11 N School St
Lodi, CA 95240

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So, Phil the groundhog, made his best prediction. Right every time? Um, not so much! I was looking at the video of Hwy 50 this morning, where the bridge washed out, and Hwy 101 in Oregon where the road washed out, and Guernseyville being flooded. The morning news says scattered showers today and tomorrow, but much more rain over the weekend. Therefore, my letter to you today will be filled with winter-y things to do and cook and imbibe. Let's check back into the Spring thing sometime in April! I am CRAVING warm weather and open windows.

John and I will be attending the Artisan Cheese Festival in March, and be able to meet the cheesemakers of fine California artisan cheeses. Our plan is to include a new selection of great California products in our stock, so we will be going to taste taste taste. Dirty job, huh? By the way, did you come in and try the pairing we suggested last time--Creamy Havarti on an Apricot Ginger Raincoast Crisp...tastes just like carrot cake or spice cake! A yummy winter dessert without baking...

New cheeses and Delectable Pantry items have started to arrive in preparation for Easter and Mother's Day. (Hey, today is the last day of February already!) Rustic Red Leicester is in the house! We have waited for that one for three months, and we have 20 lbs in our fridge as we speak, so excited. The Lemon & Honey Wensleydale is also here in force, so delicious with a cup of tea, with breakfast, or as the "cheesecake" for dessert with fresh pears. Just a heads-up, though, the cheeses from Great Britain may have a break in the distribution chain due to Brexit. Our supplier has let us know about this possibility, so bear with us if we run out of YOUR favorite Brit. We will be re-stocking when available.

Whipped honey from French Camp, cherry jelly from Linden, lemony crackers and more will help bring on Springtime--ready to banish winter!. Also, due in to the shop in the next week or two are beautiful "Tiffany" Easter Egg cookies for Easter baskets. We commissioned just 24, so keep a lookout for our shelf display. Until then, we are lovin' the premade fondue--a quick and easy way to duplicate the Alpine experience at your dining table. Don't forget that we have awesome take-n-bake baguettes for that fondue, or any cheese noshing!

Thanks for your patronage, we hope to see you soon
With appreciation,

Cindy and Staff
Karen, Gioia, Janet, and Angelo
I'll always serve a chilled bubbly as a comfort beverage--I don't need a holiday to celebrate. Besides, I'm spoiled--Brewmnger John makes sure Valentine's Day is EVERY day! (Married 42 years, we are...)

The wine bubbles are still available... in single-serve, full-sized for sharing, and in specialty non-alcoholic versions--big and small! Jars of wild hibiscus flowers in syrup, available year round, make each glass a gorgeous serving!

Cold stormy nights, and our awesome winter brews that include four, rare and seasonal--beautiful Belgians-- as well as great domestic craft beers in 22 oz or 750ml bottles, are ready for enjoying with a big pot of homemade chili (that will be tonight's culinary class!), or a delicious stew. Ever had Carbonnade Flamande? Google the recipe for Drunken Beef Stew from "the chunky chef" website. A delicious classic recipe fora version in the crockpot, with our Belgian beer in the mix! AND, if you leave your address with us, we can join you for dinner and render an opinion on your cooking skills (subtle hint!)

Come on in and take a look!


I posted this recipe last newsletter, and made them myself. I loved having a new technique to try, and, just to let you know, mine were not as pretty as this picture! They tasted delicious, though.

So, I'm going to try them again for a family gathering in a couple of weeks. Perfecting the perfect "tail" fold, and then pat myself on the back for job well done--if at first you don't succeed, try try again! Yes, even with pastry.

Here is the same recipe post, so that you can be inspired to try them, It is not hard to do, but like I said, I'll perfect my "tail" fold this next time. I encourage you to try this easy easy easy and lovely pastry from Italy.


1 box (2 sheets) puff pastry
1/4 C butter, melted
16 oz ricotta, strained
1/2 C powdered sugar, plus
more for dusting
1 T vanilla extraact
1 egg
Zest of one orange

Thaw puff pastry according to directions. Slice each sheet into thirds. Stack the sheets, brushing melted butter between each. Place in the fridge for an hour or until the dough has firmed up and butter has hardened. Remove from fridge and roll out to twice its size. Slice in half and stack on top of each other, brushing butter in between. Roll up into a log, starting from one of the short sides. Place in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

Preheat oven to 400*. In a bowl, combine remaining ingredients to form the filling. Remove rolled dough from fridge and slice into 1/2" spiral discs. Using your hands, spread each disc to create a cupped oval 1 1/2 times its original size. Spoon 1 T of filling onto the dough, folding cup onto itself and pinching end shut. Repeat with remaining slices. Bake 20 minutes or until golden brown. Dust with powdered sugar and serve.

Do you "plan for future happiness?" A quick phone call will help you do this!    Cheese 101A and Bread Baking Basics are offered every month from January through October. Popular classes such as Sushi, Filled Pasta and Bistro in Paris repeat throughout the year. 

Can't wait to cook with YOU!

Call to Book A Party For Your Group

With Cindy Della Monica
Thurs, 2/28  6-8 pm
$65 per person
The first time this class was offered, our participants were astounded at the range of flavors just in the three chilies prepared for class. THEN we used them in a couple of unusual ways instead of just a bowlful.  The cornbread alone is worth the visit to this class!  The WOW factor here is pretty big.  Full dinner and adult beverages included   Registration ends 2/25/19 Minimum 8 guests and maximum 10 guests

with Cindy Della Monica
Fri, 3/1  6-8 pm
$65 per person
Fresh, ripe and winter perfect, though reaching the end of our local picking season by this date! Lemons provide bright flavor to many foods. Ever tried the bubbly cocktail called Sgropino? Tea breads, salad dressings and marinades, soups and tarts with perfect pie crust...endless variations on this deliciously citrusy theme!  Booklet and dinner included      Registration ends 2/27/19 Minimum of 8 guests, maximum of 10 guests  


with Cindy Della Monica
Tues, 3/5   6-8 pm
$65 per person
Something delicious is cookin' up for St. Patty's Day!  Corned Beef and Cabbage is an American-Irish dish, which we will discuss. Exploring other traditional Irish foods will be our focus and hands-on cooking.  The booklet will include home-style soups, meats, breads, sides and desserts, plus an overview of Irish libations. Dinner and a flight of Irish brews are included, Registration ends 3/7/19  Minimum 8 guests, maximum 10 guests

with Cindy Della Monica
Thurs, 3/7    6-8 pm
$65 per person
Explore the definitions of different types of soup—chowders, bisques, creams, minestrone and more! We will make and sample a wonderful variety of soups to ward off the (welcomed, but can go now) winter chill.  The rain has come, so our soup dinners will NEED to be varied just to avoid dinner boredom. I can’t wait to get you “hooked” on my favorites!   Registration ends 3/5/19 Minimum 8 guests, maximum 10 guests

 With Chef Sara Blighton
Fri, 3/8 6-8 pm
$65 per person
 A popular class! Learn how to make fresh pasta, and roll it out with the classic Atlas pasta machine and the stand-mixer. In the meantime, learn how to make your own fresh ricotta cheese, which we will use our pasta fillings. Two filled pastas, and some new sauces, will be presented: agnolotti and cannelloni. Let's sip some delicious wine while we go into pasta production-fun!!  A full dinner, and booklet of recipes to go home with you, too!  Registration ends 3/5/19 Minimum of 8 guests, maximum of 10

with Cindy Della Monica
Tues, 3/19    6-8 pm
$65 per person
Got your attention, huh? Hehehe  Inspiration for this topic was random, as a PBS show highlighted special foods prepared for a centuries-dead royal personage, as found in an archaelogical dig. Research brought so many wonderful recipes to share--this yummy class will feature special dishes from around the world--for an international culinary tour, if you will. A fun and informative booklet complete with recipes for the full dinner in class, served with adult beverage. Come cook with me!   Registration ends 3/15/19 Minimum of 8 guests for class to be held, maximum of 10 guests

CHEESE 101A-The Basics
with Cindy Della Monica
Mon 3/25   6-7:30 pm
$25 per person
Cheese and cheese-making--an interesting and complex subject. Explore an overview of the cheese families, how to taste cheese, and taste examples of a four of the cheese families we have discussed: Mild/Buttery, Alpine/Mountain, Chevres, and Cremes.      This class also available selected dates upon request. Call to schedule your group's personal party.  Registration ends 3/21/19 Minimum of 8 guests for class to be held, maximum of 10 guests 
CHEESE 101A-The Basics
with Cindy Della Monica
Wed 4/10   6-7:30 pm
$25 per person
Cheese and cheese-making--an interesting and complex subject. Explore an overview of the cheese families, how to taste cheese, and taste examples of a four of the cheese families we have discussed: Mild/Buttery, Alpine/Mountain, Chevres, and Cremes.      This class also available selected dates upon request. Call to schedule your group's personal party.  Registration ends 4/7/19 Minimum of 8 guests for class to be held, maximum of 10 guests 

FEATURING:  McCay Cellars
with Chef Sara Blighton
Fri, 4/12   6-8pm
$85 per person
We are so pleased to have our new neighbor, Mike McCay and McCay Cellars, joining Chef Sara for a demonstration-only meal featuring McCay Cellars wines. McCay Cellars is now located on Sacramento St. in downtown Lodi, next to the train station, an easy walk to the new tasting room. A fun speaker, Mike will be presenting a flight of his wines, and our talented Chef Sara will pair her food skills for your dining pleasure. A social and informative evening, complete with the booklet of recipes to take home with you. Make it date night, or join us with friends.  Registration ends 4/8/19 Minimum of 8 guests for class to be held, maximum of 10 guests
With Cindy Della Monica
Tues, 4/16   6-8 pm
$65 per person
Summertime is the perfect time for exploring the food of the South—from South Carolina and Georgia (Lowcountry food), and the delicious southern cuisine of its neighboring states. For example, the iconic Kentucky Derby is held on the first Saturday of May--besides the wild and wonderful hats worn to the race, it is almost obligatory to consume a Kentucky Hot Brown and drink a Mint Julep (or two!). In the Lowcountry, delicious sides to BBQ include new-to-us ways to prepare rice, corn, black-eyed peas, sweet potatoes, hush puppies and more, just in time to change up your summertime dining!  Registration ends 4/12/19  Minimum of 8 guests for class to be held, maximum of 10 guests 
with Cindy Della Monica
Mon, 4/22    6-8pm
$65 per person
An arsenal of delicious sauces and glazes can transform your signature dish into a “new” appetizer or meal! Every cuisine has their recognizable sauce (enchilada, curry, alfredo, and more) that can be used in other ways. Learn some new-to-you flavors to incorporate into easy daily dining… Come taste with me!  Registration ends 4/19/19  Minimum of 8 guests for class to be held, maximum of 10 guests 

CALL 209 368-3033 Phone registration with VISA or MC