Year: 2017

truffles and bonbons!

Truffles anyone? Me, me, me! I recently took a truffles and bonbons class at Oaktown Spice Shop. The instructor was none other than the owner and founder of Endorfin Foods – Brian! He makes the smoothest chocolate bars sans milk! (You must try the Turkish coffee bar!) I’ve made truffles once before; they turned out smooth and decadent, but they were on the softer side and would lose their shape quickly. I brought all my questions to class and learned lots of important tips and tricks. We even learned some truffle making hacks like making the ganache in a blender with a heat gun instead of using a double boiler, and using an infrared thermometer to read the ganache’s temperature instead of a candy thermometer (it’s way cooler!). Brian demoed how to make ganache and he brought some premade/precooled ganache for the hands-on part of class. We learned how to flavor the ganache, what types of liquids to use, and what the ganache should look like while it’s being made. Then, with gloves on (and being …

horticulture. 

Happy Earth Day! Featuring a local nursery seems fitting for today. Behold: Berkeley Horticulture Nursery. It’s like a nursery dream! I had been here once before to purchase a garden pot and have been meaning to visit again. This is by far my favorite nursery in the East Bay. Helpful staff, suuuuper organized garden, awesome selection, excellent prices, and all the inspiration!   Time to tend to the garden! How will you celebrate Earth today? Share below.   

hello kitty! 

I did it! I went to the Hello Kitty Cafe truck…finally! But it was completely on a whim. My parents were in town and heard about the Japantown Cherry Blossom Festival so we went. And we found parking! And we explored. And I saw the famous pink truck. And I left my family to stand in line. Ha! I was expecting a long wait considering the line length, but it went by fairly quickly. On the menu: Hello Kitty decorated cookies, mini cakes, macarons, and donuts; plus shirts and mugs. Deciding among the available desserts was easy: get one of each! We tried the donuts first (too sweet, but so cute!) and had the mini cakes for my birthday (triple layered and delightful!)! I sent the macarons home with my parents to give to my sister and niece, and the cookies keep for a little longer so we’re saving those for later. 😉 Where my fellow Hello Kitty fans at? Have you been to the truck or cafe? Share below!  

stop, sticker time.

Most of you 80s and 90s kids probably remember giving or receiving a Mrs.Grossman’s sticker at some point in your childhood. I was never really a fan of the designs, but I have always been a sticker fan. So when I learned the only US-based sticker company was less than an hour away from home and they gave tours, it became my mission to visit one day. Tours are offered Monday through Thursday, and are about thirty minutes in length. The tour started with a video on the company’s history and then our tour guide walked us through the factory to see each step in action. At each station, we were rewarded with a sheet of stickers. So. Many. Stickers. (We were only allowed to take photos of the sticker wall and sticker roll storage due to confidentiality agreements with some companies they work with and print labels for.) How to make a Mrs. Grossman’s sticker: Each sticker starts with a design. Templates are made for each layer of color in the design. Sticker paper is inserted …

eggicorns!

Happy Easter to you! I saw this on Pinterest and had to make my own rendition. I made one first to test the waters and it turned out pretty good so I made a whole fleet, and they got more and more ridiculously cute as my eggicorn army grew. Materials and tools: Plastic or real eggs Cardstock (for the horn) Felt (for the flowers) or other faux flowers Scissors (for paper and for fabric) Hot glue Permanent marker Candies or other treats for the inside How to: Get an egg of eggs. I found this bundle of colorful eggs at Target. Bonus, it comes with one golden egg! Add a golden horn. Cut cardstock and roll to form a cone shape; use hot glue to seal. Then, hot glue the horn to the top of the egg. Add flowers. Use any color combination to make tiny flowers for the eggicorn’s crown. Cut a spiral, roll starting from the outside, seal with hot glue, and hot glue in place around the horn. I made five mini …

nearcation: san francisco.

Nearcation: San Francisco edition, because this is totally going to be a thing now. My God-sister and her hubs surprised us with a hotel gift card to spend a night on the town. We packed a backpack, jumped on BART, and played local tourist for 24 hours. We stayed at the Sir Francis Drake near Union Square where you are welcomed by a red-suited doorman and a swanky lobby bar. We were given a room with a view… We hardly come out to this area of San Francisco so we kept our adventures to any place we could get to by foot or by cable car. We had an afternoon meal at a hole in the wall Filipino street food restaurant. Then to a free craft event at Madewell with Jenny Lemons where we ran into my crafty friend Tally Sue. En route back to the hotel, we picked up boba from Boba Guys (insert Instagram worthy photo below) and veggie pizza from Uncle Vito’s. TV and chill, y’all. The next day we woke up …

coffee bar.

I bought golden letter balloons for my crafty business’ birthday photobooth to spell out FEED THE FISH CO and I’ve been waiting for an occasion to use them again, especially since I could scramble up the letters to spell COFFEE. Enter (or rather exit) my coworker’s two week notice. He loves coffee, we loves coffees, I have a coffee sign. A coffee party was meant to be! We picked up coffee from Catahoula Coffee; it came with cups, creamer, sugar, and stirrers (they use pasta!). We gathered coffee accoutrement, pastries, and treats from all over — the blueberry coffee cake was from La Farine, yum! I made rosemary simple syrup to share, and I’m getting good use out of my craft show display items since they double as party ware! Coffee bar essentials: Coffee – lots of cafes do coffee to go boxes and they can also provide hot water for tea Creamer, half & half, assorted milks Sugar, flavored syrups, chocolate drizzle Cinnamon, nutmeg Hot water, assorted teas Pastries, fruits, veggies Cups, plates, napkins, …