Tag: soft serve

Cruising the Mexican Riviera with Princess Cruises

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

Best Ice Cream Shops in Los Angeles

Happy National Ice Cream Day! In celebration I’ve got a list of some of my favorite ice cream shops in Los Angeles. What better way to celebration everyone’s favorite frozen treat than by heading out and enjoying a scoop (or two).

This story was originally publish on Citizine.tv you can check it out there as well!

Carmela

LA seems to have a trend in seasonally specific ice cream flavors across it’s ice cream shops, but who can blame us we have great produce. Carmela is just such a purveyor who uses farm fresh ingredients and often sells at local farmers markets from their cute retro ice cream truck and at specialty food shops around the city. Their crowd favorite is the fresh mint with cacao nibs. As far as fresh mint ice creams go, this one it the tops.

Honeymee

Honeymee in Koreatown serves soft and creamy ‘true milk’ ice cream (but really soft serve). They use fresh California milk to create the perfect milk ice cream. The classic topping is raw honey and/or honeycomb that comes from a local certified bee farm. True milk soft serve plus honey, it sounds simple enough, but it is in that simplicity that it shines. It is truly an addictive sweet treat. If you want to have even more fun with it they offer the Babee, which is the true milk soft serve drizzled in honey and served in a sweet bun. Think of it as the hot dog of ice creams.

MagpiesSoftServe

Los Angeles is very much an ice cream or gelato shop kind of town, you don’t often find soft serve available or stand alone soft serve locations. Magpies in Silverlake is changing that. The recently opened shop is already pleasing crowds with their soft serve made from scratch. Their small opening menu includes only seven flavors like strawberry rhubarb and malted milk chocolate, along with housemade toppings.

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McConnell’s, the Santa Barbara darling with locations in Grand Central Market and now Studio City, churns small batch ice cream using milk and cream from their own creamery. Their ice creams as rich and creamy and leave you wanting more. They use quality locally sourced and organic ingredients in their ice creams. Their flavors range from classic to seasonally specific. They are deliciously modern yet homey. Even if it is just a taste, be sure to their sea salt cookies and cream it is one of my favorites!

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Sweet Rose Creamery, now with five locations from Santa Monica to Mid-City, offers amazing farmers’ market inspired ice cream crafted by co-owner and chef Shiho Yoshikawa. With seasonal flavors like Summer corn and stone fruit sorbet, you will question whether you are eating ice cream or the fruits/vegetables themselves. They also have a solid selection of classic flavors that are always available like vanilla, salted caramel, and fresh mint.

Salt&StrawPint

Salt & Straw, a Portland transplant that already has three shops in Los Angeles, (Larchmont, Venice, Studio City) is quickly becoming a neighborhood favorite and developing a cult following comparable to their following in PDX. Their menu plays heavily on community. They partner with local artisans for ingredients to craft unique ice cream flavors like their Stumptown Coffee and Compartes Love Nuts flavor. Another very special aspect to the Salt & Straw menu is head ice cream maker Tyler Malek’s monthly rotating lineup of flavors inspired by the seasons. While they offer classic flavors (with a twist of course) like sea salt caramel ribbon, they get inventive with ingredients and pairings offering things like Avocado & Strawberry Sherbet or Strawberry with Cilantro Lime Cheesecake.

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Given where you live in LA, you likely have a Scoops you are not terribly far from. Each location serves a rotating selection of creative flavors and often take customer suggestions. Scoops Westside, my personal favorite have fun offerings like red velvet rocky road or chai kahlua. However, there is one constant between the locations, and my personal favorite flavor, brown bread. There is not bread it this, the nutty deliciousness comes from a healthy serving of Grape Nuts. I can’t help but order a scoop every time I visit.

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Tucked away in Sierra Madre in what feels like a small town shopping center is Mother Moo Creamery. Karen Klemens hand crafts some incredible ice cream here using organic Strauss cream and milk. The flavors are decadent and rich and the selection small, which makes the ordering process a little easier. While you may want one scoop of everything, may I suggest her Organic Cornflakes flavor. It takes like childhood mornings in ice cream form.

BennettsIceCream

This Original Farmer’s Market family owned old-fashioned ice cream stand, Bennett’s Ice Cream, has been serving customers since 1946. It definitely has a nostalgic look and taste with thick and almost chewy ice cream. While they have inventive flavors like cabernet savignon, I always stick with the classics like butter pecan or rainbow sherbet.