Tuesday, April 5, 2011

share this...

This video was made by Mark Shimahara and Eugene Ahn.  They went all over L.A. on Saturday to capture the spirit of this mega fundraiser.  Thank you!

Monday, April 4, 2011

still counting...


Samin is still counting...but for now, the number is $120,254.38.

A million Thank You's to everyone who made this possible!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Los Angeles Bakesale for Japan April 2 10am-2pm

I am currently working with Samin Nosrat and all of her Bay Area supporters on raising money through an old fashioned Bakesale for Japan.  They are setting up shop all over the Bay Area.  I am currently looking for a place to host the event.  Please forward this page to any Restaurants/Cafes/Bakeries that might be interested.  Here is a list of Supporters so far (some locations are TBD):

Oakland--Pizzaiolo (5008 Telegraph Ave.)
Berkeley--Gioia Pizzeria (1586 Hopkins St.)
San Francisco (Mission)--Bi-Rite Market (3639 18th St.)
San Francisco (Fillmore)--SPQR (1911 Fillmore St.; also closing for lunch on 4/2 to offer special panini with all proceeds going toward Japan relief)
San Jose--Roy's Station (197 Jackson St.)
Marin--coming soon
Napa/Sonoma--Oxbow Public Market (644 1st St., #D; email NapaBakesale@gmail.com)
Santa Cruz--Lulu's at the Octagon (at the Museum of Art and History--118 Cooper St.; email SantaCruzBakesale@gmail.com)
Los Angeles--Black Cat Bakery (519 S. Fairfax Ave.; email LosAngelesBakesale@gmail.com)
Los Angeles--Forage (3823 West Sunset Blvd.; email LosAngelesBakesale@gmail.com)
Los Angeles--Angeli Caffe (7274 Melrose Ave.; email LosAngelesBakesale@gmail.com)
Los Angeles--BLD (7450 Beverly Blvd.; email LosAngelesBakesale@gmail.com)
Los Angeles--Brentwood Country Mart (225 26th St., Brentwood; email LosAngelesBakesale@gmail.com)
Culver City--Akasha (9543 Culver Blvd.; email LosAngelesBakesale@gmail.com)
Pasadena--Chefs Center of California(45 N. San Gabriel Blvd., Pasadena; email LosAngelesBakesale@gmail.com)
Portland, OR--Ristretto Roasters (3808 N. Williams Ave.; email PDXbakesale@gmail.com)
Portland, OR--Barista (Pearl Location at 539 NW 13th Ave.; email PDXbakesale@gmail.com)
Boston, MA--Ula Cafe (284 Amory St.; more info here; email BosBakesale@gmail.com)
Philadelphia, PA--South Street Philly Bagel (613 S. 3rd St.)
Seattle, WA--CakeSpy Shop (415 E. Pine St.)
NYC--coming soon (email NYCbakesale@gmail.com)
Austin, TX--AustinBakes
Salt Lake City, UT--coming soon
Maui, HI--coming soon
Sacramento, CA--coming soon
Ashville, NC--Bake It Pretty (58 Wall St.; also donating a % of online sales from 4/2)

Sister bakesales: Akron Vegan Bakesale for Japan (Akron, OH) 
                                         Toronto Bakes for Japan (Toronto, ON) 

Last year they raised $23,000 at their Bakesale for Haiti and we'd like your help to raise more.  With your help, we can break their bakesale record!

Here's what I know so far:
  • It will be on Saturday, 4/2 from 10am-2pm
  • You DO NOT have to be a professional cook/baker to participate!
  • We currently have 15 locations and counting with more TBA around the Nation. 
  • Please label all donated food items with your Brand Identity and product name.
  • Please email me at LosAngelesBakesale@gmail.com with a list of all items donated, ingredients used, and quantity of items being donated.
  • Individually wrapped treats, when possible, as well as half-dozens, dozens, whole cakes/pies/tarts/loaves etc. are preferred (rather than a basket of unwrapped cookies meant to be sold one by one)
  • Bake as much as you like!  The more stuff we have to sell, the better!  We literally cannot have too many baked goods.
  • Gluten-free/ dairy-free/ vegan/ nut items are welcome and should be clearly labeled as such.
  • All items must be delivered with a complete list of ingredients, as well as an item name.  
  • Please plan to deliver your goods in containers you will not need returned.  
  • If you'd like to donate a non-food item, such as artwork, a gift certificate, etc, please email me with specifics 
  • I will also need quite a few volunteers to help organize, collect, and distribute baked goods, as well as work the sales, so if you're not into baking, let me know if you want to help in this way.
  • Japanese specialties such as mochi and other delicacies are more than welcome.  
  • We sell everything by suggested donation, so the more delicious/special the items, and the nicer the packaging/presentation, the more money we can get! Please keep this in mind (i.e. no cake mixes and regular old rice krispie treats, please).  
  • We will be folding 1,000 paper cranes at the bakesale locations.  If you can donate origami paper or teach others to fold cranes, please let me know.  
Please keep an eye on Samin's twitter (@ciaosamin) and mine (@bre_varela) and blog (ciao samin) for periodic updates.

Tell all of your friends!  We cannot have too many volunteer bakers, and we certainly cannot have too many patrons!!!

If you cannot bake, please support us by spreading the word via twitter, FB, your school listserv, etc.  And of course, do come buy some sweets on Saturday, April 2nd!

Thank you!
Please email me at LosAngelesBakesale@gmail.com if you are interested in helping in anyway.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

link to listen...

for anyone who wants to listen to my first radio interview on sirius tomorrow at 9:15am PT (11:15amET), here is the link "everyday food"


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

martha stewart radio....

please tune in this friday, march 11 at 11am ET to "everyday food" on the martha stewart radio station on sirius.  i will be doing my first radio interview...wish me luck!  i am so nervous.  i really hope i don't botch the whole thing.  we will be talking about how to make biscuits and scones a little more healthy.   those who know me, know i am not the "healthy chef" that food and wine mag makes me out to be.  i'm sure i could bake instead of fry, use whole wheat instead of all purpose flour, but why do that when the unhealthy way tastes so damn good!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

a soolip wedding 2011...

today, i went to a soolip wedding to support four amazing women.  sarah tivel and robin baab of gather events and occasions and stephanie bone and elizabeth griffiths of whoa nelly! catering had the most beautiful booth, filled with gorgeous flowers and tasty bites.  they definitely stole the show at the event today with their unique style.  whoa nelly! catering had yummy little ricotta tartlettes with asparagus and meyer lemon, hook's cheddar cheese straws (i love hook's cheddar), and gougere sandwiches with proscuitto and gruyere.  even though i am completely bias and think all of these ladies are totally brilliant, they really did have the most stunning table.  check out their sites and see for yourselves.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

chocolate chip cookies...

after 2 years of people asking for the recipe, i am finally posting it.  i really wasn't trying to keep it a secret, i just kept forgetting to do it.  almost every guest at the larder at tavern orders a chocolate chip cookie...chewy or crispy...they are our top seller.  i think the secret to our cookies isn't the recipe, its the amazing chocolate we get and the amount of chocolate we pack into each cookie.  we use 65% chocolate coins from cordillera.  they are an amazing company that produces 100% colombian chocolates.  they were gracious enough to send me there last year to learn more about their company and their products.  i will post more about my trip there next time.  so now, on to the chocolatiest chocolate chip cookies...

chocolate chip cookies:

8oz          butter, room temperature
1 1/4c      dark brown sugar
3/4c         granulated sugar
2each       eggs
1 1/2tsp   vanilla extract
3c            pastry flour
1tsp         baking soda
2tsp         kosher salt
24oz       65% cordillera chocolate coins (or whatever your favorite chocolate is.  make sure to chop it into large quarter-size chunks)

in a kitchen aid bowl, fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars until all combined.  do not beat until pale or your cookies will be too flat.
add the eggs, one at a time, until well combined.
stop the mixer and scrap the sides of the bowl.
add the vanilla extract and mix for 10 seconds.
sift the pastry flour, baking soda and salt and slowly add it to the mixer with the mixer on the lowest setting.
when you see that almost all the flour has been incorporated, add the chocolate and mix just until combined.

we use an ice cream scoop at the restaurant to ensure consistency in size.  choose your weapon and form the dough into balls the size of golf balls.

for chewy cookies:
chill the dough for 2 hours
place the balls of cookie dough on a parchment lined cookie sheet 3" apart and bake at 350F for 10 minutes.
and bake for another 5-7 minutes or until the edges are golden brown.
cool completely or just dig in!

for crispy cookies:
no need to chill the dough.
with very clean fingers, flatten each ball of dough as thin as possible.  it should be the size of a cd.
bake the cookies at 350F for 12 minutes.
bake for another 12-15 minutes or until the entire cookie is delicious caramel color.
again, cool completely or eat 'em while their hot!

extra notes:
sub the chocolate chips for dried fruits and/or nuts, peanut butter chips...whatever you like.