Saturday, November 26, 2011

holiday traditions at filoli

I had a lovely evening at Filoli last night.  Friday, November 25th was the Premier Access Shopping Evening featuring an amazing holiday boutique with piano melodies, wine and hors d’oeuvres. This beautiful estate located in Woodside, hosts a variety of events throughout the year, but the Holiday Traditions events are certainly part of the most anticipated. Check the Filoli website for a list of all events, prices, and availability.

Located 30 miles south of San Francisco, Filoli is a historic site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and one of the finest remaining country estates of the early 20th century.

Filoli was built for Mr. and Mrs. William Bowers Bourn, prominent San Franciscans whose chief source of wealth was the Empire Mine, a hard-rock gold mine in Grass Valley, California. Mr. Bourn was also owner and president of the Spring Valley Water Company whose property comprised Crystal Springs Lake and the surrounding lands, areas that are now part of the San Francisco Water Department. He selected the southern end of Crystal Springs Lake as the site for his estate. 

The estate was purchased in 1937 by Mr. and Mrs. William P. Roth, who owned the Matson Navigation Company. Under the Roths' supervision the property was maintained and the formal garden gained worldwide recognition. Mrs. Roth made Filoli her home until 1975 when she donated 125 acres, which included the House and formal garden, to the National Trust for Historic
Preservation for the enjoyment and inspiration of future generations. The remaining acreage was given to Filoli Center.  Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

six steps to perfect roast turkey

I saw this blog post on Foodista by Leah Rodrigues and thought it was worth sharing.  Enjoy a great Thanksgiving dinner!

1. Brine your Turkey: By process of osmosis, the brine will flavor the bird as well as keep it moist. 
2. Flavor the Bird: Make sure to adequately salt and pepper the turkey and fill the cavity with aromatic vegetables, herbs, and lemons.
3. Keep the Turkey Dry: Don't forget to pat down the turkey before putting it in the oven. The excess moisture will prevent the skin from getting crisp. (This does not include fat).
4. Use a Thermometer: A thermometer is the best way to check for doneness. It should register 165 degrees F in the thickest part of the bird.
5. Start the Oven High and then Lower the Temperature: Start the turkey at 425 degrees F to help crisp the skin for 20 minutes and then lower to 350 degrees F until cooked through.
6. Let the Turkey Rest: I know you'll be hungry but letting the turkey rest lets the juices redistribute so that it will be moist and flavorful.