Thursday, November 12, 2009

Strawberry Short Cupcake

It was my friend's birthday the other day, so I decided to bake something to celebrate. The strawberry shortcake I made for hubby's birthday in August was such a hit that I decided to make something along those lines. I decided to make strawberry short cupcakes!
They turned out really cute! I topped the shortcake with fresh whipped cream, mini jelly candies, and a strawberry. They tasted nice, but honestly... I think when you put the airy cake batter inside the small cupcake paper, it deflates a little and loses a lot of its soft airyness.
Still, they were very cute and my friend appreciated them! :) I used my original shortcake recipe to make these cupcakes. The recipe can be found on my past post HERE.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Trails Cafe

Yesterday, Hubby and I took our dogs hiking in Griffith Park. It was a beautiful and sunny November day, perfect hiking weather. We let the dogs run around off leash and we all got a lot of exercise.Of course, all that hiking got us hungry so we had lunch at the The Trails Cafe located inside Griffith Park. It's a cute little shack that looks kind of like a log cabin where you order and pick up your food. There are plenty of picnic benches in the shade around the cafe where you can enjoy your meal. It was perfect for us, because we had our two doggies with us.
The cafe offers a mostly vegetarian menu with fresh homemade food, and everything is so tasty! I absolutely adore this rustic little cafe.
I had the vegetarian avocado sandwich with tons of sprouts, avocado, tomato, cheese, onions, and vegetarian bacon bits. This vegetarian sandwich was surprisingly filling and delicious! I'm going to try making this at home!
Hubby had the "snake on a dog" which is a hot dog wrapped in puff pastry. This dog came with a side of cabbage salad. It was one of the few carnivorous items on the menu. It was warm out of the oven and yummy as well.
We got a mini rhubarb strawberry pie for dessert. The crust was crunchy and sweet. Loved the mini pie!
This place is definitely worth a visit if you are ever around Griffith Park.

TRAILS CAFE
2333 Fern Dell Dr
Los Angeles, CA 90068
(323) 871-2102

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Chicago Dog

We were set on having some Chicago style hot dogs while we were in town, so our friend took us to a local hot spot called The Wiener's Circle.
The place was pretty disgusting, small, and dirty. The people working there gave us nasty looks and were completely rude to us, hubby didn't even get what he ordered... but that's what makes this place so fun!
Even the tip jar is rude... Notice the bottom of the jar that says "Shakes $20"?
See that big, mean looking lady behind the cash register?
Well, if you put $20 in the tip jar, you will get a chocolate milk shake... meaning that the lady will lift her shirt and shake her ginormous boobies at you. I wasn't in the mood for a milkshake so I skipped on that one. Maybe another time...
Everything was deliciously greasy. And I'm not being sarcastic, I loved the dog.
Ohhh, look at all that oozing cheese and oil. yum! I will be back for the food, and the service! :)On our way back to LA, at O'Hare airport we decided to have one last hot dog at the Jodi Maroni's stand. Chicago dogs are so awesome, having those veggies in my hot dog makes me feel a little less guilty about eating a super processed and fatty snack.

WIENER'S CIRCLE
2622 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60614-1523
(773) 477-7444

FALLing in Love with Chicago

We experienced wonderful weather and beautiful fall colors during our trip to Chicago recently. I really love this city.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A Taste of Chicago

We visited Chicago for the first time this year. I immediately fell in love with the city.
We did all of the touristy things that people do in Chicago. We went to a Cubs game at the famous Wrigley Field and watched the Cubs win.
And of course we had Chicago style stuffed pizza!
We went to Bacino's Pizza in Lincoln Park. Basically, it's pizza with a thick heavy crust with TONS of cheese stuffed inside.
Every slice literally had one brick of melted mozzarella cheese inside... I'm sure of it!
Aside from the fact that you feel sick and bloated after eating just once slice... it's pretty decent. I still prefer the traditional pizza. But when in Rome... right?
BACINO'S PIZZA

2204 N Lincoln Avenue
Chicago, IL 60614
Tel: (773) 472-7400

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Kiss My Bundt

I heard about Kiss My Bundt from a friend and I read on her blog about how fabulous this place was. When I saw online that they offered baking classes, I jumped on the opportunity.
It was a hands-on baking class with the owner, Chrysta as the instructor. She was such an upbeat and friendly person who offered me so much new information on baking.
The class had about 10 people and we split up into two groups. Each group worked from a "Blank Canvas" recipe for Chrysta's bundt cake and added our own unique flavors to make a new bundt cake creation. Unfortunately I can't post her famous recipe due to copyright reasons. :(
My group made vanilla cappuccino bundt cake with Baily's Irish Cream frosting, (pictured below). The other group made a raspberry, Guinness beer bundt cake with Belgium chocolate frosting. It was all so unique and yummy! I had such a great time meeting new people, baking together, and trying all sorts of great bundt cake flavors at Kiss My Bundt!
I highly recommend all of the cakes and classes at Kiss My Bundt. I even follow them on Twitter because they have discounts and special flavors all the time!

Kiss My Bundt Bakery
8104 W 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90048
(323) 655-0559

Monday, October 19, 2009

Dragon Fruit

My friend was serving this beautiful and exotic looking fruit at his house warming party that I attended. I have never seen or eaten anything like it!
He told me that it was called Dragon Fruit. Dragon fruit, formally called Pitaya is the fruit from a cactus originating in South America. This fleshy fruit was amazingly sweet with crunchy little black seeds like the kiwi fruit.
On my recent trip to the Farmer's Market I discovered another variation of Dragon Fruit with a hot pink flesh! Dragon fruit contains high levels of vitamin c, calcium and phosphorus and lots of antioxidants. I don't know why I've never had this fruit before, but I'm officially hooked!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Fugu Me!

We went out to eat Fugu (Puffer Fish) a major delicacy in Japan. It's not everyday you get to eat Fugu, and it's very hard to find in the states so I was excited about our full course fugu meal.
We went to eat at Torafugu Tei, which just so happened to be celebrating their 2 year anniversary with 50% off the entire menu! Still... Fugu is not cheap!
The beverage of choice: Hire Sake, hot sake with a puffer fish fin inside. The traditional way to drink this is to light the sake with a match and let the fin steep in the sake.
It tastes like a hybrid sake/fish soup.
The course started off with Fugu skin sashimi.
We also had Fugu Nabe (hot pot). The hot pot was a basket with a thick piece of paper and boiling water inside. I thought it was really neat!
Now the creepy part was that the pieces of cut up fish were still twitching on our plates before we immersed them into the boiling hot water.
So you boil your pieces of Fugu and veggies and dip them in Ponzu sauce before devouring.My favorite Fugu dish is Fugu sashimi. It is so delicate yet has a crunchy texture to it. Some people say that the small traces of Fugu poison leaves your lips and tongue tingling. If you ever saw that Simpsons episode where Homer is about to die from Fugu poisoning, you know that Fugu contains lethal poison (Tetrodotoxin). Fugu poisoning is very rare, especially in Tokyo but my best friend in Japan ended up in the emergency room on life support due to Fugu poisoning. So be very careful that to eat Fugu at a proper restaurant with licensed Fugu chefs.
Ohhh, Fugu kara-age is deep fried Fugu. So yummy! Tastes like chicken!
At the entrance of the restaurant there was a huge tank of Fugu swimming around, but at the end of the night after all of the guests ate the little guys, the tank was nearly empty...

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