All posts tagged: nom nom nom

pitmaster.

Hubby and I took a BBQ/Pitmaster class with Ben of Sneaky’s BBQ. Ben started his BBQ business in 2008, and now partners with Southpaw in San Francisco to bring BBQ to all most days of the week. There’s Ben in the kitchen prepping for class. In this workshop we learned about different cuts of meat, meat smoking techniques, and the difference between North and South Carolina BBQ. We went over the step-by-step process of how to smoke, cut, store, and serve a 12-pound brisket. Caption this: Oh mah gaw, look at that brisket… We tried lean, medium, and fatty pieces of brisket with pickled cucumber and onions. We also tried Ben’s cornbread and house BBQ sauces — a mustard-based sauce (South Carolina) and a tomato-based sauce (North Carolina). My winning combination: medium fat brisket with the mustard sauce! We also had a lesson in dry rubs and each got to make and take home a self-designed rub. Rub Lesson #1: never use table salt for making rubs! Thank you, Ben, for sharing your BBQ and BBQ wisdom …

spice girl. 

Tell me what you want, what you really really want. I wanna (hah), I wanna (hah), I wanna (hah), I wanna (hah), I wanna really, really, really wanna…go to Oaktown Spice Shop and buy all the things. 😋 I’ve heard lots of great things about the Oaktown Spice Shop, and it lives up to the hype, y’all! If you weren’t a fan of cooking before, this has to be the store that turns you. There are so many kinds of cinnamons, peppers, salts, vanillas, herbs, and spice blends…so much inspiration everywhere. It’s like the Berkeley Bowl of spices. #eastbaylove The aroma is rich. As soon as you walk in you will be enrobed in a patina of fine spice dust. Mmm. You can purchase individual bags or jars of spices, or pick up a prepackaged gift box – think curry blends, BBQ rubs, or chai time mixes. Aside from the quality products, I love the displays of jars and baggies. Don’t you wish your spice cabinet could look like this? This is definitely a stop for …

sugar rush.

My friend and I went to a cupcake tasting with Angel Cakes and we had way too many cupcakes. Yes, there is such a thing! When we signed up we were thinking “oh yea, they will probably have five or six flavors they want us to try and we’ll rate our favorites.” The day before the tasting they announced that there would be twenty flavor combinations to try, plus an additional sixteen gluten free and vegan varieties. I’m assuming they didn’t expect everyone to try every flavor because twenty mini cupcakes apparently equals eight normal sized cupcakes, but um, food enthusiast here! My friend and I were determined to try all the flavors so we could accurately report on all of them! The flavors: Mexican Chocolate Chocolate cake with cinnamon and chili, chocolate buttercream Strawberry Vanilla Strawberry cake, vanilla strawberry buttercream Turkish Coffee Coffee and cardamom cake, mint buttercream Rose Cardamom Rose cardamom cake, vanilla buttercream White Chocolate Raspberry White chocolate cake, vanilla buttercream, raspberry Red Velvet Red velvet cake, cream cheese frosting Rainbow Sherbert Lime orange cake, raspberry …

minimoon adventures: the foods.

🎼 Oh minimoon, oh minimoon, your mealtimes were so tasty.🎶 A vacation would not be complete without finding some delicious destinations. Since we road tripped we did have a cooler of snacks and we also ate breakfasts at the hotel, but when we weren’t eating in, we explored the tastes of Tahoe. We found shrimp and sausage nachos at Beacon Bar & Grill, a restaurant on the beach with a lake view. These nachos were some of the best nachos I’ve ever had. Check them out  – packed with shrimp, sausage, and ooey gooey cheese! So. Much. Melty. Cheese. Ok, now I’m drooling… And even though it was a bit nippy throughout our stay, we had to stop for soft serve after a day of exploring. When it comes to sweets, I enjoy chocolate and anything cold because chocolate = life and cold = refreshing. Frozen treats for the win! Traveling to Lake Tahoe in the off season / late Spring also means restaurants like to close for renovations. Two of the places we wanted to eat at …

curfee.

Saturday morning plan: Roll out of bed and head straight to a coffee class! ☕️ I recently took Handbrew 101 at Allegro Coffee Roasters in Berkeley. Our instructor Nat was the coolest. Self-proclaimed coffee nerd, she walked us through four handbrewing methods, sharing her techniques and coffee insight along the way.  Coffee coffee coffee! It all starts with a good roast. Nat selected the Ethiopia Watona roast. She also prepared worksheets for us to take notes and start our “coffee diary” (bt-dubs: important if you want to keep tabs on how you like to make your perfect cup). I took all the notes. So much to learn!  Nat walked us through four coffee brewing contraptions plus all the accompanying equipment – scale, gooseneck kettle, coffee grinder, cupping cups…. We sampled the same beans via French press, Chemex, Hario V60, and Aeropress. I can’t say I have a favorite but they all produced different flavor profiles. What I thought was most interesting was how the flavor changed as the coffee cooled. Science!  At the end of …

cooking with daddy: episode 003

My love for food, cooking, and a good joke- I’ll blame my Dad! 😉  In this special Father’s Day post I’m cooking tilapia two ways with Daddy! Fresh is best so Daddy bought four live medium sized tilapia and had them scaled and gutted. We finished the prep by trimming off the sharp fins and cutting three shallow slits on each side of each fish. First up: fish escabeche! This recipe is good for two medium fish. Whisk together the sauce: 1 tablespoon sugar 1 tablespoon flour 2 tablespoons soy sauce 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon pepper 1/2 cup water For the veggie topping: 2 tablespoons oil 1 tablespoon garlic, minced 1 onion, sliced 1 carrot, julienned 10 ounces crushed pineapple + juice 1 red bell pepper, julienned Above sauce Heat oil. Sauté garlic for one minute. Add onion and sauté for two minutes. Add the carrot and pineapple plus juice. Simmer for 6-8 minutes, stirring halfway. Add the red bell pepper and sauce. Sauté for one minute and done! Set aside. For fish dish number two we used …

juniper berries.

I found dried juniper berries at a specialty food store and decided it would be my souvenir. They are a little tart and a little peppery, and supposedly go great with game meat and may aid in digestion. Since I’m a big tea drinker, I decided to make a simple syrup to use in lieu of honey. A quick recipe: Add crushed juniper berries to a one to one ratio of sugar and water. Bring the mixture to a boil, then let simmer for 20 minutes. Let the mixture chill in the refrigerator for four hours. Strain out the juniper berries. Enjoy! Mmm, I want to try it on pancakes and drizzle it in some Greek yogurt. I still have a lot of juniper berries left. Maybe I’ll try my hand at making a juniper berry meat dish next. Have you cooked with juniper berries before? What did you make? Share below.