Pearl’s for the Culture.

Pearl’s for the Culture.

When Chéo said we’d be spending Labor Day in Brooklyn this year, I automatically thought back to last year and how we ended up at j’eatjet. I pretty much spent the morning calling restaurants to find out if they were open—but not this time! I did my research, found quite a few restaurants that would be open, but we still ended up at Pearl’s in Williamsburg, for the culture.

Each visit to Pearl’s, I try something new—last time was the tamarind wings. As much as I would’ve loved to have an order, we went with the sweet plantains, served with a tamarind chili sauce. I’d never had a crunchy plantain until then: it seemed to have had a light flour-coating that added a much-needed texture once paired with the sauce. It was a pleasant surprise and definitely a dish I’ll be trying at home, as soon as I figure out how to make tamarind sauce.img_8023

I had a few tastes of his Trini rum punch; that was definitely a hit! I got my usual bake and shrimp, Chéo ordered a bake and jerk chicken with a side of avocado, and of course the macaroni pie.

It was a short drive to OddFellows to get ice cream for dessert. Their ice cream is so creamy and smooth, I had to put Chéo on. Instead, he ordered a milkshake. ::rolls eyes::

 

Brunch and candids: our NYC Labor Day tradition. The traffic we hit was horrible, but we were surrounded by the sounds of the Caribbean, and that was home to us.

 

 

 

 

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#avaeats All White Party + Potluck

#avaeats All White Party + Potluck

img_7055I. Am. Floating.

Saturday night was the night! The #avaeats all white party and potluck was an absolute success! Naturally, there were a few hiccups—but all the little things I worried about were nonexistent. We had a great turnout and variety of dishes from West Indian to Italian, and the never-failing tray of chicken wings from the Chinese spot. I can’t thank everyone enough!

I ordered an infused unicorn cake from @sugarhighbakes and they delivered! I offer them the opportunity to set up at the party and they gladly took it. I was a little nervous about them coming, I’ll admit, but they had a successful night and enjoy themselves, and I couldn’t ask for anything else. I know for a fact they’ll be getting some new business after this—mission accomplished!img_7059

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I enjoy making pretty desserts, so I held that down on the contribution list. I made vanilla cupcakes topped with vanilla buttercream and a white chocolate brush stroke, chocolate covered pretzels, chocolate bark, and brownies in a brand new silicone mold that almost made me shit myself—I’ll tell that story another time. Angelena reminded me the day before that she is a pescatarian, so I had to run out to grab some shrimp and decided to make shrimp kebabs two ways: lemon and garlic and jerk, using the jerk seasoning my god-sister brought me from Barbados.

The contributing menu consisted of so many bottles of liquor, homemade rum punch for adult capri suns, lo mein, rasta pasta, quinoa with kale, potato and green bean salad, macaroni pie, a gluten-free vegan interpretation of doubles, chicken wings, homemade pickled red onions and hot sauce, flan, a bunch of cookies, marble cheesecake with Oreo and graham cracker crust, and the plethora of sugary shit I mentioned earlier. 

Speaking of chicken wings, let me big up the contributor, Jeff, real quick for taking the initiative so whip out his handy-dandy camera and start snapping away! When I’m hosting, I have severe tunnel vision to make sure all of my guests are taken care of and I often forget to document the good times, so Jeff’s presence was clutch.

I made photo props and bought buttons and pool floaties to give away. There were contests for the best Instagram photo and caption using #avaeats: these were the winners. FullSizeRenderimg_7101img_7103

Chéo drove up for my first event. I was entirely too happy he was here. He seen me host so he knows how I maneuver, so having him here was a huge help! He made sure everyone had drinks and food and got them everything they needed, and like always, he was the captain of the cleanup crew. He looked at me with hearts in his eyes the whole time; he was so proud of me when he saw how everything came together. He won’t stop telling me; this man of mine is always making me blush. I love that his friends came and supported me too. These guys are always a fun bunch.

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I had such an amazing time. I’m exhausted, but I’m still on a party high. I put a lot of time, energy and money into concepts when I come out with them, so when I hear amazing reviews about anything I do I’m always grateful and always humble. I can’t wait to do this again!

I stole a few Instagram/Facebook posts because I’m screenshot mami: I like to see what I do through other people’s eyes.

Pretty Please Bake Shop

You can’t recommend what you don’t know, and since this is the only bakery I know of in San Francisco, it’s the only one I can recommend!

But this is an excellent recommendation! With Chéo, carrot cake is king, so when baecation planning went into effect, I made it my duty to blindly find a bakery from across the country. 

Yelp will never steer you wrong!

My San Francisco bakery search brought me to Pretty Please Bake Shop. Not only were the ladies of Pretty Please a pleasure to work with, but the carrot cake we blindly selected was ah-mazing! Super moist and not painfully sweet flavorful, we had a few for dessert after dinner, then some more for breakfast the following day!

I was able to send them these isomalt crystal cake toppers I got from Lucitini Cakes on Etsy. I squealed when I saw the finished product- our cupcakes were beautiful!

I’m currently following Pretty Please on instagram, and what these ladies do with cakes is nothing short of jaw dropping! They even made the 2017 birthday cake for the Golden State Warriors, so you know their cakes are legit!

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Shout out to Lucitini Cakes- we definitely didn’t expect those isomalt crystals to be as tasty as they were!

 

 

Pretty Please Bake Shop
291 3rd Ave
San Francisco, CA

 

We Bought a Grill!

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I had no intention of being in NYC for the 4th of July—you already know I beelined it to Greensboro. I knew I had to feed Chéo and myself, and we both knew our friends would come over because I’m in town, so why not get ourselves a mini grill? At 14 inches, it sits perfectly in the corner of the patio–ain’t it cute? Right in time for grilling season too!

A little bit of our menu: sriracha-Jack Daniels barbecue wings, grilled asparagus, cucumber and tomato salad—at least what was left when I remembered to take a picture—and burgers stuffed with bacon cheese.

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The nearest Trader Joe’s is half an hour away. Yes, we drove to Winston-Salem just for some bacon cheese.

We tried making s’mores at the end of the night, but we soon learned that toasting the marshmallows over the charcoal wasn’t the most conducive. I’ll have to rethink our s’mores-making tactics.

Thanks for the day off ‘murica!

 

Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory

During our baecation to San Francisco back in March, we found the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory in the Fisherman’s Wharf area. Chéo has a sweet tooth like my dad- somewhat uncontrollable- so we just had to go inside.

In the words of Chéo, this was some fat shit…

..but we loved every second in here! The Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory had chocolates I’d never imagined, like Snickers-stuffed marshmallows and chocolate-covered s’mores.

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They had the usual candied and caramel apples, a childhood favorite of mine, and added mini M&M’s, chocolate chips, even white and dark marbled chocolate!

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That chocolate dipped frozen cheesecake caught my eye, but we’d already had so much chocolate on the counter I decided to save it for our next baecation to SF.

img_5336This is the face one makes after spending over $70 in sugar and stuff: caramel apples, white chocolate covered Rice Krispies, Kahlua bonbons, snow clusters, and a bunch of souvenir half mugs.

Time to Ketchup!

Get it? 

I know I’m cheesy- who gon’ check me boo?*

Since Thursday marked the end of my spring season at work, I took advantage of the weekend and spent an extra day in San Francisco. When on the west coast, In N Out is a must! We rounded up whomever was left at the hotel and hopped in a Uber and made sure we got animal-style burgers for my Manda Panda’s birthday. Check out the party hat!

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I’m currently on a connecting flight from PHX to JFK, I’m taking this opportunity to go through my camera roll to see what I’ve yet to post! Trust, it’s a lot! Between random food adventures with the squad, dinners with El Jefe, baecation and eating on the road with Chéo, and just random shenanigans, I have so much to write about!

Oh, and twitter temporarily froze my #avaeats handle. Like, it just happened yesterday. I’m actually quite distraught but even more pissed that they’ve yet to call me with the code I need to verify my account! ::rolls eyes::

Stay tuned…

 

img_2158-1*I watch a good bit of reality television outside of binge watching the Food Network/Hell’s Kitchen/Master Chef. With that said, I have an arsenal of one-liners from a bunch of different shows I use on the regular. From Erica Mena’s “You can’t handle my mouth…” to Nene Leek’s “I said what I said…” I’m convinced I have an applicable saying for everything. If not, I definitely have a worthy meme! 

It’s STILL My Birthday: The Irwin Street Market

Our Airbnb was located in a conveniently central area, there were a lot of shops and markets around that we could easily get to. Right off the main road was the Irwin Street Market, the home of several vendors, including a diner type restaurant, some local artists displaying their work, and Jake’s Ice Cream.

A random chocolate craving hit me, so I ordered a scoop of rockiest road on a waffle cone. Yummy marshmallows! Chéo had a scoop of the strawberry cheesecake.

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After we got our ice cream we decided to walk through the market to see what else was there. We stopped at the restaurant to see what baked goods were in their display case. My eyes scanned across stacks of brownies and danishes and cookies and all the way at the end, there was something oblong shaped and immediately knew what it was before reading the label. Chocolate covered bacon! Unfortunately, I didn’t try any. Definitely on the next trip!

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Irwin Street Market
660 Irwin Street
Atlanta, GA