Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Napa, I love you.... and BBQ sauce, too.

I know, I know. It's been a while.
I will start with excuses...again.

The Mr. and I just got back from yet another lovely trip to Napa. We had a wonderful weekend filled with friends, wine, amazing food, and me lusting over farmhouses and the dream of owning a horse and chickens. I love Napa.

Cue photos.....

We stayed in an amazing B&B in downtown Napa (courtesy of my wonderful parents) called The Inn on First. The food was wonderful. Really, really wonderful. Not to mention it was as charming as one would ever hope an early 1900's mansion turned romantic inn could be. The owners were so kind and helpful and made our stay seriously flawless. If my farm fantasy doesn't pan out, I will just live there. 

We were also joined by our wonderful friends, Caroline and Ben, from D.C. which was the absolute most fun! And what's my favorite rule in Napa? The more people in your group.... the more wine tastings you must squeeze into each day. That's a rule right?

We stopped at many of our favorite wineries including Stags' Leap, Cliff Lede, Opus One, Heitz Cellars, Marimar Estate, Etude, and Saintsbury (to name a FEW.) We also were introduced to a new favorite......

All in all, as usual, Napa was dreamy. And also as usual.... I probably gained 67 pounds. 
Let's get to the good stuff....

Quack and Cheese from Carpe Diem in Downtown Napa. 
Creamy mac & cheese (a personal fave.) But oh no, it didn't stop there. Top it with caramelized onions and duck confit and you have a dish that will haunt your tastebuds for weeks. So delicious. 

We also ate at Bounty Hunter, which I have to say is one of my new faves in Napa. Please, any restaurant that serves rare wines with a heaping side of pulled pork, ribs, and coleslaw has my vote. Seriously worth the wait (they don't take reservations) and the shame of walking back to your B&B with your jeans unbuttoned. Don't judge. While I loved the BBQ there, my snobby southern hubby turns up his nose to almost all BBQ that doesn't come from a hole in the wall joint off of the interstate in the middle of nowhere. This was no different. In his opinion, the sauce was not up to par.... so, I will leave you with two absolutely to die for barbecue sauce recipes from my sweetie.

South Carolina Mustard Barbecue Sauce
2 cups yellow mustard
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon tabasco sauce
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons chicken bouillon
2/3 cup cider vinegar
2 teaspoons dried rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon celery seed
3 teaspoons mustard powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

Combine ingredients in a medium saucepan and simmer over low/medium heat. 

Tennessee Whiskey Barbecue Sauce
2 cups Jack Daniel's Black Label or Bourbon
1 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons malt vinegar
4 tablespoons dark molasses

1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke (optional)


Combine ingredients in a sauce pan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and reduce by 1/3.

Slather onto some smoked ribs and eat your heart out. 

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