Tag Archives: Bookshop Santa Cruz

Christmas shopping: last minute restaurant gift card bonuses

Photo caption: Sushi Garden is offering discount gift cards this holiday season

Two weeks ago I posted this article with eight different “gift card bonus offers” from Santa Cruz and Capitola restaurants. Here are a few more for any of you doing very-last-minute shopping.


Capitola, Scotts Valley and Watsonville

Sushi Garden is offering 10% off if you purchase at least $50 worth of gift certificates. You have to buy them by Dec. 24, and they’re valid at all three locations: Capitola (820 Bay Ave.), Scotts Valley (5600 Scotts Valley Dr.) and Watsonville (1441 Main St.).Visit sushi-garden.com.


Capitola, Scotts Valley and Santa Cruz

Jamba Juice is offering a gift card deal this holiday season, through Christmas. If you buy $25 in gift cards, you get a $5 bonus card redeemable in January and February. For more information, visit jambajuice.com. Local stores include Capitola (3555 Clares St.), Santa Cruz (1550 Pacific Ave.), and Scotts Valley (214 Mt. Hermon Rd.).


Santa Cruz

At Blaze Pizza (1901 Mission St.), if you buy a $25 gift card by Dec. 31, you get a free pizza reward to use at in 2019 (Jan. 1-Feb. 28). Restrictions: You must be a Blaze Rewards member (but it’s easy to sign up). For more information, visit blazepizza.com/locations/santa-cruz.


And finally, even though it’s not food-related, I have to mention Bookshop Santa Cruz because it’s such a wonderful, independent resource—and it’s been so for more than 50 years! Through the holiday season, you receive a free $10 BSC gift card when you purchase four $25 gift cards, or a free $5 gift card when you purchase five $10 gift cards. Speaking of food, your gift recipients (or you!) can buy a cookbook or a different type of food book (Ruth Reichl’s Comfort me With Apples…Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential, etc.). Visit bookshopsantacruz.com.


Best wishes for a great 2019!

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More food events to add to Saturday’s Santa Cruz mix

Frog & Toad will be at Bookshop Santa Cruz Saturday

Frog & Toad will be at Bookshop Santa Cruz Saturday

It’s true, I have already let you know of three events happening Saturday, June 25 (tomorrow!) and now I am telling you about two more. Or maybe three or four…keep reading.

If you missed my articles, here are details for the Hop N’ Barley beer festival and Walnut Center strawberry festivals, and for the Pleasure Point Street Fair.

Project Pollinate Festival
The Project Pollinate Summer Solstice Music Festival is from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at San Lorenzo Park in Santa Cruz. See the event Facebook page for more details including a music schedule. Food details: the Project Pollinate chefs are cooking up a free vegan lunch, to be served at around 1:30. Aptos Natural Foods will be providing organic ingredients for this lunch. There will also be food vendors including Vida Juice Co., La Onda, Pure Heart Chocolate, Solococo and Philosopher’s Stoneground.
Location: 137 Dakota Ave.

Popup: My Mom’s Mole 
My Mom’s Mole is dishing up food at POPUP from 3-10 p.m. (or earlier if the food sells out): mole and Spanish rice, mole on green waffles, and cactus & kale salad. First, choose a base: Spanish rice or a green waffle. Their Spanish rice is made with rice, tomatoes, and fresh vegetables. Green waffles are made with oats, egg whites, spinach, banana, and cauliflower. Next, choose a filling: roasted chicken, slow-cooked pork, or veggie mix (Brussels sprouts, green beans, mushrooms, & potatoes). Then, choose your mole sauce: original (My Mom’s Mole with pork stock), vegan (My Mom’s Mole with vegetable stock), or mole verde (gluten-free with chicken stock). You can also add cactus/kale salad as a side – it has nopales, kale, red onion, tomato, jalapeño & cilantro in a citrus dressing.
Location: 1108 Pacific Ave.

Bookshop Santa Cruz: Kids’ party with cake
Bookshop Santa Cruz is celebrating its 50th anniversary with lots of fun events, and Saturday it’s the “Rocking Horse Birthday Party” to honor its mascot. Customers are meet with book characters Frog and Toad and enjoy birthday cake from 1-3 p.m. There will be games and activities.
Location: 1520 Pacific Ave.

Soquel Village Sip & Stroll
The Soquel Village Sip & Stroll is from 1 to 5 p.m. Participants can visit various Soquel Village businesses and do wine tasting. There will be family-friendly activities and refreshments in front of Hope Church. It’s a benefit for the Soquel Elementary School Garden Project. Tickets are $30 in advance, $36 at the event, and include a commemorative glass and pours at 10 tasting stations which are at Queen Bee Flowers, Tokaido Gallery, Redz Hair Design, TULA Bodyworks, Play It Again Sports, Loot Vintage, Cowbelles For Heart & Home, Traders Emporium, Center Street Antiques and Wargin Wines Tasting Room. Participating wineries are Armitage Wines, Bargetto Winery, Burrell School Vineyards, Chaucer Cellars, Hunter Hill, Pelican Ranch, Poetic Cellars, Silver Mountain Winery, Trout Gulch Vineyards and Wargin Wines. For information or tickets visit the event web site.

If you’re on Twitter, follow me @santacruzfoodie.

Two Shakespeare Santa Cruz events including Woodstock’s Pizza benefit

Pizza from Woodstock's in Santa Cruz

Pizza from Woodstock’s in Santa Cruz

On Tuesday June 4, 2013, there are two events related to UCSC’s Shakespeare Santa Cruz (SSC), and one is a win-win for local pizza fans.

Pizza Benefit at Woodstock’s

Woodstock’s Pizza is donating a percentage of its dinner sales (good for dine-in AND to-go) between 5 p.m.  and 9 p.m. to SSC – but ONLY for the customers that bring in a special flyer (click here). In case you’ve never been to Woodstock’s, it offers a lot of tasty pizza choices (including whole wheat, white, and gluten-free crust options), several salads (including organic spinach with almonds, dried cranberries, and organic balsamic dressing), and a decent beer selection. There is a huge amount of seating including a pleasant outdoor patio. Spread the word: depending on how much money SSC fans spend at Woodstock’s that night, SSC – a fabulous repertory theater company –  will receive between 15% and 25% of these sales.


Season Preview at Bookshop SC

At 7:30 p.m., SSC Artistic Director Marco Barricelli is speaking at Bookshop Santa Cruz. He will introduce the 2013 summer festival season, share set and costume designs, and answer attendee questions.


Interested in going to a SSC play? The main 2013 SSC season starts July 23 and lasts until September 1. This year’s plays are Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew and Henry V. There is also a show that features SSC’s acting interns, always referred to as “The Fringe Show.” This year, they’re performing Tom Jones, adapted by Jon Jory from the novel by Henry Fielding, on August 20 & 27. All of this season’s performances are on UCSC’s campus at the outdoor Festival Glen. For more information or tickets visit shakespearesantacruz.org or call (831) 459-2159.


On Twitter? Follow me @santacruzfoodie.


The Details:

Woodstock’s Pizza, 740 Front St., Santa Cruz, (831) 427-4444

Bookshop Santa Cruz, 1520 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz, (831) 423-0900



Award-winning chef Donia Bijan plus free food at Bookshop Santa Cruz

Bay Area chef and author Donia Bijan. Credit: Chronicle/Chris Hardy

Award-winning Iranian chef Donia Bijan is speaking at Bookshop Santa Cruz and the free event features food samples inspired by Bijan’s new book. The samples are being provided by the wonderful downtown Santa Cruz restaurant Laili.

The author talk, book signing, and discussion takes place Monday, October 24 at 7:30pm. Bijan’s new book, “Maman’s Homesick Pie: A Persian Heart in an American Kitchen,” was published earlier this month.

Bijan spent her childhood in Tehran, Iran, helping her mother prepare traditional Persian dishes before the Islamic Revolution forced her family to flee Iran and move to the United States in 1978. Her mother was an active women’s rights advocate and former member of Parliament. Later, Bijan graduated from UC Berkeley before going to France to study at, and graduate from, Le Cordon Bleu. After working at many Bay Area restaurants and receiving accolades and awards from prestigious publications such as Gourmet and Bon Appetit, she opened her own French-inspired bistro in Palo Alto (L’Amie Donia was open for ten years before closing in 2004).

Maman’s Homesick Pie is both a memoir and a cookbook. Each chapter ends with recipes, and there are thirty in the collection. Some are inspired by her childhood (Saffron Yogurt Rice with Chicken and Eggplant and Orange Cardamom Cookies), others stem from her French training (Ratatouille with Black Olives and Fried Bread and Purple Plum Skillet Tart), and several hearken back to her cooking career (Roast Duck Legs with Dates and Warm Lentil Salad and Rose Petal Ice Cream).

On her web site, Bijan talks about her mother’s influence: “My mother wrote her recipes in prose, linking ingredients together into homespun expressions, putting you at ease, making it seem as effortless as boiling an egg. ‘Just add a handful of sugar to a pot of cherries and cook them until they stop bobbing to the surface.’ These cherries were later folded into saffron rice with slivered almonds and orange peel, but never mind that now, the cherries are tiny and take a while to pit – a task we’ll share over a cup of tea. So that’s how I learned to cook Persian food, by knowing a handful could mean a half a cup or more, that only lazy cooks don’t bother to pit stone fruit before cooking it, and patience is an essential ingredient.” Read more on her site at http://doniabijan.com.

Bijan’s debut as an author has received praise from many publications. National Geographic Traveler says, “…this literary feast accomplishes what only the best meals do, bestowing not only a satisfying culinary experience but also a larger appreciation of life’s precious table.” Publishers Weekly states that “Bijan is known for blending the cultures and cuisines of the places she’s called home: Iran, France, and America. She does the same in her wonderfully written memoir.”

Bijan writes beautifully about the power of food in Iranian culture and in her own family. “In my family food was the language we used to tell stories, to communicate love, share our passions, and our values. I am intrigued by the fact that a country can be ravaged by fundamentalism and war, its citizens scattered like shards of glass over the globe, and yet its food remains intact. Food allows us to hold on to something sensory, providing not only nourishment, but security, dignity, and love.”

Bijan sounds like a wonderful storyteller and chef, and her reading at Bookshop Santa Cruz is bound to be an evening to remember.

The Details

Monday, October 24, 2011, 7:30pm

Chef & Cookbook Author Donia Bijan

Bookshop Santa Cruz

1520 Pacific Avenue, Santa Cruz, 831-423-0900

Vegan cookbook author and restaurant owner Ann Gentry at Bookshop Santa Cruz

cookbook photo vegan family meals

Food prepared from Vegan Family Meals cookbook, photo courtesy of Andrews McMeel Publishing

If you’re interested in cooking healthier food that still tastes great, I recommend attending restaurant owner and vegan cookbook author Ann Gentry’s appearance at Bookshop Santa Cruz on Wednesday, June 22 at 7:30pm. She’ll be discussing her newest book, “Vegan Family Meals: Real Food for Everyone” (published June 2011, 272 pp., $25), and food prepared from Vegan Family Meals will be served.

Gentry is the founder of Real Food Daily (RFD), a pair of vegan restaurants in L.A. that serve absolutely delicious food. After operating RFD as a food delivery business for 5 years, Gentry opened her first restaurant in Santa Monica in 1993 and now there are two — plus a possible airport location in LAX opening in 2012.  I try to dine at RFD when I visit L.A.; during a meal there I feel like I’m rewarding both my body and soul.

Vegan Family Meals has the potential be a fabulous cookbook for vegetarians, vegans, and even meat-eaters. As Gentry proclaims in the introduction, “it’s not necessary to become vegan or vegetarian to enjoy the benefits of eating plant-based meals.” Even if you’re not ready (or never will be ready) to quit eating meat and fish, you can eat healthier and this book will help with its easy, satisfying recipes.

Breakfast selections include Tofu Benedict with Roasted Corn Hollandaise and French Toast with Fresh Raspberry Syrup, and dinner ideas range from One-Pot Vegetables and Tofu with Sesame Rice to Pinto Bean Enchiladas. Other dishes include soups (Yucatan Yam Picante, for one), snacks (Spicy-Sweet Roasted Almonds), salads (Mixed Oak and Green Leaf Salad with Sesame-Hiziki Croquettes, Garbanzo Beans, and Ginger-Tahini Dressing), desserts (from Almond-Jam Thumbprint Cookies to Vanilla Cupcakes with Sweet Vanilla Buttercream Frosting).

This is Gentry’s second cookbook, and she’s experienced at preparing vegan meals for herself and her family (not to mention serving as Executive Chef to magazine Vegetarian Times). Vegan Family Meals features information on macrobiotics, nutrition, and more. Gentry includes many tips on cooking techniques, utensils and equipment plus recipe variations, menu pairings, and helpful explanations (Wonder what exactly makes a particular food a “superfood?” See page 23 for an overview and then page 24 for specifics like goji berries). At the end of Vegan Family Meals, you’ll find extensive resources such as a natural foods company list, web site addresses for selected books and organizations, and a very comprehensive index.

As the author reminds readers, vegetarian, vegan, macrobiotic, and whole foods ingredients are now available at mainstream supermarkets across the US, so they are convenient for everyone – not just for those of lucky enough to live in the Bay Area with its plethora of farmers markets and independent fresh food shops. It appears that chefs everywhere can benefit from this exciting new book, and I look forward to being one of these!

Reading Location:

Bookshop Santa Cruz, 1520 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz 95060

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