This past Wednesday I had the amazing opportunity to enjoy a day of DIY as part of a fun partnership with the amazing folks of Downtown Santa Monica. We got to try first hand some of the amazing DIY experiences you can have in Downtown Santa Monica. I had no idea how much there was to do in the area and I'm so excited to share it all with you today.
We started the day bright and early with a fun tour of the Santa Monica Farmers Market. This large farmers market takes place on Wednesdays and Saturdays. You can find such amazing eggs, produce, and dairy at this market. Famous chefs and restaurants head to this market to make deals with the farmers for their restaurants. Tons of people also flock to it to buy fresh from the farm groceries. It's so amazing to see all the market has to offer.
We walked through the market to collect some ingredients for a meal we would later make ourselves as part of a DIY cooking class at The Gourmandise School.
How amazing is this fresh lettuce we got for a salad we would make later.
We checked out various booths who sold everything from vegetables… To Flour, Bread, and Fruits! We even got chat one on one with the farmers themselves. It was incredible to see first hand how passionate they are about their farm and products. These are the folks from Fat Uncle Farms. They produce various grains, flours, almonds, almond butter, and more!
They also bake their own amazing bread! It was so amazing to try their delicious bread and to chat with them about their fabulous farm.
We also picked up some small eggplants and eggs to make a shakshuka with poached eggs recipe. It's a middle eastern recipe that I've never tried before. It usually does not include eggplant, but we were putting our own twist on it during our DIY cooking class later in the day. I could not wait to get cooking and try this incredibly delicious sounding dish.
After we picked up all our ingredients and finished our tour of the farmers market, we walked over to The Gourmandise School and began to cook up what we picked up at the farmers market.
Our instructor Chef Clémence showed us how to properly poach an egg.
This is something I've been dying to learn how to do for a very long time. She also told us about the difference between fresh eggs bought at a farmers market and eggs bought at a grocery store. Apparently eggs bought at a farmers market do not need to be refrigerated. I had no idea. I also did not know that regardless of the color eggs, all eggs are the same. Brown eggs are not healthier to eat than white eggs. Eggs just come in all different shapes and colors. You could even get green colored eggs! It was super interesting to learn.
I digress… We learned that all you need to do to poach an egg is to keep the water simmering in your pan and use a ramekin to pour your egg whole into the simmering water. Bring the heat under the water down to barely any heat and let the egg simmer. The key is the water has to be simmering and not boiling. You can let it simmer for as long as you'd like. How long it's cooked depends on how hard you'd like your poached eggs. You then put them on a towel to dry. That's all you have to do to make them! I can't wait to try to make them at our Sunday funday brunches.
We also cooked up our shakshuka during this time. We cut up our small eggplants and put them in a cast iron skillet to cook in. We added olive oil, salt, pepper, cloves of garlic, and some rosemary to the pan.
We then put the skillet in the oven to let it cook.
While that was cooking, we pitted a pomegranate to make a dressing for our salad.
You simply cut a pomegranate in half and hit the back of each half of the pomegranate with a wooden spoon into a bowl. The poms should easily fall out if the pom is ripe. You can put some water in the bowl, so that anything you don't want floats up to the top of the bowl.
You can empty the water and make an amazing salad dressing with it using some salt, apple vinegar, pepper, and honey.
Before the shakshuka was completely done, we added some tomato sauce to the skillet and put it back in the oven for a few more minutes. I feel like it was only in the oven in total for about 15-20 minutes. Once it was completely done, we crumbled some fresh feta cheese we got from the farmers market on top and enjoyed our delicious meal.
After our fun cooking class we took a walk through the north block of Santa Monica's Third Street Promenade. We got to check out an activation call "The Experiment" taking place in the area. You can toss bean bags, sit on these colorful chairs, read a book or even play a piano on patches of astroturf. It's a fun colorful way to get out and just enjoy some fun in the sun.
We passed through because we were on our way to the Paper Source. We were going to enjoy one of their awesome DIY Halloween card making workshops. You can see all their awesome workshops HERE!
I made these fun ghost and witch hat cards using some stickers, washi tape, glue sticks, and an embossing technique.
Since I'm all about the crafing, I had blast making these super cute cards.
We finished the day with some light bites at the awesome new restaurant The Gables.
It's such a beautifully designed restaurant and the food is amazing.
Their fries are some of the best I've ever had and their grilled jidori chicken sandwich is to die for!
I had a blast getting my DIY and grub on in Downtown Santa Monica! I can't thank the city enough for having me on this amazing DIY experience tour.
If you're looking for a fun way to spend the day or a way to add some more fresh meals to your day, I highly recommend you check out all that I mentioned in this post. Visit the Farmers Market, take a cooking class at The Gourmandise School, and end the day with a fun card making workshop at Paper Source Santa Monica. I promise you'll have a blast just as much as I did!
You can find out more about Downtown Santa Monica, all their amazing events, and all the stores in the area on their website downtownsm.com.
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Downtown Santa Monica.
Thanks for supporting the amazing sponsors like this one that keep this Brite & Bubbly party going!