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“I’m not a beer drinker” or so you thought…

“I’m not a beer drinker” is a common phrase heard at the bar in the Fieldwork taproom. It can be heard uttered by those new to the beer world as well as folks who have tried a few beers in their lifetime and have yet to find something to tickle their palate.

As the bartenders help direct those people to something that would suite their tastes, a common direction is towards Fieldwork’s series of “whimsical” beers, or beers that are meant to imitate other drinks or desserts. For head brewer/owner Alex Tweet, and his team, pushing boundaries and changing people’s perception of what beers can be, are all in a day’s work. They are constantly producing innovative beers in new styles and and imaginative flavor combinations.

Currently featured at the taproom is the Churro Cream Ale, a light-bodied classic American style that is turned on its head with a toasty grain bill, cinnamon, and slowly baked cane sugar, that with each sip represent a drink that could easily be confused with a slice of golden dough fresh from the fryer. Alex recommends pairing this beer with C CASA‘s currently featured truffle and goat cheese enchilada. The sweetness of the beer is able to cut through any heat present in the enchilada, while the warm spice notes will create a lovely compliment to the flavors of traditional Mexican spices.

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Five Dot Ranch Braising Kits are Perfect for Winter

Five Dot Ranch has braising kits* available that include winter vegetables and cubed stew meat that is slow cooker ready. In addition, here’s a recipe and cooking instructions:

Ingredients
2 lbs. cubed Five Dot Ranch top round*
2 oz. diced celery*
2 oz. diced onion*
2 oz. diced carrot*
3 cloves garlic*
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground pepper
1 Tbs grapeseed oil (Salute Sante recommended)
3 pints Five Dot Ranch beef stock (available at Five Dot)
¼ C. red wine
salt and pepper

*included in braising kit

Directions
In a soup pot heat the oil over medium high heat until the oil blooms.Season meat with salt and pepper. Add the meat to the soup pot and cook until the meat is browned on all sides. Add carrot, onion, garlic, and celery to pot. Mix the meat and veggies thoroughly and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until veggies start to soften. Add all three pints of beef broth and he wine, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook uncovered for 1 hour or until vegetables and meat are tender.

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Hog Island Oysters are the Perfect Choice for a Healthy New Year

Happy New Year! If eating healthy was one of your New Year resolutions (after the holidays it’s at the top of ours!) Hog Island oysters have you covered, naturally. Loaded with minerals, vitamins and organic compounds, oysters are an extremely healthy food that can boost your body’s overall function and health. They are one of the highest natural forms of zinc (immune booster!) and are loaded with vitamins D, B-12 and C, iron, copper, potassium, magnesium and calcium. And they are a huge source of beneficial cholesterol, antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids. A single serving of raw oysters (6 oysters) has only 43 calories, 5 grams of protein and 2 grams of carbohydrates. So enjoy a dozen – to your health!

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Tokaji Dessert Wines from Oxbow Cheese & Wine Merchant

Oxbow Cheese & Wine Merchant has in stock a fine and rare collection of fine Tokaji dessert wines from the historic region of Tokaj, Hungary. Many Americans reflexively dismiss dessert wines out of hand, in the mistaken notion that admitting they enjoy them somehow brands them as unsophisticated. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth, as some of the world’s most collectible, age-worthy and treasured wines are sweet. Tokaj has centuries of fame and was a favorite of the 18th Century French kings, the Hapsburg Court, and the Russian Tsars – so much so that it has come to be known as “the wine of kings and the king of wines.” These delicious wines can be served with simple fruit-based desserts such as poached pears or an elegant tart. Oxbow Cheese & Wine also suggests a lovely blue cheese with some fresh fruit and roasted nuts — a particularly nice way to end a winter meal.

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Sushi Beer at Fieldwork Brewing Company Pairs Perfectly with Seafood from Eiko’s

Visitors to Oxbow Public Market know well that tasty food abounds. There are so many options that pair well with all of the fantastic wine produced in Napa, although the folks at Fieldwork are biased and know how well delicious food pairs with a variety of beers.

Nowhere is this more apparent than with the aptly named “Sushi Beer,” which is an perfect accompaniment to the fresh, innovative, and delicious seafood offered at Eiko’s. Guests can peruse the fresh seafood, choose their favorite preparation and then order it to bring back with them to the taproom just down the aisle to try the pairing for themselves.

The tasting notes written by Fieldwork’s Head Brewer/Owner, Alex Tweet, really express the inspiration behind this beer and why it pairs so well with it’s namesake: “Few beer styles are more perfectly paired with food than Japanese rice lagers and sushi. Unfortunately for us pescaphiles, rice lagers have less variation and innovation than notebook paper; hence Sushi Beer Citra Rice Lager. A rice heavy grain-bill makes this Lager appear lighter and less malty on the palate combines with a pinch of specialty grain providing that trademark Rice Lager profile. Uncommon in the style traditionally, we dry hopped with a heap of Citra hops; providing a bombardment of orange zest, tangerine juice, mango, and slight ganja notes. A light bitterness keeps this beer respectful of your palate’s needs, not beating it up or shredding tastebuds; resulting in a beer that can complement the most delicate Ahi in the world without detracting from it like most any other craft beer would. We dream of one day putting back a pint of Sushi Beer Citra Rice Lager in Tsukiji with some fresh sashimi, but in the meantime we’ll gladly drink pint after pint at our favorite sushi joints in our great home of Northern California.”

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Holiday cheese & charcuterie platters from Oxbow Cheese & Wine Merchant

Looking for something delicious and easy to bring to that holiday party or dinner, or perhaps you are in need of a last-minute gift? Look no further, because the Oxbow Cheese & Wine Merchant has got you covered. Have the folks at the cheese counter whip you up an amazing cheese and charcuterie platter for your holiday party hors d’oeuvres. Call 707-257-5000 to place an order with a staff member, or stop by the shop in person and pick out what exactly you would like with one of the knowledgeable and helpful cheesemongers. It’s a perfect way to impress guests, family and friends, without adding to the stress and hecticness of a busy holiday season. Just make sure you place your order with staff at least 24 hours in advance!

If you are still searching for a nice gift for a loved one, pop in the Oxbow Cheese & Wine Merchant and grab a bottle of bubbles or a load up a gift card for whatever amount you like. This is one simple and easy way to complete your holiday shopping list. Stop by the wine retail shop and have a staff member help you pick out some quality wines, sign up for the monthly wine club or just grab a gift card and let them decide for themselves! Whatever your holiday needs may be, don’t forget the Oxbow Cheese & Wine Merchant can help you out during this busy season.

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Ritual Coffee Roasters Holiday Gift Pop-Up Open through December.

Ritual Coffee Roasters is thrilled to present a holiday gift pop-up at Oxbow Public Market during the month of December! Grab a coffee at the main cafe and then come around the corner to check out the curated collection of coffee related merchandise. For example, Ritual has just published a new book, The Brew Book, written by the company’s expert baristas, which aims to demystify all things coffee brewing. It’s called The Brew Book. It’s beautiful, portable, and highly giftable at only $14.95! There are also other exclusive holiday items for guests to peruse, such as nifty enamel pins, sweatshirts, limited edition klean kanteens, gift sets (complete with gift packaging so they’re ready to give!), and much more! Stop by and let one of Ritual’s friendly elves provide a knowledgeable and personalized experience, and come away with something perfect for that coffee lover in your life (even if that’s you!)

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Stocking Stuffers from Five Dot Ranch

Looking for great gift or stocking stuffer ideas? Let Five Dot Ranch help! Have you tried the Five Dot Ranch beef jerky? These nitrite-free steak strips are 100 percent Five Dot Ranch beef and come in three flavors: traditional, Cajun and cracked pepper, and come in 1 oz. and 2 oz. packages. Jerky will fit nicely in any stocking and would look great amongst other local Napa products in a gift basket. Additionally, Five Dot Ranch gift cards are excellent for the meat-lovers in your life. Gift card funds can be used for any retail items, a meal at the Cookhouse or beef cuts out of the case. This versatile gift allows your loved ones to treat themselves in more ways than one.

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Pair Beer with Your Thanksgiving Dinner

According to the ship logs from The Mayflower, the Pilgrims chose to land early because they were running out of beer. Fortunately for modern day folk, the situation is not as dire, and good beer abounds. This coming Thanksgiving holiday, don’t forget that beer and food go beautifully together and be sure to stop by the Fieldwork Brewing Company taproom to stock up on fresh, delicious beer to pair with all of your Thanksgiving favorites! Below is our guide to some suggested pairings with traditional dishes.

Begin by warming up your palate with something light and flavorful, such as the Outdoor Hoppy Pilsner. This classic style is turned on its head with a bright and grassy hop aroma, while still leaving your taste buds in peak condition to enjoy the flavors to come. Perfect with appetizers and snacks.

Moving into your first courses, salads, vegetable dishes and the like, a light and flavorful saison, such as Farmhouse Wheat pairs quite well. Notes of white pepper and lemon compliment the bright flavors of Autumn produce. If roasted turkey, sage and pecan stuffing, and pan-dripping rich gravy are your style of main courses, try a medium-bodied Belgian ale. Hannah in the Wild, Brett Biere de Garde is a more malt forward style with hints of dark fruit, cinnamon, and banana chips. It was finished with the wild yeast strain brettanomyces, which exhibits dry, hay-like characteristics, making this a versatile and, of course, food friendly style to please many palates.

To finish the meal, a rich, dark ale is recommended to compliment a wide assortment of pies and desserts. Minoterie, Brett Belgian stout has all of the complex aromas of dark chocolate, charred oak, and raisins, while still being extremely smooth and drinkable.

Stop by the taproom soon, try a flight, and take some beer home in 64 ounce growlers, 32 ounce growlers, or 32 ounce Crowlers. The tap list is constantly changing so be sure to ask your bartenders for recommended pairings.

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Fresh Truffles for the Holiday Season

The Oxbow Cheese & Wine Merchant is delighted to offer all you fungi lovers out there the opportunity to order fresh truffles throughout this holiday season! Currently the extremely rare and sought after white Alba truffles (Tuber magnatum) are available, as well as the fall Burgundy truffles (Tuber Uncinatum). They will be sold by the ounce and are a pre-order item.

You can just drop by the Cheese & WIne Merchant and place your order with a staff member, or contact Justin at 707.257.5200. Your order will need to be placed by Tuesday, or no later than noon on Wednesday, to have it ready for pick up by the following Thursday. This way of pre-ordering will ensure you receive your truffles in the freshest and highest quality possible. Prices will vary, so inquire when ordering or anytime before.

Also, around mid-December, depending when they come into season, the Cheese & Wine Merchant will also have available the black winter Perigord truffles.Let the the Truffle parties begin!

Also, for the first time this year Beecher’s handmade cheese, located at Pike Place Market in Seattle, WA, has released its seasonal Flagsheep cheddar! This is a wonderfully delicious sheep’s milk version of their Flagship Reserve, a handmade cow’s milk clothbound cheddar made in the fashion of traditional English style cheddars.

You do NOT want to miss out on grabbing yourself a chunk of this amazing limited release cheddar.
Please stop by the Cheese & WIne Merchant and ask any cheesemonger behind the counter to help you to a taste of this rare gem. Once you try it we guarantee you won’t walk away empty-handed!

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Keep Cozy this Thanksgiving!

Stay indoors this Thanksgiving and snuggle in deeper to your slippers and enjoy these warm and cozy spirits! This Napa Valley Distillery (NVD) gift set includes their Ginn, brandy cordial, and cherry brandy.

Brandy Cordial

Their Brandy Cordial is a true California original. Made from premium baby bourbon barrel-aged brandy, it is bursting with aromas of butterscotch pudding, chamomile toffee and treacle pie which evolve into silky pecan pie, dried apricot and subtle sweet floral notes on the long and elegant finish.

Old Hollywood Ginn ~ A Scandalous Blend of Botanicals in Brandy.

A recipe that’s LA Confidential and so very “Hush Hush,” Old Hollywood Ginn is a speakeasy style spirit infused with 9 rare botanicals plus a touch of oak for a flavor that’s sure to take you back to late suppers at the Brown Derby!

It’s a Hollywood original worthy of the lead role in many classic cocktails or a “Close-Up” with a splash of tonic.

Cherry Brandy

Aged 2 years in used bourbon barrels, this brandy is deep, heady, and dapper. The smooth herbal qualities mature into deep oak and stewed cherry notes framed by a subtle yet firm floral character that are reminiscent of cherry blossoms.

Handmade the old fashioned way by the artisans at Napa Valley Distillery.

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Spiced Apple Cider from Whole Spice

Whole Spice has all the spices you need to warm up your house for these chilly nights! Make yourself this spiced apple cider recipe and cozy up to the fire or serve to friends and family. Whole Spice apple cider spice is sold in bulk or jars, and better check out the mulling spices while you’re there!

Also, Whole Spice will be offering a 20 percent discount the last three days of the month, November 28-29.

Spiced Apple Cider
A simple, spiked cider to warm you inside and out. (serves 4)

Ingredients:
4 cups apple cider or apple juice
4 Tbsp. brandy
2 tsp. Whole Spice Apple Cider Spice
Half of an apple, sliced thinly
Cinnamon sticks

Directions:
In a saucepan, combine cider or juice, brandy and apple cider spice. Bring to a boil, then simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Add a slice of apple and cinnamon stick for garnish before serving. Enjoy!

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Thanksgiving Sale at Wood Fiber Clay

These two cuties are helping to whip up something for Thanksgiving and it isn’t mashed potatoes! Wood Fiber Clay is having a 20 percent off sale from Friday, November 18 through Tuesday, November 22.

Shop the pop-up at Oxbow Public Market or their website with the code “Gratitude.” Pick up a great gift to take to the host or hostess on Thanksgiving, like a beautiful handcarved bowl from A Question of Eagles, a solid brass bottle opener from Ft. Standard, or a scented pillar candle from Le Feu d’Leau.

And, get your holiday shopping done early! Wood Fiber Clay has limited quantities of their unique collection of handcrafted items, so don’t wait. They will ship purchases over $100 free of charge and provide complimentary gift wrap.

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Model Bakery English Muffins Named One of Oprah’s Favorite Things

“I love this time of year because I love to celebrate giving and receiving and I hope my favorite things will be some of yours, too!” Oprah   One item on her 2016 “Favorite Things” list: The Model Bakery’s English muffins. She  calls them “scrumptious all over” and suggests pairing them with preserves from Clif Family. The English muffins & preserve set is available on Amazon, but of course, you can get your English muffins at Oxbow Public Market. “I don’t have to tell you all how much I love bread. These English muffins are my current carb of choice: crunchy on the outside, fluffy on the inside, and scrumptious all over—especially when slathered with the amazing Clif Family preserves that are included. Full disclosure: I took a few bags home from the shoot!” – Oprah

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Relax with a Cocktail!

Feeling stressed out by the upcoming election? Relax and settle down with a cocktail made with Napa Valley Distillery’s small batch, hand crafted spirits! Besides, what’s more American than something aged in a Bourbon barrel? Swing by their tasting bar at the Oxbow to enjoy a sample of their Brandy Cordial and their Cherry Brandy, both of which have spent time in Bourbon barrels soaking up flavor and color!

Napa Valley Distillery’s Brandy Cordial is a true California original. Made from premium baby Bourbon Barrel-Aged Brandy, it is bursting with aromas of butterscotch pudding, chamomile toffee and treacle pie which evolve into silky pecan pie, dried apricot and subtle sweet floral notes on the long and elegant finish. Sip after dinner or mix to create sophisticated Pre-Prohibition era cocktails. Handmade the old fashioned way by the artisans at Napa Valley Distillery.

Their Cherry Brandy is deep, heady, and dapper. The smooth herbal qualities mature into deep oak and stewed cherry notes framed by a subtle yet firm floral character that’s reminiscent of cherry blossoms.

For a cocktail that is sure to please any cocktail enthusiast, try the Cherry Manhattan!

The Cherry Manhattan
Makes one 4 oz cocktail served up in a chilled cocktail glass

Ingredients
2 oz Napa Valley Distillery Cherry Brandy
1 oz Carpano Antica
2 dashes (12 drops)
maraschino liqueur
2 dashes (12 drops) Abbott’s Bitters or other high quality aromatic bitters
1 Luxardo Cherry for garnish

Directions
Fill a cocktail shaker half way with ice. Add cherry brandy, Carpano Antica, maraschino liqueur, and one dash bitters. Stir, do not shake, for 20 seconds. Garnish cocktail glass with Luxardo cherry, and strain contents of shaker into glass. Float one more dash of bitters on top, and you’re done! Classic Manhattan flavor with a big cherry twist!

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Ethiopean Red Lentil Stew Recipe

As the weather changes and the evenings get colder, there’s nothing better than a bowl of soup to warm you up! Try this Whole Spice recipe for Ethiopean red lentil stew spiced with Ethiopian Berbere spice mix. Stop into the spice shop and get all the spices you need for your next soup, stew, or chili recipe! Whole Spice always offers locals a 10% discount on all purchases over $20, and they also offer a 20% discount the last three days of the month!

Ethiopian Red Lentil Stew with Berbere

Ingredients
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 medium size onion, chopped
1 tbsp fresh ginger, finely chopped
4 large garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp Ethiopian berbere spice blend
5 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1 1/2 cups Red lentils, dry
2 1/2 cups water
1 tsp sea salt

Cooks note: The traditional Ethiopian berbere spice blend is formed into a paste by mixing it with oil; it is not a must but this process can add more concentrated flavor to the dish.

Directions
In a deep stew-pot, heat up the oil. Add chopped onion and saute on a medium high heat for 10 minutes. Add chopped ginger and garlic and saute for about five minutes on medium heat. Add Ethiopian berbere spice mix and saute until fragrant. Add chopped tomatoes and saute on high heat for 12 minutes. Add dry lentils and saute for a few minutes than add water and salt. Reduce the heat and simmer on low for 20 minutes gently stirring to prevent burning. The stew should be thick; if you have extra liquid please uncover and cook for 10 minutes in order to reduce the water. Tastes great served over rice and eaten with flatbread as a substitute for the traditional injera bread.

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Chef Todd Humphries’ Kitchen Door Thanksgiving To-Go

Let Todd Humphries cook Thanksgiving dinner for you. Pre-order by 5 pm on Friday, November 18 for pick-up on Wednesday, November 23.

Thanksgiving Dinner for Four

$140 including tax

½ Turkey Breast and Leg (brined and ready to cook with instructions)
Peppercorn Gravy (pt)
Sourdough Stuffing (qt)
Fresh Cranberry Sauce (pt)
Mashed Potatoes (qt)
Roasted Root Vegetables (qt)
Todd’s Famous Mushroom Soup (qt)
Individual Pumpkin Cheesecakes (four)

Build your own Thanksgiving

Chef Todd’s Famous Mushroom Soup…………. $20 qt
Sourdough Stuffing…………….. $8 qt
Peppercorn Gravy…………….. $6 pt
Fresh Cranberry Sauce………………$6 pt
Mashed Potatoes……………. $7 qt
Roasted Root Vegetables……………… $6 q
Individual Pumpkin Cheesecakes…………………. $8 ea

Call or email Tim at 707-226-1560.

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Company coming? Tabletop tips from Wood Fiber Clay

Spruce up your table with handcrafted goods in natural materials that reflect the colors of the season, including carved ceramic napkin rings, teak salt cellars, and Jenny Pennywood linen napkins.

Layering different textures adds visual interest whether on your table or elsewhere in your home. Wood Fiber Clay suggests topping a linen tablecloth with cotton fringe placemats and screen printed linen napkins in hand-carved ceramic napkin rings.  Your dishes don’t match? Not a problem! Mix and match complementary colors in fall tones for a seasonal look. Add teak salt cellars filled with specialty salts and mix in some vintage brass candle sticks to add some shine. Fresh herbs in small planters are a natural and inexpensive way to bring in greenery. Get more ideas from their tabletop shoot on For the Home.

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Beer “To Go” at Fieldwork Brewing Company

Do you ever have a delicious fresh draft beer and wish to take some home to enjoy? Have you ever seen that fresh beer canned before your eyes? Stop by the new Fieldwork Brewing Company taproom and you can do both of these things. Fieldwork offers many of their fresh, innovative brews “to-go” in glass growlers, as well as 32oz “Crowlers.” A Crowler is a can filled with draft beer and sealed to take home with you. You can try a flight of different beers, choose your favorites, and order a Crowler to be filled as you watch. These one time use vessels are perfect to take in your bag on a hike, pack in your suitcase for travel, or just to bring home for the night to enjoy at your leisure. The taplist is constantly changing, so visit often and see what suits your fancy for that day!

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Sparkling Wine Club

Oxbow Cheese and Wine Merchant (OCWM) now has a sparkling wine club in addition to its other very popular monthly and quarterly wine clubs. They have always cherished bubbly for its elegant and captivating qualities, its celebratory nature and incredibly arduous production, and encourage everyone to explore the world of bubbly in and beyond Champagne. For approximately $75 each month, Sparkling Wine Club members will receive one bottle of champagne and one bottle of sparkling wine that the wine team considers of the highest quality, and worthy of being partnered with a true champagne. From pear-scented Proseccos from Italy to zesty Cavas from Spain and delicious, champagne-style sparklers from all over the globe, the Oxbow Cheese and Wine Merchant looks forward to sharing some of their favorite bubbles with you! Just in time for the upcoming holidays, the Sparkling Wine Club would make an excellent gift for a loved one and can be gifted for a 6 month period, or any specified time frame. Cheers to drinking more bubbly, and don’t forget to sign up today! Inquire at the Oxbow Cheese and Wine Merchant.

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Nothing Screams Halloween like a Spooky Cocktail!

Visit Napa Valley Distillery for all of the ingredients for their newest concoction! Just in time for Halloween, The creative “Booze Crew” at Napa Valley Distillery has created a fun and unique cocktail for your next costume party!

Appropriately named “First Bite,” this festive cocktail is made with Napa Valley Distillery’s Ginn, Brandy Cordial, Lime Juice, and a small bit of Raspberry Gum Syrup by Small Hands. Add a bit of lusciously thick syrup from a jar of Luxardo Cherries, and you’ll be in great shape to please any guest.

In the shaker: 1 ounce of NVD Old Hollywood Ginn, 1 ounce of NVD Brandy Cordial, a half ounce of Small Hands Raspberry Syrup, and a quarter ounce of freshly squeezed lime juice over ice. Shake well!

Prep your glass by adding a small amount of syrup from a jar of Luxardo Cherries to the rim so that is slowly drips into the glass. After the glass is prepped, pour the cocktail from the shaker and you’ll be ready to go!

Visit Napa Valley Distillery’s shop  for all of these ingredients and more!

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Mustard a la Vierra Recipe

Whole Spice shares this recipe for homemade mustard from customer George Vierra.

Ingredients
7 cups ground yellow mustard (1 1/2 lb.)
1⁄2 cup brown mustard seed (3 oz.)
1⁄2 cup 1-1/2 cups  yellow mustard seed (2 1/3 oz.)
8 cups white vinegar (prefer Vilux French Champagne Vinegar (6% acidity*) orBeaufort Reims Champagne Vinegar or Poni White Wine Vinegar, Note: Don’t use higher acidity vinegar as it will make the mustard too tart
8 cups white wine (1 bottle of sweet Moscato di Canelliand and 1 1/2bottles of Chardonnay are recommended.
25 garlic cloves, peeled and lightly molested
2 medium sized onions, peeled and chopped
17 bay leaves
65 whole allspice
16 tsp. salt
16 tsp. sugar
16 tsp. dried tarragon

Directions
Mix the first three ingredients well together in an 8-quart pan, and set aside. Add the rest of the ingredients to a pot and bring to boil. Boil until reduced to half volume. Note…this is very pungent! Open windows, turn on fans, etc. Pour the reduced liquid through a strainer. Discard solids. Pour the strained liquid into the mustard pan. Put this pan over low heat and stir constantly for 10 or 15 minutes, until thick.

Pack in sterilized jars. Store in icebox. Fills ten 8-0z. (1 cup) jars.  Can keep refrigerated for up to 3 years. Ages and changes nicely. Can change heat level by varying portions of powder and seeds. Seeds are hotter than ground mustard and brown seeds hotter than yellow.

– George Vierra Mustard July 13, 2015

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Spice up your life with spice blends from Whole Spice

Zhug is a spicy blend used to on meats, fish, soups and salads. Use Whole Spice’s recipe to make fresh Zhug paste to garnish hummus or seared tuna. Also, Whole Spice will be offering 20 percent off at the end of the month so stock up on all your favorite fall spices during Oct 29-31.

Fresh Zhug Paste
Ingredients:
5 fresh serrano chili pods
5 garlic cloves
1 bundle fresh cilantro (finely chopped)
2 Tbsp Zhug blend
1 tsp salt

Directions:
Place all ingredients in a food processor and grind it finely. Place paste in a glass jar and store for up to one month in the refrigerator.

Serving Suggestions:
Use this spicy paste sparingly as a garnish for Hummus or other dips, added to soups or as a spread for meat or fish.

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Crisp Pears & Crisp Weather

Fall is officially here! That must mean it’s time to enjoy some pear brandy. Lucky for you, you can taste and purchase your very own bottle of Napa Valley Distillery’s highly anticipated pear brandy, which is now back in stock!

This exclusive brandy is made entirely from Seckel pears – which are tiny pears with a round body, and are naturally very sweet. They are the only true American variety of pear grown commercially. Unlike other varieties planted in the U.S. from European cultivars, Seckels are thought to have originated as a wild seedling near Philadelphia. They were discovered in the early 1800s. The pears are crushed and fermented into a “Pear Wine.” The wine is then distilled in a traditional Alembic Copper Pot Still.

Enjoy this spirit neat, or blend it with other spirits and ingredients found at Napa Valley Distillery. One of their favorite ways to enjoy this spirit is in the “La Poire Folle,” a cocktail created by the Napa Valley Distillery team. This recipe is sure to warm you up this fall!

To make:

1/4 oz fresh lime juice
1/4 oz simple syrup
1 oz of NVD Pear Brandy

Shake together and strain into a glass that has been rinsed with Napa Valley Distillery’s Papillon #Pastis.
Cheers!

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Breakfast at Five Dot Ranch & Cookhouse

At Five Dot, breakfast is one of the favorite meals of the day. There are lots of options like the doughnut bites with lavender sugar, the three egg omelet with asparagus, bacon, red onion, and cheddar cheese, and the breakfast wrap with beef sausage, eggs, caramelized onions, potatoes and cheddar cheese. Its hard to go wrong with the many menu items, but if Five Dot were to make a suggestion, they would recommend the Chilaquiles. Five Dot’s spin on the traditional Mexican dish will make you want to come back for more. The housemade tortilla chips are crisp, the egg is cooked perfectly, and the skirt steak that can go on top brings the whole dish together! Try it for yourself!

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Wood Fiber Clay pop-up shop is back through December

The Wood Fiber Clay pop-up shop is back through December with a new collection of unique handcrafted and vintage items for the home sourced from small producers locally and globally. Owners Lisa Toller and Kelley Burnett just returned from Iceland and Scandinavia after combing the flea markets of Copenhagen for mid-century Danish finds, visiting with local artists in Iceland, and buying one-of-a-kind heritage sheepskins directly from the farm in Norway. The colors of the landscape, living spaces, and art have inspired their fall/winter palette of russet, indigo and seafoam green, which are layered with their signature neutrals. Read more about their trip on their blog. The pop-up is located between Three Twins Ice Cream and the Oxbow Cheese & Wine Merchant, in front of Kitchen Door. Stop by and say hello any day between 9 am and 7 pm and until 8 pm on Tuesdays.

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Bishop’s Peak Cheese from Paso Robles

During October, Oxbow Cheese & Wine Merchant is featuring a brand new cheese, Bishop’s Peak, from the Central Coast Creamery in Paso Robles. Owner, operator and cheesemaker Reggie Jones began his career in cheese doing product development and quality control, and dreamed of one day creating his own small-batch artisan cheeses. Jones and his wife now specialize in making aged cow, goat and sheep’s milk cheeses, produced from local, hormone-free milk. Jones believes in the rich potential of high quality milk, and has a mission to introduce the American palate to flavors found in the best cheeses of Europe. Named for a popular Central Coast landmark, Bishop’s Peak is Jones’ take on the famed traditional cheeses of the European Alps. It is made strictly from the milk of cows at the Cuyama Dairy, which has been in business for over 60 years and is the last dairy in Santa Barbara County. The cow’s grass and high carrot diet gives the cheese a distinct yellow paste, and flavors that range from sweet to earthy. Its sweet, caramel flavors and creamy mouthfeel make this cheese an instant crowd pleaser. Try melted on a hot sandwich or grilled cheese, or just out on a cheese board for hors d’oeuvres. Stop by the cheese counter and ask a staff member for a taste! While you’re there don’t forget to look at some of Central Coast Creamery’s other great cheeses like Holey Cow and Seascape.

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Whole Spice Simple Yellow Rice Recipe

Whole Spice has all the herbs and spices you need to start making delicious soups and warming rice dishes this fall! One of the best spices you can start using is turmeric! Try this Whole Spice recipe for simple yellow rice to incorporate the amazing health benefits of turmeric into your diet! Whole Spice sells organic turmeric powder in bulk and in jars. Feel free to bring in your own container and they’ll fill it up directly! Also, Whole Spice will be offering a 20% discount to locals and OxNotes readers the last three days of the month, September 28-30! Happy Cooking!

Simple Yellow Rice
Servings: 4

Ingredients:
1 Cup Basmati Rice
2 Tbs. Olive Oil
1/4 tsp. turmeric powder
1/3 tsp. sea salt
Pinch black ground pepper
1 1/2 Cups water

Directions:
In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil, then add turmeric powder and saute for 20 seconds over low heat until fragrant. Add rice, salt and pepper and mix gently until rice has changed color to yellow (a few seconds). Add the water and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to a low simmer. Cook, covered, without stirring until the water is absorbed and the rice is tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit covered without stirring for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve. The following may be added: corn, peas, raisins,or chopped roasted almonds. Enjoy!!

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Warm Up With Napa Valley Brandy Cordial!

With fall just around the corner, cooler weather is sure to follow. Stay warm and cozy this season with one of Napa Valley Distillery’s most popular spirits! Their Brandy Cordial is a true California original. Made from premium baby Bourbon Barrel-Aged Brandy, it is bursting with aromas of butterscotch pudding, chamomile toffee and treacle pie which evolve into silky pecan pie, dried apricot and subtle sweet floral notes on the long and elegant finish. Perfect for the crisp, cool weather of Autumn! Sip after dinner or mix to create sophisticated Pre-Prohibition era cocktails. This crowd pleaser is especially great when enjoyed with family and friends. Handmade the old fashioned way by the artisans at Napa Valley Distillery.

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Whole Spice Blackened Salmon Recipe

Enjoy this Whole Spice Blackened Salmon Recipe for a quick, delicious dinner!

Blackened Salmon
The principles are simple: A spicy buttering, a well-heated pan, a mouthwatering fillet.
(Serves 2)

Ingredients:
2 salmon fillets
1 tsp. Whole Spice blackened seasoning (1/2 tsp. per fillet)
2 Tbs. unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus 1 tsp. for rubbing the fish

Directions:
Rub the salmon fillets with the soft butter, 1/2 tsp. a piece. Sprinkle the fillets with Whole Spice blackened seasoning. Heat* a nonstick pan, add butter and immediately add fillets, skin side up. Cook until spice is darkened, about 2-3 minutes. Flip fillets and cook for 2 minutes, until the skin is crisp. Remove the fish from the pan and let it rest for a minute to continue cooking inside. Serve with fresh green salad and rice

*Get the pan as hot as you can without causing the butter to smoke. The essence of this dish is to cook it quickly.

Whole Spice will be offering a 20% discount September 28-30!