Highlights from our annual Farm, Food & Wine Tour from 2017. Thanks everyone for joining us! We’re sold out for this year but save the date for Oct 23-25, 2020.
Fall Harvest Tour for Oct 26 – 28, 2018
Now Taking Reservations
Cambria Pines Lodge, Cambria, Ca
Hot Buffet Breakfast Included
Dinner and Culinary Demo with Chef Debbi and the Debettes
Saturday Farm, Food & Wine Tour
Climb aboard with The Wine Wrangler
We’ll travel to the Westside of Paso Robles to Halter Ranch Vineyard & Winery
Experience a private Cave Tour with a Barrel Tasting from 3 Cave Barrels
Private Tasting of Halter Ranch’s available vintages in the new Tasting Room overlooking their fabulous vineyards
Vineyard Picnic Lunch on Halter Ranch’s Patio Deck overlooking the vineyards
Created for you by Chef Debbi & her Debette team
After lunch climb aboard with The Wine Wrangler to travel to
Stepladder Ranch in San Simeon
We’ll visit with their Lamancha goats and taste a variety of cheeses made from their goat milk. This farm is accessible only by invitation and is hidden in the hills above San Simeon and the Pacific Ocean
Our last stop for the day will be a visit (and tasting) at The Hearst Ranch Tasting Room in San Simeon. Step out on the porch for an exquisite view of San Simeon Beach and Harbor
Return to Cambria for late afternoon & evening private time
The Groves on 41 Olive Oil Farm Tour & Tasting
Don’t Miss The Cambria Scarecrow Contest the month of Oct!
Limited Availability, First Come-First Served
Price is Per Person based on Double Occupancy for all rooms
Preferred Method of payment, save Paypal fees by paying by check!
To pay by check:
Please send an email to Debbi @ firstname.lastname@example.org for instructions
Cooking at Fullerton Arboretum
Celebrating the seasons around the table with demonstration style cooking class and a specialty food tasting each month.
Join my friend Chef Louise Mellor and I in the beautiful gardens at Cal State Fullerton’s Arboretum for a meal as we celebrate the seasons. Learn how to stock your pantry and together we’ll use garden fresh, seasonal ingredients with classic French techniques to create simple, exciting dishes for special occasions and everyday meals.
We will also be sharing how to entertain with simplicity and style. Most importantly, we hope you will be inspired to get into the kitchen at home and share life around the table.
Full lunch servings will be offered and wine will be available if desired. Here are upcoming classes for Jan, Feb and March, take a look here for class registration and the schedule through summer! Hope to see you there~
Saturday, Jan. 21, 11 – 2
Book Signing and Demo
Soup from the pantry
Join us for a demonstration on soup basics and enjoy a hearty bowl of minestrone soup with puff pastry ‘rolls’.
February 11th, Saturday, 11 – 2
Cupid in the kitchen…
Roasted Spring Asparagus salad with Meyer Lemon vinaigrette
Elegant Beef Wellington Puff Pastry Tarts with Caramelized Onions, Maytag Blue Cheese, Sautéed Mushrooms
Dark chocolate hazelnut flourless cake with vanilla bean ice cream and fresh berries
March 25th Saturday, 11 – 2
I left my heart in San Francisco…
Olive oil tasting
Homemade herbed ricotta with lemon, Parmesan & blistered tomatoes served on sourdough crostini
San Franciscan style Cioppino with fresh seafood in a rich tomato white wine broth.
Blood orange olive oil cake with whipped Grand Manier marscapone
Is your garden overflowing with tomatoes? I always grow too many and one of my favorite ways to make them go a little farther is to oven dry them. Much like sun dried, these concentrated gems pack a powerful punch and can be used in any dish where you’d use tomatoes. Especially nice on a cheese plate with some creamy goat cheese nearby.
To preserve them I turn them into a tomato confit and keep in my ‘pantry’ refrigerator. They can’t be water bath canned because of the oil, but they will keep for about 6 months in the refrigerator, if they last that long. The refrigeration will also help to preserve the oil and keep it from going rancid quicker. Use only fresh organic herbs and make sure you wash and dry them very well, you don’t want any water going into your beautiful confit.
Photo: Chez Pim
Apple, Pomegranate & Gorgonzola Salad
I met Barbara and Bill Spencer sometime around 2004 when I was scouting heirloom tomatoes from Paso Robles farmers market. Barbara invited me out to the farm and so my husband and I trekked out there one morning. We didn’t want to disrupt their farm work but yet they stopped working when we arrived and gave us a thorough tour of their lovely little farm. It is such a peaceful unique farm you just want to lie down in the grass and daydream watching the clouds pass by. But a farmers work is never done and we wanted to get out of their way so they could return to their chores. Absolutely not! They insisted we stay for lunch and Bill pulled a beautiful roasted mutton out of the refrigerator and a loaf of freshly baked bread, yes Bill makes his own bread! Barbara foraged for greens and veggies for a salad and whipped up a delicious little dressing. We ate and chatted about life and the farm for what seemed like all afternoon and with sadness had to depart and leave this magical place.
I host several tours to Cambria and Paso Robles and I always finish the tour on Sunday with a day at Windrose Farm with Bill and Barbara. No-one ever wants to leave! I wish all of you could join us for a weekend discovering food and wine and a central coast lifestyle but if you can’t, I’d like to share a piece of Windrose Farm with you. Following is an excerpt from their website and a glimpse inside the magic of Windrose Farm. Join us Oct 24th – Oct 26th for a trip that includes a visit to Windrose.
Windrose is a small family farm located east of Paso Robles and tucked into a unique valley of 50 acres, 12 are in vegetable rotations, 6 are in apples and stone fruit and 5 are sheep pasture. The rest is habitat – full of animal, bird and insect life.
Owners Bill and Barbara Spencer have been certified organic from August 1999 to 2009, but are currently transitioning to biodynamic! The farm has been “clean” for twenty years; since its purchase in 1990.
In 1993 Windrose began going to the Farmer’s Markets with produce from their first small market garden. Having already discovered the enjoyment of growing many “specialty” varieties of vegetables – most particularly heirloom tomatoes and potatoes, they also found they loved selling to wonderful restaurants as well as to their friends at Farmer’s Markets.
In addition to tomatoes and potatoes, Windrose grows onions, garlic, green and dry beans, peppers, eggplant, winter squash, carrots, turnips, beets, cucumbers, melons and many varieties of greens. They also have apples and stone fruit. Their little valley is a unique micro-climate that is good for the diverse crops of lilacs, apples, super-sweet onions and melons.
Bill & Barbara state that “The longer we farm, the more enthralled we are with the old traditional seeds and plants. We strive as much as possible to use open-pollinated or heirloom varieties and have begun our own seed-saving program. Every day brings us more knowledge and a stronger belief in the principals and practices of sustainable organic farming. It is complex and labor-intensive – but the burst of life in the soil and the habitat of our little valley is astonishing.”
Barbara and Bill have often sought to better explain their philosophy about the environment that is Windrose Farm.
In this years Biodynamic calendar we found the following by Patrick Holden, a soils expert, long time organic farmer and advocate of the ‘biodynamic‘ philosophy:
“We subscribe to Rudolph Steiner’s* philosophy that the farm should be seen as an ecosystem in its own right, and that our striving should be to move towards building and maintaining plant and animal communities, which are ecologically suited to its unique combination of soil, climate and place.”
Barbara and Bill cherish their time at the ecosystem that is Windrose and sharing the bounty that it produces.
* Rudolph Steiner founder and creator of the “Biodynamic philosophy and principles.
Visit Windrose Farm at www.windrosefarm.org
Join Chef Debbi and The Debettes for our
Fall Farm, Food and Wine Tour
of California’s Central Coast
for more info click here
Central Coast Fall Harvest Adventure
October 24th – 26th, 2014
Join Chef Debbi on another Farm, Food and Wine Adventure
Stay at the lovely Cambria Pines Lodge
Join Chef Debbi & her Debettes for a dinner party/wine tasting Friday evening
Be escorted by The Wine Wrangler experts around Paso Robles to visit:
Pasolivo Olive Ranch for a tasting of local olive oils & more
Rangeland Ranch and Winery
Take a hay ride around the sustainable ranch and vineyards with owner Laird Foshay
Wine Tasting and Vineyard lunch with Lisa & Laird on the patio with a panaromic view of the hills
Wine tasting on Vineyard Dr. as we make our way back to Jack Creek Pumpkin Farm where you can pick up holiday pumpkins, gourds and more
Sat. evening explore local cuisine on your own and rest up for Sun!
Sunday we’ll caravan to Windrose Farm for a biodynamic tour of Bill & Barbara Spencers mystical farm
Chef Debbi, Barbara & Debettes will create a farm feast for you with what we’ve found on the farm that day
In season usually we can find luscious heirloom tomatoes, shishito peppers, potatoes, all kinds of greens and it’s apple season!
Don’t miss this limited seating tour. Drive yourself up the coast and meet Chef Debbi & her crew for a Farm, Food and Wine Adventure!
$675.00, per person, double occupancy
I also have a special suite for a party of 5-6 ppl, call for a special rate
All rooms have fireplaces, hot buffet breakfast is included
$650.00 total fee if paid in full by Sept 1. Payment plan available, contact Chef Debbi @ info@debskitchen for billing
There will be a 2.9% fee added (listed as a ‘tax’) but it is a credit card fee that goes to Paypal
How to Make Mashed Potatoes!
1 medium organic* russet potato person
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 -2 tablespoons butter, REAL BUTTER, unsalted
1/2 cup milk (cream if you want to be decadent, or mix the two)
Sea Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon sour cream, optional
1 teaspoon chives, optional
1 tablespoon grated cheese, optional
Wash potatoes and then cut into large chunks, place into a large saucepan and cover with cool water. Add a tablespoon of Kosher salt, bring to a boil and cook until fork tender, about 15 minutes.
Heat the butter with the milk (I use the microwave). If you use the microwave wait to heat until the potatoes are cooked. Drain the potatoes and peel the skin off with tongs. For creamy soft mashed potatoes slip through a ricer into the still hot saucepan that you cooked them in (without any water!) If you don’t have a ricer just put the chunks back into the pan, place on the stove over low heat for a minute or two. This helps to dry them a little further so they absorb the butter and milk more evenly.
Add enough butter and milk (or cream) to the potatoes and lightly mashed with a potato masher, they should come together easily. Don’t overwork the potatoes or they can turn gummy. Season with sea salt and pepper to taste and add any optional ingredients, serve.
If you’re making potatoes for a crowd they can be made about 1 hour ahead of time and kept warm on low in a preheated slow cooker! (I don’t remember where I learned that trick but thank you to whoever it was that shared it)
*Organic potatoes, all kinds of pesticides and sprays are used on conventional potatoes to keep bugs from eating them while they grow. Then to harvest them and finally to keep them from sprouting in the store. Choose organic for your health.
I usually freeze my tomatoes until I have time later to make sauce, ketchup or just can some chopped tomatoes for later use. (I freeze them by washing and drying them, placing them on a baking sheet and freezing until solid. No, I do not peel or seed them as the skin comes off easily when they are defrosted. Once frozen, I place into an airtight freezer bag and return to the freezer. This allows me to defrost one or ten, however many I need at the time.)
I like to do ‘small batch’ canning, which means I can do a few jars at a time. Of course when my tomatoes come in all at once, I haul out the big canner and fill it up. The basic procedure for canning small or large batches is the same only the equipment varies slightly. If I’m canning a small batch instead of the big canner, I can usually use a large stockpot, deep enough for the water to cover the jars by 2″. I use a cake rack for the bottom of the stockpot so the jars don’t sit on the bottom of the pot where they could possibly break. That’s it!
Tomatoes-I do not peel or seed my tomatoes, just pack them raw
Tomato juice (you could also use hot water)
Fresh herbs, optional
- A stockpot or regular canner (tall enough so the jars are submerged by 2″ while processing)
- A rack for the bottom of the stockpot or canner
- Canning lifters (for jars & for lids), wide mouth funnel
- Canning jars, lids and screw bands
- Several clean tea towels
- Baking sheet
Place the rack in the bottom of your stockpot. Make sure to choose a deep enough pot so that the jars will be covered 2″ of water.
Fill the pot with water and begin to bring to a boil. Line a baking sheet with a clean tea towel.
Wash and dry the jars, lids and screw bands. Place lids into a small saucepan with hot water.
Prepare tomatoes by washing and lying out on a towel to air dry (they don’t have to be totally dry). If desired, cut tomatoes into quarters and set aside. I don’t peel or seed my tomatoes before packing as the skin comes right off when I take them out of the jar. If I don’t want to use the seeds, I simply strain them out.
Heat jars by placing them into the stockpot while you bring the water to a boil. Remove them to the cloth lined baking sheet when you are ready to fill with tomatoes. (The water in the stockpot should be boiling or very close to it).
Place one or two slices of lemon on the bottom of your jar.
Fill your jars with tomatoes, really squish them in there, and use a wooden spoon to smash them down. Add a sprinkle of sea salt and a tablespoon of lemon juice (from a real lemon). You can also add herbs such as basil, thyme or parsley. Using a plastic knife or chopstick, slide it down the side of the jar removing any air bubbles. Add tomato juice to cover the tomatoes and a slice of lemon at the top of the jar before sealing. Leave a 1/2″ headspace.
Wipe the top of the jar, removing any debris from the screw area and the top of the jar. Place the lid and the screw top on the jar, closing only finger tight, and place on the rack in the canner or stockpot. Make sure the jars are covered by 2″ water, bring to a boil and time for 40 minutes (for pints) or 45 (for qts). The water must be boiling the entire 40 minutes or you’ll need to restart the timer from the beginning. Remove to a cloth lined baking sheet and let cool for 24 hours before moving.
After 24 hours, if the center of the lid still moves up and down the jar has not sealed properly. You can reprocess this jar once or just put it in the refrigerator and use within a few days.
A Little Glimpse Into Fall 2013 Tour
Sorry we missed you. Check back for upcoming Tours
October 11 -13, 2013
Fall Harvest Tour
Cambria & Paso Robles
California’s Beautiful Central Coast
Accommodations at Cambria Pines Lodge
Did you know October is Scarecrow Harvest Festival in Cambria, don’t miss them!
Friday Evening Events
Incredible Cambria Fall Farmers Market
Self-Guided Tour, Optional
Italian Style Dinner Party Cooking Class
Learn to make your own mozzarella cheese
Your own handmade grilled pizza
Italian Salads, Local Wine & Fun!
10:00 – 3:00 (approximately)
Tour with Wine Wrangler
Vineyard Wine Tour and Tasting
Private ‘Vineyard’ Lunch and Tasting at Croad Winery
10 – 2 (approximately)
Biodynamic Farm Tour & Lunch
Join Bill & Barbara Spencer for a unique farm tour and learn all about Biodynamic Farming and why it should be important to you and your food supply. Spend a few hours on a real working family farm then relax under the huge oak tree with a seasonal farm to table lunch prepared with ingredients that are found on the farm that day. Well, maybe a few extra treats thrown in! It’s a day you soon won’t forget