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!
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!
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!
4. Going on a hunt for the best churros in LA. It’s a tough job, but someone had to do it!
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!
Sometimes all you need is to eat your way through San Francisco.
San Francisco is one of my favorite places to visit. Walking along the water, riding the cable car up and down the rolling hills and visiting old friends – these are the things I really love about SF. And whenever I am in this gastronomic heaven of a city I do not hold back – every whim, every craving is satisfied!
Sometimes all you need is a hunk of cake from Citizen Cake. One of my favorite SF restaurants, Citizen Cake has recently relocated to Pacific Heights but it is still worth looking for. The dinner never disappoints and while the dessert offerings (for a place with cake in its name) are somewhat limited, they always hit the spot. On my last visit I enjoyed a slice of Retro Tropical Shag cake- rum soaked genoise, passion fruit mousse and a coconut vanilla cake. Soft and moist with a fantastic tart bite from the passion fruit, each bite was joyful.
Sometimes all you need is a good old cannoli. Pizzeria Delfina has renewed my faith and love for cannolis. After a few awfully disappointing cannoli experiences, I can honestly say that until my visit to Delfina I had not had a cannoli for 10 years. After an absolutely phenomenal lunch (the fried broccoli with pecorino and pepper was to die for!) we perused the daily dessert specials, torn between the baba au rum with tangerine sauce and the Bell Weather Farms ricotta cannoli. We finally settled on the cannoli, with some apprehension, but were so pleasantly surprised. The shell was perfectly fried, not too oily, and the filling was fresh bright and delightful.
Sometimes all you need is a pot de crème. If you are lucky enough to live in San Francisco then please go to Miette and enjoy a pot for me! Sometimes sweets just make it all okay.
I wish it were Saturday. I wish I were walking around the Ferry Building with Christina and Angela. I want to feel the cool Bay Area breeze. I want to hear the cacophony of the different people enjoying the farmer’s market behind the building. I want to see the bridge in the distance while eating my fresh Taylor pear. I miss San Francisco, but cliché, as it may be I miss Saturday morning in the Ferry Building the most.
There is something grand about the Ferry Building with its high ceilings and perfectly manicured stalls. There is something enthralling about Miette Patisserie and Blue Bottle Coffee the lay within its walls. It is an engrossing place the Ferry Building is. One could spend the morning lost in the riveting produce aisles, oyster bars and wine racks. The perfume of freshly baked bread and fresh wheels of cheese hugging each step through its halls.
Angela (Spinach Tiger), me, and Christina (HotPinkManolos)
tomato varieties I’ve never even seen before
bright peppers and eggplant
stunning purple pluots
a tangle of grapes
a bunch of blossoms
a sweet basket of baby corn
a treasure trove of jar filled jewels
a tasty treat for R
sweet, juicy, perfect
baked beignet bites
miette confection masterpieces
blue bottle coffee, there is no coffee like this!
It is no wonder so many before me have also fallen in love with San Francisco!