Mina and Brody Feuerhaken in their new downtown nut emporium. Photo by Christina Waters.

Mina and Brody Feuerhaken have gone happily nuts and just opened Nut Kreations, a designer house of almonds, pistachios, cashews and more, at 104 Lincoln Street in downtown Santa Cruz. Mina, whose family has been in pistachios for so many generations they can trace their orchard roots all the way back to Persia, brings years of fieldwork to this new venture.

The gourmet nut bar case is fully loaded with 120 varieties of nuts, seeds and colorful dried fruits. One of the top features of the new nuttery, Mina explained, is that you can come in and “design your own custom trail mix.” Available in three tiers, from the all-organic $10.99/lb. bag to the $6.99 standard, these trail mixes seem destined to thrill natural food-conscious Santa Cruzans. The couple source their astonishing inventory from all over the world, as well as the central valley of California. “And we do some roasting right here,” Mina said, pointing to a substantial stainless steel roasting station. How about nut-themed kitchen accessories? Nutcrackers, of course, but unexpected gourmet paraphernalia as well, such as hand-operated nut roasters. From nut brittle and designer corn nuts to chocolate-dipped almonds and flash-dried persimmons, this place drove me, well, nuts. http://www.NutKreations.com

FARMGIRLS SCHOOL OF FOOD & WINE is a fun idea brought to you by cheese czarina Tabitha Stroup and wine aficionado Amanda Rehn. The Wednesday classes, covering the history of winemaking in the Santa Cruz Mountains AVA , happen on May 18 and May 25 at VinoCruz, facing Cooper Street between Lulu’s at the Octagon and Annieglass. Your $50 participation fee covers spellbinding info, plus wine tastings and food pairings. Starting at 6:30pm, the May 18 class will cover the 1970s “salad days” of the local premium wine movement and work forward to the present day. Guest speakers are Denis Hoey of Odonata and Mary Lindsay of Muns Vineyard. May 25 is a Riedel Glass Tasting (your personal tasting glass is $12 and yes, you may take it home with you!). The shape of a glass really can affect the flavors of a wine. Sign up at http://www.friendincheeses.com.

MORE CLASS ACTION Cooking maestra Mimi Snowden (who most recently designed Aptos’ exotic Zameen) is back in the kitchen and ready for summer cooking classes. Join Mimi in her exhibition kitchen in Corralitos on Friday, May 20 at 6:30pm for a “Spring Entertaining” class followed by an astonishing meal. $125 per person. It’s almost sold out so make that call! 831.722.4011.

Send tips about food, wine and new dining discoveries to Christina Waters at xtina@cruzio.com. Read her blog at http://christinawaters.com.