Tag: desserts

Cruising the Mexican Riviera with Princess Cruises

IMG_7663

At the end of last year I went on a cruise of the Mexican Riviera with Princess Cruises. Living in Los Angeles it was such an easy getaway, a short drive to the port in San Pedro and I was off on a 7 day cruise. This was my first large cruise and getting into I really didn’t know what to expect, but I’m happy to report that I LOVED it!

Our Mexican Riviera Cruise included 3 days (4 nights) at sea and 3 port stops to Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, and Cabo San Lucas. In a previous blog post I already shared the incredible Chocolate Journeys they offer aboard all of the ships (check back if you are a chocolate lover!). And later I’ll give you a glimpse into some port stops, but for now I want to give you some tips and tricks to enjoying the sweeter side of your days at sea!

Here are some insider tips to enjoying the best sweets aboard the Ruby Princess:

Pastries from International CafeBreakfast : For breakfast you are going to want to hit the International Café if you are looking for pastries. This is your spot for croissants, muffins, filled donuts, and danishes. It is easy to grab a few treats and a cup of coffee and cozy up to one of the window seats or grab your treat to-go and enjoy them on one of the decks. There are many other dining/buffet options open for breakfast, but you won’t find this assortment of pastries there.

 

fullsizerender_5

All Day Treat : If you are looking for an after lunch treat, a mid-day snack, or even a pre-dinner indulgence you can always count on the soft serve. Available at the soft serve counter at the middle of the pool, you are able to enjoy endless cones of soft serve. Vanilla, chocolate, or a swirl are your choices and sprinkles are optional (well are they really? who could say no!). And if soft serve isn’t calling to you, you can always go for a milkshake instead.

 

Afternoon Tea

Afternoon Sweet : I don’t know about you, but I love a good High Tea. And if you are like me and tea is your thing then you are in luck because you can enjoy a sit down High Tea service 3:30pm-4:30pm. Expect to find a selection of tea, finger sandwiches, cookies, cakes, and oh so delicious scones and clotted cream. If you happen to be by a pool or at The Sanctuary have no fear, you can also enjoy tea service al fresco just look around for the servers with the tea carts.

Milk and Cookie Room Service

Not in the mood for tea? Well you have a few options available to satisfy that sweet tooth. Princess Cruises offers a daily ‘cookies and milk break’ featuring you guesed it, chocolate chip cookies at milk. You can find this at the International Café, around the pool areas or you can order it to your room just before or after you nap.

FullSizeRender (12)

If you happen to be out and about walking the ship there is one other afternoon treat option for you. Head on over to the Horizon Court where daily you can enjoy a rotating selection of cakes and confections in the afternoon.

 

fullsizerender_2

Evening Indulgence : Each restaurant aboard the ship not only offers a delicious dessert to end your meal, but you specifically a unique Chocolate Journey treat depending on which dining option you are enjoying. There is always room for dessert and these are not to be missed.

So many sweets, so little time!

Sunset from the Ruby Princess

This post was sponsored by Princess Cruises. All opinions expressed here are my own.

Latin American Dessert Crawl

A few weeks ago, after a truly delicious day of exploring the streets of Los Angeles with Bill Esparza (StreetGourmetLA), we started to talk about desserts.

And more desserts.

Eventually we started talking Latin American desserts.

A few weeks later, Bill had the brilliant idea of going on a dessert crawl. I messaged a few fellow food enthusiasts, settled on a date and time and we were ready for sweets.

We began our crawl in Huntington Park at El Carriel, a Colombian bakery. El Carriel is an unassuming small panaderia tucked away in a strip mall. The space is snug and clustered with the focal point, a glass case enclosing an array of Colombian confections, in the middle. El Carriel offers a full breakfast menu as well as pastries. The owner Myriam told us that her recipes are what she learned to make while living in Cali, a city west of Bogota. To accompany our hot fresh coffees, Myriam prepared for us Pandebonos and an Arepa de Choclo.

Pandebono is Colombian cheese bread made from cornmeal or masarepa (precooked corn flour). Shaped like a small donut, the exterior is crusty while the innards are warm and toothsome. The cheese baked within the dough imparts an irresistible nutty flavor.

Arepa de Choclo is a delicate griddled corn cake that is found throughout Colombia. The corn was sweet and buttery. The Arepa was topped with queso fresco that added a nice salty contrast.

For added indulgence we each enjoyed a Colombian version of Bunuelos.

Bunuelos are simply fried doughy balls. When cut open they are fragrant and soft. They are more like a beignet than a doughnut, very cakey and eggy. They were simply divine.

We caravanned to the next stop on our crawl, Amalia’s Guatemalan restaurant. Amalia’s is a converted house turned restaurant located on Virgil in East Hollywood. Here we enjoyed plantains served two ways, representative of Guatemalan cuisine.

Rellenitos de Platano is a mashed plantain filled with black beans and served with a side of crema. The rellenitos were tender perfection. Delicately sweet with a distinct cinnamon flavor, the black bean filling melded with the plantains and was almost indiscernible.

Next up was Platano de Mole. The mole is a chipotle and chocolate sauce bursting with sweet and savory spice. The platanos were swimming in mole and after a few bites my taste buds were burnt out. Throughout all three platano versions cinnamon seemed to be the dominant flavor.

From Amalia’s we ventured a few blocks west to Rincon El Chileno. With minimal décor and minimal crowd I was not sure what to expect, but I bite of the Panqueques Celestino and I was in heaven.

Panqueques Celestino is a Chilean version of pancakes. They are somewhere between a pancake and a crêpe and are filled with manjar, also known as dulce de leche. The dough is sweet with crisp edges. It is slathered with manjar and rolled. Dusted with powdered sugar, each bite of panqueques celestino is irresistible. This is a sexy dessert.


We were able to squeeze in one more stop on our crawl. The last stop was El Colmao Cuban restaurant. Here were sampled Flan de Guayaba and Coco Rayado Con Queso Crema.

Guayaba seems to be a favorite ingredient of Cuban desserts. Guayaba is guava shell that has been boiled with sugar. It is super sweet and grainy. The flan was smooth and pliant but to my dismay was swimming in sweetness from the guayaba. A few bites and I was well on my way to a sugar coma.

Coco Rayado con Queso Cream is grated and sweetened coconut with cream cheese. While many around me loved it, I have yet to understand or appreciate the marriage of super sweet fruit in syrup with cream cheese. Not for me.

Stop after stop, this dessert crawl was the perfect day of indulgence. I only wish we had more time or more room in our stomachs to try more desserts.

El Carriel Panderia

2405 Randolph Street

Huntington Park, CA 90255

Amalia’s

751 North Virgil

Los Angeles, CA 90029

Rincon El Chileno

4354 Melrose Ave.

Los Angeles, CA 90029

M-Sun 10am-10pm

El Colmao

2328 West Pico Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA 90006

M-F 10am-8:30pm Sat/Sun 12pm-8:30pm