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!
I undoubtedly owe my coffee obsession to Peet’s. For as long as I can remember, I’ve watched my dad consume a seemingly irrational amount of Major Dickason’s blend. Naturally, this passion for a strong caffeinated cup (or three) was passed from father to son, and I too found myself gravitating to the corner of Walnut and Vine – Peet’s very first location which opened in 1966 – to grab a pound of beans. Recently, my interest in coffee has cooled a bit. In fact, it’s frozen. Javiva Blended coffee is made with fresh brewed coffee, and I would expect nothing less coming from Peet’s. Thankfully, I no longer have to limit my coffee fix to foggy Berkeley mornings. In fact, given this relentless California heat, it looks like I’ll be doing my best to keep it cool more often than not these days.
Good food, good mood. San Francisco’s newly opened Seed + Salt is built on, but not defined by, a plant based concept. Two years prior to opening, founder Mo Clancy and chef Ariel Nadelberg worked together to develop recipes that not only focused on vegan food, free of gluten, dairy and refined sugar, but that also appealed to even the most discerning skeptic. I was certainly not one of those cynics – in fact, I’ve had close friends swear by their juicy beet burgers, hearty chard wrapped falafel and oh so chewy chocolate chip cookies – so I was super excited to finally visit their Marina location, but I’ve also definitely had some less than pleasurable experiences with vegan and gluten free foods in the past. Who knew unsprouted nuts was the cause of many belly aches? That was just beginning of my palatable lesson at Seed + Salt. From the moment I walked into the bright and airy space, my spirit was immediately lifted. The sprouted nut loaf was crunchy, moist and surprisingly comforting – especially with delicious sweet and savory spreads like cashew dill cream cheese, wild mushroom paté, homemade nutella and raw lemon curd (my personal favorite). The beet burger and falafel wrap, full of flavor and texture, lived up to the hype. And the seasonal salad, with sweet strawberries and green goddess dressing, was colorful and vibrant. I left feeling satisfied, happy and desperately craving a Seed + Salt location in my hood. Until then, there will be many future trips to Chestnut Street and thanks to chef Ariel, I’ll be recreating her baby gems salad with vegan green goddess dressing all spring long.