Sketchbook: Destination Baking Co., Glen Park / SF

Destination Baking Co_Glen Park SF by A Little Yumminess

A little doodle to remember all the yummies on our adventure to Destination Baking Co. in Glen Park (SF)! Alas, we didn’t have time to try all of them, but we’ll be back. The kids give a big thumbs up to the carrot cake.

Clockwise from bottom center: Lemon Curd Tartlet; Pecan Tassie; Yellow Cupcake with Chocolate Frosting; Banana Cream Tartlet; Carrot Cake; Marzarin Tarlet (Almond Paste and Raspberry Jam)

Sweet Treat: Souvla’s Greek Frozen Yogurt with Baklava Crumbles

Souvla Frozen Yogurt

Souvla’s frozen Greek yogurt with baklava crumbles is fun twist on an ice cream sundae.

After a very foggy summer in SF, it’s finally feeling like summer and I also finally got around to trying the signature dessert at the new-ish Greek rotisserie lunch spot Souvla in Hayes Valley. This sweet treat is a winner all the way — from concept down to the Greek coffee shop paper cups they serve it in — velvety, tangy frozen yogurt (Greek yogurt of course) drizzled with a touch of honey syrup and baklava crumbles. So many things to like all in one cup! And yes…. Souvla’s rotisserie situation did look pretty amazing so next time you know I’ll be checking out the spit-fired meats, veggies and house-made spreads!

Don’t you think this would be a fun & easy dessert to re-create at home using store-bought baklava and fro-yo? Not to mention a good excuse to drag out the ice cream maker and experiment with homemade frozen yogurt. Unlike a classic ice cream which requires making a custard (pans, thermometers, multiple steps and a good amount of precision), making frozen yogurt is really as simple as combining 5 parts yogurt with 1 part sugar (the sugar adds sweetness and also keeps the yogurt soft and scoop-able rather than icy), a pinch of salt and add-ins (if you like). Make sure everything is well chilled then dump it all in the ice cream maker and let it churn away. Very doable and an excellent project for kids to try.

Here’s  a basic frozen yogurt recipe from Serious Eats and a slightly more involved one from America’s Test Kitchen (via the Splendid Table podcast).

Coffee Crunch Cake, It’s a San Francisco Thing (Yasukochi’s Sweet Stop)

Coffee Crunch Cake SF_A Little Yumminess

Yasukochi Bakery Stop_Super Mira_Japantown_A Little Yumminess

When my kids see a certain glint in my eye they know they’re in for a food adventure. This look means that there’s a high likelihood that we’ll be jumping in to car to trek off to some obscure corner of the Bay Area to find some (hopefully) tasty bite. Thank goodness they’re both good sports about it and humor this eccentricity. Our latest quest was happily close to home, in San Francisco’s Japantown as we went in search of the famous coffee crunch cake. I’m not sure if coffee crunch cake is “a thing” elsewhere, but it has a history here in San Francisco. Most old-school SFers will remember Blum’s coffee crunch cake with a special fondness: pillowy whipped cream sandwiched between light layers of chiffon cake, the whole thing  encrusted in crunched up pieces of coffee-flavored honeycomb toffee. This was the signature item at Blum’s (sadly gone) which was in the also now defunct ritzy department store I. Magnin’s. If I could travel back in time, some shoe shopping at Magnin’s followed by a stop at Blum’s for cake would most definitely be on my to do list.

The happy news to report is that while Blum’s is no longer, coffee crunch crunch cake lives on in San Francisco!  Continue reading

Food Find: Arizmendi’s Coconut Croissants

File this one under: “Genius Ideas”, “I love Coconut”, and “Another reason to love Arizmendi Bakery”

If you’re in the Sunset in SF, and somewhere in the vicinity of 9th Avenue and Irving Street — on a Friday (because they only make them on Friday) — get yourself on over to Arizmendi for one of these flakey, shatteringly crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, coconut-y, buttery, do-I-detect-a-hint-of-sourdough? croissants. ‘Nuff said!

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Coconut Criossant_Arizmendi.jpg

San Francisco Sketchbook: The Buena Vista

San Francisco Sketchbook_The Buena Vista

Here’s a little doodle that Luca and I made on a recent visit to the Buena Vista Cafe. This is the spot when you need a dose of real-deal, old school San Francisco. It’s not really about the food (although you’ll never find me complaining about the “straight up” crab sandwich on sliced sourdough — they don’t mess it up with unnecessary garnishes and fancy stuff). The magic of The Buena Vista  is more in the ambiance, the sounds of cable cars in the distance, the bartenders in white jackets, the mix of tourists and regulars, and that impressive line up of dainty Irish coffee glasses down the length of the bar.

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California-Style: Pauline’s Pizza

California-style | Pauline's Pizza

Some places like Pauline’s Pizza take a long time to find their way on this blog because, they’re just “no brainer” good — they’re so good it almost seems too obvious to mention them. So, if you like pizza and live in the Bay Area chances are you’ve been to Pauline’s and that you’re a fan too. We always get their signature pesto pizza as well as whatever seasonal salad is on the menu… and if we haven’t eaten ourselves silly, we go for the gold with a goblet of rich, chocolate mousse for dessert. The fam stopped in at Pauline’s for an early dinner recently and as you can see we had a great time so I’ll just let the pictures speak for themselves. Continue reading

An English Tea Sketchbook

Dartealing Lounge - San Francisco - A Little Yumminess

My mom recently treated me and the bambino to an English tea service at the adorable Dartealing Lounge in San Francisco. My mom reminds me of Simran in that she has a long list of things to do, and is one of those rare and impressive people who actually get around to checking things off. Whether it’s jet setting the globe with my dad, attending the ballet or symphony, discovering a new place to hear jazz or finding a cute new place for tea, my mom’s always got the scoop and is generous with her invitations.

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