Love at first bite: Tickle Tree Cafe

Matcha Green Tea Latte – not mentioned but so very noteworthy

Coffee is something I love the idea and smell of, but have never been able to drink without feeling like I basically overdosed on caffeine. Here, I found my latte soul mate; a simple iced vanilla latte made with Four Barrel Espresso — sweet and delightful, much like the cafe as a whole.

Nestled in the hillside (on the corner of Foothill Blvd and Dryer St in La Crescenta,) this family owned gem will make both food & coffee connoisseurs alike happy to support local business.

The sunlit interior is sprinkled with wood slab two-seaters and a gathering of larger tables perfect for families or casual business meetings.  The music is soft to compliment the industrial style atmosphere. The service is fast and friendly. Plus, it never seems to be too crammed/crowded, even when every table is full.

Of course, thats just the inside. The dog-friendly patio is double leveled with plenty of space and one token “tickle tree*” as the focus. Grabbing a spot outside with my guy, my pup and the insanely refreshing mint lemonade, is a favorite date for me. Add in any of the items off the yet-to-disappoint lunch menu and you can definitely consider us satisfied.

BLAT Sandwich (without the “T”) with mint lemonade and the Breakfast Quesadilla with a iced vanilla latte, out on the patio. 

If in the San Fernando Valley or general LA region, be sure to stop in to try anything and everything on the menu. (Top suggestions are; the Breakfast Quesadilladeliciously overstuffed tortilla with eggs, cheese, a side of beans and pico de gallo or the Chorizo Huevos Rancheros: made traditional style and seasoned beautifully. Find the whole menu here) Then take a mind blowing brownie from the pastry case for the road — so perfect it made me cry. No exaggeration… just a borderline insane love for good chocolate.

My first fudge brownie with my first bite missing. Literally… love at first bite.
For a full look at their menu, check this
Next taste test = the Orange French Toast. Give me your review if you chomp it first. 
For more praise, check out other customer reviews here



Treat yo’self: baked mini donuts

Being maid of honor for my creative/beautiful/always-on-top-of-things cousin, I have to step up my game. First task: dessert for the bridal shower. My contribution: instead of buying cupcakes, homemade mini donuts!
Since I am obsessed with Pinterest, I, of course, found a few recipes I tackled and tweaked.

1st option: Cinnamon w/ vanilla glaze

how I served dessert to my Valentine
how I served dessert to my Valentine

Ingredients makes 24 mini donuts 
3/4 cup flour
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/3 cup milk
1 egg
1 Tbsp melted butter
1 tsp vanilla
For the Glaze
2 tablespoons milk
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup powdered sugar

Whisk together flour, cornstarch, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a mixing bowl.
In a small bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, melted butter, and vanilla. Add to the dry mixture and stir till just combined.
Spoon batter into a ziplock bag and snip off the corner. Squeeze the batter into a well greased donut pan. Fill each cup half way for perfect donut shape – or fill 3/4 to create a closed side, which works great for a “donut cup.” I did this with my first batch and the glaze sat in the middle making a delicious sugary filling.
Bake at 375° for 11-12 minutes.
Place all the ingredients in a small saucepan and cook over medium-heat, stirring constantly just until combined and no lumps appear.

(this is the original instructions) Set the saucepan over a bowl filled with hot water.
Dip the doughnuts into the glaze, one at a time, and set on a rack, glaze side up. Put something underneath the rack because some of that glaze will drip off.
Give it a few minutes before you dig in.

(my instructions) Keep pan over low burning heat. Scoop glaze and drizzle over each donut — if you went for the donut cup, pour glaze into center and drizzle lightly over the sides. Let cool for 1 minute. If you do not have a cooling rack, just throw some parchment paper on a cookie sheet and glaze/cool donuts there.

These were a big hit with my guy, especially while still warm. Next treat trail is undecided, tell me your thoughts on which flavor I should try (see poll attached.)

sources donut –creations by Kara glaze -diethood

New turf: Suburbia


We shot out of our industrial LA loft pretty fast and landed in a cozy house in La Crescenta that seriously, could not be more cozy!
After a couple weeks of maneuvering our belongings so that the fit in the new space — we are finally at a place of functionality and I am at a place of happy.
And after a few months of not posting… I am ready to get back at it! With a full kitchen, a cozy dining nook and a whole new town to explore. Bring on the hunger adventures!

If you have a craving, let’s follow it.

Almond Croissant
Cafe de Leche - interior
Cafe de Leche – interior

I’m hungry. Hungry for new tastes in new places — and almost always craving boba.

It all started when my boyfriend and I discovered almond croissants at Cafe de Leche in Eagle Rock, CA. They are DELICIOUS! And exactly what my mind would long for when I felt like treating myself or the two of us wanted some bonding time.

In need of this tasty treat while we were away from Eagle Rock, I began Yelping “almond croissants” in any area we would drive through. That led to wonderful little coffee shops and hidden bakeries with magical macarons and heavenly chai lattes. Curiosity had me searching for every craving at every chance and here I wish to share every worthy bite.