Archive for September, 2007
Dainties cupcakes are sublime in an old school way, and that’s why you must eat them daintily. First, you’ve got that delicious chocolate cake filled with real whipped cream (forget stale cream cheese frosting). The cakes have been dipped in chocolate ganache and topped with even more whipped cream. They’re packaged in beautiful blue and white striped boxes that make such thoughtful gifts (think 4-pack, 6-pack or a dozen). Don’t forget to refrigerate them until you’re ready to serve ‘em.
Riddle of the day: How can something so light and fluffy be so rich and mouth-watering? Clearly this is the reason why Edelweiss Chocolates’ original marshmallows are famous around the globe. The choco candies are available in seven varieties, including classic, coconut, caramel, toffee, mocha, mint and walnut. Each one is encased in a coating of luscious Edelweiss Chocolate, which never fails to make us salivate like kiddies in a candy store. Will we ever tame our sweet tooth (er, teeth)?
Hacienda San Angel is all at once chic and romantic—in a historic sort of way. Perched on a hillside in Puerto Vallarta, the boutique hotel offers breathtaking views of Bay of Banderas, the Sierra Madre mountain range, and idyllic town of Puerto Vallarta. Fine dining here is a treat for all the senses. Restaurant Hacienda San Angel Gourmet offers specials such as chicken mole (broiled chicken breast in an oaxacan dark red mole sauce served with garlic mashed potatoes and sautéed vegetables), Roasted Half Baby Chicken (stuffed with huitlacoche and mushrooms, topped with a sauce of goat cheese and guajillo chili), Grilled Cabreria (cabreria beef steak with stewed ranchero style black beans, garlic stuffed portobello mushroom, and a three chili sauce), and Al Pastor Shrimp Brochette (grilled Mexican adobo marinated shrimp with rice, accompanied by a mango and jalapeño ratatouille). We’re especially fond of the delicious rack of lamb, encrusted with fine herbs and served with a green pepper sauce, eggplant-zucchini-tomato tart and chipotle-plum chutney.
We have a hunch that hostesses would serve pound cake more often if only it didn’t weigh an actual pound! This lemon delight is so wholesome, rich and buttery (with sweet and tart lemon icing). It’s not as brick-like as some we’ve seen. In fact, if you were compelled to throw it against a window, it would not break, unless of course it had not yet thawed. If that analogy doesn’t make you want to buy 10 of them this instant, we don’t know what will. Grin. Slice (generously) and serve for brunch or lunch.
As we’ve mentioned before, Wood-based La Tourangelle produces artisan cooking oils from walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, pecans and the like. Per the suggestions of loyal fans, the company recently announced the release of two new organic oil products: Organic Sunflower Oil (versatile with a high level of oleic fatty acids) and Organic Canola Oil (a wonderful everyday cooking oil), both of which are available at Whole Foods markets. Both GMO-free varieties are expeller-pressed from organic seeds, and grown and processed without the use of pesticides and chemicals. FYI: La Tourangelle’s Walnut Oil recently won a blind tasting conducted by the San Francisco Chronicle. Bravo.
Sinners dip their pizza crusts and French Fries in ranch dressing while saints dip their cheesecake in all kinds of gooey goodness (okay, we made that up). Bite size mini cheesecakes were made for dipping or you can simply eat them just the way they are. There are 42 per order, so brace yourself. Flavors from which to choose? New York, chocolate chip, raspberry, mango, chocolate fudge and cappuccino. Now if only you could come up with a great excuse to throw a big phat party.
Ah, Bernini’s Bistro. What better place to do a midday meal with a tall glass of wine and a half sandwich (opt for the chicken salad with cranberries and roasted pecans), and the kind of hearty soup that you thought only grandma knew how to make? The French-inspired menu reminds us of summer jaunts to Paris. You can’t go wrong with a berry crepe filled with seasonal berries and mascarpone cheese, nor will you be disappointed by the made-from-scratch tiramisu and light-as-egg-whites creme brulee. Simply irresistible!
Doughboys Bakery is a breakfast blessing. We’ll happily rise and shine early in order to get dibbs on the pancakes. There are so many options from which to choose that it’s a bit brain-numbing for those of us who aren’t morning people. Fab flavors: almond peach, traditional buttermilk, banana pecan butterscotch, Rice Krispy (crunchy and topped with thick marshmallow cream), black and whites, pineapple coconut macadamia nut, malted cornmeal, and strawberry. Griddlecakes run the gamut from blueberry flaxseed to pumpkin, while waffle stacks and French toast pie delight in their own unique ways. The former is done up with ham and griddle fried eggs, then covered with creamy milk gravy, cheddar and asiago; the latter is a cross between French toast and bread pudding and you can add dried cherries and pecans for a real pre-work pick-me-up. Lunch and dinner are just as divine with pizzas, sandwiches (grilled eggplant, anyone?), and a beefy mac and cheese that tastes like a really delightful version of “the helper.” Once you’ve indulged in any of the aforementioned, you’re sure to experience cravings regularly and at odd hours. The good news is that Doughboys is open until midnight. How to cope from 12:01 am until 7 am the next morning? That’s a question we’ve yet to answer.
La Dolce Vita means “the sweet life,” and it also happens to be where you’ll find genuine Italian cuisine. Must-trys include pizza rustica, grigliata mista, pollo alla parmigiana, and fettuccine Bolognese. Promise us that you won’t leave the premises without sampling the proscitto and melon, thin sliced parma cured imported ham over fresh ripe cantaloupe; or the bistecca de calamari, tender grilled calamari steak with sautéed sun dried tomatoes in a white wine lemon sauce.
For spicy Thai fried rice and everything nice, La Jolla locals turn to Spice and Rice Thai Kitchen. Nestled between the posh boutiques on Girard Avenue, this tiny gem plates a mean curry or honey glazed duck. Pair either one with green papaya salad and spicy basil noodles (they’re sautéed with basil, egg, green pepper, and a house chili-garlic paste). If it’s romance you’re after, devour dinner on the charming outdoor patio then meander down to the Cove to catch the sunset.