48 hours in healdsburg

How great does this sound right now?


This post is a bit of a throwback, but like every February, I'm craving a little warmth something fierce. I thought I would re-live our quick getaway to Healdsburg to get through this last stretch of winter and share a mini guide in case you find yourself there sometime too.


Back in September, when the husband's parents offered to have our little guy come stay at their house for a weekend, we jumped (leaped? danced? did a jig?) at the opportunity. Sleeping in, relaxing dinners out, cups of coffee sipped rather than gulped...it sounded positively dreamy.

And wine. Let's not forget all the wine to be had.


When we visited Napa and Sonoma 4 years ago, we fell in love with the town of Healdsburg and decided it would be just the place to come back to. But this time, our trip would be a quick 48 hours.

We flew into the Santa Rosa airport, just 15 minutes from Healdsburg, to make the most of our time. A tiny airport has its perks - the husband fetched our car from the rental while I stood no more than 5 feet away waiting for our bag. We breezed in and out and made way into the California sunshine!


We didn't have much time and we didn't try to plan too much. We marveled at the vineyards, driving through the windy backroads of the Russian River Valley, talking some and then quieting to listen to the hum of the motor, taking it all in. We filled our bellies with big slurpy bowls of pasta, salads of watercress and dainty gem lettuces, feisty cups of coffee, and impossibly good cheeses. We drank delicious, delicious wine and felt younger and bold and a bit sassy too, as wine will do.


The highlight of our getaway was a visit to Scribe, a winery producing the most brilliant and lively wines using non-interventionist methods. We were greeted with a palm tree-lined driveway and sunlit vineyards all around. A charming hacienda stood at the end of the lane. For two Pacific Northwesterners, it didn't take much more than that. A love story was inevitable.


For our lunch + tasting, we sat on the side porch of the hacienda under a white umbrella, just in front of the garden and overlooking the vineyards.

There was a platter of chicken wings topped with bright green chimichurri and lots and lots of olive oil. Little lettuces were tangled with a zippy meyer lemon vinaigrette. Tomatoes and waxy yellow beans sat plumply under a slathering of aioli and the toastiest breadcrumbs. There were marinated cucumbers with baby radishes and bright, pungent herbs, tiny shishito peppers, and sweet, sweet garden melon. Incredible. And most of it came from just steps away.

The wine dazzled and the sense of place had us entirely smitten.


I'm rejuvenated (and assuredly nostalgic) just thinking about it all again. Do get yourself there sometime if you can. Here, my brief travel list, but I promise it's a good one.


to sleep


Hotel Healdsburg / A gem. I loved the twinkly lights stringing overhead in the courtyard, a perfect place to have a cup of coffee in the morning or a maybe a little wine in the evening.

to eat + drink


Shed / Part market, part eatery, part shop for home goods. In other words, a dream. They've got a café, coffee bar (serving up local Flying Goat Coffee), fermentation bar, and larder. Stop in to have a coffee and pick up supplies for a decidedly above-average picnic.

Campo Fina / Ask to sit on the patio next to the bocce court at this laid-back spot. Eat a big bowl of pasta and drink a big glass of wine. So much yes.

Spoonbar / Pop in here on a nice evening, when all the doors and windows are opened up and the energy is infectious. Definitely have a go at the bar if you can manage to get a spot.

Noble Folk / An ice cream + pie bar. Need I say more? Just go.


to do/visit (wineries, of course)


Scribe / My favorite winery of all time. I mean it. See my gushing notes up above and just about 90% of the photos in this post.

Copain / Perched on a hill overlooking the Russian River Valley, this winery is a lovely one for the views and even better for the wines. I adore their Pinot Noirs.




citrusy oat pancakes + a third birthday

A certain someone just turned 3!


It's so hard to believe, and oh! the feelings I have about it. Pretty soon he'll be buttoning up his shirts and tying his own shoes, and then it'll be first dates, driving permits, and the grocery bill of a teenage boy's appetite. Hold me.

But before I get a little too far ahead of myself, let's talk about what our little Crew really loves right now: pancakes.

If he had it his way, this boy would eat pancakes every day of his life. So naturally, on the morning of his third birthday (and it being a Saturday, especially so) we made him a big stack of these citrusy oat pancakes.


He likes them slathered with melty, salty butter that pools on top and hot maple syrup spooned over. And he wastes no time to begin asking for a second before the first is even finished.

The kid knows what's good.

We've tried dozens of pancake recipes in our house, but always come back to this one. It was first inspired by a Smitten Kitchen recipe featuring sour cream and caramelized peaches (excellent for summer, by the way) that we've tweaked over time and made our own. Crew's got quite the sweet tooth, that one, but doesn't seem to mind if his mama tosses yogurt, whole grain flours, and gobs of citrus zest into the batter. 

These are perfect for wintertime when there's plenty of citrus around at the market. The bit of brightness it lends here is a welcome antidote to these greyest of days. Use whatever you can find - oranges, tangerines, satsumas, or those tangy little clementines. We zest the rind into our pancakes and then cut up slices to eat alongside. 


Of note, this recipe only makes 11ish pancakes. If you've got a big eater in the house (Crew regularly goes for 5 and sometimes even 6!), you may want to double it. The first time we made this, the husband and I were about ready to hide our precious 2.5 pancakes each under the table and snatch little bites when Crew wasn't looking.

And sometimes, when we're feeling fancy, we like to cut up slices of banana and place a few in each pancake once the batter has set in the pan. Give them a flip and they'll caramelize with the butter in the pan and turn sticky sweet. I think you'll be pleased.


Oh, to be 3. To be curious, eager, obstinate, and full of wonder. In honesty, motherhood is more exhausting than ever and I sometimes find myself wishing away the challenges, wanting it to be easy. There are plenty of tears, moments of waning patience, and deep breaths mustered. There are hardships I didn't expect. But, the joys. Thank goodness for the joys! They somehow seem to rise above all else. When my family gathers around the table, pulling pancakes from the stack and laughing with our mouths full, that's when I know it's going to be okay. That's the good stuff. And I remind myself that things are just as they should be.


citrusy oat pancakes // makes about 11 (3-4 inches each)

These are just the thing to wake up to on a dark winter's morning. The brightness of the citrus really comes through here. You could use any combination of flours depending on what you've got - we add spelt, barley, or rye to the mix from time to time - but usually stick with a 2/3 whole grain : 1/3 refined grain ratio to optimize whole grains but maintain some fluffiness. If you use Greek yogurt here, be sure to add a little more milk. Oh! And if you're feeding a hungry crowd, definitely double or even triple the batch.


1 cup / 8 oz / 230 g plain whole milk yogurt

2 tablespoons whole milk

1 egg

2 tablespoons / 25 g organic cane sugar

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

citrus zest, to taste (I often use about 1 teaspoon orange zest and 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest, loosely packed)

1/4 cup / 32 g oat flour

1/4 cup / 32 g whole wheat flour

1/4 cup / 32 g all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

butter for the pan


Preheat your oven to 250°F.  In a large bowl, whisk the yogurt, milk, egg, sugar, vanilla, and citrus zest together.  In a smaller bowl, whisk the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and fold them together gently until just combined (and maybe still a bit lumpy).

Set your skillet on the heat to medium (or medium-low if your burner tends to run hot). Melt a little knob of butter in the bottom of the pan and pour in about 1/4 cup of the batter for each pancake, leaving at least an inch or two between them. When the edges begin to dry and pull away slightly, rotate them in the pan with your spatula to brown evenly. (You can skip this if your stove tends to heat pretty evenly across the pan.) Once bubbles begin to form on top, go ahead and give them a quick flip. Repeat on the other side and cook until the pancakes are cooked through and golden brown on both sides. If they begin to brown too quickly, lower your heat. 

Transfer each batch of finished pancakes to a cooling rack and place them in the warm oven. (I like using a cooling rack here because heat and air can circulate underneath and prevent them from becoming soggy, but a sheet pan would work fine too.) Continue to cook the pancakes in batches, likely needing to add a little knob of butter and lower the heat between each batch. Keep warm in the oven until all the pancakes are cooked and you're ready to eat. Serve with plenty of salty butter and hot maple syrup.