Sacramento Beer Week #SBW2015


(Photo courtesy of Sacramento Beer Week)

Attention Sacramento: Sac Beer Week 2015 has arrived. If you frequent any of the local establishments in town, you’ve probably seen fliers touting the specialized events and menus that will be popping up across Sacramento from February 26-March 8.

Sacramento Beer Week is flanked by two “main events.” First, the Sacramento Brewer’s Showcase is taking place this Thursday, February 26 at the California Auto Museum from 5:30 – 9 p.m. In addition to sipping local brews, attendees can peruse the over 150 cars on display at the museum. Admission will grant you unlimited tastings at the over 30 local breweries in attendance and tickets start at $40 in advance and $45 at the door. Designated drivers can get in for $10 and you can also upgrade your ticket cost for $10 to include special IPA flights during the event. Click here to purchase.

Finally, Beer Week wraps up on Sunday, March 8 with the Capitol Beer Fest spanning four blocks on Capitol Mall from 2-5 p.m. The day will include tastings at over 100 craft breweries, live music and a variety of food trucks to keep your taste buds happy while sipping. Tickets for this event also start at $40 in advance and $45 at the door and can be purchased here.

The event options at local restaurants and bars are seemingly endless, so you may want to choose wisely. Thankfully, the folks at Sacramento Beer Week have put together a super handy listing of events that highlight the special offerings and menus throughout the week. Check it out here.

It would be nearly impossible to make it to every event, so I’ve decided to narrow it down to two options and go from there. First, the Ruhstaller and Santos Brewing Beer Flights and Cheese Pairings starting at noon at The Rind, this Saturday, February 28. Second, Steal the Glass Night at Der Biergarten, from 3-9 p.m. on Thursday, March 5, in which the beer stein is yours to keep with purchase of a beer.

Overall, Sacramento Beer Week is sure to be a great time for beer lovers and supporters of the local food scene alike. Which events will you be checking out?


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The Sweetest Valentine’s Day Brunch


So, who out there procrastinated and missed out on all the hot dinner reservations for tomorrow night? Anyone willing to admit it? Well, instead of feeling bad about it, make it up to your sweetie with a beautiful Valentine’s Day brunch! Just think how wonderful it will be to start off the day with the one you love, sipping bubbly (or a Bloody Mary, whatever your fancy) and enjoying some delicious breakfast together in your pajamas. If you ask me, brunch + mimosas + pajamas are the recipe for a perfect day and much better than a cliché dinner date, anyways. Actually, now that we’ve talked about it, bonus points for thinking outside-the-box this Valentine’s Day. Aww, how sweet are you?!

Below is a great coffee cake recipe from Barbara Bakes I recently made using Meyer lemons from my tree. Sweet, tart, light but rich, serve this with some eggs, bacon and fruit and you have a meal that screams “I love you.” Enjoy!

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Lemon Blueberry Coffee Cake

Yield: 12 Servings

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen

Crumb Topping
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons butter, melted

1 cup powdered sugar
1 – 2 tablespoons lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350º. Spray a 9-inch spring form pan with non-stick cooking spray with flour. Prepare crumb topping and set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.

In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, vanilla and milk. Mix in lemon zest. Add flour mixture and mix just until combine. Stir in blueberries.

Spread batter evenly into prepared pan. Sprinkle with crumb topping.

Bake at 350º for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Cool 10 minutes, then run a knife around the edge and remove ring. Drizzle icing on cake. Cool completely before serving. (Unless you’re like us and would rather eat it hot even though the cake doesn’t cut as well.)

Crumb Topping
In a small bowl, combine sugar, flour, and butter. Mix until mixture is crumbly.

Whisk together powdered sugar and lemon juice to create a thin glaze.

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It’s a Macaron Renaissance


Can’t afford to take your Valentine to Paris this year, huh?  Why not create a little Parisian romance with a bite-sized French cookie that’s all the rage – the French macaron.  Not familiar with these sweet little confections? From simple ingredients like confectioners’ sugar, almond flour and egg whites emerges a dainty dessert that will impress your Valentine. These are definitely a step above a ho-hum box of chocolates!


You can make your own macarons, and there are a number of easy-to-follow recipes, but it’s the technique that makes the cookies light and chewy and the filling flavorful and lush. This Martha Stewart video does a nice job of breaking down the steps to create an authentic macaron experience.

However, if you’re more of a “pick it up at the bakery” kind of person, you’re in luck. Estelle’s Patisserie in downtown at 9th and K has delicious macarons (the pistachio one is unbelievable), as does Ginger Elizabeth Chocolates at 18th and L (the salty caramel one sounds amazing – hint, hint). Even Trader Joe’s carries macarons in the frozen section, and if you’re on a budget this Valentine’s Day, these are perfect – $4.99 for 12 chocolate and vanilla macarons (and, yes, they are good!).

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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No-Bake Oreo Truffles for Valentine’s Day


Need an easy sweet-treat recipe for your sweetheart? Or maybe just for yourself? We’ve got you covered. Introducing: Oreo Truffles! Now, the last time I whipped these up, it was for a Sacfoodies gathering. Needless to say, the whole tray was gone in no time at all and I had several foodies ask me for the recipe! For that batch I only used milk chocolate and white Oreo cookies, but for Valentine’s Day I’d recommend using a combination of white and dark chocolate depending on your preference. If you’re feeling really romantic, add heart-shaped sprinkles!  While everyone else is out buying store-bought chocolates, you can take pride knowing that you put your heart into yours.

The recipe I used is from Something Swanky blog and it couldn’t have been easier. So, do yourself and your special someone a favor and make sure this Valentine’s Day is a little sweeter for the both of you:

truffles1Oreo Truffles


18 ounce package Oreos

8 ounces cream cheese

pinch of salt

2 cups chocolate melting candy (like Candiquik, Ghirardelli, Hershey’s, or Wilton’s)

Optional: additional melting candy for drizzling, sprinkles, approximately 30 toothpicks*


Crush the Oreos in a food processor or blender to form fine crumbs. Use a stand mixer to mix together the Oreo crumbs, cream cheese, and a pinch of salt until there are no loose crumbs and no visible white from the cream cheese.

Prepare a cookie sheet by lining it with parchment paper, wax paper, or silicone. Use a small cookie scoop (about 1 tablespoon) to scoop out balls of the “dough” onto the cookie sheet. Place cookie sheet in the freezer for 30 minutes (this is important!).

Remove the cookie sheet from the freezer and roll each ball between your palms to smooth and round. Place cookie sheet back in the freezer for 5 minutes. Melt the chocolate according to package directions. Dip each ball into the melted chocolate, allowing excess chocolate to drip off, and place on a fresh piece of parchment paper, wax paper, or silicone to cool and harden.

Drizzle with additional melting candy and add sprinkles before the drizzle hardens.

Recipe courtesy of SomethingSwanky.com.

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Valentine’s Day Specials 2015


Specials Pics

For many, Valentine’s Day is one of those love/hate holidays. We love the food and quality time with those we care about, but sometimes the hype and planning for a special evening can get overwhelming. To help you out, here are our top picks for a swanky (and straightforward) V-Day date night:

Note: These options are for special Prix Fix Valentine’s Day Menus, and may have specific seating times. Call for reservations.  


How to Get Frozen Yogurt for 10 Cents!


Here’s the scoop, or should I say, swirl:

To celebrate 10 years of “swirling,” Pinkberry is offering small frozen yogurts with toppings for only .10¢ between 7pm-10pm on Friday, January 30th. Fro yo fans can expect new flavors, including Passionfruit, Raspberry White Chocolate and Sea Salt Chocolate. Pinkberry will also be offering “Birthday Style” – featuring a white chocolate candle and sprinkled with edible glitter.

To recap, grab your pennies (10 to be exact) and head to your nearest Pinkberry location between 7-10pm on Friday, January 30th.

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When Life Gives You Oranges


With Sacramento winters comes Sacramento citrus. This time of year, it seems like almost every street in downtown and midtown is studded with orange trees bursting with fruit. I happen to be one of the lucky downtown residents with an orange tree in my backyard, and right now I have more fruit than I’d ever know what to do with. I’m giving away oranges to everyone I know, but it feels like every time I pluck a piece of fruit, another orange magically appears in its place. I’m seriously overrun by these guys. Actually, while we’re on the topic, you wouldn’t like some oranges, would you?

Needless to say, I’m doing my best to utilize the fruit, so practically everything I make nowadays features oranges: spicy orange chicken, orange glazed pork chops, fresh orange juice, citrus vinaigrette, homemade orange cleaner, etc … you get the picture.

So, if you happen to be blessed with (or suffer from) having copious amounts of oranges, today I’m pleased to share with you three of my favorite ways to use them up.

Oranges Read more »

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Sacramento: A Coffee Capitol in its Own Right


When one thinks of “coffee cities” the usual suspects probably come to mind: Portland, Seattle, a small European village. Sacramento probably isn’t the first place that pops up. However, you might want to think again. Sacramento was recently named one of the top cities in the world for coffee lovers and one of the most underrated coffee cities in the U.S.  Thanks in part to the city’s commitment to craft food and beverage purveyors and a variety of area favorites, Sacramento is making its mark on the map as a leader in delicious coffee options.

Whether it’s Insight Coffee, The Mill, Old Soul Co., or Temple there are a variety of options to choose from that are uniquely Sacramento! And yes, there are plenty of Starbucks and Peet’s locations to choose from as well.

Looking to discover a new spot in Sacramento for a tasty cup? Well you’re in luck, because you can get free organic drip coffee next Monday at Ettore’s European Bakery. They’ve been serving up this offer all month, so be sure to take advantage before January wraps!  

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Wordless Wednesday: Jack’s Urban Eats


Spinach Salad and Pesto Mashed Potatoes from Jack’s Urban Eats.

Jacks Urban Eats

Jack’s Urban Eats – Sacramento Locations

1230 20th Street
Sacramento, CA 95811

545 Munroe Street
Sacramento, CA 95825

2137 Golden Centre Lane
Gold River, CA 95670

4730 Natomas Blvd.
Sacramento, CA 95835


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Small Bites for the Big Game


If you’re planning your Big Game snacking menu, here’s a healthy take on onion rings that doesn’t sacrifice flavor. I came across this recipe a few weeks ago, adapted it to make it gluten-free, and it was a big hit with my family. (The original recipe calls for all-purpose flour, if you prefer.)

Serve these crunchy snacks with a trio of dipping sauces (ketchup, BBQ sauce, Ranch dressing) and enjoy!


Gluten-Free Oven-Baked Onion Rings


• Cooking spray
• 4 cups baked, salted potato chips
• 1 cup low-fat buttermilk
• ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons gluten-free flour mix, like Pamela’s
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 large sweet onion, peeled


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Spray a baking sheet lightly with oil and set aside. Place potato chips in the bowl of a food processor and process into crumbs, about 20 seconds. Transfer to a shallow bowl. In another bowl, combine buttermilk, ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons flour, and salt and set aside. Slice onion into 1/2-inch circles and separate into rings, keeping only medium and large whole rings (you can reserve remaining onions for other uses). You should come out with about 14-16 rings.

Place the remaining flour in a sealable plastic bag, add onions, and then shake to coat. Dip onions one at a time into the buttermilk mixture, then dip into potato chip crumbs and place on baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until coating is crisp but not too dark. Season with salt and serve immediately, along with your choice of dipping sauces.

Adapted from Ellie Krieger’s recipe at FoodNetwork.com

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