Recipe: Slow Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

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The tomatoes are thriving at the Farm at Park Winters, and we are already getting creative with ways to enjoy this Summer treat. One of our favorite techniques is to slow roast them in the oven at a low temperature, which maximizes their flavor in ways beyond your imagination!

Total time: 3 hours

INGREDIENTS

4 lbs cherry tomatoes
6 whole cloves of garlic, unpeeled
Olive oil
4 sprigs of thyme
2 sprigs of rosemary
Handful of fresh basil leaves
Salt & pepper to taste
 

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 225°F. Halve each cherry tomato and arrange on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Smash the cloves or garlic and add to tomatoes, along with the fresh herbs. Drizzle with olive oil, just enough to coat the tomatoes.

Bake the tomatoes in the oven for about 3 hours. The tomatoes should be shriveled and dry, with with a little juice left inside. This could take more or less time depending on the size of your tomatoes.

Use them right away as a condiment on meat, grilled veggies or pastas. They're also great on their own as a snack! Just be careful to not eat the whole lot... it will be difficult!

Featured Wedding: Eric & Kim

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This month's feature is actually a very special vow renewal! Eric & Kim were married at Park Winters on May 15, 2016 and returned exactly one year later on their anniversary to renew their vows. How romantic is that?? Read on for more of their love story... and don't miss the seriously swoon-worthy photo gallery, shot by Feather and North Photography!

FROM THE BRIDE:
How did you meet?

My friend, Jennifer, and Eric's sister, Valerie, were acquaintances.  Jennifer saw Eric one day and thought of me.  She ran the idea of setting us up by Valerie, and they both spoke with us about it.  Valerie gave my phone number to Eric. He sent me the sweetest message, and I was smitten with him right away! We met for the first time at a coffee shop, and had a hard time leaving that night. We knew right away we had found our forever in each other! 

How did he propose?
Eric took me to Filoli Gardens in Woodside, CA, on December 3rd, 2015.  They have a holiday event every year that we went to, and when we were done Eric took me for a little walk.  It had been raining all day and the rain stopped right when we got outside. A few minutes into our lovely walk, he got down on one knee, said the most beautiful things, and gave me my grandmother's wedding ring he had restored, which was so special. I started crying, and of course said yes!!! 

Why did you choose Park Winters?
I was researching wedding venues when I came across Park Winters. I instantly fell in love, and I knew I wanted to have our wedding there! Eric and I went there to celebrate our 2-year dating anniversary, and it was even more magical in person!  The entire property is so beautiful and enchanting; we fell even more in love. What sealed the deal for us though was with our meeting with John and the wonderful staff we met.  They were so incredibly kind and hospitable. John and Amber were an absolute dream to work with in all of the planning! 

What was your favorite wedding moment?
My favorite moment was right before the ceremony, when I was walking out of the house and was coming down the stairs. I snuck a peek across the lawn over at Eric, our eyes met, and we smiled. I will never forget the pure love and joy I felt in that instant.  I felt like the most blessed girl in the world to be walking toward my future!  

What was your favorite moment from the vow renewal?
Besides just being back at Park Winters with Eric, my favorite part was surprising him throughout the evening! He knew we were going to take pictures and say vows to each other, but he thought it was just going to be very casual, and he didn't know that I had planned to kind of recreate our wedding day. It was so fun seeing his reaction to everything, like when we walked up to our cake table, had another first dance, and then later had a romantic sunset dinner that had been arranged for us. Our vendors were wonderful with keeping everything a surprise!

Eric and I are just so grateful for John, Rafael, and the entire Park Winters team, and all they have done for us!! We have so many beautiful memories here that we will cherish forever!!

VENDORS:
Photographer: Feather and North Photography
Event Planner: Lindsay Lauren Events
Flowers: Mignon Floral Co.
Hair/Make-up: Christi Reynolds Beauty
Cake: Cake Bloom
Dinner: Preserve

Recipe: Jamaican Jerk Rub

Our Father's Day BBQ was a hit last month... especially the grilled chicken, which was brined and then coated in chef John's unique Jamaican Jerk spice blend. He's had so many requests for the recipe, we thought we would share it with you all!

JAMAICAN JERK SPICE RUB

Total time: 5 minutes

INGREDIENTS

3 tablespoons garlic powder
6 tablespoons cayenne pepper
6 teaspoons onion powder
6 teaspoons dried thyme
6 teaspoons dried parsley
6 teaspoons sugar
6 teaspoons salt
3 teaspoons paprika
3 teaspoons ground allspice
1 ½ teaspoons black pepper
1 ½ teaspoons dried crushed red pepper
1 ½ teaspoons ground nutmeg
¾ teaspoons ground cinnamon


DIRECTIONS

Combine all ingredients; store in an airtight container for up to 3 months

Featured Wedding: David & Miriam

March 10, 2017

David and Miriam met at a party in Davis 8 years ago, thanks to their friend and bridesmaid Jackie. In Miriam’s memory, David was a tall, dark, and handsome young man acting all quiet and mysterious. In David’s memory, their introduction even has a soundtrack. He heard the sweet sounds of a reggae band (that he would later join on guitar) called “Riddim Frog”,’ the night he noticed Miriam’s smile from across the room.

FROM THE BRIDE:
Tell us about the proposal!

David proposed to me on Valentines Day 2015. David isn't a big fan of Valentine's day (I am) so it was a huge shock. We went to dinner at Ella in Sacramento and then he popped the question on the steps of the Sterling Hotel. He used my mother's engagement ring, a heirloom I will always love.

Why did you choose Park Winters?
We were looking for a special place that would feel like a home away from home for all our guests. Someplace close to where we met and live in Davis. We wanted a venue that would allow us to have both a luxurious formal reception as well as intimate casual moments the with our guests though out the day. I also wanted to find a venue that made David and I feel comfortable and special. As soon as we visited Park Winters we knew we found it. John was incredibly warm and accommodating from day one. We also loved the idea that we could come back for years to come and celebrate.

What was your favorite wedding moment?
One highlight is Eva, our hostess. She was magical; surpassing every expectation and welcoming us all with such warmth. There were a few times I made requests that required she go above and beyond, and without missing a beat she would make it happen. I can't imagine the weekend without her.

From the wedding... walking down the grand staircase, my aisle, in the main house and seeing David, my dad and our guests. I also remember the magical moments we had by the fire at the end of the night making s'mores and talking to our friends we hadn't seen in years. Lastly, the treasure hunt we had across the property. My family has a tradition of celebrating each milestone with a treasure hunt, and this was no exception. We used three different stops in around Park Winters to hide treasure and guests got the chance to explore.


VENDORS:
Planner: Two Roads Events Co.
Flowers & Decor: Melanie Yelton
Photographer: Mike Larson Photography
Videographer: Mabble Media
Dress: Miosa Bride
Hair & MakeUp: Christi Reynolds Beauty
Suit: S.Benson & Co.
Custom Designed Rings: Bella Luna Jewelers
Cake: Alison Nicholas
Officiant: Alex Stalarow
DJ: Dart DJ
 

Raf's Garden Tips: Summer Vegetable Garden

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It’s late Spring and already time to start planning for the summer kitchen garden!  We are eager to enjoy some homegrown, fresh vegetables. You want to be ready as soon as the conditions are right to plant your favorites such as tomatoes, corn, and okra. 

These plants are a few of what are referred to as warm season vegetables that require long days and warm temperatures to thrive.  Unlike spring varieties such as lettuce and broccoli, warm season vegetables sulk in cold soil and can’t tolerate a frost. They also need longer periods of sunlight.

Here are some popular Summer vegetables to grow...
Bush Beans – Beans are easy to grow from seed. Direct sow them in the garden after the soil temperature has warmed to 60 degrees F. Sow seeds every 3 weeks for a continuous harvest. Stop sowing about 8 weeks before the first fall frost date. Bush beans do not require staking. Beans are shallow rooted so be careful when working the soil around the plants.

Corn – Corn requires a lot of space to grow and the pollination must be just right. There are few vegetables that are as tasty fresh from the garden so it’s worth the effort. Corn relies on wind to carry pollen from the tassels to the silks on immature ears. To increase the chances of pollination it is best to plant corn in a square of short rows. Space plants about 1 foot apart. Feed at planting with a general organic fertilizer and again when tassels begin to form. Water consistently and regularly. Corn is shallow rooted so water diligently, especially during dry weather.

Cucumbers – Cucumbers need full sun, at least an inch of water per week, rich soil and pollinating insects to produce. Pick fruits regularly so that the vines will continue to produce. Bush varieties are suitable for containers, but if you have the space try vining types because they will produce more fruit. Just be sure to support vining cucumbers with a trellis.

Eggplant –Eggplant require lots of sunshine and warm, well-drained soil. In spite of their love of heat, once in the garden, eggplants like cool, moist roots. Mulch the ground with straw and keep it moist but not soggy.

Okra – Okra loves hot weather, rich soil and full sun. Treat them like your mother’s best china when you plant seedlings because the roots are very delicate. Pick pods when they become 3 to 4 inches long. If they are allowed to over mature, the plants will stop producing. The over-ripe, tough pods are great for adding interest to cut flower arrangements.

Peppers – Give them full sun, well-drained soil and consistent moisture. Feed with an organic fertilizer after the plants begin to flower and set fruit. Sweet peppers and bell peppers planted in hot climates may not begin to produce until weather cools in late summer.

Summer Squash and Zucchini – Prepare your beds before planting with a generous amount of compost or well-rotted manure and an application of an all-purpose fertilizer such as 13-13-13. Gather squash when they are young and tender. Old, large fruits with tough skins should be removed from the vine and thrown away. This will encourage more flowers and fruit.

Tomatoes – Tomatoes need 6 to 8 hours of full sun. Get your stakes or trellises in place when you plant. Plant tomatoes deep; bury at least two-thirds of the plant’s stem. This will give the plant strong roots and better fruiting. If the plants start looking worse for wear toward the end of summer, cut back for a new flush of growth.

Recipe: Pistachio Hummus

We are head over heels for chef John's unique take on hummus - this one features nutty, vibrant pistachios instead of chickpeas. At Park Winters, we serve it with fresh seasonal veggies harvested daily from our farm, or earthy whole wheat bread from Uppercrust Bakery.

PISTACHIO HUMMUS

Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes
Yield: 8 cups

INGREDIENTS

1 cup pistachios
½ cup champagne vinegar
½ cup tarragon leaves
1 large shallot, minced
2 tablespoon minced garlic
¼ cup olive oil
1 ½ teaspoon cumin
2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 can (12 oz.) full-fat coconut milk
2 teaspoon salt
¼ cup tahini paste
1 ½ teaspoon sugar

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350°

Place pistachio nuts on parchment-lined sheet. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until light brown.

While the nuts are in the oven, combine vinegar, tarragon, shallots and garlic in a small bowl. This will help to open up the flavors.

Blend toasted pistachio nuts in the food processor until it has reached a fine crumble. Add in vinegar mixture, cumin and olive oil. Pulse until well combined.

Add remaining ingredients, blend until smooth.
 

Introducing the new Al Fresco Dinner Series!

We are excited to announce our new Al Fresco Dinner Series, celebrating the joy of dining outdoors with friends. This casual family-style dinner event will draw inspiration from the seasons, creatives and more... and will take place amongst the magical gardens of Park Winters!

Spring is thriving all around us... and we are soaking in every color, flavor and texture! Our first event will take place on May 21st, and is inspired by the bright and vibrant produce growing on our farm and the bounty of Yolo County purveyors. We are excited to capture the beauty of the season and share it with you.

Tickets are $85 and include a lovely 4-course dinner, served family-style. We invite you to arrive at 4pm for cocktails, lawn games, and a self-guided tour of our property. Dinner will start promptly at 5:30pm and will be served family-style, on two communal tables in our outdoor courtyard.

Our chef has prepared a beautiful menu for the evening, sourcing ingredients from our on-site organic farm, as well as from the best local purveyors in the region. Check out the menu below!

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'CELEBRATE SPRING MENU'

APPETIZERS
STRAWBERRY CAPRESE
Strawberry - Basil chamomile chevré - Fig balsamic

HARISSA LAMB BITE
Rosemary - Harissa yogurt - Herb oil

DINNER
ON TABLE WITH BREAD - GARDEN HUMMUS
Algonquin soil - Radish - Cucumber - Carrots - Flowers

EMERALD FARM CURRY
Asparagus - Alliums - Carrots - Fingerlings - Cilantro

BRICK OVEN ROASTED CORNISH GAME HEN
Mustard Frisée - Arugula pesto - Arugula greens - Green grapes

FRENCH CHOCOLATE MOUSSE
Caramelia chocolate - Citrus - Whip - Pistachio crumble

 

Executive Chef John Iacono

Congrats to the winners of the Photographers' Invitational!

We were blown away with the amount of stunning photography we received for the invitational! We pour so much heart and passion into Park Winters, and it was truly fulfilling to see our property through the eyes of so many talented people. It was a difficult task selecting a winner, and a near impossible task selecting 2nd and 3rd place... so much so that we decided to honor more than one photographer for the runner-up categories! Without further ado, the awards for the First Annual Park Winters Photographers' Invitational are...

 

FIRST PLACE: FRANCESCA ROSS

We couldn't get enough of her dreamy photos. It truly gave us a completely new perspective of our property... and we thought we had seen it all! Check out the gallery below to see some of our favorites from her shoot, starting with the winning photo of the tulips! To see more of her work, visit her website: francescafoto.com

 

SECOND PLACE:

JONATHAN MADSON

 
 

THIRD PLACE:

JUSTIN LEE