Batter Licker

August 8, 2012

reflections on my hiatus

Filed under: non-food — Tags: — Kristen @ 3:26 pm

Now that it’s August, please consider July to have been my unintended month-long vacation from the blogosphere. Because giving vacation notice a month after someone has already taken the vacation is entirely acceptable, professional etiquette.

By the way, Monsieur Bossypantsman, you may have noticed I haven’t been physically or electronically present for the past month. Well, I was on vacation, but now I’m back and seriously ready to get ‘er done.

Can you imagine?? In the non-internet world, that would be taken almost as seriously as this guy.

Not that I haven’t waved, “Hello! Remember me? I’m still alive!” via Facebook and Twitter every so often.

But it was a heck of a month spent redlining contracts, negotiating this-and-thats, informing the (allegedly uninformed) marketing masses about the ins-and-outs of unauthorized trademark use and consumer confusion, and managing an overflowing email inbox by siphoning most messages into a “Deal With Post-Conference” folder.

Not to mention generally marching around in my no-way-Jose lawyer hat that’s complemented by my conflict-resolving superwoman cape.

Which is to say that I spent much of July smiling in a friendly manner while shaking my head vehemently “no” and then concocting creative solutions so the BlogHer teams could continue doing some of the fabulous things they do best:


/end brag

Speaking of which, I’m both extremely proud and unbelievably exhausted. Is it November yet and am I on a beach in Thailand with Jay, waving a flag to signal resort waitstaff to bring me yet another cocktail?

An extra brandied cherry this time, sir, if you please.

May 25, 2012

gabi moskowitz’s brokeass gourmet cookbook and broccoli-kale gratin

I remember first meeting Gabi Moskowitz serendipitously at an Indian food-themed dinner hosted by our mutual friends, Rebecca and Bill Kee. While in the middle of preparing dal (a spicy lentil dish), she paused to introduce herself in a very warm and welcoming manner before putting me to work chopping onions. As I began that task, Bill casually mentioned that Gabi had a food blog too.  Soon I learned that she was not just any other kitchen maven named Gabi, but was The Gabi of Brokeass Gourmet, a recipe site with a monthly readership of over 30,000. I can guarantee the consistency of my onion cuts suffered as a result of being dorkily starstruck.

Thankfully, her fun and sassy demeanor disarmed my intimidation before I did too much damage in the kitchen. And I was happy to have shared a stove and chopping board, albeit briefly, with such an incredibly talented woman.

A few years’ worth of mostly social media exchanges later, I was excited for Gabi when I discovered she had procured a cookbook deal. When her PR rep sent me a complimentary copy of The Brokeass Gourmet Cookbook** to review, I could hardly contain myself upon its arrival. I can neither confirm nor deny whether I Gabi-vangelized the delivery person.

For those unfamiliar with this kindergarten-teacher-turned-cuisinière’s food blog and general background, I highly recommend you hop on over there, even if it’s just for a cursory visit. Once you bounce around her site a bit, you’ll see that Gabi’s cooking philosophy is grounded in accessibility and flavor.

These values carry over into her 116-recipe cookbook, where she starts with advice that will make meal-making much easier to manage no matter your skill level: how to stock a pantry with essentials like flour, olive oil, and salt for merely $50. And if you’re a bit of a lush like me, you’ll appreciate her subsequent input on how to smartly stock a budget bar.

Continuing to flip through the pages, I found that Gabi often takes dishes that might ordinarily be intimidating, such as Pakistani Butter Chicken (pictured above, although I deviated slightly by cooking the chicken thighs whole) or Sun-Dried Tomato Gnocchi, and simplifies the techniques involved without sacrificing flavor. She transforms the seemingly complex recipes such that beginner and immediate cooks alike can appreciate the time, steps and stress she’s saved them. (more…)

April 25, 2012

i’m speaking at blogher food in seattle!

You may already know this if you follow me on Facebook, but if not (or if you missed that update a month or two ago), I’m thrilled to be speaking at the BlogHer Food ’12 Conference in Seattle on June 9, 2012!

I'm Speaking at BlogHer Food '12!

The session is “Vittles: Vintage Food and Drink: Making a Modern Meatloaf, Manhattan, Martini or Macaroni & Cheese,” and I’ll be speaking about how – and why – to modernize vintage cocktails and infuse spirits at home.

If you live near Seattle or want an excuse to travel there, register for the event, and come say hi!

January 12, 2012

we do

Filed under: bars,cake,candy,cookies,dessert,non-food — Tags: , , , — Kristen @ 1:43 pm

On October 14, 2011 …

… Jay and I prepared to exchange rings and formalize what we had already felt in our hearts since moving to San Francisco together in 2005.

… we arrived at the Julia Morgan Ballroom quite early, and spent a few hours snooping around while everything got set up; ordering two insanely large platters of Mediterranean salads, hummus, falafel, gyros, and shawarma wraps for friends and family who intended to stop by; running around downtown San Francisco in search of pita bread once we realized it had been omitted from our order by mistake; and spending a wonderfully private lunchtime together.

… I kicked Jay out once my mom arrived with my dress in tow, and sent him back to his parents and grandmother at the Omni Hotel across the street.

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… the scene was set with flickering candlelight, plush couches, roaring fireplaces, and a colorful assortment of fall elements, ranging from purple and green artichokes to fiery calla lilies to Brussels sprouts, gourds, squashes, chili peppers, pumpkins, and berries.

Yes, those are artichokes in my bouquet; it was utterly fabulous. (more…)

December 15, 2011

check me out on BlogHer!

Remember this Project Wedding Dessert Bar Series post on bourbon spice and fleur de sel caramels? I am thrilled and honored that BlogHer asked me to share my caramel recipes with the millions of BlogHer Food readers!

Syndicated on BlogHer.comPlease head on over to and check out my post, in addition to the many other fabulous recipe- and food-related posts shared on their site by incredible bloggers! Right now, they’ve also shared a lot of great holiday ideas if you’re still scrambling to pull things together, from gifts to crafts to meals.

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