Tag Archives: holiday gifts

Santa Cruz Foodie Holiday Gift Guide 2020: Local gifts, part 7

Goodies from Cheese Shop 831
Photo courtesy of Cheese Shop 831

Welcome to the final installment—part 7—of my holiday foodie gift guide with information for several local businesses if you have some last-minute shopping to do. Contact me at tara@santacruzfoodie.com with questions or comments.

Also see:

Gift guide part 1

Gift guide part 2

Gift guide part 3

Gift guide part 4

Gift guide part 5

Gift guide part 6

Note: some past installments include events that have taken place, but they also mention local businesses you can still support!

I wanted to mention one non-food-related idea: there are so many wonderful artists in our County, and some rely on the annual Open Studios event to bring in a significant part of their income. Due to the pandemic, OS could not take place this year. The sponsoring organization—Arts Council Santa Cruz County—launched a great “curated directory” website to showcase visual artists and provide easy opportunities to support these creative individuals. Visit the Visual Artists Network website at visualartsnetworkscc.com.

My mother, Fereshteh Fatemi, is one of these artists—a talented jeweler—and she’s donating 10% of her sales through Christmas to Second Harvest Food Bank Santa Cruz County.

Speaking of Second Harvest Food Bank, another gift idea is to make a donation to them in honor of someone that you care about. This year, more than ever, people are relying on SHFB for food. The organization distributes over eight million pounds of food each year to children, families, vets and seniors in Santa Cruz County.  More than half of the residents they serve are kids. Traditionally, every dollar donated provides four healthy meals to someone in need. Right now, thanks to a challenge grant from the COVID-19 Local Response Fund at Community Foundation Santa Cruz County, donations are being matched so your dollars are having a double effect.

Here are a few more gift possibilities:

Captiola’s Brown Ranch Marketplace (the center with Trader Joe’s) recently welcomed the store Cheese Shop 831. Owner Jillian Pirolo was supposed to open her business several months ago but got delayed due to the pandemic. I’ve been told by one friend who shopped there that they have amazing cheese—including local, regional and international varieties—and I’ve seen on Instagram @cheeseshop831 that they have other products like olive oil, handmade cheese boards, truffle hot sauce, towels and oven mitts. Visit cheeseshop831.com.

Aptos gift shop Hammond Glass Engraving & Gifts is open by appointment from Tuesday through Saturday. They carry items like Christmas mugs,  Spode mugs, wine glasses, high-ball glasses and serving dishes. The shop has been around for 30 years, and Jessie & David Campbell bought the business in 2018. I haven’t been there myself, but I hope to check it out post-holiday-season. Visit hammondaptos.com.

Five Star Catering put together a fun Local’s Gift Box; read more and purchase online. It supports eight local Santa Cruz area businesses affected by the pandemic including Mutari Craft Chocolate, Santa Cruz Coffee Roasting Company, Edith Meyer Wedding Cakes, and Magnolia Fine Gifts and Apothecary. They are even offering no-charge, no-contact SC County delivery. Visit fivestarcatering.com/holidayboxes.

Michelle Kneads Dough Monterey County is home to talented pastry chef Michelle Lee. A finalist on Food Network’s recent Halloween Baking Championship and a former staff member at restaurants including The C Restaurant+Bar at Intercontinental the Clement Monterey, Michelle found herself out of work due to the pandemic. She decided to get her cottage food permit and start doing pop-up “QuaranTreats.” I’ve enjoyed her food at The C and at special events, and also bought one of her yummy QuaranTreats and plan to buy more. I don’t know if she does gift cards for future treats, but just telling any “sweets fans” you know about her is a gift in itself! Visit Instagram.com/michelle.kneads.dough.

Lots of wineries and breweries are offering gift cards if you want to give your gift recipient the choice of what exactly they will receive. You can get contact info for many wineries at the Wines of the Santa Cruz Mountains website. Visit winesofthesantacruzmountains.com/wineries.

A final list of stores & vendors (without going into too much detail I wanted to make sure and at least share a few more names):

Santa Cruz County

Counter Cultures Kitchen Visit IG @countercultureskitchen

El Salchichero Visit elsalchichero.com

Far West Fungi Visit farwestfungi.com/pages/santa-cruz

Farmer Freed Salts Visit farmerfreed.com

Itso & Notso Hot Sauce Visit makefoodhappy.com

Marini’s Candies Visit mariniscandies.com

Mountain Feed & Farm Supply Visit mountainfeed.com

Sushi Market Sprouts Visit Instagram.com/sushimarketsprouts

Monterey County

Carmel Honey Company Visit carmelhoneycompany.com

The Chef’s Stash (weekly local food boxes curated by chef and restaurateur Gabe Georis and chef Brandon Miller, with omnivore and pescatarian options). Visit thechefsstash.com.

Elroy’s Fine Foods Visit elroysfinefoods.com

Happy Girl Kitchen Visit happygirlkitchen.com

Jerome’s Carmel Valley Market Visit jeromescarmelvalleymarket.com

Other Brother Beer Visit otherbrotherbeer.com

Follow me on:

Twitter @santacruzfoodie

Instagram @tarafatemiwalker

Facebook @santacruzfoodieexaminer

Wine gift ideas for the holidays: Grgich Hills & Twisted Roots

Violetta, Late Harvest from Grgich Hills Estate

Violetta, Late Harvest from Grgich Hills Estate

If you still have holiday shopping left to do and you have wine lovers on your list, here are a few gift ideas. There are also a couple ideas for host/hostess gifts if you’ll be visiting others during the season.

Grgich Hills Estate in Napa Valley offers a range of holiday items, from single bottles to decadent collections. For a red wine lover, there is a 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon ($143). Grgich Hills shares that it has “notes of smoke, blackberry and chocolate…Robert Parker re-reviewed this wine this summer and awarded it 92+ points.” This bottle comes packaged in a gift box. For a white wine fan, Grgich Hill recommends a magnum of the 2012 Paris Tasting “Commemorative” Chardonnay ($250). Vintners Hall of Fame inductee Miljenko “Mike” Grgich crafted the 1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay that won the famed 1976 Paris Tasting, outscoring the best of France and revolutionizing the wine world. To honor Mike’s legacy, Grgich Hills Estate showcased their best Chardonnay vines to create an elegant, full bodied Chardonnay with notes of fresh apple tart, honeysuckle and tropical fruit. For someone who has been “extra-good” this year, the ultimate luxury gift would be the Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Vertical Case ($1,560). It includes 2 bottles each of Grgich’s 2003-2008 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Grgich Hills Estate’s Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is a blend of three distinct vineyards in Yountville Rutherford, and Calistoga. All of Grgich Hills Estate’s vineyards are farmed naturally, without artificial pesticides or herbicides, and are certified organic. Their tasting room is in Rutherford.

For host/hostess gifts, Grgich recommends Violetta, Late Harvest ($85), or a 2012 Chardonnay ($42). Named for Mike Grgich’s daughter, Violet, the Violetta is crafted from a field blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling and Gewurztraminer. It includes rich aromas of ripe pear, mandarin orange and honeysuckle. It’s suggested that Violetta be paired with desserts that echo these flavors, such as fruit tarts, crème brûlée and rich cheeses, or served all by itself to end a special meal. Note that the Violetta is a 375ml bottle. The 2012 Chardonnay has fresh citrus and juicy peach flavors, rounded out with rich, warm vanilla and a touch of minerality.

Twisted Roots is offering “holiday gift packs” at its tasting room (12 Del Fino Place, Carmel Valley, 831-594-8282). Twisted Roots has combined two of its most popular wines—including their 2011 Cabernet—to create a holiday gift pack. The package also includes two Twisted Roots stemless wine glasses.  It’s a $50 value that costs $40 and includes two cards for complimentary wine tasting. For host/hostess gifts, Twisted Roots suggests its package with limited edition sparkling wine and two stemless champagne glasses ($40, also includes two complimentary wine tasting cards). If you’re unfamiliar with Twisted Roots, they are a winery that gives back: For every bottle sold, they donate a portion of the proceeds to the ALS Foundation for research into ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease).  The creator of the Twisted Roots brand is afflicted with ALS.  Additionally, Twisted Roots donates money to MEarth and its Hilton Bialek Habitat at Carmel Middle School.

Follow me on Twitter @santacruzfoodie.

Delicious holiday offerings and gifts from Peet’s Coffee and Tea

Peet’s Holiday Blend 2013 Gift Package for $25

Peet’s Holiday Blend 2013 Gift Package for $25

If you haven’t done all your Christmas shopping yet, and you have gift recipients who are tea or coffee lovers, Peet’s has some great ideas including special holiday packages.

Holiday teas include Holiday Breakfast Blend ($11.95/tea tin, $9.95 tea bags), a strong black tea that features Darjeeling and other varieties, and the flavorful Good Hope Spice Blend ($6.95/tea bags, only available during the holidays) which includes South African honeybush, orange peel, and allspice.

Peet’s uses “the best of the best” crops each year to create its holiday coffee blend. The 2013 Holiday Blend ($15.95/lb.) features beans from Indonesia, Kenya and Panama. It’s bright, rich and sweet without any one flavor overpowering another: a fabulous blend. Holiday Blend is available in Single K-Cups for the very first time this year ($13.99/box of 16).

Peet’s has put together many holiday treats plus gift packages in a variety of price ranges. Some are available online only, like “A Taste of the Holidays Gift Box” ($49) with tea, coffee, and various sweets. Many items are available at stores, like peppermint bark and snowflake-decorated mugs. Below are details on two packages available online; one is quite affordable and one is a splurge for that special someone!

$25 Peet’s Holiday Blend Gift Package—see photo above—includes a one-pound bag of Holiday Blend and a festive limited edition holiday mug.

$250 Peet’s Ultimate Holiday Convenience Package—includes the one-touch Cuisinart single serve brewer and an array of Peet’s Single Cups including the 2013 Holiday Blend, Café Domingo®  and Major Dickason’s Blend®, as well as two limited edition holiday mugs.

Follow me on Twitter @santacruzfoodie.

Christmas gift ideas for Santa Cruz foodies during holiday season 2012

South Indian Lemon Rice prepared at Indian Cuisine 101 at Let’s Cook! cooking school

It’s four days ‘til Christmas, time to keep shopping…below are a couple gift possibilities. And if you’ve missed some of my other ideas in the last several days, here are a few links:

Know someone who likes to cook? Try a Let’s Cook! gift certificate for a fun gift. The cooking school has lots of great classes, and they’re for cooks of all levels. Most classes cost $65, so that’s what the standard gift certificate costs – if your gift recipient chooses a higher or lower-priced class, details can be worked out when they call the school to register. Order online.

A pound of coffee or a tin of tea, or a coffee/tea-related gift, is often a good bet for friends or family. I recently tried a few holiday offerings from Peet’s and enjoyed them greatly. The 2012 Holiday blend coffee ($16.95/lb.) is robust and flavorful. Each year, Peet’s uses “the best of the best” crops from that particular year. This year’s blend highlights coffee from Kenya. Special holiday teas include Holiday Breakfast Blend ($11.95/tea tin, $9.95 tea bags), a strong black tea that features Darjeeling and other varieties, and Good Hope Spice Blend ($6.95/tea bags) Peet’s first new herbal blend in more than 12 years (and only available during the holidays). I find Good Hope to be sweet in a balanced way; it includes South African honeybush, orange peel, and allspice. Other choices in Santa Cruz and nearby include Verve, Santa Cruz Coffee Roasting Co., and Starbucks.

Kelly’s French Bakery in Westside Santa Cruz has a few selections that are good for either gifts or for adding to your holiday meal. These include Buche de Noel ($22), strawberry rhubarb pie ($21), Stollen ($16), gingerbread or chocolate loaves ($8), and cookies (sable, gingerbread, prices vary). To guarantee availability, call (831) 423-9059 by Dec. 22 at 2 p.m. to place an order. Or you can walk in and hope for the best – just be sure to visit before 2 p.m. on Dec. 24, that’s when Kelly’s closes on Christmas Eve (and it’s closed Christmas Day).

Lastly, Fresh Prep Kitchens is having a holiday gift certificate sale: Buy two, get one free. They are available in $35, $50 or $100 denominations through the web site, or call (831) 435-9260. The venue provides fresh, easy-to-prepare meals and you can pick them up in Capitola, or have them delivered (for no additional fee) to your door.

12 Days of Christmas Giveaway Day Seven: Aptos Farmers Market & Whole Foods Capitola

Pre-cracked and cleaned Dungeness crab platter for the holidays from Whole Foods Market

It’s Day Seven of Santa Cruz Restaurant Examiner/Santa Cruz Foodie’s “12 Days of Christmas Giveaway.” Today’s prize is a $20 gift card from Whole Foods Market Capitola and $20 in Farmers Market bucks from the Aptos Farmers Market. See end of article for how to enter, and keep reading for holiday selections from Whole Foods, and details on a Dec. 22 holiday gift fair at the Aptos Farmers Market.

If you want to order food from Whole Foods Market for the holidays, the deadline for Christmas orders is Sat. Dec. 22 and the deadline for New Year’s orders is Sun. Dec. 30. Order in person or online. Items include full dinners and a la carte items. A Health Starts Here dinner ($79.99) includes Butternut Collard Pozole, Stuffed Acorn Squash, Baked Apples, and more. A traditional roasted turkey dinner ($99.99) includes a 10-12 lb. Diestel turkey, 4 lbs. of savory herb stuffing, pumpkin pie, and more. A la carte items include turkeys, tamales, cracked Dungeness crab platters, shrimp platters, potsticker platters, mushroom empanada platters, deviled eggs, and brussels sprouts with shallots & pecans (I have tried – and highly recommend – these brussels sprouts!). Both of the following stores are open 8am-9pm daily. Whole Foods in Santa Cruz: 911 Soquel Ave, Santa Cruz (831) 426-9901, and Whole Foods in Capitola: 1710 41st Ave, Capitola (831) 464-2900.

The Aptos Farmers Market at Cabrillo College is every Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon. Voted “America’s Favorite Farmers Market in California,” it’s a great market with an incredible variety of offerings. As stated on its web site, “…eighty vendors, most of whom are certified organic or use sustainable farming methods, offer pastured grass-fed meats and poultry, sustainable fish…fresh pasta and gourmet sauces…handmade sauerkraut…artisan breads and baked goods, organic honey…farm fresh eggs, flowers, potted plants, seedlings, herbs, and an unsurpassed selection of certified California grown fruits, vegetables and nuts.” During the holiday season, it’s home to a special home and hearth holiday fair featuring a rotating selection of handcrafted gifts each Saturday from mid-November through the last Saturday before Christmas (which is Dec. 22 this year). Gifts include Christmas ornaments, framed art, succulent art, jewelry, decorative metal signs and holiday cards.

 

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THE CONTEST:

Reminder — during the entire “12 Days of Christmas” promotion, each person can only win one prize.

DAY SEVEN PRIZE – The winner will receive a $20 Whole Foods Market Capitola gift card PLUS $20 in Farmers Market bucks (good for merchandise at the Sat. Aptos Farmers Market at Cabrillo or the Fri. Monterey Farmers Market at Monterey Peninsula College).

To enter, email your name to tfatemiwalker@yahoo.com and include the words “Market money.”

Or post a comment to this article on my Facebook page, also including the phrase “Market money.”

Either way, the entry deadline is Wed. Dec. 19 at 5 p.m.

The drawing will take place that evening; the winner will be notified via email.

 

 

 

12 Days of Christmas Giveaway Day Six: reissue of vintage vegetarian book

 

Vegetable Diet, published as part of Andrews McMeel’s American Antiquarian Cookbook Collection

It’s Day Six of Santa Cruz Restaurant Examiner/Santa Cruz Foodie’s “12 Days of Christmas Giveaway.” Today’s prize is a facsimile edition of a book originally published in 1838, entitled “Vegetable Diet: As Sanctioned by Medical Men, and by Experience in All Ages” ($29.99, Andrews McMeel Publishing, October 2012). See end of article for how to enter.

This book is the “first book published to advocate for a vegetarian lifestyle (vegan actually)…and we’ve reissued it in a beautiful, cloth-bound hardback,” says Andrews McMeel Publishing’s cookbook publicist Emily Farris. In Vegetable Diet, William A. Alcott, a physician, educator, reformer, and founding member of the American Vegetarian Society, uses letters from medical experts to confirm the superiority of a vegetable diet for supporting health and recovering from disease. Alcott was the author of more than 100 books, and his works are still cited today. Vegetable Diet’s introduction is by Anna Thomas, herself the author of several cookbooks including “The Vegetarian Epicure” and the James Beard award-winning “Love Soup.”

Vegetable Diet is one of three books that Andrews McMeel published in October to launch its historic culinary book series (which includes, but is not limited to, cookbooks). The American Antiquarian Society strives to  “collect, preserve and make available as complete a record as possible of the printed materials from the early American experience.” The AAS cookbook collection has 1,100 volumes, and Andrews McMeel is publishing 100 of these, some in print and others as e-books.

This book would make an interesting holiday gift for any foodies you know (especially history-loving ones), or a gift for yourself. Looking for more book holiday gifts? A couple more to consider from Andrews McMeel: “Bake It in a Cupcake: 50 Treats with a Surprise Inside” by Megan Seling ($24.99, Oct. 2012) with recipes like Cherry Pie Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Frosting and “I Love Cinnamon Rolls” by Judith Fertig ($19.99, Sept. 2012) with 50 recipes including Pumpkin Streusel, Moroccan Rose Petal, and Szechuan Pepper Cinnamon Rolls with a Fresh Ginger Glaze. Or for anyone with a young child at home, I recommend “Weelicious: 140 Fast, Fresh, and Easy Recipes” by Catherine McCord ($27.50, Sept. 2012, William Morrow Cookbooks). McCord has a popular site, Weelicious.com, and this book includes baby recipes like The Teething Cookie and Sweet Potato-Puree and toddler recipes like Sunflower Seed Brittle, Cheesy Chicken Taquitos, Turkey Pesto Meatballs and Rice Cooker Mac and Cheese.

 

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THE CONTEST:

Reminder — during the entire “12 Days of Christmas” promotion, each person can only win one prize.

DAY SIX PRIZE – The winner will be mailed a copy of “Vegetable Diet” from The American Antiquarian Cookbook Collection of Andrews McMeel Publishing ($29.99, October 2012).

To enter, email your name to tfatemiwalker@yahoo.com and include the words “Vegetable book contest entry.”

Or post a comment to this article on my Facebook page, also including the phrase “Vegetable book contest entry.”

Either way, the entry deadline is Tues. Dec. 18 at 5 p.m.

The drawing will take place that evening; the winner will be notified via email.

12 Days of Christmas Giveaway Day Five: Homeless Garden Project wreath & many gift ideas

Treats at Homeless Garden Project’s holiday boutique include tea, jam, and wreaths

It’s Day 5 of Santa Cruz Restaurant Examiner/Santa Cruz Foodie’s “12 Days of Christmas Giveaway.” Today’s prize is a beautiful wreath from Homeless Garden Project’s holiday store. See end of article for how to enter, and keep reading for gift ideas from HGP and others.

You only have a few shopping days left ‘til Christmas – so I’m going to share a bunch of ideas in this article. How about buying some “gifts with a cause?” You can find lots of these at Homeless Garden Project’s holiday store (more details below) in article. Another idea is to make a donation to a non-profit in your gift recipient’s honor. If you do this via Homeless Garden Project, HGP provides a beautiful gift card for notifying your recipient that a donation has been made in their name. Many non-profits do similar things. Or purchase a CSA for a friend of family member; here is one directory of local CSAs.

Another alternative for a fun gift or stocking stuffer: buy Downtown Dollars at Bookshop Santa Cruz, Pacific Cookie Company or Old School Shoes. These dollars are like cash and accepted at dozens of downtown Santa Cruz shops, cafes, and restaurants. See full list and learn more here. Of course, there are always gift cards. Some places are even doing holiday deals: Pacific Thai is offering 10% off gift cards (minimum $25 purchase) through December, and at Hoffman’s you get a free $10 gift card for every $50 you purchase in gift cards (the $50 can be divided up among one or more cards). Johnny’s Harborside has a similar promotion; with the free $10 you can either add it to the gift card you’re buying for someone else, or keep it for yourself.

If you are going to be shopping in downtown Santa Cruz, you get 2 hours of free parking at parking meters from now until Dec. 26 (just look for the bagged meters, and make sure you don’t stay longer than 2 hours).

Have you tried Serendipity Saucy Spreads? This mother-daughter Santa Cruz company makes jams and more; their products can be found at several local venues for your holiday shopping needs. Co-owner Kristen Cederquist shared on Dec. 16 that “Stripe, DIG Gardens, Mountain Feed & Farm Supply, and The Garden Company were restocked with jam in the last two days. They are also all carrying my new Honey & Sea Salt Caramels and Whiskey & Honey Caramels that are made without corn syrup.”

The Homeless Garden Project (HGP) holiday gift boutique, open seasonally in downtown Santa Cruz, offers a variety of affordable gifts — such as tea — including products made in its training program from herbs and flowers grown at the HGP organic farm. Income from gift sales helps provide job training and transitional employment for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, and volunteer and educational opportunities for community members who want to learn about and practice sustainable agriculture and social justice.

A few selections from HGP’s food gifts:
Lavender Shortbread Mix (Organic ingredients, including lavender hand-picked from HGP’s farm) and lavender sugar
Herb biscuit mix and herb salts
Herb-infused vinegar
Strawberry Jam

Non-food gifts available at the boutique include ornaments, bath salts, wreaths, jewelry, soap, hand-dipped beeswax candles, a variety of soy candles, lavender sachets, an HGP calendar, potted succulents, t-shirts, hand-knitted scarves, hats, a selection of Alice Waters’ cookbooks, and handmade cards. HGP is also offering granola (supports Food What?!) and coffee (supports Project Homeless Connect).

The shop is located in the Cooper House Breezeway on Pacific Avenue between O’Neill’s and Verizon.

  • Hours: Daily 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. through Dec. 24
  • Phone: (831) 426-1774 (store), (831) 426-3609 (office and workshop, open Mon-Fri)

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THE CONTEST:

Reminder — during the entire “12 Days of Christmas” promotion, each person can only win one prize.

DAY FIVE PRIZEThe winner receives a beautiful wreath (retail value: $50) from the HGP Holiday Store’s beautiful wreath selection; each is one of a kind made from flowers and herbs grown, harvested and dried by HGP staff and trainees at the organization’s 3-acre organic farm.

To enter, email your name to tfatemiwalker@yahoo.com and include the words “HGP Wreath.”

Or post a comment to this article on my Facebook page.

Either way, the entry deadline is Mon. Dec. 17 at 5 p.m.

The drawing will take place that evening; the winner will be notified via email.

 

 

 

12 Days of Christmas Giveaway Day Four: ice cream, nuts, and Asian food

Holiday mix from Nut Kreations in downtown Santa Cruz

It’s Day Four of Santa Cruz Restaurant Examiner/Santa Cruz Foodie’s “12 Days of Christmas Giveaway.” Today’s prize is a bounty from three generous local businesses: Mission Hill Creamery, Nut Kreations, and Charlie Hong Kong. See end of article for prize details.

 

These three businesses all have great products available for stocking stuffers (and Nut Kreations has bigger items as well). Here are the details.

 

Organic ice cream venue Mission Hill Creamery has some fun stocking stuffers: $5 in Creamery Bucks wrapped and packaged in a sugar cone. If you haven’t visited lately, new products include; Chocolate Dipped Ice Cream Bars, Rich and Thick European Sipping Chocolate, Organic Spiced Chai, Lulu Carpenter’s Artisan Roasted Coffee (whole bean coffee in 12 oz package comes with free coffee drink of choice), and a selection of cookies and other treats from the Buttery. Don’t wait too long to do Xmas shopping; they’ll be closing at 3pm on Christmas Eve.

1101B Pacific Avenue (near Cathcart) in downtown Santa Cruz — across the street from Hoffman’s and Kianti’s, (831) 216-6421

http://www.missionhillcreamery.com

 

Nut Kreations has a new Holiday Mix that is perfect for gifts. You can put it in your own bag as a stocking stuffer, or choose to buy one of the many containers the store sells for a conveniently packaged gift. The mix ($12.99/lb.) has Roasted Salted Cashews, Raspberry Honey Almonds, Toasted Peas, Red Dark Chocolate Cranberries, Dark Chocolate Raisins. Nut Kreations has gifts starting at $3.99. Nut assortments in clear trays range from $12-$25, while tins are available from $15-50.
Some of co-owner Mina Feuerhaken’s favorite holiday items are:

  • Chocolate Cherries
  • Sea Salt & Pepper Pistachios
  • Orange Honey Almonds
  • Red Walnuts
  • Dark Chocolate Banana Chips
  • White Chocolate Coconut Curry Cashews
  • Chocolate Toffee Hazelnuts

 

104 Lincoln St (near Pacific Avenue) in downtown Santa Cruz, (831) 431-6435

http://www.nutkreations.com/

 

Organic Asian restaurant Charlie Hong Kong has gift cards that make excellent stocking stuffers or gifts. You can get them in any denomination. Make sure you plan ahead if you’re planning on buying one for a Christmas gift; CHK will close around 9 p.m. on Dec. 23 and won’t reopen until Jan. 2 (it’s an annual closure they do, giving employees long vacations and doing maintenance & improvement projects). On Dec. 23, if you go in for dinner, owner Carolyn Rudolph says it will be “fun and festive…as we get creative, using our ingredients, as certain products run out.” After they close on Dec. 23, CHK donates any leftover food to Santa Cruz’s homeless shelter.

1141 Soquel (at Seabright), (831) 426-5664

http://www.charliehongkong.com/

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THE CONTEST:

Reminder — during the entire “12 Days of Christmas” promotion, each person can only win one prize.

DAY FOUR PRIZE – Mission Hill Creamery gift certificate for 2 sundaes (worth up to $15), Nut Kreations gift certificate for $10, and Charlie Hong Kong gift card for $20

 

To enter, email your name to tfatemiwalker@yahoo.com and include the words “Holiday Bounty.”

Or post a comment to this article on my Facebook page.

Either way, the entry deadline is Sun. Dec. 16 at 6 p.m.

The drawing will take place that evening; the winner will be notified via email.

 

12 Days of Christmas Giveaway Day Three: Wine Club of the Santa Cruz Mountains

The Wine Club of the Santa Cruz Mountains offers a variety of wine

It’s Day Three of Santa Cruz Restaurant Examiner/Santa Cruz Foodie’s “12 Days of Christmas Giveaway.” Today’s prize has been donated by the Wine Club of the Santa Cruz Mountains. The Wine Club prides itself on offering “hard to find, premium wines from the Santa Cruz Mountains.” Wineries involved with the club include Alfaro Family Vineyards, Cooper-Garod Estate Vineyards, Regale, Savannah Chanelle, and Skov, just to name a few.

 

What you will win if your name is drawn: a bottle of 2008 San Andreas Red from Black Ridge Vineyards in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The wine has a retail value of $49; it’s a blend of 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Cabernet Franc, 8% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot.

 

Here are notes from Bill Brosseau, winemaker (as stated on the Black Ridge site):

 

Deep purple hue. This Red Blend opens up with nice aromas of black pepper, bacon and ripe cherry. With some aeration, notes of blueberry and blackberry add to the complex profile. These aromas transition nicely in the palate with a layer of custard flavor to keep the palate feeling rich, yet soft. Silky tannins and bright acidity keep this red blend restrained, making it a wonderful pairing for most cuisine. This wine finishes with a rich, smooth, and vibrant end. Drink now through 2019.

 

In Santa Cruz and in nearby communities, there are lots of great places to buy local wine – whether at an actual winery, a retailer, or through a club like this one. Local wine can be a thoughtful holiday gift for that wine lover on your gift list.

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THE CONTEST:

Reminder — during the entire “12 Days of Christmas” promotion, each person can only win one prize.

The Wine Club of the Santa Cruz Mountains is giving away one bottle of 2008 San Andreas Red from Black Ridge Vineyards. The winner will need to pick up the bottle from the club in Soquel.

To enter, email your name to tfatemiwalker@yahoo.com and include the words “Holiday Wine.”

Or post a comment to this article on my Facebook page.

Either way, the entry deadline is Sat. Dec. 15 at 6 p.m.

The drawing will take place that evening; the winner will be notified via email.

 

 

 

 

12 Days of Christmas Giveaway Day Two: Win Direct Trade coffee or buy as a gift

Santa Cruz’s Community Agroecology Network is offering a great coffee and chocolate gift package for the holidays

It’s Day Two of Santa Cruz Restaurant Examiner/Santa Cruz Foodie’s “12 Days of Christmas Giveaway!” See end of article for how to win a great coffee and chocolate prize. And if you haven’t finished (or started…) your holiday shopping, here’s a special item to consider for coffee or chocolate lovers and/or direct trade fans on your gift list.

 

It’s a holiday package from Santa Cruz’s CAN (Community Agroecology Network) that supports small-scale coffee farmers in Nicaragua and Mexico. This season, the gift package costs $22 and shipping is free. It includes one pound of AgroEco coffee roasted by Santa Cruz Coffee Roasting Company (your choice of Nicaraguan light or dark roast, or Veracruz dark roast) plus 5.5 ounces of chocolate-covered espresso beans and a holiday card.

Order the package here. For delivery by Christmas, you need to order by Dec. 14. If you order by Dec. 21, you are guaranteed delivery by New Year’s. When you buy this package, you can add an (optional) donation to the Youth Leadership Project Fund in the amount of $5, $10, or $20. This supports CAN International Youth Network for Food Security, a two-year initiative that targets the youth population of rural communities in Mexico and Central America, giving them skills, techniques, and knowledge to create locally-owned businesses that will provide support to CAN’s ongoing agroecology-based food security projects. AgroEco®Coffee is the product of a collaboration among small-scale coffee farmer cooperatives, coffee roasters, university scientists, and CAN. Through this collaboration, farmers receive technical support, ongoing ecological monitoring, and evaluation of sustainable farming practices.

 

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THE CONTEST:

Reminder: as I mentioned yesterday, during the entire “12 Days of Christmas” promotion, each person can only win one prize.

CAN is giving away one holiday coffee/chocolate package worth $22.

To enter, email your name to tfatemiwalker@yahoo.com and include the words “Holiday Direct Trade Coffee.”

Or post a comment to this article on my Facebook page “www.facebook.com/SantaCruzFoodieExaminer.”

Either way, the entry deadline is Fri. Dec. 14 at 6 p.m.

The drawing will take place that evening; the winner will be notified via email and CAN will mail them the prize.