CALIFORNIA ARTISAN CHEESE FESTIVAL, CHEESE, YES PLEASE!

I love food and I love to eat healthy, but there is one thing that I cannot ever take out of my diet, CHEESE. It’s the best food in the entire world, in my opinion. In all my years of being a foodie, I have not found a cheese I did not like. I swoon over classic sharp cheddar, Jarlsberg Swiss, smoked Gouda, dry aged Gouda, and triple cream Bries. I have been known to sit down with a chunk of Swiss and sliced granny smith apples and just snack until… well the evidence is gone. It can happen so fast! My love affair with this food group is fun and something I won’t give up, that’s why I am so thrilled about the California Artisan Cheese Festival coming up on March.

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The weekend of March 18-20th the Sheraton Petaluma will host the 10th annual artisan cheese festival and a series of educational and fun seminars, tours, tastings, and events followed by a grand celebration on Saturday night. Local foodies, entrepreneurs, vintners, craft brewers, chefs, and fromagiers from across the country will get together to highlight cheese.

Learn how to eat it, what to look for in pairing cheese with wine, cider, or beer, how it’s made, and how to properly serve it. Enjoy educational tours at local farms for a more in-depth experience. Watch a little friendly competition to create “the best bite” on Friday night sounds fun and exciting: chefs are provided with a wheel, bowl, or block of cheese and are asked to create their best bite. Meet and chat with the cheese-makers, pick their brains, and learn the story and the process along with all of the blood, sweat, and tears that really go into producing cheese.

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On Saturday night from 6-9pm the California Cheesin’ celebration takes place. Chefs from all over are given artisan cheeses to incorporate into a mind-blowing appetizer for gusts to sample throughout the evening. Cast your vote for the very best, the winner will be announced during the event. Tickets are only $75 per person for this delicious event. Wine, craft beer, and cider will be provided to pair with the appetizers.

Here are the cheese-makers and producers that you can expect to see at the events:

Achadihna Cheese Company
Beehive Cheese Company
Bellwether Farms
Central Coast Creamery
Chevoo
Cowgirl Creamery
Cypress Grove Chevre
Dairy Goddess
Fiscalini Farmstead Cheese Company
Laura Chenel’s Chèvre
Marin French Cheese Company
Nicasio Valley Cheese Company
Orland Farmstead Creamery
Pedrozo Dairy and Cheese
Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company
Pug’s Leap
Sierra Nevada Cheese Company
Two Rock Valley Goat Cheese Company
Valley Ford Cheese Company
Weirauch Farm
Willapa Hills Cheese

All of the weekends events are listed here, sign up now in order to reserve your seat, these events sell out!

The California Artisan Cheese Festival supports the artisan the cheese-making community directly by contributing 10% of ticket proceeds to nonprofit organizations that work to protect the lands needed by the artisan cheese-makers for their cows, sheep, and goats and train the next generation of milk producers and cheese-makers. The event also donates money to support these local non-profits: Redwood Empire Food Bank, Petaluma Future Farmers of America, Sonoma Land Trust, California Artisan Cheese Guild, and Marin Agricultural Land Trust.

I will be pouring Trione wines at the Saturday evening celebration, and Tim {my hubby} will be there serving something fantastic and creative with his chef de cuisine, Patrick of Peloton Culinary & Catering. Come by our tables and taste our pairings. I’ll be photographing the grub during the event too, so follow along with me on Instagram and Twitter: @Moxie_Lady.

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Buy your tickets to the events here. 

Hope to see you there!

Cheers to good food, cheese, and craft!

-Moxie

Everyone Else is Doing it…

Pliny the younger is released now for two weeks and by allocation per day! Downtown Santa Rosa gets overly excited about trendy openings revolving around food and beverage. A 20 minute wait to have a 10 oz pour of a beer I have never had before? Why not?! I am guided by the masses and trust my fellow facebookers to steer me toward a delicious, thirst quenching beer. And even if it’s not; what the heck, it’s only here once a year. I don’t want to be left behind….. In one moment I am reminded that the Social network, my social network is like a family, it’s cliquey and ever changing. This is as much like High School as High School is! The difference now is I know what is right and wrong so I most likely will not be pressured by my peers for to commit any unjust actions or for lack of a better word, stupid acts. I do however,find myself where my Twitter and Facebook friends tell me I should go, the places they like, I try what they like and thus I like the Younger. Social networking brought me to these friends who now I trust and through this trust I now will wait patiently for next year when I can consume two 10 oz glasses of this delicious, extra hoppy beer. Pliny the younger hangs out for two weeks with it’s “Elder”. A setting similar to what is seen while you sit sipping the younger and look into the hall of the brewery and see all of Santa Rosa coming together for one cause. Santa Rosa, Twitter peeps, Facebookers and all Sonoma County people alike are here. We have the hipsters, the unemployed, the Monday weekenders (that would be me), the retired and the “self employed” all together. The only thing that makes it a Monday spent in beer heaven is they have the Beatles, Hey Jude in the background. Nothing like a picture shot of a scene from the 80’s, great beer, awesome server running around in his full foot cast, my love and the beetles to fill a beautiful Monday afternoon. Oh and it’s 76 degrees in February…..

A Perfect Manhattan

After months of failed attempts at hanging out I found myself at the local Healdsburg Bar and Grill  with a pal I met on Twitter along with her husband and my Love. The evening witnessed four people with far too many similarities laugh together and talk shop. A Chef, Physical Eduaction Teacher, Dental Hygenist and Tasting Room Manager all share the love of socializing over great food and of course, wine. Another common interest with the ladies is Twitter. It was on this website filled with that foreign language outsiders cannot possibly understand and nor do they want to, that I met @SlHousman. It was not for months after our first few weeks of sharing a #WineWednesday or offering eachother a #FollowFriday to our followers that I met her IRL (or as the rest of the world would say, in real life). I was working at Trione Winery (@TrioneWinery) during Barrel Tasting when Sherry brought in her husband (@MrHousman) and family to meet My Love, Tim (@UncleTimmy24) and me (@Moxie_Lady). Nearly one year after meeting IRL we sat around a small table in the downtown square discussing social media and the issues that come with participation.

We have subjected ourselves to a world where people can follow our every move through a GPS application. We post our inner most secrets, feelings, fears and ideas for the world to see , or at least those who are “friends” or are our “followers”. There are some ways people who are so active in social media can regulate what others see and do not see, but there really is not better way than to obstain. You really can relate everything in life to sex. The bottom line is, if you do not want to suffer the consequences, do not do it! Easier said than done. So what if you just do it a little bit? Well, once you are on Foursquare and Facebook then all of those friends want to connect on both. Add in Twitter and Yelp and you have one big incestious affair going on over the world wide web. Do not think that you can keep it small and just connect with those you know, once you deny someone you are twitter friends with on Facebook, then feelings start to get hurt. Suddenly you are liked less in the little world we call social media.

So what is the sacrafice? How do you maintain a “normal” life with such a heavily involved “social” life? Suddenly I feel I have several lives: A professional life to which I too have a social life, a personal life, social life and an internet social life. My internet social life goes everywhere with my via the handy phone applications. But is it really necessary to contact my “freinds” in far places while I dine out with my man? It is becoming the million dollar question. When is enough enough?

All etiquette goes out the window: not calling/contacting past 10:00pm or before 9:00am and of course whatever etiquette was lopst with text messaging. Now Tweeters are more annoymous due to the funny names only their followers know, people send messages off the grid through DM (direct message: a limited character e-mail on Twitter), Yelpers send compliments via a review to comment on a post or simply to keep in touch, orto say(as Yelp has already pre-programed )”cute pic!”, Facebook has their excessive photo uploaders, notes and full bios allowing people to create a full profile of themselves to broadcast to the world and then of course old fashioned e-mail. All of these avenues of communication do not have a cut off time because it is all there on your phone.

Still in the premature stages and being in the thick of it all, I ask myself, how is social media going to change our lives more? Understanding a little more each day, I welcome the changes with excitment. I also know that no matter how many times a day I see that @Moxie_Lady enjoying a “Perfect Manhattan” with a perfect group of people who are no longer perfect strangers (thanks to Twitter:)) will always be better!