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Holidays 2009
Vol. 4 No. 9

Fancy Food Show

We're looking forward to the Fancy Food Show in San Francisco, January 17-19!

Overheard in New York in June at the Savor California Fancy Food Show booth: “This is the tastiest booth here!” Premium quality and interesting variety will get ‘em every time.

Come see what all the buzz is about at the Savor California booth #206 and taste samples from these companies:

Agave Dream (above)
Bella Chi-Cha
Fall River Wild Rice

Little Sky Lavender Farm (above)
Holly Baking
Mrs. A's Salsa Buena
Napa Valley Fudge
Pollen Ranch

Porta Mangiare (above)
Scoma's
Taylor Brothers Farms

Gift ideas

SavorCalifornia.com is a treasure trove of gift ideas Some suggestions:

A cheese lover will be thrilled to receive the Gift Box Sampler from Marin French Cheese (above).

The Tower of Temptation from Shelley's Biscotti includes her plain and chocolate dipped biscotti, cinnamon nuts and peppermint bark in 3 stacked, golden boxes.

What could be a better travel accessory than a clear miniature “suitcase” packed with “indulgent comfort sweets” from Allie's Edibles.

If your friends are savvy about wine, they'll love a gift of nuts that are seasoned to go with reds (above) and whites, from Savvy Wine Food.

Healdsburg Toffee Company doesn’t just make toffee (below). Their collection includes 25 different confections.

Figs, glorious figs

The most popular varieties for snacking and cooking are the dark purple, sweet Mission and the amber-colored, slightly nutty-tasting Calimyrna. The Valley Fig Growers website has dozens of recipes using these versatile fruit, such as Sweet Potato Pie with Fig and Pecan Topping (above).

Another fig specialist is Sondra Bernstein of the girl & the fig. Her fig domain includes the restaurants: the girl & the fig in Sonoma, the fig café in Glen Ellen, and now Estate in Sonoma. Cook with Sondra’s "the girl & the fig Cookbook", and try her fig condiments, such as Apricot Fig Chutney on Grilled Pork Chops (below).

A torta from Bella Chi-Cha tops Creamy Gorgonzola with Figs. If you can resist the temptation to eat it all yourself, the torta can be frozen and will impress unexpected company.

Bellindora Vinegars’ fruit-infused vinegars include Fig Balsamic Vinegar, which makes a quick and delicious barbecue sauce for Flank Steak Sandwiches.

Dark Fruit Cake (above) from Robert Lambert is fruitcake like you’ve never had it before. His take on a classic is made with figs, raisins, prunes, pecans and dates, then soaked in Jack Daniels bourbon whiskey.

Toast to the holidays

I met Scott Beattie when he was designing and serving cocktails at Cyrus Restaurant in Healdsburg, California. Simply the tastiest and most intriguing cocktails I had ever had.

Scott is now sharing that magic in his book "Artisanal Cocktails: Drinks Inspired by the Seasons from the Bar at Cyrus" (below).

Cocktail condiment

California Coast Naturals stuffs large Sevillano olives with slices of Serrano pepper, and then preserves them in jalapeño brine.

Definitely jazzes up your Martini or Bloody Mary!

Ham for the holidays

Savor California companies have lots of ideas for other-than-turkey holiday feasts.

How about ham...or roast pork loin...or game hens....or a beef roast...or duck?

A Perfect Pear from Napa Valley suggests a Glazed Ham, using Tomato Cinnamon Clove Preserves (above).

Hand collected from wild fennel growing in California, Pollen Ranch fennel pollen is the secret ingredient that enhances the flavors of anything. Neither like fennel seed nor anise, just a bit like curry - fennel pollen adds another flavor dimension to Roast Pork with Fennel Pollen.

For a small group, when a turkey might be just too much, Delicious Cornish Game Hens (above) can be the solution, especially this recipe that uses Spindel Farms' Pomegrantate Tangerine Vinegar. Half of a hen per person is perfect, so you can make exactly what you need.

Even an inexpensive cut of meat can become delicious and festive with the right treatment. For instance, Beef Brisket with Merlot & Prunes, made with dried prunes and prune juice from Taylor Brothers Farms. The sauce in this recipe is really, really scrumptious.

Duck breast from Sonoma Artisan Foie Gras goes into Sautéed Magret with Herbs (below), which is cooked medium rare, like a fine roast.

Desserts at the ready

If more guests than expected say yes to your holiday open house invitation, no worries. Extra desserts can be “homemade” in a jiffy. Pop ‘em in the oven. The aroma and the taste will have everyone thinking you've been cooking all day.

Sablés Gourmet Cookie Dough (below)
Kari's Desserts

Check out the Desserts section of SavorCalifornia.com for all sorts of other goodies you can have on hand.

Quotable

"Eating well gives a spectacular joy to life and contributes immensely to good will and happy companionship."

--- Elsa Schiaparelli, Italian Fashion Designer, “Shocking Life”


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