Knott’s Boysenberry Festival April 1st-23rd!

Knott’s Boysenberry Festival

By Erin

It’s almost Boysenberry time! This unique berry is a cross between a loganberry, a red raspberry and a blackberry. Did you know Knott’s Berry Farm was at one time a berry farm established by Walter Knott and his family? Knott was the first to commercially cultivate the boysenberry in Southern California after transplanting the berry’s vines from the former Boysenberry farm. Mrs. Knott began making preserves, which made Knott’s Berry Farm famous. The popular purple little boysenberry put Knott’s Berry Farm on the road to being America’s first theme park. As the birthplace of the delectable boysenberry, Knott’s Berry Farm once again showcases the little berry that started it all with a spectacular 23-day food and beverage celebration. 

This year, the festival is over three weeks (April 1–April 23) featuring over 70 boysenberry inspired dishes, drinks and more. During these 23 days everyone can indulge in succulent eats and enjoy live entertainment, new shows, pie eating contests, meet the Easter Beagle and PEANUTS gang, make new friends at the new Old MacDonald petting zoo, mingle with the Ghost Town townsfolk, line dance, and join the nighttime dance party. Of course there is all the usual fun too because entrance to the Boysenberry festival is included with park admission. (Additional cost for tastings of food and drink).

There are so many boysenberry inspired food and drinks to choose from throughout Ghost Town that are both sweet and savory. Items include ribs, meatballs, chicken wings, BBQ dishes flavored with Knott’s very own Boysenberry BBQ Sauce, boysenberry cream soda, chocolate covered Boysenberry cheesecake, Boysenberry ICEE Floats, Boysenberry Latte, and the now super famous Fun Bun! The Fun Bun is a crowd favorite with its warm, sweet, gooey deliciousness. If you have not heard of the Fun Bun yet; it is a cinnamon roll, boysenberry and funnel cake rolled into one delicious bun of fun. New this year is the boysenberry pizza, boysenberry ravioli, and boysenberry fry bread! There is so much to enjoy, you will have to come back more than once to enjoy it all! 😉

Now, ready to get a sneak peek of all the Boysenberry goodness of some of my favorite picks? Here you go!

  • Fun Bun – Fried Cinnamon Roll with Boysenberry Cream Cheese Topping (also shown is the Fun Stick)

  • Fun Stick

  • Chocolate Covered Boysenberry Cheesecake on a stick

  • Boysenberry Nutella Crepes

  • Deep Fried Alligator & Fries with Boysenberry Aioli

  • Boysenberry Fry Bread

  • Boysenberry Pizza

  • Marinated Boysenberry Meatball on a Stick with Boysenberry BBQ Sauce

  • Boysenberry & Apricot Pulled Pork  Sandwich in a Boysenberry Bun Combo

  • Boysenberry BBQ Wings

  • Boysenberry Corn Dog

Boysenberry Festival Tasting Card*

One of the best ways to experience the Boysenberry Festival is with a Boysenberry Festival Tasting Card. For only $25, the tasting card includes generous portions of six delectable treats:

  1. Boysenberry Pizza at Wagon Wheel Pizza
  2. Boysenberry Ravioli at Spurs Chophouse
  3. Boysenberry Buffalo Wings at the Gold Trails Hotel
  4. Boysenberry BBQ Meatballs at the Bank of Calico
  5. Boysenberry Fry Bread at the Gourmet Churro Factory
  6. Boysenberry Pana Cotta at the Ghost Town Bakery

The Boysenberry Festival Tasting Card can be purchased online or at the following locations at the park: The California Store, Little Spurs, General Store, Ghost Town Candy, Gold Trails Hotel, Spurs Chophouse, Pemmican Pickle, Calico Saloon, Ghost Town Bakery, Sutter’s Grill, and Ghost Town Mix-it-up.

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Salt Creek Grille

Salt Creek Grille

By Erin

Salt Creek Grille has some amazing eats and drinks. You will want to make this place a regular or make it a special trip anytime you are in the Southern California area!

About Salt Creek Grille

Tim McCune and his original business partner, Pete Truxaw, dreamed of creating a neighborhood restaurant tailored to their community. They envisioned an upscale yet casual American-themed grille, where friends and family would come to relax and savor a unique dining experience. It was from that dream that Salt Creek Grille was born. I think it’s safe to say this is a success as both the outside patio and indoors were packed upon arrival with folks both relaxing and enjoying a nice meal, on a Wednesday evening.

Salt Creek Grille grills their meats over hot, mesquite embers. With a dedication to sourcing responsibly, their food is crafted with the freshest meats, poultry, fish, and produce available. The menu is paired with unique wines from boutique vineyards and well-known cellars, catering to both the connoisseur and causal taster.

The menu is only one part of the dining experience. Creating a nurturing culture among the staff that emphasizes sincere and attentive hospitality is of the utmost importance and is very noticeable the second you walk through the door. The atmosphere is warm and comfortable to make dining a relaxing and memorable experience for everyone. Take a look!

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The entrance to Salt Creek Grille.

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The beautiful and inviting patio. I chose to wait until we were leaving to grab this shot, it was THAT busy before!

salt-creek-grille-fire

The cozy and warm fire pit where you can hang out while you wait for your table.

This intimate organization of restaurants is located on the two coasts: Rumson and Princeton in New Jersey, and Valencia, El Segundo, and Dana Point in California.

So come experience the Salt Creek Grille way with me!

First we started out with some drinks of course!

salt-creek-grille-drinks

I love blood oranges, so I just had to try the Blood Orange Margarita. It was divine. We were here on Wine Wednesday where you can get wine for 1/2 off, so my friend ordered some wine.

Next up we tried a couple of the appetizers. Boy were we in for a real treat!

Ahi Tuna Stack

ahi-tuna-stack

Served up Sashimi Style with avocado, cucumber, wasabi, and ginger soy. So yummy!

Risotto & Goat Cheese “Beignets”

risotto-goat-cheese-beignets

Next, we tried one that came highly recommended to us, so we HAD to try it. Arborio Rice, Black Truffles, Asiago, Goat Cheese, Roasted Tomato & Red Bell Pepper Sauce. Let’s just say this didn’t last very long… so yes it is good. These are amazing!

Then we tried one of the side salads.

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Carmel by the Sea: a Foodie Paradise #LLBlogNotAConf

By Erin

*I traveled with a group of talented writers to Central California. We spent a few days in Carmel by the Sea, the Carmel Valley and Monterey for #LLBlogNotaConf.*

Carmel-by-the-Sea-LLBlogNotaConf

Taking a vacation up the Central Coast in California is one of my all time favorite destinations. Enjoying family vacations in this part of California has always been a favorite. So much so I have been there countless times again and again on my own with friends as an adult. When I heard that there was a trip being planned to head up this way with some of my favorite writers and fellow foodie friends for LLBlogNotAConf, I could not pass the opportunity up.

Carmel by the Sea

Carmel-by-the-Sea is a beautiful little European-styled village, sitting above a picturesque white-sand beach that has inspired artists, sparked romances, and attracted celebrities for decades with its charm. One of the top-10 destinations in the U.S. year after year, Carmel-by-the-Sea is a place you will want to vacation at too. Everything is within walking distance from your adorable hotel or inn. Activities range from the performing arts and cultural activities to hundreds of Carmel shops, restaurants, wine tasting, art galleries, and so much more, with tons of other options nearby as well. Food is a huge part of traveling for me, so I will share some of my favorite spots with you here and in the surrounding areas nearby.

Right now the city is in the midst of their Centennial Celebration, with lots of events all year-long culminating in a special parade on October 29th. You can find a list of upcoming events here.

Now, on to the FOOD right? Here are some of my top picks for places to stop along your drive up to Carmel from Southern California and while you are in and around Carmel.

The Apple Farm

A childhood favorite of mine, I always have to stop at The Apple Farm in San Luis Obispo for breakfast on my way through the Central Coast cities. Not only is the food amazing, but so is the atmosphere. There are so many things to see, you will want to make sure to leave a little time to wander around a bit before or after your meal here.

Apple Farm Breakfast LLBlogNotAConf

Jocko’s Steak House

If you LOVE steak as much as I do, then you MUST stop here on either your way to or from Carmel (or both if possible!) Located in Nipomo, CA they serve some of the most delicious steak around for a very unbelievable price; $24 for the Small Spencer (ribeye) pictured below, which was more than I could eat by myself. There was so much food with dinner.  The steak was perfectly done, the pinquito beans were amazing, and the garlic bread was super garlicky.  It also comes with a baked potato, salad, a relish tray that has a bunch of pepperoncini and sweet cherry peppers, dessert and coffee.  Some of my favorite stuff, all included in one price. Such a crazy good deal right?

You don’t eat here for the ambience – that leaves much to be desired. It’s pretty plain and simple. You walk in to see a variety of animal heads plastered all over the walls and then walk into a very non-descript dining room. You come here for the food. It gets insanely busy here (since it’s that good) so it is best to make a reservation in advance if you know you will be coming up this way.

Jocko's Steak House

Wine Tasting

If you’re  looking for a little wine-tasting before your meal, or you want to spend a relaxing afternoon strolling around town while sipping on some wine, make sure to get yourself a Wine Tasting Passport (The passport costs $65 and is a $90 value)! Sip and savor some wine in one of the many super friendly and pet-friendly tasting rooms. With your Passport you get 9 tasting tickets, so you will get to sample a wide variety of wine from many different tasting rooms.

Wine-Tasting-Carmel-By-the-Sea

Carmel Belle

Once you have made it to Carmel and you’re ready to have an amazingly delicious lunch (or breakfast or dinner) then make your way over here! We joined our group here for lunch after doing a little bit of wine tasting, and it really hit the spot. From salads, soups, to sandwiches and comfort foods, you are sure to find something that will make your taste buds happy. I tried the Mozzarella and Prosciutto La Quercia Sandwich with Tomato Bisque soup, both were delicious and very satisfying. Their soups are made by scratch daily. And dessert?  Carmel Belle has plenty of options to make your sweet tooth happy too. 🙂

Carmel-Belle-Mozzarella-Prosciutto-La-Quercia

Mozzarella and Prosciutto La Quercia Sandwich with vegetables on country toast.

Carmel-Belle-Tomato-Bisque-Soup

Scrumptious made from scratch Tomato Bisque Soup.

Carmel-Belle-Desserts-LLBlogNotaConf

An assortment of delectable desserts to choose from. I’m in heaven! 🙂

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