Sunday, June 27, 2010

Eating Our Way Through 1/2 of June

Photo #1 is of my daughters at Houston's in LA (Lorilie is my oldest and Kennedy is my youngest). Houston's is a chain but DO NOT let that put you off! It is amazing food and we make sure to get ourselves to a location each time we visit any part of California. The prime rib sandwich is worth whatever travel you have to endure just to sink your teeth into it.

Photo #2 is of my girls sipping their Starbucks on the 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica.

Photo's #3-7 are of our family enjoying cupcakes from Yummy Cupcakes in Santa Monica. Yummy Cupcakes is a darling little cupcakery with delicious cakes! Kennedy is chowing down on a pink vanilla cuppie, my husband had the special "peach cobbler", i had an "old school" (hostess-esque cuppie) and Lorilie is adoring her chocolate/chocolate. I also ordered their awesome "cupcakes in a jar" for my parents, as a souvenir (these little gems have been featured on Food Networks 'Unwrapped').

Photo's #8-11 are of the most precious and delicious coffee shop in all of Santa Monica; Cora's Coffee Shop. The valet at our hotel called the place "Santa Monica's hidden gem". It was 2 doors down from our hotel and such a treat! The patio (as you can see) is gorgeous and the food compliments the simple beauty of the location perfectly! It is such a humble shop with such a surprise inside! The 2 photos I am posting are of my steel-cut oats and of my little one's homemade bagel. My husband thoroughly enjoyed his short rib tacos and my older daughter loved her french bread and eggs. We had the organic, fresh-squeezed orange juice and coffees as well. The parking lot backs the beach and if you have the chance to stop in here... don't pass it up. It's wonderful.

Photo #12... the last one for this post is of my daughters at a table at the Broadway Deli on the 3rd Street Promenade. This is my favorite spot in Santa Monica. I have had several opportunities to dine here (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and I am always thrilled with my experience! It looks like a simple deli/diner but has a lovely little wine shop up front and an impressive 7 page menu! It's really, really GOOD! On this evening, we had a "celebrity sighting" here. Vanessa Hudgens (Gabriella from High School Musical) was at the table next to us dining with her family.

I have a million plus photos more but will post more as we move through this summer. I hope you enjoyed a small "taste" of our vacation.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Fudgey Cappuccino Cookies

Fudgey Cappuccino Cookies

5 ounces semisweet chocolate coarsely chopped
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
11 tablespoons softened butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup organic raw sugar
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 eggs
1/2 cup cocoa powder
8 ounces cappuccino chips

Melt chocolate, stir until smooth and set aside. Sift together: flour, baking soda and salt and set aside. In a stand mixer, beat butter until very creamy (about 3 minutes). Scrape down bowl and add both sugars until well blended. Add maple syrup, vanilla and eggs (one at a time). Mix well. Blend in cocoa and dry ingredients. Remove bowl, scrape down sides and add melted chocolate by hand. Add cappuccino chips (also by hand) and mix until just combined. Drop heaping tablespoonfuls onto parchment lined baking sheets and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes. Cool 5 minutes on baking sheet and completely on a rack.

*I only baked my cookies 8 minutes... less baking time makes them CHEWY!!!
*The secret is in the maple syrup! It gives them even more "chew factor"!!
*The cookies will be puffed up when you open the oven door. They should puff and fall. They will fall once the cool air hits them... then they will "crack" and be... you guessed it... CHEWY!!!