November birthday memories… of food!

November was a good month. Why? Because I got to celebrate my birthday. And what better way to commemorate my new year but with good food.

The morning started off with gourmet donuts. I had just picked up a donut after a meeting that I was eyeing from across the room and my colleague said, “Don’t eat that! Follow me.” We got into the car and ended up in downtown’s Nickel Diner.

Yes, it’s an actual diner where you can get bacon and eggs but they are famous for their fancy pants donuts. We walked away with half a dozen donuts in four flavors: red velvet, strawberry crumble, Nutella, and the bacon maple donut.

We decided to cut up each of the flavors so we could have a gourmet donut tasting.

The strawberry crumble donut reminded me of the Good Humor Strawberry Shortcake Bar. I did expect a stronger strawberry flavor but the sweet crumbles made up for it in its own way.

Above is the Nutella donut with hazelnut. This donut had a nice crunch when I bit into it and it was probably my second favorite donut of the bunch – who doesn’t love Nutella!?

Just by looking at the red velvet donut, I figured I’d would know how it would taste – red velvet powdered donut with some cream cheese frosting in the center. However, it was nice to bite into the donut to find small pieces of chocolate. The chocolate added an unexpected texture at first bite which I think was a smart decision of Nickel Diner.

Last of the donut flavors is the bacon maple donut – my favorite from the bunch. The donut dough was soft and airy which balanced well with the rich maple and bacon on top. Yes, this donut has real pieces of bacon on it! What’s not to love?

For lunch, I went out to get ramen at Shin Sen-Gumi, which I’ve blogged about before. A comforting bowl of ramen with a side of nori (seaweed) and iced green tea was a good way to celebrate my birthday during my work lunch. And yes, it tested wonderful!

And now on to dinner. You’re probably wondering which restaurant I went to but to be honest, I requested a simple home-cooked meal. To have someone you know cook a meal for you on your special day is thoughtful and adds a personal touch.

This dinner consisted of a mixed green salad with cilantro dressing, roasted chicken breast, and fingerling potatoes with sour cream and chives. The chicken skin had the perfect crunch when my knife slid into the flesh. And for dessert…

Molten chocolate lava cake with a side of vanilla bean ice cream. This one was bought from Paris Baguette in Koreatown. You just have to put it in the microwave for about 30 seconds and it heats up the cake and the chocolate in the center just enough without burning your tongue when you take the first bite. I’ve always enjoyed Paris Baguette’s molten chocolate lava cake with a side of ice cream because it’s not overly sweet like most chocolate cakes.

All in all, my birthday was filled with lots of great surprises and treats and I look forward to an awesome year ahead!

Happily ever after and… Dimey’s Donuts!

I went to a lovely wedding this weekend in Pasadena. It was a beautiful event filled with lots of love and well wishes for the couple. I remembered talking with the bride during the early planning stages of the wedding and she said she wanted tacos at her wedding – sure enough, the tacos were there. But what caught my eye was the dessert: gourmet donuts!

I’m used to wedding cakes, cupcakes, and pies at weddings but this was the first time I had gourmet donuts for dessert at a wedding. The donuts were freshly fried up and dressed by Dimey’s Donuts.

As far as I can tell, Dimey’s seems to make donuts for special events. Their homepage is bare with just a contact email address. Their Facebook page says they made 250 donuts for the wedding – and I’m pretty sure all 250 donuts were happily eaten.

I do hope they open up a shop because their donuts are quite good. As you can see above, there was an assortment of chocolate glazed, passion fruit lemon glaze, and s’mores. Each donut is twice the size of your average donut hole. It’s actually not a dense dough – it’s airy and is perfectly fried. But my favorite from the bunch was the s’mores donut.

I took my first bite and I could taste the graham cracker crumbs layered over the donut glaze. Inside was a dollop of dark chocolate and marshmallow. The donut was light and had the s’mores flavors in each bite.

I have to admit that donuts are an ideal dessert for parties – they are simple, you don’t need utensils, and there’s no real mess (unless you get powdered donuts).