Tag Archives: sweets

National Pancake Day (2015)

Yesterday was National Pancake Day at IHOP and like all good pancake-loving Americans, Greta and I celebrated the event in high style. For those of you who missed the freebie memo, National Pancake Day was launched in 2006 to support the Chilcren’s Miracle Network Hospitals and a host of local charities. Now in it’s tenth year, IHOP gives out free short stacks very March 3rd in the hopes that patrons will donate to the cause.

So, just like we did last year, Greta and I grabbed some friends, braved the lines of crazy teenagers just getting out of school and got our free pancake on. And as you can see from the pics, it was awesome! Thanks, IHOP!

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Limited Edition: Red Velvet Oreos

Usually when I hear about some too-good-to-true new flavored cookies, candies or ice creams one of two things happens. Either the story turns out to not be true or, as is usually the case, the finished product is absolutely disgusting. Luckily this time, the rumors that have been swirling online for a while now are true and Nabisco's Limited Edition Red Velvet Oreos are on store shelves as I type.

But the better news is that they are freaking awesome! Stuffed with some sort of delicious cream cheese filling (I would not advise you to even look at the nutritional information on these little pieces of heaven!) the cookie itself is amazing. Crisp, flavorful and the perfect compliment to the filling. Yum!

And best of all, these little cuties are not too sweet. I'm pretty picky about my red velvet flavored goodness and these guys totally take the cake, or um, cookie. Seriously, it's red velvet perfection! And what better way to celebrate Valentine's Day?

The only problem is actually finding Red Velvet Oreos in stores. Apparently they weren't kidding about that “limited edition” tag line on the package. These things are impossible to find, so, if you see them, buy them. And if you hate them, send them to me. 🙂

Happy hunting!

 

 

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Pumpkin Cream Donuts at The Donut Man

Having been a Donut Man loyalist since I first sampled their now-legendary Fresh Strawberry Filled Donuts a few years back, I was really looking forward to trying their Pumpkin Cream Donuts last weekend. I mean, hello, pumpkin filling and fresh, creamy goodness piled high on a big, fluffy donut, what's not to love?

The answer, it turns out, is plenty. I'm not saying it's the worst pumpkin-flavored concoction I've ever tried, but, sadly, this seasonal favorite doesn't hold a candle to The Donut Man's rocking Strawberry and Peach bretheren. It's not terrible, but, it's just weird tasting. And though a warm donut underlayer always sounds appealing, in theory, in actual practice, it left me seriously jonesing for some proper pie crust instead.

That said, the Tiger Tails were incredible (as always), the colorful Cream Puffs pictured below were amazing (even two days later!) and Greta loved the Halloweenish sprinkles on her chocolate donut, so, any way you look at it, we came out ahead. Thanks, Donut Man!

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Cadbury Screme Eggs!

OK, I know I just gushed poetic about the current crop of pumpkintastic seasonal food offerings at Trader Joe's, but, Greta and I stumbled upon another fun Halloween-ish treat over the weekend that I simply had to share with you. So, please bear with me as I give you Cadbury Screme Eggs!

That's right, amigos, Cadbury eggs aren't just for Easter anymore! And though Greta swears the oozing green filling tastes like melted mint chocolate chip ice cream. I think they taste pretty much the same as the sugary yellow and white Cadbury goodness we've all come to love (or loathe!) over the years. Except for the fact that they're, you know, a sickly green color!

Anyway, Greta was so excited about these tasty treats that she had me film her eating one for the first time on her Planet Greta blog. We even added a little Halloween movie magic to this shoot too, so, enjoy the clip below and happy October!

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Pumpkin-palooza at Trader Joe’s

When pressed to pick their favorite flavor additives, most people pick something fruity, a nice strawberry lemon or cherry lime perhaps, but, if you ask me, it's all about banana and pumpkin. And while we don't have a national holiday or season that celebrates banana flavored stuff (yet!) pumpkiny goodness reigns supreme in the fall. And nowhere will you find the sweet, spicy flavors of pumpkin on display more than at your local Trader Joe's.

And while we're all used to finding the usual seasonal offerings like pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin bread and even pumpkin granola on display this time of year, the sheer volume of pumpkin-flavored goodies on TJ's shelves right now is positively staggering!

There are pumpkin cookies, pumpkin ravioli, pumpkin croutons (which are freaking awesome, BTW), Joe's Pumpkin O's and of course, pumpkin spiced coffee to wash it all down. But the real standout this year is Trader Joe's new Harvest Salad mix! Yes, they even have pumpkin salad!

Featuring a fall-tastic blend of baby kale, pumpkin seeds, pumpkin cornbread croutons and pumpkin vinaigrette, this salad tastes as good as it sounds and smells. The only thing I'd caution against is using too much of the dressing. As I said above, I loves me some pumpkin-flavored food, but the vinaigrette is very flavorful and a little goes a long way, so, use it sparingly.

And speaking of using things sparingly, stay away from the Pumpkin Joe-Joe's! I know they sound good, but the pumpkin-flavored stuffing is flat out disgusting. Seriously, I defy you to find a more processed, sickly-sweet and artificial-tasting flavor in the Trader Joe's pantheon. Blech!

That said, I am kind of dying to try the pumpkin Joe's O's and the pumpkin soup they were sampling last week is absolutely delicious! So, if you're looking for some seasonal yumminess, you'd better get a move on!

Oh, and if you're looking for actual pumpkins for the low, low price of $2.99, you might already be too late. I think we bought the last four at our TJ's over the weekend. Seriously, those things are going like well, Trader Joe's pumpkin-flavored hotcakes, which are also quiet yummy. Especially smeared with pumpkin butter and syrup! Yum!

Happy pumpkin palooza, amigos!

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Dunkin’ Donuts store opening in Santa Monica on Sept. 2nd!

OK, forget what I just said about today totally sucking, I just got word from a donut-loving friend of mine that my beloved Dunkin' Donuts is finally coming back to the Southland!

That's right, amigos, after a failed attempt a few years back, Dunkin' Donuts will be opening their first of four stand alone Los Angeles store in Santa Monica on Sept. 2nd at 5:00am. Not only will they be giving out super cool Dunkin' Donuts swag bags to the first 100 people in line, but, the first person in line will win free coffee for a year!

And as anyone who has eaten their donuts can tell you, the coffee is the real star of the show at DD! Especially that crazy good iced coffee pictured here…yum! So, if you need to find me in the next few days, I think you know where to look. I'll be that crazy sunburnt guy in the front of the line!

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Gingerbread House 101: How to stay sane while decorating with candy, gingerbread and a very willful four-year-old!

Despite the fact that Mrs. Yeti and I created an award-winning gingerbread house in 2008, this year’s casa de gingerbread was a totally different story. To start with, we had a very opinionated four-and-a-half year old at the helm and an even more opinionated construction crew helping her.

To complicate matters further, we started the project when we were all very hungry, for, you know, real food, which is never wise. And though the candy involved in the making of our house was tasty, one can only eat so many M&M’s and sour gummy worms before true holiday madness sets in. So, as you can imagine, the hunger-fueled sniping and arguing came on pretty fast and furious like.

Gingerbread house (2013)

Gingerbread house (2013)

Gingerbread house (2013)

Gingerbread House (2013)

Mrs. Yeti, who had already been baking all weekend, dropped out first, followed quickly by our master junior architect who got bored and left the table in a huff after assembling the roof. That left my mom and I to finish up the sides of the house and the yard. And despite some major artistic differences (I still say we need a wreath or something over that back window!), overall, I think we did a pretty good job. And as the pictures prove, we all came together again at the end to share in the glory of our crooked little candy house. So, there’s always that.

Gingerbread House (2013)

Gingerbread House (2013)

Anyway, if you’re interested in making a gingerbread house with your kids this season, I highly recommend using Trader Joe’s tasty Deep Dark Gingerbread Cake and Baking Mix (a house mold our size takes two boxes) and one of Nordic Ware’s amazing Gingerbread Cake Pans. Both will save you loads of time and heartache in the early stages of making your house.

And, trust me, anything that saves you time and heartache when you’re creating Christmas memories with a four-year-old is a very good thing. Enjoy!

Gingerbread House (2013)

Gingerbread House (2013)

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