Archive for the ‘life’ Category

I’m Back

November 7th, 2010

Took a bit of break from my blog, not because I wanted to, but because I’ve just been so completely busy lately. This is the first week that I’ve gotten a chance to catch up on things. Everything has been so hectic that I haven’t even had time to bake (except for quick box mixes which I will post later). I completely missed out on Halloween baking this year, which makes me so sad, but oh well what can you do. I’ll try to make up for it during the upcoming holidays. Even though I haven’t had time to bake, I still find time to eat of course, so let me update you on my recent food/dessert adventures.

I took a trip to San Diego and visited a popular desert shop called Chocolat Cremerie that specializes in gelato and of course I had to make a stop at my favorite dessert place, Extraordinary desserts. I also finally got a chance to visit Mozza, which is co-owned by Mario Batali. I’ve been hearing about their pizzas for a long time and I thought they were good, but not as good as NY pizza. Sorry, Mario. Next place I went to was MILK, which is a cafe, bakeshop, and ice cream parlor. I love their homemade ice cream bars and sandwiches, pretty unique and delicious as well. Last adventure took me to Doughboys which is a small cute cafe and bakery that is famous for their red velvet cake. Food was good, but the dessert was better and I could literally just eat the cream cheese frosting by itself. And now I will leave you with the most important part, pictures!

Raspberry & Chocolate Hazelnut Gelato from Chocolat

Extraordinary Desserts Viking Cake - Chocolate creme brulee and milk chocolate cremeuse between chocolate cake layers with crushed chocolate almond pralines.

Mozza- Envelope filled with utensils.

Bone marrow al forno - Spread it on bread, delish!

Squash blossoms, tomato & burrata pizza - tasty, but not really worth the $23

Butterscotch budino, Maldon sea salt & rosemary pine nut cookies - So creamy, so good!

MILK storefront

MILK's infamous blue velvet cake

French macaron ice cream sandwich and red velvet poppers

Brownie ice cream sundae

MILK homemade strawberry shortcake ice cream bar

Best strawberry shortcake bar! SO GOOD!

Doughboys afternoon special - Big bowl of tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich. Hits the spot on a cold day!

Doughboys famous red velvet cake - Really good frosting!

Adventures in Foodieland

August 29th, 2010

What a weekend! Started off yesterday with the first annual OC Foodie Fest, which was essentially a food truck festival. There were 50 different food trucks that participated and the turnout was madness! Around 8,000 people attended the all day event which resulted in long lines, trucks running out of food early, and sunburns. For these events you have to come with a strategy: 1) Come early 2) Bring a group of friends and 3) Split up, go to different trucks, order an array of food and 4) meet back with your group and EAT! Unfortunately, I didn’t follow this strategy completely (we came late) and so the lines were ridiculously long and the worst part was that some trucks had started running out of food! All in all it was a still a good first experience. I was still able to try a variety of trucks and we were lucky enough to run into friends who offered to order food for us since they were close to the front of the line.  Some of my favorites were Cool Haus, a gourmet ice cream sandwich truck and Dogzilla, a Japanese style hot dog truck.

Today, I continued my foodie adventures and went to LA to try the infamous Umami burger. I tried both the Umami burger and Truffle burger and they were both delicious. But, the Truffle burger wins my top pick. It was AMAZING. It was pretty much just meat and cheesy goodness, but not just any cheese…Italian Truffle Cheese! The burger was bursting with truffle flavor from the cheese and truffle glaze. Afterward, we made a stop at Blanc Haute yogurt, a gourmet frozen yogurt place in Beverly Hills…of course. I wasn’t too impressed by this place. Definitely overpriced and the gourmet toppings didn’t really wow me, but its fun to try something new every once in awhile.

I’m gonna need a break from eating after this weekend. So stuffed. I don’t know how Man v. Food does it.

Great Balls on Tires Truck - Meatball sandwiches

Ciao Balla - Italian Meatball Sandwich

Ball Gogi - Korean style meatball with rice noodles

White Rabbit Truck - Filipino Fusion Tacos

Ludo Truck - Really wanted to try this truck, but they ran out of food!

Dogzilla Truck - Dozilla Hot Dog with avocado, bacon, onions, the works!

Yakisoba Dog!

Cool Haus Truck - Ice cream sandwich truck

Guy making my order

They ran out of cookies, so we had to settle for cookie ice cream sundaes with the broken cookies they had left lol. Top left: Balsamic Fig & Marscapone (my favorite!) Bottom: Dirty Mint (tasted like a Mojito) Top Right: Brown Butter w/ Candied Bacon

Umami Burger

Umami Burger - with cheese crisp, shitake mushrooms, roasted tomatoes, and sauteed onion. In my haste since I was busy devouring my Truffle burger, I didn't take a picture of it.

Blanc Haute Yogurt

Gourmet toppings

More toppings - they even had champange grapes!

I love how they have to mention the chocolate is from France.

My Blueberry Pomegranate yogurt with chocolate covered truffle figs, chocolate pear pieces, and nut toffee nuggets.

Sugar High Summer

August 5th, 2010

Although, I haven’t been doing much baking lately I’ve still managed to keep busy in the eating sweets department. So far this summer has been full of indulgence. I’ve been a regular at Pinkberry since they started their half priced happy hour and I’ve almost filled up my stamp card (yea, that’s how often I’ve gone in only a few weeks). On top of that the other week I went to the Essential Chocolate Desserts store, where I had a coupon for $35 worth of dessert for $15. I came home with a huge box of goodies: gourmet ding dongs, cake truffles, cupcake, cake, and the list goes on. I haven’t managed to eat through all the goodies just yet since I seem to be collecting dessert in my fridge (cheesecake, cupcakes, etc.) .

As for non-dessert news, I got to check out the Top Chef tour while it was in town.  Richard Blais from Season 5 and CJ Jacobsen from Season 3 were there doing cooking demos and question and answer sessions. It was a lot of fun and the best part was we got to try the dishes they made. So far, I’m having a good summer and the best part is it’s not over yet! Looking forward to more food and fun!

My box of goodies (from left to right) : Gourmet ding dongs, cake truffles, chocolate cupcake, moonpie, lemon bar, and a slice of lemon-coconut cake

Red Velvet Ding Dong - So so good!

A look inside

Reese's Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake Cheesecake from Cheesecake Factory - Decadent all the way

Top Chef Tour

Richard and CJ doing their cooking demo

Brussels Bistro - Pot of mussels and Belgian pommes frites. I have a weakness for mussels and fries. Delicious!

Hello Again

June 3rd, 2010

Wow…1.5 months no blog! I must apologize for the lack of activity on my blog, unfortunately life gets in the way sometimes (the good and the bad). Anyway, the good news is I am back and do not expect anymore interruptions in the near future.

In the last month, I discovered (actually a friend told me) about a hole in the wall baking supply store that has become my new favorite store. I love how the store front can look so deceivingly small, but once you enter its like a whole other world. They have pretty much everything imaginable there, a baker’s dream. Quite the selection of cupcake liners, all kinds colors and patterns and an impressive array of bakery boxes to hold cakes and cupcakes. I could spend hours in there. My friend’s birthday gave me the chance to bust out my window cupcake box that I just bought from there and I absolutely love it! It’s got the Sprinkles vibe with the brown cardboard box look, but the best part is the window and the holders inside.I made dark chocolate cupcakes with pink vanilla bean frosting and H-A-P-P-Y B-I-R-T-H-D-A-Y candles on top. I guess the box made it look so legit that my friends thought I bought cupcakes from a real bakery haha. So, thank you to my new baking supply store for helping my cupcakes step it up a notch in the presentation department!

Dark chocolate cupcakes with brown liners like Sprinkles!

Pink vanilla bean frosting

Cupcakes placed in their holders

Cupcakes placed in the holders

Check out the window!

Love these candles!

A Dozen Easter Cupcakes

April 4th, 2010

Happy Easter! It’s been a long 40+ days and I’m excited to finally eat chocolate today! Giving up chocolate for lent was no easy task, but I made it and I’m definitely going to go on a chocolate binge for the next few days. It was interesting to not be able to have anything with chocolate. Whenever I crave something sweet I usually reach for a piece of chocolate, but I found myself replacing it with more healthy treats like fruit and yogurt or maybe some peanut butter on a banana. I guess I could have eaten candy instead, but I’m not much of a candy person anymore (can’t eat sour patch kids like I used to when I was little, and warheads, remember those?).

Although, my first instinct is to pick something with chocolate, giving up chocolate helped widen my view about desserts I would’ve never chosen otherwise. I was able to try all sorts of yummy non-chocolate desserts (strawberry tiramisu, salted caramel macarons, maple bacon donuts) on various outings and it didn’t make me miss chocolate at all. Maybe I’ve changed? But, then again I think I would still have to fight the urge to pick something chocolate over a non-chocolate dessert. At least I feel like I’ve tried a lot of new things and I know that I can live without chocolate, but in all honesty I wouldn’t really want to haha.

For Easter, I decided to make mini cupcakes (vanilla with vanilla frosting, it wasn’t Easter yet when I made this hence no chocolate). To make them egg-stra special, I decided to color the frosting with some nice pastel colors and arrange them in an egg carton. This makes for a great gift idea; easy to whip up and cute packaging!

On a side note, if you’re wondering what my first chocolate dessert will be, its a Sprinkles’ Red Velvet cupcake. I also picked up one of their flavors for the season, Brown Sugar Praline, which is really good. Love that praline topping! Too bad its seasonal, I think they should make it one of their regular flavors.

Looks like a regular egg carton from the outside...


A Dozen Mini Cupcakes - Ready for Easter

Sprinkles Cupcakes - Top Row: Brown Sugar Praline and Vanilla Cupcakes, Bottom Row: Red Velvet with a cute bunny

New Year, New Resolutions

January 4th, 2010

Happy New Year everyone!

I haven’t given much thought to resolutions for this year. I figured that I would just keep the same ones I come up with every year, but stumbling upon this website gave me inspiration to add some new ones to my list. I don’t like making more than a few resolutions a year, because the more resolutions the harder I find it to remember them throughout the year. This New Year’s Resolution generator website was very entertaining and if you need a little help on resolutions this generator is perfect for you! What did you decide to pick? Here are my picks:

This was a helpful reminder for me, because I almost never back up my files. Two years ago I learned my lesson after my computer crashed and I didn't back up a lot of my files. So, this year I promise to do it as often as I can remember. Which is more than once, I hope...

This was a helpful reminder for me, because I almost never back up my files. Two years ago I learned my lesson after my computer crashed and I didn't back up a lot of my files. So, this year I promise to do it as often as I can remember. Which is more than once, I hope...

This year I defnintely want to create more desserts, crafts, and make use of my brand new sewing machine.

This year I defnintely want to create more desserts, crafts, and make use of my brand new sewing machine.

This resolution sounds like fun...have a few friends over, cook a good meal, drink some wine, and serve the ultimate dessert to top off the evening. I will defnitely update you guys when this happens haha.

This resolution sounds like fun...have a few friends over, cook a good meal, drink some wine, and serve the ultimate dessert to top off the evening. I will definitely update you guys when this happens haha.

This one made me laugh...I like tomatoes, but I can't promise that I'd ever eat it like an apple.

This one made me laugh...I like tomatoes, but I can't promise that I'd ever eat it like an apple.


July 8th, 2009

I decided it was time for a change, so here’s my newly revamped blog. Enjoy!

Afternoon Tea

March 22nd, 2009

Yesterday, I had afternoon tea with a few friends at the Scarlet Tea Room. It was my first time having tea at this location and I was surprised to find myself sitting in a very formal dining room, adorned with crystal chandeliers and gold fixtures everywhere. I felt like I was having tea at the Ritz Carlton. The tea service seemed pretty traditional, it was a 5 course meal in which we were given a variety of tea sandwiches (with the crusts cut off of course), freshly made scones, an assortment of petit desserts, and different pots of tea. Oh and how could I forget the palate cleanser! We started off with a raspberry sorbet palate cleanser (very fancy schmancy). Overall, the tea service was great, but I have to say that I do prefer going to cozier tea establishments. This place was way too refined for me. And at $40 a person, this is a once in a blue moon tea party for me.

Raspberry Sorbet Palate Cleanser

Scones – We had 3 different types: Cinnamon, Apricot Ginger, and Vanilla

Tea Sandwiches

Very Berry Tea – Tasted like Tazo tea from Starbucks…not one of my favorites.

I need to find myself a tea pot like this. Very cute.

I liked this tea pot design a lot.

Our dessert assortment

Strawberries Romanoff – 2nd dessert course

Oh Happy Day!

October 15th, 2008

I GOT TO MEET GIADA! I’m tired, but extremely happy. After waiting in line for 2 hours, I was finally able to meet my favorite Food Network chef. I went to Giada De Laurentiis’ book signing today at Williams-Sonoma for her new cookbook “Giada’s Kitchen: New Italian Favorites”. The wait was long, but my 60 seconds with her was worth it. What you see on tv is what you get when you meet Giada. She is very nice and sweet and also really pretty and petite in person. I don’t know how she keeps fit when she makes such good food. Despite the long wait, Williams-Sonoma helped keep us going by offering us samples of soup and an appetizer which were all recipes from Giada’s new cookbook. I thought that was really great and thoughtful of them.

As for her new cookbook, I can’t wait to try out the recipes. I have to say that this cookbook is definitely a lot better than her first one. I love the fact that almost each recipe has a great picture of the final product and there’s even some pictures of Giada in the process of making her recipes in a step by step fashion. Her first cookbook “Everyday Italian”, lacked pictures and it really made the decision process hard when selecting a new recipe to try. A recipe can sound good, but having a picture can really make all the difference. I’ve already picked more than a dozen recipes I want to try, just from looking at the pictures alone. All the food looks so delicious and she came out with some pretty interesting recipes that sound strange, but after taking a look at the picture, it actually looked pretty appetizing. Two particular recipes that stood out to me were the Tomato, Watermelon, & Basil Skewers and also her Cantaloupe, Red Onion, & Walnut Salad. I know it sounds weird, but after seeing the pictures you’d want to try the recipe out too. I’ll keep you guys posted when I finally narrow down and choose a recipe to make!

Unfortunately, we weren’t allowed to take pictures with her, so this is the best I could get.

Giada’s New Cookbook

My signed copy of the book! YAY!

Giada’s 1st Cookbook. Don’t mind the yellow flags…I like to tag the recipes I want to try haha.

I got her to sign this book too! Double YAY!

Birthday Indulgences

September 15th, 2008

Yesterday was my birthday and the entire week leading up to it, was just filled with stress. I was stressed out planning a joint birthday party that we didn’t really pull together until the very last minute, but in the end it all worked out and on top of that I had some weird ailment which was a combination of sinus/ear pressure and ear/headaches…on a side note I felt like my head was going to explode on Saturday when I was driving to the mountains and the elevation just heightened the pressure and pain even more. Anyway, I’m much better now (Sudafed and Advil are my best friends) and I was able to celebrate my birthday yesterday the way I like it…lots of sweets, food, and shopping! I totally overindulged yesterday, but hey what’s a birthday without forgetting about everything and just enjoying life, right? So, yesterday I started off my day with a Starbucks Java Chip Frappucino and as I was standing in line, I happened to notice this cute pink cupcake staring back at me in the pastry display, it had birthday cupcake written all over it, so I bought it haha. Sometime during the day, I also had a piece of my large Mrs. Fields Cookie that a friend gave me, by this time I was already on a sugar overload. Dinner was definitely my favorite part of the day, my boyfriend and I went to this restaurant called Savannah, its a “contemporary American restaurant featuring regional cooking with a Southern accent”. One word: delicious. We started off with the Maine Lobster and Crayfish Bisque, which was really good and it came with a side of these freshly fried garlic potato chips, definitely my favorite part of the dish. You have to dip the chip in the bisque, it’s a must. Next, for our entrees we both ordered the Prime Colorado Rack of Lamb. It came with a side of Savannah potatoes, asparagus, & a sweet garlic jam. I love lamb, and this was definitely one of the best I’ve ever tried. AMAZING! Just perfectly cooked and seasoned. On to the next best part of dinner…dessert! We ordered a hot Scharffen Berger Chocolate Souffle which was baked to order. The presentation was nice, they brought the souffle to our table, scooped out a little hole, poured hot chocolate sauce inside, then a dollop of freshly whipped cream, and then one more pour of the chocolate sauce. It was rich, but so so good! I wish I could have eaten more of it, but the lamb had filled me up. So, that was the end of my wonderful overindulgent birthday…can’t wait until next year!

Birthday Cupcake

Giant Mrs. Fields Cookie

Lobster & Crayfish Bisque

Bisque with a side of garlic chips

BEST lamb ever.

Scharffen Berger Chocolate Souffle – chocolate heaven!