April has been a month of celebrations — which have been exciting but tiring, to say the least. In the last 30 days, I’ve hopped north and south and east and west all in the name of baby announcements, birthdays, showers, music festivals, and weddings. Throughout it all, I’ve come across some top tunes, tasty treats, great reads, and other fabulous finds that I wanted to share with you. Here are my ten favorite finds from the last month:
JAM: The wedding I attended was Prohibition-themed in the Conservatory of Flowers with countless candelabras. I know, it sounds like a line out of a game of CLUE, but it was spectacular and the icing on the cake was the big band-style jazz group, the Harley White Jr. Orchestra. Where else in this day and age do you get to hear Minnie the Moocher live?
COOK: One of my favorite food places in San Francisco is Bi-Rite Market and the sister ice cream store, Bi-Rite Creamery, is equally noteworthy. I’ve sung their praises on Best Thing I Ever Ate and the first time I tried their salted caramel ice cream I was, like many others, hooked. The recipe for the caramel ice cream along with some other deliciousness like the ricaneles, and malted vanilla with peanut brittle and milk chocolate pieces are now available in their just-released book, Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones.
TASTE: In case I haven’t made it clear, I’ve got a thing for caramel. But, I’m choosy and prefer it a tad salty, almost burnt, and deeply complex in its flavor, so, when I tried Brooklyn-based Spoonable caramel sauce it spoke to me. At this very moment, I’m doing all I can to keep from eating the rest of the Chewy Sesame Caramel sauce in one sitting.
READ: This one’s been around a while but with the latest issue that I’m hooked. Having worked at CHOW magazine back when it was once printed on thick, matte pages with quality binding and saturated inks, I’m a lover of quality and Lucky Peach magazine delivers. But, unlike other magazines it has a grit and a rawness that could only come from people within the industry. And the tongue-in-cheek cartoons like those of Mario Batali’s Crocs used as a pasta machine keep it quirky and light.
VIEW: While at the surf-centric pop-up store and art show, Hellawood, I came across some mixed media prints and a few surfboards decorated by Alex Kopps and I’m now a fan.
GIFT: These Cross My Heart Coasters caught my eye when I was fulfilling my bridesmaid duties. I’ve been pushing them on my soon-to-be-married friends as they would be adorable at any of the ten weddings I’m headed to in the next twelve months.
BUY: One of the best birthday gifts I received this month was a tote by Noteify with a print of the Golden Gate Bridge and a single red heart balloon. I know, it’s so adorably handmade, it sound like something spoofed in a Portlandia sketch. But it hasn’t been — not yet, at least.
STOCK: Aside from all the celebrations, I also spent some time networking and learning at the three back-to-back conferences I attended. Two of served up lunch on these rather fetching bamboo-based plates from Wasara (which get bonus points for being biodegradable).
SIP: During a lazy poolside Sunday, my friend insisted on trying the Modenese Cocktail she found in the latest issue of La Cucina Italiana. It’s a riff on a Negroni made with the classic combo of gin, Campari, vermouth, but then lightened up with ginger beer, strawberries, and balsamic vinegar. I know, the combination sounds a bit odd but it has quickly become my lazy-day libation because it’s easy to mix and even easier to sip.
To Do Lists are monthly lists where I share my favorite discoveries of the last 30 days with you.