Posts Tagged With: cupcakes

Good Eats Oregon – Part 2

After a few days exploring and enjoying Portland, it was time to move on – to the coast of Oregon where John and Gail have a cute beach cottage. Before we headed off on the 2 hour drive to the coast, we had to fortify ourselves.

That’s Crave Bakeshop! Cupcakes? Oh yes! I was all over it, especially when Gail told me that owner/founder Kyra Bussanich won a big battle on Food Network’s Cupcake Wars! I drooled over the offerings.

Then, I noticed that all the offerings were gluten-free. Um. I don’t really have anything against gluten-free, but my past experience didn’t really make me a fan. I did recall reading that the owner’s motivation to create her shop was to make gluten-free delicious. I was willing to give it a try. Oh. My. God. Seriously, some of the BEST cupcakes I have ever had! There are not a lot of cupcakeries I’d go out of my way to re-visit, but I will most definitely be heading back there the next time I’m in Portland! Everything was amazing. I had a sample of the scones – delicious! But I had my eye on the cupcakes. I did break with my usual tradition of only buying cupcakes to purchase a couple of their cake bites. A small sphere of cake rolled in chocolate. I had the chocolate mint and the mocha. So moist, so flavorful. I wanted so much more than a bite each!  Then, the cupcake! What to choose? I went for the hot chocolate and it was amazing! Again, moist, but not so moist that it fell apart at the first bite (I hate that). Full of flavor and the right ratio of cake to frosting. The marshmellowy buttercream frosting was just the right amount of sweet. Mmmmmm! I also took a bite of my sister’s birthday cake cupcake – I tend to keep away from vanilla flavored cakes (I love chocolate) but this one was pretty delicious – I’d buy it again! If you’re lucky enough to live in Portland, I highly recommend eating your way through the menu! 🙂 It changes daily!

So the coast. Gorgeous! I’ll write more about it later. I want to talk food! The first thing we did was stop here:

where we enjoyed the view

and picked up freshly caught oysters and clams. The owner of Kelly’s (Mr, Kelly?) was a hoot – ebullient, friendly, and funny!  Bob and John made plans to return in a day for crabbing.  John prepared the oysters and grilled them. I’d never had grilled oysters before. I am a full-fledged fan of oysters on the half-shell and didn’t know what to expect from grilled oysters. WOW! Incredible! Still briny (in a good way) and just a hint of smoke – just barely cooked, it seemed. I’m a fan! Bob prepared the clams for linguine and clam sauce which was fab, as always! Gail asked him for the recipe. With the leftovers, Bob made clam chowder. Gail and I devoured the “taste” he let us have while he was finishing it up.

The following day, Bob and John headed back to Kelly’s Marina at low tide to go crabbing. Gail, her daughter, and I headed to a nearby town for shopping (and mostly salt-water taffy). We kept our fingers crossed that they’d catch enough Dungeness crab for dinner…and they did! Five!

Kelly’s cleaned and cooked them, and we all enjoyed the most delicious Dungeness (my favorite) crab I’ve ever had in my life. In fact, I’m worried that I’m spoiled now and won’t be able to enjoy crab as much now that I’ve had such freshly caught ones. (Bob? You may have to take up crabbing….!) I’m drooling now just remembering that meal.

There were nightly campfires – that included hot dogs, S’mores, roasted oysters, and amazing sausage sandwiches. Those three days at the beach house were blissful, relaxing, fun, and delicious!

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Cupcakes!

While I was waiting for Niki at Waterstones (see previous post), I perused the shelves, and it should come to no surprise to those of you who know me that a cupcake book nearly leaped off the shelf and into my arms. It was The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook and yes, I bought it! Even better, Niki told me that we’d be walking right past The Hummingbird Bakery! Joy! Bliss! And YUM!

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The bakery had a line going out the door! Popular, yes? It was a cozy bakery, with big cakes (carrot cake caught my eye) lined up under glass domes on top of the cases full of cupcakes. Because of the way we entered the shop, however, I wasn’t able to get a good look at all the cupcakes before someone offered to take my order. Panic! But fortunately, she was patient as I moved around to look at each and every one before deciding on a chocolate cupcake with hazelnut filling and chocolate frosting topped with honeyed pralines. Niki was thrilled to be able to get a gluten-free cupcake.

I do love a good cupcake, and The Hummingbird Bakery’s is very good. However, my favorite cupcakes continue to be from Teacake here in Burlingame, CA. Good thing, too. It would be horrible if my very favorite cupcakes came from a country I only went to infrequently!

That being said, I highly recommend The Hummingbird Bakery’s cupcakes – they were moist and flavorful, and the hazelnut filling made it quite uniquely delicious! I am looking forward to trying out some of the recipes from the cookbook – particularly the banana chocolate cupcakes, green tea cupcakes, and marshmallow cupcakes (as well as the cakes, pies, and cookies included in the book).

Categories: Good Eats, London | Tags: | 6 Comments

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