Entries from May 28th, 2011

Going on Vacation + No Pictures Won’t Stop A Giveaway!

May 28th, 2011 · 85 Comments · Cookbooks, Giveaways

The giveaway is now closed. Thanks for visiting!

Growing pains that come from moving and expanding your blog…unavoidable, and a neverending challenge. I currently am having some issues with getting images to appear correctly on this site, which sorts of renders a food blog a little pointless, no? While I’m sure (hopeful?) the answer is just a couple code lines away, I am also leaving on a two week vacation today…to the Mediterranean and far, far, away from the Internet. So I’m afraid no new photos will arrive until U return.

So sorry, dear readers! I meant to leave you with a few interesting posts to tide you over, but it looks like I’ve been stymied by technological roadblocks.

As consolation, click over to the online version of Edible East Bay, where my review of Alice Medrich’s new cookie book Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy
has been published. I’ve met Alice a few times and she is a truly meticulous and inspired baker. Her cookbooks remain among my favorites n my bookshelf.

I’m also giving a copy of this book away to one lucky reader – just leave a comment describing your favorite texture of cookie. Do you like your chocolate chip cookies thick and chewy? Your brownies cakey? Your macarons just this side of chewy? Give me some adjectives!

I’ll let this run until I return on June 12, at which point hopefully all will have been restored to rightness here and I can post the winner, as well as some tidbits from my interview with Alice, and a recipe from her book.

Thanks for your patience, all! Have a great Memorial Day weekend. Now, I have a plane to catch!

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Another Successful SF Food Blogger Bake Sale!

May 20th, 2011 · 8 Comments · Cookies, Recipes, San Francisco, SF Events

GF brownie cupcakes - bake sale tips at dessertfirstgirl.com

Sorry all for the late update…I’m totally overwhelmed with work obligations and getting ready for my upcoming vacation – just a week and a half away! I’m trying to wrap up all the loose ends before I leave, but they stubbornly stay unraveled. Do I ever need summer break!

I do want to give a quick recap of the second annual SF Food Bloggers Bake Sale that took place last Saturday and thank everyone that turned out to help and donate. We got classic San Francisco “summer” weather that day: overcast skies and chilly breezes. Nevertheless, our volunteer bakers showed up early and eager with piles of beautiful pastries that we laid out in a truly tempting display.

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San Francisco Blogger Bake Sale This Saturday!

May 9th, 2011 · 4 Comments · Personal, San Francisco, SF Events

sfbakesalebadge3

I ‘m so excited that the bake sale I’ve been organizing with several other bloggers is this Saturday – less than a week away! Planning has been going extremely well – we now have two locations and almost 50 volunteer bakers!

If you are in San Francisco this Saturday, please come by and support us! The two locations are:

18 Reasons

593 Guerrero Street

San Francisco, CA 94110

10 AM to 6 PM

and

Kiehl’s

2360 Fillmore

San Francisco, CA 94110

12 PM to 4 PM

Please see the official blog for full directions. I will likely be going between the two locations during the day, so I hope to see you there!

If you don’t live in the Bay Area, might I direct you to the front page of our blog where you can make a direct donation? Share Our Strength is a tremendously worthy cause and I’m proud that the food blogger community has embraced it wholeheartedly. 100% of the proceeds from this bake sale will go towards funding programs across the nation to feed hungry children. If you have a moment, you can watch this official Share Our Strength video which describes the goals and various activities of the organization including the national bake sale.

Now, on to other business. I’m sure you’re all waiting to hear the winner of the Le Creuset braiser giveaway. Thanks so much for all your kind birthday wishes – I had a wonderful day and it was great to get so many comments. Now go comment on my last post on eggettes, please!;)

The winner of the Le Creuset braiser is:

creusetwinner

Reader 116, sydney85! Congratulations and thanks again to all who entered!

Some other site housekeeping updates:

- I have now updated the conversions page with information on common weight-to-volume conversions. I know there are many international readers to this blog, and I often get comments about converting my recipes to metric, or vice versa. I’m slowly working on standardizing all the recipes on this site, but in the meantime check out the page for some quick conversions you can use yourself.

- For those of you that subscribe to my rss feed, it was created from my old Typepad blog and I have created a new one for this site. Could I ask, if you are a subscriber, to subscribe to my new feed? (the subscribe button is to the right in the sidebar). I’m keeping up both feeds for now but I’d like to eventually discontinue the old one, and I don’t want to lose all you subscribers! Thanks!

Stay tuned for Thursday where I’ll give an update on what I’m making for the bake sale!

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Hong Kong Eggettes (Daan Jai) for Mother’s Day

May 8th, 2011 · 28 Comments · Pastry, Personal, Recipes, Reviews, Tools

Eggettes (Daan Jai) trio

My first trip to Hong Kong that I remember happened when I was in fourth grade. (My very first time to Hong Kong, I was only a few months old, and therefore have no memories of that trip – a shame, as my maternal grandmother passed away shortly afterwards). When I went again as a fourth-grader, my mother took my sister and I down to the twisty streets of Yau Ma Tei and stopped at a streetside cart where a elderly man was spooning batter into what looked like a handheld waffle maker held over a charcoal grill. In a few seconds he turned out a golden, bubbly sheet into a paper cone and handed it to me.

Plain Eggettes

This was my introduction to eggettes, a classic Hong Kong street food. Like most street food, they taste best seconds after they’ve been handed to you by the vendor. Crisp on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside, it’s like bubble wrap made of cake, and pulling off the individual “eggs” affords a satisfaction akin to popping the little bubbles on bubble wrap. The Chinese name, daan jai or gai daan jai, literally translates to “little eggs”, which is what the treat resembles, although somewhere along the way someone came up with the much catchier name “eggettes.” Eggettes became one of my and my sisters’ favorite things to eat in Hong Kong, and every time we’ve returned, we keep one eye open for a eggette stall every time we step outside.

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It’s My Birthday – And I’m Doing A Giveaway!

May 4th, 2011 · 200 Comments · Giveaways, Personal, Tools

The giveaway is now closed. Thanks for visiting!

shortribslecreuset

I was talking to my sister last week ago and she was reminding me to get a Mother’s Day card for our mom. I replied, “Well, we don’t need to worry about so soon, Mother’s Day is after my birthday and my birthday isn’t for a while…ohhh.”

So how did it become May already? I love having a May birthday – all that spring sunshine – and I love looking forward to it. However, the last few years I seem to get really busy in April so my birthday jumps out at me like an exam I haven’t studied for. (Another thing about a May birthday? Remember AP exams in high school? I had one on my birthday one year. That was great too).

What’s to prepare for a birthday, you say? Well, I usually try to make my own birthday cake. And post about it. Thanks to my sister’s oh-so-timely reminder, I scrambled to pull my myriad ideas together. However, when I went into the kitchen last night I was told by the Husband that it was going to be occupied for a while, so maybe I could entertain myself in the meantime? Ohhh…birthday surprise! (Yes, I am also getting slower in my old age.)

Did I mention how lucky I am to have such a great hubby? So, I guess I’m going to have to hold off on a birthday cake post until maybe next week. While I’m making myself conveniently scarce, I’m going to invite you all to help me celebrate by holding another giveaway! I told you I had a lot of stuff to get out of my place:)

Walk into any cooking store or get a cooking catalog and chances are you’ll see Le Creuset proudly displayed like works of art in a museum. I was quite excited to be offered a Le Creuset braiser in their new fennel color for review. By the way, this is my first Le Creuset piece! Woohoo! I guess that counts as a pretty awesome birthday gift!

lecreuset35braiser

This cast iron braiser is great for searing off foods quickly at high temperatures and then braising them slowly and evenly. The enamelled interior makes cleanup a breeze; we’ve used it several times already and it cleans up like new. It also works great for poaching, marinating, or browning – the wide bottom lets you fit in lots of pieces without crowding. The website also says it’s works for baking, although I haven’t figured out what to bake in it yet! Something for fall, it feels like…at least I have several months to mull it over!

The Husband broke in the braiser by making some short ribs with polenta and we were extremely happy with the results – like eating the leftovers for several days straight happy.

I’m giving away a 3.5 quart Le Creuset braiser to one Dessert First reader. Just visit the Le Creuset website and comment below on what your favorite piece is. I’ll run the contest through May 8 and announce the winner on May 9.

Sorry there’s no birthday cake recipe! But I’ll have the Pebble Beach Food and Wine full recap up in another day, with recipes from Yigit Pura and Daniel Boulud!

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Best Pebble Beach Food and Wine Ever (The Actual Report!)

May 2nd, 2011 · 6 Comments · San Francisco, SF Events

Scroll to down for my report on PBFW!

crabtamale

I’ve been to two Pebble Beach Food and Wine events, and they keep getting bigger and bigger. Why do I think this was the best one ever? Well, for a very personal reason involving this lady:

sherryyard

If you don’t recognize her immediately from her trademark pink jacket, this is the one and only Sherry Yard, Wolgang Puck’s longtime pastry chef. Her two
cookbooks are among the most treasured of my entire collection, and getting to meet her in person was a true highlight of my time at Pebble Beach. But the very best part? When I mentioned my site Dessert First, she said she’d seen it!! Can you believe that? Nothing else that happened that day could have topped that. SO happy I got to meet her.

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