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Food & Wine

Friday 04/04/2014
Kidder Family Winery blends fruit-heavy reds in Lodi barn

Take a turn off Jack Tone Road onto Victor, and it’s just a few moments before a behemoth of a blue barn comes into view.

Posted: April 04, 2014
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Saturday 03/15/2014
Fields Family: Hands-off approach works for wines that focus on vineyards

One Lodi winery is committed to a no-frills vibe for their estate tasting room. It’s one wall of the stark warehouse where Fields Family Wines crushes and ages their vino, just steps from the barrel storage area next door.

Posted: March 15, 2014
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Friday 03/07/2014
New life in new location for Country Cafe in Lockeford

Lisa Pollard doesn’t own horses or cattle. She’s never rounded up a herd to bring them into the barn at the end of the day. But her Country Cafe, at a new location in Lockeford, is decked out in cowboy kitsch. The walls are adorned with wooden squares burned by local rancher’s brands, and photographs of rodeos from years gone by.

Posted: March 07, 2014
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Friday 02/28/2014
Weibel Family Vineyards opens Downtown Lodi tasting room

There’s a woman who lives in a storefront window on School Street. She’s pale and elegant, lounging gracefully in an ornate chair. Her long limbs and narrow torso are often draped in rich fabrics — red, green and pink. This week, she’s covered in green and gold, and she’s greeting visitors to the Weibel Family Vineyards tasting room.

Posted: February 28, 2014
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Friday 02/07/2014
McCay Cellars: Old World wines in eclectic surroundings

Parachute silks hang from the ceiling. The bar and much of the furniture is made from shipping pallets. Fruit bins covered in graffiti curve to form the far wall. Oh, and the whole place is tucked away in a stark-looking warehouse.

Posted: February 07, 2014
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Friday 01/10/2014
Some apple varieties are better than others when it comes to baking a perfect apple pie

Dear Barbara: My family is getting together, and I am supposed to make an apple pie. I’ve never made one before; do you know what kind of apples I should buy? — Shopper at Raley’s, name unknown

Posted: January 10, 2014
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Friday 01/03/2014
When is ‘convection bake’ a better idea than the standard setting? 

Dear Barbara: My oven has “convection bake” and “regular bake” features. When should I use convection bake and when should I use regular bake? I’m not really sure! — Tricia from Elk Grove

Posted: January 03, 2014
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Saturday 12/28/2013
What’s the big difference between green onions, spring onions and scallion greens?

Dear Barbara: I found a recipe in Gourmet magazine for Cajun shrimp stew. I would like to make it. It calls for scallion greens. What exactly are scallion greens and can I buy them around here? — Deane from Seattle

Posted: December 28, 2013
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Friday 12/20/2013
When should bakers grease the sides of a cake pan, not just the bottom?

Dear Barbara: I have a question for you. Why do some cake recipes say grease bottom only, and others say grease bottom and sides? I was just curious why they would be different. — Sue from Lodi

Posted: December 20, 2013
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Spenker Winery finds new ground in Lodi wine scene

On Saturday, a troop of volunteers staffed an assembly line in the winery building. A white plastic tank is slowing draining of Zinfandel wine waiting in barrels since the 2012 harvest.

Posted: December 20, 2013
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Friday 12/13/2013
Strange beads in boba drinks are the same pearls in tapioca pudding

Dear Barbara: I think the new drinks called ‘boba’ are really good. They are a flavored drink similar to a smoothie, but they have tapioca in the bottom and you suck the tapioca and liquid through a straw. My question is, what exactly is tapioca, and what is it made of? — Jared from Lodi

Posted: December 13, 2013
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Friday 12/06/2013
Use liquid eggs in holiday baking to lower cholesterol

Dear Barbara: My husband has high cholesterol and he loves all the holiday baking. I try to cut corners where I can on the cholesterol content. I noticed that the Egg Beaters, or liquid eggs, don’t have any cholesterol. Can you bake with the egg beaters? — Maureen from Lockeford

Posted: December 06, 2013
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Martha Stewart Living Gift Guide features wine from Lodi’s Peltier Station

It’s a tricky question for a winemaker. You’ve made a dessert wine in the traditional style of a Port, but you have to name it something else. Unless the dark, sweet, fortified red wine was made in Portugal, the name Port cannot appear on its labeling or in the marketing, due to a 2006 law.

Posted: December 06, 2013
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Friday 11/29/2013
Questions on brining turkeys, drying rosemary

Dear Barbara: My Thanksgiving turkey was a bit dry last year. I have heard so many positive things about brining a turkey, that I decided that this year I would try it. Straight out of the box, I have a problem. I don’t have a kettle big enough to hold the turkey. Do you think that it would work if I used a new garbage bag and rubber-banded the top of the bag? — Julian from Turlock

Posted: November 29, 2013
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New Aurora tasting room waits for time to shine

From outside the red brick Central Street storefront, there is no feeling of a traditional Lodi winery. No barrels filled with bright flowers, and no planters of vines plucked from a vineyard. There’s not even a sign to let passersby know Viñedos Aurora wines are made inside.

Posted: November 29, 2013
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Friday 11/22/2013
Help! These cookies are so tough, but I didn’t change my recipe a bit

Dear Barbara: I usually bake all my cookies from scratch. It is actually more economical. I don’t know what I am doing wrong, but lately my cookies taste a little “tough.” Nothing is different, that I am aware of, so what do you think might be happening? — Laurie from Victor

Posted: November 22, 2013
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Friday 11/15/2013
Cooking with cranberries leaves a bitter taste despite many attempts

Dear Barbara: Holidays are just around the corner, and I have been thinking of new and different things I could make. I found a great recipe for a cranberry type sauce. I have tried to make cranberry sauce in the past, but no matter how simple the recipe, mine just has this bitter taste. Adding more sugar does not fix it. Did I miss something? — Evelyn from Acampo

Posted: November 15, 2013
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Friday 11/08/2013
How can I tell if my baking powder is still fresh after a few months on the shelf? 

Dear Barbara: I have two questions. My baking powder didn’t seem to be doing its job, so I tossed it out. How can I tell if baking powder is still good? It had not reached its expiration date. Also, I purchased new baking powder and I noticed that it said “double-acting” on the label. I don’t remember seeing that on my other baking powder, but this was a different brand. What’s the difference between baking powder and double-acting baking powder? — Liz from Lodi

Posted: November 08, 2013
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Helen and Dave Dart fuse business savvy with artistic inspiration

On a few shady acres south of Harney Lane, a tall cheerful man and his wife run a small, boutique winery just a few hundred feet from their own front door. Outside the tasting room door, a few white buckets hold individual vines ripped from the earth to make room for new plantings in the field. And a black and white dog named Abby greets visitors with a stick or two in her mouth.

Posted: November 08, 2013
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Friday 11/01/2013
Just what goes into that commonly used poultry seasoning, anyway?

Dear Barbara: I was watching Sandra Lee on the food channel and she was using poultry seasoning on chicken. It’s always been like a mystery ingredient to me because I don’t know what’s in it. What are the ingredients and can you only use it on poultry? — Meg from Lodi

Posted: November 01, 2013
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