for October, 2011
I had big plans. First, I was going to make werewolf cupcakes, then mummy cupcakes all Martha Stewart style. Then, I came to my senses and remembered that I’m not so good with the frosting details and decided to take the easy way out.
The easy way to Halloween up your favorite confection is to add some candy corn. For the right cupcake, I headed over to Joy the Baker for her Dulce de Leche recipe. Then, I used a trusty chocolate buttercream frosting recipe on the back of a Ghirardelli Cocoa canister. The two work together rather spooktacularly.
Not elaborate, but still pretty Halloweenee.
Everywhere I turn, The Pie Hole is in my face—food blogs, Facebook posts, IMs, texts, whispers in the hall. Okay, there are no whispers in the hall, but it does seem like everyone’s gabbing about Downtown’s latest dessert haven. And this is just its second week in business.
Intrigued and nearby, I made my way over last weekend to see what all the hype was about. I found the Pie Hole cinched into a smallish space in the Arts District, right across the street from Wurstkuche. The décor is simple and homey with a few communal picnic tables and some two-seaters, a menu handwritten on butcher paper and a small case of available treats.
The menu is small but sufficient. Listed are pies both sweet and savory, including the expected apple crumb and lemon meringue along with the more inventive peanut butter pretzel and carnitas with queso fresco. They also have a full coffee program, plus an obligatory supply of Mexican Coke.
I can’t believe in all the time I’ve been writing this blog, I’ve never done a post on California-based company Xochico, makers of pan dulce accessories and home furnishings. They even make pan dulce fuzzies (a Mexican bread play on fuzzy dice), which I bought at last year’s Taste of East LA and hang with pride from my rear view mirror.
Almost too good to be true, right?
Now 6 months pregnant, I’m currently working on a nursery, and I think the concha cushions pictured above are a must have. I mean, look at them! They come in chocolate, strawberry and vanilla, and I’m going to have trouble deciding.
photo by Laura Byrnes
Xochico also sells coin purses (including one in the likeness of a niño envuelto, the coconut jelly roll), key chains and even a churro shaped makeup bag. They’re kind of the perfect symbol of LA pride—and so much more practical than a Dodger tattoo.
I remember when international healthy food crusader Jamie Oliver introduced his Revolution Burger at Patra’s Charbroiled Burgers in Glassell Park earlier this year. Its grass-fed beef and wheat bun caused a bit of a brouhaha in the food world, angering some people in a “where-does-this-Brit-get-off-telling-us-Americans-how-to-eat-a-burger” kind of way.
Just check out the comments on a Serious Eats post on the subject if you don’t believe me. Faced with the prospect of Oliver’s burger makeover, one commenter remarked, “Burgers = unhealthy and American. There’s somethings [sic] sacred about that to me. If it’s not those two things, it ain’t really a burger.”
Luckily, my sense of patriotism is not so inflamed by foreigners tinkering with American dietary staples, and I’m not so set on the burger-as-belly-bomb edict. As a result, the Revolution Burger has actually become part of my repertoire, and I appreciate it as a healthier option when fast food is in order but I still want a little, you know…nutrition.