The Story Behind the Scent: Etta + Billie’s Grapefruit Cardamom

In our new series “Story Behind the Scent”, Alana Rivera, owner and soap maven of Etta+ Billie, will take us through a history behind our scented concoctions. Here, she will recall the foods, memories, and people that have helped bring them to life. This week, we are talking all things Grapefruit Cardamom!

Etta + Billie Grapefruit Cardamom Body Scrub and Body Lotion

Tell us about the inspiration behind this scent: 

Grapefruit Cardamom was a melding of two flavors that I loved into something absolutely blissful.

My love of grapefruit began as a child. Every summer, I spent time at my Grandma Etta’s in Southern California. She would often serve me grapefruit in the morning and I came to love the way she would cut each section for me so I could scoop the tangy flesh into a bowl. Then, I would squeeze any remaining pulp to create “Grapefruit soup”. I was so hooked on this method that I would often refuse to eat grapefruit cut any other way. 

My obsession with cardamom didn’t start until I was much older. My first cardamom experience was in Indian cooking and then in a variety of pastries. I loved how the flavor is both herbaceous and spicy. With fresh green notes as well as a warm coziness. Once I discovered it, I couldn’t get enough.

Etta + Billie Grapefruit Cardamom Hand + Body Wash

Using my cooking experience and food loves as inspiration, I combined these two scents together. They work in harmony with each other to create something sweet, tart, spicy, and fresh. This combination is one of my very first and still one of my favorites today.

What products does Etta+Billie carry with this scent?

Our delicious Grapefruit Cardamom scent is available in Body Lotion, Body Scrub, Room + Body Spray, Hand + Body Wash, and our Skin Balm.

Grapefruit Cardamom Skin Balm

Were there any recipes/goodies that contributed to the creation of this scent?

Nothing specific, but I do love seeing this combination in recipes. I’ve seen grapefruit cardamom tarts, scones, and all manner of sweet things. I’m always drawn to this combination in cocktail form. 

You can find grapefruit cardamom cocktail recipes all over the internet and here are a few of my favs:

Grapefruit Cardamom Gin Fizz refreshing gin cocktail!

Grapefruit Cardamom Gin Fizz

The Remedy: a delicious whiskey based recipe.

Etta + Billie's Grapefruit Cardamom Rose Cooler Recipe

Etta + Billie’s Grapefruit Cardamom Rose Cooler Recipe on You Tube

Where to Go? What to Eat? in San Francisco, CA with Perch

This week we asked Perch owner Zoel Fages a bit about his shop and some local tips when visiting San Francisco’s Glen Park neighborhood.

Perch owner Zoel Fages.

Tell us a bit about your shop:

Glen Park gift shop Perch's window display.

“Perch is a collection of everything I love: new, vintage and international. I had always thought in the back of my mind that I would love to open a shop.

After 20 years in my career at Gap, I was bored, and at the same time a shop in our new neighborhood was moving out and the landlord was looking for a new tenant. The stars aligned and we signed a lease just days before the market crashed.”

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

Gorgeous bag options at Perch SF.

“Perch has been in Glen Park for over 11 years. It is the only neighborhood I would consider having a shop. We are a small neighborhood that feels more like a village than neighborhood. I wanted a shop located in a place where I could get to know the community and be a part of it. If Glen Park had a pharmacy, there would be no reason to leave. It has everything you need.”

Is your area known for anything in particular?

Apothecary shelf at Glen Park gift shop Perch.

“Glen Park is primarily known for Glen Park Canyon and the Bart stop. It is a part of San Francisco that most people do not even know exists. I certainly did not until I moved to the nearby neighborhood of Sunnyside.”

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

Holding a warm cup of coffee.

Almost any type of food can be found in Glen Park. The highlights are:

Gialina:  the best thin crust pizza in town, seriously! They also have great salads, pasta, and meat dishes. A must if visiting Glen Park. 

Higher Ground:  A crepe place that has been in the ‘hood over 30 years. The owner also owns a sweet Italian spot, Manzoni. He works both places every day – I don’t know how he does it.

Le P’tit Laurant: A small corner French bistro with classic French cuisine.

La Cornetta: My favorite taqueria! They offer the staples, but always delicious.

A Few Good Fried Chicken Recipes for National Fried Chicken Day

We’ve pulled together a few different recipes for you to test out just in time for National Fried Chicken Day.

Nashville Hot Chicken

Classic Fried Chicken

No fried chicken taste test would be complete without a traditional option like this one from The Spruce Eats.

Extra Crispy Fried Chicken

Apparently there is one ingredient that you can add to make your fried chicken super crispy. Read more about it and other fried chicken tips at The Stay at Home Chef.

Fried chicken with a touch of spice from Front Porch.

Nashville Hot Chicken

This addictive spicy chicken is a must if you ever make a trip to Nashville. But if you don’t have plans to head to Nashville anytime soon, you can make your own with this recipe from Saveur.

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!