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Get Your Orders In Before
February 12th For
Valentine's Delivery

 

 

FEBRUARY 2009 NEWSLETTER

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First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes...Woodhouse Chocolate

Spacer issue one, volume six  

Pink Heart Box
FOR THE SMITTEN AMONG US

The time has come when you finally need to get off the sofa and think about buying those chocolates you know your sweetheart wants and deserves. "Now wait a minute" you say, "This is the internet age, I refuse to leave my sofa, heck I have a laptop and I may not leave my bed!" Well, I guess you're right, it is that simple. Come to www.woodhousechocolate.com and we will show you a Hearts & DomesValentine's Day section filled with many ways to say "I Love You!", "Be Mine!" or at the very least "Wow, you look marvelous!" A few clicks later and your gift of chocolate love is on its way. You might choose our new Pink heart Box (top of column) with both chewy and soft caramels, Hearts and Flowers pieces and Heart of Darkness. Another wonderful choice is our Hearts and Domes Selection (upper left) with its three different types of filled hearts and Passion Fruit filled Domes. Hearts & FlowersThe Heart flavors Coffee Toffee Cocoa Nibs, 85% Dark Ganache and Spanish Saffron & Rosewater make up this special box. Also new this year is our Hearts and Flowers selection (middle right); 3 pieces each of jasmine green tea in a milk chocolate ganache and elderflower/orange blossom in a dark chocolate ganache. They are both delicate and delicious. Now, for those of you who like to be a little more shall we say forward with your message, there are always the Kiss Me Lips (lower left). In crispy peanut milk or crispy hazelnut Miss Me Lipsdark they are delicious to be sure but with Kiss Me written directly in the chocolate, subtle they are not. Present one of these babies to your love and they'll get the message! Another gift to consider is our Valentine's Day Basket, a collection of sweets in a heart shaped wicker basket (top of right hand column). Included is a combination box of solid Chocolate Hearts, a combination box of Caramels with Fleur de Sel, a box of Cupid's Arrows and a special 4 oz tin of Chile and Spice Hot Chocolate. A little something for all tastes. Go to the site and have a look around. I haven't spoiled all the fun - there are a few more Valentine surprises and of course there are all of the other scrumptious items that make us Woodhouse. Have a wonderful Holiday and we'll talk to you next month.

John and Tracy Wood Anderson

Salvestrin Winery Logo

So how was the Trefethen Cabernet? Did you like it with the chocolates? This month we have a very small St. Helena winery for you to try: Salvestrin. Founded in 1932 with the planting of the vineyards, the wine story begins in 1994 with the inaugural vintage of Cabernet Sauvignon. Rich and Shannon Salvestrin run the winery and are the third generation of the family to live on the land. We tasted their 2005 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon ($58)and found the nose to be full of depth with lots of black cherry, tobacco and just a little grass. The palate was rich with intense notes of cocoa and chocolate, tobacco, green peppercorn and currants. A wine of great complexity, it had a very long finish with herbaceous notes of anise and rosemary. All in all a beautiful wine, but would it like chocolate? Well of course the answer was yes but it was picky as are all wines. Hands down favorites were the Sur Del Lago ("takes you right into the cellar"), the Rum Raisin ("beautiful balance of flavors between the wine and the chocolate"), the Honey, the Coconut and, believe it or not, the Pecan Caramel. A second tier that were good with the wine were the Espresso, the Quatre Epices and the Heart of Darkness. If you haven't tried the Salvestrin it's well worth the effort and now you have the perfect excuse. If you can't find it locally, try the winery web site, then order some Woodhouse, have over a couple of friends and try the chocolate challenge! Why not, great wine, great chocolate, what have you got to lose? www.salvestrinwinery.com

 


Valentine's Basket

CREAMY CAULIFLOWER SOUP WITH COCOA BROWN BUTTER AND PAPRIKA CROUTONS

 

Serves 4

Here's a lovely first course for a romantic Valentine dinner. Rich and delicious, velvety on the tongue - your sweetheart will swoon at first bite.

Cocoa Brown Butter:

Heat 1/4 cup butter and 1 tablespoon cocoa nibs in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally until the butter solids turn toasty brown. Set aside until ready to use.

Paprika Croutons:

Infuse 1/4 cup olive oil with 2 large garlic cloves, smashed with the side of a chef's knife, 1 teaspoon paprika (I like to use smoked paprika, but you can use any kind you like) and 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt. Heat this oil over low heat until garlic starts to sizzle. Remove from heat. Brush the paprika oil on thinly sliced french bread cut to the shape and size you would like on your soup (I used a cookie cutter to make cute little hearts, but just sliced baguette if fine too.) Bake at 325 until crisp (about 15 minutes).

Califlower Soup

Cauliflower Soup:

2 large shallots, minced (about 3/4 cup)
2 Tablespoons butter
1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
1 lb. cauliflower, chopped into roughly 1/4 inch pieces
another 1 Tablespoon butter
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream

In a large saucepan, melt the 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add the shallots and salt and saute until shallots are almost tender (about 2 minutes). Add the third tablespoon of butter and the cauliflower. Saute a few minutes more, then add the wine. Reduce the liquid by about half, then add the chicken broth. Bring to a simmer and cook until the cauliflower is tender (about 5 minutes, but it all depends on a lot of things, like how hot your stove runs, how heavy your pot is, how small the cauliflower is chopped.....the variables are endless, so just pull out a piece and taste it. Foolproof.)
When the cauliflower is tender, puree the mixture in a blender or food processor. Push the mixture through a sieve into a clean saucepan. Add the cream, add salt if necessary.
To serve, divide the soup amongst four warm soup bowls. Strain the cocoa nibs out of the brown butter (or leave them in if you want a little crunch!) and drizzle over the soup. Place one or two paprika croutons on top et Voila!

Ubuntu Restaurant Logo

For those of you who never get off the freeway in Napa on your way up valley to hit the wineries, you are missing out on some great restaurants and one of the very best is Ubuntu. Located at 1140 Main St (707-251-5656) in the heart of Napa's old downtown near the Opera House, Ubuntu has received rave reviews throughout the food press. As far as we are concerned, and we dine there often, it deserves all of the attention and all of the accolades. Now, you may have noticed something strange under the title of Ubuntu, "Restaurant & Yoga Studio". Yes, it is both, though you wouldn't notice as the studio is upstairs. Next, while Tracy and I are devout carnivores, Ubuntu serves vegetarian/vegan food. Not an issue: the first time I went to indulge Tracy, the second time I begged to go, for the food. The inventive combinations of vegetables that they use and intensity of flavors that they coax out of them will make you forget that no meat is involved. On to the food. The menu changes subtly everyday, with favorites always available. If they are on the menu, try the Chickpea Fries with Herbs and Romesco Sauce as a small appetizer. Potato fries were never this good. Their cauliflower in a cast iron pot is not to be missed (yes, we do eat other things besides cauliflower, but their pot and our soup are both really, really good) and if they have a float on the dessert menu - save room. Their desserts are always very creative and worth the indulgence.
www.ubuntunapa.com

   
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St. Helena, Ca 94574
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