Tag Archives: Cooking

New Leaf in Westside Santa Cruz dishes up breakfast cooking class

Examples of breakfast dishes created by Madia Jamgochian (Attendees of the April 24 class may learn variations of some of these selections)

Examples of breakfast dishes created by Madia Jamgochian (Attendees of the April 24 class may learn variations of some of these selections)

Interested in learning techniques for creating a delicious breakfast? Chef Madia Jamgochian is teaching “Intro to Cooking-Breakfast!” at New Leaf Community Markets in Westside Santa Cruz.

The class is from 5 -7:30 p.m. Friday, April 24, and the cost is $40 per person or $70 for 2. Preregistration is required and space is limited; contact New Leaf at 426-1306 or visit newleaf.com/events.

The hands-on class is beginner-friendly and gluten-free. Attendees will receive recipes and learn breakfast basics like how to make an omelet. The course description also mentions learning how to cook sweet potato hash, and participants can enjoy a full meal at the end of class if they “don’t mind eating breakfast for dinner.”

Instructor Jamgochian, a certified nutrition consultant who advises clients through her business “My Healing Habits,” also serves as Community Education Coordinator at New Leaf’s Westside location. Jamgochian is excited to teach on this topic. “I learned to cook when I was about 10, and it is something that has proved both valuable, and fun over the years. Cooking for yourself and others creates an important connection to the food we eat.”

Jamgochian has taught many cooking classes at New Leaf but this is her first intro-level class. She talks about her food philosophy on her blog myhealinghabits.com: “The name My Healing Habits was chosen to emphasize the fact that it is not always the foods we eat, but the habits we form around eating: where we choose to shop, how we prepare a meal, the ingredients we use, our state of mind, the location, and the time we take. These are all important factors in the grand scheme of reaching Optimal Health.”

Learn about all of New Leaf’s upcoming classes and activities, including “Go Foods for Fitness” on Earth Day, April 22 (taught by Sandi Rechenmacher), at newleaf.com/events.

Contact information: New Leaf Westside branch, 1101 Fair Ave, Santa Cruz, (831) 426-1306

On Twitter? Follow me @santacruzfoodie.

Discounts/events at Santa Cruz & Capitola New Leaf & Whole Foods

Whole Foods is offering a kids’ Valentine cookie class

Whole Foods is offering a kids’ Valentine cookie class

During February, there are a few upcoming events—plus some discounts ending soon—at New Leaf Community Markets and Whole Foods Market in Santa Cruz and Capitola.

New Leaf:
February 7-8, get 50% off select chocolate items (treat yourself or do early Valentine shopping!)

Feb. events at Westside location include:
Love & Chocolate

You don’t need a significant other to join this cooking class focused on love, self-care and sensuality. Join Talya Lutzker, Certified Ayurvedic practitioner and chef in making decadent chocolate treats and homemade body care recipes that nurture self-care and sensuality for you or a loved one. 6:30-8:30 p.m. Feb 11, $40 per person or $70 for 2.
1101 Fair Ave., Santa Cruz. Preregistration required.

Foodie Crafts for Kids – Make a Valentine’s Gift
Kids 16 and under are invited to make a unique picture frame using organic ingredients they can give as a gift, using dried lentils, quinoa, rice and pasta. This is a free, drop-in event, with no preregistration required. It’s taking place at three New Leaf stores at three different times from Feb 11 through Feb 13.

  • Downtown store: Wed, Feb 11, Noon to 2p.m.
  • Capitola store: Thurs, Feb 12, 3 p.m.-5 p.m.
  • Westside store: Fri, Feb 13, 4-6 p.m.

Learn more at newleaf.com/events.

Store Contact Info

Westside Location: 1101 Fair Ave, Santa Cruz, (831) 426-1306
Downtown SC Location: 134 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz, (831) 425-1793
Capitola Location: 1210 41st Ave, Capitola, (831) 479-7987

There are also locations in Half Moon Bay, Felton, San Jose, Pleasanton, and Boulder Creek

Whole Foods
Customer Appreciation Week at WFM Capitola & Santa Cruz ends Feb. 8.
Highlights:
Free coffee and tea daily from 8-11 a.m. through Sun, Feb. 8 (both locations)
Free BBQ lunch Sat, Feb. 7 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. (Capitola) and from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. (Santa Cruz)

Other events include:
Kids cookie decorating class with Valentine’s Day theme, 5-6 p.m. Tues, Feb. 10 – Capitola location
$10/child; call 464-2900 to reserve a spot

Learn more at wholefoodsmarket.com.

Contact Info for Santa Cruz/Capitola

Whole Foods Market Santa Cruz is located at 911 Soquel Ave. Call (831) 426-9901 for more information.

Whole Foods Market Capitola is located at 1710 41st Ave. Call (831) 464-2900 for more information.

On Twitter? Follow me @santacruzfoodie.

Santa Cruz Fungus Fair includes mushroom dishes, cooking demos, kids’ activities

Mushroom-themed food for sale at a previous Santa Cruz Fungus Fair. Photo credit: Yevgeny Nyden

Mushroom-themed food for sale at a previous Santa Cruz Fungus Fair. Photo credit: Yevgeny Nyden

Calling all mushroom fans: the annual Santa Cruz Fungus Fair is this weekend — you can watch cooking demos, buy mushroom-related food, and see lots of unusual mushrooms. The event is at Louden Nelson Community Center in downtown Santa Cruz.

The event began Friday, Jan. 9 and most events are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sat-Sun. January 10-11.

The Fungus Fair draws more than 2,000 visitors each year. A special habitat display area, beautifully arranged, will showcase hundreds of mushroom species commonly found in the Santa Cruz/San Francisco/Monterey Bay area. A Kids Room open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday offers hands-on projects such as making clay mushrooms, coloring fabric with mushroom dyes, and face painting.

The program schedule includes a Sunday 3-4 p.m. cooking demo by Chef Zachary Mazi, paired with wines from Fenestra Winery. Mazi is a 2006 graduate of Le Cordon Bleu, and was voted “Best Personal Chef in Santa Cruz” in local newspaper Good Times’ 2014 poll.

The Fungus Federation of Santa Cruz, a non-profit organization that aims to expand the understanding and appreciation of mycology (study of mushrooms), hosts the fair.

See complete schedule at ffsc.us/fair/2015/schedule.

Also—if you’re a mushroom lover, check out the web site for NEXT weekend’s Big Sur Foragers Festival at www.bigsurforagersfestival.org (Jan. 16-18, 2015).

On Twitter? Follow me @santacruzfoodie.

The Details:
Admission: Sat-Sun – $10 Adults, $5 Seniors & Students, free for kids under 12
Location: Louden Nelson Community Center, 301 Center Street (at corner of Laurel) – some street parking available at center; another option is further down Center Street near the police station

Holiday food & gifts from organic New Leaf Community Markets

Complete turkey dinner from New Leaf

Complete turkey dinner from New Leaf

If you want suggestions on how to make your holidays less stressful, look to organic, Santa Cruz-based New Leaf Community Markets this season. They have a large variety of gifts including Andes Gifts – Fair Trade, handmade alpaca items – and PACT organic cotton socks, available in the Bloom Departments. New Leaf will also wrap your gifts for free in gift bags during the month of December.

New Leaf also has a blog that includes an early December entry entitled “Simple Tips for Holiday Success.” Check it out at newleaf.com/blog.

For holiday meals — including a la carte items or full dinner packages — you need to order by Saturday, Dec. 20 for pick-up on Wednesday, Dec. 24, 2014.

New Leaf has Holiday Side packages – the perfect compliment to any centerpiece with three delicious options – savory, gluten-free and vegan, for $49.99 each.

Other holiday ideas, both traditional and alternative:

  • New Leaf offers easy catering options, here is the general (not-holiday-specific) catering menu. Selections include coffee/tea carafes, and assorted platters such as cheese, crostini, Mediterranean, and cookies
  • Butternut Squash Lasagna is a house favorite from the deli ($7.99 per pound, serves 3-4)
  • Parsnip Bread Pudding (also $7.99 per pound, serves 3-4) is a fun, different side dish and I personally recommend it – I had the chance to sample it around Thanksgiving
  • New Leaf’s Own pie crust is now available in the freezer section – made with all butter, and reportedly very light and flaky
  • A popular item that can be used as a festive snack or unique dessert: Angie’s Dark Chocolate Sea Salt popcorn

The market has holiday packages like “Turkey Dinner” ($139.99, feeds 4-6) with Diestel brown and serve turkey, organic herb bread stuffing, buttermilk mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, and more. There’s also a gluten-free dinner package ($139.99, feeds 4-6) with the same turkey. Accompaniments include wild and brown rice stuffing, citrus beet salad, organic green bean casserole, gluten-free dinner rolls, and gluten-free pumpkin pie. These packages are available at all New Leaf locations except for Felton and Boulder Creek, which are offering different holiday dishes.

Read more at the New Leaf web site newleaf.com/holidays.

Several store locations are hosting Holiday Solutions Stations to help customers during the holiday season. This is where you can place orders, find recipes and cooking tips, and ask questions about suggested pairings and/or accommodating your guests’ dietary restrictions. The stations also feature occasional holiday treat and drink samples.

Find the station at the front of each store—including downtown Santa Cruz, Westside SC, Capitola, Half Moon Bay, San Jose, Pleasanton—open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily until Dec. 30.

Contact Info (there are also locations in Half Moon Bay, Felton, San Jose, Pleasanton, and Boulder Creek)

  • Westside Location: 1101 Fair Ave, Santa Cruz, (831) 426-1306
  • Downtown SC Location: 134 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz, (831) 425-1793
  • Capitola Location: 1210 41st Ave, Capitola, (831) 479-7987

Follow me on Twitter @santacruzfoodie.

Thanksgiving options from organic New Leaf Community Markets

Thanksgiving side dishes available from New Leaf Community Markets

Thanksgiving side dishes available from New Leaf Community Markets

Organic, Santa Cruz-based New Leaf Community Markets is offering lots of options for Thanksgiving Dinner; you need to order by Sunday, Nov. 23 for pick-up on Tuesday, Nov. 25 and Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014.

Several store locations are hosting Holiday Solutions Stations to help customers during the holiday season. This is where you can place orders, find recipes and cooking tips, and ask questions about suggested pairings and/or accommodating your guests’ dietary restrictions. The stations also feature occasional holiday treat and drink samples.

Find the station at the front of each store—including downtown Santa Cruz, Westside SC, Half Moon Bay, San Jose, Pleasanton, and Capitola branches—from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on:
Nov. 4 – Nov. 25
and
Dec. 8 – Dec. 30

New Leaf only uses turkey from Sonora-based Diestel Family Turkey Ranch. There are many varieties available which you can buy and bring home to cook yourself: original Diestel turkey; organic “Heidi” turkey; non-GMO natural turkey; and organic heirloom turkey.

Don’t feel like doing all the cooking yourself? New Leaf has holiday packages like “Turkey Dinner” ($139.99, feeds 4-6) with Diestel brown and serve turkey, organic herb bread stuffing, gravy and buttermilk mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, and more. There’s also a gluten-free dinner package ($139.99, feeds 4-6) with the same turkey. Accompaniments include wild and brown rice stuffing, citrus beet salad, organic green bean casserole, gluten-free dinner rolls, and gluten-free pumpkin pie. These packages—and selections below—are specific to the Capitola and Santa Cruz (both downtown and Westside) stores. But rest assured, all of New Leaf’s locations are offering a variety of Thanksgiving dishes.

There are a cornucopia of other Thanksgiving selections available–a sampling is listed below:
Side dish packages
($49.99, feeds 4-6) in traditional, gluten-free, and vegan varieties
A la carte:
Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes ($5.99/lb.)
Savory Turkey Gravy ($4.99/pint)
Mushroom Gravy ($4.99/pint)
Organic Maple Glazed Yams (vegan and gluten-free, $7.99/lb.)
Cranberry Orange Sauce (vegan and gluten-free, $7.99/lb.)

Read more at the New Leaf web site newleaf.com/holidays.

Contact Info (there are also locations in Half Moon Bay, San Jose, Pleasanton, Felton, and Boulder Creek)

Westside Location: 1101 Fair Ave, Santa Cruz, (831) 426-1306
Downtown SC Location: 134 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz, (831) 425-1793
Capitola Location: 1210 41st Ave, Capitola, (831) 479-7987

If you decide you’d rather dine out for Thanksgiving, see my recent article on Santa Cruz and Monterey restaurants with Thanksgiving menus.

Follow me on Twitter @santacruzfoodie.

Two fun holiday events at Westside Santa Cruz New Leaf

Cooking classroom at New Leaf Community Markets in Westside Santa Cruz

Cooking classroom at New Leaf Community Markets in Westside Santa Cruz

Organic, Santa Cruz-based New Leaf Community Markets offers lots of events every month. Here are details for a couple holiday-themed ones coming up soon at the Westside location. One is a combination cooking class/social event this Friday night, and there are still a few spots available. It’s taught by Elizabeth Borelli, who I highly recommend. She’s an engaging and fun instructor, and knows a lot about cooking. I haven’t met the person facilitating the second event, but she sounds very knowledgeable!

Dinner with Friends: A Very Veggie Friends-giving with Chef Elizabeth Borelli:

5:30-7:30 p.m. Friday Nov. 14, 2014
Price: $50 per person or $90 for 2 people

Enjoy a fun Friday night in the kitchen cooking up a vegetarian feast with friends! Whether you are cooking for two or entertaining a crew, having a vegetarian option on the table is always appreciated. Join chef/cookbook author Elizabeth Borelli as she leads the class through an assortment of appetizers, side dishes, a main course and dessert that will please your entire guest list, not just the vegetarian ones. The holiday meal will be paired with a delicious wine that will bring out the flavors of the dish. Bring a “plus one” to get a discounted rate. Preregistration is required; see this link.

Healthy Holidays Store Tour:
6-7p.m. Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014
Price: Free

Nutritional consultant and educator Sandi Rechenmacher will lead attendees on an entertaining and educational store tour at the Westside New Leaf. The tour will focus on healthy alternative ingredients for holiday cooking and baking. You can learn how to protect your health and well-being and take on the holidays with creative gusto. Preregistration is required. Visit this link.

 
For more information, call 426-1306 or see the New Leaf web site at newleaf.com.
For all events, visit http://www.eventbrite.com/o/new-leaf-community-markets-westside-2725205834.

New Leaf Westside location: 1101 Fair Ave., Santa Cruz

On Twitter? Follow me @santacruzfoodie.

Learn delicious, non-sugar recipes with Chef Lauren’s classes at New Leaf in Westside Santa Cruz

Nut-crusted chicken and salad with lemon herb vinaigrette from Chef Lauren’s Sugar Solutions class

Nut-crusted chicken and salad with lemon herb vinaigrette from Chef Lauren’s Sugar Solutions class

A fabulous new six-Saturday series started last week with Chef Lauren Hoover-West at New Leaf Community Markets in Westside Santa Cruz, but don’t worry—you can still sign up for one, some, or all of the remaining five sessions, which run through Sat., Oct. 18. Each class includes cooking an entire well-balanced meal, and the ticket cost includes lunch.

“Sugar Solutions: Meal Planning for a Sugar Free Diet” is the name of the class series. I participated in the first session Sept. 14, and was very impressed. Chef Lauren is a wonderful teacher with an engaging personality. She has a wealth of knowledge to share—not just on effective ways to cut back on sugar without sacrificing flavor, but also on a variety of topics including proper knife skills (resulting in less backaches), time-saving meal preparation, which vegetables have less carbs than others, and kitchen equipment recommendations.

Tess Quadres also attended on Saturday. I observed her taking notes and asking questions, and it was obvious she was learning a lot. The next day, I asked her to comment on the course. “I’ve been reading about nutrition for years now; I cook very healthy food, and I wasn’t sure I would learn that much from a low/no sugar cooking class,” she said. “Lauren surprised me with so much new information and great cooking tips. I went away excited to try a bunch of new things I could put into practice immediately, to make my cooking even healthier.” Quadres went grocery shopping right after the class so she could get started while it was all fresh in her mind.

One interesting fact I learned, and want to share with you readers: Stevia is 300 times sweeter than sugar but has no glycemic index. This index, often shortened to GI, refers to a food’s ability to raise a person’s blood sugar. For cooking, Lauren prefers SweetLeaf liquid stevia, which New Leaf carries.

The menu for the first class was:
• Nutty Smoothie w/homemade nut milk
• Salad with Lemon Herb Vinaigrette
• Nut-Crusted Chicken Cutlets
• No Cook Chocolate Chia Pudding

You can see the menus for all upcoming classes online. http://www.eventbrite.com/e/sugar-solutions-meal-planning-for-a-sugar-free-diet-tickets-12517930467
All the recipes prepared in these classes are dairy-free, gluten-free, and sugar-free. Some will include raw and/or paleo dishes. Course themes include “Road to Asia” this coming Sat., Sept. 20 (includes Veggie Bowl with Lemon Tahini Sauce and Thai Coconut & Chicken Soup) and “Taste of Europe” Oct. 4 (includes Lamb Loin Chops with Garlic & Rosemary, Pumpkin Seed Pate with Raw Veggies, and Fermented Sauerkraut).

Attendees get to do hands-on prepping and cooking. I liked that we first got to taste the almond milk we created, and then we added more ingredients to this milk and transformed it into smoothies, which were delicious. I enjoyed all of the food; we drank the nut milk and smoothies right after we made them, but saved the other three dishes to eat all at once for lunch at the end of class.

I was surprised at the speed and ease of the nut-crusted chicken recipe, and I loved the texture and the flavors. I’ll be making this one at my home soon, and am guessing it’s going to be a hit with the whole family! I’m excited it’s a low-carb option. As Lauren mentioned, these days a lot of us need quick recipes for weekday options. Another positive aspect to this recipe: if someone is allergic to nuts, they can substitute sunflower or pumpkin seeds.

Chef Lauren promised to email her students the recipes, and she was true to her word—they actually arrived later that same day. I appreciated the quick access to these resources, which included a list of low-carb vegetables arranged from lowest to highest carbohydrate per serving.

Single class tickets are $40 each. You can purchase these online http://www.eventbrite.com/e/sugar-solutions-meal-planning-for-a-sugar-free-diet-tickets-12517930467 until 1 hour before each class begins, but Chef Lauren encourages people to sign up at least 24 hours in advance if possible (that’s ideal for planning). She also mentions that even if you don’t have a health issue or problems with sugar, these classes will give you vital information about blood sugar plus tips on cooking balanced meals featuring natural whole foods.

As the official series description states, participants can learn how to cook “…delicious sugar-free recipes for every meal of the day.” Balancing blood sugar through diet can help you manage many conditions that are becoming an epidemic in the US including diabetes, heart disease, cancer, candida, depression, obesity and ADHD. Chef Lauren will focus on teaching “dietary changes that will help balance the body for optimal health, energy levels and well-being.”

Quadres adds a couple more comments: “The environment at the New Leaf kitchen is comfortable and unintimidating, and Lauren’s approach is friendly, straightforward and inspiring.  I found the class very valuable and would recommend it to anyone who wants to cook healthy food.”

Chef Lauren was trained at San Francisco’s California Culinary Academy, and has 25 years of cooking and teaching experience at venues including Michelin-starred La Folie, Fairmiont San Francisco, and Sur La Table. She offers services including menu planning, food sensitivity coaching, nutritional counseling, pantry makeovers, and grocery shopping tours. Read more at her site at NoWheatNoDairyNoProblem.com – No Wheat, No Dairy, No Problem is also the name of her gluten- and wheat-free cookbook.

For more information on this or other classes, call 426-1306 or see the New Leaf web site at newleaf.com. For all events and classes at Westside New Leaf, visit http://www.eventbrite.com/o/new-leaf-community-markets-westside-2725205834.

New Leaf Community Markets Westside location: 1101 Fair Ave., Santa Cruz

On Twitter? Follow me @santacruzfoodie www.twitter.com/santacruzfoodie.

Westside Santa Cruz New Leaf: cooking classes & events for kids and teens

Kids enjoy cooking at New Leaf Community Markets

Kids enjoy cooking at New Leaf Community Markets

Organic, Santa Cruz-based New Leaf Community Markets offers lots of food, coffee, and cooking events, and there are a few cooking classes and events for kids and teens coming up soon at the Westside Santa Cruz New Leaf—including one for the whole family. The July 19 family workshop is taught by Elizabeth Borelli. I took a class with this Beanalicious Living author last fall; she’s a great teacher.

Small Sprouts Workshop for Families: 2-5 p.m. Sat 7/19/14
Engaging kids in food growing and preparation is one of the best ways to start them on a path to healthy decisions.  Join award-winning author Elizabeth Borelli for an interactive workshop that will introduce kids to the fun of sprouting, the benefits of knowing how to prepare yummy food. With easy, step-by-step techniques for delicious recipes you can make at home, such as Ten Minute Spring Rolls to Sprouted Wheat Cookies. Preregistration required.
No age minimum, but it’s probably most appropriate for kids ages 5 and up. $20 adults/$10 kids.

Kids Summer Cooking Camp: 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Mon 8/18-Thurs 8/21
The July 21-24 version of this camp sold out, so if you’re interested, I highly recommend you sign up soon! At this four-day summer camp with Chef Lauren, kids will learn how to make all three meals of the day, snacks, beverages and desserts that are all delicious and nutritious. They will also learn healthy alternatives to wheat, gluten, dairy and white sugar along the way. This mini-culinary experience will bring out the chef in each child and they will walk away with a wealth of cooking knowledge. Parents will watch their child excel in the kitchen and be able to take the night off from cooking while their son or daughter whips up a nutritious family meal. At the end of each camp day, the group will enjoy a well-balanced lunch and engage in conversation about food, cooking and healthy habits. (Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free).
Open to kids ages 8-12. $195.

There is also a four-day Teen Summer Cooking Camp from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Mon 8/4-Thurs 8/7. The description is same as the kids’ one above, except it’s open to teens ages 12-18.
The cost is $195 if you buy an early-bird ticket by July 25. After that, it’s $225.

Food-Flix Film Series for Kids and Teens
New Leaf began hosting a free summertime film series in late June. On selected Fridays at noon, New Leaf invites the community to watch “critically acclaimed documentaries about the state of our current food system while enjoying a healthy afternoon snack.” Ages 8 and up may attend with parents’ consent. On June 27 and July 11 the store aired Food Fight and Forks Over Knives, respectively. Remaining dates and films are below. RSVPs are encouraged but not required.

July 25th – Super Size Me
While examining the influence of the fast food industry, Morgan Spurlock personally explores the consequences on his health of a diet of solely McDonald’s food for one month.

August 8th – The Future of Food
Before compiling your next grocery list, you might want to watch filmmaker Deborah Koons Garcia’s eye-opening documentary, which sheds light on a shadowy relationship between agriculture, big business and government. By examining the effects of biotechnology on the nation’s smallest farmers, the film reveals the unappetizing truth about genetically modified foods: You could unknowingly be serving them for dinner.

August 22nd – Food Beware – The French Organic Revolution
Jean-Paul Jaud’s documentary visits a village in France where the mayor has mandated an all-organic menu for the lunch program in the local school. Farmers, parents, kids and health care advocates discuss the impact of the decision.

For more information, call 426-1306 or see the New Leaf web site at newleaf.com.
For events, visit http://www.eventbrite.com/o/new-leaf-community-markets-westside-2725205834.

New Leaf Westside location: 1101 Fair Ave., Santa Cruz

On Twitter? Follow me @santacruzfoodie.

Celebrate National Peanut Month with sweet recipes

Celebrate National Peanut Month by baking Peanut Butter & Banana Crescents

Celebrate National Peanut Month by baking Peanut Butter & Banana Crescents

One way to celebrate National Peanut Month during March: bake up a treat that includes peanut butter! Of course, there are lots and lots of recipes out there. There are some on the National Peanut Board web site, including a link to a fancy dessert recipe via Bon Appetit: peanut dacquoise with peanut butter mousse. With elements like meringue, be prepared to spend some time and effort.

For those who want a fast, easy recipe, here is a quick one that calls for only five ingredients.  This dish is from the Pillsbury web site. Some of the bakers who tried the recipe shared comments. These include the fact it makes a good after-school snack, it’s easy to do variations, and it also works for any “Elvis-themed” parties since the famous singer reportedly loved peanut butter and  banana sandwiches.

PEANUT BUTTER & BANANA CRESCENTS

INGREDIENTS
1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated crescent dinner rolls OR 1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury® Crescent Recipe Creations® refrigerated seamless dough sheet

½ cup creamy peanut butter
1 medium banana, sliced (1 cup)
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon roasted salted sunflower nuts or sesame seeds

DIRECTIONS
1. Separate or cut dough into 4 long rectangles (if using crescent rolls, press perforations to seal). Cut each rectangle in half; press into 3 1/2-inch squares.
2. 
Spoon peanut butter in center of each square; top with 2-3 banana slices. Fold dough over filling; press edges with fork to seal. Brush with egg; sprinkle with sunflower nuts.
3. 
Bake at 375°F 12 to 16 minutes.

Follow me on Twitter @santacruzfoodie.

Eat up at the 33rd annual Santa Cruz Clam Chowder Cook-Off and Festival

A scene from the 2013 Santa Cruz Clam Chowder Cook-Off

A scene from the 2013 Santa Cruz Clam Chowder Cook-Off

This Saturday is the 33rd annual Santa Cruz Clam Chowder Cook-Off and Festival at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.

The Feb. 22, 2014 chowder cook-off has free admission. If you want to eat chowder, tasting kits are $9 and include five samples plus two “People’s Choice” ballots.

More than 50 individuals and teams are participating, including teams from Aquarius, Pleasure Pizza East Side Eatery, Severino’s, Solaire, South Beach Pizza, Ideal Bar and Grill, and Local Harvest Catering.

The competition features two divisions:

• Best Individual – with subcategories for both Manhattan & Boston varieties
• Best Professional – with subcategories for both Manhattan & Boston varieties

Teams can choose to compete in one or both of the Manhattan & Boston categories. They are also in the running for prizes such as “Most Original.”

Some participants dress in whimsical costumes including mermaids and scuba divers. In 2013, there was a Clam-I-Am team with Dr. Seuss-style green chowder and chefs wearing clam hats.

The 2013 winners included:

  • South Beach Pizza of Santa Cruz (awarded 1st place professional by official judges for Best Restaurant Boston)
  • Severino’s Bar & Grill of Aptos (awarded 1st place professional by official judges for Best Restaurant Manhattan AND 1st place professional in People’s Choice for Manhattan)
  • Ideal Bar & Grill of Santa Cruz (awarded 1st place professional in People’s Choice judges for Boston)

On Saturday, the Boardwalk rides will be open from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

Cook-Off Schedule:

10:00 a.m. Cooking starts & tasting kits go on sale
1:00 p.m. Public tasting begins (there is also a judges’ tasting)
4:00 p.m. Winners announced

The cook-off is a fund-raiser for the City of Santa Cruz Parks and Recreation Department. In 2013, the event raised more than $60,000.

Follow me on Twitter @santacruzfoodie.