Starbucks celebrates 40th (with free goodies)

To celebrate 40 years of taking over every other corner of the world, starting in Seattle, Starbucks has a couple ways to celebrate this year. (I kind of joke about the every other corner part, you know what I mean.)
Not being a coffee drinker since I was probably 12 years old, it took me a lot longer than most to jump on the Starbucks grande latte, no foam, skim milk, coffee craze. (I don’t even know if that’s a real drink.)
It wasn’t until I was introduced to the Frappuccino – frozen cappuccino – less than 10 years ago that I was sucked in. Though it’s not a daily ritual, I admit I like to treat myself to an occasional caramel frapp – being caffeine sensitive, a little of that goes a long way for me.

First, in celebration of this milestone, Starbucks will offer one free Starbucks Petite to each customer purchasing any beverage on Customer Tribute Day, from 2 to 5 p.m. today, March 10, through March 12 at participating stores in U.S. and Canada.

Starbucks Petites are eight petite sweets, perfectly sized
for an afternoon treat, that are made with
only premium ingredients and all under 200 calories. The treats range from whoopie pies to mini cupcakes and more.


I took advantage of this deal today and cooled down with a sweetened iced green tea. I decided to try the red velvet whoopie pie. The size was definitely perfect. If I was a giant, it would be a crumb but trying to be lady-like, I took a few bites to devour this little goodness that was filled with a sweet cream cheese filling and topped with a red little glaze. Careful, there was a lot of red dye in the glaze which left me with pink fingers. This was actually my first whoopie pie and the cake was moist and delicious.

At $1.50 each, it would have to be a special occasion or a bad-day pick-me-up to grab one of these small desserts. I picked up a latte for a co-worker and she tried the birthday cake flavored cake pop with light pink frosting. She said the cake was moist and sweet. She had tried other cake pops before that were crumbly but was surprised how well this one held up.

Starbucks is also launching its Starbucks Tribute Blend that pays tribute to “customers, partners (employees) and the accomplishments of coffee farmers and roasters over the past 40 years.” The new coffee is a blend of four coffees, from three coffee growing regions using three different coffee processing methods such as Aged Sumatra, that is semi-washed and aged; Sun-dried Ethiopian coffee that is naturally processed; Washed coffee from Papua New Guinea; and Washed coffee from Colombia.
The Starbucks Tribute Blend will also be available as Starbucks VIA Ready Brew.


Calling all foodies!!



Of course, I would have to be out of town when one of the largest foodie events in set to take place. Good for them because I would actually wait overnight to be the first to hit up each truck and I would be all over seconds and thirds at each truck like Winnie the Pooh to honey.

But if you’ll be in town and looking to splurge on that summer diet and workout routine, make some rounds at the second L.A Street Food Fest taking place this Saturday, July 24, at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena (1001 Rose Bowl Drive, off North Arroyo Blvd.)

More than 60 mobile food truck vendors from eateries, restaurants, celeb chefs and classic carts will park it outside the bowl while vendor booths sit under tents inside.
What will be offered? The question is really, what won’t be offered.

Everything from breakfast at Monsieur Egg to dessert from Cool Haus and Sweet Lucie’s. There will also be open bars and beer gardens for tequila and mezcal tastings, and specialty juices and cocktails.

Presale tickets are limited and only available online. No at-door sales. Tickets are $45 per person and is all inclusive, as much as you can handle. The last food fest included long lines for some foodie favorites so be sure to get there early if you want to make a couple rounds at your favorite truck or vendor..

For more information and tickets, visit

Read about how some vendors are preparing in Staff Writer Brian Charles’ story.



David Romanelli (aka Yeah Dave) is bringing his Yoga for Foodies to Los Angeles. Yoga for Foodies is a national tour  where at each stop, David collaborates with local chefs to create an unforgettable foodie experience.

On July 25, Dave will be pairing up with Akasha Richmond, chef founder of the critically acclaimed Culver City-based Akasha Restaurant, Bar, Bakery.

During the event, the morning will begin with David’s flowing yoga class whose message and music will emphasize a more sustainable pace.

Following yoga while participants are relaxed and in the moment, Akasha will lead a guided tasting inspired by her years of cooking for and studying with Yogi Bhajan, and how his teachings influenced her style of cooking. Akasha began her professional career at Yogi Bhajan’s Golden Temple Conscious Cookery, a now defunct but once popular vegetarian restaurant in Los Angeles.

Menu highlights include: giner-mint lemonade and organic mango lassi; local farm egg and goat cheese frittata with spinach and caramelized onions; cumin and coriander spiced lamb sausage; grilled tandoori vegetable salad with coleman farms greens, white corn, zucchini, red peppers, and chutney dressing; punjabi focaccia with holy basil pesto, heirloom tomatoes, grilled eggplant, fresh paneer; fresh baked blackberry coffee cake, peach scones, and housemade preserves.

Yoga for Foodies will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tickets are $54. Reservations are required.
Akasha Restaurant, Bar, Bakery is at 9543 Culver Blvd., Culver City. For more information, call (310) 845-1700.

We all scream for ice cream, Sunday

This Sunday will be the perfect day for a cool sundae.

National Ice Cream Day is on Sunday, July 18. In 1984, President Ronald Reagan and his veritable sweet tooth designated July as National Ice Cream Month and the third Sunday of the month as National Ice Cream Day.

Tastee-Freez will be taking part in National Ice Cream Day as well as celebrate their 60th anniversary this month. To celebrate Ice Cream Day and their anniversary, visit a Tastee-Freez and enjoy an Old Fashioned Sundae, the new Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Freezee or a traditional vanilla soft-serve cone, which can be dipped in the signature Tastee-Freez chocolate. Tastee-Freez is available in the majority of Wienerschnitzel and Hamburger Stand locations.

If you’re looking for more unique varieties on the cool treat, check out this blog post from our Rose Magazine summer issue, where staff wrtier Emma Gallegos painfully explored some cool treats in west San Gabriel Valley.

You could wait around for your favorite ice cream truck to come by on Sunday and grab yourself a cone, Big Pop popsicle or creamsicle, or you could just head to your local store and pick up a box to share – you never know when you’ll need a favor from your neighbor.

I’m gonna keep a look out for a paleta man. A palet is a Mexican popsicle made of fruit juice and sometimes pieces of real fruit. Yum! I’ll even settle for a vanilla raspado (flavored ice cone).

Of course, there’s also Baskin Robbins (Pralines and Cream or Rocky Road never let me down) and Cold Stone Creamery.

Heck, there’s even Thrifty ice cream found at Rite-Aid stores and even a cool scoop from McDonald’s will hit the spot.

And for the lactose intolerant, go for some sorbet, of which most varieties are dairy-free.

Whether you head out or stay in with your favorite cool treat, don’t be afraid to go all out – it is a national holiday right?

What’s your favorite ice cream? Where do you go for a cool treat?

Ice cream vs. soft serve vs. Pinkberry

We’re in nebulous period between winter and summer. It can get very cold and very hot within a couple of days or hours. Still, it’s not too early to start thinking about ice cold summer treats. With some input from around the newsroom, here’s a pros and cons list for ice cream, soft serve and Pinkberry-like frozen yogurt.


Ice Cream Pros
Super rich and creamy
Sundaes, Banana splits, shakes, floats
Ice cream sandwiches
More than 31 flavors
Chocolate and Peanut Butter ice cream from Baskin Robbins

Ice Cream Cons
Really fattening
Brain freeze
More fat, sugar and calories
Freezer burn
Feeling so full you don’t want to get up


Soft Serve Pros
Easy access (McDonald’s)
Good ice cream substitute
Goes well with chocolate syrup
Great with toppings
Served in baseball helmets
It swirls!

Soft Serve Cons
Somewhat fattening
Fewer flavors
Can’t “mix-in” toppings
Melts easily


Pinkberry Pros (or similar frozen yogurts)
Won’t weigh you down
Nontraditional toppings — Cocoa Puffs, Mochi, Specialty fruits
Fewer flavors
Healthy bacteria (better BM?)
Trendy, therefore cool
Cute name

Pinkberry Cons (or similar frozen yogurts)
Fewer locations, not sold in stores
Not like ice cream
Can get expensive
Not usually served in a cone
Long lines
Trendy, therefore for followers
There are no pink berries in Pinkberry
Sounds too much like Blackberry

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