All posts filed under: Taste.

macaron night.

Macarons by Natalie and Yelp East Bay hosted a macaron decorating night. OMG so fun! Natalie created macaron kits for Yelp Elites and we spent the evening together apart decorating our macarons to look like dumplings and boba. Our kits came with everything we needed to fill and decorate a dozen macarons. Plus, a bonus Yelp macaron that you could have eaten right away if you just couldn’t wait! But in true Yelp Elite form, I resisted so it could be part of the photoshoot. 🙂 Before we got started, Natalie shared her dessert biz story and goals for the future. She’s already a published cookbook author, and has dreams to open her own dessert shop! Then, Natalie demoed how to fill macarons and decorate them in the cutest ways. She provided us with buttercream fillings in Cookies n Cream and Fruity Pebbles flavors, a trio of icing colors, and a food coloring pen, and encouraged us to get creative with our designs. My favorite techniques were the kawaii eyes (with the ‘sparkles’) and creating …

hey sugar.

I found another hobby: sugar cookie decorating! Omagah, so fun! And such a good mom skill to have for future celebrations (PS I’m preggo). Yelp NOLA and Fait Main Foods hosted a cookie decorating workshop and I am obsessed. I also looooved that they had the option to ship supplies to out-of-area folks because I got to join in the fun and gain a new skill. Fait Main Foods is based in Mandeville, LA. They specialize in couture sugar cookie designs (seriously beautiful stuff!) and their cookies are legit tasty, soft, and addicting. For this special event their kits included ice cream, donut, and candy shaped cookies, and it came with four icing colors and two sprinkle mixes. In the workshop we first practiced drawing lines with the icing and getting comfortable with the icing flow. We learned all the cookie decorating secrets including how to stack colors, add designs, and tricks for what to do if you mess up your design. The only secrets we didn’t learn are their perfect cookie and icing recipes …

palomitas.

Since we’re celebrating the physical distancing / non-traveling to places way, my Sister and I schemed up a virtual happy hour to celebrate Father’s Day with the whole family. Here’s a delayed recap from my Father’s Day Happy Hour, but note it’s never too late for a happy hour idea! I sent a paloma cocktail kit from The Epicurian Trader (they have a few to choose from!) to my Dad so he would have all necessary ingredients. It turned out he already had everything (I should have known!), but now he just has more fun ingredients to play with. Hubby and I gathered ingredients for the non-alcoholic version, the palomita. My Sister gathered items for her household, too. To make the celebration a little more extra, I created a Father’s Day sign and sent a matching one to my Dad so it was like we were in the same room. Plus honeycombs because those are always a good celebration idea! Who needs a virtual backdrop when you can create your own? 🙂 The plan was …

tostada tuesday.

Everything is virtual these days, including Yelp events. I’ve been participating in all kinds of cooking demos ever since pizza night with Homage. Some were Yelp Elite events and others open to the entire Yelp community. And what’s been really cool is that I have been able to attend events across the country, and in Canada, too! My favorite so far was chorizo tostadas with Maggie of Whisked Away Cooking School in Phoenix, Arizona. I learned a new recipe, and picked up some cooking techniques and pro tips. This was a fun class because I had never made tostadas before nor cooked with canned refried beans (honestly, I was a little scared of them). Also, I don’t normally use arugula and radish in dishes because of the bitter flavors, so it was fun to learn a recipe with both that I really enjoyed. Behold: my beef chorizo tostadas with refried beans, cheese, sour cream sauce, and an arugula, radish, lemon, and jalapeño salad! It was crispy, a little spicy, creamy, savory, fresh…so good. I’ll definitely …

pizza.

My East Bay Yelp Elite crew held their first virtual event: a pizza making demo with Homage, another gem in Martinez, California (remember States, too?!). The day before the event we picked up pizza kits in person in the restaurant with option to either go inside the restaurant or have your pizza walked to your car. I wanted to go inside so I could see the restaurant and take photos, duh (#yelpelitestatus). It’s airy and bright in the restaurant, there’s a small pantry/market shelf, and it smelled so good inside. Mmm, I couldn’t wait for our pizza demo! We chose the pepperoni pizza kit. It came with enough ingredients for four personal pies. The dough and sauce are made in house with their sourdough starter and San Marzano tomatoes, respectively. The pepperoni is sourced from a local Richmond meat spot. The kit even comes with chocolate chip cookie dough! Also, we all got some new Yelp goodies: a tote, mug, and ahh, coveted hand sanitizer. On event night, owners Rachel and Erik hosted from their …

cafe and chill.

My fave thing to do on a day off is to explore and hang out in cafes to try the local flavors and relax. In grad school I remember dreaming about going to hang out in cafes instead of going to study in cafes. It’s everything I imagined. 🙂 Here are a couple of my recent finds, pre-shelter in place. I can’t wait until this is all over to do some more exploring! Add these to your list, too! fig and poe. I enjoyed a lovely breakfast here before a conference in Oakland, and when I accidentally combined a waffle and toast order, I loved it! For the win: jalapeño and cheddar liege waffle with goat cheese, plus a turmeric oat milk latte. The staff are fun, the decor simple and inviting, and you feel like a regular even if it’s your first time. farm and flour. Hubby and I ventured here just to hang. We arrived just in time because we snagged the last pieces of bread. I had the avocado toast and an …

lemon roll.

Lemon roll: a wonderful way to spend an afternoon, food for your soul, what the Hubs and I look forward to on San Diego trips. My first time at Tokyo Sushi Loha was back in 2006. It was the closest sushi place to my grad school apartment and they passed the spicy tuna roll test (When trying a new sushi restaurant, I always try my go-to roll: the spicy tuna roll. If I like it, I can eat there again.). I found myself frequenting the restaurant, often bringing guests and getting take out for evenings in. In the process I was able to try a number of their rolls. Then along came the Lemon Roll. Nobody makes it quite like Tokyo Sushi Loha. Nobody. The closest you can get to it in the Bay Area is a 49er roll, but it’s not the same. Trust. Ingredients: California roll base Fresh salmon and yellowtail Thinly sliced lemon, rind on Green onions Cracked black pepper Sesame seeds Special sauce (crack sauce) The rind is kept on the …

food of DC.

I can’t recap a trip without a food posts! Here’s a food overview for my DC trip plus links to my in depth Yelp reviews. Jinya Ramen My coworker friend and I stayed in the Logan neighborhood, and after a day of traveling, we decided on Jinya Ramen, just a few blocks from our lodging. I had the Slurp up Cilantro Ramen and we shared the cripsy chicken with garlic and pepper. Compass Coffee Before the conference started, we adventured to the U.S. Botanic Garden, then stopped for a quick bite at Compass Coffee, conveniently located near the Convention Center. The iced jasmine green tea was perfectly steeped and perfectly perfect for the hottest day of our trip. Poke Papa Fish for dinner! This place has sakura-shaped radish and unlimited fried garlic toppings. Milk Bar There’s a Milk Bar in DC! I went for my fill. National Portrait Gallery Cafe We went to the gallery to see the Obama painting plus lunch. You might choose to go for wine by the glass! A Baked Joint …

lake loop.

Another 24 Lake Tahoe vacay! My parents drove up for their annual Tahoe trip; Hubby and I met them over the weekend. Here’s a peek at our whirlwind adventure! En route we stopped at Rosemary’s Farm to Fork Cafe for avocado toast, chicken and waffles, lemonade, and tea. We also stopped for treats at Mahoroba Japanese Bakery. And when we got to Tahoe, a homecooked dinner was waiting for us! And we found snacks in the pantry. QT ensued! We woke up early to enjoy sunrise at our Tahoe home, but whoopsies, we didn’t realize the sun would rise more to the north so we couldn’t really see it break through from our vantage point. It was still pretty. We suited up and headed to breakfast before the crowds at The Old Post Office Cafe. I’ m a sucker for biscuits and gravy. And then for the first time, we looped the lake in one day. We weren’t planning to, but we just kept going. 🙂 We stopped every so often for nature views… Fancy …

monterey munchies.

Hubby’s tennis team made it to Sectional Championships this year. They represented the East Bay Area in Monterey. All of the matches were held at Chamisal Tennis and Fitness club (like last year!). We didn’t get to explore much in between matches, but when we did, it involved food. Here’s a short guide to Monterey munchies. Day 1. On Day 1, Hubby’s team had back to back matches. I’m not sure how they all survive off of protein bars and sports drinks, but here’s what we ate afterwards. Culturas Hidaldo y Oaxaca Restaurant: pinwheels, seven tacos, shrimp diablo, and cucumber lime aguas frescas. The star of the meal was the aguas frescas! Day 2. On Day 2 they had one morning match which meant we had a whole afternoon to explore. We grabbed burgers at Bagel Kitchen (they ran out of bagels by the time we showed up) and headed to Lover’s Point Park for a picnic. Bagel Kitchen had already turned off the fryers, too, so we picked up fries at the beach snack …