Tag Archives: holidays 2015

12 Days of Christmas Giveaway Day 12: Win Roots & Rye gift certificate

Candy bar waffles at Roots & Rye weekend brunch

Candy bar waffles at Roots & Rye weekend brunch

It’s Day 12, the last day of Santa Cruz Restaurant Examiner/Santa Cruz Foodie’s “12 Days of Christmas Giveaway.” Today’s prize: the chance to win 1 of 2 gift certificates valid at Roots & Rye on Santana Row in San Jose. See end of article for how to enter.

Roots & Rye opened in July. The gastropub is located at 3055 Olin Ave., Ste. 1005. Chef Chris Yeo, chef and owner at restaurants Straits and Sino on Santana Row, is also behind Roots & Rye.

For dinner on New Year’s Eve, Roots & Rye will be serving a four-course prix fixe $80 menu as well as the regular menu. They are doing a time capsule theme that night; it’s the 1930s. Sino Restaurant’s theme will be the 1960s and Straits will be doing the 80’s (these two restaurants won’t have prix fixe options; regular dinner items and specials will be available).

For all three restaurants, if you’d like to make reservations for the lounge, you can do this if you’re requesting bottle service—this is spirits delivered to the table—it’s a minimum $500 purchase. For Roots & Rye dinner or lounge reservations call 408-429-2909 or email info@rootsandrye.com. For Straits, call 408-246-6320 & for Sino call 408-247-8880.

Roots & Rye serves lunch and dinner daily and weekend brunch—when dishes include candy bar waffles and duck confit hash—on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Current dinner dishes include Parmesan fries with truffle aioli, housemade pasta, day boat scallops with kohlrabi puree and buttered kohlrabi, and burrata salad (the latter two are also available at lunch). Current lunch-only items include grilled cheese sandwich with spicy tomato bisque.  The happy hour menu includes deviled eggs and oysters.

Roots & Rye prides itself on a wide whiskey selection. Approximately 20 choices include Angels Envy, Eagle rare 10-yr, and E.H. Taylor Bonded Rye. They have a large wine and beer selection including a dozen draft beers such as Ten Barrel Apocalypse Double IPA and St. Bernardus. Signature cocktails include Churchill Downs with bourbon, strawberry aquavit, lemon, green cardamom and fever tree ginger beer. The gastropub features live jazz every Wednesday and Thursday night from 8-11 p.m. and DJs every Friday and Saturday from 9pm-midnight.

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CONTEST:
There will be two winners: first place will win a gift certificate for one visit (up to $125 value) and second place will receive a certificate for brunch for two with a value of up to $50.

To enter, email your name to tfatemi@gmail.com by 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 26 and include the name “Roots & Rye.” The drawing will take place later that day and the winner will be notified via email.

Employees of Examiner.com are not eligible for the promotion.

Follow me on Twitter @santacruzfoodie.

12 Days of Christmas Giveaway Day 11: Win $50 for Big Fish Grill in Monterey

Big Fish Grill serves fresh seafood on Monterey's Fisherman Wharf

Big Fish Grill serves fresh seafood on Monterey’s Fisherman Wharf

It’s Day 11 of Santa Cruz Restaurant Examiner/Santa Cruz Foodie’s “12 Days of Christmas Giveaway.” Today’s prize is a $50 gift certificate for Big Fish Grill in Monterey. See end of article for how to enter.

Big Fish Grill will be closed on Christmas Day but open on Christmas Eve during traditional business hours (11 a.m. to 9 p.m.). They will be serving the full regular menu. For more information or reservations, call 831-372-7562. The restaurant is located at Fisherman’s Wharf in Monterey, at the former site of Rappa’s Seafood Restaurant.

The same folks that operate Abalonetti, who you heard about through yesterday’s giveaway, run Big Fish Grill. Menu highlights include crab cakes, salmon cakes, garlic cheese bread, salads like BLT blue cheese or shrimp Louie, fish & chips, cioppino, housemade gnocchi, spaghetti and meatballs seafood linguini, prawns scampi, fresh Monterey abalone, roast boneless half chicken (Mary’s free-range organic), New York steak, and grilled seafood including Pacific rockfish.

For last minute gifts or future gifts, the restaurant offers gift cards you can purchase in person, as well as from the web site. When you purchase online you can instantly email, text or tweet the certificate to your gift recipient. These can be anywhere from $5-$250.
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CONTEST:
One person will win a $50 gift certificate to Big Fish Grill.

To enter, email your name to tfatemi@gmail.com by 9 pm. Wed, Dec. 24 and include the words “Big Fish.” The drawing will take place the next morning and the winner will be notified via email.

Employees of Examiner.com are not eligible for the promotion.

Follow me on Twitter @santacruzfoodie.

12 Days of Christmas Giveaway Day 10: Win $50 gift certificate to Abalonetti in Monterey

Abalonetti offers gift cards, good for holiday gifts or anytime

Abalonetti offers gift cards, good for holiday gifts or anytime

It’s Day 10 of Santa Cruz Restaurant Examiner/Santa Cruz Foodie’s “12 Days of Christmas Giveaway.” Today’s prize is a $50 gift certificate for Abalonetti in Monterey. See end of article for how to enter.

Abalonetti Bar & Grill will be closed on Christmas Day but open on Christmas Eve during traditional business hours (11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.). They will be serving the full regular menu. For more information or reservations, call 831-373-1851. The restaurant is located at Fisherman’s Wharf in Monterey.

Abalonetti has been open since 1951. They specialize in Monterey Bay calamari, offering several varieties. Since 1999, Monterey County Weekly readers have voted them as having “Best Calamari” 14 times! Other menu highlights include delicious antipasto, wood-roasted oysters with garlic-pesto butter, clam chowder (choice of cup, bowl, or sourdough bread bowl), sandwiches at lunchtime (like crab or a fresh abalone BLT), pasta, cioppino, fish & chips, and grilled seafood (salmon, swordfish, etc.). The antipasto is a treat: it features marinated mushrooms and artichoke hearts, roasted whole garlic bulbs, marinated tender Monterey calamari, grilled eggplant, feta cheese, roasted bell peppers, garlic spinach, and olives. You can get a full ($17.95) or half ($12.95) order.

If you’re in need of a holiday gift idea, Abalonetti offers gift cards you can purchase in person, as well as from the web site. When you purchase online you can instantly email, text or tweet the certificate to your gift recipient. These can be anywhere from $5-$250.
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CONTEST:
One person will win a $50 gift certificate to Abalonetti Bar & Grill.

To enter, email your name to tfatemi@gmail.com by 9 pm. Wed, Dec. 23 and include the word “Abalonetti.” The drawing will take place the next morning and the winner will be notified via email.

Employees of Examiner.com are not eligible for the promotion.

Follow me on Twitter @santacruzfoodie.

12 Days of Christmas Giveaway Day 9: Win a pizza pack from industry pro Tony Gemignani including his cookbook, The Pizza Bible

The Pizza Bible by Tony Gemignani

The Pizza Bible by Tony Gemignani

It’s Day 9 of Santa Cruz Restaurant Examiner/Santa Cruz Foodie’s “12 Days of Christmas Giveaway.” See end of article for how to win a “pro pizza pack” from pizza guru Tony Gemignani of San Francisco restaurant Tony’s Pizza Napoletana. Still have a couple holiday gifts left to buy for some foodie friends or family? Keep reading!

The Pizza Bible: Got any aspiring pizza chefs on your holiday gift list? When Ten Speed Press published this book by chef Tony Gemignani last October, Eater National called it “one of the most anticipated cookbooks of Fall 2014.” The book is a comprehensive guide to pizza making, with more than 75 recipes covering nine regional styles including classics like Neapolitan, Roman, Chicago, and what some call “pizza sub-specialties” like St. Louis and Californian. Recipes include New Jersey tomato pie, organic three cheese, fig/almond/Monterey jack, calzone with meatballs or spinach, pepperoni and sausage, and Calabrese “diavola.” The Pizza Bible has been described as a “complete master class in making delicious, perfect, pizzeria-style pizza at home… (including) the ins and outs of starters, making dough, assembly, toppings, and baking, how to rig your home oven to make pizza like the pros, and all the tips and tricks that elevate home pizza-making into a craft.” Gemignani is an 11-time world pizza champion and he owns 13 restaurants across Northern California and Las Vegas including Tony’s Pizza Napoletana, Slice House at AT&T Park in San Francisco, Pizza Rock in Sacramento and Las Vegas, Tony’s of North Beach, and Slice House by Tony Gemignani in Rohnert Park. He is also proprietor of the International School of Pizza in San Francisco where he certifies chefs from around the world in various styles of pizza.

More pizza cookbooks: Other books that might pique a pizza-lover’s interest include “Flour Water Salt Yeast: The Fundamentals of Artisan Bread and Pizza” by acclaimed Portland baker Ken Forkish (of Ken’s Artisan Bakery and Ken’s Artisan Pizza) and “Pizza on the Grill: 100+ Feisty Fire-Roasted Recipes for Pizza & More” by Elizabeth Karmel and Bob Blumer. “Flour Water Salt Yeast,” the #1 best seller from Amazon.com’s “Pizza Baking” category, features a tutorial on baker’s percentages, advice for manipulating ingredients ratios to create custom dough, tips for adapting bread baking schedules to fit your day-to-day life, and recipes such as sweet potato and pear pizza and golden beets and duck breast “prosciutto” pizza. Pizza on the Grill includes recipes like Kung Pao cashew chicken pizza, pulled pork pizza, and blistered corn, asparagus, and pesto pizza.

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NOW FOR THE CONTEST:
One reader will win “Tony’s Pro-Pizza Pack,” graciously donated by chef/author Tony Gemignani himself. It includes a copy of Tony’s cookbook “The Pizza Bible,” a pack of his custom blend California artisan pizza flour, and an Italian professional pizza peel.

To enter, email your name to tfatemi@gmail.com by 9 pm. Tuesday, Dec. 22 and include the word “pizza.” The drawing will take place the next morning and the winner will be notified via email.

Employees of Examiner.com are not eligible for the promotion.

Good luck and happy holidays!

Follow me on Twitter @santacruzfoodie.

12 Days of Christmas Giveaway Day 8: New Leaf Community Markets gift basket

New Leaf gift basket. Image courtesy of New Leaf Facebook page

New Leaf gift basket. Image courtesy of New Leaf Facebook page

It’s Day Eight of Santa Cruz Restaurant Examiner/Santa Cruz Foodie’s “12 Days of Christmas Giveaway.” See end of article for how to win a sweet and savory holiday gift basket from New Leaf Community Markets.

New Leaf Community Markets has lots of last-minute holiday gift options including foodie gift baskets that are available until Dec. 31 or while supplies last. “Sweet Delights” for $19.99 contains Theo Chocolate’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups, Dark Chocolate Almond BarkTHINS, Marich Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramels & Double Chocolate Praline Almonds, and Verve Buena Vista Dark Roast Blend Coffee.

Three baskets for $29.99 each are Gourmet Snacking (includes alcohol; must be 21 and over to purchase), Gourmet Snacks-to-the-Max, and Sweet & Savory. Gourmet Snacking contains 4505 Meats Chicharrones Pork Rinds, Royal Hawaiian Sea Salt Macadamia Nuts, Olli Salumeria Salami, Chinook Sunflower Seeds, New Zealand Jerky’s Grass-Fed Beef Jerky, and Santa Cruz Scrumpy Hard Apple Cider. Snacks-to-the-Max features everything from the Gourmet Snacking one minus the hard cider, with the addition of Jeff’s Naturals Castelvetrano Olives. Last but not least, Sweet & Savory has Olli Salumeria Salami, Feridies Salted Peanuts, Friend in Cheeses Fig & Fennel Jam, Cranberry Hazelnut Raincoast Crisps, Chuao Dark Chocolate Honeycomb Bar and Chocolove Dark Chocolate with Almonds & Sea Salt Bar.

If you buy “non-gift-basket” items that you’re intending to use as gifts, New Leaf provides a free gift bag with your purchase. Stop by the Holiday Solutions Station for these. Also, remember that New Leaf sells gift cards to the market; you can buy them online ($25 and up) or at the store’s cash registers. It’s safe to say that most “good food” fans in Santa Cruz County would appreciate one of these as a holiday gift.
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THE CONTEST:
One person will win a New Leaf sweet and savory holiday gift basket worth approximately $30.

To enter, email your name to tfatemi@gmail.com by Mon. Dec. 21 at 9 p.m. and include the words “New Leaf.” The drawing will take place the next morning and the winner will be notified via email. Employees of Examiner.com are not eligible for the promotion.

Follow me on Twitter @santacruzfoodie.

12 Days of Christmas Giveaway Day 6 & 7: Monterey Hyatt restaurant & bar certificates

An entrée at TusCA Ristorante

An entrée at TusCA Ristorante

For the weekend, we are combining Day Six and Seven of Santa Cruz Restaurant Examiner/Santa Cruz Foodie’s “12 Days of Christmas Giveaway.” See end of article for how to win gift certificates to TusCA Ristorante and Knuckles Sports Bar at the Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel and Spa. The Hyatt is located at 1 Old Golf Course Road.

TusCA Ristorante at the Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel and Spa offers a blend of Italian and California cuisine. They are serving a Christmas menu on Friday, Dec. 25, and two menus on Thursday, Dec. 31. On Dec. 25 from 4:30 to 9 p.m., there will be an Italian-inspired Christmas dinner available with a special entree and wine pairing. Prices vary.

Customers can also order from the regular TusCA menu. On Dec. 31, customers can choose “pre-theater” seatings between 5 and 6 p.m. or “gala menu” seatings from 7:30 p.m. onward.  For Christmas and New Year Pre-theater costs $55 and includes one amuse, one entrée (from four choices), and one dessert (from three choices).  Gala costs $75 and includes the same food choices plus a glass of sparkling wine and an appetizer. Reservations are required at (831) 657-6675.

Knuckles Sports Bar has a menu that includes chicken wings, fried calamari, hummus, and footlong hot dogs. There is always complimentary popcorn and peanuts. Each month the bar offers a rotating specialty burger, with top grade beef and most of the toppings handmade on the premises. For January, they are featuring the “Aloha” Burger for $13, and customers can add any draft beer for $4 more. It’s a grass-fed Strauss burger with grilled pineapple, bacon, and thousand island dressing. Knuckles is family-friendly with a kids’ gaming area. There are also 24 flat screen HD TVs and a pool table.

If you’ve never been to the Hyatt, you should know it also has a very pleasant Fireplace Lounge that features live jazz every weekend. The jazz director and drummer-in-residence now going on 17 years is Dr. David Morwood (also a plastic surgeon). Morwood has been honored by the world-wide jazz writers association for hosting the late night Hyatt Regency jazz jam sessions after the annual Monterey Jazz Festival, and for operating on children with cleft lips and palates in developing countries). The lounge has a bar menu, signature cocktails, and drink and dinner specials.
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THE CONTEST:
One person will win a $50 gift certificate to TusCA Ristorante, and one person will win a $50 gift certificate to Knuckles Sports Bar.

To enter for TusCA Ristorante, email your name to tfatemi@gmail.com by Sun. Dec. 20 at 9 p.m. and include the word “TusCA.”
To enter for Knuckles Sports Bar, email your name to tfatemi@gmail.com by Sun. Dec. 20 at 9 p.m. and include the word “Knuckles.”
You can enter one or both.
The drawings will take place the next morning and the winners will be notified via email.
Employees of Examiner.com are not eligible for the promotion.

Follow me on Twitter @santacruzfoodie.

12 Days of Christmas Giveaway Day 5: Farmer Freed culinary salts from Santa Cruz

Farmer Freed culinary salt blends come in six varieties

Farmer Freed culinary salt blends come in six varieties

It’s Day Five of Santa Cruz Restaurant Examiner/Santa Cruz Foodie’s “12 Days of Christmas Giveaway.” See end of article for how to win a Farmer Freed culinary salt three-jar set. Special note: it’s been brought to my attention that after my articles are posted, there is sometimes a several-hour delay before a notification is emailed to my subscribers.  These email alerts are not something I control, so during this giveaway (or anytime, for that matter), you can always check my home page to see if a new article has been posted.

Santa Cruz resident Emily Jane Freed runs her own business, Farmer Freed culinary salt blends, which she makes with organic ingredients from local farms along the California Central Coast. “We know all of our farmers and their families’ names, and we are proud to know the people that grow the additions for the culinary salt blends,” says Freed.  The salts can be used in two ways: add a pinch when cooking, or use as a finishing salt as you sit down to enjoy a meal.

Farmer Freed salts are sold in Santa Cruz County stores, online and at selected stores in the greater Bay Area. Her blends come in six flavors: Everyday Herb Salt, Sababa Salt, Spice It Up Salt, Pucker Up Citrus Salt, Dilly Goat Salt, and Vanilla Bean Baker’s Salt.

They make great gifts—to yourself or to others—and this weekend you can buy them in person at two events. Farmer Freed will be at the Santa Cruz Food Lounge on Saturday, Dec. 19 from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. for a Holiday Artisan Food & Gift Market, which features over 25 vendors selling unique, local, small batch artisan foods and gifts, and at the Live Oak Farmers’ Market Sunday from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

The Vanilla Bean Baker’s Salt, which Freed says is good with items like cookies, brownies, cakes, pies, breads, pancakes, and waffles, is sourced sea salt from South San Francisco which is the only North American sea salt bed in the US. The sea salt is steeped with both whole and ground vanilla beans (grown under organic conditions) from The Vanilla Company in Santa Cruz who works with vanilla farms throughout the world to bring better working conditions and wages to their farmers.

“Everyday Herb Salt is a perfect match for eggs, popcorn, avocados, roasted veggies, and everything,” says Freed. “One of my favorite things about the Everyday Herb Salt is when people sing Simon and Garfunkel’s ‘Scarborough Fair’ since this salt blend includes parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme,” she adds. All herbs are organic and grown locally on Hwy 1. Spice It Up pairs well with pizza, pasta, eggs, popcorn, and can be used as a meat rub.

An interesting note: Freed is also Regional Production Manager at Santa Cruz’s Jacobs Farm/del Cabo, Inc. where she grows organic culinary herbs, edible flowers, and mixed vegetables. Seems like farming is in her blood!

“When creating Farmer Freed, I wanted a way to give back to the Jewish community—which plays an important role in my life,” Freed says. She created the Sababa Salt, which is modeled after Za’atar, (a Middle Eastern herb mix that includes oregano, marjoram, and thyme). Additionally, 36 cents from every jar of Sababa Salt goes to support female farmers via Farmer Freed’s “You Grow Girl” program—which empowers women to farm organically and sustainable within a Jewish agricultural context. This “You Grow Girl” network includes female farmers from California and Canada; Freed is working to include farmers in Israel too.

There is a group of people behind Farmer Freed, not just Emily. Cheryl Isaacson from Lincoln Street Studios came up with the logo and labels for the salt blends. “Cheryl is a creative genius and I feel lucky to have her on the Farmer Freed team.” Keith Holtaway, founder of Pizza My Heart, is Farmer Freed’s business advisor and mentor via the Small Business Development Center. “Keith has gone above and beyond to help Farmer Freed get on shelves of shops and grocery stores throughout California and beyond,” says Freed. Keith is a fan of Pucker Up Citrus Salt (he uses it on fish and salads), and Sababa Salt (for roasted vegetables).

Emily Freed has been thinking about creating a women’s food entrepreneur group in Santa Cruz. “There are so many strong women in Santa Cruz who produce food products,” she says. “I think we could all benefit from sharing our experiences, networking with one another, etc.” She’s looking for a venue that would host the first gathering, and her idea is that all could bring their culinary creations to share. She encourages anyone that might have a space for this group to reach out and connect through the Farmer Freed web site’s contact form.

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THE CONTEST:
One lucky reader will win a culinary salt set worth approximately $30. It will include Spice It Up, Everyday Herb, and Vanilla, which are the most popular salts.

To enter, email your name to tfatemi@gmail.com by Fri. Dec. 18 at 9 p.m. and include the words “Farmer Freed.” The drawing will take place the next morning and the winner will be notified via email. Employees of Examiner.com are not eligible for the promotion.

Follow me on Twitter @santacruzfoodie.

12 Days of Christmas Giveaway Day 4: Win brunch at Chaminade in Santa Cruz

Berries and cream at the Chaminade

Berries and cream at the Chaminade

It’s Day Four of Santa Cruz Restaurant Examiner/Santa Cruz Foodie’s “12 Days of Christmas Giveaway.” Today’s prize is a gift certificate good for brunch for two at the Chaminade Resort & Spa (for regular brunch, not Christmas brunch). See end of article for how to enter.

This year, Chaminade is offering both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day buffet meals. They are very popular, so reservations should be made as soon as possible at 831-475-5600. The resort is located at One Chaminade Lane in Santa Cruz.

On Christmas Eve, the Chaminade will serve a buffet dinner from 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. Dinner features items such as cheese, fresh fruit and seafood displays (the latter includes whole poached salmon), Castroville artichokes with caramelized shallot vinaigrette and chipotle aioli, cheese ravioli, prime rib, house-smoked pork loin, roast turkey breast, dried cherry/pecan sourdough stuffing, and whipped Yukon gold potatoes. There is also a separate kids’ buffet with items like macaroni and cheese. The price is $49.95 for adults, $17.95 for children 6-12 years old, and free for children under the age of 6.

On Christmas Day, there will be a buffet from noon to 6 p.m. Cost is $53.95 for adults, $17.95 for children 6-12 years old, and free for kids under of 6. The menu is similar to Christmas Eve; two of the many entrees are lasagna with pumpkin ricotta béchamel and honey bourbon glazed ham.

If you’re in need of a holiday gift idea, Chaminade offers gift cards which you can order online. You can send your electronic gift card by email, text, or Facebook. You can also choose to print it out. The eGift can be used for resort stays, dining in the restaurant and more.
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CONTEST:
One person will win a gift certificate for Sunday brunch for two at the Chaminade’s Sunset Restaurant (valued at more than $60). The certificate is not valid on holidays.

To enter, email your name to tfatemi@gmail.com by 9 pm. Thurs, Dec. 17 and include the word “Chaminade.” The drawing will take place the next morning and the winner will be notified via email.

Employees of Examiner.com are not eligible for the promotion.

Follow me on Twitter @santacruzfoodie.

12 Days of Christmas Giveaway Day 3: Win a Shadowbrook gift card

Seafood at Shadowbr

Seafood at Shadowbr

 

 

It’s Day Three of Santa Cruz Restaurant Examiner/Santa Cruz Foodie’s “12 Days of Christmas Giveaway.” See end of article for how to win a Shadowbrook gift card.

Capitola restaurant Shadowbrook has been serving customers for more than 65 years. It attracts both locals and tourists, and the setting is conducive to a range of occasions including big family gatherings and romantic dates. Shadowbrook is known for excellent food including seafood, steak, and prime rib. Their desserts include a famous “Chocolate Meltdown” (molten cake served with vanilla bean ice cream).

Shadowbrook is a great spot for special occasions and holidays including Christmas; the historic venue is beautifully decorated this time of year. However, they are very busy during the season and are actually almost all booked for the holiday itself. Owner Ted Burke recommends booking a weekday dinner to relax during a meal with a more leisurely pace, while still getting to enjoy Shadowbrook all decked out for Xmas. Holiday decorations will be up until at least Dec. 30. By the way, Wednesdays tend to be the slowest night at the restaurant.

Shadowbrook gift cards make a fun gift if you have foodies to shop for. If you order cards online, they can be for any amount starting at $25 and they will be mailed to you. You can also buy gift cards by phone (831-475-1511) or in person at the restaurant (1750 Wharf Rd., Capitola). Either way, they never expire.
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CONTEST:
One person will win a $50 gift certificate to Shadowbrook.

To enter, email your name to tfatemi@gmail.com by 9 pm. Wed, Dec. 16 and include the word “Shadowbrook.” The drawing will take place the next morning and the winner will be notified via email.

Employees of Examiner.com are not eligible for the promotion.

Follow me on Twitter @santacruzfoodie.

12 Days of Christmas Giveaway Day 2: Win Peet’s Coffee holiday blend

Holiday blend from Peet’s Coffee and Tea

Holiday blend from Peet’s Coffee and Tea

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 great coffee from Peet’s. And if you haven’t finished (or started) your holiday shopping, here are some items to consider for coffee fans on your gift list.

Peet’s Holiday Blend: An annual tradition, this year’s special blend is spicy, rich and satisfying, slightly bittersweet balanced by notes of ripe fruit to create a smooth and full finish. It’s available at Peet’s cafes, local grocery stores and online (peets.com). It can be purchased by itself or as part of several gift packages. For example, if your gift recipient has a sweet tooth, there’s a gift set with a half-pound of 2015 Holiday Blend coffee and a three-piece package of popular Jo’s Peppermint Bark.

Exclusive Single-Origin Coffees in Festive Gold Tins: Peet’s exclusive line of exotic and rare premium coffees – CoopeDota Micro, Kona Peaberry and Jamaica Blue Mountain–are hand-scooped into golden keepsake tins. They’re available at all Peet’s stores nationwide.

DIY Coffee Lover Gift: You can use Peet’s premium coffee beans/grounds to make something creative. Peet’s suggests either 1) a DIY cold brew kit with the Holiday Blend or Peet’s Baridi (a special blend formulated for cold coffee), a re-usable coffee filter and a sampling of sweeteners. Stuff into a large mason jar and tie with a festive ribbon; or 2) a holiday survival kit including Peet’s coffee, bath products, candles, energy bars, a stress ball, and medicine for when you’ve attended one-too-many Christmas parties.

 

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NOW FOR THE CONTEST:

Five lucky readers will each win a pound of Peet’s holiday blend coffee

To enter, email your name to tfatemi@gmail.com by 9 pm. Tuesday, Dec. 15 and include the word “Peet’s.” The drawing will take place the next morning and the winners will be notified via email.

Employees of Examiner.com are not eligible for the promotion.

Good luck and happy holidays!

Follow me on Twitter @santacruzfoodie.