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Thread: Favorite Easy Party Hors Deauvres & Tapas

  1. #241
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    Re: Favorite Easy Party Hors Deauvres & Tapas

    Someone wrote "I'm in love with the dish the menu calls "Happy Oysters." Freshly shucked and on the half shell, each oyster rests under a small mound of Mexican-style chopped shrimp cocktail sparked with cilantro, lime and minced onion -- a sublime combination."


    I am sure this tastes great -- I am equally sure you can't taste the oysters at all!


    PS -- how can I highlight quotes like you guys do here?

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    Re: Favorite Easy Party Hors Deauvres & Tapas

    Mike - if you mean quoting another poster, just go to the actual post from which you wish to quote. You'll see the quote button on bottom right (next to reply button).

    However, if you mean literally highlighting a quote provided by yourself in your own post, you have to hit "post reply" (not "quick reply"), bottom left, underneath post to avail yourself of full posting options including "bold" and "italic".

    Actually I just noticed under the "Quick reply" box a tick box for quoting a message and also a "go advanced" button which should give you full posting options.

    PS - I never thought I'd find an excuse to post to this thread!
    Last edited by PD99; 07-17-2008 at 11:06 PM.

  3. #243
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    Re: Favorite Easy Party Hors Deauvres & Tapas

    Quote Originally Posted by PD99
    Mike - if you mean quoting another poster, just go to the actual post from which you wish to quote. You'll see the quote button on bottom right (next to reply button).

    THANKS!

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    Re: Favorite Easy Party Hors Deauvres & Tapas

    Ghost wineries of Napa Valley offer a taste of the past
    A toast to old wineries: These centuries-old vineyards welcome their past. Restored and reinvigorated, they offer a taste of a forgotten era.

    By Kevin Garbee, Special to The Los Angeles Times
    06:31 PM PDT, July 29, 2008

    There's a ghost in my wine.

    I haven't always believed in ghosts. That's a recent development. In the spring, my wife, Jenn, and I headed to the Napa Valley for a séance, of sorts -- an attempt to summon the spirits of winemaking past. I'm not talking about ghouls, goblins or apparitions in flowing gowns. I'm talking about the ghost wineries that dot the valleys, mountains and benchlands of America's most famous winemaking region.

    So what exactly is a ghost winery? It is one of the few remaining wineries built between 1860 and 1900, some still in business, others not.

    In the late 1800s, the Napa Valley was a bustling wine community, but several factors led to its disintegration. The phylloxera insect epidemic of the late 1880s and early 1890s forced some wineries to close. The Depression threw others into bankruptcy. And Prohibition effectively shuttered the rest.

    The San Francisco-based Wine Institute says 713 wineries were in operation before Prohibition, which was ratified in 1919. Only 40 remained after its repeal in 1933.

    Today there are hundreds of wineries in the valley, all looking to the future. But several are making sure not to forget their past. By some accounts, there are dozens of ghost wineries throughout Napa. Many have been transformed into private homes and businesses, yet several winemakers have restored these historic properties into working wineries, where visitors can taste another era.

    Blueprint bliss

    Our first stop was Hall Winery on California 29, just south of St. Helena's main drag.

    The Hall estate is built on the old Bergfeld Winery. The original winery, built in 1885 by a New England sea captain, changed hands several times in the next 50 years. After the repeal of Prohibition, the Napa Valley Cooperative Winery bought the property in 1935 and made wine under the Bergfeld name for nearly 60 years. Golden State Vintners reopened the facility as Edgewood Estate Winery in 1994 before the Hall family bought the property in 2003.

    Within months, the Halls brought in architect Frank Gehry to design a $100-million state-of-the-art winery and hospitality center.

    "We want to immerse visitors in something fantastic," said Mike Rey- nolds, Hall Wines president. Early on, the decision was made to incorporate the ghost winery as the focal point of the new design.

    Until the completion of the new facility in 2010, Hall offers an excellent tour to satisfy your ghost-winery craving. The tour includes a barrel tasting in the historic Bergfeld Winery and a guided tasting of current Hall releases in the Architectural Gallery, which houses an exhibit of Gehry's models and blueprints for the new winery.

    Continuing up California 29, through St. Helena, we stopped at the stunning Ehlers Estate, one of the gems of the Napa Valley.

    Vines were first planted on the estate in 1882 by the Rev. Alfred Todhunter, who lost his vineyard to phylloxera in 1885 and sold the property to Sacramento grocer Bernard Ehlers. Ehlers replanted the vineyards and erected the stunning stone winery building that remains the estate's centerpiece.

    After Ehlers' death in 1901, his wife maintained the property until 1916, and seven years later, she sold the estate to Alfred Domingos. Domingos bootlegged wine out of the facility until the repeal of Prohibition, when he established Old Bale Mill Winery, which he ran until 1958. In 1987, Jean and Sylvia Leducq acquired 7 acres of the estate and, over the years, contiguous parcels and the original stone winery and estate home.

    "This is a special property," said Kelly McElearney, the estate's director of marketing and sales. "We want our wines to truly reflect this distinct location."

    Mission accomplished. The wines are 100% estate grown, using only organic and biodynamic farming practices. Sipping wine in these special surroundings, I felt as though I was drinking history.

    Feel free to drink up at Ehlers. Its wine is known for being heart- healthy.


    Upon his death in 2002, Jean Leducq left the winery in trust to the Leducq Foundation, which is dedicated to funding international cardiovascular research; 100% of the winery's net profits support this effort. That's a cause I can rally around.

    Once upon a time . . .

    We followed California 29 as it turned into state highway 128 in Calistoga. Just before the Sonoma County line is the Storybook Mountain Vineyards.

    No wonder this is the site of a ghost winery. The setting is beautiful, almost otherworldly.

    In 1883, German immigrant Adam Grimm bought 405 acres in the mountains above Calistoga. Being from a venerable winemaking family (whose roots in the business date to 1540 and continue to this day), Grimm planted extensive vineyards.

    He was joined by his brother, Jacob, in 1889, and they began to dig three wine tunnels into the mountainside, thus establishing Grimm Vineyards and WineVaults.

    At the outset of Prohibition, Adam left the business, and Jacob began making sacramental and medicinal wines.

    The property was broken up and sold several times in the ensuing decades. In 1964, a fire burned from the mountains, east of the property, southwest to Santa Rosa, and the property lay in a state of decay.

    In 1976, Jerry and Sigrid Seps bought the 90 acres surrounding the old wine caves and named it Storybook Mountain, not only in tribute to the fairy-tale setting but also as a witty nod to the winery's original owners (the brothers Grimm).

    Visitors to the estate can tour some of the most picturesque vineyards in the valley and taste some of the world's highest-rated Zinfandels in the original wine caves. And as in the late 1800s, it remains a family affair.

    "We're the winemakers, the bottling folks and the tractor drivers. We're proud to grow grapes and make wine. And we try to make sure that passion shows up in the bottle," said Colleen Williams, our personable tour guide and the Sepses' daughter.

    Heading back down California 128 toward Calistoga, we took a left onto Tubbs Lane. Near the end of the road is the renowned Château Montelena.

    In 1882, Alfred Tubbs bought 254 acres of land at the base of Mount St. Helena. By 1896, the winery he had christened Château Montelena was the seventh largest in the valley. Winemaking on the property virtually ceased from Prohibition until 1972 when James Barrett bought the estate.

    Four years later, Château Montelena helped catapult California to the forefront of the wine world at the now-famous Judgment of Paris wine tasting when its 1973 Chardonnay was rated above all others.

    Today, you can still taste world-class wines in the stately tasting room. And be sure to stroll about the property. It's a regal setting -- fitting for one of the queens of the wine world.

    The last stop on our tour took us down the picturesque Silverado Trail to St. Helena. A left on Howell Mountain Road and a quick right onto Conn Valley Road delivered us to perhaps the most exciting stop on our trip.

    Ten years ago, winemaker Richard Mansfield and his wife, chef-author Leslie, bought the old Franco-Swiss Winery on Conn Valley Road in St. Helena. Here's what makes their property unique: The winery has yet to be restored. They are working to obtain the permits and financing to return the 1876 winery to its original working condition. It's an arduous process to restore a winery, but the Mansfields' passion and enthusiasm are unbridled.

    "We are so excited to be, at once, a part of Napa's history and future," Richard said.

    The project may be in its nascent stages, but don't let that stop you from taking a tour. The Mansfields are two of Napa's most gracious hosts, and Richard makes some of the valley's most underrated wines. Sipping a cool glass of Chardonnay against such a historic backdrop makes me feel as though I was part of something special.

    Who knew ghosts had such a future?

    travel@latimes.com

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    Re: Favorite Easy Party Hors Deauvres & Tapas


    The renowned Chateau Montelana, which helped catapult California to the forefront of the wine world, is located at the base of Mount St. Helena. The property is one of the ghost wineries of the Napa Valley, where winemakers look to the future but also embrace their past. At these locations, visitors can get a taste of history along with their wine.
    (Kevin Garbee)

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    Re: Favorite Easy Party Hors Deauvres & Tapas


    Dozens of barrels are stored in the wine caves at Storybook Mountain Vineyards in Calistoga. Adam Grimm, a German immigrant, purchased the property in 1883 and, with the help of his brother Jacob, dug three wine tunnels into the mountainside. In 1976, the property was purchased by Jerry and Sigrid Seps, who opened the Storybook Mountain Vineyards. Visitors can tour the picturesque property and sample wines in the original wine caves.
    (Kevin Garbee)

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    Re: Favorite Easy Party Hors Deauvres & Tapas


    Vineyards cover the hills at Storybook Mountain Vineyards in Calistoga. The winery, which first opened in the 1880s, today produces some of the world's highest-rated Zinfandels.
    (Kevin Garbee)

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    Re: Favorite Easy Party Hors Deauvres & Tapas


    Plans are in the works to restore the original 1876 Franco-Swiss Winery building to working condition. The three-story building is located on the Mansfield Winery property in St. Helena.
    (Jenn Garbee)

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    Re: Favorite Easy Party Hors Deauvres & Tapas


    Visitors sample wine in the tasting room at the Chateau Montelena Winery in Calistoga. The winery was established in 1882, but winemaking on the property virtually ceased from Prohibition until 1972, when James Barrett bought the estate. Four years later, Chateau Montelena helped catapult California to the forefront of the wine world at the now-famous Judgment of Paris wine tasting when its 1973 Chardonnay was rated above all others.
    (Jenn Garbee)

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    Re: Favorite Easy Party Hors Deauvres & Tapas

    I had to chuckle about this...



    Thai leader forced to resign over TV cooking show
    By AMBIKA AHUJA, Associated Press Writer
    2 hours, 22 minutes ago



    BANGKOK, Thailand - Thailand's prime minister was forced out of office Tuesday along with his Cabinet after a court ruled that he had broken a conflict-of-interest law by hosting TV cooking shows.

    ADVERTISEMENT

    Samak Sundaravej's party later unanimously agreed to re-nominate him as a candidate for prime minister, indicating that Thailand is still not free from its deep political crisis that has virtually paralyzed the government, spooked the financial markets and scared away tourists.

    "The defendant has violated Article 267 of the constitution, and his position as prime minister has ended," said the head of the nine-judge panel, Chat Chonlaworn.

    The rest of the Cabinet will stay in as a caretaker government until a new prime minister is chosen. The senior deputy prime minister, Somchai Wongsawat, meanwhile assumes the prime minister's duties. He is the brother-in-law of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

    Parliament will meet Friday to vote on a new prime minister, and all parties can nominate candidates.

    Tuesday's judgment, broadcast live on television and radio, was greeted with loud cheers and claps from Samak's opponents who have occupied his office compound since Aug. 26 to demand his resignation.

    Samak, 73, a self-proclaimed foodie, hosted a popular television cooking show — "Tasting and Complaining" — for seven years before becoming prime minister. But he also made several appearances after taking office, breaking a constitutional prohibition on private employment while in office.

    "His employment at the company can be considered an employment," said Chat. He said Samak gave "conflicting testimony" and that there was an attempt to fabricate evidence "to hide his actions."

    Before the court began its session, Samak had said he would honor the verdict. He was not immediately available for comment.

    Samak had claimed that he was not an employee of the company that made the show and only received payment for his transportation and the ingredients used for cooking.

    The verdict provided a new twist to Thailand's political uncertainty that began in early 2006 when a group of royalists, urban residents and union activists, calling themselves the People's Alliance for Democracy, started demonstrating against Thaksin, accusing the then-prime minister of corruption.

    The relentless demonstrations, led by media tycoon Sondhi Limthongkul and four others, led to a military coup that ousted Thaksin. The junta called elections in December 2007, which were won by a coalition of Samak's People's Power Party and five other parties.

    It triggered a fresh round of demonstrations by the alliance, which accuses Samak of being a proxy for Thaksin, who has fled to Britain to avoid facing corruption charges.

    Samak had refused to resign or call fresh elections, and many believed the court ruling could give him an opportunity to make a graceful exit without losing face.

    Kuthep Saikrajang, the spokesman of Samak's party, said its members unanimously agreed to re-nominate Samak in Parliament as their candidate for the prime minister's post. But the final decision depends on Samak as well on other parties in the ruling coalition, he said.

    It is not clear whether this would again violate the Constitution, and such a move could also inflame supporters of the People's Alliance for Democracy.

    There also was no sign that the alliance supporters would now vacate the Government House compound.

    "Samak was ousted by the court but there is no guarantee he will not return in the next few day. So our protest will continue for the time being," said alliance spokesman Suriyasai Katasila.

    Samak is also facing other legal problems — the Election Commission has recommended that his party be dissolved for vote fraud, and he faces a defamation suit and three possible corruption cases.

    Analysts were doubtful if Tuesday's ruling would end Thailand's political deadlock.

    "It adds more color to the ongoing conflict but is not significant enough to change anything. The confrontation will go on with no end in sight," said Chaiwat Kamchoo, a political science lecturer at Bangkok's Chulalongkorn University.


    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080909/...litical_unrest
    ___

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    Re: Favorite Easy Party Hors Deauvres & Tapas

    Restaurant review: Puro Sabor in Van Nuys


    Annie Wells / Los Angeles Times
    Juana Paz, the owner of Puro Sabor, a Peruvian restaurant in Van Nuys, CA, serves Neli Rocha during lunch.

    Chef Juana Paz cooks up pristine seafood dishes and other powerfully flavored Peruvian favorites.

    By Linda Burum, Special to The Times

    Puro sabor -- Spanish for pure, unadulterated flavor -- is the name of a sprightly 7-month-old Peruvian restaurant on Van Nuys Boulevard. The kitchen lives up to the promise of its moniker, sending out plates that are all about puro saborpuro sabor -- nothing architectural or flamboyant, no foam or bouncy gelée -- just classic Peruvian favorites with powerfully seductive tastes.

    This becomes clear with your first order of ceviche de pescado. Cubes of pristinely fresh fish firmed up with a gentle kiss of citrus and chile retain a delicate marine essence. Counterpoints to the heat and tartness are a side of perfectly al dente sweet potato and puffy giant corn kernels.

    The bright purple corn-based punch, chicha morada, served in most Peruvian places, is a different animal here: Chef Juana Paz passes on the popular and convenient Kool-Aid-style mix for her own delicious blend of spices and juice to flavor the boiled corn water.

    The restaurant brightens up its nondescript block with a cheery red sign and smart logo of an Incan cook. Sitting across from Q Bargain Swap Meet around the corner from the utilitarian Elks club building, the rejuvenated former taco shop welcomes patrons with a spotless interior, cloth-covered tables and a sophisticated color scheme of hunter green and pale peach.

    Before Puro Sabor's opening, Paz had already collected a loyal following from her six-year tenure at another Peruvian spot, Las Quenas. A former bank teller and accountant in Peru, she started out as a dishwasher and cook's assistant soon after arriving in L.A., eventually working her way up to chef and manager. Her daughter, Johanna Santolalla, who occasionally helps out waiting tables, says Paz was so dedicated to the idea of coming to the States that she enrolled her kids in English classes in Peru long before she acquired immigration papers.

    Her own boss

    MANAGING A restaurant was a great way to learn the ins and outs of the business. But Paz wanted to cook and have complete control of a kitchen -- particularly over the selection and quality of ingredients -- and so with two partners she finally struck out on her own.

    Every detail of the food seems to have passed the rigorous Paz test. The aji -- that mint-green condiment in a plastic squirt bottle -- is her carefully developed blend of the Peruvian black mint, huacatay, and Peruvian yellow chiles swirled together with milk and fresh cheese -- blazing heat and creaminess in well-calibrated balance.

    The Peruvian love for seafood has a lot to do with its long dramatic coastline and proximity to the Humboldt and El Niño currents. No surprise then that seafood abounds at Puro Sabor: hot, cold, fried, dosed with cream or enlivened with peppery spices -- ready to take your palate on a wild ride.

    Parihuela, South America's answer to bouillabaisse, a clear, spicy broth crowded with lightly cooked shrimp, octopus, squid and delicate fish chunks, will haunt any seafood lover's dreams. In the ambrosial chupe de camarones, Peru's creamy national chowder, float firm, lightly cooked shrimp and a gently poached egg. Jalea, a textural phenomenon, combines a mountain of deep-fried calamari, shrimp and other shellfish atop slabs of grilled snapper or perch.

    Beyond the sea

    BUT Puro Sabor's menu isn't only about fish. Paz's longtime customers content themselves with their favorite Criollo foods -- dishes fused from the country's immigrant culinary traditions. Many are daily specials written on a board. You might find Spanish-influenced aji de gallina, shredded chicken in velvety ground almond sauce spiked with a subtle touch of yellow chile; carapulcra, braised lean pork chunks cooked with the Andean-style dried potatoes, papas secas, that you would swear were meat, or secco de chivo, a long-simmered, herb-rich stew of kid meat reminiscent of a Basque grandma's Sunday dinner.

    As is usually seen in Peruvian cafes, the menu lists a few Chinese-Peruvian dishes and pastas. Nicely made as they are, they're the least interesting of the Peruvian repertoire. One exception is lomo a lo macho, a pan-seared rib-eye topped with gently sautéed varied seafood.

    On weekends, Puro Sabor serves Peruvian-style breakfasts. These meaty, farmhand-style repasts are built around steaks, eggs and tacu tacu, the Afro-Peruvian mash-up of seasoned rice and beans.

    The sweetest spot is held by picarones, melt-in-the-mouth pumpkin doughnuts that resemble tempura-light funnel cakes. Drizzled with syrup made from dark, earthy pilloncillo sugar, the dessert exemplifies yet again why Puro Sabor is so apt as the restaurant's name.

    food@latimes.com

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    Re: Favorite Easy Party Hors Deauvres & Tapas

    Hey Frank,

    With all these wonderful places you post up, you'll have to take me to one of these great places the next time I'm out in Los Angeles! Great stuff!

    I'm hoping to come out again next summer, as my couple days in June didn't cut it.

    Talk soon,



    Juan

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    Re: Favorite Easy Party Hors Deauvres & Tapas

    Quote Originally Posted by Juan C Ayllon
    Hey Frank,

    With all these wonderful places you post up, you'll have to take me to one of these great places the next time I'm out in Los Angeles! Great stuff!

    I'm hoping to come out again next summer, as my couple days in June didn't cut it.

    Talk soon,



    Juan
    Heck Juan, I don't go to those places, best I can do is go to my local IN-N-Out down the the street from my house....

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    Re: Favorite Easy Party Hors Deauvres & Tapas

    Red wine slashes lung cancer risk in smokers


    Drinking a glass or two of red wine each day may be a prescription for avoiding lung cancer, especially among high-risk people such as smokers.

    A study from Kaiser Permanente researchers published today found a strong link between red wine consumption and a decreased risk of lung cancer in men. The researchers studied 84,170 men ages 45 to 69 who were part of the California Men's Health Study. They found lung cancer risk is lowered an average of 2% for each glass of red wine consumed per month. The greatest risk reduction was found among men who smoked and who drank one or two glasses of red wine per day. They had a whopping 60% reduced risk.

    Red wine contains a chemical called resveratrol that is a powerful antioxidant and is associated with a variety of health benefits, both for heart health and for cancer prevention. Previous studies in lab animals suggest that resveratrol alters the activity of carcinogens in the body, inducing abnormal cells to die and retarding the growth of cancerous cells, says the lead author of the study, Chun Chao, a research scientist at Kaiser Permanente Department of Research and Evaluation in Pasadena. The study, published in the October issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, did not find any clear links between lung cancer and consumption of white wine, beer or liquor.

    Chao cautions that the best way for smokers to lower the risk of developing lung cancer is to stop smoking. Even smokers who drink one or two glasses of red wine per day have a higher lung cancer risk than nonsmokers.

    More research should be conducted before people start knocking back a glass or two of red wine each day just for the health of it, Chao says. "We need more studies on whether people should drink red wine to reduce lung cancer risk," she says. "If people want to drink red wine for cardiovascular benefits, they should talk to their doctor about that. But they shouldn't drink for lung cancer prevention."

    The issue of drinking alcohol for health benefits is controversial because of the harm associated with heavy drinking and alcohol addiction. In general, most health professionals advise people not to start drinking if they don't already drink. The National Cancer Institute takes this position:

    "Some studies suggest that alcohol consumption is associated with a lower risk of some risk of some non-cancer health conditions. However, it is not recommended that anyone begin drinking or drink more frequently on the basis of health considerations."

    A thorough review of the risks and benefits of moderate drinking can be found at the website of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

    Shari Roan
    LATiemes

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    Chardonnay Chicken from Yahoo!

    I saw this at Yahoo! Food:

    Chicken with Chardonnay and Fresh Herbs
    Prep Time
    -
    Cook Time
    -
    Serves
    4
    Recipe Provided By: Wolfgang Puck

    See more from
    Wolfgang Puck on Yahoo! Food


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Average (89 Ratings):
    4.5 out of 5 stars
    1 star
    My Rating:


    Rate It:

    5 starsWrite a Review
    All 4 Reviews

    Ingredients

    4 Large Chicken Breast halves, boneless, skin on
    4 ounces Fresh Goat Cheese
    1 tablespoon Chopped fresh Tarragon
    1 tablespoon Chopped fresh Italian parsley
    1 tablespoon Chopped fresh Chervil
    Freshly Ground White Pepper
    Salt
    4 teaspoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    1 Shallot, Minced
    1 cup Good California Chardonnay
    1 cup Chicken Stock
    1/2 cup Heavy Cream
    4 tablespoons Unsalted Butter
    Nutrition InfoPer Serving

    Calories: 541 kcal
    Carbohydrates: 4 g
    Dietary Fiber: 0 g
    Fat: 39 g
    Protein: 32 g
    Sugars: 1 g
    About: Nutrition Info

    Powered by: ESHA Nutrient Database

    2. Cooking Directions
    Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F or heat a grill until hot.

    In a bowl, mix the goat cheese, half the herbs and white pepper to taste.
    Loosen the skin of the chicken breasts.

    Divide the cheese mixture, place some of it under the skin of each breast and pat gently to distribute evenly.

    Season the chicken lightly with salt and pepper.
    Sprinkle with olive oil.

    Roast in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes or cook on the hot grill for 10 to 12 minutes per side, until chicken is cooked right through.

    Combine the shallot and chardonnay in a saucepan, bring to a boil and reduce to a glaze, about 1/4 cup.

    Add the stock and reduce by half.

    Add the cream and continue to reduce until the sauce lightly coats the back of a spoon.

    Whisk in the butter in small pieces, making sure each piece is incorporated before adding the next.

    Season the sauce to taste with salt and pepper.

    Strain into a clean saucepan and add the remaining chopped herbs.

    Yield: 4 servings

    3. Still Hungry?

    Stuffing goat cheese under the skin of the chicken gives this dish a creamy and striking taste. The fresh herbs and Chardonnay combine to make a delicious and complementary sauce.

    Notes:

    Pool the sauce onto 4 warm dinner plates.

    Slice each chicken breast on the bias into 5 pieces and place on top of the sauce.

    Serve immediately with the rest of the chardonnay.

    Note: Make sure to get the charcoal very hot and let it get coated with grey ash before grilling the chicken.

    If you are using a gas or electric grill get it very hot, too, then turn the heat down to medium to cook the chicken.

    Obviously a Californian Chardonnay will complement this dish.

    But you may want to consider a contrast, perhaps a sparkling wine in the Champagne style like Brut Carneros or Jepsons Blanc de Blanc from Mendocino.

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    Special Dinner at Cabs!

    My brother, Luis, is hosting a special dinner next week at his restaurant, Cabs Wine Bar Bistro. I'm thinking of going, but I'm not sure, as I've got some bigger expenses this month.

    Anyways, check it out:



    Link to Cabs Site
    Last edited by Juan C Ayllon; 11-20-2008 at 12:38 PM.

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    Re: Favorite Easy Party Hors Deauvres & Tapas

    Deep-fried turkey at Tasty Q Bar-B-Que

    It's Thanksgiving the way the Pilgrims would have wanted it
    By Amir Kenan

    Metromix
    November 12, 2008


    For $75 in L.A. you can get three-quarters of a seven-course tasting menu at Bastide, almost four ounces of Japanese Kobe rib-eye at Cut or more than two dozen chili dogs at Pink’s.

    Or you could get a whole 13-pound Cajun spice-injected, deep-fried turkey. Your choice.

    This Thanksgiving, while others are busy stuffing, basting and merrily contracting salmonella from their turkeys, Tasty Q Bar-B-Que can transform your raw bird into a deep-fried beauty.

    Tasty Q Bar-B-Que is a land of pigs feet, greens and Cajun-spiced everything, a place where the “mild” sauce is potent enough to cure a cold and the hot sauce can cure cancer—well, maybe. If you’re driving on Crenshaw Blvd., just south of the 10, and you stumble upon a converted Taco Bell with brightly colored, hand-painted murals of chickens running from a boiling pot and a sign that reads “ asty Q Barb cue," congratulations: You’ve officially arrived at deep-fried bird heaven.

    Inside, you’ll more turkey-related murals painted on every available surface, along with a TV blasting Oprah and a jukebox that’s heavy on Boyz II Men and Sade. If you’re lucky, you’ll be greeted by Debra, who will let you know her thoughts about L.A. (she wants out!) and ask your opinion on selling some property in Mobile (we’re still weighing the pros and cons). And if you’re really lucky, she’ll let you sample the spicy chicken sausage—made fresh for Tasty Q by a local vendor—that’s part of the hearty $7 lunch combo, a ginormous plate that includes a pork rib, two beef ribs, a half-link of sausage, coleslaw, beans and bread.

    But the specialty of the house—and the reason the place gets so busy around the holidays—is the service of one deep, dark, turkey-sized vat of hot oil. While no holiday is without fire hazard, we think it better to leave the turkey to professionals who have the proper blood alcohol levels for the task. First, a few necessary steps:

    1) Plan ahead. Bring your bird to Tasty Q at least three days before Turkey Day, or you'll have to settle for fried bites from the Colonel.

    2) Buy a turkey. Butterball’s handy-dandy turkey calculator indicates one pound of uncooked bird flesh per guest.

    3) Thaw turkey. Getting it fresh is a grand but expensive gesture. Yours will most likely be frozen, so allot enough time to thaw thoroughly. Calculation: one day of thawing for every four pounds of bird.

    4) Fork over $2.50 per pound. For 50 cents more, Tasty Q can smoke that bad boy in the outdoor smokehouse.

    5) Kindly decline the extra spice injection—unless burning off your palate is a holiday tradition. We found the usual amount is quite generous, creating pungent rings of Cajun blend throughout the breast and wings.

    6) Wash your hands like Howie Mandel, or some other bald, OCD-afflicted game-show host.

    In just a couple of hours, you’ll be driving home with a hot, sweet, vinegary turkey buckled into your passenger seat. (Note: Your car will never smell the same again. Believe us: no amount of new-car spray can eradicate the odor.) While the nice folks at Tasty Q are super-accommodating, they won’t deep fry anything crazy—sorry, fried Mars bar fanatics—or any other kind of poultry—no fried chicken allowed. But they are willing to take on turkey drumsticks or even a whole ham, in case you decide to go medieval for this year’s Thanksgiving dinner.

    Amir Kenan is contributing editor for Metromix Los Angeles.

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    Recipe Source

    Hey,

    I just stumbled upon this exhaustive link on recipes at my brother's online site. Check it out:

    recipesource.com

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    Re: Favorite Easy Party Hors Deauvres & Tapas

    That's a helluva site Juan!

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    Re: Favorite Easy Party Hors Deauvres & Tapas

    Thanks, Off the River!

    You'll have to let us know about the ones you use and like the most!

    Cheers,



    Juan

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    Re: Favorite Easy Party Hors Deauvres & Tapas

    Cole's French dip restaurant revives a slice of the past


    Alex Gallardo / Los Angeles Times
    Ethan Lipsitz and Amanda Lee eat at the century-old Cole’s, which reopened in December and retains original signs such as, “Ladies, kindly do your soliciting discreetly.”
    The downtown L.A. eatery keeps its deliciously seedy atmosphere -- with reminders of gangsters, strippers and Prohibition -- and its rivalry with Philippe's. Its upscale attitude on cocktails is new.
    By Steve Harvey

    You won't find many restaurants that display photos of 1950s strippers. But Cole's, the dark, subterranean eatery that recently reopened near the corner of 6th and Main, believes in tradition.

    "It wasn't that far to walk to see the girls performing," explained spokeswoman Joan McCraw, referring to the old Follies Theater.

    Gangster Mickey Cohen "was dating one of those girls," she added. Cole's "was his hangout."

    For a while it seemed as though the curtain had fallen on Cole's. It shut down in March 2007 after 99 years of business. What went wrong? Perhaps it was the depressed state of the neighborhood. Or maybe the owners violated the house rule printed on a dining room sign: "We do not extend credit to stockbrokers."

    At one point during its shuttered period, a website carried this capsule review of Cole's by one diner:

    "Pro: No lines. Con: It's closed."

    To the rescue came bar owner Cedd Moses, a fan of the eatery since he was a child. The son of artist Ed Moses, he and some other investors reopened Cole's last December and were careful to retain its original elements: bordello-red wallpaper, Tiffany glass lampshades over the mahogany bar, penny-tiled floor, an ancient time clock, and friendly reminders to customers.

    "Ladies, kindly do your soliciting discreetly," one sign reads.

    While Cole's can no longer claim to be the longest continuously operated cafe/saloon in the city, it's still arguing with Philippe the Original over who invented the French dip sandwich.

    Cole's lore has it that the dish originated in 1908 when a customer with a bad case of sore gums asked for his sandwich to be lowered into the juice because the French roll was too crunchy for him. The sympathetic chef complied, word spread and soon this variation was even being ordered by folks who flossed regularly.

    Philippe's, which opened the same year and later moved to its current location near Union Station, maintains that it invented the dip when a customer complained that his roll was stale and asked for it to be dunked. Or perhaps a chef dropped the roll into the juice in the roast pan and the customer said, what the heck, give it to me anyway. No one at Philippe's is quite sure.

    And, as a city historian admitted to the L.A. Business Journal a few years ago, "We don't have a French dip department."

    Oh well. Said Richard Binder, co-owner of Philippe's, "Who knows what happened 100 years ago? We're just happy to still be around."

    Cole's occupies the bottom floor of the 10-story Pacific Electric Building, the city's tallest skyscraper in the early 1900s and for years the terminus for the Red Car trolley line, which clacked over more than 1,000 miles of track in Southern California.

    Founder Henry Cole moved into the former headquarters of some horse-drawn streetcars. One of the first things he did was sprinkle sawdust on the floor.

    Located near the financial center of the city, the place became a haunt for bankers, attorneys, newspaper types and politicians -- as well as more respectable folks.

    Business really started booming when Cole opened a free check-cashing service, the city's first, in a cage at the back of the restaurant. The shrewd owner realized that customers would often be returning a portion of the cash to pay for their lunch and/or drinks.

    His son Rawland managed the check-cashing business and developed a code to deal with possible bad-check passers. "Johnny," the son would call to a waiter, "did you get the prescription filled?" And the waiter would summon police to grab the suspect, who wasn't always a stockbroker.

    Cole's vintage outdoor sign still displays the word "payroll," but the "checks cashed" part was removed long ago, lest new customers think the service is still offered. "We'd have a line around the block," pointed out manager Jana Green.

    Prohibition, which dawned in 1919, was a bit of a problem. But the late Jimmy Barela, who tended bar there for 56 years, substituted bitters (at 3 cents a shot) and "near beer" (at a dime a glass) for the real stuff.

    All that changed April 7, 1933, when President Roosevelt legalized beer. Barela told The Times years ago that "we sold 58 32-gallon kegs" on the day.

    Though the furnishings of Cole's recall another era, Moses is hoping to attract loft dwellers and other new downtown residents with some upscale touches.

    Spokeswoman McCraw, for instance, speaks of "elevating the cocktail experience" and "the perfect execution" of ice picks required for such classic alcoholic concoctions as Hemingway's Death in the Afternoon and the 1926 Cosmopolitan.

    "We have real bartenders, not actor/bartenders," she added.

    Too bad Mickey Cohen isn't around anymore. One can imagine the mobster admiring the handiwork of the bartenders with their ice picks.

    steveharvey9@gmail.com

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    Re: Favorite Easy Party Hors Deauvres & Tapas

    Cole's French dip restaurant revives a slice of the past


    Alex Gallardo / Los Angeles Times
    Ethan Lipsitz and Amanda Lee eat at the century-old Cole’s, which reopened in December and retains original signs such as, “Ladies, kindly do your soliciting discreetly.”
    The downtown L.A. eatery keeps its deliciously seedy atmosphere -- with reminders of gangsters, strippers and Prohibition -- and its rivalry with Philippe's. Its upscale attitude on cocktails is new.
    By Steve Harvey

    You won't find many restaurants that display photos of 1950s strippers. But Cole's, the dark, subterranean eatery that recently reopened near the corner of 6th and Main, believes in tradition.

    "It wasn't that far to walk to see the girls performing," explained spokeswoman Joan McCraw, referring to the old Follies Theater.

    Gangster Mickey Cohen "was dating one of those girls," she added. Cole's "was his hangout."

    For a while it seemed as though the curtain had fallen on Cole's. It shut down in March 2007 after 99 years of business. What went wrong? Perhaps it was the depressed state of the neighborhood. Or maybe the owners violated the house rule printed on a dining room sign: "We do not extend credit to stockbrokers."

    At one point during its shuttered period, a website carried this capsule review of Cole's by one diner:

    "Pro: No lines. Con: It's closed."

    To the rescue came bar owner Cedd Moses, a fan of the eatery since he was a child. The son of artist Ed Moses, he and some other investors reopened Cole's last December and were careful to retain its original elements: bordello-red wallpaper, Tiffany glass lampshades over the mahogany bar, penny-tiled floor, an ancient time clock, and friendly reminders to customers.

    "Ladies, kindly do your soliciting discreetly," one sign reads.

    While Cole's can no longer claim to be the longest continuously operated cafe/saloon in the city, it's still arguing with Philippe the Original over who invented the French dip sandwich.

    Cole's lore has it that the dish originated in 1908 when a customer with a bad case of sore gums asked for his sandwich to be lowered into the juice because the French roll was too crunchy for him. The sympathetic chef complied, word spread and soon this variation was even being ordered by folks who flossed regularly.

    Philippe's, which opened the same year and later moved to its current location near Union Station, maintains that it invented the dip when a customer complained that his roll was stale and asked for it to be dunked. Or perhaps a chef dropped the roll into the juice in the roast pan and the customer said, what the heck, give it to me anyway. No one at Philippe's is quite sure.

    And, as a city historian admitted to the L.A. Business Journal a few years ago, "We don't have a French dip department."

    Oh well. Said Richard Binder, co-owner of Philippe's, "Who knows what happened 100 years ago? We're just happy to still be around."

    Cole's occupies the bottom floor of the 10-story Pacific Electric Building, the city's tallest skyscraper in the early 1900s and for years the terminus for the Red Car trolley line, which clacked over more than 1,000 miles of track in Southern California.

    Founder Henry Cole moved into the former headquarters of some horse-drawn streetcars. One of the first things he did was sprinkle sawdust on the floor.

    Located near the financial center of the city, the place became a haunt for bankers, attorneys, newspaper types and politicians -- as well as more respectable folks.

    Business really started booming when Cole opened a free check-cashing service, the city's first, in a cage at the back of the restaurant. The shrewd owner realized that customers would often be returning a portion of the cash to pay for their lunch and/or drinks.

    His son Rawland managed the check-cashing business and developed a code to deal with possible bad-check passers. "Johnny," the son would call to a waiter, "did you get the prescription filled?" And the waiter would summon police to grab the suspect, who wasn't always a stockbroker.

    Cole's vintage outdoor sign still displays the word "payroll," but the "checks cashed" part was removed long ago, lest new customers think the service is still offered. "We'd have a line around the block," pointed out manager Jana Green.

    Prohibition, which dawned in 1919, was a bit of a problem. But the late Jimmy Barela, who tended bar there for 56 years, substituted bitters (at 3 cents a shot) and "near beer" (at a dime a glass) for the real stuff.

    All that changed April 7, 1933, when President Roosevelt legalized beer. Barela told The Times years ago that "we sold 58 32-gallon kegs" on the day.

    Though the furnishings of Cole's recall another era, Moses is hoping to attract loft dwellers and other new downtown residents with some upscale touches.

    Spokeswoman McCraw, for instance, speaks of "elevating the cocktail experience" and "the perfect execution" of ice picks required for such classic alcoholic concoctions as Hemingway's Death in the Afternoon and the 1926 Cosmopolitan.

    "We have real bartenders, not actor/bartenders," she added.

    Too bad Mickey Cohen isn't around anymore. One can imagine the mobster admiring the handiwork of the bartenders with their ice picks.

    steveharvey9@gmail.com

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    Re: Favorite Easy Party Hors Deauvres & Tapas

    La Mascota Bakery: a Boyle Heights tradition


    Jenn Garbee / For The Times
    TO GO: A customer is all smiles with a bag full of pastry from Boyle Heights' La Mascota.
    The family-run store has been serving up bolillos, tamales and other Mexican classics for more than 50 years.

    By Jenn Garbee

    As the early Wednesday morning rush ends for champurrado, the cinnamon-scented hot Mexican chocolate thickened with masa harina, Rosina Valencia slips behind the semicircular enclave that conceals her desk. She readjusts her fuchsia snap-front work shirt and settles in to confirm wholesale bolillo orders from neighboring restaurants as an employee transfers dozens of the palm-sized loaves, still warm from the oven, to the display case.

    "Two bolillos and just one croissant this time -- I'm on a diet -- one of those big chocolate chip cookies too," says 55-year-old Richard Vasquez, a La Moscata customer for as long as he can remember.

    Lucy Garcia, a veteran employee of the Boyle Heights bakery, hands over a white paper sack already freckled with opaque butter stains from the pastries inside. Vasquez fishes around and pulls out a crusty bolillo, the Mexican equivalent of a baguette, only chubbier and with a chewier, pleasantly salty crust, and tears off a bite.

    "We try to keep things the way Papá wanted them," says Rosina Valencia, co-owner of La Mascota Bakery, from her raised perch.

    Papá, Ygnacio Salcedo, opened La Mascota Bakery on a sleepy little street in Boyle Heights in 1952. Seven years later, he moved the bakery to its current location, where it has stood for the last 50 years, a few doors down on the same street that today is the bustling thoroughfare of Whittier Boulevard.


    "There were no bakeries nearby, so Papá thought he'd give it a try," Valencia says as another customer helps himself to a generous slice of golden-brown sour cream coffee cake sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds called quesadilla Salvadoreña. He pauses mid-bite, trying to place the flavor.

    "It's Parmesan, not too much, not too much sugar -- the way they make it in El Salvador," Valencia explains as the customer polishes off the last bite.

    Papá Salcedo grew up in Mascota, a small town in the western Mexican state of Jalisco, shortly after the Mexican Revolution. He apprenticed in a bakery as a young boy and by 17 owned his own panadería.

    But his hometown career would be short-lived. In 1927, shortly after a series of Catholic counterrevolutions against the Mexican government escalated into the Cristero War, rebels stormed the bakery and killed several of Salcedo's bakers and customers. He fled to Los Angeles the following year.

    Generations

    "Cuatro cincuenta," Garcia says, looking up from the calculator covered in plastic wrap. An elderly woman hands over $4.50 and takes the sack of guava libros ("books" of strudel-like pastry filled with jam) and delicate sugar-dusted cuellos ("collars" of glazed flaky pastry) to one of the wobbly iron patio tables in the corner. She nibbles the cuello slowly, from the outside in.

    "Many of our customers we've known for generations," says Rose Salcedo, Valencia's sister-in-law, who also works the front counter. When Papá died in 2002, ownership of the bakery passed to Valencia and her brothers Edward, Ygnacio Jr. (Rose's husband) and Victor.

    Ygnacio Jr. and his brother Edward work the night shift making the bolillos and dozens of assorted pan dulce (Mexican sweet breads), pastries and cookies. Neomi Salcedo, the 39-year-old daughter of Ygnacio Jr. and Rose, is the resident birthday and quinceañera cake decorator; their son Ygnacio III is also a staff baker. Valencia and her younger brother Victor arrive in the morning, the air still sweet with fermenting yeast, to manage business operations and supervise the day staff.

    "The tamales were Mamá's contribution," Valencia says, nodding toward an enclosed kitchen opposite the front door where three women are spooning spicy red chile and pork filling onto masa-lined corn husks.

    Old standards

    In 2000, the siblings purchased a small retail shop next to the bakery to house the larger tamale kitchen and expand the bakery's offerings beyond traditional Mexican pastries. Neomi, a culinary school graduate, added candied apples drenched in caramel sauce and vanilla-scented cupcakes crowned with buttercream to the menu; Ignacio III introduced the rustic fruit and chocolate swirled poundcakes. But the family still considers their father and grandfather's bolillos the bakery's calling card.

    Before opening the bakery, Ygnacio Salcedo worked as a dishwasher at the Ambassador, the landmark Mid-Wilshire hotel that was recently demolished. When a French guest bemoaned the quality of the bread, Salcedo offered to make the Mexican rolls.

    "They were always Papá's specialty," Valencia says, inspecting the stack of plastic-wrapped tortas, the traditional Mexican bolillo sandwiches stuffed with sliced meats, carne asada (grilled flank steak) or spicy chorizo sausage, waiting for the lunch crowd.

    A couple of teenagers in low-slung jeans and white sneakers have dropped by for an after-school snack. "Those free?" asks one of the boys, nodding toward discounted bags of day-old pastries piled on a rolling metal cart. They lean against the glass counter, taking in the dozens of galletas (cookies), and finally settle on a half-dozen rainbow-colored pressed butter cookies shaped like wreaths and four-leaf clovers.

    "The hardest part is seeing the neighborhood kids grow up so fast," Rose says.

    "And finding time off to spend with the family," her sister-in-law adds from her perch. The bakery is open daily, save for a handful of holidays and two weeks in August.

    "Papá always liked to say, 'The sun rises for everyone, you just have to work hard to make it happen," Valencia continues. "And you do have to get along with all the in-laws and out-laws to work here, that's for sure."

    food@latimes.com

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    Re: Favorite Easy Party Hors Deauvres & Tapas

    La Mascota Bakery: a Boyle Heights tradition


    Jenn Garbee / For The Times
    TO GO: A customer is all smiles with a bag full of pastry from Boyle Heights' La Mascota.
    The family-run store has been serving up bolillos, tamales and other Mexican classics for more than 50 years.

    By Jenn Garbee

    As the early Wednesday morning rush ends for champurrado, the cinnamon-scented hot Mexican chocolate thickened with masa harina, Rosina Valencia slips behind the semicircular enclave that conceals her desk. She readjusts her fuchsia snap-front work shirt and settles in to confirm wholesale bolillo orders from neighboring restaurants as an employee transfers dozens of the palm-sized loaves, still warm from the oven, to the display case.

    "Two bolillos and just one croissant this time -- I'm on a diet -- one of those big chocolate chip cookies too," says 55-year-old Richard Vasquez, a La Moscata customer for as long as he can remember.

    Lucy Garcia, a veteran employee of the Boyle Heights bakery, hands over a white paper sack already freckled with opaque butter stains from the pastries inside. Vasquez fishes around and pulls out a crusty bolillo, the Mexican equivalent of a baguette, only chubbier and with a chewier, pleasantly salty crust, and tears off a bite.

    "We try to keep things the way Papá wanted them," says Rosina Valencia, co-owner of La Mascota Bakery, from her raised perch.

    Papá, Ygnacio Salcedo, opened La Mascota Bakery on a sleepy little street in Boyle Heights in 1952. Seven years later, he moved the bakery to its current location, where it has stood for the last 50 years, a few doors down on the same street that today is the bustling thoroughfare of Whittier Boulevard.


    "There were no bakeries nearby, so Papá thought he'd give it a try," Valencia says as another customer helps himself to a generous slice of golden-brown sour cream coffee cake sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds called quesadilla Salvadoreña. He pauses mid-bite, trying to place the flavor.

    "It's Parmesan, not too much, not too much sugar -- the way they make it in El Salvador," Valencia explains as the customer polishes off the last bite.

    Papá Salcedo grew up in Mascota, a small town in the western Mexican state of Jalisco, shortly after the Mexican Revolution. He apprenticed in a bakery as a young boy and by 17 owned his own panadería.

    But his hometown career would be short-lived. In 1927, shortly after a series of Catholic counterrevolutions against the Mexican government escalated into the Cristero War, rebels stormed the bakery and killed several of Salcedo's bakers and customers. He fled to Los Angeles the following year.

    Generations

    "Cuatro cincuenta," Garcia says, looking up from the calculator covered in plastic wrap. An elderly woman hands over $4.50 and takes the sack of guava libros ("books" of strudel-like pastry filled with jam) and delicate sugar-dusted cuellos ("collars" of glazed flaky pastry) to one of the wobbly iron patio tables in the corner. She nibbles the cuello slowly, from the outside in.

    "Many of our customers we've known for generations," says Rose Salcedo, Valencia's sister-in-law, who also works the front counter. When Papá died in 2002, ownership of the bakery passed to Valencia and her brothers Edward, Ygnacio Jr. (Rose's husband) and Victor.

    Ygnacio Jr. and his brother Edward work the night shift making the bolillos and dozens of assorted pan dulce (Mexican sweet breads), pastries and cookies. Neomi Salcedo, the 39-year-old daughter of Ygnacio Jr. and Rose, is the resident birthday and quinceañera cake decorator; their son Ygnacio III is also a staff baker. Valencia and her younger brother Victor arrive in the morning, the air still sweet with fermenting yeast, to manage business operations and supervise the day staff.

    "The tamales were Mamá's contribution," Valencia says, nodding toward an enclosed kitchen opposite the front door where three women are spooning spicy red chile and pork filling onto masa-lined corn husks.

    Old standards

    In 2000, the siblings purchased a small retail shop next to the bakery to house the larger tamale kitchen and expand the bakery's offerings beyond traditional Mexican pastries. Neomi, a culinary school graduate, added candied apples drenched in caramel sauce and vanilla-scented cupcakes crowned with buttercream to the menu; Ignacio III introduced the rustic fruit and chocolate swirled poundcakes. But the family still considers their father and grandfather's bolillos the bakery's calling card.

    Before opening the bakery, Ygnacio Salcedo worked as a dishwasher at the Ambassador, the landmark Mid-Wilshire hotel that was recently demolished. When a French guest bemoaned the quality of the bread, Salcedo offered to make the Mexican rolls.

    "They were always Papá's specialty," Valencia says, inspecting the stack of plastic-wrapped tortas, the traditional Mexican bolillo sandwiches stuffed with sliced meats, carne asada (grilled flank steak) or spicy chorizo sausage, waiting for the lunch crowd.

    A couple of teenagers in low-slung jeans and white sneakers have dropped by for an after-school snack. "Those free?" asks one of the boys, nodding toward discounted bags of day-old pastries piled on a rolling metal cart. They lean against the glass counter, taking in the dozens of galletas (cookies), and finally settle on a half-dozen rainbow-colored pressed butter cookies shaped like wreaths and four-leaf clovers.

    "The hardest part is seeing the neighborhood kids grow up so fast," Rose says.

    "And finding time off to spend with the family," her sister-in-law adds from her perch. The bakery is open daily, save for a handful of holidays and two weeks in August.

    "Papá always liked to say, 'The sun rises for everyone, you just have to work hard to make it happen," Valencia continues. "And you do have to get along with all the in-laws and out-laws to work here, that's for sure."

    food@latimes.com

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    Re: Favorite Easy Party Hors Deauvres & Tapas

    Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager


    Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times
    Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager.

    As one of California's grand old craft breweries, Sierra Nevada has always specialized in ales, but for summer it does make a wonderful lager. Summerfest is a little richer and smoother than your ordinary lager, which they credit to extra-long lagering.

    Naturally, it has plenty of piney-citrusy hop notes in the nose and a spreading floral finish -- after all, this is Sierra Nevada, the virtual creator of our present-day hop-head phenomenon. Still, this is nowhere as hoppy as an India pale ale. It's just a lager that's almost too good to drink after mowing the lawn. It would be great with sausages on the grill.

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    Re: Favorite Easy Party Hors Deauvres & Tapas

    Hey Frank,

    That Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager sounds really good! Hmmm. I'll have to look for that this summer!

    On another note, I'm planning to come out, once again, to So Cal this summer. I'll let you know when I get that blocked in.

    Cheers,


    Juan

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    Re: Favorite Easy Party Hors Deauvres & Tapas

    Bump!

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    Re: Favorite Easy Party Hors Deauvres & Tapas

    So many wineriers, so little time

    http://www.latimes.com/travel/printe...,5122343.story

  29. #269
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    Re: Favorite Easy Party Hors Deauvres & Tapas

    Nice article, Frank! Just in case the L.A. Times deletes it, I'm re-posting it below:

    So many wineries, so little time
    The Golden State is home to nearly 3,000 wineries. Here are some starting points for sifting through them.

    By Janis Cooke Newman

    January 31, 2010

    Even if you spit, hire a designated driver and plan your route with the efficiency of a mom navigating Costco, there are only so many wineries you can visit in a day. Which is a problem in California, home to nearly 3,000 wineries. Most of them make terrific wine. And most of them are willing to pour you a taste.

    This is where the three itineraries below come in. They include not only plenty of tasting but also tours that involve more than staring at fermentation tanks. And none requires spitting, unless it's your thing.

    Healdsburg ( Sonoma County)

    Preston Vineyards is a champ at not taking itself too seriously. It pastures pigs in the vineyard and sells underpants that say, "Laid in Preston" in the tasting room.

    The pigs, along with the sheep and chickens, are Lou Preston's approach to sustainable agriculture. The underpants refer to the fresh eggs Preston sells in the tasting room. Visit on Sunday, and you can fill a jug with Guadagni red directly from the barrel. Visit any day, and you can soak up your wine with his freshly baked bread.

    Seghesio Family Vineyards is all about family (the Seghesios have been making Sonoma wine for four generations) and food. Especially food. The Family Table tasting pairs Seghesio wine with Seghesio family recipes. And during events, you can learn how to make pizza or stuff your own sausage. You can also take a bottle of wine out to the boccie courts.

    Ridge Vineyards makes serious wine in an unserious atmosphere. Really serious wine. Its Monte Bello Cabernet blend earned 97 points from Wine Spectator. For an extra fee, you can include it in your tasting. Ridge also has one of the most spectacular picnic spots in all Sonoma, set at the edge of rolling hills crisscrossed with vineyards.

    Napa Valley

    John Williams of Frog's Leap is one of Napa's organic pioneers. And how can you not love a winery whose motto is "Time's fun when you're having flies"? Visit here, and you can taste while seated inside the first LEED-certified building in the California wine industry, or outside on the porch overlooking the organic garden. Between sips of Williams' dry-farmed wine, wander through the peach orchard to see the chickens. Flies optional.

    The Hall family of Long Meadow Ranch is so proud of this sustainable 650-acre property its members will drive you around it in an all-terrain Swiss army Pinzgaur to see the rammed-earth winery, grass-fed cattle and a pair of heritage breed hogs too lazy to breed. If you're feeling less adventurous, you can visit the new tasting room on California Highway 29, buy organic produce and sample the elegant wines and olive oil.

    Visiting the tasting room at Cade, Napa's newest green winery, is like being in the living room of a friend with excellent taste and an unlimited Design Within Reach budget. White leather Barcelona chairs. A minimalist sofa. And floor-to-ceiling windows showing off the view of Howell Mountain. Even the caves look as if they're ready for an Architectural Digest photo shoot. Winemaker Anthony Biagi requires his workers to sand wine stains off the barrels. He's equally meticulous about the wine.

    Paso Robles

    Gary Eberle is the Johnny Syrah-seed of Paso Robles. In the mid-1970s, he planted the first commercial Syrah in the state, and you can still find it at Eberle Winery Vineyards, along with a T-shirt that says, "Up Shiraz." Time it right and Eberle will barbecue you duck sausage to go with one of his full-bodied reds. Both of which you can enjoy from the fabulous wrap-around deck above the vineyards.

    Jeff Pipes of Pipestone Vineyards was the kind of kid who grew up watching the Farm Report. Now he plants his organic vineyard according to the principles of feng shui and cultivates it using a pair of draft horses. At Pipestone, you're welcome to wander into the vineyard and check out the goats, or just settle in at a picnic table with some wine and soak up the chi.

    Justin Baldwin started out as an investment banker, but it's impossible to hold that against him once you've tried the wines at Justin Vineyards & Winery. If you want to understand why Baldwin's wines are so impressive -- Wine Spectator named his Isosceles Reserve one of the world's top 10 wines of the year -- you must take the tour, guaranteed to turn you into an expert on maceration and tank agitation. Justin is also home to the four luxurious suites of the Just Inn, and Deborah's Room, one of the more cozily romantic restaurants on the planet.

    Robert Haas of Tablas Creek Vineyard is a patient man. In the late 1980s, he and the Perrin family (producers of Châteauneuf-du-Pape) decided to make wine exclusively from French vines. The U.S. Department of Agriculture required that the vines be quarantined for three years before spending two more years in Tablas Creek's vine nursery. The Tablas tour focuses on farming -- you even get a demonstration of the guillotine-like grafting machine. And the wine is like drinking France by way of California.

    travel@latimes.com
    I really loved my trip to wine country last August with a friend, but alas, it was only for the weekend. I would have loved to spend more time there!

    Driving up from Seal Beach at 12:30 PM, we stopped at Kalayra up in Solvang (the first winery in the movie, "Sideways"), but due to heavy traffic, were unable to get there before they closed their wine tasting services (after 5:30 PM, as I recall). However, I picked up several relief sculptures made from steel barrels that they sold there. Next, on our docket, we stopped at the Hitching Post (the bar where Paul Giamatti and Thomas Hayden Church's characters spent a lot of time in "Sideways"). It was all right, but nothing special. We grabbed a bite at some nice restaurant (whose name I forgot) seated outdoors for dinner.

    The next day, we drove up to Napa Valley and stopped at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), electing to eat on the outside patio of their restaurant, sharing a delectable scallops plate. I also did a flight of reds. Later, we headed off to Chateau Montelena, the central winery featured in the movie, "Bottle Shock" (a terrific movie about the discovery of and coming of age of American wines in a blind tasting in France in 1976). From there, we toured a handful of wineries and, afterwards, ate at "The Farm," a very good restaurant with excellent wines.

    Saturday, we did a relatively quick tour of Sonoma Valley, visiting about a half-dozen wineries before jumping on the road back down to Seal Beach. What a trip!

    I would like to travel back there and spend more time again. What a wondrous trip!

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    Chateau Montelena


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