For as long as I can remember, I have always been in pursuit of something artistic. Whether that was the days I spent as a child learning how to sew and play the piano, the knitting phase I went through in high school, or my subsequent culinary pursuit, I find that I truly thrive when I am creating.
So imagine my surprise when Wente Vineyards reached out to ask me to make time for myself and explore a passion. I mean, you certainly don’t have to ask me twice, but I’m going to be honest with you all… Blogging is hard. I spend more time on this labor of love than I do anything else (don’t get me wrong, I love it) – the social media, blog posts, cooking, photography, emails are all me.
I’m sure no matter where you are in life, managing a hefty workload, wrangling a few kiddos, or putting yourself through school, we can all agree – taking time for ourselves is difficult. I certainly have a hard time putting the phone, laptop, tablet down to have a few seconds where I’m not just goinggoinggoing. And if the past few years have taught me anything, it’s that true happiness can be found in exploring our passions.
For me, without a doubt, it is cooking. But here’s something you may not know: I also love painting. I’m far from the next Picasso or Da Vinci, but after I went to my first paint & wine party, I was hooked.
If you’ve never heard of it, they’re usually held on weeknights & weekends. Each session is a different painting and the artist will spend 2-3 hours taking you step-by-step through the process. It’s an incredibly fun idea for a girls night, date night, birthday party or even a team building exercise. The best part? It’s BYOB! I love to bring my favorite bottle of Wente Riva Ranch Chardonnay to sip and paint the night away. And because I love a snack with my glass (or two) of wine, I found that enjoying my other passion, cooking, was the perfect way to round out this day. I’ve got a recipe for this whipped feta dip with spinach and sun-dried tomatoes below! (Real talk: this dip is so delicious and pairs perfectly with the chardonnay)
Now you may be saying, “Sarah. That is not a legit paint & wine party. That’s you chillin’ in your kitchen.” Well, you’re right. But scheduling conflicts have never stopped me before. And because I already had paint and plenty of canvas on hand, I had my own little paint & wine party by my lonesome. (Hello Pinterest!) I turned on my favorite TV show, painted that canvas, sipped my wine, snacked on my dip and seriously had one of the best days I’ve had in a long time.
So I encourage you to take some time for YOU. What do you love to do? Let me know in the comments below. Let’s chat!
And if you’re into music and find yourself in California, be sure to check out the upcoming concerts at Wente Vineyards to learn how they make time for music.
Find which stores near you carry Wente wines HERE.
Until next time. X
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Whipped Feta Dip with Spinach & Sun-dried Tomatoes
This whipped feta dip with spinach and sundried tomatoes is the perfect party dip for a small or large gathering and pairs wonderfully with a glass of white wine.
- 1 TB + 1 tsp olive oil
- 3 c. fresh baby spinach
- 4 oz. (about 1 c.) feta cheese, crumbled
- 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 2 TB parmesan cheese, grated or shredded
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp oregano
- 7 pieces sun-dried tomato
- pita chips or sliced baguette, for serving
- Heat 1 TB olive oil in a small skillet on medium heat. Add the spinach and saute, briefly, stirring and tossing for about one minute just until the leaves darken and wilt. Remove from heat.
- In the bowl of a food processor, put the feta cheese, cream cheese, parmesan, garlic powder, oregano, cooked spinach and 5 pieces of sun-dried tomato. Pulse until smooth and fully combined.
- Chop the remaining two pieces of sun-dried tomato into small cubes. Serve the dip on a plate drizzled with the remaining tsp of olive oil and topped with the tomatoes.
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