Random Places, But Still Good Eats!

Isn’t it marvelous that God created food?  I mean, really now.  Food is amazing!  It’s delicious!  And sometimes nutritious.  Though more often than not.. the food I love.. is not.  😦

Anywhos, I haven’t posted on the numerous places I get to eat at in awhile.  I did go to many many great places, but I shall focus on just a couple of them.  🙂

I’m sure you all know by now that I have a special penchant for cafes.  Especially cafes with real coffee and made-from-scratch baked goods.  Ah.  So good!  So my friend Nathan and I happened upon this cafe called Chimney–quite by accident, I tell you.  Okay fine.  Yelp told me about it, but still.  Neither of us had heard of it before!  And what a gem it was!  I would love to go back.. if I am ever in Chinatown again.

Strange, right?  This great not-Chinese cafe in the middle of Chinatown?!  I love it!

Nathan ordered beignets with strawberry sauce.  And I got coffee, of course, and a blueberry muffin.  It was quite delish!  🙂

And then just this past weekend, I, along with some church friends,  went to this pizza joint (oh how I love pizza!) called Redballs Rock and Roll Pizza.  This was again found by Yelp.  But you know what?  I have pretty good luck with Yelp.  Thanks to the great reviews and just a natural gut instinct, my choices usually end up pretty dang good.  🙂

But anyhow, this place is totally a homage to rock and roll.  The walls are plastered with posters and pictures and paraphernalia.  Granted, I am not a fan of rock and roll.  But I am a fan of the pizza!  🙂

Doesn’t that pizza HUMONGOUS?  Well, yes.  Because it was!  That’s the standard size of the pizzas.  They have yummy custom made New York style pies.  Yummy.  🙂  As well as some VERY garlicky garlic bread with marinara sauce.  I wouldn’t mind coming around here again.  Maybe even on Thursday night during their open mics.  hehe.

Mm.  I love it when I happen upon things on Yelp and they turn out amazing!  🙂  It’s a gift.  I pretty much have a 90% success rate.  Not sure how I can prove that.. but perhaps my posts are proof enough?  🙂

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Cake Pops Cake Pops Everywhere!

Ah yes.  The craze has finally reached me.  Since Bakerella released her cake pops book, I fear such an insane mania has swept the nation.   People from all over (even Starbucks!) have fallen victim to this cute bite-sized cake on a stick.  How is it different from a cake ball, you may ask?  Nothing.  Except it’s on a stick.  Simple.. and yet it seems to add a whole new dimension of cuteness and consumer demand.

I have had one experience making cake balls.  I came out of that experience with a couple of thoughts, but one main thought was… this is a lot of work for something so small.  haha.  But it’s interesting how it seems to blow the minds of those who don’t bake…I’ve gotten plenty of questions from people on how to make this little suckers.  Pretty funny ideas too.  🙂

But the main point of this post was to share about my (insane) experience to make 300 cake pops as wedding favors for Carrie, my old roommate.  I foolishly thought that I would make 2 cake pops per person.  But after hearing that the guest list was about 300 people… I quickly scratched that idea, because making 600 cake pops would make anybody go crazy.  Especially me…. and possibly even a little bit angry.  So, I decided to just go with one per guest, alternating between green and pink (which were her wedding colors).  🙂

To put it simply… I may did go a liiiiitle bit crazy, but I was so happy that everything came out wonderfully.  The packaging of the cake pops took me a VERY long time, but they came out so cute!  I guess it made all the long hours of work worth it.  haha.  🙂  And besides, they made Carrie happy.. so it’s win win for everyone!  yay!

I made chocolate and red velvet cake pops!  And as you can see…I had many casualties along the way.  Sad.  They could not be saved.  😦

Isn’t the packaging super cute?  🙂

I also made special cake pops for the wedding party!

So pretty right?  But Bakerella’s are still prettier.  Sigh.

Anywho, the wedding was wonderful and beautiful and fun!  And lots of people actually really liked the cake pops… so that made me very very happy!  🙂

Congrats again to Carrie & Mike Saechang!  😀

A Sweet Heart Cake for Sweethearts!

Remember this beautiful cake?  🙂

Well, I am proud to say that I have now made TWO of them!  One for a bridal shower and one for a wedding!  🙂

The second cake I made with a strawberry cake filling (with real strawberries!)  It was definitely super cute with a pink heart.  🙂  It didn’t take me as long as the first time to make this cake, but there were still moments of tension and suspense!  Especially when I was stacking the layers and transporting the cake.  Then I was greatly perplexed as to why the cake seemed WAY bigger than the last one… but I thought maybe I was just seeing things (due to lack of sleep). hahaha.

Doesn’t the cake filling look like brains?!  hahaha.  Sorry.  It did kinda look gross when I crumbled up the strawberry cake and mixed it with frosting.  Oh, speaking of which.  The frosting was seriously to die for.  I loved how white and smooth it is!  I even bought clear vanilla extract to make sure the frosting was a perfect white!  And it wasn’t too sweet with a nice hint of almond to finish it off.  🙂

So those of you who were wondering how to make this cake… here is a quick explanation.  I made 4 separate white cakes and then stacked 2 of them together to make 2 separate 2 layer cakes (are you following?).   Then I made strawberry cake and then crumbled it and mixed it with frosting (kinda like how you would make a cake ball).  Next, I carved out the 2 white cakes to create the 3D shape of a heart (see pictures below).  After I froze the cakes, I stuffed them full with the strawberry cake (see below picture) and then froze them so more!

Last, I smooshed the 2 cakes together to make one giant 4 layer (with strawberry cake inside) cake!  Oh, and I frosted the whole cake two more times (you mustn’t forget the crumb layer) to make it just right!

 

 

Oh yes… the reason for the kettle and pot on top.. was because I felt like the cake was too tall.  I guess my sleep deprivation made me think that the kettle would squish the cake and make it smaller… or something like that…. hahaha.  But now that I think about it, I was just being a tad bit silly.  🙂

 

 

 

Whew.  Lots of work indeed.  🙂

But take a look at the final product!

Isn’t it sooooo cute?!  🙂  I definitely enjoy making this week.  It is a bit nervewracking when I’m carving out the cake.. and nervewracking when I stack all 4 layers together… and nervewracking transporting/delivering the cake.  But to see people’s look of surprise and delight makes it alllllll worth it!

I definitely want to make this one of my specialties.  For weddings or bridal showers or anniversaries.  🙂

It’s such a sweet cake.  Perfect for sweethearts!  hehe.

Do I Hear Wedding Bells?!

Yes indeedy!  And no.  Not mine.  hahaha.

I was asked to bake for my dear friend Liz Lee’s bridal shower.  🙂  So I decided to utilize the wedding cake and wedding dress cookie cutters I bought a few months ago.  I almost forgot about them.. but was super excited to finally have a reason to use them!  I also decided to make a very special cake, which I also happened to bake for a friend of a friend’s wedding (of which I will post about later).  🙂

These cookies were pretty labor intensive… I must admit.  But the finished products… were so cute.. that it was almost worth the sleepless night.  🙂

And NOW  for the amazing cake!  I think I want to make this a specialty of mine… 🙂

Pretty… right?  🙂  Wait until you take a look INSIDE!

Isn’t it wonderful?!   YES.  THAT IS A HEART!  The cake that I made for my friend of a friend’s wedding (which, I will post in greater detail at a later time) had a strawberry cake heart.  This one was red velvet cake and I actually liked this recipe (unlike the other cake I made before).

This cake took me well over 10 hours for all the baking and frosting and chilling and assembling and frosting.  It also cost me a whole night of sleep.  😦  But when you open it and you hear the crowd gasp… well… it’s all worth it.  🙂

Fritto Misto is Italian for Good Times!

Okay, not quite.  More like “fried seafood”.  I think, or so someone told me. hahaha.

But this cute little place is delicious and the perfect setting for a fun night with friends.  🙂

Fritto Misto:  assortment of fried deliciousness

Fried Pasta Pillows and Atomic Pasta!

Italian Sausage Linguini & Sausage Lasagna

Cajun Chicken Breast Fettuccine & Stuffed Chicken Breast Linguini

Tira Misu “For Two”

(A very misleading name….this thing was HUGE.  The six of us couldn’t finish it. haha)

Twas a very delicious and satisfying meal.  Lots of laughing and good times all around.  Plus, delicious leftovers the next day.  🙂

I definitely shall be returning to Fritto Misto!  😀

The One Day I Shouldn’t Have to Bake a Cake…

Well, one of two days.  One being my wedding day (God willing) and the other being my BIRTHDAY!  🙂

So ironically enough.. I didn’t even get cake on my birthday.  But it’s all good.  Sometimes I really don’t have a sweet tooth and considering how much delicious food I consumed… my poor tummy really didn’t have any room.

I actually ate so much for my birthday that.. I didn’t eat at all the entire next day.  Sick, right?  hahaha.

My birthday festivities actually started the day before brunch with Ms. Kimmie Mark.  We went to Le Petit Jardin.  A cute little restaurant/flower shop.

I got a Spicy Chicken Sandwich with Frites.

Kimmie got Eggs Florentine with Roasted Potatoes.

The next day I went to King’s Road Cafe with Kristin.  It’s such a delicious and cute place right on Ventura.  I’ve passed by it so many times on the way to and back from work, so I was super excited to finally try it!

Doesn’t it look delicious?!  Blackened Ahi Tuna with Grilled Veggies and Mashed Sweet Potatoes.

Kristin got Crab Cake Salad.  It was huge and delicious!

Last but not least, I had dinner with my apartment girls! 🙂  We went to TART.  I LOVE IT. Tart is SO CUTE.  🙂  I also passed by this often driving home from work.  It’s right across the street from the Grove on Fairfax.  Ah.  It is everything I love.  Cute decorations.  Outdoor seating available.  Rustic.  Southern food.  Need I say more?!

 

 

All in all.  It was awonderful birthday!  I can’t believe I’m 24. YIKES.

But another year of adventures and failures and blessings and sorrows.  A year of more baking and probably less sleeping and more learning and lots of playing and good times all in all. 🙂

Thanks everyone who made my birthday so special! 🙂

 

This Little Piggie…

I really should stop eating out so much.

Really should.

But… how can I resist?!

🙂

Here are just a few of the places I’ve been this past fall.  YUM.

Amandine Cafe with Tina Chen. (I went again, yes.)

Ord Noodles with Mary, Dennis & Jerry. (VERY SPICY!)

Aroma Cafe with the roomie, Liz Low. (The one on Tujunga. SO GOOD!)

LUNCH with Kimmie Mark. (Delicious sandwiches that are perfect for.. LUNCH!)

Isaac Toast with Jen Chien. (Spicy Bulgogi in a sandwich. AMAZING.)

[Excuse the bad quality.. I thought I left my camera at home, so I used my phone camera.  But then later.. I realized I actually had my camera.  BOO. 😦 ]

Last but not least… The Oinkster with Mr. Joshua Wong. (Amazing pastrami!)

Ah yes.  I forget sometimes how much I love food.  Today a kid at school asked me what my favorite food was… and I answered, “PIZZA!” immediately.  But then I said, ” I love sushi too.  And fried rice.  Well… I like most Chinese food.  And Thai food.  Ohhh and Mexican food… steak…”

You get the idea.  🙂  And I highly recommend you check ALL these places out!  😀  And.. bring me along too.

Weeee weeee!