Napa & Sonoma

Field Trip: Jimtown Store

Field Trip: Jimtown Store

Jimtown Store is an old fashion country store and cafe located in the vineyards of Alexander Valley in Sonoma County. They have delicious soups, salads, sandwiches and desserts all created in house from scratch. It's the perfect pit stop while road tripping through California wine country. We love stopping here for a little rest, relaxation and refueling. I especially love their small outdoor patio.

The Tyler Florence Shop

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 Continuing with the obvious shopping/food theme on this trip, we stopped by the Tyler Florence Shop in Mill Valley, CA. The design of the store is very open with the exception of a cookbook library tucked in the back. What I loved most was the mix of new culinary items and vintage finds. Think worn hotel silver, rustic crates, antique cutting boards along with a superb selection of new delights for the chef.

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There was a gorgeous teaching kitchen filled with pantry staples and gift items like candles and tea towels. Wouldn't it be fun to have a party here? And the walls of open shelving piled high with stacks of white dishes...swoon!

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I picked up a couple jars of  CC Made Artisinal Caramel Sauce. Their delicious Grey Sea Salt caramel sauce is perfect for ice cream or sliced apples. 


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And I was very tempted to buy both crates of these vintage bottles. Very tempted. The colors are so lovely and I can think of a thousand ways to use them! Party favors, picnics, oils/vinegars, handmade gifts, as water bottles for fancy schmancy dinner parties....see? I should have bought them!

Hope you all have a fantastic weekend! Thanks for taking the time to stop by this week. Always love hearing from each of you here and on FB. :-))

The WINNERS of the Library Pillows Giveaway are posted HERE! Hooray!

Dean & Deluca and Recent Finds

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Have you ever been to Dean & Deluca? This was my first visit...in fact, we made a u-turn on the highway just so I could pop in and see what all the fuss was about. I really loved the warm wood floors against the white walls. It looked so crisp and clean. And what do you think about the elk mount above the deli counter? I'm kinda liking it...a lot. Sorry vegetarians, I mean no disrespect.

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Their signature tins of spices, salts and condiments were overflowing and it was so hard to choose. Plus, I couldn't remember what I might be out of at home. 

And you wouldn't believe the enormous amount of Mast Brothers Chocolate they carry! Stacks and stacks of bars with their gorgeous patterned papers.

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The packaging on the Mast Brothers line is simply perfection. Have you seen their videos? They take chocolate making to an entirely new level. Serious business.

Here's a few fun things I picked up during my recent travels.

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An antique pewter tray from a flea market along the coast (2 bucks!), assorted spices, an olive wood spreader and brush, a dozen or so Weck canning jars and a glass bottle for my bubble bath. At the same flea market I also scored some beautiful ironstone pieces including this pedestal bowl that holds a few heart rocks from the beach.

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And I couldn't pass up this old cash box with the rivets along the sides! Love, love. I also bought a couple of the old Martha Christmas books. They're almost 10 years old and the photos and ideas don't seemed dated a bit.

Well, I'm almost finished with the wine country vacation posts and then we'll go back to our regularly scheduled program. I feel some crafting coming on!

The Fremont Diner

Fremont01Alrighty, where were we on the wine country posts? Sorry for the brief interruption but heck, it did seem like a party around here! Thanks for all the congrats and warm wishes on my new gig with Country Living Magazine. Seriously, you guys completely rock! :-))

Now getting back to amazing places to visit...an ABSOLUTE must is The Fremont Diner. Trust me on this one. You won't get more authentic home cookin' and atmosphere than this place. I first learned about it last year from EmmaBunny and it's been on my "Must See" list ever since.

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Frecoll4 They're famous for their breakfasts and in fact, have 200 hens out back laying fresh eggs daily. They also raise their own hogs and make their own pickles and jam. Why, just take a look at these homemade biscuits. They'll make your grandma weep.

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 Here's the owner Chad doing his thing. We had a chance to visit with him while we had lunch at the counter. He used to be a caterer and we chatted about the Napa food scene, Nashville and menu items. Enormous armloads of fresh greens came in and he started cleaning them by hand while we talked. Seems side dishes with a southern flair such as collard greens are very popular here.

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Frecoll2 The Man ordered the Fried Oyster Po' Boy and since I couldn't decide, I had two appetizers...the Ham Biscuit and the Chicken Sandwich. And because they're also famous for their Fried Pies we were "convinced" to try one of those too.

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 Fremont14 Over the counter they had some cool wire cage pendant lights. And in the photos below you can see their running Grocery and To-Do List chalkboard that hangs near the kitchen along with bushel baskets full of fresh produce.

Frecoll5 An old parts rack is repurposed into a serve yourself coffee cart and recycling center. You all know my fondness for stuff like that.

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Frecoll1 You can also sit out back on their turquoise picnic tables but I highly recommend sitting at the counter if possible. You'll get to watch all the comings and goings in the kitchen, visit with the friendly staff and watch unbelievably great food being prepared right before your eyes.

Fremont19 Since I shared my fondness for chickens with Chad, he gave us a tour out back of their henhouse and gardens. They grow many of their own vegetables but what I thought was most charming was the cutting garden. Fantastic food and fresh flowers await you. What could be better than that?

The Fremont Diner 2660 Fremont Dr. Sonoma, CA Open: Mon-Fri 8am to 3pm and Sat-Sun 8am to 4pm

Update: The Fremont Diner was featured in the March 2012 issue of Country Living Magazine!

Bouchon Bakery

Bouchon04We've returned from our vacation and now begins the posts of some the highlights from our trip. We thoroughly enjoyed walking to Bouchon Bakery for a morning latte and sweet treat.The weather was incredibly gorgeous and the courtyard was the perfect spot to start the day. And I must say I adore their pistachio green and chocolate brown packaging....ADORE. Boucoll2

Boucoll1 It was nice to be able to watch the baker doing his magic through the glass windows. Bouchon is rather known for their enormous macarons so of course, we had to try them. Below is Hazelnut, Pistachio and PB&J. You can see we tasted each for you. Our favorite was the Hazelnut...classic and delicious.

Bouchon05 Boucoll3 Bouchon06 There were a few tourists mixed in with the locals who I imagine absolutely love having such a wonderful place right in their neighborhood. I know I would!

So what treat would you choose with all those delectable sweets right in front of you? Croissant, crumb cake, chocolate bouchon, macaron, eclair......

California Wine Country

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Hello, hello! I've been spending the last bits of summer vacationing with The Man in Napa Valley wine country. There is so much to share when we return. Everyday there seems to be another amazing "can't miss" place to visit and the entire valley is having a glorious indian summer.

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We loved touring the Rubicon Estate owned by Francis Ford Coppola. The history of the estate is very intriguing which they document quite well in their wonderful museum. And the grounds are absolutely stunning with their gravel walkways, bocce ball courts, large fountain pools and French bistro furniture. 
I highly recommend putting it on your Bucket List! See you very soon! xo, H