Sparkling Cider for New Year’s Eve

Sparkling Cider

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

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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My Cupcake Corner

Beautiful Cupcakes …all dressed up for the tea party.  My Cupcake Corner makes delicious cupcakes decorated for all sorts of occasions and events.  They all have fillings that make them extra special (the Bonny Dune blackberries are fantastic!)  Kelly, the owner, told me they are very popular for weddings because everyone gets their own little cake, and the couple saves the cost of cake cutting.  She has a line of booze cakes just for such an occasion.  They are local, vegan, organic, and she sells through the internet and at a pop-up stand – doesn’t get much more Santa Cruz than that!

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