Congratulations to The Olive Press, who has received a record-breaking number of awards for 2014.  Stop by The Olive Press and taste their award-winning oils! This year they’ve won more awards than ever before and competition season still isn’t over! Out of 43 medals so far this year, their Picual has garnered 10, so pick some up while supplies last.

It’s not too late to help the Easter Bunny create the perfect basket…eggs, eggs and more eggs, plus three different chocolate bunny sizes and more, all available at Anette’s Chocolates for the perfect Easter gift. Prices range from $5.25 to $160 for Anette’s 10 lb. chocolate rabbit. Anette’s will be sampling their Easter creations daily through April 19 so stop in for a taste.

Easter is just around the corner and The Model Bakery has a variety of specialties for your holiday celebrations. In addition to individual chocolate raspberry eggs and iced Easter sugar cookies, a wide assortment of breads, rolls, cookies, tarts, pies and desserts are available. Hot cross buns, bunny-shaped breads, coconut bunny cakes and an assortment of full-sized, egg-shaped and decorated cakes in carrot, berries and cream and chocolate flavors are available in the store and can be made to order. Special orders must be placed by noon, Friday, April 18.

Seven new springtime menu additions at Ca’ Momi are as fresh and bright as the season! New offerings include: Crespelle ai Fungi, a thin pancake filled with Wine Forest mushrooms and mascarpone, and Tagliatelle with fava bean pesto, pecorino romano and mint. Trying a new dish? Why not try a new wine, too? Opt for a Ca’ Momi wine flight with your meal.

You know spring is right around the corner when Alaskan halibut is in season! Kanaloa‘s Alaskan halibut is one of its best sellers, loved for its light, mild flavor and thick steaky fillets. Hook line and caught off the Alaskan coast, this versatile fish is low in sodium and saturated fat, with high levels of selenium and protein. It pairs well with fresh herbs, infused oils, lemon and cream.

Pica Pica Arepa Kitchen is  six years old this month and they’re celebrating with a brand new arepa. Stop in to wish the team a happy birthday and try the new crunchy chicharron arepa for $6. They’re so good, you’ll want more than one!

It’s great to know there is an alternative natural sweetener available that is sweeter than table sugar, and has virtually no calories. Does that seem too good to be true? In a sense yes, but it is a fact. This natural sweetener is called “Stevia,” which is an all-natural herbal product with origins in parts of South America. The main cultivation is in Paraguay, Brazil, Japan and China with other growers spread out across the Pacific Rim.

Stevia Rebaudiana is a perennial shrub that grows up to 1 m tall and has leaves 2-3 cm long and is a member to the Aster family. The leaves contain glycosides and stevioside, which is responsible for the incredible sweetness of this herb. For centuries the Guarani Indians in South America had used the leaves of the plant to sweeten their tea concoctions or to add sweetness to some of their foods.

The crude stevia leaves and green herbal powder are reported to be 10-15 times sweeter than table sugar. The refined extract of the stevioside is claimed to be 100 to 300 times sweeter than ordinary table sugar. Now that is sweet!  If you do use the extract, we suggest that you dilute the extract with water so you won’t overpower your food or beverage.

Stevia can be purchased and used in a variety of forms – leaf, liquid, or powdered extract. Also the fresh leaves can be added to any hot liquid to add sweetness. We carry the pure herbal green form of stevia that has been ground into a fine powder and ready to use.  But you have to watch out for all the processed stevia that is sold in the marketplace – best to use the real deal.

Although there are many ways to use stevia, start out by adding it to hot or cold beverages, or in smoothies. Also, it does impart a slight after taste that takes getting used to, but not for long. For me, stevia has to be one of the best healthy alternatives to beat the sugar guilt – so consider it a friend with healthy benefits and enjoy the guiltless pleasure of sweetness.

Stevia is available at Whole Spice.

St. Patricks day is coming up on Monday, and St. Paddy’s Day isn’t St. Paddy’s Day without corned beef!  Both Five Dot Ranch and The Fatted Calf have their own versions of corned beef available for your St. Paddy’s Day celebrations. And, of course, leftover corned beef makes amazing sandwiches, perfect corned beef hash, and is great chopped into a salad. Make sure to pre-order your corned beef by stopping in or calling today. Plus, you can enjoy St. Paddy’s day at Five Dot  Ranch Friday, March 14 through Monday, March 17 (St. Paddy’s Day). This year, the menu features house-made corned beef with braised cabbage, mashed potaotoes and whole grain mustard sauce for $15.  We recommend calling ahead to reserve yours 707-224-5550.

In addition to a regular offering of tasty, seasonal cupcakes, Kara’s Cupcakes regularly gives back to the community. The March charity cupcake sweetly supports the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. The chocolate salted caramel is a chocolate cake with a sweet and salted caramel frosting — and a portion of the proceeds benefit the MS Society!

The busy bakers at The Model Bakery are always coming up with great new baked treats to entice us, and their new pretzel bread is no exception. Made with organic whole milled California wheat, organic whole milled Montana hard red/white wheat, Strauss organic whole milk, organic butter, organic malted barley syrup, sea salt, grey salt and caraway, sure to bring back childhood memories of soft pretzels at the ball park, zoo and the beach.  And for you pumpernickel fans, expect a Model Bakery version soon…yummy!

When you hear the term “organic” you may dismiss it. It connotes a “status” and often conjures up two different images: lifestyles of the rich and famous or perhaps some alternative, hippie thing. The term “organic” actually refers to the way agricultural products are grown and produced. Oxbow Produce & Grocery is committed to bringing only organic fruits and vegetables to your grocery basket.

Organic standards include a national list of approved synthetic and prohibited non-synthetic substances for organic production which means that organically produced foods also must be produced without the use of:

  • antibiotics
  • artificial growth hormones
  • high fructose corn syrup
  • artificial dyes
  • artificial sweeteners derived from chemicals
  • synthetically created chemical pesticide and fertilizers
  • genetically engineered proteins and ingredients
  • sewage sludge
  • irradiation

Wow, who knew that conventional, non-organic food could contain these ingredients?

Hai, Arigato! Hog Island Oyster Bar is now serving premium Japanese sake from Sake Tengoku of St. Helena. A partnership of three local industry veterans — acclaimed sushi chef Ken Tominaga, Sake master Stuart Morris and business manager Julie Bath, Sake Tengoku imports high-quality, small production sakes that have never before been imported to the US.

Aizu Chushou Junmai’s subtle and complex aroma of quince, celery, kumquat and almond is a unique and delightful pairing with fresh seafood — and raw oysters.

Sake Brewery: Tsurunoe Shuzo Aizu Chushou,
Aizu Wakayama, Fukushima Prefecture
Founded 1794
Brewer Yoshimasa  Sakai

The city Aizu Wakayama where this sake is brewed has very drastic weather patterns, creating distinctive seasonal changes helping the local farmers to grow some of the best rice in Japan. Rice requires heavy rainfall, cool winters and hot humid summers. The temperature variation increases between days and nights during summer in the foothills of Fukushima. In winter, consistent snowfall cleans the atmosphere, stabilizing low temperatures to furnish a good sake brewing environment.

This traditional brewery uses no modern machines to make their sake. A visit to this brewery would astonish you…steaming rice in a large metal pots, ropes and pulleys, wooden platforms, wheelbarrows…all part of the day to day brewing process at this Sakagura.

All of their sake is truly handmade and in small amounts which lets this Toji input his beautiful spirit into the sake. The resulting sake is stylistically light, delicate, pretty and soft, much like the reflective moments spent by the koi pond in the rear of the brewery.

 

Don’t miss the February special at Cate & Co., Oxbow’s new gluten-free bakeshop. It features a chop chop salad made with fresh Dungeness crab, avocado and chili lime vinaigrette, and a chocolate crinkle cookie, for $17. C CASA also has a tasty special this month: a chicken enchilada with poblano cream sauce, accompanied by a chop salad and a chocolate almond macaroon, all for $13.

Olio Nuovo is here! Hudson Ranch olive oil is a true celebration of the moment! The first batch of the season is available today at Oxbow Produce & Grocery. It is prized for its grassy flavors and spicy finish, and full of very fine olive particles that are suspended in the oil giving it more intense flavors. It is meant to be used immediately in order to capture these flavors before they dissipate. Catch it if you can!

Whole Spice soup base is a premium, all-natural blend of spices, using only the highest quality of ingredients, with no chemicals or MSG. And with no meat products added, it is truly a vegetarian’s delight. In addition to using in soup, Whole Spice soup base may also be used as a dry rub for meats or fish, and a variety of other vegetarian dishes. With so many wonderful uses Whole Spice soup base is sure to please. Try this simple soup recipe at home…

Whole Spice White Bean Soup

Ingredients:
Quarter cup olive oil plus extra for drizzling
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
2 cups leeks (white part only), diced
2 Tbs. Whole Spice soup base
1 ½ cups vegetable broth
1 28 oz. can of chopped tomatoes
1 28 oz. can or frozen white beans (any kind of white bean will do)
Fresh parsley
Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:
Sauté carrots, celery, leeks, garlic in olive oil for five minutes. Add soup base, chopped tomatoes and white beans and simmer on stove for 45 minutes. Spoon into four bowls and garnish with fresh parsley, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

Whole Spice has many curry powder blends to choose form, including Vindaloo. Warm up your family during the holiday season with this delicious and easy recipe. Take two skinned and boned chicken breasts cut in one-inch cubes. Toss the chicken in a Ziploc bag with one oz. of the curry blend to cover the chicken. Slice two small carrots, two stalks of celery, a half an onion and a half of a bell pepper. Sauté the chicken in olive oil on both sides until browned, then add the vegetables to the pan. Stir until onion becomes translucent, then add one small can of crushed tomatoes, a half cup of broth of your choice and one tablespoon mango chutney. Put a lid on the pan and let simmer for a half hour. Serve with Basmati rice or naan, an Indian flat bread available in most grocery stores.

The holidays are in full swing with parties, gift swaps, dinners and more. The Fatted Calf has more than just amazing meat. Stock up on pantry basics as you cook you way through the holidays with Katz olive oil, Straus butter and Claravale raw milk. And you’ve got to have Fatted Calf bacon and apple cider syrup for the brussels sprouts. But what will your guests snack on while dinner is in the oven?  Pop a bottle of wine and let Fatted Calf build a charcuterie platter with incredible cures, pickles, rillettes and olives. Customizable to any size or preference, a platter is the perfect addition to any pre-meal party.

This holiday season, be the hit of the party! Oxbow Cheese & Wine Merchant is your first choice for local, handmade cheeses and exceptional boutique wines. Oxbow Cheese & Wine offers an outstanding selection of jams and preserves, crackers and crisps, nuts and dried fruits, caviar and champagne, everything you need to wow your friends and family! Chat with the knowledgeable team about a cheese-board crafted specifically for your party and let them help select great wines to go with your feast! New and going fast: Fondue from Rolf Beeler, gorgeous Swiss cheeses by Willi Schmid & Ueli Moser and much more!

Start the holidays with a twist on your table! Try Pica Pica‘s hallacas as a dish to start your meal.  A Venezuelan delicacy served only during the holidays, it is a corn flour dough, stuffed with a three meat stew, profiling a mix of sweet, sour and spicy flavors, wrapped in a banana leaf and steamed before serving. This year, Pica Pica is hosting a Hallacazo on Saturday, December 14, from 12-4 pm with hallacas to get in the holiday mood!

Looking for a great hostess gift or two? In addition to wines and sweet treats, Ca’ Momi is now selling a variety of gift baskets ranging from $70-$120 at its kiosk. And don’t forget to pick up a bottle of their brand new 2011 Pinot Noir Reserve — the ultimate turkey wine. After the party, don’t stress if you’ve dirtied all the pots and pans in your kitchen. Ignore the mess a little longer and dine with Ca’ Momi. Try a bowl of their new pasta and fagioli, a Rancho Gordo cranberry bean soup complete with pancetta and ditalini pasta.

It’s not too late to feature The Model Bakery‘s professionally crafted breads and rolls at your holiday feast. Their pain au levain boule, apricot-pecan levain and walnut sage levain batards as well as pain de mie, French, sourdough, ciabatta, focaccia and walnut sage rolls can be purchased in the store up until Wednesday afternoon as long as supplies last. Choose favorite desserts including traditional pumpkin, apple, apple cranberry and pecan bourbon pies, pumpkin roulade, plus gingerbread spice cake with maple cream cheese frosting, and more. The Model Bakery Cookbook makes a great host/hostess gift along with a basket of turkey iced sugar cookies.

Take Chef Todd Humphries home with you this Thanksgiving. Let Kitchen Door prepare your Thanksgiving dinner for you — with all the fixin’s — simply email or call Tim at 707-226-1560 to pre-order by  5 pm on Friday November 22. Your Thanksgiving dinner for four will be ready for pick-up on Wednesday, November 27. Dinner includes:

  •  1/2 turkey, breast and leg (brined and ready to cook with instructions)
  • Peppercorn gravy, sourdough stuffing and fresh cranberry sauce
  • Mashed Yukon potatoes and roasted root vegetables
  • Todd’s famous mushroom soup
  • Four individual pumpkin cheesecakes

Need a quick bite? Enjoy sustainable seafood that is fast and delicious at Kanaloa Seafood Market, Napa. Choose from a rotating selection of individually prepared, ready-to-eat items, such as Ahi poke, bay scallop ceviche, Alaskan halibut ceviche, shrimp quinoa salad and more.

With the cold and rainy nights of fall upon us, nothing says comfort like an order of Ca’ Momi‘s Spätzle allo Speck. This dish, found throughout regions of Germany, Austria and Alto Adige, consists of small flour dumplings prepared with speck and cream. Pair a bowl with the 2011 Ca’ Momi Napa Valley Pinot Noir, which carries the depth to match the Spätzle’s creamy sauce while cutting through its richness with ample acidity. This wine’s round fruit flavors perfectly match the rich pork flavors of the speck that shine in this preparation!

As the Farmers Market winds to a close this week, we say goodbye to our regular friends and suppliers for the season. Rest assured, Oxbow Produce & Grocery will continue to carry only the freshest, most beautiful and delicious all-organic produce. Apples and pears continue to be abundant from Oregon suppliers while local California growers harvest persimmons, pomegranates and quince. Tomatoes are at the very end of the season, however peppers and winter squash remain in full glory. Specialty sweet potatoes, onions, asparagus and Brussels sprouts are looking (and tasting) great right now and should continue for many more weeks. Stop in to get the best selection of bountiful fruits and vegetables as well as some terrific grocery items any day of the week.

Congratulations to  C CASA, selected for the fourth year in a row as a Michelin Guide “Bib Gourmand” Restaurant for 2014. Also known as the Michelin “Inspectors’ Favorites for Good Value,” Bib Gourmand restaurants offer two courses and a glass of wine or dessert for $40 or less (tax and gratuity not included). C CASA, along with Bistro Jeanty, Cook, Oenotri and Redd Wood were the Napa Valley restaurants selected for this distinction. The Zagat 2014 book is out and several Oxbow Public Market favorites made the grade. Hog Island Oyster Co. and The Fatted Calf received top ratings for seafood and sandwiches, respectively. Hog Island was also called out as one of the best in the seafood category, and both were selected as spots for a quick bite. Gott’s Roadside was acknowledged for being child-friendly and Oxbow Cheese & Wine Merchant for its wine bar. Best buys (top-rated food $25 and under) went to Fatted Calf for sandwiches, C CASA for Mexican, Model Bakery for bakery and Gott’s Roadside for diner. Fatted Calf, C CASA and Model Bakery were also selected as best buys by neighborhood.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month! Join Kara’s Cupcakes as they partner with 99.7NOW to support the Breast Cancer Emergency Fund. Twenty percent from the sale of their chocolate raspberry cheesecake, a chocolate cupcake on a graham cracker crust, filled with raspberry cream and topped with silky cream cheese frosting adorned with a custom 99.7 NOW logo will go to the Breast Cancer Emergency Fund.

The chefs at Ca’ Momi have continued to expand their menu with two more exciting pasta dishes. Linguini al Pesto Genovese is linguine with organic basil pesto, potatoes and green beans and is the first delicious addition to the menu. The second Ca’ Momi Bottarga pasta item is a bit more exotic — it is Spaghetti alla Bottarga with extra virgin olive oil, garlic and cured fish roe. This dish is complex and lightly flavored with seafood. Ca’ Momi is proud to offer these delightful, authentic pasta recipes. Stay tuned as the menu continues to evolve at Ca’ Momi.

A little known fact about Leonardo (the masterful farmer in charge) at Hudson Ranch (which supplies much of the produce at Oxbow Produce & Grocery) is his passion for growing giant pumpkins. Each spring he seeds an incubator with “Atlantic Giant” pumpkin seeds, and when the sprouts are just right he hardens them off and plants them outdoors in cold frames. Once the plants are established he tents each sleeping giant and waits until the Heirloom Festival in Santa Rosa to enter a friendly competition of who’s got the biggest pumpkin. Leo’s efforts were rewarded with a 1,080 lb. specimen for the show but was bested by the biggest pumpkin weighing 1,392 lbs! Visit Oxbow Produce to check out Leo’s magnificent pumpkin for yourself.

Gott’s farm is yielding a bounty of plump and sweet heirloom tomatoes. Relax on the patio and enjoy these last days of sunshine with a summer tomato and mozzarella sandwich, with Gott’s vine-ripened tomatoes, slices of creamy mozzarella, pesto oil, balsamic reduction and basil served on a toasted Acme torpedo roll and a bowl of award-winning, farm-fresh Gottspacho.