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Get Your Orders In Before
March 16th For
St. Patrick's Day Delivery





Danny Boy, Barbara Allen and this Guy
enter a bar...

Spacer issue two, volume six  

St. Patrick's Day Chocolates

March 17th will soon be here. On that special day we Shamrockcelebrate the contribution that the Irish have made to world culture by wearing green, eating Irish foods, drinking Irish spirits and generally having a roaring good time. In our household Tracy makes Corned Beef, cabbage and soda bread, and we watch either The Quiet Man or Darby O'Gil and the Little People for the seventeenth time. Tradition is a wonderful thing. Well we have what we hope will become a new tradition each Shamrock year, St Patrick's Day chocolates from Woodhouse. Tracy has created a collection of chocolates whose flavors will delight you as they take you straight to Ireland. The first, Irish Oats, is a creative combination of steel cut Irish Oatmeal, brown sugar and apricots soaked in Irish Whiskey. Unusual, certainly, incredibly delicious, without a doubt. The next is called Irish Coffee. While the invention of Irish coffee is generally credited to a bar in San Francisco it sounds Irish, doesn't it? Our piece is a scrumptious coffee flavored milk & dark ganache with a whiskey cream. Who needs the Buena Vista Bar? Chocolate number three is another unusual but addictive piece, the Black and Tan. If you've ever had a Black and Tan in a bar and relied on the Shamrockbartender to perfectly separate the stout and the lager you will love Tracy's creation. A dark shell contains a layer of Harp Lager ganache and a layer of Guinness Stout jelly. A little bit of Irish heaven. The final piece in the set is the Bailey's Irish Cream, a mixture of luscious ganache and Baileys. Each is available in six piece boxes or all can be obtained in a 12 piece or a 24 piece assortment, they are sure to put you in the mood for the wearing o' the green.

John and Tracy Wood Anderson

Sinskey Logo

This month we bring you another winery and wine that we assume needs little introduction, Robert Sinskey Vineyards. Started in the late 1970's with the planting of vineyards in the Carneros District of Napa Valley, the winery was soon founded in the middle '80's. Meant to be the retirement of Dr. Robert Sinskey, the sudden success of one of his medical inventions made retirement impossible, the sudden expansion of the winery probable and the need to bring his son Rob into the business a must. Today, Rob and his wife Maria oversee 200 acres of bio-dynamically managed vineyards and a thriving winery in the Stags Leap District of the Valley, just east of Yountville. We have been fans and collectors of the Sinskey's wines since the beginning. We are particularly fond of their Pinot Noir, so this month rather than pairing a big cab with our chocolate we set ourselves a much greater challenge, Pinot. We tasted their 2006 Pint Noir, Los Carneros - Napa Valley ($38) and found the nose to be filled with fruit, particularly black cherry as well as a certain earthiness. The palate is similarly fruit filled but with brighter notes of raspberry, orange and a firm structure. It's a delightful wine with a good future ahead, but how does it like chocolate? Well...not really, which is really not surprising. Pinot Noir is a go-to wine when your dinner partners are eating a mixed bag of meat, fish and chicken. It can cover the range of savory dishes, but sweet things, not so much. With our chocolates, we were only able to find three combinations that we can truly recommend; the Caramel Mousse (brings out the fruit), the Fresh Mint (like lamb with mint sauce) and the the Milk de Lago(lends the wine some creaminess). You might wonder why we chose this wine to pair with our chocolates when Robert Sinskey Vineyard makes many other wines that pair beautifully.. Well, we just like the wine and we like the Sinskeys, so enjoy your Sinskey Pinot with dinner and have Woodhouse Chocolates for dessert!




Serves 4

. A few years ago we traveled to Ireland where we discovered Irish Whiskey - the good stuff. We also discovered porridge. One morning I was feeling like I should order something healthy, so I chose the porridge, thinking it would be a little more Oliver Twist than Jacques Pepin. What I received was a wonder to behold. Creamy Irish oats, stewed fruit, fresh Irish butter and cream and, wait for it, a little pitcher of Irish Whiskey. For breakfast. I was charmed. It was the best oatmeal I had ever had. So, of course I had to figure out how to do it at home. This is what I have come up with - I hope you give it a try.

Irish Oatmeal

First make the stewed fruit :

4 ozs. mixed dried fruit
1/2 cup water

3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup Irish whiskey
1 3-inch cinnamon stick

In a small saucepan, combine all the above ingredients and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Turn the heat to low, simmer for about 5 minutes, then cover and set aside while you make the oatmeal.

For the Oatmeal:

4 cups water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup McCann's Irish Oats
1/2 cup milk (I use 2%, but any will do)

Bring the water and salt to a boil in a saucepan. Before the water actually boils though, add the oats (if you wait until it's boiling, it will bubble up and usually over). Stir the oats in, bring to the boil, then turn the heat to low and and simmer for 30 minutes, uncovered, stirring occasionally. At the end of 30 minutes, add the milk. Simmer 5 minutes more, than cover and let sit about 10 minutes. The oatmeal should be creamy and thick, with just a little bite to the oats.

To Finish:

heavy cream
demerara sugar
a wee dram of Irish Whiskey

Divide the oatmeal amongst four shallow bowls. Put a dollop of butter in the center (you know how much you want), sprinkle with about 1 tablespoon demerara sugar (or brown sugar if you don't have the other). Top with a spoonful of the stewed fruit. Pour about 2 tablespoons or more of the cream around the edge of the oatmeal, then drizzle 1 to 2 teaspoons of the Irish whiskey over the top (it takes very little to make an impact - experimentation is the key). Now sit down and enjoy the best oatmeal in the world, ever.


Last month we took you south to Napa to enjoy one of our favorite lunch spots. This month we take you north to Calistoga to a brand new restaurant we just tried last week with friends, for dinner. Located in the Mount View Hotel on Calistoga's "Main Street" at 1457 Lincoln Ave, JoLe is the product of another husband and wife team (like us). The concept is to offer small plates of fresh and seasonal produce, as local as possible (with a few ringers thrown in here and there). The menu changes constantly, so I could mention the amazing salad of fresh chickpeas (did you know they were green?), arugula, mint, feta and peppers, but it will probably not be there, it will have been replaced by something equally unique and delicious. I hope they still have the chicken fried sweetbreads with green beans, honey and thyme, though - a must try. Their combinations of flavors are inventive and many layered. Don't forget dessert - we had a huckleberry ice cream that was to die for.. The atmosphere is comfortable and just bustling enough to make it relaxed and fun. We will definitely go again.


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1367 Main Street
St. Helena, Ca 94574
telephone 800-966-3468
email info@woodhousechocolate.com