The 7 Best Wineries in Maryland

Okay okay, this post might not be about food but if you’re like me you appreciate a good fine wine. Maybe this is the beginning of your journey as a wine connoisseur or maybe you just really don’t know where to start when it comes to wine selections. I mean, have you ever been in the wine section of a liquor store? It can be incredibly overwhelming, especially if you don’t know what you’re looking for (and that’s how you wind up with a box of Franzia acting like it’s the best wine ever made). The best way to start your journey is to figure out which kinds of wine you prefer by attending wine tastings. Lucky for you, I’ve been to MANY wine tastings and have narrowed down the 7 Best Wineries in Maryland for you (you’re welcome). 

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1. Boordy Vineyards

Boordy is one of my personal favorites. The outdoor and open atmosphere easily makes this vineyard number one in my book. Not to mention their array of delicious wines. They offer a range of events in the summer including concerts, farmers markets, and food festivals. Did I mention that you can buy a bottle of wine from their cellar and have a picnic in their seating area? If you’re looking for something to do on a summer weekend be sure to call up your friends and make a visit to Boordy Vineyards (you won’t regret it and hopefully you’ll remember it too). 

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2. Basignani Winery

The first time I visited Basignani was with my parents when I was a little girl. I told you I’ve visited many wineries in my day (probably due to the fact that my parents enjoy a good wine). Anyway, I digress. Basignani Winery is one of the best places to really find what kind of wine you prefer (my personal favorite is the dry Vidal). Conveniently located in Sparks, Maryland, they offer a variety of weekend events and tastings. And here’s a secret, if you visit Basignani with someone who’s a member of their case club your wine tasting is FREE! 

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3. Great Frogs Winery

Located in the beautiful Annapolis, MD, Great Frogs Winery is one of the most scenic vineyards I have ever been to. If you don’t live near Annapolis, I highly recommend making a day out of your visit to Great Frogs. They offer live music every Saturday and a variety of events. If you don’t get a chance to visit the winery, don’t worry, Great Frogs’ wine selections are offered in many restaurants located in Annapolis

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4. Linganore Winecellars

Linganore Winecellers is located in picturesque Mount Airy, MD. Run by the sons of the founders, this winery is by far one of my top recommendations. They offer Music at the Winery every Friday evening. Linganore provides an amazing atmosphere of great wine, music, and food. One of the other interesting things about Linganore is that they also have a Brewery on their grounds. It’s the best of both worlds!

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5. Saint Michaels Winery

I highly recommend making a trip to Saint Michaels Winery. Saint Michaels, MD is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. It’s in your best interest to book a weekend trip here. Enjoy views by the water and a vast amount of scenic areas. Their tasting room is open year round and they offer 18 samples. The best part is, each sample of wine is only $1!

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6. Serpent Ridge Vineyard

Located in the beautiful countryside Serpent Ridge Vineyard is the first vineyard winery in Carroll County, MD. Serpent Ridge offers everything from live music to paint nights and even yoga at the vineyard! If you’re looking for the best cheese for your wine be sure to try one of their wine and cheese pairings. Two of my personal favorites which you should try are their 2015 Vidal Blanc and their award winning 2012 Vintner’s Cabernet. 

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7. Harford Vineyard & Winery

I love Harford Vineyard & Winery not only because of their amazing selection of wines but because of their location in Forest Hill, MD. I think the most unique thing about this winery is that they offer wine trails. Basically, you sip and savor your wine while making your way through Maryland’s most famous wine trails. With live music offerings, farm fairs, and wine trails what more could you ask for from a vineyard? 

There you have it! I bet you’re already starting to plan some of your visits (I’ll be waiting for my invite). So if you love to whine or wine (like me!) you’ll love these vineyards and their wine selections. Please, remember to drink responsibly and ALWAYS have a designated driver (get your first ride free with my uber code: brir81 or lyft code: BRIANA426243). And if all that wine makes you hungry be sure to check out The 6 Best Burger Places in Towson, MD or the 5 Best Pizza Places Near Towson, MD.

Happy Tasting! 

*I was not financially compensated for this post. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.*

Breakfast Spots For the “Morning Person” in All of Us

Weekends are meant for sleeping in. Especially depending on the night you had before (you know, like staying up until 1 a.m. watching Live PD). But that shouldn’t mean you have to miss out on breakfast just because it ends at 10 a.m. Am I right? If you’re anything like me, you love breakfast foods but hate the idea of having to be a morning person to get some. So, here are some of my favorite breakfast spots that will still allow you to get your beauty rest:

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1. Iron Rooster

Homemade Pop-Tarts for the win! I LOVE this place. They have THE BEST breakfast food AND it’s served all day, every day (see our 5 Iron Rooster Breakfast Items You Just Have to Try Yourself). Their homemade pop-tarts come in different flavors of the day and are perfect if you’re in the mood for something sweet (or take one for the road, I won’t tell your diet). The crab hash is an incredible mix of lump crab meat, asparagus, home fried potatoes, red peppers, bacon, poached eggs, old bay, and chipotle hollandaise. Trust me, your tastebuds will be thanking you after this one. Did I mention you get a free mason jar of bacon just for checking in on Facebook? Yeah. This place is hard to beat when it comes to breakfast in my book.

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2. Miss Shirley’s

I couldn’t write about breakfast places and not include Miss Shirley’s Cafe. Seriously, I’d be doing a disservice by not mentioning them in this post. They have a plethora of delicious breakfast items ranging from Coconut Cream Stuffed French Toast all the way to a Crab Cake and Fried Green Tomato Eggs Benedict. Miss Shirley’s Cafe in Baltimore is incredibly popular and it isn’t hard to see why.  So even though you may like to sleep in, it might be in your best interest to start the day early so you don’t miss out on an opportunity for a delicious breakfast. 

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3. Towson Hot Bagels (THB)

A true staple to Towson and the surrounding area. Towson Hot Bagels, otherwise known as THB. Nothing beats a ham, egg, and cheese on egg bagel on a mid-Saturday morning. Or if you’re like me and sometimes you can’t get out of bed until after 11 I recommend trying a Show-Off on a bagel. It’s a true classic of THB and makes for the perfect late breakfast/early lunch.

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4. Rise Biscuits Donuts

Rise Biscuits Donuts is new to the Towson/Timonium area but it has easily become one of my favorite spots. Not to mention, the line that stretches out the door each Saturday morning speaks to their success. Rise is a great place for someone who’s on the go. They’ve really mastered quickness and efficiency all while producing delicious donuts and biscuits. So, if you’re looking to grab a nice sausage egg and cheese biscuit or maybe a dozen donuts and climb back into bed, Rise is the place for you.  

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5. First Watch

First Watch is the best place to go if you’re trying to eat healthy and clean (you know, the kind of eating you tell your friends you’re doing to prepare for bikini season). All jokes aside, First Watch really is the definition of a healthy breakfast spot. They use all fresh ingredients and offer a delicious brunch menu. Did I mention they have a juice bar? It’s the perfect spot and even the picky eaters can find something they like on the menu too! Be sure to try their Floridian French Toast – it’s AMAZING. 

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6. The Corner Pantry

Located just north of Mt. Washington, The Corner Pantry is one of the best places for a casual breakfast or a quick grab and go coffee when you’re on the run. The food, coffee, and ambiance are a great mix of British inspired specialties. Breakfast is served from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. so be sure to set your alarm for this one! Or gather up your friends and stop in for their Saturday Brunch!

10 Perfect Desserts for Summer 2018

The start of May brings warm weather, long nights, and the wonderful reminder that summer is just around the corner. With summer, comes warm sun, vacations, and of course, cookouts. Sometimes, those cookouts can be last minute (which means you should always be ready with dessert recipes on hand). Sure, you could make your standard brownies or cookies but why not switch it up this year? We’ve told you about the top burger places in our post: 6 Best Burger Places in Towson, MD AND the best places to get pizza: 5 Best Pizza Places Near Towson, MD. Now, we want you to keep cool this summer with the 10 perfect desserts for those impromptu (and sometimes planned!) cookouts. 

1. Blueberry Lemon Cheesecake Bars

Blueberry Lemon flavored desserts are seriously in this season. They’re light, airy, and the taste just can’t be beat. It’s perfect for convincing yourself you’re eating a “healthy dessert.” Get the recipe here.

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2. Banana Split Kebabs

A nice spin on a classic dessert. Perfect for summertime and easy to eat! A favorite treat for both kids and adults. Take these to your next cookout and they’re guaranteed to be a hit. Check out the recipe here.

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3. S’mores Brownies

If you love s’mores you’re going to love this. Everyone knows the best part of the s’more is the chocolate so why not make them into brownies? They’ll leave your friends wanting s’more! Get the recipe here.

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4. Strawberries and Cream Cheesecake

A layer of strawberry cheesecake and a second layer of vanilla cheesecake on top has this dessert bursting with flavor. Perfect and light for the cheesecake lover in all of us. Just picture yourself by the pool with a slice of this delicious dessert. Make it here.

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5. Eclair Cake

The first time I tried Eclair Cake I think I fell in love. Seriously. It’s the perfect mix of chocolate, graham cracker, and creamy eclair filling. Did I mention it’s a no-bake recipe? All you have to do is allow time for it to chill overnight! Find the recipe here. 

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6. Summer Berry IceBox Cake

Another no-bake recipe with very little prep time! Perfect for those last minute cookouts I mentioned earlier. This is the best light and refreshing summer dessert complete with mixed berries, white chocolate, and a cream cheese pudding mix. Try it here. 

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7. Pineapple Sunshine Cake

This Pineapple Sunshine Cake immediately makes me think of summer days spent soaking up the sun. This recipe is simple, easy, and delicious. It’s guaranteed to be a hit at your next pool party or even for your child’s birthday party! Try it out here.

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8. Raspberry Lemon Bars

Like I said before, lemon and berry flavored desserts are so IN. The hints of lemon give off the perfect light touch that makes summer feel so warm. Creamy and cold, perfect for those hot days! Your guests won’t be able to turn down second helpings of these. Check out the recipe here.

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9. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake

Calling all peanut butter lovers! This rich peanut butter cheesecake will leave you wanting more. It’s super easy to whip up and doesn’t require you to turn on your oven. Again, great for those last minute BBQ’s. You can find the recipe here.

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10. Blueberry and Cream Angel Dessert

Last but certainly not least, the blueberry and cream angel dessert. Light and delicious, this dessert has a heavenly taste. It’s so fluffy you’ll want to have a second plate (or third, I won’t judge). It’s the perfect finale to any cookout. Get the recipe here.

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*I was not financially compensated for this post. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.*