We are always searching for ways to improve on a recipe. We found this one to be both easy and OMG delicious! These are by far the best cinnamon rolls we have ever had. The secret is using all the best ingredients and letting them rest overnight, which improves the flavor. It also makes them really easy to make.
We ramp up the flavor on may dishes by adding garlic olive oil. It makes a great substitute for butter and is a healthy alternative. We make it ahead and consider it part of the routine of stocking the pantry. By leaving the garlic in the oil, we also have sauteed garlic, or garlic confit, ready to use.
We just realized how easy it is to grow Shiitake mushrooms at home. The mushroom log is sold with mycelium plugs in it.
- Step one … soak the log in cold water.
- Step two… wait.
Getting incredible mushrooms could not be easier now that Far West Fungi opened a shop in downtown Santa Cruz.
We have found POG available in cans all over Hawaii. POG is a drink of Passion fruit juice, Orange juice and Guava juice. But only recently did I discover POG in Maui that was fresh squeezed. An incredible discovery.
Making fudge for Christmas is a tradition for us. This year, we tried to improve the recipe by finding the best ingredients possible, and the best technique.
We always include a non alcoholic drink choice when we entertain. Martinelli’s sparkling cider is perfect for the holidays, especially for New Year’s Eve, since it looks lovely in a champagne glass. We are also shopping local, because the Martinelli’s apple juice company is very close to our house. The south part of Santa Cruz county is filled with apple orchards. The ocean fog creates the environment that the Pippin apples prefer, making Santa Cruz ideal for cider.
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.
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.
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