Shopping at Mutari Craft Chocolate Shop

We recently discovered a new chocolate shop in Santa Cruz – Mutari. They are very careful to source their chocolate from responsible growers. Their growers farm year after year on the same location, not moving into new lands, and they know how to grow and harvest the product to produce the best tasting chocolate. Then Mutari roasts the beans themselves to create the best chocolate possible.

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Secret pecan tart recipe

For Thanksgiving I made a pecan tart with a foolproof crust recipe from America’s Test Kitchen.  It seriously is foolproof and the best crust ever.  The secret is that it uses vodka.  We had some Seagram’s Sweet Tea vodka left from a summer backyard party, and that was the perfect thing for a pecan tart.

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True farm to table – artichokes with aioli

This was definately “farm to table”, since we actually went to the farm.  Artichokes are grown around Santa Cruz, and these were from the cliffs overlooking the Pacific.  The aioli was made with rosemary and garlic confit.  Tip: Garlic confit is a great thing to have on hand.  We make it by slowly cooking garlic in oil on the stovetop at the lowest temperature possible, for about an hour, and then keeping it in the refrigerator for safe keeping

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Laduree in Paris

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We diligently tried all the best french macarons in Paris, but nothing compared to Laduree! Maybe it was the pastel colors, or the uber cute shop, or the matching ribbons and tissue paper with the Laduree insignia, but nobody does it like Laduree!

(A list of our favorite tips for traveling with a camera is included at the end of this blog)

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