Archive for November 2014

Apple Hill – A Fall Favorite   Leave a comment

By Michelle Portesi

The Apple Growers of Apple Hill California

The Apple Growers of Apple Hill California


Nestled just off of Highway 50, from South Lake Tahoe past Pollock Pines is the area known as Apple Hill.  Hidden behind the pines is a thriving community of apple growers, cider pressers, wineries, eateries and more.

The popular area’s season got off to a rough start with the King Fire nipping at its doorstep and the smoke making any foray outdoors hard on the lungs. Mercifully that didn’t hurt the harvest and blue skies and fresh air greeted us once the fire was snuffed out. (Thank you to all the fearless firefighters!)

A recent trip down to the area showed the fires vast expanse of devastation along the highway, but just past that it didn’t take long to realize that it didn’t dampen the desire for the freshest apples around by the general population. It was Saturday. It was a glorious fall day. The town was PACKED! (Do yourself a favor. Don’t go on a Saturday.)




Our first stop graced us with a riot of fall mums, marigolds and a plethora of apple varieties I’d never heard of before. I had to buy some, and I will tell you honestly, they were DELISH! Nothing beats a fresh, unbelievable crisp and sweet apple. I may never buy store bought again.

From there we followed the trail map to several other growers, quickly realizing we couldn’t buy every single variety at every single orchard and still make rent. Fortified with a tasty lunch from one of the orchards, sitting under the apple trees on picnic benches, we planned our route to a variety of places that offered different treats. One offered an on site cider press, and I couldn’t resist a freshly pressed half gallon of it. This too was marvelous, and I have just the recipe to use it for. (Chicken brined in cider with a reduced cider gravy. Yum!)


A man and his emu...

A man and his emu…


Several had craft fairs, pick your own produce and orchards, petting zoos and gift shops (Grandpa’s Cellar) offering a wide array of apple inspired motifs. Interspersed amongst the orchards were several wineries, and we did get to sample from one that carried hard cider.

But the best treat of all was a stop at an unassuming orchard named Honey Bear Ranch, with the best caramel nut apple pie ever baked. We sat under a beautiful outdoor gazebo adorned with vines, listened to some great music, and savored every mouthful.

Apple Hill is best visited in the Fall, however the area is also a major Christmas Tree grower, and some orchards are open year round.

I’m thinking I’ll be having a serious need for more of those Caramel Apple Holiday Pies…

To learn more and plan your trip, visit their website here: Apple Hill

Be sure to download the Apple Hill map.


The size of a dinner plate!

The size of a dinner plate!



Morgan’s: A different kind of Freshie!   Leave a comment

By Tim Hauserman


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Morgan’s. West River Street in Old Downtown Truckee


Do you like fresh seafood, but are not necessarily enamored with what you can find at the supermarket? There is an alternative right here in Truckee: Morgan’s Lobster Shack and Fish Market. You can stop in to pick up the freshest tastiest fish around to cook at home, or you can just leave the cooking to Morgan’s.

A few weeks ago, I had a hankering for some good fish and headed over to Morgan’s and picked up a halibut steak at the Fish Market. At first blush, it seemed pretty dang expensive for less then a pound of fish, but a few hours later when I was savoring those delicious fresh flavors I decided it was worth the price. In addition to halibut, the market supplies swordfish, char, tuna, salmon or whatever else might be in season. The shell fish they sell includes all the usual suspects: shrimp, crap, clams and lobsters. If you have something in particular on your mind, call ahead to see what they have.

If fish sounds good, but you want someone else to do the cooking, you settle in for some mac and cheese with bacon and big hunks of lobster. Now that is comfort food, and just $12. The fish that arrived with the fish and chips was light and flavorful and the coleslaw was a hit. All for just $13. As you head up the price scale, you get lobster rolls, and shrimp plates, or you can go for the pick it yourself set up where you choose your brand of fish and how you want it cooked.


Eat In or Take Out

Eat In or Take Out


The ambiance is relaxed and basic, you can grab a meal to go, or take a seat at one of the few bar stools against the wall. Either way, the star is the fresh seafood. Enjoy.

Morgans Lobster Shack and Fish Market
10087 West River Street (Across from Diego’s)




Lynn Richardson . Coldwell Banker Real Estate . Lake Tahoe & Truckee

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Lynn Richardson . Coldwell Banker Real Estate . Lake Tahoe & Truckee


Lynn Richardson . Coldwell Banker Real Estate . Lake Tahoe & Truckee

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