A Press Democrat Blog

Kitchen Talk

Turn up the heat on home cooking

Dreaming of curds and whey at the Artisan Cheese Festival

   The Grand Tasting of the California Artisan Cheese Festival last weekend  offered some  delicious cheese concoctions, with nearly 30 Bay Area chefs and winemakers teaming up for a smorgasbord of bodacious bites and sips.   Some of the best dishes showcased the cheeses of Sonoma and Marin counties, many of them fairly new on the market. Stand-outs included the Crab Mac ’n’ Cheese featuring the Point Reyes Farmstead Toma from Nick’s Cove in Marshall, Valley Ford Cheese Co.’s Estero… Read More »

Sweet ravioli wins Bake-Off

   Christina Verrelli of Devon, Pa.,, was named the grand prize winner of the 45th Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest in Orlando today,  taking home the $1 million prize for her dessert, a Pumpkin Ravioli with Salted Caramel Whipped Cream.   There were three finalists from Sonoma County competing in this year’s bake-off:   Sandra Gallant of Forestville, Sindee Morgan of Windsor  and Teresa Smith of Santa Rosa. Morgan and Smith’s dishes were entered in the appetizer category while Gallant’s was in the… Read More »

Feta-mint pasta for cheese lovers

      California’s 6th annual Artisan Cheese Festival will skip into Petaluma this weekend with a basket-full of spring tours and tastings, workshops and seminars on Friday through Sunday. For a complete schedule and to purchase tickets, go to artisancheesefestival.com.    Last year, I grazed through the Artisan Cheese Tasting and Marketplace on Sunday, where the region’s rising star cheesemakers get together under one tent to showcase their hand-crafted products. There are also chef demos scheduled throughout. This recipe comes… Read More »

Cocktail competition will shake up your world

This is a slow time for parties. With  St. Patrick’s Day still a good 10 days off, there’s no good excuse for  indulging in  some delightfully decadent food and drink.     But wait, did you hear that high-pitched, icy clinking? Is that the sound of a cocktail shaker  that we hear? Straight Up! – a competition for the best vodka cocktail in the North Bay –  has come to save the day.    At 6 p.m. Thursday, you can watch some of… Read More »