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Maui Merriment: Ocean Vodka Holiday Berry Cosmo Print E-mail
Written by Ann Shepphird   
Sunday, 23 November 2014 10:38

Ocean Vodka Cosmo

With Thanksgiving coming up, it's time to start thinking about holiday cocktails -- especially those that use local, seasonal produce. Last year, we posted the festive cocktail you see below from the good folks at Ocean Vodka. On the Ocean Vodka website, you can also find recipes for many more cocktails, all featuring fresh produce. And if you find yourself on the island of Maui, they offer wonderful tours of the farm and distillery. The cost is only $10 and includes samples and a souvenir shot glass. It's also a wonderful way to see the beautiful Upcountry area of Maui -- one of my favorite places in the world. Enjoy! And Happy Holidays!

Looking for a new cocktail for your holiday party? Ocean Vodka brings us the Holiday Berry Cosmo, featuring raspberries and red currants (in keeping with the season). In case you haven't heard of Ocean Vodka, it's made on the island of Maui using organic sugar cane and deep ocean mineral water, sourced from a depth of 3,000 feet off the Kona Coast of the Island of Hawaii. It's 100 percent certified USDA Organic -- and it's gluten free. In short, a vodka you can feel good about on many levels. Enjoy the holidays!

Ocean Vodka Holiday Berry Cosmo

1 1/2 oz. Ocean Vodka
1/2 oz. Chambord Raspberry Liqueur
6 Raspberries
20 Red Currants
1/2 oz. Simple Syrup

Macerate raspberries and red currants in Chambord Raspberry Liqueur. Place berry mixture into a shaker and add simple syrup, bruise ingredients in a  shaker. Add Ocean Vodka and ice, and shake vigorously. Strain into a martini glass. Garnish with red currants.

Sacramento's Farm-to-Fork Celebration Print E-mail
Written by Ann Shepphird   
Monday, 15 September 2014 09:34

Sacramento beetsLocated at the geographic center of a region filled with an abundance of farms, growers, food producers and culinary leaders, Sacramento will be celebrating that bounty with its second annual Farm-to-Fork Celebration, which got under way last Friday and runs through September 28. The two-week-long celebration in the city, which has been designated by the state of California as "America's Farm-to-Fork Capital," includes a "Legends of Wine" event on September 18, a farm-to-fork festival on the Capitol Mall on September 27 and a gala dinner on September 28 on Tower Bridge that sold out in three minutes.

For those unable to get to the festival, Sacramento offers Gardens-to-Tables-types five full-time and six seasonal farmers' markets and a number of food tours and restaurants featuring local products. One of those -- restaurant ten22 in Old Sacramento -- was kind enough to share their recipe for Roasted Beet Salad (pictured). Enjoy! (Click "read more" for recipe.)

A Deer Valley Twist on the Classic Bloody Mary Print E-mail
Written by Ann Shepphird   
Wednesday, 26 February 2014 15:07

Bloody Mary barIt's hard to think of a cocktail that lends itself more to the gardens-to-tables movement than the classic tomato-and-vodka Bloody Mary. Invented in 1934 at the St. Regis New York by bartender Fernand Petiot, contemporary Bloody Mary bars -- such as the one (left) at last September's Hawaii Food & Wine Festival -- have been known to include a garden's worth of vegetables, fruits and herbs.

St. Regis hotels around the world still serve the classic cocktail, but each has their own twist. At the St. Regis Deer Valley, this includes Park City's High West Vodka (an oat-based vodka); a wasabi, celery and apple espuma; a glass lined with black lava salt; and a pipette of Worcestershire and Tabasco sauce so guests can choose just how much kick they want. The 7452 (the resort's altitude) Bloody Mary is quite popular, selling about 2,500 a month.

For those who'd like to know just what goes into the 7452 Bloody Mary, the St. Regis Deer Valley was kind enough to share the recipe. Enjoy!

St. Regis Bloody MaryThe 7452 Bloody Mary
(four 4 oz. glasses, one of which is pictured right)

14 oz. can tomato juice
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cornichon juice
2 tsp. horseradish
1 tsp. Sriracha chili sauce
1/2 tsp. finely ground black pepper
1 tsp celery salt
Pinch of cayenne pepper

Rub a lime around the rim of each glass and dip in black Hawaiian salt. Combine all ingredients. Fill glass 3/4 full.
For the espuma: Combine celery juice, parsley, wasabi powder and some green apple. Blend and strain, and add as foam on top.

Perfect for All Those In-Season Oranges: Pantescan Winter Salad Print E-mail
Written by Tasha Zemke   
Wednesday, 22 January 2014 10:45

Winter Pantescan SaladIf the increasing number of oranges and grapefruits given to me by friends whose trees are going nuts is any indication, we are smack dab in the middle of citrus season. As such, it seemed appropriate for me to remind you all about this wonderful recipe — first posted here four years ago — for a Winter Pantescan Salad from Tasha Zemke. Enjoy!

Oranges are a real treat each winter for Sicilians. Although the fruit does grow here on the Italian island of Pantelleria, my mother-in-law always looks forward to the annual visit from a vendor who hails from the southern Sicilian town of Sciacca. He arrives here via ship and drives his enormous truck around our narrow streets, stopping for whomever flags him down, until his shipment is gone. It doesn't take long. My mother-in-law buys a good six kilos from him and then uses the oranges in a salad each Sunday when we gather for a family lunch. There is something truly amazing about these oranges -- they aren't the famous Sicilian sanguinelli (blood oranges) but are some of the sweetest, best oranges I've ever tasted.

The salad, which I've come to refer to as the Pantescan Winter Salad, makes great use of good oranges; without good oranges, it is simply passable. It's as bright on the table as it is low fat (the dressing consists only of salt, pepper and olive oil) and, as the cut-up tomatoes and oranges make it a bit runny, you should have some crunchy bread on hand to sop up the remaining juices at the bottom of the salad bowl. (For recipe, click "read more").

Willie Jane's Garden Lettuces with Sunchoke, Roasted Grapes, Point Reyes & Pumpkin Seed Dressing Print E-mail
Written by Chef Gavind Armstrong   
Tuesday, 12 November 2013 08:23

Willie Jane saladPreheat oven to 325 degrees
Serves 8

1/2 Red Flame seedless grapes with stems
1 mixed baby lettuces (we use red and green oak, little gems and butter lettuce leaves)
1/2 cup soft herb salad (leaves of parsley, chervil, mint, dill and tarragon)
1/4 pound sunchokes (washed, scrubbed and thinly sliced on a mandolin)
2 shallots (thinly sliced on the mandolin)
4 T. toasted pumpkin seeds
Point Reyes Blue Cheese

Lightly brush the grapes with evoo S&P and place on a baking sheet. Roast the grapes for 25 minutes or until slightly shriveled up. Keeping the stem on will prevent the grape from leaching out all its delicious juices. Once roasted, set aside to cool to room temperature, then remove the grapes from the stem.
In a large salad bowl, gently dress the lettuces, herb salad, sliced hsallots and shaved sunchokes in the pumpkin seed dressing, adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.
Plate the salad by layering hte leaves with the sunchoke and herb salad, sprinkle with the crumbled cheese.
Garnish with the roasted grapes and toasted pumpkin seeds.

Pumpkin seed dressing

Pumpkin seed oil
1 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
4 cups blended oil.

Puree in blender, strain through cheesecloth-lined chinois

1 egg yolk
1/2 cup sherry vinegar
1/2 cup champagne vinegar
2 lemons (juice)
1 T. dijon mustard
1 T. honey
1 T. soy sauce
1 cup pumpkin seed oil
1/2 cup blended oil
1/4 cup yogurt

In a blender combine yolk, acid, Dijon, honey and soy. Puree until smooth. Add oils in a slow steady stream. Whisk in yogurt and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

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