Frosted Cupcakery Hermosa Beach, CA

I’m back in some form. Five months into mommyhood & I’ve gotten into a routine, so that’s good. A lot of my visits to the restaurants lately has been to get take out. I don’t have to tell you that dining out with an infant is no easy feat. With that being said, I haven’t taken many pictures of my food since my slow & gradual return to blogging, so you’ll just have to trust me for now.
Ok without further ado, I finally made my way over to Frosted Cupcakery in Hermosa Beach. I loved how bright and cheerful the store was. It mirrored the personality of the girl that helped me out with my order. They had the usual suspects: the obligatory red velvet, the ever present chocolate, and some specialties like the nutella cupcake, and the cupcake of the month, cornbread bacon.Yes, I took a year off blogging, but I see the bacon fad is still alive and well.

The cupcakes were on the pricey size, that isn’t much of a surprise these days. At least the product was a large enough size, I didn’t feel like I was being gypped. The one thing I thought was weird, and maybe I misunderstood the girl that worked there, but the half dozen costed the same as the full. I really hope I misunderstood, because that makes no sense at all!

Anyways, I tried the cornbread bacon cupcake. It really tasted like a small bite of Thanksgiving. The cupcake was moist & the flavors of the cornbread & bacon blended very well. Between the friendly service and tasty cupcakes, I’ll definitely be back for more.

 

1227 hermosa ave.
hermosa beach ca 90254

Travels n Things: OC Bakery Crawl

IMG_1617

I’m not a morning person. But I found myself getting up super early, on a Saturday to boot to attend a bakery crawl with some foodies in Orange county.

The first stop was the Farmers Market in Irvine where we chatted with chef Rachel Klemek, owner of the Blackmarket Bakery. Fresh baked goods were numerous at this small stand.

IMG_1615

So many to choose from but I ended up with the Pain au Chocolat… or chocolate croissant if you will. Very tasty & I was glad I wore my sweats for this one!

Up next was 85 degrees, a Taiwanese bakery in Irvine. It had such long lines. So long that we were asked to wait outside. Also they had a strict no photography rule to the dismay of us foodies.

IMG_1622

Once the coast was clear, I snapped a pic of probably the most unusual bread I’ve seen to date, a calamari bread. Its dark color was undoubtedly from the squid ink. It was a bit intimidating to me but in the end I’m glad I picked it out. It just tasted like garlic bread with squid. Not bad at all! Also the prices were super cheap, it was ridiculous. It’s no wonder people had their trays filled sky high yet paid hardly anything for it.
IMG_1620

I also shared a creme brulee with my husband. The flavors were light and not overly sugary at all.

IMG_1624

Already feeling full, I opted for a lighter dessert, a fruit tart to be exact at Champagne Bakery in South Coast plaza. It was just what I needed. The bakery was nice and clean and reminded me of Porto’s without the chaos. The prices were also more standardized but it was still a shock coming from a place where we paid almost nothing!

The group continued to Thach Che Hien Khanh in Little Saigon. By this time I was super full but did get some Banh Mi and Vietnamese coffee that I’ll write about in my next installment of Tuesday’s Travels. I want to thank Sara of Our Private Kitchen for organizing this event. It’s always fun meeting new foodies & sharing the enthusiasm!

Over the Moon

I first learned of moon cakes during the very first month of my food blog in September of last year. I was impressed by the detail of each cake. Each design so perfectly etched. I bookmarked a few recipes but never got around to baking it. I also admit I was intimidated about making such a dessert.

A year later the moon festival came upon us and again I saw my fellow bloggers’ recipes. Again I promised I’d make the cakes, or try them. I’m glad to say I succeeded at the latter.

I was shopping at a local Asian market when I happened upon hopia, a Filipino pastry that looks similar to a moon cake and in fact could be described as the Filipino version of the dessert. Right next to it was the one and only moon cake itself. I of course bought a few to sample. Sadly the only English on the packaging were the ingredients and the word Moon Cake so I brought them home and hoped for the best.

IMG_0006

The first cake I tried was a dense square cake with an intricate design. The cake itself was fairly dense. I knew right away I could not finish it in one seating. The cake was doughy but not too rich. The center of the cake contained yolk and lotus seeds. I couldn’t taste either but overall the cake was fairly good even though I could only eat one half at a time.

IMG_0008
The second cake I tried was small and round with a red design on the top that was unfortunately separated once I took the cake out of the wrapper. This cake was doughy and sweeter than the previous. The center was gelatinous and equally as dense. This cake reminded me slightly of the more familiar hopia I was accustomed to.

I was glad I was able to try the famed moon cake although next time I would venture out to Monterey Park to try the real and fresher deal.

I found these Moon Cakes at Seafood City in Carson. If you are a more daring soul, try to make these from scratch!

Giuliano’s Delicatessen and Bakery Torrance, CA

I’ve learned over the past year of living in Torrance that a good deli is hard to find. Sure there’s plenty of chain delis around, but I wanted something authentic. Something like the small delis in Hermosa Beach offered me. I thought I’d try my luck with Giuliano’s in Torrance.

I admit that once I walked in I was a bit confused by the layout. They had a few tables in the front, but all of the sandwiches and small market were in the back. The market was filled with many Italian pastries and goods. The deli’s pastry case had many cookies and baked goods that I grew familiar with over the years. As tempting as the pastry case was, I controlled myself and proceeded to look at the sandwich menu.

The woman working the register was very helpful and once I had selected my order, the Chicken Bella Nonna, she added “Wonderful choice, you’ll love it!” I hope she was right.

Giuliano's Delicatessen and Bakery sandwiches are of good portion and price

The presentation was nothing spectacular but a good portion for the price. The bread was fresh and chewy, however the chicken was a bit dry while the vegetables were cooked well. Needless to say, it was an imbalanced combination. The sandwich could have used a little more seasoning despite its numerous components such as olive oil, provolone, zucchini, chicken breast, fennel, sauteed mushrooms, and tomatoes. The potato salad was also nothing to write about. Just your standard tasting salad, similar to those that you could pick up at your grocery’s deli. As my friend and I chatted away unwinding on a Friday evening, we noticed that they started closing shop. Sure enough, we were informed that they closed at 7pm which to me was unheard of. I hope that my lackluster sandwich wasn’t due to the fact that the restaurant was closing in an hour’s time. Maybe I’m old fashioned but I believe any meal should be prepared right no matter what time it’s being served.

ETA: I did enjoy their Redondo Branch. Way better by leaps & bounds!

Giulianos on Urbanspoon

OC’s Cupcake Camp, the Sweetest Trip to Irvine

The first annual Cupcake Camp was held in the Atrium Hotel in Irvine today. The turnout was so large that they moved their initial location from the pool to the largest conference room in the hotel. However, the largest room clearly wasn’t enough as cupcake enthusiasts lined up on the stairs and into the lobby. Folks like myself took the elevators without knowledge of the line. There were no sigs saying to take the stars only, also some guests needed the elevators if they brought their kids, had an injury, etc. My heart sank when I saw how long the line was. However, the volunteers controlled the crowd fairly well as they let a few people from the line as well as the elevator go through without much drama.

Cupcakes waiting to be judged at Cupcake Camp, OC

While waiting in line for the entrance, a display of several dozen cupcakes entered in the contest caused a stir as patrons took many pictures. This was only the prelude to the actual event itself!

A dolphin cupcake swims its way to the Cupcake Camp

With categories such as “Most OC”, “Most Childhood Inspired”, and “Most Exotic Flavor”, this would indeed be a close call, based on looks alone. For all these sweets looked good enough to eat.

California burger staple, In n Out tries its hand at cupcakes

Although admission was free, a $10 donation was suggested. This donation would aid in the fight against human trafficking. The $10 donation would also grant the patron 3 tickets to sample any professional made cupcakes.

How many people followed this suggestion?

The room was pretty packed despite being one of the first people to arrive. With only 3 tickets a piece, it would be hard to pick which ones to eat with so many to choose from. In addition to the professionally made cupcakes, countless amateur cupcakes were available for the low price of free. Amateur was also the understatement of the day as many of these cupcakes were just as good and creative as their counterparts!

My friend Monica's red velvet cupcakes

Many of the cupcakes were made with such creativity that it made it hard to select only a few to eat to save my stomach. My friend Monica brought her trademark red velvet cupcakes that didn’t fail to disappoint. I may be a little biased because she’s my friend but I turned around for a minute and they were completely gone!

"Tucked In" cupcake

Believe it or not these sweet children sleeping on an edible mattress were made by an amateur! It was one of the cutest things I had seen so I had to have a bite! Nila wafers, fruit rollups AND marshmallows? That could never go wrong!

Good Humor style strawberry shortcake cupcakes

Remember running to the ice cream man when you would hear those bells on a hot summer day? Remember being proud of yourself when you were able to scrounge up a few quarters for a frozen dessert? Well, the makers of this Good Humor Strawberry Shortcake cupcake were able to take all those memories of summer and pack it in a not easily meltable counterpart. Even the sprinkles tasted like the coating of the real deal.

Dessert for breakfast? Yes please!

The day before this sweet event, fellow food blogger Food is My Nish told me about a breakfast cupcake…an award winning one at that made by My Delight Cupcakery.(Thank you Melissa for the correction) Fortunately for me, many were still available despite the overcrowded room. I snagged one of these and right away I loved it! Bacon bits and maple frosting were a winning combo! Add a light cake with some bacon bits to the mix and it’s clear to see why this is one of their signature cupcakes!

A childhood inspired cupcake

Meringue bake shop offered “A Kid Again” for the many guests to try. Yellow cake, always a crowd pleaser with a cookie dough center and peanut butter buttercream truly evoked the childhood memories. Now, if only they allowed us to consume calories as a kid!

I left before the cupcake eating contest as well as the judging for my stomach could only take so much! However, it was a great treat for a Sunday afternoon. With the free cupcakes rotating every 30 minutes, the choices never ran out. I do hope to attend a future cupcake camp based on the success of this one. Thank you to all involved with Cupcake Camp OC. You put on one helluva event.

Share

Get Ready for National Cheesecake Day

Tomorrow is Friday, and in addition to being everyone’s favorite day of the work week, it also comes with a bonus. Tomorrow is in fact, National Cheesecake Day. The origins of this designated day devoted to this dense and filling concoction are unknown. Nonetheless, there are hardly any complaints for a day devoted to this popular dessert.

July 30th is National Cheesecake Day!

The Cheesecake Factory, with its book like menu and of course immense selection of the dessert where it gets its name is offering any slice at half the price. If there’s ever been a time to try a new flavor, or indulge in your favorite, this would be it.

Can’t make it to The Cheesecake Factory? Fear not for there are numerous recipes scattered through the big bad internet. Create your own take on this dessert. Want a lighter texture without sacrificing the taste? Make an Italian cheesecake! Made with marscapone rather than cream cheese, this cake offers a fluffier texture and gives your stomach a little more room for another slice.

Whatever way you choose to celebrate, whether it be at the Cheesecake factory, at home, or perhaps a neighborhood cafe, enjoy it! For it’s Friday…with a bonus! For those in the SoCal area, while it’s not yet recognized as the official holiday, there will be a Cupcake Camp in the OC on Sunday, August 1st. What a sweet weekend this is turning out to be!

King’s Hawaiian Torrance CA


 


 


King’s Hawaiian rolls. You’ve seen them at your grocery store, at picnics, and barbecues. If you live in the south bay area, you’ll be happy to know that there’s a Kings Hawaiian restaurant nearby.

When I found out that the King’s Hawaiian restaurant and bakery was around the corner from me, I was elated! I had to try this place out & try it out soon!
A friend of mine and I checked this place out for lunch. I had arrived first, a quarter to noon and noticed the slew of patrons entering, and another slew of patrons leaving, cake boxes in hand. At that point I figured that it has to be good.

Upon entering, the first thing you will see is the bakery, with enough sweets to make that 5 mile run to burn it all off worth it! Cakes, pies, tarts, chocolate, its all there. Of course it wouldn’t be King’s Hawaiian bakery without their signature hawaiian rolls, an ample supply was available.

After eyeing all the possible desserts we could have, we were greeted and seated right away. The dining area was bright with a very tropical feel. The green color scheme, the foliage,the many windows helped with the ambiance.
Our server had greeted us, took our drink orders, and made a few menu recommendations. When she returned with our drinks, she also brought us to our delight, some warm Hawaiian rolls.


The rolls were moist and sweet. The butter melted right away as the rolls were fairly warm.
it was a wonderful way to start our meal.

The menu consisted of your typical hawaiian fare: lomi salmon, kalua pork, loco moco, plus some lesser known Hawaiian dishes of noodles ,curries, and fried rice. If you can’t decide on an entree, fear not, for there were plenty of combo platters where you could sample several dishes.

I ordered the mixed plate with kalua pork and chicken katsu. It did not take too long for the food to arrive, which was great since it was the middle of the lunch rush. The pork and chicken were served alongside a scoop of rice and macaroni salad. The presentation was great, the portion size was just right. Unfortunately, the entree itself could have been better. The chicken was somewhat dry, and the pork was a bit on the salty side. Our server had come by once to check on us and to refill our drinks. Once we were through with our meal, some confusion had started.
We had told our server that we were ready for dessert. She had told us to go to the bakery and select our desserts, that we couldn’t order through her, but she assured us that our table would still be there for us. We proceeded to the bakery and ordered our desserts. The cashier told us that we could order through our server, but we would incur a tax, but if we ordered through her, there would be no tax. We had told her our server instructed us to order through her. So we did & ended up making a separate check for the desserts. We headed back to the dining room.
To our dismay, our table had been completely cleared, even after our server told us that our table would still be there for us. We had to ask her to give us our refills since the table was cleared.

My dessert, a kiwi strawberry cake was great. The cake was light & moist and the fruits were fresh and delicious.
We couldn’t find our server for a while and when we finally saw her, we told her that we needed the check. She came back a few moments later but it did take her a while to actually settle the bill.
All in all my experience was average. I would come back again for the desserts, and the bread. As far as lunch, I may take it to go as my dining experience in itself was not great. I would return to dine, possibly for dinner just to give it another try. I’d try some other entrees as well.
King’s Hawaiian accepts all forms of payment. It has its own parking lot and the attire is casual. The average price per entree is $10.
I give this establishment YY 1/2 out of 5 hearts.
King's Hawaiian on Urbanspoon

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...