Oat and Blueberry Smoothie

Here’s another smoothie idea for your Monday!

Every tried oats in a smoothie? I threw them into this smoothie on a whim and LOVED it. It’s a great addition to an already delicious smoothie.

For this smoothie I tossed a HUGE handful of spinach, a small scoop of ice cream, a bunch of blueberries, some oats and a dash of milk into the blender. What came out was a delicious concoction of healthy and delicious wonderfulness.



Wine Tasting 101

A few weeks ago, I took Stephen wine tasting for the first time. There’s no better place than the Willamette Valley for wine tasting and it was really fun to go without my parents (no offense guys…after 20 years of tagging along, it was about time I get out on my own right?). And I even joined a wine club!

The Willamette Valley has over 400 wineries and vineyards, which can make planning a day to go wine tasting sort of intimidating. With so many options, how do you pick one over another?

While some people will opt for a tour to take them through the valley, (and there are plenty of good options, including bike tours or tours on horseback) I like to go on my own, take my time and keep a flexible schedule.

Having a picnic lunch at a winery with a good lookout is always a good option. My favorite place to get picnic food is red Hills Market. Great pizza, sandwhiches, and a variety of cheese, wine and other drinks all to go. Perfect.

Now, I haven’t come even close to exploring the valley but here is a quick list of my Top 5 wineries and why they are my favorites.

1. My favorite winery in the whole valley is probably Torii Mor. My parents turned me on to them, and their back patio is a beautiful place to sit with a sandwhich to enjoy their pinots. My favorite is the Olalla Vineyard Pinot, but take home a bottle of their port for kicks.

2. If you’re looking for spectacular views, there is no better place to visit than Penner-Ash. Come visit on a clear day to see Mount Hood and Mount Jefferson. You’ll see me behind the counter, pouring wine.

3. Four Graces was the first wine club I joined and I love their wines, their tasting room and their property. Just off 99W in Dundee, Four Graces is a sweet oasis off the highway.

4. One word: SPARKLING. Who doesn’t love bubbles?? Argyle Winery is the only winery in the valley with a huge focus on bubbles. Be wowed by their Brut and their delicious Nuthouse Pinot, but hold out for their Black Brut sparkling wine. That’s the one to take home.

5. Tendril is a fairly new winery in the area, and it’s WAY OUT in the boonies. You get off the main road, take a gravel road, turn onto another gravel road which turns into another gravel road. But despite it’s middle-of-nowhere location, the wines are stellar. Try the Tightrope Reserve. It’s lovely in a bottle.

Blueberry-Almond-Spinach Smoothie

I love smoothies. They just scream summer and sunshine and fresh fruit. So of course during the summer, when the produce is abundant and there’s tons of sunnny rays to be had, I like to make smoothies.

And of course, there is always the benefit that you can put pretty much whatever you want in a smoothie and it will taste good. The magic of fruit!

So I thought I’d share with you all one of my favorite smoothies that I’ve come up with this summer. It ridiculously easy and delicious, not to mention healthy!

Blueberry-Almond-Spinach Smoothie


-a handful of almonds (or some other nut. Pecans, walnuts or peanuts have all ended up in this)

-frozen blueberries

-a big heaping handful of spinach

-a splash of milk

-yogurt, if you choose. (I like to match my yogurt flavors to the fruit that is going in my smoothie. So, I used blueberry greek yogurt for this.)

I start by getting the almonds (or whatever nut you’re using) to fine little pieces. Just throw them in the blender and pulse a couple times until they’re fine slivers.

Next I add in the blueberries and a splash of the milk, with the yogurt and spinach on top. I blend it all and if I need to make it more smooth or more liqiud-y as opposed to ice cream-y, I add more milk.

Refrigerate the leftovers for up to two days.

Easy peasy right? And it tastes delicious and it’s a great way to sneak in those all-important leafy greens. YUM.