Favors for the Big Day

Written by Natasha Bourlin
Photos by Courtney Aaron Photography

Offering favors to wedding guests and wedding parties has long been a tradition. Take-home tokens of appreciation for participating in a couple’s nuptials allow memories to flourish every time family and friends make use of the gifts. Here are some ideas from local experts on what wedding favors are trending for 2019 and how to present them.

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Wedding coordination by Liane McCombs. Venue is West Shore Café & Inn in Homewood.

Wedding party wonders

Head to local distillery The Depot in Reno for bottles of locally crafted spirits for your bridal party and groomsmen. Several spirits ranging from bourbon to gin can be found in display-worthy bottles that serve as personal gifts based on a recipient’s taste. To send off the wedding parties with a bit of Nevada pride, try The Depot’s Amer Depot, an herb-, root-, and spice-infused libation that’s a tribute to Nevada’s Basque heritage and culture. Thanks to the distillers at The Depot, wedding parties can continue the celebration long after the couple is honeymoon bound.

Wink Lash Studio + Bath Bar in Reno carries four different colors of soft, lightweight robes and cozy towel wraps that make great, long-lasting keepsakes the wedding party also can use to get ready on the Big Day. Wink also offers gold, silver, and rose-gold jewelry that can serve as gifts for the mothers of the bride or groom or the bridal party. Giving a spa package filled with relaxing bubble bath, bath bombs, and salts is another option.

Gifts for the guests

Owners of Two Birds Coordination Chani Knight and Melia Shamblin share trending ideas for 2019, such as giving guests succulents that live on past the Big Day. Prepackaged desserts serve as tasty edible takeaways, and drink accessories such as wine stoppers that resemble cake toppers, or heart-shaped bottle openers are seeing a lot of favor among wedding guests lately.

For couples on tighter budgets, gift items may be used in the wedding. Monogrammed or artfully decorated glasses, wedding-themed coasters, and personalized candles are a few suggestions from the wedding-planning duo.

When packaging favors, less always is more, they also say. If bottle openers are the keepsakes, tie them onto a variety pack of beers, or wrap eye-catching bows around a set of coasters and incorporate them into the table display.

Sweets from the sweethearts

Dorinda’s Chocolates in Reno can prettily package and personalize truffles with names, initials, symbols, or dates. The chocolatiers also create two- or four-piece boxes filled with the personalized truffles, or with assorted flavors, such as Dorinda’s popular sea salt caramels, or heart-shaped toasty blonds. Also worth noting: Bigger orders get better price breaks.

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Dorinda's Chocolates

Handmade confections from Crack’d Toffee can be presented in specially sized favor boxes that can be personalized for the couple. With mouthwatering varieties such as original semisweet, dark, white, and dark-chocolate-coffee toffee, guests can gobble up these goodies while reminiscing about the wedding.

In the market for favors? Visit these area entrepreneurs for a bounty of ideas to gift to friends and family on the Big Day.

Natasha Bourlin is a Reno-based freelance writer who loves a good wedding favor.

Jewel tones and bold colors brighten the 2019 wedding season.

Wedding trends for 2019


Zach and Morgan Watchous' wedding at Gansberg Ranch in Gardnerville. Design by Jenny and Julie Gansberg

Planning a wedding can often feel like a ride on the proverbial emotional rollercoaster. It comes with elation, exhaustion, excitement, confusion, frustration, and bliss. While no planning guide provides the perfect remedy for the planning madness, my hope is that by shedding light on what’s trending for 2019, I can help ignite your creativity.


Venue selection should be your first focus. What kind of experience do you aim to create for your guests? In what kind of setting do you imagine yourself saying “I do”? What kind of backdrop do you want for the photographs? Once you have solidified the venue, the rest of your vision can really begin to take shape.

While outdoor venues never go out of style, they are particularly hot for the 2019 wedding season. In Northern Nevada and Eastern California, we enjoy a preponderance of pleasant weather, especially in the summer. Given the unpredictable nature of spring, however, when selecting an outdoor venue, I recommend choosing a space that has indoor/outdoor capabilities. That way you have options if an unexpected storm decides to rain on your wedding parade.

Venues that have both significant architectural features and incredible views will help set the tone for a memorable experience for both you and your guests. Features such as wall murals, stone columns, and wooden beams are all the rage this season. The benefit of these features, though, is not their trendiness but rather their timelessness. Contemporary, design-focused venues have the panache to be stylish without you needing to be trendy.

Color and design

For this spring and summer, jewel-toned hues are everywhere. Ruby, sapphire, emerald, and amber appear in everything from table linens to tuxedo shirts. These tones are especially hot when complemented by cool colors such as dark teal, soft blue, off-white, and dove gray. Even if you lean toward conservative looks, you can contemporize your wedding-day feeling by using bright, bold accents with your traditional palette. Linen and floral splashes are a good way to go if you aren’t ready to make the jeweled or color wardrobe commitment.

Flowers and décor

This season is all about bold color combinations. Last year’s royal wedding sparked an appetite for lush floral arches featuring abundant, textured blossoms. If that’s not your style, not to worry: Round or geometric ceremony arches, such as triangles with asymmetrical floral arrangements, also are on trend. Suspended floral chandeliers with blossoms create a focal point and create an Instagrammable décor element. Add a neon accent and really show your personality! Velvet linen in jewel tones complemented by teal, ruby, or mustard will add a splash of class to your Big Day. Add velvet couches and love seats to create an unforgettably swanky party!


Wedding attire

Say yes to boldly colored, mismatched bridesmaids’ dresses, sparkle and metallic accents, or geometric patterns. You can put crazy colors into simple and classic cuts, do a contemporary take on bows, add a puff to your sleeves, or play with sharp back cuts. For the princesses out there, ball gowns are back! For the rest of us, we take pleasure in a rather contemporary trend of wedding dress jumpsuits in lace or floral prints.

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Bride Jenifer Merlyn at Round Hill Pines Beach Resort in South Lake Tahoe. Hair and makeup by Nancy Rice Artistry

Food and beverage

Ah, a favorite subject for us all! Bust out the local craft beer and distilled liquors; gin and whiskey still are hot. Interactive food stations and edible décor also are trendy. Think nitrogen ice cream stations or a pretzel wall with a chef making pretzels to order. For the main dish, lamb beats beef this year. Rather than a traditional sit-down dinner, consider pub-style table service with shared small plates, or a family-style meal. Multicultural fusion menus such as ramen beef burgers or falafel with garam masala stew will wow your guests. For the health and earth conscious, consider sourcing your food from a single farm. And always make sure to take care of your gluten-free/vegan guests.

Photographic experiences and online wedding identity

Finally, all the details are done and now you get to enjoy the party! How do you want to remember your Big Day? Consider an organic photo backdrop, such as a living succulent wall. For the quirky folks, Airstream trailers make a fun photo prop. Whatever element you choose, let your personality shine. Think of creating a space where guests can be entertained through interactive fun. They will want to share those wedding moments on Instagram, and then you can relive the party through their eyes on your honeymoon. Remember to create your unique wedding hashtag!

Nisha Hallert has more than 16 years’ industry experience planning 600-person galas, rooftop weddings, intimate exclusive dinners, events for VIPs such as Former President Bill Clinton, and more. She currently works as director of special events and sales at the Nevada Museum of Art and serves as immediate past president of the Reno/Tahoe chapter of the National Association for Catering and Events (NACE). In 2014, Hallert and her team were awarded a national NACE award for the Best Social Event Production of the Year.

Edible Reno-Tahoe blog
Story and photos by Jennifer Rachel Baumer

Hearty Fare for Cold Winter Nights

Cold, snowy, winter days can use a pick-me-up of thick, hearty bread and a bowl of hot stew. When it's brisk — or downright cold — outside, here's a combination that should satisfy after a day playing in or shoveling off the snow.

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Hearty Multigrain Bread

(courtesy of Jennifer Rachel Baumer. Makes 1 loaf)

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2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour

1½ cups whole wheat flour

2 teaspoons sea salt

1⅓ cups warm water

1 tablespoon honey

1 packet (or one yeast-measuring spoon, or 2¼ teaspoons) active dry yeast (not rapid rise)

1 cup sourdough starter (see recipe below)

2½ tablespoons dark rye flour

2½ tablespoons wheat germ

⅓ cup spelt

2 tablespoons sunflower seeds

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

1 tablespoon golden or dark flax seeds

1 tablespoon roasted, unsalted pumpkin seeds

⅓ cup toasted, coarsely chopped almonds

⅓ cup toasted, coarsely chopped hazelnuts


Before starting, spread almonds and hazelnuts on cookie sheet and place in 325 degree F oven for 20 minutes, then let cool before coarsely chopping. (Alternatively, stirring them constantly in a hot cast-iron frying pan also will toast them.)

In small bowl, mix yeast and honey and add ½ of the warm water. Let sit for a few minutes, then stir to dissolve yeast completely.

Mix 2 cups unbleached flour and 1 cup of the whole wheat flour in a large mixing bowl; reserve ½ cup of the whole wheat flour. Mix in salt, seeds, rye, wheat germ, and spelt. Create a hole in the middle. 

Mix the remainder of the warm water with the water/yeast/honey mixture and pour into the hole in dry ingredients. Add 1 cup of starter. Mix flour in from the edges, forming a sticky dough.

Turn dough out onto a floured board and knead 5 to 10 minutes, adding reserved wheat flour as needed. The dough should remain slightly sticky, not become dry or clumping. If it just sticks to your fingers as you knead but pulls back into itself, that's a good texture. If it sticks to you, add more flour, a sprinkle at a time (dusting your hands with it and then going back to kneading is a good way to avoid adding too much at once). 

If the dough does get too dry, add water 1 tablespoon at a time. Before doing that, try kneading gently for a minute to see if the flour will incorporate. In our high desert climate, we have such low humidity it's easy to get too much flour in a bread recipe, but sometimes just kneading it will incorporate the flour and bring the texture back in line. Too much flour will create a dry, dense loaf. 

Let the dough rest on the floured board while you clean the bowl of the sticky dough. Leave the kneaded dough in a warm, draft-free place, covered with a piece of wax paper, until doubled. At our high elevation, and depending on how active the starter is, this can take as little as 45 minutes or as long as an hour and a half.

When the dough is doubled, turn it out on a freshly cleaned and floured board and incorporate the nuts while "punching down" the dough. Don't overwork it; just knead in the hazelnuts and almonds. Shape the dough into one large, round loaf and place on an ungreased or parchment-paper-covered cookie sheet (it would probably do well on a baking stone, too). Let rise until doubled, 1 to 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F partway through the rise. Bake for 35 minutes and cool on a wire rack. The bread is best the first day, or toasted after that.


For sourdough starter (prepare 24 to 48 hours before making the bread):

1 packet active dry yeast (or one yeast-measuring spoon, or 2¼ teaspoons yeast; not rapid rise)

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups warm water

Stir yeast into flour in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Stir in warm water and mix until it's a smooth, soupy paste. Cover loosely with a sheet of wax paper and leave undisturbed for 24 to 48 hours until actively bubbly. If it never bubbles or becomes active, start over. If, after using it for the bread, you want to keep it, feed it another cup of flour and 1 cup warm water, stir into a paste, and store in covered jar in refrigerator.


Beef Stew

(courtesy of Jennifer Rachel Baumer. Serves 4)


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There's a trend in some quest-type fantasy novels for characters who are on the road going from one part of the adventure to the next to stop at night and prepare stew. I'm impressed by their ability to either forage for root vegetables as well as flour, stock or bouillon, and salt, or to carry it in their packs — along with the cast-iron Dutch oven.


Provided you're not on the road but in your kitchen and finished with the foraging, this is a simple, fairly quick beef stew to warm up with on cold winter nights.

1¼ to 1½ pounds chuck roast

Unbleached, all-purpose flour

Sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons Crisco or other solid vegetable shortening

4 beef bouillon cubes or equivalent

4 to 6 fist-sized waxy white or yellow potatoes

Baby carrots

Frozen petite peas (optional) 

Wash and chop potatoes and carrots into bite-sized pieces. In a medium-sized pot, cover with cold water and bring to a boil, then let simmer until fork tender. Drain and reserve.

Cut roast into bite-sized pieces. In a container that can be closed (brown paper bag, plastic bag, storage container, or glass jar with lid) sprinkle in 2 to 3 tablespoons flour, a teaspoon of sea salt, and pepper to taste. Add the cut up roast, seal the container, and shake until the roast is coated.

Melt the Crisco in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add flour-coated pieces of beef and brown until mostly cooked through.

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Meat browning in Dutch oven

Add 4 cups boiling water to beef bouillon cubes. Add slowly to browned meat and flour, scraping bottom of pot to loosen fond and using liquid to deglaze. Add another teaspoon or 2 of flour until liquid forms a thick gravy. Add drained potatoes and carrots, and the frozen green peas if using. When mixture comes to a boil, add about 1 teaspoon of sea salt, stir and cover; turn heat to simmer until you're ready to serve.

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Stew simmering on the stovetop


The latest food and drink news from Tahoe and Truckee

Written by Suzie Dundas


After a busy summer of restaurant openings and summer food and beverage events, Tahoe’s entrepreneurs are hard at work with new offerings for the winter season and new year.

Gaining much attention is the newly opened Inclined Burgers and Brews in Incline Village, a joint venture from co-owners Scott Penning and Scott Beck. Penning, formerly of The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe, and Beck, who hails from a family of restaurateurs, opened Inclined in the former home of Barjay’s. It’s a space that Penning felt would be perfect for a burger joint, going so far as to try to lease it prior to 2018 — though the former owners beat him to the punch. He describes its menu as “simple and streamlined,” though he notes that the cooks are practicing several cooking techniques in the kitchen to elevate the tastes well beyond the standard burger joint fare. While the menu currently is limited to burgers, veggie burgers, salads, and fries, Penning says they’ll be adding a “sweet treats” menu in the near future.


Inclined Burgers and Brews
901 Tahoe Blvd., Unit 2, Incline Village
775-298-7909 • Inclinedrestaurant.com


In Truckee, DRINK COFFEE DO STUFF is gaining attention in the coffee world as it was recently nominated for a 2019 Good Food Award. The national award is given by the Good Food Foundation and recognizes food and beverage businesses that create sustainable, authentic — and, of course, appetizing — offerings. DRINK COFFEE DO STUFF is one of 25 nominees in the coffee category, alongside well-established brands such as Equator Coffees & Teas out of the Bay Area, which ended 2017 with revenues of $16 million. How does owner Nick Visconti feel about DCDS being nominated among such massive brands?

“We’re stoked,” he says.

Winners will be announced in January 2019.

12177 Business Park Drive, Truckee


In ski news, Alpine Meadows announced the opening of the new Hideaway Café, serving breakfast and lunch at the bottom of the resort’s Subway Chair Life. It’s the latest project from chef Carolyn Newman of the Tahoe Food Hub, and it opened on December 1, in time for the 2018-19 ski season.

Chef Carolyn
Caption: Photo courtesy of Squaw Valley – Alpine Meadows

Hideaway Cafe at Alpine Meadows
2600 Alpine Meadows Road
800-403-0206 • Squawalpine.com


Northstar California has given a gourmet facelift to the Summit Smokehouse, a ski-in, ski-out restaurant situated 8,610 feet above sea level at the top of the Comstock Express lift. The newly refreshed space received an interior makeover and introduced a new menu that focuses on quality and sustainability. Sodas are offered without artificial flavoring or sweeteners, and no disposable cups are available. The culinary concept centers on smoked meats and cocktails infused with western flavors, such as a bacon Bloody Mary or bourbon-spiked sweet tea.

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Caption: Photo courtesy of Northstar California


Summit Smokehouse at Northstar California
5001 Northstar Drive, Truckee
530-562-3679 • Northstarcalifornia.com


Other movers and shakers in the area include Alibi Ale Works, which will occupy the former home of Hacienda in Incline Village. The new facility is slated to open in April 2019 and will have 2,500 square feet of indoor space, plus an additional 800-square-foot deck. The current taproom will offer growlers and cans for sale, plus limited brewery tours.

Alibi Ale Works
204 E. Enterprise St. Incline Village
775-298-7001 • Alibialeworks.com


Incline residents will no doubt have noticed that Wildflower Café closed after 34 years of business, with its owners citing leasing difficulties as the main motivator to retire. In South Lake Tahoe, Refuge Coffee has opened a small café inside Blue Granite Climbing Gym under the direction of Refuge Coffee owner Jared Marquez. Though Marquez has been offering coffee-by-mail services for years, this is the first storefront for the young business.

Caption: Photo by Mikhaila Howard Photography

Refuge Coffee
1259 Emerald Bay Road, South Lake Tahoe (inside Blue Granite Climbing Gym)
530-600-2761 • Refugecoffee.com/


And for skiers making the trek down to Kirkwood, The Cornice Pizza recently opened in the village, offering creative pies with an ’80s-inspired, neon vibe.

The Cornice Pizza

1501 Kirkwood Meadows Drive
209-258-6000/ • Kirkwood.com

Suzie Dundas is a Lake Tahoe-based freelance writer. She writes about everything from adventure travel to social media and inspired food and drink. You can find more of her work at Suziedundas.com.

Written by Christina Nellemann
Photos courtesy of Ciara Ressel, Nevada Department of Agriculture


The cover of the Winter 2018 issue of edible Reno-Tahoe magazine features a sizzling steak synonymous with Nevada’s legacy ranchers and members of the Centennial Ranch and Farm award. Three more 100-year-old ranches were added to the award list during the Nevada Cattlemen’s Association’s Annual Convention Awards Banquet on November 16, 2018.


Miller Ranch

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The Miller family of Miller Ranch in Paradise Valley

Miller Ranch is located in Paradise Valley and has been an operating ranch since 1914. The original owner, Gerhard Miller Sr., and his wife, Maria Gesina Miller, ran the 450-acre ranch where they raised cattle with their son, George, and his wife, Elizabeth. Gerhard’s grandson, Paul, later irrigated the ranch to produce alfalfa and grain. Paul’s son, Stacy Dean Miller, now owns and operates the ranch and grain farm.


Moura Ranch

moura milking barn
The Moura Ranch milking barn in Lovelock

Located in the Upper Valley of Lovelock, Moura Ranch was founded in 1916. The original 80 acres were purchased by Manuel and Maria Moreira, and a portion of the land was dedicated to Fairview School, which their daughter, Virginia, attended. Virginia and her husband, Manuel Moura, purchased additional land to expand their livestock business. Virginia and Manuel’s son, Thomas, and his wife, Darlene, took over the ranch and have passed it down to their three children. Thomas and Darlene’s eldest son, Anthony, and his wife, Lisa, handle the daily care of Moura Ranch along with their children, Daralyn and Devin, raising calves and farming alfalfa and grains.

Pursel Farms

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The Pursel family of Pursel Farms in Yerington

Pursel Farms has existed in Yerington since 1918. Henry Melvin Pursel purchased the original 160 acres and grew potatoes, alfalfa, and cattle. A milking barn, chickens, and a root cellar were added later, and the milking barn can still be seen today. Henry and his wife Rosa’s children, Ralph, Shirley, and Henry Ivy, inherited the farm after Henry’s death. In 1957, Ralph’s son, Melvin, and his wife, Phyllis, purchased the farm from his parents. Melvin’s son and Henry’s great-grandson, Darrell, and his wife, Suzanne, continue to farm alfalfa and raise cattle on the original site.

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Hay bales at Pursel Farms

The Nevada Centennial Awards Programrecognizes agricultural families who have owned and operated the same land for 100 years or more. The program started in 2004 and there are currently 52 families on the list. The awards program is sponsored by the Nevada Agriculture Plate funds, Nevada Farm Bureau Federation, Nevada Agricultural Foundation, Nevada Department of Agriculture, Cattlemen’s Association and USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

To qualify as a centennial award recipient, an applicant’s ranch or farm must have belonged to his or her family for at least 100 years and must be a working ranch or farm with a minimum of 160 acres, or, if it is less than 160 acres, it must have gross yearly sales of at least $1,000.

Visit the Department of Agriculture website for a list of past award recipients.

Story & Photos By Asa Gilmore

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Dish Cafe

The Reuben sandwich is the best sandwich in the world, and never in a million years have I been accused of hyperbole. It is basic in design and complex in execution. At the core, things are simple. Rye bread. Corned beef. Swiss cheese. Dressing. Kraut. But each of those ingredients has subtleties apparent only to the true devotee. Corned beef? Pastrami?* Thick sliced? Thin sliced? Dark rye? Light rye? Marbled rye? Dressing? What type of sauerkraut? Red cabbage? Green cabbage? Spices?

Making the perfect Reuben is akin to conducting an orchestra. The details of each ingredient become increasingly noticeable as the composition builds to a crescendo and ends up hot to the touch, and the lingering notes of the finale echo the taste of glory.

Have I mentioned that I like Reuben sandwiches?

The Reuben has varying legends of origin, but we can agree that the tradition began in the early 1900s and that the recipe has stayed the same since. I will note that in this arena, I am a hardcore traditionalist, and my one concession to the changing of times is permitting pastrami to be considered as an ingredient.

Going beyond the basic qualifications, I divide true Reubens into three categories: delis, bars, and casino coffee shops. I have grown to appreciate each one at different times in my life and at different times of the day and night!

The deli Reuben, on which this article focuses, is characterized by a fresh flavor — lightly grilled bread, fresh kraut, a custom dressing, and a certain light finesse of presentation. The bar Reuben is a bit more reliant on the grill for flavor, a bit less reliant on the fresh dressing and kraut, but still a gourmet contender. The casino is the realm of such beautiful theatrics as the Manhattan Deli’s giant Reuben and the Peppermill’s triple decker Reuben.

For the purposes of this article, I will consider my favorite deli Reubens in the Reno area. Among these are three clear contenders: Dish Café & Catering, Michael’s Deli, and Yosh’s Unique Deli.


Let’s start with Dish.

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Dish Cafe

Long ago, when I first was falling in love with the Reuben, Dish’s was one of the first deli Reubens that really impressed me. A decade later, I still think it’s among the best in town. On the menu, it’s called Megan’s Reuben, and I have always wondered who Megan was. Co-owner Joe Horn filled me in on the history.

“Megan was one of our first chefs when we started the business 15 years ago. We knew we wanted a Reuben, but our whole thing was never do what everyone else does, you know? So let’s not do a thousand island dressing, let’s do something different. She always had a lot of Asian influence in her cooking, and she used Sambal Oelek in her sauce, and that’s what changes it up a little bit.”

Mystery solved. I had always wondered what made Dish’s Russian dressing unique, and the subtle addition of garlic chili pepper paste provides that kick that keeps me coming back for more.

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Megan’s Reuben at Dish Café & Catering

It’s truly a beautiful sandwich. The presentation is unequaled, with a gourmet green salad as a side providing a fresh balance to the main dish. And the sandwich itself is unique among Reubens, as most are grilled. Dish features only a small kitchen and does not have a griddle. Instead, cooks assemble the sandwiches open faced, and after some time in the oven, transfer them to a panini press. The result is something that can compete with any grilled sandwich, with a light bread flavor, crisp exterior, and a perfect melding of the interior ingredients.

Next, let’s visit Michael’s Deli.

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The Michael’s Deli Reuben

It’s on South Virginia Street and is a bustling place with a friendly atmosphere and sports memorabilia lining the walls. Like Dish, it’s been in business for 15 years and is family owned. Michael’s Reuben is classic in every way: marbled rye, dressing made in house, fresh kraut, and a liberal helping of meat. The presentation is simple but satisfying a gorgeous sandwich that fills the plate. You’ll also have the choice between corned beef and pastrami, so you can choose the traditional way (corned beef) or with the extra smoked flavor of pastrami.

And, finally, there’s Yosh’s Unique Deli.

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Though its current location on Foothill Road in South Reno feels newer, this family business has been around for a long time. Josh Codding, the current owner, told me how his grandfather, Joe Castillo, started the original deli 20 years ago. Codding has been involved for six years and has built it into what it is today. Yosh’s has a wide range of menu options and is known for its smoked-in-house tri-tip and pork and, of course, its Reuben. It’s perfectly grilled with a thick layer of pastrami chunks on marble rye with Yosh’s own dressing. Yosh’s gives you the option to order half a sandwich, but I personally could never be satisfied with half of such a good thing.

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The Yosh's Unique Deli Reuben

If you’ve never had a Reuben before, any of the above delis is a great choice for that life-changing experience. For my fellow Reuben fanatics, if you haven’t tried all three of these, I would strongly advise that you do. I find it interesting that all of these classic delis have been in operation for 15 or more years. Reno’s current reputation as a food destination is well deserved, and these businesses are a big part of what began that trend.

The Reuben is the best sandwich in the world. Try any of those mentioned in this article and you’ll agree.

*For my fellow Reuben fanatics: Yes, I realize that a Reuben with pastrami is technically a Rachel. However, for the purposes, of this article I will refer to the sandwich as a Reuben for those uninitiated to our cult.


Asa Gilmore is a photographer and connoisseur of sandwiches. He is a Nevada native and prefers his steak rare and his beer cold. He dislikes biographies of himself, but approves this message.

Autumn is the best time of year – pumpkin picking, cozy sweaters, hot apple cider, pie baking and pumpkin flavored everything! There are plenty of fun fall events in Northern Nevada that are great for you and your family.


Renner Farm Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch - Smith, NV


This family farm has a corn maze and pumpkin patch every fall season that you and your kids can visit. They have fresh, homegrown produce for sale, a pumpkin patch, a corn maze, hayrides and a bounce house. Their corn maze is open from September 22 – November 4.


Lazy P Farm’s Fall Farm Festival – Winnemucca, NV

Lazy P

This family operation works to share their love of farming and agriculture with the Northern Nevada community. Their Fall Farm Festival is all about teaching children while they have fun. Children can put their knowledge into action while playing with live farm animals, exploring through the corn maze, and learning about growing corn and pumpkins.

Make sure to check out their website for all their fall events!


Andelin Family Farm Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze – Sparks, NV


Andelin is all about family. There are plenty of events to take advantage of during the fall season. On top of their pumpkin patch where you can pick your own pumpkin, and their corn maze you can meander through, you can also participate in their zombie paintball, scarecrow paintball, corn creepers haunted attraction and more!

Their website explains all of their events and the dates you can go to enjoy.


Corley Ranch Pumpkin Patch – Gardnerville, NV

Corley Ranch

If you’re looking for the cutest ranch in Gardnerville, Corley Ranch is your spot. They are a real working ranch raising cattle, farming, hay and pumpkins. You and your family can enjoy the hay slide, kiddie land straw maze, farm animals, miniature golf, pig races, hay wagon rides and the corn maze. They also have a giant sling shot and train rides.


Lattin Farms Fall Festival – Fallon, NV

Lattin Farms

This amazing farm in Fallon, NV transforms into a fall wonderland. This year you can take advantage of the corn maze, the pumpkin patch, Kid’s Korner, the Scarecrow Factory, Crafters Marketing and the Pumpkin Tower. You won’t want to miss out on these events through the month on October!


No tricks here: Halloween recipes easy to create and share.

Written by Tamara Berg

Halloween is in the air. Leaves are piling up on the ground, pumpkins are everywhere, and maybe you’re still searching for the perfect costume. If you need that costume for a party, you probably need to bring a treat with you. As my invites piled up, I wondered what kind of appetizer I could bring that’s easy yet shockingly good. If you’re like me and your costume requires plenty of makeup or assembly, you probably want to spend minimal time working in the kitchen. So I sat down with food stylist Patty Mastracco from Idofood.com as she picked out some of her simplest recipes for a sweet and savory Halloween.

Mastracco says Halloween is all about having fun in the kitchen. She has two items that are staples in her fridge for the holiday.

“I like to use chocolate and cheese. These items are easy to work with, and it’s all about keeping things simple, savory, and sweet,” Mastracco says.

All recipes courtesy of Patty Mastracco, recipe developer in Granite Bay.

Ranch Cheddar Pumpkin Sandwiches

(Serves 8 to 12)


1 package Alouette ranch cheddar spreadable cheese
12 slices thick-cut French bread
12 small pieces celery
1 chopped red bell pepper, or 3 to 4 mini peppers
1 can black olives

Spread cheese onto bread slices. Using edge of a knife, make curved lines from top to bottom to make pumpkin ridges. Place celery at the top to make stem. Cut red pepper into small, curved pieces, and place on pumpkin to make mouth. Cut olives into triangles or slices to make eyes and nose. Serve immediately.

Chocolate Spiders

(Serves 6 to 8)


1 bag large pretzel twists
8 chocolate-covered marshmallow cookies

1 package candy eyes

1 bar baking chocolate, melted

Break pretzels into 1½-inch curved pieces, using 4 for each spider. Carefully press into lower part of each cookie. Dab the back of candy eyes with a tiny bit of melted chocolate using a toothpick and press onto spider. Store in refrigerator or serve immediately.

Cheesy Monsters

(Serves 8 to 12)


8 ounces cream cheese
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
¼ cup green onions,chopped
¼ real bacon bits
24 small pretzel sticks
24 large candy eyes

Stir together equal amounts of cream cheese and cheddar cheese, then stir in a little green onion and bacon bits. Shape into 1½-inch balls and roll each in more shredded cheddar cheese. Place small amount of cream cheese on one end of pretzel sticks and use to glue on candy eyes. Press into cheese monsters.Serve chilled.

Note: Monsters may be prepared 1 day ahead, but add pretzel eyes at the last minute as they’ll become soggy if stored overnight.


You can find more recipes created by Mastracco at her website, Idofood.com. Mastracco is available for catering, recipe creation, and cooking segments.




You may recognize Tamara Berg’s name if you’re a local news viewer. Berg is the weekday morning meteorologist at KCRA 3. When she’s not tracking storms, Berg enjoys eating some of the best foods from around the region. She’s been writing restaurant reports around Northern California for more than five years. Berg loves being outdoors with her husband and attending food events across

Corner Barn at Graeagle

Make Your Wedding Day "The Gift of a Lifetime"


Graeagle offers three distinct venues to suit any wedding theme or dream. 


Whitehawk Ranch

Located in the picturesque Sierra Nevada about 50 miles northwest of Truckee, Whitehawk Ranch is the ideal place to host your next event. Amid the natural splendor of this award-winning golf course lies a breathtaking ceremony location. Stunning mountain views, acres of manicured golf grounds, exquisite cuisine, and luxury seating for up to 150 guests await you. From the most intimate of ceremonies to nuptials on a grand scale, your custom-designed wedding will be the perfect beginning for your life together.

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Photos by Ruthanne Z.

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Photos by Ruthanne Z.

Graeagle Meadows

In the High Sierra of Plumas County, only one hour west of Reno, Graeagle Meadows’ scenic backdrop of majestic mountains and the crystal clear water of the Feather River are only equaled by its beautifully manicured golf course and panoramic views. Choose from a wooded clearing overlooking the course or a picture-perfect setting above a fairway—an outdoor reception can accommodate 150 guests. For something more intimate, enjoy delicious meals for up to 55 in our restaurant or 25 on the patio. Your wedding weekend is complete with horseback riding, boat rentals, hiking, and fishing excursions.

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The Corner Barn

Nestled among tall pines and surrounded by stunning mountain views, the historic Graeagle Corner Barn’s rustic charm captures romance, beauty, and fun. Located just one hour from Reno and Tahoe, it’s one the largest properties in the Mohawk Valley. The barn offers indoor and outdoor accommodations for up to 500 guests and comes complete with tables, chairs, heaters, and wine barrels. Each reservation provides three days’ access. Available April to mid-November.

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Whitehawk Ranch
768 Whitehawk Dr., Clio

Graeagle Meadows
6934 CA-89, Graeagle

Graeagle Corner Barn
8929 CA-89, Graeagle

Raise A Glass To 150 Years Of Martinelli’s Ciders & Juices

Sponsored By: Visit Santa Cruz

Martinellis Company Store Photo Credit Garrick Ramirez 1

(Photo by Garrick Ramirez)

Beloved sparkling cider and apple juice producer S. Martinelli & Company is celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2018, and we’re bubbling over with excitement! Founded in Watsonville in 1868 — the same year Ulysses S. Grant was elected president — the effervescent company is still family owned, locally based, and making juice the way it always has: fresh and 100 percent natural. We’ve got the inside scoop below, and trust us, it gets juicy!

Martinellis Company Store Photo Credit Garrick Ramirez 2

(Photo by Garrick Ramirez)

It’s likely you were introduced to Martinelli’s via the iconic, coveted, apple-shaped glass bottle you begged your mom to buy on trips to the market. Then at Thanksgiving, you felt so cool filling your child’s cup with sparkling cider from a Champagne-style bottle … pinky up! You weren’t alone. It’s believed that Dean Martin would swig Martinelli’s — not martinis — onstage, and Martinelli’s cider doubled as Champagne in Hollywood movies during Prohibition.

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(Photo courtesy of S. Martinelli's & Co.)

But before the Rat Pack and the 18th amendment, there were the Swiss-born brothers, Stephano and Luigi Martinelli, who immigrated to the U.S. during the Gold Rush years and started farming apples in present-day Watsonville, just south of Santa Cruz, Calif. They introduced a fermented, or “hard,” cider in 1868, and by 1885, they were churning out 15,000 gallons a year (fast forward to 2017, Martinelli’s produced that much in less than two hours). The brothers began racking up gold medals for their cider at state fairs, which explains the medals you see on the labels today. In anticipation of Prohibition, Martinelli’s bottled its first unfermented — alcohol-free — apple juice in 1917. In 1933, the brand introduced its famous apple-shaped glass bottle with the slogan “Drink Your Apple a Day,” and the rest is history.

Martinellis Company Store Photo Credit Garrick Ramirez 3

(Photo by Garrick Ramirez)

Turns out, Martinelli’s was way ahead of its time, doing the local-artisan, farm-to-bottle thing. To this day, Martinelli’s produces fresh juices without any preservatives or sweeteners. Go ahead, pick up a bottle and count the ingredients: It’s just juice. No mystery ingredients or unpronounceable words. It’s why mom let you drink your apple a day.

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(Photo courtesy of S. Martinelli's & Co.)

During the early 20th century, that juice was hauled around in a classy 1932 Ford Model B truck with a giant cider bottle attached. In celebration of its 150th anniversary, Martinelli’s completely restored the truck for public appearances at local events throughout Northern California.

“This truck dates back to my grandfather’s era and was originally used for hauling apples and delivering juice to customers,” says John Martinelli, CEO and fourth-generation family member. “Using old photos as our guide, we restored the truck to look like it did 86 years ago.”

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(Photo by Garrick Ramirez)

Martinelli’s also slapped a special edition label on its sparkling cider, which you can nab at the memorabilia-filled Martinelli Company Store in Watsonville. Grab a stool at the wooden bar, where you’ll be treated to complimentary samples and introduced to the company’s many other tantalizing flavors, including sparkling juice blends of mango, marionberry, and pomegranate.

Martinellis Company Store Photo Credit Garrick Ramirez 4

(Photo by Garrick Ramirez)

Fun fact: It takes two apples to make one 10-ounce bottle of apple juice, but Martinelli’s juice actually is a blend of freshly pressed, locally grown apples, including Newtown Pippin, Gala, Fuji, Granny Smith, Jonagold, Mutsu, and Honeycrisp. After being pasteurized, the juice is allowed to cool in the bottle to retain its naturally fresh flavor.

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(Photo courtesy of S. Martinelli's & Co.)

And because we know you’re dying to ask, what about the hard stuff? To commemorate its 150th year, Martinelli’s launched a brand-new hard cider that, like its prized juice, is made from fresh apples. For now, you can find it exclusively at Northern California Costco stores. So who’s ready to start drinking more apples?




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