Recently in Thanksgiving Category

RECIPE: Chandon Sparkle Cookie

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Chandon, the perfect bubbly to toast the holidays, is kicking off the season of celebration with Momofuku Milk Bar's Chef Christina Tosi. The award-winning pastry chef has teamed up with California sparkling pioneer Chandon to create a festive limited-edition cookie recipe incorporating the wine that adds pop to any holiday gathering.

Super scrumptious and with a flute cookie cutter, they will more than dazzle your friends and family!

Watch the video:

RECIPE: Gingerbread Spiced Sweet Potato - Plantain Mash

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When it comes to a special holiday dinner, traditional recipes are hard to beat. They're convenient and reliable and everyone expects to see them on the table year after year.

However, for a new take on the traditional sweet potato casserole, the chefs at The Culinary Institute of America suggest a Latin twist by making this side dish with plantains.


Click Here to watch more videos from The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) highlighting many of their recipes perfect for any occasion.

Wine & Food Pairing: Apple Dumplings

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By: Chef Justin Wrangler of Kendall Jackson

recipe_KJ_AppleDumplings.jpg
Recipe: Apple Dumplings
Wine Pairing: Kendall Jackson 2007 Grand Reserve Late Harvest Chardonnay

When you cut into these beautiful dumplings, the fragrance of apple & spices smells just like grandma's apple pie. These are great served with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side.

Thanksgiving Dinner in Sonoma

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2012 Update!

turkeyDinner.jpgRestaurants That Will Be Open

It's not too late to have a wonderful Thanksgiving Dinner with family and friends where you can leave the dishes and clean up to someone else. See below for which restaurants in Sonoma this year will be open to serve you a grand Thanksgiving feast.

CLICK HERE for a list of all the Sonoma wineries that will be open Thanksgiving Day as well.

Depot Hotel
Bring your family and friends and join Chefs Antonio and Michael Ghilarducci for Thanksgiving Dinner. Open for dinner 12 noon through 7pm with seatings every half hour. Call for reservations if you have a party of 6 or more. MORE DETAILS

Inn at the Tides - Bay View Restaurant
Join The Bay View Restaurant for a festive Thanksgiving Day feast.  Entree choices include traditional Roasted Turkey (children under 12, half price), Lobster Fettuccine, Poached Salmon, Pork Tenderloin, Rack of Lamb and Filet Mignon.  Full menu available on our website. Reservations strongly suggested. MORE DETAILS


Thanksgiving in Napa Valley

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2012 Update - Where to go for Dinner in Napa Valley!
CLICK HERE to see what Napa Valley wineries will be open as well.

turkeyNsides.jpgGrill at Silverado Resort & Spa
Enjoy a special Thanksgiving Day Buffet in the resort's elegant Grand Ballroom, featuring an array of traditional holiday dishes such as Butternut Squash Soup; Marshall Farm Honey Brined Petaluma Turkey Breast; Herb Roasted Prime Rib; Lock Duarte Salmon; Roasted Sweet Potato Gratin; and Wild Mushroom Stuffing. MORE DETAILS

Meadwood Napa Valley
Sit down to an elegant feast prepared at Meadowood Napa Valley featuring two preparations of Free Range Turkey (Brined & Roaste Breast, Crisp Skin Leg Confit), Duo of Housemade Bread Stuffing (Chestnut and Sage, Italian Sausage), several other sides and a decadent dessert buffet that include favorites pumpkin pie, chocolate cream pie, apple crumble, and an assortment of other treats. First seating is at 12pm. MORE DETAILS.

Napa Valley Wine Train
Thanksgiving on the Napa Valley Wine Train is a traditional Thanksgiving feast in a non-traditional (yet extremely memorable) atmosphere. We'll have all of the customary Thanksgiving fixings, and of course, a perfectly cooked turkey. Many guests have made Thanksgiving on the wine train their family tradition, returning year after year. Lunch Train is already sold out! So make sure to call and make reservations for the Dinner Train.
MORE DETAILS

Siena Restaurant at the Meritage Resort
Keep calm and gobble on this Thanksgiving at The Meritage Resort. Leave the cooking to our award-winning restaurant and enjoy this time of thanks with your family and friends.
Savor a prefixed menu by our Executive Chef Michael Collins that includes turkey carving at your table, choice of an appetizer, a dessert bar, and much more. Turkey leftovers will even be wrapped to take home for a turkey sandwich the next day! MORE DETAILS



Holiday Entertaining

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Holiday wine and food pairing can be tough. Figuring out which wines to pair with such a wide assortment of foods is a challenge for even the most experienced chef and the thought of entertaining on top of everything makes is stressful! Here are a few guidelines to follow to ensure your food and wine pairings are easy and fun:

Main Dish
For the white wine lover, a soft Chardonnay is a great accompaniment to poultry and an assortment of sides. Even a Riesling or Pinot Grigio could work. The minerality and apple-citrus notes common to Pinot Grigio match well with rich holiday foods. Also, while many assume white wine is the ideal poultry pairing, Pinot Noir's fruity character and lack of tannins are ideal for serving with turkey. It's vibrant and fruity character is sure to please red wine drinkers too.

If you end up serving an elegant roast meat at your holiday dinner, select a bolder red wine, like a Meritage, to match the stronger flavors of the meat.

Side Dishes
Any of these earlier wine pairing suggestions will also work well with the myriad of rich side dishes that often accompany the main course. To complement the spices and flavors try a delightful Syrah-Malbec. This lighter red, with its own notes of spices and earthiness, will stand up well to any dish, from sweet potato mash to creamed pearl onions.

Thanksgiving Dinner in Napa Valley

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Restaurants That Will Be Open in 2012!
CLICK HERE to also see Napa Valley wineries open for tasting!

Spend more time with family this year. There's no need to slave all day in the kitchen cooking up everyone's Thanksgiving favorites. Leave the cooking and dishes to the chefs of Napa Valley! See what some restaurants have planned for the big Turkey Day!


Grill at Silverado Resort & Spa
Enjoy a special Thanksgiving Day Buffet in the resort's elegant Grand Ballroom, featuring an array of traditional holiday dishes such as Butternut Squash Soup; Marshall Farm Honey Brined Petaluma Turkey Breast; Herb Roasted Prime Rib; Lock Duarte Salmon; Roasted Sweet Potato Gratin; and Wild Mushroom Stuffing. MORE DETAILS

Meadwood Napa Valley

Sit down to an elegant feast prepared at Meadowood Napa Valley featuring two preparations of Free Range Turkey (Brined & Roaste Breast, Crisp Skin Leg Confit), Duo of Housemade Bread Stuffing (Chestnut and Sage, Italian Sausage), several other sides and a decadent dessert buffet that include favorites pumpkin pie, chocolate cream pie, apple crumble, and an assortment of other treats. First seating is at 12pm. MORE DETAILS.

Napa Valley Wine Train
Thanksgiving on the Napa Valley Wine Train is a traditional Thanksgiving feast in a non-traditional (yet extremely memorable) atmosphere. We'll have all of the customary Thanksgiving fixings, and of course, a perfectly cooked turkey. Many guests have made Thanksgiving on the wine train their family tradition, returning year after year. Lunch Train is already sold out! So make sure to call and make reservations for the Dinner Train.
MORE DETAILS

Siena Restaurant at the Meritage Resort
Keep calm and gobble on this Thanksgiving at The Meritage Resort. Leave the cooking to our award-winning restaurant and enjoy this time of thanks with your family and friends.
Savor a prefixed menu by our Executive Chef Michael Collins that includes turkey carving at your table, choice of an appetizer, a dessert bar, and much more. Turkey leftovers will even be wrapped to take home for a turkey sandwich the next day! MORE DETAILS



Bourbon-Glazed Roast Turkey

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turkey_detail.jpgSubmitted by Sterling Vineyards

Paired with Sterling Vineyards Three Palms Vineyard Merlot 


Serves 18

Ingredients
  • 15 pound whole turkey, fresh or frozen (thawed)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large tart apple, quartered
  • 1 cup peach preserves
  • 3 Tablespoons bourbon
  • 2 teaspoons Angostura bitters
  • butter as needed
  • spiced pickled peaches for garnish, drained

Feasting in Sonoma This Thanksgiving

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By Deirdre Bourdet

If you find yourself in Sonoma on November 25th this year, skip the stressful prep and aftermath of the Thanksgiving holiday, and focus on the feasting at one of these great local restaurants. From the rugged coast to the inland valleys, Sonoma has a wealth of delicious ways to give thanks.

Alexander's is perched right on the dramatic Sonoma Coast in the Timber Cove Inn, and enjoys panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean from the dining room. Their four course, $60 "Celebration of Cultural Heritage" menu begins with a wild mushroom soup paired with foraged local acorns. Next, a punchy salad of apple and watercress with guanciale, blood orange oil, walnuts, and marigolds freshens the palate before the bird of the hour arrives at the table. The turkey here comes in two parts--herb roasted breast and cocoa-confit leg--accompanied by an Okinawa sweet potato gratin, wild mushroom stuffing, brussel sprouts, and a house-made cranberry sauce. The meal ends on a sweet and shiny note with "laminated" pastry and a poached Suckle pear. Since the Timber Cove Inn is right there on site, dinner here is the perfect spot for an impromptu romantic getaway.

Thanksgiving Desserts To Die For

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It's no wonder that everyone's New Year resolution is to lose weight considering that one gorges themselves for a month straight starting with Thanksgiving through Christmas!

Of course, it's quite hard to resist all of the wonderful foods this time of year especially all of the sweets and baked goods.  Dancing in my head are pies, cakes, tarts, cookies and many other warm, feel good treats. One is not even safe at work. So without further ado, start the baking, grab the elastic waistband pants and let the feasting begin!

Pecan Pumpkin Butter Pie with Butterscotch Cream

Frozen Pumpkin Mousse w/ Walnut Toffee Crunch
"With no pastry crust to wrangle, these luscious parfaits of pumpkin mousse and cream are easier to make than pumpkin pie."

Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle
"I am a huge fan of trifles, and this is so easy and so delicious. It has the right ingredients for the holidays to bring in all the warm fuzzies of past years." - Linda, Food Network

Pumpkin Cake w/ Caramel-Cream Cheese Frosting
"In this fun variation on traditional pumpkin pie, pumpkin cake spiced with ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves gets frosted with a slightly tangy, super-caramelly frosting. It's delicious served cold or at room temperature."

Olive Oil & Sauternes Cake w/ Roasted Pears
"Because Neil Perry has a passion for wine, he uses Sauternes in every component of this dessert, from the cake to the sauce. He also adds olive oil to the batter, which creates a delightfully moist crumb. Pair w/ Riesling."

Caramel Pecan Pie
tart2.jpgOf course, your family expects a traditional holiday meal. But, you yearn for the fun and challenge of cooking up something a little different and adventurous. Why not do both? Prepare the traditional meal of time-honored favorites your family loves, but this time, give tradition a tasty timely tweak. Here are some recipes to help you discover that traditional doesn't have to mean predictable. We've taken holiday menu classics and recharged them with a few fresh new ingredients. Try these delectable subtle flavors that add to but don't overpower the familiar ones and take your holiday dinner from being a good meal to a great one.

Cranberry relish gets a new taste makeover - and powerful antioxidant boost - with the addition of a splash of Petite Sirah and a half cup of fresh blueberries mingled with the cranberries. The delicate sweetness of the blueberries helps tone down the cranberries' tartness in a beautiful glistening tapestry of rich jewel colors.

Cranberry And Blueberry Relish

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cranberry.jpgSubmitted by Concannon Vineyard

Cranberry relish gets a new taste makeover - and powerful antioxidant boost - with the addition of a splash of Petite Sirah and a half cup of fresh blueberries mingled with the cranberries. The delicate sweetness of the blueberries helps tone down the cranberries' tartness in a beautiful glistening tapestry of rich jewel colors.

Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Active Time: 10 Minutes
Inactive Time: Refrigerate for 4 hours

Yields approximately 2 cups

Ingredients
  • 12 ounce package fresh cranberries
  • ½ cup fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup honey
  • ¼ cup Concannon Petite Sirah
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
  • ⅓ cup orange juice

Stuffing: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

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Stuffing is personal and subjective.  Everyone has their absolute favorites and some guests are just downright insistent that THEIR recipe is used for the big Thanksgiving Dinner  Sometimes the stuffing turns out great and we're grateful.  Other times, they are plain AWFUL and so we tend to skip that whole area on our plate for fear it contaminates the rest of our food!   So we ask you, what's been your experience with "the good, bad and ugly" of stuffing?  We've found a few stories and recipes to get you started...

Kasha:  "My favorite is stove top, I swear!  As embarrassing as that is, I can't help it.  I would eat it by itself!  The worst....LIVER or GIZZARDS  in my stuffing. That culinary practice should be BANNED!  I did have a relative insist on having her stuffing by the way.  It was okay....I missed my stove top."

Candi:   "Good Stuffing comes from my Grandma!  She makes hers from scratch including the cornbread. The bad and ugly came to me one holiday dinner at my brother's house. I asked what it was and my sister-in-law said STOVE TOP!  That is the WORST stuffing ever!!! UGHHHH. That is NOT how stuffing is supposed to taste.

The Untraditional Turkey

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To most, turkey and Thanksgiving is as obvious as peanut butter and jelly.  What isn't obvious anymore is how we cook that turkey.  In addition to the traditional basted, bagged and roasted turkey methods we now have a myriad of new, exciting and untraditional ways of cooking that delectable bird. Step into the culinary world of turkey grilling (yes, on the bbq!), smoking, deep frying and rotisserie. Set your fears aside and discover the "untraditional turkey" this year.  You may be surprised at the response you and your bird get this year, kissing your traditional method goodbye forever.
 
Don't believe me?  Then let me tell you a story ....

Last Thanksgiving, my husband decided to smoke the turkey instead of the traditional "bagged" turkey. While my husband is great on the grill and smoked turkey sounded wonderful, I did not like the idea of being adventurous on Thanksgiving. Truth be told, I was a little worried that it wouldn't quite turn out as expected. What's more, we were expecting quite a few people for dinner!

To be safe, I cooked my traditional "bagged" turkey and it came out as expected - juicy and delicious.  However, my turkey sat virtually ignored and my husband's turkey was completely devoured. He clearly "smoked" the competition-namely me. I conceded defeat.  The smoked turkey was good, absolutely memorable, and our family can never go back.  Our traditional turkey has forevermore flown the coup and has been replaced by our new tradition-the "untraditional turkey". 


To help you find your own new Thanksgiving un-tradition, we've provided a few our favorite recipes and methods below.  Happy Thanksgiving! 

What Does YOUR Typical Thanksgiving Dinner Include?

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Thanksgiving is around the corner. Do you know what you're having? Besides the Turkey - it, of course, is always the main attraction. But what about the lesser known side dishes? They deserve love and attention too and are typically family favorites. Who can resist yams or mashed potatoes, turkey stuffing, green beans, and cranberry sauce!

Not necessarily a side dish, but definitely worth pairing up - Turkey Wines!

Below are links to "side attraction" dishes worth checking out:

Please post and let us know what YOUR typical Thanksgiving Dinner includes!

Thanksgiving: Turkey, Stuffing, and Gravy - Oh My

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Where would Thanksgiving be without the Turkey and Stuffing. Oh sure, there's a few people out there that may be vegetarians or are like my roommate who does not eat turkey but has lasagna on Thanksgiving. However, for the majority of you, Turkey will be on the menu, placed in the middle of the table, and dressed in all it's stuffing/dressing/gravy glory!

Your mouth is watering already in anticipation...and why not...Thanksgiving is only a few weeks away where good eats will abound. Let WineCountry.com point you in the right direction with a few ideas for this year's grand Turkey entrance!


Turkey pairs well with wine and we have the perfect Turkey Wine Guide.

Don't forget about the delicious side dishes!




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