Tag Archives: holiday shopping

Santa Cruz ocean-inspired holiday shopping plus gourmet food gifts

Mutari Hot Chocolate, a vendor at Jingle Shells

Mutari Hot Chocolate, a vendor at Jingle Shells

Jingle Shells will be on Sunday, Dec. 7, at Seymour Center in Santa Cruz. It’s a family-friendly holiday shopping event with ocean- and nature-inspired gifts plus gourmet food gifts.

The annual Jingle Shells Arts & Crafts Festival is from noon to 5:30 pm. Participants can explore the Seymour Center’s exhibits and aquarium, and meet local artisans while shopping for unique holiday gifts including jewelry, ceramics, and art glass. There will be crafts for kids, too.

Vendors selling gifts include four related to food and drinks. Twins Kitchen creates innovative jams and mustards using seasonal and organic fruits from local farms. Flavors include Strawberry Balsamic Jam with rosemary, Black Pepper Raspberry Vanilla Jam with lavender, and Apricot Bourbon Mustard. Farmer Freed makes culinary salt blends using local organic ingredients. Yami’s Spicy Secrets will be there with curry spice blends, and you can purchase gifts from Mutari Hot Chocolate which creates handcrafted single origin hot chocolate blends using organic cacao beans.

Seymour Center will be serving free hot cider, and selling Odwalla bars and juices. Weather permitting, Gary and his Snappy Dog truck will be selling his famous sausages for people to eat. Attendees can also enjoy live music.

Also note that the Center’s Ocean Discovery Shop (this is separate from the special vendors appearing that day) is offering 10% off all purchases on Sunday. All proceeds from these shop sales benefit the Center’s educational programs. For anyone unfamiliar with the Center, it’s dedicated to educating people about the role scientific research plays in the understanding and conservation of the world’s oceans. Read more at Seymour Center’s web site or call (831) 459-3800.

The Details
Sunday, December 7: Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and students, and free for Friends of Center members, UCSC undergrads, and kids under 3
Location: Seymour Marine Discovery Center at Long Marine Lab, 100 Shaffer Road (past Natural Bridges State Beach, at the end of Delaware Avenue).

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Thanksgiving weekend wine tasting & holiday shopping in Santa Cruz & Carmel

Surf City Vintners is hosting an art, wine & gift bazaar

Surf City Vintners is hosting an art, wine & gift bazaar

I’ve got details on two wine and holiday shopping events worth checking out this holiday weekend: one in Santa Cruz, and one in Carmel Valley.

Santa Cruz
Surf City Vintners is hosting an art, wine and gift bazaar on Friday afternoon in Westside Santa Cruz at the Swift Street Courtyard.

Surf City Vintners is comprised of 10 wineries including Equinox/Bartolo, Odonata, Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard, Silver Mountain Vineyards, and Vino Tabi. At the event, there will be wine tasting, plus gifts for sale by local artisans. Attendees are encouraged to bring donations of clothing or non-perishable food for the Walnut Ave. Women’s Center. Wineries are also donating a portion of the day’s tasting fees, which range from $5-10, to the Women’s Center. For more information, visit surfcityvintners.com.

Swift Street Courtyard is at Ingalls & Swift Streets.

Carmel Valley
Holman Ranch Vineyards & Winery is holding a special two-day event at its Carmel Valley Village wine tasting room from 1-4 p.m. Friday-Saturday Nov. 28-29.

You’re invited to taste wine as you browse beautiful jewelry and cards for sale from Santa Cruz-based designer Fereshteh Fatemi (disclaimer: I might be biased about the “ beautiful” because Fereshteh is my mother, but she definitely has a lot of fans!). Fifteen percent of all sales will benefit the Alzheimer’s Association.

Beginning Nov. 28, if you visit the tasting room you can pre-order holiday wreaths and gifts from family-owned Creekside Farms, and 15% of these sales will benefit Alzheimer’s research. Other holiday gifts that are available from Holman regularly – not just this weekend – include wine packs, wine club memberships, and organic Holman Ranch extra virgin olive oil (the latter has a 50-case limited production).

The Holman Ranch Tasting Room is at 19 E. Carmel Valley Road. Visit holmanranch.com.

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Santa Cruz holiday shopping: restaurant bonus gift certificate offers

Dry aged filet mignon from Paradise Beach Grille

Dry aged filet mignon from Paradise Beach Grille

If you’re in Santa Cruz or Capitola and still have some holiday shopping left to do, you’ll be happy to know that several restaurants are offering “gift certificate bonus deals.” Here are a few options:

  • Takara Japanese Restaurant & Grill: Buy a $25 gift card and get a $5 voucher. Offer available until December 24, 2013.
  • Paradise Beach Grille: Buy an $80 gift certificate and get $100 instead.
  • Hoffman’s Bistro & Patisserie: Buy a $50 gift card and receive a free $10 gift card. Visit web site to print offer.
  • Hula’s Island Grill: Purchase a $50 gift card and get a $10 card free. Purchase $100 and get a $20 card free. Offer available until December 24, 2013.
  • Erik’s Deli: Buy a $25 gift card and receive a free “sandwich with character” or entrée. Offer expires Jan. 2, 2013.
  • Peet’s Coffee and Tea: Buy a $25 gift card and receive a free medium beverage. Offer valid Dec. 16-24, 2013 at participating Peet’s retail locations.

Also, as of Mon. Dec. 16, Costco in Santa Cruz had several restaurant gift certificate bargains, including Manuel’s (buy two $50 gift cards for $80), Kianti’s (buy four $25 gift cards for $80), Coldstone Creamery (buy four $10 gift cards for $28), and Peet’s Coffee and Tea (buy five $20 cards for $80).

Happy holiday shopping!

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Green Mountain Coffee and Lindt Sweets for Christmas Treats

Spicy eggnog coffee from Green Mountain Coffee

Spicy eggnog coffee from Green Mountain Coffee

There are lots of sweets and special coffees available for Christmas treats, including a few selections from Green Mountain Coffee and Lindt Chocolates.

Green Mountain’s two holiday coffees are Gingerbread and Spicy Eggnog. They are both light roasts, and the eggnog variety features cinnamon and nutmeg. Both are good on their own to make cups or pots of coffee, but they also make flavorful additions to baked desserts if you like experimenting in the kitchen.  You might consider them for stocking stuffers or hostess gifts for your next holiday party; they’re available seasonally until supplies run out. They come in bags or K-Cups, online or at stores nationwide.

Lindt has released its newest truffle variety, LINDOR Sea Salt truffles, in time for the holidays but it’s actually available indefinitely (not just for the winter season). These yummy treats can be found online  and in Lindt stores across the country. Although these also make a great gift, once you taste them you might just decide to keep them for yourself. They come in 25-piece and 75-piece bags.

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Holiday shopping 2013: Santa Cruz artisan food and gift sale

Cardamom Tuesday Silk Road elixir, available at Sunday's artisan food and gift sale

Cardamom Tuesday Silk Road elixir, available at Sunday’s artisan food and gift sale

Santa Cruz’s Front Street Kitchen is hosting an exciting artisan food and gift sale just in time for your holiday shopping needs. The event is Sunday, Dec. 15 from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Event organizers have announced there will be “all local, handmade, small batch gifts” plus live music, samples from selected vendors, an artisan gift basket raffle, and free admission.

Vendors include Farmer Freed with culinary salt blends; Fish Princess Farm with salsa, preserved lemons, and chutney; and Cardamom Tuesday with artisan elixirs that you can use in coffee, homemade soda, cocktails, and more.

Other products are chocolate truffles, toffee, jams, ice cream club memberships, gluten-free baked goods, food-based beauty and bath products, and several sweets from local high school ROP students.

I can’t wait to do some shopping and support local independent businesses at the same time! Happy holidays.

Follow me on Twitter @santacruzfoodie.

The Details:
11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Sun. Dec. 15, 2013
Front Street Kitchen, 504A Front St., Santa Cruz
(831) 588-4515

Support Santa Cruz students via the ROP Culinary Holiday Bake Sale

Holiday cookie assortment from the ROP Culinary Holiday Bake Sale

Holiday cookie assortment from the ROP Culinary Holiday Bake Sale

Culinary students from the Santa County ROP (Regional Occupational Program), in local high schools, have created a bounty of goodies for a holiday bake sale. Treats are on sale through Dec. 15, 2013.

There are six different items available:
Holiday cookie assortment (1 dozen $6, 2 dozen $10, 5 dozen $24; choices vary – email or call for details)
Chocolate-covered holiday pretzels ($4.50)
Banana gingerbread loaf (3.5 inch loaf $3 or 3 for $8; 5.5 inch loaf $6)
Holiday chocolate cherry black forest log with meringue decorations ($24)
Chef’s signature chocolate ganache (8-oz jar $6; 12-oz jar $12—use this peppermint dark chocolate sauce over ice cream or melt into coffee for a delicious drink)
Christopher’s candied nut assortment ($8; candied pecans and cashews with dried cranberries & rosemary, for a snack or a holiday salad topping)

Andrea Mollenauer, Advanced Instructor for the ROP program, is very excited about this holiday sale. “It gives the kids an opportunity to get real-world hands-on experience while simultaneously providing affordable treats for parties, friends, colleagues, or just for yourself—the possibilities are endless!”

Customers are encouraged to give the ROP students as much advance notice as possible for order fulfillment. There are flexible pick up & delivery times (location is the Front St. Kitchen in downtown Santa Cruz at 504A Front).

For more information or to order, contact Andrea at 831-588-4515 or andrea@lifestyleculinary.com.

Treats from ROP culinary students will also be on sale at the Artisan Holiday Food & Gift Sale at Front St. Kitchen on Dec. 15: watch my web site for more info on that in the next couple days!

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.

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Santa Cruz holiday shopping opportunities this weekend include gourmet food gifts

Fudge sauce from Desperately Seeking Chocolate, a vendor at Jingle Shells

Fudge sauce from Desperately Seeking Chocolate, a vendor at Jingle Shells

There are several Santa Cruz holiday shopping opportunities this weekend; here are two events that include gourmet food gifts.

Handmade Gifts $25 & Under Saturday

Saturday, December 7 is the 6th annual Handmade Gift Sale of $25-and-under items, from 10 am-4pm at Center Street Grill. There are gifts including artwork, handcrafted pens, aprons, wallets, and purses. The culinary items include local jams and preserves, gourmet honey, and confections. Read more.

 The Details: Saturday, December 7, free admission

Location: Center Street Grill, 1001 Center St, Santa Cruz

 

Jingle Shells at Seymour Center Sunday

Sunday, December 8 is the annual Jingle Shells Arts & Crafts Festival at Long Marine Lab’s Seymour Marine Discovery Center from noon to 5:30 pm, followed by the “festive whale lighting” at 5:45pm. Participants can explore the Seymour Center’s exhibits and aquarium, visit Ms. Blue (giant blue whale skeleton), look for migrating gray whales from the shipwreck deck, and meet local artisans while shopping for unique holiday gifts including jewelry, ceramics, handmade soaps, and seaglass. Vendors include three related to food: Desperately Seeking Chocolate will be offering dessert sauces including Single Malt Whiskey Fudge, Ginger Habanero Fudge, and – new this year – Balsamic Fudge. Twins Kitchen creates innovative jams and mustards using seasonal and organic fruits from local farms. Flavors include Strawberry Balsamic Jam with rosemary, Black Pepper Raspberry Vanilla Jam with lavender, and Apricot Bourbon Mustard. Farmer Freed  makes culinary salt blends using local organic ingredients. Seymour Center will be serving free hot cider. While you shop, you can enjoy live music. Also note that the Center’s Ocean Discovery Shop (this is separate from the special vendors appearing that day) is offering 10% off all purchases on Sunday.

The Details

Sunday, December 8: Admission is $6 for adults, $4 for seniors and students, and free for Friends of Long Marine Lab members, UCSC undergrad students, and kids 3 and under

Location: Seymour Marine Discovery Center at Long Marine Lab, 100 Shaffer Road (past Natural Bridges State Beach, at the end of Delaware Avenue).

For anyone unfamiliar with the Center, it’s dedicated to educating people about the role scientific research plays in the understanding and conservation of the world’s oceans. Read more at Seymour Center’s web site or call (831) 459-3800.

 

Follow me on Twitter @santacruzfoodie.