Sunday, January 29

Corner Bakery Cafe Bfast Panini: A Review

Attn: Corner Bakery Cafe, Mission Valley, CA.

FYI: That means, "for your information", for your information...anyway, FYI, if you're going to offer a promotional for a menu item and require your customers to pick a "reservation" time, your store should be OPEN during that reservation time.  Really?!  That's right.  I picked the 7am-8am time slot, because it was the only time slot open for today {Sunday, 1/29/12} and I figured it was the weekend, I'd have no problem getting there.  So Tiny Baker and I hopped in the car {of course husband was still sleeping...wasted coupon for him} and drove out to Mission Valley from South Bay San Diego, arrived around 7:50ish, walked up to the front doors of the Cafe and...LOCKED!  Locked?  Locked!  Really, locked?  Yes!  We saw a few employees inside, double checked the hours of operation, double checked our coupon, and sure enough, 7-8am, but the restaurant doesn't open until 8am.

Marketing Fail!

Let's discuss this supposed item they wish to call a "Panini"...which should really be called a "Panino"{but that's a whole 'nother post".  I was imagining thick, rustic slices of pane, grilled to perfection, melted swiss{according to their description} cheese oozing out of the sides, soft fluffy eggs, and nice thin slices of shaved ham.  Flavors uniting, melding, marrying...My mouth was watering.  I had been anticipating this very moment.  The crunch was coming.  I unwrapped the package, rolled out my sandwich, my eyes open wide with excitement, and this is what I saw...

Objects on screen are MUCH smaller than they appear...and more wilted

Personally, I like cheddar better than swiss, so that error will be forgiven.  The spinach could be skipped altogether.

It came with a small cup of:


However, I'm not sure how fresh it looked kind of creamy inside.  It was something I had no desire to try.

The best part?:

This is iced water, with squeezed lemon wedges and a few packets of Splenda {usually 1, sometimes's all "to taste"}.  It's my new favorite drink.  Bonus:  it's free!  The catch?  I made it myself. 

The biggest issue I had was with the bread.  I would've preferred a thicker slice, that was actually toasty.  This bread was about 1/8-1/4in thick, with grill lines, but not toasty one bit.  The flavor was, OK.  Nothing spectacular.  The ambiance is cozy, though.  I hope they have a better promotional next time that will sway me.

I rename this sandwich a "Pa-NO-NO".  Try again, Corner Bakery Cafe.

Corner Bakery Cafe
1025 Camino de la Reina
San Diego, CA 92108
Map & Directions
Corner Bakery Cafe on Urbanspoon

-Becky Charms

Saturday, January 28

Pinning, Pinning...on Pinterest

If you were wondering, how you can get MORE of me, find me on Pinterest.

Check it out.  It's amazing being able to collect your virtual design collaborations into one spot, for personal reference and the ability to share your ideas with others.  It's a community.

Here's direct access to all of my amazing pins and boards...and a few of my newest pins:

Piggy Macarons

Quilt Square Valentine Cookies

Pouf Fairy Wand

Button Cookies

 Lately I'm been wrapped up in finalizing everything for Tiny Baker's 3rd Birthday Party.  The theme is Tinkerbell!  So I've been searching and searching for inspiration...if you know anyone interested, I've been building a board with this theme as well.  She's Turning 3 Tinkerbell Party.

In order to join Pinterest, you must request an invitation, or if you know someone who has it, they can email you an invite.  

It's a world worth joining.  Happy Pinning, everyone.  

I can't wait to see your inspiring pins!

-Becky Charms
2012 Cheer & Triumph

Wednesday, January 25

First-Time Coffee Cake

 Did someone say "coffee cake"?  Ohhhhh yeahhhhh!!  Let me begin by saying that I have been craving...CRAVING coffee cake for days, even weeks.  I've never even really liked it, and I had never ever baked it, but something in me wanted it more than a pregnant lady wants pickles and ice cream. {oh yeah, gummy bears and ice cream has been another recent craving of mine...but I'm NOT pregnant, I just like what I like.}  Triumph.

 My first resource for recipes is the Weight Watchers website.  It's important to see how I can "lighten" things up, or bake something for super low I can eat MORE!  After that, I usually just Google the recipe I'm looking for and browse the selections.  Cooking Light is a nice resource, and King Arthur Flour recipes will ALWAYS be delicious {just not necessarily "light"}.  When it comes to KAF, I'll make the sacrifice: higher points for higher flavor!!

 While I was baking my cake, I Googled to see what other people had to say about baking coffee cake, and I read about it being a sponge cake.  That definitely explains the texture of the batter!  The batter was very sticky, and a tad difficult to spread the top half of batter over the crumble filling.  I have no idea how you could "spoon" this batter.  I ended up slapping it down and spreading it out with a spatula and my fingers {washed in 101 deg. F water for 20 seconds, of course}.  That's my ServSafe Certification coming out.  

 In the end, totally WORTH IT!  This recipe was medium difficulty, but I think it's just because of the spreading part.  The flavor was delectable, and this cake disappeared in front of our eyes...and into our tummies!  I made 2 plates and sent them over to the neighbors.  Cheer.

Read below on "How to make the best Cinnamon-Streusel Coffee Cake"...

 Adapted from Cinnamon-Pecan Streusel Coffee Cake
{Changes I made: Nonfat Greek Yogurt instead of Sour Cream, Unsalted Butter instead of Salted, Walnuts instead of Pecans}

5 WW Pts+ per serving, 16 servings {single batch} 32 servings {double batch}
{Double batch is perfect for sharing half with your friends, family, and neighbors}

Printable Recipe here.

  • spray(s) butter-flavour cooking spray
  • 1 3/4 cup(s) all-purpose flour {I made a double batch, and used 1/2 all-purpose, 1/2 white whole wheat}   
  • 2 tsp baking powder     
  • 1 tsp baking soda    
  • 1/2 tsp table salt     
  • 3/4 cup(s) sugar    
  • 3 Tbsp salted butter {I used unsalted, it's what I had...then I just added a pinch of salt into the sugar/butter when I beat it.}     
  • 1 cup(s) Fage 0% Greek Yogurt {I buy mine at Costco}
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract {Nielsen-Massey}  
  • 2 large egg(s)    
  • 1/3 cup(s) packed light brown sugar     
  • 1/4 cup(s) chopped walnuts, toasted   
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon    
  • 1/2 cup(s) powdered sugar     
  • 3 tsp fat-free skim milk    
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract {Nielsen-Massey}  
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. {or 325°F Convection}
  • Coat an 8-inch square baking pan with cooking spray. {or 9X13 for a double batch}
  • Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  • Beat white sugar and butter {and a pinch of salt, if using unsalted butter} with a mixer at medium speed until well-blended. Add Nonfat Greek yogurt, vanilla and eggs; beat well. Add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating just until dry ingredients are moist.
  • Chop/Mince the nuts, and then sift. {this gives it a more professional look, eliminating the dust/powder}
  • Combine brown sugar, walnuts and cinnamon in a small bowl.
  • Spoon/Spatula half of batter into prepared pan; sprinkle evenly with half of brown sugar mixture. Spoon/Spatula remaining batter over brown sugar mixture and spread evenly. Sprinkle remaining brown sugar mixture over batter. Bake at 350°F {or 325°F Convection} for 40 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 15 minutes on a wire rack.
  • Combine powdered sugar, milk and 1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla in a small bowl; stir until smooth. Drizzle over coffee cake. Yield: 16 servings (serving size: 1⁄16 of coffee cake).
 Happy Baking and Yummy Tasting!

-Becky Charms

Friday, January 20

Bonita Donuts : A Review

Tiny Baker decided to wake up at 6am this morning.  Do you know what that means?  DONUTS!  If you're going to wake up before the sun comes up, there's only one thing that can make it all better.  Ok, two.  {Starbucks}Coffee...and DONUTS.

I did a quick Google search looking for a better donut shop than the ones previously visited: Sunny Donuts, Yum Yum... I've been on a kick lately for shopping local and shopping Small {Businesses} being a new business owner myself {Shop not officially up and running yet}. I have a soft spot in my heart for local businesses and supporting them.

Bonita Donuts is close to our house, and so it seemed the perfect choice.  That, and they were open.  But I guess it is customary for donut houses to open early.  Good for us.

The donut shop was pretty basic:  but there's something special about this one.  Something that no others I've been to have going for them.  Bonita Donuts serves and sells Glazed Yeast Donut Holes!!  What?  Glazed Yeast Donut Holes! You *read* me right.  They are 10 for $1, and they are the softest, fluffiest, yummiest donut holes I have ever had, no kidding.  I wasn't expecting much from a strip mall donut shop, but, nevertheless, they Wow'd me.  Usually, I can only ever find the cakey ones.  Today, I experienced Triumph.  

The woman behind the counter was very friendly, welcoming us with a "Good Morning" greeting and bright smile.  She was smiley, and made us feel so special.  Tiny Baker was looking for something with sprinkles and decided on a pink glazed yeast donut with sprinkles, of course.  I chose the donut holes.  When we got to our table {because the donut shop experience should most definitely include eating in-house}, we peeked inside our small white paper take-out bags, and "Miss Donut" {what I'm calling the kind woman who assisted us in achieving our donut bliss} had so kindly gifted Tiny Baker with two of her very own donut holes.  What a Sweetheart.

I/We recommend Bonita Donuts::  ✭✭✭✭

Glazed Yeast Donut Holes: 10/$1
Pink Glazed Yeast Donut with Sprinkles: $0.85 {about}

...and because of the surprise holes in Tiny Baker's bag...$1 tip for Miss Donut!

We'll be back, Miss Donut.  Save us some holes!!

All that and it's only 8:32am.  Imagine what the rest of this day has in store...

Business Info:

Bonita Donuts
4414 Bonita Road
Bonita, CA 91902
Map & Directions

Click to add a blog post for Bonita Donuts on Zomato

-Becky Charms
2012 Cheer & Triumph

Thursday, January 19

Party City $10 off $50 Coupon {until 1/22}

Everybody has parties, and if you don't or haven't, this is the perfect time to start!  Use this coupon from Party City to purchase party items such as plates, cups, napkins, decorations, etc.  The only things it won't work with are custom invitations, sale or clearance items, and % off merchandise.

I know I'm going to use it to get some of Tiny Baker's 3rd Birthday supplies.  Hooray!

Happy Coupon Shopping!!

I'd love to see the goodies you get with this great deal!

Remember::  Valid until 1/22/12...which is in 3 hurry hurry hurry.

-Becky Charms
2012 Cheer & Triumph

Wednesday, January 18

Early Valentine, Be Mine?

I know you know that Valentine's Day is on its way!  It's the perfect opportunity for those who haven't shown much love and affection to improve their relationships with a simple gesture of flowers, cards, and candy.  Make something, buy something, or best of all, buy something handmade!!

I have seen these adorable Pie Pops before, but never as delicious looking as the ones from Williams Sonoma.  It is one of my favorite stores, and definitely my 1st choice for all Kitchen goods.  Wouldn't you love to open up a pretty package, only to reveal these tasty treats?!

To show my Tiny Baker how much I love her and think about her, I'm going to have to pick up some of these Cupid Pancake Molds and whip up a batch of the most light and fluffy buttermilk pancakes ever!  They'll really set the mood for a beautiful day loaded with loving gestures.

I love to love so this won't be my last "Lovey" post, but in the meantime, I hope you've been inspired to brainstorm a little bit on several ways that you will show the main love of your life how much they mean to you...and make Valentine's Day extra special!  

2012 Cheer & Triumph

End Piracy, Not Liberty!!

"We the People, for the People"...must stand together against SOPA & PIPA.

The Following has been taken directly from Google::

Tell Congress: Don’t censor the Web

Fighting online piracy is important. The most effective way to shut down pirate websites is through targeted legislation that cuts off their funding. There’s no need to make American social networks, blogs and search engines censor the Internet or undermine the existing laws that have enabled the Web to thrive, creating millions of U.S. jobs.
Too much is at stake – please vote NO on PIPA and SOPA.

A rapidly growing community

Opposition to the Protect IP Act (PIPA) and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) grows with each day. This brief list is just a sampling of businesses. Visit the Center for Democracy and Technology’s list for a more complete look at the individuals, organizations, experts and legislators that know how bad this legislation could be.
  1. American Express Company
  2. AOL
  3. Boing Boing
  4. BuzzFeed
  5. CloudFlare
  6. Copyblogger
  7. ConsumerBell
  8. Creative Commons
  9. Curse
  10. Daily Kos
  11. deviantART
  12. Discover
  13. Disqus
  14. DreamHost
  15. Dyn
  16. eBay
  17. Embedly
  18. Engine Advocacy
  19. ESET
  20. Etsy
  21. Facebook
  22. Fantagraphics
  23. foursquare
  24. Gandi
  25. Google
  26. GreenHostIt
  27. HostGator
  28. Hover
  29. I Can Has Cheezburger?
  30. IndieGoGo
  31. Internet Archive
  32. Irregular Times
  33. Jive Software
  34. Kaspersky Lab
  1. Kickstarter
  2. LinkedIn
  3. MetaFilter
  4. Mozilla
  6. Namecheap
  7. OpenDNS
  8. O’Reilly Radar
  10. PayPal
  11. Quora
  12. Rackspace
  13. Reddit
  14. ReferralCanday
  15. Riot Games
  16. ServInt
  17. Scribd
  18. Teachers Pay Teachers
  19. Techdirt
  20. Torrentfreak
  21. Tucows
  22. Tumblr
  23. Twitter
  24. Ubu Web
  25. Uservoice
  26. Vimeo
  27. Webs, Inc.
  28. Wikipedia
  29. WordPress
  30. Yahoo!
  31. Y Combinator
  32. Zopim
  33. Zynga Game Network
  Add BeckyCharms & Co. to that list!!

-Becky Charms
2012 Cheer & Triumph

Saturday, January 14

Sausage, Egg, & Cheese, Please?

Sausage, egg, and cheese...but a much lighter version, is definitely a winner, winner in my book!  I have always been a fan of the Sausage McMuffin with Egg breakfast sandwich at McDonald's, but knew that it wasn't good for my insides {health-wise}.  This lighter version packs so much flavor and for only 9 WWpts+, you get 2 eggs on your sandwich!  {This means that the sandwich is only 7 WWpts+ with one egg, just like the McD's version.}

It's so easy to make, and contains so many grams of protein.  It is the perfect post-workout sandwich.  It feels good to eat good. 

Click here for the delicious and tasty recipe so you can make yours today...right now, even!

-Becky Charms

Friday, January 6

The Ooga Booga Sandwich

I've been making this delicious sandwich lately that I've named the "Ooga Booga".  It brings out the gorilla in me.  Not only is it very filling, but it also satisfies all sweet cravings.  Yum.  I just can't seem to get a photo of it before I gobble it down.  It is THAT good!  I like mine after dinner, at "dessert" time...aka, TV watching time, when the baby's in bed.

Find the printable recipe here.

The Ooga Booga Recipe:
  • 1 California Baking Company Italian Roll {I purchase these at Sprouts {formerly Henry's}}
  • 28g{2 T} Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips {this is my personal preference; you could use less...but I wouldn't use more.}
  • 1 Yellow Banana

 Warm the roll in the microwave for 10 seconds. Slice in half. Spread chocolate chips {all on one side, or half on both sides of roll}. Carefully place back in microwave for additional 10-12 seconds. Take out and put banana on one side, close together, and eat. 

  1. This would be delicious toasted!
  2. Substitute dark chocolate for an antioxidant boost!

This has a total of 5 pts+.  If you only use 14g{1 T} Semi-Sweet Choco Chips, the points+ value would be reduced to 3! 

I used to love eating sugary cereal, but was never satisfied and always consumed too much {I had many favorites, but my most favorite one since childhood has been Fruity Pebbles!}  This tastes so much better than the cereal ever did, and it has real fruit in it!  Cheer & Triumph!

-Becky Charms

Sunday, January 1

Here's Your Sign, 2012

Happy New Year!!!

Have fun and Be Safe!!

Dear 2011,
It was a blast and a fabulous time.  I witnessed and experienced so many Magic & Miracles.
I am ready to experience Cheer & Triumph, the new theme of 2012!!

-Becky Charms

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