sacramento connect » Food & Wine sacramento blogs & community news around sacramento california Thu, 23 Oct 2014 00:45:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix {Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate} Wed, 22 Oct 2014 10:00:47 +0000 It’s finally, finally cooled off here in Sacramento. It even rained yesterday!! That means it’s hot chocolate season. This year, I decided to get economical and make my own hot chocolate mix. This cocoa mix is the perfect gift: it’s dairy-free and you can even use it to make pumpkin spice hot chocolate! Several years […]

The post Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix {Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate} appeared first on Crazy for Crust.

]]> 0
Cajun Smashed Fries for a Cause Wed, 22 Oct 2014 07:00:00 +0000 0 Vanilla Bean & Cinnamon Spiced Bartlett Pear Cheesecake Wed, 22 Oct 2014 02:05:00 +0000

We were invited by a couple of friends to gather in celebration of Canadian Thanksgiving and their first little one due to arrive in the winter.
My sister came up to visit for the occasion, my mom cross-stitched sweet designs on tiny onesies, and I made this vanilla bean and cinnamon spiced pear cheesecake.

I had brought home a few bartlett pears from work determined to find a delicious use for them. As they quickly ripened, I began to wonder if I should take my Aunt's advice and make pear jam out of the sweet fruit before they became too ripe. 
This recipe was a delicious solution and made for a perfectly fall-flavored dessert with the slightly sweet pear flavor, warm spices, smooth texture, and creamy notes of vanilla.

I made it the night before the gathering and chilled it overnight. The following day, after taking a trip with my sister to meet my parents for endless hat shopping at a sample sale, I was ready to photograph this delicious creation. 
I was so excited about the lighting being just right, and the cake's swirl looking so photogenic. 
After about 20 photos had been taken, my beau came running into the kitchen, thrilled to show me the lovely gift wrapping job he and my sister had done. Responding to the excitement, I stood up quickly, my hip bumped the surface the cake was sitting on, and the backdrop fell flat on top of it.
I was crushed.

Quickly, and without hesitation, he picked it up, took out a small slice to widen the space where the original piece had come from to make it fit back in, and began re-forming it and smoothing it over. My sweet husband and sister fixed what could have been a game-over moment less than 30 minutes before the event.  

After fitting the cake back into the springform pan and placing it in the freezer to firm up, my beau turned to me and said, "You know what the bright side of this is?" Trying to figure out what positive could come of this, I looked up at his big smile and he went on, "I got to have a little piece of the pie." 
His uplifting remark and warm smile were enough to melt my heart and were a reminder of words that I try to keep in the back of my mind to  see the good in everything
We brought the cheesecake to the event, thanks to my husband and sister, and it was much enjoyed.

Vanilla Bean & Cinnamon Spiced Bartlett Pear Cheesecake
makes one 10" springform pan

-1 cup almonds
-1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
-3 Tablespoons cocoa or cacao powder
-2 Tablespoons maple syrup
-2 Tablespoons coconut oil

-3 cups cashews, soaked overnight, rinsed and drained
-3 cups cubed ripe pairs
-1 cup maple syrup
-1/2 cup coconut cream (solid portion in canned coconut milk)
-juice of 1 lemon (about 2 Tablespoons)
-1 1/2 Tablespoons vanilla
-1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-3/4 cup coconut oil
-1/4 reserved filling mixture
-1 1/2 ground cinnamon
-2 vanilla beans

1. Trace and cut a parchment paper circle to place inside of 10" springform pan.
2. Process all crust ingredients in food processor until mixture starts to rise up sides of processor. Scrape down with spatula or spoon and continue to process until mixture is consistent. The resulting texture should hold together with a gentle pressure and be broken apart with a clean break. Press mixture into bottom of parchment-lined springform pan. 
3. Begin preparing filling: Add all filling ingredients except coconut oil to blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Add melted coconut oil and blend until smooth and fully incorporated. Pour 2/3 to 3/4 of mixture into crust and springform pan. Add additional 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon and 2 vanilla beans (scraped insides only). Blend until incorporated. Pour evenly over top of pie and swirl.
4. Freeze for 1-2 hours or until center is firm to the touch. Remove once firm, run a butter knife around edge of cake and release springform. Cut and serve. 

Store covered in refrigerator for up to 5 days
inspired by  this recipe from Both Halves
optional substitutions...
-almonds: cashews, pecans
-coconut flakes: additional nuts
-maple syrup: preferred liquid sweetener
-coconut oil: avocado oil, olive oil

Mangia! Mangia!
]]> 0
Rubio’s New Sustainable Shrimp Tacos Wed, 22 Oct 2014 00:36:23 +0000 0 Try It: Ju Hachi Tue, 21 Oct 2014 23:53:00 +0000 0 The Time’s Ripe for Late Season Figs Tue, 21 Oct 2014 23:52:00 +0000 0 Celery Root Pear “Anna” Tue, 21 Oct 2014 22:52:56 +0000 0 Neighborhood Dining Gem: Café Vinoteca Tue, 21 Oct 2014 21:09:00 +0000 0 Uncommon Goods: #Product #Review Tue, 21 Oct 2014 11:00:15 +0000 I have a real treat for you from Uncommon Goods. Before I share let me explain; I rarely accept opportunities to showcase products or companies. Why? Regardless of the fact I would receive a free product for posting a review, many do not fit what I’m all about. Most inquiries are in discord [...]

The post Uncommon Goods: #Product #Review appeared first on Finding Our Way Now.

]]> 0
Slow Cooker Gingerbread Apple Crumble Tue, 21 Oct 2014 04:31:27 +0000 {continue reading}]]> 0 Dining News: Lowbrau, Block Butcher Bar Exec Chef to (Eventually) Leave Post, Join Kings Arena Tue, 21 Oct 2014 04:15:00 +0000 ]]> 0 Sacramento Vegan Chef Challenge 2014 — Broderick Roadhouse Tue, 21 Oct 2014 02:15:00 +0000 0 Best Brownie Bites Mon, 20 Oct 2014 22:00:02 +0000 You know those brownie bites you get in bulk at the warehouse store? These are better. Plus, when you make your own, you can add Rolos and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. That’s just better, dontcha think?? I spent this past weekend in Seattle and it was amazing. I absolutely love Seattle, and all of the […]

The post Best Brownie Bites appeared first on Crazy for Crust.

]]> 0
Autumn (First) Housewarming Party Mon, 20 Oct 2014 21:24:38 +0000 Find more posts like this one at amy is the party

Follow the party!

rss subcribesay hellofacebookgoogle plustwitterflickrpinterestinstagram]]> 0
Celebrate Ten 22′s 5th Anniversary with $5 Dishes on 10/22 Mon, 20 Oct 2014 20:00:00 +0000 0 Nevada City, Sacramento and South Lake Tahoe to host 2015 Amgen Tour of California Mon, 20 Oct 2014 17:13:10 +0000 0 The big meet farmers moment…is coming Mon, 20 Oct 2014 15:00:42 +0000 Continue reading ]]> 0 Toffee Squares Mon, 20 Oct 2014 14:42:42 +0000 Continue reading ]]> 0 Paul Martin’s Fall Menu is Here Mon, 20 Oct 2014 13:20:00 +0000 0 Apple and Herb Centerpiece Mon, 20 Oct 2014 12:00:39 +0000 Today I am over at The Creative Mama sharing how I made this simple Apple and Herb Centerpiece. So easy, so pretty, and the smell? Amazing. The photo above the Casual Buffet Menu from The Thanksgiving Game Plan. I turned out to be a menu good enough that I would [...]

The post Apple and Herb Centerpiece appeared first on Baked Bree.

]]> 0
Sacramento Vegan Chef Challenge 2014 — Hook & Ladder Manufacturing Co. Mon, 20 Oct 2014 07:02:00 +0000

I knew that a two-for-$40 Sacramento Vegan Chef Challenge special with wine pairings was offered on Sunday nights, but I didn't realize that meant it was not possible to order the Challenge menu for just one person. Fortunately, my non-vegan husband was willing to share the two-for-$40 vegan special with me. If you're planning on dining alone or with someone who is not going to want the vegan menu, you may want to find somewhere else to eat on the remaining Sunday night this month. It is my understanding that on nights other than Sundays, the Challenge menu is offered at Hook & Ladder for $28.00 per person, but does not include the wine pairings.

Since the meal is apportioned for two people on Sunday nights, each course comes to the table on one plate, and each person dishes up however much they want from that plate. The first course on the Challenge menu is the End of Summer Heirloom Tomato Salad. In addition to the delicious tomatoes, this beautiful salad includes roasted corn, English cucumber, baby kale, and grilled tofu.

The entrée was an excellent Roasted Kabocha Squash Risotto, which was garnished with sautéed baby squashes, rainbow chard, crimini mushrooms, and toasted pine nuts. This was a very satisfying dish, and perfect for fall.

The dessert was a delicious Blackberry Apple Tarte Tatin. It was very rich and sweet, and just the right size for two people to share.

Hook & Ladder Manufacturing Co. is located at 1630 S Street, and their phone number is 916-442-4885. Their website address is, and their Facebook page can be found at The restaurant is open Monday through Thursday from 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
]]> 0
Dining News: RIP Marilyn’s on K Mon, 20 Oct 2014 04:15:00 +0000 0 Slow Cooker Sticky Pecan Buns Mon, 20 Oct 2014 01:34:47 +0000 {continue reading}]]> 0 Block 34 Mon, 20 Oct 2014 01:18:00 +0000 0 Estancia Winery Pinot Grigio: #Wine Sun, 19 Oct 2014 11:00:45 +0000 0 Candy Bar Pie Sun, 19 Oct 2014 10:00:30 +0000 My pantry is full of half-open bags of candy. Once things start falling on my head while I’m grabbing the cereal, I know it’s time to take action. Enter: Candy Bar Pie. A blondie in a pie crust that’s filled with leftover candy. I say this a lot, but you’re welcome. Like a lot of […]

The post Candy Bar Pie appeared first on Crazy for Crust.

]]> 0
Yelp deserves negative reviews Sat, 18 Oct 2014 17:00:00 +0000 0 How to Freeze Desserts Sat, 18 Oct 2014 10:00:02 +0000 Want to know a secret? I freeze pretty much every single dessert I make for the blog. Want to know how you can freeze things too? Well, you’re in the right place today. The holidays are coming – Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year’s Eve. If you’re anything like me, these are the baking holidays. I […]

The post How to Freeze Desserts appeared first on Crazy for Crust.

]]> 0
Rediscover Roxy Restaurant and Bar Fri, 17 Oct 2014 16:48:22 +0000 0 Devil’s Food Tie Dyed Cupcakes Fri, 17 Oct 2014 15:10:02 +0000 I have a confession. I don’t like Halloween. There, I said it. Have you noticed that there are very few Halloween recipes here? I do pin a ton of Halloween recipes and ideas, but I don’t seem to make a lot. Thanksgiving seems to get all of my [...]

The post Devil’s Food Tie Dyed Cupcakes appeared first on Baked Bree.

]]> 0
Dining News: Sac Bacon Week 2015 Details Announced Fri, 17 Oct 2014 06:26:21 +0000 0 The Pin Junkie Blogiversary Link Party! Fri, 17 Oct 2014 01:02:47 +0000 Continue reading ]]> 0 KitchenAid Mixer Giveaway! Fri, 17 Oct 2014 01:00:56 +0000 Today is a super special day! My friend, Sandra from A Dash of Sanity, is celebrating her first blogiversary today! One year of blogging is an amazing accomplishment. I’m so excited to be joining with her in her celebration with this fantastic KitchenAid giveaway! Sandra is the sweetest person and her recipes are amazing! She makes […]

The post KitchenAid Mixer Giveaway! appeared first on Crazy for Crust.

]]> 0
Sacramento Vegan Chef Challenge 2014 — Lou’s Sushi Thu, 16 Oct 2014 22:32:00 +0000

We ordered the Tofu and Grilled Asparagus Salad to share, squares of soft tofu and perfectly cooked asparagus served in a slightly sweet sauce and then sprinkled with sesame seeds. It was a very simple salad, but we both really enjoyed it. I hope they keep it on the menu after the Challenge ends.

For my entrée, I ordered the Veggie OMFG roll, without onions and with a soy wrapper instead of seaweed. This delicious dish was a daikon and oyster mushroom roll with avocado and grilled asparagus, garnished with a spicy garlic "mayo." The flavors went well together, and I liked the slight spiciness. It also looked beautiful on the plate.

I'm not used to having dessert in sushi restaurants, but a special dessert of Tempura Strawberries had been created for the Sacramento Vegan Chef Challenge, so Melissa and I decided to give it a try. We loved it -- ripe strawberries in a sweet tempura batter with a mint-infused coconut milk dipping sauce. It was the perfect way to end a very satisfying lunch.

In addition to these items, the Challenge menu at Lou's Sushi includes two other salads, two appetizers, and three other types of rolls.

Lou's Sushi is located at 2801 P Street, and their phone number is 916-451-4700. Their website address is and their Facebook page can be found at The restaurant is open Tuesday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., Saturday from 3:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., and Sunday from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.]]> 0
Chocolate Cheesecake Sandwich Cookies & “Dessert Mash-Ups” Giveaway! Thu, 16 Oct 2014 22:00:06 +0000 {continue reading}]]> 0 Half Off Any Beverage at Peet’s After 12 Noon in October Thu, 16 Oct 2014 20:00:00 +0000 0 New Roma Bakery Thu, 16 Oct 2014 19:45:13 +0000 0 Filipino Chicken Adobo done Sous Vide Thu, 16 Oct 2014 16:31:00 +0000

Almost two years ago I tried my hand at a sous vide cooking - McGuyver style. Using just an ice chest and water boiling on the stove, I managed to cook steaks to a perfect medium rare. The trouble is, the McGuyver method means you have to babysit your sous vide for the entire time. That can be a problem if you want to sous vide something for one or two days. That's when you need the real deal equipment.

Last month I was at the International Food Bloggers Conference and one of the sponsors was  SousVide Supreme.  They are the ones who make water bath machines that are often used in restaurant kitchens and by professional chefs. They made a pretty sweet offer that I took them up on - a  SousVide Supreme machine in exchange for some recipes.

I was sent the SousVide Supreme Demi, which is a smaller sized unit and perfect for the home. For my first recipe, I took a Filipino classic and adapted it for sous vide cooking.

Would you like to win a SousVide Supreme package of your own worth  over $1500? It includes a bundle of SousVide Supreme products (machine, vacuum sealer, food bags, cookbook), an assortment of premium quality Wagyu beef and a set of knives! Be sure to enter the contest.

Filipino Chicken Adobo 

1/3  c white vinegar
2 T soy sauce
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 small bay leaf
¼ t black pepper
½ c water
1 lb. chicken thighs
1 T vegetable oil

Combine the vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, bay leaf, pepper and water. Pour into a gallon size zip plastic bag. Add the chicken thighs. Squeeze out the air and zip/seal the bag. Refrigerate and let marinate for 8-12 hours.

Fill the SousVide Supreme with water and heat to 70C.

Carefully remove the chicken thighs and place into a food pouch, vacuum and seal.

Place in the water bath and allow to cook for 2-4 hours.

Take the marinade and pour into a small sauce pan. Simmer the marinade until it is reduced to half the amount. Save until ready to serve. (For those concerned, this will sufficiently kill any bad things.)

When the chicken is done, carefully remove from the pouch and pat dry. Heat a skillet large enough to hold the thighs over medium high heat until piping hot. Add the vegetable oil into the skillet and sear the thighs, skin side down, for about a minute or two, until golden brown. 

Serve the chicken and sauce over rice. 

Disclosure: I was given a SousVide Supreme Demi and vacuum sealer in exchange for recipe development. 
]]> 0
Corned Beef and Cabbage Recipe: #Recipe Thu, 16 Oct 2014 11:00:03 +0000 Glynis Jolly @Speculations Impressed is once again gracing us with are fun recipe. This Corned Beef and Cabbage is perfect for this time of year. Take it away Glynis. Thanks Susan, I like to talk up the Native American in me, but that’s just a small part of the heritage. I’m one-half German.

The post Corned Beef and Cabbage Recipe: #Recipe appeared first on Finding Our Way Now.

]]> 0
Red Velvet Brownie Cups Thu, 16 Oct 2014 10:00:21 +0000 I know, I know. This recipe doesn’t have pumpkin or apple. But did you know red velvet was originally, traditionally, a Christmas dessert? So really, these Red Velvet Brownie Cups are just ahead of the game. I’m getting you prepared for November and December. You’re welcome. Holy blogger cookbook-palooza people. So. Many. Bloggers have cookbooks […]

The post Red Velvet Brownie Cups appeared first on Crazy for Crust.

]]> 0