Riley’s at Los Rios Rancho

Saturday, November 11, 2017 

Apple & Chestnut Picking 
Riley’s at Los Rios Rancho, Oak Glen

Ruffle Cup Top (on sale!!) // Sateen Leggings (on sale!!) // Cut-Out Ankle Booties (on sale!!)

This post is way overdue but I’ve just been so busy lately that I haven’t gotten a chance to tell you all about my trip out to Yucaipa a couple weeks ago. I wore this outfit when we went chestnut picking. My entire outfit is currently 40% off!! I recently ordered this velvet trim ruffle cup top in a petite – it runs TTS and I absolutely love the fit. I bought it when it was full price but I just received an email that it’s on sale (40% off) making it $35.70 – use code: friends40 at check out. It comes in three colors: black, ivory and purple. My sateen leggings are so comfy and I’ve worn it a handful of times because it goes with so many different tops. It’s on sale for $34.99 – use code: happy at check out. If you’re not a fan of the color, autumn sage (what I’m wearing) you have eight different colors to chose from. My boots are on repeat, once again. These are my favorite pair of ankle booties this season. The black and taupe faux suede cut out ankle booties are an online exclusive and currently on sale (30% off) making it $28.69. I know that they will sell out fast and sizes are limited, so get them while you still can.

Los Rios Rancho is So Cal’s largest apple farm, unfortunately they have concluded apple picking for the season. Luckily, I didn’t leave empty handed. Although apple season has concluded, chestnut season has begun. You must be thinking the same thing as me, “when was apple season?” Apple season officially begins each year on Labor Day and runs through Thanksgiving. This year however, apples came in a month early, therefore ending a month early. Bummer!! Even though I didn’t get to pick apples from the orchard this season at Riley’s – Los Rios Rancho, I got to taste the apple butter, I bought an entire apple crisp pie and I got to press my own apples to make a gallon of fresh apple cider.

For not being able to pick apples, my family and I still spent an entire day here. I think we are going to make this a family tradition, it’s a wonderful place to harvest memories. I especially love the small town country feel; the scenery was beautiful and the apple butter and apple cider were to die for!

Country Store

 I loved the vibe and decor… the store was very scenic and cute. We don’t have an apple store in Orange County but it kind of reminds me of my local farmer’s market. There were a variety of jams, apple butter, pumpkin butter, candied apples, apple pies, apple cinnamon curd, jugs of apple cider, hard cider and bags of fresh apples sorted by varieties (all for purchase).


The U-Press Cider was totally worth it… you pay for the entire experience. It cost $20 but you get to fill a bucket full of apples then you get to press it. I loved the idea of pressing my own apples… until I got tired a quarter of the way through. It was a good thing I had a lot of little helpers who were excited to take over. It truly was a fun experience, and the littles absolutely loved it. The apple cider that we pressed was soooo good!! Yummm!

Petting Zoo, Miniature Farm & Horse Ride

We had such a great experience at the petting zoo/miniature farm. We bought tickets for the horse and pony ride. The best part about this was that you can purchase it for a specific time slot. This allowed us some time to visit the little petting zoo which was was so cute (admission was included in the horse ride purchase). Brady loved feeding all of the animals in there. I think he was more amused that they were all fighting over his attention.

Chestnut Picking 


Chestnut picking is a seasonal hidden gem that all families should experience. Thanksgiving will mark the end of the official chestnut season, so you still have a week left if you’re interested. Chestnuts are a popular nut for the holiday season so this was something that I was really looking forward to. There were so many fallen chestnuts, they were literally everywhere. My only regret was not bringing gardening gloves. Ouch! Here are some tips for harvesting a chestnut:

  • Beat the squirrels: Try to gather the chestnuts as soon as they fall to the ground. This will preserve the quality of the nuts and minimize loss to squirrels (they love chestnuts, too).
  • Look for open burrs: When the chestnut is mature, the burrs will open and that is when you want to remove the husks (you’ll definitely want gloves for this). Since we weren’t planning on going chestnut picking originally, we didn’t come prepared. The easiest way to open the burrs was to step on it or use sticks, you can also carefully open it with your hands (and I mean carefully!)
  • Don’t shell until needed: Chestnuts will dry out within a week of being removed from the shell. So keep them fresh by shelling before you’re ready to use them not earlier than that.
  • Sorting chestnuts: When sorting chestnuts, keep an eye out for shells that are smooth, glossy and ones that are heavy. This will hold the tastiest nuts.

Click on the links for some chestnut recipes, enjoy!!

Roasted Squash, Pancetta & Chestnut Risotto 

Japanese Chestnut Rice

Roasted Pork Tenderloin With Balsamic-Chestnut Glaze

Dan Lepard’s Mont Blanc Layer Cake

1 Comment

  1. A Look Back At 2017 – SweetHelenMelon

    January 6, 2018 at 2:20 am

    […] {First Time Chestnut Picking // original post here} […]

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