Monday, March 29, 2010
Welcome my dog and you welcome me. Somehow I knew that my internet query "dog friendly wineries" would fetch-up a destination just our speed. When I called to make our appointment at Mutt Lynch Winery (as required for most wineries that weren't grandfathered-in long ago), I think I caught the proprietors at a strategy session around their kitchen table . . . however, we agreed to meet at their Healdsburg winery at the appointed time that afternoon.
When you are looking for Mutt Lynch, look for the sandwich board sign out front as they share a facility with three or four other producers for tasting and production. Inside we met Chris and Brenda (owners) and their dog Patch (retired Greyhound) and had a chance to sample some of their wines. Our dog Beaker and Patch were a well-matched pair in that they reveled in mutually ignoring each other and sprawling out in repose while the humans conducted their business. A great value under screw cap with a fun label for dog lovers is the 2007 Portrait of a Mutt Zinfandel, which we bought enough to share with some of our local dog park friends. For a slight splurge (not by Napa/Sonoma proportions), but full of fruit and well-built was the 2005 Canis Major Cabernet Sauvignon, Perotti Vineyard. For those local to the Bay Area we just got word that Lunardi's market is carrying some of their wines, so please give them a swirl when you can!
While Mutt Lynch tops our list for Sonoma/Healdsburg, we've had some great dog-friendly winery experiences in other wine regions as well . . . so if you're in the Anderson Valley (nearer Mendocino) consider Toulouse and Goldeneye or up the Napa Valley way (near Calistoga) check out Dutch Henry.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Monday, March 22, 2010
However, the very best thing about this recipe is that it is incredibly easy to make while looking extremely impressive. Before you start you must allow 40 minutes to thaw the puff pastry- I haven't found a really good way to speed this up without overheating parts of the pastry.
• a tablespoon of butter
7. Bake for 15 minutes at 400F. Check the bottom of the puff pastry to make sure it is done (and not burned)- but the top should be golden brown as well. If not, put back in for 2 minute increments until finished. Mine actually took about 18 minutes.
8. Let cool briefly and serve.
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Last week at work, we held our first "food design" contest to create the Ultimate Chocolate Chip cookie. The only rule for the competition: the recipe must use chocolate chips.
We made these spectacular trophies for the "Most Delicious" "Most Healthy" and "Most Creative" submissions- no they are not edible!
The winners were:
• Most Delicious: Classic Chocolate Chip with Nuts using Ghiradelli 60% cacoa bittersweet chips made by Paul S. and David J. and served warm!
• Most Creative: The Cookie Chip made with coconut and secret ingredient: avocado by K and K.
• Most "Healthy": Chocolate Chip Cookies with Dried Apricots by Lindsey Z. Sorry Lindsey, I was so busy eating your cookies, that my photo turned out too blurry to post. Chocolate + fruit= yum!
If you are in the Bay Area...you might want to check out:
On March 21st, the SF Food Wars is having their own chocolate chip cookie contest. We've never been to Food Wars but looks like we should go! This one's already sold out but we can salivate over the 20 competitors and their cookie descriptions.
Do you have an ultimate chocolate chip cookie recipe? What makes a chocolate chip cookie great?
Thursday, March 4, 2010
What’s for dinner tonight?
The power of dark packaging and the promise of perfect tenderness made this line of premium meals really stand out.
I loved the sensory descriptions of aromatic and crispy duck wrapped in pancakes.
And the take out appeal of these easy dinners.
Not to mention a very visual pizza offering- the real thing looks just as good as the photo!
and these veggies look fresh and vibrant in this transparent packaging.
American Breakfast Doesn’t Look Like ThisThis Banana Breakie to go has bananas, probiotic yogurt and oatmeal.
And who doesn't want a happy Christmas smoothie? I was pleasantly surprised by the seasonal flavors in breakfast cereal, yogurt smoothies and many products at Marks& Spencer.
A bit of toffee, apple and blackberry porridge.
I wouldn’t skip breakfast if it looked like this. Love it! Reminds me of this great blog: Simply Breakfast.
I'll have some clouds and fruits to drink, please.
or perhaps some toffee caramel and chocolate milk! Oh my!
or a smoothie for autumn made with damsons (plum), blackberries and apples.
Desserts and Other Scrummy Things
Scrummy may be the only word delicious enough to describe "Crazy Chocolate Overload."
and Serious desserts in actual crockery!
And these decadent desserts with toppings and swirls. I'll take a scoop of strawberries & cream pavlova ice cream.
And finally, we'll top it off with toffee probiotic yogurt or a bit of Christmas pudding lakemead yogurt.
And, we're full.