Holiday Greetings!
Julia Child was a huge part of my culinary life. We became friends and exchanged holiday cards each year. Her cooking and teaching was tied to the classic French technique, but it was not dogmatic and she made it fun and appealing to the home cook through her seminal cookbooks and television series.
The Napa Valley Museum in Yountville features the exhibit, "France is a Feast," a small collection of black and white photographs taken by Julia's husband Paul Child when they lived in France between 1948-1954. Paul was a gifted photographer and his photographs of Julia and France are a delight. Be sure to get the audio narrative that features snippets of interviews with Jacques Peppin, Thomas Keller and me. The exhibit runs through February 18, 2018 and there is a wonderful companion book for purchase.
At Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen  Jim has added a few new delicious menu items; wood oven roasted Liberty Farms duck with farro, cipollini onions and a lemon confit duck jus-wow! Also new are pork carnitas tacos with Rancho Gordo beans, tomatillo avocado salsa, pico de gallo and crispy chicharrones. To finish he is serving a maple-bourbon pot de crème with whipped crème fraiche and pecan sandies. 
Also at Cindy's Backstreet Dustin has a new cocktail, "Yuzu-tide Smash" made with Buffalo Trace Bourbon, fresh cranberries, Kikori Yuzu liquor, fresh lemon and mint. It's a must have.
It's Winter Warmers at Mustards Grill on the Friday Pair Off Pour Off menus. For example on December 8 Michael serves Brittany Style Cotriade-my all-time favorite seafood stew. The same day he features my Mom's Sauerkraut with Spareribs and of course mashed potatoes. On the following Friday there is a braised beef with smoked paprika and a grilled swordfish with garlic-parmesan lentils. Check out the full month of menus.
Recently I was invited to be a presenter and to participate in a high tech conference in Carmel. It was there I learned about StoryCorps , a public service that collects peoples stories. It allows people across the country an opportunity to record and preserve the stories of their lives. I was fascinated by the organization and began my own participation with a Thanksgiving interview with my niece. You might be interested too .
Christmas Eve & New Years Eve 
Check out the Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve menus;  Mustards Grill &  Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen
To reserve the most desirable seating times make your reservations now.
Holiday Party Planning?  
If you are planning a celebration, we have options for you!  Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen  has two group rooms that are perfect for your wine country celebration, and Mustards is available to be booked exclusively for your event, and mid-week for smaller parties. If you already have a venue, but are looking for amazing food & service, then our catering services just might be what the party needs for your holiday celebration or any time of the year. Get bookin' and contact Christine today! 
Black Sugar Glazed Dates Recipe 
December is the month for holiday parties many of them potluck. My bacon wrapped "black" sugar-glazed dates with walnuts and Pecorino is a hit because of the savory-sweetness of this appealing appetizer. Bring it to the party and watch them disappear.
Happy holidays!

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  Cindy Pawlcyn Napa Valley
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