Congratulations to Bakesale Betty!

Apple Pie, originally uploaded by in2jazz.

Congratulations to Alison “Bakesale Betty” Barakat and her husband, Michael Camp, on their birth of their daughter, Hazel Mary on November 6. Mom and baby are doing well. I got to chat briefly with Betty when I stopped by on Saturday for a fried chicken sandwich and a slice of really yummy apple pie. Truly a guilty pleasure but I did take a short bike ride before going there. :-)

Petersen Ice Cream

Petersen Ice Cream

Long before Fenton’s Ice Creamery in Oakland ruled my world, there was Petersen Ice Cream on Chicago Avenue in Oak Park, Illinois. I took this photo recently on an early morning drive from the airport through Oak Park. I lived here for nine years before I moved to California in 1998. I remember I became fascinated with Oak Park when I took the “el” train to see the movie “Reds” in early 80′s with friends at the Lake Theater. I knew then that I wanted to live there. Five or six years later, I made my move and I loved it. Oak Park will always hold a special place in my heart.

Bakesale Betty

Bakesale Betty Mosaic, originally uploaded by in2jazz.

Delectable baked goodies from Bakesale Betty located at 51st Street and Telegraph Avenue in Oakland. I usually stop in there and get some of their really yummy banana bread. They have all kinds of bake goodness. Stop on by.

Friday Night Dinner @ Blackberry Bistro

Friday Dinner @ Blackberry Bistro, originally uploaded by in2jazz.

Blackberry Bistro on Park Boulevard in Oakland is now serving Friday night dinner from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. I had a very delicious grilled double thick pork loin, creamy polenta sautéed winter greens and roasted fig jus. Starters included sweet pepper bisque with chives, baby organic greens with balsamic vinaigrette, and shrimp scatter with garlic & bayou gumbo gravy. Entrées include bayou gumbo with fresh Dungeness crab, andoullie sausage, shrimp & blackened chicken served with a heap of steamed rice, fresh spinach fettuccine with slow cooked chicken, roasted tomato sauce, basil & fresh ricotta cheese, grilled mahi mahi over crispy corn cake with black beans salsa fresca & lime beurre blanc, and the very tasty Bistro Burger.

Dessert @ Blackberry Bistro

For dessert, I had warm banana raisin bread pudding with Chantilly cream and warm caramel sauce. I savored every bite of this wonderful dessert. There was also Crepes Suzzette and a warm chocolate torte.
The menu is different each Friday. I cannot wait to go back again. See you there.

Self-portrait @ Bakesale Betty

Self-portrait @ Bakesale Betty, originally uploaded by in2jazz.

This was fun. I took this photo while I was waiting to get a couple of slices of their yummy banana bread. Bakesale Betty is located on the corner of 51st Street and Telegraph Avenue in Oakland.
It actually looks like I am standing behind the counter when I am actually in front of the counter. Yes, believe it or not, as much as I love to bake, I occasionally go out for baked goods, especially if they are good. It also gives me new baking ideas. Recently, I met a lady at a friend’s dinner party who asked me if I ever thought about having my own bakery. At the time, I told her no, but the idea has been swirling around in my head for the past few weeks. I am not sure that I am ready for my own business but I do plan on talking to a couple of restaurant owner’s to learn more about the business. I will keep myself open to the possibilities.

Dessert Goodness – Part 2

Dessert Goodness #2, originally uploaded by in2jazz.

These are photos from the 4th Annual Festival of Desserts and other holiday baking. Over 40 people stopped by for dessert during the course of the evening and I still had leftovers. Everyone had a great time and I am already thinking about this year’s festival. I did learn something important along the way. The “bake cake now and glaze later” approach will have you glazing and frosting cakes all evening.
The desserts included the following: