Tuesday, April 12, 2016

#NationalGrilledCheeseDay, Oakland-style

Yep, today is National Grilled Cheese Day, a pretty important holiday for grilled cheese enthusiasts and small children alike. I have two suggestions for you, Oakland. If you're the kind of person who likes to think outside the box, head over to College Point Cafe in Rockridge, a small breakfast and lunch joint frequented by students and staff at nearby California College of the Arts, and home to quite possibly the best tuna melt I've ever had, grilled to order on a Dutch crunch roll.

If you're more of a traditionalist, Oakland has that, too. Try the soup and 1/2 grilled cheese combo at Sacred Wheel Cheese and Specialty Market, in the Temescal neighborhood. This is a delightful little market with yummy grilled cheese sandwiches, delicious homemade soups, and Nutella-filled chocolate chip cookies, to boot!

How will you celebrate National Grilled Cheese Day?

Thursday, April 7, 2016

The Town's Hi/Lo Coffee Cake Recipe

Hey, Oakland! Did you know that today is National Beer Day and National Coffee Cake day! I thought surely I'd be able to find a coffee cake recipe that actually tastes like coffee...

... and has beer in it, too!

The internet has everything, after all. And while I found several boozy coffee cake recipes, none that offer both a stimulant (caffeine) and a depressant (alcohol)... #sweetonoakland to the rescue! Try this out and let me know what you think. Better yet, invite me over to try a slice!

Recipe for The Town's Hi/Lo Coffee Cake


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour                                          
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom
  • 1/4 cup lightly toasted, chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried figs
  • a pinch of sea salt
  • 1 cup of Linden Street Brewery's Glow Pilsner
  • 1 cup of strongly brewed Mr. Espresso coffee
  • Powdered sugar (optional)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. Grease a 10 cup Bundt pan* with butter and dust with flour. Set aside.

Sift together dry ingredients - flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, cardamom - and set aside. Dust the chopped figs with some of this dry mixture.

In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream the butter with the sugars until smooth and creamy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well.

Fold in the dry ingredients alternatively with the beer and coffee; blend well.

With a wooden spoon, stir in the nuts and figs, mixing well and scraping down the sides of  the bowl 1 to 2 times.

Spoon batter into a well-greased and flour dusted 10 cup Bundt pan. Bake in a preheated oven for 1 hour, 10 minutes until brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Let your hi/lo coffee cake cool in the pan for about 20 minutes; un-mold the cake and allow to cool completely on a wire rack before serving. Dust with icing sugar, if desired. 

What will you have on the side: coffee or beer?!


* If you don't have a Bundt pan, you can use any of the following alternatives: 9x13-inch baking pan, 2 9-inch round cake pans, about 18-24 cupcakes, 1 9-inch tube pan, 2 11x7-inch baking pans, or 1 10-inch springform pan. Check for doneness more frequently (e.g. 20-24 minutes for cupcakes) if using a shallower pan.