I can’t tell you how excited I was when the opportunity presented itself to visit Miette’s kitchen in Oakland where they make all their sweet treats. I’ve been a fan of Miette for a long time and anytime I visit the Ferry Building in San Francisco, I always pick up a couple macarons. Okay, more than a couple. I got a behind-the-scenes peak of their kitchen where they make everything from cakes to caramels. Meg, owner and founder of Miette, whipped us up a batch of fleur de sel caramels (recipe below!). Meg is such a professional in the kitchen and all her desserts are so perfect, in both form and flavor, which is why it came as a surprise to find out that she has no formal training. After a long stint in the corporate world, Meg decided to pursue her passion of making cakes and gave herself 6 months to get her business up and going. What started as a booth at the Ferry Building farmer’s market turned into a successful business with four locations just in the Bay Area alone! If you don’t live in the Bay Area, don’t worry you can buy the Miette cookbook online and make some treats for yourself or order some of Miette’s amazing cookies online.
There’s something inherently celebratory in the way authentic Mexican food is enjoyed. I mean, happiness just exudes from fish tacos, chili rellenos, mole enchiladas, guacamole and tequila – am I right?! Last week, Todd and I threw an intimate dinner party, for some of our favorite peers, at our beloved Oakland haunt, Doña Tomás. There’s nothing like being transported to Mexico via Doña Tomás’ seasonally changing menu – with each wonderfully regional dish derived from organic, local and sustainable produce and ingredients by owners Tom Schnetz and Dona Savitsky. It was a perfect venue for a gathering of friends, old and new, on a warm spring night.
Marshmallows are just magical. They’re transformed into soft pillow-y and chewy sweets from a simple list of ingredients: sugar, gelatin and egg whites. There’s also a world of difference between homemade and store-bought marshmallows and if you haven’t had homemade marshmallows, I’d get to making these immediately! However, marshmallows are deceptive in their simplicity as working with egg whites and hot sugary syrup can get tricky. I can attest to this as I’ve attempted to make marshmallows at home a couple times only to have the whole thing end in a sticky mess. So who better to walk me through all the detailed steps than Meg Ray, owner of Miette — one of my favorite bakeries to visit in San Francisco (Tip: Meg makes the best macarons in my opinion). Now with the weather warming up, I’m going to be giving these a go for s’mores!
I went up the street to the local produce market yesterday to pickup a little fresh mint. And by a little I mean, my hand-basket was overflowing. In fact, a woman tapped me on my shoulder and boasted, “You should have come to my house this morning – I must’ve thrown out atleast that much mint. Maybe more. Mind if I ask what you’re doing with it all? Are you making iced tea?” I told her it was the Kentucky Derby, and that I was making mint juleps. Her face froze, as she suddenly realized just what a precious resource she had wasted. “Mind if I grab some of those from you?” I thought you’d never ask . . .
There aren’t many cocktails that hit the spot quite like the julep. A frosty, silver cup full of refreshingly sweet bourbon . . . it’s what dreams are made of. That is, if you’re like me and your dreams regularly involve whiskey in some way, shape, or form.
Grilled fruit has long been one of my secret food weapons. That’s right, I’ve been known to arrive at backyard barbecues with nothing more than a pineapple and a bag of peaches. But seriously, a little caramelization goes a long way when you’re seeking depth of flavor. In the case of the grapefruit, I wanted to evoke more of the citrus’ natural juicy sweetness, as well as some smokiness, which I’m always a fan of in cocktails – especially tequila cocktails. I spiced things up with a little fresh sage, my favorite honey syrup, lime, and Familia Camarena tequila to round out the party.
Since this year Cinco de Mayo falls on a Tuesday, I’ll be celebrating on Saturday, May 2nd. And speaking of celebrations, we’re giving away $100 gift card that you can put towards your own festivities by pledging to #SaveCinco (details below).
I’ve been through a few variations of avocado toast addiction, but this one is worth sharing. For those of you not familiar with furikake, it’s a Japanese seasoning usually made of sesame seeds, salt, sugar and seaweed, although it comes in various flavors. About a month ago, I started sprinkling it onto my avocado toast in lieu of my normal lemon-salt-pepper mixture and I haven’t stopped eating it like this since. I add a dash of togarashi for some heat but you could add any kind of spice. You can find furikake and togarashi in the ethnic aisle of some supermarkets, but not all will carry them. Your best bet is going to a Japanese market (which will certainly carry these), or ordering them on Amazon. They’re totally worth seeking out as they’re relatively cheap and will last a while. Happy snacking!