November 2007 Archives

Wonka World, Circa Now

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By Courtney Cochran

Next time you’re looking for something sweet in northern Sonoma County, stop into retro fabulous Powell’s Sweet Shoppe on the plaza in downtown Healdsburg.  The candy emporium boasts floor-to-ceiling displays of every kind of confection imaginable, including both new and vintage brands.

Treats aside, the sweetest part of the experience has to be the uncanny sense of nostalgia that’s felt in every nook and cranny of the store.  From the color palate-like bins of brightly hued saltwater taffy to the old-fashioned soda fountain and excellent selection of retro kids’ toys (cap guns, anyone?), the place fairly oozes small town America, circa way back when.

Fortunately for sugar fans, there’s no need to go back in time to partake of Powell’s bounty.  The only obstacle keeping visitors from sheer confection bliss, in fact, is the spot’s sometimes steep prices, a reminder that we are, in fact, in the here and now.  

Powell’s Sweet Shoppe * 322 Center St., Healdsburg, CA 95448 * (707) 431-2784 *

Ravioli with Butternut Squash, Sage, and Hazelnuts

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Wine Country Recipe - Ravioi with Butternut SquashMediterranean cuisine is a specialty of Portland chef Ronnie MacQuarrie, who created this dish to highlight the toasty, earthy taste of hazelnuts-one of Oregon's largest exports. You can find this recipe and many others featuring the foods and wines of Oregon at

Rock Shrimp Skewers

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Rock Shrimp Skewers
with Ginger, Cilantro & Lime Butter

Nickie Zeller of Pearl Restaurant in Napa, CA created this recipe for an event at the sparkling wine facility of Codornui. The winery is now named Artesa and produces still wines from the Carneros Region of Napa and Sonoma Counties, California.

Easy to prepare and best served with your favorite bubbly!

Roasted Pork Loin and Rosemary Potatoes

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porkloin.jpgPinot Noir is one of the most difficult wine grapes to grow requiring constant attention and long growing season. When it is made correctly it can be quite sublime. It pairs well with pork and matches well with fennel and rosemary. The following recipe uses both of these spices and the natural earthiness of Pinot Noir make a great combination.

Oysters Mustar'feller

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oysters.jpgNapa Valley Wine Train
Executive Chef : Kelly Macdonald



  • 12 Grays Harbor Oysters in a half shell (Oyster origin optional)
  • 3 Cups Champagne
  • 2 Cups Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 12 Ounces of fresh Spinach (stemmed, cleaned & dried)
  • 1 Cup Shallots (chopped)
  • 4 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard
  • 2 Tablespoons Whole Grain Mustard
  • ¼ Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • ¼ Cup Bread Crumbs
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • ¼ Teaspoon Dried Thyme
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Sea Salt (optional)

Oyster Chowder

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Syrah Restaurant
Chef :Josh Silvers


  • ½ cup Carrots diced
  • ½ cup fennel diced
  • ½ cup onion diced
  • ½ cup celery diced
  • ½ cup mushrooms diced
  • ½ tea. Garlic minced
  • 2 cups chopped shucked Hog Island Sweetwater oysters
  • 1 oz pernod
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 3 tbl. Butter (unsalted)
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups cream
  • 1tsp.taragonne chopped
  • 1 tsp. Italian parsley chopped
  • S & P to taste
  • Tabasco

Melt butter & sauté first five ingredients and sweat, then add garlic cook 2 min. add pastas & flambé, add wine, oysters + the juice, cook 2 min. add cream & water, bring to a simmer, add tarragon cook 10 to 15 min, season with S&P, and Tabasco to taste,
Pour in to a warm bowel, top with parsley and serve

Fresh Beet Salad

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beetsalad.jpgFresh Beet Salad
Grilled Plums, Pickled Fennel, Pecan Crusted Chèvre

Mixx Restaurant & Bar

Executive Chef : Dan Berman
Sous Chef : Bridget Pollock
Line Cook : Patrick Hickey

Crispy Potato Cake with Cured Salmon

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Crispy Potato Cake with Cured Salmon
Herb Crème Fraîche, Fennel-Red Onion Slaw,
Four-Minute Quail Egg and Caviar

A feast for all the senses, the Wente Vineyards Restaurant's open architecture allows the kitchen's rich, savory aromas to greet you at the door. Vineyards and gardens surround the restaurant, reinforcing the Wente philosophy of using the best possible seasonal ingredients. The restaurant and the winery are wonderful showcases for a re-emerging and vigorous Livermore Valley wine region.

Gables Wine Country Inn Wine and Cheese Omelet

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This recipe serves 12, so its perfect for big brunches or family get-togethers

  • 1 large loaf day-old French bread, broken into small pieces
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • ¾ pound domestic Swiss cheese, shredded
  • 1 ½ cups diced baked ham
  • 16 eggs
  • 3 ¼ cups milk
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon German mustard
  • 1/8 tsp. ground red pepper
  • 1 ½ cups sour cream
  • 4 large whole spring onions, minced
  • ¼ tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Oyster Me

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By Courtney Cochran

 When it comes to wine country chic, Rocker Oysterfeller's Kitchen + Saloon in the newly renovated Valley Ford Hotel's got it nailed. From the oversized teak rockers on the porch to the bespoke bar made of redwood salvaged from a Bodega Bay boathouse, the spot strikes just the right chord between folksy sophistication and rural charm.

But the real story at the year-old western Sonoma County eatery isn't the décor, it's the spot's to-die-for dishes, all of which come with a healthy side of the kitchen's signature Southern flair. Locals can't get enough of the Rosie Organic Fried Chicken, garnished with ale-and-gravy-topped potatoes, while the ridiculously rich Mac N' Cheese takes honors for the most lusted-after offering. And, given the resto's plum location just minutes from Bodega Bay, it's probably no surprise that the oysters rock (pun intended). Mop up the namesake arugula, bacon, cream cheese and cornbread-dusted Rocker Oysterfellers with a warm corn-jalapeño biscuit, then rinse it all down with a bottle from the well-edited wine list, rightly comprised almost entirely of Sonoma County selections.

Fortunately for the overindulgent, rooms at the adjacent hotel start at just $120 a night.

Rocker Oysterfellers @ Valley Ford Hotel * 14415 Coast Highway 1 * Valley Ford, CA * (707) 876-1983
* * Open Nightly Tues-Sun & for Brunch Sun

Grilled Vegetable Stacks

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Brought to you by Gourmet Every Day Cookbook

You can do this with just about any veggies that you happen to have and any type of cheese that melts. Try Fontina or Gruyère, you and your family will be begging for more.


  • 4 medium (about 3 inches in diameter) portabella mushrooms, dark gills scooped out
  • 1 red bell pepper, quartered lengthwise
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, quartered lengthwise
  • 4 slices medium to large zucchini, cut into rounds
  • 4 slices medium eggplant, cut into rounds
  • 4 slices fresh mozzarella
  • Olive oil
  • Salt (preferably kosher or sea salt) and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup Roasted Tomato with Balsamic Savory Condiment
  • 4 rosemary branches 4-5 inches in length, bottom two-thirds of leaves removed

Sesame Swordfish Skewers with Dipping Sauce

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Brought to you by Gourmet Every Day Cookbook

This appetizer is a conversation starter for sure and will probably be the talk of the party. You can use any firm fish and for fun, use both black and white sesame seeds.


  • 3⁄4 cup Made In Napa Valley Shanghai Tangerine Sesame Marinade
  • 1 pound swordfish steak, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 20 cubes)
  • 20 snow peas
  • 1⁄4 cup sesame seeds, toasted
  • 20 cherry tomatoes
  • Toothpicks (look for interesting ones at Asian markets)

Catherine Bergen

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Catherine Bergen:

Inspiring "Foodies" with Gourmet Every Day Cookbook

Over the past six years Catherine Bergen local culinary entrepreneur and founder of Made In Napa Valley®, has brought locals and visitors to a new level of cooking and entertaining with her premium-quality pantry foods inspired by the abundance and beauty of the Napa Valley.

She has developed over 70 intensely flavored gourmet food products which are made in small batches using the very best, all-natural ingredients. This attention to quality and freshness helped Made In Napa Valley win the National Association for The Specialty Food Trade (NASFT) 2004 Outstanding Product Line award, the most coveted in the specialty food business; as well as ongoing press accolades and two listings on the coveted "O" list in Oprah Winfrey's O Magazine.