COOKING HEIRLOOM BEANS

Cooking heirloom beans from scratch is almost as easy as opening a can. It just takes a little planning ahead. The key is to soak the beans overnight in filtered water with salt added. The salt brines the beans so they hold their shape. The water is filtered because minerals in the water could keep the beans from cooking evenly.

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Making Garlic Olive Oil

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.

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Sparkling Cider

Sparkling Cider for New Year’s Eve

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.

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Shopping at Mutari Craft Chocolate Shop

Shopping locally is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and support local crafts people at the same time. 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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