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Dec 21st
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Food & Drink

Dining Reviews

Three-peat

Three-peat

It was a filling afternoon meal with plenty of vegetables, protein, and even an adult beverage, with a tab that came to just $12.96.

It was the "Three and three at 3:00" Happy Hour at the Dragon Lounge at Canton Restaurant, which is offered daily and all day on Wednesdays.

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Wine Reviews

Vino Tabi Winery

Vino Tabi Winery

2008 California Red Wine Blend

Once a month I get together with my British group of women friends, and it usually the one who is hosting makes dinner for the group. My friend Joanna has gone on an organic vegan diet so the food she prepared for us all was ultra healthy with spinach from her garden and palm sugar in the dessert instead of white sugar.

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Dining Reviews

Have It Your Way

Have It Your Way

Carbonero Café & Catering brings its fresh and wholesome gourmet repertoire to Scotts Valley

My visit to Carbonero Café and Catering felt eerily familiar. Winding down a narrow tree-lined road, I followed the reddish umbrellas into what was previously a cafeteria for Seagate Technologies, and now home to Fox. I spent almost half of my life in buildings like this, where patches in the shiny lacquered concrete floors spoke of bygone product lines.

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Dining Reviews

Good to Go

Good to Go

One thing I love about Santa Cruz is the plethora of neighborhood markets. I can walk to mine for a gallon of milk or missing ingredient faster than I can drive there. Capitola’s Grady’s Market is uniquely situated to not only serve its neighbors, but to supply visitors headed toward the Esplanade and beach.

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Wine Reviews

Naumann Vineyards

Naumann Vineyards

Tre Rosso Cali 2009—Three Reds of California

Don Naumann, winemaker and owner of Naumann Vineyards, has produced an interesting wine called Tre Rosso Cali, which translates to three reds of California. This is his first release of this particular blend of three red varietals—Merlot 60 percent; Cabernet Sauvignon 30 percent; and Cabernet Franc 10 percent—and it comes together beautifully.

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Dining Reviews

Dock Days of Summer

Dock Days of Summer

Aldo’s dishes up old-school Italian and fashionable California fare

I usually go to Aldo’s for sunny summer morning breakfasts. There is plenty of activity to behold from its tables on the dock. Fishing boats and kayaks drift by, while cormorants and seals dive for their sustenance. My favorite meal is the pesto, sour cream and Swiss cheese omelet ($10.75) with raisin fugasa toast, and the best hash browns I’ve found anywhere.

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Dining Reviews

Pierogi Party

Pierogi Party

Recently, friends invited us over to make pierogies; butter-fried, empanada-like peasant food stuffed with potatoes, onions, and cheese. It became an opportunity to connect with my lost heritage. 

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Wine Reviews

Bonny Doon Vineyard

Bonny Doon Vineyard

Riesling 2006 – Riesling to Live

Although Randall Grahm and I have met many times over the years, we had never sat down one on one and had a lengthy conversation. The occasion was to chat over dinner at Le Cigare Volant, Grahm’s newly named restaurant which used to be called Cellar Door, and to talk about wine (what else!).

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Dining Reviews

Satay at the House

Satay at the House

A large selection of mild Thai flavors awaits you at Thai House

On the way to our daughter’s apartment, we stopped in L.A.’s Thai Town. Although there is now much diversity, we did find an Oriental market that had all of the ingredients I was looking for. We had prior plans for lunch and I’ve been craving Thai food ever since. Aside from some worn upholstered booths, Santa Cruz’s Thai House redecorated a former ice cream shop with live plants, elaborate carvings, and Burmese architectural elements, offering diners an elegant sojourn.

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Dining Reviews

Pins and Needles

Pins and Needles

Ever eat a cactus? Many parts are edible. Learn how to cook this plant, and taste entries from the cactus cook-off at Santa Cruz’s Festival del Nopal in the street in front of the downtown library on Sunday, July 22.

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Is This a Dream?

A beginner’s guide to understanding and exploring the uncanny world of lucid dreams

 

Giving and Giving, Then Giving Some More

2014 is almost over. Wednesday, Dec. 17, the Jewish Festival of Light, Hanukkah, begins. We are in our last week of Sag and last two weeks of December. Sunday, Dec. 21 is winter Solstice, as the sun enters Capricorn (3:30 p.m. for the west coast). Soon after, the Capricorn new moon occurs (5:36 p.m. for the west coast)—the last new moon of 2014. Sunday morning Uranus in Aries (revolution, revelation) is stationary direct (retro since July 22). Uranus/Aries create things new and needed to anchor the new culture and civilization (Aquarius). We will see revolutionary change in 2015. Capricorn new moon, building-the-personality seed thought, is, “Let ambition rule and let the door to initiation and freedom stand wide (open).” Capricorn is a gate—where matter returns to spirit. But the gate is unseen until the Ajna Center (third eye), Diamond Light of Direction, opens. Winter solstice is the longest day of darkness of the year. The sun’s rays resting at the Tropic of Capricorn (southern hemisphere) symbolize the Christ (soul’s) light piercing the heart of the Earth, remaining there for three days, till Holy Night (midnight Thursday morning). Then the sun’s light begins to rise. It is the birth of the new light (holy child) for the world. A deep calm and stillness pervades the world.The entire planet is revivified, re-spiritualized. All hearts beating reflect this Light. And so throughout the Earth there’s a radiant “impress” (impressions, pictures) given to humanity of the World Mother and her Child. The star Sirius (love/direction) and the constellation Virgo the mother shines above. For gift giving, give to those in need. Give and give and then give some more. This creates the new template of giving and sharing for the new world.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Stocking Stuffers

The men behind the women of the Kinsey Sicks Dragapella Beautyshop Quartet explain their own special brand of ‘dragtivism,’ and their holiday show at the Rio
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Tramonti Pizza

Why there’s no such thing as too much Italian food in Seabright

 

Guitar or surfboard?

Guitar. The closest thing I ever came to surfing was sliding down a rock hill. Charlie Tweddle, Santa Cruz, Hats and Music

 

Fortino Winery’s Intriguing Charbono

At the opening celebration of the new Santa Clara Wine Trail in August, one of the wineries we visited was Fortino. This is where I first tasted their intriguing estate-grown Charbono—a varietal that is one of the rarest in California, with only 80 acres grown statewide.

 

Beyond the Jar

How Tabitha Stroup has built her rapidly expanding jam empire