Tag Oysters

Parties That Cook’s Summer Team Building Recap and Tailgate Recipe Ideas

One fine Tuesday in May, Parties That Cook hosted its 2nd Annual Giants Game and Tailgate Party – the San Francisco office’s version of a team building event. At just before 4pm, Rosie and Rebecca headed downstairs to the shed to get the buffet set up. Before long, stomachs were growling, and it was clear we were ready to EAT.

We thought we’d share with you some of the mouthwatering dishes brought by our amazing team! Get ready for some serious hunger pangs…

Chef Anne started us off with a delicious (and familiar-looking) Crostini of Kalamata Olives, Figs, and Blue Cheese. YUM.

Chef Jen brought over some beautiful Spring Rolls that packed some heat!

Kelle made a cool Bean Salad – usually Three Bean Salad in Arizona. Kelle nixed bean three, and felt “Two Bean Salad” didn’t quite have the same ring to it.

John bought tasty pupusas as a backup dish for his daughters, along with a fresh Shrimp Salad and a couple types of mignonettes for the Oysters!

Laura spent the day at Bodega Bay, and couldn’t leave without buying as many unbelievably FRESH Oysters as she could. When it came time to walk over to the ballpark, folks were in a frenzy slurping down oysters!

Chef Heather whipped up a fabulously healthy Pesto Dip, accompanied by Red Bell Pepper dippers and rustic sliced bread. **No need to be alarmed by this display of pure health. We later saw Heather pull a full chocolate cake (flourless) out of her purse at the game.

Erica arrived in true tailgate fashion, which a cheesy, gooey, piping hot Buffalo Chicken Dip (recipe coming soon). A favorite in her sister’s East Coast house is now a PTC legend. What little was left is now being hoarded in our fridge and rationed out to make it last.

Chef Tanya did us all a favor and recreated one of her favorite Indian Chaat dishes: Bhel Puri. This flurry of potato, tomato, mango, onion, green chutney, tamarind, and puffed rice was SO good! Even Rebecca, the resident spicy foods refuser couldn’t help herself. Her warning: the heat is definitely noticeable, but the flavors are worth it!

Crissy decided to make a beast of a Tuna Casserole. Someone was eager to dig in before I could get a shot of the perfectly-topped and undisturbed casserole. Even with the office attacking appetizing leftovers for days, the dish stood strong. Well played, casserole.

Chef David was on site making the best Carnitas I’ve had in a long time. Tacos for everyone!

Bibby was so excited to share her Mom’s famous recipe for “Oven Sandwiches”. (Recipe coming soon!) Bibby opted for Brioche Buns instead of hot dog buns, and I’d venture to say the easy switch made a world of difference. Simple ingredients. Simple steps. Simply delicious. What more is there to say?

Rosie spent the day slaving away at her… desk. She cleverly set up a slow-cooker in the office so she could keep her work day productive. The results: amazingly delicious, tender, and saucy Pulled Pork Sliders. Oh man, my mouth is watering just at the thought!

Chef Mick outdid himself this year, and not only cooked up another gorgeous Bacon Explosion, but also used the remaining meat to make his own sausages! We didn’t stand a chance…

Michelene mixed together adorable Chocolate Milkshake Shooters. Unfortunately, their convenient size allowed folks to easily take multiple shots. Even without any alcohol involved, I had a tough time cutting myself off!

And last, but certainly not least: Beth brought in homemade, stick-to-your-teeth-but-you-don’t-even-care, dentist’s worst nightmare Caramel Corn! She even added her own personal touch – Cayenne. You better  believe this popcorn with a kick was smuggled into the Giant’s game. It’s the quintessential ballpark snack!

Ah, sweet satisfaction. Don’t you just love eating way too much good food? At least we had the opportunity to walk some of this smorgasbord off on the way to AT&T park! Check back for Bibby’s Oven Sandwich recipe, the Buffalo Chicken Dip, and more inside scoops on life working at Parties That Cook!

Take A Culinary Tour and More: Point Reyes

Want to get away? No, you don’t need to book a flight on Southwest. Simply take a trip to Point Reyes, a San Francisco coastal treasure. Read on for the low-down on a fun- and food- filled day, weekend, or even week-long getaway. Build your own itinerary with this Parties That Cook guide on where to find the best oysters, places to dine, and other fun things to do.

Oyster Heaven & Beyond

Osteria Stellina – Located in downtown Point Reyes Station, this should be your first stop to kick off your Point Reyes food adventure. All the food here is local – all-from-Marin-County local. Named in SF Chronicle’s top 100 Bay Area Restaurants, Chef-owner Christian Caiazzo’s “Point Reyes Italian” cuisine is not to be missed. Try Stellina’s speciality oyster pizza with braised leeks, lemon thyme and parsley. If oysters are not your thing, this osteria has a surprisingly well-rounded menu, and everything looks delicious!

Tony’s Seafood Restaurant – Does “osteria” sound too fancy for you? Or do you just love BBQ oysters? Drive up a bit further Highway 1, and it doesn’t get any divier than Tony’s. Still, paired with a great view, everyone agrees they have the best BBQ oysters around.  It’s only open Friday – Sunday and is cash only so plan ahead!

Want to go straight to the source? Be sure to pack a picnic and/or pick up a few things at Point Reyes Station.  Pick up some fresh bread and other baked goods at Bovine Bakery, and stop by Cowgirl Creamery to watch cheese being made. It’s always a great idea to pick up some yummy cheeses before heading out to Hog Island Oyster Company or Tomales Bay Oysters, also along Highway 1. Both provide picnic tables, barbeques, lemons, hot sauce, a glove, a shucker, and beautiful views! Staff will suggest other picnic areas nearby, so if you plan on being adventurous, bring your own shucker, glove, and oyster fixins. Tomales Bay will give you a quick demo on how to shuck if it’s your first time. You should be prepared to pay a picnic fee at Hog Island, but it’s well worth it!

If you prefer a down home family restaurant experience, head back to Point Reyes Station for live music in the evening at Station House Café.  The café even uses local organic ingredients! If you haven’t had enough, you can also get fresh oysters from Hog Island or Drakes Bay. Make a note: the specials are ever-changing! Reservations are not a bad idea, either.

If you’re lucky enough to grab a bag of oysters to-go, here’s a great oyster recipe from the Parties That Cook appetizer recipe library!

Getting Back to Nature

If you want to spend more time running around in the wild, pack up that picnic and:

HIKE along Bear Valley Trailhead.  Take this trail to get to Arch Rock for gorgeous views to go with your picnic lunch. Campers can also find a few campsites starting from Bear Valley. Check out Bay Area Hiker for detailed descriptions of the trail.

RIDE along Marshall Beach Trail or over to the Lighthouse. From Marin Magazine on Marshal Beach Trail: The fairly easy ride offers a challenge with the short uphill climb from Marshall Beach but the bulk of the trail is flat and manageable. How to get there: After entering Point Reyes National Seashore, turn right on Pierce Point towards Tomales Bay. Tomales Bay State Park will appear on the right. Turn right onto Marshall Beach Road. Drive up this road a short distance to the cattle guard and park. The ride is about seven-and-a-half miles.

WALK along Limantour Beach for a somewhat secluded experience combining beautiful views of the ocean and the forest.

Beautiful West Marin offers many locations to explore. Whether you come in search of a great oyster, a great meal, or a great trail, you have to check out Point Reyes!