In the Kitchen: International Women’s Day edition!

At a time when we have more mompreneurs, boss women, and female leaders than ever!,we are celebrating the women who broke social conventions and the blazed the way for us. 

This month is Women’s History month, a time to honor the past and present women who inspire the future. Today, we are honoring women who are influencing the kitchen. Here we spotlight a few amazing female chefs. 

1. Christina Tosi, author of “Momofuku Milk Bar” cookbook

Christina Tosi is the chef, founder and owner of Milk Bar. After working in the kitchens of fine dining restaurants, Christina founded the dessert program at Momofuku, where she later created the concept for Milk Bar, resulting in a culinary empire of her own.

Milk Bar is known for its familiar yet unexpected desserts including Crack Pie®, the Compost Cookie®, “naked” layer cakes with unfrosted sides, and Cereal Milk Soft Serve, among other playful and craveable treats.

Christina is also a judge on the hit cooking competition series Masterchef and Masterchef Junior (on FOX), and was recently the subject of an episode of Chef’s Table, the Emmy-nominated docu-series on Netflix. She’s made headlines in New York Times, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Forbes, The Today Show, among others, and she’s graced the covers of Adweek and Cherry Bombe. 

2. Belinda Leong, chef & co-owner of B Patisserie

Belinda Leong began her career as a pastry chef at Restaurant Gary Danko in San Francisco in 1999. After eight successful years, she left the restaurant for Europe to stage at some of the most esteemed restaurants and patisseries in Paris, Barcelona, and Copenhagen. After two years in Europe, Belinda returned to the Bay Area and became pastry chef at Manresa Restaurant, a two star Michelin Restaurant, in Los Gatos, California before opening b.Patisserie.

At her new bakery, which is co-owned by San Francisco Baking Institute co-founder Michel Suas, Leong offers everything from elegant layer cakes to a 10-hour apple tart to rustic butter cakes. Her signature item is the Breton pastry kougin amann—and if some New Yorkers notice a familiarity in the undulating top and flaky layers, it’s because Dominique Ansel also staged at Fouchon, though at the Paris location. 

3. Pim Techamuanvivit, chef & proprieter of Kin Khao

In Thailand, to eat is to eat rice. So, colloquially, when we say “kin khao” we mean “to eat” or “let’s eat,” – kinkhao.com

Born and raised in Bangkok, Pim took a circuitous route through the world of food–from writing, teaching, to jam making [ahem, award-winning jam making]–before finding her way back home to the food she grew up with. Longing for Thai food of richer quality and variety in the U.S. Pim is now on a mission to liberate her beloved Thai cuisine from the tyranny of peanut sauce. Kin Khao is her first (and hopefully not last) restaurant project.

4. Jessica Koslow, chef at Sqirl

Jessica Koslow started her daytime-only restaurant, Sqirl in 2011 and its been at the top of of the Best-of-LA lists ever since. She started with jams and has expanded to breakfast and lunch, including her popular rice bowls. 

5. Marianne Despres, chef & owner of El Sur 

El Sur was started in 2012, by Marianne Despres, a classically trained chef with roots in Argentina and France. Upon graduating from the Cordon Bleu in Paris, she continued her culinary training in some of the world’s best kitchens including Potel et Chabot and the French Laundry.

After running a successful catering business in the Bay Area specializing in fine French cuisine, Marianne realized she most enjoyed cooking and sharing the food she grew up with, specifically the empanadas from her childhood. Marianne developed the recipes for El Sur’s empanadas using old-fashioned techniques and the finest local ingredients.

In the Kitchen: Best Chocolate Chip Cookies EVER!

From Craftsman and Wolves

These are the best chocolate chip cookies EVER! Seriously. I know there are a ton of blog articles out there claiming to be the real deal, but none of them have ever made me feel the way about a cookie like I do when I’m waiting on the Craftsman and Wolves to get out of the oven. 

Think ooey gooey hot Valrhona chocolate wrapped in a salty-sweet cookie batter with REAL vanilla and sea salt. I mean oh.my.goodness! Take it to the next level with a dip in some almond milk and I’m done for the day!

Have I convinced you? 

Get the Recipe: Valrhona Chocolate Chip Cookies

Last-Minute V-Day Gift Ideas

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner! Giant stuffed bears line the grocery store, candied hearts are making eyes at would-be dieters, and love is simply in the air. 

Valentine’s Day is a chance to show someone special that they’re always on your mind. You could go with the expected gift: a two-layer box of mystery chocolates (not knocking it.) Or you could choose to go head over heels with these amazing, albeit non-traditional gifts for Valentine’s Day. 

1. Realistic heart jewelry 

Can an anatomic heart be more pretty in this rose gold setting? This Etsy seller even pairs it with a custom printed gift note. 

2. Cooking Class

This Valentine’s Day, make a 3-course meal with your special one. Many cooking classesfeature specialty chefs from your local area, cocktails, and guided sessions on knife skills and plating. Then enjoy a candle lit dinner. 

3. Citrus Scents

Totally a favorite on a normal day, grapefruit is known to boost confidence and … ahem performance. Wink. Wink. This grapefruit + cardamomscent will also enhance mood and decrease stress so you are kept in the moment.

4. Shadow Box

  Swoon! Fill a shadow box with tokens from your relationship: photos, tickets, notes.

5. Chocolate!!!

Yes! Chocolate! But you can take it beyond sweets, like these fancy hot chocolatecanisters sourced from South America or the Dominican Republic. 

And yes! Etta+Billie has you covered in the chocolate realm too. Every one of our main products has cocoa butter in it (aka the main ingredient in Chocolate). We also use cocoa powder in our Geranium Patchouli Soap (double the chocolate).

Want more information on this chocolatey goodness? Check back next week for our ingredient spotlight on cocoa butter. 

Recipe Roundup: Cozy Winter Dishes

I admit it: I’m pretty anti-traditional when it comes to resolutions. People generally pick something and then beat themselves up about not doing it, or just have a hard time incorporating it into their lives because it’s something really intense – like going from never exercising to setting a goal to go to the gym 5 days a week! It’s not very sustainable or easy to accomplish. 

But I also love that the New Year sparks the imagination for improving your healthy and happiness. And it’s one of my favorite times of year to try out new (somewhat healthy) recipes. 

I’m talking about the kind of meals you eat while wearing fuzzy socks. These Winter recipes are the ultimate in soul-warming comfort food. And healthy (ish) too! 

So, park yourself in front of the fireplace and chow down on these amazing cozy dishes. After all, the New Year is about improvement, not deprivation. 

Roasted Winter Vegetable Bowl

Pepper-Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

Lemon Chicken Piccata

Apple Crisp in a Mug

Etta + Billie Gift Guide: Foodies & Cocktail Lovers (For Him)

Not sure what to get your friends and family this holiday season? Everyone loves a good meal or cocktail! This list is a great place to start for an assortment of gifts for any food and drink lover in your life.

gift guide for foodies and cocktail lovers for him

For Him:

  1. Harrison Bar Tool Set | Pottery Barn | $69.00
  2. SOMA x Ritual Brew Bottle | Ritual Coffee Roasters | $45.00
  3. Braising Sauce Gift Set | William Sonoma | $39.95
  4. Tasty Ultimate: How to Cook Basically Anything | IndieBound | $29.99
  5. Citrus Gift Set | Etta + Billie | $52.00

Etta + Billie Gift Guide: Foodies & Cocktail Lovers (For Her)

Not sure what to get your friends and family this holiday season? Everyone loves a good meal or cocktail! This list is a great place to start for an assortment of gifts for any food and drink lover in your life.

gift guide for foodies and cocktail lovers for her

For Her:

  1. Marble and Brass Single Bottle Wine Cooler | Goop | $68.00
  2. Evergreen Tangerine Soap | Etta + Billie | $14.00
  3. Red Wine Pairing Collection | Recchiuti | $28.00
  4. Humphrey Slocombe Ice Cream Book | Chronicle Books | $19.95
  5. Cocktail Club | Shaker & Spoon | $50.00/month

Etta + Billie Crew: Alana

Since the Etta + Billie’s launch in 2009, the company has focused on creating purposeful, sustainable, natural body care products. Stemming from a love for brewing up apothecary products and an emphasis on aromatic and enjoyable foods, Etta + Billie’s crew helps create amazing products that blend a love of good food and the believe in the attitude-changing power of a fantastic shower!

Want to know more about the Etta + Billie team? Here is a closer look at our founder: Alana!

Etta + Billie Crew Alana

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I was obsessed with Indiana Jones and was sure that I wanted to be an archeologist so I could go on all sorts of treasure hunting adventures. Once I found out that most archeologists spend less time “adventuring” and more time writing I decided it wasn’t the job for me after all.

As a new mother, how do you balance everything without getting overwhelmed?
Great question. I have no idea! HA! The best piece of advice I have has come from an E+B retailer. Esther of Gifted in Fort Worth recommended trying to be fully present when I’m with my little guy and fully present when I’m at work. So far that has at least helped me get through each day and feel good about what I’ve accomplished.

If you had a superpower what would it be?
I would definitely fly! I think it would be so freeing to just take off whenever and soar above the clouds, cityscapes, and forests. Plus I wouldn’t have to deal with traffic!

Fried Chicken

If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
This is soooo hard because it’s a toss-up between enchiladas and fried chicken!

What’s your favorite cocktail?
My all-time favorite cocktail is an extra dirty martini.

Which E+B product do you find most essential?
The bar soap! I don’t know what I’d do without it. My favorite scent tends to change but I gravitate toward the citrus or spice notes.

Etta + Billie Citrus Poppy Soap

Go-To Tips: Fall Activities and Treats

October is a great month for getting ready for watching the leaves change, wearing your coziest and softest flannels, and snacking on many delicious treats. October is also a particularly good time to getting your home and body prepared for the upcoming winter. Here are some of our favorite seasonal activities and treats (snackable and otherwise) to enjoy and share with others.

Fall Pumpkin

Apple Picking: It wouldn’t be fall without apple picking! Whether you enjoy eating apples raw or using them to bake apple pies or make caramel apples, apple picking is a great activity for the whole family. Some apple orchards even offer tasty treats on-site to keep you fueled, like apple cider and pastries. So grab your friends, Google your nearest apple orchard, and spend some time outdoors in the crisp autumn air.

Chai Tea Room + Body Spray: Chai is one of those scents that elicits the warm, spicy, and subtly sweet smells of autumn. This chai tea spray is a perfectly complementary combination of smells to not only help your home smell like a comforting and seasonal space, but can also help freshen YOU up! Safe for linens, the body, your car, and more; feel free to be generous with this Etta + Billie product to make your home fall ready.

Cheese and Pretzel Broomsticks: These fun little snacks are great for kids and adults at parties. No cooking required; just get some thin pretzel sticks, string cheese, a knife, and some chives (optional) for garnish. Just be sure to snap a photo of your creative snack plate before they’re all gobbled up!

Boozy Apple Cider: A signature cocktail is a must at any gathering. This drink is a great option since it can be used for all autumn-themed parties and can even be made without alcohol for kids. Served in seasonally appropriate carved-out apples, sweetened with a hint of caramel, and spiked with cinnamon-flavored Fireball Whiskey; this cocktail will wow all your party guests.

Corn Maze and Pumpkin Picking: Getting lost in a corn maze can be a fun activities for kids of all ages, however, some places offer Halloween or horror-themed mazes for adults too. A perfect excuse to run around in the outdoors and burn off some energy, corn mazes can keep kids entertained for hours. Many farms also offer pumpkin picking, so you can head home ready to carve pumpkins, make pumpkin pie, or roast pumpkin seeds.

Ginger Orange Lip Balm + Salve: Nothing is worse than having dry, itchy skin once the weather starts getting colder. Help keep your skin moisturized with this revitalizing ginger orange lip balm and salve instead! The ginger is both calming and refreshing, the orange lends hints of uplifting citrus, and the nourishing oils and cocoa butter keep your skin conditioned and soothed all year round.

Etta + Billie Ginger Orange Lip Balm + Salve

In the Kitchen: Coconut

From coconut water to coconut flakes, and from coconut milk to coconut oil; the coconut is an amazingly versatile product! Used in foods, body care, hair care, and even dental care; the coconut not only smells great but includes a number of health benefits too.

coconut milk ice cream

Coconut is frequently used in a number of health and beauty products because it is known to be naturally antibacterial and antifungal. Coconut oil, in particular, can be utilized for cooking, oil pulling, and skin care. It also penetrates better than other oils, making it a powerful moisturizer for both hair and skin. Plus, you get the added benefit of smelling like a tropical paradise when you use it!

Ritual Roasters cold brew mint coffee soap bar

Here are a few of our favorite coconut-based recipes, beauty products, and more.

Coconut Gin and Tonic: Nothing says summertime like cool and refreshing cocktails enjoyed outside in the sun. The coconut water in this cocktail not only adds electrolytes and minerals to your drink, but it lends a great coconut flavor without being too overpowering. Garnish with some lime, mint, and a little umbrella and you’re all set to relax.

Ritual Roasters Cold Brew Mint Coffee Soap: The star of this show is Ritual Roaster’s cold brew coffee, but the main ingredient in this soap is a coconut oil base! The mint in this organic soap bar adds the just right amount of uplifting kick to the soothing and familiar aroma of coffee. Combined with coffee oil (for skin soothing antioxidants) and coffee grounds (to help exfoliate dead skin cells), this soap helps stimulate circulation, get you clean, and make your bathroom smell amazing!

Coconut Milk Ice Cream: Don’t have an ice cream maker? Don’t worry; you don’t need one for this recipe. This 3-ingredient vegan ice cream is not only easy to make, but it’s versatile too! You can use this coconut milk ice cream as a base to add your favorite flavors and topping to, or even make an “adult” version of it by spiking it with any booze of choice.

Coconut Oil Hair Mask: Coconut oil makes an excellent deep conditioner for your hair. This particular mask—combined with honey and heated slightly to help hair follicles open up and absorb the mixture—leaves your hair soft, shiny, and smelling like cookies! Just leave it in your hair for 30-45 minutes then shampoo, condition, and style as usual.

In the Kitchen: Negroni Week Recipe Roundup!

Negroni Week Recipe Roundup

Launched in 2013, Negroni Week was created as an effort to raise money for charities around the world. Participating bars and restaurants mix classic Negroni cocktails that result in donations to their charity of choice.

This year, Negroni Week takes place from June 4th to June 10th. Here are some Negroni cocktails for you to ask for the next time you’re out with friends (or to even try making at home)!

The Breakfast Negroni: Great for brunches or a late night pick-me-up, this drink combines orange marmalade and an Irish tea infusion for a the right amount of caffeine, sweetness, and kick.

Sparkling Negroni Punch: This sweet beverage is perfect for parties; light, bubbly, and delicious! You can serve in tall glasses with fruit for garnish or leave in a punch bowl with a ladle for guests to serve themselves.

FroGoni: This drink is half refreshing smoothie, half slushy cocktail. It’s perfect for enjoying at summertime BBQs, relaxing by the poolside, and even lazy hot nights on your balcony or porch.

Blood Orange Negroni: Blood oranges not only lend a stunning color to beverages, but a perfect blend of tartness and sweetness too. Add an entire slice to the finished cocktail for a real show-stopper!

Original Negroni: You can’t have a list for Negroni Week without including the classic Negroni. This simple and delicious cocktail includes just 3 ingredients—and an ice cold glass!