Every House Loves Chocolate Cake

So a friend of mine was throwing a housewarming and I couldn’t show up empty handed.  <hmm> What to make?  Devils Chocolate Fudge Cake!!!

I’m not a perfect baker – YET!  I still have my ups and downs like the next person, but it sure is awesome to see your creations come together.

OK!  We need some cake.  I decided on a chocolate cake with fudge icing.  I knew their would be lots of wine and cheese so I thought chocolate would go well with the menu or at least I hoped <chuckle> Once cooled, I shaved and leveled both cakes.  One on the cake board with the other off to the side. I started icing the bottom half of the cake.  Next I stacked the other cake on top and finished icing it as well.  I placed in the fridge to slightly harden.  It’s easier to work on chilled cakes FYI.

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Once the cakes were ready with their crumb coat I began layering the cakes with chocolate icing from the can.  Next I took the time to trim down some pirouette cookies to the height of the cake.  Time to adhere the cookies to the side of the cake.

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This was followed by shaving chocolate onto the top of the cake.  Careful, for the heat of your hand can cause the chocolate bar to quickly melt.  Once finished, I grabbed some ribbon and tied a little bow with a flower on the front of the cake.  I placed it back into the fridge until it was time to go.

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It was perfect, but looking back I wish I had a gold cake board <chuckle>.  Everyone loved it and of course with decorative desserts, nobody wants to be the first to cut into it.  I told the one guest I clearly brought it to be destroyed 🙂

Thanks again Ben and Rick for having me!

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My Cheesy New Years

So understand when I usually say New Years it tends to mean my birthday.  <hmm> ok, well, unless I’m posting during the beginning of January, then that’s the regular worldly new years.  My original plans backfired and therefore ended up at Cheesecake Factory for New Years brunch.  Now, unlike my lovely friend who took the time to coordinate this gathering, I actually enjoy this place.  She use to work here so she has different feelings-which is understandable, but doesn’t keep me from eating here LOL.

Usually only going here for dinner, I’ve never had their breakfast or brunch items before until now.  I ended up with their french toast or as they say, the Bruleed French Toast, all for $12.52.  No sides included. (sad face) Figures, it is Cheesecake Factory.

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So if you’re thinking why the to-go container (I’m chuckling inside to myself).  It’s because I ordered other food items as well LOL I’m a mess!!!  OK FINE!  I arrived earlier than everyone and made the attempt to try their breakfast.  Then once the party arrived I ate again and had lunch with them.  YES, I LIKE TO EAT.  Anyway they clearly found my bag of food stashed away which also included two slices of cheesecake (BIG CHEESY SMILE).  I told you I like to eat.

Here’s what I thought about it.  It was too rich.  Maybe there’s a better word, but I didn’t love it, but I didn’t hate it.  I disliked the hard exterior however was fine with the soft interior.  It was good, but I couldn’t taste the french in the french toast LOL.  This could be because they bake it then grill it.  I don’t know.  I couldn’t taste the egg, it just taste like toast.  And like I said previously, I don’t like tugging on my bread to eat it.  It should be soft – FOR ME!  However, I definitely enjoyed that caramel sauce <sigh of happiness>.

Amenities (parking, location, seating, menu selections, etc) ***
Customer Service (greeted, helpful, polite, checking-in, etc) ***
Cleanliness ***
Experience (themed, music, atmosphere, energy, etc) ***
Taste **
Price **

The Flavor Table

The Eagle and I came across this (BO) business by accident called The Flavor Table. They’re located on Florence.  So we went in and tried their breakfast.  It was cool.  The price didn’t bother me and the decor fit their theme, a Louisiana feel.  They have the typical photos on the wall, beads in the corner, flowers on the table, everything is red and purple and the waiters are pleasant offering great customer service.  They offer catering, take out, no reservations, there’s street parking and you’ll pay a typical $12 for your meal.  Oh and I’ve only been there twice and I just learned they have a little patio eating area in the back.  I’ll try it out next time whenever I’m around.  I think I saw about three tables back there surround by umbrellas and additional covering for added privacy.  Simple area for a small group of maybe 10 who want some fresh air and privacy.  Keep in mind it’s in a residential area.

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So the first time I went there I ordered the Peach Cobbler French Toast.  I thought it was going to be smothered in yummy sauce with juicy peaches, but instead they offered the cobbler in a side dish and the french toast on its own plate.  I was a little disappointed.

Pictured above is what I ordered the second time we visited.  It’s their Caramel French Toast.  Maybe I’m asking for too much but I could have used a tad more of a thicker sauce or syrup.  It was simply caramel poured on top.  So they lack creativity, but the food was still good enough for myself to return in time.

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The Eagle usually gets items such as rice, eggs and salmon croquettes of which I guess I need to learn how to make.  This is his plate pictured to the left.  He said he really enjoyed his Shrimp and Crab Omelet.  I was pleased for I hate to have him upset with his meal.  It cost about $17.

 

 

All and all the place is fine.  If you’re in the area, try them out for yourself.  I may not drive across town just to eat here, but if in the area I would definitely continue to support.

Amenities (parking, location, seating, menu selections, etc) **
Customer Service (greeted, helpful, polite, checking-in, etc) ***
Cleanliness ***
Experience (themed, music, atmosphere, energy, etc) **
Taste **
Price ***

 

Freaking Fabulous French Toast

(Facebook repost)

OHHHH My gosh, like OHHHH My gosh!  People, have you been to Blu Jam Cafe?  Nabachwa and I have and it was YUMMY.

Yeah, yeah, it’s breakfast.  Can’t you just figure out how to make it yourself?  Ok, yes, fine, but who wants to all the time and sometimes it’s nice to go out and treat yourself.

<sigh> As I was saying, Quenab (still trying it out and think I’ll keep it) ventured out to Blu Jam and boy were we glad we did.  Wait, can I first share how I love having someone I can physically (eating) express myself with.  Ok, I’m back.  So as I was saying, I really, really enjoyed this place.  They had great customer service, our waiter was fun, enjoyed my company and I REALLY enjoyed my french toast.

We both ordered the Crunchy French Toast which is their popular breakfast menu item.  It’s why most visit this establishment.  If you look them up on Facebook or Bing you’ll more than likely view this same photo over and over.  It’s served with fresh berries that fall along soft buttery toast that has been dipped in egg and coated in crunchy corn flakes topped with a dust of powered sugar.  Guys, you have to try this spot!  And get some bacon or whatever you like to balance out the sweetness.  You know, a sweet and salty combination.

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Things I disliked, the journey of searching for street parking while in Hollywood, but at some point I have to accept it is what it is.

Amenities (parking, location, seating, menu selections, etc) **
Customer Service (greeted, helpful, polite, checking-in, etc) ***
Cleanliness ***
Experience (themed, music, atmosphere, energy, etc) ***
Taste ***
Price ***

I bark for the holidays

How is everyone’s holiday going?  For myself, its cool.

Now another love as mentioned from last week is making bark which is a personal tradition I have started within my own home during the holidays.  For those who can’t make it out, I make a point to ship some out to them.  Hope everyone enjoyed their packages!

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Traditions can be fun and of course there are some traditions that seem a little off.  You have regular fun ones and then there are the super superstitious ones.  Nevertheless, as long as they make sense to you that is all that matters. My favorite ones were from my grandmother who always stressed the man had to walk through the home first and making sure to eat fish, black eye peas and something green…and yes I’ve added the bark <chuckle>.

Well, for whatever it is that you choose to do or no longer wish to do, I hope it brings joy to your home as ours does for us.  And as for making bark, which brings me joy, do know there are all kinds you can make.  There’s peppermint, m&m, caramel, dark chocolate and the list goes on and guess what?  There’s a simple recipe down below.

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RECIPE:

Bark

Try melting a package of chocolate chips in a saucepan on low heat with a teaspoon of oil.  Constantly stirring, mix in a 1 cp or as much as you want of candies, pretzels, nuts or whatever you prefer.  Poor evenly onto a cookie sheet lined with either wax paper or foil and refrigerate for about 10 minuets.

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Break then enjoy!