Category: When I’m Not Eating Sweets…

Best Mochi in Los Angeles

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What I love most about Los Angeles is that even having grown up here there is always something new to discover. LA has so many neighborhoods  and hidden gems to explore. Plus there is such amazing diversity in this city, it makes the neighborhoods and the neighborhood eateries that much more interesting.

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Take for example when I stumbled upon the sweetest fresh mochi shop in Little Tokyo, Downtown LA just a few weeks ago. I’ve been in and around downtown hundreds of times, but this little shop was not on my radar. Then over coffee and catching up with a pal she asked if I had ever been to Fugetsu-Do. I had never even heard of it when she mentioned it and she was shocked. Immediately after coffee I headed down the street to see what it was all about.

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Fugetsu-Do is known for traditional Japanese confections – mochi and manju. It has been operating in Los Angeles since 1903. Yeah 1903 and I only now stumbled upon it! It is run by the Kito family and was opened by Seiichi Kito. It was then managed by his son Roy Kito, and today his son Brian Kito manages it. They continue to supply mochi to Japanese markets, restaurants, and cafes around LA and beyond.

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It is a simple space and when walking in you would think not much has changed, but that is also part of the charm. They have a pastry case full of different mochi and manju.

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You can buy it by the piece or by the box. I got a sampling of 4 to start. Two of which ended up being the same thing whoops, I need to brush up on the Japanese flavor description for my next visit. The mochi was so pillowy soft and delicately sweet. I preferred the just mochi slices to the filled mochi. My favorite of which was the blueberry mochi, make sure to try this if you visit them. They sell other Japanese sweets and treats too beyond mochi if you are looking for more.

I’m now inspired to see what other hidden in plain sight treats await me in my own city! Have a spots like this in your city? Let me know in the comments below or share with me on Instagram @LetMeEatCake.

Fugetsu-Do 315 E 1st St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Best Donuts in Denver

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Denver is a sprawling city like LA with tons of things to do at your fingertips. And similar to LA it has an incredible dining scene. But we aren’t here to talk about dinner, we are here to talk donuts!

I usually visit Denver once a year during the holidays with my boyfriend because it’s his hometown. When we have a free moment between family fun we always go in search of donuts. In fact once of my early blog posts is all about a Denver donut hunt and that was written before the U.S. really got into this donut craze that we are in. So I thought it was about time that we update the list and share with you what is new and tasty with Denver donuts.

Spots like LaMar’s, Walton’s, and Donut House are still around and they continue to sling delectable fried and glazed dough in tried and true standard flavors. These guys aren’t going anywhere and you can always count on them to satisfy your donut desires, but there are so new entries to the market worth checking out too…

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Glazed and Confuzed 5301 Leetsdale Drive 80246 This nouveau donut shop churns up fun and fresh takes on a great raised donut. Using fresh, local ingredients you can expect to find playful flavors like the root beer float donut or my favorite the confused Samoa (think girlscout cookie meets donut). This is the place for inventive fried treats!

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Fractured Prune 4090 East Mississippi 80246 Fractured Prune is a national chain that I only discovered in Denver. They offer fried to order cake donuts in suggested flavor combos or you can pick your glaze and toppings from what seems like a limitless array of options. New to the game I opted for a French Toast donut and a Carnival donut with rainbow sprinkles. Both were perfectly fried with crisp edges and a melt in your mouth center. Nothing beats a warm and fresh donut!

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Habit Doughnut Dispensary 1553 Platte Street 80202 Habit Doughnut and Dispensary is a convenience store meets doughnut shop specialized in one of a kind sweet and savory brioche doughnuts. The doughnuts have hip hop and canibis inspired quirky names and wild flavors and toppings like baileys, whiskey, Red Bull, and potato chips to name a few.

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Jelly U 600 East 13th Avenue 1700 East Evans Avenue Around the corner from Denver University is a go-to breakfast spot known in particular for their plates full of tiny fried to order filled donuts. There is a range of fillings from lemon curd to jelly, but the flavor not to miss is the Bhakti chai. Photo credit @tuttletreats.

Sweet of the Week | High Point Creamery, Denver CO

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I spent the Thanksgiving holiday in Denver and despite the cold temps I took an afternoon to check out one of the city’s new artisan ice cream shops – High Point Creamery.

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This cute local shop is the perfect neighborhood spot for a scoop. Their flavors range from classics like mint chip to unique seasonal treats like earl grey shortbread. They even have excellent vegan options like vegan coconut creme brûlée (pictured top scoop). I loved that the ice cream was rich and creamy with a nice chewiness. Any new artisan ice cream spots you are loving? Share in the comments below.

215 S Holly St, Denver, CO 80246

Upper Crust Pie Camp | Baking Tips From A Pro

I was lucky enough to have had the opportunity recently visit the Paws Up Resort in Montana for their Upper Crust Pie Camp with my pal travel and food writer Krista Simmons. Yes, Pie Camp is a thing and I highly recommend this memorable experience for food, friends and fun. We learned some very valuable skills from pie expert Kate McDermott. You can see our all of our adventures in this lovely video that Krista put together. Keep reading to discover the perfect pie tips we learnd!

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Sweet of the Week | Lick Ice Cream, Austin TX

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I’m no stranger to the glorious food options Austin, TX has to offer and since I’m here for the weekend for #SXSW there was no better time to finally try Lick ice cream. Lick is a beloved local scoop shop offering unique flavors of small batch ice cream. They pride themselves on using locally source whole ingredients – honest ice cream as they call it. Each creative confection was a pure delight. I decided on a playful combo of beet and mint ice cream paired with a scoop of goat cheese, honey and time. It was not only a beautiful scoop it was equally as delish too. This is the only way I want to eat beets and goat cheese from now on! Eat your veggies, especially when in ice cream form.

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! 
 
 

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 www.benjerry.com or contact your local Scoop Shop in advance.

Gourdoughs | Austin, TX

Big Fat Donuts

I recenty returned from 8 busy days in Austin for SXSW. The highlight of my trip was definitely Gourdoughs. Big. Fat. Donuts. The name says it all, if you’re in a diet these aren’t for you. Fried to order, hefty donuts with ooey gooey toppings. My idea of heaven.

Gourdoughs Donuts

You can enjoy Gourdoughs two ways – at their Public House which is more of a sit down casual restuarant or at their vintage airstream trailer. I opted for the later, it seemed fitting. The menu is impressive with more flavors options than I would have ever dreamed of. At $4.50 a pop and given their size, it is tough to narrow your choices down to just a donut or two. After thoughtful deliberation I settled on two donuts (and took two cinnamon sugar donuts togo to bring back to LA and they microwave up like a dream).

Funky Monkey Donut - Gourdoughs Austin, TX

The Funky Monkey has grilled bananas, cream cheese icing and brown sugar. The donut is served hot out of the fryer so the exterior has a nice delicate crispiness and the inside is pillowy soft. The cream cheese icing melts into the warm donut as you cut into it. The grilled bananas are tender and the brown sugar brings the whole thing together. Eating these donuts is a loud affair. Take a bite and your eyes light up with joy and you can’t help by exclaim just how good these donuts are, at least that was my experience. That and a big scream when we pulled up to the trailer.

Son of a Peach - Gourdoughs Austin, TX

Son of a Peach is filled with peach pie filling and topped with cinnamon sugar and cake mix topping. At first I was perplexed by the cake mix topping, but it works. This is the donut version of a summer peach pie. Sweet, suple and satisfying.

Austin is an amazing city. Small enough that it is easy to navigate, lively enough that you will never get bored and packed with an inpired and delicious food scene. The purpose of my Austin trip was work. I recently got a new job! Yay! It’s still food related, but more sweets focused. You can find me working with Coolhaus (architecturally inspired ice cream sammies) so holler if you’re at a truck, find us in a market or stop by the LA shop! New job, new life direction, and new favorite donut. A lot of new and exciting changes for me, wish me luck!