Local Food, Wine, and Craft Beer Events in Sonoma County

Just because the rain won’t let up doesn’t mean that should keep you inside! There are so many great events coming up in April and May in Sonoma, here are a few you should put on your radar.

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Dennis Housman sips on cold suds at a local beer event in Petaluma. (Tim Vallery)

APRIL EVENTS

St. Florian’s Brewery hosts Trivia Nights: The third Thursday of each month at the brewery in Windsor.

Cooperage is combining Yoga and Beer: get your workout in and then enjoy a nice cold one! Every Sunday in Santa Rosa.

Ping Pong Palooza: Palooza Gastropub hosts weekly Ping Pong Tournaments outside at 6:30 p.m. each Tuesday. Eat, drink, and play ping pong with friends and your whole family. All levels welcome. Prizes will be awarded. April 18th, 25th, and May 2nd from 6:30-8:30pm in Kenwood. There is no cost to play.

Damnation Returns to RRBC: The popular Belgian Strong Golden Ale from Russian River Brewery will once again make an appearance at the pub in Santa Rosa in April.

For more beer events in April visit Sonoma Magazine here. 

Passport to Dry Creek: Visit 45+ wineries around the beautiful Dry Creek Valley. Wineries will host vineyard tours, prelude lunches and dinners, and then the grand event is a two day wine event featuring the valley’s best wines paired with excellent food dishes created by local chefs. Visit Fritz Winery, Mill Creek, and Dry Creek Vineyards to try my favorite chefs food: Peloton Culinary & Catering. Tickets are still available, for more information or to purchase yours, click here. April 29th and 30th.

MAY EVENTS 

Ping Pong Palooza: Palooza Gastropub hosts weekly Ping Pong Tournaments outside at 6:30 p.m. each Tuesday. Eat, drink, and play ping pong with friends and your whole family. All levels welcome. Prizes will be awarded. May 2nd from 6:30-8:30pm in Kenwood. There is no cost to play.

Food + Wine Dinner Series: Trione Vineyards & Winery welcomes food and wine lovers to an intimate dinner series held on May 13th and 14th from 6-8:30pm. The winery features estate library wines and new releases paired with a farm-to-table menu prepared by local chefs of Peloton Culinary & Catering. This is a 3-4 course meal presented in a beautiful setting in the Old Stone Building overlooking the stunning vineyards of Alexander Valley. This is the perfect gift for mom, grandma, wife, or special person. The dinner is limited to 30 guests, the cost is $100 per person all inclusive. To purchase tickets please call the tasting room at 707.814.8100.

Santa Rosa Downtown Market: Visit the Wednesday night market for artisan food items, delicious street food, artwork, fun, and a wine and beer garden! May 3rd, 10th, and 17th – 5-8:30pm in downtown Santa Rosa on 4th Street. Note: 4th Street will be closed early, park on 3rd or 5th and walk over.

Lemon Garlic Dandelion Greens

Lemon Garlic Dandelion Greens

Whole30 Approved

I love dandelion greens. I love the bitter taste and the grainy texture of the raw green. I have been trying experiment with creating a less bitter taste and this is not that… this dish is flavorful, but bitter. Serve with something creamy and rich.

You’ll Need:

  • 1 bunch dandelion greens, cleaned and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 5 cloves of garlic, mined
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground pepper

 

Method:

Coat a large sauté pan with oil, add the stems of dandelion greens first, let cook 2 minutes, then add in the remaining greens along with salt, pepper, and garlic. Cook 5 more minutes, add lemon juice, stir, and turn heat down to cook another 3-4 minutes.

 

Serve with mashed cauliflower and grilled pork.

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http://jessposhepny.com/category/healthy-lifestyle/

Eat Clean, Eat Healthy, & Eat Well.

Lemon Herb Dressing

Lemon Herb Dressing

Whole30 Approved

You’ll Need:

  • ½ c Olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp citrus salt {or kosher salt if you don’t have citrus}
  • Juice from 1 lemon

Method:

Whisk. Add more salt and pepper to taste. 

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Eat Clean, Eat Healthy, & Eat Well.

 

Balsamic caramelized onions

Balsamic caramelized onions

Whole30 Approved

 

This is a must have in the kitchen. I love onions any way- raw, pickled, roasted, sauteed, caramelized… give me an onion any day of the week! But these are a necessity on whole30. They give that nice sweetness to a savory dish and you can cook them in advance and use them on many dishes.

You’ll Need:

  • 1 large red onion cut in half then sliced very thin
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ c balsamic vinegar

Method:

In a medium sized sauté pan, add 1 tbsp olive oil and all of the onions. Stir to coat all of the onions, add more oil as needed. Cook for 5 minutes while stirring occasionally. Turn heat to low, add balsamic, stir. Let cook until onions shrink and become soft, about 25-30 minutes.

Serve with roasted vegetables, mashed cauliflower, zoodles, eggs, or cauliflower “couscous”. Goes great with grilled pork and chicken. Options are endless!

Refrigerate unused product, keep up to 10 days.

 

Eat Clean, Eat Healthy, & Eat Well.

Cucumber Radish Spring Salad

Cucumber Radish Spring Salad

Whole30 Approved

You’ll Need:

  • 1 English cucumber, peeled and quartered lengthwise, then sliced
  • 10 radishes, sliced thin
  • 1 large avocado cut into chunks
  • 2 tbsp lemon herb vinaigrette 
  • salt & pepper to taste

Method:

In a bowl mix all produce with vinaigrette so everything is coated well. Add additional vinaigrette if desired. Serve immediately.

Serves two.
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Eat Clean, Eat Healthy, & Eat Well.

Moxie’s Rich {All Healthy} Minestrone Soup

Moxie’s Rich {All Healthy} Minestrone Soup

Whole30 Approved

 

You’ll Need:

  • 1 pound smoked ham, cut into small cubes
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 8 carrots, peeled and sliced in ¼ inch rounds
  • 2 white sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed in 2cm cubes
  • 1 bunch rainbow chard, ends chopped, and greens sliced in thin ribbons
  • 4 zucchini, cut into quarters, then sliced in ¼ inch slices
  • 1 pound cremini mushrooms, cut in half then sliced
  • 1 head celery, sliced in ½ inch slices
  • Homemade vegetable stock
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can organic green beans
  • Salt and pepper to taste

 

Method:

In a large stock pot, sear the ham until golden, stirring regularly so that it doesn’t burn. Remove and set aside.

Deglaze the pot with stock, then add in the onions, cook for 5 minutes, then add in celery, carrots, and mushrooms. Stir and cook for about 15 minutes. Deglaze the pot with stock as needed. Add in the swiss chard stems, tomatoes, half of the sweet potatoes and green beans. Stir and cook for another 10 minutes. Cover with vegetable stock, bring to a boil, then simmer for 1 hour. Add in the diced ham,  zucchini, and chard leaves, and the other half of the sweet potatoes, cover and simmer for another 40 minutes.

Eat Clean, Eat Healthy, & Eat Well.
Enjoy!

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TomatoMania!! Is back at Trione!

Owner Scott Daigre of Tomatomania is headed back up North with over 300 tomato varieties! They’ll be at Cornerstone Gardens in Sonoma Valley for one weekend and then head further North to Geyserville and will be at Trione Winery on April 30th.

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Scott has been coming up North for years now and helping hundreds of folks find the best variety to plant in their gardens. He comes with a full crew to answer any questions you may have, T-shorts, and his AMAZING cookbook (see recipe featured here). I personally have made half of the recipes in here but one of my all time favorites is Sams tomato Sourdough. It’s so delicious!! For a list of places to buy the book online, click here.

You can count on detailed information from Scott when you buy. Write down your questions about planting and bring them with you. Scott lists his tips here too.

EVENTS FOR TOMATOMANIA: 

April 23-24: CornerStone Gardens: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.,  23570 Arnold Drive, Sonoma.

April 30: Trione Vineyards and Winery: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 19550 Geyserville Ave., Geyserville.

 

Trione Winery will also be having a fun event during Tomatomania for those who would like to partake in wine tasting: 2015 Rose of Pinot Noir release party from 1-4pm with a couple of small “brunch like bites” from Peloton Catering , a sample of Rose, Pinot Noir, and Sauvignon Blanc. It’s $15 for the public and then they’re offering a 10% discount on wine purchases!!

 

Here’s to kicking off Spring in wine country!

 

 

Sonoma Wine Country Weekend

The highly anticipated Wine Country Weekend is right around the corner on one of the busiest weekends of the year: Labor Day. People are scrambling to find a room for a night or two because the weekends festivities are not to be missed! I have always been a fan of AirBnb and highly recommend signing up if you have not yet. Night one of #SWCW is the Sonoma Starlight at Coppolla Winery. Enjoy an evening of food and wine, meet the winery personnel, learn about the area, and enjoy the setting by the pool. This event is definitely a time to bust out that dress or heels because the event takes place outdoors and on concrete surfaces. People tend to go a bit more high-end for this portion. Just down the road in Geyserville is a funky, tranquil place call Isis Oasis. They have a very exotic atmosphere and it’s not for the closed minded or shy person, but if you’d like to venture out of your comfort zone and keep some green in your wallet then check this place out. Here is one of my top picks for Isis, great for a single person or a couple. It’s just about 3 miles from the popular Coppola Winery. Beings that it is so close to the event, many of the inn’s and B & B’s are already booked but Hope-Merril House has some space available too. Find yourself a safe and close place to rest your head and get ready for a fun, eventful weekend of amazing food and incredible wines coupled with the best views in the county!

Courtesy of Sonoma Wine Country Weekend

Courtesy of Sonoma Wine Country Weekend

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Courtesy of Sonoma Wine Country Weekend

Next up on the list for #SWCW is the Taste of Sonoma event at Mac Murray Ranch. Over 200 wineries pour and 60 + Sonoma County chefs serve locally inspired dishes throughout the day. For a price of $165, guests are invited to relish in the bounty of Sonoma County all day long on the beautiful property of Mac Murray Ranch. Parking is available in several locations and generally there is a bit of walking involved, get there early to park closer. Pick up the program, decide where you want to taste, and check out the map. The event is very organized but it’s spread out so the things you really want to do, keep in mind most everyone else will probably really want to hit too {The Gloria Ferrer Bubble Lounge with Oysters is one, and they run out of oysters so get there early on!} Another item that tends to go quickly if the pairing is popular is the “Perfect Pairings”. I always participate in those each year with Peloton Catering and Trione, we don’t run out of food ever but have in the past ran out of that wine. Make note of the ones you’d like to go for and put them at the top of your list.

Some of my winery recommendations

Alexander Valley Tent:

Trione Vineyards & Winery {of course}
Kelley & Young {Rose and Sauvignon Blanc are off the charts}
Robert Young
Stonestreet 
Rodney Strong 
Stryker Sonoma 

Russian River Valley Tent: 

Cartograph

Arista

Rochioli 

Other must visits:

Thralls Wine

MacPhail Family Wines

Ramey Wines 

 

Logistics: 

Its an outside event so dress accordingly and bring sunblock. This is a wine country casual dress type of event: men wear shorts and Tommy Bahama-esk shirts, ladies wear summer dresses, skirt and top, wrap when cool so it’s easy to throw in a bag when it warms up.  Everything is on the lawn and some parts are dirt so ladies, wear flats for comfort or if you must wear high heels then go for wedges because we try to poke as few holes in the Mac Murray lawn as possible! There are plenty of porto-potties all around the property and they have hand washing stations as well but I always bring hand sanitizer. There are dump buckets on all of the wine tables, please use them, we try to keep the lawn free of excess wine when possible. This is a food and wine tasting event so cigarette smoke does interfere with others experience so please, if you must, go into a designated smoking section away from tasters and sniffers.

For you digital and social folks the hashtag is #SWCW you can also add in #SonomaChat when posting to twitter and Instagram. Be sure to ask the wineries and chefs about their call-tags and hashtags online too! Service can be rather spotty out there {it is the country} so your battery juice can tend to go fast, I recommend bringing an extra battery charger. Below are the kinds of bites and dishes you can expect to see!

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Photo courtesy of Tim Vallery, Peloton Catering

Photo courtesy of Sonoma Wine Country Weekend

Photo courtesy of Sonoma Wine Country Weekend

http://pelotoncatering.com/

Photo courtesy of Tim Vallery, Peloton Catering

Taste of Sonoma event is far away from town {Healdsburg or Santa Rosa} so plan to have a designated driver, bring water, and hydrate!

The Harvest Wine Auction is one of the most fun events. It’s where all of the wineries have their own act that they put on for the crowd, and everyone bids. The proceeds all go to helping children throughout Sonoma County. At the auction, you select which winery host you’d like to sit with and you along with 6-8 others are with that winery for the afternoon during lunch. It’s a nice setting creating a very personal experience. Being able to dine with vintners and winemakers is for some, a once in a lifetime experience.

I will be out and about throughout the weekend pouring for Trione Vineyards & Winery at Sonoma Starlight and then at Taste of Sonoma I’ll have a perfect pairing with Trione and Peloton Culinary & Catering, so come on by and say hello. Find me, follow me, and tweet to me online: Moxie_Lady on Twitter and Instagram!

Enjoy the weekend, be safe, take photos and post them, and bid on the auction lots!!

 

Follow Trione and Peloton online for fun with food and wine all year long and tag them in your posts! 

@PelotonCatering on Instragram and Twitter

@TrioneWinery on Instagram and Twitter, use the hashtag #DrinkTrione in your posts on all social channels!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Roasted Red Bell Pepper & Cauliflower Soup

This is one of my favorites so far! I have tried to cook with red bells for so long and wanted something fresher and sweeter, and not as hearty as a chili but just could not swing it…until now! You will love this!!

{Husband} chef and kid tested 🙂

Roasted Red Bell Pepper & Cauliflower Soup

 

You’ll Need:

6 red bell peppers, chopped

2 heads of cauliflower, pulled apart loosely

1 pound ground Italian fennel sausage

6 white sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into small pieces

½ red onion, chopped

2 quarts chicken stock

3 Tbsp garlic & pepper powder

Salt to taste

Olive oil as needed

1 cup white wine

Method:

Heat up the grill and turn on low. Drizzle olive oil over cauliflower heads and season with a mixture of paprika, cayenne, salt and pepper then wrap the heads in foil and put on the wrack above the heat on grill. Roast for about 45 minutes.

Place the bell peppers on the grill away from the heat for about 45 minutes depending on size and heat of your grill. They should become soft, slightly charred, and the skin wrinkling and pulling away from the flesh. Once peppers are done, place on half sheet tray on in pot and wrap tightly with saran wrap, set aside for at least 10 minutes then pull the skin off.

In large pot cook the sausage, breaking it up into smaller pieces with a wooden spoon as it cooks. Take out of the pot and set aside. In the pot add in the onion, let cook, stirring regularly for about 7 minutes, add in potatoes. Add in a little wine deglazing the pot as needed. Continue stirring so the flavors bind together and the potatoes become softer and glossy looking.

 

With the cleaned red peppers {seeds removed}, chopped them up, being careful to keep all of that juice, the put in vitamix {or blender} and puree. Add the puree to the pot with potatoes, stir it in. Put the chicken stock into the vitamix to get all of the goodies that attached to the sides out, pour into the pot, bring to boil. Once boiling, add in the cauliflower and the sausage. Stir and bring to a boil, then turn the heat down, season with garlic pepper and salt, stir, and cover for about 20 minutes. With a potato masher, mash the cauliflower and potatoes until the soup looks mildly chunky. If you prefer to have it smooth then use a hand mixer or put into vitamix. I like it to be someone chunky still. Once mashed, cover and let cook on low heat for another 15 minutes, then serve.

 

This is a great soup to put into pint containers to freeze for lunches.

 

This can be modified for Whole30 by eliminating the white wine and using stock to deglaze the pot.

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Eat Clean, Eat Healthy, & Eat Well.

Enjoy!

 

Eclipse Stout Chicken & Mushroom Soup

Eclipse Stout Chicken & Mushroom Soup

You’ll Need:

  • 1 22 ounce bottle of Eclipse Stout
  • 5 cups of cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 ½ red onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, sliced
  • 8 carrots, peeled and sliced thick
  • 2 32 ounce cans of diced tomatoes
  • 4 medium boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into 4 pieces
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil for cooking

Method:

In a stock pot brown the chicken then remove and set aside. Add the onion and saute until soft, deglazing the pan with the stout as needed. Add in the mushrooms and saute until soft, continuing to deglaze the pan with the stout {about half or more of the stout should be used by now}. Stir in the carrots and celery and continue to stir to let the flavors meld together. Deglaze the pan again with the stout and then mix in the tomatoes, add the remainder of the stout, stir then add stock to cover the ingredients. Bring to a boil then turn down heat, add back in the chicken, cover and let simmer for about 45 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

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*This can be Whole30 approved if you remove the stout and deglaze with stock.