Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Sticky Rice and Mango

We had dinner at Ubon Thai Kitchen yesterday.  I have previously blogged about this Thai restaurant in Torrance. What I wanted to write about was the dessert. It is seasonal depending on the mango season. It's the sticky rice with mango. The sticky rice is made with coconut milk. The key to this dessert is that you have to have ripe sweet mangoes and just the right consistency with the rice. Ubon gets that right on the money.

Ubon is located at 24631 Crenshaw Blvd. in Torrance, California. It is in the Torrance Crossroads Center.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Rosé Gummy Bears

I recently read that it is very easy to make Rosé Gummy Bears. That sounded good to me. I have had Champagne Gummies and thought they were good but it didn't have much flavor. I imagined that rosé gummy bears would have a bit more flavor.

I ordered 2 gummy bear molds from Amazon last week and received it the day before yesterday. I got my ingredients from the market and opened a bottle of Rosé wine. It indeed was very easy to make and filling the individual gummy bears with a dropper was fun. Somehow a fertility doctor came to mind. My molds were full and still had some left over liquid so I filled 3 silicone mini muffin liners.

The gummies were ready in 2 hours but for good measure, I left them in the refrigerator for another hour. The time had come for me to check on my little baby bears. They were so cute. I tasted one and it hardly had any taste to it. So I tried the bigger piece. I had a bite and I had a hard time getting a grip on it in my mouth because it kept slipping away. I would try and chew on it and it slipped to the other side of my mouth. It was a crazy experience. I guess they are not meant to be eaten in big pieces. Nevertheless, the gummies were nothing to get excited about. I tried so hard to love them since it was a labor of love but it was just o.k.

I think I will use Prosecco next time. That would make them sweeter.   I even thought I should experiment with Port wine. I will try another batch sometime soon. In the meantime, my favorite gummy bears are the chocolate ones made in Germany. They are still the best.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Bakerly Chocolate Filled Crêpes

I was at Bristol Farms last week buying bread when I spotted a package of Strawberry filled crêpes.  I took the package and started to read the information when a voice behind the counter asked: "Are you looking for the chocolate"? Without thinking I said: "Yes". I didn't know they made chocolate filled ones which to me sounded a lot more exciting. He informed me that he just received a box and was just opening it. He handed me 1 package.

I conducted an experiment. I had one out of the package without heating it in the microwave because as a rule, I don't like warm desserts. There are exceptions to the rule of course. I enjoyed it as the crepe was light and thin and the chocolate was not too sweet, it was just perfect.

The man from Bristol Farms told me he liked to put the crêpe on the pan to heat it a bit. I tried that by heating a small amount of butter in a non-stick pan then adding the crêpe. I left it in the pan just enough to heat it. It was also delicious. The chocolate did not melt but was warm enough. The crêpe had a different consistency. It was a tiny bit crunchy with a hint of saltiness. The saltiness could have been from the butter. It was interesting. I think it would have been a very good dessert served with ice cream.

Bakerly is a great snack. It has 150 calories, no preservatives or artificial flavoring or coloring.  It is a product of France and manufactured in New York. There are 6 individually wrapped crêpes in a package and they are available at Bristol Farms.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

le Bon Garçon

I heard about these wonderful caramels from le Bon Garçon. Naturally, I had to see for myself how wonderful these caramels are. I went on their website to discover that they have several flavors. One is the Salted Caramel, Honey Lavander Caramels, and Lemonade Caramels. I wanted to order all three flavors but the Lemonade was sold out. Before I received the caramels in the mail, I went back to the website to further investigate what these caramels were all about. Chef Justin Chao is the man responsible for these tiny pleasures from heaven. This master chef went to culinary school in Paris at Bellouet Conseil and ended up working at Le Meurice. Here is a short video of his creations.

The long awaited caramels finally arrived. The Honey Lavander really tasted like lavender. I loved the flavor. The caramel itself was soft as caramels should be. The Salted Caramel was magic, very creamy and you could really taste the salt which was great. I was immediately hooked on these caramels. I was disappointed that the lemonade caramel was sold out. I will have to try that as soon as they are able to fill an order.

The caramels are made with heavy cream, butter, lemon juice, buttermilk, salt, spices and other natural flavors. You will be able to tell this is premium quality and the taste will speak for itself.

Le Bon Garçon is located at 481 E. High St. Moonpark (Simi Valley), California.

Sunday, August 6, 2017


It's been almost a year since we've been to Petro's in Manhattan Beach. This past weekend, we were at the Westfield Century City Mall. It was lunch time so we looked for restaurants around the mall. I spotted Eataly which turned out to be still closed. The next option was Obica but I spotted the restaurant Petros from the directory. The only one we've been to is the one in Manhattan Beach.

We ordered the Super Salad; chopped romaine lettuce with carrots, radish, red onion, tomato, cucumber, olives avocado, capers and Epirus feta with their homemade red wine vinaigrette. The salad was a bit tangy but it went well with the Lamb Flatbread Pizza which was thin and crispy. This had braised lamb, tomato sauce, tomatoes, grilled bell peppers, red onion sprinkled with Spius feta and Reggiano Parmesan cheese. We've had this numerous times in the past and have always loved it.

We were both full but I was reminded by Sandi that we both loved the Bougatsa dessert. Vanilla bean and Semolina custard wrapped in phyllo served with vanilla ice cream and topped with walnuts. Though the dessert was good, we did not think it was as good as the first time we had it at Petros in Manhattan Beach.

As the afternoon got later, the lunch crowd began to thin out. I have to mention that our server was not very good. We tried to get her attention and when we did, we asked for a refill on our soft drinks. She brought one and we told her we needed another one. She never brought the other one. It was time for us to go and our efforts to get her attention was not noticed. Finally, I had to flag someone else down to get our check.

Petros has numerous locations: the original is in Manhattan Beach. There's one in El Segundo, Santa Barbara, Solvang and Century City.

Saturday, August 5, 2017


We had some business in Long Beach the other day so we decided to look for a restaurant that was interesting so we ended at Utopia. On its website, it stated: "world class ambiance that will tantalize your senses and whet your appetite". From across the street, it looked like a cozy little place.

The temperature was in the high 80's so we didn't want to sit outside. Inside the restaurant were fans and it seemed even hotter in there, so we ended up outside. We ordered Fried Artichoke Hearts for an appetizer. It was nice a crispy but it lacked flavor. The sauce helped but even that could have been better.

Sandi took the suggestion of our server. She ordered the Pollo Piccata and I had the Linguini Puttanesca. Before I ordered, I did ask our server if the pasta is done aldente and he assured us that it will be. Sandi's chicken was delicious and my Puttanesca had good flavor but both portions of pasta were overdone.

When our server asked how everything was, we told him we were disappointed that they were not cooked aldente. He apologized and said he would inform the chef. We weren't going to order dessert but our server Nicolas asked if he could bring dessert on him since we were not too happy with our meal. We picked the Peach Sorbet which was served on a hollow peach. It was nice and refreshing. It was the best part of the meal, thanks to Nicolas.

Utopia failed to tantalize our senses nor whet our appetite. Maybe we just came at the wrong time. The heat did not contribute to our eating pleasure. Utopia is located at 445 First St. in Long Beach, California.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Izzio Italian Country Bread

On my previous blog I mentioned that I bought half a loaf of bread at Bristol Farms. It makes a very good toast either with butter or olive oil. I already had a slice toasted with butter and black raspberry preserves yesterday.

I was not planning on having lunch but they always say we should not skip meals so I forced myself to have another slice of the country bread. I toasted it and topped it with Swiss and Havarti cheese. It was crunchy and cheesy though it still lacked something sharp. I remembered my black truffle salt so I sprinkled some on top. It all of a sudden came to life! What a difference.

I looked for some juice to go with my slice of bread when I discovered a bottle of Satèn La Montina Franciacorta. This bottle has been opened and was leftover from the time I had a wine tasting at our house. That was on July 8. I opened it and it still popped after 26 days! I poured me a glass and I was shocked to find that not only were the bubbles present but the flavor of the wine was still nice and crisp.

You can't beat good bread, cheese, truffle salt and excellent wine.