A Press Democrat Blog

Kitchen Talk

Turn up the heat on home cooking

Roasted pork for a pairing party

Last weekend,  Vincent and Lise Ciolino of  Montemaggiore  in Dry Creek  threw a fun  party for a few of their friends and wine club members aimed at sharpening their wine pairing skills. Set up as a contest,  the  party revolved around four wines – a white blend, a rose,  a syrah and a syrah-cab blend – all made by the winery. Guests were asked to bring a dish to pair with one of those wines. In a last-minute  attempt  to find a contest-worthy… Read More »

Find your luck over the Rainbow Salad

My family and friends celebrated the Year of the Rabbit last weekend with a   group of 20 friends gathered around two round tables at Fresh China in Coddingtown. The dinner was a smorgasbord of authentic delicacies - from Peking Duck to Pig’s Ears – prepared by talented chef/owner  Peter Hsian. But we started out with a special Rainbow Fish Salad brought by  SRJC cooking instructor Mei Ibach, who grew up in Malaysia. Per Mei’s instructions, everyone  tossed the salad  with  chop sticks to bring good luck in the… Read More »

Local Foods on the rise – everywhere

Maria Baldwin, who helped launch several school gardens in Santa Rosa as part of the School Garden Network, has gotten quite a lot of press since moving to Charleston, S.C., five years ago. Now a full-time farmer at Thornhill Farm in McClellanville, S.C.,  Maria is also an accomplished cook who is driven by a desire to nourish others with healthy, organic and  sustainable food. Her recipe for cooking a heritage turkey  ran in Time Magazine last November has part of the… Read More »

50 ways to feed your lover

The Rodney Strong Wine and Chocolate Fantasy, held last weekend in the cool depths of the  Healdsburg winery’s barrel room, was the perfect way to slide into the Valentine’s Day spirit. Romantically lit with candles and decorated with fresh flowers, the barrel room was lined with a seemingly endless supply of wine  (including  the new Rodney Strong Estate Vineyards Malbec) along with artisanal chocolates from local producers such as Peters’ Chocolates of Sebastopol (peterschocolates.com) and Bert’s Desserts of Petaluma (bertsdesserts.com).    Biscotti Bari of… Read More »

Winging it for the Super Bowl

 As local football fans decide this week whether to root for the nitty-gritty Steelers or the G-power  Packers in the Super Bowl,  home  cooks  are scratching their heads about  what they’re going to serve at their  fumble-proof Super Bowl parties. Let’s face it. The foodstuffs of these two teams are not exactly inspiring.  Between the potato pierogis and pretzels of Pittsburgh and the fried cheese curds and bratwurst of Green Bay, it’s pretty much a battle of the bulge between… Read More »