The world of baking and food through the eyes of an American in London

Posts Tagged "shopping"

Sweet Tour of Phoenix & Scottsdale

Posted by on May 26, 2011 in Travels | 11 comments

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I was in Arizona recently for a week with my mom and my sister for a girlie vacation! We stayed in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area and I really enjoyed it. The weather in May is lovely, everyone was fantastically nice and best of all there were plenty of cupcakes and sweet treats.

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I’m amazed at how tall some of the cacti were

If you’re interested all my food photos from the trip are on flickr.

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I had my first trip to Sprinkles! I’ve read a lot about Sprinkles and people seem to have mixed opinions. I am of the firm opinion that it rocks! The three cupcakes that we had were perfect.

The shop was very busy but the staff kept the line moving nicely.They had a nice array of flavors on offer and the ones we had were super moist.

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The only thing I didn’t like was that the cinnamon sugar cupcake totally tricked me! It’s a naked cupcake with no frosting. The store was really busy and I didn’t notice before I picked it. The chocolate marshmallow was my favorite. It was a rich dark chocolate filled with marshmallow and topped with a chocolate ganache. The salty caramel that my sister had was delicious too.

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Tammie Coe Cakes is a local bakery in Phoenix. The actual bakery is for pick up orders and single items are available to purchase at a cute little deli/market shop that is next door. The Ooey Gooey cupcake was soft and super rich.

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I liked the sprinkle topping on the red velvet but there wasn’t enough cocoa in it for our liking.

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Coconut cupcake had a very nice coconut cream cheese frosting but the cake was more like a muffin.

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Nothing Bundt Cakes was my favorite of the trip I think. The cake was just divine. I think it was the softest and moistest cake I’ve ever eaten.

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The shop was adorable inside with little knick knacks for sale.

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The Praline Pecan was amazing! The Lemon & Raspberry was equally delicious and I wish I bought another to take back with me. They were in these great plastic containers. I bought one on Wednesday night and ate it on Friday morning in the airport and it still tasted freshly baked. Maybe I should open a London franchise!

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I also bought a bag of white chocolate popcorn that I brought back with me to London. It was deliciously sweet and salty. I might have to try and make my own version at home!

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Cupcakes of Scottsdale was my least favorite of the trip. The cupcakes tasted fine but there is so much competition in the US when it comes to cupcakes and my mom and I weren’t wowed enough with these.

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We did however come near the end of the business day. The special of the day, Mimosa, was sold out. I would have really liked to try this. I’m more a fan of unusual flavors and only the ordinary ones were left.
They have competed on Food Network’s Cupcake Wars and their display piece from the third round was in the shop, which was exciting.

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The milk chocolate and vanilla was my favorite of the ones I bought. The cake was nice and soft on the inside but the top was rock hard. I couldn’t even break it with my spoon.

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The confetti cupcake was OK.  The frosting and cake were both vanilla. There was too much frosting on this cupcake and it overwhelmed the cake I think. The cake was also way over the ledge of the liner so looked a bit funny.

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We went to Old Town Scottsdale. It was fun to walk around. There are a lot of restaurants and night spots.

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It’s also home to Sugar Bowl! An authentic 1950′s ice cream parlour. It’s a little run down on the inside but don’t let that fool you. It’s also the site where the famous comic strip The Family Circus frequented.

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I had a classic banana split with their special ice cream flavor of the month, cherry vanilla walnut. It was uber delicious.
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My mom and sister both had a brownie sundae.
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We went to local donut shop Rainbow Donuts. I’m a big donut fan and these were way better than Dunkin Donuts or Krispy Kreme (I worked at Krispy Kreme one summer so I’ve eaten enough of those to last a life time!).
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My mouth is watering just looking at the picture of the whipped cream donut.
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Cinnamon Crumb donut available in both cake and yeasted.

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Cherry Glazed

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The drinks on offer were bubble tea (!) and some really cool fruit cream frappuccinos. I got a watermelon and cream.
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Cinnamon Roll pancakes at IHOP! I don’t even want to know how many calories are these babies. One of things I miss the most about the US is breakfast. I love pancakes, french toast and bacon. My experience in the UK so far has lead me many times to floppy bacon, rubbery pancakes and  french toast that tastes like wet bread (*cough* The Luxe *cough*).

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I was psyched to see In-N-Out Burger as I didn’t think they were any outside of California. Their milkshakes are pretty darn good and I treated my mom and sister to dinner all for $15!

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We went to local hole in the wall Mexican joint Carolina’s. If my sister hadn’t checked the reviews out on her iPhone I don’t think I would have gone in. I’m glad she insisted because it was the best Mexican food I’ve had in a long time. Simple and delicious.

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I had a beef burrito (I think). The beef is wrapped in the tortilla and then I think it was fried as the tortilla was nice and crisp.

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Tostadas and Tacos.
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The Cheesecake Factory is a nation wide chain but when you’ve spent 14 years living away from the US the big portions and cheesecake are just what I need when I come back for a visit! The avocado spring rolls were crisp and fresh with a sweet dipping sauce.
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I got the Carlton salad this time. I loved the cranberries and feta cheese. First time I’ve ever finished a meal here.

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We got cheesecake of course! The Reese’s cheesecake cake. They have a lot of cheesecake cakes on the menu now. I’ve seen them on a few blogs as well recently and it might be something to add to my baking list.

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We also had a key lime cheesecake. Clearly there is not enough whipped cream on this slice! It was perfectly tart.

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We went to local Pizza place Oregano’s. I had a root beer float cocktail which paired perfectly with pizza!

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We got a thin crust white pizza. I like the crunchiness of the thin crust over deep dish. I saw a person with a deep dish and it was 2 or 3 inches thick!

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Garlic roast chicken lasagna

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I don’t believe this is specific to Arizona but I’d never seen one of these before. It’s a futuristic looking soda dispenser at Wendy’s. Instead of a dispenser under each drink there is one dispener that’s used after you make your selection using the touch screen. What I loved was that it had flavors I’ve never seen in store before. Raspberry Coke (my new favorite), Lime Fanta and Peach Fanta.

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Also not related vanilla cupcake goldfish crackers. They tasted like funfetti graham crackers!

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Pardon the yellow picture. I found these at Target. Bacon and cheese filled Ritz Cracker Bars. They seriously hit the spot while I was an enduring a seven hour “US Airways extended boarding program” at Charlotte. I don’t think I could have survived on the minuscule cookie and glass of water they gave everyone when we were stuck on the plane for four of those hours.

We ran out of time to get to some of the places I had bookmarked GoodyTwos Toffee, The Scottsdale Bakery & Cupcake Company and about twenty other restaurants! Maybe we’ll be back sometime soon.

I also decided at the spur of the moment to sign up for Food Bloggers Connect 2011 Conference (anyone interested in sponsoring me to help cover the fee get in touch!). I’m hoping to learn a thing or two.

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Johnny Cupcakes Store Opens in London

Posted by on Mar 15, 2011 in Yummy Places | 2 comments

The new Johnny Cupcakes store finally opened in London on March 12th. The opening saw people from all over the world line up starting from the previous night. This is his first international location. Being the good guy that he is the store stayed open until midnight so everyone got a chance to go inside. Read more about it here.
I did not go to opening day. I didn’t think I could face the crowds (must be me getting old). I did go Monday night after work and there were only a few other people in the store. I hope that he puts on some London special events in the future!

I was excited to see what shirts were on offer.

The store is pretty small (but what Independent store in London isn’t).
The store has personality with quirky things like this.

I was stuck deciding between these two and ended up going with the white one (I’m wearing mine to Cupcake Camp Bournemouth). Be warned each shirt is £40 and sweatshirts £70 (expensive but a nice occasional gift to make to yourself!). All the staff were super friendly and Johnny himself helped me decide between these two! The store manager Kellen has relocated from the US. This is her first time abroad so be extra nice when you go in!

The shirts they have are behind the cases and they have all the sizes in the back. There are a lot of shirts in stock. Nothing to worry about if couldn’t make it on opening day.

As soon as I left the store my sister emailed me that she wanted a shirt too. I took pictures of the shirts since I couldn’t decide. Big mistake that was going to cost me another £40! I turned around to go back and they were closed (it was just after 7pm). Next time Kayla!
Nice bakery box to take your purchase home with you. I stopped at Waitrose after and the cashier wanted to ring it up!
Johnny Cupcakes
10 Fouberts Place
London

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Not related but since I was already in the area I went to Lola’s to try their specials. I got a Peppermint Hot Chocolate and a Baileys. Peppermint Hot Chocolate was ok. I didn’t think it was that minty. Baileys frosting tasted nice though!
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Posh Pinnies

Posted by on Nov 14, 2010 in Other | 3 comments

Masterchef Live 2010
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Looking for a Christmas gift this year? If you know someone who is a girly girl like me than she will love one of these Posh Pinnies. I’ve already bought 2 as Christmas gifts to myself! My husband thinks I look adorable wearing it while I’m baking my cupcakes.
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These designer aprons are made and sold by a lovely mother and daughter Jane and Sophie Richardson and can be purchased on line.
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Johnny Cupcakes Artists Series T-Shirt

Posted by on Oct 16, 2010 in Other | 0 comments

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Cupcake Camp London is coming up soon so I thought I could use a new cupcake T-Shirt to wear on the special day. This cute T-Shirt I bought is a part of Johnny Cupcakes artists series made by Little Friends of Printmaking.
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I think it’s adorable the bear and the raccoon, eating cupcakes together (kinda like Yogi and Boo Boo)! It also has a nice autumn feel. I got lucky and wasn’t charged the extra 17.5% VAT by customs and it came in less than 10 days after I placed my order.
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If you’re thinking of ordering one and don’t know what size to get. I go with mediums from Johnny Cupcakes.
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Cupcakes at Paperchase

Posted by on Sep 16, 2010 in Other | 0 comments

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Paperchase has loads of cupcake paraphernalia. The store on Cheapside is pretty big and it basically has a small area with just cupcake things on it! it’s lethal having to walk by it twice everyday going to and from work!
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