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The Santa Monica Grand Tasting featuring Chef Susan Feniger is June 13-14th!

santa monica Evian, BADOIT, and The St. Regis Monarch Beach present The Santa Monica Grand Tasting! 2 Chef Susan Feniger of Border Grill heads the festivities as a featured chef, along with 100 of LA’s top chefs participating in the kitchen presented by the Santa Monica Whole Foods Market. Participating Chefs include: Raj Dixit of Michael Mina’s Stonehill Tavern, Tacoteca (Adam Fleischman), Bouchon (David Hands), 9021pho (Kimmy Tang), Fattoria del Vicario (Matt Dhillon), Scratch Bar (Phillip Frankland Lee) , Fiamme Pizza Napoletana (Luke Smith), Q-Catering (Vazgen Ghahremanians), LA Sweet Tooth Confections (Paula Solis/Leslie Z), Chef DJ Seal (DJ Seals), Sugar & Spyked (Tamara Anderson), Chocolatier (Eve Stephens), Ace Culinary Academy School (Cecilia De Castro), My Sweet Beginnings (Tene Harris), Chef Bryan Hill, Hotel Erwin (Adam Steudle), My World On Plate (Keven Lee). IMG_9529 Other Participating Brands: Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Kerry Gold Cheese & Butter, Choctal, GG’s Toffee, Cutco, Fresh Brothers, Nature’s Bakery, Gourmet Blends, and many more. The event will take place on the Iconic Santa Monica Pier to sample the ultimate in pairing menus, where numerous well-known chefs and restaurants will be featured. This is the first time an event of this caliber will be held on the pier. 3 Guests can enjoy the iconic pier from 7-10 pm as they take a tour through an endless array of scents and tastes that highlight and celebrate the diverse culinary offerings LA has to offer. Free rides offered by Uber.com to event participants and after parties at the Hotel Erwin. For more information on the event, visit their website: http://santamonicagrandtasting.com What: Santa Monica Grand Tasting Why:   Supporting the Chill Foundation When: June 13-14 Time:   7PM-10PM Location: Santa Monica Pier


NakedWines.com Tour Makes a Stop at Sacramento’s Vizcaya on May 13th

Wine lovers, you won’t want to miss this!

Over 7,000 bottles of wine will be uncorked on NakedWines.com road trip across California, and this coming Wednesday, May 13th, the tour makes a stop right here in Sacramento at the Vizcaya!

More than 30 of your winemakers are hopping on the Naked Tour Bus and roaming around California to share their best wines with all the people (like you!) who funded them.

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So, how is this different than any other wine tasting?

Every wine you’ll taste was crowd-funded by regular wine drinkers, and the winemakers didn’t pay to attend and share their wines. We recommend going up to a table and asking one of the winemakers to explain it. (They’ll be wearing blue shirts).

Who is behind all of this? 300,000 wine drinkers realized they could get better wines at better prices if they supported winemakers to cut out all the costs you can’t taste, like marketing. They weren’t rich enough to do it alone, so they teamed up and invested people like Ken, Tom and Carmen below.

After winning fifty 90+ scores for his wines at Flora Springs, Heitz and Joseph Phelps in a 4 decade long career making Napa Cab, Ken is finally striking out on his own with a personal range of Napa wines at unbelievable prices. Even reserve barrel-­aged Napa Cabs for under $30.

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One of our first thousand Angels revealed a hidden talent for making world-­class wines in his garage at home. 75,000 Angels teamed up to invest in Tom’s first professional range of wines made with award-­winning fruit from Pickberry Vineyards.

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Carmen is an amazingly talented winemaker, but she had a hard time getting funding as South Africa’s first black woman to graduate in oenology since Apartheid. Angels saw her qualifications and immediately agreed to fund her personal project in exchange for exclusive access to these delicious treats.

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To purchase tickets to the event, you can go here. The Vizcaya is located at 2019 21st Street, Sacramento, CA 95818. The event begins at 6:30pm and goes until 9pm.

You can find NakedWines.com on Facebook here and follow them on Twitter here.


Giveaway!! Get Gluten Free Delivered Right to Your Door with Send Me Gluten FREE!

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I am a fan of trying new things and I love getting surprises in the mail, so when I heard about Send Me Gluten Free, I immediately checked them out!

Send Me Gluten Free is a monthly subscription service that introduces you to new gluten free products. The company was kind enough to send me a sample box (just like I would get if I had a subscription to their service).

I didn’t want to describe/review the individual products I was sent, because they vary so much in individual boxes each month, but I will tell you that I enjoyed everything in the box, and there were even coupons/offers in the box along with the products. I want to thank the people at Send Me Gluten Free, as they must be mind readers!

But, to be honest, they sent me some REALLY addictive (yet organic, non GMO!! stuff), and I’m sure that’s pretty much the norm every month!! Some of these items included: Sunbutter (sunflower seed butter that can substitute peanut butter), Skinnypop popcorn (hello popcorn, I missed you!), some amazing chocolate coated pumpkin seeds called SuperSeedz (probably my fave in the box), and some Alter Eco chocolate. YESSSS!! Box already scarfed down. ;)

Along with the assortment of products, I also received an envelope in the box containing coupons good for gluten free products. I’ll definitely be using the one for SunButter spread.

Soooo, the Send Me Gluten Free subscriptions range from month-to-month, 3 months, 6 months and 12 months (the 3, 6, and 12 months are prepaid in advance, and offer discounted rates that increase the discount the longer you commit to the service).

Each month, your box will contain 8-10 new gluten free products. You’ll get both full-size and sample size food, personal care items, supplements and household products that support your gluten free lifestyle. Your chosen subscription will automatically renew, but you can cancel at any time. You box will ship on the first Monday of each month.

Send Me Gluten Free requires all of their brand partners to be certified gluten-free or tested to the FDA standard of less than 20 parts per million.

You can find Send Me Gluten FREE on Facebook here and follow them on Twitter here.
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Would you like to try a sample box from Send Me Gluten Free? You can enter to WIN one by commenting below AND sharing this post on Facebook with your friends. In your comment, please answer these questions: Why did you go gluten free & what is your favorite gluten free snack? Also, let me know in the comments that your shared with your friends and please tag cavegrrl.com when you do. Contest lasts until the end of April, and I will pick a winner at random.

Below is an example of the type of products found in a box, not the actual contents of what the winner will receive. It changes every month, that’s the fun of it!

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PS!!: If you decide to subscribe, Cavegrrl.com readers can get a 20% off an subscription length by using discount code BLOG20 at checkout.


TAPAS Tempranillo Tasting is April 26, 2015 at the Presidio, San Francisco!

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If you like wine at all (especially wines made in a Spanish style), don’t miss this event:
TAPAS is pleased to announce the most extensive tasting of domestically produced Tempranillos and other Iberian varietal wines. Join nearly 40 TAPAS member vintners for the 8th annual Grand Wine Tasting held at the Golden Gate Club at the Presidio in San Francisco on Sunday, April 26, 2015.

Trade and consumers will be able to taste Tempranillos, Albariños, Garnachas, Verdelhos, Tourigas, and many other varieties, in a casual walk-around setting where they can chat with the growers and vintners. Explore the diversity of grapes and styles produced across the western United States.  Many TAPAS members are limited-production, family-owned wineries and will be pouring small lot wines that are not widely available. Many of the wines will also be available for sale at this event.

The year’s event will feature a Tempranillo Shootout starting at noon – watch the website for details!

The public event schedule is:

  • 12:00 Noon – 1:30 p.m.  – Tempranillo Shootout.  Tickets are $75, and include early admission to the Consumer Tasting directly afterward.
  • 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.  – Trade/Media Tasting.  Qualified members of the wine trade and media may register using the appropriate link below:
  • 2:00 – 5:00 p.m. – Consumer Tasting.  In conjunction with the walk-around tasting, the TAPAS Wine School (included with admission) will feature informative consumer-oriented seminars. Tickets are $55.

Tickets to the Tempranillo Shootout and Consumer Tasting are now on sale at tapas15.eventbrite.com.

TAPAS President Stuart Spencer noted, “The TAPAS Grand Tasting is a unique opportunity for you to discover, savor and celebrate this treasure chest of exotic and delightfully food-friendly wines. You will gain appreciation for what some visionary winegrowers are doing here on American soil. Don’t miss it!”

To me, this is one of the best wine tasting events of the year and a nice walk off the beaten path of common varietals. It’s fun to taste lesser known wines like Touriga Nacional (originates from Portugal) along with wines like Albariño, Garnacha, and Verdelhos which are slowly gaining domestic popularity. I walked away from the event last year with a better knowledge of wine in general and a few new favorites. I am looking forward to this year’s event and a day at the scenic Presidio in San Francisco. :)

About TAPAS
TAPAS, now in its eleventh year, started at the 2004 Unified Symposium, when Tempranillo winegrowers from California, Oregon, Washington, Texas and Arizona met for the first time to discuss their avocation.  Since that first visionary group pointed the way, the organization has incorporated and grown to over 100 members.  The first Grand Wine Tasting was held at Copia in Napa in 2008, and has continued annually since then, as one of many initiatives to promote Tempranillo and other varietal wine grapes native to the Iberian Peninsula and wines produced from them in North America.


FREE Gluten FREE Donuts! Today We Reveal the Winner of the Dr. Bob’s Giveaway…

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It’s time to make the donuts and time to choose a winner for the giveaway of the Dr. Bob’s Donuts and Doyos Complete Starter Kit that includes all three of Dr. Bob’s gluten free and vegan donut mixes, as well as a pan to make them in, a cooling rack and a vented lid.

I entered all of you for the number of times you commented, liked, shared, etc. this blog post and used random.org to generate a numbered list of all of you, and Andy picked a number at random (number 17). Number 17 is going to have a blast with this kit! I know I have with mine. :)

Before I reveal the winner, I would like to share the donuts I made today. I used the very last of my blonde mix (my favorite, by the way) to create a honey vanilla donut with honey vanilla glaze.

I used the blonde mix in the standard way, except I added 1 tsp of vanilla and 2 Tbs of honey in the 1 cup of liquid mixture. (The standard recipe is one cup mix and one cup water). I also added 1/2 of the beans from one vanilla bean pod to the batter.

To make the glaze, I used 1/2 cup coconut oil, 1 Tbs butter, 2 Tbs honey, 1 packet of stevia, a pinch of salt, and the contents of the other half of the vanilla bean pod.

After you steam the donuts in the microwave, brush them with a mix of 2 Tbsp honey & 1 Tbs hot water. This makes them super moist inside and gives them a little more sweetness. Then glaze the donuts with your glaze and place them in the refrigerator to set. It’s that easy! :)

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Now, let’s cut open the donut to find out the winner of the starter kit!

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Congratulations to Mindie! You have won the starter kit and Dr. Bob’s will ship it directly to you. I will contact you privately to get your mailing address. Thanks again for your entry. I hope you’ll share some of the fun things you make on Dr. Bob’s Facebook page or the cavegrrl.com Facebook page. :)

If you didn’t win the contest, I have some buy one, get one FREE coupons (good for Dr. Bob’s Donuts and Doyos Roseville Store location only). Just email me with your address and will send one your way (one per family, until I run out of them).

And to those interested in buying Dr. Bob’s products online, I have a discount code for you! Just enter CAVEGRRL15 for 15% off of your online purchase! (Apply Your Coupon or Discount Code on Final Payment Screen)

You can shop Dr. Bob’s products here!


Enter to Win a Dr. Bob’s Donuts and Doyos Complete Starter Kit!

Donut Solo Shot

Donut Solo Shot

You might recall a few blog posts back a certain donut I made for Andy: Gluten Free and Vegan Banana Maple Walnut Donuts with Banana Date Filling using Dr. Bob’s Blonde Mix. That was fine, but what about me? ;) This time I decided to make a donut with a few of my favorite flavor combinations: Hazelnut and Chocolate!

First, I made the donut base with Dr. Bob’s Chocolate Mix and a few other ingredients:

Donut Base:
Dry Ingredients:
3/4 cup Chocolate Mix
2 Tbs Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
2 Tbs Hazelnut Flour
2 Packets Stevia or Zylitol

Liquid Ingredients:
3/4 cup of Hazelnut Coffee (or regular coffee if you do not have hazelnut)
3 Tbs Nut Milk of Your Choice
1 Tbs Frangelico or Sugar Free Hazelnut Syrup

Mix all the dry ingredients in a medium-sized bowl, and mix all of the liquid ingredients in a smaller-sized bowl. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until thoroughly combined.

I like to spray/grease my silicone pan with Coconut Oil Spray (which can be found at Trader Joe’s) before adding the donut batter to the it.

Then I microwaved for 2 minutes (yep, that’s all it takes) and the donuts were done!

Chocolate Donuts
Allow the donuts to cool, and for an extra flavor boost, poke holes in them with a fork, and using a pastry brush, dab them with more Frangelico or hazelnut syrup.

For the filling, I used a hazelnut spread called Nocciolata is Italy’s health-conscious answer for a chocolatey treat. Crafted using carefully selected ingredients, including dark chocolate from the Antillean Islands, Italian hazelnuts (with low-fat content), raw cane sugar, skimmed milk and Bourbon vanilla extract, this high-quality certified organic spread is also free from trans fats, artificial flavors, colors or preservatives.

You can find Nocciolata on Facebook here, follow them on Twitter here and follow them on Pinterest here. You can find Nocciolata at Nugget Market!

Nocciolata Spread
Icing and Topping:
6 oz. semisweet chocolate or chips
1 Tbs butter
1/2 cup toasted and chopped hazelnuts

For the topping, I just melted a little semisweet chocolate, 1 Tbsp of butter and a tiny bit more of the Frangelico. To ice the donuts, I carefully dipped them into the melted chocolate and set them on parchment paper. I then topped each one with toasted, chopped hazelnuts, then returned to each donut with a final drizzle of chocolate on their tops, so that the hazelnuts would stay in place.

Four Donuts on Plate

And here’s the delectable cross-section. OMG. :P

A Look Inside
The bad news? All of the Chocolate Hazelnut donuts have already been scarfed down and I don’t have any for you to sample.

The good news? You can try making your very own with the Dr. Bob’s Complete Starter kit that Dr. Bob’s Donuts and Doyos and I are giving away!!

YES! Dr. Bob’s and I are giving away a Dr. Bob’s Complete Starter kit! This giveaway is only for those who live in the Continental USA.

The Complete Starter Kit includes a 100% food grade silicone heart shaped Vitamold, a bamboo drying rack, and a vented lid. The complete kit includes a regular size bag Chocolate unsweetened, Chocolate Sweetened and the Blonde Mix. This kit has a retail value of $89.97.

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To be entered in the giveaway, comment below and tell me what kind of donuts you would create with your kit. Then for extra entries and an increased chance of winning the kit:

Like the Dr. Bob’s Donuts Facebook page and leave me a comment that you did.
Like the CAVEGRRL.COM Facebook page and leave me a comment that you did.
Follow CAVEGRRL on Instagram and leave me a comment that you did.
Follow Dr. Bob’s Donuts on Instagram and leave me a comment that you did.
Share this post on Facebook!!

You have until Friday, February 27th to enter! I will pick a winner at random on Saturday, February 28th and announce it on my Facebook page. Again, you must live in the Continental US to win and you must LOVE donuts!

GOOD LUCK!! :)

Dr. Bob’s Donuts and DoYos is located at 336 Lincoln Street in old town Roseville. They are open 7 am to 5 pm Tuesday thru Sunday. For more information, you can call them at 916-742-5241. You can find Dr. Bob’s Donuts and DoYos and tons of photos/ideas for donut creations on their Facebook page here and you can follow them on Twitter here. You can also follow them on Instagram here! :)


Valentine’s Day Our Way

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We had a wonderful Valentine’s Day this past weekend. Andy and I decided to stay in and cook for each other instead of battling the landmine of multi-course (no substitution) wheat, sugar and dairy heavy pre-fixe menus arranged by local restaurants.

And deciding to avoid the crowd and the high cost of dining out (both to the wallet and to our waistlines) it turned out to be a great decision, because I had one of the most fun Valentine’s in years. :)

We decided we would each make one dish (paired with a wine) for the other person, and then eat them together family style.

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I made this Chicken Korma for Andy, with a 4-ingredient gluten and dairy free naan to eat with it.

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Andy made me one of my favorite things that he makes a few other times a year: Eggplant Moussaka. He uses the Primal recipe that can be found here at Mark’s Daily Apple.

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I bought the ingredients for the Chicken Korma dish at Nugget Markets, and the rest of the ingredients needed to complete our dessert, a Black Bean Brownie mix I was sent by Breads from Anna.

BlackBeanBrownie

The gluten free mix contains powdered honey, cocoa powder, tapioca starch, arrowroot, millet flour, chia flour, chickpea flour, navy bean flour, pinto bean flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, sea salt, xanthan gum, so I was pretty happy to make it. All I did was add some coconut oil, a cup of coffee, and a can of organic black beans (following the package intructions).

I baked them in a cupcake pan (because portion control, baby!) and when they came out, I poked holes in the top and drenched each one with Kahlua. Kahlua makes everything taste better. :)

Then I frosted them with melted semisweet chocolate, and decorated them with coconut manna that I had melted a bit and sweetened with stevia (and colored with a few drops of food coloring to make it pink).

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I made this candle holder for the table to sit out on every anniversary or Valentine’s Day. It’s made from 36 corks from bottles of red wines we have enjoyed together over the past three and a half years.

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I made it with a glass plate, glue gun and ribbon for less than $10, including the candle. :)

This blog entry would be incomplete if I didn’t mention the wines we drank with dinner!

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To start things off right, we toasted with a glass of Ayala Champagne. Because you should drink Champagne and not sparkling wine on Valentine’s Day! ;)

The next wine to the right is a Riesling made by Gainey. You can find their current release of Riesling here. The 2004 on the bottle worried me slightly, as I thought it might have been over-the-hill, but it still tasted great and was a perfect match for the Chicken Korma.

Then, with the Eggplant Moussaka, we drank a 2011 Stag’s Leap Petite Sirah (one of Andy’s favorite wines I had bought for him for Christmas). I would say this Petite Sirah is for you if you think you don’t like that particular varietal—because Stag’s Leap makes theirs so…velvety, soft and sophisticated.

You can find Breads from Anna on Facebook here, and on Twitter here.

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Thanks again to Nugget Markets for sponsoring our stay-at-home Valentine’s celebration. You can find them on Facebook here and on Twitter here.

valentines spread

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