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Unique food and wine experiences around the world
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  • 07/05/08--14:01: The Chauvet
  • I was in Sonoma Valley recently and discovered the most gorgeous luxury vacation rentals!  The historic Chauvet building in downtown Glen Ellen has converted six spacious luxury condominiums into gorgeous vacation rentals for visitors to Sonoma Valley.  The three-story yellow brick building itself is quite unique, and no detail has been spared in the extensive renovation.  The luxury [...]

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  • 08/27/08--13:15: Brinata
  • Brinata is a pasteurized sheep’s milk cheese from the Tuscany region of Italy. It is moist, creamy and delicious. This cheese has a white mold rind and a soft, creamy texture. It is similar to a cow’s milk brie but with a tangy bite to it. This cheese has been aged for about 30 days. [...]

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    Ingredients 4 cups ripe raspberries, rinsed For the topping: 1/3 cup (approx. 5 Tablespoons) butter, softened 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1/2 cup old fashioned oats 3/4 cups brown sugar, packed 1/2 cup chopped pecans Large pinch salt For the crème fraiche: 1/2 cup crème fraiche 1/8 cup brown sugar You will also need: Pie dish [...]

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  • 08/28/08--17:12: Le Pigeon, Portland, OR
  • I recently visited Le Pigeon with my friends, Linda and Mora. I loved the casual atmosphere of the place, the friendliness of the chef and of the staff, and the delicious and creative dishes they served. The menu changes each week. Chef Gabriel Rucker visits the local farmers markets several times a week and bases [...]

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  • 08/28/08--19:51: Boot Coffee Consulting
  • I recently visited Willem Boot in his coffee lab in Mill Valley, California, for a coffee tasting.  Willem founded Boot Coffee Consulting in 1999.  He has been in the coffee industry since age 14.  He was co-owner of his family’s coffee business in The Netherlands.  Willem has also been managing several coffee development programs in Ethiopia, [...]

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  • 10/18/08--13:27: Le Garage in Sausalito
  • My husband and I have been to Le Garage a number of times since it opened.  This casual, hip restaurant is located in an industrial area in a former garage space.   It is positioned beside the water with a great view of the beautiful sailboats and yachts in Sausalito.   I was a big fan of Bruno Denis’ [...]

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    I tasted this wine recently at my friend’s wine cave in Chateauneuf du Pape, and it just blew me away!  This wine is 100% Roussanne and the grapes are from 80 year old vines.  It has been aged in oak.  It tasted like a beautiful vanilla caramel, and I wanted to savor it for hours.  [...]

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  • 10/18/08--14:57: Roasting Chestnuts
  • One of my favorite Autumn treats is chestnuts.  I was recently in the Ardeche region of France for a mushroom hunt and was thrilled to see all of the chestnut trees lining the roads.  In some regions, chestnuts are used as substitutes for potatoes, as they are quite starchy.  They taste great in both sweet and savory [...]

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  • 10/18/08--15:17: Meyer Lemon Olive Oil Torte
  • This torte is crispy and chewy and filled with delicious Meyer-lemon flavor.  It looks a bit like an ugly duckling, but you can dress it up nicely with candied lemon slices and fresh mint. Ingredients 2 c. all purpose flour 1/2 t. baking powder 1/2 t. baking soda Pinch of salt 3 eggs 2 1/2 cups [...]

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  • 10/20/08--10:09: Pumpkin Flan
  • Note:  This delightful Pumpkin Flan has a nice rustic consistency and a wonderful Autumn flavor.  It will keep in the refrigerator (covered) for several days. Ingredients For the caramel: 3/4 cup sugar 1/2 cup water For the custard: 1 small fresh pumpkin Olive oil Pinch of cinnamon Zest from 1 large or 2 small oranges (Note: I use [...]

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    I recently enjoyed a taste of Clothbound Farmhouse Cheddar from Shelburne Farms in Shelburne, Vermont. This cheddar is made in the traditional method from raw milk of the purebred Brown Swiss cows raised on the Shelburne Farm (giving it “farmhouse” distinction). The Clothbound Farmhouse Cheddar has been hand-wrapped and aged for more than a year [...]

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    One of my favorite places for produce in Napa Valley is LMR Rutherford Gardens.  Not only can you buy excellent organic produce right from the farm but they also encourage you to walk around the farm and stay for a while.  The produce is fresh and seasonal, of course, but they also have a great [...]