I wanted to do something a little different today and instead of sharing reviews and recipes I want to share some details about ME, in case anyone was wondering who I am! My name is Kimmy Ripley and I am from the city of St. Clair Shores in Michigan. I am very very VERY passionate about food and drink. I try my best to always eat with an open mind and I live for the thrill of trying out new things. This Give It A Whirl Girl food blog was started last June and it such a big joy to share my food and drink experiences with you all!

Today I will be sharing 10 questions and answers on the blog so you can get to know me better! There are going to be a ton of photos in this post so get ready! I know some people who “read” blogs don’t read and just check out the photos, so if you are one of those people you are in luck today!

Me! Kimmy Ripley AKA Give It A Whirl Girl
Me! Kimmy Ripley AKA Give It A Whirl Girl
My hubby and I at Kona Grill for one of my birthdays
My hubby and I at Kona Grill for one of my birthdays
Give It A Whirl Girl with some Enlightened ice cream pop
Give It A Whirl Girl with some Enlightened ice cream pop
Me and my daughter, Chloe Pearl, at the Heidelberg Project
Me and my daughter, Chloe Pearl, at the Heidelberg Project

10 Questions & Answers With GIVE IT A WHIRL GIRL (Kimmy Ripley)


You can also learn more about me in my introductory post!


All About Give It A Whirl Girl – Get To Know Me

1) Favorite food:

This is a tough question. I am not a very picky eater and I consider myself to be a foodie! There are so many foods out there that I absolutely love but if I had to choose one thing, just one thing, it would be…

Sushi! – I love love love sushi but I am also a big fan of things like crab legs or lobster tail because they are such a pricey and super rare treat for me.

My go-to place for sushi is Inyo in Ferndale, MI. We discovered this fantastic Asian fusion restaurant through Groupon. Inyo Ferndale is almost always on Groupon, so if you are local be sure to grab a Groupon for this spectacular Asian restaurant. You can thank me later… wink! wink! Their food is top-notch and we are regulars there.

Sushi at Inyo Ferndale
Sushi at Inyo Ferndale
Sushi at Inyo Ferndale
Sushi at Inyo Ferndale – This sushi roll has 4 different colorful eggs on it
Sushi at Inyo Ferndale
Sushi at Inyo Ferndale
Sushi at Inyo Ferndale
Sushi at Inyo Ferndale
Sushi at Inyo Ferndale
Sushi at Inyo Ferndale
And just for fun! Here is a photo of my daughter, Chloe Pear, with her chicken teriyaki dinner at Inyo Ferndale
And just for fun! Here is a photo of my daughter, Chloe Pearl, with her chicken teriyaki dinner at Inyo Ferndale
Ok guys! I am obsessed with Inyo. Here is a photo of my Walnut Lobster. This was the most recent meal that I ordered
Ok guys! I am obsessed with Inyo. Here is a photo of my Walnut Lobster. This was the most recent meal that I ordered

 

Honorable mention:

Gotta love a big bowl of noodly pho at Minh Chau restaurant (they just changed the name to New Asian Star). Pho is comfort food for me. The broth here at New Asian Star is on-point! The pho that I enjoy ordering has sliced beef, brisket, meatballs, and soft tendon in it. Yeah I said tendon… and it is a weird meat to eat but I do enjoy it here. They also have a pho available with tripe if you are feeling really adventurous.

You can also stop in here for a bubble drink!

Big bowl of yummy pho at Minh Chau (now known as New Asian Star)
Big bowl of yummy pho at Minh Chau (now known as New Asian Star)
Pure comfort food right over here. I love pho at Minh Chau (New Asian Star)!
Pure comfort food right over here. I love pho at Minh Chau (New Asian Star)!

2) Least favorite food:

Oh this is an easy one. I used to eat some funky stuff when I was a little girl… things I could not fathom stomaching now!

Herrings in cream sauce (ew) I used to eat these fishy fishes straight out of the jar.

Giblets and hearts in my stuffing (ew! ew!) My mom always put those nasty things in my Thanksgiving stuffing. NEVER AGAIN

Liverwurst (ew! ew! ew!) All by itself or on some plain white bread. No thank you!

3) Favorite fruit

Want to know about my favorite fruit? This is an easy one to answer for me… dragon fruit, and that is followed by passion fruit, another favorite of mine. I am a HUGE fan of exotic fruits and I love to create exotic smoothie bowls with these fruits. If you are local, you can usually pick up a wide variety of exotic fruits at Nino Salvaggio.

Dragon fruit can have either a white center or pink center. You never know until you slice it!
Dragon fruit can have either a white center or pink center. You never know until you slice it!

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Exotic fruits that I purchased at Nino Salvaggio
Exotic fruits that I purchased at Nino Salvaggio
The exotic fruit smoothie bowl
The exotic fruit smoothie bowl

4) Favorite meals that I have cooked:

Truth be told, and many of you all know, cooking and baking is my #1 passion in life! I love to serve up a delicious dish for my little family of 3

Italian drunken noodle is hands down the family favorite over here in the Give It A Whirl Girl kitchen. You can find the recipe for this delicious dish on my blog. Italian Drunken Noodle features Pappardelle pasta, Italian sausage, and mix of peppers with chardonnay wine.

A big plate of Italian Drunken Noodle and a glass of chardonnay
A big plate of Italian Drunken Noodle and a glass of chardonnay
Italian Drunken Noodle - Give It A Whirl Girl's favorite meal to cook
Italian Drunken Noodle – Give It A Whirl Girl’s favorite meal to cook

Honorable mention:

Gigantic mozzarella stuffed meatballs are a big favorite and I have the recipe for these on my blog. This is the kind of meal that I invite my family over for. This recipe serves up a generous portion of meatballs.

CLICK HERE for my Huge Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs RECIPE!

Huge mozzarella stuffed meatballs simmering in the slow-cooker
Huge mozzarella stuffed meatballs simmering in the slow-cooker
A big plate of mozzarella stuffed meatballs served over spaghetti noodles
A big plate of mozzarella stuffed meatballs served over spaghetti noodles



Pineapples stuffed with a teriyaki chicken is another family fave but it is somewhat complicated and tedious to create. You can find the recipe and learn more about this gluten-free dish on my blog.

Pineapples stuffed with teriyaki chicken are a fabulous summer meal
Pineapples stuffed with teriyaki chicken are a fabulous summer meal

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5) Favorite desserts I have created

I love to bake cakes even though I am not the most talented baker and cake decorator. I created a bubblegum cake and a cotton candy cake. These cakes and cupcakes were a ton of fun to create and even more fun to eat!

Here are some photos of my favorite baking projects:

Bubblegum Gluten-Free Cake - Let's Get The Party Started
Bubblegum Gluten-Free Cake – Let’s Get The Party Started
COTTON CANDY CAKE by GIVE IT A WHIRL GIRL - Gluten-Free - How I Created It
COTTON CANDY CAKE
Paleo Dark Chocolate Fudge Cupcakes
Paleo Dark Chocolate Fudge Cupcakes

Visit DylansCandyBar.com

6) Favorite drink (non-alcoholic):

I don’t know how I can pick one here. I am a self-confessed coffee addict and I am also addicted to my energy drinks (have to have at least one a day!). My favorite energy drinks are by Bang Energy. With flavors like Unicorn and Cotton Candy, how can you resist?


7) Favorite alcoholic drink:

I recently started getting into craft beer and hard ciders. I was always attracted to the labels and packaging. It is so fun and colorful! I grew up my entire life, hating on beer, and saying it tasted like pee. Then one day I went to Hop Cat and I went there with the intention of giving beer a whirl and I ordered a flight with three different craft beers. Guess what? I enjoyed each and every one of them! I was impressed with myself that I gave craft beer a chance. I love craft beer and the entire drink experience with them. I love all of the unique flavors out there… Lucky Charms cereal, etc. etc.!

So sorry for the poor quality photo! I apologize but here is a photo of me with my first craft beer! I gave it a whirl at Hop Cat in Royal Oak, MI
So sorry for the poor quality photo! I apologize but here is a photo of me with my first craft beer! I gave it a whirl at Hop Cat in Royal Oak, MI
First flight of craft beer for me at Hop Cat and I loved each one of them!
First flight of craft beer for me at Hop Cat and I loved each one of them!
A 6-Pack of PB & Jaley craft beer
A 6-Pack of PB & Jaley craft beer
Passion Fruit hard cider
Rekorderling Passion Fruit hard ciderĀ  – This was the greatest hard cider I have tried!
An assortment of craft beers... all delicious!
An assortment of craft beers… all delicious!
Cranium Crush - Raspberry Waffle Cone Ale
Cranium Crush – Raspberry Waffle Cone Ale
An assortment of craft beers that I tried out
An assortment of craft beers that I tried out. And we save all of the bottles and cans and display them in our basement.

 

 

8) Favorite candy

Jelly Belly Raspberries & Blackberries are my favorite candy! What is yours?
Jelly Belly Raspberries & Blackberries are my favorite candy! What is yours?

There is no better candy than Jelly Belly’s Raspberries & Blackberries! These berry flavored candies are extremely highly addictive to me and I will kill a bag in just a couple of minutes!


9) Favorite post on the blog

I am nearing 200 published posts on the blog and if I had to choose one favorite post I simply can’t. I am going to declare a tie here. The two posts that were my favorite to do were both local reviews. I would love to visit more places nearby and review them. The local reviews I have done are my top performing posts. Here we go…

Modern Cone Review

and

Kawaii Bubble Tea Review

Modern Cone is an ice cream shop in St. Clair Shores that specializes in creative ice cream concoctions. This is the place to go if you want a unique ice cream concoction that is fun to eat, and very Instagrammable!

Make sure you are following my Facebook page because I will be sharing a Modern Cone gift card giveaway very soon!

Our three desserts at Modern Cone
Our three desserts at Modern Cone
Cereal Killer ice-cream Stacker available at Modern Cone
Cereal Killer ice-cream Stacker available at Modern Cone

Kawaii Bubble Tea is located in Clinton Township, MI and they have some of the best bubble teas (boba) that I have ever tried. They also have a wide variety of macarons available. If you have never ever tried boba you definitely need to check out this place. It is a very fun drink experience.

Kawaii Bubble Tea boba and macarons!
Kawaii Bubble Tea boba and macarons!
Enjoying our boba drinks and macarons at Kawaii Bubble Tea in Clinton Township, MI
Enjoying our boba drinks and macarons at Kawaii Bubble Tea in Clinton Township, MI
What a fun experience for all of us!
Macarons and boba at Kawaii Bubble Tea
Macarons and boba at Kawaii Bubble Tea

Honorable mention:

Tou & Mai is located in Detroit’s midtown area and they offer some very unique desserts. I tried their halo halo (Hello Hello is what they call it). You can read the review on my blog where I spill all the beans about this awesome dessert destination!

Tou & Mai Review

Sweet beans in my ice cream~!

Hello Hello (Halo Halo) at Tou & Mai in Detroit, MI
Hello Hello (Halo Halo) at Tou & Mai in Detroit, MI
Hello Hello (Halo Halo) at Tou & Mai in Detroit, MI
Hello Hello (Halo Halo) at Tou & Mai in Detroit, MI
Hello Hello (Halo Halo) at Tou & Mai in Detroit, MI
My daughter, Chloe Pearl eating Hello Hello (Halo Halo) at Tou & Mai in Detroit, MI

10) Favorite place to grab a sweet treat

This is an easy question to answer. Menchie’s and Orange Leaf are definitely my favorite place to grab a dessert. I am obsessed with frozen yogurt, also known as froyo. You can read my Menchie’s review on the blog.

Want to give Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt a whirl? Grab a Groupon and save on your visit!

Menchie's Frozen Yogurt (Froyo) Build-Your-Own Creation
Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt (Froyo) Build-Your-Own Creation
Edible art!
Menchies Heritage Village in Warren, MI
Menchies Heritage Village in Warren, MI
Menchies Heritage Village in Warren, MI toppings bar
Menchies Heritage Village in Warren, MI toppings bar

 

Final thoughts

I truly hope you enjoyed this post over here at Give It A Whirl Girl. I would love to hear from my readers so leave me a comment here and tell me about your favorite food!

Question Time!

What is your favorite food? Least favorite food? Please share with me. I love to hear from my audience!

Also…

If you have any questions that you would like to ask me, leave a question in the comment box and I will be happy to answer it.

 

Follow Give It A Whirl Girl on social media

 

Give It A Whirl prepping a from-scratch pizza
Give It A Whirl prepping a from-scratch pizza

 

At Tony's I-75 in Birch Run, MI with our gigantic banana split
At Tony’s I-75 in Birch Run, MI with our gigantic banana split

Learn more about this COLOSSAL banana split in my Tony’s I-75 restaurant review

 

Chloe Pearl and I cooking a from-scratch pizza in the Give It A Whirl Girl kitchen
Chloe Pearl and I cooking a from-scratch pizza in the Give It A Whirl Girl kitchen

 

 


Did you enjoy this post? Here are more posts at Give It A Whirl Girl that you might enjoy!


 

SHOP PYKNIC ON AMAZON (One of my favorite brands… all food/drink related items too!)



Unique Rainbow + Unicorn Gifts

Mother's Day Gifts

I have been trying to lose my halo halo virginity for well over a year now. A freaking year! I discovered this crazy cool concoction on Instagram one day and ever since I have been dreaming of the day that I would get a chance to give this a whirl. My day finally came at Tou & Mai in the Midtown section of Detroit, MI yesterday. This Tou & Mai review will cover my first time experiences at this neat little place that is nestled down in the Midtown area of Detroit.

I was going to share this post for my Tried It Out Tuesday feature but I am really eager to share the details with you and since it is Sunday, maybe you can head on over there today to give this extraordinary and unparalleled dessert a try! There truly is no other dessert on this planet like it.

Tou & Mai is a quaint and curious place! There is so much to see and take in, in such a small space. The first thing you see when walking in is the big white menu. I analyzed the menu online before visiting so I already knew what my strategy was when it came down to deciding and ordering. I started off with a passion fruit boba tea and of course I had to get myself the Hello Hello (their version of halo halo). Click HERE to get a better look at the menu.

Hello Hello (Halo Halo) at Tou & Mai in Detroit, MI
Hello Hello (Halo Halo) at Tou & Mai in Detroit, MI

I planned on getting the Hello Hello most definitely and I wanted to try out the Tricolour Tapioca but bummer… they were temporarily out of that dessert. That one sounded so fascinating to me and it will be next up on my list of to-try items at Tou & Mai. Here is a description of the tapioca dessert.

TRiCOLOUR TAPIOCA
popular & colourful southeast asian dessert
made with pandan flavored tapioca strings,
miniature tapioca pearls, ruby chestnuts and
creamy coconut milk

Source

Since I could not try out the tapioca I figured I should go ahead and satisfy my boba addiction with a Sweet Tea Boba. I went with the passion fruit flavor. The passion fruit boba was the perfect amount of sweetness and the mango star jellies were a big bonus to go with the exotic flavor of passion fruit. If you have never tried passion fruit the way it can be best described in my terms is a sweet and sour exotic fruit. It has the perfect balance of both. It currently has earned the top spot on my list of favorite fruits, for the moment anyway!

Passion Fruit Sweet Tea Boba at Tou & Mai
Passion Fruit Sweet with Mango Star Jellies at Tea Boba at Tou & Mai

Other flavors available at Tou & Mai were:

ORIGINO JASMINE
SUMMER LITCHI
PASSION FRUIT
TROPICO MANGO
STRAWBERRY
CUCUMBER
PEACH SEASON

If you like your boba milky you are in luck because Tou & Mai also offers Sweet Boba Milk Tea in a variety of fun flavors.

CLASSICO BLACK
TARO ROOT
HONEY DEW
MANGO
MATCHA LATTE
COCONUT
BANANA
ALMOND

And if slushies are your thing they have those available as well! Here is a list of the flavors available for slushies.

SWEET MANGO
RED ADZUKI BEAN
JACK FRUIT
DURIAN
TROPIC TARO
AVOCADO

Menu Board At Tou & Mai in Detroit, MI
Menu Board At Tou & Mai in Detroit, MI

 

I really need to go back to this place to explore the menu more just look at these options below for new garnishes available. FLAN! ZOMG!

Garnishes at Tou & Mai in Detroit, MI
Garnishes at Tou & Mai in Detroit, MI

 

What the heck is halo halo?

Halo halo is a famous dessert in the Philippines. To create it they use a purple ice-cream that is derived from a purple yam, otherwise known as ube. It also has a scoop of mango ice cream, coco de nata, aiyu jellie, basil seeds, red adzuki bean, sala cider, coconut milk, condensed milk, wafer roll, and toasted candied coconut. Wowza! That sure is a lot to take in and process right? Google might just have to be my friend here to tell me what exactly it was that I ate! Let’s explore this a little bit more!

This was my first time trying ube and when you put that together with all of these other unique ingredients you get one hell of a memorable dessert!

Having actual beans in my dessert was also another first for me. They include red adzuki beans in this dessert. Odd huh? These are sweet red beans and they are a magnificent source of protein! A one cup serving of these beans is a whopping 39 grams of protein. I would say they use about a quarter cup in their Hello Hello. I enjoyed these beans immensely!

For the next ingredient Wikipedia sure came in handy so I included that information as a quote directly from he source.

Nata de coco is a chewy, translucent, jelly-like food produced by the fermentation of coconut water, which gels through the production of microbial cellulose by Acetobacter xylinum. (source: Wikipedia)

This is really a complex dessert! I really had to use Wikipedia for the aiyu jellie as well since I am not familiar with it whatsoever.

Aiyu jelly, known in Taiwanese Hokkien as ogio, and as ice jelly in Singapore, is a jelly made from the gel from the seeds of the awkeotsang creeping fig found in Taiwan and East Asian countries of the same climates and latitudes. Wikipedia

Basil seeds! I did a little research and discovered that these seeds are void of calories but rich in antioxidants. They are also great for your skin and beneficial for a diabetic.

The sala cider is a fruity ingredient but I could not gather much information on that. If anyone has knowledge of this ingredient, feel free to leave me a comment and fill me in.

The Hello Hello here also used coconut milk and condensed milk. The dessert is topped with candied coconut which is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth and it also has a beautiful orange glow to it.

And let’s not forget those two wafer sticks that really stand out and scream halo halo! No halo halo frozen treat is complete without those wafers. There were two in the dessert and the three of us sharing. Joe, my husband, got left out.

MunchPak.com

Hello Hello (Halo Halo) at Tou & Mai in Detroit, MI - GIVE IT A WHIRL GIRL
Hello Hello (Halo Halo) at Tou & Mai in Detroit, MI
Hello Hello (Halo Halo) at Tou & Mai in Detroit, MI GIVE IT A WHIRL GIRL
Hello Hello (Halo Halo) at Tou & Mai in Detroit, MI

Hello Hello (Halo Halo) at Tou & Mai in Detroit, MI

Hello Hello (Halo Halo) at Tou & Mai in Detroit, MI GIVE IT A WHIRL GIRL
Hello Hello (Halo Halo) at Tou & Mai in Detroit, MI
Hello Hello (Halo Halo) at Tou & Mai in Detroit, MI
Hello Hello (Halo Halo) at Tou & Mai in Detroit, MI

More than just a place to grab dessert!

Need to do a little bit of Asian grocery shopping? You can certainly load up here at Tou & Mai. They packed in a lot of Asian goodies in this small space. My 8-year-old daughter had fun looking at all of the colorful and peculiar packaging. Anyone want to send a crisp new $100 bill my way because I sure would have a ton of fun blowing a big wad of money in this place.

Tou & Mai in Detroit, MI
Tou & Mai in Detroit, MI

Tou & Mai in Detroit, MI

Asian snacks at Tou & Mai in Detroit, MI GIVE IT A WHIRL GIRL
Asian snacks at Tou & Mai in Detroit, MI
Asian snacks at Tou & Mai in Detroit, MI GIVE IT A WHIRL GIRL
Asian snacks at Tou & Mai in Detroit, MI
Asian snacks at Tou & Mai in Detroit, MI GIVE IT A WHIRL GIRL
Tou & Mai in Detroit, MI
Asian snacks at Tou & Mai in Detroit, MI
Tou & Mai in Detroit, MI
Asian snacks at Tou & Mai in Detroit, MI
Snacks At Tou & Mai
Asian snacks at Tou & Mai in Detroit, MI GIVE IT A WHIRL GIRL
Asian beverages at Tou & Mai in Detroit, MI
Asian snacks at Tou & Mai in Detroit, MI
More Asian snacks at Tou &Mai in Detroit, MI
Chloe sipping on a Passionfruit Sweet Tea Boba at Tou & Mai in Detroit - GIVE IT A WHIRL GIRL
Chloe sipping on a Passionfruit Sweet Tea Boba at Tou & Mai in Detroit Actually stealing MY drink lol!

Oh and macarons!

They also have various flavors of fresh macarons available at $2.49 each. I have no doubt they are delicious but honestly I felt as though the price was somewhat steep for one macaron so I passed. Bummer! The flavors did sound intriguing.

Macarons at Tou & Mai - GIVE IT A WHIRL GIRL
Macarons at Tou & Mai

I scream for ice-cream!

Tou & Mai also has a small selection of ice-creams available for $3.29 a scoop. That price seems reasonable to me. If you are not going to go with their Hello Hello dessert at least treat yourself to some of that delish purple ube ice-cream. You won’t regret it! Then you can boast to your friends that you tried a purple yam ice-cream! Wink!

Ice-Cream Flavors At Tou & Mai
Ice-Cream Flavors At Tou & Mai

Hot drinks

The air is getting quite crisp and nippy so if you are not into cold treats on cold days they have some hot beverage options. The tea flavors are unusual and impressive. I am definitely going to stop in here on a chilly day and give one of those teas a whirl! I am all about trying new things and I love the tea flavors they offer. The only problem? Deciding on one flavor because they all sound interesting.

Tou & Mai Hot Drinks Menu
Hot Drinks Menu At Tou & Mai

Want to learn more about Tou & Mai?


Question Time!

So are you going to hop in the car and make a trip down to Tou & Mai today? I hope that my Tou & Mai review will inspire you to visit this unique place!

 


Tou & Mai Location

4240 CASS AVE – SUITE 102

DETROIT, MICHIGAN 48201


Tou & Mai Hours

MON-SAT 11:00am – 9:00pm

Sun 4:00p – 9:00pm

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