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Need recs on wineries to visit in Napa Valley for 11 people in 2 weeks!!

Yikes. You might be screwed on reservations for that many on such short notice during the height of tourist season. (I'm 4th generation Napa native). Clos du Val has great picnic benches that you don't have to reserve, as does Rutherford Hill Winery. Both are situated mid-valley, about 15 minutes from Calistoga. Castello de Amorosa is a giant/touristy ripoff. You could get excellent deli sandwiches and accoutrements at Sunshine Market in Calistoga, just call ahead your order in the morning. Otherwise you're stuck with pretentious/expensive/not that great Dean and Deluca in St. Helena. Mumm is good, but way down valley, almost in Napa so you can't start there. Quintessa is good, Shafer wines are excellent. Far Niente requires reservations and is quite boring. Hess is tucked away up on a giant hillside in the town of Napa, not easy to get to and not anywhere near highway 29 or Silverado Trail. Rombauer is good and pretty. Frog's Leap is delicious, cute and friendly. In my opinion, the wineries on Silverado Trail are better and more genuine. Highway 29 attracts the rubes from the Midwest who like the white zin at Sutter Home and Disneyfication of wine such as Mondavi. Have fun!

What's the best supermarket beef in the Bay Area?

We buy Costco beef when we have the freezer room, but have relied on Safeway for the past few years. In the beginning, the Rancher's Reserve stuff was pretty good. But after tough, flavorless steaks these past few months, we've decided to look elsewhere.
So, Chowhounds...what do you recommend?
Please keep in mind that I don't like the grass-fed stuff - too lean/flavorless/expensive. I'm talking grain-fed, well-marbled juicy steaks that I can go grab at the grocery store on the way home from work. Thanks in advance!

Vote Now for the CHOW Recipe Challenge Finalists!

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Feb 01, 2011
JKMillerInc in Features

Viva Sous-Vide!

Hi Zoey. My husband got me the Supreme Demi for Christmas and I've been using it 2x or 3x per week since. I absolutely love it!
With liquids, make your marinade or liquid mixture, then pour it into a ziploc baggie and freeze it. Place your chuck of marinade in the bag with the meat and it'll seal just fine. Also try patting your meat with paper towels before placing it in the bag. Have fun!

Jan 12, 2011
JKMillerInc in Features

Join the CHOW Healthy Recipe Challenge!

And also for this contest, it would be meatless, correct? To quote: "Submit your best postholiday healthy vegetarian main dish by January 14, and your recipe might win!"
That's I chose the version of my recipe that uses tofu. Most of the time I use Ahi. Thanks!

Jan 12, 2011
JKMillerInc in Features

The CHOW Recipe Challenge

My favorite way to get healthy (and counteract the standing rib roast, hot buttered rum and gobs of Roquefort) is to use big, bright, bold flavors so I don't feel like I'm missing anything. The dish that really exemplifies this is my Spicy Seared Tofu Tossed with Sweet Crunchy Greens & Baked Won Tons Recipe -


Jan 11, 2011
JKMillerInc in Home Cooking

Spicy Seared Tofu (or Tuna) Tossed with Sweet Crunchy Greens & Baked Won Tons

Jan 11, 2011
JKMillerInc in Recipes

Meddling Mother-in-Law

I used to have this problem with my MIL. Finally, before she was about to visit, my husband had had enough of my whining about it and called his mom. He said, "Jamie not only loves to cook for you, she's a bit of a control freak in the kitchen...she won't let me in there unless I'm just grabbing a beer! I think it would be best if you just hung out with me while she cooks...that way I get more quality time with you!" She loved that! And, she's stayed out of my way ever since.

Oct 26, 2010
JKMillerInc in Features

Shaved Fennel and Strawberry Salad

I'm SO SICK of FENNEL!!! It's this year's pomegranate! Why must chefs all use the same ingredient on everything?

Jun 22, 2010
JKMillerInc in Recipes

Faux Pas in the Bulk Aisle

Seriously? I barely have enough time to whiz down the aisles when I'm shopping, why would I make more trouble for myself and make my shopping trip take twice as long? I think the solution would be to package all foods in packaging made out of recycled products, and then recycle them yourself when you're done. I re-use my glass and sturdy plastic containers all the time at home, but I'm certainly not going to lug bags of them to the grocery store to fill them back up.

Apr 07, 2010
JKMillerInc in Features

50 Things to Do with Sriracha

Tonight I'm mixing it with white beans, garlic and cream cheese, then spreading it on rosemary bread.
It's also great in a Tuna Poke.

Mar 15, 2010
JKMillerInc in Features

Bistro Jeanty or ad hoc

I'd definitely pick Ad Hoc. Check their website, as they always post that day's menu so you won't waste time checking the place out physically. We were at Bistro Jeanty on New Year's Eve, and I was sorely disappointed. While the onion soup was good, the cassoulet was very, very dry and bland.

Sticky Toffee Pudding

I made this for Christmas Eve, and it was WONDERFUL! The funny thing is, I can't bake. I can cook, but I can't bake, and was a little petrified. This recipe was quite easy, and the best tasting I've had in years.

One note: I cooked it for the time specified, and tested it with a toothpick as directed, and they seemed done. However, after cooling them and taking one out of a ramekin, they were gushy and gross looking. I put them back in the oven for 20 more minutes, on 250 degrees, and then they were perfect. Could've been my junky old non-insulated O'Keefe & Merritt, though...

Dec 25, 2009
JKMillerInc in Recipes

What have you given up trying to cook?

For years, I've wondered about the hype regarding risotto. It's a regular feature on the menu for Fox's Hell's Kitchen, I see it offered in high-end restaurants and know that it's supposed to be some sort of heavenly rice-based dish that, when done correctly, transcends space and time.

I still don't get it.


Mar 10, 2009
JKMillerInc in General Topics