Tag Archives: Teen Kitchen Project

Foodie Holiday Gift Guide 2020: Local gifts, part 5

A floral cupcake bouquet from The Giving Cake
Photo courtesy of The Giving Cake

Here is part 5 of my holiday gift guide to encourage everyone to shop local and shop from small businesses—it mostly has food-related gifts. I’ll post another guide soon.

Also see:

Gift guide part 1

Gift guide part 2

Gift guide part 3

Gift guide part 4

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

Restaurant Gift Cards

Just a reminder that your favorite local restaurant (or two) can use your support right now. Same with local ice creameries, breweries, wineries…you get the idea! Buy a gift card and you accomplish two things: you have a gift for a foodie friend or family member, and you are helping a small business survive these challenging times.

Sweets

There are so many sweet Santa Cruz County offerings that I can’t mention them all (I’ve included a couple in previous articles). I’ll highlight a couple here & if possible I’ll include a couple more in a near-future article. Local chocolatiers Mutari Chocolate have lots of delicious gifts like Chocolate Chunk Take & Bake Cookies, craft hot chocolate powder, single origin chocolate bars, and seasonal truffle gift boxes. Order and pick up at 504 A Front St. for someone in town, or have your gift shipped anywhere in the country. Visit mutarichocolate.com.

I don’t know if Anouchka Bakery does gift cards or not, but I just tried baker/owner Anna Landaw’s Snickerdoodle cookies for the first time (her flavors rotate, and she does pies and other items) & I can say with confidence that she knows what she’s doing. And she has free SC County delivery! Update Dec. 13: I discovered she is creating chocolate cream pies & delivering them on Christmas Eve. You can order half-pies or whole pies. Visit anouchkabakery.com.

Last but not least, Anna Lieby launched her new business The Giving Cake earlier this month—but she has been baking for most of her life. She offers boxes of cupcakes or intricate “floral cupcake bouquets” and donates all profits to local nonprofit organizations. Her current list of fund recipients: CASA, Center for Farmworker Families, Digital Nest, Homeless Garden Project, Imagine Supported Living Services, Jacob’s Heart Children’s Cancer Support Services, Resource Center for Nonviolence, Second Harvest Food Bank Santa Cruz County, Teen Kitchen Project and Ventana Wilderness Alliance. I’m excited to be a first-time customer soon—I think I’ll start by buying myself a gift! For information, visit IG @thegivingcake or facebook.com/TheGivingCakeSantaCruz.

Jam and More

Speaking of Center for Farmworker Families, Love Cultivated’s owner Natalie McKinney donates five percent of her profits to CFF, which “promotes awareness about the difficult life circumstances of binational farmworker families while proactively inspiring improvement in binational family life both in the US and in Mexico.” Love Cultivated offers “small batch artisan provisions inspired by the farm and orchard.” I have bought and loved Natalie’s products which include jam and marmalade (made from fruit sourced from local farms and farmers’ markets using copper jam pans and no added pectin), goat milk soap (with milk from the McKinney Family goat herd, & flowers from the family’s cottage garden), and gardeners’ salve and whipped body butter. There are very limited quantities left for holiday shopping but remember you can always purchase post-holiday-season. Visit love-cultivated.myshopify.com or IG @love.cultivated.

Coffee

There are a multitude of local, independent coffee shops that you can support, including Coffeetopia (see Instagram), Cat & Cloud, Eleventh Hour Coffee, Pacific Coffee Roasting Co. (see Facebook), People’s Coffee (see FB), Santa Cruz Coffee Roasting Co. & Verve. They all have gift cards and various products for sale this holiday season. Verve is also offering (online only) holiday packages like the Cozy Coffee Gift Bundle. It comes with a 12-ounce bag of Holiday Blend coffee, a Verve-branded Kinto mug, a candle, and a Verve knit beanie. In addition, they are doing “Holiday Drink Happy Hours” at all of their locations from 2pm to closing where customers can get seasonal signature beverages for $3. This season’s specialties include Café De Olla Con Panna, which is a shot of espresso sweetened with spiced piloncillo syrup and topped with spiced whipped cream. Verve refers to it as “a holiday take on a classic Mexican drink.” Visit vervecoffee.com.

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Teen Kitchen Project: two brunch dates remain in series, plus new kids’ classes

A scene from TKP’s brunch benefit Sunday, March 25, in Aptos

Teen Kitchen Project has been running a brunch fundraiser series since March. There were two Sundays in March, then they skipped Easter, and now two Sundays remain — April 8 and 15. Entrees rotate each time and have included Huevos Rancheros with rice and beans; orange-zested thick cut French toast with spiced maple syrup; and broccoli cheddar quiche with country style sausage and home fries. There are two seatings each day, 9:30 & 11:30 a.m., and brunch takes place at TKP’s newly renovated teaching kitchen and café at 8061 Aptos St. Cost is $35 for adults and $15 for kids under 12. The TKP teens do the cooking and serving. Entrees include a basket of freshly baked goods at each table, plus coffee, tea and juice. My family and I dined with TKP on March 25, and thoroughly enjoyed the meal–from the delectable scones to scrumptious sausage, Chilaquiles and more! View menus and purchase online at teenkitchenproject.org/brunch.One hundred percent of proceeds benefit TKP.

TKP recently began offering cooking classes for kids ages 8 and up, for $35 each, and they are now expanding to offer a few for kids 5-8. At the first one for “littles” on Monday, April 30, kids will make pizza. “Teen Kitchen Project is excited to open our doors to aspiring chefs ages 5 and up who are interested in learning more about developing their culinary skills,” says founder Angela Farley. “We believe empowering young people with the knowledge and skills to prepare food from scratch is essential to accomplish our goal of building a healthier Santa Cruz County, one meal at a time.”

Topics for the older kids have included burgers, tacos and dumplings. During the 2-hour classes, kids work with other students in groups of two to four. There are also adult chefs and a teen helper present. At the end of class, participants get to eat the food they prepare. Monday and Wednesday classes are at the Aptos location (8061 Aptos St.), and Friday classes are at the Soquel location (2880 Research Park Dr.). Enrollment is limited. Visit the registration page at crm.fundly.com//6708/Pages/Events/#/.

For those unfamiliar with Teen Kitchen Project, executive director Angela Farley launched TKP in 2012 after her son was diagnosed with cancer. Farley decided she wanted to help other families affected by cancer, to at least attempt to decrease some of the pressure and feelings of being overwhelmed. Today, the organization regularly delivers 600-700 free, healthy meals for clients throughout Santa Cruz County who are in crisis due to illness.  Teen volunteers ages 13-18 prepare meals with the assistance of adult volunteers. The teens gain valuable skills as they volunteer. For more info, visit the web site teenkitchenproject.org.

 

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Teen Kitchen Project news including Santa Cruz brunch benefit

Teen participants from Teen Kitchen Project’s new spot at El Pajaro CDC Incubator Kitchen

Teen participants from Teen Kitchen Project’s new spot at El Pajaro CDC Incubator Kitchen

The NEXTies of Santa Cruz (organized by Event Santa Cruz) recently announced that Teen Kitchen Project is receiving the 2016 award for “Nonprofit Organization of the Year” and TKP has even more good news to share; keep reading for details.

There will be a Teen Kitchen Project benefit brunch—actually two of them!—on Saturday, April 30 at the Santa Cruz Food Lounge (1001 Center St.). The TKP teens will be taking orders, cooking, and serving customers. A silent auction will have art, jewelry, flower bouquets, and more. There are two brunch seatings, 9:30 a.m. and noon. Tickets are $45 and include a menu featuring salad, fruit, baked goods, coffee, and tea. Each attendee receives an entrée choice (one selection is frittata with a side of Freedom Meat Locker sausage) and a choice of mimosa or orange juice. Kids under 12 cost $18. Purchase online. 100% of proceeds from tickets and auction benefit TKP.

For those unfamiliar with Teen Kitchen Project, executive director Angela Farley launched TKP in 2012 after her son was diagnosed with cancer. Farley decided she wanted to help other families affected by cancer, to at least attempt to decrease some of the pressure and feelings of being overwhelmed. Today, the organization regularly delivers free, organic meals to about 50 families affected by cancer, and has delivered more than 49,000 meals since 2012. There are families in locations across Santa Cruz County. Right now, 40% of the clients they serve live within five miles of Watsonville, but they hope to be able to increase this number. That leads to the next bit of news.

On March 7, TKP started cooking at the El Pajaro CDC (Community Development Corporation) Incubator Kitchen in addition to their original commercial kitchen in Soquel. They cook several days a week at the Watsonville kitchen, and will soon reduce their schedule to just two days a week in Soquel. The Incubator kitchen provides small groups of youth the opportunity to learn more about working as chefs in the hospitality industry. TKP’s “staff” adult mentor chefs are Stephanie Forbes, ElizaBeth Link, Cabrillo College culinary student Michelle Spencer and Cabrillo staff member Hector Quiroz. The “volunteer” adult mentor chefs are Tauna Coulson (Soquel kitchen), former Cabrillo Culinary Department instructor Kathy Niven (Watsonville kitchen), and Jesse Plasencia (Watsonville kitchen).

The program doesn’t just help the families it serves, it also helps teens gain valuable skills as they volunteer. These individuals are ages 14 to 19, in 8th grade or above, and have come from most of the area’s high schools. Most who work at the Soquel kitchen are doing this in exchange for community service hours, but there are some who sign up just for the experience. The required commitment is every other week for a minimum of eight weeks.

For more info on Teen Kitchen Project, visit their web site.

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