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Holidays 2007
Vol. 2 No. 7

Dried Figs and Apricots in Vanilla Wine Syrup (photo above)

1 bottle (750 ml) Gewurztraminer or Johannisberg Riesling

2/3 cup 21 Missions Organics Vanilla Syrup
8 ounces (12-14 figs) Valley Fig Growers Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid Calimyrna figs, stems removed

4 ounces (about 1 cup packed) B & R Farms dried apricots, about 12 halves

2 cinnamon sticks, each broken in half

1/2 cup Crème Fraiche or Redwood Hill Farm & Creamery yogurt
1 tablespoon toasted slivered natural almonds, optional

In a large saucepan combine the wine, vanilla agave syrup and cinnamon stick. Cover and cook over medium low heat, 20 minutes. Add the figs and apricots and cook until the fruits are plumped and tender, about 25 more minutes.

Using a slotted spoon transfer the fruit and cinnamon sticks, to a heat-resistant bowl. Simmer the wine and agave syrup, uncovered, until it is reduced to about 2 cups. Pour over the fruit and stir to blend.

Refrigerate until well chilled, about 4 hours. Top with a spoonful of crème fraîche or yogurt. Garnish with a few toasted slivered almonds.

Makes 4 to 6 servings. Adapted from ”Fig Heaven,” 2004, by Marie Simmons.

Gift-giving for foodies

Cookbooks are gifts that last for years, and the gourmet producers on Savor California have some wonderful ideas:

Jimtown Fresh Cookbook”
C. J. Olson Cherries, “Life is a Bowl of Olson’s Cherries”
Robert Lambert, “Chocolate Fantasy Desserts”
“the girl & the fig cookbook”

Another long-lasting foodie gift is a lovely organic garlic braid from McFadden Farms.

Quotable

Dining is and always was a great artistic opportunity.
-- Frank Lloyd Wright

Case in point: Elegant Cheese Cakes' "Starry Night" (below).

When company comes...for breakfast

If you're entertaining for three meals a day, make breakfast easy with healthy, hearty fare.

Oat Cuisine is granola so good that it “tastes like dessert.” Pour a nutritious breakfast right out of the bag.

It’s easy to cook a pan of old-fashioned corn bread, using the Ridgecut Gristmills mix. For variety, add a couple of pinches of Herbes de Provence.

Choose from 7 flavors and whip up homemade pancakes with Bo's Best Pancake Mixes.

Set up a delicious and healthy “juice bar” with Bela Juice organic grape juice or Nana Mae's organic apple juice.

Stock a number of flavors of organic Wallaby Organic (below), and let your guests choose.

Snacks for Santa

A slice of Marcel et Henri’s paté, followed by Donsuemor Madeleines will delight the Francophile Santa.

With a variety of flavors, SnackMasters Jerky is a tasty, portable, protein-rich snacks to take in the sleigh.

If your Santa has an Asian fusion palate, L'Estaci Dolce's Sesame Almond Caramel Corn.

C. J. Olson Cherries’s bright red chocolate-covered Bing cherries are appropriately festive for the season.

Kids and Rachel Ray love Marin Chef’s CJ Stix (below) — so will Santa.

Put out a sampling of pastries from Bovine Bakery. (Our Santa’s personal favorite is the Bear Claw.)


Festive hors d'oeuvre

Top a round or star shaped Valley Lahvosh (below) with Fromage Blanc and lox.

What's new

SnackMasters Jerky
Valley Lahvosh

No fuss, no muss

During the holidays, these virtually made-for-you items can really come in handy.

Sierra Soups' hearty bean-based soups are warm comfort on a chilly evening.

Beautiful and tasty appetizers from The Perfect Bite Co. (above) go from freezer to oven to table.

Ling Ling’s potstickers or spring rolls are a fresh-tasting convenience food.

Winter Fancy Food Show

Right after the holidays, the Savor California companies will leap into action at the Winter Fancy Food Show, this year in San Diego, from January 13 through 15. We hope to see all members of the trade at Booth #843.

Bigger than ever, the Savor California booth will actually be a large peninsula composed of 8 booths. An amazing group of Savor California gourmet food and beverage producers will be showcasing their products, including:

B & R Farms
Fall River Wild Rice
Oat Cuisine
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Holly Baking

California Cuisine still in the news

Interest in California cuisine sparked by Alice Waters' philosophy for her restaurant, Chez Panisse, in Berkeley, California, has not subsided. The latest press on the subject was a feature article in Specialty Food Magazine, published by the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade, which includes references to SavorCalifornia.com. Here are a couple of excerpts:

"Alice Waters' influence is felt in a willingness to put ingredients together (in unusual combinations) and this has become further entrenched," explains Jane St. Claire, founder of Savor California, a Healdsburg-based marketing group for small artisan specialty food producers. "(For instance), food doesn't have to be strictly Thai; it can borrow from many cuisines. This notion has become commonplace."

Perhaps the most pervasive trend is toward hand-made products. According to St. Claire, "there is a genuine interest to return to the way products were made in the past."


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