Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Hiking Mt. Rose

Last weekend my family and I enjoyed a weekend in Truckee. A three day weekend in Truckee is my favorite. My mom and I took Friday off, David worked from the cabin remotely (so lucky to be able to WFH!), my dad left work around noon, and my brother and his girlfriend, Jenna left when they got off work at 5. We were all in Truckee together late Friday night and woke up Saturday morning ready for our hike!

I had bugged Jason all week about going on a 10 mile hike to the summit of Mt. Rose. I'd read about it on the blog From Foothills to Fog and wanted to do the hike myself. It was a little bit of a struggle to get everyone on the same boat, but luckily it worked out. The first 2.5 miles to the waterfall was relatively easy and was a beautiful trail that didn't take too long to get to water.

Our pack of dogs getting some water before the big climb. From the left to right: Maverick, Lexi, and of course, Ryder! So many people commented on our pack of dogs. I guess hiking with three dogs off leash isn't the norm? I wish it were!

Only 2.5 miles to the summit to go! Seems easy enough, right?
Take another look at the first picture....that's how far up we had to go! 

About 20 minutes after seeing that sign we decided it'd be good to let the dogs and us have another water break. We also chowed down on some Cliff bars for some extra energy to make the rest of the climb.

I don't know why but I was kind of surprised by how much of a climb hiking to the summit really is! It really starts to get your heart pumping quickly and the climb to the top is a little relentless. Luckily theres some reallllllyyy nice views along the way.

Right about here is when I was thinking we were almost to the top. I thought that since the wind had really kicked up at this point. I was wrong, of course. The photo is of Jason and Jenna above me.

Below me was my mom and David. Maverick and Ryder stayed in the front with Jason and Jenna the whole time, while Lexi stayed pretty close to me the whole time. She was so sweet to not go too far and keep checking on me. I had to keep telling her "It's okay, Lexi! I'm good! Go ahead". Sweet Lexi girl.

More pretty views from almost the top of Mt. Rose. My camera lens is definitely not the right lens to be using for these types of photos, but I hope you can see how beautiful it really was. The last mile to the top took me about 31 minutes according to my run keeper. I had to keep telling myself "one step at a time...". I couldn't believe how windy it was going up this summit! Literally some of the fastest winds I've been in.

Once we finally made it to the to top we enjoyed the view, rested, and ate our sandwiches. There were quite a few people on the summit. It almost seemed like a party up there! Everyone was friendly and no body was offended by the dogs roaming around.

Beautiful Lake Tahoe below us. By the way, it was frightening getting this picture with the crazy wind! 

Awww...the happy couple at the top. See, I told you it was windy. 

Some iPhone photos now since it was easier to handle than my 50 mm fixed lens. 

Family Selfie! Ryder was not impressed. :( You'd think he hates us.

My favorite boys!

So stoked to have made it to the top! The real challenge was getting back down that steep mountain. My knees do not enjoy downhill. By mile 8 we were all ready to be back at the cabin. According to my runkeeper app we did 10.11 miles in 3 hours and 41 minutes with an average pace of 21:54. Who knows how accurate that is but it sure felt like we kicked butt.

It's best to get back to the cabin, shower, and open up a bottle of 2006 Iron Horse Brut Rose that Jenna kindly brought up to share with us. 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Artichoke Bean Dip

I really wanted to blog right away about the hike I did last weekend up to the summit of Mount Rose. If I were a really on top of it blogger I would have that post all ready to go, but since I returned home late last night, and have been working my butt off to get caught up for the week, I haven't even turned on my camera to look at the pictures. I've got about 4 posts worth on my cameras memory card but no time to blog them. Oh well, I'll get to it soon enough! I hope to work on it this weekend at some point.

Instead I'll tell you about this appetizer. This recipe in no way replaces one of my old time favorite artichoke dips (haven't blogged it yet), but it is very healthy and totally guilt free. What I enjoy about this dip is that the ingredient list is super simple and easy. No need to feel guilty snacking on this dip during one of the many upcoming football games. This dip would also make a great snack to bring to work. Give it a try and feel free to trash it up with cream cheese if you find it necessary. I'd be interested in knowing how that would change it.

Here's to hoping I can get some blog work done this week on top of everything else. Have a great, healthy week!

Artichoke Bean Dip

2 small cloves garlic
1 (14.5 oz) can artichoke hearts, drained
1 (8 oz) can water chestnuts, drained
1 (15 oz) can canellini beans, drained
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon salt

In a food processor; pulse garlic until finely chopped. Add artichoke hearts, water chestnuts, canellini beans, lemon juice, salt, and process until smooth. Serve with pita chips, bread, or vegetables.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Bryter Estates Rosé of Pinot Noir

A couple weeks back I went wine tasting in the Sonoma Square with my friends Debby & Laura. We decided to taste in the square so that we could park, taste wine, and picnic without driving in between tastings. We first hit up Bryter Estates per Laura's recommendation. Both Laura and Debby work in the wine industry, so it's always fun to go tasting with insiders. Laura recommended their sparkling wine, Le Stelle, which is included in their normal tasting. What wasn't included was the  Rosé of Pinot Noir I saw sitting in a chiller. If there is one thing I love to taste while out wine tasting it's rosé.

Bryter's Jubilee is described as, "A jubilee is a special celebration - this year, we celebrate the season by creating a whole-cluster pressed rose of pinot noir. Crisp, dry, and refreshing with aromas of rose petals, fresh strawberries and watermelon rind, fermented in stainless steel and beautiful french oak barrels for perfect balance. Enjoy with all of lifes celebrations!" - Bryter 
Well, I like the way that sounds!

I find that with whites and rosé wines the aroma and taste really opens up after sitting out for 5-10 minutes. Take the chill off before you really judge this beautiful sipper. Bryter's rosé is not super tart like I've noticed many rosé's to be. It's very soft and delicate. It's a very light wine and is a perfect aperitif. I wouldn't say this is my favorite rosé but I do think it's a great representation of a rosé of pinot noir, which tend to be very light, dry, and delicate. On a hot day this is the perfect wine to enjoy. The next day after opening this bottle, David and I had another glass during a little backyard picnic on an 80 degree day. It was very enjoyable and paired well with our cheese and crackers.

It is $32 a bottle which is generally more than I like to spend on a rosé and would definitely be a factor for me buying it again. It was very similar to Red Car's Rosé of Pinot. I'm not even sure I could tell you which one I enjoyed more. They are very similar to each other and both equally delicious. If you're ever in the Sonoma Square, I recommend stopping by their tasting room. It's bright, airy, clean, and they have wines worth tasting.

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