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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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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Ashby Confections

Ashby Confections creates custom chocolates for special occasions. They can tailor colors, designs and flavors to compliment the style of an event, and can even monogram the chocolates or do wine pairing.  They are located in the Santa Cruz area, and work with other local producers such as Driscoll’s Berries and Beauregard Winery.  We think the globes are especially elegant – pictured in this post is a banana ganache globe.

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