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

Where to Go? What to Eat? Manhattan, NY

Manhattan is known for many things—theater, shopping, dining, sightseeing, you name it—making it a very popular spot for both visitors and residents. With everything New York City has to offer, it can be overwhelming knowing where to start. Where should you go? What should you see? Where should you eat?

Sylvia Parker, owner of Magpie and a native New Yorker, has you covered! Sylvia’s shop—located in the Upper West Side of Manhattan—offers unique, beautiful, and practical gifts that are frequently handmade, organic, and locally made and designed. “We’ve been on the Upper West Side of Manhattan for six years,” says Sylvia. “We love our neighborhood for its mix of people, our proximity to two wonderful parks (Central and Riverside), the cultural richness, and old-time architecture.”

river and manhattan skyline

Where to Go?

American Museum of Natural History

Just a few blocks away from Magpie lies the American Museum of Natural History, a city landmark with world-famous exhibits. “I’ve always loved the old-fashioned dioramas and the giant blue whale suspended from the ceiling there,” Sylvia remarks. One of the largest museums in the world, the AMNH offers spectacles and exhibits for children and adults alike.

Central Park Rambles

A wooded area within Central Park, the Rambles are a restored area of the park that have been fitted with nature trails, gardens, and bird feeders. Located between 73rd and 78th streets, the Rambles offer a beautiful outdoor space full of both native and exotic plant species as well as views of a pond where visitors take out rowboats when the weather is nice.

Shakespeare Garden

Also in Central Park is the Shakespeare Garden, located near the Delacorte Theatre, the site of the annual “Shakespeare in the Park” series held in the summer. A less-frequented part of the park, this serene and picturesque part of the park is perfect for a relaxing stroll on its winding paths. Full of seasonal flowers, the garden is particularly lush in the spring and is a popular spot for outdoor weddings.

Museum Mile

A fifteen-minute walk across the park takes you to Museum Mile, which features one block after another of incredible museums including the Guggenheim, Cooper Hewitt, Frick, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, “which I consider one of the best (if not the best) museums in the world,” Sylvia adds.

Riverside Park

With four miles of park, from 72nd to 158th street along the Hudson River, Riverside Park is frequently considered one of the best waterfront parks in Manhattan. With sunset views, a bike path, outdoor cafes in the summer, a skate park, and other sports courts and fields; this park is a must-see when visiting the city.

food and drinks

What to Eat?

Zabars and Fairway Market

Two longtime favorites, Zabar’s and Fairway Market are both famed for their selections of cheese, coffee, and foodstuffs from around the world.

Orwashers, Maison Kayser, and By the Way

“Orwashers and Maison Kayser have particularly delicious bread and pastries,” notes Sylvia. “I also like a bakery called By the Way that sells homey gluten-free and dairy-free cakes and cookies.”

Murray’s Sturgeon

Murray’s Sturgeon, a gourmet deli, sells everything from dried fruit to smoked fish and has “the sweetest counter service ever.”

Amelie Wine Bar

A French bistro that was recently cited by Michelin, Amelie has phenomenal brunch and dinner menus as well as a wine list that is updated daily.

Mermaid Inn and Pizzeria Sirenetta

Mermaid Inn and Pizzeria Sirenetta are sister restaurants that both have terrific happy hour food. Pizzeria Sirenetta serves Neapolitan pizzas and rustic Italian fare while the Mermaid Inn is known for their seafood.

Jin Ramen

Another good spot for happy hour food, Jin Ramen offers delicious Japanese food and—of course—multiple kinds of ramen to choose from.

Shake Shack

The second Shake Shack to have ever opened its doors, this Upper West Side staple is popular among tourists, residents, and folks who work in the neighborhood. “There is always a long line outside for the burgers at Shake Shack.”

Amorino and Van Leeuwen

It’s also a good neighborhood for ice cream lovers,” Sylvia notes. “Amorino sells Italian-based gelato, while Van Leeuwen is local and features vegan ice cream in its shop.”

In the Kitchen: Hot Toddy Recipes

Nothing says “warm” and “cosy” like a hot toddy on a cold day. These cocktails—typically enjoyed when the weather begins to get colder and wetter—are even rumored to help cure the common cold! A simple blend of liquor, hot water, honey, and occasionally herbs and spices; this classic drink is not only a winter staple but can be dressed up to impress even the pickiest of cocktail connoisseurs.

classic hot toddyPhoto by Meg Baggott, Styling by Dylan Garret

The Classic Hot Toddy Recipe: Use this recipe to make a perfectly simple and classic hot toddy, or use it as a base to work with to add your favorite tea, spices, or other ingredients.

Apple Cinnamon Hot Toddy: Inspired by the taste of delicious apple pie, this drink will have you feeling like you just drank a spiked version of your favorite winter dessert (just without the crust)!

Hot Toddy Caramel Popcorn: Looking for that hot toddy flavor, but not in the mood for a drink? This popcorn recipe combines classic caramel popcorn with hot toddy flavors for a creative take on both!

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

Fresh This Month: Evergreen Tangerine

The smell of pine and citrus instantly conjures memories of winter holidays, warm meals, and cozy nights. Etta + Billie’s latest line of soaps, room + body spray, and hand + body wash is no exception. Inspired by snowy walks through evergreen forests and tangy season citrus, these products are sure to be showstoppers in your home or make great holidays gifts for friends, family, coworkers, neighbors, and anyone who like great scents!

etta + billie evergreen tangerine soap

Evergreen Tangerine Soap
Evergreen Tangerine Sea Salt Body Scrub
Evergreen Tangerine Hand + Body Wash
Evergreen Tangerine Room + Body Spray

tangerine gin cocktail© Wendell T. Webber

Can’t get enough of the delectable combination? This cocktail can help bring your favorite evergreen tangerine scents and flavors to any dinner party or happy hour. Simple and delicious!

Ingredients:
10 ounces gin
8 ounces tangerine juice (fresh squeezed is best)
4 ounces simple syrup
8 ounces chilled club soda
Ice

Directions:

  1. Combine gin, tangerine juice, and simple syrup in a large sealable container and refrigerate until chilled (at least 1 hour).
  2. Cover the container, shake, and pour into an ice-filled pitcher.
  3. Strain into individual ice-filled glasses and stir in club soda.

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