Spicy Green Mango

--Living and eating with a dash of whimsy and a sprinkling of spice--

  • I'm a budding food-tographer turned blogger who's insanely passionate about food..real food...the kind that sprouts from the earth and you have to wash it to eat it. Yes, hearty real food. I live to eat and I eat to live and am loving every bit of it! If you're here, then I suppose we share the same passion! Enjoy!

Posted by Spicy Green Mango 20 comments

To my loyal fans and followers,

Thank you for your patience, but the wait is over!  It's been complete radio silence on my end, but in the midst of my 3 year hiatus, I have been brewing up something awesome. I'm so thrilled and elated to announce that after so much encouragement, I've taken Spicy Green Mango to an entirely new level--complete with a rebrand and makeover.  Yes, I'm all grown up and better than ever!

Please head on over to my new blog:  CHANDARA CREATIVE, a food + lifestyle photography blog, and while you're there, be sure to visit my new website to learn more about my new endeavor and what I've been up to during my break from the blogosphere.

Again, this would never have been possible without you...to everyone who has ever visited this blog, thank you, thank you!  Now, what are you waiting for? Go take a look...I promise you'll be inspired. 

And don't forget..I love reading your comments, so tell me what you think!

With so much gratitude,
Chandara of the [former] Spicy Green Mango

Posted by Spicy Green Mango 23 comments

It's been too long and I've been dancing around with so many great things planned for you this year. Spicy Green Mango is in the process of getting a total make-over (think brand spankin' new logo, website design and possibly a new url??).  When I first started this blog, I never realized how big it would become and how much energy and love I'd be dedicating to it, so as with all things I love in my life, I'm taking some time to invest in it and make it even better than before. My new site will be even more visually appealing, more user-friendly and give you much more sneak peaks into some special features that I have been working on these past few months.

So, my faithful readers..please stay tuned as great things really do come to those who wait. I am expecting a launch some time around my birthday in June, but I will definitely be posting little snippets here and there. 

Posted by Spicy Green Mango 10 comments

Alright, I love the rain--dancing in it, stomping in the puddles and lifting my face up towards the sky to catch raindrops falling on my tongue---I love it all!  But, anybody's who's ever planned a major event knows that rain can possibly be one of the biggest deterants to having a great crowd--not only does it make preparation and set-up a major pain, but there's so many things that can go wrong in wet and slippery weather conditions.  

Call it good karma or else somebody happened to be listening when I said my prayers to the rain Gods because not only was I spared from any major unexpected mishaps, but as the evening wore on and the rain continued to steadily pound the pavement, more and more of our guests were trickling in--first one, then two, then twenty five (all of whom received smore's goodie bags for being our first guests) and before we knew it...we had a packed house!  More than 50 Nearly 100 talented souls from the SF bay area, Berkeley, Oakland and beyond found it in their hearts to trek through the sloppy weather to support us at the Social Barter.  So, believe me when I say: 

THANK YOU to each and every one of you who came out, brimming with creative skills and optimism (and a healthy appetite).  I hope that you made great connections and had meaningful conversations with other local area talents.  I know that I definitely did!

 ( Retrofit Republic co-founders--Jenny & Julia w/Marketing Director, Genevieve:  Image courtesy of Ryan M. Louie

An evening with some of the most creative minds I know and truly a labor of love through and through.  This week, I was able to be a part of my first eat and greet event thanks to my wonderful Jenny and Julia of Retrofit Republic, a sustainable vintage store making a social impact.  They are the sweetest, FIERCEST and most fashion-forward ladies you'll ever meet and I'm quite fortunate to have known these two for quite some time now.  In fact, Jenny and I went to college together and have been inspiring each other ever since.  I'm telling you: the womyn can make a piece of cardboard look sexy---that's the caliber of her mad design skills.  And dear Julia...oh, this mover and shaker can hustle a deal out of anything and anyone and did I mention that she's also gone on tour with the Black Eyed Peas to educate millions across the country about the changing face of environmentalism and a clean energy economy? Sheer brilliance, to say the least.

But of course, the event would not have been nearly as successful without the team behind Spicy Green Mango:  my hubby and sis.  These two special individuals are who I have to thank for all the work, sweat (literally) and hours they spent helping me prepare for the Social Barter.  It was a family affair and my brother even came out to bartend for the night.  Love you, guys!  So, what did we whip up for the evening? 

Sweet Purple Sticky Rice
{infused with coconut milk and topped with fresh mango and grated coconut drizzle}


{sprinkled with peanuts & coconut with a squeeze of backyard limes}

Psst...I'll post the recipe for the purple sticky rice dessert soon as part of my holiday dessert collection, so stay tuned :)

And Pauline, the adorably sweet owner of the whimsical  Dartealing Lounge was pure joy to work with from start to finish.  Not only did she allow us to utilize her space, but she also went the extra mile and made sure that we had everything we needed for a fabulous evening of social bartering. 

Did I mention how amazingly stylish the ladies of Retrofit Republic are? Don't believe me? Well, judge for yourself; their sustainable fashion sense is oozing with vintage chic all over.  It's okay--you can agree with me (I won't say that I told you so :)

Posted by Spicy Green Mango 24 comments

You're all invited! I'm teaming up with the extremely talented and stylish darlings at Retrofit Republic, a sustainable vintage store with a social mission, to bring you an opportunity to MEET and EAT with none other than the nut who loves all things that make her belly go wild. It's me, of course, silly!

Let's face it.  In this economy, many of us really are having to get creative with less.  And I can’t imagine a more opportune time to be resourceful.  As a foodie, I'm always looking for ways to use my leftovers (hence my Pumpkin pot pie made from the juicy morsels of Thanksgiving turkey).  As a child, my mom always made me finish every last grain of sticky rice rolled up in my palm and remind me how grateful I should be to the farmers who had the arduous task of harvesting the rice that I ate.  During my formative years in Thailand within the confines of the refugee camps, my parents had to harvest their own rice by hand, under the tinge of the beating sun, and if you couldn't harvest rice, you basically couldn't feed your family.  To this day, I finish my rice or else I have to settle for a gut full of guilt.

This is where The Social Barter comes into play. We’re creating a space where talented people of diverse skill sets can come together to talent swap. For example, if you’ve always wanted to create that website but don’t have the time, skill, or funds for it, make it a point to connect with a website designer at the Social Barter and offer your service/skills for her/him/zir to make that website happen.  In fact, that's probably what I'll be seeking for myself.  As I found out rather quickly in college, the ability to cook well is definitely a talent that is much sought after by many hungry souls.  Why not barter what you know best? The possibilities are endless, so I hope you'll join me.

Alongside some other amazing talent (ahem, thanks sis and company), I'll  be dishing up some of my favorite culinary creations as well and please believe that when there's Spicy, there's got to be a whimsical tablescape to make you swoon over and over again. I cannot wait to see you there!


T H E – S O C I A L – B A R T E R

hosted by Retrofit Republic + Spicy Green Mango

470 3rd St. San Francisco | DarTealing Lounge | Wednesday, Dec 8, 2010 | 5:30- 8:30 PM

Come for the great fashion, food, and entrepreneurial networking- and leave with strong connections with other creative artists in the San Francisco Bay Area and abroad.

This is an open invitation and free event so do forward this email to your connects.
RSVP to team@retrofitrepublic.com and we can’t wait to see you there!

Let’s make it Spicy!

Posted by Spicy Green Mango 42 comments

Hello Muggles!  I'm just uber-flipping ecstatic to be joining the ranks of the top 24 food bloggers of FoodBuzz's Project Food Blog.  Voting for Challenge 8 opens on Monday, November 29 thru Thursday, December 2, 2010 at 6pm (PST).  I cannot thank you enough for all your support, so as a gift to you, I'm going to make you go muggle-wild with this post.  I hope you enjoy it and here's the link to cast your vote by clicking on the heart!

I have a confession. I’m a muggle…a Harry Potter-loving muggle! Ever since I wandered into the wonderful world of wizardry and witchcraft, I have been entranced by the whimsy of all that surrounds Hogwarts and Harry Potter. It is a love that was born many moons ago and one that still flourishes today.

So, when it came time to create my latest entry for Project Food Blog, is it any wonder that I would turn to Harry for inspiration? Not at all. The task was to bake a sweet or savory dish out of the seasonal ingredient: PUMPKIN!!!

While I must say that this seasonal squash has pretty much saturated all cooking channels during this time of year and though it really made me want to whisk off to the la-la land of muggles and goblins, the other part of me knew that I had to tackle this challenge head on.  So off I flew in search of pumpkins at a nearby patch...sooo lovely! I couldn't help but snap pictures left and right. 

And I eventually settled on these cute little darling sugar pumpkins.  Again, mom also bought over more kabocha pumpkins to enhance my pumpkin recipe. 

When Harry Met Spicy

When a little birdie told me that the Wizarding World of Harry Potter had opened this past summer at Universal Orlando in Florida, I nearly choked on my snickerdoodle.  I don't care how old I am when I finally visit, but I can only imagine the cheesy grin plastered on my face as I frolick through Hogsmeade chugging down butter beer, gobbling chocolate frogs, and riding on a broomstick (okay, the broomstick might be a stretch, but you know—a muggle can only dream).

And dream I did! For this challenge, the Harry Potter-loving muggle in me threw a little shindig that I felt would happen when/if Harry met Spicy!  Yes, if he only met me---oooh, the possibilities are endless!  While I really wished I could have honored him with booger- and barf-flavored jelly beans, I realized that I also had a stronger urge to show him what eating with Spicy was really all about, so I threw in my own twist on what I thought Harry would enjoy, while still retaining many important aspects of the wizarding world.

Honeydukes Sweet & Savory Shop – featuring homemade Pumpkin Pot Pie!

Any trip to Hogsmeade would not be complete without a stop at the local sweet spot. As a tribute to Harry’s favorite sweets shop, I nicknamed my smorgasboard of delights Honeydukes, but with a savory twist as an added bonus. I envisioned a festive display of some of his traditional desserts, such as the Cauldron Cakes and then added my own spin on pot pies made with a rich blend of sugar and kabocha pumpkins and Thanksgiving turkey! When most people think of pumpkin, sweet pies and sugary desserts immediately come to mind. But I wanted something hearty and filling for my little wizard, so I imagined that if (or when) Harry met Spicy, he’d conjure up some of my pumpkin pot pies in place of his beloved pumpkin pasties any day!

Other equally pleasing homemade treats in Honeydukes Shop that afternoon were some tasty Gryffindor Grapefruit Bars & Slytherin Snickerdoodles. They were so much fun to bake (from scratch). To layer on another touch of whimsy, I also snagged some Chocolate Gold Coins from Gringotts Wizarding Bank.  I know the holidays are around the corner, so I'll be posting my recipes soon because I kid you (NOT!) when I say that every single morsel and sliver of sweetness was licked clean or taken home as parting gifts.


And what Harry Potter party would be complete without a mini Harry on stand-by?  How's that for sweet, eh?

Homemade Pumpkin Pot Pies {with Turkey}
(Makes 5 hearty pots of pies)

• ½ small kabocha or sugar pumpkin, cubed (1 to 2 pounds each)
• Salt and ground black pepper
• 2 tbs olive oil
• 6 tbs butter
• ½ cup cream
• 8 tbs all-purpose flour
• 2 cups chicken broth
• 3 carrots, peeled & diced
• 12 pearl onions or ½ cup chopped yellow onions
• 1 cup cooked turkey, cut into bite-size pieces
• 1 parsnip, peeled & diced
• 1 celery stalk, diced
• 3 sprigs fresh lemon thyme
• 2 sprigs fresh sage
•  refrigerated pie crust (recipe here)
• egg beaten with 1 tablespoon milk for egg wash


1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Slice tops off pumpkins. Remove seeds and pulp. Peel and chop pumpkin into bite-sized cubes. Place pumpkins and onions on a baking sheet, drizzle with the olive oil and roast for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from oven and set aside.

2. Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly until well blended, about 1 minute. Add broth and cream and stir constantly until mixture is thick and bubbly, about 5 minutes. Add vegetable & turkey and simmer for 8-10 minutes. Sprinkle in salt and pepper to taste. During the last 2 minutes of cooking, add in the roasted pearl onions, pumpkin and fresh herbs. Remove from heat and divide mixture evenly among your pie pans (approximately 1-1/2 cups per pot pie) or in my case, among my mini french onion soup crock pots turned pie pans.

3. Unwrap pie dough and place on lightly floured work surface. Roll out the dough and cut into round disk shapes slightly larger than the tops of your pie pans. As an added garnish, use cookie cutters to cut out festive dough shapes to attach it to the tops of your pie.

4. Brush the tops of each pie with the egg wash, making sure to also brush all decorations. In a 375°F oven, bake pot pies for 30 minutes, or until pie dough is golden and filling is hot and bubbly.

Posted by Spicy Green Mango 62 comments

{Voting for Challenge 7 opens now thru Thursday, November 18, 2010 at 6pm (PST).  Here's the link to vote for Spicy Green Mango by clicking on the heart! Don't forget you can also click on my Project Food Blog widget on the right hand column of this page. Thank you much, superstars!}

Eeek!  Really Project Food Blog? You want me to do what? Produce a cooking video? What in the H-E-double toothpicks is this all about? So yeah, while I am absolutely thrilled to have received the news that I'd advanced to Challenge 7, the other part of me felt like banging my head against a porcelain pho bowl -- hoping that maybe, I could just sneak off and like magic, I'd come back bursting with the bubbly enthusiasm of Giada de Laurentis or even the cool and collected (but oh so darling) demeanor of my Barefoot Contessa, Ina. 


Disclaimer:   I'm a total clutz in the kitchen.  Just read this blog and you'll understand what I mean :)
Video Credit:  Her awesomeness known as Elaine K. --- Hugs to you!! Thank you!

Step #1:  Figure Out Your Menu
Many moons ago in a previous post, I told you I'd have the recipe for my mom's famous Lao Chicken Noodle Soup (Khao Piak) for you down pat and then I realized yikes! I didn't!  When I started cooking, I never measured. Nope. Nada. Measuring cup or spoon? What are those?  As soon as I started blogging, I realized that things needed to change b/c unless I could tell you how I cooked my dishes, it would be of no use to you b/c you couldn't replicate it in your own homes. I know..I think I've grown up a wee bit since I first popped my head into the blogosphere.

So, the real secret to making the Lao version of chicken noodle soup is not in the broth, but in...


Yes, those hand-rolled and sliced oodles of goodness that are just slightly chewy, but gooey, and melt in your mouth type of deliciousness.  Yum!  Made with equal parts tapioca flour, white rice flour and boiling water, this is pretty much as simple as it gets, folks!  No joke! And know what else? Jenn from Jenn Cuisine also tells me that they're WHEAT & GLUTEN-FREE!! Yay!

The REAL trick is to make sure that you incorporate the boiling water into the flour in your Kitchen Aid mixing appliance so that you get the proper consistency for the dough: nice, soft and stretchy to the touch.  This detail is VERY important because what happens when the water IS NOT boiling hot when you add it to the mixture is really a sad case:  you get dough that crumbles at the touch and really, it's like a dried-up form of Play-Doh that even the little kindergarteners refuse to play with at school. 

I think you'll appreciate the fact that even I, Spicy, who's cooked this so many times, can still manage to get it wrong. Cooking is really about experimenting and figuring out what works and what doesn't work and learning from the these little tidbits along the way.  And while my pictures may always appear that I can get it right all the time, the truth of the matter is that .....

I don't always get it right in the kitchen

.... and I've had my fair share of cooking debacles (my hubby can attest to this).  I'm only human and like you, I'm continually learning as I go along.  If this blog has been anything for me, it's really been a way for me to share my best memories and experiences with food and then, on those random occasions, I'd also be happy to shed light on my mishaps along the way. After all, striving for perfection is in it of itself an imperfection...at least it is in my blog, anyways!  So, that's settled, then. Wait..did I just digress? Okay, let's bring it back now.

Step # 2:  Tap into your Social Networks to Assemble your Team
Like any budding foodie director, I had to come up with a team of talented foodie friends whose ears would always perk up at the slightest mention that I'd cook for them in exchange for their kindness.  A few emails later (coupled with a promise to reciprocate the favor and give them first dibs at whatever I concocted), my lovely friend, Elaine, graciously offered to help me produce the video for this challenge.  Thank you, ELAINE!!!

Then, as I looked around my own little mouse hole of a kitchen that was not conducive whatsoever to filming, I realized I needed to enlist the generosity of a certain family whose kitchen I have been swooning over since I first laid eyes on it.  So, with their blessing in hand, the filming commenced and I even had a little visitor join me for the tasting.  Thank you, T-Fam!

Above, ooooh, golden little Chinese dough-nuts that I picked up earlier that morning.  So light, airy and crisp -- just divine when dipped into the savory chicken noodle soup. 

Step # 3: Recruit Adorable Little Critic(s) with Unbiased Appetites (and who provide you with the instantaneous validation you need to continue doing what you love :)

Meet Lil D. He's barely 2 years old, commands an astounding stature of 2 feet above the ground, and boasts an immense appetite for all things yummy! I think he beats my hubby for best critic. When Lil D. gets going, you would be hard pressed to separate him from his spoon. But he's a little heart breaker (and quite a good night kisser, if I might add) and if he had smiled (rather than have been so consumed with his noodle-mania), you would have seen his cute little fangs.

The little booger steals my heart everytime I see him and on this special occasion, I was more than happy to have him sample my creation. I totally felt like I was on Iron Chef with those panel of judges---wouldn't it be cool if those judges were all like Lil D? So easy to please. The verdict on Lao Chicken Noodle Soup? Well, it's Lil D-tested and Spicy Green Mango-approved. He even gave me a few kisses after his second helping to make sure I knew he was quite a happy little boy.

 Lao Chicken Noodle Soup (Khao Piak)
Yields enough noodles to bribe 6-8 people (into doing the dishes or whatever chores you have lying around) and make a happy little baby (feel like you're the best auntie ever)!

Part 1:  Homemade Lao-Style Noodles
Essentially, you need equal parts of each essential ingredient
  • 2 cups tapioca starch/flour
  • 2 cups white rice flour
  • 2 cups boiling hot water
  • 1/2 cup tapioca starch/flour (set aside for dusting the dough)

    Essential Kitchen Items
  • Kitchen Aid Stand mixer
  • Cutting board (sprinkled with dusting of tapioca starch)
  • Straight-edge knife (if you have one)
  • Rolling pin
  • Large stock pot
  • Sieve
Part 2:  Chicken-Ginger Broth
  • 12 cups water
  • 4 ginger slices
  • 3-4 tbs {good} chicken bullion (paste or dry powder form is okay)
  • 3 tbs fish sauce  (adjust to taste)
  • 4 bone-in chicken breast halves
For the Broth:  Combine all ingredients and bring to a boil, then simmer (45min - 1 hour).  Remove the chicken breast halves and allow to cool.  Strain hot broth through a sieve and transfer your now-clear broth back to the pot and allow broth to continue simmering on low heat.  Once the chicken has cooled, shred the chicken breast meat and set aside.

For the Noodles:  Combine the rice flour and starch in the mixer and then carefully add the boiling water. Using  your hook attachment, mix at the lowest setting for 3-5 minutes or until you see the dough form.  Remove the dough from the mixer and knead for 3-5 minutes by hand on top of a well-floured surface area. 

Divide the dough into little cylindrical logs (each log should measure up to your palm's lengh and about 3 inches wide).  Using your rolling pin, lay the log vertically in front of you and roll the dough into a long flat sheet.  At this point, if you have a pasta maker, you can definitely put it to good use and churn out evenly-sliced noodles.  However, if you do not own a pasta maker like me, follow these next steps: 

Once you have a long sheet of dough, turn it so that the dough is lying horizontally in front of you.  Fold the sheet in half, sprinkle with some extra tapioca flour to prevent the dough from sticking and slice into small, thin noodles. {Have fun with this part because it's handmade noodles after all and it's okay to have uneven slices in your broth}.

Putting it ALL Together:  Turn the heat of the broth to medium high and carefully lower the noodles into the simmering broth.  As the noodles are cooking, sprinkle a teaspoon of some fried garlic to give your soup an amazing aroma.  Cook the noodles for no more than 5 minutes or until they float to the top.  Ladle this savory soup into individuals bowls, spoon some of that shredded chicken breast over the top and garnish with your choice of the following:
  • Sliced green onions/cilantro/culantro
  • Fresh bean sprouts
  • Chili oil sauce
  • Fried garlic (yep, more of it!)
  • Chinese doughnuts (soooo good!) or a nice slice of your favorite bread
And that's it! Enjoy!


Posted by Spicy Green Mango 15 comments

Zip-pa-dee-doo-da, Zip-pa-dee-day, my oh! my what a wonderful FoodBuzz Food Festival in the Bay!  It's the weekend that convinced me to become a featured publisher for FoodBuzz; the weekend that as a publisher, your whopping $350 registration is waived;the weekend when there's no such thing as overeating and anybody who whines about being too full or too tired to eat will immediately draw a dirty stare. 

It's an annual pilgrimage to the mecca of all things food-related that's exclusively designed for food bloggers near and far (as far as Bulgaria!) who come brimming with salivation, energy, an insatiable appetite and as you would probably guess, cameras in hand, ready to capture all the tidbits of a festive occasion.  And just like many great holidays, it only comes once a year and last week, it was here! 

While I missed the first evening at the Herbst Pavilion because of a nutty traveling schedule and a flight that took longer than usual, I was still determined to make the most of my weekend. And that, I DID do!  Rather than attending the early morning workshops, I made up for lost time with a trip to the San Francisco Farmer's Market at the Ferry Building.

My lovely sidekick, food-paparazzi and dear friend, L, accompanied me throughout much of the day.  Starting with an early morning walk to the Ferry Plaza, we made a bee-line for the back end of the market.  It's the part of the market where all the amazing street vendors line their stalls with delectable delights that draw a swarm of hungry people, all waiting patiently to score their morning mash-up.

And what better way to start a heart-pumping weekend of good eats than with a cup of cappucinno and hot chocolate from the organic microroasters of Blue Bottle coffee?  Nothing can beat this..okay, maybe some sizzling apple wood bacon..mmm...but not in my coffee, of course.

RoliRoti, the mobile gourmet rotisserie, was a FoodBuzz vendor at the Friday Street Faire and as much as I wanted to wait in line for the crispy pork roasting with aromas so drool-worthy, it could possibly make a vegan swoon with envy, I had a limited time frame, so I'm dazzling you with some visuals instead.  Yes, that's their famous Rotisserie Porcheta sandwich featuring free range pork loin rolled into the actual pork belly!

And the sweet Lorraine from Drinkwell Softers, a lacto-fermented soda made locally in Dixon, CA had me nibbling on some fresh rose geranium and lemon verbena---all fresh from her farm!  How awesome is that?!  Okay, so I know what you're wondering:  What the heck is lacto-fermentation? Basically, when a beverage undergoes this process, you get fizzy bubbles that are naturally occuring, so that fizz you get from drinking it is all thanks to Momma Naturale.  My personal favorite was the plum soda that tickled my tasters with some fun fizzes....yup, in the words of my alter ego, "For shizzle, this fizzles!"

Oh, and don't you love the cute little bottles? If you follow my blog, you'll understand just how crazy I am of adorably presented food products of any sort. 

And then there were the friendly faces at 4505 Meats whose line, fortunately, were free right in the nick of time.  I told them I missed them at the Street Food Faire, but they told me I was wise to make up for it at the Ferry Building. I devoured (and I do think that's an understatement) their classic cheeseburger and my jaw nearly dropped.  The meat patty was tender and juicy, the bun was nicely toasted and buttered, and when it met my mouth, the burger really didn't stand a chance.  Next time, I'm trying their breakfast burger because it's topped with a poached egg!

And of course, the much-anticipated FoodBuzz Taste Pavilion at the Sony Metreon.  I walked over with my food blogger buddies:  the talented Liren of Kitchen Confidante, Trish of Dish by Trish and even befriended a new and adorably stylish Lisa of Style and Grace.   These ladies are just so amazing, so be sure to check out their blogs as well!

The key to attending any tasting event is to strategize!  Liren and I were starving, so we hit up the proteins as soon as we arrived and grabbed our complimentary wine glasses.  First up: 

Poached Gulf Prawns nestled in a Sweet Chile Gazpacho, Miss Pearl's Restaurant (Jack London Square, Oakland)

And then we followed our noses over to the where the folks of Alaska Seafood were preparing salmon and halibut fish tacos with an assortment of fresh condiments, from corn salsa, fresh mango, diced avocado, pickled pink onions, radishes, shredded cabbage and that's just to name a few. 

While I thoroughly enjoyed the fresh toppings, I was secretly hoping that the fish had been more savory and seasoned in the end.  Oh well--my tummy was growling, so I gobbled up two tacos and washed it down with a gulp of Twenty First Amendment's Hell High watermelon wheat beer. 

And just in time for sweets, the folks at Mission Minis wowed the crowd with a whimsical display of their teeny weeny cupcakes.  And guess what else?  They were also filming for the Food Network's Cupcake Wars!  Eeeh!!  How exciting is that for them?  Goooo Mission Minis---represent for the Bay Area!

And so, after a tiresome 2 hours of noshing and standing, I definitely needed to recuperate in time for the gala dinner.  Kitchen Confidante and I headed straight for some Hika Sencha green tea at the Samovar tea lounge in the Yerba Buena Center.  So relaxing and very much needed, indeed.

The Grand Gala Dinner at the Ferry Building.  I won't bother with words and simply entertain you with a visual recap of my evening among great food and bloggers alike.

And what better way to seal the deal with a visit to San Francisco than with a shot of the city lights with a billboard sign cheering on the Giants..otherwise known as champions of the World Series.

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