Cozy Cottages & Happy Homes

Cottage Charm, Coastal Calm

January 2010

The West Coast Paula Queen Party- Southern and Sinful!

The welcome for our guests- Paula and Michael!

Our centerpiece, Fresh Flowers and boxes of butter!

Turkey Bacon wrapped around the saltine cracker.
The Finished Product! Yummy!

We decided to show these west coast ladies what all this wonderful southern cookin’ was all about! We invited some friends over with the email invite entitled- “Southern and Sinful”. The food was classica Paula and in fact our centerpiece was the empty boxes of butter we used for the cookin’. The food included one of our favortie appetizers- Saltines wrapped in bacon and parmesan cheese. Yes, I know, it sounds not so good, but I’ve now served this for three parties and it just disappears like you can’t believe. This being California and all that, we decided to use turkey bacon and I will now use that bacon from here on . Not as greasy and you feel you can eat more and not feel guilty. We also make Buffallo Chicken dip and for dessert- Chocolate Bread Pudding. The ladies just loved everything! Thank you Paula for continuing to inspire us with your food! And remember- all these recipes and more are on Paula’s website so please visit!

Blue Plate Oysterette, Santa Monica

Yet another wonderful meal here in California! We dashed between the rain drops to have a great luncheon.

I know there are some great restaurants out there, but for style, great food and just a spirit- I love eating here in LA. This is a charming little restaurant right on Ocean Drive in Santa Monica.

We had two great sandwiches- a New England style Lobster roll and an Ahi tuna sandwich on a fresh bagette. Charming and with that fresh ocean air , what a great lunch! Blue Plate Oysterette

We found our Blogger Friends from the Rose Bowl!

I adore how the Internet works! I have “google alerts” set up so any time anywhere on the Internet mermaid cottages or anything remotely sounding like mermaid cottages appears, I get an alert. The very fun ladies we met at the Rose Bowl blogged about us and the google alert showed up. I’m so glad we found them and I hope you’ll enjoy their blog on a regular basis!

I’m not the only crazy blogger!

One of my very favorite things to do in life now is to take my used hand me down digital camera and take a few pictures and then post them on my blog. While at the Rose Bowl flea market, we had Mom sit down and relax while we walked all around, knowing she would be tired and would enjoy people watching just as much. Here are two very fun ladies who Mom happened to sit beside. But best of all, when I asked if I could take their picture and post on my blog (because they were really so much fun to talk with!) they both started to laugh like crazy!! Turns out they also are bloggers and do the exact same thing as me and thought it so great that I wanted their picture for my blog!

The CupCake Wars…. Sprinkles or SusieCakes?

I love cupcakes. I’m normally not a cake person unless it’s something interesting- Corrie Hier’s Carrot Cake from the Deen Family Cookbook is an exception, but just plan old cake is not of terrible interest.

Cupcakes are a different story. It’s because they are small and tasty, but most of all, because they have a big dollop of icing on top. Usually real icing,none of that fake lard stuff .

LA is the home of cupcake only stores. Sprinkles proudly lays claim to bring the world’s first cupcake bakery and the lines prove it. My first experience was there a few years ago and I could not believe the lines of people out the door to buy a cupcake.

They were ( and are) handcrafted and use things like sweet cream butter, bittersweet Belgian chocolate but the flavors are just outrageous. And all the cupcakes from Sprinkles have a modern candy dot on top or rich chocolate sprinkles from France.

These are an American classic with a very delicious sophisticated update with no preservatives, n trans fats or anything artificial. Therefore you need to eat these the same day they are made and NEVER refrigerate their cupcakes. SusieCakes is equally as wonderful, but also make cookies and cakes. Their colors are my favorite- seafoam green and their cupcakes just as yummy.

On this trip, we’ve been to both SusieCakes in both their Brentwood and their Calabasas location and then Sprinkles at their Newport Beach location. These pictures show our pure happiness with eating a cupcake at both places. However, we did have a whoppi pie @ SusieCakes as well…

Here’s the reason why I love to travel. Inspiration. The Sprinkles people welcome each person who walks in the door and always ask how can they help the next “guest.” When was the last time a sales person in a store called you a guest. And….. they have a secret word of the day.

If you know the secret word and are one of the first 25 or 50 who walks in the shop that day, you receive a free cupcake. For example today’s word was “tropical” and the first 25 guests received a free Lemon Coconut Cupcake. The secret word is only posted on their various Social Media marketing outlets. I love this idea, I love the who concept behind it and will use this inspired idea very soon with Mermaid Cottages. So you’ll need to follow up on Twitter and Facebook to see what we do with this fun, fun, fun idea!

Be sure to visit both SusieCakes and Sprinkles websites and enjoy!