I hope you've enjoyed my monthlong collaboration with Alessi. It's been truly inspiring to get to work with some of their pieces - not to mention they've been making my place look that much lovelier too! I have a newfound appreciation for the pleasure a beautifully designed product can elicit, whether I'm using it or just admiring its craftsmanship.(more…)
May 30th, 2014 · 6 Comments · Chocolate, Recipes
March 7th, 2014 · 3 Comments · Chocolate, Reviews
I love getting things in the mail. Growing up, I was obsessed with the book/stamp/sticker/etc of the month clubs and heading out to the mailbox every day in anticipation of packages for me. Now the modern version of those clubs, subscription boxes, are calling my name. Hey, on the days I’m at home with the baby, a package on your doorstep is a big event, know what I mean?
Although there are subscription boxes for pretty much every interest and need imaginable, there weren’t any sweet-related ones that really caught my eye. However, recently I was introduced to two sweet subscription boxes that impressed me with their quality and creativity. Happy surprises at my door, indeed!
November 15th, 2013 · 13 Comments · Personal, Recipes, Tarts
I've been busy for weeks with pre-trip madness, but on Tuesday I got a sudden, sad reminder of how fragile and precious life is. Lisa, the blogger behind La Mia Cucina and one of the founders of the Daring Bakers, unexpectedly passed away, leaving behind a community of baking bloggers that she helped create.(more…)
October 29th, 2013 · 57 Comments · Chocolate, Chocolate, Cookbooks, Giveaways, Recipes, Reviews, Sweet Spots
Happy (day after) National Chocolate Day! I've been getting plenty of intriguing new chocolate to keep me occupied - perhaps it's a good thing I have a baby to prevent me from eating it all at once!
I was recently contacted by Bar & Bean, a new online shop for small-batch craft chocolate from around the world. Bar & Bean is dedicated to educating people about the qualities and nuances of craft chocolate, and they helpfully include tasting notes for the bars on their site, as well as detailed information about the chocolate makers.
I got the chance to meet Jasdeep, the creator of Bar & Bean, who is passionate about introducing people to the world of craft chocolate. He's brought an impressive roster of chocolate makers onto Bar & Bean, many of whom I haven't heard of or had the opportunity to try yet. Jas recognized that many people are either unaware of all the craft chocolate out there, or intimidated by the plethora of choices. By organizing his site with cocoa percentage and flavor profile searches, and adding tasting notes, he's hoping to demystify the process. Jas has also developed some detailed personal notes on how to taste chocolate, which he shares in his tasting classes in San Francisco; check the Bar & Bean website for details.
As a introduction to Bar & Bean, I received a baker's set consisting of five bars from Poco Dolce, Ritual, Escazu, and Dick Taylor. An early Halloween haul, indeed!(more…)
October 10th, 2013 · 5 Comments · Chocolate, Reviews, San Francisco, Sweet Spots
Things have been a little on overdrive around here. A baby that can crawl and stand, lots of recipe testing, and the holidays peeping around the corner.
The nice thing about being a new mom, of course, is that people are infinitely sympathetic and kind. “Oh, you must be so busy! It’s ok if you’re late to the party!” “Oh, don’t worry if you forgot to bring the thing! You must have so much on your mind these days!” “You must be totally sleep-deprived – don’t worry about looking tired!” (Wait, what was that again? I look like crap?)
But I’m trying, gosh darn it. I don’t want to use a baby as an excuse to let everything fall by the wayside in a flaming, forgotten ball of fail. It’s just that when you have a baby, and things don’t go well, events tend to snowball much more dramatically.