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Fresh Sheet: Call for winemakers

Priest River Hardwood Grill is looking for winemakers to participate in its 2016-2017 winemakers’ dinner series.

This marks the seventh year of the series, which runs from November through May on the first Wednesday of the month.

The restaurant is looking for Pacific Northwest wineries to spotlight. During the four-course dinner, winemakers have a chance to explain their process or any other information they might want to offer.

Dessert is followed by a meet-and-greet as well as the chance for guests to purchase wine. Dinner is $37.50 per person. (Without wine, it’s $22.50.)

Proprietors Mark and Sara Clarkson also offer winemakers a complimentary room at the Eagle’s Nest Motel next door to the eatery.

Priest River Hardwood Grill is at 5634 Highway 2 in Priest River, Idaho. Call (208) 448-4489 or email


‘sacred recipe’ for walnut cookies

Judy Kauffman of Spokane has had this recipe for more than 50 years. It came from her grandmother, who only handed it down, Kauffman said, “when she found baking and sending them to us every Christmas was too much work.”

Grandma lived in Eugene, Oregon, and died in the 1950s. By then, Kauffman’s mother had the recipe but hadn’t yet shared it.

That changed Kauffman’s first year of college when she was given several recipes for holiday cookies, including one for Russian Tea Cakes. “I then found that there were similar recipes in every cookbook on the planet,” she said.

That winter, Kauffman made a batch. But, “They were not like Grandma’s.”

And that’s when her mom showed her the “sacred recipe.” Kauffman’s been making her grandmother’s Christmas walnut cookies ever since.

“The most important aspect was that every ingredient must be absolutely FRESH,” she wrote in an email to The Spokesman-Review Food section.

Kauffman’s since passed the recipe down to her own daughters, “but at this point they leave it to me to provide them for everyone during the holidays.

“Maybe it is time to start training the granddaughters.”

Walnut Cookies

From Judy Kauffman

2 cups cake flour (must purchase just before you make these)

1/2 cup powdered sugar (again, use new package)

1 cup walnuts (always freshly purchased)

1 cup butter (fresh, of course, and no margarine allowed)

2 teaspoons vanilla (new bottle)

Combine all ingredients, then roll into perfect small balls. (Just big enough to pop into your mouth, any bigger and you spill powdered sugar. No messy eaters allowed!)

Bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes, but watch them carefully; they must just barely be brown on the bottom and still white on top. Roll still-warm cookies in powdered sugar, then let them stand until completely cooled. Roll again in powdered sugar for final presentation.

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