The Best Wine For Summer Under $20

The Best Wine For Summer Under $20

It’s Summer (yay) that means you’re going to be invited to beach houses, pool parties, or dinner parties on the regular. That also means you will be spending tons of time at the liquor store deciding what to bring to all of these occasions. While no one wants to be labeled the “two buck chuck” person, you also don’t want to break the bank to get the best wine. I’ve done the hard work for you (wine tasking is my favorite kind of hard work) and rounded up the best tasting, budget-friendly bottles of wine for summer.

I am more than a wine drinker, I am a wine lover. I am truly passionate about wines. If you have been following along on my Instagram stories you know that I am a very big fan of wine, Hello Wine Wednesday! My husband and I love to plan vacations around visiting wineries. Wine tasting in a beautiful location is my favorite kind of vacation.

Summer Cocktails
Best Summertime Wines

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We are such wine lovers that we based a good portion of our honeymoon on visiting the Marlborough Valley in New Zealand, my absolute favorite wine region. Additionally, we got engaged in Tuscany, so maybe we just like to celebrate life’s big moments near wine?

When it comes to wine, I can be a bit picky. I always say no to Chardonnay and I want nothing to do with sweet wine. What can I say? I know what I like.

Okay, let’s get down to business. Here are the best wines for summer that you can confidently bring to a party, sip with dinner or just drink on the couch. Cheers!

Best Wine For Summer

Best Wine For Summer

Summer Water Rose – $18

The name says it all, this rosé is light and refreshing.  This rose has a light pink grapefruit flavor and that is probably why I am such a fan.

Hey Mambo Dry Rose – $15

Hot summer days call for cold drinks and this refreshing rose is high on my list. Notes of strawberry and watermelon make for the perfect refreshing wine.

Miraval Rose – $20

I have only seen Miraval under $20 once or twice but I am counting it. I may not be a huge Angelina Jolie fan but damn this is wine good.

Brancott Estate Sauvignon Blanc – $12

When we visited Brancott Estate, I enjoyed their Sauvignon Blanc with a creamy, mushroom risotto. and Yum! What a great pairing!

Whitehaven Sauvignon Blanc – $13

This wine tastes like summer. It starts with big, bright citrus flavors and ends with a cool, crisp finish.

Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc – $14

Probably the most famous New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, pairs great with seafood and grilled vegetables.

My all time, absolute favorite Sauvignon Blanc is Cloudy Bay. Unfortunately, it didn’t make this list because its price point is high above $20.

Casal Garcia Vinho Verde – $7

You are probably thinking a wine that cheap can’t be good oh but it is. It has a nice fizzy, fresh flavor and is only 10% alcohol, the perfect wine for a summer afternoon.

La Marca Prosecco – $12

Because sometimes you just need some bubbles! La Marca is dry and smooth, making it the perfect summer sparkling wine.

Chloe Pinot Grigio – $13

A very light fruit-forward Pinot Grigio. Pinot Grigio has a very mild flavor making it the best wine to make a white sangria! If you are looking for an easy sangria recipe, you can find my favorite here.

Conte Fini Pinot Grigio – $15

This dry, crisp Pinot Grigio is the perfect wine to accompany a nice, summer dinner.

Now go enjoy some wine!

All of these wines are under $20 in California. Alcohol in other states tends to be a bit more expensive. When we lived in Alabama I was always shocked by the alcohol prices, that dang sin tax will get you!

While I love a spicy red wine with a big hearty dinner I think that red wine belongs in every other season. Summer is all about light, bright, fruity flavors and maybe a few bubbles. My perfect summer afternoon is sitting by a lake or in a boat with a VERY cold glass of Marlborough Valley Sauvignon Blanc, PERFECTION.

Keeping this list at my top 10 favorite wines was hard! I could list 100 more, there is just too much great wine for summer! Do you have a favorite wine for summer? Let me know in the comments below, I can’t wait to try!

Hat On The Map | Lifestyle and Fashion Blog
Hat On The Map | Lifestyle and Fashion Blog

Spinach and Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken

Do y’all love everything goat cheese as much as I do? If so, this recipe is a must! By making slits in the chicken and stuffing with spinach and goat cheese, you’ll get the most delicious, cheesy chicken. This low carb recipe is a crowd pleaser!

My husband HATES goat cheese, has a very serious hatred for the cheese. Anytime someone brings up goat cheese he immediately says, goat cheese tastes like goats! It doesn’t, he’s wrong, it’s the most delicious cheese but I guess we are allowed to have our food preferences. These past few weeks my husband has been working very late and we have been on our own for dinner, so you know what that means?! goat cheese for every meal!

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We just returned home from the perfect weekend of wine tasting on the central coast, it was so much fun! But let me tell you what, we indulged! In 24 hours, we had pizza, donuts and lots of wine, those things are not in my normal low carb diet, but gosh was it delicious! Now that we are back home, its time to get back to my healthy meals full of protein and veggies.

Spinach and Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken:


  • 3 cups fresh spinach
  • ½ cup crumbled goat cheese
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 4 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp garlic
  • ⅓ cup shredded parmesean cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with foil, set aside.
  2. Cook the fresh spinach until it becomes slightly wilted, then goat cheese and a pinch of red pepper flakes and cooking until the goat cheese melts.
  3. Cut slits down the middle of the chicken (I used tenders because that’s what I had at home, but I suggest using chicken breast). This part can be tricky because it’s important that you do not cut the chicken all the through.
  4.   Stuff each piece of chicken with the spinach and goat cheese mixture.
  5. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic.
  6. Add a little parmesan cheese and pop them in the oven at 350 degrees. At about 15 minutes, switch the oven to broil and continue to cook the chicken for about 10 minutes until the tops of the chicken are brown and bubbly.
Goat Cheese and Spinach Stuffed Chicken

Side Note: Taking pictures of food is HARD!

This stuffed chicken recipe is low carb and keto friendly. I am going to pair my chicken with some roasted veggies for the perfect low carb meal. This stuffed chicken recipe is a perfect work night dinner; Super simple, quick, easy and so delicious! Hope you enjoy this meal as much as I do!

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Charcuterie Board On A Budget

Charcuterie Board On A Budget

Charcuterie Board; those two words are music to my ears. One of my favorite things in the world is a nice cured meat with a soft cheese and a cold glass of Marlborough Valley Sauvignon Blanc. If this trio was a bit healthier, I would have this combination every single day.

I find my favorite nights are the ones where we stay home, put together a fun Charcuterie or grazing board and play a little game of dominoes. The main issue I have with creating a charcuterie board is the price tag adds up so fast! I wanted to challenge myself to put together a Charcuterie Board on a budget and I was pretty pleased with the results.

For this board, I stuck to a strict budget of $30. With that budget, I wasn’t able to get as much variety as I normally would but I am still pretty proud of how the board turned out. With the exception of the strawberries and meat, I did the all of my shopping at Trader Joe’s.

My board shown in this post is from Target, I linked it below with additional reasonable boards that I love.

Now let’s make this Charcuterie Board!

Charcuterie Board

To begin, start with the ingredient(s) that belong in a bowl. For this board, I am only putting olives in a bowl but this would also be the time to include any dips like a hummus or tapenade.

Charcuterie Board Ideas

Next: add cheese. Sticking to a budget was most difficult when it came to cheese selection because your girl LOVES a fancy cheese. On the board: the three smaller slivers come from the Trader Joe’s tapas pack and are the perfect amount of cheese for a charcuterie board. The larger bit of cheese is triple cream brie with mushrooms, its to die for! SO DELICIOUS.

Side Note: If you are ever in the Palm Springs area there is a great cheese and charcuterie board shop called On The Mark. It’s a must visit.

How To Make a Charcuterie Board

Next up: Add Meat, for this board I used pepperoni and salami but my favorite is a hard Spanish chorizo. I normally would purchase my cured meats for a board from Whole Foods, but the budget did not allow for that. There is a great selection of cured meats at Whole Foods!. On this board, the pepperoni is prepackaged from the refrigerated section at Ralph’s and the salami is boars head from the Ralph’s deli.

Charcuterie board from Trader Joes

Add tomatoes or any easy to enjoy vegetable. Another option for non-tomato lovers is bell pepper or carrots. I like to separate my fruits and vegetables with the cheese in case there are any non-strict vegetarians in attendance, in that case, they would be able to enjoy the board’s ingredients as well.

Charcuterie Board on a budget

Add fresh and dried fruit. for this board I used strawberries and the chili spiced dried mango from Trader Joes. If you have not tried the chili spiced dried mango, its such a must!

Charcuterie Board Display

Finally, add nuts and crackers and enjoy!

What are your favorite charcuterie board items that I am missing?  I really love a spreadable cheese, sad the budget didn’t allow me to include that.

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Trader Joes Staples For The Keto Diet

Trader Joes Staples For The Keto Diet

I’m finally back in Palm Springs from a very long trip to Birmingham, AL, I had the best time in the deep south, where I enjoyed fried pickles, IPA beer, and crunch wrap supremes. I wish all those things were in my normal diet but, they are not.

I’m so excited to be back home where I’m able to go to the grocery store and get all my favorite foods. One of my favorite things to do when I get home from a long trip is to fill my pantry and fridge with all of my favorite, delicious and healthy foods. I am not a person who gets homesick but I do miss the ability to be able to cook and control all of the food I consume.

To keep my diet clean and mainly grain free I have to keep my home full of delicious and easy grain-free options.  My favorite items below also follow the Keto diet, I am so intrigued by the Keto diet but don’t currently follow because of my deep love for beans.

When I got home from my trip to Birmingham, my fridge was cleaned out, all that was left was chicken, string cheese, and bacon. I guess those items must be the necessities for my husband. There is something exciting about an empty fridge, it means I get to fill the fridge with WHATEVER I want.

Now, let’s get to these Trader Joe’s Staples.

Refrigerated Items

Carne Asada
Trader Joe’s preseasoned carne asada is SO good and easy.


IMG_6407 (1)
Easy and Delicious Carne Asada


Pork Chops
If you follow my Instagram stories tonight you will see my delicious one pan pork chops, yum! I’ll add the recipe to my Instagram highlights because this recipe is so delicious and easy!


Shaved Brussel Sprouts
Super easy to cook up real quick for a delicious side dish.

Cherry Tomatoes
Tomatoes are my favorite food, it’s that easy.

Sugar Plum Tomatoes

Canned Red & Yellow Roasted Peppers
So great to cut up and throw on a salad.

Steamed Baby Beets
Beets mixed with goat cheese, obsessed!

Steamed & Peeled Baby Beets

Persian Cucumbers
Okay, quick recipe, mix sour cream and everything but the bagel seasoning and use that as a base to dip the Persian cucumbers, SO GOOD!

Trader Joes Persian Cucum

Broccoli Slaw
The base for my husband’s favorite side dish.



Cauliflower Rice/ Broccoli Rice
I love to use this product to make rice for burrito bowls, yum!

Trader Joe’s Riced Cauliflower

Frozen Green Beans


Trader Joes Frozen Vegetables

Shelled Edamame


I also always stock up on lettuce, spinach, kale, and broccoli but how boring.



Coconut Chips
My absolute favorite snack for airplanes.


Roasted Coconut Chips


Raw Almonds
My husband takes raw almonds to work everyday so its a must have.


Everything But The Bagel Seasoning
This stuff is the real deal!! I use it on everything. It’s great in greek yogurt as a dip or as a sprinkle on top of the salad. It’s so multifunctional and amazing, must purchase. I get a lot of my seasonings from Trader Joe’s, the prices are so good!


Everything But The Bagel Seasoning


Almond Flour
I use this to make the best Keto Muffins! I love almond flour, its such a great high protein, low carb substitute for traditional wheat flour.

Olive Oil
The best prices on olive oil!


Not Keto Friendly

Gone Bananas
I love these, I wanted something sweet so chocolate covered bananas because DUH!

Dark Chocolate Covered Banana Slices

Coming Soon

Spaghetti Squash, once fall comes around I always have a spaghetti squash in my home. Trader Joe’s is my favorite place to purchase Spaghetti Squash because their price can’t be beaten.

Some might find grocery shopping horrible and daunting but I’ll be honest there is something about it that is so fun.

What are some Grain-Free and Keto Friendly Trader Joe’s items that I am missing? I know most people will notice the absence of Almond Butter, the truth is, I really hate all nut butters.

Happy Shopping.



The Best Chicken Enchiliadas; Easy and Delicious

The Best Chicken Enchiliadas; Easy and Delicious

This past week I have been in Birmingham, AL visiting our closest friends in our old hometown. We have a VERY tight knit group of friends and before we moved we spent most nights together. We ate dinner together, we played board games together, we enjoyed social excursions together, you name it and we were probably doing it together. With all that said, leaving Birmingham to move back to California was very, very difficult.

One of my favorite parts about visiting Birmingham is the food! I ate out quite a bit but one of my favorite meals that I enjoyed in Birmingham was made by my old neighbor and friend, Michele. She is constantly cooking delicious meals for our friend group and these Chicken Enchiladas is a favorite of all of ours. She makes some enchiladas with no dairy and some with no jalapenos, she is always very accommodating of everyone’s preferences.

Easy Chicken Enchiladas

I feel like I talk about this nonstop but when I am home and preparing the meals for my husband and myself,  we eat predominately a grain-free diet. Keeping a grain-free diet is what makes me feel my best but a grain-free diet can be very hard to keep when you are feeding a large group or hosting a party. I preface this recipe with all of that because this is not even slightly a grain-free meal, I might as well be giving a recipe for Pizza because this recipe has all the grains.

Now let’s get to this delicious recipe.

Chicken Enchiladas 


  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1/2 pint sour cream
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • ½ green bell pepper chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8-10 tortillas, burrito size
  • Big can enchilada sauce
  • Shredded Cheddar cheese to sprinkle on top
  • 2 chopped jalapenos (optional)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Boil chicken in water.  Shred the chicken and set aside.

In a skillet add the green pepper, jalapeno, and onion, cook until softened about 3 minutes, add sour cream, tomato sauce, cheddar cheese, parsley, oregano and ground black pepper. Heat until cheese melts, stirring continuously. Once the cheese has melted add chicken back to the pan and stir until chicken is completely coated.

Pour a thin layer of enchilada sauce to just cover the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan, warm the tortillas in microwave about 45 seconds so easier to handle.  Scoop even amounts of the mixture in the tortillas and arrange in a 9×13 inch baking dish. Cover with taco/enchilada sauce and Cheddar cheese. Bake covered in the preheated oven 20 minutes.

Chicken Enchilada Recipe

16 servings

These enchiladas are:


Delicious Chicken Enchiladas

These enchiladas are so good to feed a crowd, they are comforting and delicious to enjoy with a margarita. Something I really love about this recipe is you can prepare everything in the morning, put it in the fridge and then cook it when everyone is ready for dinner.

Happy Cooking!