Tag Archives: baking

Magnolia Bakery NYC: Banana Pudding

Walking around Ham’s neighbourhood of Greenwich Village my first night in NYC I went looking for Magnolia Bakery which I knew was on 401 Bleecker Street and W. 11th Street.

When I finally did find the small shop after asking a few people who didn’t know what I was talking about (?). I was happy to pop in and check out their wares.

Indeed there were cupcakes and indeed they are famous for them but I gravitated towards something different.  The Banana Pudding.  Oh yes, if you are a fan of Banana desserts this baby is for you.

Layers of vanilla wafers, fresh bananas and creamy vanilla pudding.  For a 12 oz tub at $5, I was game.

Gosh, it was amazing.  So yummy, fresh and decadent.  I would eat half the tub in one sitting and store the other half of the tub for the following day in Ham’s fridge.  I repeated this effort twice whilst in NYC.

Next time you are at Magnolia Bakery, maybe skip the cupcakes and go for the real winner – the Banana Pudding.



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One of the best parts of my trip to Boston last November was the Boston Chocolate Tour I took of the South End of Boston.  It was such a blast and I got to meet some cool people too.  I love taking off the beaten track tours when I travel.  It gives me a real flavour of the neighbourhoods and a grass roots take from its locals.

The November Fall weather made for a lovely jaunt around town and the eating of crazy amounts of chocolate from some pretty swish boutique cafes and shops whilst I was on holiday.  On the tour be ready to pick up plenty of samples on the way, plus tips on tasting, buying and storing fine chocolate.  Each participant also receives a VIP Card, good for discounts and VIP treatment at local gourmet businesses.

I was glad that the leader gave us a Ziploc bag that came along with my goodie bag at the start of our journey.  I came with a full belly but man I can eat only so much chocolate.  I’m glad I saved the lion’s share of the samples.  They came to good use when I was able to eat them for dinner on my flight back to Toronto.  😉  Holla!


 The exclusive 2 ½-hour walking tour highlights the historic South End neighborhood. This area is home to elegant Victorian brick row houses, many dating from the 1800s, and one of the most diverse populations in Boston.

Some of the destinations we visited were:

 •Feature stop: ChocoLee  – this award winning chocolate shop is owned by Lee Napoli one of Yankee Magazine’s Top 5 Chocolate Makers

 •Enjoy chocolate heaven in the form of a homemade Oreo at a bakery owned by Celebrity Chef Joanne Chang

 •Yelp reviews call this hidden spot’s “chocolate chip cookies” to die for

 •A neighborhood landmark restaurant with a celebrity chef shares their special chocolate martini during their pajama brunch

 •The best homemade chocolate ice cream in Boston can be found at this Pizza restaurant

 •Enjoy cupcakes named The Madison, The Harriet and The Simon voted “The Best of Boston” by the Improper Bostonian

 •Rosie’s Bakery is not in the South End but their famous chocolate orgasm is and we know where to find and sample it.

The Boston Chocolate Tour of the South End meets on Saturday afternoon’s at 2:00PM at Code 10, 1638 Washington Street in Boston’s South End. The walk itself is moderate and it ends near the Boston Center for the Arts.

My favourite spot on the chocolate walking tour was a stop at the world renowned Flour Bakery.  The homemade Oreo Cookie were to die for and the gluten free brownies were enough to put me into diabetic shock.  I’m glad I indulged on the trip early on because tons of walking was needed to work that decadence off.  😉

I even found the book ‘Flour’ by Joanne Chang that housed the recipes for these two gorgeous creations.  It retails for $35.00 USD from Chronicle Books.  Check it out here:

‘Flour’ by Joanne Chang $35.00 USD from Chronicle Books

‘Flour’ by Joanne Chang $35.00 USD from Chronicle Books

Advance tickets required for any of the Boston Chocolate Tours – tour size is limited to 14.  Check them out here:  http://www.bostonchocolatetours.com/tours/

Thank you to Victoria and Veronique for such a fun and highly educated chocolate walking tour!


Mel xo

Boston Bakery Review: Mike’s Pastry (Boston, MA)

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Mmmmmmm as I flip through my Boston travel pictures I’m reminded instantly of the lovely scents of baked goods at Mike’s Pastry in the North end of Boston.

I was on a walking tour of the North End one afternoon when I asked the tour guide, Michelle, why it seemed like every other person had a Mike’s Pastry box.  She mentioned, well Mike’s is the place you go when you want great desserts.  It’s either you like Mike’s or Modern’s baked goods when you live in Boston. 

So one night after walking around town all day – I found myself starving and got on the trolley a few stops to Haymarket Subway station and walked across the street to find a place to catch some dinner.  The wait for one restaurant was endless so after popping my name down I wandered over to Hanover street determined to pick up a couple of treats for my after dinner meal.

According to Mike’s Pastry’s website:

‘The streets of Boston’s North End have been in no small part defined by the ongoing legacy of Annette and Mike, their ancestors and enormous extended family and the spirit and inspiration brought to the North End of Boston by this neighbourhood-defining family.’

What do they sell?  Well Italian pastry, biscotti, cakes, cookies, pies, squares, torrone, American favourites, gelati and marzipan.

I had no idea what to get when I got into the bakery.  There were people everywhere and man it was overwhelming.  By the time I go to the counter I saw the red velvet cupcakes just staring at me and the lemon cello cupcakes looked amazing too.  There were rows and rows of cannolli’s, cakes, slices of cakes, brownies….oh man. 

When the lady behind the counter asked me in a traditional Bawstin accent (tee hee) what I wanted I gave her my order and also asked her which cannolli was the most popular.  She told me the chocolate chip cannolli was a hot seller.  So she added that to my order too.

After my meal at the restaurant I got back to my hotel and put the kettle on.  I got into bed and peeled the wrapper off the lemon cello cupcake.  I bit into it and a lemon jelly oozed out of it.  The cake was velvety and so fresh.  The icing was very sweet but tied the cake and jelly together perfectly.  I went into sugar shock after that.  I don’t think I got out of bed for awhile after that and I my tea was already steeping.  Ughh.

After my shower – I dove into the chocolate chip cannolli.  Man, heaven.  In Toronto the cannolli’s I usually buy tend to be too crunchy and the mascarpone cheese slightly hard.  Mike’s cannolli’s, the pastry was soft but not too soft and the cheese was luscious.  The chocolate chips were just enough and not overpowering.  I ate small bites as I sipped my second tea that night.  Pure joy.

When I woke up the next morning I was so tired but I remembered I still had the red velvet cupcake in the box on my desk.  I picked up the cupcake and took a bite….the cake again was velvety smooth with a hint of cocoa.  The icing was so overindulgent.  I really should not have been having it for breakfast but nevertheless it went down quickly and man I felt like a lucky girl after it.

 I wish I had more time in Boston to indulge in Mike’s goodies…but maybe it was a good thing that I discovered him on my last night in Boston.  Especially for my waist line’s sake. 😉


Mike’s Pastry

300 Hanover St  Boston, Massachusetts 02113, United States

 (617) 742-3050

Yours in baking,

Mel xo