September 22, 2017

The Neighborhood Bakery

In all the cities I've lived, I love finding that neighborhood bakery that's been around for decades and is always bustling with regular customers. McLain's Bakery has been around for over seventy years and they sell pastries, breads, cookies, cakes and cupcakes! I thought I would stop in to get a birthday cupcake for a friend and of course one for myself.
via yelp
The bakery offers three sizes of cupcakes: mini, regular and jumbo. There were only a few flavors available so I got a festive funfetti cupcake for the birthday girl and I ordered a chocolate for myself. Regular cupcakes are $2, while minis are $1 and jumbo cupcakes are $5. 
McLain's Bakery is also home to the chocolate cup cookie, which is very cupcake-like, with a dollop of frosting on top of a shortbread cookie. I decided to order a few as well to try this faux cupcake. If you like shortbread cookies, then these are for you. Me, well I'm not a fan of shortbread and the frosting was a tad too sweet for me. 
As for the chocolate cupcake, it had the perfect texture of frosting and cake. But the frosting was a little too sweet and the cake could have had a better chocolate flavor. It really could have a been an amazing cupcake but the flavors weren't quite there. But the perfect remedy for a too sweet cupcake: coffee! 

McLain's Bakery
Waldo
201 East Gregory Boulevard
Kansas City, Missouri

September 20, 2017

Ugly Delicious

I have a confession: I'm not a fan of hashtags. Maybe it was because a guy once used it in a text and I pretty much ghosted him after that exchange. But the one hashtag I do love is when David Chang tags his food as #uglydelicious. 

One of my favorite #uglydelicious food is meatloaf. I even googled to try to find one photograph of meatloaf styled in an appealing way and I can't say there were any really good results. The winner for  the "best" picture of meatloaf actually comes from my favorite go-to recipe for an Asian style one. 
The Recipe: Bon Appetit's Angus Meatloaf incorporates hoisin and chili-garlic sauce to create a delicious, tangy and flavorful #uglydelicious meal. 

I have tried to halve the recipe to terrible results so if you're a single dweller like me, make the whole recipe and slice and freeze the leftovers. 

September 8, 2017

Everything Bagel Seasoning is Everything

Have you guys tried the Everything But The Bagel Seasoning from Trader Joes? OMG I'm totally in love. But I've always loved everything bagels so I suppose it only makes sense that I would smitten with it.
It can be used to make a simple but delicious chicken dinner:
Or my favorite way to enjoy breakfast these days is with the seasoning sprinkled on top of avocado toast with a boiled egg.
And if you don't live near a Trader Joe's, you can whip up a batch of the seasoning to keep handy in your pantry. Then you can add it to just about anything that floats your boat: mac and cheese, sandwiches, salads or roasted veggies---the possibilities are endless!

August 31, 2017

The Vegan One

In all this time cupcaking, I don't think I've reviewed a vegan cupcake. I've attempted to bake some once to really poor results but have also had the vegan cupcake at Sprinkles in passing (which is super delicious, btw). And then there were the gluten-free ones but never a vegan cupcake. 

The other day I met a friend at the local vegan bakery, Mud Pie Vegan Bakery, to grab a cupcake. They only had one flavor available: German chocolate, which was $3.25. 
While it was a little cold from refrigeration, it wasn't dry and pretty moist. The frosting seemed creamy even though it lacked butter and was pretty flavorful. I couldn't even tell that any dairy or eggs were missing from this cupcake! 

Mud Pie Vegan Bakery
1615 West 39th Street
Kansas City, Missouri

August 30, 2017

KC BBQ-Two Ways

Before I start blabbing about barbecue, I want to say that I'm so glad the sun finally came out in Houston today after the terrible storms from Harvey. My heart goes out to my friends and family and the entire city. And don't forget to donate if you can:  http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/08/28/546745827/looking-to-help-those-affected-by-harvey-here-s-a-list

So in my short two weeks officially living in Kansas City, I made it my mission to grab a cone of burnt ends ice cream (aka barbecue ice cream) before summer came to an end. When I saw this Instagram post, I knew I had to quickly grab some before it disappeared.

Betty Rae's Ice Cream debuted this inventive flavor in July for National Ice Cream Day. It incorporated the popular Joe's Kansas City Bar-be-que original sauce with caramel sauce, which was mixed into a plain ice cream flavor with candied burnt ends pieces.

Barbecue ice cream may sound a little unpleasant but I was intrigued. It was a little smoky, sweet and chewy from the candied bacon-like barbecue bits. And it all worked together to make for a unique summer treat.
Then I thought I should consume the real barbecue burnt ends from Joe's Kansas City Bar-be-que (the artist formerly known as Oklahoma Joe's) as my introduction to KC barbecue. Burnt Ends are a cut of beef brisket that became famous in KC. The fatty ends of the brisket were once used as scraps but then people soon realized the goodness of these bits. Now they are a hot commodity and are only served a limited amount of time during the week at Joe's.
Smoky, peppery, flavorful, tender and super delicious---KC barbecue, you're wonderful!!!

August 22, 2017

Welcome to KC!

Although I moved to Kansas City in early July, I left after only a few days to head up to Chicago for a month. So now it feels more official that I'm settled in my new apartment and city.
I couldn't think of a better way to explore my new home than to grab a cupcake at a local cupcakery. Luckily, there was one in the neighborhood where I was running errands. Located in the fancy shopping district Country Club Plaza (or simply the Plaza), Cupcake A La Mode has been selling Kansas City cupcakes since 2009.
The bakery had about 20 flavors available and they were either on a vanilla or chocolate cupcake. Peanut Butter and Jelly caught my eye but I opted for their vanilla flavor of the month: Hawaiian Honeymoon- a vanilla cake topped with pineapple buttercream, crushed macadamia nuts and a white chocolate drizzle. Each cupcake is $3.50.
The cupcake had a fluffy, flavorful cake but it was topped with a tad too sweet frosting, which was exacerbated by the abundance of it. The macadamia nuts added a nice, salty punch. It was almost pretty good but could have been better with about half the amount of frosting.

I can't wait to explore of my new home and maybe to eat a cupcake or two...

Cupcake A La Mode
Country Club Plaza
4639 Wornall Road
Kansas City, Missouri

August 11, 2017

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

What's a summer without going to a baseball game? Ok, at least for the Chung family, summertime always meant an outing to see the Cubs play.

In recent years, it's been a little harder to get out to Wrigley to see the Cubs but somehow I've managed to see my favorite team play four times this season in 3 different parks. Each park came with some delicious local food options:

Minute Maid Park:
Technically, Twin Sista and I saw an exhibition game between the Cubs and the Astros back in March, but it was fun to see the Cubbies out in Houston. And how Texas is it that they have tacos at the ballpark? While the menu is limited compared to a regular Torchy's, they still offer up some of the best tacos in the city. Also, they just opened Shake Shack at the park! 

Miller Park:
When I went with my cousin up north to Milwaukee to catch the Cubs, I passed on a hotdog to enjoy a local favorite: the bratwurst. I didn't realize until a couple years ago that Wisconsinites love their brats, especially with some mustard and sauerkraut. 

My favorite part about Brewers games is the sausage race during the middle of the 6th inning, where sausage mascots race each other around the field (bratwurst, Polish, Italian, hot dog and chorizo). And thanks to my cousin, we had amazing seats for the racing and baseball action---we even made it on tv!

Wrigley Field:
Wrigley may not have the glitz and glam of other modern day ballparks in the country, but it definitely has its charm. While I wasn't able to track down the gourmet dogs from Hot Doug's, a grilled Chicago (without ketchup) hot dog always hits the spot when I'm at Wrigley. I even got a foot long one! 

Hopefully I'll make it to a Royals game when I officially move to Kansas City and I'll be crossing my fingers for a Royals vs Cubs World Series this year.