Cuisine - Desserts, Foodie Destination, Shopping

Foodie Destination: Ghirardelli Square

Ghirardelli Square SignNo trip to San Francisco is complete without taking a few nibbles of chocolate from those chocolate dream-makers at Ghirardelli. However, Ghirardelli isn’t just one store. It’s an entire square just steps from the Bay City’s waterfront, overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz.

I have never been to SF before so when I found I’d have a little free-time after a work conference, I had to make the most of it. Trolley ride, dim sum and a stroll through Chinatown, and a famous Ghirardelli hot fudge sundae straight from the source.

I’m no stranger to Ghirardelli’s decadent treats. I’ve enjoyed their sundaes already at their locations at Downtown Disney in Walt Disney World and on the Miracle Mile in Chicago. Ghirardelli’s sundaes are special because theyLombard Street in San Francisco make their own hot fudge and you can select milk or dark chocolate. The result is a dessert that will have you licking up every last morsel of fudgy goodness.

After being coaxed into a little second story restaurant in Chinatown and enjoying a quiet, yet great dim sum meal, I took the old-fashioned cable cars down to the wharf area. Our trip took us past Lombard Street, the famous avenue with eight hairpin turns. The end of the Powell-Hyde Cable Car line is just a short, two-block walk to Ghirardelli Square.

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Cuisine - Desserts, Shopping

Kara’s Cupcakes – San Francisco

Kara's Cupcakes San FranciscoChef Kara Lind has been featured on Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars” and in magazines like “The Knot.” Her cupcake flavors run the gamut from traditional (chocolate, vanilla and red velvet) to some more creative ones like “Sweet S’mores” and passion fruit.

When I was recently in San Francisco for work, I walked to the wharf area so I could hit Ghirardelli Square, the Mecca for chocolate lovers. While roaming the little shopping area, I came across Kara’s Cupcake’s. Even though I didn’t indulge to try one of her cuppies, I did grab a few pictures. (Sorry, I had to save room for the massive hot fudge sundae I was about to inhale all by myself! I know it’s a tough job I have…)

The store is filled with natural light from the floor-to-ceiling windows and lots of pink.

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Cuisine - Desserts, Recipes

Uber-Simple Homemade Peanut Butter Cups

I’ve been cooking a lot more now that we are getting a little bit more settled in the new digs. It also helps that I’ve been finding so many great recipes online and in books to try. So, when this super simple – almost too simple – recipe for homemade peanut butter cups popped in my Twitter feed (thanks to Alison Sherwood of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and her blog “Post-College Kitchen”), I HAD to try it.

Homemade peanut butter cupsSeriously, this recipe is SO easy. You need just a few ingredients. No need to bake anything. Just mix it together and chill in the freezer. Within about 30 minutes, you have an awesome dessert or snack!

Here’s what you need:

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Cuisine - Desserts, Places - Chicago

Destination Chicago: Ghirardelli

Ghirardelli entrance in ChciagoWhile it’s home really is San Francisco, Ghirardelli Chocolate Company does have a midwest location off Michigan Ave. in downtown Chicago. This heavenly little shop exudes sweet smells that drift past Water Tower Place and direct you through its doors.

Under an iconic sign of bright lights (a smaller version of the one you can find in Ghirardelli Square in San Fran), Ghirardelli in Chicago is both a retail location and ice cream shoppe.

After dinner at Gino’s East and a stroll up Michigan Ave. on our recent weekend in Chi-Town, we decided to indulge our sweet tooth in a rich, hot fudge-covered treat from Ghirardelli.

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