Warm up winter by showing someone you love that you care. Hudson Greens and Goods has a wonderful selection of Valentine cards from Ghost Academy hand-printed in the USA. A highlight for the holiday will be an exquisite selection of flowers in various size vases and bouquets from The Monkey Flower Group. Staff favorites for February include Little Apple farm shrubs to make delicious cocktails and spritzers, and Teance teas will warm anybody’s heart. Locally grown loofahs from Hudson Ranch are a complement to any luxurious bath. Be sure to also check out the primo selection of butter marshmallows handmade in British Columbia. The decadent treats are now priced to move. So stop the store and take advantage of all the ways the HG&G can help warm the hearts of the ones you love.

Looking for something sweet for your honey? Three Twins Ice Cream has you covered. In addition to their usual Valentine’s Day flavors like bittersweet chocolate, cherry chocolate chunk, land of milk & honey and raspberry sorbet, be on the lookout for special flavors such as strawberry confetti (strawberry ice cream with chocolate chips) and honey orange blossom. If you are wondering what the honey orange blossom taste like, think back to the days of the ever so popular 50/50 ice cream bars. Yum!

This Valentines Day, send the gift of sweetness to your special someone! Surprise them with a dozen of their favorite #karascupcakes, cakes, artisan treats, cookies and more, now available with festive heart shaped pink and red fondant. The perfect treat to send the message of “I love you.” Call 707-258-2253 or email today to place your order. Kara’s delivers throughout the Napa Valley.

For those who need to avoid gluten and even those who don’t, you can put together a praiseworthy snack spread from Cate & Co. Start building your noshing offering with any of their nitrite-free salamis, then add a tapenade (green olive, or fig shallot), a selection of crackers, crisps and crostini, a baguette, and don’t forget their White Truffle Kennebec Potato Chips—now you’re ready for the big game to begin or a weekend gathering of friends.

The recent National Bean Day made us realize that the humble bean with its delicious versatility is cause for celebration!  C CASA has known that all along and features beans in tacos, and sides and soups. One of their newest tacos is a colorful mix of Sweet Potatoes and Black Beans that has quickly become a favorite. For a quick and nutritious lunch, go for a side of their beans (your choice of black or white) and a small salad–beans, glorious beans!

Don’t let the mid-January, deep-winter blues get you down! Start your day right with a delicious and hearty breakfast at The Model Bakery! The Model Bakery is featuring two yummy additions to its breakfast menu, a Grilled Veggie Wrap, filled with eggs, mushrooms, country potatoes, fresh veggies and cheese in a spinach flour tortilla, or the new Grilled Breakfast Quesadilla, with eggs, ortega peppers, diced tomatoes, black forest ham, cheese and tomatillo salsa! Treat yourself to a tasty breakfast at the Model Bakery!

The Olive Press’ milling season recently came to a close after a record 525 tons of beautiful California olives! Pay The Olive Press a visit today to learn about the milling and production process that takes place in order to create all of these fantastic oils! To expand the learning experience, be sure to taste all of the flavorful extra virgin olive oils, citrus crushed oils, and balsamic vinegars they have to offer! Enjoy!

Whether sliced and toasted, or simply torn from a fresh loaf, Cate & Co. bakes breads that are sure to go with any of your favorite winter soups. If it’s French onion, go for the sourdough baguette, or the aged cheddar black pepper boule which makes for a savory partner to roasted tomato soup. The possible pairings are up to your palate and imagination.

Hog Island Oyster Co. welcomes executive chef Jeremy Zabel. A northern California native who grew up in Lake County, CA and a self-educated chef, Jeremy credits memories of family travel filled with “amazing foods” as his culinary inspiration, and hard work and experience as his teachers.

“I fell in love with seafood in New England, where my parents are from. I remember being 8 years old, eating lobster and fried clams alongside steaming bowls of chowder in Misquamicut, RI with my Mom and Memeire,” says Jeremy.

Jeremy has spent the past decade fine-tuning his talents at the Saw Shop Bistro in Kelseyville, CA – where (you heard us!) crab mac-and-cheese was a customer favorite. His focus is on crafting seasonal menus that showcase the best local ingredients. Jeremy’s passion for working with seafood attracted him to Hog Island Oyster Co. and Hog Island’s standards for supporting sustainable aquaculture, farming and fishing practices has him hooked. Jeremy is a family man, who acknowledges his incredible wife (Nicole) and three great kids (Hayden, 11, Madison, 9 and Jackson 6) as his Joi de Vivre. Stop by, say hello and enjoy Jeremy’s talents in the kitchen at Hog Island Oyster Co.

Ancho León, an exotic hand-crafted spirit, is one of Napa Valley Distillery’s newest players in an already star-studded cast. Their Distinguished Bar Club Members were the first to try their very first batch, and now it is available to the public.

Ancho León, what is it?

Ancho León is an ancho chile-infused Barrel Aged Brandy. It is made in a similar fashion as other NVD fan favorites: Brandy Cordial and the Grand California. Ancho León starts its life as a 3 year aged Premium Brandy, it is then re-aged in used Bourbon barrels for 6 months so that it takes on the delightful vanilla, brown sugar, and butter notes of really good Bourbon. They then add many, many, many Ancho Chiles, and infuse for a fortnight so that the Brandy has adequate time to fully absorb the complex flavor of the chiles.

The result is a unique, medium-spicy, slightly sweet liqueur of extraordinary charm and depth. They highly recommend that you try Ancho León in all of your standard repertoire of libations to give them a certain je ne sais quoi. Also, try your hand at creating your own bespoke libations that will delight your taste buds, and your guests, at your next cocktail soirée.

What’s in a name?

Ancho Chiles are the dried version of the poblano peppers common in Mexican cuisine, now ubiquitous state-side, think chile rellenos. Ancho Chiles have a deep red color and a wrinkled skin. They are sweet and smoky with a flavor slightly reminiscent of raisins. Their heat is mild to medium-hot.

Finally, León means “lion” – yes, like a tribute to the lion in the Napa Valley Distillery logo. Visit the Napa Valley Distillery BoozeLog for recipes and breaking NVD Booze News. Cheers!

Kara’s Cupcakes is sweetening January and the Napa Valley Vine Trail with a chocolaty chocolate vanilla chocolate chip cupcake — a chocolate cupcake with a chocolaty chocolate chip sweet vanilla frosting. A portion of the proceeds benefit the Napa Valley Vine Trail, an in-progress multi-use path connecting the entire Napa Valley for families to share. Available at the bakery or pre-order by calling (707) 258-2253.

With the New Year come resolutions of all types, and if yours is to eat healthier Cate & Co. is a good place to start. Stock your larder with seeded crackers for power snacking, or cheese laces for a little indulgent crunch to have with your salads or soups. Cate’s Crunch is a G-Free granola that will get your day off to a healthy start with a dollop of Greek yogurt. Eat healthy in the New Year—no problem!