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MARCH 2010 NEWSLETTER

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This Easter we're having eggs...

Spacer issue two, volume seven  

Ducks
SPRING HAS SPRUNG GENTLE READER!

EggsIt's spring again, the sun is out, flowers are blooming (at least they are in Napa Valley) and it is time for Passover and Easter! However you choose to celebrate or whatever your personal beliefs, it is a time of rebirth and a perfect time for chocolate. In the spirit of new life we offer several examples of babies, be they baby ducks (pictured above), or baby bunnies (foo foos available in our Spring Basket) or, of course the ultimate babies, eggs. In the egg department Bunnies & Eggsyou have a choice of two different types of filled eggs, "Robin's" Eggs in the six pack that have been filled with Brown Butter Ganache, or a four pack of "Flowered" Eggs that are variously filled with Strawberry Caramel, Praline Noisette, Mandarin Orange and Dark Chocolate Truffle. Now, don't think for a second we would leave you without the Chickschicken and Egg conundrum. We offer Chicks in two sizes, the larger of which are hollow and come in three colors, the smaller of which are filled with crispy toffee peanut. Once you have this chicken/egg thing in the bag we have another question for you to ponder, "Why are these rabbits laughing? That is all they do, and they won't stop. In fact , stare at them long enough and you'll probably start laughing too! Their good humour is infectious. Laughing RabbitsWe also have rabbits that take their sitting very seriously. They wouldn't laugh if their lives depended on it. So the choice is up to you. Another wonderful thing about Spring is getting back outside and at least thinking about the vegetable garden you will plant and the wonderful things you will harvest. Well at Woodhouse, two of the "vegetables" are already in season and ready for you. Our beautiful Carrots and Asparagus are in the produce aisle. Happy Spring everyone!

John and Tracy Wood Anderson

Ehlers Estate

This month we taste a wine from a winery that not only has an interesting story, but one that has been a great supporter of Woodhouse chocolate. All through the month of February Ehlers Estate paired our chocolates with their wines in their tasting room. Ehlers has a long tradition of winemaking on their land reaching back to the 1880's. Their recent incarnation began in the 1980's when Jean Leducq started putting together parcels that would eventually include the Ehlers Estate. On his death in 2002 Jean Leducq placed the winery in trust so that all profits would go to international cardiovascular research. The commitment to heart research is shown in their logo (the sideways heart in the "E") and even in the name of one of their wines, "One Twenty Over Eighty". Ehlers Estate makes two different cabernets and we tried their flagship, 2006 Saint Helena Cabernet Sauvignon "1886" ($95). The nose is filled with notes of black cherry, tobacco, green pepper, cassis and anise. The palate definitely has a sense of place with a St. Helena terroir and mineral character, vanilla and light cola.. As for chocolate pairing, the Wild Cherry was a knock-out that complimented everything the wine had to offer. The Mocha Cream complimented the spices in the wine and Praline Cream brought out the wine's vanilla components. Other good matches were the Dark Raspberry, Espresso, Amaretto Almond and Milk del Lago. Overall a delightful wine and a winery worth a look next time you are in the valley.
www.ehlersestate.com

 


THE BUNNY MOTHER

 

Serves 4

I have decided in this newsletter to share something with you that doesn't really have anything to do with chocolate directly, but in an indirect sort of way it makes our chocolate better. It is here that we have to admit that at the end of a long day of work, after we have closed the doors we are known to share a little cocktail with our hard-working employees. This one is a staff favorite and just happens to have a Spring theme. It is a lovely light pink to boot - everything about it is perfect for a spring celebration, or simply as a spirit lifter. All I know is that it brings a smile to the faces of all who work at Woodhouse!

Bunny Mother


1 cup vodka (we use Absolut, but whatever you have will be fine)
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (or Odwalla - it tastes just as good to me)
3 Tablespoons simple syrup
2 Tablespoons Cointreau
2 Tablespoons Grenadine
about 4 Tablespoons heavy cream

First of all, if you do not have simple syrup laying around, take one cup of sugar and 1/2 cup water, put it in a small saucepan and bring it to a simmer, making sure it is clear and all the sugar is dissolved. Voila, you have made simple syrup. If you prefer, agave syrup is a good, natural substitute (although there is nothing natural about the Grenadine that goes in this drink, but I'm just saying....) Let the simple syrup cool before using.

Now that you have all the ingredients you need, combine everything but the cream in a vessel of some sort. I just use a big glass measuring cup. Next fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Depending upon the size of your shaker, you will be able to prepare one or two Bunny Mothers at a time. Fill with the appropriate amount of the Bunny Mother mix, add a tablespoon of cream per drink to the shaker and shake, shake, shake. Pour into martini glasses and have some fun!

Piero

Yountville has a brand new hotel and restaurant that are a visual knockout and, after the dinner we had last night, one of the most promising new eating establishments we've experienced in the valley in years. Hotel Luca, located on Washington St. on the north end of town, has twenty rooms and their restaurant the Cantinetta Piero. Piero has the look and feel of a restaurant in Tuscany with its vaulted brick and beam ceiling, wood burning oven and indoor/outdoor seating. If you are familiar with the buildings and industrial spaces that have been here before the transformation is even more striking. We were seated by a large window near the wine room and our table was cozy and inviting. The wine list is lengthy yet not difficult, it features both local and Italian wines and the prices range from the modest to expensive so it shouldn't be difficult to find something to please. For antipasti we started with their house-made salume, a selection of eight meats that could have easily served four but which the two of us greedily finished, savoring every bite. Really outstanding dish. We next shared the grilled octopus with fingerling potatoes and housemade Calabrese salame. The octopus was grilled perfectly, succulent and tender with a smoky character. For our entrees we selected the pasta Cavatelli and pizza Calabrese. The Cavatelli (housemade fennel sausage, broccoli, Calabrian chili & Ricotta dumplings) was just the right balance of salty meat, fresh vegetable with a zip of spice. If I didn't have such self-control, the entire plate would have been gone in an instant. The Calabrese Pizza (San Marzano tomato, roasted peppers, smoked mozzarell and housemade Calabrese salame) reminded us of the pizzas in Europe we fell in love with long, long ago in our semester abroad years. The crust was thin, yet tender with just the right amount of brick-oven char on the bottom. We did not have room for dessert, but we ordered it anyway, and we're sure glad we did. We had their Zeppole with a Meyer Lemon Float. The zeppole were a revelation. Tender, warm riccotta fritters; they were like little pillows of heaven. We didn't leave a drop of the float either . Last but certainly not least, service was outstanding. Often it takes a new restaurant months to work out the wait staff, but our waiter was a delight. We plan to return to Piero soon and make a habit of this great new spot. (707)944-8080
www.hotellucanapa.com

   
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1367 Main Street
St. Helena, Ca 94574
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