Jun 8, 2010

June 2010

June 2010

Hi All you Lunatics;

I know, I know....I am a week late....but it is so crazy outside, that I had to fix my drip system at the house, re-organize all my outside potted plants, pot up all my summer starts, walk the dog, and....those were the priorities needing to be dealt with.....and I love doing them this time of the year.

The big decision? Are we going to try to grow tomatoes (again) this year. I am for NOT doing it, Gary, the happy couch-farmer, says WE MUST. Why though? I figure that all of the tomatoes we harvest cost us about $8.75 each, after the purchasing, the fertilizing, the watering, the fretting, and then there is the wine I must consume each time I find one of those hideous green and yellow tomato worms on them....
therapy sessions are not even included in this price factor!..

And the best reason??? We have several great Farmers Markets to purchase them from instead!!! No bugs, beautiful tomatoes, and a much greater selection!!! Did I mention NO bugs???

In my mind, I am a Martha-Stewart-Man farmer: nattily dressed, nothing out of place, no weeds, perfect soil and compost balance, pristine plants bearing hoards and hoards of tomatoes,fruits, and vegetables, when in reality I am more like if George Costanza from Seinfeld were to try to grow vegetables: all out war would be engaged upon the environment because it didn't pan out correctly, shirts and clothing with rips, paint smears, and ill-fitting, and it would result in a panic attack, all-out lies to fellow farmers, exaggeration beyond belief and loss of friends and then on top of it all I would find out I am allergic....and ultimately: no tomatoes.

I know my limits....tomato plants are off-limits.

And then I have to be nice to people on top of this??? If you know me, you know that this is not something that just rolls off my tongue.....

Bitchy? yes. Prone to sarcasm? easily!! Being nice? Not so easily....I would rather sit back and just observe the craziness of life rather than have to participate in all of it.....but that is why I am in the back room and Gary is in the front.

We know our stations in life.

He likes people.

I myself? I am in the back room listening to Leo LaPorte pod-casts, and humming along to African rhythms and chants that are recorded on my Ipod. And just cooking away, making more condiments and oils, and emulsions, and chutneys....now that is when I am happiest!!

Speaking of condiments: I love them. IF you were to come and visit our house on any given day or night, we would be able to open the refrigerator and find about 40 different condiments we like to cook with. I love to experiment and play around with this type of quick-on-the-fly type cooking where you take a great single ingredient and enhance it simply with a great "go-together" type condiment. You know what I mean: chutneys, salsas, flavored oils, emulsions, puree's, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

We have a great item on this months menu which is a Grilled Skirt Steak on a bed of fresh Arugula leaves, sliced, and then topped with a Parmesan and Roasted Garlic Oil. It is fantastic in my opinion. I should be using it for dipper for our breads, or as a condiment for fish or chicken, or anything that needs something flavorful on it. This whole dish was designed around this condiment we whipped up in the back room of the kitchen.

Then, my produce man brought me some excellent Arugula to go with this dish, and so we made an Arugula Oil to top our soups with. Another item that would be spectacular as a bread dipper.

Sheri and Sally were in the other night and I made them try these, and they are the ones who thought bread dipping condiments would be the bomb. I know they are right. They have excellent taste. It is always fun to have someone else make some observations about things: sometimes I get so caught up in tunnel vision that I forget to expand the universe with foods we make. So they come in and they tell me this and that and all of a sudden it blossoms and evolves into something completely different. This is the best part of cooking: collaborations with friends. and this is how new recipes are created....


Cafe Luna came in 2nd Place on KCRA's A-List for Best New American Food Restaurant. (Double click on it to go there)
Thank you for your support on this, and the emails and the reply's and the messages....it was fun. KCRA told us more that 94,000 people participated in this voting.....how fantastic! Now.....what do we do with it???

I don't know. But it was a hoot to get involved in it all....caught up in the moment I guess.

Thank you one and all who helped us on this. Our friends at Boulevard Bistro in Elk Grove deservedly won first place. If you have not visited Bret and Debora's wonderful restaurant, do it soon. They have a great Sunday Brunch, and serve lunches and dinners (Click on their name to go to their website). Congratulations!!!
To all of us....

We are on Facebook now, and I try to post all of our daily changing specials and notes....if you are interested, sign up for these notices, and I promise not to make you crazy....John told me no more that 4 a week!!!

Enjoy our weather, go to the wineries, go to the nurseries, get involved in spring. Come to Cafe Luna, see Gary and Richelle and Maria, and Courtney and Chelsey, and say hello. We love to see you, and I love to hear back from you.

June Dinner Menu


This Months Dinner Menu for June, 2010

and our by the Glass Selections

June 2010 Recipe & Promos


This Months Recipe
Double Click on the recipe title for a PDF copy. Enjoy

We have been serving fresh asparagus nightly on our entrees at the restaurant. Of course I par-cook them a bit ahead, and came to the conclusion that this might be something people want to know how to do at home. So here is a link to this procedure that you might enjoy, if you are inclined to cook large bunches of asparagus for your parties or events, along with a great way to make garlic flavored olive oil:::: Just double click on the above title for the link.
June 2010 Promotions
Double-click here for a down-loadable & printable page of Dining Discount coupons

Here is our promotional plan for this month. These are available to only you, our customers who have signed up for our e-mails and looking at our web-page and e-mails.
#1. On Wino Wednesday, all full bottle wines are 30% off the list price. The change here is it used to be wines under $35.00 and over 50.00......now you get to have any one on the menu, bottles only. So now, a $40.00 bottle will run you $28.00 on Wino Wednesdays......Yahoo!!!!!
(Does not work with by -the-glass offerings)
#2. BYOB Thursdays! On Thursday nights, diners wishing to bring in their own bottle of wine getting one free bottle corkage per table. That alone will be a $15.00 savings. Please don't bring in wines on our list though.....how gauche. Call us first if you have a question......does not include holiday evenings!
#3. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights 1/2 off dinner coupons. Buy first dinner at regular price, second dinner is half off the menu price; limit 2 coupons per table. You must bring in the attached coupon in and be honored for the month of June, 2010.
Wine Trivia:
I love Prosecco. We carry a wonderful Prosecco from Bela Casel that I always encourage people to try with their appetizers or meals...

Prosecco Prosecco, a sparkling Italian wine can be the perfect selection for an excellent wine to serve with appetizers, light meals or fruity desserts. You will find the crispness refreshing and the bubbles exciting.

Prosecco is a dry sparkling Italian wine that comes from the grape of the same name - a white grape grown primarily in the Veneto region of Italy, north of Treviso, in the northeastern corner of Italy. The wine has a reputation for its rich aroma, crisp mouth feel and fruity overtones of yellow apple, pear and white peaches. This grape ripens late in the harvest which tends to make it a sweeter grape. Many perceive the resulting wine as slightly sweet; however, the acid and mineral balances of the wine keep it from being extremely sweet.

This medium-bodied wine tends to have large bubbles resulting in a medium froth. Its alcohol content of 11 to 12 percent is lower than some other wines. This lower alcohol level, combined with the slight sweetness of the wine, makes this wine a popular choice for both novice and experienced wine drinkers.

A Little History
Vintners began making this sparkling wine as early as the 1100s and many enjoyed the wine due to its slight effervescence. Producers would crush the grapes and ferment the wine in the bottles. This is the same process for making Champagne . Since there was no temperature control to the fermentation, it was common for yeast cells to die due to the cold of winter before they had a chance to convert all the sugar in the wine to alcohol and carbon dioxide. By spring the wine would still be slightly sweet and any carbon dioxide bubbles would be contained in the bottles, giving the wine a slight fizz.

In 1868 winemaker/chemist Antonio Carpene founded the Carpene Malvoti winery. He changed the way vintners made this sparkling Italian wine by producing and fermenting the wine in large pressurized tanks. The "Charmat "style was the name given to this new wine making process. The positive reception of this wine so overwhelming that Carpene started to teach other winemakers his process, eventually founding the School of Viticulture and Enology at Conegliano, which to this day is one of Italy's most important wine schools.

Carpene and other Prosecco producers made a relatively sweet wine and used a full secondary fermentation to achieve a wine with a lot of fizz. This type of wine, called "Spumante" is still in production today. In the 1960s, vintners introduced a lighter, less expensive sparkling wine called a "Frizzante" or "Gentile." Today this wine is available with both levels of carbonation.
Production Areas

There are now about 5,000 producers of Prosecco in the Veneto area. The better wine is from the DOC Prosecco di Conegliano-Valdobbiadene, founded in 1969. The Prosecco produced in this region must be made from at least 85 percent Prosecco grapes with the remaining 15 percent being Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio, and Chardonnay or up to 10 percent of Verdiso.

As with all wine varietals, not everyone likes the same type of taste profile - some prefer a sweeter wine, some prefer a wine with more bubbles, etc. To select the perfect bottle for your tastes, you need to find the balance of sweetness and acidity that you prefer.
Sweetness: The selections with the lowest amount of residual sugars are labeled "Brut" and are the least sweet. If you want slightly more sweetness then you should try a bottle labeled "Extra Dry". If you are looking for a sweeter wine, look for "Dry" on the label.
Vintage: Prosecco does not get any better with age; so, you can't assume (as you would with a red wine) that the wine will mature and take on more favorable characteristics. You need to find a selection you like today and enjoy it within the next few months. Many bottles bear the NV (non vintage) designation, which can be an excellent selection.
Magic of Prosecco: This is a wonderful wine to keep chilled in the refrigerator so that you can pull it out at a moment's notice and serve it at its preferred 45 to 46 degree serving temperature. Pour this light golden sparkling wine into tall flute-shaped glasses to preserve its sparkle. It is an excellent way to make a few simple snacks feel like an appetizer party and help a bowl of fresh fruit to become a dessert extravaganza.

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