Thursday, March 17, 2011

3/18 Politics & Pasta, Sojourn Cellars, Royal Rose Radicchio, Toscana, Persian Food, Movies!

What's Cookin' Today Hour ONE:

Vincent "Buddy" Cianci, Jr. Tells Us About His Book, POLITICS AND PASTA: How I Prosecuted Mobsters, Rebuilt a Dying City, Dined with Sinatra, Spent Five Years in a Federally Funded Gated Community, and Lived to Tell the Tale!

Cianci, Jr., is a former prosecutor and Mayor of Providence, Rhode Island. As Mayor, he was credited with turning the city around and making it a destination. He’s presently one of the top radio talk show hosts in New England, chief political analyst for Providence’s ABC affiliate, and host of the weekly TV talk show News on the Record.

The most candid and laugh-out-loud funny political memoir in years from one of the nation’s most talked-about – and most effective – mayors in history. Cianci also doesn’t shy away about explaining why he left the mayor’s office the first time, although he denies the charge of assaulting his wife’s lover with a fireplace log. Cianci also goes into details about the RICO conviction that ended his political career. Although all other charges were dismissed the RICO charge (running a corrupt criminal enterprise) forced him out and led him to spend – as Buddy humorously puts it – “the next five years in a federally funded gated community.”

Craig Haserot Tells Us About His Winery, Sojourn Cellars!

Craig Haserot is co-founder and proprietor of Sojourn Cellars. He oversees sales, marketing, and operations, and he also plays important roles in the finance and winemaking functions of the winery. And while he enjoys his work in all of these different facets of the winery, his favorite part of his job is spending time with customers at release parties, wine events, and Tasting Salon gatherings.

During his nearly ten years in the wine business, Craig has immersed himself in all the aspects of the winery business. On the winemaking front, he has served as unofficial assistant winemaker, planted our estate vineyard (Home Ranch Vineyard), and managed grower relationships at a total of 14 vineyards in 2009. Craig’s main responsibility, however, has been to lead Sojourn’s sales and operations, and his success in these areas has enabled Sojourn’s production to grow to 5000 cases.

After growing up in San Marino, California, Craig attended Humboldt State University and graduated with a degree in Business Administration. He began his 16-year sales and sales management career in computer software with Ashton-Tate and left it in 2001 after working at Micromuse. Sojourn produced its first Cabernet Sauvignon in 2001 and Craig planted the Home Ranch Vineyard in 2002.

Craig lives in Sonoma with his wife Ellen and their four-year-old daughter Natalie.

For more info, go to and their broker,

Dennis Donohue from Royal Rose Radicchio Helps Us Celebrate National Ravioli Day (Sunday, March 20, 2011) with Radicchio - A Pleasingly-Bitter, Strikingly Brilliant Vegetable that Pairs Perfectly with Italian Food!

Did you know? National Ravioli Day is celebrated on March 20 in the United States. While the origins of National Ravioli Day are unspecified, ravioli itself has a rich history which begins in Italy. The first mention of ravioli occurs in the 14th century in a set of manuscripts which includes the recipes of Francesco di Marco Datini, a merchant from the 16th century saw a modernization of ravioli, in which the pasta took the shape that it has today. Tomatoes were introduced to Italy from the New World in the 16th century, which provided the country with the means to make tomato sauce. Ravioli was traditionally served without tomato sauce before then.

Typically, people will celebrate National Ravioli Day by going out to an Italian restaurant and partaking in some form of ravioli dish. Others cook their own iteration of ravioli at home, both for themselves and for friends. The holiday is a time to celebrate the long history and creamy taste of ravioli.

Royal Rose Radicchio invites you to celebrate by trying one of these recipes at home.
Radicchio and Blue Cheese Ravioli For Pasta Dough
• 2 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
• 1/2 cup all-purpose flour plus additional for kneading
• 4 large egg yolks
• 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 cup water For filling
• 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
• 3/4 teaspoon salt
• 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
• 1 lb radicchio, shredded and grilled
• 1 teaspoon finely grated parmesan cheese
• 1/2 cup gorgonzola or high quality blue cheese (4 1/2 oz)
• 1/2 cup ricotta (preferably fresh; 4 1/2 oz) Adapted from

For more info on Royal Rose Radicchio, go to!

What's Cookin' Today Hour TWO:

We're Talking with Kathy Gordan, Owner of Toscana and Author of the Toscana Cookbook!

Toscana in Brentwood has remained an institution for some of Hollywood’s biggest power players for nearly two decades now. Since opening its doors in 1989, the restaurant has cultivated a devoted following and is well-known for its effortless Northern Italian cuisine and hallmarks of personalized service, operating under the unwritten credo: “Treat everyone as if they are family.” With simple, fresh Italian dishes like the Pollo al Mattone, Fiorentina andSpaghetti Calamari e Salvia, Toscana has evolved into a mainstay of Brentwood’s neighborhood elite.

This continued success, which is a rarity amongst Los Angeles’ fickle and ever-changing dining landscape, has also segued into the owners independently publishing a cookbook, aptly titled Toscana, out of customer demand for recipes. The cookbook, which features recipes for a number of loyal diners’ favorite dishes, is now available on, and on the iPad.

For more info, go to!

Reyna Simnegar Helps Us Learn More About Persian Food with Her Book, PERSIAN FOOD FROM THE NON-PERSIAN BRIDE!

Persian cuisine, far more varied and flavorful than the salad-bar staples of Babaganoush and Stuffed Grape Leaves, remains exotic for many homecooks—until now. Reyna Simnegar changes that perception in her new cookbook, PERSIAN FOOD FROM THE NON-PERSIAN BRIDE, which was written for busy home cooks and parents who want to offer their families an exciting but easy-to-prepare array of everyday recipes and snacks as well as recipes for entertaining that will wow their guests.

Reyna is the busy mother of five children. She is Venezuelan but married a Persian who loves his mother's authentic Persian cooking, so Reyna took a crash-course from her mother-in-law, learned how to prepare great Persian meals and added her own contemporary spin on many traditional favorites.

Reyna was inspired to write PERSIAN FOOD FROM THE NON-PERSIAN BRIDE by her friends who were continually asking her for her Persian recipes. Now your family and friends can enjoy the delicious meals and snacks that make mealtime the happiest time in the Simnegar home. Complete more than 130 recipes and full-color photographs. To view videos of Reyna and for more information about PERSIAN FOOD FROM THE NON-PERSIAN BRIDE, please visit

Movie Guy Steve Evans Gives us the Movie Hits and Misses!
Steve Evans, the Movie Guy, is going to tell us what we need to run out and see and what we can avoid in the movie theaters, this week!

So, grab your popcorn, folks! Get your movie news and reviews right here on the What's Cookin' Today show! Steve “The Movie Guy” will take a look at what’s hot at the box office and the new films being released this weekend:

This weekend it’s the battle of the hollywood hunks! Bradley Cooper and Matthew McConaughey go head to head with competing dramatic thrillers while a prankster alien joins the party as three new releases hit theaters Friday.

  • Limitless - Bradley Cooper is an ordinary guy whose life transforms when he takes an experimental brain-altering "smart drug."
  • The Lincoln Lawyer - Matthew McConaughey is a criminal defense attorney who takes on a seemingly routine case that becomes a deadly game of survival.
  • Paul - Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are a pair of sci-fi geeks who encounter an alien on an insane road trip through America's UFO heartland.
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