with any style of home.


Favorite sip: Minted Mango Tea. I could sip on a mason jar of this all summer long. :)


Favorite duh: Ice Cream Cone Cannoli. Brilliant! I was just saying the other day that I’d love to make cannolis at home, but don’t want to make the shell and/or don’t want to buy a box of ’em that have probably been on the supermarket shelf for 12 years either…


View Past Friday Favorites >

Have a fantastic weekend, everyone! :)