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Everything posted by Trishiad

  1. I go every year to see what's new and trendy, to get inspiration, to see the latest packaging, to meet with some of my suppliers, etc. Comfy shoes, a sweater over a t-shirt, a comfortable bag to carry all the paper (and treats), bottle of water, nuts to combat the sugar crash, and super important......a baggie with a paper napkin in it to spit out the yucky stuff as you're walking away. I know that sounds terrible but trust me, you'll be glad you did.
  2. Tammy, the glucose sold for candy making is not corn syrup it is indeed derived from wheat. Many folks sub good ol' Karo but they're not actually the same. I use a caramel with a lot of corn syrup and sugar, both milk and cream, butter, of course and even sweetened condensed milk and it's roughly the same texture as that Vosges creation.
  3. Based on the sideview of the finished confection, I would say it is layered, then sliced, then dipped or enrobed. The thick chocolate on the top leads me to believe that it might actually be hand dipped. I have made something similar for a family member who adores See's Scotchmallow. I make the caramel first and after it cools, I cast the marshmallow right on top. Thin coating of chocolate, flip it, slice it, dip it. The caramel begins to bulge just a bit as it's waiting to be dipped. And sometimes you can see an indentation where the two layers meet. I noticed both in the Vosges product. I once added a layer of peanut butter ganache and crispies too. Big seller!
  4. The Union Hotel in Occidental is an old family standby. It's not the most interesting food you'll ever eat but it's comfy and pleasant and homey. In Occidental also try Hops and Barley. They're new and still getting their staffing straightened out but they've got a great beer list and a nice menu. Come into Sebastopol for lot's more options.
  5. Being such a small area I know folks at some of the best producers in town: Hanna and especially Hanna Bismark Iron Horse Try the Cuvee R for a very drinkable "dinner party white" Atascadero Creek, Bob Appleby is great (look for Retronnay next year) Graton Ridge, Barbara and Art are super nice Halleck , Ross only makes great wine Dutton Family and Sebastopol Vineyards, my kid goes to school with the Dutton's and their Syrah is my "dinner party red" Lutea, Suzanne is from South Africa. Her Pinot is organic and biodynamic Sheldon, person friends with fabulous wines. They really strive for perfection Martin Ray Sunce, ask for Cindy in the tasting room Gary Farrell, I haven't been here but the dinner tourists rave about it Hook and Ladder, this is the DeLoach family. They make a great Gewurtz. Carol Shelton makes a really interesting Trouseau Gris Lot's of options over here in small townville. The Russian River appellation is a place to meet winemakers and their dogs. To have conversations and enjoy truly drinkable and wonderful wines without paying a fortune to taste. Make friends with the winemakers and you'll likely get one of those Napa Valley Style $50 tours for free.
  6. Long time Sebastopol resident here. I gotta tell you all that the restaurants in Bodega Bay are not meant for people who enjoy good food. They cater to tired tourists who are excited by the idea of fresh fish. Service is bad, food is (overall) mediocre and overpriced. Make the 20 minute drive into Sebastopol and you have a number of really great options: Starlight Wine Bar (I work here and it's great) GTO's seafood (oaky, I work here too. Fish without the Bodega Bay lazy tude) K&L Bistro (Michellin star) Elmo's Steakhouse Cafe St. Rose Eloise French Garden Alice's on Main I'm sure I'm missing something but any of these is a great meal and a good time. Check it out. BTW maybe I'm just loyal but I disagree about Dry Creek being better and cheaper than Russian River. I think the two appellations strive for the same goals: Great wine, made with care by local people with the best grapes, great pricing, warm and comfortable experience.
  7. Lior, the difference is likely caused by your white chocolate. I find that the whites can be so different and can really change a recipe.
  8. I've been hearing that the French Laundry has had more than a few walk-in slots available lately. You might just try your luck when you're here.
  9. You should be able to use a mix of coconut fat and chocolate. You can get the coconut fat at whole paycheck.
  10. Syrah is right by your hotel and quite good. You've gotten plenty of Healdsburg suggestions and if you head out to west county, I would suggest K&L Bistro or Farmhouse (both have a Michelin star) or Starlight Wine Bar right next to the Sheldon tasting room.
  11. If you know which wineries you'll be visiting we can lead you to a great dinner nearby. Will you be checking out the boutiques on the West side of the county or will you be heading up 101 into the Dry Creek and Healdsburg area?
  12. Please do come through Sebastopol. Visit Graton Ridge, Dutton Estates, Sheldon, Atascadero Creek, Paul Hobbs. Have dinner at the Starlight Wine Bar.
  13. I'm off to wait tables now and will probably enjoy a snack of fresh made potato chips, drizzled with truffle oil around 10.
  14. Yes, we have chix too. Such a happy addition to the garden as long as they aren't free ranging all day long. Last year we didn't get to eat a single tomato from our 8 plants! Chix are voracious eaters! I have started to add super dwarf trees to my front yard also. They only get about 6 feet tall and produce just enough to eat out of hand and not have to spend time making jam. This allows me a variety without excess. We love them.
  15. Sorry, I am without camera for a little while. Nothing's very pretty right now anyway. I think you should go wander the nursery and find what looks yummy.
  16. I don't love the chore of gardening. I like to feel like I'm getting something more than just pretty for all that hard work and dirty clothing. I have begun to sneak things like herbs and artichokes into even my flower borders. We have raised beds for veggies, nearly 20 fruit trees, and a kitchen garden full of herbs and still, I'd rather have 5 parsley plants than a gerbera daisy. In our raised beds, we are careful about the movement of the sun and the height of the full grown plant which allows us to get a lot of plants into one bed. We also go vertical with things on vines like cukes and grow things around their lower edges. It's great to wander into the garden for dinner. Even better to watch our young son and his friends forage for afterschool snacks. Sungolds being a fave.
  17. Hey Kids, I have a friend looking for an old (I mean OLD) Italian resty. Not all remodeled and shiny. He loves mid-century and doesn't mind peeling plaster. Any ideas?
  18. Hi gang, Waitress in California here, don't throw tomatoes.....I wouldn't subject myself to the long late hours of waiting tables if I only earned the minimum wage or just a bit more. Don't be deceived, waiting tables is a skill. If it looks easy, you have a great server. I can't imagine why the boys in the kitchen work for the rates they do. I imagine they truly love what they're doing. I celebrate any restaurant which chooses to treat employees better and provide them with much needed healthcare. I do not, however, appreciate using the menu as a soapbox. We all know Starbucks provides benefits and they don't have a big poster in the window. Whatever happened to doing nice things without looking around for praise? Why not hire a town crier to stand outside and yell recycled paper, organic strawberries, healthcare for dishwashers, biodegradable handsoap, we compost!!!!? gotta go put on my lipgloss and serve the people. may you all have a prosperous weekend.
  19. yes, yes, the chickens love scraps. We keep a little dish on the counter and drop all the veg trimmings and toast crust and half eaten lunch right in for our girls. They really love pancakes! I haven't had a disposal or a dishwasher in nearly 20 years. I realized recently that I can't even load a dishwasher properly anymore. Living without really doesn't bug me. Plus, didn't I read somewhere that ground up food is quite bad for our water systems?
  20. The nice thing about Qzina is that they deliver in my area for free if you meet the minimum.
  21. Alana, I had considered that but would soooo rather proof something in the fridge overnight and pop it into the oven on site than have to cut and fill myself. I'm feeling lazy right now, maybe I won't by June. thanks trish
  22. I recently held a bakesale with my son. We made the oatmeal bars from Marthastewart.com and folks loved them. The peanut butter and jelly bars were a hit as well. One thing: An older woman bought a cupcake. Tore it in half and flipped the iced side down forming a cupcake sandwich. It was brilliant. Could you not do that with red velvet? Essentially a torted cake with filling but not iced. It would both look like a brick and look like mortar. Plus it'd be easy to saran wrap. How old must one be to refer to others as whippersnappers???
  23. They do have a lovely assorted box but one must still buy 5 boxes of 150 pieces to make a case.
  24. I have been asked by a friend to help her with a family Brunch the morning after her wedding. She will have 40 to 50 guests and we were thinking of some premade pastries. I will make quiches, fruit, meats, etc. But I really don't want to be making croissant and danish (especially with a hangover from the reception the night before). Albert Uster makes a good frozen product but sells them in huge cases. A case comes to about 600 pieces, a few too many for a crowd of 50. Our local bakeries make plenty good pastries but the cost gets high and they are large which is slightly less appealing for a light buffet. Any ideas?? thanks, trish
  25. I had a very similar pile during my Christmas production. I was having ambient temperature problems and lost many many chocolates. Don't think too hard about it. Just make a batch of Ling's brownies and toss the failed chocolates in.
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