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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{Chocolate Review} Sweet Treats for Easter

April 20th, 2011 · 2 Comments · Chocolate, Reviews, San Francisco, Sweet Spots, Sweet Spots

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Warning: There is going to be a lot of chocolate on this page for the next few posts. After all, it’s nearly Easter, the holidays that generates more candy sales than any other holiday save Halloween. Have you got your jellybeans and peeps ready for your Easter baskets?

Let me suggest a few other Easter treats you might not want to miss. Michael Recchiuti, one of my very favorite chocolatiers (and a great guy, to boot), has created some limited edition sweets for the holiday. I got a chance to sample a couple of them:

recchiutiforcenoireggs

These are the kind of Easter eggs I’m looking for now (sorry, candy-colored plastic eggs from the drugstore!) Recchiuti’s Force Noir Eggs, a shell of delicately painted dark chocolate enclosing his famous vanilla-laced chocolate ganache. You know how Reese’s comes out with their peanut butter eggs at Easter? I actually prefer them to the traditional peanut butter cups because I think the shape provides a better peanut butter to chocolate ratio. It’s the same concept here with the Force Noir Eggs – the plump curve of the chocolate shells is just the right amount of backdrop for the ganache filling to unfold in your mouth.

 
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Another signature Recchiuti flavor, burnt caramel, gets the Easter treatment in the Peep & Hop Box – burnt caramel chocolates with spring-y Easter images printed on top. Although deep dark caramel is everywhere these days, Recchiuti was one of the first to really popularize the flavor. I got a box of eight of these chocolates and had to fight to hold on to even one to taste test! As delicious as ever.

These and other Easter treats can be found at Recchiuti’s website. Here’s hoping the Easter bunny brings you something sweet on Sunday!

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A Busy Weekend Including Bake Sale for Japan

April 5th, 2011 · 21 Comments · Cakes, Recipes, San Francisco, SF Events

Coconut Cupcakes with Yuzu Buttercream

I had an over-the-top, amazingly full weekend, the kind that starts on Thursday afternoon and doesn’t end until you’re catching your breath on a wickedly warm Sunday evening. Too much to share, and some bits I’m saving for a future post, but I did want to talk about a big part of my Saturday: the Bake Sale for Japan.

A series of bake sales around the Bay Area organized to raise money for Japan, this event brought together amateur and professional bakers in a happy mashup of cookies, pies, jams, and all other forms of baked goods. I stopped by one of the San Francisco bake sales, located at Bi-Rite, with my contributions (more on them below) and snapped a few pictures of the bounty on display:

 

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({SF} TCHO and Chocolate Mint Filled Cupcakes

March 16th, 2011 · 14 Comments · Cakes, Chocolate, Recipes, San Francisco, Sweet Spots, Sweet Spots

Chocolate Mint Filled Cupcakes on dessertfirstgirl.com

Pardon the slightly disjointed nature of this post; it was meant to be report on my TCHO factory experience that evolved into a St. Patrick’s Day recipe that now includes a mention of Japan.

Paperwishes

Apologies, but I couldn’t not mention that I fell in love with Japan long before I visited it for the first time, and I love it more with every subsequent visit. Their refined aesthetic that is visible is everything from their bridge design to their bento packaging; their concepts of wabi-sabi and mono no aware that appeals to my introvert’s, observer personality; the spare beauty of the countryside (captured in one of my favorite movies ever, Totoro), gives Japan a special place in my heart. It was hard to think about regular life, much less blogging, when seeing the awful images of devastation everywhere.

 

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National Food Blogger Bake Sale – SF 2011 Edition!

February 24th, 2011 · 2 Comments · Personal, San Francisco, SF Events

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It's been almost a year since the first San Francisco Food Bloggers Bake Sale, and the time has come to plan for the 2011 bake sale!

Last year, food bloggers across the country banded together to hold bake sales in their hometowns in support of Share Our Strength, a national organization dedicated to ending childhood hunger. The San Francisco bake sale was a fabulous success, raising $1650 in one day. On May 14 this year, bake sales will be again held by food bloggers everywhere, with all proceeds donated to Share Our Strength.

I'm excited to be joined this year by some other local baking bloggers, who are volunteering their time and talents to make this the most well organized bake sale ever. Irvin, Shauna, and Annelies, all participants in last year's bake sale, are now enthusiastic co-organizers. Because of that, we have set up a separate page for the San Francisco Food Blogger Bake Sale where you can sign up to participate or check for updates.

We have a new, bigger location for the bake sale this year: 18 Reasons, a local community center focused on art and food. They host a variety of classes and events celebrating food throughout the year. We're thrilled to be able to hold our bake sale in their beautiful space.

What are the San Francisco Food Blogger Bake Sale details?

When: Saturday, May 14

Where: 18 Reasons, 3674 18th Street, San Francisco, CA

How can you help?

If you live in the Bay Area and you want to participate in the bake sale, please go to the SF Bake Sale website and sign up to volunteer! It doesn't matter if you have a food blog or not, only a desire to bake! We need volunteers to help bake up goods to sell, and I would love a chance to meet all you local foodies! Bring a plate of cookies or a cake, whatever you feel like contributing!

If you aren't able to bake up something, please come by and help support us! Purchase something yummy and make a donation to Share our Strength!

If you don't live near San Francisco but would still like to participate, check Gaby's page (the national organizer) to see if there's another bake sale going on near where you live.

Here is some additional information on Share Our Strength and The Great American Bake Sale.

See my recap of last year's bake sale to see a bit of all the excitement.

I hope to see you all at the new bake sale homepage, and to see you May 14 at the bake sale!

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{SF} Farmers’ Markets and Pop up Shops: Tell Tale Missive Two

December 14th, 2010 · 11 Comments · San Francisco, Sweet Spots, Sweet Spots

Farmersmarketjam

One near-axiom of opening a business is that there will always be unforeseen obstacles. The trick is whether you have the agility to sidestep these pitfalls and maintain as much forward momentum as possible.

When I first learned about Tell Tale Preserve Company, the storefront was projected to open by the end of this year. However, delays in schedules and other issues have led to a revised date of early next spring.

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