Holm Family Cookbook

Some eat to live, we live to eat!

Cowgirl's Foodie Blog

Broadway Pea Salad for the Brew Angels

Posted by holmfamilycookbook on October 23, 2012 at 9:35 AM

Recently the Brew Angels, the home brew club my husband Troy and I belong to, had a BBQ potluck meeting. Knowing there was sausage and ribs on the menu, my mind wandered to vegetables and then to the pea salad I had at Skates on the Bay many years ago. I went online looking for recipes. Someone had blogged about the Broadway Pea Salad at Skates, but the recipe that was posted by the blogger wasn't my favorite. I looked further and found a recipe from Clinkerdagger's in Spokane. This was the one I chose to modify a bit. I am always a bit hesitant about taking anything with mayonnaise in it to a potluck, but I kept it in the ice chest right until the meat was served.


Mind you, peas have never been my favorite. In fact, at the Thanksgiving kid's table, they were a chosen form of ammunition! There was just something about this salad that I liked. Maybe because the peas weren't thoroughly cooked, or was it the bacon? Here is the final recipe below that I ended up making, it paired well with the ribs and beer!


But wait, most important of all, what was on tap at the BBQ?? Bohemian lager, Cocoa Porter (chick beer), Chocolately and creamy, APA - American Pale Ale, IPA - India Pale ale, Bourbon, Barrel ESB - Extra Strong Bitters, American Strong Ale , Black IPA, American Brown, English IPA. And don't forget the 21st Amendment Watermelon Wheat in cans!


Broadway Pea Salad - 8 servings
(Modified from Clinkerdagger's Broadway Pea Salad)


1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup sour cream 

1 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon salt

(I made the whole amount of dressing, but only used half)


Water chestnuts, bacon, and red onion really add flavor to this recipe

Salad Ingredients

3.5 pounds frozen baby peas, thawed but not cooked (see note)

5 ounces water chestnuts, sliced and cut in half

8 ounces bacon, some fat trimmed off, cooked crisp and broken into pieces

1/4 cup finely diced red onion

Blend together mayonnaise, sour cream, pepper and salt. Combine baby peas, water chestnuts, bacon and red onions with dressing until ingredients are well coated.



Refrigerate at least 24 hours before serving. Stir twice each day to redistribute dressing.


Slowly thaw the peas at room temperature


Note: Peas must be naturally thawed. Slow thawing under refrigeration is best. Room temperature is acceptable, but do not place in water. Place the thawed peas on paper-towel lined pans and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes to purge the remaining excess moisture from the peas. If peas are not thoroughly thawed or have been thawed in water and not properly drained, they will dilute the dressing.


Susie Calhoun, a Brew Angel

Flying with the Brew Angels at the Amador County Fair

Posted by holmfamilycookbook on July 15, 2012 at 5:20 PM

My husband, Troy Bowers and I, we have a passion for fairs. I just finished my summer job at the Alameda County Fair and Troy is gearing up as the CEO of the Amador County Fair. As the fair approaches, the contests are all a happenin'. I was happy to help with the Homebrew Competition, co-hosted by our club, the Brew Angels and the Beer Appreciation Society of Sacramento (BASS).

Bill and Jackie Tarchala, coordinate the competition and food. David Teckham, a Grand Master Judge and brew educator, is responsible for the judges. Roger and Samie Watson take charge of the cellar, stewards and score keeping.

Judging the Best of Show at the Homebrew Competition

Rick and Marilyn Reineman assume the responsibilities of paperwork and over the top desserts. Many of the Brew Angels help by judging, stewarding, bringing food, setting up and cleanup.


This year there were 97 homebrew entries. 43 commercial craft brews were judged, entered by 7 breweries. The 48 judges and stewards spent all day Saturday judging the beers. It is a tradition of this competition to have a large variety of DELICIOUS foods.


Bill always prepares the meat. This year he barbecued chicken and grilled gourmet hamburgers. Jackie, of Kneading Dough Bakery made hamburger buns.

There was a variety of appetizers. I brought the dates wrapped in bacon (see my post from December), seems anything wrapped in bacon is popular!  I also prepared Vivian's Garlic Dip from our cookbook and have included the recipe below.

David Teckham, Marilyn Reineman, Roger Watson setting up appetizers

There were a variety of salads and desserts. Marilyn Reineman made several desserts. I found the dark fudgesickles my favorite.

Dark Fudgesickle, yum!

She also made a cherry and blueberry ice cream cake – red, white and blue - in the shape of the United States.


Women have always been involved in brewing, but I have noticed more this year than ever. Among the judges, Craig Zangari, is organizer of the Queen of Beer 2012 competition. Lisa Agoitia, tasting room manager at American River Brewing Company, was one of several female judges.


After a long day of judging it was determined that the brewing team of Ryan Truax and Constance Marshall from Los Angeles had the Homebrew with their Light Hybrid Blonde Ale Best of Show.  Best of Show Commercial Brew was High Water, Anniversary Dupplesticke. High Water Brewing, brewed by Steve Altamari and John Anthony in San Leandro at Drake's Brewing Company.


The Amador County Fair, host of this event, opens on Thursday, July 15, 2012. This year they will be offering Micro Brew tastings from 11:00 – 4:00 on both Saturday and Sunday, July 27th  and 28th. The Fair's theme this year is "Barn in the USA." As you travel to Plymouth, be sure to enjoy all the different barns in Amador County!

Enjoy the dip and see you at the fair!

Vivian’s Garlic Dip

Makes 1 cup

Serve it with crackers or raw vegetables. We also ate it on some of Jackie’s toasted bread, mmm good! It is also good as a sandwich spread. If you have basil in your garden, this is a great way to use it up. Try to make this 2 to 3 days ahead of time. The longer it sits, the better it gets!


1 (8.5-ounce) jar oil-packed sun-dried

tomatoes, cut into small pieces

(reserve the oil)

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 handful fresh basil leaves, chopped

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup plain yogurt or sour cream


In a small bowl, combine the tomatoes, garlic, basil, and thereserved oil from the sundried tomatoes, and toss lightly. Let marinate for up to 3 days.

Drain the excess oil from the tomato mixture and discard the oil. Place the tomato mixture in a mixing bowl, add the cream cheese, and blend together. Add enough yogurt to get the desired consistency.


Thanks to Becky Calhoun Foster for submitting her mom's recipe for our cookbook!

~ Susie


Warm Buttery Beer Bread

Posted by holmfamilycookbook on January 8, 2012 at 11:15 AM

Warm buttery beer bread

In November my sister Nancy and I participated in the Alameda County CattleWomen's Dutch Oven Gathering. The bread that won the bread category was a beer bread made by the Alameda County CattleWomen's president, Allison Batteate. Her beer bread was some of the best bread I have ever tasted. I made the bread at our New Year's Day get together at the party barn and it was a hit. Besides being delicious, I think this bread has to be some of the easiest to make. There are only five ingredients in the bread and the hands on preparation time is less than 10 minutes.  In addition to baking it outside in a Dutch oven, it can also be baked in the kitchen in your conventional oven.

There are only five ingredients in the beer bread

The blob of beer bread dough before it has risen for 20 minutes

Preparing the coals

The bread is baking on the right

Drizzling the bread with butter while it's baking

Beer Bread – Serves 6-8


3 cups self-rising flour

3 – 5 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 can or bottle of beer (warmed)

1/4 cup melted butter


Warm a well oiled 10” Dutch oven. Mix the dry ingredients together. (You did use self-rising flour, right?) Add the warm beer and mix until all of the dry ingredients are mixed in with the wet ingredients. The batter will be sticky. Lob the dough into the middle of the Dutch oven. Cover and allow to rise for 20 minutes. Place 7 coals under the Dutch oven and 14 coals on top. Drizzle melted butter over the top every 15 minutes while cooking. Rotate the lid every 15 minutes. After 20 minutes remove the bottom coals. Continue cooking with the 14 coals on top of the oven. The total cooking time is about 1 hour. The bread is done when the top is golden and the bread sounds hollow when patted.

Directions for baking in a conventional oven:  Mix the dough according to directions above. Place the dough in a warm well oiled 10" skillet or Dutch oven. Cover and allow to rise for 20 minutes. While the bread is rising, preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Drizzle some melted butter over the top every 15 minutes while the bread is baking.  I have found the baking time in my oven is about 45 minutes, which is about 15 minutes less than over the coals in a Dutch oven.

“If thou tastest a crust of bread, thou tastest all the stars and all the heavens.” ~Robert Browning


Pub Crawling with the Brew Angels to the North Bay

Posted by holmfamilycookbook on December 1, 2011 at 7:35 AM

My husband, Troy, and I were able to attend the Brew Angel’s 63rd Annual Pub Crawl. The crawl was well attended, with 31 people boarding the bus for our trek to Moylan’s Brewery and Restaurant, Lagunitas Brewing Company, Third Street Ale Works and finally, Bear Republic. The back of the bus is reserved for the homebrews that members brought to share, very popular and tasty. It was a bright sunny day with beautiful views as we drove across Highway 12 from Lodi to the North Bay. This bus was equipped with a restroom, which we were discouraged to use for obvious reasons and “hold on” if we did!

Moylan's Brewery and Restaurant in Novato

Our first stop was Moylan's Brewery and Restaurant in Novato. The bartender lined up a plethora of brews for us to taste: Hopsicle Triple Hoppy IPA , Celts Golden Ale, Kilt Lifter Scotch Ale, Ryan O’Sullivan’s Imperial Stout, Irish Style Red, Orange and Black, White Christmas Spiced White Winter Lager. I would say my favorite was the Orange and Black, a special brew commemorating the San Francisco Giants World Series win. I first bought this beer in a bottle – a stout with hints of orange. All the beers were delicious and well balanced. Moylan’s has won many awards, both nationally and internationally. This was voted as our favorite brewery so far!

Lagunitas Brewing Company in Petaluma

Up the road in Petaluma, we stopped at the Lagunitas Brewing Company.  A trip to the TapRoom and Beer Sanctuary is something to experience. A brewery that has always pushed the envelope, their facility is so very unique and artistically eclectic. Brian, our Lagunitas historian and tasting guide, shared much of their history and the story behind some of their beer names.

One such story would be the release of a brew to commemorate the Undercover Sting in their early days. They are in the process of a multimillion dollar expansion. We had the opportunity to taste Hop Stoopid, Pils – Czech Style Pilsner, Maixmus and a few others. Most of their beers I would consider “big beers” with high alcohol content, very well hopped.

Loved this stop! You may want to check out the Beer Circus in May. There was a great write up in The Celebrator Beer News about this now annual event, check it out!

Third Street Aleworks

Next stop was the Third Street AleWorks in Santa Rosa. This being our lunch stop, we were in need of food. The almonds and jerky I brought along were not holding up to the big beers! They had an extensive beer list, with lists posted on the wall, including alcohol content. We were offered a limited lunch menu with plenty of choices. Most popular at our table was the fish and chips.

At our table there were also grilled tri tip steak salad ,

and the Italian Pizza.

I ordered the Bird on Third - grilled chicken breast with bacon, avocado, pepper jack cheese served on a toasted French roll.

What do I like best about pub food? French fries! They were cooked to perfection, with the skins on. Some of the beers we tasted were: Annadel Pale Ale, Bodega Head IPA, Stonely Oatmeal Stout, Cascadian Dark Ale and American Wheat Ale. The service was remarkably smooth for a large group. Some people took the opportunity to run over to Russian River Brewing and taste some of their famous Pliney the Elder.

Bear Republic Brewing Company and Restaurant

Our final stop was Bear Republic Brewing Company and Restaurant in Healdsburg. Known for their Racer 5 we tasted that along with Big Bear, Red Rocket, Peter Brown Tribute Ale. Brian, a brewing assistant, gave us a short tour and took us over to the Barrel Room. The Barrel Room was set up for a dinner that evening. Bear Republic has won many awards, is home of the Best IPA in the US and has expanded their brewing facility to Cloverdale. The beer was tasty, well hopped. You could tell the day was wearing on us by this stop and it was time to load up the bus. As we were leaving Bear Republic, the dinner crowd was filtering in.

The bus ride back to Lodi was quieter than the ride over. There was still beer in the back for those that wanted it. As we pulled into the Flying J lot at the intersection of I-5 and Hwy 12, designated drivers met the bus. All headed home, looking forward to next year’s 64th annual Brew Angel’s Pub Crawl.


"I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts, and beer."

- Abraham Lincoln

On the Road to "Anything Goes"

Posted by holmfamilycookbook on November 19, 2011 at 3:20 PM

An Anything Goes billboard on the corner of Broadway and 47th Street

Last month my husband Troy and I made a quick trip to New York City. Before leaving on the trip we made a list of everything we wanted to see in the city. First on the list was  a Broadway production! The thought of standing in line with hundreds to get a half price ticket at TKTS had no appeal, so when Travel Zoo sent out an email with discounts to Broadway productions, I hopped on it. This helped narrow our choices. Troy and I chose Anything Goes, a revival of the 1934 musical, at the newly remodeled Stephen Sondheim Theater. When looking at the reviews on didhelikeit.com to make a choice, Anything Goes had rave reviews.

The newly remodeled Stephen Sondheim Theater

We had tickets for the Sunday matinee and naturally we had to get a meal before seeing the show. While we were on our way to the theater the first restaurant we came upon was Heartland Brewery . . . which was PERFECT for us craft beer lovers! First off we ordered the beer sampler that included one of the specialty brews and six other samples. We started with the Indian River Light which was described as having the flavor of orange blossoms with coriander to enhance the crisp finish. It was the best of all. This was followed by Cornhusker Lager and a Harvest Wheat. Red Rooster Ale followed, this one tasted really good with French fries. The IPA  was flavorful, but it really couldn't compare to the California IPAs. Farmer John's Oatmeal Stout has won various medals at the Great American Beer Festival - this was a bit light for my liking. Finally, the specialty brew that day was the Smiling Pumpkin Ale, which was a lightly spiced brew. One of their "beer cocktails" was Stumpkin, a blend of the stout and pumpkin brews. The stout was so light it could be over powered by the pumpkin.

The Heartland Brewery in New York City

The beer sampler at Heartland Brewery

Along with the beer and food, Heartland also served a variety of cocktails, beer cocktails and wine. On the wine list was an Axis, 2007 Lodi Zinfandel for $36. The menu was a typical pub menu, with some variations. We chose the mini bison burgers with BBQ sauce and sliced tomato, it was juicy and flavorful. The French fries had skins on, were well done, and sprinkled with sea salt - just like I like them! Finally I had a chop salad with capers, garbanzo beans, feta cheese, kalamata olives, red onions, grape tomatoes, celery and croutons. It was too heavily dressed for me and the vegetables a bit wilted. Heartland has several locations throughout Manhattan.

Heartland Brewery's mini bison burgers

The chop salad at Heartland Brewery

When we arrived at the theater, the line to go in had already formed and people were all ready entering to see Anything Goes. Each doorway had an usher dressed as a sailor. The sets for the musical are described as "deco." I cannot say enough about this production. Every detail left a favorable and lasting impression. The music, the dancing, the costumes, the sets, the performers – all made for a memorable theate rexperience.


It was a great first day in New York City!


Eat and Drink Your Way Around the World - A Disney Adventure For Adults

Posted by holmfamilycookbook on October 24, 2011 at 8:40 AM

Adult food and beverages found at the Epcot Theme Park

Disney's Epcot Park in Orlando holds an international food and wine festival in October and the first part of November each year. The international marketplace that surrounds the lake at Epcot has kiosks set up in each "country" where you can buy a beer or wine paired with a tapa-sized entree or dessert specialty from the 22 countries represented. So, you can start in Australia (which is number 1 on the map below) and drink and eat your way around the world. On an occasion or two I've made the unfortunate mistake of not pacing myself and halfway around the world I've found that I've had a wee too much to drink.


A map of the Epcot theme park with numbers marking all of the opportunities where you can try food and beverages from other countries during the Food and Wine Festival

In addition to the kiosks in the international marketplace, there are also events that you can purchase tickets for in advance. Some of these events include cooking demos and meals prepared by well-known chefs from TV cooking shows and upscale hotels and restaurants. There are also Italian and French food and wine pairing events, tequila tasting, and a chocolate tasting paired with spirited beverages and wines lead by a professional chocolatier.

This year I had an opportunity to attend a private dining event during the Food and Wine Festival. In the true magical Disney fashion, we were driven behind the scenes and led through the park to a huge decorative wooden gate that opened to a dining hall that looked like it was decorated for the arrival of Cinderella. Inside there were stations set up with chefs at each station that prepared a dish for us and we were served a glass of wine that had been paired with the dish. My favorite dish of the night was the lean spiced duck medallion that was paired with a Pinot Noir. My friends liked the seared scallops the best. Oh yeah, did I mention that I also had a cosmopolitan?

The entrance to the dining room where the private dinner event was held

A couple of the chefs



Lean marinated duck served with potato mash and mango chutney

Scallops served with a grilled lemon and garlic bread

Short ribs served on pureed parsnips

If you visit Epcot when the food and wine festival is not in operation, never fear--you can still eat foods and sample alcoholic beverages from other countries. Just to name a few of the opportunities available, in Mexico they are always serving margaritas, there is an outstanding Norwegian bakery and a fancy French restaurant, German beer is always flowing in Germany, and there is a great British pub just waiting for you in Britain!


A Day at Half Moon Bay

Posted by holmfamilycookbook on August 19, 2011 at 11:00 AM

Just about an hour drive from my house is Half Moon Bay, which is a small farming community next to the Pacific Ocean. On Thursday, my sister Nancy and I took my girls there for the day. Shortly after arriving in Half Moon Bay, my youngest daughter let us know she needed to be home early because she was going to an event that night and her friends were all meeting at our house at 4:30 pm to get ready. So, what had started out as a leisurely day in Half Moon Bay, now became the "let's see and do everything we can in a few hours day."

Our first stop in Half Moon Bay was at Jeff Clark Maverick's Surf Shop. Jeff Clark was one of the founders of the world famous Maverick's surf contest and is a world class surfboard shaper. Nancy ended up buying a surfboard. OK, so it wasn't a full sized surf board-- it was a wooden postcard shaped like a surfboard.

Jeff Clark Maverick's Surf Shop

Our next stop was the Half Moon Bay Brewing Company for lunch. Although it was cold and foggy, we opted to sit outside to eat. Nancy and I shared one of the Maverick's beer samplers. We really liked the Devil's Slide Summer Ale, which was served with lemon. As for the food, we started off with the artichoke hearts that are battered with an amber ale batter. A couple of us had cups of the clam chowder, which was outstanding. The consistency was just right and the flavor was great. The soups are made daily from scratch. Nancy had Avô's Portuguese Fisherman's Stew, which was also outstanding. The fisherman's stew is a mix of fresh fish, shellfish, fennel and linguica in a garlic broth with cilantro. If you click here, you can get the recipe. My daughters both had the pear salad, which is made with radicchio, spring mix, endive, candied walnuts and pecans, roasted pear, dried cranberries and bleu cheese with raspberry vinaigrette. I had the crab louie. Reminder to myself: If it's not crab season, don't order the crab louie.

Half Moon Bay Brewing Company

Maverick's Beer sampler

Half Moon Bay Brewing Company's clam chowder

Avô's Portuguese Fisherman's Stew - Click here for the recipe

Right across the street from the Monterey Bay Brewing Company is Barbara's Fish Trap, which is our parent's favorite restaurant in Half Moon Bay. We ran into to some other people that day that also said Barbara's Fish Trap is their favorite restaurant in the area. Barbara's is a four star restaurant on Yelp and Half Moon Bay Brewing is only 3.5 stars. Might be worth checking out.

Barbara's Fish Trap in Half Moon Bay

Our next stop was Main Street in the historic downtown Half Moon Bay. Cuhna's Country Grocery was one of the places we really wanted to visit on Main Street. At Cuhna's we were pleased to find a selection of Portuguese foods, which included a few types of linguica and pies from a Portuguese bakery. The Portuguese offerings in our hometown are pretty minimal.

Cuhna's Country Grocery

There are quite a few interesting stores and sights in the Historic Downtown area. At the southern end of Main Street is the Toque Blanche cooking store and next to it is the Moonside Bakery and Cafe. Had we not been on stringent schedule, we probably could have spent half of the day in the cooking store, which "sells professional quality cookware and tools to the serious home chef." It appears they do cooking demonstrations in the store and the staff is very knowledgeable about the tools and cookware that they sell. The bakery and cafe next door had quite a variety of sweets and an indoor dining area that was decorated in such a way that you would feel you were dining outside.

Toque Blance cooking store


Moonside Bakery and Cafe bakery goods

Moonside Bakery and Cafe dining area

There are a few boutique hotels in the historic downtown area. Each one looks very inviting. I would sure like to get back there to stay in one of them for a weekend.


Hotels in historic Half Moon Bay: San Benito House (left) and HMB Hotel (right)

Cottage Industries handcrafted furniture store

It's Italia restaurant front (left) and a window display a few doors down (left)

One of the murals in historic downtown Half Moon Bay

Historic home

Half Moon Bay's historic jail--I expected a Barney Fife character to step outside any minute


Not sure, but we think this is an art gallery

Part of a mosaic in the town square

While on Main Street we also visited the Half Moon Bay Feed and Fuel store, which is actually still a feed store that in addition to livestock feed sells farm and ranch supplies, horse tack supplies, pets and pet supplies. They also sell chickens. They had an impressive variety of chicks available. One of the employees spent a few minutes with us showing us the color of eggs that each breed lays. The chicks they were selling would produce brown, pink, and blue eggs.

Chicks for sale at the Half Moon Bay Feed and Fuel

Just blocks away from the historic downtown are public beaches. As I mentioned earlier, it was cold and foggy in Half Moon Bay on Thursday; however, since we were so close to the ocean, we really needed to at least take a walk on the beach.

Auntie Nancy on the beach with my daughters

The cliffs along the beach

When we drive to Half Moon Bay from the East Bay Area, we take Highway 92, which winds it's way down a mountain into Half Moon Bay and we pass several farms selling food, flowers, and plants. During the fall the farms sell pumpkins and during the winter you can cut your own Christmas tree. Naturally, we had to stop at a few of the farms on the way out of town.

Flowers, pumpkins, beans, sunflowers and other crops along Highway 92

Beets and Swiss chard

Cabbage and freshly cut zinnias

Honeycombs and pumpkins

Honey, pumpkin blossoms, and green onions

All-in-one gift store, flower stand, and veggie stand

As you can see, we were able to see a lot in a very short amount of time in Half Moon Bay. Some of the things we did not get to enjoy were the bike trails, watching surfers, cocktails at the pretentious Ritz-Carlton, and playing in the water. So, I guess I'm just going to have to go back for the weekend real soon.


Community Tap and Table

Posted by holmfamilycookbook on April 26, 2011 at 12:40 AM

Troy Bowers serving beer to Darin Michaels and Emily Baime of the Community Tap and Table Cooking Club

Beer and food rate very high on my list of favorite things. I was watching Sacramento and Company one morning when I heard, "beer and food"--that really caught my attention.  Emily Baime and Darin Michaels were talking about their Community Tap and Table Cooking Club cooking classes, which are designed to build your culinary knowledge focusing on seasonal, local foods paired with beer. With excitement I visited their website and shared it with fellow Brew Angel, Rick Reineman, an accomplished home brewer. Rick contacted Community Tap and Table regarding pairing some of his homebrews with food. The three of them gathered, tasted Rick’s brew and then Emily and Darin created a menu to pair with the beers. The date was set, beers and food chosen.

There were seven pairings. Rick had brewed five of the beers, Troy Bowers, my husband brewed one beer and one commercial beer was used. Troy and I joined Rick and Marilyn Reineman, Judith Sanderson and Robert Hershenow in Emily and Darin’s kitchen. The kitchen was set up with different stations for preparing the meal. We were all given a menu that included the recipes. From this we chose the dish we would prepare. Cooking in front of people is not really in my comfort zone, however, Emily provided a very friendly kitchen. I chose the salad. Some drank their beer, others worked on their dish, some did both.

The salad station

Shrimp, avocado, citrus salad dressed with an olive-miso vinagerette

 After preparation, we had the opportunity to taste all of the pairings. First to cross our palates was Rocky Racoon’s Light Honey Lager (an American premium lager) paired with a shrimp, avocado, citrus salad under an olive-miso vinagerette. This is the dish I had chosen to prepare--how could I mess this up?! Marilyn prepared the Baked Brie with Salted Clove Caramel. This was then passed amongst ust. We enjoyed the brie with sliced apples and Pilsner Urquell, which was our lone commercial brew.

Caramel station


Apples, brie, and caramel

Emily had prepared a corn beef to be served with Swiss cheese on marble rye – in the form of a Panini. Robert spread mustard, precisely placed the corn beef and cheese then pressed them in the Panini grill. On the same platter we were served Emily’s homemade jalapeno pickles . . .  “guaranteed to curl your eye lashes!” Heat frightens me, so I cut a small piece of the pickle – delicious! Paired with the Panini was a California Common, an amber hybrid. Most of us would recognize the commercial version, Anchor Steam. This pairing rated high on my palate.


The panini station

Next on the menu was Bacon Asparagus Soup, paired with German Altbier. This was refreshingly tasty! The soup was served in large shot glasses. Included in the asparagus soup were tarragon, parsley, and green peas. These ingredients are what gave it the refreshing quality. The altbier beer by style is crispier and hoppier which complimented the soup.

Troy’s Vienna Lager was served with Small Bites. The Small Bites were squares of pumpernickel with chopped marinated mushrooms. A nice transition to what I call “The Big Daddy.” This was a Brasciole filled with raisins, dried fruits, and aged cheddar paired with English Barleywine. Judith prepared the Brasciole by flattening the ground pork and dried fruit, covering it with greens, prosciutto and then cheddar. Emily carefully rolled the meat into a large log. This was roasted and then served in slices with Rick’s award winning Barleywine. This brew, with 10% alcohol, uses English hops giving it an earthy, musty flavor. This beer was awarded the Best of Show at the 2009 California State Homebrew Competition.


The brasciole station

Judith cutting the brasciole

To end our afternoon of food and brew, we were treated to Kobaisc’s Candies. Cinnamon and ginger chocolates paired with Belgian Triple. Another fine pairing! Kobasic’s Candies is located right down the street from Community Tap and Table. Rick’s Triple is based with coriander, chocolate, vanilla, citrus, black pepper and orange rind. The triple is high in alcohol – 13%, but very smooth and complimented the chocolates well.

Rick's brew container from Deschutes

I recommend visiting Community Tap and Table. All of us enjoyed the company of our fellow cooks, the superb pairing of food and brew. Emily and Darin make you feel very comfortable while sharing their knowledge of food and brew… I left VERY satisfied!

~Susie Calhoun

Avo's Portuguese Fisherman's Stew

Posted by holmfamilycookbook on February 22, 2011 at 8:35 AM

Since my visit last fall to the Half Moon Bay Brewing Company, I had been trying to find the time to head back down to try the Avô's Portuguese Fisherman’s Stew. On my last visit, I didn’t notice the stew on the menu until after we had eaten our way into a seafood coma, and being Portuguese, I really wanted to give it a try. They sent me the recipe, and I made a batch at home prior to the visit, sautéing onion, garlic, fennel and adding in a can of diced tomatoes as I didn’t have any fresh, and it was absolutely delicious. You can easily substitute any seafood you have access to, I didn’t have mussels, but had picked up some frozen clams at Trader Joe’s, with shrimp and some cod. The recipe below doesn’t include linguica, but they do include it at the restaurant, small half moon slices, which I believe they fry off in advance, as there wasn’t the usual amount of grease you would find in the broth, I would estimate 1/3 of a linguica link per person.

Beer Sampler Tray with happy tasters!

It was another beautiful day on the patio (despite there still being snow on the hills and a colder breeze blowing than usual), the sun peeked out during lunch, and they have heaters on the patio along with a fire pit, and we enjoyed every minute of the view. We had to test out the Beer Sampler Tray again, and warm up with some appetizers, ½ orders of steamed garlic shrimp, fried artichokes and THE BEST calamari we had ever eaten, so tender, lightly breaded and crispy with mouth watering tartar and cocktail sauces. The Fisherman’s Stew was a perfect choice on a cold blustery day, a hot flavorful broth and plenty of mussels, clams and shrimp to share, flaky salmon and halibut, and that old Portuguese favorite, lincuica (the recipe below calls for pasta, but they don’t serve it with the pasta at the restaurant).

The other entrees were stout portions and equally delicious, the special of the day was a Crab Roll, heaped with fresh Dungeness Crab on a crusty browned French roll, a very savory remoulade and served with great French fries;

a classic Crab Louis, and a Celebration Steamer that comes in a big pot they deliver to the table filled with steamed Dungeness Crab, corn, potatoes, artichoke and garlic bread.

Chef Gaston Alfaro told us that we needed to come back when we hadn’t eaten so much and try their Beer-amisu (you got it, Tiramisu with their brew in it!!). I will definitely be back, there are still a dozen items on the menu I want to try!

Two hours of service with a smile, Chef Gaston with our server!


Avô's Portuguese Fisherman’s Stew

Half Moon Bay Brewing Company, Half Moon Bay

A seasonal mix of fresh fish, shellfish, and linguica in a garlic broth with cilantro. Brewmaster's Beer Suggestion: Princeton-by-the-Sea IPA; two varieties of English hops give our malty India Pale Ale a citrus-like aroma and flavor.  


The recipe for this signature dish came from the grandfather (Avô is Portuguese for grandfather) of one of the Half Moon Bay Brewing Company's owners. Avô, who traveled the world as a merchant marine, regularly fished and visited Half Moon Bay during Prohibition. This recipe was created utilizing his worldly culinary expertise as well as the fish he caught in Half Moon Bay.


24 clams (manila or covels)

12 black mussels

2 pound assortment of sea fish (swordfish, salmon, sea bass or rock cod)

Pasta for 2 (penne, fettuccini, linguine)

8 oz. clam or chicken broth

1 good sized diced tomato

1 tbs. Canola oil

1 tbs. Diced garlic

½ cup white wine

¼ tsp. Kosher salt and ground black peppercorns

1 tbs. parlsey, dill & basil

½ cup sliced fennel


Start pasta per instructions. In a 5 quart stewing pot, sauté oil, white wine, salt, pepper, garlic and shellfish. Add in clam or chicken broth and steam for approximately 15 minutes until clams open. Add fish and simmer for about 5 minutes. Add chili flakes. Divide pasta into two bowls and cover with stew. Sprinkle with tomatoes, parsley, dill, basil and fennel. Garnish with cilantro. Serves 2.

We headed home with a Growler full of Sandy Beach Blonde Hefeweizen for Bob,

our favorite brew of the day with a squeeze of lemon.

Até logo, bom apetite!


Half Moon Bay's Restaurant Trail

Posted by holmfamilycookbook on November 10, 2010 at 8:55 AM

My friend Patty and I took our bikes down to Half Moon Bay for a long awaited bike ride and seafood fest. We started our excursion at Poplar Beach (where there is free parking) and headed North on the Half Moon Bay Coastal Trail, a beautiful 6-mile paved trail that winds along the coast to Pillar Point Harbor.




It’s an absolutely gorgeous ride along the beaches and cliffs of the Pacific, and boy-oh-boy, star studded with restaurants the entire way - you could eat yourself into a seafood coma along those 6 miles! On the route we cruised past the Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society, Miramar Beach Restaurant, Sam’s Chowder House, Crab Landing, Barbara’s Fishtrap, Half Moon Bay Brewing Company and Mezza Luna. We didn’t quite make it to Mezza Luna, we parked our bikes at the Brewing Company, found a seat outdoors on the patio with a view of the harbor, and soaked in the sunshine. Gotta love California, we were in our t-shirts and shorts, and after the fog broke, and it was down right balmy in November! But just in case, they have firepits blazing on the patio to keep you warm on the days the fog doesn’t burn off. The brewery is definitely dog friendly, there was a dog at every other table on the patio, from small to large.




We started off the seafood fest with their Mavericks Beer & Ale Sampler: Bootlegger’s Brown Ale, Harbor Lights Ale, Pillar Point Pale Ale, Mavericks Amber Ale, Princeton-by-the-Sea IPA, Sandy Beach Blonde Hefeweisen and a specialty pumpkin brew. The brewskis were the perfect companion to the Mavericks Artichoke Hearts and ½ order of Garlic Steamed Prawns (we forgot to order the ½ order of artichoke hearts, oops). The ‘chokes were beer battered of course, with the Mavericks Amber Ale, crunchy and delicious with a bleu cheese dressing (I don't like bleu cheese but this was very mild and tasty). I always order artichokes when I’m on the coast, it’s their home after all. The garlic prawns were so fresh and perfectly cooked, and chock full o’ garlic.




That should have been an entire meal, but oh no, the fest had just begun. We ordered the Half Moon Bay Dungeness Crab Louie (paired with the Bootlegger’s Brown Ale) and the Fish and Chips in their signature Mavericks Amber Ale Batter. You have the choice of Rock Cod, Mahi Mahi, Salmon or Halibut.




We were so excited when the food arrived I forgot to take pictures, so we had already eaten half of both entree's by the time I remembered to snap a shot! Their portions are generous indeed! The fish and chips were cooked to perfection, 5 large pieces, delicate white flaky cod, crunchy batter, with steaming hot chips on the side. The Louie took me back to the 60’s and 70’s when we would eat out with our grandparents - Thousand Island dressing, fresh Dungeness crab, plenty of avocado, cucumber, tomatoes, and boiled egg to boot.




I’m already planning my next visit so I can try the brewery's Avo’s Portuguese Fisherman’s Stew, a seasonal mix of fresh fish, shellfish and Linguica in a garlic broth with cilantro, this place is definitely a keeper! It was a good thing we were on bikes, we did end up in somewhat of a beer/seafood coma that we rode off on our way back down the coast.



Surfs up at Mavericks!  Nancy

A Trip To The Beach Chalet

Posted by holmfamilycookbook on April 20, 2010 at 8:55 AM

There’s nothing like heading to the beach for a mental health break, it need not be a long visit, just a whiff of the fresh sea breeze (I think they say it’s the negative ions that make you feel a bit heady), the pounding of the waves, clear blue skies, pure rejuvenation. For over a century, our family has headed to the Pacific for that regenerative lift.


Our great grandmother Hattey Teeter Putney in front of the Cliff House in 1904


Our great grandparents, Carl and Ida Holm, on the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk (wow, that’s a lot of clothing for the beach?!)



Our cousin Iris Murray Stebbins and friends enjoying the cooling waters of the Pacific in the 40’s

Cousin Edna Jorgensen in the sand at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk


The Sisters Blume and I needed to clear our heads one morning, so we took a quick morning trip to the “city” (that’s San Francisco in our neck of the woods), had a leisurely cup of coffee in the Italian neighborhood of North Beach, and then headed West to the beach (not the shore, that’s the other coast!), to one of my absolute favorite eats, The Beach Chalet Brewery & Restaurant. It’s located on Ocean Beach, where Golden Gate Park meets the Pacific, right down the hill from The Cliff House. There are beautiful tile mosaics and murals in the downstairs visitors center that were completed in 1936 as part of a federal works program. In the restaurant, the views of the ocean are incredible, and windows behind the bar open to the brewery.




Lexie had never experienced a beer taster, so we started with the Sample of Six Ales,



Warm Housemade Hummus with Grilled Pita, Cucumber & Mediterranean Olive Salad, and Brittany chose a Housemade Root Beer (designated driver!). This gave us time to review the menu, tough choices! The girls were eating light, a pound of Spicy Hot Wings with Tangy Sauce, Blue Cheese Dressing and Celery Hearts (we pounded a few down before I remembered to take a picture!), 



a Chopped Hearts of Romaine salad,



and since I was at a brewery near the sea, I had to try their VFW Beer Battered Fish and Chips.



Everything was absolutely delicious, the view was awe-inspiring, and the beer soothed our spirits. Full and frefreshed, we were ready to head back to Livermore, reality and work, feeling 100% better!



Hope to see you at the beach! Nancy

Oops! This site has expired.

If you are the site owner, please renew your premium subscription or contact support.