Breakfast Bread Pudding From The Mauna Kea

bread slices for mk pudding

For as long as I can remember, my family and I have been loyal visitors to the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel; so much so, that we’ve come to know the names of the devoted hotel staff, many of whom can prepare our favorite dishes based only on memories from previous visits. I’m not sure if this is something to boast or hide, but it’s impressive and flattering nonetheless. With so much delicious food at the hotel, it’s difficult to designate a favorite, but the mouthwatering breakfast buffet that’s served with a view right out of a postcard might be the winner. I always set out with healthy intentions knowing I’m just hours away from bathing suit attire, but quickly become victim to the fresh bagels and lox, the coconut syrup-drenched waffles, and my ultimate weakness, the breakfast bread pudding with vanilla anglaise. Since it’s never easy saying goodbye at the end of our trips, I asked the chef to graciously share the recipe as a way bring a piece of my favorite place back home with me. I can’t say I don’t miss the picturesque backdrop to go along with it, but this bread pudding is heavenly enough to stand on its own.


1 pound of croissants cut into 1″ pieces (about 8 large croissants)
1/3 cup dark raisins
3/4 cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 quart milk
3 whole eggs
4 ounces melted butter (1 stick)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup Poha jam (*Pineapple jam may be substituted for Poha jam).


1. Mix the eggs with half of the sugar.
2. Add the milk to the egg-sugar mixture.
3. Mix the cinnamon with the rest of the sugar.
4. Add the cinnamon-sugar mixture to the milk mixture.
5. Add the pieces of croissant.
6. Add the melted butter and raisins.
7. Add the Poha Jam. Mix and let sit for one hour in the refrigerator.
8. Pour into a buttered cake pan. Bake at 375 ° F in a water bath for 30-45 minutes, until set.



Guide to L.A.: Favorite Drink Spots

I might be biased, but LA is home to some of the best food I’ve ever had. While I’m pretty open minded when it comes to all things food, I am annoyingly particular with my drink orders, and really appreciate the beauty of a well-crafted cocktail. It’s no secret that tasty ingredients are imperative to a great drink, but a memorable ambiance can be just as crucial in upping the ante. After three years as a resident and lots of (very willing) research, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite places to grab a drink in LA:

(High Rooftop Lounge at Hotel Erwin)

1)  High Rooftop Lounge: Situated on the roof of Hotel Erwin in Venice, this has quickly become my favorite go-to for an afternoon in the sun. Equipped with an open-air view of Los Angeles and a beachfront location, this hot spot can get crowded during warmer months, so be sure to take advantage of their online table reservations, especially if you’re with a larger party. It’s completely free and the table is all yours for three hours.


f4a22598bfb708fe8abb3703fb3b4775(The Penthouse at The Huntley)

2) The Penthouse: 18 floors high, The Penthouse features a stunning panoramic view of Los Angeles. Even the elevator ride up is impressive, as you’re greeted with clear glass windows that showcase everything from Malibu to the Hollywood sign – truly one of the best views the westside has to offer.


e392a79f6f342f2a637d35768aab13f8(Bar Chloe)

3) Bar Chloe: If you’re looking for something a bit more relaxed, I highly recommend a visit to Bar Chloe. Nestled in downtown Santa Monica, Bar Chloe offers comfy sofas and dim lighting that create an intimate atmosphere best suited for small parties.


5eb45660b80701127b59504daa72095b(The Bungalow)

4) The Bungalow: After its grand opening this year, The Bungalow has quickly become one of the most popular lounges in Los Angeles, and with good reason. The beach side location draws you in, and the trendy but cozy interior makes you feel as if you’re in someone’s private beach house. Enjoy a game of ping pong on the beach-side patio, or a drink indoors among cozy couches and fireplaces.  Warning: The line can get very long, so come early!

6096860ca08d9607690f1f93432c48e8(Spare Room at The Roosevelt)

5) Spare Room: Tucked away in the heart of Hollywood, the Spare Room is home to one of LA’s most historic hotels; The Roosevelt. With the help of classic cocktails and nostalgic board games, this charming lounge gives off a fun, vintage vibe. Board games are free of charge, but for those looking to splurge, bowling lanes are available for rent by the hour.

*I’m always looking for new places to try, so if you’re familiar with the area, I’d love to hear your recommendations!

Seafood At Home


I have to admit, the initial thought of preparing a homemade seafood dinner was slightly intimidating.  Something about bringing live food home seemed potentially disastrous and creepy, but after purchasing a Groupon for Santa Monica Seafood, I decided to give it a try.  The process was far less demanding than I had anticipated and yielded some very tasty results.  With some help from this mussel recipe and this linguini recipe, I was able to create a deceivingly impressive meal that will definitely be made again.


Prosciutto Arugula Baguette

There are few things I love more than a well made sandwich.  My infatuation began somewhere on the playground over the homemade PB&J’s found in my mother’s packed lunches. And while I still appreciate the simplicity of my childhood favorite, I’d like to think my palate has evolved since then. This prosciutto and arugula baguette sandwich is almost as low maintenance as the classic PB&J, but achieves a much more sophisticated result.

photo (2)

Simply spread a thin layer of butter on each baguette slice.  Then, top with a generous layer of fresh prosciutto and arugula and finish with a few pinches of salt.

photo (1)

Valentine’s Day Conversation Cake

While I love the concept of conversation heart candies, I’ve never been a particularly big fan of their artificial flavor. But since they play such a nostalgic role in Valentine’s Day, I decided to incorporate the tradition into much tastier creation that could be shared by many. (Cake recipe adapted from here / frosting from here).


Opposites Attract

130205_SH_StreetStyle_JAJA_SH000142_3401_sRGBBlouse (old, similar here), StyleMint jeans, ShoeMint shoes, JustFab purse

I like to stick to the classics when it comes to fashion – simple, neutral, and versatile are three words I follow, since they safely stand the test of time. Because I’m not always adventurous when it comes to mixing colors, black and white have always been a reliable favorite of mine. You can imagine how elated I was to see it dominate the runway as one of the biggest trends for spring 2013.


Sugar Fish


Though it’s hard for me to believe, there was once a time where you couldn’t have paid me enough to eat sushi. Something about its slimy consistency and the fact that it’s usually served raw just didn’t appeal to me. In fact, the only way I learned to enjoy it was by ordering fancy rolls to mask the fish flavor. After hearing rave reviews of Sugar Fish, though, I finally mustered up the courage to ditch the extravagant rolls in exchange for a more simplified version. And let me tell you – there will be no turning back. This has quickly become my go-to staple for high-quality sushi. Each bite truly melts in your mouth (hence the fitting name). If you’re lucky enough to dine at one of their seven locations in Los Angeles, I highly recommend the “Trust Me” or “Trust Me Lite” from the pre-fixed menu. You won’t be disappointed.



StyleMint Jeans, StyleMint Tee, ShoeMint Shoes, Free People Bracelet (old)

They say “beauty is pain,” but comfort isn’t something I’m usually willing to compromise for fashion, even for a cute pair of heels.  Though equipped with a 5 ” heel, these Jess Heels in Bronze Metallic come with a platform that makes them surprisingly comfortable.  Not only are they wearable for long periods of time, but I love how versatile they’ve proven to be from day to night.  I can just as easily pair them with a pair of jeans, (as seen here with my favorite StyleMint jeans), as I can with a dress for a night out.