Food & Wine
November 28, 2013 (La Mesa)--EDCO would like to remind residents that kitchen fat, oil and grease (FOG) that’s left over from daily cooking, or after deep frying a Thanksgiving turkey, can be recycled. For interested residents, EDCO has a free, safe and more environmentally friendly option for disposing of household FOG.
Residents are asked to simply collect used discarded FOG in a leak-proof container and drop it off free of charge at one of EDCO’s conveniently located Buyback Centers. The FOG will then ultimately be processed, filtered and converted into bio-diesel by a third party processor to power vehicles.
By Miriam Raftery
Don’t want to cook? Bon appétit! Several restaurants in East County and San Diego’s inland region are offering Thanksgiving feasts for dining in or take-out. Feast your eyes on this year’s offerings from Andiamo, Bleu Boheme, Cali Comfort, and Pine Hills Lodge. Know of a feast we missed? Please post in the comments section below.
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Public Interest News Service
November 18, 2013 (Los Angeles) – Country-of-Origin-Labeling, or COOL, requires labels on meat sold in the U.S. to clearly state where that meat comes from.
And it isn’t sitting well with some foreign countries, along with groups in the U.S. that are working to get the rule quashed.
Joe Maxwell is a livestock farmer and the vice president of outreach and engagement for the Humane Society of the United States. His organization has helped form a coalition to try to keep the law in place.
As a livestock farmer, Maxwell says this should be a major concern for consumers and farmers alike, as some countries do not have health and safety rules for raising animals, and meat processing standards are lower.
November 14, 2013 (San Diego) – “We’ll take all of the stress out of your Thanksgiving Dinner this year,” Bistro 60/San Diego Dessert’s website promises. The restaurant, located at 5987 El Cajon Boulevard in the SDSU College area is taking orders for Thanksgiving dinners with all the trimmings for $165 – or less than $15 per person. Orders must be placed and payment received by November 19.
The menu includes oven roasted turkey (serves 10-12, additional turkeys available for $50), all of the following side dishes: cranberry relish, homemade stuffing, corn bread, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, and glazed carrots. Dessert includes choice of pumpkin, pecan or apple pie. Extra pies available for $15.
September 30, 2013 (Ramona) – The H.E.A.R.T. Mural Project of Ramona, along with their sponsors, will present the First Annual Ramona Art and Wine Festival, to be held at the Amy Strong Castle at Mount Woodson. The festival will be held on November 2, 2013 from noon to 6 pm. Art, wine and food enthusiasts may purchase passports to the event by visiting www.RamonaArtandWineFest.net. General admission passports are $60, and a V.I.P. Passport is being offered for $110 that will include an exclusive “Winemakers’ Dinner” in the spring of 2014 (date TBD).
October 21, 2013 (San Diego) – Diabetes affects nearly 26 million Americans, and an additional 79 million are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Eating a diet low in sodium, refined carbohydrates, and added sugars is an important step in the prevention of diabetes. The ADA recommends limiting processed foods and satisfying your sweet tooth with low calorie sweeteners.
September 14, 2013 (Mt. Helix ) – If you own a winery or vineyard, or want to learn more about becoming a wine maker or growing grapes, you’re invited to the second annual Mt. Helix Wine Growers “Meet and Greet” on Sunday, October 20 from 2 to 5 pm.
“This is a casual event to give fellow vine growers and wine making enthusiast an opportunity to meet one another and share experiences. Also, several experts will be there to speak with anyone who has questions regarding growing grapes or maintaining a vineyard,” said Stephanie Young, founder of the organization. “All are welcome to attend regardless if they currently have a vineyard or are interested in planting a few vines in the future.”
By Miriam Raftery
October 6, 2013 (Descanso) –The aroma of burning wood filled the air as ranchers pulled their iron brands out of a flaming pit at the Buckel Ranch in Descanso. Old-timers said it was the only time ever that ranchers from all of East County’s historic ranches gathered in one place. The occasion? Tammy Cooker, owner of the Descanso Junction Restaurant, invited these seasoned cowhands to burn their brands into tabletops for her popular eatery now undergoing a remodel.
Cooker has earned the community’s loyalty, having opened her restaurant just before the Cedar Fire, then keeping it open to serve up firefighters, displaced residents and stranded motorists. Located in a century-old building, her restaurant closes down tomorrow and will hold a grand reopening celebration October 10-12. The revamped interior will celebrate our region’s historic roots.
September 29, 2013 (Warner Springs) – Wine lovers are invited to savor wines from five wineries of the “North Mountain Wine Trail” area on Saturday, November 9 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event will be held at all five wineries and will pair wines with a full menu of gourmet foods. Live music will also be provided at each site.
Participating wineries are La Serenissima, Orrin, Shadow Mountain, Hawk Watch, and Sierra Roble. The wineries are all within two miles of each other.
Tickets cost $45 and must be purchased in advance. Last year’s event sold out early. To purchase tickets online, visit http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/480324.
September 12, 2013 (Barrett Junction) The Highway 94 Club will showcase local wines at a special tasting event Thursday September 19 at the Barrett Junction Café, 1020 Barrett Lake Road in Dulzura. Everyone (at least 21 years old) is invited. Come and meet the vintners, learn a little about grape growing and wine making and taste some excellent wines. The event starts at 6:30 p.m. and will be held on the back patio of the café. Dinner is $9 per person and the wine tasting is complimentary with each purchased dinner.
Winemaking is taking hold in East County. Local wine grape growers and wine makers are starting small, boutique wineries on their properties. These vineyards are beginning to produce some very high quality wines. Over the past few years, several of these wines have won Gold, Silver and Bronze awards at the San Diego County Fair’s yearly Amateur Wine Competition.
August 29, 2013 (La Mesa) – People of the Earth, a guitar/keyboard duo, will perform live on Saturday, August 31 from 7 to 10 p.m. at the San Pasqual Winery tasting room at 9364 La Mesa Blvd. (map)
The duo will play popular favorites from the 80's through today, in addition to entertaining original music. There is no cover charge; guests may purchase wine by the glass; cheese, crackers and dessert are available for sale.
By Miriam Raftery
August 22, 2013 (Santee) –Founded in Santa Ysabel half a century ago, Dudley’s Bakery has gained fame across the region for its tempting array of freshly baked bread varieties such as Julian apple nut and jalapeno cheese breads. Long a secret of travelers through East County’s backcountry, Dudley’s later gained fame after winning the U-T San Diego’s “Reader’s Choice” poll as best bakery in the county three years in a row.
Now, fans of Dudley’s breads, fruit bars, pies and more won’t have to drive to the mountains. Dudley’s has announced plans to open up Dudley’s Bakery and Deli in the Santee Town Center in Santee this September.
August 17, 2013 (Ramona) -- Rancho Ranch Vineyard and Winery invites you to visit San Diego's backcountry this weekend and experience why Ramona Valley wines are fast becoming the talk of the wine industry. The winery, located at 23578 Highway 78, will host wine tastings and catered appetizers on its tasting terrace this Saturday and Sunday from noon to sunset.
In addition, guests can enjoy wine barrel art, shop for silver jewelry, enjoy massages, and treats for your dogs. Service includes three white and four red wines to choose from.
August 15, 2013 (Poway) — The Poway Chamber of Commerce will host a fall event, A Taste of Country. The event will take place on September 21, 2013 from 6PM-10PM at the PVRA Grounds (Poway Rodeo Grounds), 14336 Tierra Bonita Road, Poway, CA. The event is open to the public and is an all age event.
The event will feature live music by Kanan Road Band, www.kananroadband.com. KSON will also be in attendance to provide music. There will be wine and beer tastings, raffle prizes, and food trucks.
August 3, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – A state court on Tuesday sided with a San Diego County ordinance that is bringing a bumper crop of boutique wineries to the backcountry.
The California Appellate Court affirmed a lower court ruling that upheld the legality of the 2010 winery initiative spearheaded by Supervisor Dianne Jacob. Barring an appeal to the state Supreme Court, the decision marks the conclusion of a three-year legal challenge.
July 18, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – Once again the winemakers of East County Vintners have demonstrated their winemaking skills at the annual San Diego County Fair competition.
New to the competition is David Raum of Potrero, whose 2012 Viognier (a white wine with notes of pear) took home a silver medal. Richard Westfall (Campo) received “the best of class” and gold medal for his 2011 Mourvédre. He also received a silver medal for his 2011 Primitivo, a silver for his 2008 Aglianico and a bronze medal for his 2011 Cabernet Franc. Janet Wright (Potrero) also received a silver medal for her 2011 Primitivo.
By Miriam Raftery, photos by Sue Brenner and Miriam Raftery
Photo, left: Award winners Raftery, Jacob and Kerns with Maness; photo by Sue Brenner Photography
June 30, 2013 (Mount Helix) –At the 5th annual Maness Vineyards’ Food and Wine Mixer earlier this month, Greg Maness presented Trailblazer awards honoring Supervisor Dianne Jacob, East County Magazine Editor Miriam Raftery, and winemaker/ Ramona Vintners Magazine Editor Teri Kerns for their pioneering efforts benefitting the local wine industry. Maness also made another big announcement. At the event at Manor Vineyard on Mount Helix June 15, benefitting St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center.
“”We have recently broken ground and designed the new [St. Madeleine’s] Mad Hatter Vineyard,” Maness told the crowd, then promptly asked for supporters to adopt rows of grapevines.
June 28, 2013 – Keys Creek Lavender Farm is holding English High Teas on June 29, July 12 and 13. The teas begin at 2 p.m. and feature 3 courses, including appetizers, sandwiches and petite sweets. All courses are served with an assortment of rich flavored teas.
Tickets are $35 per person and can be purchased here.
By Miriam Raftery
June 26, 2013 (La Mesa) – “Isn’t this amazing?” Linda McWilliams, winemaker at San Pasqual Winery, exclaimed, standing inside the company’s new winery in a former industrial building in La Mesa. Hundreds of guests packed into the 4,500 square foot space for the winery’s grand opening celebration last weekend, savoring the fruits of McWilliams’ labors.
Those labors are yielding some impressive results. At this year’s San Diego County Fair, San Pasqual Winery picked up six awards, including a gold medal for the winery’s most popular offering, Habañera passionfruit wine.
June 21, 2013 (Alpine) – The Alpine Certified Farmers’ Market opened earlier this month at the Alpine Creek Town Center, 1347 Tavern Rd. The market is held every Tuesday from 3 – 7 p.m. The Market is also a pick up location for Sage Mountain Farms’ CSA program for all of East County.
CSA is Community Supported Agriculture and it allows anyone to “partner” with a local farmer and reap the benefits of their efforts while supporting the farmer by assuring they will have a place to sell the crop.
By Sholeh Sisson and Miriam Raftery
June 14, 2013 (Campo)-- After passing winding roads and cow pastures in the most southern part of our County's backcountry, you will find Campo Creek Vineyards. Their winery won three bronze medals at last year’s San Diego County Fair in the amateur category. Now the winery is bonded – and the Clark family hopes to next reap rewards in the professional category.
“This is a good climate up here for certain types of grapes – cabernet, merlot, and syrah …It takes a lot of work to do the nurturing,” said Mary Clark. Her family started planting vines here in 2003 and their winery now has more than 8,000 vines.
By Miriam Raftery
June 16, 2013 (La Mesa) – The public is invited to sample award-winning wines, savor food and live music at the grand opening of the San Pasqual Winery at 8140 Center Street in La Mesa. The festivities will take place Saturday and Sunday, June 22 and 23 from 12-5 p.m. Cost is $20 in advance or $25 at the door.
The decision to move its wine-making business from Pacific Beach to La Mesa was motivated by a need for more space and a desire to be close to San Pasqual Winery’s existing tasting room in downtown La Mesa. The new facility will be triple the size of their existing winery, supplementing the existing tasting room with a second La Mesa location.
Campo Creek Ranch offers local delivery of all-natural grass-fed beef
By Miram Raftery
June 13, 2013(Campo)—Cattle come running when rancher John Clark arrives. It looks like a scene out of a California “happy cows” commercial. View video.
These beef cattle are raised in open pastures, not crowded feed lots. They graze in green pastures at Campo Creek Ranch in San Diego’s East County. They receive no hormones and their diet is all natural – native grass or in some cases, barley.
“They’re all much healthier to eat,” says Clark, adding that grass-fed cattle re higher in omega-3 fatty acids. The ranch also offers all-natural chickens, pigs and rabbits – with meat delivered straight to consumers.
June 13, 2013 (Julian) – Julian Brewing Company, Baileys BBQ Pit and Jeremy's on the Hill will present "As local as it gets" – a farm-to-table dinner Friday, June 14 at 6:30 p.m.
May 27, 2013 (San Diego) – Fields Family Wines will be holding a Wine Dinner at Bistro Sixty, 5987 El Cajon Blvd., San Diego on June 7 at 6 p.m. The dinner includes 5 courses with pairings and costs $70 per person.
Want fresh vegetables? Now you can pick up garden-fresh produce in El Cajon or City Heights—or have it delivered directly to your home, all while helping local refugees from war-torn nations.
To get started, just join the International Rescue Committee’s community supported agriculture (CSA) program for this summer season. Participants will receive a colorful share of farm-fresh and local vegetables grown by refugee farmers participating in IRC’s sustainable agriculture program.
Review by the East County Eater
Dolci Café Italiano, 2650 Jamacha Road, Rancho San Diego (El Cajon) www.DolciCafeItaliano.com
May 13, 2013 (Rancho San Diego)--Another culinary prize has turned up in East County. Dolci Café Italiano is located next to Ralph’s in the Rancho San Diego Town and Country Shopping Center. At once, the place felt entirely familiar and also seemed rooted in family and history. It has the ambience of the Gaslamp District in Downtown San Diego—and for good reason. George Georges, the owner - also owns three restaurants in The Gaslamp. Chianti, La Fiesta and the Urban Bar & Grill. [I need to recheck names of restaurants.]
George has been a restaurateur for 18 years. He describes Dolci Café Italiano as “Italian-Mediterranean food served bistro café-style...Everything is cooked-to-order, everything is custom, everything is fresh, everything is gourmet…Even the lasagna.”
An East County Eater Review
By Ariele Johannson
Honors to be presented to “pioneering women” in local wine industry at Maness Vineyards’ event
May 27, 2013 (Mt. Helix) – East County Magazine Editor Miriam Raftery is among three honorees slated to receive an “Award of Merit” on June 15 from 12 to 4 p.m. at the 5th annual Maness Vineyards; Food & Wine Mixer. This year’s event will be held at Stephanie Young’s Manor Vineyard on Mt. Helix. Other honorees are Supervisor Dianne Jacob and Teri Kerns, Executive Editor of the Ramona Valley Wine Region Magazine.
Guests are invited to bring two bottles of wine to share and enjoy a barbecue luncheon and wine-tasting. An opportunity drawing will also be held, with proceeds benefitting St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center for developmentally disabled adults.