Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Valentine's Day Gift Roundup!!

Just because I don't have a Valentine doesn't mean I am going to hold out on sharing some great ideas. I know some of you like to wait until the last minute, so here are a few things I have found around town and on the web that I really thought were great deals, Valentine's must-haves, or just extremely romantic/cool!!

OK, we'll start with alcohol! It's a bottle of Domaine Chandon's Sparkling Rose!
The people at Domaine Chandon were kind enough to send me a bottle of their sparkling wine so that I could make their Love Potion. I don't need a love potion, do I? :) (Recipe below).

Love Potion
Rim a chilled martini glass with red sugar. In an ice-filled cocktail shaker, combine one ounce cranberry simple syrup (recipe below) and ½ ounce fresh-squeezed orange juice. Shake until chilled, strain into glass, and top with three ounces Chandon Sparkling Rosé. Enjoy and repeat!

Cranberry Simple Syrup:
1 cup unsweetened cranberry juice
1 cup sugar of choice
Combine in a heavy saucepan on low heat.
Stir until sugar is dissolved, and some of the liquid has reduced.
Store in glass jar in the fridge. (Yields 1 1/4 cup.)

Be sure to check out for other great cocktails with food pairings.

Gift Certificates at
All the ladies love to be taken out to eat on Valentine's Day! On, you can get $25 gift certificates redeemable at many local restaurants for just $2, by entering the promo code "LOVE" when you checkout.

Desserts from!
Free delivery within a ten mile radius of Sacramento and just in time for Valentine's Day!  

Here is a link to a list of my February specials!

Dinner at Piatti
I just peeked at their Valentine's Menu, and it looks fantastic. It's a pre fixe dinner and here's what they'll be featuring: Valentine's Day 2011. Click here for more information.

ANTIPASTI: “Insalata di Granchio” Shaved Celery Root & Fennel w. Dungeness Crab,
Soft Herbs, Crème Fraiche & Champagne-Orange Vinaigrette

PRIMI: “Gnocchi di Zucca” Winter Squash Gnocchi w. Brown Butter, Crisp Sage
& Crushed Amaretti

SECONDI: (choose one) “Agnello” Red Wine Braised Local Lamb Shank
w. Ceci Bean Panelle, Tuscan Kale & Parsley-Lemon Gremolata

“Caccuicco” Tomato & Saffron Seafood Stew w. Manila Clams,
Tomales Pt. Mussels, Dungeness Crab, Prawns, Local Squid & Rockfish & Garlic Crostini

“Quaglia” Wood Roasted Sausage Stuffed Quail w. Parmesan Polenta,
Sherry Braised Cipollini Onion Mustard Greens & Natural Jus

DOLCI: “Budino” Grand Marnier & Bittersweet Chocolate Mousse Tart
w. Candied Orange & Fior di Sale Caramel 

Tickets to the 2011 Celebrity Chef Challenge
If you have never been to the Celebrity Chef Challenge, you're missing out. It's so much fun, and also another great gift idea. Every year, six professional chefs battle it out to see "whose cuisine reigns supreme." It's our own "Iron Chef" competition right here in Sacramento, and all to benefit InAlliance! Here are the 2011 Celebrity Chef Challengers:
From the Black Sheep Butchery, Executive Chef Mark Liberman,
From Table 260, Executive Chef Richard Pannell
From Colusa Casino Resort, Executive Chef Keith Erickson
From Evan’s Kitchen, Executive Chef Evan Elsberry
Jim Turknett, From the Vizcaya Pavilion and Mansion, Executive Chef Jim Turknett
From the Tequila Museo Mayahuel, Executive Chef Ramiro Alarcon

OMG Rocklin Frozen Yogurt
On February 14th, there will be a Groupon on sale for OMG Yogurt in Rocklin. Be on the lookout for it! OMG is pretty much my favorite place for yogurt. They have such a wide selection of flavors and toppings, including sugar free!!

Lange Twins 2010 Sangiovese Rosé
It is worth swirling our soft crimson Sangiovese Rosé because the aromatics are amazing! A refreshing wild strawberry bouquet gives a wonderful beginning and the taste is just as flavorful. Crisp and bright strawberries join elegant raspberry notes through the finish. A beautifully balanced wine to drink anytime, but especially on warm days! Click here to learn more about Lange Twins Wines.
You can also follow them on twitter here.

Taste this wine and MANY more at Lodi's Wine and Chocolate weekend. Taste delicious Lodi wines and decadent chocolates at over 40 wineries in the Lodi appellation. Be the lucky one to unwrap the “Golden Ticket” at any participating winery and win a Wine Country Getaway or one of over 100 other prizes! February 12th & 13th from 11am-4pm both days!

Tickets: $45 in advance – $55 at the door (at any participating winery). Tickets are valid both Sat & Sun. Tickets include… An event wine glass, a commemorative chocolate tin, an event map and guide, wine tasting and admission to 40+ participating wineries. BUY TICKETS HERE!

Fudge is about the most decadent dessert I can think of besides truffles. I think of it as plain comfort food and a food of love because my mom always made it for us growing up.

The kind I have pictured has cranberries, walnuts, and chocolate. It has a lovely sweet-tart taste and looks like Valentine's to me! Here's a full list of their flavors. They even have them broken down by occasion. You can like them on facebook here and follow on twitter here.

Story Winery 2011 Wedding Proposal Package
OK, now this is romantic! :) And, since we began with alcohol, let's end it with alcohol! :) 

The Story Winery's Wedding Package proposal includes a secluded picnic table, a bottle of Story Raspberry Champagne, 2 glasses, and a bouquet of flowers. They will even set the table with some appetizers. The table is yours for an hour and the perfect setting to tell your Valentine "I love you" and to pose the most important question of your lives! 

The package is only $65 and is available on Sat February 12 through Monday February 14th! The bookings begin at 11am and go until 4pm all three days. Also, all couples who get engaged at Story will receive an invite to the Story Winery & Bridal Faire on Sunday, February 27th.

Contact the winery at 209-245-6208 for more info! Or you can email them at storyinfo at zin dot com!

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