All posts tagged: oakland

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 …

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 …

the ladies of blue door. 

Blue Doors Beads features a jewelry artist each month (Remember when I debuted my Elmwood line?). Last month, the Blue Door Beads staff shared their creations with us and everything was gorgeous! These Ladies are so creative and skilled in their craft. Briana I had purchased one of Briana’s pieces before as a gift so I was excited to see what new creations she had for tonight’s event. I fell in major like with this piece. I was sold when I found out she created the metal piece by hand. Dara / D. Lea Studio Dara is an artist extraordinaire. She teaches a number of classes at BDB and she’s got mad photography skills. I’ve been eyeing her electroforming class on the BDB class calendar. I can’t wait to take it! Lydia / The Patina Project Lydia is one of the friendliest faces you’ll ever meet! Her pieces are both light and airy, and bold and show-stopping. Rumor on the street is she’s opening up an online shop soon. Sydney / Tropikali I just met Sydney on the …

fish pickles.

My last wish list skill for my summer learning was fish pickling and curing. I know what you are thinking — “That’s totally awesome!!” (See macrame and indigo dyeing, too!) I had been wanting to take a class at Preserved for a while now and as I perused the class list, pickling and curing fish, stood out to me as a unique craft. Even though I know people have been doing this for centuries this is a completely new to me endeavor. And this time I brought my friend Lennie along for the fishy ride! Preserved houses all the supplies for all  your preserving needs. I got to class early and spent the entire waiting time just staring at the shelves, imagining all the things I could make. Our instructor Danny is a fish curing expert, and class was like a live cooking show, complete with food stand ins. Danny reviewed a number of curing and pickling techniques, and we got to feel, smell, and taste the various methods. My favorite technique might have to be the water-vinegar …

glenview gallivants. 

The East Bay is the best place for exploring neighborhoods and discovering all the flowers. There’s always something in bloom! The Hubs and I have put “walk new neighborhoods” on our list of fun things to do together. 🤗 First up: the Glenview neighborhood of Oakland. See Glenview through my eyes…   Where should we explore next? Share your neighborhood stroll ideas below! 

a lesson in pie. 

As part of wedweek festivities my sister and God sister planned a pie night at Pietisserie in Oakland complete with the cutest apron party favors! Welcome to Pietisserie! The ambiance – clean kitchen, warm & cozy, filled with inspirational baking tools. My God sister loves to get pies for all of her occasions from Pietisserie. Also, she knows everyone this side of the lake. Not only did she special request this class for me, but she special requested for some food to be delivered from Portal next door. All the ingredients were set up for us and Owner/Instructor/Pie Lady Extraordinaire Jaynelle walked us through each step in the pie making process. The evening’s pie menu: Triple Berry – blueberry, strawberry, and blackberry Blueberry & Pear, and Pecan We learned how to make all the fillings, and Jaynelle divulged all crust making secrets and demoed how to create fancy lattice work. Fresh out of the oven! They turned out so pretty! All that was left to do was to devour them. Yay for pie and pretty aprons! A huge thank …

ice cream dates. 

Ice cream date on a chilly afternoon in the Bay Area? Yea, why not! Some lovelies and I ventured to Little Giant in Oakland for an afternoon of sweets. You can try a few flavors before committing, but I always end up with either coffee or dark chocolate (or both!). I had, you guessed it, the coffee ice cream…with chocolate sauce! It sure was photogenic. This lovely had her cranberry sorbet in a cone. Oh, and robots. Fill in the blank. My favorite ice cream shop in the whole wide world is ______.