dessert diaries : week one - petit fours



hi there, me again. 

i know i keep things pretty casual here and hopefully real (real casual) but my little corner of the internet is about to get a whole lot sweeter..

some how the stars aligned and the universe granted me access to this very private & elusive building that’s been living in downtown las vegas since 2019 -again, how (witchcraft)? it is with great pleasure that i get to share that i am currently enrolled in the pastry program at amaury guichon’s pastry academy. it is pretty bonkers that i am verbalizing that since attending pastry school has been a pipe dream of mine since forever or so i thought. 

my first week at the academy is officially in the books and i have nine more to go. is that crazy? absolutely. do i have a giant smile on face? 100%. 

don’t get me wrong this is an intense program and it’s not all sugar & butter, there will be a lot of hard work but i am here for it! the tired hits different when you are feeding something you are genuinely passionate about and it is wild. i feel really privileged to go through this experience with 19 other unique individuals with such versatile backgrounds that all seem to be as equally devoted to getting the most out of the program too. i can’t think of the last learning environment where everyone in the room truly wanted to be there.

maybe amaury guichon’s name sound familiar? maybe last year around thanksgiving you binged his netflix show, school of chocolate. and yes, he most definitely is that “one pastry guy” on tiktok.


you probably have scrolled past some of his chocolate masterpieces on instagram or are one of his 10 million (millions??) followers.


as if it was a fever dream, on an monday in october i got to sit in a room with the prince of pastry, 2 other amazing chefs (michel ernots + francois delair), a room full of strangers and say “hi my name is rita and i really love pastry”.


what. is. life.

the lows can feel real fkn low but i caught a high wave and i’m going to see where it takes me.

if you’ve ever thought to yourself “huh, pastry school sounds pretty dope” i sure do hope you decide to come along for the ride with with me. i think we are going to have a ton of fun.

week one was focused on basic skills and petit fours but the first two days started off a little more traditional classroom. our instructors spoke on kitchen safety, cleanliness. they spoke in depth about butter + fats, dairy, sugar and the history of pastry.

procope was added to my paris bucket list. this brasserie opened in 1660 by pastry chef francesco capelli and was the first ice cream shop in paris. my dudes, that was 362 years ago. uh, why yes i would like to have my profiteroles with a side of deep historical value please and thank you. 

speaking of profiteroles.. lets get into the goods that are week one’s bakes:


classic chouquettes filled with vanilla pastry cream.

french word of the day:

petit lait- whey


all packaged up to be shared, there will be so much more sharing.

french meringues, not to be confused with italian or swiss meringue (which we also did make too).


madeleines dipped in yummy chocolate glaze topped with a chocolate ganache


a beautiful assortment of macarons compliments of my fellow classmates and i.

each student pairing made a different flavor and at the end of class we all got to take home a little bit of each other’s goodness. i only ate a few macarons but we sampled all the ganache fillings. you know, for research purposes. my type of required learning.


a little sampler box because hellos are better with brown paper packages. 

i can’t (should not!) eat them all, hello. *send help*


after a week i hit up amazon for some items i didn’t know i needed:

  • extra socks that have cushioned bottoms
  • piping bags
  • a re-up on demerara sugar
  • pastry cream powder 
  • tide pens
  • a couple of silpats 

i have a running wish list in my head of things i would love to have but definitely don’t need right away. i am going to try to keep purchases at a minimum and only nab the items i really feel are necessary and most useful.

welp, i think that about sums it up for now - i don’t know about you but it was a lot stimulation.

stay tuned for week two, its bread week baby!


happy eating (and baking)!



the Foodcourt : blooming buns bakehouse


if you could only smell how amazing this box of carefully crafted, sugary-carby goodness is. i think i huffed it for a full 2-minutes at least! please no judging, as a reminder this space is a judgement free zone. 


a fairly new bakeshop which popped up in the same suite that retro bakery used to occupy. if you’ve been reading my blog (or would like to use the search function) you probably have seen my prior post/s about the beloved cupcake bakery. 


same, same but different. i recognize the space but blooming buns bakeshop has entirely different vibes than the former occupant. 

down to business.

let’s take a peek at the goods, the baked goods.


a few savory options if you are craving an everything “bagel” option.


a whole army of brionuts, which are doughnuts made from brioche dough.


the ube coconut cream brionut is out of this world! such a delicate, light and fluffy filling which i happily devoured in about 3 motivated bites. 


their cookies are so thicccc they gots buns.

SO many ube options makes my filipino heart happy, it’s hard not to take one of everything even though i basically did..

what did come home with me you ask?


iced intelligentsia mocha, naturally.


a selection of brionuts and cookiebuns.


ube bread pudding? yes, absolutely. 

its rad getting to enjoy ube in 4 different ways from one single bakery haul. they are also known for their honeycomb candy that they make, a local ice cream shop uses it in one of their ice cream flavors (which yes, happens to be an ube flavor). 

don’t forget to follow this tasty bakery on instagram for updates.

happy eating!



2021 Recap In Food

what can i say, i am a woman of few words- well, one of few blog posts that’s for sure. i sometimes wonder who ends up reading these periodic internet rants of mine. if you’re out there, hello you. thanks for tuning in, i appreciate ya!

i often hear people speak about these last few years being extremely difficult. what with all the unprecedented times and what have you. for me everything was different after february 23, 2020 to be exact. right before the entire world shut down. nothing and i mean nothing has been the same since then. i’ve learned all of the faces of grief during that time and i know so have a lot of other people. but with healing comes kindness, towards others but most importantly starting with yourself. i hope i do a better job of spending active time practicing that. 

i haven’t been sharing much on instagram these days and if ‘best nine’ is still a thing that would basically encapsulate my entire year of posts. don’t get me wrong, i still take plenty of photos. i really cannot stop raving about how good these iphone cameras are getting, dlsr who? but social media wasn’t really my jam last year.

2021 was a year that i don’t quite have the right words for so? i am going to recap the best way i know how, with food of course. let’s take it from the top.


fat ass deli sandwiches are mine and my sis’s comfort food. 


first dish in the wok my mom gave me. shrimp diane.


corned beef topped with eggs and served with garlic fried rice.


my mama’s classic side dishes. spinach adobo + stir fried eggplant.


breakfast in bed via my wonderful sister.


korean hot dogs help make sad days better. look at them! (CrunCheese Korean Hot Dog)


cooking is therapy for me. more of my mama’s filipino dishes. monggo with shrimp and pork bagoong. 


i can never resist poke nachos. i like to eat them with extra seaweed.


at home werk lunch.


one tray dinner. baked salmon and asparagus topped with parmesan cheese.

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st. patty’s day leprechaun sized dinner. oven baked corned beef + roasted brussels sprouts + smashed garlic potatoes.

a solo leftover dinner.


breakfast for two.

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it was a full morracan service that started with a table side rose water hand wash. what a delightful dining experience this was. (Marrakech Vegas


sushi take out (yummy grill & sushi)


ube ice cream topped with macapuno strings + nata de coco. filipino midnight snack.


french pastries and a croque monsieur. (La Belle Terre Bakery & Cafe)


vodka + calamansi juice is a perfect combo.


friday night sushi take out + marvel in bed. i lean towards tuna with my sushi choices, if there is garlic - even better! (Sapporo Revolving Sushi)


hong kong street style matcha waffle.


classic pot roast dinner. 


breakfast on the go go.


leftover pot roast stroganoff for werk lunch.


oven baked salmon + parmesan roasted asparagus + white rice is a meal i eat fairly often. i usually finish with a few dashes of ponzu. it goes great with salmon!


a straight up smol bucket of coconut milk tea. generally i add egg pudding and only once in awhile boba. (Easy Life Boba)


chocolate + reese’s pb chip cookies. 


a trip to trader joe’s. what are your favorites? i always try to have their chicken tikka samosas, wild mushroom & black truffle flat breads and chicken chile verde burritos in my freezer. 


biscuits n’ gravy + guava mimosas is a great way to sunday brunch at home.


a love/hate relationship with crumbl’s weekly changing menu. i love trying new cookies but i hate that i can’t get my favorites whenever i am craving them. (Crumbl Cookies)


bbq chicken pizza for a weekday dinner? you betcha.


instant pot chicken alfredo. i’ve experimented doing a few noodles dishes in the instant pot and this was one was added to the repeat offender list. (Recipe)


on occasion i like to get pho’cked up. (Pho Rose)


orange chicken, just add rice.


i keeping changing how i cook my steaks at home. most of the ways involve a cast iron skillet though. i tend to start top side and searing both sides before finishing in the oven. the very best homemade steak i have ever eaten was cooked sous vide and then finalized with a proper searing in a cast iron skillet (duh). i haven’t dived into the land of sous vide but some day that will happen, i am adding it to the kitchen bucket list. 


brunched. buttermilk waffles + breakfast sausage + extra crispy bacon


potato salad how my mama taught me. no funny business, i hear there are people out there adding raisins, RAISINS! please explain yourselves. gold potatoes + a few chopped hard boiled eggs+ mayo + minced yellow onion + sea salt + cracked black pepper + thinly sliced green onions + smoked paprika on top. 


i finally have my gravy recipe perfected. homemade biscuit or the kind that explode from a can, whatever the quality of the carb in use the gravy is the main star. all that AND crispy bacon too swoon 


my chicken-less chicken noodle soup + grilled cheddar wurst with (2) types of mustard and diced sweet onion. another successful werk lunch.


saturdays mean fresh thai food at the bangkok market. if ya know, ya know and well i guess by reading this you do too. eating in thailand was tastebud bud training course. in most thai restaurants in the US you will notice that the dessert section of the menu is rather tiny. this is misleading AF! sticky rice with mango is delish but it’s only a taste of what is out there. i don’t know if most americans wouldn’t be receptive to some harder to find sweet treats but if you have a gluten allergy (i don’t but its fun to point out food compliant accidents) and love coconut i am telling you, you have to get your hands on some off the books thai treaties. (Bangkok Market)


balance, one fat bastard salad and air fried crispy potato goodness.


green curry instant noodles + pork & chive mandu + braised bamboo shoots.


give me ALL the cookies. the s’mores ones were to DIE for drools (Insomnia Cookies)


special delivery: assorted macarons. yes, there was a cheesy flavored one. (Makarohn)

tuna poke bowl. i told you, 100% not joking about my love for tuna. (Paina Cafe)


toasted cinnamon raisin bagel. 

half: irish butter, half: pb + nutella - try it.


soft scrambled eggs + crispy bacon + cup of coffee. 

i used to hate scrambled eggs until i figured out how to make it perfectly how i like it. 

scrambled eggs tips n’ tricks: use a dash of water when whisking your eggs together (i often whisk in a smol sprinkle of mushroom bouillon), use a plastic baking spatula, a generous amount of butter and low heat. move your eggs around often using your spatula, cook until no longer runny/wet but be careful to not overcook.


sometimes you just need a box of freshly baked krispy kreme doughnuts. i love scoring a freebie OG hotty. (Krispy Kreme)


shiitakes for this bowl of ramen.


have you seen the movie waitress? if so, this is my version of naughty pumpkin pie. 


pasta carbonara. normally this dish doesn’t include mushrooms but any opportunity i have to sneak some in, i will do just that.

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a trip to saint honoré. top tier las vegas doughnuts. it is dangerous that they are located in my neighbor, it isn’t a lot of effort to make a weekend visit in. (Saint Honoré)


old bananas? no problem a banana bread can’t solve.


first thanksgiving frying a turkey and used an infrared fryer to be specific. i don’t think i will ever go back to an oven cooked bird! i can’t tell you how nice it was to have a free oven to get all those sides finished. 

i made it all! mashed potatoes, mac n’ cheese, collard greens, green bean casserole, mushroom sausage stuffing, gravy, pumpkin pie and crack pie (recipe via milk bar).


a breakfast palette cleanser if you will. standard issue.


a lot of holiday baking was completed in my kitchen this season. many were christina tosi inspired treats and some christmas baked good staples. pandan cookies, snickerdoodle truffles, oreo truffles, corn cookies, iced oatmeal cookies and my shortbread christmas bars. i also made super dark chocolate cookies (i used black cocoa!) and blueberries & cream cookies too. i gifted these out to my loved ones and it was pretty neat hearing all the different feedback on which everyone’s favorites were. 


my aunt gen’s spinach dip.EE51ABDA-35C9-4D0A-9F10-5DA452DF1C2D

pork and shrimp lumpia shanghai.EE51ABDA-35C9-4D0A-9F10-5DA452DF1C2D

pancit! i am still not yet a pro.
shrimp diane. 


humba, if this filipino dish isn’t present at christmas welp, it ain’t christmas - not for me.

first time making prime rib at home. 10/10 would recommend, it was not nearly as scary as i anticipated. i was always super hesitant at the idea of possibly ruining $100 worth of beef. also used the infrared fryer, only took about 2 1/2 hours!B1C587AA-4006-42F3-BC88-BEB0FD609F66

this year might not have felt like most of my past christmases but this plate of food is like a christmas hug from my family. i am not even sure how all of these dishes started being apart of the holiday but they are and each year they will be at my home. 
the thing about the crack pie recipe is, it makes 2 and these pies freeze beautifully. lucky for my snazzy planning one was present for thanksgiving and at christmas. 


i fell in love with this candy bar when i lived in berlin. i don’t doubt that the ritter sport flavors are endless, especially since i remember there being special holiday/limited editions bars, but for whatever reason yogurt or should i say “joghurt” is my very favorite one. 


having cookie dough on hand in the fridge is a holiday super power. you can impress your friends by baking off a few fresh cookies for guests that pop by. most importantly you can impress yourself by having fresh cookies available when YOU need them. 


new year’s eve. i know i live in vegas and like most locals i avoid the strip like the plague ESPECIALLY on NYE. most years consist of a charcuterie spread, dark chocolate brownies and lots of bubbles. this year’s charcuterie line up included a puff pastry wrapped wheel of brie. defrost one sheet of frozen puff pastry, roll the dough out and fold over a full wheel of double cream brie. whisk one egg and brush the outside of the entire pastry, bake for 25-30 minutes in a preheated 400˚oven. serve with tasty, good quality jams or preserves. 


ended with doughnuts, hey there 2022! (Saint Honoré)

there you have it, 2021 a year in food. i have already started another album in phone “noms ‘22” so i will keep collecting as many of my eats as possible in there. maybe not a yearly recap though? i can’t commit to monthly but perhaps at least a quarterly update. at the end of the day these posts are really for myself. i love to journal and blogging is an extension of that but with more photos. this year i am attempting to bullet journal digitally on my ipad and have been able to incorporate more photos in the few days we have had so far in 2022. so far this year has already forced me to be kinder to myself and take it easy but i have a lot planned for the coming year and can’t wait to start destroying some goals. 

happy eating!




Leaving Las Vegas


i say this every time but…its been awhile.

nice seeing you around here though. glad you stopped by.

i’d say we should hang out more often however i think you know how that might go.

how are you? be honest. i hope you’ve been being nice to yourself. 

life has been much for a lot of people and i am not someone who was spared from immeasurable personal pain.

i’m still here. i’m still trying to find the happy in each day even when the day seems impossible. 

i forgot how much I missed putting my body in a space that was not my usual. sure, it might not have been my top choice on my first post-demic escape. if 2020 taught me anything, we are making lemonade out of some god damn lemons and adding vodka when necessary.

what i really want to know is, do you want to see what i ate when i spent 48 hrs in LA?

lets goooooo!

first up, little tokyo. 


this roll blew my mind. ahi tuna + avocado + cilantro (yes! FKN cilantro) + more tuna + crispy garlic pieces.


they just don’t make seafood udon like they do in CA. please if someone knows a legit spot in vegas drop. a. comment. 

also yes, i am one of those people that can eat a giant bowl of noodles and hot broth in summer and outside nonetheless. granted LA is like 20º - 30º cooler than vegas so it was a breeze and delight to consume this.

a stop into little tokyo isn’t complete without a japanese market shopping spree for snacks.


if you like takoyaki and cheetos these are that. i think i like takoyaki more than cheetos but these babies are addictive.


couldn’t not try the matcha ones.7C855453-26FF-4BB3-841E-3F6DA9FAD3FB

my sister’s favorite. these round sponge cakes will forever remind me of her.7C855453-26FF-4BB3-841E-3F6DA9FAD3FB

childhood throw back. 

crunchy. cheesy. yes.7C855453-26FF-4BB3-841E-3F6DA9FAD3FB

what the boba.

gummy bears but make ‘em lychee.


these babies looked the beginning of a movie.0ECFB260-C188-4B27-B8A8-BB7329B78AEB

egg tart lover for life. i’m a sucker for them.0ECFB260-C188-4B27-B8A8-BB7329B78AEB

but just pastries make me incredibly happy. ya know?


welcome, to the grand central market!

this place was a god damn delight. it was my brother’s choice and it couldn’t have been more fitting for our sibling reunion tour. an indoor (yet also out door at the same time?) cluster of different eateries and a handful of shops that have THE goods.

we ran around this concrete food bazar snatching up at least one dish from a few different countries. 

sharing is caring, plus you get to try way more tasty bites if you don’t have to commit to an entire meal.

we divided. we conquered.

the results:


a currywurst from berlin. (i miss adventuring around berlin)6E41A7A0-DB3A-4B20-ACD1-D249DD3A7914

jewish soul food. wexler’s deli macarthur park sandwich - pastrami, cole slaw, swiss cheese, russian dressing on rye.

this one reminded me of my dad.

khao soi from thailand

this was actually my first time trying this dish. i have seen khao soi a bunch in the foodtube videos i watch and have been dying to try. what interested me most about this northern thai curry dish is that it uses egg noodles (in 2 types of ways!) which is not a noodle i typically associate with their cuisine. when i think thai food, i think rice noodles. 

crunchy egg noodles + egg noodles + hard boiled egg +pickled mustard greens + green & red onion all in a slightly sweet chicken coconut curry soup (don’t forget a few good squeezes of lime) 

sissig fried rice from the philippines. (this one was the FAV!) 

i don’t know if our roots made us unknowingly biased but if lunch was a competition, this fried rice won. 

vinegary, spicy pieces of perfectly cooked pork fried with rice and topped with a beautiful fried egg + green onions + lime (if we were in the philippines it would come with kalamansi instead)

buko pie.

this, wow i am still dreaming of this insanely delicious filipino masterpiece of a pie.0884C3EB-59F0-404B-BE29-50487531CFB3

they were so friendly and gracious at this spot. me and my siblings are proud to be half filipino and sari sari felt like a hug. we also happened to be by when they were baking off pie shells for their buko goodness. i was lucky enough to be provided the low down on this sweet treat. i got a complete walk through and now the back of my brain hasn’t stopped itching. there is no way i could come close to duplicating the recipe but it does provide awesome inspiration for a future baking ideas. maybe the pies at thanksgiving this year will be a little less traditional. 

wouldn’t be a proper food outing without a doughnut for the road. 
tiger tail in hand! this guy was huge.


we don’t have H Marts in vegas, FOR SHAME because i fkn loved this grocery store. I actually ended up going to two different ones in the same day and it made for an excellent hotel dinner.

fresh lychees + spicy tuna onigiri + fried seaweed rolls + shrimp tempura + korean fried chicken wings + tuna sashimi + tteokbokki 

they had a million other items that i wish i could stock my pantry with but for now i will hope that my local korean grocer will start selling some nifty things they carry here. frozen korean corn dogs - uh, yes please.


last stop before heading back home, milk jar cookies

had to bring home something sweet for the mr (and tiny mr) and they are big fans of cookies.


salted butterscotch.

birthday cookie.

white chocolate macadamia nut.

chocolate pecan caramel.

oatmeal chocolate chip.

banana split.


lemon blueberry. (my fav!)

and last but not least, rocky road.

quick trip with an important purpose but eating delicious foods will always be the highlight. now that my siblings and i are adults we hardly ever have the opportunity to spend quality time together so this was a special couple of days. it felt like before when we would travel with the parentals to rando foreign countries but now its just us a three and i couldn’t be more grateful to have them by my side. 

happy eating!




A look back: September 2020

I'm constantly wondering how this space will evolve and maybe one day eventually end.
social medias have taken over because its faster, more to the point and honestly easier to engage with people on. 

who reads blogs still anyways? I'm not even a real blogger.

but still I always find myself wanting to capture, reflect and share parts of my little life. I'm a Virgo who likes words too. I enjoy instagram and do not use facebook but even that hasn't very enjoyable for me lately. . I usually over think these blog posts and would never even dream to use iPhone 11 photos. but 2020 has been rough for everyone so I am going with the casual approach because I can’t think of the last time I picked up my DSLR.

I have two recipes I want share but right now I thought I'd go with a September (mostly food) photo recap.. birth month wasn't the worst even though yes, we are still very much in the weirds (pandemic).



THE  cheesiest, smoothest mashed potatoes, one beautifully poached egg  + toasted baguette slices were out of this world. the crispy potatoes are a must, trust me.



Egg Sammie. 

my peanutella + PB n’ J cookies travelled (frozen) to a different state but of course I needed to do a taste test bake. delish, and peanut butter cookies aren’t even in the top five for me.


A LOT of avocado toast this month.

surprise doughnut delivery from my favorite person..


thai tea brûlée slush from Tea Maison



Chinatown adventures. what’s your favorite treat at 85°? I ADORE their egg tarts but I always pick up something new with each visit.


special birthday delivery from a special friend who understands my deep love for cookies + Christina Tosi. 

day/night lewks.


throughly obsessed with the short rib fried rice fried from Le Thai.

downtown (mild) shenanigans.

coffee + cake (buttermilk blueberry lemon breakfast cake. recipe coming!)

kale caesar salad with salmon + homemade sourdough croutons. SUPER yum and definitely would repeat this first time meal. I used Shutterbean’s recipes as a guideline for the Caesar salad dressing & croutons.


told you.



What a trip to the Korean grocery store looks like. I love Asian snacks everything.

homemade monggo with chicharron + shrimp. one of my Filipino favorites! I’m so happy to have an adaptable recipe that is so super easy to make. doesn’t even take long to cook and keeps extremely well in the fridge for leftovers.

work is easier with cookies.

mr mama’s breakfast outing. happy birthday Sam.

furry friend round up!

super cute lunch date at Sweet Honey Dessert + a quick pit stop to Tea Maison.


lobster balls (and other snack use) from Easy Life.


breakfast fried rice. the best way to use leftover rice! garlic, bacon, egg + green onion. staple in my house.


chicken salad for easy workday lunches. deboned a hatch green chile rotisserie chicken from Sprouts added mayo, salt n’ spice, diced red onion + lemon juice.


last September I had a wedge salad at Flemings, changed my life and never looked back. I think I ate like 6 wedge salads this past month.
iceberg lettuce + halved cherry tomatoes + crispy bacon + blue cheese crumbles + sliced red onion + blue cheese dressing. pro tip, salt and a splash of red wine vinegar on the sliced onions.

September 2020 was challenging, like how I said earlier this whole year has been. I guess I don’t need to really remind anyone of that. we’ve all been experiencing our own battles and a couple of shared ones. stress & anxiety might be running high but this is my reminder to stop and have some conscious gratitude for the positive moments in life. it can be alarmingly easy to lose yourself when things are harder but there is a ton love when you pay attention. 

maybe that’s what this space is going to be for, a reminder to pay attention. 

be kind to yourself, god knows I’m trying.

- rita