I love my job more than anything, but working from home can sometimes get a little isolating. So when opportunities like this come my way, I’m all in! Last month, I spent an amazing few days with Williams Sonoma, Fortessa, The Fairmont, and a group of lovely bloggers in Sonoma. We were wined and dined and wined some more… Here’s just a quick recap!
I’m a sucker for kitchen gear so it was fun to visit the original Williams Sonoma store. It just reopened this year – many of the charming details were replicated from the store that Chuck Williams first opened in 1956. If you’re in Sonoma, check it out. We were also treated to a pasta-making class:
Isn’t it fun to watch other people cook? Chef Thomas McNaughton of San Francisco’s Flour + Water Restaurant made handmade pasta for us. I’ve eaten a lot of pasta in my life, so this is a big statement: his pasta was the… best… ever. (It was even tastier on this beautiful dinnerware!). Check out his book, it’s a stunner. He also made a darn good kale & roasted squash salad too. I wish I had gotten the recipe:
I wanted one of everything from these gorgeous wall displays:
After lunch, we took a tour of Silver Oaks Winery – I especially loved their vegetable garden. I had major meyer lemon tree envy, and their kohlrabi was especially beautiful:
Our group! (bloggers from: What’s Gaby Cooking, Waiting on Martha, Sugar and Charm, The House That Lars Built, Style Me Pretty, Once Wed, Snippet and Ink, Coco + Kelley, Green Wedding Shoes, Intimate Weddings, Wedding Chicks)
The trip ended with a beautiful dinner at the Fairmont. Below Chef David Blum plates up chocolate soufflés for dessert.
Thanks to Fortessa, Williams Sonoma & The Fairmont for a lovely trip! This post was created in partnership, and is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Fortessa. The opinions and text are all mine. (Some photos by Mark Poss).
Happy Friday! I hope you have brunch plans this weekend, because today I have a little brunch recipe inspiration to get you started…
Last weekend, we flew to California to host this super fun brunch cooking class with Almond Breeze. It was a blast getting to meet & cook with a few fans of the blog (of all ages!). First we made my favorite frittata recipe with summer squash, cherry tomatoes and basil. This is a great easy recipe, especially with the abundance of late summer produce that’s in season right now.
Of course we couldn’t have an almond milk party without smoothies. At the class, we made super fruity Emoji smoothies. What is an emoji smoothie, you ask? It’s an instagram-able smoothie where the combinations are based on your favorite little phone icons!
And for a sweet treat – waffles! We made these vegan waffles which are made with whole grain spelt flour. The recipe uses flaxseed meal instead of egg, coconut oil instead of butter, and they’re sweetened with maple syrup. Everyone mixed their batter and took turns at the waffle irons before moving on to the topping bar – a.k.a. the “take the picture of your waffle” area.
Steal this waffle bar idea for your next brunch party: set up a bunch of toppings (yogurt, assorted fruits, maple syrup, etc)… have your guests mix their own waffle batter and then and top them however they like!
If you make these recipes, tag your photo with #betterwithbreeze on Instagram!
So… it turns out that it actually is possible to have too much gelato. It’s also possible to have too much burrata, too much bread, and too much pasta… Normally, my matcha and kale-loving self would say that these truths are obvious – but when in Rome… well, you know the rest.
We created this post on the day of the vacation when I needed salad most. Not that it’s hard to find good salads in Rome, but we enjoyed spending our early evenings on this terrace of the Airbnb apartment where we were staying.
Earlier that morning, we picked up a few ingredients from Campo di Fiori. The radicchio looked especially gorgeous and the peaches were ripe and juicy. I chose things that would balance each other in the most minimal way possible because I didn’t have any sort of pantry ingredients or anything sharper than a butter knife.
This salad is SO simple but I’m not sure why I didn’t think of this combination before – slightly bitter radicchio is so delicious with sweet tomatoes and (even sweeter) peaches. The only requirement of this 5 ingredient salad is that your ingredients need to be perfect, even your olive oil. If your radicchio is overly bitter, sub in arugula or mix it with a lettuce that’s a little more mild.
This salad would also be fantastic with fresh mozzarella or burrata. Since I was burrata-ed out by this time I added just a little bit of shaved padano which added a nice rich salty bite (It’s similar to parmesan or pecorino). If you’re vegan, just skip it and add a sprinkle of sea salt.
Later this week, we’re taking a little trip and would love to hear your travel recs… especially those that involve food (of course)! If you have favorite restaurants, markets, or gelato shops please let me know!
Jack and I are heading to Rome, and the Amalfi coast so we’d love suggestions for Positano, Amalfi, Capri, and Sorrento. We’ve been to Rome (and Capri, pictured) before, so we’ll probably skip some of the main tourist attractions but would love other ideas – cool neighborhoods to check out – that sort of thing.
This past week, Samsung flew me out to New York as part of their Club de Chefs collaboration. I had the opportunity to preview some amazing appliances at the Samsung Living Atelier (like a pop up shop), and chat with some pretty major Michelin star chefs.
Along with fellow bloggers, I had the chance to sit down and chat with Éric Fréchon of the restaurant at the Hôtel Le Bristol in Paris, Christopher Kostow of The Restaurant at Meadowood in Napa, Michel Troisgros of La Maison Troisgros in Roanne, and (surprise chef!), Daniel Boulud of the restaurant Daniel. They were all so kind. Our afternoon session was all smiles and laughs – I found myself forgetting that I was sitting with people who make some of the most incredible food in the world.
One thing that made me feel good about my personal approach to food is that all chefs agreed that cooking at home has to be light, and it has to be simple. “Quick simple beautiful ingredients,” says Chef Michel.
My biggest takeaway was one common element – food is love. When I asked about cooking at home, 3 out of the 4 of the chefs replied with “my wife cooks, or I cook with my wife.” I just love how, even for rockstar Michelin star chefs – cooking is about family. I thought it was especially sweet to listen to Chef Michel talk about his wife:“I’m amazed at what she does with nothing.”
But it was Chef Éric that described cooking in the most heartwarming way. “You must cook the way you love to cook. Take time and be meticulous. But cooking has to come from the heart to make a difference. It’s about sharing what’s in your heart while you prepare the for the person you are cooking for.”
You may be thinking “what does this have to do with Samsung?” Someone really smart at Samsung decided to find out what these amazing chefs would actually WANT in their kitchens at home – and with their help the new Chef Collection line was born. I walked away with some serious appliance-envy (hello, oven that can cook at two different temps at the same time(!)… and fridge with sparkling water dispenser where you can choose your level of fizz).
Later that evening (pictured), they cooked for us (and many others) at the final press event. At the end of the event they gave us each a signed apron. All and all, a super inspiring trip.
This post is in collaboration with Samsung.