Bacon Crack & Beer Hipster Cookie Recipe


More or less every Tuesday the last few months, I’ve been baking for the Wine Wednesday happy hour I run at work each Wednesday. I’ve gone through quite a few recipes so I wanted to try something new and had no clue what to look up so, on a whim, I googled “hipster cookies” and came across The Oak Leaf News’ Hipster Cookies.

Took a little trial and error, but amazing stuff!

So here’s the deal (slightly modified from original recipe):

Ingredients

Not pictured: butter and salt.

Not pictured: butter and salt

You need:

  • 4 cups almond flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt (Himalayan optional)
  • 2 sticks butter (melt in microwave 45 seconds per stick)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tea spoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 entire pack bacon (12-ish strips?)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 pinch cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup PBR beer (or in my case, Trader Joe’s Simpler Times)

*Wine – optional for consumption before rest of beer can is ready!

And now, what to do.

Directions

Part 1: The Bacon

Bacon crack!

Bacon crack!

  1. Preheat oven to 375*
  2. Spread tin foil on baking sheets (for easier clean up later)
  3. Lay strips out on 1-2 baking sheets
  4. Mix brown sugar and cinnamon then sprinkle over bacon
  5. Pop into over for 5 minutes
  6. Flip each strip over, then put back into over for 4 more minutes (total: 9 minutes)

Part 2: Cookie Dough

*Note: I didn’t need a blender for any of this. I simply took my time adding the ingredients and mixed with a fork.

Your 2 bowls of dry ingredients

Your 2 bowls of dry ingredients

  1. Mix flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl
  2. In a larger bowl, beat melted butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract (add dry ingredients to butter slowly for a more even mix)
  3. Add eggs one at a time, beating some more in between
  4. Add flour/baking soda/salt mixture slowly, continuing to beat as you go
  5. Add the beer and then the chocolate chips (careful not to beat overzealously lest the beer foam!)
The finished dough

The finished dough

Part 3: The Baking

  1. Now cover your baking sheets with tin foil, spray with butter/olive oil spray, and drop rounded dollops of dough onto each sheet
  2. Bake 9-11 minutes at 350* until cookies are golden brown
  3. Let cool before you try to remove the cookies from the sheet (I sprinkled them with bacon crack while I waited)

Part 4: The Sprinkling

Yes, the piggy socks are an important part of the cooking process - especially when you're chopping bacon!

Yes, the piggy socks are an important part of the cooking process – especially when you’re chopping bacon!

  1. While your cookies are baking, chop your bacon into thin slices and then dice into tiny pieces
  2. You now have bacon crack sprinkles!
  3. Sprinkle these lovelies onto your cookies while they cool

Then taste test a cookie, you know… to make sure they’re good 😉

You've got cookies!

You’ve got cookies!

Let me know how you like these! And try out my other recipes here.

A New Lunch On a Discount Every Day With Go Dish


Imagine my surprise when I bumped into a cheerful girl handing out not sunglasses like that guy the day before, but colorful foodie cards on the street corner I used to cross on my daily pilgrimage to the San Francisco Soup Company. Yes, “used to cross”, because I read and that card and embarked on some pretty darn tasty lunch adventures! But back to the point, this enthusiastic marketing gal struck up a conversation with me and asked for my business card so I could interview her bosses about Go Dish. I loved that she was so invested in this startup and that this was a blend of 2 of my favorite things: tech and food, so of course I had to go for it.

Before I start waxing poetic on my latest lunch discoveries, let’s at least give you a quick intro to Go Dish. Co-founders Jaydon Robinson and Ryan Jones worked together in the hospitality industry doing some magical numerical tricks to help ski resorts, airlines and hotels maximize their revenue with variable pricing. While skiing is amazing, let’s face it, these 2 gentlemen have a passion for food they just couldn’t deny and had a gut feeling their numerical exploits could help small business owners in today’s competitive restaurant industry. Plus, they just knew it would be brilliant since lunch was pretty much all they and their coworkers would talk about all morning!

So what is variable pricing anyway and how does it make foodies and lunch goers all over the Financial District happy? Variable pricing is simply the practice of lowering or increasing pricing based on a variable, in this case, pick-up time. Jaydon and Ryan interviewed dozens of restaurant owners and realized that one of their biggest challenges was what I like to call “rush hour traffic.” Most patrons come in during the same 1-2 hour span for lunch or 2-3 hour span for dinner, and the restaurant churns along at a sleepy lull outside of peak times, but expenses like lease and electricity don’t go down when there are just a few customers, so the fix is to bring more in and space them out. Go Dish helps with both. By offering a varying discount on dishes depending on when a patron comes in, Go Dish spaces patrons out so wait times are shorter (regulars don’t get discouraged by the crowd) and lunch goers enjoy a nice little discount. Go Dish also serves as a sort of Yelp, offering a rotating menu of lunch options from dozens of restaurants. I’ve actually been using it to discover new places to eat (I love Yelp, but it doesn’t give me a discount to the new spots it helps me discover.)

And now for a couple of great entrepreneurship lessons Jaydon and Ryan generously shared with me:

  1. There is absolutely no reason to build everything out ASAP. Their minimum viable product was just a prototype of what the app looked like. None of the buttons worked but they showed it to people and asked them what the value was for them, gauged how willing they were to engage with it. Be creative in testing what people do and don’t like. There’s no point in throwing resources into something before you know it’ll work.
  2. It’s been beaten to death, but you need to be able to hook people with a stellar 1-2 line explanation (aka your elevator pitch.) Restaurant owners are accosted by so many reps from daily deals sites Jaydon and Ryan had to figure out how to cut through the noise and differentiate themselves. The trick was to show them the value right away. Don’t lead in with a long story or flowery example, just get to the heart of the matter and show them how you’ll make their lives better.
  3. Not all advice is created equal. The best piece of advice anyone gave them was that a lot of people are going to tell you how to do things, but you have to figure out what makes sense for you and your business model. Stay open-minded, take it all in, and then assess which will help you reach your goals.

Last but not least, the part everyone’s been waiting for, the food! In true food porn form, here are just a few of the delectable dishes I’ve been chowing down on thanks to Go dish.

Prawn Pad Thai from Vanda Siam

Prawn Pad Thai from Vanda Siam

 

Burrata & Tomato (not shown) Salad from Taverna Aventine

Burrata & Tomato (not shown) Salad from Taverna Aventine

Enjoy more pictures of those daily deals on their Twitter handle.

Read up on other startup interviews and trends here 🙂

Dishcrawl — The Funnest Way to Try Out the Best Santana Row Has to Offer


I tried out 4 new restaurants in Santana Row Monday night! Oh, and I only paid $40 ;D

Such is the beauty of Dishcrawl =] You get to try out appetizers, dishes and desserts at restaurants famous for certain specialties without dishing out the big bucks. I love it!

The evening got off to a good start with a lovely stroll around Santana Row — the rich sure know how to do spectacular decor!

And now, for the food =3 Check out the delectable dishes I got to try out!

First, we all met at LB Steak*

There, we were treated to…

Tuna sashimi bruschetta and breaded eggplant with goat cheese

And potato chips made from roots! By far the tastiest chips I’ve ever had =3

Root chips

Next, we walked over to El Jardin.

 

 

Sangria & margaritas

 

Tilapia ceviche

Don’t remember what these were called ><;

Then on to Rosie McCann’s for some hearty Irish food!

 

Roasted portobello mushroom, fish & chips, and a slider =3

Last, but not least, we ended on a sweet note at the Olin Avenue Market =]

Gelato!

Know what the best part is? There’s one of these babies at least once a week! Check out their website to find one near you and go taste some amazing food =3 I’m considering the Cognac Tasting and Food Pairing one ;D

*I “borrowed” (winking, wink) most of these pictures from Dishcrawl’s Facebook album since they turned out so much better than the ones I took O=] Credits go to the wonderful Ms. Cindy Garcia.

Ethiopian


Last week I went to this amazing Ethiopian restaurant called Café Rehoboth with my friend Mara. I was so excited — I hadn’t had Ethiopian food in almost a year!!

 

 

Before we get into food… Let’s take a sneak peek inside =]

 

 

This place is so cozy! It’s decorated really ethnically — it’s a lot of fun checking all the deco out while you wait for your food.

 

 

The owner was so sweet and helpful! I always forget what everything is called ><‘ (maybe Mara will leave a few hints in the comments section? O=] ) but it was all so delicious! I always love Ethiopian food =3 The sour bread and meat / veggies always taste so good!!

The Cool Kid’s Quick Guide to the Bay Area


I’m coming home for a nice, week-long business trip next week and showing my bosses around, so I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to compile a handy  little guide for all my international friends who want to know what locals like ;D

Here’s the loot, in no particular order:

  1. In n’ Out Burger. Californians’ pride and joy. A must see, and must taste ;D

    California’s best burger! Well, until…

  2. Five Guy’s. It recently (as in within the last 6 months) replaced In n’ Out as California’s best burger. Worth a try, no? You get a BIG burger, can choose tons of toppings (I like avocado and A1 sauce =3) and unlimited peanuts!

    Decisions, decisions…

  3. Google. Do you know someone who works at Google? Odds are you do. A LOT of people work there. Take them out to lunch and talk them into giving you a tour so you can check out those ping pong tables and try out the Google Earth mini-room yourself ❤

    Wouldn’t you like to have lunch there?

  4. Santana Row in San Jose. Cool shops (Japanese stuff, The Container Store, etc.). Tons of stores (shopping!). And Yard House. If you’ve never heard of Yard house, make sure you go there! They have more beers than you’ve ever seen on a single menu, and all their food is local and organic. You can thank me later =]

    Told you it’s awesome

    PS: get there early. It gets VERY packed.

  5. Verde Tea Cafe. THE best milk tea you will ever have! Don’t know what milk tea is? All the more reason to go! I recommend the brown sugar or red bean, and do let them know if you only want 1/2 or 1/4 sugar ❤

    Om nom nom

  6. Ray’s Sushi. Great quality sushi at an affordable price. What else could you ask for? You’ll probably need a car to get there though, so get a rental or convince a kind tourist to help you out ;D

    Just seeing makes me really really want to go back ASAP!

  7. Frozen Yogurt. In case you haven’t noticed, there are A LOT of Asians in the Silicon Valley, hence the milk tea. Another yummy food they’ve converted Nor Californians to is frozen yogurt. I recommend Yogurtland.

    Did I forget to mention the really cute Tokidoki cups?

  8. Japanese Friendship Gardenin San Jose. I like this park because it’s always bright and sunny, it’s usually relatively quiet and peaceful, and it’s just beautiful =]

    So beautiful ^^

  9. Santa Cruz. Drive over there (or take the 17 bus from San Jose) and stare at the hippies, pot heads and surfers (oh, stereotypes!)… or walk around the beautiful city for a nice, relaxing afternoon in the sun.

    Didn’t I tell you it’s a gorgeous city to visit?

  10. Last but not least, check out Haight-Ashbury. It’s one of San Francisco’s young, quixotic streets. You’ll find lots of very California things there: tattoo and piercing parlors, marijuana shops, and even cookies shaped like genitals! Did I mention my generation’s veeeeery open-minded?

    The Haight in all its glory

Now go off and enjoy your trip! Let me know what you liked and share your pictures ❤

Like what you see? Notice anything missing? Suggest more places to add!

More pictures and travel ideas here!

Dec 20 How to Make Oeufs en Gelée


My granny taught me how to cook this weekend! We made oeufs en gelée (no clue what that would translate to in English… eggs in jello? Except the jello stuff is salty….)

This appetizer takes about an hour to make (we made 7), but you also have to leave it in the fridge over night. If you’re impatient or in a rush, I think 2-3 hours may do.

So here goes!

What you need:

  1. A pack of gelée mix 
  2. Eggs (we made 7)
  3. Water
  4. Ham
  5. Parsley
  6. Cups, glasses, or bowls

Step 1. Buy French jello mix (sorry, just don’t have a translation for that…) and cook. You want to bring water (check box for amount) to a boil, then lower the heat (so it’s just simmering) and add the French jello mix. Make sure you keep stirring it so it doesn’t stick to the bottom. Cook it for a few min (check instructions on box.)

Step 2. Cook eggs. Boil them for 4 min. No more! The yolk needs to still be a little runny. Then dip them in cold water. Now for the fun part: grab a towel so you don’t burn your hands and deshell them very carefully (remember, that yolk’s runny so be gentle!)

Step 3. Grab whatever cups, glasses, bowls, etc. you’re going to put all this stuff into. Cut ham into rectangular slices and place them inside each cup/glass/bowl so as to cover the rims completely. If a piece is too short, just add another piece to cover the exposed side. Put a sprig of parsley in the bottom, and then put a square of ham on top of it.

Dec 20 How to Make Oeufs en Gelée

Step 4. Now put an egg in the middle of each cup/glass/bowl, nice and centered…

Dec 20 How to Make Oeufs en Gelée…and pour the warm gelée on top.
Dec 20 How to Make Oeufs en Gelée

Step. 5 Put in the fridge to cool overnight.

Step 6. My grandpa came around wanting to take pictures so I put him to good use =] you’ve got a video to show you how to get the oeufs en gelée out of your cup/glass/bowl (anyone else sick of the repition?) Stick them in warm water to help melt the sides a little, then slide a knife around the perimeter (inside the cup, mind you), then flip it upside down and slide it out onto a plate.

Step 7. Decorate =]

Dec 20 How to Make Oeufs en Gelée