May/Jun
2017

Food Trucks of Rochester: Fast, Fresh, Fun

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Written by Emily Watkins Photography by Dawn Sanborn Photography

Food trucks! Easy, quick and delicious food to eat while basking in the warm sun. Do they make you think of summer?

With a mobile food unit permit from the Rochester City Council, food trucks can set up in the designated zone downtown, on private or public property as approved. All licenses or permits required by the State Health Department or Olmsted County Public Health must be obtained as well. These permits help ensure food safety for consumers.

FOOD TRUCK PURPOSES

Bryan Bachman, owner of Catering For All It’s Worth, says, “There are three main purposes for a food truck. First is selling downtown to the lunch crowd. Second is catering for private parties like birthdays, graduations or weddings. Third is setting up shop at breweries on weekends to provide food for people who want food to go with their local brews.”

 

May/Jun
2017

Women and Wine: Hand-Picked Bottles of Wine for You

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Written by Nicole L. Czarnomski Photos by Dawn Sanborn Photography

If you’re cracking open a bottle of wine on a regular basis, you probably have a small cellar or rack for adequate storage. If so, we have several suggestions from a few local wine clubs who hand-pick the perfect bottles of wine to help keep your cellar stocked and your glasses full. 

TESSA’S OFFICE

Explore Tessa’s Office wine boutique, a quaint little shop located in downtown Rochester. Although the boutique is small in size, there are more than 140 bottles of wine from around the world, all hand-picked by Tessa Leung and her team of wine experts. 

Tessa’s Office offers a three-tiered wine club, each with a clever title. The first tier is known as the Bud Break, which in wine terminology means when the grape starts its annual growth cycle. The first tier is an introduction to fabulous wines that won’t break the bank. Each month, you receive three bottles of wine for $50. Leung and her team selected three Spanish wines for the month of May, and for June there are three bottles of wine from Sonoma. 

 

Mar/Apr
2017

Haute Cuisine: "Oui, Madame!" La Cuisine Francaise Chez Vouz–French Cooking at Your House

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Written by Emily Watkins Photography by Dawn Sanborn Photography

have a not-so-secret passion for France. I’ve studied the language and culture for almost 25 years and have lived, gone to school and worked there for a combined two years. French food provides vivid memories: creamy butter on fresh bread and croissants on a slow morning in Paris, fresh seafood on the coast of Brittany, lettuce tossed with vinaigrette, waiting for the cheese course after a long Sunday afternoon dinner with family.

“Haute cuisine,” according to Wikipedia, is food served at “high level” establishments, gourmet restaurants and luxury hotels, characterized by meticulous preparation and careful presentation, at a high price level, enjoyed with expensive wines. While there are many restaurants like this in France (as well as here in the U.S.), by and large, the cooking that happens in the home in France is simple and straightforward, eating to savor delicious food while enjoying time with friends and family. 

FRENCH CUISINE WITH A TWIST

Rochester is home to many classically trained chefs who add riffs to classic French fare. Bleu Duck Kitchen offers top-notch cuisine, wines and cocktails in a “fun-dining” atmosphere. Casablanca Creative Cuisine & Wine allows diners to get close to fine French dining without leaving the city limits, and owner and chef Youness Bojji might even teach you a little French. ZZest brings you the most amazing selection of cheeses from France and everywhere else, modern dishes and fabulous cocktails. All three restaurants present incredibly creative dishes that will delight your palette.

 

Champagne is a region in northern France where true champagne is made. In other countries it’s known as a sparkling wine. In the Champagne region, the climate is cool, and the soil is chalky and rocky. Growing in these elements keeps the grapes from losing their acidity, creating crisp, dry flavors. However, sugar can be added to champagne to add a touch of sweetness. The three main grapes used to create champagne are chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier.

Champagne is not just for celebrations. Break out the bubbly on a random Tuesday evening and let the bubbles dance across your palate while dining on burgers, deep-fried cheese curds or fried chicken.

TESSA'S TWO CENTS

Tessa Leung, owner of Tessa’s Office wine boutique, has a deeply rooted relationship with champagne. In fact, her dream job is to be a champagne ambassador. 

 

Villa Bellezza Winery and Vineyards, offering award winning wine and gourmet food, is worth the hour drive any time of year. Make a day of it and get some fresh air and exercise while you’re there this winter.

Villa Bellezza Winery and Vineyards is located in Pepin, Wisconsin. “Bellezza” is the Italian word for “beauty,” which aptly describes Villa Bellezza’s architecture and the surrounding valleys and scenic bluffs. The sprawling southern European-style building includes the tasting room, piazza, catering kitchen, reception hall, generously sized foyer, great hall or ballroom and luxurious apartments, perfect for pre-wedding preparations.

DAHLENS CREATE A LEGACY

Eighteen years ago, Derick Dahlen, owner and winemaker at Villa Bellezza, met restaurant owners Rosette and Maria in Minneapolis. Rosette and Maria, originally from Calabria, Italy, loved creating savory meals for their customers at Sorrento Cucina. Over the years, the Dahlen family developed a friendship with Rose and her husband, Umberto. Through Rose and Umberto, the Dahlens met the owners of a small farm and vineyard in Zagarollo, Italy. They experienced the delight in handmade things and wanted to create their own legacy.

 

Whether you’re hosting a party in the comfort of Your home or you’re planning a party at a local establishment, fill the air with the scents of sugar and spice with a soul-warming blend of mulled wine. Wrap your mitts around goblets and fill them with a bit of holiday cheer. 

SUGAR AND SPICE, EASY AND NICE 

Depending on which recipe you find, there are a variety of mulling spices, wine, liquor, juice and garnishes to create the perfect winter cordial. Basic mulling spices include cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and cloves. You can purchase a pre-made mulling spice mixture at Post Town Winery. Bonita Patton, co-owner, says, “We have a basic mixture of cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon and orange for sale at the winery for $3.95. We also sell mugs of mulled wine through the winter months using our First Embrace and Prairie Cougar red wines.”  

 

Nov/Dec
2016

At Home for the Holidays: Fill your Plate with Love and Happiness

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Written by Dawn Sanborn Photography by Dawn Sanborn Photography

Starting at a young age, many of us learn that food can make us feel better. Throughout our lives, we equate food with positive feelings like happiness and satisfaction, and we turn to food for comfort. It makes sense—who doesn’t feel happy, satisfied and even a bit sleepy after a big turkey dinner? 

CELEBRATION FOOD

All cultures have customs and traditions around food. For me, birthdays meant choosing a special meal and a type of cake and ice cream. We all have memories of happy times, and by eating foods that remind us of those times, we symbolically consume that past happiness. 

Comfort foods can also be linked to specific people in our lives: Eating a specific food that a loved one favored can produce happy thoughts by triggering fond memories or associations of that person.

 

Sep/Oct
2016

Women and Wine: Wine Cellars, a Place to Chill

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Written by Nicole L. Czarnomski

Wine cellars are meant to preserve aging wines, but they can function differently to suit the needs of the owner. Wine is a living, breathing thing, aging from infancy to maturity to old age; therefore, there is specific criterion to consider when building a wine cellar. There are two types of cellars: active, which are controlled environments, and passive, which are built underground.

ELEMENTS OF A WINE CELLAR

The elements of a wine cellar are similar to that of a cave. The average temperature for a wine cellar is around 55 degrees, and the humidity ranges from about 45 to 70 percent. If there is too much fluctuation in the temperature, it can increase the speed of spoilage. Higher temperatures actually cause the wine to “cook.” 

The cellar must also have minimal lighting, and the bottles should be laid at an angle, keeping the cork in contact with the wine. The wine should be stored away from any appliances that may cause vibration. Vibrations can affect the chemistry of the wine. These are all factors to consider when designing a wine cellar. 

 

Sep/Oct
2016

Brain Food: Food that Makes You Feel Smart

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Written by Dawn Sanborn Photography by Dawn Sanborn Photography

Eating well is good for you mentally and physically. The brain requires nutrients just like your heart, lungs and muscles. Simply, your brain likes to eat, And it likes powerful fuel: quality fats, antioxidants and small, steady amounts of the best carbs. The path to a bigger, better brain is loaded with Omega-3 fats, antioxidants and fiber. Give your brain a kick start By Eating the following foods regularly for results you will notice.

Smart Ingredients

Blueberries are possibly the best brain food on earth. They have been linked to reduce risk for Alzheimer’s and shown to improve learning ability and motor skills in rats. They are also one of the most powerful anti-stress foods you can eat. 

Wild salmon contains a good amount of Omega-3 fatty acids that are essential for your brain. These beneficial fats are linked to improving cognition and alertness, reducing risk of degenerative mental disease (such as dementia), improving memory, improving mood and reducing depression, anxiety and hyperactivity. 

 

Jul/Aug
2016

Aphrodisiac Attack: Food That Makes You Feel Sexy

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Written by Dawn Sanborn Photography by Dawn Sanborn Photography

aph·ro·dis·i·ac(afrə'dizē, ak,afrə'dēzē,ak)

noun: a food, drink or drug that stimulates sexual desire

Oysters, one of the most notorious aphrodisiacs, are high in zinc and have a reputation for being great for love and fertility. Oysters contain amino acids that trigger production of sex hormones.

  • Chocolate is sensual, from its taste to its aroma, but dark chocolate contains small amounts of a compound called phenylethylamine, which acts like an amphetamine, stimulating your brain cells to release dopamine which induces feelings of pleasure.
  • Served with champagne and fed to each other, strawberries are a healthy, vitamin C-packed dessert that help keep blood flowing to all regions of the body.
  • Decadent, yet light as air, it just isn't dessert without whipped cream. While there's no evidence that whipped cream will boost libido, it's sure to put you in the mood.
 

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Copyright 2016