All posts filed under: Taste.

tasting, tasting. 1, 2, 3.

Hello Yelp Elite badge 2021! We’re already more than a third of the way through 2021 so I best recap some tasty Yelp events! So far I’ve been able to participate in a virtual beer and snack pairing, yogurt tasting, coffee run, and sushi take out! All the Yelp Elite events, though still virtual, are still deliciously fun! Here’s what I’ve been snacking on… Anaviv’s Table and East Brother Beer One of the first Yelp Elite events of the year was a virtual beer and food pairing with Anaviv’s Table and East Brother Beer, both located in Richmond, California. Anaviv’s Table, pre-pandemic, was a communal dining experience (they sat 12 max per seating) that focused on featuring local food from nearby farms. Today, they sell goods market style and a select nosh offering. East Brother Beer is a local favorite brewery (I enjoy their house stout!) among many of my friends, and it’s a family friendly spot, too. This was the first event with a delivery option for the tasting menu and if I have …

cookies at the claremont.

To celebrate being fully vaccinated I met up with my basically-family friends for an outdoor cookie decorating event at the Claremont hosted by East Bay Provisions. The Claremont had converted part of their parking lot into an outdoor restaurant and event space. It was the perfect weekend to be outside! Each ticket came with a dozen sugar cookies (we received kitten, bear, turtle, and butterfly shapes), four icing colors, assorted sprinkles, popsicle sticks, and hand wipes. Our host came around and provided a quick demo. I was hoping for more direction, but it really was meant for open play. Since I do much better looking at samples, I watched my niece decorate her cookies first and was inspired by her creations. My favorite technique was piping out splotches of color and then taking one of the popsicle sticks to drag the color across the cookie. It made it look like watercolor and blended the colors (almost) seamlessly. I really liked how my bears turned out! In the end, they all tasted the same so we …

one of everything.

The traveling baking company Blooms End popped up at Morningtide. This was my first time trying this local bakery and it did not disappoint. Per usual, all great pop-ups at Morningtide draw a crowd. I made sure I was in line at the start of the pop-up (it’s even better if you come earlier). Also per usual, I shopped Morningtide after I got my pop-up goods. 🙂 Mary Denham, the baker and visionary behind Blooms End, put together the most delicious array of savory and sweet creations for the day’s festivities. The menu was released the day before and I knew when I got to the front of the line I would order one of (almost) everything. I ended up getting one of every croissant (minus one because she sold out of the chocolate croissants by the time I got to the front of the line), plus cookies (chocolate chip and white chocolate-marcona almond). Check out this croissant line up: croissant (plain) chocolate coffee-cardamom monkey meyer lemon-breakfast tea twist blackened date-graham-chocolate quince & manchego roasted …

smorgastarta.

Throwing back to a savory birthday cake I made for Hubby’s birthday last year because it seems like a great Springtime snack! I’m always looking for savory alternatives for cake. We eat normal cake, but we love savory foods more. Plus, it’s always fun to try something new in the kitchen. One year for Hubby’s birthday I made “ice cream sundaes” but out of mashed potatoes and sausages. This last birthday: smorgastarta, Swedish sandwich cake! Instead of making one normal sized cake I made a few mini ones. I cut out bread circles (and made cinnamon sugar toast with the excess!), then made fillings. Many recipes call for lox which would have been so delicious but I was pregnant at the time, so I found inspo for vegetarian fillings. I created three: Roasted beetroot + dill + honey + salt and pepper + cream cheese Roasted red peppers + Colby Jack cheese + salt and pepper + cream cheese Avocado + lemon + salt and pepper + cream cheese Making mini cakes allowed me to …

holiday macarons.

Raising Bebe is no walk in the park, but he slept long enough for me to enjoy a little macaron decorating session with my Yelp Elite Squad and Macarons by Natalie. Remember when I decorated boba and dumpling macarons? This time we enjoyed decorating a few holiday designs in Hello Kitty, Baymax, and corgi shapes. Like last time, we picked up our kits from Macarons by Natalie headquarters. Each kit came with macaron shells for a dozen cookies, three types of filling (red velvet, peppermint mocha, and snickerdoodle), assorted icing (red, yellow, green, and white), sprinkles, and a food marker. For the event, we donned our best ugly holiday sweaters and holiday hats, and Natalie demoed a few macaron decor ideas for each character. I tried to create Hello Kitty Santa… Tahdah! All the macarons! Almost too cute to eat! This was such a fun event, and technically my first holiday party of the season! In my world it barely feels like December, so this was a nice reminder that Christmas is coming! 🙂 Are …

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 …