Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Bakesale for Japan

Hi everyone!

If you're a food blogger, you've probably already heard about Saturday's nationwide Bakesale for Japan.  If you haven't, I'm here to tell you about it!

On Saturday, April 2nd from 10:00am- 2:00pm, bakers from around the U.S. will be selling their homemade goodies at various locations.  The price of each item is up to the buyer- donate as much as you feel is appropriate.  Of course, the more generous you're feeling, the better- all proceeds go to Peace Winds Japan to help the earthquake and tsunami victims in Japan.

If you've been reading this blog for awhile, you know how close Japan is to my heart.  It's where I was born, where I learned to play the piano, had my first real job; met my husband, my best friend and my cat Cory.  It's where I had my first apartment (it was the size of a bathroom but I loved it anyway!) and spent countless nights drinking beer and hanging out with friends until 4:30 am after having missed the last train.  It's also home to my obaachan (grandma) who, at 101, is still hangin' out down in Osaka.  Japan holds so many precious memories for me, and I have many friends and family members there.  Luckily, none live up north and they escaped the worst of the disaster, but seeing the devastated faces of my fellow Japanese is still utterly gut-wrenching and I'd love to do anything to help.  I hope you will too:).

I'll be shilling my baked goods at the Chef's Center of California, located at 45 N. San Gabriel Blvd in Pasadena.  If you'd like to purchase a Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop-Tart or a Peanut Butter Crispy Bar, please come out, say hello, donate to a good cause and chow down on some sweet treats.  If that location isn't convenient for you, there are many others to choose from, and each will have a variety of awesome homemade baked goods for you buy, eat and share!  If you can't make it to a bakesale but would still like to donate, you can do so here.

Hope to see you this Saturday!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

New Orleans: Food, Food and More Food!

Last week, I took my maiden voyage to the great city of New Orleans.  My best friend M was my partner in crime since she'd lived there for six months a few years ago and had been itching to get back.  When you tell people you're going to New Orleans, the recommendations start coming almost immediately about where to eat and what to eat.  Having seen my fair share of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, I had a few ideas myself, and M and I set out to sample as much of NOLA's amazing cuisine during our short, 2.5 day trip.  Fried oysters, here we come!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Homemade Pop-Tarts

I've baked a lot of cookies, cupcakes, cakes and pastries over the last few years, and the items that seem to get the biggest reaction are things that take people back to their childhood.  When I made a version of Ding Dongs for my former coworkers, you'd have thought I handed out $100 bills- they were damn near in happy tears over the chocolate cupcakes with the little squiggle of white icing on top.  Freshly baked apple pie wins hands down over something fancy from a French patisserie, and these Pop-Tarts may have beaten them all.  I guess nostalgia minus artificial colors and flavors plus home baking = happy people.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Daisy Mint in Pasadena

It seems I rarely blog about my "regular" places- as in, I only post about special-occasion restaurants.  I guess if you get coffee at the same shop three times a week, it never occurs to you to whip out the camera.  However, we all keep going back to the same places because they're GOOD, and the other day I was thinking of how I should stop taking them for granted and start blogging about the places that keep me fed and happy all the time!  I mean, isn't it nice to go to a restaurant knowing that you're going to get great food and service?  So here's my tribute to one of those places: Daisy Mint in Pasadena.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Mexico City: Friends, Food and Stink Bugs

Ok, you're probably wondering what the stink bugs are all about.  Let's just say there is a first time for everything, and my trip to Mexico City last weekend contained many firsts, including eating the tiny little critters as part of a fantastic tasting menu at Pujol.  I also had Mexican wine- several different kinds- for the first time and it blew my socks off - it was THAT good.  My friend R said it's still almost impossible to get it here in the U.S. but I hope that changes soon.  There is some amazing wine being made there and it's about time the world got a chance to taste it!