Entertaining With Cultured Recipes and Cocktails


About a month ago, my friend and fermentation expert, Jennifer Harris and I started a new “How To” video series for Spoiled To Perfection. I challenged Jennifer to come up with as many unique and surprising recipes as she could, that featured fermented and or cultured ingredients and teach me how to make them for my friends and family. Not everyone is as enthusiastic as I am about probiotics, gut health and fermentation, so sometimes you’ve got to sneak it in!

So far we’ve done cultured face masks, made cupcakes, cocktails and deviled eggs. We have been cooking non-stop and have a ton of new videos and recipes coming your way! To follow our journey, visit us at http://spoiledtoperfection.com/blog/

A Brunch Fit For A Queen

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I got inspired yesterday and planned out a Mother’s Day brunch to make for my mom this morning. Being an only child, I usually plan my meals around things that sound good to ME and then adjust them for whomever I am cooking. So this morning’s brunch was designed to be a protein-rich, gluten-free, diabetic-friendly and yet, decadent meal.

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Spinach and Feta Frittata:

8 eggs

2 TBSP Half & Half

1 tsp of Garlic Salt

Pinch of Black Pepper

3/4 Cup of Feta

2 Cups of Fresh Spinach

1 Cup of Paper Thin Sliced Red Onion

Bacon Caprese Bites

6 Slices of Black Peppered Bacon

2 Cups of Cherry Tomatoes

6 Small Fresh Mozzarella Balls

Fresh Basil

1 TBSP of Olive Oil

1 tsp Balsamic Vinegar

Dash of Sea Salt

Dash of Ground Black Pepper

Toothpicks

Triple Berry Mascarpone Salad

1 Small Package of Fresh Blueberries

1 Small Package of Fresh Raspberries

1 Box of Fresh Strawberries

2 Cups of Mascarpone

1 TBSP of Honey

I wanted to create a beautiful plate and table, to make my Mom feel extra special, so I got up at around 8am and starting cooking. I love getting up early when I stay the night at my parents’ house ( Yes, 8am is early for me). They make the best coffee and the hot tub always calls my name, especially when it’s foggy out. I wanted to get some prep done before making the frittata and soaking in the tub.

Here is how it’s done:

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Heat the oven to 350 degrees and lay foil on a baking sheet. Lay your bacon on the sheet and cook for 12-15 min. Do not over-crisp the bacon or it will crumble apart when you toothpick it.

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Slice cherry tomatoes in half and mozzarella balls into thirds and put in a large bowl. Toss with olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper and set aside. Tear 1 inch pieces of basil and set aside.

When the bacon is done, remove from baking sheet and set on paper towels to soak up grease. When the bacon has cooled enough to touch, tear into one inch pieces.

Begin to assemble your bites using two halves of a cherry tomato as the “bread” of the caprese bite. Keep three small leaves of basil as a garnish for your berry salad.

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Lay bites on a tray and cover with plastic. Put the bites in the fridge for later.

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Pour blueberries and raspberries in a large mixing bowl. Slice strawberries into small pieces, small enough that they are relatively the same size as other berries. Pour slices berries into the bowl and drizzle half the honey over the fruit. Mix berries, and add the other half of the honey. Mix again. Cover berries and refrigerate for later.

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Now grab your coffee, robe and towel and have a soak in the hot tub, while your mom sleeps in. Discuss politics and TV shows with your dad and have more coffee.

When mom is about 20 min away from being ready to eat, begin to assemble your frittata. Slice red onions paper thin and set aside. Whisk together eggs, half & half, garlic salt and black pepper. Add spinach and feta and whisk again. Heat a TBSP of olive oil in a large frying pan, making sure the oil covers the whole pan. Pour whisked egg, spinach and feta into pan and heat on medium low.

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When the bottom starts to solidify, lay red onion across the top, preferably in a pretty pattern. Cover and continue to cook on the lowest setting for about 10 minutes. Check on it regularly, using a spatula to lift the bottom. Don’t let it get too brown. Turn off heat.

Leave the cover on to keep the frittata warm and assemble your berry salad.

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Take two cups of mascarpone cheese and heat for 30 seconds in the microwave, just enough to soften it.

Grab three bowls, and scoop a layer of the mascarpone into each bowl. Add two or three spoonfuls of the berry mix. Then add a generous dollop of mascarpone on top. Garnish with a small basil leaf.

Grab yourself a large cutting board and gently slide the frittata out of the pan and onto the board. Slice the frittata like a pie and serve. Arrange however you like. My table ended up looking like this!

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Make sure to do ALL the dishes afterwards, especially if you’re at your parents’ house, and especially if it’s Mother’s Day.

The meal was a hit, even for my picky father who tends to prefer corned beef and hash, smothered in ketchup for breakfast. Today we’re finishing out the day doing small projects around the house and watching movies On Demand. Life is sweet.

101 North Tasting Room Opens

If you haven’t already heard, the tasting room at 101 North Brewing Company has officially opened to the public. The cult following 101 North has built over the years made for a highly anticipated opening. The brewery teased their fans for months on social media, showing sneak peeks of the construction and interior design, leaving their followers begging for the open date, of which 101 North would not reveal. The brewery surprised the fans by opening on Saint Patrick’s day, and the weekend was a major success!

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The Johnson brothers and their best friends, whom they partner with, have been dreaming of opening a tasting room since the day they started brewing their very first beer. Jake Johnson explained, “As with many of the challenges we’ve faced, this time we were blessed by the powers that be, by an extremely talented man named Danny Wright who did all the wood work. The opening also seemed to be a perfect fit for Joe, our tasting room manager, who is probably the most social of us brothers (including JB, John and Tony).”

Photo by Emily Somple 101 North

The interior of the tasting room is one of a kind. The entire bar and walls have been dressed with reclaimed wood from their grandmother’s property in Petaluma. Every wood feature was hand carved to perfection. Brewmaster, Joel Johnson’s welding skills came in handy too. Joel designed and built a custom chandelier, made from scrap metal found around the brewery. It’s a breathtaking piece that hangs over the tasting room floor. The wood, wall paper, and colors of the tasting room are an homage to their grandmother’s style.

They guys are pouring all the hits: Heroine IPA, Stigmata Red Rye Ale, Naughty Aud Imperial Stout, High Gravity Double IPA, Golden Naked Ale and a rotating tap of new and seasonal brews. You can order flights, pints and growlers, plus a variety of 101 North gear for both men and women.

The tasting room is open Wednesday-Friday from 4pm-9pm and on Saturdays and Sundays from 1pm-9pm, located at 1304 Scott St. in Petaluma.

Visit their website at 101northbeer.com and follow them on social media for news and events:

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Twitter

Instagram

Sonoma County Restaurant Week

Sonoma County Restaurant Week (March 7th-March 13th) is a great opportunity for locals and visitors to experience the superior culinary masterpieces that our restaurant chefs create, at an affordable price. Most participating restaurants will offer a prefixed menu for both lunch and dinner, ranging from $19-$39 per person.

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If you couldn’t already tell, I am obsessed with Sonoma County food and think that our chefs are geniuses. My favorite chefs are the ones who share my passion for fermented and pickled foods. So in celebration of SCRW, I gathered a list of my favorite restaurants where you can find preserved food for Spoiled To Perfection, a local food web series and online resource for all things fermented, pickled and more!

Read the full list here:

Sonoma County Restaurant Week

Craft Beer At Its Finest

101 NORTH BREWING CO

I am excited to announce that my newest client, 101 North Brewing Company is opening a tap room in Petaluma, CA! 101 North Brewing Company is a Sonoma County brand, responsible for Heroine IPA, Golden Naked Ale, Naughty Aud Imperial Stout, Stigmata American Red Rye Ale,  and High Gravity IPA. These brothers and friends grew up together and used to dream of one day opening a brewery together and look at them now! 101 North has what the craft beer community might call a cult following. Their logos and names of their beers are original, intriguing and edgy. Until recently, their beers were strictly available in restaurants and retail grocery shops. The team has been planning a tap room for many years and now it’s finally here.

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The construction of the tap room is directly next to their brewery on Scott St. in Petaluma, CA, across the street from Petaluma Hills and Lagunitas, turning the area of McDowell and Scott St. into a craft beer tasting utopia. I get updates every day on the progress of the tap room and expected open date. While I cannot yet reveal those secrets, I can promise that visiting the 101 North Brewing Company Tap Room will be like hanging out in the garage of your best friends’ house, listening to classic rock and contemplating life. At least that’s how I feel when I’m there. Cheers!

Social Media Tips & Tricks

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As a social media coordinator, specializing in small business, I’ve learned a few things. I am still learning something new every day. I supposed that, considering my industry, I will never stop learning because social media is ever-changing.

Here’s a list of a few tips & tricks I’ve learned along the way, ranging from general best practices to technical tricks to optimize your accounts:

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  1. Never EVER “Brand Bash”! This seems like an obvious one but you would be surprised how many brands still do this, both outright and passive aggressively. Do not review competitors’ products, or make subtle jokes towards them. Keep all your posts positive and light-hearted, even if that’s not how you’re feeling. That’s what personal accounts and Reddit is for.
  2. Have Fun! Make Jokes! Now I know I just said not to make jokes, but   you know what I mean. Be funny, but be smart. Don’t make the insensitive mistakes these companies did: Check out these social media fails from Social Media Week.
  3. Show Some Love! If you have a strict set of hours to spend on social media, don’t use it all up posting your own content and self-promoting. Set some time aside to interact with your community and your friendships with other brands. Take the time to like and comment and even share, if the content is relevant to your brand and your followers. You can’t expect to get all the love if you don’t give some in return right??
  4. Don’t Cross-Post! It’s just lazy people. Don’t do it. Everyone can tell.
  5. Let The People Decide! Ever watch a YouTube video about cats and then it ends and YouTube leaves you with a matrix of suggested videos about skateboarding and making beer? Get rid of that! When embedding videos, use this quick little trick and add ?rel=0 to the end of the YouTube URL. Here’s an example. Screen Shot 2015-12-02 at 7.27.53 PM
  6. Analytics Tools Are Your Friends! Take time to check out the analytics on your social networks. Find out what’s working for you and what’s not. Find out what your most popular Instagram filter is or your best time to post.

If this all seems confusing or too time-consuming, then you need to hire a social media coordinator. Contact me today!

 

Thanksgiving In Wine Country

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Thanksgiving has come and gone, and I have finally emerged from my food and wine induced coma to share photos of my family and friends gatherings from the last week. My biggest accomplishments this holiday were that I made pies for the first time ever, (gluten-free and dairy-free) and that my cousin and I managed to drink several bottles of wine, including a giant magnum of prosecco. The more wine we drink, the less wine there is out there in the world for the kids to get their hands on. We do it for the kids.

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I have had 5 Thanksgiving meals this past week thanks to all the “Friendsgiving” gatherings and multi-family meals, including leftovers of course. I got to catch up with old friends over coffee and bloody marys, while laughing at the thought of actually attending our ten year high school reunion this past weekend. That’s a big “NOPE” for me.

On Friday, we had dinner at Press, in Saint Helena with close friends. I went through the wine closet before we left to choose a bottle for dinner and found a ’94 Cab from Freemark Abbey, covered in dust and just begging to be consumed. It turns out that bottle was one of the first wines anyone ever gave my family when we moved to the Wine Country over 20 years ago. It seems like we lay down bottles and save them for special occasions only to be forgotten. What’s more special than dinner with close friends and family?!

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To conclude, I have over eaten, over indulged, and am not looking forward to detoxing and dieting for the next few weeks, but it was totally worth it. I have the most kick-ass friends and family and I am so lucky I got to break bread with all of you.

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Till next time

Spoiled In Sonoma: Vlogs

Photo Courtesy Of Spoiled To Perfection 1

I am learning new things everyday, and I’m pretty excited about the filming and editing that I’ve done so far for Spoiled To Perfection! Here is a collection of videos that I have directed, shot and edited so far this year. They are getting better as I go, and I know I have a long way to go but I’m proud of what I’ve learned in the last 2 months.

No Talkie Before Coffee

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My Spoiled To Perfection adventures have led me to discover the wonders of coffee. Of course, I was thrilled to find out that coffee beans are fermented. But I also wanted to know why humans are so obsessed with our coffee and why we “LITERALLY” can’t live without it! So I went straight to the source and sat down with the folks in charge of production at my two favorite local coffee roasters, Taylor Maid Organic Coffee and Tea, and Flying Goat Coffee. Darren O’Brien, who happens to be one of my closest friends, my ex-roommate and ex-band mate, is also the head of production at Taylor Maid. Darren walked me through the “cupping” process and we tasted two different styles of coffee that have been processed in both the “washed,” and “natural” methods. Check out the video below and read the article at Spoiled To Perfection.