Posts Tagged ‘Cookies’

The Los Angeles Cookie Con & Sweets Show returned to the Los Angeles Convention Center this past weekend for its third year running. As the name suggests, this event featured all manners of sweets and desserts, but especially cookies and anything related to cookies. From traditional cookies to cookie sandwiches to cookie ice cream to cookie cups, if it had to do with cookies, attendees would find it here. This year’s event setup largely resembled last year – in the first year, it took place at the Pasadena Convention Center. Due to overwhelming popularity, they moved it to the LA Convention Center, expanded the event to two days, and tripled the ticket price. However, last year’s event STILL sold out. This year, admission went up to $60, and it still appeared as though they sold out once again.

Although now in their third year, it appears that some things never change. For the most part, the organizers have solved the problem of most of the lines. Last year, attendees had to wait in a line outside the convention center to even enter, and then once inside had to wait in a line to scan their tickets, and then wait in another line to get into the expo hall where the event took place. All of that did not exist this time – what lines did remain resided within the expo halls. Despite the best efforts to qualm all the line-waiting that attendees did, no one could avoid the massive lines for the vendors once inside the expo hall. Once inside, all the attendees faced lines upon lines for the few vendors that had samples. At this Cookie Con, less than half the vendors had actual samples for attendees to try – most of the vendors set up to sell things, such as products or services. Basically, attendees paid $60 in order to wait in lines to spend even more money. At this rate, eating $60’s worth of food would only occur if this event had a quarter of the amount of attendees so that everyone could efficiently reach the front of lines. In reality, it took half an hour of waiting in each line to finally get a sample of a cookie or some other dessert. On the other hand, the few vendors that had savory foods instead of sweets did not have bad lines, so I could easily get food samples such as jerky and tamales.

I fully expect Cookie Con to return next year, and likely with increased admission once again. When Southern California has food fests similar to this that cost like $175 or more to get in and sell out all the time, Cookie Con can just keep raising their prices, and would still sell out. If paying exorbitant admission fees to see these vendors sounds bad to you, just independently support the businesses on your own, such as Maya Brigadeiro or Bad Pickle Tees. The Cookie Con site (linked above) has a full list of all the vendors. By directly supporting the vendors, you omit the admission fees of going to an event, and you get to select what you want to see without the hassle of dealing with crowds of people and the dozens of strollers taking up space. Plenty of other dessert events will come up soon in the greater Los Angeles area, so check out my weekly events post every Monday to see how you can satisfy your sweet tooth.

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The 3rd Annual Los Angeles Cookie Con & Sweets Show returns to the Los Angeles Convention Center this weekend. As the name suggests, this all-ages event features all manners of sweets and desserts, but especially cookies and anything related to cookies. From traditional cookies to cookie sandwiches to cookie ice cream to cookie cups, if it has to do with cookies, attendees will find it here. The price of admission actually went down this year from last year’s $50 admission. However, they have introduced multiple levels of attendance, from as low as $20 up to $60. I do not understand why, as they sold out last year even with the $50 admission. Parking at the convention center costs $20 per vehicle.

As anyone can guess, this event draws massive attention from the local populace. As of the time of this post, Saturday has already completely sold out. For anyone planning to attend Saturday, expect wall-to-wall people with long lines at every booth. I highly suggest early arrival, as the line to get in to the building takes about half an hour to clear through, and then you have to face another line to enter the convention hall. Once inside the actual event, you will have to endure even more lines to get to the vendors. I hope you bring your patience this weekend, as well as comfortable shoes, and cash since you will have to pay for the food you consume here. By the way, very few of the vendors actually bring samples – the vendors need to make a profit, after all!

Do some research about the businesses that will attend Cookie Con. Local businesses such as Velvet Rope Bake Shop or Bad Pickle Tees often set up at other cheaper, less crowded events. The Cookie Con site (linked above) has a full list of all the vendors. By directly supporting the vendors, you omit the middleman, and you get to select what you want without the hassle of dealing with crowds of people and the dozens of strollers taking up space. Plenty of other dessert events will come up soon in the greater Los Angeles area, so check out my weekly events post every Monday to see how you can satisfy your sweet tooth.

A fact of nature exists that all living creatures, humans included, desire sweets. When it comes to how things taste, nearly everything prefers the sweet flavor over anything else. Traditionally, people ended their meals with a dessert, or otherwise saved a sweet treat for after a main course. Desserts exist in many forms, from cold to warm, from handheld to needing utensils, from solid to liquid, and more. Dessert has made it into mass media as well, and we even have a fictional character based on a dessert: the Cookie Monster. Many people love cookies, and cookies have taken on so many different forms, from traditional flat round cookies to cookie dough ice cream to cookie shot cups and more. While we can enjoy cookies in many forms now, nothing beats the classic cookie, especially when it comes in so many different flavors now, such as the variety of cookie flavors offered at Cookie Good.

If you want a lot of ordinary cookies, you go to your local grocery store. If you want top-shelf one-of-a-kind cookies, you go to Cookie Good in Santa Monica. When one thinks of specialty baked desserts, most people immediately think of cupcake shops. Cookie Good has taken that notion and reinvented it with a gourmet cookie shop. Much like how cupcake shops have a variety of flavored cupcakes ready for sale, Cookie Good has a wide assortment of cookies available for customers to take home. More than just any ordinary cookie, Cookie Good appeals to both traditionalists and modernists. For the traditionalists, Cookie Good serves up good old flavors like Chocolate Chip, Oatmeal Raisin, and Snickerdoodle. For the modernists, Cookie Good goes the extra mile with unique cookies such as Caramel Pretzel Chocolate Chunk, Birthday Cake, Red Velvet, Cookies & Cream, and more. In addition to cookies, Cookie Good serves a handful of brownies. While just as good as the cookies, most customers visit Cookie Good for their namesake, the cookies.

Cookie Good routinely rotates their flavors out to keep up with the seasons, and to stay fresh with the ever-changing crowd. Visit Cookie Good in Santa Monica on Monday through Saturday afternoons to get your cookie fix, and check out Cookie Good on Facebook and Twitter for updates on flavors and more.

The 2nd Annual Los Angeles Cookie Con & Sweets Show returned this past weekend to its new home at the Los Angeles Convention Center. As the name suggests, this event featured all manners of sweets and desserts, but especially cookies and anything related to cookies. From traditional cookies to cookie sandwiches to cookie ice cream to cookie cups, if it had to do with cookies, attendees would find it here. For this second year, in order to attempt to accommodate more attendees, the organizers moved the event from the Pasadena Convention Center to the Los Angeles Convention Center, and made the event last two days. They also increased the price of admission from $17 to $50 in an attempt to curb the sheer amount of attendees. However, this still had no effect on admission, as the event still sold out.

For the second time running this event, one would think that the organizer ironed out all the kinks by now, but alas, the infinite lines still existed. While general admission started at 11am, hundreds of attendees remained outdoors in line to scan their tickets for an additional half hour. Once inside the building, general admission attendees had to wait another half hour or so to finally enter the convention hall where Cookie Con would take place. Finally inside, all the attendees faced lines upon lines for the few vendors that had samples. At this Cookie Con, less than half the vendors had actual samples for attendees to try – most of the vendors set up to sell things, such as products or services. Basically, attendees paid $50 in order to wait in lines to spend even more money. At this rate, eating $50’s worth of food would only occur if this event had a quarter of the amount of attendees so that everyone could efficiently reach the front of lines. In reality, it took half an hour of waiting in each line to finally get a sample of a cookie or some other dessert.

Knowing how the organizer runs things, they will likely bring Cookie Con back next year. Do yourself a favor and avoid this event – just independently support the businesses on your own, such as Velvet Rope Bake Shop or Bad Pickle Tees. The Cookie Con site (linked above) has a full list of all the vendors. By directly supporting the vendors, you omit the middleman, and you get to select what you want without the hassle of dealing with crowds of people and the dozens of strollers taking up space. The layout of Cookie Con greatly resembled Sugar Rush, which cost less to attend, had just as many free unlimited samples, and did not have as many people, allowing attendees to eat to their hearts’ content. Plenty of other dessert events will come up soon in the greater Los Angeles area, so check out my weekly events post every Monday to see how you can satisfy your sweet tooth.

Following up on the ravishing success of their Bacon Festival this past August, Big Bite Events returned this past weekend with a brand new event, the 1st Annual Big Bite Sugar Rush. Although not as large as the aforementioned festival, this dessert festival still managed to draw enough attention that all the attendees and vendors consistently had something to do. Taking place in one of the hangars at the OC Fair & Event Center in Costa Mesa, this festival pulled together dozens of some of Southern California’s top dessert businesses ranging from pastry chefs to caterers to retailers and more. About half of the vendors delivered copious amounts of sweet samples for visitors to munch on as the visitors strolled up and down the aisles gazing upon all the sugary goodness. To keep the attendees occupied throughout the day, some demos and seminars took place for those who desire to learn about creating desserts at home. To spread out the amount of attendees, Big Bite Events held this dessert festival across two days.

Anyone who did research on this event may discover an angry mob of reviews of this organization’s historical events. Excluding the last bacon festival, at least for the past three years’ worth of Big Bite Events’ festivals, too many things went wrong that no one thought that Big Bite Events could rectify their flagship event. Without going into too much detail, major issues involved the steep admission price, parking fees, long lines, low food quality, lack of food, food not fully cooked or heated, meager sample portions, too few vendors, lack of accessible water, and no crowd control. All of these factors over the past few years contributed to bad press for Big Bite Events. This past year, they flipped it around with the Bacon Festival (linked above) that actually managed to operate well, and that organization has carried over to Sugar Rush.

Much like the improvements of their bacon festival, Big Bite Events delivered a dessert festival that surely would please anyone attending. The amount of attendees compared to vendors matched perfectly, as no vendor ever had a long line, and no one had any trouble navigating through the event space. Fortunately, none of the vendors ever ran out of samples either, even with the vendors encouraging attendees to sample as much as they would like. Sugar Rush had a reasonable admission fee too: $10 for general admission, or $20 for VIP that included early admission, a goodie bag, access to a VIP area, and a complimentary alcohol & chocolate pairing. I believe that if Big Bite Events wanted to truly put a “cherry on top” they should have included a free pair of tickets to next year’s OC Fair.

While the Big Bite Events suffered from bad press in the past few years, I believe this year’s two festivals may help to bring them back into good standing. We all hope that they learned from their past mistakes and use this year’s festivals’ overall success to deliver quality events in the future. If you seek out more food & drink goodness, make sure you check out Big Bite Events on Facebook and Twitter for updates regarding future events.

I always love to support local businesses, and I love it more when local businesses operate humanely with the locals’ well-beings in mind. One such local business, Blackmarket Bakery, serves up delectable delights using local sustainable all-natural ingredients. Their plethora of sweet treats and savory eats has garnered them a huge fan base of people from all around the world, with some people traveling from out of the country just to taste the creations of Blackmarket Bakery. Their selection of goodies changes over time based on the season’s available ingredients, and Blackmarket Bakery has turned these changes into an interactive experience.

Last Friday night, Blackmarket Bakery held a Cookie Throwdown. Four of the bakers each made a different cookie to submit to this contest, where the crowd favorite would make a new home on the menu. Free to the public to attend, each visitor could sample as many cookies as they wanted, but each person received one vote to decide on their favorite cookie. Clockwise from top left:

  • Aldo’s Chocolate Coffee Hazelnut
  • Vicky’s Pistachio Orange Gingersnap
  • Maryla’s Chocolate Chipotlé
  • Elisha’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Sea Salt

Of all these flavors, I voted for the Gingersnap cookie since it tasted the most unique, as I have tasted similar cookies to the other three before. Lo and behold, Vicky’s Oh-Snap cookie won the throwdown! Head over to Blackmarket Bakery soon if you want to try this unique cookie, as they will start serving it sometime this week. Check out everything else they have to offer too, as you cannot go wrong with anything that comes off their shelves.

 

Halloween
October 31

Happy Candy Day! Have fun, and stay safe on this night.

Trick or Treat on 2nd Street
4:00 pm – 6:00 pm, October 31
2nd Street, Belmont Shore, Long Beach
http://www.belmontshore.org/events.html

Trick or Treat with the family in Belmont Shore for free! Local businesses will participate by handing out samples and candy during the evening.

Dim Sum Costumed Crawl
6:00 pm – 10:00 pm, October 31
Chinatown, Downtown Los Angeles
http://www.chinatownla.com/calendar.php?eventId=426

Dress up in costume and explore local food in Chinatown in Downtown Los Angeles. Pair the local food with local craft beer, and enjoy the nightlife that Chinatown has to offer. Admission costs $70, and includes tastings from four restaurants and four breweries. Guests can find free parking east of Spring Street.

5th Annual San Diego Beer Week
November 1-10
San Diego County
http://sdbw.org/

This 10-day festival celebrates the prominence of craft beer in San Diego County. During these ten days, restaurants, bars, breweries, and other businesses will host special events and hold special deals all pertaining to craft beer. Check the website for a list of all events and businesses participating in San Diego Beer Week.

First Fridays
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, November 1
Various locations
Long Beach: http://firstfridayslongbeach.com/
Venice: http://www.abbotkinney1stfridays.com/

This monthly artwalk occurs on the first Friday of every month. Each location offers different activities, but most will contain food & drink specials, art exhibits & displays, street performers, and more. Venice and Long Beach have the two largest gatherings of all First Fridays. Other locations include Westchester, Fullerton, and City of Industry. Most First Fridays locations cost nothing to attend, while the local businesses uphold their standard rules (e.g. bars 21+ only).

San Diego Brewers Guild Festival
6:00 pm – 9:00 pm, November 1
2:00 pm – 5:00 pm, November 2
Port Pavilion on Broadway Pier, San Diego
http://sdbw.org/guild-festival/

This beer festival coincides with San Diego Beer Week annually. This year, they have split the festival into two parts. On Friday, a special VIP reception will take place that will have brewers and business owners in San Diego meet together to discuss and enjoy beer. On Saturday, the standard beer fest will take place, which includes a souvenir tasting glass and 15 3oz beer tasters. Prices vary depending on attendance – the VIP reception costs $75, the Saturday beer fest costs $40, an hour early access to that one costs $55, and a two-day pass costs $100. No one under 21 may attend.

Blackmarket Cookie Throwdown
7:00 pm – 10:00 pm, November 1
Blackmarket Bakery, Costa Mesa
http://www.facebook.com/events/217218901735900/

Blackmarket Bakery needs your help in deciding what cookie they will add to their menu next. No purchase necessary – come sample four different cookies, then submit your vote.

The Avengers @ Los Globos
7:00 pm – 1:00 am, November 1
Los Globos, Silverlake, Los Angeles
http://www.clublosglobos.com/event/380109-gitbam-avengers-los-angeles/

Tickets to this local all-ages punk rock show cost $15. Guests should park in the neighborhood down Vendome Street.

Oppressed Logic @ El Corita
7:00 pm – 2:00 am, November 1
El Corita, Los Angeles
http://www.facebook.com/events/508952282524464/

Tickets to this local all-ages punk rock show cost $5 before 9:30, and $6 afterwards.

Free Punk Show in Lomita
8:30 pm – 12:30 am, November 1
The Firehouse, Lomita
http://www.facebook.com/events/600901513302680/

Check out this free punk rock show in the South Bay this Friday night. No one under 21 may enter.

The Secret Affair – 60’s Night
9:00 pm – 1:00 am, November 1
Alex’s Bar, Long Beach
http://www.alexsbar.com/event/148116

Occurring on every month’s first Friday, this 60’s night at Alex’s Bar will play all vinyl music of motown, northern soul, boogaloo, 60’s pop, and more. Feel free to dress up too, as the bar staff will hold costume contests and dance contests.

Fullerton Pumpkin Launch
10:00 am – 2:00 pm, November 2
Discovery Science Center, Cal State Fullerton
http://www.discoverycube.org/exhibits/event/pumpkin-launch-2/

At this FREE event (requires registration at their website), witness hundreds of pumpkins getting thrown, launched, catapulted, and more from the Discovery Science Center on the CSUF campus. Food trucks will open their windows to serve food to guests.

Fluff Ice – Costa Mesa Grand Opening
12:00 pm – 5:00 pm, November 2
Fluff Ice, Costa Mesa
http://www.facebook.com/events/492516267528220/

The San Gabriel Valley’s favorite cold treat makes its way down to Orange County starting this Saturday! The first 100 customers receive a FREE Fluff Ice; after that, receive buy one get one free deals until 5pm.

14th Annual Dia De Los Muertos
12:00 pm – 12:00 am, November 2
Hollywood Forever Cemetery, Hollywood
http://www.ladayofthedead.com/

Celebrate this cultural holiday at this all-ages festival this Saturday in Hollywood. Attendees will find arts & crafts, art exhibits, costume contests, music, live entertainment, food, drinks, and more. General admission costs $15 per person.

Jughead’s Revenge @ Five Star Bar
7:00 pm – 2:00 am, November 2
Five Star Bar, Downtown Los Angeles
http://www.facebook.com/events/631727850183476/

This local punk rock show only costs $8 to get in. No one under 21 may attend.

Glassjaw @ The Observatory
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, November 2
The Observatory, Santa Ana
http://www.observatoryoc.com/events/glassjaw

Glassjaw returns to performing this Saturday night at The Observatory in Santa Ana. If they have not already sold out, tickets to this all-ages show cost $25. Arrive early and park for free in the venue’s parking lot. Arrive too late, and pay $10 for parking further down the street.

The Dirty Little Secrets Rock Burlesque – Live at Malone’s
9:00 pm – 12:00 am, November 2
Malone’s, Santa Ana
http://www.facebook.com/events/564326036974719/

The sexy ladies of the Dirty Little Secrets will perform their burlesque routine this Saturday night at Malone’s in Santa Ana. The cover charge will range from $7 to $10, so have cash available for that. When entering, mention that you came to see the Dirty Little Secrets. Guests can park for free down Halladay Street.

Punk Rock Closeout
9:30 pm – 2:00 am, November 2
Hollywood Studio Bar & Grill, West Hollywood
http://www.facebook.com/events/410923645703418/

Local punk rock bands hit up Hollywood this Saturday night. Admission costs $5 before 10pm, and $10 afterwards, but costs $15 flat for anyone under age 18.

Subhumans @ Los Globos
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, November 3
Los Globos, Silverlake, Los Angeles
http://www.clublosglobos.com/event/373475-gitbam-subhumans-los-angeles/

Tickets to this local all-ages punk rock show cost $15. Guests should park in the neighborhood down Vendome Street.

Despite the turn of the season, Southern California’s heat wave rages on. Temperatures had hit record highs in the past few weeks, causing many people to desire something cold to cool down. Of course, some people may not have a sweet tooth like I do, but you have to treat yourself occasionally. Sometimes, your body just craves it – when you feel hot, your body tells you to go find something cold to eat or drink. If you plan on powering through this heat wave, I have some suggestions on how to cool yourself off. I listed five cold treats earlier this summer to help cool off, but now I bring to you five more cold treats in the Los Angeles area to get you through this hot fall.

5. Breezy Freeze‘s Snowball

When deciding on a cold treat, one has to ask: creamy, icy, or fruity? What if you could have all three at once? If this sounds familiar, then you have at least heard of Breezy Freeze. This quaint little blue truck rolls around Los Angeles serving traditional iced Snowballs. What sets this snowball apart from the rest? The process looks like that of shave ice; however, instead of shaving directly into a cup, the staff shaves the ice into their hands, upon which they form into a tightly packed ball – a snowball. In this spherical form, the snowball can take on any two flavors portioned correctly with the minimal effort of rotating said snowball. The portioning matters most, since traditional shave ice pours directly into a non-transparent cup, meaning that you have to guess how much syrup to use, which often results in not enough or too much syrup. Pro tip: ask for the sweet cream filling. Typical shave ice has the cream drizzled over the top, referred to as the snow cap. In addition to the snow cap, you can have sweet cream injected into the snowball, creating a creamier version of the standard shave ice. Remember this when tracking down Breezy Freeze, as this greatly enhances the snowball, and that no one else does it!

4. Frosted Cupcakery‘s Ice Cream Cupcakes

Should I just let the pictures speak for themselves? Come on with the come-ons! Frosted Cupcakery combines two well-known desserts to create the perfect blend of cold and… not cold. Frosted crafts their Ice Cream Cupcakes by carving out a pit in the top center of a cupcake, filling it with ice cream, then sealing it with frosting. Because of filling the cupcake with ice cream, these ice cream cupcakes end up larger than the regular cupcakes they normally sell. This does not stop them from experimenting and serving many varieties of ice cream cupcakes, such as the Cappuccino Crunch and Cookies & Cream ice cream cupcakes pictured above. For just $4.95 each, you can find these ice cream cupcakes that can feed two at Frosted Cupcakery located in Long Beach, Hollywood, and Hermosa Beach.

3. Flurries Shaved Snow Bar‘s French Toast with Bacon

Traditional desserts focus on something sweet rather than savory. In modern cuisine, everyone now accepts the idea of mixing flavors up, as long as they work. In the case of Flurries Shaved Snow Bar, they decided to mix it up by adding none other than bacon to their sweet offering. Featured on only one of their creations, the French Toast with Bacon consists of TWO layers of their original milk snow (more on that in a bit), maple pound cake pieces, real smoked bacon pieces, rich bacon sauce, and powdered sugar. First off, understand that each of their creations come with two almost mirrored layers: the bottom layer contains the snow with the toppings on top of it, and on top of that you have more snow and more of the toppings. Imagine a two-layered cake to get a better understanding of what lies in front of you. Back to the subject at hand, one cannot easily describe what the snow looks and tastes like. I describe the snow as shaved sorbet or gelato, but even that does not truly describe Flurries. Then you have to fathom that they include not only bacon in this cup, but a dense bacon sauce! At first, the sauce resembles maple syrup, but taste the sauce closely, and you will figure out that the sauce tastes very much like bacon. Finally, you get TWO of these layers in this cup! One may immediately ponder that two layers means sharing. Allow me the pleasure of suggesting that you order your own, because you will not want to share upon your first bite.

2. Haven Gastropub‘s Haven Beer Float

Embrace simplicity. These two words resonate well within intelligent communities as a polite method of saying “Keep it simple, stupid” instead. As one of my old supervisors used to say, “Work smarter, not harder.” The fine folks over at Haven Gastropub accept this notion and apply it wherever possible. Their food appears far from simple, as no ordinary man can accomplish what Haven’s cooks ordinarily can. However, there exists a dessert at Haven so simple that anyone can make it at home, yet no one else has attempted it until Haven did. Their Haven Beer Float simply contains Samuel Smith’s Organic Strawberry Ale and a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream, served with two warm fresh baked cookies on the side. Unlike the classic root beer float, this strawberry ale actually contains alcohol, so anyone under 21 cannot order this dessert. This simple concept of mixing sweet beer with ice cream may have seen light on any random drunken day in any random bloke’s pad, but no one ever discovered them now, huh? If after a meal at Haven you believe you have room for dessert and a beer, get them together by ordering the Haven Beer Float. Remember: embrace simplicity.

1. Slater’s 50/50‘s Maple Bacon Milkshake

First off, no, I do not talk about Slater’s 50/50 too much… but they make and release so much buzz-worthy food that I feel that I must spread the word. Slater’s 50/50, known for their vehement usage of bacon, wants you to have your bacon and eat it too. Quite frankly, they would love to stick bacon in everything they make, but realistically, that cannot happen. For now, they have managed to include bacon in more than most people expect. This time, Slater’s raises the bar with their Maple Bacon Milkshake. This maple milkshake contains bacon throughout, not just the few specks visible on top. As such, I recommend eating this with a spoon instead of killing your lungs trying to suck the life out of the straw they provide. Do not believe the other pictures on the internet portraying this milkshake with real bacon strips in it, as those served only as advertising functions, and do not come with the milkshake. You will have to settle for just the bacon pieces in the milkshake, which your server includes a heaping scoopful of. Believe me, you get more bacon than you need in this milkshake – I always end up with extra bacon at the bottom, even when purposely trying to eat more of the bacon than the milkshake. Drink this before, during, or after your meal, as it fits in perfectly any time. Like the saying goes, this milkshake brings all the boys to the bar!