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


New Hampshire Treats & Cupcakes

Posted by on Nov 4, 2011 in Other, Travels | 7 comments

Manchester, NH Treats & Cupcakes

I went to visit my sister in Manchester, New Hampshire which was the beginning of a two-week cupcake adventure! Manchester has its own brand new cupcakery, Queen City Cupcakes.

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Sweet Tour of Phoenix & Scottsdale

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


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.

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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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


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.


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


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!


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!


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.



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.


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.


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.



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


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.

I had a classic banana split with their special ice cream flavor of the month, cherry vanilla walnut. It was uber delicious.
My mom and sister both had a brownie sundae.
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!).
My mouth is watering just looking at the picture of the whipped cream donut.
Cinnamon Crumb donut available in both cake and yeasted.


Cherry Glazed

The drinks on offer were bubble tea (!) and some really cool fruit cream frappuccinos. I got a watermelon and cream.

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*).


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!


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.


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.

Tostadas and Tacos.
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.
I got the Carlton salad this time. I loved the cranberries and feta cheese. First time I’ve ever finished a meal here.


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.


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


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


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!

Garlic roast chicken lasagna


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.


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


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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Tennessee Food Round Up

Posted by on Aug 31, 2010 in Travels | 4 comments

This is a round up of all the weird, wacky and delicious things I ate and saw while I was in Tennessee (and the few interesting things in Aruba).

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Swiss Macarons – Luxemburgerli’s from Sprungli

Posted by on Jun 4, 2010 in Macarons, Travels, Yummy Places | 2 comments

I’m fascinated by macarons lately. I’ve also just bought a book from Amazon and plan on making more. There are different variations of maracons. There are French Macarons, Italian Macarons and Swiss Macarons. I’m sure there are others out there but these are the main ones I’ve come across in my research.
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Posted by on Jun 2, 2010 in Travels, Yummy Places | 1 comment

My sister came to visit and we went to Milan for what was supposed to be three days but ended up staying an extra day near the airport since easyJet cancelled our flight back home. We tried to eat as much gelato and drink as much espresso as possible.
I like Milan, it’s different than other Italian cities like Rome, Venice and Florence. It has things to see but is not as cultural as say Florence. The Duomo cathedral (picture above) is one of the main tourist things to see. It’s huge! Milan is very hip with trendy women and men walking their dogs and having lunch in outside cafes.
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Poole & Bournemouth

Posted by on Apr 18, 2010 in Travels | 0 comments

I went to Poole and Bournemouth this weekend to visit the in laws so I didn’t have time to bake anything so I found a few fun things while I was down there to write about instead.
It was a beautiful weekend. I guess it’s also this strange weather that’s keeping the volcano ash cloud over Europe. As usual when we got there we took a walk to Poole Quay (the second largest natural harbour in the world after Sydney) and on the way is the Dolphin Mall. The mall itself is not exciting at all. It’s an ugly 1970′s block of concrete.
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