Saturday, June 30, 2012

Buttercelli Bakeshop

Gluten Free Cupcake tower

Vanilla Caramel and Coconut cupcakes
Butter, like bacon, makes everything a little bit better. You can try to find a food that butter doesn't make better, but you would be wrong. Butter literally goes with everything, and improves the flavor too! This is why we were very excited to find an organic cupcake shop local enough to try, called Buttercelli Bakeshop
Started pretty recently by sisters-in-law Shelley and Quinn Pennington, the tiny little store nestled on Ventura Blvd. in Sherman Oaks, was well worth the half hour drive from Simi Valley. 

Gluten free Chocolate with buttercream
When we arrived with 12 people, our largest review party yet, and basically took over the one outside table and the bench in front of the counter, the manager, Kel, set out to meet our every demand.  (Okay, so we don't ask too much.  We were even willing to share some chairs!)  He was truly the highlight of our visit, helping with our selections, cutting everything into sample bites, making coffees, bringing out extra chairs and answering every conceivable question about the bakery.
Gluten free Thumbprint cookies
We tried as many of the treats as we could, which ended up amounting to the equivelant of 2 full sized cupcakes per person.  Can you say, "sugar high"?  Some of us also tried the coffee and the chai lattes, as well as the flavored iced tea.  While all agreed that everything was pretty good, now that we are seasoned reviewers, there were some definite opinions about certain items.

Cherry cheesecake hand pies
More than one reviewer commented on the pure butter flavor of the buttercream frosting.  Since it is made with REAL organic unsalted butter, from Organic Valley, we even felt good about eating it!  We also all liked the cream cheese frostings.  Yum!  But the clear crowd favorite was the gluten free thumbprint cookies which were just the perfect amount of sweet.  Some of us even ordered a bunch of those to take home to share...or not...

Pumpkin Maple Doughnuts
I won't even try to list all of the items we tried, or tell you what each person thought of them.  All of the items pictured were sampled and were delicious.  Here are the basics:  all items are made with organic ingredients, including some of the coffee and the milk and half & half used in the drinks.  The gluten free items are made using a homemade blend of coconut, tapioca and brown rice flours or almond flour.  There are even some vegan options which are made with only whole food ingredients.  The oil used is palm oil and while the sugar is generally organic cane sugar or agave, I think that the owners would be willing to work with coconut sugar if requested. 

Bottom Line: 
Buttercelli's is a gem in the midst of SAD cupcake chaos.  If you need a birthday cake, a party catered or just a healthy sweet treat, we can highly recommend this tiny little shop.  It is a bit of a drive to get there and we had to park a couple blocks away but we were so pleased with the service and the product that we gave them 5 forks.  (The only reason they didn't get 6 is because it is hard to find local flours and other baking products.) $

Monday, June 4, 2012

Composting Workshop

Simi At The Garden
and the
Simi Valley 

Weston A. Price Foundation 

Composting Workshop

When:  Saturday, June 9th
 Time:  4pm to 6pm
Where:  Simi At The Garden
1636 Sinaloa Road, Simi Valley, CA

Cost: $10
  (Payable on event day)

Space is limited. Please RSVP with:
or on Facebook Event page:
Simi At The Garden

Learn how to turn your kitchen 
and garden waste into black gold!
Join us for a 2-hour hands-on workshop 

and learn to create nutrient-rich compost for your garden.

Some of the topics to be covered:

What is composting, and how does it work?
So many ways to compost-which is best for you?

Selecting a location.
The perfect compost recipe.
What's the Carbon to Nitrogen ratio all about?

Let's build a compost pile.
Moisture and oxygen.
How long does it take?
Compost bin. Buy or build?

Food composting ... how to?
Sheet composting.
GrassCycling ... What is that?

How do you know it's finished?
Now what do I do with it?
Why use compost at all?

Troubleshooting .... what went wrong?

Bring your questions and curiosity, and we'll turn them into food for your garden!

*Compost image provided by the University of Washington