Hopkins Vineyard

Over the weekend, we also went wine tasting at Hopkins Vineyard. We were there over the winter a few years ago, and kept saying we would make it back for a tasting during the fall. Well! We finally did. And it was just as beautiful as we anticipated. 


The winery is set atop a hill? Mountain? Probably not high enough to be a mountain, so I’ll go with hill. And it overlooks Lake Waramaug. It’s a sprawling property, inclusive of  a vineyard, a red barn (where the wine tastings happen) and a German restaurant. There’s ample place to sit outside on the grass or on a bench, overlooking the lake, and drinking a bottle of wine. It’s pretty serene, borderline, magical. 



I’m so regretful I didn’t get better pictures of the lake, but it was starting to get dark and the baby was crying…and it happens. We’ll be back, hopefully sooner than later.


The tasting room is on the first floor, and upstairs there’s a room to hang out, order snacks, drink a bottle of wine, and play board games. The last time we were there, there was also a classic rock cover band. 


Importantly, the wine is very good! We love their semi-sweet white wine called Westwind. It’s light, fresh and summery. We buy a few bottles of it every year. I also picked up a bottle of their Chardonnay. I guess I was in a white wine mood? My opinion is that good red wines do not come from the northeast. Hopkins has a few reds, they’re ok, but not for me. 

I’m thinking of trying to drag a group of friends to Hopkins for my birthday this year…but we might also plan a last minute getaway that weekend. To be determined. 

Traveling North 

My favorite thing to do on the weekend is pick a random destination to explore. This past weekend, we attempted tackling both the Connecticut wine trail and Connecticut antique trail. Our travels brought us to beautiful Litchfield County.

We were mostly on a mission to find a small antique cabinet for our living room, see colorful fall foliage, and pick up a few bottles of Connecticut wine. We did not find a cabinet. We also did not expect how special the town of Litchfield would be.  


It was pure New England quaintness. White clapboard houses lined the streets. Beautiful fall foliage. Old signs dating back to the 1700 and 1800s. Cute shops and eateries. I could’ve easily spent a weekend taking in this town. 

The town was surrounded by horse farms, winding roads and magnificent countryside that made you want to keep your camera in your hand for fear of missing another beautiful shot. 


We passed many antique shops on our drive north but unfortunately didn’t have time to check out as many as we would’ve liked (another weekend, another journey). We really enjoyed perusing Jeffrey Tillou Antiques, which had a large collection of “fine” (very expensive) antiques dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries. The shop was three floors, and I felt like I was walking through someone’s home/a museum! 

Since we were traveling with a newborn (who all things considered is so so easygoing), we didn’t get to delve into Litchfield County as much as we would’ve liked, but I’m sure we will be back very soon! 

Easy dinners

Meals with a newborn are tough. One of our favorite things is cooking dinner together every night, but since having Harrison, we’ve been ordering out for a lot of our meals. Unfortunately, this has not helped me lose weight as quickly as I’d like. It also doesn’t feel as healthy as our home cooked meals. 

After two weeks of takeout almost every night, we decided that we needed to commit ourselves to cooking quick, easy, healthy dinners.

This weeks menu included Mexican stuffed peppers with ground turkey; baked cod; pumpkin ravioli with steamed vegetables, and lasagna roll ups. 

I’ve made lasagna roll ups many times before. They’re simple, delicious and relatively low fat and calorie. 


Ingredients: 

  • Whole grain lasagna noodles
  • Ricotta cheese
  • Baby spinach 
  • Tomato sauce (if I’m not making my own, I use Rao’s) 
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese 
  • Parmesan cheese 


Directions:

  • Boil lasagna noodles, pour in a little olive oil to prevent sticking 
  • Spread thin layer of sauce on a baking dish
  • Lay one noodle at a time; put in tablespoon of ricotta cheese (more or less to preference); put a few pieces of spinach on top of the cheese and roll; repeat with each noodle
  • Cover with tomato sauce, sprinkle Parmesan and mozzarella cheese 
  • Place in over, uncovered and bake for 40 minutes at 350 


It’s that easy! And these are always a hit, especially with me… since I can have my pasta fix but it’s lighter than a full on lasagna meal. 

And on that note, it’s time to change the babe!

Almost a year later

I found out I was pregnant about a week after my last blog post, and didn’t find myself going back to this place until now. 

This past year has been a whirlwind. I had terrible morning sickness and felt like December, January and February were lost months. We sold our townhouse. We bought our first ‘real’ house, and moved to Ridgefield, CT. 

In August, we welcomed the most perfect baby boy, Harrison. We are slowly adjusting to this new chapter in our lives.  Becoming a mom has been challenging, but nothing short of incredible and miraculous. 

I have a little over a month of maternity leave and am trying to make the most of my time at home. I thought it would be a fun time to come back to blogging, to help my document this time in my life.