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Top 5 Favorite Moments of 2014

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In the spirit of reminiscing over the year that has just passed in the blink of an eye, here are my favorite sweet moments of 2014!

1. The number one spot had to be held for this Nestle Tollhouse + Buzzfeed baking video. It was not only a blast to film, but those double chocolate baked donuts – the greatest excuse to eat cake for breakfast!

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2. Working on a Sweet Guide to LA on Conde Nast Traveler. As a native Angeleno, I take great pride in my city and it was fun to share a few of my favorite places for desserts. And I am a big CN Traveler fan too!

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3. Getting invited to Ben & Jerry’s in Vermont for a few days and then getting to show Dorie (Ben & Jerry’s story teller) around LA a few months later. What ice cream lover doesn’t dream of visiting the Ben & Jerry’s factory and headquarters and then meeting Ben & Jerry in real life. It was an amazing moment in time and I’m so so thankful to have gotten to check that off the bucket list this year!

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4. Going on a hunt for the best churros in LA. It’s a tough job, but someone had to do it!

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5. Using new ingredients to create this yummy banana jam pudding pie with the Fare Trade. I don’t love myself in this video and wish that I would have smiled more because I really did have fun, but the end results were worth it!

Best Instagram Moments of 2014

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I can’t help but indulge in this reflective time of year, where everyone puts up their best of 2014 lists – it was afterall a great year with many many sweet moments! So I started reflecting on my Instagram in particular when thinking back on 2014. It seems to be my medium of choices these days when work and life and tracking down macaron ice cream sandwiches gets in the way of blogging.

So reflecting on a year of Instagram I realized this – I ate a lot of dessert! Well that isn’t some big revelation, but shit that was a lot of sugar I consumed. But unlike years past, this year I really expanded my search for new desserts and tried a lot of new sweet spots and a wider varitety of confections. It was also super fun to watch more people follow along and comment and react to all the delicious desserts. I love seeing peoples reactions to the posts and seeing which ones people like more than others. I learned that you all love churros and macarons! It has been a sweet sweet journey that I can’t wait to continue into 2015.

See what others thought of my Instagram this year too! 
People.com:  http://greatideas.people.com/2014/06/16/best-food-instagram-feeds-to-follow/
Cooking Channel: http://blog.cookingchanneltv.com/2014/04/25/your-favorite-foodie-instagrams/
Refinery 29: http://www.refinery29.com/los-angeles-foodie-instagrams#slide
ThrillistLA: http://www.thrillist.com/entertainment/los-angeles/best-la-instagrams
Brit + Co: http://www.brit.co/instagram-dessert-accounts/
The Lala: http://thelala.com/foodporn-alert-7-foodies-follow-instagram/
DailyLife.com: http://www.dailylife.com.au/photogallery/dl-food/food-features/10-instagram-accounts-every-cake-lover-should-follow-20141002-3h4cl.html
BlissTree.com: http://www.blisstree.com/2014/06/20/food/best-food-porn-instagrams/
 
 
If you aren’t already following along on Instagram (@LetMeEatCake) what are you waiting for! 
 
 

Best Macaron Ice Cream Sandwiches in Los Angeles

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It may be cooling down a bit out there, but anytime is a good time for ice cream in Los Angeles. You have definitely seen beautiful large Frenchmacarons sandwiched around ice cream and you have probably wondersed where to get them. Well look no further, I’ve got the five places to enjoy them in Los Angeles. Check it out here on LAist -

http://laist.com/2014/09/15/the_best_macaron_ice_cream_sandwich.php

These ice cream sandwiches are so good that Food & Wine regrammed my pic!

Best Cotton Candy | Los Angeles

Today is National Cotton Candy Day! While you used to have to wait for a carnival or fair to enjoy these treats, you can now find creative cotton candy confections around Los Angeles. In celebration of these big bright puffs of sweet spun sugar, here are three of my favorites:

Bon Puf

Bon Puf offers cotton candy catering, yes it is a thing! They offer organic and all natural cotton candy with fun flavors like mango chile, chai tea or salted caramel. A childhood classic elevated.

 

Culina Affogato

Culina at the Four Season puts an Italian spin on cotton candy in the form of an affogato. You morning coffee never looked so good. Vanilla bean gelato waits patiently underneath a large white cotton candy cloud. Espresso is then poured over top slowly dissolving the spun sugar into your coffee. That is an affogato I can stand behind!

 

Barton G's Marie Antoinette Cotton Candy

Taking it up a notch is the Marie Antoinette’s Head cotton candy concoction at Barton G. Adding a theatrical twist to fine dining, Pastry Chef Luis Vasquez artfully crafts yards of pink cotton candy in the shape of an over the top two-foot edible cotton candy wig. It is a sight to see!

Coachella 2014 Dessert Guide

Coachella Weekend 2 is upon us. For those of you planning your weekend eating and drinking, I have a guide to some of the best Coachella dessert options!

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Located in the Terrace dining area near the Do Lab and those awesome fish tacos are an array of artisan purveyors. I particularly enjoyed the refreshing selection of handmade popsicles from Sweet Clementines. Lemon Buttermilk was tart and light and their Strawberry Rose was just blissful ($5).

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If you haven’t discovered already on this blog, Le Bon Garcon are my favorite French style caramels. It was such a pleasant surprise to find them in the Terrace Dining area. You can grab a pocket ful of these carames ($5) and enjoy a sweet little bit throughout the day. The sea salt caramels are soft, smooth and satisfying.

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Portand darling Salt & Straw is at Coachella this year offering their delectable ice cream and they are stationed right next to Stumptown – double win! Their Arbequina olive oil is one of my favorite flavors so I was stocked to find it on the menu. Paired with Coffee bourbon and you are set. Single scoops are $7 so opt for the double $10, you deserve it.

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An LA fave dessert shop has found it’s way to the desert – Creme Caramel LA. You can take a little mid day breather and treat yourself to the mid day sweets break and enjoy the BEST creme caramel EVER! Other menu options include, upside down pies, frozen vanilla custard bombs and some jazzed up rice crispy snacks. Go!

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For those who like their sweet a little savory, you can enjoy an awesome arepa treat from multiple stands throughout the field. Sweet griddle corn, ooey gooey mozarella with a health drizzle of honey. It’s the honey that makes it.

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And of course the best for last… Coolhaus. A Coachella VIP favorite, regulars come back for ice cream sammie goodness year after year and for good reason – it’s good! I opted for a Strawberry Mojito scoop last weekend, but this weekend I’m going for the gold and getting a Potato chip butterscotch cookie + Fried Chicken Caramel ice cream sammie. Bring it.

Enough sweets to fill your entire week. Happy dessert-ing.

#FreeConeDay Touring Ben & Jerry’s HQ

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Did you hear? Today is Ben & Jerry’s Annual FREE CONE DAY! Some may say the happiest day of the year and I wouldn’t disagree, it certainly is the Ben & Jerriest day of the year.  Scoop shops around the world will be dishing out free cups and cones* TODAY! This annual event actually began 35 years ago when Ben & Jerry’s wanted to say “thank you!” to their beloved ice cream fans and the community that supported them after their first year of business. And thankfully this awesome day has been a tradition ever since.  I recently had the privilage of spending two days in Burlington Vermont with the Ben & Jerry’s team on a press trip. Here is a glimpse into those magical ice cream filled days…

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We went to the Ben & Jerry’s Headquarters and met the team. Everyone was so welcoming and kind (and they all get 3 free pints a day!). We toured the offices, ate ice cream, went down a slide and learned more about the company in Scoop U! I think one of my biggest take-aways from this trip was really understanding the Ben & Jerry’s social mission. It is truly impressive to see how involved in social activism and values of Fair Trade sourcing the company is. Read more here.

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We spent some time with the R&D team learning more about their super premium ice creams. We cut into some pints to test quality, consistency and distribution of chunks and swirls. This was my first meeting with their Milk and Cookies flavor (see above) and it was love at first bite. I will never forget you Milk and Cookies xoxo!

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Then we got a chance to divide up into teams and create our own fantasy flavor! My team consisted of SoCal pals Cathy, Matt and Erin. While our creation wasn’t the winning flavor, it was a winner in our hearts and bellies!

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We also toured the Ben & Jerry’s facility in Waterbury. We got a peak into the factory and enjoyed ice cream fresh off the production line. We even got a chance to literally cut right into all of the NEW Core flavors.

All in all it was an incredible two days in Vermont. I met knew bloggers and enjoyed the company of old blogging pals. We ate well and the ice cream never stopped flowing.  I left an even bigger fan of chunks and swirls!

Now off to get my #freeconeday ice cream cone!

* To confirm Free Cone Day participation and hours, make sure to check out the Scoop Shop Locator at http://www.benjerry.com or contact your local Scoop Shop in advance.

Valentine’s Day Sweets (Los Angeles)

It seems like Valentine’s Day presents are usually centered around something sweet. Of this I approve. Nothing says I love you like dessert (at least in my sweets loving opinion). Here are some sweet ideas for that sweet someone in your life.

Unexpected Sweet

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A romantic dinner is to be expected, but how about surprising your boo with a pre-Valentine’s day dessert tasting. YES! The talented pastry chef, Roxanna Jullapat of Cook’s County has a dessert tasting menu that will say I love you in four different sweet bites. The Chocolate Fonduette with a splash of Turkish coffee and Arabesque dipping treats is calling my name.

Heart Shaped Affection

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If heart shaped Valentine’s Day sweets are your jam, this just might be the sweetest one. Sweet Rose Creamery is offering heart shaped Raspberry Semifreddo Valrohona desserts this week #icecreamlove

Classic Sweet

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You remember those black and white boxes from your childhood. Picking out your favorite chocolate bite. Mine was always the almond square with that layer of sticky sweet caramel on top. And scotch mallows don’t event get me started. Take the classic approach and gift your loved one a box of See’s candies.

Homemade Love

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When I need inspiration for the perfectly planned, exquisitely executed sweet or diy project for a special occasion I always turn to one of my favorite bloggers Freutcake. For Valentine’s Day she takes puts a vintage spin on sweets with a mini jell-o mold. It is cherry cream jello, raspberry jellos and whipped cream and they are beautiful. Who wouldn’t want a big spoonful? I know my guy will! Check out the recipe here.

Sweet Getaway

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I know some of the lucky few get to take their honey on a romantic getaway for Valentine’s Day. I can’t say that I have ever had the time, but if I did boy Los Cabos would be calling my name. I’ve been fantasizing about this getaway because it is so close to LA it can easily be a long weekend. If I was here for Valentine’s Day I would love to enjoy the romantic package at the Westin Resort Los Cabos - view of the Sea of Cortez, sipping on rose martinis and enjoying a beautiful dinner. I’ll just dream away!

A SWEET Holiday Gift Guide

Nas - Holiday Gift Guide

1.  Compartes Love Nuts make me nuts! There are no words to describe just how absolutely amazingly delicious and addicting they are. A thin toffee coating covers your favorite nutty delight and is rolled in cocoa. It is pure bliss.

2.  Pretzel rods dipped in chocolate, who wouldn’t love these? But beyond the sweet simplicity of pretzels dipped in chocolate, Fatty Sundays offers amazing flavor combos that will make your sweet heart go pitter-patter. My favorites are Toasted Coconut and Spicy Almond, but I’m dying to try Pumpkin Spice and Banana Cream.

3.  Not all jams are made equal, I’ll tell you that. The jams from m. greenwood are just exceptional. Delicate, subtle and sweet. Pear ginger is one of my favorites, but you can opt for a standby classic like Strawberry and be equally satisfied. Not in the mood for jam, how about the sweet gift of Apple Butter. A little sweet something for everyone!

4.  Bottega Louie macarons are almost too beautiful to eat. Everything about these petite precious sweets is perfect from their production to their packaging. A box of these will let anyone know just how sweet and special they are!

5.  Z Confections‘ generously coated kettle corn with the perfect sweet crunch, that’s what you get from Z Confections. While I can’t get enough of their Salted Caramel corn, the Coconut Curry and Rosemary can easily steal your heart. Perfect for the adventurous sweets lover in your life.

 

special thanks to @amccullaugh for the awesome sweet guide graphic!  ❤

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