Sunday, March 29, 2009

I love doing this.

Cupcakes for my friend/co-worker's surprise baby shower. She's having a girl, but we were told she doesn't like pink, so I made them in yellow and turquoise. Later, we found out that this wasn't true. Oh well.

Yellow: P-Dub's chocolate sheet cake recipe translated to cupcakes.
Turquoise: Magnolia Bakery's vanilla cupcakes. The vanilla buttercream is also Magnolia's recipe.

I didn't "cater" the whole party this time, which allowed me to focus on cupcake cuteness. Hee.

Congrats, Martha!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Tales of Yummy Breakfast, Ch. 1: Love at third sight.

I know you're dying to know.

Who IS this handsome-looking bagel anyway?

Or perhaps the more likely question is: What the hell is that thing?

Well, it's a bagel keychain. And his name is Benny. Or Lenny. Or I can't remember what I named him. I just call him "bagel keychain."

It's a member of Kid Robot's Yummy Breakfast blind-box collection. For those of you who've never bought a blind box, you are probably better off. It can become a dangerous addiction. Basically, it's like sticking a quarter into one of those little toy/junk dispensers at the grocery store and getting some random surprise toy/junk. Except instead of a quarter, it's a $5 bill. And instead of some surprise toy/junk, it's one of these:


But there's no way to tell what you are buying -- all the boxes are labeled exactly the same. It's a gamble each time.

So, wait: I actually wanted to start a series of short stories of my Yummy Breakfast keychain encounters, as I've had quite a few.

I'm very fond of bagel keychain now, but we weren't always lovers. Nope. I was very disappointed to meet him, actually.

I wandered into the Go, Rilla! shop at City Place in Santa Ana on some random day at some random time, to make some random purchase. There were a bunch of Yummy Breakfast keychains that had been unwrapped and were on display, and I decided I just had to get one.

I hoped for a pizza, or a blueberry muffin, or a watermelon. Something colorful. I love color.

Alas, it was just a plain ol' bagel. No color! Just some black poppy seeds. Boo.

I thought about giving it away. I was ready to. But then I kept looking at it. And I noticed its wide eyes peering up at me, with a crooked little smile that said,

"Hey. You and me, we can be friends. Eh? Eh??"

Aww shucks, bagel keychain. How could I not love you?

* * *
Go, Rilla!
3013 N. Main St.
Santa Ana 92706

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Biking off tamales.

Have you heard? Biking is my new obsession.

It's a good one for me, though. Much healthier than my old fondue obsession, for example. (Go ahead, ask me how many fondue cookbooks and fondue sets I have.)

Anyway, I've been trying to bike at least 4 or 5 times a week. Most of the time, it's past 10 p.m., so I just bike around the neighborhood. I now know better what Old Towne Orange looks like at night than during the day.

But I feel such a great sense of satisfaction when it's early enough to get a chance to run errands -- dropping off a package at the post office or picking up some quick groceries. I'm biking with a purpose.

Like when I biked 10 miles the other day on my visits to Target and the bookstore. And after that, when I biked to La Poblana Bakery/Panaderia to reward myself with steaming, sweet tamales.

Sigh. I did it again.

I don't think this little Mexican bakery wants me to be healthy.

So, I had no idea that dessert tamales were even possible. But they ARE, and they are wonderful. Strawberry/fresa tamales have fresh-strawberries-turned-gooey within; pineapple/piña tamales have the occasional raisin. They taste like sweet, fluffy corn bread.

But you must eat them right away, while they are still warm. Inhale them, if at all possible.

Champurrado is hot chocolate that is spiced with cinnamon and almost thick enough to chew. It is a perfect accompaniment to sweet tamales. Even though it looks like a cup of mud.

By the way, it is really difficult balancing champurrado in your bike basket on the ride home.

(Updated with address on March 13, 2009. Oops.)
* * *
La Poblana Bakery
604 W. Chapman Ave.
Orange 92868