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It was with the greatest love that she picked up your socks!

issue four, volume six  

Mother's Day Box

I'm going to make the assumption that each and every one of us started out having a Mother and while some of us over the I Love Momyears have lost our mothers, a greater number still have a mother (biological or otherwise) who exists beyond memory and as such one who is deserving of a gift on May 10th. It is not without good reason that this day of rememberance has been established, after all how many of us haven't had times in our lives when our mother was our greatest defender and perhaps (we thought at least) our only friend. Through thick and thin mom was there and Heartsnow it is time to give a little token of your affection: i.e. chocolate! In addition to our traditional line of chocolates we have a few additions for Mother's Day 2009. The first is a box of five chocolates that wears it's heart on it's sleeves and simply says I Love Mom. The letters are made of dark chocolate truffle and the heart is a gooey Lemon Caramel. We also have a box of six hearts available, tMother's Day Shoeswo each of gooey Lemon Caramel, Spanish Rose and Lavender Honey. For mothers that like shoes, and what woman doesn't, we have special miniature shoes in dark chocolate, milk and white. Beautifully hand decorated and each with a bow, they are sure to be loved. In time for Mother's day and in answer to many requests we are now offering dipped apricots. Dried apricots have been carefully hand placed on medallions of the finest chocolate and then drizzled with the same. These are also available in dark chocolate, milk and white. Delicious! Finally, for those that want their mother to have one of everything we have our Mother's Day Box (top of page) packed with a little of each of the things we know she'll love.

John and Tracy Wood Anderson

MX Wine Logo

People come to the wine business from many angles and produce their wines in many ways. MargauX Singleton, brings an unerring palate and a lifetime of searching out the very best wines the world has to offer. She is the proprietress of Enoteca Wine Shop in Calistoga where she offers a superb selection of wines from throughout the world that include the "unobtainable" variety. If you are seeking that obscure Burgundy or Cabernet you've only heard about, she's your woman. She also excels at finding relative bargains from producers that may (for now) be new to you. When she set out to produce a Cabernet of her own, her experience in Napa wines pointed to the famed To Kalon Vineyard (Greek for "the highest beauty") which has been in continuous production since 1868. Over the past few vintages (2004 was her first) MargauX's skills have conjured a wine that has begun to enter cult status, but is it a friend of chocolate? Let's find out. We tasted the 2006 MX "Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard" Cabernet Sauvignon ($115) and were rewarded with a beautiful wine. The bouquet is one of blackberries, currants and rosemary but with savory notes of black pepper and smoked meat. The palate is filled with super ripe fruit, velvety rich tannins and a backbone that assures that this is a wine that is going places. As for chocolate, it couldn't have been friendlier, pairing well or extremely well with 11 different chocolates. The winners were: Honey, Brown Butter Ganache, Praline Noisette, Toasted Coconut, Rum Raisin, Pecan Caramel, Milk del Lago and Wild Cherry with runners up in Mocha and Quatre Epices. To obtain some MX Cabernet to setup your own tasting you will need to contact MargauX and arrange a shipment, only 125 cases were made of the 2006 so it will not be available locally. Call her at (707)942-1119 and or visit the web site. She's a good person to know!




Serves 4

. I know that on Mother's Day, brunch is de rigeur, but I am not one of those dining out breakfast food lovers. For me, I would love nothing better than a ham and cheese sandwich. A grilled ham and cheese sandwich is even better. Add some cocoa caramelized onions and you have heaven on a plate. So if your mother is the type to break out of the eggs and bacon box, this would make a lovely Mother's Day breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner. Just add champagne and a box of chocolate and there you have it! P.S. This is not just for Mothers on Mother's Day. It is fabulous for anyone on any day. Midnight snack anyone?

Grilled Chesse

Cocoa Caramelized Onions :

2 onions, peeled and sliced
1 Tablespoon butter

1 teaspoon salt
2 really big cloves of garlic or 4 smaller ones, chopped
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 oz. dark chocolate, chopped

Heat a 2 quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the butter, then the onions and salt. Stir to coat the onions, then put a lid on it and turn the heat to low. Every five minutes or so, stir the onions. Keep at it until they are starting to brown and caramelize (about 45 minutes). When the onions are soft and starting to brown, add the balsamic vinegar and the chocolate. Stir to combine and melt the chocolate. Remove from the heat and transfer to a jar. This will keep in the refrigerator for probably 2 weeks, but I have never had it around long enough to test it!

For the Sandwich:

the best sourdough or french bread you can get your hands on, sliced
the best Gruyere type cheese you can get your hands on, sliced
the best ham you can get your hands on, deli sliced
the best butter you can get your hands on, softened

(As you can tell, this is another free-form recipe) Butter the outside of your bread. On the inside (Not the buttered side) of one slice of bread, place the sliced gruyere, then ham. On the inside of the other slice, spread a generous amount of the cocoa caramelized onions. Flip this over on the other slice so the onions meet the ham. Heat a heavy skillet over medium heat. Place the sandwich on the skillet and turn the heat to low. When the underside of the bread is toasty brown, flip the sandwich and brown the other side. Keep flipping as necessary until the cheese melts. Remove to a cutting board, cut the way you like your sandwiches cut, and enjoy your little slice of heaven.

As an aside, this onion compote is also delicious as a bruschetta. Just slather it on a slice of toasted bread, top with Brie and melt in the oven. You could add rosemary or thyme to the onions, some sort of fruit to the Brie; the possibilities are endless. You could also use it as a sauce for a new-age pizza, a condiment for braised meats, on a burger.........


aka Logo

We've taken you around the valley for the past few months, but this month we return to Saint Helena for a wonderful newish restaurant: aka Bistro. Located just down and across the street from us at 1320 Main St. (707)967-8111, aka Bistro is a local place that has yet to really be discovered by the world at large. The restaurant is very welcoming with a fireplace and minimal, but rich dark woods. It has a large bar with an adjoining area of sofas if you'd like a relaxed glass of wine and you will certainly have choices. When we were last there, more than four dozen wines were on offer by the glass! The menu is an interesting mix of good old American comfort food and lighter European influenced fare. Some of our favorites include the Crispy Portobello Fries with Truffle Aioli. I would slather that aioli on my breakfast cereal, it's that good. The Sushi Grade Ahi Salad is also on our must-have list, but mostly, they change the menu so often, that we have to try something new every time we go. (My mother and Laura, the other chocolatier in our kitchen, gorge themselves on this bacon potato tart thingie that is unforgettable, but only available sometimes at dinner.) All in all, it is a comfortable, casual place with great food. Try it, we think you'll like it!

© 2009 Woodhouse Chocolate LOCATION
1367 Main Street
St. Helena, Ca 94574
telephone 800-966-3468