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All you need is LOVE!

Spacer issue one, volume nine  

Brown Heart Box

For the past few columns I have been relating humorous things that have happened in my life and how they relate to Valentine's Basketvarious holidays and as I sat down to write this newsletter I certainly hoped to do the same. But, I quickly realized that I didn't have anything funny to say about Valentine's Day and I thought in the end that that was probably a good thing. After all it's the day to express affection/love to the important people in one's life and it's best Valentine's Day Filled Itemsto get it right! I know in grade school I spent some time making sure that I picked out just the right Scooby Doo Valentine's to pass out in class with the right message printed on those little candy hearts for each individual person. Later, for most, when girlfriends/boyfriends came into the picture, who didn't obsess over trying to afford diamonds when a simple rose would have likely done the trick. Finally there are the husbands, wives, permanent partners and children; that's when the fun really begins. Well there are all sorts of ways to express affection, but perhaps the most Elephantstried and true is a simple gift of chocolate. What worked in kindergarten should probably be upgraded a bit...may we suggest Woodhouse. As you have come to expect we have a delicious range of gifts for the holiday that range from our Valentine's Day Basket to Heart Shaped Boxes in two sizes and two different designs; one filled with our traditional chocolates and the other with a special collection. You will also find heart shaped Lollipops, the Key to anyone's Heart and solid Hearts in three different sizes. If a kiss is what you are after we have chocolate Lips to demand one. If it's an Irish Claddagh or Cupid's Arrow you seek, we can help you there too. You see, we are simply loaded with all you need to make your feelings known and stand ready to help. Happy Valentine's Day.

John and Tracy Wood Anderson

Brassica Logo

The restaurant shuffle continues in St. Helena and what was once Cindy Pawlcyn's Go Fish is now Cindy Pawlcyn's Brassica. We are actually very lucky that so many world renowned chefs call the Napa Valley their home and particularly that Cindy has set her roots in St. Helena: she has two restaurants in St. Helena and another in Yountville. While Go Fish was a wonderful restaurant, people come to the valley to drink wine and perhaps Brassica with its Mediterranean inspired menu is a better fit. The space itself is very nice with booths surrounding the various sections and a large bar dominating one wall. It's a large space, but once seated it becomes quite cozy. The highlight of their menu for us were the small plates - tapas to mezze. The bacon wrapped dates were smokey,sweet, rich and delicious, and the lamb "t-bone-ettes" with a pomegranate glaze were equally yummy. The main course choices were decidedly southern Mediterranean featuring ingredients such as preserved lemon, yoghurt, couscous, saffron, etc. It is a refreshing change from the primarily Italian and French inspired menus we normally see here in the Napa Valley. While we happened to bring our own wine the last time we were there, they have an interesting wine concept called the "Brassica 12" in which they pour and sell at retail wines from a dozen different, small wineries without tasting rooms. Their current line up includes some stellar vintners that deserve your attention. All in all a worthy, new dining experience!




Serves 2

There is hardly anything more romantic than fondue - a dinner that requires you to kiss the person next to you if you lose your meat in the fondue pot has Valentine's Day written all over it. And, if you throw chocolate into the mix, who knows what will happen! I love fondue - all kinds, but I especially love beef fondue. What I do not love is the oil aroma that lingers for days in the house with a traditional meat fondue, so I prefer a broth fondue. The nice thing about broth, too, is that you can flavor it. Sauce possibilities are endless, but I have restrained myself to three chocolate infused sauces that I find perfect for this fondue. So, surprise your sweetie with this Valentine treat - you're sure to get at least one kiss!

Beef Fondue

For the Fondue:

12-16ozs. filet mignon, sliced into bite-sized pieces (the amount depends on how much you like your meat)
4 cups beef broth
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
Vegetables are a nice addition, but be aware that they take a long time in the broth to cook, so you can just stare adoringly into each others' eyes while waiting. I like mushrooms with a little onion and bell pepper on the same fork, and broccoli, but you can certainly use whatever you think will be tasty simmered in broth.

In a small saucepan, combine the beef broth, ginger, garlic and soy sauce. Bring to a simmer, simmer on low heat for about 5 minutes, then strain into a fondue pot. If your pot is electric, set it to a light simmer - you will have to experiment with the setting to accomplish this, I would start with 350. If your pot is the old-fashioned type, set some sterno under it and let her rip. Spear your meat on a fondue fork, put it in the broth for a few minutes until it is cooked just the way you like it. Dip in your favorite sauce and enjoy. As I mentioned, vegetables take longer than the beef, so you might want to put a couple of forks
in ahead of your meat.

Chocolate Wasabi Sauce:
1/4 cup mayonnaise (Best Foods or Hellmans please)
1 1/2 teaspoon Wasabi paste, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon chopped 75% dark chocolate (or whatever dark chocolate you have around)
Stir all together.

Chocolate Peanut Sauce:
1/4 cup natural peanut butter
2 teaspoons dark chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon garlic chili sauce
1/4 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
2 Tablespoons seasoned rice wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
2 small green onions, chopped
1 Tablespoon cilantro, chopped
a pinch of cayenne pepper
1 Tablespoon water
In a small saucepan over low heat, combine all ingredients and heat, stirring until hot and the chocolate is melted. If it is too thick, add more water.

Cocoa Chili Sauce
1 Tablespoon garlic chili sauce
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1 Tablespoon seasoned rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon Chinese mustard (or Colman's - it's just about the same)
1/4 teaspoon cocoa powder
Stir all together.

  Valentine's Day Solid Items
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1367 Main Street
St. Helena, CA 94574
telephone 800-966-3468
email info@woodhousechocolate.com