Archive for the ‘travels’ 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!

Extraordinary Desserts

December 21st, 2009

Took a trip to San Diego the other weekend and my very first stop was Extraordinary Desserts and like the name says, it was far from ordinary! I heard about Extraordinary Desserts from friends before, but I never thought to visit it sooner and now I wish I had. When you walk through the door you just see a long display cases filled with beautifully decorated cakes and treats.  Fresh flowers were adorned on almost every dessert, which seems to be their signature style. I had to take multiple trips up and down the display just to wrap my mind around everything I was looking at and try to narrow down my choices.

I finally settled on the La Bete Noire cake (Traditional vanilla crème brûlée, chocolate truffle cream are layered in between dark chocolate cakes and moistened with Madagascar vanilla bean). It was absolutely decadent and the creme brulee layer was my favorite part, such a brilliant idea. Of course, I couldn’t leave without taking a few things to go: cherry chocolate chip cookie – not my favorite, Chocolate Chunk Shortbread- very chocolately and oh so yummy, Mini Lemon Meringue – perfect size for a small treat and a lovely lemon flavor, not too tart. I was dissapointed that they weren’t offering their famous Chocolate Crossiant Bread Pudding, but that’s ok because it just gives me another excuse to visit.

I made one more dessert stop on my trip and that was to Babycakes. It got decent reviews on Yelp, so I decided to check it out. They had a unique selection of cupcake flavors ranging from PB&J to Guava cucpakes. I decided on the Red Velvet and PB&J. The red velvet was a complete fail. I don’t know if maybe I got an old cupcake, but it was just super dense and flavorless. Sadly, I ate a part of it and just threw the rest away. Not worth the calories. The PB&J was much better and salvaged my trip to Babycakes. The peanut butter frosting was delicious and I loved the jam syrup drizzled on top. The cake was just a plain chocolate cake, nothing fancy, but at least it wasn’t as dense.

Overall, the trip was great and I’m happy that I found a new favorite dessert place, Extraordinary Desserts. Hopefully, they will decided to open a store in LA in the future!

Extraordinary Desserts Display Case

Extraordinary Desserts Display Case

View of their bar/restaurant area

View of their bar/restaurant area

La Bete Noire Cake

La Bete Noire Cake

Beaultiful orchids and gold flecks arranged on the cake

Beaultiful orchids and gold flecks arranged on the cake

My Goodie Box - The shortbread was huge! Defnitely worth it!

My Goodie Box - The shortbread was huge! Defnitely worth it!



Red Velvet and PB&J Cupcakes

Red Velvet and PB&J Cupcakes

I heart NY

July 9th, 2009

They should literally call Manhattan, the island of dessert. During my trip to the east coast about a month ago, I had a huge list of all the dessert places I wanted to visit…Magnolia’s, Max Brenner, Dessert Truck, etc. Luckily, I was able to cross off most from my list, but there are still many more places to go which I will have to save for my next trip there. These were all the delicious non-cupcake places I went to:

Rice to Riches
No steamed or fried rice here, just yummy rice pudding in every flavor imaginable. I pretty much sampled every flavor and ended up getting good old fashioned rice pudding with a hint of cinnamon and raisins and the very pink pomegranate flavor. I loved this place…their gimmick was great, the store looked awesome, and their packaging was very cute.

Rice to Riches

Rice to Riches



My kind of place.

My kind of place.


Regular Rice Pudding and Pomegranate

Regular Rice Pudding and Pomegranate

Dylan’s Candy Bar
This place was filled top to bottom with all kinds of candy. The only thing I have to mention is that their chocolate section was a bit small for my taste.

Dylan's Candy Bar

Dylan's Candy Bar

Dessert Truck
I think this is the best invention ever. Gourmet treats at an affordable price. I ordered Warm Chocolate Bread Pudding and Vanilla Creme Brulee. The Creme Brulee was my favorite, nice and creamy…so so good!

Dessert Truck

Dessert Truck

Best Creme Brulee EVER!

Best Creme Brulee EVER!

Max Brenner
I would like to be buried here. Chocolate Heaven. This place has a cafe with really good food and they have so many delicious desserts to choose from.

Max Brenner's


Banana and Hazelnut Cream Crepe

Banana and Hazelnut Cream Crepe

Cupcake Tour 2009

June 15th, 2009

A few weeks ago I went on a trip to the east coast and visited New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia. The trip was a lot of fun and one of the highlights of my trip was definitely visiting some of the cupcake bakeries that New York had to offer.

My first cupcake stop was Billy’s Bakery. This bakery reminded me a lot of Susie Cakes, has the same retro feel and home baked goods vibe. Everything from their cakes, cookies, and pies looked delicious, but I opted to try their cupcakes. I ordered a red velvet cupcake which was good, but a lot denser than I normally like. One thing that surprised me was that the frosting was vanilla rather than cream cheese, but overall I still enjoyed my cupcake.

The next stop on my cupcake tour was the famous Magnolia’s Bakery. This bakery was packed with customers lined up to buy cupcakes and just as I was about to order a red velvet cupcake they informed me that they didn’t have any available at that moment. Sad day. I decided to get a regular chocolate cupcake with chocolate frosting and I also couldn’t resist trying the mini red velvet cheesecake I saw in the display case. The cupcake was good, not the best I’ve had…maybe my opinion would be different if I was able to get a red velvet cupcake. I think the most memorable part of the cupcake was the frosting, chocolaty goodness. Despite their lack of red velvet cupcakes, Magnolia’s totally redeemed themselves with their red velvet cheesecake. It was AMAZING! I could have eaten the whole thing myself and I don’t even like cheesecake. Til this day, I still dream about it.

The last cupcake stop was Sugar Sweet Sunshine Bakery. I loved the hippyness of this place and it really intrigued me that the guy boxing up my cupcakes was a muscular guy with tatoos all over. I had to really control myself while I was in this bakery…cupcakes are $1.50 and they had so many different flavors! I really wanted to try everything and get a dozen, but that would probably result in a tummy ache and I don’t want to ever have a bad experience with cupcakes. So, I just decided to get 5 cupcakes…2 for my friends and 3 for me haha. I opted for the Sexy Red Velvet Cupcake (satin buttercream frosting), Sassy Red Velvet Cupcake (chocolate almond buttercream), and Pistashio. All three cupcakes were good, but I would have to say that the Pistachio was my favorite, the flavor was great and it was something that I’ve never tried before.

So, which bakery won the Cupcake Tour 2009? I think it would have to go Sugar Sweet Sunshine…they had great prices and good cupcakes, what more could you ask for! Overall, I had a great time trying different cupcake places. However, I’m really surprised that I didn’t have one Red Velvet Cupcake with cream cheese frosting…maybe it’s not an east coast thing?

Billy’s Bakery – Red Velvet Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting

Magnolia’s Chocolate Cupcake with Chocolate Frosting

Magnolia’s Mini Red Velvet Cheesecake – BEST CHEESECAKE EVER!

Sugar Sweet Sunshine – Top row: Sassy Red Velvet, Middle: Pistachio, Bottom row: Sexy Red Velvet

Long Time No Blog

June 3rd, 2008

My apologies for not blogging for an entire month…I’ve been away, well actually I was on vacation for 2 weeks. But, the week before I left, I was busy packing and getting ready and it took me another week to back into the swing of things. So, I guess that accounts for the whole month I’ve been absent here. So, this week I’ve decided to go on a baking frenzy. I’m planning to make a variety of things that I’ve been wanting to make for a while now such as scones, red velvet cupcakes, and creme brulee. Update about the torch: I have not bought a torch yet, but that’s on my to-do list this week, so keep an eye out for my post about that.

Dessert Heaven

April 23rd, 2008

I went to Vegas this past weekend, and by far it was the best Vegas trip. Not only because of the good company and many highlights during the trip, but also because of all the delicious desserts I had, which probably increased my chances of diabetes in just one weekend. The first dessert I have to rave about was the Boston Cream Pie DeLux at the Grand Lux Cafe in the Venetian. Honestly, it was one of the best desserts I’ve ever had…Creamy Custard Layered Between Moist, Rich Vanilla Cake. Covered with Warm Chocolate and Whipped Cream. I was smiling the entire time I was eating it! Haha. The next thing I have to rave about was the dessert bar at the Treasure Island buffet. It was dessert heaven! I’ve never seen such an impressive array of desserts…freshly made miniature donuts, chocolate dipped banana pops, chocolate dipped strawberries, cupcakes, creme brulee and best of all a cotton candy machine! I think I have to say that it definitely beats the Wynn’s dessert bar.

Boston Cream Pie DeLux

Empty Pockets & Overstuffed Bellies

September 26th, 2006

Last week, I went on a spur of the moment trip to Viva Las Vegas with a few of my research pals. This trip to Vegas was far different from all the other trips I’ve made to sin city. For three days and two nights, we just took our time to relax, enjoy each other’s company, and lay out by the elderly and obsese infested pool. It was nice to get away from normal life and actually get to know everyone away from the white coat hospital setting. For once, we could just hang out and not have to worry about anyone spying on us (it amazes me how people at the hospital have nothing to do but tattle tale). So, during our trip we took our time walking the strip, photographed the great scenic lights, lost a few dollars to the penny slots, and engorged ourselves at the bountiful buffet. So, even though I didn’t win anything, I think I still managed to gain something from this trip…a few pounds, haha.

Le Eiffel Tower – Magnifique!

Falling Autumn Leaves at Bellagio

View of Caesar’s Palace across Lake Bellagio

Sweets Galore at The Wynn Buffet

Ruby Red Candied Apple

Back to Life…

August 14th, 2006

I’m finally back from all my worldly travels (San Francisco and Canada). It feels good to be back, after living out of my suitcase for awhile. So far, things are still busy for me, I havent gotten the chance to just relax and have a day for myself. There’s so many things I want do…go to the gym, go shopping, watch a movie, swim, go to the beach, hang out with my friends, and spend more time with my boyfriend…but with the way that my schedule is I think I’d be passed out everyday if I tried to fit in too many things. For now, I’ll just take things day by day.

Moving on, San Francisco was fun…to some it all up, we ate a LOT of food. Duck Confit with manderin oranges at the Butterfly restaurant was probably the most memorable and delicious. The trip to Canada was comprised of lots of eating as well, ranging from eating Buffalo wings and pizza in Buffalo, N.Y. to Canadian Bacon for breakfast. I honestly think that people should lose weight before traveling…maybe around 10 pounds, just so they can enjoy and not feel so bad about all the food they’re eating. I just wish I had taken my own advise, because as of this moment I still feel full.

Off to Maple Syrup Land

August 1st, 2006

Tomorrow, I’ll be leaving for Canada to spend an entire week with my fellow Canadian relatives. I love Canada, even though it seems like there isn’t much to do there, especially when the whole city closes at 8pm. But hey, they have great maple syrup and they have an awesome view of Niagara Falls.

So, I’ll be flying on Air Canada and according to my Uncle Al, they no longer serve free food on the plane. You have to purchase whatever crappy airplane food they have which makes it seem less appetizing. Who wants to actually have to buy crappy airplane food? I was thinking about what kind of food I wanted to pack for the plane…Subway? Quizno’s? Or I could just go all out and pack a nice juicy steak and have everyone on the plane salivate while they eat their peanuts. Haha, it seems like a fun idea.