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The second of two photo essays for the Meals on Wheels Star Chefs and Vintners Gala fundraiser of 2016.

Meals on Wheels San Francisco Star Chefs and Vintners Gala 2016. Photo by A.J. Bates for Eat the Love.

The chefs and cooks moved in a silent rhythm to a beat only they could really hear and feel as AJ and I watched. They were plating food for the annual Meals on Wheels Star Chefs and Vintner’s Gala event and it was mesmerizing. Though the food for the appetizer part of the meal was outstanding, the three-course meal that happened afterwards was where the magic happened. AJ and I wandered about behind the curtain and outside as the people in white chef coats grilled and massaged meat and plated vegetables with hands, tweezers and chopsticks. And of course, while we ate the meal, and watched the live auction happen, the desserts were being set up where the appetizers were, ready to stun us with yet ANOTHER round of food. As always, the event was outdid itself, raising a record $3.3 million and we left incredibly full and dazzled by the food, the people who tirelessly put the event on and the entire evening itself. (Be sure to check out the first photo essay from this stellar event.)

Special thanks to Meals on Wheels San Francisco for providing tickets to the the Star Chefs and Vintner’s Gala. I was not monetarily compensated for this post and all opinions above are my own.

Meals on Wheels San Francisco Star Chefs and Vintners Gala 2016. Photo by A.J. Bates for Eat the Love.

Meals on Wheels San Francisco Star Chefs and Vintners Gala 2016. Photo by A.J. Bates for Eat the Love.

Meals on Wheels San Francisco Star Chefs and Vintners Gala 2016. Photo by A.J. Bates for Eat the Love.

Meals on Wheels San Francisco Star Chefs and Vintners Gala 2016. Photo by A.J. Bates for Eat the Love.

Meals on Wheels San Francisco Star Chefs and Vintners Gala 2016. Photo by A.J. Bates for Eat the Love.

Meals on Wheels San Francisco Star Chefs and Vintners Gala 2016. Photo by A.J. Bates for Eat the Love.

Meals on Wheels San Francisco Star Chefs and Vintners Gala 2016. Photo by A.J. Bates for Eat the Love.

Meals on Wheels San Francisco Star Chefs and Vintners Gala 2016. Photo by A.J. Bates for Eat the Love.

Meals on Wheels San Francisco Star Chefs and Vintners Gala 2016. Photo by A.J. Bates for Eat the Love.

Meals on Wheels San Francisco Star Chefs and Vintners Gala 2016. Photo by A.J. Bates for Eat the Love.

Meals on Wheels San Francisco Star Chefs and Vintners Gala 2016. Photo by A.J. Bates for Eat the Love.

Meals on Wheels San Francisco Star Chefs and Vintners Gala 2016. Photo by A.J. Bates for Eat the Love.

Meals on Wheels San Francisco Star Chefs and Vintners Gala 2016. Photo by A.J. Bates for Eat the Love.

Meals on Wheels San Francisco Star Chefs and Vintners Gala 2016. Photo by A.J. Bates for Eat the Love.

Meals on Wheels San Francisco Star Chefs and Vintners Gala 2016. Photo by A.J. Bates for Eat the Love.

Meals on Wheels San Francisco Star Chefs and Vintners Gala 2016. Photo by A.J. Bates for Eat the Love. [click to continue…]

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This post was sponsored by Frito-Lay. I’m teaming up with Frito-Lay this summer to bring you recipes using Lay’s potato chips. I was compensated for this post and for developing the recipe. However all opinions below are completely my own and not endorsed by Frito-Lay.

These Potato Chip Chicken Tenders are as easy to make as they are fun to eat! The not-so-secret ingredient is LAY’S Wavy Hickory BBQ Chips.

Potato Chip Chicken Tenders Recipe. An easy and quick recipe by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love.

I’m fascinated by the idea of finger foods. For me, it’s goes against my upbringing. My parents were pretty adamant that I used utensils whenever I ate food. I’m not sure if it’s an Asian thing or not, but I know I bonded with my friend Peter about it. He’s Vietnamese-American and his parent’s used to make him eat food with a fork. ALL food. He would tell me about how his parents would ask for a knife and fork at the fast food restaurants so his brother and him could eat the burger and fries with utensils. My parent’s weren’t that extreme but I certainly could relate. That’s why I love the idea of finger foods like these Potato Chip Chicken Tenders. It feels like I’m doing something naughty when I make them and serve them. But clearly, they are designed to be eaten with your fingers! And, of course, using LAY’S Wavy Hickory BBQ Potato Chips to give the chicken tenders coating a super crunchy coating means I can make these insanely fast as well. Total win-win situation if you ask me.

LAY's Wavy Hickory BBQ Potato Chips. Photo by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love.

Memorial Day is the mental start of summertime for me (and probably for everyone else). Though San Francisco weather is pretty gorgeous all year round, once Memorial Day hits, our already crowded parks become even more overrun with folks taking advantage of the weather. And though summertime means more picnic events and outdoor gatherings, basically any excuse I have to make food to share, I get excited. And that’s where making these Potato Chip Chicken Tenders comes in. They’re the perfect quick and easy bite for pretty much anyone to make. And since the LAY’S Wavy Hickory BBQ Chips are salty seasoned crunchy perfection, these chicken tenders keep well for the park, a picnic or any sort of party buffet.

Potato Chip Chicken Tenders by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love. [click to continue…]

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Cookies and Cream Cookies

by Irvin on May 2, 2016 · 7 comments

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Looking for Oreo Recipes? These cookies and cream cookies are crispy on the edges and chewy in the center cookies with Oreos baked right into them!

Cookies and Cream Cookie. Photo and Recipe by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love.

“It’s the Inception of cookies.” I explained to my friends when they asked me at the picnic what sort of cookies these were. They just looked at me confused and I had to explain to them that these cookies and cream cookies had crushed Oreo cookies in the batter, along with chunks of the sandwich cookies chopped up in the dough. Once my friends took a bite of the cookie, they were sold on the idea. With the crunchy caramelized edges and the soft chewy inside, these cookies were a hit with folks. (Jump directly to the recipe.)

Cookies and Cream Cookies recipe. Photo and recipe by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love.

I had actually snapped these cookies a week or two ago on my Snapchat channel but I haven’t had a chance to actually share the recipe because I was still developing it. Lately I’ve really been getting into Snapchat as a way to share bits of my life, as well as share recipes in real time. Of course, the drawback is if I haven’t had a chance to publish the recipe yet on the blog, I’m viewed as a cookie tease! I guess there are worse things to be called.

The Inception of Cookies! The Cookie and Cream Cookie. Photo and Recipe by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love. [click to continue…]

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The first of two photo essays for the Meals on Wheels Star Chefs and Vintners Gala fundraiser of 2016.

Meals on Wheels San Francisco Star Chefs and Vintners Gala 2016. Photo by A.J. Bates for Eat the Love.

As usual, AJ and I were stuffed before we even got halfway through the room. We were at the annual Meals on Wheels Star Chefs and Vintner’s Gala event and we were trying our best to pace ourselves. But when you have the best of the best restaurants of the San Francisco Bay Area trying to impress, it’s hard not to indulge. We nibbled, we noshed and we tried to hold back so we could sample everything. It’s a tough job but someone had to do it. Even more important than all the food that I was able to eat was the money that Meals on Wheels raised. Over $3.3 million! So amazing! If you followed me on Snapchat or Instagram you probably saw some of the amazing dishes we encountered. If not, here’s a recap of the appetizer portion of the event. I’ll be putting up the rest of the event (which includes, behind the scenes, the three course meal we had, and desserts) in a later post!

Special thanks to Meals on Wheels San Francisco for providing tickets to the the Star Chefs and Vintner’s Gala. I was not monetarily compensated for this post and all opinions above are my own.

Meals on Wheels San Francisco Star Chefs and Vintners Gala 2016. Photo by A.J. Bates for Eat the Love.

Meals on Wheels San Francisco Star Chefs and Vintners Gala 2016. Photo by A.J. Bates for Eat the Love.

Meals on Wheels San Francisco Star Chefs and Vintners Gala 2016. Photo by A.J. Bates for Eat the Love.

Meals on Wheels San Francisco Star Chefs and Vintners Gala 2016. Photo by A.J. Bates for Eat the Love.

Meals on Wheels San Francisco Star Chefs and Vintners Gala 2016. Photo by A.J. Bates for Eat the Love.

Meals on Wheels San Francisco Star Chefs and Vintners Gala 2016. Photo by A.J. Bates for Eat the Love.

Meals on Wheels San Francisco Star Chefs and Vintners Gala 2016. Photo by A.J. Bates for Eat the Love.

Meals on Wheels San Francisco Star Chefs and Vintners Gala 2016. Photo by A.J. Bates for Eat the Love.

Meals on Wheels San Francisco Star Chefs and Vintners Gala 2016. Photo by A.J. Bates for Eat the Love. [click to continue…]

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This super easy crispy chocolate chip cookies recipe is the perfect cookie for those who love their treats snappy and crisp!

The Secret to Super Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love.

Butter and sugar was flying left and right and groups of people were crouching down on the floor working as hard as they can with the hand mixers that had just arrived the day before. The three tables that we had set up carefully with ingredients and giant metal mixing bowls were in shambles but everyone was laughing and shouting and having a great time. All I could do was marvel at the chaos that was happening in the middle of workshop I was leading at the Pinterest employee conference called KnitCon. I reached for a Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookie sample that I had made to nibble on and walked over to one of the Pinterest employees who seemed to be struggling with the rock hard cold butter that I had forgotten to pull out early enough to warm to room temperature. I showed her how to soften butter by taking a chunk of it out of the bowl and smashing it between two pieces of butter wrapper paper with the palm of her hands. She immediately brightened up and went to work. This was exactly the sort of madness that I love to be involved in. (Jump directly to the recipe.)

Pinterest-Knitcon-4

Teaching a workshop on making the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe.

A month or two ago my friend Enid over at Pinterest had invited me to lead a workshop on how to make the perfect chocolate chip cookie. Well actually, she had asked me to lead a workshop of my choice and that’s the one I pitched to her, which she was super enthusiastic about. Because who doesn’t love chocolate chip cookies? And when she told me in preparing for the workshop that I should have enough supplies for 15 people, I was dubious but took her word for it. I baked up 5 batches of different cookies for folks to see and taste, including a typical “homemade” cookie made  from the back of the chocolate chip bag recipe. I also brought enough baking supplies for 15 students to make cookie dough in the hands on class so they could take it home after the conference. 15 minutes before my session was scheduled to start, 45 peopled crammed into the room before they finally closed the door. I told folks they were going to have to do the hands-on part of the making of the dough in groups. They were all game. Let the chaos begin!

Bakery Style Cookies vs Homemade Style Cookies. [click to continue…]

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Rhubarb Coffee Cake with Blackberries and Big Crumb Topping

April 11, 2016

This not-too-sweet rhubarb coffee cake has blackberries and a big crumb topping for a perfect spring breakfast treat! “Do you ever get burned out of baking?” asked a friend of mine at brunch. We were huddling together in the patio deck, trying to keep dry as it was raining outside. The overhead awning was huge […]

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A Special April 1st Post: Bye Bye Raspberry Pie and the (NSFW) story of How I Ended Up Dressed Up as a 7-Foot Tall Cartoon Penis

April 1, 2016

This special April 1st post features a recipe for Butterscotch Raspberry Pie and a not safe for work story about a giant cartoon penis. (Jump directly to the recipe.) I peered through the black mesh screen in my costume and felt slightly warm and vaguely claustrophobic. The giant felt and plaster form that enclosed my […]

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Rye Brownies with Caramel and Sea Salt

March 14, 2016

These Rye Brownies have caramel and sea salt sprinkled on top, giving them a salty crunchy bite. Easy to make and seriously addictive! “Here it is…” said my friend Felisa as she gave everyone else around her suspicious looks and slyly pulled out a foil wrapper hidden from who knows where. She handed it to […]

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Panisse aka Chickpea Fries

February 29, 2016

Panisse are chickpea fries made from chickpea (garbanzo bean) flour. They’re incredibly easy to make and a super tasty alternative to regular fries! “Wait, the hashtag is #LovePulses? That sounds kind of…dirty.” Said my friend Annie as she took a bite of my panisse fries that I had just brought over to her house. Then […]

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Brookies (Brownies + Cookies) Caramel Bars

February 22, 2016

This upscale version of the brookies bar recipe sandwiches pistachio brownies and chocolate chip cookie bars with a layer of chewy caramel! There’s something slightly disingenuous about writing about food. You probably don’t notice it as a reader. But if you think about it, it’s tough to constantly be creating food for events and holidays […]

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Brookie Recipe with Salty Sweet Snack Treats

February 8, 2016

This made-from-scratch brookie recipe (a layered brownie and cookie bar) has potato chips, pretzels and two types of chocolate chips that my friends loved. “Well, if you can bring a bar or cookie or something, that would be great. You know, anything you might have around the house or in the freezer.” said my friend […]

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50 Chicken Wings Recipes (A Roundup!)

February 1, 2016

Looking for a chicken wings recipe? Here’s a roundup of 50 chicken wings recipes from around the web! I’m going to be dead honest. I have little to no interest in football. Which makes living in San Francisco right now a bit crazy. Because the 50th Super Bowl is happening here in San Francisco! Well, […]

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Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie <- The Best Recipe Ever! (plus a live baking demo at Macy's in San Francisco!)

January 25, 2016

This oatmeal chocolate chip cookie recipe is one of the absolute best ever because of a few special tips and tricks! Seriously. The best ever. AJ is always telling me that his favorite cookie is the oatmeal chocolate chip cookie. But surprisingly I almost never make them. It’s funny because I went looking through my […]

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Teriyaki Chicken Wings

January 22, 2016

This addictive and easy to make teriyaki chicken wings recipe is perfect as an appetizer for a party, picnic or just at home for an easy snack! It’s been five days of chicken wings here at Eat the Love and today, the last day of chicken wings week, had me trying to figure out what […]

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BBQ Chicken Wings Recipe

January 21, 2016

This tangy, sweet and spicy BBQ Chicken Wings Recipe is super easy to make in the oven, even if the BBQ sauce itself is made from scratch! “Aren’t you sick of wings yet?” I asked AJ. He looked at me as if I were crazy and said “Of course not!” I was on day four […]

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Vietnamese Caramel Chicken Wings

January 20, 2016

These sticky sweet, salty savory Vietnamese Caramel Chicken Wings are easier to make than you think! Every year AJ and I go to the big Meals on Wheels fundraiser gala where we get dressed up in black tie and sample food from some of the best restaurants in the city. But there was one time […]

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Peruvian Chicken Wings with Peruvian Green Sauce

January 19, 2016

These easy to make Peruvian Chicken Wings are served with a spicy and herbaceous creamy green sauce that is just fantastic and have you craving “just one more…” I’ve been slightly obsessed with Peruvian roasted chicken for years, ever since I tasted it at a local restaurant here in San Francisco called Limon Rotisserie. But […]

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