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.
Football game day tradition in Santa Clara California starts at Stan’s Donuts.
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.
I know it sounds unbelievable, but we often have wine leftover. We also have a difficult time finding a decent wine vinegar, so I had the idea of making it out of the leftover wine. After all, how hard can it be?
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
Valentine’s Day cupcake from Cutesy Cupcake.
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)