Last year, a forest fire in northern Santa Cruz county, the CZU lightning complex fire, burned 86,000 acres. It was stopped as it reached the University of California, Santa Cruz campus north of Santa Cruz, where we live. As we are again in fire season, we felt it would be a good time to post a few photos we took of the area that was devistated by the fire last year.Read More
We made some changes in the garden this year, intentionally planting flowers for hummingbirds. Early in the spring we planted lots of flowering plants that attract hummingbirds and now have a variety of different colored birds that visit the yard. We try to provide natural food for them instead of using a hummingbird feeder.Read More
It’s berry season and they are the colors of the holiday. What could be easier. We have blueberries and strawberries growing in the garden and a ready supply from local growers.Read More
During this time, we are staying at home and doing a lot of cooking and baking. Going to the grocery store has become a challenge, and we miss shopping at the Farmer’s Market. However, buying directly from local growers has become the perfect answer.Read More
So easy to grow sprouts at home. They add a gourmet look to some dishes and provide a really big nutritional punch. We found this to be an easy and healthy swap for the usual salad ingredients. And since this is an example of eco friendly eating, it also makes a good project for kids.Read More
Fall foliage in the Hope Valley in California.Read More
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 olive oil. Garlic olive oil 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 keepingRead More
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.Read More
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?Read More
A trip to the farm can be a fun and educational outing, as well as an opportunity to get some of the best local produce. Gizdich ranch offers a picnic area and sells homemade pies as well as apples and berries.Read More
Tony and I had the pleasure of photographing at Buttercup Cakes and Farmhouse frosting yesterday. Easily the cutest cupcake shop I’ve ever been in, and the cupcakes taste like my grandmother used to make – homemade, buttery – but so much prettier! Carren, one of the owners told us how they make the buttery frosting and it stays looking beautiful on wedding cakes even for outdoor weddings, so a couple doesn’t have to choose between a gorgeous cake and one that taste incredible.Read More
Richard Donnelly Chocolates is perhaps the most well known Chocolatier in Santa Cruz. He has won a number of awards and is considered one of the best in the country, and it is easy to see why. There are a number of delicious choices for a wedding but we loved the little hearts the most. He also creates special little gift boxes which would be perfect for visiting guests’ welcome baskets or wedding favors.Read More
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!
Tucked away in Scotts Valley is Chocolate Visions, a Chocolatier with a very unique and incredible product. They add wine from some of the local wineries, and fruits and herbs from local growers when making the ganache for their chocolates. Then they dip the chocolates on site to make innovative chocolates with the flavors of Santa Cruz. The olive oil and lavender is from Valencia Creek Farm in Aptos, the Framboise is from Bonny Doon Vineyard, and the wine is from Equinox and Burrell School vineyards and winery. They even do personalized monogrammed chocolates for special events.Read More
As professional photographers for the last 10 years, we have come up with a few good storage ideas for our photography equipment.
It’s not hard to make your own cookie mix, and you can use any of your favorite recipes.