“A few of our favorite things” for the holidays

Editor’s note: These are a few of our favorite things in the foothills:

Breakfast at Ike’s Quarter Cafe, Nevada City
We like the Applewood smoked ham topped with caramelized onions, eggs with a side of fresh-made bbq sauce, served with Yukon hash, potatoes and cornbread. Ike’s uses naturally raised meats, organic eggs and makes its own breads. Try some new items on the lunch and dinner menu, including cornmeal crusted trout in a brown butter pecan sauce.
401 Commercial St., Nevada City
530-265-6138 IkesQuarterCafe.com

New Day Spa at Grass Valley Courtyard Suites
The hotel has a new pool-side day spa, which offers treatment rooms, a fitness center and dry sauna. Services include deep massage, manicure and pedicures, facials and skin therapies. The hotel also has a new conference center.
210 North Auburn St., Grass Valley
530-272-7696 GVCourtyardSuites.com

Olive Oil, Sauces and Dressings at Tahoe House
Extra-virgin olive oil, artichoke pesto pasta sauce and roasted corn and tomato chutney are included in the store’s own line of gourmet dressings and sauces. Their baked goods include fresh-baked breads (such as Squaw Bread), sweets (Apricot pockets) and cakes (Sacher Torte). You can order a free-range turkey and sides for the holidays.
625 W. Lake Blvd, Tahoe City
530-583-1377 Tahoe-House.com

Wine and roses at Foothill Flowers, Grass Valley
An institution since 1966, the Johnson’s family owned shop creates exquisite arrangements with hand-picked flowers from the San Francisco Flower mart. Foothill also offers a selection of fine wines — from California, Oregon and Washington, as well as imports — to compliment your bouquet. The holiday window displays are among the best in the foothills.
102 W. Main St., Grass Valley
530-273-2296 FoothillFlowers.com

Homemade pasties at Marshall’s Pasties, Grass Valley
This shop makes original Cornish pasties from scratch in the historic downtown. They are rolled by hand, seasoned and baked in their own kitchen. Enjoy one during the town’s Cornish Christmas celebration or during your holiday shopping. Vegetarian pasties are offered too.
203 Mill St., Grass Valley
530-272-2844

Caramel apples at Nevada City Chocolate Shoppe
Bite into a homemade caramel apple that is cloaked in chocolate or M&Ms. Hand-dipped chocolates include cappuccino truffles, pecan turtles and almond bark. The store also specializes in homemade candies. Winter-time favorites include hot chocolate and apple cider.
236 Broad Street, Nevada City
530-265-3448

Santa, trains and toys at Nevada County Railroad Museum
For old-fashioned holiday fun, go to the Nevada County Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum in Nevada City. On Dec. 4, you can ride on a steam-driven train, see toy rail cars in snowy settings, even visit Santa Claus. The gift shop is a welcome reprieve from toy-store chains: It offers railroad-related toys, games, puzzles and books.
5 Kidder Ct., Nevada City
530-470-0902 NCNGRRMuseum.org

Fresh, local cuisine at Summer Thyme’s Bakery & Deli, Grass Valley
To highlight local foods, Summer Thyme’s offers a gourmet multi-course meal that lets owner Any Cooke display her culinary talents. It is on the third Saturday of each month, by reservation only. Examples include pumpkin soup with apple confit and crème fraîche; roasted Moscovy duck with pancetta; wild rice and apple-almond torte.
421 Colfax Ave. and 134 S. Auburn St., Grass Valley
530-273-2904, 273-YUMM SummerThymes.com

Wine Clubs of foothill wineries
Most foothill wineries offer wine clubs. We belong to several of them. You can be a “Peaker” at Pilot Peak, join Lone Buffalo’s “Bison Waller Club” or Sierra Starr’s “Sirius Sipper” club, among others. Members receive discounts on wine and related merchandise and invitations to special events.

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