Makers Gonna Make: Ginger Vanilla Almond Butter

almond-butter-still-blog

Almonds and almond butter have been all the rage for the last few years and I’m guilty of jumping on the bandwagon. I’ve spent tons of $$ on almond butter. But it was so damn good, especially in smoothies, and on bread and with bananas…clearly the list could go on. When I finally got my hands on a Blendtec blender, I started whipping up my own because it’s ridiculously easy and I can control exactly what goes into it (seriously love that blender more than almost anything, except my soda stream…). This recipe came about after trying some of the amazingly inventive butters from Big Spoon Roasters (who we also happen to do a limited edition soap colab with – sadly sold out but stay tuned). The flavors of this butter are great for fall (or anytime, really). Slater over toast, add to a smoothie or just eat straight from the jar. Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • A cup of almonds
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • ¼ tsp vanilla
  • A pinch of salt
  • 2-3 pieces of candied ginger
  • A pinch of cinnamon
  • 1 or 2 tsp of honey

Tools
Blender, 8 oz jar, roasting pan, measuring spoon, measuring cup, spatula

Let’s do it!

  1. Roast the almonds in the oven at 350° for 10-15 minutes, let them cool for 10 minutes before using them
  2. Put 2-3 pieces of candied ginger into blender, pulse until pieces are broken down almost to a paste (unless you want chunks them pulse until they’re at the desired size)
  3. Add the room temp roasted almonds
  4. Add a couple shakes of cinnamon, coconut oil and vanilla.
  5. Add a pinch of salt
  6. Add 1 or 2 tsp of honey
  7. Blend all the ingredients together until smooth
  8. Store the butter in a tightly sealed container in the fridge or dig in immediately!

Tips:

  • Add a 1 tsp to 1 tbsp of sunflower oil to obtain a more creamy consistency
  • Replace cardamom for the cinnamon, yum.
  • You can store your almond butter in the refrigerator for up to 10 days. Remove from the fridge 15-20 minutes before you want to dig in for the best texture!

Travel: Where to go and what to eat in Lisbon

 

Photo Jul 10, 7 30 59 AMI can’t believe that it’s been over a month since I’ve been back from Portugal. It was truly a magical trip. The vibe in Lisbon and beyond was so relaxed, effortless and comfortable. I’ve never felt as at home, so instantly, in any place I’ve been. I love the aging buildings covered in patterned tiles, the steep cobblestone streets, the kiosks in small parks and the friendly atmosphere. People were engaging with each other at parks, restaurants, on the bus and in cafes. NO ONE was glued to their phone, except tourists. It was so nice to be surrounded by people connecting with each other! If you are thinking about visiting, do it. I’ve collected a few of my favorite places around the incredible city of Lisbon below (organized roughly by neighborhood).

Alfama

Castle St Jorge – unbelievable view from the top of the hill, plenty of tourists but big enough that you don’t feel crowded. Bonus, one of the two Wine with a View carts is stationed here. A truly brilliant idea and with some very delicious inexpensive wines. Who doesn’t want wine while they peruse a centuries old castle and the stunning clay tile rooftops of Lisbon?Photo Jul 02, 6 53 13 AM small

Fiera De Ladra – A great flea market with a variety of old quirky vintage items as well as chintzy cheap bric a brac. Happens every Tuesday and Saturday from 8 am – 6 pm.

Tram 28 – everyone recommends it for a reason. It takes you through most of the main points of interest in Lisbon.

Santa Catarina/Bairro Alto
Pharmacia – A restaurant with outdoor bar attached to the pharmacy museum. Great view, cool cocktails.

Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara – Terraced park with another amazing view of Lisbon. You can see the Tagus, Alfama and Castle St Jorge. There are two kiosks for refreshments along with an outdoor bazaar.Photo Jun 30, 6 15 17 PM

Park – its a bar on the top of a parking garage. Very little signage so just make your way to the very top. Gorgeous view of the city, Tagus river and the 25 de Abril bridge.

Mercado da Ribeira – went here at least 4 times during my stay. So much food to choose from in a small space. I had squid ink risotto, octopus salad, croquettes, and the list goes on.

Paletaria – fresh fruit popsicles, very delicious and Instagram worthy (see photo above).

Cafe Carpe Diem – Part art gallery/installation, part cafe. Wander through to check out the current exhibitions and then grab some refreshment and sit outside in the old garden. A complete gem, not to be missed.

A Taberna da Rua das Flores – delicious. Modern take on some Portuguese classics without being pretentious at all. Menu changes daily. Lots of small plates for sharing. It was a long wait, go earlyish and prepare to drink wine on the sidewalk while you wait (we waited almost 2 hours, totally worth it).

Manteigaria – This place churns out a ridiculous quantity of Pasteis de Nata (the pastry of Portugal with egg custard and crispy shell). I ate at least one of these every day from a variety of places in Lisbon and these were my favorites. Slightly warm, creamy, crispy, sweet; the perfect companion for a rich espresso. I took a pack of six to go on our last day in Lisbon and ate almost all of them before we got back to San Francisco.

São Bento
Nannarella – some of the best gellato I’ve ever had. I went twice in the span of three days and would have gone again if I wasn’t trying to hit up other food spots. A MUST visit.

Photo Jun 29, 1 40 18 PMCampo de Ourique
Jardim da Estrela – beautiful park with a couple of ponds, ducks, peacocks, occasional open air craft market, a playground, a cafe and a kiosk selling anything from Tosta Mistas (toasted cheese and ham sandwich) to Gin and Tonics.

Mercado de Campo de Ourique – more subdued food hall with a good selection of fresh produce, meat, fish and of course loads of food/wine options.

A Tentadora – great old school cafe with some solid pastries and a good vibe (plus they have lots of outdoor seating on the sidewalk)Photo Jul 02, 3 30 47 PM smaller

Príncipe Real
Frangasqueira Nacional – classic, basic and ridiculously tasty Portuguese BBQ. Go early because they tend to sell out. Take out only.

Jardim do Príncipe Real – a quarter of the park is dominated by centuries-old Buçaco cedar, a perfect spot to read or eat some of your Frangasqueira BBQ.

Makers Gonna Make: Grapefruit Cardamom Rose Cooler Recipe

GF Rosewater Still 2

This recipe combines two of my favorite flavors (grapefruit and cardamom) together in one cooling, sweet and tart beverage. Perfect for warm days. I’ve been a grapefruit lover for as long as I can remember. As a kid, I’d always asked my grandma Etta for half a grapefruit for breakfast (no sugar) cut just the right way (Etta was the only one who knew how to do it correctly) so that I could scoop out the flesh and create  “grapefruit soup”. It’s still my favorite way to eat a grapefruit. I developed a deep love of cardamom while exploring the world of soapmaking. It’s spicy, herbal, sweet notes are incredible in both desserts and savory items. Plus, it blends beautifully with citrus and most stone fruit.

I brought these two lovely scents together in the Grapefruit Cardamom line of products at Etta + Billie 7 years ago and I’m still obsessed. Which is how I came up with the recipe for this Grapefruit Cardamom Rose Cooler. Check out the video I made for the recipe with written directions below.

Ingredients

  • ¼ – ½ tsp rose water (this is surprisingly flavorful so start with a little and increase as desired)
  • ¼ tsp or more cardamom
  • ½ – 1 whole peeled pink grapefruit
  • 1 cup of Water
  • Ice

Tools
blender, measuring spoons, a glass

Let’s do it!

  1. Add half grapefruit in the blender
  2. Put ¼ teaspoon of rosewater
  3. Add 1/2 teaspoon of cardamom
  4. Toss in 4 or 5 ice cubes
  5. Pour in a cup of water
  6. Blend until obtain a silky smooth (I have blendtec and set it to fresh fruit or smoothie mode)
  7. Pour into a glass and enjoy!

 

 

Etta + Billie List of Things to Eat, See and Do in Washington DC

Etta + Billie_Booth_Chicago RenegadeI’m headed off to Washington DC this weekend for the Crafty Bastards craft show. I’ll be doing a show I’ve never done before, in a city I haven’t been to since I was a teenager! I’m really looking forward to exploring. One of the first things I always do when checking out a new city is compile my list of food things to try cause there is nothing like experiencing a place through it’s food. Of course, I can’t spend my entire day eating (even if I wanted to) so I’ve also put together a list of sites and stores I’m going to try to check out before Crafty Bastards starts on Saturday. Got any recommendations for me?

Eat/Drink:

Rose’s Luxury: One of the top restaurants in DC, voted as the best new restaurant in the country by Bon Appetit last year. Excited to try the lychee salad and maybe some brisket. Pretty much everything sounds yummy and I love the personality that shines through on their website. No reservation policy means there is a strong chance I’ll be waiting for an hour or more…

Ethiopic: Ethiopian food is one of my favs but I almost never eat it so I’m taking this opportunity to hit up Ethiopic while in DC. Voted Top Ethiopian Restaurant in Washington City Paper’s Readers Poll.

DCity Smokehouse: I’m ALWAYS up for BBQ. Excited to try DCity’s brisket and multitude of sides.

Rappahannock Oyster Bar: DC restaurant outlet of family owned sustainable oyster farm Rappahannock (100 years old). I’m excited to try the oysters (obvy) and The Lambs + Clams.

Toki Underground: I love ramen and I love dumplings. Done and done.

Maketto: Part Cambodian and Taiwanese fusion restaurant, part coffee roaster with french influenced pastries, and part retail shop. I’m sold.

Shop:

Crafty Bastards: This craft show is big and been going strong for over 11 years. I’m really excited to check out the other artisans (people come from all across the country). The event is held outside Union Market, Saturday September 26th and Sunday, September 27th from 10 am – 5 pm. Tickets are $5-8 (depending on whether you buy beforehand or at the door). Please stop by and say hi if you’re in the area!

Salt & Sundry: Beautifully curated home goods from blogger Amanda McClements focusing on entertaining, good food and connecting with loved ones. Really excited to check this one out.

Union Market: Historic marketplace that has been around in some form since the late 1800s. The indoor open market features artisan food producers, restaurants and small independent retailers. I’m excited to check out all the local produce, cheese and of course food.

See/Do:

National Mall: Never been, can’t wait to check it out. I plan on cruising the mall using Capital Bikeshare and am looking forward to the Lincoln Memorial and National Monument.E+B_Rothko_Museum_Art

National Gallery of Art: There is nothing like seeing art in person. Excited to see pieces by Lichtenstein, Matisse and Pollock.

Screen on the Green: This is a summer only activity but I still wanted to include it since I plan to head back to DC at some point. Free movie screenings at the National Mall – BYOE (e=everything). Seems like a great way to get a peek into DC culture.

Spy Museum: Because it just sounds cool and it was recommended by two friends.

Smithsonian: I’m hoping to hit up at least one of the many many museum options.

Labor Day Weekend Recipe Round Up

Labor Day Weekend always feels like the last hurrah of summer, even though summer isn’t technically over until September 22nd. This weekend is the perfect time to gather with friends and family outdoors before the we are in the midst of falling leaves and chilly days. Take advantage of the last of the seasons fantastic produce and grilling weather. I’ve gathered up recipes to try this weekend using some of my favorite summer ingredients like figs, stone fruit, blue berries and sweet corn. Get them now, otherwise you’ll have to wait until next summer.

Etta + Billie Labor Day Weekend Recipe Round Up

1. Spicy Grilled Chicken with Lemon and Parsley | Bon Appetit

2. Fig and Lemon Fizz Cocktail | My Diary of Us

3. Grilled Cord with Honey Basil Butter | Feed Me Pheobe

4. Grilled Watermelon and Donut Peach Salad with Balsamic Reduction | Brooklyn Supper

5. Blueberry, Peach and Lavender Pie | Hummingbird High

Additional recipes that caught my eye:

Cucumber Mint Gin Coolers | Heather Christo

Roasted Onion and Fingerling Potato Salad | The Gouda Life

And of course you can always find more at my Pinterest page.

In the Kitchen: Summer Recipes for Foodies

Happy Culinary Day!

Clearly, Etta + Billie is heavily influenced by food. You can smell all the food inspired scents in each of our products. Since it’s Culinary Day I made a recipe round up as an ode to the art of cooking and to share my love for food. It’s also an acknowledgement my two grand mommas Etta and Billie, whose fondness for cooking and baking helped me develop my appreciation to variety of scents.

Summer Recipe

Grilled Fig with Prosciutto + Halloumi cheese
by Tomayto

Ever heard of Halloumi cheese? If you’re a fan of mozzarella and had some thoughts of grilling it but you know it can’t happen then you should give this a try. Halloumi cheese is sourced from goat, cow, & sheeps milk. It has a high melting point which made it ideal for direct grilling or frying without needing bread crumbs.

Roasted Carrot, Chickpea, + Harissa dip
by The First Mess

I enjoy time with friends and we can spend endless hours chatting away, that’s why I always make sure to have some easy snack recipes on hand. Lay some crackers, toasted baguette and/or fresh veggies on a platter and you’re good to go!

Smoked Ancho Chile Salted Steaks with Drunken Burst Sweet Cherries + Burrata
by Half Baked Harvest 

Not everyone is a fan of spicy food however this recipe will definitely be a crowd-pleaser. The sweet drunken cherries tone down the spiciness of the poblano peppers rubbed to the steak. If it is still too peppery for you, try increasing the amount of Burrata (who doesn’t love more cheese?) which perfectly counteracts hot flavors.

Blueberry Mojito Popsicles
by Broma Bakery

In season blueberries are just awesome. Add a little mint and this will be an absolute dessert slash thirst quencher!

Recipe: Pineapple Pisco-Jito Cocktail

Alyson-Thomas-Drywell-Pineapple-Pisco-CocktailI am very fortunate to have some pretty kick ass business buddies one of whom is a whiz with inventive cocktails (she’s also a major foodie), so we obviously get along. Alyson Thomas is the very talented artist behind Drywell Art (you’ve probably seen one or two of her well known pieces around). While perusing her blog, I came across this delightful sounding summery cocktail recipe. She was kind enough to let me re-post this fabulous recipe here. Get cocktailing people and be sure to check out the Drywell blog. Cheers!

Pineapple Pisco-jito
by the pitcher-full, makes 8 drinks

  • 2 cups Pisco (or rum, if you’re feeling traditional)
  • 1 cup mint leaves
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 lime, in quarters
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 1 cup club soda
  • 4 pineapple spears

1. Using a wooden spoon or muddler in a bowl, crush the mint with the sugar and lime quarters until the sugar starts to dissolve.

2. Add half of pineapple and crush into mixture

3. Add 1 cup of the club soda and stir until the sugar dissolves completely.

4. Strain the mixture through a coarse sieve into a pitcher.

5. Stir in the lime juice and rum. ** You can chill the mixture now, and serve it later**

6. Fill glass with ice and add a mint sprig to each. A

7. Add chopped pineapple to glass.

8.  Pour the mixture over the ice, top each glass with club soda and serve.

Serves 8.

Website Launch Week

March 25-31

The major highlight from last week was the official launch of my website. YEAH!  Here are the other highlights from the week that have much prettier photos:

  1. Made a lovely new batch of Earl Grey Tea soap. I cannot wait to get this product on the site.
  2. After making a delivery to one of my fav boutiques, Park and Pond, I took the long way back to my day job so I could enjoy the 70 degree weather. I stopped to snap a shot of this iconic SF building.
  3. Just a little GUURL Grey Tea for my Earl Grey Soap from my friends at T-We. (pssst. Did you know I’m teaching a class on making your own tea based bath products? Check it out here)
  4. I took the Etta + Billie team out to a celebratory dinner at State Bird Provisions (Bon Appetit Magazine’s choice for the Best New Restaurant in America in 2012) on Wednesday.  It was great to have down time with the E+B crew while enjoying a fantastic, and really fun, meal.
  5. A shot of me in the Etta + Billie kitchen wearing my snazzy new lab coat. It makes me feel like a mad scientist and I love it.