Taste of California Dinner – Menu and Recipes

Taste of California Dinner Menu – Five Course Dinner 

This wonderful Taste of California dinner menu and wonderful recipes highlight the delightful foods of the sunny state of California including everyone’s favorite – San Francisco Cioppino and sourdough bread! 

Taste of California dinner menu was generously shared with my by Linda Sandberg of Newberg, OR.  Linda belongs to a Gourmet Dinner Group that delights in wonderful food that they share together.  

Taste of California Dinner menu collage

1st Course – Appetizers:  

California Rolls – American-Style Sushi Rolls
Making sushi at home is easy to do.  Ingredients and equipment can be found at Japanese, Asian foods stores, and at most large grocery stores.

I did a large amount of reading on how to make sushi rolls before attempting my first ones. Sushi making does requires a small amount of initial practice. Don’t be afraid to try! You can use the techniques for making the California Rolls to make other variations with different fillings as sushi rolls are extremely versatile and you can make endless varieties. Think of a sushi roll as a sandwich and it is sure to get your imagination rolling as to what to fill it with. Be creative!

2nd Course – Salad:

Avocado, Hearts of Palm, and Red Onion Salad
A very delightful and refreshing salad that is also easy to make

3rd Course:  

Crab Cakes with Green Onion Sauce
You will not believe how wonderful these crab cakes are.  My husband thinks that they could win an award.  You be the judge!


4th Course – Main Entree:

San Francisco Cioppino
Cioppino (pronounced chuh-PEE-no) is considered San Francisco’s signature dish, and no trip to this West Coast city would be complete without a bowlful.  Cioppino can be prepared with a dozen kinds of fish and shellfish.  It all depends on the day’s catch or your personal choice.  This fish stew first became popular on the docks of San Francisco (now known as Fisherman’s wharf) in the 1930s.  Cioppino is thought to be the result of Italian immigrant fishermen adding something from the day’s catch to the communal stew kettle on the wharf.  The origin of the work “cioppino” is something of a mystery, and many historians believe that it is Italian-American for “chip in.” It is also believed that the name comes from a Genoese fish stew called cioppin.

Served with:

San Francisco-Style Sourdough Bread
I have spent much time experimenting with sourdough to come up with a recipe that I feel can rival the famous San Francisco Sourdough French Bread.  I find that using my bread machine for the kneading process only, saves me a lot of time and saves my wrists.

5th Course – Desserts:

Taste of California Dinner dessert collage

Mini Chocolate Cupcakes
This delicious chocolate cupcakes will surprise you on how moist and low-fat they are. The secret is the use of dates in the batter. Photo by Ramulo Yanes.
California Cheese Board (using cheeses made in California)
Entertaining frequently includes some kind of cheese tray, often with fruit or vegetables or meat or a combination of these foods.  If you are short on time you can, of course, buy a fruit and cheese tray at most good quality grocery stores or online.  But if you have the time this is an opportunity to be creative and introduce your guests to some new cheeses. It’s great fun!


This course can either be served at your dining table after clearing the dishes or in the living room.  A good way to end a meal is with a cup of coffee or a latte. Learn how to make a perfect cup of Coffee.

Check out all of Linda’s wonderful Dinner Party Menus (includes recipes)

Check out Dining Etiquette Guide – Restaurant and Dinner Party Manners and Etiquette.

Appetizer Recipes – (Hors d’ oeuvres, Starters, Amuse-Bouche,& Snacks)

Appetizer Hints – How many appetizers to make for your party?

Food Safety Pages. Check them out!

Buffet and Party Safety
Also includes what to do if your guests have been delayed at least an hour

Golden Rules of Food Safety – IF IN DOUBT, THROW IT OUT!  If you have any question in your mind about the freshness or safety of eating a food product, throw it out.  It is better to be safe than sorry!

Picnic Safety Tips – There is nothing more American than the picnic.  Picnics can take on many forms, such as the community picnic, friends and neighbors, tailgate parties, or ball games.  There is also one sure thing at every picnic-lots of good food.  The important point is to have safe and healthy food, not food that can cause food borne illness. Always prepare and store food properly.

Summer Safety Tips – Summer is the time for barbecues and picnics.  The biggest party crasher at summer picnic and buffets is food borne bacteria.  You can not see them and you can not taste them, but you sure can feel them if illness occurs hours or days later.

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