Dia de los Muertos | November 1 & 2, 2016

The premier Day of the Dead event in San Diego County, Old Town San Diego’s Día de los Muertos, is designed to celebrate the history, culture, and heritage of the region.

Sample traditional foods such as Bread of the Dead, Mexican Hot Chocolate, Atole, Tamales, Mole, and Calabaza en Tacha.

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Saturday and Sunday, November 1 & 2, 2014 12:00pm-9:00pm
Old Town San Diego
Cost: FREE

For more information visit sddayofthedead.org.

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San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival | November 16-23, 2016

The San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival™ returns November 16-23, 2016, and this year is bigger and better than ever. Indulge in new events, the best wines in the world and some of today’s biggest celebrity chefs and culinary personalities.  Join over 200 wineries, breweries and spirit purveyors, 70 of San Diego’s best restaurants, and 10,000 wine and food aficionados from across the nation for the biggest wine and food celebration on the West Coast.

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Sunday November 16 – Sunday November 23, 2016 (event times vary)
Various locations around San Diego:

Tidal at Paradise Point, Comun Kitchen & Tavern, Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens, US Grant Hotel, Top of the Market, Marina Kitchen at the Marriott Marquis & Marina, Ironside Fish & Oyster, Mister A’s, Inspiration Hornblower, Embarcadero Marina Park and the Del Mar Race Track.

Giveaways : Keurig 145 Coffee Brewer and BUNN NHS Velocity Brew coffee machine.

Cost: FREE–$550

For more information visit sandiegowineclassic.com.

Sponsored by Freshpresso.

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Caramel Apple Coffee Cake

You’ve purchased a bag of shiny red fall apples at Trader Joe’s, and they’ve been staring at you on the counter for a week. So what are you going to do with them? Here in southern California, it’s still too hot to be baking apple pies. Pies are best made when the temperature is cool, because you want to keep that pie crust dough really cold throughout the entire process. A great alternative would be to use them for a coffee cake.

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The best apples for baking are ones that are on the sweet-tart side and won’t disintegrate easily (Honeycrisp, Jonagold, or Pink Lady varieties are good options.) After peeling and chopping your apples, place them in a container and toss with a little lemon juice to prevent discoloration.

Ingredients

  • Cake:
  • 1 stick plus 2 teaspoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large cage-free organic eggs
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups peeled, cored and chopped apples, such as Honeycrisp
  • Crumble Topping:
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • Caramel Sauce:
  • 20 pieces of caramels, unwrapped
  • Half-and-half, as needed

Method

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 13 by 9-inch glass baking dish with 2 teaspoons of the butter.

Step 2

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the remaining stick of butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating after the addition of each. In a separate bowl or on a piece of parchment, sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Add to the wet ingredients, alternating with the sour cream and vanilla. Fold in the apples. Pour into the prepared baking dish, spreading out to the edges.

Step 3

To make the topping, in a bowl, combine the sugar, flour, cinnamon, and butter, and mix until it resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle the topping over the cake and bake until golden brown and set, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes.

Step 4

To make the caramel glaze, add the unwrapped caramels to a microwave-safe dish with a splash of half-and-half. Microwave 20 seconds at a time, stirring in between, until melted. Drizzle the cake with the caramel glaze. Serve warm.

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Tom’s Tomato Soup

This is a restaurant-quality tomato soup, but you wouldn’t expect any less from Tom Douglas, chef and owner of 15 of the most popular eateries in Seattle. If you are in the Pacific Northwest, and you get the chance to eat at one of Douglas’ restaurants, do not let that opportunity pass you by.

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I’m going to sing the praises of San Marzano tomatoes for a moment. They are sweeter and less acidic than regular canned tomatoes. They cost a bit more, but the tradeoff is worth it. You can read more about San Marzano tomatoes from our friends at The Kitchn. They are available at Trader Joe’s and other organic supermarkets such as Whole Foods and Frazier Farms. Are you going to ignore my advice and make this soup with that dusty can of Hunt’s you found in your Y2K bunker? Well… don’t.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • 2 – 28oz canned whole San Marzano tomatoes in juice
  • 1 cup water
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, or 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

Method

Step 1

Heat the butter and olive oil in a large dutch oven and sauté the onion and garlic about 5 minutes.

Step 2

Add the remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer and simmer for 15 minutes.

Step 3

Remove from the heat and use an immersion blender to puree the soup.

Step 4

Reheat to a simmer, and season to taste with more salt and pepper.

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Pumpkin Bites

It’s Thanksgiving morning, and you’ve been up since 6am preparing for the big feast. Your hungry in-laws stumble into the kitchen, following the faint aroma of turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes. The Macy’s parade and the Bears’ game will keep them entertained for a while, but the food is far from done. So how do you keep all of your hungry guests satisfied until turkey time? Serve these quick and easy pumpkin bites with some hot apple cider and you’ll keep everyone in good spirits.

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Don’t forget to buy a good quality non-GMO verified canned organic pumpkin product for this dish (such as this one here from Farmer’s Market.) “Pumpkin pie filling” is not the same product and usually contains syrups, sweeteners, salt and spices.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 can solid-pack pumpkin (15oz)
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large cage-free organic eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar, plus 2 tablespoons
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Powdered sugar, as needed

Method

Step 1

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Step 2

Grease and flour a 9×13 cake pan.

Step 3

Whisk together flour and baking powder in a small bowl.

Step 4

Whisk together pumpkin, oil, eggs, pumpkin pie spice, 1 1/4 cups sugar, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl until smooth, then whisk in flour mixture until just combined.

Step 5

Stir together cinnamon and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar in small pinch bowl.

Step 6

Fill the 9×13 cake pan with the batter, then sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar mixture.

Step 7

Bake until golden brown and a wooden skewer inserted into center of the mixture comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes.

Step 8

Cool in pan on a rack 5 minutes, then transfer cake from pan to rack and cool to room temperature. Using a slicing knife, cut into 1″ squares. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve immediately. Makes about 80 “bites.”

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