Snow Day in Austin

Snow Day in Austin

Snow has come to Austin! When I checked the weather the other day and saw snow on the report for this weekend, I thought it might be a light dusting, but we have had actual snowfall all day. It is beautiful and we have had the best day as a family playing in it (Charlie for the first time ever!)

Growing up in Utah, I loved skiing, but a whole winter of snow and cold temperatures was never really my thing. Now that I know I’ll be back in 65 degree temperatures by Thursday, one day of snow actually seems pretty nice. To stay warm, I broke out all of my winter clothes that I normally pack for trips to Montana and Utah, and my husband has been cooking his bolognese all day.

Grey Pom Hat, Sunglasses, Black Jacket, Black Scarf, Black Leggings, Smartwool Socks, Sorel Boots, Grey Gloves

One thing I’ve learned about surviving cold weather is that it’s more important to be warm than cute… something I wish I would have grasped in middle school. A few years ago I finally broke down and bought the Sorel boots with rubber soles and fur tops. I always thought they were the most atrocious boots, but they have saved my life and mood in the cold! I used to try to wear my Ugg boots everywhere, but once they are wet, you get SO cold!! These boots may not be the cutest, but they keep you warm and dry all day. Underneath my boots, I always wear Smartwool socks, they are the best and wool is a great insulator.

No matter the season, you’ll find me in my Lululemon Align leggings. They work for a yoga class in the summer and for skiing in winter, and especially well for lounging around the house all day. I’m so sad that my Burberry jacket isn’t made anymore because it is one of my all time favorite pieces. It works for several climates because of the liner that is easily removable and it is water-resistant with a stylish hood.

To accessorize my winter look, I threw on my favorite Zara scarf, fluffy hat, Gucci dupe sunglasses and cozy cashmere gloves. I will say that cashmere gloves are not the most practical option in the snow and they are dry clean only, but they are SO soft and feel like blankets on my hands so I love wearing them.

Our first snow day as a family of three!

Of course on a day like this, you have to cook something that will warm your soul so my husband made his bolognese. Several years ago when we were in Napa after hitting a few vineyards on a freezing day, we had lunch in Yountville at Bottega and we had the best bolognese we’ve ever had. After that lunch, Will studied the bolognese and the ingredients they used and obsessively watched Frank Prisinzano cooking videos to create the perfect bolognese.

Will says that contrary to public opinion, bolognese is a meat-based sauce, not a tomato-based sauce. Much like Frankie P, Will does not consider this a recipe, but rather a method so it’s not like the other step-by-step recipes I’ve shared with you all before.

Will whipping up his delicious bolognese!

Will’s Bolognese Method

Ingredients:

¼ lb. Pork

¼ lb. Ground Beef

¼ lb. Lamb

4 Carrots

4 Stalks of Celery

1 Yellow Onion

A few pinches of salt

Pepper to taste

Olive Oil

Whole Milk

White Wine 

Chicken Broth

1 can Tomato Paste

1 Bay Leaf

Parmesan Cheese

To Make: 

  • Heat olive oil in a deep pan and add salt and pepper. Add all three meats to the olive oil and sauté until brown. 
  • Roughly chop vegetables and add them to a food processor. Pulse until blended. Add vegetable mixture to the browned beef.
  • Add white wine to the beef and vegetables and cook until there is no moisture. 
  • Add tomato paste and combine.
  • Add milk and broth to the mixture and turn heat to low. 
  • Add bay leaf and let mixture simmer for at least 30 minutes but could be several hours if you want.
  • Serve over pasta of your choice and top with freshly grated parmesan.
  • Enjoy!!
Voila! Will’s perfect Bolognese!

I hope you all love this bolognese “method” as much as we do and that you are all staying warm tonight! Happy Sunday friends, I hope you have a great week ahead of you!

XO,

Brit

Brit’s Summer Travel Series: Fredericksburg, Texas

Brit’s Summer Travel Series: Fredericksburg, Texas

Howdy, friends! This week we are traveling to the idyllic Hill Country town of Fredericksburg, Texas. Fredericksburg is an ideal destination for Texans, as it is nestled in between Austin and San Antonio and a quick drive from Dallas and Houston as well.

My husband and I stumbled upon this dreamy town because we were supposed to go to Napa at the end of the month, but had to cancel due to increased coronavirus fears and restrictions and we thought this would be a safe substitute. Originally established as a German settlement in the 1800s, Fredericksburg has now become a chic destination for wine lovers.

We didn’t know much about Fredericksburg before going, but we were pleasantly surprised with what we found. The town has maintained its German heritage and small town charm, while offering modern amenities from around the world.

Although we were drawn to the town because of the vineyards, I think the shopping I found once we were there was the highlight of the trip for me. We found two shops in particular–Farmhaus and Vaudeville–that literally got me excited to shop. I love shopping, don’t get me wrong, but I’m very picky with what I buy. I hate buying things just to buy something and get so annoyed with tacky tourist shops. These stores, blew me away. It was as if I was shopping in L.A. or somewhere in Europe. The level of curation in these stores as well as the accessible price points were absolutely incredible.

Unfortunately, when we were in town, we ate at one of the “traditional” German restaurants and were not impressed with the food. When we go back to Fredericksburg, we really want to check out the V Supper Club–part of the Vaudeville Umbrella. With reservations, the club is open on Friday, Saturday and Monday nights offering chef’s tastings and specialized menus. If you can’t make it to the supper club, you can always go to the Vaudeville Bistro. We wish we would have gone there for lunch, but instead grabbed a glass of sparkling rosé when we found it. The bistro has an amazing wine list and a really fun vibe.

We chose to visit Signor Vineyards when we were in Fredericksburg and I’m so happy we did. It is set on a classic Hill Country estate and offers delicious wines and an incredible experience. They did tell us its a bit different than usual to visit right now because of coronavirus…they are not offering traditional tastings, but you can buy bottles of wine and have them on the property. We bought two bottles–the rosé and the Sangiovese (a light red.) One thing I thought was really interesting is that all of the wines from Signor are made in Oregon and then sold at the vineyard in Fredericksburg. I was pleasantly surprised when I found this out because I’m a little bit of a wine snob and was kind of dreading drinking Texas wine, but what we found is that most of the wine served and sold in the area is from Oregon, California and Europe.

Many of the guests at Signor brought their own food and wine glasses and had a picnic, which looked so fun, but the vineyard also has a little grocery store where you can get food and water as well as beautiful gifts.

For this quick weekend trip I know we barely scratched the surface on what the town has to offer, but I know we will be back to discover more! I’m not going to say Fredericksburg is on the same level as Napa, but I will say it is a fun destination for a weekend getaway in Texas.

Have you been to Fredericksburg before?! Leave me a comment and let me know what your favorite things are in town!

XO,

Brit

Brit Sips: Go-to Red Wines

Brit Sips: Go-to Red Wines

Happy Thursday! As we head into the weekend, I’m sharing my go-to red wines from California. While I love nothing more than a juicy California cab, there are many other reds I love and buy regularly.

Decoy Cabernet Sauvignon, Summers Vineyard Charbono, Frank Family Cabernet Sauvignon and Swanson Vineyards Petite Syrah

When I was 22, my dad took me and my sister to Napa Valley for the first time and ever since then, I have been obsessed with learning about wine. Over the past eight years, I’ve gone back to Napa a few times, the Burgundy region of France and have explored many Southern California vineyards with my husband. I love movies like Sideways and could not get enough of the Netflix documentary, Somm: Into the Bottle when it came out.

I’ve picked up a few tips through these trips and movies about buying wine. One thing I was told in Napa is that when you buy wine outside of a vineyard, it’s usually best to go to a reputable liquor store. In Texas, we are so lucky to have Spec’s. They ship the wine responsibly and are so well educated about every bottle of wine they sell that you can never go wrong making a selection there and you will walk away knowing a lot more about wine. Spec’s also does not price gouge. I can go to Spec’s knowing I will pay close-to, if not less than what I would pay for a bottle of wine straight from the vineyard or winery. Unfortunately, if you buy wines from a grocery store or convenience store, the integrity and quality of the wine *can* be compromised.

When I think of my go-to red wines, I think mostly of California wines because they are easy for me to get on any given day in Texas. Overall, the most accessible and most affordable red wine I regularly buy is Decoy Wine’s Cabernet Sauvignon or their Red Wine blend. Decoy is owned by Duckhorn, but unlike their parent company, Decoy is somehow able to offer an incredibly beautiful red wine for under $20 a bottle. In addition to Decoy, I’ve shared a list of my favorite every day red wines that range in price from $17-$72.

  1. Frank Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon
  2. Summers Estate Wines Charbono and Cabernet Sauvignon
  3. Frog’s Leap Cabernet Sauvignon
  4. Cakebread Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon
  5. Reynold’s Family Winery Cabernet Sauvignon
  6. Kendall-Jackson Vitner’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
  7. Swanson Vineyards Petite Sirah and Cabernet Sauvignon
  8. Daou Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon
  9. Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars Artemis Cabernet Sauvignon
  10. Grgich Hills Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

What are your favorite red wines? Leave me a comment and let me know if you try any of these and what you think!

XO,

Brit