Three Things To Make the Holidays Easier and Tastier

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Apple-cranberry galette ($32) from Manresa Bakery. (Photo courtesy of the bakery.)

Pre-Order At Manresa Bread Bakery

Yes, Manresa Bread Bakery in Los Gatos is now taking online pre-orders for breads and pastries up to two weeks in advance.

For Thanksgiving orders, you can pick up your items anytime from Nov. 20 to Nov. 25. Just note that the bakery will be closed on Thanksgiving and the day after that holiday.

For those of you in Santa Cruz, you can even choose to pick up your items Nov. 25 at the bakery pop-up at Assembly in Santa Cruz.

The super-sized kouign-amann. (Photo courtesy of Manresa Bakery)

The super-sized kouign-amann. (Photo courtesy of Manresa Bakery)

Items that can be ordered ahead include baguettes, brioche rolls, almond croissants, apple-cranberry galettes, pumpkin loaves, pumpkin pie, and even a giant version of the kouign-amann ($28) that feeds 6 to 8 (or probably one in my case).

Stock Up on Pies and Cakes To-Go at Presidio Social Club

Up in San Francisco, Presidio Social Club is also making it easy to enjoy fresh-baked pies and cakes this holiday season.

Just pre-order online through Nov. 17 for Thanksgiving, and Nov. 18 through December 17 for Christmas.

Chocolate bourbon pecan pie for Thanksgiving. (Photo courtesy of Presidio Social Club)

Chocolate bourbon pecan pie for Thanksgiving. (Photo courtesy of Presidio Social Club)

Spiced apple layer cake. (Photo courtesy of Presidio Social Club)

Spiced apple layer cake. (Photo courtesy of Presidio Social Club)

Thanksgiving offerings include pumpkin cheesecake ($45), classic pumpkin pie ($40), and apple layer cake with brown sugar meringue ($80).

For Christmas, there’s coconut cream pie ($40), chocolate bourbon pecan pie ($45), and a chocolate peppermint cake ($80).

Items can be picked up either at Presidio Social Club or at its sister San Francisco restaurant, Presidio Palms Cafe.

Perk Up Holiday Salads with Cherry Cabernet Vinegar

With all the heavy side dishes associated with Thanksgiving and Christmas, a crisp green veggie salad is always a welcome relief.

Make it extra special with a splash of Napa Valley Vinegar Co.’s Cherry Cabernet Vinegar.

I had a chance to try a sample bottle. Think red wine vinegar but with the unexpected taste of cherries. It’s tangy, sweet, fruity, and complex. Plus, it sports a dazzling ruby hue.

Cherry Cabernet Vinegar for a change of pace. (Photo by Carolyn Jung)

Cherry Cabernet Vinegar for a change of pace. (Photo by Carolyn Jung)

Try it in a vinaigrette. Or add a splash to a holiday cocktail instead of the usual lemon or lime.

Made with Cabernet wine vinegar, cherry puree, and organic sugar, it’s a product of Wine Country Kitchens, a specialty food maker in the Napa Valley. An 8.2-ounce bottle is $9.99.

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