View all posts filed under 'Great Finds'

Three Sweet Treats in Los Angeles

Thursday, 18. October 2012 5:25

Fonuts "Hawaiian'' donut (front) and "Banana Chocolate'' (back).

LOS ANGELES & VICINITY — During a quick weekend trip down to Southern California recently, my sweet tooth got a major workout at three stellar places.

First up, Fonuts, the donuts that are almost guilt-free. That’s because they’re not fried, but are baked or steamed. Moreover, many of them also are vegan or gluten-free.

Fonuts of Los Angeles is the creation of Waylynn Lucas, formerly pastry chef at  The Bazaar and Patina, both in Los Angeles; and voice actor Nancy Truman.

The donuts, about $3 each, have a moist, tender crumb and a texture akin to a tea cake or muffin.

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Category:Bakeries, Chefs, Donuts, Fruit, General, Great Finds, Travel Adventures | Comments (9) | Author:

After Hours in the Bakery at Baker & Banker

Thursday, 11. October 2012 5:25

"XXX Chocolate Cake'' -- one of the perks of dining after closing at a bakery.

For anyone with a sweet tooth like mine, it’s a fantasy come true to eat to your stomach’s content in a bakery after it’s closed for the night.

I wasn’t exactly let loose to scour the pantry, though. Instead, I was invited recently to dine as a guest of the restaurant with a few other food writers in what is essentially the private dining room at Baker & Banker in San Francisco.

The acclaimed restaurant in Pacific Heights, owned by husband-and-wife Pastry Chef Lori Baker and Chef Jeff Banker, also has an adjacent bakery. After closing each night, the bakery is available for private parties. It has to be a small one, though, as there’s enough room for only eight at the one table set up right by the bakery counter. There’s also a minimum of five diners required.

The 8-person table in the private dining room (in the bakery) at Baker & Banker.

A reminder that you're inside a bakery.

To get to it, you walk into the restaurant, head to the back, go through the small kitchen, and walk down a few stairs right into the heart of the bakery.

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Category:Bakeries, Chefs, Donuts, General, Great Finds, Restaurants | Comments (7) | Author:

Unreal Candy That Tastes Real Good

Wednesday, 10. October 2012 5:25

They resemble M&Ms, but they have less sugar.

Is it too early in the month to already start talking about candy?

I think not.

Especially when it’s candy that’s made with better, more healthful ingredients.

Unreal Brands candy is the brainchild of 15-year-old Nicky Bronner, who got so peeved one year that his parents had confiscated his Halloween loot that he decided to come up with new versions of his favorite candies that his parents would approve of.

Of course, it helps that his father is Boston entrepreneur Michael Bronner who founded Digitas, a digital direct marketing company, and Unpromise, which reinvented the loyalty program model. It also didn’t hurt that his father is friends with the likes of Tom Brady, Giselle Bundchen and Matt Damon, all of whom are now Unreal brand ambassadors.

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Category:Chocolate, General, Great Finds, Health/Nutrition, New Products | Comments (8) | Author:

My New Cards — and A Food Gal Giveaway

Monday, 24. September 2012 5:25

My photos on my own greeting cards -- courtesy of

When you’re your own start-up (ahem, yes that would be me), it pays to have some snazzy business cards — ones that are eye-catching, stand out from the pack, and show off a little of your own personality.

Now, I do — thanks to

Don’t get me wrong. My old cards were fine. But these? Even my husband says I can only give these out to people who are “worthy.” Is that a high compliment or what?

Founded in 2004 by Brit Richard Moross, Moo allows you to design your own custom business cards, mini cards, greeting cards, stickers, stickers and labels — using your own photos or logos.

Recently, the company gave me the opportunity to try out their services for free to see what I thought about them. I decided to create both business cards and greeting cards, using both my Food Gal logo and photos I’d taken that have appeared on this blog.

The results were amazing. First, the quality of the paper is top-notch. These are business cards with heft. The weight of them is substantial, so much so that anyone you hand one to is definitely going to notice. Second, the card can be designed with color images on both the front and back. Third, you can mix up the design in your order, too, choosing a couple of them instead of just being stuck with one. Third, the paper is sourced from sustainable forests. Fourth, for an even more environmentally correct option, you can choose to have your cards printed on recycled paper that’s been manufactured using wind power.

My cool new business cards sure to make anyone hungry for dessert.

For my business cards, I chose to stick with just one image — one of my all-time favorites that I photographed, the modern German chocolate cake created by Pastry Chef Bill Corbett of Absinthe Brasserie in San Francisco. Anyone who knows me, knows my sweet tooth, so it was only fitting.

For the greeting cards, I chose an assortment of food images I’d taken over the years — from my late Mom’s chicken and rice dish to the simple beauty of fresh, ripe figs. The images reproduced beautifully on the cards, which again were quite sturdy and had a nice satin coating.

The cards are not necessarily inexpensive: 100 business cards are $39.98; and 25 greeting cards with envelopes are $39.99.

But the Moo team prides itself on quality design and it definitely shows.

You can put an assortment of images on one order of cards.

Contest: Three lucky Food Gal readers will win a chance to design their own set of 50 Moo business cards for free. One of those three also will get a bonus prize — a chance to design 25 Moo holiday cards for free in addition to their business cards.

Entries, open to anyone since Moo ships worldwide, will be accepted through midnight PST Sept. 29. Winners will be announced Oct. 1.

How to win?

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Category:Enticing Events, General, Great Finds, New Products | Comments (11) | Author:

Hand-Made Biscotti From Sonoma

Friday, 21. September 2012 5:25

Crunchy and dainty biscotti by a woman who sure knows how to make them.

Bonnie Tempesta is no stranger to making biscotti.

After all, you might recognize her surname from the La Tempesta biscotti company she started in the 1980s, then sold in 1997, but not before it became the largest biscotti bakery in the United States.

You just can’t keep a woman away from biscotti for long, though, especially one with a Tuscan heritage.

Tempesta is back making the twice-baked Italian cookies for her new company, Boncora in Sonoma.

The name is a mashup of “Bonnie” and “ancora,” which means “encore” in Italian.

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Category:General, Great Finds, New Products | Comments (12) | Author: