National Taco Day

Turn those flapjacks into foldjacks, and celebrate National Taco Day 🌮 !

Celebrate International Coffee Day with Those Pancakes!

Enjoy those Flapjacks with a Cup of Joe!

Celebrate International Coffee Day with Cappuccino Pancakes & Mocha Syrup. Get the recipe here

Happy National Pancake Day 2017!

Happy #nationalpancakeday 🥞 Because we could all benefit from some fun news.

First Day of Fall

“Be like a tree… and let the dead leaves drop.” – Rumi

Discover LA, Discovering Ma’amCakes

Discover LA, the official tour guide for the city of Los Angeles, asked Ma’amCakes to write a feature on the best pancakes in LA – check out the feature here!

IN THE MIX: Pancake Review with Special Guests, E! Dating Coach Laurel House and IVY Members

This weekend I had an extra special brunch with E!’s “Famously Single” Dating Coach, Laurel House AND members of The Ivy!

Over the past few months I’ve joined fellow young professionals across the country as a member of The Ivy. The Ivy, aka the world’s first Social University, was created to unite thoughtful individuals through inspiration and connections. The Ivy’s mission is “to trigger transformative ideas and collaborations that lead to unprecedented human unity, progress, and fulfillment.” As a member of the Ivy, there are various monthly social opportunities to attend, including discussions with distinguished leaders, art nights, cocktail and dinner parties, film screenings, theater and symphony performances, fitness and wellness activities, getaways, and more. Ivy Chapters are located in major cities across the country including LA, New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, and Washington DC, and chapters are opening soon in Tokyo, Tel Aviv, South Africa, Sao Paolo, London, Paris, Dubai, and more!

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As part of my Ivy membership interview we discussed Ma’amCakes at length, and soon after being approved as a member, my concierge mentioned that we should throw a Ma’amCakes-specific event! In brainstorming the perfect Guest Reviewer for the brunch, I came across this super interesting interview with Dating Coach (and Ivy member) Laurel House (unfortunately, only Ivy members can read the interview), and decided Laurel would be the perfect candidate.

Laurel, best known for her “tough love” approach, is a Dating Coach on E!’s“Famously Single,” co-host of “The Great Love Debate” podcast on PodcastOne, a Dating Coach for Three Day Rule Matchmaking and CupidsPulse, and has been a featured expert on KTLA Morning News, E! News, Good Morning America, Nightline, Glamour, AskMen, Brides.com, Thrillist.com, and dozens of other print, online, and television outlets. Her FIFTH(!) book “Screwing The Rules: The No-Games Guide to Love” was recently published with Running Press. Laurel is an expert on how-to advice, specifically how to empower clients to move on from breakups, learn how to have successful first dates, and turn those dates into healthy, fulfilling relationships.

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In spite of the frequent city-wide “no reservations” brunch policy, Doughboys graciously allowed me to make a reservation, and the lucky first 15 Ivy members to sign up had a guaranteed seat. While it was originally suggested that this be a girls-only brunch, as the main topic was about the dos and donts of dating, I thought it was crucial that this be a diverse discussion; as a result, almost half the attendees were men.

After glancing at the brunch menu and drooling over all the pancake options, we landed on the Black & Whites, Malted Cornmeal, Rice Krispy, and the Blueberry Flax pancakes, which were all split among the table.

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As brunch was being served, our table sure had a hot conversation over those delicious hotcakes. The Ivy guests were definitely not shy around Laurel, as they kicked off brunch by asking “what would you say are the biggest mistakes/trends of dating these days?” “Defining gender roles,” said Laurel, “it’s important to let the man be the man and the woman be the woman. A man should always pay, unless the woman offered to take the guy out. And also, clearly stating your intentions from the beginning – uf you’re looking for a relationship, or you’re just looking for a hookup, that’s something you need to make clear on the first date.” After all, we’re not mind readers, people!

After one of the Ivy dudes mentioned how guys are in trouble from the get go, as they have to live up to Prince Charming, Laurel explained why you should screw Prince Charming – but not literally; Prince Charming swoops you up from the life that you know, locks you up in a castle and only sets you free on his terms. Um, well THAT’S an interesting way to look at it! Laurel went on to talk about how you should be open to meeting a spouse in any surrounding (i.e. airports, Starbucks, the grocery store and more), how dating apps have seriously affected dating (and, unless you app-date with a strategy, it’s hard to find love), and how imperative it is to keep an open mind.

Overall, we shared funny stories, interesting relationship lessons, and most importantly, DELICIOUS pancakes! Laurel’s favorite were the Blueberry Flaxseed while mine, of course, were the Rice Krispy pancakes – look at those melted marshmallows! Doughboys’ Pumpkin Pancakes are some of my favorite in LA, but keep in mind, they are only served seasonally.

Thank you so much to Laurel House for being a Guest Reviewer with Ma’amCakes! Be sure to check out Laurel’s website for more tips and tricks – and especially if you’re looking for a dating coach!

Special shout out to The Ivy for helping me put this together, and a huge thank you to the guests who came to dine with Ma’amCakes and Laurel. If you’re interested in learning more about the Ivy, email teresa@ivy.com so that she can personally make sure you are guided through the membership process.

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Pancake Review: Snooze Eatery

In spite of a 4 hour delay at the airport, flying directly into a thunderstorm, then experiencing a snowstorm by the following evening – all in mid-May – I finally made it to Denver to visit my BFF. Upon tweeting various Denver news outlets for pancake recommendations, I received quite an enticing tweet from Visit Denver, enough so to lure me out of the house and into the freezing cold May Saturday:

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I figured since the weather was terrible that we’d get seated right away; much to my surprise, the wait was an hour and a half! (What’s the wait like on a good day?! Was everyone in Denver just severely hungover this weekend?)

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While waiting for our table and ingesting the ambiance of Snooze Eatery, I noticed a little treat to the left of the hostess stand:

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Free self-serve coffee while in line? That’s certainly one way to entice customers to wait the hour and a half! Fortunately for me, having a pancake blog did help lessen my wait time – or maybe I should say, traveling from LA to Denver in a thunderstorm and purposely eating my first meal at Snooze Eatery is what got me a seat! That is what you call dedication, after all.

Looking at the menu, I noticed the most important word (besides pancake) was left for the end…

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A FLIGHT of pancakes? Like a flight of wine?! What could be better! (Perhaps a pancake/alcohol flight combo… thoughts, Snooze?) Well as you can imagine, I chose this option and selected my 3 pancakes more carefully than selecting my last boyfriend.

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I ended up choosing the Strawberry Fields – which is only seasonal by the way – Peanut Butter Cup, and Chocolate Chip. Out of all 3 I’d have to say my favorite was the Peanut Butter Cup, but I did particularly enjoy the strawberry-lavender cream on the Strawberry Fields. To their credit, all 3 pancakes tasted exactly as they sound: decadent, sweet, and delicious, but most importantly: memorable. Just when I thought breakfast couldn’t get any better, I was suddenly surprised with an extra pancake placed on my table.

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The wonderfully generous employees of Snooze rolled out their flapjack carpet and surprised me with a pancake that’s not even on the menu! It’s apparently called the Sinful Pancake, but for all intensive purposes I’m just going to call it the Ma’amCakes Surprise. This beyond delicious treat included a buttermilk pancake with white chocolate chips, bacon and candied pecans, while topped with vanilla anglaise , cinnamon butter, caramel and powdered sugar. Believe it or not, out of all (4) pancakes, this was by far the best. I certainly recommend that Snooze put these bad boys back on the menu but if not, for all you FanCakes, just ask for the Ma’amCakes Surprise upon placing your order.

Overall, I had a wonderful experience reviewing my first pancakes in Denver. While I do wish I sampled some from a mom-and-pop restaurant in addition to Snooze, it is nice to know I can grab these pancakes in San Diego for any future cravings (there are also restaurant locations in AZ as well). I do wonder why the restaurant is called Snooze… maybe it’s because you need a hefty nap after this meal!

Well FanCakes, be sure to check out Snooze Eatery during your next visit to Downtown Denver – just maybe put your name on the list and go shopping in the meantime, cause you could hit the snooze button a few times before you’re actually seated!

IN THE MIX: Pancake Review with special guest, Co-Founder of Tinder, Jonathan Badeen

This weekend I was very fortunate to have Co-Founder of Tinder Jonathan Badeen join me as a Guest Reviewer for Ma’amCakes!

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Tinder, created in 2012 by Jonathan, Justin Mateen and Sean Rad, is a popular dating app that facilitates communication between mutually interested users. The app encourages users to either swipe right (or press the heart) if you’re interested, or swipe left (or press the “x”) if you’re uninterested; the only way you can message a user is if you are both a mutual match. While this feature is beneficial to prevent communication with any crazies, one of the best components of the app is that it requires a Facebook account in order for you to register. Although Tinder has received some complaints about this, Jonathan informed me that the Facebook requirement was actually created to make its female users feel somewhat safer about using the app (i.e. perhaps you might be more inclined to meet a dude when you see that you have four Facebook friends in common).

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On that note, I should mention that I actually met Jonathan because… we matched!

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Although Tinder was originally popular with students between the ages of 18-23, the demographic is slowly shifting to upper 20s-early 30s. In fact, because of these original demo statistics, the speculation began that the app was meant for just “hooking up.” Yes folks, the idea that Tinder is meant to be a straight version of Grindr is just a RUMOR! Jonathan mentioned that because college students have a (somewhat) easier time meeting their relationship candidates, students typically use Tinder strictly for hooking up, thus the rumor began. Like I suspected, Tinder can be meant for everything: finding new friends, relationships, or even a special someone you can share pancakes with. So there you have it people; calm down in those initial messages, and maybe keep it in your pants a little longer!

By definition, Tinder is “dry, flammable material, such as wood or paper, used for lighting a fire,” hence the origin of its name. As a result, when choosing a spot for this pancake review, I thought we’d keep it thematic, and visit 3rd St. hotspot Toast!

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Upon choosing our pancakes, I decided to go with the Banana Chocolate Chip Pancakes (btw, it should be noted that the chocolate chips are sprinkled into the batter, while the bananas are on top of the pancakes):

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These pancakes were delicious, and considering they were filled with chocolate chips, they actually tasted rather lite. I will admit I did use syrup (which, as you can recall, Ma’amCakes’ motto is that a truly delicious pancake doesn’t need syrup) BUT, what can I say, I like chocolate chip pancakes with syrup! It’s my go-to. The cherry on the cake of this pancake were the bananas on top. De-lish!

After asking the waitress which pancakes she recommended, Jonathan decided to go with the Multigrain Pancakes topped with fresh berries, bananas, and candied pecans:

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“These are definitely healthier pancakes,” said Jonathan, “they don’t feel too heavy.” Jonathan needed some syrup on his pancakes as “the fruit is a little tart,” but he otherwise enjoyed the meal. “I really liked the candied pecans- I’ve never had pecans in pancakes before.” I guess when you’re developing a super popular app, you don’t have time to get out much! “These definitely don’t feel gluttonous, so I won’t feel bad after.” Agreed – in fact, that’s the best part about (well-made) Multigrain Pancakes!

Thank you so much Jonathan, for being a part of Sunday brunch with Ma’amCakes! When I suggested there be a “back button” feature to the app, Jonathan said Tinder is working on it, and that while he is sworn to secrecy, we should “stay tuned for exciting new features that will allow you to engage with your matches to a new level!” Swipe right.

IN THE MIX: Pancake Review with Special Guest, Comedian and Actress, Kim Coles

Right before the holidays, I was incredibly honored to have Comedian and Actress Kim Coles join me as a Guest Reviewer for Ma’amCakes!

Kim, best known for her work on In Living Color, and Living Single, has also appeared on many television shows including Frasier, Six Feet Under, Celebrity Fit Club, and The View.

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Although I typically don’t mention how I meet my Guest Reviewers, Kim and I have a rather cosmic connection, as I actually met her on a night that I lost my job. That evening, I happened to be partaking in part-time promotional work for one of the studios, and my assignment was at The Comedy Union on Pico Boulevard in Los Angeles, CA. Kim, who was performing that night, along with the owner, took me under their wings, fed me drinks, and helped me figure out a plan of action. Of all the nights to lose your job, but still have to work an additional gig, I couldn’t have asked to be around more caring, positive, and hilarious people. For that, she should maybe consider changing her name to Kim Cools.

As fate would have it, a few weeks later I happened to spot Kim at JFK Airport in New York City(!), and to make sure it was really her, I Tweeted her just to confirm. Next thing I knew, I was in a three-way Tweet convo between Kim and Sherri Shepherd that unfolded like this:

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And finally, as I’ve locked myself in my apartment to write this review on a Saturday night (that makes me a serious writer, by the way), low and behold I discovered that today is Kim’s birthday. Coincidence? I think not!

Upon choosing a restaurant for our review, Kim informed me she was eating gluten-free, so I took her to… any guesses?? Bea Bea’s! Not only do they have some of the best pancakes in Los Angeles, but they have the largest amount of gluten-free breakfast options I’ve ever seen; I mean, check out this extensive menu!

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Kim mentioned she had many fond memories in that part of Burbank, as Living Single was shot down the street at Warner Brothers.

When repeating restaurant locations for a review, I typically try to order pancakes I’ve yet to experience from the menu, and Bea Bea’s is no exception. So, during this outing, I went with the Pink Ribbon.

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Talk about In Living Color! The freshness of the strawberries, blueberries, and bananas is making my mouth water all over again; throw in the pancakes, and I might start licking my laptop screen! The Pink Ribbon pancakes at Bea Bea’s are everything you’d imagine them to be, and more. But what’s the best part about these pancakes, you ask? The fact that they don’t need a drop syrup. After all, Ma’amCakes’ is motto is: that a truly delicious pancake doesn’t need syrup.

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Kim decided to go with the Pooh’s Sunrise (which, FYI, is on the back of the menu), so that she could incorporate bacon and eggs into her meal, and also asked to switch the maple syrup for agave. Kim definitely enjoyed her food. “These are amazing,” said Kim. “And the best part is that they don’t make my tummy hurt, like typical pancakes can do.” When asking Kim which pancakes she would try next time, Kim replied “Either the Chocolate Tuxedo or the Chocolate Fantasy.” With those choices, I’d be perfectly happy to be her partner, er, pancake in crime for the next outing!

Thank you so much, Kim, for being a part of Saturday brunch with Ma’amCakes! Be sure to check out Kim’s Gratitude Journal, and for those of you in the LA area, you can see Kim in her one-woman show at the Pasadena Fremont theater on February 21st and 22nd, as well as her performances at The Comedy Union.

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The Buttermilk Truck Pancake Event

Last week I was incredibly fortunate to personally get invited as a member of the press for The Buttermilk Truck’s pancake event at the Shangri-La Hotel in Santa Monica! Not only will their Red Velvet Pancakes be included in the Shangri-La’s brunch menu, but The Buttermilk Truck has also launched a dry mix of this flavor as well! On June 11th, pancake lovers, bloggers, foodies, press, and sunset enthusiasts gathered on the hotel’s rooftop to celebrate this exciting new venture. Check it out!

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See this tray? There’s a good chance I was responsible for eating the missing pancakes on that platter…

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Oh wait, yes! You can see in the background that it is me. What can I say, I’m obsessed with their red velvet pancakes!

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The Red Velvet Pancakes from The Buttermilk Truck were truckin’ amazing – in fact, they might just be the best Red Velvet Pancakes I’ve ever eaten. These pancakes were the right amount of everything: batter, moistness, consistency, powdered sugar, and taste. Perhaps The Buttermilk Truck should serve these pancakes on actual red velvet pillows – they’re certainly worthy of the decadence!

I have to give a HUGE thanks to Shop Talk Los Angeles and The Buttermilk Truck for including me in such a fabulous event. Between the delicious pancakes, good company, beautiful views, and divine drinks, what more could a pancake blogger ask for?!

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