Archive for the ‘Item of Interest’ Category

Spending Christmas in Healdsburg?

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

If you’re spending Christmas in Healdsburg, you may want to check Rosenblum Cellars tomorrow, December 24th. There will be a Holiday Cookie Decorating workshop for some wonderful last minute gifts! Rosenblum Cellars is at 250 Center street, and this even will be from 12:00noon to 3:00PM. You can try Rosenblum’s white wine while decorating your cookies and even your Christmas ornaments!

Please feel free to drop by our Sonoma County Vacations office tomorrow if you’re in the area! We’ll be open from 9:00AM to 2:00PM and we’d love to help you out if you need to book a vacation home for New Year’s, or if you need any recommendations for dining or wine tasting in the area! Happy Holidays!

A Dessert Recipe Perfect For The Holidays

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

There’s nothing like a good dessert dish that will complete your meal and leave you happy! I’ve always loved desserts and I have to have a slice of cake or a delicious cookie at least once a week. So, I’d like to share with you a recipe of one of my favorite desserts- leche flan that I found online from Filipino Food Recipes.

Ingredients:

1 can (390g) evaporated milk
1 can (390g) condensed milk
10 egg yolks
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract or lemon

For the caramel:

1 cup sugar
3/4 cup water

Cooking instructions:

In a saucepan, mix the sugar & water. Bring to a boil for a few minutes until the sugar caramelize.

Pour the caramelized sugar into aluminum moulds – you can use any shape: oval, round or square. Spread the caramel on the bottom of the moulds.

Mix well the evaporated milk, condensed milk, egg yolks and vanilla by hand or blender.

Gently pour the mixture on top of the caramel on the aluminum moulds. Fill the moulds to about 1 to  1 1/4 inch thick.

Cover moulds individually with aluminum foil.

Steam for about 20 minutes (the traditional way to make Leche Flan is by open-air steaming on either an open cooking fire or stove top)

OR

Bake for about 45 minutes. Before baking the Leche Flan, place the moulds on a larger baking pan half filled with very hot water. Pre-heat oven to about 370 degrees before baking.

Let cool then refrigerate.

To serve:

Run a thin knife around the edges of the mould to loosen the Leche Flan. Place a platter on top of the mould and quickly turn upside down to position the golden brown caramel on top.

This is the perfect dessert dish after all that ham, turkey and stuffing! This is a great dish that your kids will definitely love, too!

Have fun making leche flan! Our team here at Sonoma County Vacations wishes you a warm and merry Christmas filled with good food and great company!

A Few Tips For Your Woodburning Fireplace

Monday, December 21st, 2009

Fall and winter is the perfect time to use your fireplace, especially now since it’s been really chilly in the moring and at night!

Your fireplace can be a wonderful source of enjoyment for your home, however, if it isn’t cared for, in could cause harm to people and property, and we wouldn’t that to happen. Thus, we have a few tips here to properly care for your fireplace and your chimney, and hopefully this will be of great help to you and your family.

Keep a type ABC fire extinguisher near the fireplace.

When using artificial logs, make sure to use only one at a time.

Be sure to arrange the andirons so logs can’t roll out.

Once you have your fireplace lit, remember to place your fireplace screen to keep out sparks. If you have glass doors instead of a screen, make sure to keep them shut when no one is watching the fire. Before sleeping, make sure the fire is entirely out before leaving the room.

All chimneys should have an animal/bird guard installed at the top. Sometimes these are visible from the ground but at times, they are not. If you ever hear a bird in the chimney, be sure the damper is shut and call your property management immediately.

Never use paper, cardboard, or your Christmas tree to keep your fire burning. Do not use coal, charcoal, or any type of packaging as well.

Store combustible materials in a different part of the house.

Do not use gasoline or any flammable liquids to light or rekindly a fire because the flammable vapors can explode.

Keep the damper open while the logs are burning to prevent accumulation of poisonous gases.

It is pertinent that you and your family members understand the warning signs of a chimney fire, which are shaking pipes, a loud roar, and sucking sounds. It is best to always have the phone number of the fire department posted where everyone can see it- next to the telephone, and on the refridgerator door.

Prior to disposing ashes, make sure all the ashes have cooled entirely. Place the ashes in a lidded metal container to prevent fire. If you are into gardening, ashes are a good source of fertilizer in flowerbeds.

We hope these tips will help you this season! If you have any questions or if you need help with anything at all, please feel free to give the Healdsburg Property Management and Sonoma County Vacations team! We’re here to help!

Happy Holidays!

Watch Starlings In Ballet Over Dry Creek Valley & Alexander Valley

Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

One of the most amazing things you could see in your life are a flock of starlings fly in the sky altogether- a movement so fluid and majestic.

300,000 starlings fly as one in the most amazing and graceful set of moves. They fly above Dry Creek Valley and Alexander Valley (in Healdsburg) all day long, and it’s best to find a spot overlooking the valley and sit there for a few hours- and we assure you, it will be the best few hours of your life.

We would like to invite you to visit Healdsburg this weekend, when the sun’s out, and watch the starlings do their magic in the sky. Starlings migrate to Healdsburg during fall and winter, and you definitely wouldn’t want to miss this experience! This is such a wonderful experience for you and your family that you shouldn’t miss! We have a few homes overlooking Dry Creek Valley and Alexander Valley, perfect for Starling watching!

If you’d like to have a feel for what starlings look like, you can go to YouTube and search starlings ballet and you’ll see what we’re talking about. We hope to hear from you soon! Please don’t miss out on one of nature’s most amazing gifts!

Thinking Of A Good Christmas Present?

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009

Christmas is just around the corner, and more often than not, we find ourselves wondering what to give our loved ones during the most special time of the year. Why not give wine as Christmas presents to friends and family? Who are 21 and over, mind you.

Alexander Valley Vineyards is charging only 5¢ when you order 2 bottles or more by ground! You can save 10% when you purchase by case, and 15% if you purchase two cases.

Please visit their website, http://www.avvwine.com for more information.

Sonoma County Tourism

Monday, September 21st, 2009

Tourism statistics indicate the sector is on the rise according to D. Ashley Furness of the North Bay Business Journal.  The Sonoma County Tourism Bureau will commence its first, 3 year stratetgic plan, including more tech marketing, a larger home office and additional satellite locations on the east coast and abroad.  Recent hospitality rates show a  rebound, reflected in an increase in occupancy between 7/08-7/09 — the first positive shift of the year.

Don’t flush medicine

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

If you flush unwanted or expired medications down the toilet, you may be surprised to find you’re inadvertently medicating the wildlife in our local waterways.  Wastewater treatment plants aren’t designed to remove synthetic medicines which can harm aquatic animals, especially at the developmental stage of their lives.  Both over the counter and prescriptions drugs are classified as hazardous waste and should always be taken to authorized drop off sites.  Drop offs are:  Healdsburg CVS Drug store at 455 Center Street and the Healdsburg Police Department at 328 Center Street.  Cloverdale at Cloverdale Pharmacy, 117 Broad Street, and Windsor at Health First 9070 Windsor Road and CVS Pharmacy at 9030 Brooks Road.

New in Your Neighborhood

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

Healdsburg and Sonoma County go green with new split body truck pilot program.  New state of the art trucks can collect two different materials, such as garbage and recling in the same truck.  Collecting two materials in one truck decreases the number of trips through neighborhoods by one-third.  Fewer trucks means reduced traffic and fewer heavy vehicles on city streets, reducing carbon footprint.

Weekend Along the Farm Trails

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

Sponsored by Sonoma County Farm Trails,  Open Farms welcome the public Saturday Sept 26 and Sunday Sept. 27 from 10-5.  Dozens of local farmers and artisan producers throughout Sonoma County from Healdsburg to Petaluma will open their doors to tell the behind the scenes story of local food during Weekend Along the Farm Trails.  Tours, Artisan foods, hands-on activities, cooking, pick your own, demonstrations, music and harvest.  From Hayrides to cheese-making — Farm Trails offers a chance to experience Sonoma County’s agricultural heritage.  Learn how and where the food is grown, and meet those who produce it.  Admission is free to most farms.  Tour info and map available on www.farmtrails.org or visit Farm Trails FACEBOOK page for tales from the farms.  707-837-8896.

3rd Annual Healdsburg Arts Festival

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

In downtown Healdsburg Plaza Park.  Sept. 26 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.  Free festival with more than 80 juried artists, fine arts and crafts, a children’s art zone, food, drink music, family entertainment and activities.  For more info visit www.plazaartscenter.org or call 707-431-1970