King's Hawaiian Paradise Cake and Parfait

Saturday, July 31, 2010

King's Hawaiian Restaurant - Paradise Cake and Parfait
King's Hawaiian Paradise Cake

Recently, my friend and I celebrated the end of a series of weekend classes with a trip to King's Hawaiian. I love, love, love their Paradise Cake. Layers of Lime, Passion Fruit and Guava chiffon cake and whipped cream with a lovely glaze on top? Heaven. It is so light and delicious you can eat half a cake before you know it...not that I've ever done that! ;)

Paradise Cake will be my wedding cake. Just gotta find the guy. Or my retirement cake. Just need to work another lifetime. Or, I can continue to make up any excuse to head to King's for this.

King's Hawaiian Restaurant - Paradise Cake and Parfait
King's Hawaiian Paradise Parfait

The Paradise Parfait is something new on the menu (or, it's the first time I've seen it). Comes with pieces of cake, whipped cream and strawberries on top. My friend got it and wished she got the cake instead. So, stick with the cake.

King's Hawaiian Restaurant (opens to music)
The smaller cafe "The Local Place" Gardena has a bakery counter with Paradise cakes too.
2808 W. Sepulveda Blvd, Torrance, California 90505
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Cupcake Camp O.C. - This Sunday!

Southern California Peeps,
Craving lots and lots of cupcakes?

Come on down to The O.C. for a room full of cupcakes! Cupcake Camp O.C. is THIS SUNDAY, August 1, 2010 from 3 - 6 pm (Atrium Hotel – 18700 MacArthur Boulevard in Irvine). Learn all about this charity event here.

JustJenn and I will be loading up a mini-van with cupcakes, and we both hope to see you there. I'm making chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting! Yummmmy!
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Chewy, Chunky Blondies - Tuesdays with Dorie

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Chewy, Chunky Blondies - Tuesdays with Dorie
Chewy, Chunky Blondies

For this week's Tuesdays with Dorie selection, Nicole of Cookies on Friday picked Chewy, Chunky Blondies on page 109 of Dorie's book, Baking: From My Home to Yours.

Chewy, Chunky Blondies - Tuesdays with Dorie
I made some alterations...based on my tastes, co-workers allergies and what I had in the pantry. I skipped the coconut (of course), ditched the walnuts (co-worker can't have pieces of nuts), and switched the butterscotch chips for peanut butter chips because that's what I had!

Chewy, Chunky Blondies - Tuesdays with Dorie
These come together quickly and there is just something comforting and easy-peasy about bar cookies. No scooping teaspoons of dough. Just plop it into the pan, spread it out with an offset spatula and bake!

Chewy, Chunky Blondies - Tuesdays with Dorie
Be sure to check out the other Tuesdays with Dorie bakers!

Nicole of Cookies on Friday's blog
or, page 109 of Dorie's book, Baking: From My Home to Yours.
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Mad Men Grape Jello Mold with Peaches

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Grape Jello Mold with Peaches
Whoo Hoo! Mad Men Premiere is tonight!

As we did last year, Mary of Popsicles and Sandy Feet and I are cooking up a Mad Men inspired treat to welcome the new season of the best show on TV, Mad Men!

Grape Jello Mold with Peaches
This is gonna be short and sweet because Don Draper is coming on in 34 minutes. I'm staying off Twitter so I don't hear about the first episode.

Grape Jello Mold with Peaches
I believe this season's Mad Men is entering 1964. So, I made a gelatin mold. Sure, I could have made one I found in the issues of the 1964 New York Times, but that was the time when Jello went all savory and, in my humble opinion, kinda gross. I'm not that into shredded cheese, carrots, and avocado in my Jello mold. I mean, I have to eat this mold during the show! So, I opted for CANNED peaches (although fresh California peaches were sitting on my counter) and grape Jello. I think little blond Sally would enjoy it.

Ingredients: Large box of grape Jello, two packages of unflavored gelatin, canned peaches.

Mad Men
You can Mad Men Yourself on the Mad Men website! Give it a try!

Hope you enjoy the show. If you aren't a fan, you can still catch up! :)
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Nectarine & Blueberry Muffins with Crumb Topping

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Nectarine Blueberry Muffins
After seeing Betty White's hilarious skit about her Muffin, I seem to have them on my mind. That skit totally tops Alex Baldwin's Schweddy Balls. So, I had some nectarines and blueberries around and decided to make, wait for it...nectarine and blueberry muffins! (I know, I am that spontaneous in real life!)

This recipe for muffins was inspired by picky cooks recipe for peach and blackberry muffins. Except I used nectarines. Except I used blueberries. Except my sour cream was expired, it was early in the morning and I wasn't going to the store, so I subbed greek yogurt. Except I used more vanilla and no milk. And I added some oatmeal to the topping. So, other than that, it is exactly the same!

Nectarine Blueberry Muffins
Used yellow nectarines from the Farmer's Market. My favorite place every weekend.

Nectarine Blueberry Muffins
I love nectarines, peaches, plums and apricots! Yummmmmmy! I love to eat the white nectarine and bake with the yellow nectarine. Sometimes the white gets a bit washed out. I used 1 1/2 nectarines to make 3/4 cup, and 3/4 cup blueberries.

Nectarine Blueberry Muffins
I used these brown parchment "tulip" cupcake liners (picked up at Surfas). They come in white and brown. I think they are ideal for muffins with toppings so the topping doesn't fly all over your oven. Because cleaning your oven bites. Big time.

Nectarine Blueberry Muffins
I thought I had sour cream in the fridge, but alas, no. But I did have some non-fat Greek Yogurt and used that. I thought it would taste "diet" switching non-fat yogurt for full-fat sour cream, but they turned out nice!

Greatly adapted from pickycook's blackberry peach crumb topped muffins

My printable recipe here

Nectarine & Blueberry Muffins with Crumb Topping

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 cup Greek yogurt
2/3 cup sugar
8 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
2 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup nectarines (peeled)- diced
3/4 cup blueberries

Crumb Topping:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup old fashioned oatmeal
1 teaspoon cinnamon
4 tablespoons butter (1/2 stick)
Mix together with your fingertips until crumbly. Set aside.

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Make the topping mixture and set aside.
3. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl.
4. Whisk eggs, yogurt, sugar, butter and vanilla together in a separate bowl.
5. Add the wet mixture to the dry and quickly mix to combine. Don't overmix! Don't have to be fully combined before adding fruit.
6. Fold in the fruit.
7. Scoop into cupcake liners.
8. Top with crumb topping.
9. Bake 17-20 minutes (depends on your oven). Use a toothpick to check doneness.
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Lot's of Ways Banana Cake - Tuesdays with Dorie

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Lots of Ways Banana Cake - Tuesdays with Dorie
Lot's of Ways Banana Cake

For this week's Tuesdays with Dorie selection, Kimberly of Only Creative Opportunities decided on Lot’s of Ways Banana Cake on page 204 of Dorie's book, Baking: From My Home to Yours.

You can make this recipe 10 different ways for a yummy turnout. You can use different liquids (coconut milk, buttermilk, milk, etc.) and a boatload of add-ins. Dorie suggests coconut and dried fruit. You can stack and frost the cake, our serve it in a single layer as a tea cake. So many variables you make this 100 times and get 100 unique cakes! That Dorie, always so clever.

Lots of Ways Banana Cake - Tuesdays with Dorie
I made 1/2 the recipe which resulted in a single layer 9" cake. Of course, I skipped all pieces of coconut. Please, no dental floss in my cake. Instead, I added 1/2 cup of mini chocolate chips to my 1/2 recipe, and I used buttermilk as my liquid.

My single cake only took 40 minutes to bake (recipe says 45-50 so check early).

Lots of Ways Banana Cake - Tuesdays with Dorie
This was a lovely tea cake. Just what you need to accompany a nice cup of coffee or tea.

Thanks, Kimberly for a great pick!

Be sure to check out the other Tuesdays with Dorie bakers!

Kimberly of Only Creative Opportunities blog, or
Page 204 Dorie's book, Baking: From My Home to Yours.
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JustJenn at The Comic Bug - August 4th 2010

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Los Angeles! Come by and meet artist, baker, stationery queen and my good friend JustJenn at The Comic Bug in Manhattan Beach on Wednesday, August 4 from 5 pm - 8 pm.

Totally family friendly and CUPCAKE FRIENDLY. You hear that? Comics, JustJenn stationery products, and free cupcakes! You must stop by. I'll be handing out cupcakes...and eating just as many. Oh, JustJenn's cupcake are so darn delicious. And her comics? Hilarious!

Mark your calendars now!

JustJenn at the Comic Bug
Wednesday, August 4th
5 pm - 8 pm
1807 Manhattan Beach Blvd, MB 90266
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The Running Librarian and GetRunning App

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Remember my friend Dave who ran the Los Angeles Marathon? Team Dave was out in force with Davey Pops. Dave and I met during our undergrad years at UCLA and he is also turning 40 this year (he's about 10 days older than me!)

LA Marathon 2010 - DaveyPop

Dave is planning on running THREE full marathons in the year before he turns 40. Yes, that is 78.6 miles of running in various countries.

Um, I'm setting my goals a little smaller. I'm hoping to run one 5K race (3.1 miles) before I'm 40 years old.

I ran track as a freshman in high school and I'm all about speed. Endurance and me ain't close friends, and I often have nightmares of me running away from a doll (you know dolls come alive in the middle of the night and try to kill you...) and passing out because I have no cardiovascular health.

Well, in my 39th year, I was inspired by Dave's marathon and decided to give the Couch to 5K program a try. Just Google the term and you'll find lots of programs. Basically, they take you from your couch (or your kitchen, in my case) to a 5K in about 8-9 weeks! You start slow (1 minute run/walks) and end by running a full 30 minutes without stopping or walking. At first, I thought they were crazy, but it FREAKING WORKS!

I downloaded the Get Running App to my iPod Touch for $1.99. I had to buy an upgrade from Apple to make it work on my older iPod Touch, but it was soooo worth it! Some programs have little bleeps or bells, but Get Running has an English woman guiding you through the workout and gives you encouragement. She says things like:

Today we are going to run... five 10-minute runs
You are halfway done, turn around and head home if you need.
You have one minute left (with enthusiasm)!
You have run 20 minutes! You have 5 minutes remaining.
Today's run is only 2 minutes longer than last week.
Great job! Congratulations!

Okay, I'll be totally honest with you. When I first started and as I tried to run ONE SINGLE MINUTE (sucking in air and trying to locate the best place to throw up in my neighborhood), I cursed this woman. Serious. Totally thought she was sitting in a recording studio dragging on a cigarette, legs up on a desk, eating bon bons while telling me to keep running. Seriously had issues with her at first.

But as I improved, I looked forward to my "friend" helping me along! (although I still think she's eating a big chocolate bar between recordings). The best thing about the Get Running App is that it pauses your music to give you these statements. I often listen to audiobooks (free from my library using OverDrive) while running so it's important that I don't miss any monologue from the book...or I might not find out who's the killer in the latest James Patterson book! Note to self: Don't be listening to any romance novels while running. Listening to any, um, relationship scene, while jogging by your neighbor's rose garden is just wrong.

Of course, this lady ain't going to drag your butt out of bed to get your running. And that's where Coach Dave and friends come in! Coach Dave ran with me every few weeks and answered all my running questions. Thanks so much Dave!

Running Librarian
I also ran with my Verizon Droid phone and used the My Tracks app. This tracks your running, speed, elevation, and maps it out using up all your battery power and GPS. Then I can upload it to a Google docs spreadsheet and Coach Dave can monitor my progress...and I can see that I'm covering more distance each week! Now that I'm up 30 minutes, sometimes I run listening to Pandora radio. (Yes, I am the person using all the 3G bandwidth in the neighborhood.)

I got these Acis shoes from Road Runner running store. Finding the right shoes, getting insoles and proper socks made such a difference. Like baking with the right ingredients, having the right equipment can prevent injury and that damn plantar fasciitis that creeps up on me sometimes.

Sorry for the long post, but darn it, did you see that I can run 30 minutes without walking?! And on May 1st I was dying at 1 minute. Whoo hoo! I'm proud of myself...and will be baking myself a cake to celebrate. Yeah, I'm not losing any weight...but I'll try that next.

This also helps answers the question "Why haven't you been baking?" I've been running at 5 am around my neighborhood...during my prime baking time. Now the the windows are installed (read: drywall dust is finally gone) and the fridge is back (read: shiny new fridge rocks), I hope to alternate running and baking in the mornings. You know, it's all about balance.

P.S. I'll let you know when I run my first 5K. Like the Daveypop, we'll have Bundt Cakes on a Stick to cheer me along the route! :)
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Winner! 39 7/12 Birthday Celebration

Congrats to Vicki of A Work in Progress, winner of the $39 7/12 Amazon Gift Card for my 39 7/12 I head to my 40th birthday. (Picked via Entry #8)

I'll be having MONTHLY giveaways until my December 7, 2010 birthday so be sure to come on back and get me to 40. :)

Thanks for all your kind messages...I got a kick out of all of them! Yes, 40 is the new 30! And I hope you get a chance to make the peanut butter chocolate chunk cookies! :)
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Brrr-ownies - Tuesdays with Dorie

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Brrr-ownies - Tuesdays with Dorie
Brrr-ownies with York Peppermint Patty Pieces

For this week's Tuesdays with Dorie selection, Karen of Welcome to our Crazy Blessed Life selected Brrr-ownies of Dorie's book, Baking: From My Home to Yours.

Brrr-ownies - Tuesdays with Dorie
I misread the instructions and picked up Peppermint Pattie Pieces instead of bites or the full-size patties. How did the Peppermint Patty grow into such an empire of products? Anyway, the pieces are like little M&Ms and are blue and white (or, in my World Cup speak, Argentina...Yes, I'm suffering from withdrawals from the Cup).

Brrr-ownies - Tuesdays with Dorie
Chopping these suckers up can only be described as "Shooting candies all over the kitchen." People, they move, they move on their own. Eventually, I had to grab them individually and chop them, then threw them into the batter.

Brrr-ownies - Tuesdays with Dorie
The verdict? I really wish I had the bites because that would have much more minty flavor. I love mint and the pieces don't have much. I mean, the insides aren't even "mint" color - it is brown and chocolately. As if.

So, I'll try these again with the proper ingredients.

Brrr-ownies - Tuesdays with Dorie
Thanks for picking this one Karen! Be sure to check out the other Tuesdays with Dorie bakers!

P.S. Don't forget to enter my Amazon gift card I head to my 40th birthday. Tuesday, July 13th is the last day to enter!

Find it on Karen's blog
or page 103 of
Dorie's book, Baking: From My Home to Yours.
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Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies, or Countdown to 40 Giveaway - I'm 39 7/12 years old!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Happy Pre-Birthday.
To me.

I'm turning 40 in five months. I'll be honest with you and say I'm a little weirded out by this one. I'm THAT person who just loves birthdays. But this one is taking some getting used to...although I just heard 40 is the new 30.

So, to get into the groove, I'm starting the birthday celebration NOW. In my 30's.

Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chunk Cookies
I'll be giving something away each month before my December 7, 2010 birthday.

And don't I know how to get this party started? Yes, by buying myself this cool serving tray at Crate & Barrel. Only $9.95! I'm frugal and 39 7/12!

Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chunk Cookies
For the "5 month" countdown, I'm giving away a $39 7/12 Amazon gift card to one lucky winner! ($39.58 US Dollar gift certificate to To enter, just leave a comment (if you aren't connected to a blog, leave your email address). Deadline is Tuesday, July 13, 2010 at midnight PDT. **Updated: Contest is closed. Congrats to Vicki #8 who won!**

Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Here are 39 7/12 peanut butter chocolate chip cookies!

I've made these Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chunk cookies before, but they are a true favorite. This time, I used Cadbury Dark Chocolate Chips that my cousin brought back from a trip to Ireland.

Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chunk cookies
(adapted from Everyday Food - Martha Stewart empire)

My printable recipe here

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup peanut butter (smooth or chunky) (I used Jif smooth. I really like the smooth PB for this recipe)
4 tablespoons ( 1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar (I've made it with both light and dark brown sugar)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, cut into chunks (I've used Nestle chips, chunks and Cadbury dark chocolate chips...all with delicious results!!)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, whisk together flour and baking soda; set aside. With a Kitchen Aid and paddle, beat peanut butter, butter, and sugars until light and fluffy...about 3 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla, and beat until smooth. With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture, beating just until combined. Stir in chocolate chunks.
2. Drop dough by heaping tablespoons, 1 inch apart, onto two large baking sheets. I used half-sheet pans and a Silpat or parchment paper. Bake until golden, 13 to 15 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool.
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