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Spacer issue four, volume seven  

Bars with Nuts

Those of you who have recently visited our shop in St. Helena have certainly noticed that alongside our traditional line of handmade confections is anicesextraordinary selection of chocolate bars. In the large format (3 to 4 oz's.) we can treat you to some 48 selections starting with solid milk and white, to dark chocolate in four levels of cocoa. Next are bars with Pistachio paste, Hazel nuts, Macadamia nuts, Cashews, Almonds and Peanuts. We follow with a series of bars made with your favorite cereals like Cornflakes, Kix, Cinnamon Toast and Bars with FruitGolden Grahams. Still more bars join the pack like Almond Toffee, Espresso and Cocoa Nibs. Our Spice bars include Curry Coconut, Raz el Hanout and Chile & Spice. We also make Fruit bars such as Apricot, Orange Peel, Lemon and Assorted Fruit with Nuts. Now, if you have been counting, you know we've named only a part of our offerings, but you get the idea; we're all about the Bars! If you want a choice of all 48 Bars you will need to visit Salty Savory Barsus in St. Helena, but you can now find 34 of them on our web site!

Also new to the shop and our site are our small format bars (1 oz.). They are sold in sets of five, giving Tracy Wood Anderson, our Chocolatier, the opportunity to create a chef's tasting menu, if you will, and present a cohesive theme with the group. Tracy's first offering, titled Salty Savory Bars is a selection created from a culinary approach to chocolate making rather than a confectionary one. These savory delights will take you on a tour of the world's finest herbs, spices and salts as their sophisticated flavors melt in your mouth. Included flavors are: Smoked Paprika with Saffron Salt, Chinese 5-Spice - Sesame & Sea Salt, Four Pepper - Lemon & Sea Salt, Herbs de Provence with Fleur de Sel and Chile & Cumin with Pink Salt. You may have thought as a child that a bar began and ended with milk chocolate, but now that you are an adult the possibilities are practically endless. The bar has grown up my friend and we are all the better for a little maturity.

John and Tracy Anderson


Terra Valentine

In a past issue we told you about the street fair/wine tasting/happening CHEERS! that takes place the first Friday of each month in St. Helena from May through October. Stores stay open late each with a paired winery tasting their wares, while food vendors feed the large crowds.You can't lose! For most of these dates, we have chosen to be paired with Terra Valentine winery. The combination has proven to be a knock-out, making us one of the very favorite visits during each event.

Terra Valentine was founded in 1999 in the Spring Mountain District of Valley. Consisting of an artisan stone winery and roughly 65 acres of vineyards; Terra Valentine produces a full line of red wines as well as a viognier and sauvignon blanc. The thousands of people that have attended CHEERS! will attest that their wines pair well with our Caramels, but how do they do with our filled chocolates?

We tasted the 2006 Spring Mountain District Cabernet Sauvignon ($40) and found a deep nose of cedar, black cherry, raspberry, lit cigar and spice, and a full, fruit forward palate of cassis, black cherry and smoked meat. As for chocolates, the Sur del Lago was a winner bringing out the wines spiciness and enhancing both wine and chocolate. The Champagne Truffle gave an added creaminess. The Honey intensifies the fruit and sweetens the tobacco character. The Quatre Epices also brings out the tobacco but rather than intensify the fruit it softens it and gives the wine an even greater sophistication. Other wonderful combinations were the Praline Cream and the Rum Raisin. Slightly less successful but still quite good were the Toasted Coconut and the Heart of Darkness. The Terra Valentine is a delicious wine and at the price, a relative bargain. If you can't find it locally, it is available on their web site. www.terravalentine.com




Serves 10-12

September here in the Napa Valley is very unpredictable. It can be blazing hot or quite cold (especially in the morning and evening), but it still feels like Fall. So, what does one serve under such unpredictable circumstances? Chili, of course. And being ourselves, we couldn't help but enhance this great comfort food with a little wonderful chocolate. As usual with my recipes, the chocolate is more a hidden element that adds a "je ne sais quoi", so don't worry it is not at all sweet. You will still want those chips and a sprinkling of cheese on this one!

Woodhouse Chili

For the Chili:

2 pieces bacon, cut into batons (little pieces)
2 lbs. beef stew meat cut into 1-inch cubes
fine sea salt

1 onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
3/4 cup diced green bell pepper
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
2 Serrano peppers, seeded and minced
1 12-oz. bottle beer (I used Heineken)
1 28-oz. + 1 14.5-oz. can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1 Tablespoon chile powder
2 teaspoons smoked paprika (I use Chiquilin Pimenton Ahumado)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon Lawry's Seasoned Salt
2 oz's. 90% dark chocolate, chopped finely
water to cover

Optional ingredients:
1 can black beans
1 can pinto beans
tortilla chips
grated cheddar cheese (or cheese of choice)

In a 4-1/2 quart pot, fry the bacon until crisp. Remove the bacon and set aside to put back in later. Remove all but one teaspoon of the bacon fat, reserving the rest of the fat. With the heat on high, add one third of the beef, salt it and brown it. You want it to be brown on all sides, but I don't get too carried away with every single side. Just stir it about every now and then. Remove the beef to a bowl, add one teaspoon of the reserved bacon fat to the pot and salt and brown the next third. Continue until all the beef is browned and removed to the bowl. Add a little more bacon fat to the pot and add the onions and garlic, sprinkling with a little more salt. Reduce the heat to medium-high and saute the onions until softened. Add all the peppers. Saute a minute or two, then add the beer. Bring to a boil, then add the tomatoes, chile powder, paprika, cumin, seasoned salt, chocolate and the reserved bacon. Stir to combine, then dump the meat back in. If you need more liquid to make sure the meat is covered, add some water. Bring to a boil, then cover the pot and turn down the heat to as low as it can go (if you are a crock-pot fan, you can put this in on low for 8 hours). Simmer for about two hours, or until the meat is tender. If you are a bean lover, add the beans now and heat through.

To serve, put a small handful of tortilla chips in the bottom of your serving bowls, smash them into smaller bits, then pour chili on top. Sprinkle some cheese over the top and grab some spoons!


An "Iron Chef" in both Japan and the States, Masaharu Morimoto has several restaurants on the East Coast so we were more than excited when we heard that he would be opening his first West Coast restaurant in the new Riverfront development in Napa. Having now dined there for the third time, we can state unequivocally that he may in fact be a god. We have eaten at his restaurant in Philadelphia and at Nobu (he was the founding executive chef) and he has certainly brought all of his skills to bear at this new venture. The restaurant itself is sleek with wood paneling, an open kitchen, large bar and both indoor and outdoor seating. The large windows and, of course, the outdoor seating overlook the newly redeveloped Napa River. They have a full bar and a good list of wines and sakes.The last two times we dined at Morimoto, we had the chefs tasting menu, and we highly recommend doing this. You needn't be afraid of small portions! This may not be the least expensive way to go, but it is a great value considering all you are served. It is also the best way to sample a wide range of what Chef Morimoto has to offer. Other than this, the Wagyu Beef is to die for, and the Amberjack sashimi was a highlight. Oh, and as an aside, we had someone in our group that cannot have raw fish and they were more than happy to accommodate her with cooked versions of the tasting menu. That's service! www.morimotonapa.com

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St. Helena, Ca 94574
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