Rainbow Cupcakes!

Over the weekend I got back into baking.  Every summer, my desire to bake because of the hotter weather always dwindles off then when September comes, the desire picks up and continues through the end of the year.


I’ve recently been trying out Tate and Lyle British Fairtrade sugars through a social media campaign, so I decided to get creative with the sugars by simply adding in food coloring and by creating these Rainbow Cupcakes.

It started out with 4 sugar bowls.  I then added in the different colors of food coloring, stirring them altogether and was left with this:


Then I went to baking my cupcakes.  I kept it really easy and just made straight from the box.  I went with lemon flavor, one of my all time favorite cupcake flavors.  After they came out of the oven, I let them cool down then frosted them with vanilla frosting.  Then sprinkled with the different colored sugars.


These cupcakes would go perfect for a Rainbow Themed Party.  Or for a fun after school treat.  And will be something I’ll definitely be creating again.



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Part 3: California Wine Month: Southern California

And as promised, the last in the 3 part series focuses in all the fun events and happenings within September happening all across Southern California.


Beginning this weekend is, of course, the Los Angeles Times The Taste which brings together some of the top chefs, wines, and restaurants within the region upon Paramount Pictures Studios throughout Labor Day Weekend.

Sept. 13th, head down to Temecula for their annual CRUSH: Temecula Valley Wine and Culinary Showcase, a multi-winery harvest festival with wine, food, and live music.

You can also purchase a SIP, Temecula Style passport, which offers savings at your choice of four out of 30-plus wineries anytime during the month of September.  This year features a new VIP Winemakers Reception Sept. 13 boasting some of the region’s renowned artisans and wines.

In Los Angeles be sure to stop into San Antonio Winery near Downtown Los Angeles for an Urban Winery experience that offers complimentary wine tastings along with an restaurant right inside for a fun afternoon of tasting. They also have locations in Ontario and Paso Robles.

Or, if you’re looking for a fun Wine Bar, be sure to visit this list for options within the Los Angeles area.


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Central Coast: California Wine Month: Part 2

As promised, more is coming about California Wine Month.  The Central Coast is fast becoming one of my favorite parts of California to explore.  Most likely, due to the infinite amount of farming happening there, but also for the beautiful coastal towns around the Ocean, and last but not least, the different unexplored wine regions.  Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Monterey County and Lodi.  Seriously, places needed to be untapped in this wine world.


So, with September being California Wine Month I bring you the fun events happening in the month ahead along the Central California:


Lodi vintners and growers are excited to announce the launch of SIP SAVOR LODI— a premier, three-day harvest celebration held Sept. 26–28. The festivities include an alfresco Harvest Dinner downtown; Cellar Tours where you can enjoy barrel tasting, food pairings, live music, and special discounts; and a Grand Tasting finale at the beautiful Wine & Roses Hotel.  Guess where I’m headed for a fun day the end of September?

Sept. 11th: Lodi Grape Festival.  Throughout the weekend, come on out and celebrate those grapes in Lodi.  Children 16 and Under get in free!

Surrounding Areas:

The Madera Vintners Association’s California Wine Month Tasting Reception on Sept. 12 will offer wine tasting from local wineries, food by a variety of local restaurants and live music. Guests will also have the opportunity to participate in the People’s Choice Award by voting for their favorite wine of the evening. Proceeds from this event benefit scholarships for Viticulture & Enology students.

Livermore and Santa Cruz Areas:

A great kickoff event on Labor Day weekend is Livermore’s 34th Annual Harvest Wine Celebration, where wine lovers can take complimentary shuttle buses to more than 40 Livermore Valley wineries sharing their finest wines, and take in local music, art and food. On Sunday of Labor Day Weekend, over 40 wineries celebrate the exciting crush season. Each winery hosts activities including wine tasting, arts, crafts and music. Wine lovers have come from all over the Bay Area and beyond for the past 30 years to enjoy this unique event. This exclusive event is open only to ticket holders- don’t miss out on this wine country celebration.

Aug. 30th: Join Wente Vineyards for their “Front Porch Music Festival. Join Wente Vineyards for the fifth annual The Front Porch Music Festival. This mini Outside Lands style music festival features nationally acclaimed artists from around the country. Sip world class wines from Wente Vineyards and the Winemakers Studio, sample food from various vendors in shaded picnic areas, and enjoy bands performing on two stages in a beautiful setting.

In the Santa Cruz Mountains, the 32nd Annual Capitola Art and Wine Festival will bring together wineries, local restaurants, artists, crafts and music for a fun weekend Sept. 13-14—all just steps from the beach in Capitola.

Sept. 27th: Sunset, Sip, and Shop: Stroll through Livermore Premium Outlets and taste Livermore Valley’s finest wines. Wineries will pour amongst the 130+ retailers for guests as they shop the night away. Tickets include wine tasting, a commemorative wine glass and discounts at participating stores. Gather your favorite shopping and wine tasting pals and head on over to the newest and most luxurious outlets int he Bay Area.

Tickets: $20 Advance/ $25 Day of the Event


Central Coast

In Paso Robles, get an early start to California Wine Month on Aug. 30 at the 46 West Wineries Harvest Block Party, a casual mini-wine festival with tastings from member wineries along with great food and music.

Step into the pages of Sunset magazine and savor the unique California Central Coast wine country lifestyle Sept. 25-28 at the 5th Annual Sunset SAVOR the Central Coast—one of the premier wine and food events in the West.  This four-day wine and food immersion event takes place at the renowned Santa Margarita Ranch and throughout San Luis Obispo County and features celebrity chefs, winemaker seminars, a sunset dinner at Hearst Castle, more than 200 regional wine tastings and much more. The event boasts many new elements this year, including expanded adventure tours, new VIP hotel and ticket getaway packages, signings and workshops with California celebrity chefs Fabio Vivianiand Tanya Holland.

There’s a great Sunset Savor package (starts at 349* for two) at Sand Pebbles Inn which includes

·         One night’s accommodations at Sand Pebbles Inn

·         One bottle of commemorative Sand Pebbles Inn wine and two signature wine glasses

·         Admission tickets for (2) to one day of the SAVOR Main Event on September 27 or 28, 2014

Santa Barbara’s Santa Ynez Valley Wine Month Sept. 1-30 features various wineries offering fun events, classes, winemaker dinners, tastings and special wine and hotel packages in the towns of Buellton, Ballard, Los Alamos, Los Olivos, Santa Ynez, and Solvang.

Aug. 30th: Art of Blending. Discover how to evaluate base wines for aromatics, flavor, texture and aging characteristics then create several unique blends. You’ll also have the opportunity to purchase and custom label your premium Paso Robles blend. First Crush Winemakers, 2975 Limestone Way, Paso Robles, 93446

Monterey County:

Don’t forget to purchase your Carmel by the Sea Wine Walk Passport which will give you access to 14 Tasting Rooms along Carmel By the Sea with wine flight tastings on your passport.  These passports never expire so use them throughout your visits to Carmel. More info here.

For a more “urban” approach to wine tasting visit vino havens like Terranova Fine Wines in downtown Monterey and Pierce Ranch Vineyards near Cannery Row. At A Taste of Monterey, also near Cannery Row, you can sample wines from just about every winery within the county. Did we mention this place also comes with a side of epic ocean views and tasty bites? Courtesy of See Monterey Blog.

On September 6th Hahn Estates holds their much anticipated Harvest Party. Wine enthusiasts will revel in live music, culinary delights and wine barrel samplings.

September 11th brings together a wonderful mash-up of tasty fare provided by Chef Tim Wood and wine from Morgan Winery with epic views of Carmel Valley Ranch as its backdrop.

Sept. 13th: Carmel by the Glass:

Carmel by the Glass is a fun filled Winemaker’s celebration in Devendorf Park. Enjoy light bites, regional wines, while you mingle with locals and tourists alike.  A fun afternoon in Carmel. More info here.


A great article about all the fun happening around Monterey County can be found on See Monterey’s site here.




Categories: Fun Stuff, Northern California, Travel, Wine | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment