Archive | July, 2011

Back to NYC!

29 Jul

The following year we went back to New York City again (previous post of NYC trip). This time we didn’t particularly focus on the cupcake shops, but went around the city and explored American pastries during our 2 weeks of stay. The first photo is from Babycakes.

The other thing I love to eat in the U.S. is Bagels! The texture is somewhat different from any other bagels outside of the U.S. It’s very bouncy and soft, and eating it with cream cheese is excellent too!

This bagel shop – Pick A Bagel – is one of my favorite bagel shops in the city. It was close from my parents place that we went there many times to grab something for breakfast. One morning we decided to take them back home.

I loved their muffins, too!!! Yummy~.

Jacques Torres, a chocolate shop in Brooklyn. I like their signboard.

Three of us shared this chocolate chip cookies ice cream sandwich, but still it was too big to finish. American sweets are just so big and sweet!

Cupcakes from Sugar Sweet Sunshine.

Cupcakes we found in Grand Central Station.

We stopped by some shops around Rockefeller Center.

There were so many cute kitchen items that I wanted to bring them all back home…

Cupcake shops in New York City!

28 Jul

Back to my cupcake trips in the U.S. (previous post of Sprinkles in LA), I visited several cupcake shops in New York City!

One of the most memorable cupcake shops I visited was Babycakes near Chinatown. This cupcake place is known for the organic cupcakes so I was quite curious how they would taste like. It tasted different from any of the cupcakes I had. It tasted more organic… less moist but tasted healthy and good. I liked it so much that I came back to their shop the following year!

This is me inside Babycakes! (2007)

Me holding cupcakes (2008)

I of course went to the famous Magnolia Bakery, but was slightly disappointed by their service and taste. They seemed to be too busy to care for each customer…  or maybe we were just unlucky.

Anyway, we had the cupcakes at the park right in front of the shop.

These cupcakes are from Billy’s Bakery. I didn’t get to go to the shop but my husband bought them for me. They were pretty good. I’d rank this top No.3 cupcakes we had in NYC!

These cupcakes are from CRUMBS.

Among many choice, we chose sneakerbar cupcakes and caramel cupcakes. Hmm… what an American taste!

Their cupcakes were moist and good, too. It’s good to share with few people because their cupcakes were very big and sweet.

Another cupcake shop – Eleni’s was located in Chelsea Market. I liked the display of their cupcakes. Next to it was Fat Witch Bakery, another of my favorite shop in NYC. They sell brownies.

Chelsea market is like a warehouse with lots of shops in side and it was quite fun to walk! It reminded me of  the Red brick warehouse in Yokohama, Japan.

Vanilla Polvoron*

26 Jul

Last weekend I went to Port Dickson for the PD triathlon event. It was my second time there. I supported my husband and his friends who participated in the race. This time with Hanae, I couldn’t see much of the event but it was still fun and exciting! They all did well and improved from their last year’s times so it was quite fulfilling. I wish to go there next year again!

By the way, I baked this cookie the day before our PD trip. The cookies are called vanilla polvoron.

I got this recipe from my friend. It seems like this cookie is a Spanish traditional cookies during Christmas. The cookies are fragile that if you could chant “Polvoron, polvoron, polvorn” three times while eating it without spitting any of it out, your wish will come true.

It taste like shortbread cookies.

I found vanilla flavored tea by chance, so had them together. A nice tea time after long busy days…

Visiting Sprinkles Cupcakes in LA!

17 Jul

I’m looking at the pictures of my 2007 trip to the U.S… wow that’s a while ago. I feel like it’s been a decade since I took the trip but anyway, on our way to visit my parents in New York we stopped by LA to see our friends.  This is Sprinkles in Beverly Hills!

A lot of people were lining up for the cupcakes.

Photos were not allowed inside the shop, but I already took a few before they told me so, haha. The cupcakes were huge and all of them were US$3. I was so excited that I bought 4 to eat-in, a dozen to take back to the hotel (all kinds of the day) and additinal two to give to my friend who lived in LA.

Me munching on cupcakes!

Back in the hotel room, I was staring at those cupcakes endlessly and was choosing which one to have next. My favorite was dark chocolate cupcakes, which is at the right bottom. Our stay in LA was a few days that we couldn’t finish them all and had to take them along in our rental car to San Diego, which was our next stop.

Oh why San Diego?

It’s because I studied in San Diego for one year and wanted to go back there! That’s how I met my husband by the way;

Me pretending to be a student again…

Anyway back to cupcake stories, I probably gained a couple of pounds eating those cupcakes… but it was just so worth it!!!

to be continued…

Vanilla cupcakes!

11 Jul

I made vanilla cupcakes with cream cheese frosting! I’ve been baking many cupcakes with different recipes recently and this could’ve been one of the best.

When I was growing up in New Jersey (up until I was 7), cupcakes were one of my favorite sweets. I hadn’t had those jumbo American cupcakes for a long time and missed them so much (you hardly see any cupcakes in Japan. Even if you do, it’s so tiny like 1/3 the size of Americans^^; and they taste different also…) that when I took trips to the U.S. in 2007 and 2008, I visited as many cupcake shops as possible in LA, San Diego and New York City.

Among all the shops I visited then, my favorite shop was Sprinkles in LA. It was just so amazing that I can still remember the rich and moist texture of the chocolate cupcakes. hmm… If you are a cupcake lover like me, you should know this shop! They have opened up many branches both in the U.S. and overseas.

I got too excited here but anyway, I’d like to talk about the trips in separate post!


6 Jul

The other day I made many kinds of Bagels. It took me a while to bake all of these because I could only bake one kind at a time… but this is like a shop^^!

*Cinnamon Raisin Bagel

*Banana Walnut Bagel

*Cocoa & White Chocolate Bagel

*Coffee & Chocolate Bagel

*Cranberry Bagel

*Wholewheat Honey Bagel

My husband’s favorite was Banana Walnut Bagel, and mine was Cinnamon Raisin & Coffee Chocolate Bagels. I like breads with chocolate!

Which one would you like to have?

I keep the bagels in the freezer and toast them in the morning. This way they last longer. It’s fun to choose which one to have each morning! Sometimes Icut them into small pieces so that I can try many different kinds!

Panda bread*

6 Jul

Do we look like pandas?

I made some panda bread today! In Japan these kind of cute breads are popular among kids, although mine does’t really look like panda, haha… The black parts are made of cocoa bread and the mouth apricots. I even made eye balls with rasins.

Every part you cut shows a different face, so it’s quite exciting to eat^^!

I left the dough a bit too long that one of the ears dropped to the side…;

Happy panda family!