So those amazing delicious fudgy salted caramel brownies (also known as Baked Explorations’ Sweet and Salty Brownies) didn’t last long. With the kids away, I might have eaten most of them..

And even as I was eating that last batch, I immediately knew what I wanted to make next: a bacon version. The idea comes courtesy of my fellow SD blogger, Three Dog Kitchen. Her version is even better than the ones I had time to make because she studded her brownies with cocoa bacon. I definitely want to try that next time, but I simply didn’t have enough time with these.

A few Saturdays ago, I attended the Obon Festival in San Diego, held at the Japanese Buddhist temple. The Obon Festival is a Japanese Buddhist custom to honor the departed ancestors. The festivals are filled with performances and food.

I was alerted to various festivals happening in Southern California from The Food Librarian when she linked to a schedule of Obon festivals (see the end of her post). Once I saw San Diego was on there, I immediately marked my calendar. I’d never attended one, but I was curious to see what it was like and to eat some delicious Japanese treats.

The festival began at 5pm. Once we arrived, we saw a crowd of people observing a drum performance in the courtyard. Both the downstairs and upstairs were crowded with people.

All around, there was different food being served. The money raised was being donated towards Japan’s earthquake relief.

Some of the most popular items appeared to be the bento boxes. By the time we got there, most of them were sold out. We then headed over to the grilling, where we saw okonomiyaki (a savory Japanese pancake), meat skewers and taiyaki (fish shaped sweet pancakes with filling).

Lychee chiffon cake

I mentioned earlier that I love lychees. I’ve never really done anything other than eat them and so this weekend I thought I’d try my hand at baking with them.

My first thought was a lychee chiffon cake. I’ve bookmarked several different chiffon cake recipes and for this cake, I tried one of these recipes.