Archive of ‘Sweets I Eat When I Travel’ category

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!


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.

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!

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!


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).


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.


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.


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!


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.


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


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…


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.


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!


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!


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 or contact your local Scoop Shop in advance.

National Donut Day!


Everyday is National Donut Day isn’t it? Well, I guess technically it is not, although it certainly feels like it or maybe it’s more that I make everyday National Donut Day. But today is in fact National Donut Day, so happy National Donut Day!

Whether you are in LA, NYC, ATX, PDX or any other wonderful city or town there is a donut out there calling your name. Answer the call – eat a donut today!

Los Angeles, CA


In a city filled with donut shops, there is no shortage of options for celebrating National Donut Day, but how about we get creative. What if I told you that to celebrate you could enjoy with a donut ice cream sammie? Two wonderful sweets together as one. Two please! Today Coolhaus and Donut Snob join forces to offer a limited number of donut ice cream sammies. A vanilla glazed donut with some coffee ice cream sounds like a match made in dessert heaven!   <Available at the Coolhaus Culver City shop after 6pm while supplies last>

Austin, TX

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You can enjoy the same fun donut ice cream sammie offering from the Coolhaus ATX truck parked at 6th and Waller from 6pm-midnight! Enjoy a local farmers market fave Red Rabbit vanilla lavendar donuts paired with Coolhaus mango sorbet and Tahitian vanilla bean ice cream. Yum!

OR you can always hunt down my Austin decadent donut fave Gourdoughs. Have a Funky Monkey for me will ya!

New York City, NY


You New Yorkers are blessed with having Doughnut Plant on your island. I’m jealous! If I lived in NY I’d likely have a doughnut a day. Do you? Break that Doughnut Plant routine just this once and celebrate National Donut Day with a different kind of donut. Head over to Tres Carnes to enjoy a double smoked churro donuts filled with crema de carmelo from Fanny Gerson (owner of LaNewyorkina). If that description didn’t make your mouth water, one look at these beauties will. I want one! Have one for me, pretty please.

Portland, OR


I just returned from Portland. I ate A LOT… of donuts. They were so good, but Blue Star Donuts, well those are the best seriously! Bourbon Blueberry Basil was the standout donut for me. Imaginative flavors, freshly fried fluffy fat donuts. These donuts are magical. Portland go get one of these to celebrate!


Happy donut eating!

Gourdoughs | Austin, TX

Gourdoughs Donuts

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!

Buñuelos | Tinto Palm Springs

These buñuelos have stolen my heart.

You can find them at Tinto restaurant tucked away in the Saguaro Hotel in Palm Springs. They are an hour and a half drive outside of LA but so worth the trip and a great excuse to visit beautiful Palm Springs. And hey it’s Coachella weekend so why not visit Tinto while you’re in town. I know I will!

These delectable doughnuts are fried to perfection with a delicate sugar coated crust that gives way to a rich and soft center. They are served alongside spiced honey, date jam and a refreshingly delicious date olive oil ice cream.  The pairing of honey, spices and sweet dates was incredible. A bite of  buñuelo, jam, honey and cold soft olive oil ice cream and you’re in heaven.  It is a stellar combination of flavors and textures that will make your mouth curl up in a big smile as you sigh from the sweet satisfaction. These are some of my favorite buñuelos to date.



1800 East Palm Canyon Drive
Palm Springs, CA 92264

Eating My Way Through Vietnam | pt. 2

Vietnam left an indelible impression on me. Walking the street in the sweltering heat with motorbikes whizzing past every which way, it was hard to not feel exhilarated and excited by Vietnam’s fast beating pulse.  The cities are packed to the gills with vendors of every sort – it is hard to not fall in love with the crackles, sizzles and the savory smells from all of the extraordinary street food. With so many memorable bites and over 1200 pictures that capture our unforgettable experience it is hard to share it all, but here are some highlights (mostly sweet) from the rest of our vacation.

While enjoying a tasty bowl of pho bo at a streetside café in Hanoi, we stumbled upon an unassuming dessert from a vendor walking by selling varieties of sticky rice. I had no clue what it was so had to ask my guide to all Vietnamese cuisine, Cathy. We believe it is banh it ngot (correct me if I’m wrong) – they were sweet and sticky coin shaped purses filled with sweet mung bean paste, and they had a wonderfully chewy bite.


Vietnam has fresh squeeze juices covered! We found a café serving nothing but fresh squeezed juice (nouc ep) in any variety of fruit you desire. It was so good we made several visits, each time ordering seconds. The fresh guava juice was my favorite. The guava was sweet and floral with a nice, almost grassy essence from the fruit’s rind.  Nuoc ep can be found throughout Vietnam. Don’t miss out.


We had one last delicious night in Hanoi before we were off to Hue. We delighted in what I will boldly declare the best ice cream ever at the Fanny Ice Cream Parlor next to Hoan Kiem Lake. The coconut ice cream is milky, a little nutty and super creamy smooth. The banana ice cream is sweet and wonderfully gooey. The passion fruit ice cream (not pictured) is puckery tart and refreshing. AND on Fridays they offer an all you can eat ice cream night!

As in Hanoi, the streets of Hue are filled with life. We slurped up bánh beo, we ate our weight in bánh mi, we devoured banh xeo, we chased bikes strapped with racks full of steaming hot bánh bao and we slowly savored chè (Vietnamese sweet soup that is super gelatinous and gooey).

One of my favorites in Hue was the nuoc mia – super sweet, yet surprisingly refreshing freshly-pressed sugar cane juice. It was so addictively good it disappeared within a matter of seconds.


From Hue we ended our trip in Hoi An, a calm and quaint beach town. I will always miss Hoi An and its famous Cao Lầu (thick, chewy yellow noodles, roasted pork shoulder, a porky broth and fresh herbs topped with crunchy pork cracklings- swine heaven). My favorite sweet find in Hoi An was the sinh to from Mai N:4 inside the central market. This smoothie was velvety, rich and bursting with fresh bananas, mangos and topped with thick toasted coconut strands.

All in all, Vietnam is truly a gastronomical wonderland. Each region is rich with its own specialties that surprise and delight. My belly and I miss Vietnam!


* side note: being the donut loving fiend that I am, I sampled fried doughy delights wherever I found them throughout Vietnam. I even went out of my way (one expensive cab ride later) to find a German-owned doughnut shop outside of Hanoi. Each and every time, the doughnuts were a disappointment: dry, oily, lifeless.  If you know something I don’t about doughnuts in Vietnam please share.

* favorite experience: spending two days in the breathtakingly beautiful Halong Bay aboard a “traditional junk.”  The emerald sea provided mile upon mile of striking scenery.  We took a small bamboo boat through a fishing village, swam in the bay, climbed through a cave and enjoyed bia (Vietnamese beer) on the boat’s deck as the sun set.

* and here is a pic of the Cau Lau I mentioned previously, it is a Hoi An specialty and i miss it daily!


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