Friday, December 14, 2012

What happened to the good ole days where a kid can go into a local candy shop to pick up some treats?    
Well times have changed a little bit as B. Candy is not the same candy store our parents grew up with, no it is much more colorful and vibrant than before!
Even before you enter through the doors, there are colorful and decorative treats showcased outside.  It's almost like you are in a candy wonderland!
They offer a wide variety of treats that you would not find anywhere else.
The first thing that drew my gaze was the vast treats featuring Angry Birds! Who hasn't played that fun game! =D
I just had to pick up a few treats and was so torn on which ones to buy or just to pick up some toys... for myself! When I open the treats, I will be making the bird tossing noise when I eat them O=).
They even have a section dedicated to some fun bacon treats! I was very tempted to get the bacon and eggs headset in honor of my love for bacon.
Not only do they offer candy, they have a wide selection of gelato to choose from.  I really enjoyed the unique flavors that they offered.  My favorite was the chocolate covered potato chips and caramel! Sure, it may sound weird at first but it really works.  It's the perfect blend of savory and sweet with a crisp twist!
B. Candy is not a place just for the kids as adults have a lot to look forward too.
For that evening they served up a Cake Batter Martini for the crowd to enjoy.  Whoo! I might need a driver after a few of these.
The sprinkles around the rim just adds the mystical wonderland touch and it really tastes like cake batter, with a kick.
Don't worry they have non-alcoholic drinks for those who would like to wet their lips with a sweet and refreshing drink.  They offered a nice rootbeer float that I just couldn't resist! First I tried it with the normal vanilla gelato and it really hit the spot.
After the first cup, I wished I thought of using some of their unique gelato flavors! They were sweet enough to offer another cup and I had to have it with the chocolate covered potato chips with caramel! Now that really hit the spot with the tasty crispy texture.  It's a must!
I love their counter with the decorative ice cream cone and cupcake seats.  It is great and fun to grab a seat at the counter and a drink or snack!
They are available to hold small parties, which is a great treat for the family.
There are many cute baked goods in the case that are so vibrantly decorated.
The peanut butter cookie with a kiss on top was really good.  Their cookie is soft and chewy full of flavor.
They have a nice assortment of cupcakes to try as well.  All their cupcakes were eye catching and looked great.
My favorite was the peanut butter cupcake.  They were moist and just the right amount of sweetness.
Everyone there was super friendly and helpful.  You can feel the joy they have for the store and the great products they offer.
On your way out, don't forget to check out the vast amount of candy they offer on the wall by weight.  They even have a column of sugar free candy for those who need to watch their sugar levels, which I thought was great.
For me, I was glad to see that they offered a wide variety of flavors for the gummies.  I particularly liked that they had watermelon as one of the flavors.
Everything in the store is beautifully decorated and eye catching.  It's a great place to go crazy and enjoy different treats.  If you are a sugar addict, this will be your heaven!
B. Candy
3100 East Coast Hwy 
Newport Beach, CA 92625
(949) 675-3910
B.Candy on Urbanspoon

Thursday, December 13, 2012

I just bought this bag of popcorn on a whim and finally decided to open the bag today.  To my surprise, the Popcorn Indiana Dark Fudge Peppermint Kettlekorn was actually very tasty! While browsing the local Whole Foods Market I saw that there was a special sale for this popcorn.  It was only 2 for $5, which was not a bad deal to try out a tasty sounding snack.  After all, 'tis the season!
 Now I wish I picked up two bags! Maybe they will still have the deal at the store.  It's worth a trip to go back and check out what goodies they have to offer! The kettlekorn is crisp with just the right amount of saltiness and a light drizzle of white chocolate along with the fudge with bits of peppermint embedded.  Doesn't that sound tasty?  =D

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Who doesn't love a summer trip to France?  Well, this year there was some weather issues.  Sure, it was gorgeous outside with the sun beating down but don't forget the heat that comes with the intense sunlight.
After a long flight from the US to Lyon, France, we headed straight for the closest public transportation.  Always plan where you are flying into and how you would get to your hotel.  One must choose the hotel carefully as it will be the primary location for you to travel in and out every day.  Don't forget that you will have to depart from this hotel to your next destination.
Ms. Lin Guide and I are very good at planning.  Of course she taught me a lot from her experienced travels.  To get from the airport to Lyon you can take the Rhonexpress, Rue de la Villette Station.  After we arrived, we dragged our luggage across the tracks through the Gare Part-Dieu where newly arrived tourists can see the beautiful ONLY LYON sign.
I thought the sign was very creative.  It almost seems like a palindrome but I like the idea of using their own name to represent their city.  With the beautiful sunset hitting the lion is an eye catcher.  Tons of people resting and sitting around the sign brings out the liveliness of the city.
Across from the station is a large shopping center for most of your shopping needs.  They have a Monoprix and Carrefour for groceries.  The first thing we did is went in to pick up a nice bottle of Oragina.
From the station we could see our hotel, the Radisson Blu Hotel that peaks out above all buildings.  Even though we could see our hotel, we had to figure out how to get to it.
First we thought we could walk through the shopping center as it is a huge mall, but alas there was no direct way out.  So don't make the mistake to cross through the shopping center.  It sent us on a huge loop that we could not really get out of.
Even though we were walking towards a towering Radisson, it was not as simple as one would think.  The hotel is elevated and has a unique entrance way.  You can enter from the bottom and take the elevator up to the 32nd floor to check in.  Little did we know that the simplest way was the most direct way.  On the last day when we left we just walked under the tunnel to get to the train station.  It was pretty simple and quick, especially in the early morning.
The inside of the Radisson was very interesting.  As we were checking in, I sat down at the nearby couch and looked up to check out the entire hotel.  I think the inside looks like a beehive, as if we are all living in our own honeycomb.
There's only two elevators to take guests to their room and floor.  The other two elevators take guests to the ground floor where you can grab a taxi or have them call you one and across the street was the Part-Dieu Servient Tramway stop that is convenient to travel around the city.
As many people know that space in Europe is limited so the hotel rooms are always smaller than what we are use to in most of the US.  We got two beds but as you can see they are set next to each other so there is not much space in the room.  On top of the bed was one pair of slippers for guests to use.  Most king sized beds in Europe are two small beds pushed together as well.  I always keep an eye out because there is a chance that the two beds begin to separate and you will fall through the cracks if you are not careful.  =D
They have a small mini bar station next to the bathroom.  The room was clean and had your usual table/desk plus TV.
Being that the Radisson is so high up, you get a very good view of the city from the window as well.
Their bathroom was very clean and offered a nice blue hue. They offer a robe for guests to use in the room.  There is a wall hair dryer as well.
All in all the hotel was clean.  Their location is convenient to come in and out of the city.  The tram right outside the lower level is convenient too to get in and out of the city.  We were barely in the room.  Most of the time when we were out traveling so it doesn't matter where we slept as long as it was clean and convenient.  The Radisson Blu Hotel would be a good place to stay if you were only staying a few nights.
Radisson Blu Hotel, Lyon
129, Rue Servient
F-69326 Cedex
Lyon France
Tel: +33 (0) 4 78 63 5500
Fax: +33 (0) 4 78 63 5520

Monday, December 3, 2012

Tucked away in the hills of Malibu is the Saddlerock Ranch.  It's a very big and beautiful property.
 The weather was beautiful this year where the sun was out and no heat beating down on patrons there enjoying their Sunday afternoon.
Great food under a beautiful sky, couldn't ask for any better!
This is definitely not your typical ranch as they have two beautiful camels that are within reaching distance.  As we parked, one camel came right on over to snuggle with our car.
Feel free to stroll right on up and pet the sweet camel.  The camel was friendly and does whatever it wants.
It may be wise to carry some hand sanitizer or wipes with you to clean your hands before you eat with them.
As you walk closer to the entrance, there are a pair of beautiful horses for you to pet as well.
Don't let their charms fool you, they are a rambunctious bunch.  The brown one kept nudging me in the chest and then came after my back later.
Luckily I had wipes to use as their noses were not the cleanest things.  At least they were friendly and I had fun playing with them.
To start the day off, grab your signature wine glasses and the lovely trays provided by Cadillac.  This year they got smarter to provide the trays that hold your wine glass.
One of the highlights was the Sweet Corn Ravioli with Toasted Almonds and Prosciutto from Waterloo and City Restaurant.  It was the perfect blend of sweet and savory.  I had to go back for seconds.
It's something simple mixed in with some exotic flares.  Every component was on point and mouthwatering tasty.
A crowd favorite that many people told me was the Fried Chicken with Mashed Sweet Potato and Okra from Plan Check Kitchen and Bar.

While waiting in line they were serving a Cucumber Watermelon Cocktail.
Gladstones offered a cute and tasty treat.  In mini martini glasses they offered Lump Crab, Saffron Rice, and Avocado Parfait.  Plenty of room to go for seconds! =)
Up on top of the hill was the Onyx station from the Four Seasons Hotel where they offered an array of delectable savory treats.
They served up a Seafood Custard, Scallops Ceviche, and Japanese Spare Rib.  The custard was full of seafood and topped off with caviar.  It was very light with slight hints of salt from the caviar.
Right next to this station is the Voss stage where they have demonstrations and beautiful white couches to sit and enjoy.
Short Cake and Short Order were both there to serve up something savory and something sweet.
They were offering their Brownies and Blondies.  The brownies melted in your mouth and were full of flavor.  It was very rich and full of chocolate flavor.
On the Short Order side they were serving a Hamburger Slider and Meat Ball Slider.
Momed was there to serve up their infamous Duck Shwarma.
Manhattan Beach Post served a generous portion of Grilled Squid that was light and fresh.
Mo-chica served Steak Tartare with fresh greens.
The Lazy Ox Canteen served up a show as they freshly made Paella for the crowd.  Each component was added slowly to the gigantic pot then slowly stir-fried.
Squeeze the juicy piece of lemon atop the crisp pieces of rice.  The flavor was decent, but after the long wait I was wondering if it was worth the wait.  Still, it was served piping hot and fun to eat.
Mercato di Vetro spiced it up with a twist serving Panna Cotta with Beets and Shaved Truffles.
It was a great mixture of flavors and the aromatic essence of truffle gets to complement the light panna cotta.
Michael's Restaurant in Santa Monica was grilling fresh sliders on the side of the tent.
You can pick up a Slider or some tasty Grilled Pork and Apple tacos to munch on as you peruse through the event site.
There's so much great eats and great Chefs at this event.  It is a must on every foodies' calendar!
The ticket prices are very reasonable for the amount of restaurants and food that you can sample in one afternoon.  It's the perfect time to try out some of the best restaurants that Los Angeles has to offer.
They have a few vineyards and alcohol sponsors as well.
I loved Karma Tequila's table.  They served margaritas in small mason jars that are so adorable that I had to have! A great gimmick as I normally don't drink but I had to find out which station was serving these little treasures up! =D
There were many famous well known Chefs like Chef Ludo Lefebrve who were demonstrating on the main stage.  It was great to see him and his wonderful wife!
They are both so sweet and great as always.  If you ever get a chance, be sure to check out his wonderful cookbooks!
This post is a bit belated, but don't worry a year will pass very soon and you will have another chance to attend the annual event.  They also have wonderful holiday events that are worth checking out!

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