FoodBuzz Blogger Festival: Saturday Nigh Gala

This was hands down the best part of the whole festival. We could purchase guest tickets for this event, so once again I brought my sweetheart. It was exciting to get dress-up up and have “adult time” as Michael phrased it.

After the Taste Pavilion, it was such a lovely day so we walked through the city for awhile. Then we changed and head to to the Sir Francis Drake a bit early to grab a drink. I had a very yummy cocktail called “Nothing Rhymes with Orange” and Michael of course had an Anchor Steam.


Then shuttles took us over to the California Academy of Sciences for the gala. We started in the lobby where they servred melon agua fresca and this ahi appetizers that Michael loved, and once again I will just take his word for it. Then we wandered through the museum, passed the sharks and rays, and down stairs to the aquarium.

Sorry it’s so dark, best I could do!

There was an open bar and hors d’oeuvres. They had a special apricot martini that I could not get passed the first sip. I quickly switched to wine, Cupcake Vineyards to be exact. I started with a glass of Pinot Grigio.

Most of the passsed hors d’oeuvres were actually vegan! They had eggplant veggie crepes and veggie sushi rolls. Plus little tables with spreads, crackers, and nuts.

We mingled and stared at the fish. Michael even ran into an old friend and I ran into Kristianne (My San Francisco Kitchen) whom I had cocktails with the night before. She joined us for the rest of the night.

They ushered us back upstairs for a buffet dinner. We sat at a table with Danica from Danica’s Daily and her husband, Blair from Slovenian Roots Quest and her husband, and Petra from Strawberry Pesto.

I was kinda disappoint that the only vegan options were salads. Michael laughed and said, “I thought all you eat is vegetables?” I am not going to complain too much since they were actually really good.

The first table had an avocado and grapefruit salad in a wine vinaigrette, and a yellow beat salad.

The second table had an fennel and escarole salad in a champagne dressing, and an arugula and endive salad in a sherry vinaigrette.

For dessert I switched to the Sparkling Presecco. Their vegan options were an apple pate and almond raspberry cake bites. Kristianne literally grabbed one of everything, it was pretty funny.

Afterwards we just took the shuttle back and drove home. We were exhausted, but had a lot of fun. I am looking forward to next year already!

Thank you again to Foodbuzz and all the sponsors!

FoodBuzz Blogger Festival: Taste Pavilion

The second day of the FoodBuzz Blogger Festival started with a scavenger hunt at the Farmers Market at the Ferry Building…at 8:30 in the morning….I was still sleeping at 8:30 in the morning. I showed up around 10:30 and did not feel like doing the scavenger by myself. I did explore the vendor booths and use the $6 worth of tokens FoodBuzz gave me for a yummy spicy raw lettuce wrap from Alive!‘s booth. I sat and ate with a lovely view of the foggy Bay Bridge.

Messy but the gulls were happy to help.
Afterwards I slowly walked through the city to the Metreon for the Taste Pavilion. We could bring a guest to this event for free, so of course I invited my sweetheart. Michael was happy to help me sample local food and drinks. His favorite was the steak from grass-fed beef, which I will just take his word for it since beef might be the farthest thing from vegan.
I am going to discuss my three  favorite vendors:
Locally grown organic vegan snacks! And they are made from dehydrated veggies! The founder Justin was excited when he saw the name of my blog and told me all about the awesome organic produce they use. I love kale chips, and their Chessy Kale Chips really wowed me. The “cheese” is actually sunflower seeds and soy-free miso. The Seasoned Zucchini Sticks would be great to munch on and wash down with a beer during a game.
Aloha, my braddah! Liko was inspired to start an organic handmade ice pop company from his memories of making ice pops with his Tutu (Hawaiian for Grandma). Michael and I were not only happy to talk story with him, but more than happy to sample all of his delicious frozen treats. Michael liked the Yellow Watermelon Mint. I loved the Passionfruit Coconut, it reminded me of this shave ice I got almost everyday when I met my parents in Maui last summer.
Oh my, the Thai Green Curry might be the best I have ever had—and if you have read this blog before you know my love for Thai curry. Cook! is a gluten-free and dairy-free meal service for California, but they also have packaged retail products for sale. Michael loved the Zucchini Soup. I hope their products make their way to San Jose soon!
See my other blog, Drink Vegan Beer, for my review of Bison Brewing Company.

FoodBuzz Blogger Festival: Review of Millennium

After the cocktail reception at Harry Denton’s Starlight lounge, we were turned loose in the city to dine at the restaurant of our choice compliments of FoodBuzz.

I chose Millennium, a mostly vegan restaurant located in The Hotel California. It was right around the corner from the Sir Francis Drake so I didn’t have to walk very far at all. It has a more modern decor, which goes nicely with the local organic menu.

They had a very nice liquor and wine list, but I went with beer. You can check out the review of California Common on my other blog, Drink Vegan Beer.

As my appetizer, the minute the waitress described the soup of the day I wanted it. Cauliflower and leek puree with chipotle oil and fried potato chips. It was creamy but light. The leaks stood out without being over powering (a problem I have when making leak soup). And I loved the spice from the chipotle oil. And the potato chip was fried perfectly.

For my entree, I selected the Sweet Soy, Chile and Peanut Glazed Tempeh. It came with anise and coconut black rice, snow peas, and Asian pear pieces. The glaze on the tempeh was so good, a little spicy but balanced with a little sweet. The veggies were just a little crisp still, which I love. The anise in the rice was very interesting and went well with the spiciness of the tempeh. And the Asian pear was a nice complement to the whole dish.

I lucked out and scored a free dessert because of FourSquare! I checked-in and received a coupon for a free dessert with the purchase of an appetizer and an entree.

I chose their signature, the Chocolate Almond Midnight. It was just rich enough without being over the top. The raspberry sauce drizzled over it provided a nice tart contrast. What really made this dish was the almond cashew crust.

As much as I loved Hawaii, I am happy to be back on the mainland where there are fabulous restaurants I can actually eat at again! I am so making Michael take me back here next time we go to the city for dinner.

FoodBuzz Blogger Festival 2012: Cocktails at Harry Denton’s Starlight Room

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The first event for the FoodBuzz Blogger Festival was a cocktail reception at Harry Denton’s Starlight Room, which is located on the 21st floor of the Sir Francis Drake Hotel. After my long and boring train ride to the city, I was more than happy to enjoy a drink and some conversation.

They had two complimentary cocktails, a peach spritzers and hibiscus martini. I hated the peach one but the martini was amazing. I had two!

There were vegan some hors d’oeuvres too! Sesame tofu with a little wakame, spicy melon skewers, mini beat salads. All went very well with my cocktails.

Another amazing thing—the view! It was a little foggy so we could not see the bay very well, so it was just a fantastic view of the city.

I had cocktails with two very lovely ladies, Brigitt from cook with b and Kristianne from My San Francisco Kitchen.  I also met the author of a blog I already love, Emily from Newly Wife. Check out their blogs too!

As for the Starlight room itself, the decor is a bit outdated and worn, but overall it’s a nice place. The service was great too. I would definitely recommend it for a cocktail before or after dinner, especially for a fun date night.

FoodBuzz Blogger Festival

This weekend I attended the 4th annual FoodBuzz Blogger Festival in San Francisco. I would like to thank FoodBuzz for hosting such a great event. I had a lot of fun! I would also like to thank my friend Jacklin for letting me stay at her place in the city. It was so nice to catch up and to not have to take the train back to San Jose at midnight. I am going to break-up my recap into four parts:

Cocktail Reception at Harry Denton’s Starlight Room
Dine About Town: Review of Millennium
Taste Pavilion
Saturday Night Gala at The Academy of Sciences

Columbia River Gorge Trip: Brownies, Full Sail Brewery and Tofurky

Picture from here

Summer classes ended so I went home to Oregon for a little bit before fall semester starts. My friend Amanda invited me to come visit her in The Dalles (well, more like demanded since we haven’t seen each other in a year). Then my UHH friend Michael was in Hood River doing an internship for one of our geology professors, and said I should come see him too. So, I borrowed my dad’s car and headed down the beautiful Colombia River Gorge.

If you have never been, it’s defiantly worth a trip. The landscape is truly breathtaking.  As you drive east from Portland you transition from lush forests to a high desert, while passing alongside waterfalls, mountain peaks, high cliffs, and the lovely Columbia River itself. 

I stayed one night in Hood River with my professor and his family, which was very nice of them, so I decided to bring them a treat as a thank you. I made my favorite brownies, Chocolate Brownie Mix from Pamela’s Products. They can be made vegan or non-vegan, just follow the directions on the package. Here is how I make them:






Pamela’s Product Brownies
4 tbs water
1/2 cup vegan margarine 
1/4 hemp milk

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and spray a baking pan with cooking spray. 

In a small bowl, mix together the egg replacer and the 4 tbs of water. 

In a large bowl, add the brownie mix, egg replacer and all remaining ingredients. Mix together just until combined. 

Pour into the pan and bake for about 20 minutes. They are done when a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Even my non-vegan brother and dad wanted some. My brother happily ate the one that wouldn’t fit on plate I took to Hood River.

When I got into town Michael and Dr. Anderson were still out in the field so I explored downtown for a bit. It didn’t take too long before I ended up at Full Sail Brewery. Their beer is vegan (click here to learn about what makes beer vegan or not) and the food at the brewpub is good too.

What I like about them, and most Oregon breweries, is that they use local, quality ingredients. I had the hummus plate–just didn’t eat the feta— and a pint of the LTD 03. The beer was very hoppy, but very good. Take the tour while you are there too, you get a free glass afterwards. 

And, right next door to Full Sail is one of the best vegan things ever: the Tofurky Factory! I didn’t go in but when I go stay at peoples houses I usually bring my own food to make it easier on my hosts so I brought some Tofuky Italian Sausages with me. I don’t know how they do it, but Tofurky products actually taste and have the texture of meat. I cannot express how much I love this company and its products. The sausages are juicy and get nice grill marks on them too.

After Hood River, I stayed a few days in The Dalles with Amanda and her family. Although not vegan, I brought them Mauna Loa Chocolate Covered Macadamia Nuts from Hawaii. Amanda said her sister already devoured most of them. And, Amanda’s dog Lilly is so freaking cute I just felt the need to put her on here.