Saturday, November 23, 2013

Salted Caramel Mocha Frappuccino - Starbucks

This top part is HEAVEN.

I absolutely love the whipped cream at Starbucks (and also at Peet's), and I also LOVE the combination of sugar and salt plus caramel on top of that already fantastic whipped cream.  What's funny is that I don't care a whole lot for the actual drink.  I don't dislike it; I just don't love it.  I think it's because I can't taste the coffee or the caramel that much.  I think that ever since I tasted the Caffe Freddo Extra Bold at Peet's I just haven't been able to find another blended drink that doesn't overly mask the true coffee flavor.  Anyway, here is the official description for this Starbucks drink:

Salted Caramel Mocha Frappuccino, which is also available hot, which is actually better to me, but in pictures you can't see the coffee part for hot drinks (See website):

"Mocha sauce and toffee nut syrup blended with coffee, milk and ice. Topped with sweetened whipped cream, caramel sauce and a mixture of turbinado sugar and sea salt."

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Easy Mini Pumpkin Pies (12-18)

As a kindergartener I used to work with used to say, this recipe is "SUPER EASY!"  I miss that kid.  I also LOVE mini pumpkin pies...and pumpkin pie in general.

I just used the Libby's recipe for pumpkin pie except used 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and about 1/2 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice instead of the spices listed on the recipe.  I once made a rectangular pumpkin pie too, so there are different options for Thanksgiving and whatnot if you want to get creative. Note: You do not always have to make crust from scratch. The frozen ones are awesome and very convenient.

For crust directions, I just used 2 9" Pillsbury frozen crusts (1 package) and these directions from Make and Takes (See below for specific directions).  I did end up with extra pie filling, so either buy extra pie crust or bake the filling on its own and eat it (or dip cookies or crust pieces in it!).

** PUMPKIN PIE FILLING RECIPE ** (copied directly from the Libby's website):
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger - In addition to the cinnamon listed above, I used 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice instead of ginger and the cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 can (15 oz.) LIBBY'S® 100% Pure Pumpkin
  • 1 can (12 fl. oz.) NESTLÉ® CARNATION® Evaporated Milk
  • 1 unbaked 9-inch (4-cup volume) deep-dish pie shell 
  • Whipped cream (optional)


MIX sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger and cloves in small bowl. Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk.

POUR into pie shell.

BAKE in preheated 425° F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350° F; bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours. Serve immediately or refrigerate. Top with whipped cream before serving.
** CRUST/BAKING DIRECTIONS (Make and Takes said the recipe would make 12 mini pies, but I ended up with 18 because I used ALL of the extra crust) **
* Note: I had extra pie filling so I just heated that in the microwave, but you can bake it, add a crust, dip pretzels in it, etc.

  • pumpkin pie filling for one 9-inch pie
  • 2 9-inch pie crust doughs – pre-made from a box or I love this recipe from Martha Stewart
  • bowl or round cookie cutter 4 inches in diameter
  • muffin tin
1) Using a cup, bowl or 4-inch round cookie cutter, cut out 12 circles from your 2 9-inch pie crust doughs (I used the rim of a plastic cup to cut out circles and re-rolled unused dough to make 18 total circles out of the 2 9-inch crusts)
2) Place each circle into a pre-greased muffin tin. Press them in and arrange the sides as you wish. Score the bottom of your dough w/ a fork to keep the crust from bubbling up as it cooks (I actually didn't do this and it came out OK...oops)
3) Pour filling into each muffin tin cup. Fill to the very top or at least 2/3 full.
4) Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Then turn your heat down to 350 degrees and bake them for 25-30 minutes. (I ended up taking them out about 6 min early probably because I added less filling and smaller circles of dough)
5. Let these cool on a wire rack for a couple of hours to let the pumpkin filling set.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Con Pane - San Diego, CA

Made a quick one-day trip down to San Diego and met Kristine and Marina there.  This was our first food experience together (unless you count the jalapeno bacon Kristine made or the salted chocolate chips cookies Marina made), and it was DELICIOUS.  I'd heard about their cinnamon rolls, but I didn't realize their other food like sandwiches, bread, and pastries were also amazing.  Their bread is fresh and fluffy on the inside while still firm on the outside.  *dies*  I hope I return someday!

Con Pane
2750 Dewey Rd, Ste 105
San Diego, CA 92106

Cinnamon rolls w/ raisins

Free sample worked on me (See below)

Pane Cioccolata Roll - DELICIOUS! Not too sweet. Chunks of chocolate.

Marina and Kristine shared a turkey cobb sandwich

Roasted turkey sandwich with olive bread

Friday, November 8, 2013

Clam Chowder and Fish 'n' Chips @ Brad's Restaurant - Pismo Beach, CA

Brad's Restaurant
203 Pomeroy Avenue
Pismo Beach, CA 93449

Someday I might try the fried calamari, but so far I have only tried these two things here, and both are delicious.  Splash Cafe across the street is good and always has a line out the door, but this place is also delicious, and I love how their chowder isn't overly clammy.  haha  I'm just not a huge clam fan, but I do love clam chowder--especially in a bread bowl.

Blake's fish 'n' chips

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Shroomer Burger @ Mo|Tav (Mother's Tavern) - San Luis Obispo

You have to like mushrooms for this one...

Wow!  I have been neglecting my blog.

Also, Blake found a DELICIOUS burger place in San Luis Obispo awhile ago, and so I went with his family to check it out.  I ordered the Shroomer, which, according to their menu, is made of "angus beef, swiss, portabella mushrooms, arugula, garlic aioli, ciabatta."  I switched the swiss for mozzarella because I'm not a fan of swiss, and WOW...It's a nice mix of sweet and salty (the mushroom was soaked in what tasted like balsamic vinegar), and I love that huge portabella on top of an already delicious burger patty.  The burger also came with a side of your choice, and I chose their potato salad, which was delicious!  It was fresh and not overly mayonaisey or salty, soggy, etc.  I now love the taste of dill on potato salad!

Here is Blake's Western ("angus beef, aged cheddar, applewood smoked bacon, onion rings, bbq sauce, ranch, sesame"):

I think this shortened his life a few years