Our Favorite Side Dishes for the Fourth of July!

It’s that time of year that we celebrate the U-S-of-A with a big get-together, sunshine, cold beers, and a massive BBQ feast. I’ve polled the E+B Crew and some of our Maker pals to find out what some of their favorite side dishes are to accompany their hot dogs/burgers/ribs/tofu/chicken for Fourth of July!

Grilled Corn

Grilled Corn on the Cob - the perfect, and very classic, 4th of July side dish.
image from Serious Eats

Sonia, Etta + Billie’s Production Manager, loves a classic Grilled Corn on the Cob. Check out a few techniques for the perfect butter worthy corn-on-the-cob over at Serious Eats.

Pasta Salad

Mediterranean Orzo Salad is a refreshing take on the classic pasta salad option.
image from Salt and Lavender

I love Jasmine’s (E+B’s Studio Assistant) pick for her favorite side – a pasta salad. This Mediterranean Orzo Salad is the perfect blend of crunchy, salty, savory, and 100% satisfying. Plus, you can put most of it together ahead of time and mix in the tomatoes, cucumber, and fresh herbs right before serving.

Potato Salad

Chimichurri Potato Salad
image from Salt & Lavender

I love potato salad but I’m not a mayo fan (except in deviled eggs, egg salad, and tuna – I know, that makes no sense) so I’m always drawn to tangy, herb-laced recipes like this Chimichurri Potato Salad from Salt & Lavender. Yum.

Coleslaw

Creamy tangy coleslaw is always a great BBQ side.
image from Inspired Taste

Our super talented maker pal, Angie Chua creator of Bobo Design Studio, thinks coleslaw is necessary at any grilled-meat based food celebration because it cuts the “richness and heaviness of BBQ”. Agreed, lady! Check out this recipe from Inspired Taste.

Cornbread

image from The Guardian

Sharon Zimmerman, the uber-talented metalsmith, wants a cheesy cornbread to accompany her BBQ favorites (chips and guacamole too!). I’m dying to try this recipe from Yotam Ottolenghi.

Ok, I hope this has given you a few ideas. Now I want to know, what’s your favorite 4th of July side dish?

Negroni Week: My Favorite Cocktail Recipes and an Exclusive Etta + Billie Product!

image from Imbibe

When I think of ordering a Negroni, my mind is usually telling me it’s time to sit and relax. Take a load off, savor the moment, which is hard to do with a 1-year old baby boy!
The Negroni is the perfect cocktail for these kinds of moods. They’re a bit bitter, strong, and subtly sweet. For one our favorite weeks at Etta + Billie, Negroni Week, I wanted to share some of the most interesting ways you can enjoy this iconic cocktail, where to get them, and also share some exciting E+B news!

Classic Negroni: Junior. Mission, SF

Exterior of Junior in the Mission District of San Francisco

Located just a hop and a skip from my house, Junior is my favorite local spot to sit n’ think for a while with a good, herbaceous Negroni. The interior is beautiful, the colors are contemplative, which makes for the perfect environment. Here are the ingredients for the Classic recipe:

Interior of Junior, located in the Mission District of San Francisco. A full display of the bar.
image from EaterSF

Classic Negroni
1 oz. Gin (my favorite is St. George’s!)
1 oz. Sweet Vermouth
1 oz. Campari
Tools: mixing glass, barspoon, strainer
Glass: Rocks Glass
Garnish: Orange Peel
Combine all ingredients and stir with ice. Strain into an ice-filled glass and garnish.

Kingston Negroni: Outerlands, Outer Sunset, SF

Interior of Outerlands, a restaurant in the Outer Sunset District of San Francisco.
image from EaterSF

If you take the N-line outbound to the beach, through layers of fog, you’ll find this wonderful gem of a restaurant called Outerlands. Although they’re known for many things (like their amazing grilled cheese!), the bartenders introduced me to the Kingston Negroni, and now it’s my favorite place to get it. Using Jamaican rum instead of gin, I was pleasantly surprised by the rich, spicy combination. Definitely the kind of drink you want to have with a friend, savoring all the flavors of your Negroni and sharing deep conversation. Here are the ingredients for the Kingston Negroni recipe:

A Kingston Negroni on the counter of Outerlands in midday


Kingston Negroni
1 oz. Jamaican rum (my favorite is Smith and Cross!)
1 oz. sweet vermouth
1 oz Campari
Tools: mixing glass, barspoon, strainer
Glass: rocks
Garnish: orange peel
Combine all ingredients and stir with ice. Strain into an ice-filled glass and garnish.

Mezcal Negroni: Hello Stranger, Uptown Oakland

Interior of Oakland's Hello Stranger in the Uptown District. a Large L-shaped bar with cool lighting and plenty of space to move around
image from EaterSF

Across the bridge, Hello Stranger is my favorite Uptown bar for a Negroni. On the weekends this place gets busy, but during the week you can always count on a mellow scene with great music. Honestly, what brought me to this place was word of their original creation: the Hell’s Belles Negroni. With earthy mezcal, herbaceous rosemary (they even torch the rosemary sprig!) this version surprised me in the best way. It’s an experience you must check out if you’re in Oakland. Here are the ingredients for the
Mezcal Negroni:

The Hell's Belles mezcal negroni sitting on the bar at Hello Stranger in Uptown Oakland
image from EaterSF

Hell’s Belles
1 ¼ oz. mezcal (Hello Stranger uses Wahaka espadín)
1 ½ oz. Cocchi Americano Rosa
½ oz. Campari
Tools: barspoon, strainer
Glass: Old Fashioned
Garnish: grapefruit twist, rosemary sprig
Stir all the ingredients with ice to chill, then strain into an ice-filled glass. Twist a piece of grapefruit peel over the drink, then pierce the twist with a rosemary sprig and use as garnish. (Optional: Use a kitchen torch to flame the rosemary sprig until it smokes; extinguish the flame before serving.)

New Etta + Billie product: Negroni Soap!

Etta + Billie Negroni Soap displayed on a table with other bar tools, as well as a hand holding a negroni cocktail

Just in time for Negroni Week, I made a small batch of soap inspired by one of my favorite classic cocktails, the Negroni! It’s the perfect combination of sweet and bitter and a little boozy. Visit our Instagram page for more Negroni Week updates, as well as our website to purchase your favorite new cocktail soap.

Where to Go? What to Eat? in Bend, OR. with Root Adorned

This week we asked Root Adorned owner Erin Hasler a bit about her beautiful shop and some local tips when visiting Bend.

Root Adorned owner Erin Hasler inside of her Bend, Oregon shop.

Born and raised in Bend, Erin is honored to bring her unique perspective to the community that she so dearly loves. After facing breast cancer as a young mother and wife, Erin discovered a new zest for life. She sold her hand crafted jewelry line and sought out a new career that would enable her to travel the world, support artisans and connect to community. It was from this dream that RootAdorned was born. Erin is a firm believer that life is short and you shouldn’t waste a moment of our precious time on Earth. 

Tell us a bit about your shop.

An inside look into Root Adorned, with plants hanging above and a variety of products carefully curated below.

“Root Adorned is a home goods experience that brings the very best treasures from around the world to your home. Our goal is to help you create the nest of your dreams. A home that feels like the perfect sanctuary to rest and revive. We believe that surrounding yourself with beauty has an incredible effect on the soul. Our homes should reflect the beauty that is within all of us; each as unique as the individuals we know and love.” 

Moroccan blankets hanging on a wall, plants inside of artisan ceramics, stationary cards

“We scour the globe to find one of a kind treasures for your nest. Swoon worthy vintage Moroccan rugs that are patina’d with time and love, hand selected from deep within the souks and sure to be family heirlooms for generations to come. Vintage handiras, Moroccan wedding blankets crafted with love, intention and prayers for a beautiful life. House plants so stunning they double as art.”

What do you love most about your area and how long have you been located there?

The sun setting over an unpopulated field of trees and bushes.

“I’m a second generation Bendite, which is rare these days. I’ve lived in other cities but I always came home to the high desert. I am my happiest when I’m out in in nature and we’re so blessed to have a bounty of natural beauty around us in Bend.”

Is your area known for anything in particular?

A lake where people are swimming under a partially cloudy sky, a large mountain range sits snow-capped in the background.

“Bend, Oregon is an outdoor recreation mecca. We have some of the best trail systems, high mountain lakes, skiing and snowboarding, rock climbing, white water rafting and mountain biking. It’s also become a bit of a beer haven; last time I checked we had 32 local breweries! Although ironically, I’m allergic to gluten and can’t drink beer :).”

Describe your favorite places for food/drinks in your area:

My favorite restaurants/bars are:

Breakfast: Cafe Sintra in downtown for a delicious breakfast/brunch with a Portuguese influence. D&D for the local dive bar eggs & bacon.

Lunch: Sunny Yoga Kitchen!!! They’re our neighbors, but they’re also the best lunch spot in town and the sweetest women you could ever know! 

DinnerJoolz for Lebanese with a delicious twist. Barrio for the best tacos and their Don Chipotle margarita. Spork for fantastic, globally inspired faire and the raddest ambience.

Drinks: Velvet in downtown Bend for fantastic cocktails, great ambience and it’s owned by a really awesome couple. D&D, it’s my favorite dive bar and the perfect place to have a low key drink with your friends.

Etta + Billie Father’s Day Gift Guide for the Foodie Dad

I’ve pulled together a few gift ideas for that foodie dad in your life. Perfect for your pop or your honey!

A collection of some of our favorite gifts for the cool dad in your life. Etta + Billie Beard and Face Oil and Cedarwood Soap. Pyknic Always Down for Tacos Tshirt, Mouth Foods Hot Sauce Gift Box. Gift certificate to his favorite local record store.
  1. Upgrade dad’s bar cart and help the environment at the same time with the reclaimed glass decanters from Reclamation Etchworks | $59
  2. They may not all believe it but guys need skincare too. Especially when it smells damn good and keeps their face soft and beard manageable. This will change your couch snuggling game. Etta + Billie Beard + Face Oil| $28
  3. Dad’s love tacos. It’s a fact. Pyknic Foodie T-Shirt | $29
  4. Keep his hot sauce on point with this collection of small-batch hot sauces from US-based indie food makers. Mouth Foods | $69.50
  5. Our Cedarwood soap is equal parts fresh and woody, conjuring up memories of meals around the campfire. The perfect choice when you’re trying to wean your loved one off the Irish Spring. Etta + Billie Cedarwood Soap | $14
  6. Does your dad love mixing up his favorite pancake recipe with solid tunes in the background? Not sure which record to get him? How about treating him to some quality time at your local record store? Grab a gift certificate so he can pick the perfect album to play during his next breakfast prep. SF pops hit up Tunnel Records + Beach Goods.
Etta + Billie All Natural Palm Oil Free Cedarwood Soap

Everyone Around the World Loves Donuts!

Whether you spell it DOUGHnut, DOnut, or call it something completely different (“Sfenj” in Morocco!), there’s one thing that pretty much the entire world can agree upon: we absolutely LOVE a puffed pastry.
If you’ve been following Etta + Billie for a while, you know that I don’t hide my love for these pillowy miracles (see exhibit A).

Exhibit A.

So, in celebration of National Donut Day (mark your calendars, this amazing holiday always falls on the first Friday in June), I thought it might be fun to share with you all some “donuts” from around the world!

MoroccoSfenj. These little guys are fried and sprinkled with sugar, or soaked in honey. The perfect Moroccan pastry for morning tea!

Morocco's version of the donut: Sfenji.

South AfricaKoeksister. These are made by frying the dough and then immediately dunking them in ice cold sugar syrup. Yum!

South Africa's version of a donut: Koeksisters.

IndiaVada. These can be made from dal, lentil or potato flours rather than wheat flour. Vada is always served with chutney. In North India: sweet & sour chutney. In South India: coconut chutney.

India's version of a donut: Vada. Vada can be made from dal, lentil, or potato flours rather than wheat flour. In Southern India it's served with coconut chutney. In Northern India, it's served with sweet & sour chutney.

Iran: Zulbiā (aka Jalebi) – This is a Persian fritter that’s made in pretzel or circular shapes. These are made with Saffron syrup and Rose Water. Yes, please!

Iran's take on the donut: Zulbia, also known as Jalebi. A fritter made in pretzel or circular shapes.

Czech Republic: Koblihy. Koblihy are usually filled with jelly or a vanilla custard. They’re so pillowy!

The Czech Republic's version of a donut. These are usually filled with a jelly or vanilla custard.

Latin America: Churro. No list could be complete without one of my favorite treats, the Churro. Although its origins are in Spain and Portugal, this tasty treat found its way through most of Latin America. Dip them in chocolate, stuff them with cream, or coat them in cinnamon sugar!

Latin America's favorite fried treat: the churro. Churros are coated in cinnamon sugar, dipped in chocolate, and sometimes stuffed with vanilla cream.

San Francisco: Dynamo Donuts. To bring it all back home, I just had to add a local favorite, and a staple pastry in the Etta + Billie studio: Dynamo Donuts. My favorite one is the Coconut Lime-filled donut!

San Francisco based donut shop Dynamo Donuts. Artisan donuts made in the Mission District of San Francisco.

Obviously there’re so many other types of donuts around the world, but hopefully you enjoyed how some different cultures love their fried doughy goodness. Have you tried any of the pastries we mentioned? Is there a different style of fried dough that you absolutely love? Let me know, I would love to hear about it!

Etta + Billie Gift Guide: Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is in ten days! May 12th celebrates motherhood and the influence of mothers in our lives. 

The old school Mother’s Day celebrated the Greek mother goddess Cybele. The modern-day Mother’s Day in the United States was started by peace activist Anna Jarvis who thought a day should be set aside for all mothers because she believed a mother is “the person who has done more for you than anyone in the world”.

So what should you get for the person who has done more for you than anyone? 

Here are some ideas:

Lavender Gift Set
A floral bouquet of lavender to soothe and calm after a doozy of a day. Great gift for mothers of young children. 

Local Food Tour
Find a local food tour, tasting, or class in your area for a fun outing with your foodie mom.

Travel Kit
A luscious gift for those roaming mamas! Choose your lip balm, body spray, and skin balm.

Organic Facial
Sign mom up for an organic facial or massage. Organic facials are gentler on your skin while providing a deep clean.

Grapefruit CardaMOM Body Wash
Turn her shower into a spa for mom with this bright infusion of pink grapefruit with a touch of cardamom. This body wash is sure to waken and revive.

Local Farm Box
Splurge on a CSA of organic, clean, and seasonal produce straight from the farm for mom this Mother’s Day.


Earth Day – Zero Waste Kitchen Guide

zero waste kitchen guide

We love Earth Day! If there is one day a year to stop. think. and strategize. about improving your impact on our planet, this day is it. Earth Day is about joining the environmental movement to protect endangered species, end plastic pollution, and solve climate change. 

With that in mind, we put together some tips and tricks for a Zero-Waste Kitchen Routine. 

1. Shop with reusable bags 

If you are like me, you have an entire pile of old shirts pulled out of the closet for Spring Cleaning this month. Here is a super cute No Sew T-Shirt Tote Bag that you can create in lieu of plastic or paper grocery bags. Or if you have some old pillowcases, give this DIY bag a try.

No time for DIY? No problem! Aplat has some amazing produce bag and tote bag options. Aplat creates modern zero waste design products for sharing and transporting food. Baggu bags are also super stylish and offer their original and best-selling item: the ripstop nylon shopping bag. The standard Baggu can hold 2-3 times more than the traditional grocery bag. 

zero waste reusable bags

2. Store food in reusable containers 

This is your Pinterest for cabinets moment! Store your dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, nuts, popcorn, etc.) in glass jars and containersBuy in bulk so you have less containers to throw away and can simply refill as needed. Works in the fridge too!

zero waste food containers

3. Make Your Own Cleaning Products

This is the time to shine for baking soda and vinegar! Find recipes online for everything, including this Dishwasher Detergent and Disinfectant Wipes.

Try Etta + Billie’s Citrus All-Purpose Natural Cleaner

zero waste natural cleaner

4. Don’t buy disposables

This might be a given, but don’t buy disposable plates, silverware, plastic wraps, foil, zip bags, and whatever else that will just be thrown away. Use glass containers to store and transport. 

Beeswax Wraps

Reusable Snack Bags

Silicon Storage Wrap

5. Compost 

Composting doesn’t have to be hard. Start out with a 5 gallon bucket and build from there. Or, if you are ready to go a bit larger, here is a 10 Minute DIY Pallet Compost that you do not have to nail and hammer. 

Composting reduces household wastes by converting organic material (spoiled food, leftover food, egg shells, coffee grounds, etc.) into fertilizer for gardening. Layer dry ingredients from the yard (grass clippings, leaves) with kitchen waste in a bin and it breaks down surprisingly fast. Here’s a video.

zero waste compost pile

6. Recycle

And finally, if you do have any containers left over, recycle! Keep in mind that glass and metal can be recycled over and over – so if you have a choice, use those. Plastic always ends up in a landfill eventually. 

Etta + Billie Crew: Josiah

Etta + Billie crew members are the heart of our company. Since the company’s launch in 2009, our employees have helped us along the road of creating purposeful, sustainable, natural body care products and without them, we wouldn’t be the company we are today!

Want to know more about the Etta + Billie team? Here is a closer look at one of our crew members: Josiah!

How long have you been at Etta + Billie?

Officially, for a year! Unofficially, 4 years. Before my position as Studio Manager, I helped Alana with photoshoots, videos, craft shows, and production.

What five things couldn’t you live without? 

My library card, peanuts, headphones, my record collection, and my guitar

What’s one nice thing you could do for somebody in your life today? 

Buy a friend a cup of coffee

My favorite quote is: 

“Poetry, like bread, is for everyone.” Roque Dalton

Etta + Billie Evergreen Tangerine Beard + Face Oil ie the best smelling facial oil for guys (and gals).

My favorite scent is: 

Evergreen Tangerine

What is your favorite Etta + Billie product? 

Evergreen Beard+Face oil