Milton & Small

I can confidently say that coffee is my favorite beverage, hands down. What started out many years ago as a simple pleasure has turned into an obsession. It’s not uncommon that I catch myself trying to brew a fresh cup just before bed, as if the previous five cups that day weren’t enough. So it’s no surprise that when I stumbled upon Milton & Small I was jittery with joy. Milton & Small is a cold brew coffee company from Oakland, CA. The cold brewing method is when coffee grounds are steeped in cold water for an extended period of time. The result is a noticeably less acidic coffee with a more nuanced flavor profile. Milton & Small suggest trying their cold brew coffee over ice, heated, and a variety of other ways . . . definitely my kind of guys. But no matter how you choose to drink it, the cold brewing method opens up a whole new world of coffee to explore!

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Hog Island Oyster Co.

Eating a plate of 6 oysters at a fancy restaurant is one thing, but eating them in bags of 50 freshly shucked sitting in front of the shimmering bay from which they came, is another.  Hog Island Oyster Co. is one of the many reasons why I love the Bay Area.  Just about an hour and a half drive from San Francisco through windy country hills and you find a gem: picnic tables, barbeques, more oysters than your heart can desire, and a view like no other.  It’s the perfect weekend day trip.  We reserved a table for a group of friends and bought a couple bags of local Hog Island oysters and Kumamotos, my favorite.  The best part of this experience is that you get to shuck your own oysters.  And if shucking 100-some oysters wasn’t enough, we barbequed some steaks and fresh Hog Island clams– all washed down with some bubbly and beer!  The perfect Sunday Funday.

Oyster with chipotle sauce // HonestlyYUM

stand // HonestlyYUM

bag of oysters // HonestlyYUM

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Meyer Lemon Sour

I’m lucky enough to have a fruitful Meyer lemon tree in my front yard, so I often experiment with this sweeter, less acidic citrus in cocktails. This particular recipe was inspired by a Scott Beattie (Cyrus,  Spoonbar) creation, the Meyer Beautiful. The brightness of the fresh Meyer lemon readily combines with the citrus undertones of the St. Germain elderflower liqueur. Add a little texture with a shaken egg white, and the result is a truly delicate, dessert-like libation.

Meyer Lemon Sour // HonestlyYUM

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 oz citrus vodka (I like the Meyer Lemon Vodka from Charbay)
  • 1/2 oz St. Germain elderflower liqueur
  • 1 oz fresh-squeezed Meyer lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz Meyer lemon peel syrup
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 dash orange bitters

Meyer Lemon Syrup:

  • 1 Meyer lemon
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup water

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Meyer Lemon Syrup

Meyer Lemon Peel Simple Syrup Recipe // HonestlyYUM

Ingredients:

  • 1 Meyer lemon
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup water

Directions:

  • Peel one whole Meyer lemon and cut the peel into 1/2 inch strips.
  • Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir until sugar is dissolved and bring to a simmer.
  • Add the strips of Meyer lemon peel and let simmer for 2 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and let syrup come to room temperature before removing the lemon peel strips. Store in your refrigerator for future happy hours!
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(image by HonestlyYUM)

Ricotta Crostini Party

Crostini are the ultimate party food and a ricotta crostini is the perfect blank canvas to show off both savory and sweet creations.  The wonderful thing about ricotta crostini is that fresh ricotta can be made a day ahead.  This is a smorgasbord of some of my favorite flavor combinations, but the possibilities are endless!

ricotta crostini // HonestlyYUM

ricotta crostini // HonestlyYUM

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Creamy Homemade Ricotta

Fresh homemade ricotta is incredibly simple. It tastes much fresher than any store bought variety of ricotta and the texture is so creamy smooth it’ll be irresistible not to just eat spoonfuls of it. I’ve made ricotta plenty of times before and most standard recipes call for the use of whole milk. The results were good enough but in my opinion not really worth the trouble of making at home. That is until I tried a recipe that used heavy cream and milk. The ricotta was so amazing that I could eat it simply with bread.

ricotta and tomatoes // HonestlyYUM

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups of whole milk
  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons of lemon juice or white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of kosher or sea salt
  • 3 layers of cheese cloth, cut large enough to layer over a sieve or colander

ingredients // HonestlyYUM READ MORE

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