Showing posts with label Los Angeles. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Los Angeles. Show all posts

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Copenhagen Pastry: The Place for Authentic Danish Pastries and One of the Overall Best Bakeries in Los Angeles!

Copenhagen Pastry, located in Culver City on Washington Blvd., just a block east of the 405, is a truly authentic Danish bakery. Everything from the kringles to the people serving you are the real deal. I went to their grand opening awhile back and have been a huge fan ever since. The selection is not enormous, but all the right things are on their simple menu and the prices are very reasonable at just $1.85 per pastry. Lots of almond paste, cinnamon, butter, sugar, and flaky, flaky dough. Yum!

Well, today I learned there's a 6 minute 40 second mini-documentary of the bakery interviewing Karen Hansen, who I see every time I go, and Henrik Gram, the master baker, who I will now have to introduce myself to next time I'm there! In the film, they take you behind the scenes into the kitchen so you can watch how they make their authentic danishes! I love this video. I love Copenhagen Pastry. Go right away! Tell them Happy Go Marni sent you!

The Details
Copenhagen Pastry
11113 Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Casting in LA: How Would You Keep Mrs. Fields' Cookies From Crumbling?

A casting director contacted me about a new show for Oprah Winfrey's network OWN and TLC. The show's topic? How to revive Mrs. Fields in this difficult economy. The show is looking for customers of the cookie company in the Los Angeles area who have ideas and opinions on what Mrs. Fields should do to increase sales and get the company going strong again. If they choose you for the show, there's monetary compensation. There's even the chance that you could be hired to work for Mrs. Fields. Plus, come on, you can't argue with that good feeling you get from saving cookies from destruction. Be the hero and apply for this show!

Here's how to apply:
Email and include the following info:
  • Name
  • Age
  • Occupation
  • Current contact info
  • Which brand you'd like to help out (Mrs. Fields)
  • What changes you would make if you were the boss

More details, direct from the casting guy:
This episode focuses on Mrs. Fields Cookies, which has been struggling in the current economy. They’re looking to reach out to the Los Angeles area and its neighboring communities for help. In each episode loyal customers will be given the chance of a lifetime to help a brand that they love re-establish itself. The show is extremely positive and allows the average everyday customer a chance to work with and help reconfigure one of their favorite companies in addition to aiding the current economy by saving some jobs in the area.

We are currently looking for outgoing, opinionated and creative consumers who might be interested in being a part of the show. Participants must be 18 years of age and over. We are open to customers from all walks of life as long as they are passionate about the company and creative enough to come up with ways to improve the brand.

And more from Happy Go Marni:
Good luck cookie-saving!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Making Of: A Happy Go Marni Plate!

Soooooooo, I decided to make a Happy Go Marni heart-shaped plate. I love me some hearts! And a serving plate for my baked goods is always a good idea (you can never have too many). Plus, how cool is it to be able to tell your guests you made this awesome dish?

To make this plate, I went to Color Me Mine in Beverly Hills, a ceramics shop where you select a piece to paint and then they glaze and fire it for you. It's ready for pick-up 3 days later.

To get the Happy Go Marni logo onto the plate, I used the computer in the shop and pulled up my logo, resized it to fit the surface of the plate, and printed it out. I then placed the image over special carbon paper and used a pen to outline the design, pressing hard enough for the lines to appear on the plate. That created the perfect stencil for me to paint on! And the carbon lines disappear when the pottery is fired in the kiln.

Keeping the paint within such an intricate design was not the easiest thing in the world since I couldn't find any paint brushes with a fine enough point. It took a combination of patience, concentration, and letting go of my perfectionism to get the job done. But I'm pretty happy with how it turned out! It was so exciting to return to the shop 3 days after the painting day to see the results of my hard work. I now have a one-of-a-kind piece of art with my name on it. I can't wait to serve blondies on this plate! But as far as making a matching mug? No way, Jose. :)

The Making of the Plate: In Photos
Placing the logo over the carbon paper, and centering it over the plate...

Tracing the design with a pen...

Lots of concentration required! :)

And the painting is done! This is what it looks like pre-fired...

3 days later and here it is glazed, fired, and ready for serving!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Blogger Prom 2010 Announced: Hollywood Confidential!

Yup, that's me, in true period photographer George Hurrell-style. All of the
Blogger Prom committee members had their portraits done to get into character!

Blogger Prom is the annual invite-only party for Los Angeles bloggers, a fun and exclusive way to meet fellow local bloggers. After an uberly successful Blogger Prom 2009, the Blogger Prom Committee (including myself!) is back to do it again! We are officially announcing today that Blogger Prom 2010 is a go!

Theme: Hollywood Confidential
Think 1930s, 1940s Hollywood glamour! Marlene Dietrich, Betty Davis, Joan Crawford, Greta Garbo, Maureen O'Sullivan, Barbara Stanwyck, Carole Lombard, Jean Harlow, Ava Gardner, Rita Hayworth, Lana Turner, Veronica Lake, Betty Grable, and the list goes on! And that's only the women! We're going to enforce a strict dress code that embodies this classic era. And we can't wait to see what Los Angeles bloggers do with the theme...just how far they can take it!

Venue: Yamashiro
Yamashiro is an incredible venue in Hollywood, full of history, full of personality, and the perfect place to host our glamorous event! We are so excited Yamashiro has opened its doors to Blogger Prom! Address: 1999 N. Sycamore Avenue, Hollywood, CA 90068

Date: Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010, 7-10pm
Mark your calendar now!!

More Info
We'll be regularly updating you with details of the event right up until September 22nd.
  • Visit the Blogger Prom Blog here
  • Like the Blogger Prom Facebook page here
  • Follow Blogger Prom on Twitter here

Blogger Prom Committee
Caroline of Caroline on Crack
Esther of estarLA
H.C. of LA and OC Foodventures
Lindsay of LAist
Marni of Happy Go Marni (me!)
Maya of Shop Eat Sleep
Natalie of The Liquid Muse
Tara of When Tara Met Blog

I'm so excited! I need to find myself a gown. And marry Clark Gable!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Xooro: The First Gourmet Churro Bakery

Chocolate and chopped nut covered peanut butter filled churro

Churros are close to my heart. Not because I frequent Costco and get those large great-value ones from the hot food concession stand, but because I have lived in Spain twice, and churros are something I remember fondly. A night out might go like this: I'd be with my friends at a discoteca, sometimes till 6 or 7 in the morning, and we would finish the night (morning, really) at a churro shop, where we'd dine on churros dunked in a mug of thick hot chocolate. This habitual act is famously known as churros con chocolate.

But it's been a couple of years since I've had this, and so when I received the July 11th Daily Candy for Los Angeles and realized churros could be had in my own metropolis, I first did a double take, and then forwarded the newsletter to a bunch of friends.

Xooro is a gourmet churro bakery that just opened in Santa Monica. While its flavor options are far from anything you'll ever see at a churreria in Spain, that is no complaint from me. In fact, I am thrilled to have this place open in my area. Last night, I finally had a chance to experience the goods with some pals, and our sentiments were unanimous: we love Xooro. Here's why...

Original cinnamon-covered churro with dulce de leche filling

First, the owners are an adorable couple from Bilbao, Spain. They are filled with enthusiasm and warmth. I am so happy to see that an authentic Spanish team is running the shop, not some venture capitalists or other ambitious businessmen who know nothing about churros. And these owners are great listeners. They want to see their place thrive and they paid attention to our thoughts, flavor requests, and expressions. I wouldn't be surprised if one of my flavor requests ended up on the menu in the near future.

Original cinnamon-covered churro with vanilla filling

Second, the flavor options are spectacular. There is plenty of variety, and so much creativity. Because I went with three friends, I had a chance to taste a couple of flavors. One was The Mississippi, a peanut butter filled, chocolate and chopped nut covered churro. Fabulous! Another was filled with dulce de leche and covered with goat's milk. Also amazing. If you don't want the fanciness of one of their pre-designed flavor combos, you can build your own, taking an Original (cinnamon covered) and requesting the filling of your choice. There are a lot of fillings, including hazelnut, cappuccino, vanilla, pistachio, chocolate, dulce de leche, and more.

Goat's milk covered churro with dulce de leche filling

A look inside of the goat's milk covered churro with dulce de leche filling

My friend Tzviah leaving evidence behind

Third, the quality and value proposition are there. For $4.20, you get a churro that's probably about 6 inches long, thick, filled with gooey goodness, and drenched in a coating of chocolate. I read a lot of really mean, and frankly outrageous reviews of Xooro on Yelp. Many Yelpers complain of the high price tag for a small churro. But at a restaurant, you could easily pay $8 for a dessert of this kind and caliber. At Xooro, if you order a hot chocolate with your churro, your entire bill is still under $8. And let's not forget, you just got a taste of Spain brought to you by actual Spaniards. As far as the churro being too small, what a ridiculous claim. Just because it's not Costco-size doesn't mean it's small, and honestly, you wouldn't want more than what they give you because it's rich, and you should fill up on their amazing Mexican hot chocolate, not another 6 inches of churro. I thought we had all learned our lesson from Super Size Me. Go rent it again.

Mexican hot chocolate

I'll admit, Xooro could work a little on the ambiance since the space is a bit plain for gussied up L.A., and I'd appreciate it if they pumped the smell of churros into the room so that I'm drooling over my churro long before I place my order. But these are small sacrifices to make for the honor of living near churros con chocolate of the most gourmet kind, I dare say, in the world? Where else can you get chocolate and chopped nut covered peanut butter churros? Now if Madrid could just hear that and open a gourmet churreria, I don't think the 6 a.m. rush would be exclusively post-discoteca partiers anymore.

125 Broadway
Santa Monica, CA 90401
between 2nd Street and Ocean Avenue
(310) 260-2919

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Let's Start a Donut Revolution

The cupcake obsession is pretty impressive in L.A., and frankly, nationwide. But why the donut neglect? Why aren't there 30 minute or even hour-long waits in front of donut shops where people line up around the block, nervous the person in front of them will order the last chocolate-glazed buttermilk, and excited to taste these hot-from-the-deep-fryer treats? Why aren't there more people like The Blognut who can talk endlessly about this one dreamy food item? I just don't get it; I love love love donuts. Earlier this month (June 6th, to be exact) was National Doughnut Day. For whatever reason, it was not on my radar, and so here I am, coming late to the party.

When I was in Ohio, I had great ones at Plaza Donuts in Youngstown. They make a maple-glazed cream-filled that's a real winner.

And when the shop owner promotes the shop on his sports car, you know he takes pride in perfecting the donut.

Here in L.A. there are a few options. UrbanDaddy recently featured a list of their L.A. favorites. I haven't been to most on the list, but I'm happy to see Stan's in Westwood made the cut. That's where I get my peanut butter-banana-chocolate chip donut that makes me cry mercy. And here I am in an old photo eating that beloved STANdard...

But other than Stan's, I haven't had an incredibly memorable donut experience here in L.A. Let's make donuts the new cupcakes. Let's wait in long lines together.

Friday, April 18, 2008

The Grilled Cheese Invitational

One of the more interesting events ever invented, The Grilled Cheese Invitational is a fierce competition of amateur grilled cheese "grillers" using the beloved sandwiches (or "sammiches" as they endearingly call them) to make all sorts of gourmet versions or freakishly weird things. My friend will be in attendance at the Los Angeles event; she's preparing to build a grilled cheese wedding cake and I don't doubt it will be perfect and awe-inspiring. In fact, I'm sure she has a hundred grilled cheeses in her fridge right now (and nothing else), rarin' to go.

She blogged about her experience last year. Pretty funny stuff.

Her cake, first in three layers, then assembled and beautiful...

And here's a video from last year...

You'll get a kick out of the rules and regulations. You will find things like the Definition of Bread, Cheese, and Butter.

The definition for bread, for example, states:
Any leavened or unleavened, flour-based and baking thing that looks like bread, you idiot.
You will also find the competition categories, which I'll let you read on your own, but are titled:
  • The Missionary Position
  • Spoons
  • The Kama Sutra
  • The Honey Pot

Fast Facts

What: The Grilled Cheese Invitational
When: Saturday, April 19th (tomorrow!) from 5 to 9:30pm/Grilling starts at 5:30pm sharp (cheddar?)
Where: Top secret location (but I hear it's in Griffith Park)
Price: Supposedly sold out now. But see what you can do with your begging skills, make friends with a judge, whatever, just to get in and observe or participate! Befriend the security guard at the door. Or just wait anxiously for the photos post-event. They'll be amusing, I'm sure.

And one final kinda gross concoction in last year's competition: A grilled cheese jello mold. Ew.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

L.A. Cupcake Challenge

Violet's Cakes

Imagine bringing ten of the best cupcake bakeries under one roof, getting to taste mini-cupcakes from each, vote on your favorite, and crown a winner.

You don't have to imagine!

In just over a month, event company Drink:Eat:Play is putting on this awesome affair in Playa Vista Hollywood and they're aptly calling it the L.A. Cupcake Challenge.

They have a pretty good selection of cupcake bakeries in attendance, though a couple of important-in-my-book bakeries will be MIA. Of those coming, I have personal taste bud experience with Violet's Cakes, Yummy Cupcakes, Milk, and Hotcakes Bakes, all great. They'll also have Vanilla Bake Shop, My Little Cupcake, Essential Chocolate Desserts, BabyCakes, Lucky Devils, Famous Cupcakes, and Lark Silver Lake Cake Shop.

In addition to dining on mini-cupcakes, you can also sip from a dozen wines. Please don't drink and vote, though. We want a fair crowning of the Best Cupcake in Los Angeles and wine may impair your judgment!

Fast Facts
What: L.A. Cupcake Challenge
When: Sunday, May 18th at 1p.m.
Where: Playa Vista Center Point Club LOCATION CHANGE! Montmartre Lounge, 6757 Hollywood Blvd. in Hollywood
Price: $60 through Drink:Eat:Play or $40 through Goldstar

And for sheer amusement, can you find the hidden cupcake in this Highlights image?

Friday, March 21, 2008

Cupcake Frenzy: From Portland to Los Angeles

A friend sent me a link to a list of MSN City Guide's top cupcake bakeries in the United States. I was shocked to find that not a single Los Angeles bakery made the cut. A Portland bakery did, however. Fortunately, the friend who sent me the link is engaged to a friend who just happened to be traveling to Portland last weekend. What are the chances! Better yet, she brought back a box of these scrumptious cupcakes. The Portland bakery is Saint Cupcake and I have to admit, they're among the best I've ever had.

Here's the box that made it safely from Portland to Los Angeles. The cupcake in the upper left (and featured solo at the top of the post) is The Fat Elvis, a banana chocolate chip cake with chocolate peanut butter frosting and a fried banana chip at the peak.

And here's the other Fat Elvis:

From Portland to Los Angeles
Los Angeles Cupcake Bakery Google Map

I do think L.A. got snubbed because there are some excellent cupcake bakeries here. To remedy that, I have a mission for you. A mission you should enjoy. Take advantage of a little anthology the LA Times put together. They made a Google map of all the cupcake bakeries in greater Los Angeles. Go on a hunt for your favorite.

Here's a screenshot of the map. So cool! We'll make up our own list of the top cupcake bakeries and we won't leave L.A. by the wayside. Are you with me!?!?!?!?

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