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The Vine

Nov 30, 2008 04:00PM ● By Super Admin

Cedarville Cabernet SauvignonThere are a handful of foothill wineries that are determined to produce a truly extraordinary Cabernet Sauvignon rivaling those of Napa and Alexander Valley. Cedarville Vineyards located in the Fair Play appellation of El Dorado County is one of those wineries.The 2005 Cedarville Cabernet Sauvignon is a labor of love for winemakers Jonathan Lachs and Susan Marks. This Cabernet Sauvignon is rich and well constructed. The nose entices with Cabernet spice and lush blackberries. On the palette you’ll notice dark cherries and rhubarb. The fruit is condensed and explosive, but the wine is not a fruit bomb, rather it is complex and layered, finishing off with slight, creamy oak nuances. Lachs says to serve this wine with traditional holiday lamb and beef dishes that have been crusted with rock salt and pepper or a mustard-based marinade, and a potato-cheese dish, like a gratin. It also pairs well with rich cheeses like a Parrano, a cave-aged Gouda or sharp Cheddar.This wine is available at select restaurants and at the appointment-only tasting room, which is a must-stop-destination the next time you are in Fair Play.— Russell ReyesRussell is a freelance writer who hosts monthly Dolce Vino Wine University in Cameron Park.His blog is foothillwinereview.com.For more wine reviews from Local Connoisseurs, be sure to pick up this month's copy of FoothillStyle. Click on the "Get Your Copy" link on the bottom of this page for some of our newsstand locations. Or, to order a copy of this issue, please email Gloria Schroeder at [email protected], or call her at 916-988-9888 x116.

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Christmas Music

Nov 30, 2008 04:00PM ● By Super Admin

I  can handle stores breaking out Christmas decorations in September. I’m okay with the crass commercialism that permeates the season like the over-scented candles at a holiday craft fair. I don’t mind trading paint with other shoppers in the crowded Galleria parking lot on random weekends in December. But the one thing I cannot stand at this time of year, that sets my teeth on edge and drops me to my knees begging for mercy from the sweet manger-baby Himself is…Paul McCartney’s “Wonderful Christmas Time.”Don’t get me wrong. I like Paul McCartney. I absolutely appreciate his place in the pantheon of popular music. His work with the Beatles is unassailable, as is much of his solo work (“Say, Say, Say” excluded). But, as sure as even supermodels pass gas, music geniuses too, are capable of occasional noxiousness and sometimes you have to crack a window. Just hearing those first cloying synthesizer notes… “bow-ow-ow-ow…dow-ow-ow-ow-ow,” makes me want to shake my fist at a mall Santa and kick his elves in the shins. Why? Let’s take a look.  The lyrics. “The moon is right, the spirits up, we’re here tonight and that’s enough, simply having a wonderful Christmas time.” Really? That’s the best you could do? You’re the guy who gave us, “And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make!” But these “Christmas” lyrics…they have all the depth of a wading pool. And notice, Sir Paul gets to the chorus so quickly, it’s as though he knew it was a dreadful plunge best taken as soon as possible. The lack of passion. McCartney wanders through the vocals like he’s talking to someone who he’s not quite interested in. I picture him thumbing through a Lands’ End catalog while he was recording this.  The melody. It’s catchy...kind of like pink eye. “Siiiimply…haaavving… awonderfulchristmastime,” is repeated over and over like there’s a terrible skip in the record. But there isn’t. He meant to do that to us. It worms its way into the living room of your brain, lays itself out on the couch and starts ordering movies.  The frequency of play. When the Muzak at Arden Fair or Sunrise Mall switches over to all-Christmas on the day after Thanksgiving, the relentless onslaught begins. On soft rock radio stations around the country, “Wonderful Christmas Time” gets scheduled more often than commercials for the Shane Company. The disturbing fact is, it gets played a lot for a reason: there are those who walk among us who actually enjoy the song. I believe these are the same people who take an hour to back out of a space in a busy mall parking lot.  In the nearly four minutes that this song is allowed to breathe, I can completely understand John Lennon’s issues with Paul.For the record (no pun intended), I am not a Christmas music-hater. I love “The Christmas Song,” and “White Christmas.” I will hum, if not sing along to “Jingle Bells,” “Frosty the Snowman,” and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” I think Martina Mcbride’s interpretation of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” is among the most beautiful sounds ever offered to the human ear.  And that ultimately is the point. There are thousands of other songs more worthy, more deserving of a spin than “A Wonderful Christmas Time” – including the “Jingle Cats,” the “Barking Dogs,” and “Grandma Got Run Over by Reindeer” (but just barely). And so I beg the Chai-tea-sipping program directors of soft rock stations and Muzak to please, in this season of mercy, have a little on us. Help make it a truly wonderful Christmas time and stop playing that song. And when “those people” call to complain that it isn’t being played? Be polite, but please suggest that perhaps the best thing they could do is to simply hang up and finish backing out of their parking stall.Catch Tom on the Pat and Tom Morning Show on New Country 105.1.

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Family Philanthropy

Nov 30, 2008 04:00PM ● By Super Admin

Each day, hundreds in our community receive a helping hand from volunteers who understand that supporting others is truly one of life’s greatest pleasures.Yet the delicate balance between ongoing needs and the resources available to help can easily be upset. As we witness in today’s challenging economy, more and more people are being forced into a position of hardship. At the same time, local charities are reporting a decline in private and corporate donations, and fewer volunteers as well.As a result of an increased push in volunteerism to support our overtaxed community services system, local families are finding that volunteering together can be as rewarding for them as it is life-changing for those they help.Helping Others is a Family AffairVolunteering as a family can be a meaningful, shared experience that brings families closer together as well as teaches both children and parents valuable life lessons about empathy, diversity and social responsibility.Lending a hand to those less fortunate can also help the entire family appreciate how blessed they are to have simple luxuries such as shelter, food, clothing and good health.Encouraging family philanthropy is the goal of Hands for Hope, a youth-driven outreach program started in March by El Dorado Hills mom Jennifer Bassett. The group, now 75 kids (and families) strong, works with Powerhouse Ministries in Folsom, as well as local schools and food banks to meet various community needs.Bassett hopes the program’s immediate and growing popularity will have a long-term impact on local families. “The benefit of getting these young kids involved is that they will grow up with compassion for others,” she says.“We are helping raise a generation of children who are already inspired by knowing what they can do to make a difference. Volunteering will just be a part of their lives.”For more family volunteering resources be sure to pick up this month's copy of Style-Roseville Granite Bay Rocklin edition. Check out the Distribution tab on this Web site for some of our newsstand locations. Or, to order a copy of this issue, please email Gloria Schroeder at [email protected], or call her at 916-988-9888 x116

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Pueblo Chico Cantina

Nov 30, 2008 04:00PM ● By Super Admin

True Mexican cuisine is a celebration of the company you keep shown through the food you eat. It’s hard to capture that spirit in a restaurant, but if anyone succeeds, it’s Pueblo Chico Cantina in El Dorado Hills. Pueblo Chico (Spanish for “small town”) opened in June, and is family owned and managed. Head chef Elaine Martinez is the key ingredient in the Pueblo Chico family. Originally from eastern Texas and self-taught, Martinez has been in the restaurant industry for 30 years. Her love of cooking started at home with her mother and grandmother, and Martinez gets the most joy from “the happy faces when people eat my food.” The menu boasts deeply traditional Mexican fare, inspired by Martinez’ own family dishes. Their most popular dish is Classic Fideo & Pork, a traditional noodle dish that is the very definition of comfort food. For first time diners, Martinez recommends their “melt-in-your-mouth” enchiladas; for the more seasoned, try the Crawfish Enchilada for a Cajun twist on a Mexican classic, or Martinez’ personal favorite, the Poblano Chile Rellenos. Pueblo Chico Cantina prides itself on providing “solamente los mejor” (translated: “only the best”) in Mexican cuisine and culture. As a diner, you’re a guest at the Martinez family table, and Elaine Martinez creates the feeling of home in every dish.For more about Chef Elaine Martinez including her recipe for Classic Fideo and Pork, be sure to pick up this month's copy of Style-Folsom El Dorado Hills edition. Click on the "Get Your Copy" link on the bottom of this page for some of our newsstand locations. Or, to order a copy of this issue, please email Gloria Schroeder at [email protected], or call her at 916-988-9888 x116.

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Turning the Tables

Nov 30, 2008 04:00PM ● By Super Admin

Holiday gatherings with friends and family often center around your dining room table, decorated in all its festive glory. In the spirit of the season, we asked three local interior designers to describe the inspiration behind their favorite holiday tablescapes.Rustic and NaturalBarbara Riera, owner of Riera Design Interiors in El Dorado Hills, considers herself a spontaneous designer. “I don’t have a signature style,” she admits. “My goal is to create an atmosphere, and it’s different every time.”With holiday table settings, Riera prefers a rich, rustic theme that incorporates what someone might find in their yard. “That makes it convenient and economical, and you can include the entire family,” says Riera. “From kids to grandparents, everyone can be part of creating the holiday table.”  “Typically, I pick the things that are either blooming, have great foliage, or offer great color.” And when it comes to more elaborate floral centerpieces, Riera says she collaborates with Jennifer Kessler of The Proper Poppy. “She’s one of those hidden treasures…she’s absolutely fabulous.”Additionally, Riera likes to integrate whimsical elements into her designs. “For instance, Smith & Hawken has little battery-operated white lights that can be entwined into garland to create a twinkle or sparkle.”  Riera recommends creating favors for guests as an extra touch. “A small bouquet of bunched roses and berries, tied with twine and burlap is elegant,” she says. “One year I took little silver and gold picture frames, inserted with family photos, and used those as place cards. Or ornaments wrapped as napkin rings are beautiful too.”  ...For more of Table Design ideas be sure to pick up this month's copy of Style-Folsom El Dorado Hills edition. Check out the Distribution tab on this Web site for some of our newsstand locations. Or, to order a copy of this issue, please email Gloria Schroeder at [email protected], or call her at 916-988-9888 x116

Read More »
Family Philanthropy

Nov 30, 2008 04:00PM ● By Super Admin

Each day, hundreds in our community receive a helping hand from volunteers who understand that supporting others is truly one of life’s greatest pleasures.Yet the delicate balance between ongoing needs and the resources available to help can easily be upset. As we witness in today’s challenging economy, more and more people are being forced into a position of hardship. At the same time, local charities are reporting a decline in private and corporate donations, and fewer volunteers as well.As a result of an increased push in volunteerism to support our overtaxed community services system, local families are finding that volunteering together can be as rewarding for them as it is life-changing for those they help.Helping Others is a Family AffairVolunteering as a family can be a meaningful, shared experience that brings families closer together as well as teaches both children and parents valuable life lessons about empathy, diversity and social responsibility.Lending a hand to those less fortunate can also help the entire family appreciate how blessed they are to have simple luxuries such as shelter, food, clothing and good health.Encouraging family philanthropy is the goal of Hands for Hope, a youth-driven outreach program started in March by El Dorado Hills mom Jennifer Bassett. The group, now 75 kids (and families) strong, works with Powerhouse Ministries in Folsom, as well as local schools and food banks to meet various community needs.Bassett hopes the program’s immediate and growing popularity will have a long-term impact on local families. “The benefit of getting these young kids involved is that they will grow up with compassion for others,” she says.“We are helping raise a generation of children who are already inspired by knowing what they can do to make a difference. Volunteering will just be a part of their lives.”For more family volunteering resources be sure to pick up this month's copy of FoothillStyle. Check out the Distribution tab on this Web site for some of our newsstand locations. Or, to order a copy of this issue, please email Gloria Schroeder at [email protected], or call her at 916-988-9888 x116

Read More »
Christmas Music

Nov 30, 2008 04:00PM ● By Super Admin

I  can handle stores breaking out Christmas decorations in September. I’m okay with the crass commercialism that permeates the season like the over-scented candles at a holiday craft fair. I don’t mind trading paint with other shoppers in the crowded Galleria parking lot on random weekends in December. But the one thing I cannot stand at this time of year, that sets my teeth on edge and drops me to my knees begging for mercy from the sweet manger-baby Himself is…Paul McCartney’s “Wonderful Christmas Time.”Don’t get me wrong. I like Paul McCartney. I absolutely appreciate his place in the pantheon of popular music. His work with the Beatles is unassailable, as is much of his solo work (“Say, Say, Say” excluded). But, as sure as even supermodels pass gas, music geniuses too, are capable of occasional noxiousness and sometimes you have to crack a window. Just hearing those first cloying synthesizer notes… “bow-ow-ow-ow…dow-ow-ow-ow-ow,” makes me want to shake my fist at a mall Santa and kick his elves in the shins. Why? Let’s take a look.  The lyrics. “The moon is right, the spirits up, we’re here tonight and that’s enough, simply having a wonderful Christmas time.” Really? That’s the best you could do? You’re the guy who gave us, “And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make!” But these “Christmas” lyrics…they have all the depth of a wading pool. And notice, Sir Paul gets to the chorus so quickly, it’s as though he knew it was a dreadful plunge best taken as soon as possible. The lack of passion. McCartney wanders through the vocals like he’s talking to someone who he’s not quite interested in. I picture him thumbing through a Lands’ End catalog while he was recording this.  The melody. It’s catchy...kind of like pink eye. “Siiiimply…haaavving… awonderfulchristmastime,” is repeated over and over like there’s a terrible skip in the record. But there isn’t. He meant to do that to us. It worms its way into the living room of your brain, lays itself out on the couch and starts ordering movies.  The frequency of play. When the Muzak at Arden Fair or Sunrise Mall switches over to all-Christmas on the day after Thanksgiving, the relentless onslaught begins. On soft rock radio stations around the country, “Wonderful Christmas Time” gets scheduled more often than commercials for the Shane Company. The disturbing fact is, it gets played a lot for a reason: there are those who walk among us who actually enjoy the song. I believe these are the same people who take an hour to back out of a space in a busy mall parking lot.  In the nearly four minutes that this song is allowed to breathe, I can completely understand John Lennon’s issues with Paul.For the record (no pun intended), I am not a Christmas music-hater. I love “The Christmas Song,” and “White Christmas.” I will hum, if not sing along to “Jingle Bells,” “Frosty the Snowman,” and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” I think Martina Mcbride’s interpretation of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” is among the most beautiful sounds ever offered to the human ear.  And that ultimately is the point. There are thousands of other songs more worthy, more deserving of a spin than “A Wonderful Christmas Time” – including the “Jingle Cats,” the “Barking Dogs,” and “Grandma Got Run Over by Reindeer” (but just barely). And so I beg the Chai-tea-sipping program directors of soft rock stations and Muzak to please, in this season of mercy, have a little on us. Help make it a truly wonderful Christmas time and stop playing that song. And when “those people” call to complain that it isn’t being played? Be polite, but please suggest that perhaps the best thing they could do is to simply hang up and finish backing out of their parking stall.Catch Tom on the Pat and Tom Morning Show on New Country 105.1.

Read More »
John Running

Nov 30, 2008 04:00PM ● By Super Admin

Throughout studios in New York, on the left bank of Paris, in the lofts of Los Angeles and even among the hills of northern California, artists struggle each and every day to pursue their passion and create great art – art that often does not sell. The story of the struggling artist is a common one, told even of the most celebrated artists of our time.But some artists, like John Running, share a rare story of success. Perhaps it’s because of his business savvy from spending 18 years working in the family business, his determination, or perhaps, it’s his ability to create relevant, appealing art that people want right when they see it. Whatever the reason, Running’s work sells. He spends many a day in the comfort of his studio overlooking the pine trees of Placerville, toiling away at his rock and metal creations and, to his great fortune, pursuing that which he loves. “I create art every day, and I enjoy it every day. To me, going to work is like vacation,” says Running, and adds that he’s been making art his whole life. “I grew up in a creative family with creative things always going on around me. My parents owned a screen printing business…eventually, though, I wanted to pursue art full time, so I bought my own studio,” he says.And in that studio, Running found great success through creating unique pieces made of rock and metal. He designs and creates small, affordable pieces so that everyone can appreciate his art, but he also makes large, one-of-a-kind pieces for those who want to make a bigger statement. And what’s the inspiration for his work? “Anything can spark inspiration…driving down the road, sitting on the beach; I like nature and creating pieces that reflect [it],” says Running. He also attributes some of his inspiration and success to the support of his wife and four children. “Thankfully, galleries just keep re-ordering what I make. I’ve had a good following, and I think that it’s due to the [my] business background – it helped me understand how to market my work,” he says. Local galleries featuring Running’s art include the James Harold Gallery in Tahoe City, Rocky’s in Placerville, Fine Eye Gallery in Sutter Creek, and Full Circle Gallery in Jackson. Now the question is: Does Running ever feels that his defining style will stifle further creativity? He says no. “I’m fortunate that I have a product, the rock and metal pieces, to keep me busy. While I’m in production with the daily pieces, my mind is free to be creative and I’m always developing new ideas. Then, when my work is complete, I can step away and work on a more inspired piece.”So what’s next for John Running? He’s decided to transition away from rocks and is beginning to work solely with metal. Whatever this artist gives us next, expect that the pieces will not only be distinctive, but they’ll likely be best sellers, too.

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