Food & Wine
March 9, 2013 (Valley Center) -- What could be more relaxing than a Holiday English High Tea served up amid fields of lavender?
On March 16, enjoy an early St. Patrick’s Day tea featuring lavender scones served with jam and Devonshire cream, Irish artisan cheese, apples and candied nut crumbles sandwiches, and decadent Irish butter shortbread dreams. This festive fare will be served up at Keys Creek Lavender Farm in Valley Center.
Cost is $35 per person. For details and reservations, see http://www.kclfarm.com/
Championship Peruvian Paso horses also on display
March 9, 2013 (Ramona) – Winemakers at Hacienda de Las Rosas Winery are pulling out all the stops for the grand opening of their new wine tasting room at 18011 Bluegrass Road in Ramona. The event will be held March 23 and 24 from 12-5 p.m.
In addition to savoring wines, you can tour this family run winery and horse ranch – plus see special demonstrations by nationally acclaimed horse trainer Jorge Valenzuela and his champion Peruvian Paso horses. There will also be a blessing of the mission-style winery by Father Fucci of San Diego Mission de Alcala on Saturday at noon. Guests can also view creations by international artist Robert Kidd, enjoy barrel tasting of Swiss Chocolate Almond brandy and port, and more.
March 8, 2013 (City Heights) – Refugee farmers from Myanmar who participate in the International Refugee Committee’s agriculture training program will host a grand opening of their independent farm business , Hornbill Produce, at their new produce stand at City Farmer’s Nursery, 4832 Home Avenue in City Heights.
From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., enjoy live music with local Bluegrass/American Folk heroes Songs for People and traditional cultural dance from Myanmar. Tour the nursery and visit with the pony, chickens and goats. Stay for lunch at Nate’s Garden Grill.
March 4, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – Talented farm-to-table chef Jeff Rossman of Terra American Bistro (7091 El Cajon Blvd.) will host a sumptuous San Pasqual Winemaker Dinner Monday, March 11 at 6:30 p.m. at the restaurant. The five-course feast will be skillfully paired with sips by winemaker Linda McWilliams of San Pasqual Winery. The event costs $50 person and includes the following menu:
American caviar, micro arugula
Tiradito de Sea Bass
Taste of the Town Brut Sparkling Wine
March 9, 2013 (Poway)--In today’s 24-7 world, it’s easier than ever to take your dog for granted. Chances are quality bonding time is now a simple bowl of food in the morning, a short walk around the block, and maybe, if they’re lucky, a quick scratch of the belly.
“Where’s the love? Where’s the togetherness? It’s time to recreate the magic and make a dinner date with your dog!” says Samantha Colla with Chef Michael's, who will be serving up food for you and your dog on Thursday, March 14 from 5-8 p.m. at Innovations Academy, 10380 Spring Canyon Road in San Diego.
March 1, 2013 (San Diego) – Terra American Bistro will host San Pasqual Winemaker Linda McWilliams on March 11 for a feast prepared by Chef Jeff Rossman to pair with San Pasqual Winery wines. The cost is $50 per person plus tax and gratuity.
March 1, 2013 (Santa Ysabel) – You can savor local vintages and meet winemakers from our region at Santa Ysabel Casino’s “Meet the Winemakers” event on March 16 from 3-6 p.m. Participating vintners include J.Jenkins, Woof ‘N Rose, and Witch Creek wineries.
The event costs $30 and includes gourmet appetizers, wine tasting from local vintners, $5 in slot machine play, and $5 toward tasting on a new state-of-the-art wine system.
San Pasqual Winery is now offer a series of live music on Saturday nights in the back room of its tasting room on La Mesa Boulevard in La Mesa. On Saturday, February 23 from 7-10 p.m., The Sock Monkeys will perform.
By Caprice Harrison
February 19, 2013 (Wynola/Julian) -- Hart Winery and Jeremy’s on the Hill present their second annual Temecula and Julian Wine Pairing Extravaganza this Friday, February 22 at 7 p.m.
Call: (760)765-1587 to make your reservation. The cost is $49 for one person or $95 for two plus tax and gratuity. (Please view the special menu for the event below.)
Jeremy’s on the Hill specializes in farm-to-table cuisine and features many local breweries and wineries at the restaurant. Chef Jeremy Manley, 25, a Cordon Bleu graduate, has been working with food and cooking since the age of ten.
Lutefisk - will it produce an Edvard Munch’s Norwegian scream out of you?
By Rebecca J. Williamson
February 16, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) -- “Strange, one of a kind, unique; a very different kind of food,” said a native Norwegian and former President of the House of Norway in Balboa Park—Eugenie King.
King, a Spring Valley resident, laid out the fundamentals of this Nordic delicacy. “It’s a fish, cod, which is soaked in lye.”
By Miriam Raftery
February 10, 2013 (Ramona) – Milagro Farms Vineyards and Winery owners Kit and Karen Sickels have plenty to celebrate. At a Mardi Gras party for wine club members yesterday, Kit Sickels (right) and winemaker Jim Hart shared news that their boutique winery took home top honors in the 2013 Winemakers Challenge International Wine Competition in late January, beating out big-name winemakers.
February 12, 2013 (San Diego) – Andiamo Ristorante Italiano is featuring a special 4 course prix fixe menu for Valentine’s Day. The cost is $40 per person. The menu includes items such as: stuffed dates wrapped in prosciutto with artichoke crostini, seafood bisque with sherry float, fillet mignon & lobster ravioli, charbroiled ahi tuna, veal marsala and a chocolate bomb.
February 12, 2013 (Warner Springs) – County Line BBQ is offering a Valentine’s Week dinner special February 14 through 17.
The special includes a champagne flute, spring greens salad with pomegranate vinaigrette, a choice of petite rack of lamb or beef tournedos, both served with lobster terrine en croute, basmati rice pilaf, vegetables and bread. The meal is completed with a special Valentine dessert. The cost is $35 per person.
February 4, 2013 (La Mesa) – San Pasqual Winery will be hosting a Dessert & Wine Pairing at the Tasting Room & Gallery, 8364 La Mesa Blvd., La Mesa Feb. 12 – 14 from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. The Winery will pair five mini desserts with 5 specifically chosen San Pasqual Wines.
Tickets are $25 in advance or $30 at the door ($20/$25 for wine club members). For more information visit www.sanpasqualwinery.com. For tickets call 619-462-1797.
Our Guide to Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farms in East County
Updated January 27, 2013
By Ariele Johannson
Note: Please help us update this directory. If you know of any CSA programs we missed, please contact Ariele at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Farmers: Please send in any changes and visit our blog to connect with other farmers to help create a self-sufficient East County.
January 26, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)--Eating healthy means including plenty of fresh foods-- and the freshest of all are those grown here in East County. Have you thought about allotting part of your food budget to locally-grown organic fruits, vegetables, milk, meats, and more?
January 27, 2013 (San Diego’s East County)--Celebrity chef George Duran (of Food Network and TLC Ultimate Cake Off fame) has shared this tasty tip for our readers. Of course everyone has their own opinion on what makes the “best guacamole,” but Duran’s recipe for Crunchy Herbed Guacamole stands out amongst the crowd for two very delicious reasons. What George’s version has is the magic crunch factor, stemming from a fresh medley of diced radishes and chives, taking texture to another level. Also, his recipe is prepared authentically, as it would be in a traditional Latin household by means of a Granite Molcajete (he uses one from IMUSA), to mince and mix ingredients. Not only does this method make a mean Guac, but it makes for a rich, festive presentation for parties, small get-together’s, or family dinner night.
January 13, 2013 (San Diego) – San Diego Restaurant Week runs January 13 – 18 and has a strong showing of East County Restaurants. Offerings vary from two-course lunches offered at $10, $15 & $20 to three-course dinners priced at $20, $30 & $40. No tickets or passes are required and you may dine at as many participating restaurants as you like.
January 6, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) -- Love to cook and want to earn some extra money?
The California Homemade Food Act, AB 1616, took effect January 1. It allows people to sell certain items cooked in their home kitchen, such as cookies, churros, dried fruits and pasta. Those who wish to sell homemade foods must take a class and obtain a permit from the Health Department, though no inspection of kitchens is required.
There are restrictions on the types of foods allowed and where you can sell them.Sale of baked goods with cream, custard or meat fillings are not allowed due to higher spoilage rates. You also can’t sell outside of your county, with certain exceptions. Sale at farmers markets is allowed, provided rules for individual farmers markets are met. You can also sell over the Internet, but only to buyers who live in California.
Get kids to love their veggies for the new year
January 1, 2013 (San Diego)--Children eat with their eyes. Young eaters are drawn to items that are fun and colorful. When introducing kids to new veggies, select different vegetables with vibrant colors and cut them into fun, kid-friendly shapes.Dips are fun.
To get kids interested in trying new veggies, give them a healthy, low-calorie dip for their veggies. Use dips like low-fat ranch dressing, yogurt-based dips and tomato sauces.
December 21, 2012 (Warner Springs) --Hawk Watch Winery, which has won international honors for its vintages, is hosting a free party open to all on Saturday, December 22 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Enjoy solo saxophonist Jason Weber while sampling homemade holiday desserts among the twinkling Christmas lights in the barrel room, where you can also sign up to savor some locally made wines.
November 30, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – Julian Union School District and Lemon Grove School District are among six California school districts and a community organization that have collectively won nearly $336,000 in U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm to School Grants.
The funding is designed to help students understand the food they eat in school cafeterias often comes from local farms.
November 27, 2012 (Alpine) – The 37th Annual East County Toy and Food Drive is December 5 from 6 – 9 p.m. at Viejas DreamCatcher Lounge, Viejas Casino, 5000 Willows Road, Alpine. Drop by anytime during the event and sample heavy hors d’oeuvres, participate in opportunity drawings and silent & live auctions.
The suggested donation is $20 per person. All proceeds benefit the East County Toy and Food Drive serving needy East County children and their families this holiday season.
By Bill Weaver
November 21, 2012 (San Diego) – Thanksgiving is almost upon us and family and friends will come together to celebrate. Food safety is very important because large amounts of food are often prepared and served. Here are a few safety tips to prevent microscopic unwanted guests from joining your party:
November 16, 2012 (Spring Valley) – Cali Comfort BBQ Restaurant will be open to celebrate Thanksgiving the Cali Comfort Way from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. A catering package is available for dine in or take-out. The package feeds up to 6 people and includes slow smoked whole turkey, country stuffing, garlic mashed potatoes, gravy, wedding beans, mac-n-cheese and rolls with honey butter. The cost is $89.99 and it must be ordered by November 19.
Call 619-337-0670 to reserve a table or place an order. Visit www.calicomfortsd.com for more information.
November 15, 2012 (San Diego) – Bleu Boheme, 4090 Adams Avenue, San Diego, will be serving dinner on Thanksgiving from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. The special prix fixe menu is $48.95 per person and $16.95 for the children’s menu.
By Rebecca J. Williamson
November 3, 2012 (Santee)--Ashley and Jaycee, employees at the newly opened Phil’s BBQ in Santee, get into the mood to serve before the onslaught from “Friends & Family” night to benefit the East County Boys & Girls Club. The benefit was held before the grand opening and was very well attended. The restaurant opened up officially on Tuesday, October 30th.
October 30, 2012 (San Diego) -- As Americans head to the polls on November 6, a local chef is capturing the flavor of the elections — literally. In honor of Barack Obama and Mitt Romney’s races for the White House, Terra American Bistro chef/owner Jeff Rossman has created a Presidential Pairings Menu featuring recipes that capture the qualities of both candidates. The menu will be offered November 4-10.
“In our 14 years, Terra American Bistro has delighted in serving the best of New American cuisine to San Diegans,” Rossman said. “And, really, what is more American than the presidential elections?”
October 27, 2012 (Lemon Grove)--Get ready to rumble. Not content with just putting on the much-anticipated eighth annual Chili Cook-Off & Western Round-Up on November 3, Soroptimist of Lemon Grove has added -- gasp! -- judges!
That's right, pals, though you, your family and friends, will still deliver The People's Choice Award -- a coup de grace bestowed only on a gifted few -- the Big Jalapeño will be announced after a trio of judges has eaten themselves into a chili-induced torpor, then retired to consider the verdict. (Actually, they'll be in a back room with ice packs on their heads, pencils in hand, pleading for a bodyguard.)
October 26, 2012 (Santee) – Phil’s BBQ will open its third restaurant, located in Santee at the Old Trolley Square, 9816 Mission Gorge Rd., on October 30. The ribbon cutting ceremony will be at 10:30 a.m. to commemorate the grand opening. The doors will open for business at 11:00 a.m.
The Phil’s BBQ Santee menu will include all of Phil’s signature mesquite-grilled dishes and sides. The Santee location will also feature several unique and exclusive elements, including an outdoor walk-up bar for people waiting in line, a custom BBQ holding 20 beer tap handles and five signature cocktails.