All posts tagged: yelp elite

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 …

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 …

meet the maker.

For the last East Bay Yelp Elite event of 2019, we visited Melissa Joy Manning‘s jewelry shop and studio in Berkeley. In true Yelp Elite style there were of course treats (both to enjoy at the event and to take home!) and merriment! I invited my friend Connie to be my +1. It was her first Yelp Elite event! The evening started with jewelry perusing and shopping. The staff knows everything about everything and they were so happy to be able to share the Melissa Joy Manning process and code of ethics with us. There were many everyday pieces as well as more extravagant pieces, each carefully made in the back studio. I loved the look of the shop, too. There were vintage jewelry cases and inspirational design elements like ceramic hangings and geode wall art throughout the shop. Then, a behind the scenes look in the studio where their team of jewelry makers create each piece of jewelry sold in shop and online. Our studio guide Lisa shared the brand history, showed us around …

hooptopia.

It’s neat to be Elite! I scored free passes to the Hooptopia Warriors experience via my Yelp Elite status so I told Hubby it was part of his birthday celebrations. 🙂 You enter on the second floor overlooking the ball pit. First up, you get measured up. Wing span, standing vertical leap, and agility are all assessed. Then you get ‘the call’ and get picked for the draft, and you’re off on your private jet. Clearly this is a place for those who love to take photos. Swings over the Chase Center arena were my favorite! Locker room hangs and photos with your personalized jersey up next. Hubby picked out ‘Real MVP’ for me. Look Ma, I can spin a ball on my finger! Then down the slide to the lower level and straight into a ball pit. (Ball pit photo fail – that’s my arm in the photo! And some random kid!) Oh, and there is candy every so often up for grabs. We suited up for slam dunks! The bobblehead room has a …