The Inquisitive Tongue: Nanette Wiser's Good Dish

One of my favorite things was always Oprah's annual giveaway show. The Queen of Talk knew her sweets and savories, so something amazing always appeared that went immediately on my holiday gift list. Without her tutelage, I'm forced to create Nanette's Nibbles of the Year. Email wisernan@aol.com with your nominated nosh.

  1. Williams-Sonoma.com make it yourself butter kit. Add herbs, channel your inner Julia Child. 2. Soda Stream Machine for fruity seltzers, perfect for white sangria. 3. High West Whiskey American Prairie Reserve. 4. Humboldt Fog goat cheese and fresh thyme. 5. Joanne Weir's handmade pasta and pizza cooking course in San Francisco or her new cookbook. 6. Pear chutney, or if feeling down, Grey Goose pear vodka martini. 7. Southern sorghums (Hughes, Kentucky Pure Cane Sweet, Muddy Pond,Texas Heirloom) in cake. 8. With the demise of Twinkies, a vault filled with them. 9. Cisse Trading Company's dark, double chocolate chip cookies. 10. Cake pops, move over. I want mojito or rose Sweetniks.com lollipops, sophisticated and oh so sensual. Almost as good as my See's coffee gourmet pops.

Let's Eat San Diego: So many holiday parties, fundraisers and special tastings, can five pounds on my hip and thighs be far behind? Think Santa Claus girth and go for the gastronomic gusto. Be sure to make a donation of 1% of your annual salary to charity so you can feel good about doing good (and eating well)

Thanksgiving/George’s At The Cove: Breathtaking views, special menu created by Executive Chef Trey Foshee. A traditional Turkey Dinner featuring free range turkey breast paired with roasted mushroom-sage stuffing and maple-sweet potato puree is available for $28. Guests can also order from a limited menu including several vegetarian options and desserts.

Thanksgiving/Pinzimini, Westin Gaslamp Quarter: Roast Turkey Dinner with all the fixings prepared by Chef JoAn Kosowski for $21 and Italian-inspired Thanksgiving desserts like Pumpkin Cheesecake with Spiced Pecans and Warm Apple Tart with Gelato for $7. Wine pairings are also available with the main course and dessert for $15.

Thanksgiving/Rancho Bernardo Inn: Buffet selections include a Seafood Display, Hot & Cold Entrees, Desserts, a Children's Buffet and Champagne. $58 for adults and $25 for children. A Petting zoo, pony rides and live music will also be on site for the entire family to enjoy. A delectable three-course Thanksgiving Dinner will also be offered in the Veranda Restaurant, $52 for adults and $25 for children.

Thanksgiving/Veladora, Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa: Buffet stations feature Breakfast, Charcuterie & Cheeses, Soups, Cold Seafood, House Made Pastas, a Carving Station and Desserts, guests will get the chance to indulge in Veladora's Coastal Ranch cuisine that blends the area's locally grown fruits and vegetables with unique combinations of flavors. Rancho Valencia's Thanksgiving Day buffet will be offered from 12-7pm and costs $85 for adults ($105 includes house draft wine) and $29 for kids 11 and under (kids under three are complimentary). Taxes & gratuity not included.

Thanksgiving/The Range Kitchen & Cocktails: Serving a delicious Thanksgiving plate with three slices of deep-fried turkey breast and brown gravy and a choice of two sides for $14. Chef Jacob Cureton's playful Thanksgiving sides include cornbread, roasted root vegetable stuffing, green bean andouille casserole, homemade cranberry sauce and naked gem lettuce and cherry salad. For Thanksgiving dessert, The Range is offering strawberry apple cobbler and peanut pumpkin pie with honey whipped cream.

Harbor’s Edge Restaurant, Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina: Spectacular bay front views while indulging in a traditional Thanksgiving Buffet. Both child and wallet-friendly, the menu consists of delectable dishes such as Honey Roasted Butternut Squash Soup, Hand Carved Herb & Butter Turkey, and traditional Pumpkin and Apple Pie. Dinner will be served between 5pm-10pm, adults $29.95 and children $15.95.

Seasons 52 @ UTC Mall: Only 475 calorie per dish, the savory flatbreads, amazing appetizers matched with 52 fine wines from thirteen countries (many by the glass) and mini-indulgence dessert change seasonally. Enjoy Artichoke & Goat Cheese flatbread, Grilled Boneless Trout with dill-roasted potatoes, baby carrots, dill mustard, broiled lemon and the Meyer Lemon Poundcake for dessert. Stop by after shopping for a refreshing Pomegranate Margarita Martini (Patrón Silver Tequila, Patrón Citrónge and pomegranate juice).

Delicias @ Rancho Santa Fe: Welcome old friend with new fare, thanks to Chef de Cuisine Steve Molina Say hello to Delicias favorites with Molina's innovative flavors: Baked Fusilli “Mac N Cheese” with charred broccoli, goat cheese, leeks, pancetta and herbed bread crumbs; Braised Short Rib with carrots, turnips, baby celery, and cheddar mashed potatoes; Smoked Salmon Flatbread with dill crème fraiche, red onion, capers and caviar, and Lobster Agnoletti served with celery root, apple salad, and brown butter.

3rd Corner Wine Shop, Bar & Bistro (Encinitas, Ocean Beach, Palm Desert): Joy to the world with delectable new menus, an inviting facelift (Encinitas), an affordable wine shop brimming with enophile gifts/gift certificates and seasonal martinis (Chai Pumpkin, Spiced Caramel Apple, infused fig vodka) and affordable wine by the glass menu. Enjoy grilled mahi with yellow curry, duck confit with white bean cassoulet and a cheese plate perfect for late night dining. Sunday brunch with unlimited mimosas and happy hour (3-6) may be naughty, but it's nice to indulge during this busy season. Don't miss OB's Eds Big Reds Dec. 4 and reserve your New Year's Eve spot now.

Cook's Corner: It's not cheating to start with a cake or muffin mix, then goose it up with dried fruits, nuts and other delights from Trader Joe's, Whole Foods or local farmers markets. Add pecans and caramel candies or almonds and coconut to chocolate chip muffins for your holiday sweet exchange. And who says lasagna is just about the tomatos? Add fresh mushrooms and green beans as a layer in your noodle dish.

Upcoming Events : Cupcakes For A Cause supports World AIDS Day on December 1st by buying a Red Velvet Cupcake at Sprinkles Cupcakes (benefiting the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation). Oliver & Rose Sunday Supper Benefit: On December 16th (1 p.m.), Cooks Confab teams up with Slow Food Urban San Diego to host a premiere vintage dinner. Enjoy Queen Victoria ambiance and a quintessential English repast from standing rib roast to classic aspic and terrines. Dress to impress in period dress. $175/person (percent of ticket proceeds benefits Slow Food Urban San Diego).

Elsewhere Edibles: Southern Living nominated some of my personal favorites for Florida's best brunches including Sarasota's Lido Beach resort, Clearwater Beach's Island Way Grill and Celebration's Bohemian Hotel (best bloody Mary bar). They left out two I love: St. Petersburg's Vinoy and Cafe Alma, a quirky boutique bar.

Farmers We Love: The best hostess gift in the world? Homemade jams, jellies and preserves. My sister Sheryl works for Cascade Harvest in Washington and always sends/brings me lavendar blueberry jam. Sunchowder's Emporia in Longwood Florida harvests local farms to craft Pumpkin Butter and Tangerine Ginger Rum.

Spirited Advice: Need some spirited advice for Thanksgiving? 3rd Corner Wine Shop & Bistro owner Ed Moore says he's tippling these vino and beers at his holiday table. Stock up on your holiday wines now at 3rd Corner Ocean Beach, Encinitas and Palm Desert now because they're closed Thanksgiving Day. Yummy with turkey: Pinot Noir (Oregon), Beaujolais (France), Merlot (Washington State). Delicious with ham: Albarino (Spain), French Rose (Provence), Belgium Beer Rooting tooting with pumpkin pie: Vin Santo (Italy), Late Harvest Tanet (Uruguay), 20 Year Tawny Port.

Food For Thought: The Lost Arts of Hearth and Home (Ken Albala, Rosanna Nafziger Henderson) inspires me to make fish head stew. I'm kvelling over Noah and Rae Bernamoff's new cookbook: The Mile End Cookbook: Redefining Jewish Comfort Food from Hash to Hamantaschen, an excellent addition to my ethnic culinary collection and a go-to source for brisket and kugle.

Got good dish? E-mail wisernan@aol.com with your favorite food, spirits or hot spot. For more dish, go to http://www.inquisitivetongue.com/ or http://wp.me/1Klfi

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