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Trophy Royale

5 Apr

It was love at first bite when I tasted Trophy’s Triple Chocolate cupcake a couple years ago, and from then on I became a Trophy fan for life. As such, I’ve never been adventurous enough to step out of my comfort zone and order other flavors (aside from my second fav, Red Velvet). Nor have I really ventured outside of Trophy to get gourmet cupcakes for that matter (save for maybe two exceptions as far as I can recall). When I like something, I stick to it.

This past weekend I had the chance to explore some of West Seattle and ended up at Cupcake Royale, another popular cupcakery/cafe, to do some reading. Initially, I felt like a guilty, cupcake hypocrite for being there (it would appear I was betraying my Trophy allegiance!), but then my adventurous side kicked in and told me that I should expand my cupcake horizons. In fact, I’d actually tasted some of the Cupcake Royale lineup before (vanilla with choco frosting and even the famous once-a-year Deathcake Royale), courtesy of my co-workers, and had favorable impressions of them; however, Trophy was still the clear winner in my mind…

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Taste of Home

2 Apr

I celebrated a special birthday the other week at Palisade. It was my first time there, but overall the experience was excellent; aside from the gorgeous views of Elliot Bay and the Seattle skyline, the attentive and friendly service, and the warm atmosphere, I almost felt like I was home for a moment or two. First off, the menu is Pacific-inspired – that is, the dishes incorporate ingredients from around the Pacific rim and Northwest. Items on the menu such as Seared Ahi (pictured below), Dungeness Crab Stuffed Mahi Mahi, Applewood Grilled Chinook, and Macadamia Nut Chicken allude to the flavors and foods of the regions. I was reminded of Alan Wong’s restaurant – my favorite place to celebrate when I’m home.

The seared ahi I shared was part of a trio of ahi appetizers (pupus) including Ahi Poke and Spicy Ahi Tostada (second picture) – yum yum! The poke brought back images of potlucks back home – family and friends gathered for a picnic at the beach, tako and ahi poke accompanying the boiled peanuts and other snackies. Of course the food at Palisade was more deluxe, but savoring each bite seemed to evoke the nostalgia of home. Even the physical menu itself had some Hawaiian print patterns on it….

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I <3 Brownies

17 Feb

Ah, Valentine’s Day, that over-commercialized, dreaded-by-many, possibly-sappy, day of love and cupid and hearts…lots and lots of hearts. But I’ve never been one to complain, especially if there’s chocolate involved : ) Last year, I made truffles (quite successfully, though I spent entirely too much time trying to perfect and prettify them). This year, I was short on time yet still wanted to make something cute and valentine-sy, so on a whim, I grabbed what I had in the cupboard – brownie mix and sprinkles. There was also a block of cream cheese in the fridge (I usually keep some on hand) – perfect for cream cheese frosting.

In less than an hour, the apartment was filled with delicious smells, and as I waited for the brownies to cool, I whipped up a batch of frosting. Taking a cookie cutter to the brownies, I formed heart shapes, then frosted each and shook some mini heart sprinkles on top. Lastly, I placed the finished brownies into some plastic bento box containers so they could be displayed like showpieces.

The result was better than I had imagined. The final thing left to do was grab a piece of extra brownie, spread some frosting on it, and *om nom nom nom* cookie monster style : P

Grindz (part II)

2 Feb

Ohhh yum. I just made a batch of chicken curry udon for the first time and was reminded again of my enduring love for Japanese curry. Sadly, I don’t have any pictures to show for this delicious meal, but my stomach can testify that it was indeed nom nom nom : )

To make up for the absence of curry photos, I’m posting some drool-worthy images that I’ve been meaning to upload for awhile; these were from my trip home during Christmas.

The first few are from my family’s new year’s day lunch. Hamachi (yellowtail) and Maguro (tuna) sashimi:

Onaga (red snapper):

Garlic shrimp:

Okay this one is a tribute to fans of natto, the stinky, sticky fermented beans that you either love or hate (I side with the latter). My friends love this stuff, and this is just one iteration of these beans in curry:

Spam and egg sushi (now this I find appetizing, mmm mmm):

And last but not least, my favorite shave ice from Ice Garden (#16 with oatmeal – tapioca + mochi balls + chocolate syrup)! Sounds gross but it’s soooo good; you just need to try it:

hONOlulu grindz

31 Dec

Being home means eating well, and this break is no exception. I was lazy and hadn’t taken the camera out for food photos lately (thus the lack of posts), but after eating out almost every day for the past week, I’ve captured plenty of drool-worthy material. My stomach has never been fuller (not to mention in pain from being filled to its limit!), but I’m not complaining too much 😛 Here’s a sampling of some of my recent eats:

Camellia Buffet (all-you-can-eat korean BBQ):

Pepper’s Place (mushroom + pepper philly cheesesteak):

Curry House Coco Ichibanya (mabo tofu curry):

Ichiriki (dinner nabe and ujintoki [green tea shave ice]):

Genki Sushi (ahi poke nigiri – would’ve posted the spicy ahi but ate it too quickly to get a pic):

Goma Tei (tan tan chicken ramen):

Alan Wong’s (crab cakes):

I have more to post, but for now will let your eyes take a break…

Ghost Lollies

1 Nov



I had ambitious plans to make festive cake pops for All Hallow’s Eve but majorly failed, so instead I put together some ghost lollies. I first made these little guys back in elementary school, and they are a cinch to assemble. All you need are lollipops (I used Tootsie Pops for these), tissue (one per ghost), some ribbon or tape, and a marker to make the face. Center and wrap a tissue over the top of the lollipop, then tape or tie a ribbon just below the head. Using a marker, draw eyes and a mouth. And that’s it – something cute, yet simple and festive!

Lastly, here are some cupcakes I helped frost and decorate the other night; had fun with these : )


The Mystery Fruit

20 Oct


“Try these and guess what they are,” my co-worker said.

I chewed on one of the tiny, olive-shaped fruits and was pleasantly surprised by a sweet and familiar taste. Before I could respond with an answer, my co-worker exclaimed, “They’re kiwis!”

Instantly, it all made sense; yes, that was the exact flavor I was tasting. Kiwis! But they didn’t look anything like kiwis – where was the fuzzy, brown skin? And why were they so tiny? My co-worker went on to explain that these were another smaller kiwi variety, called Hardy kiwis. She had found them at her local farmer’s market and had a similar reaction when she discovered them.

To my delight, when I went to a nearby farmer’s market last week, I happened upon a fruit stand selling Hardy kiwis. Instantly I recognized them and eagerly exclaimed to the seller that I knew what they were and had just tried them for the first time a couple days before. I bought a container of the yummy fruits and nearly ate half within the first day : P I love the fact that there is no peeling involved; simply pop the baby kiwis into your mouth as if snacking on grapes – convenient and delicious!