Saturday, January 30, 2010

Apple-Sautéed Chicken Breast

This time of year, we are always searching for middle-of-the-week comfort food that’s easy to whip together. This is a scrumptious recipe that is as easy to make as it is healthy! There is a great selection of apples at your local market now, so pick your favorite to use in this low-fat, low-carb recipe.

2 tsp. olive oil

1 medium onion, sliced

1 ½ green apple, peeled and sliced

1 Tbsp white wine vinegar

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Crumbled goat cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

In a large sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring continuously until golden brown. Next, add vinegar, apple, salt and pepper and stir together in pan. Remove apple mixture from heat and set aside. Place chicken breasts into pan with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Cook chicken for about 6 minutes or until done. Add apples and onions to chicken breast and goat cheese and cook on medium heat for a few minutes to warm.

Recipe by Karen Grimes

Sunday, January 24, 2010

A Taste of Italy in Yountville

This weekend I finally had the chance to try out the new Cantinetta Piero at the newly opened Hotel Luca in Yountville. This is a great addition to the already stellar lineup of Yountville restaurants and can definitely hold its own with Bottega, Yountville's other Italian restaurant.

The hotel itself is rather charming and although we didn't get a chance to look in any of the rooms, the setting is very Italian with all the rooms looking onto a central courtyard. The courtyard has a comfortable and inviting feel and I hope on a warmer night, you don't have to be a hotel guest to sit by the cozy fireplace.

The menu is Tuscan style with a nice selection of starters, pastas, pizzas and main courses. My husband and I shared the Burrata Cheese topped with a nice olive oil and sea salt and served with crostinis. It went very well with the Italian Pinot Grigio that I ordered. We then moved on to the Pumpkin Ravioli with prociutto and sage - it was delicious! For our main course, we shared carmelized scallops. They were nicely served with potatoes and castelvetrano olives (which I can't seem to get enough of these days). Dessert was a delicious chocolate mousse topped with caramel and sea salt.

The wine list has a nice selection of Italian wines both by the glass and bottle and our waitress was very helpful selecting the right Italian wines for our dinner. My only complaint would be a relatively short wine by the glass selection. But the wines they do have by the glass are great and they offer both 3 oz and 6 oz pours.

I highly recommend this new Yountville hot spot. And if you are visiting from out of town, check out the hotel. It's in a great location and looks to have a nice, charming atmosphere. More information about the hotel and restaurant can be found online at

Written by Linzi

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Mustard Season

The scenic mustard filling the valley between the Silverado Trail and Highway 29 draws visitor from around the world to visit the beautiful wine country in the winter. The mustard is everywhere—from the ground to the local markets, onto plates in fine restaurants, and covering the walls in photography and fine art.

This Napa Valley Mustard Festival is approaching quickly, with savory promises of food, wine, art and entertainment. The Grand Opening Gala takes place at 7pm on Saturday, January 30th at the elegant Culinary Institute. Enjoy an evening of dancing, art, a wine auction, and fine food and wine. Festivities continue with The Grand Dinner on February 19, Awards on March 12, The Napa Riverwalk Marketplace on March 13 and 14, and finally the Photo Finish on March 27.

Legend has it that the mustard in California began in the mission era in California. According to the story, each mission was just a few days walk apart from the other. The missionaries sprinkled mustard seeds along their path so that after winter when the path was covered with the lush spring grass and covered the trails, the mustard would guide them to the next mission. The original mission trail that is now Highway 1 and Highway 101 is filled with spots of the bright spring blooming mustard.

The mustard usually begins blooming in late January, with festivities continuing throughout March. During this vividly beautiful time of year, Napa Valley businesses welcome visitors to the valley with art shows, cooking demonstrations, mustard tasting and mustard photo contests. The Mustard Festival is a non-profit community service organization. For tickets of more information, visit

Written by Karen

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Eating Your Fruits & Veggies in January

Every year about this time, I find myself in a fruit and veggie rut. By January I've eaten more than my fill of mandarins, persimmons and pomegranates and I'm ready for something new. I go to the grocery store and search the produce section, desperately trying to find something exciting that is actually grown locally. And more often than not, I'm disappointed with my findings. But the truth is, there are lots of great cold-weather fruits and vegetables.

This January, I'm determined to get out of my rut and get excited about all the great fruits and veggies that are available this time of year. I'm going to load up on citrus - how long has it been since you've had a kumquat? I'm going to eat lots of cabbage, kale and cauliflower. I'm going to find new recipes and I'm going to add January to my list of favorite food months - that will make 12 in all!

So what's in season this time of year?
Winter Squash

That's a start. Go visit your local farmer's market or the produce section at your grocery store...I'm sure you'll find a lot more. And stay tuned for some great winter recipes.

For a great list of what's in season where you live, check out Sustainable Table.

Written by Linzi