In light of so many other pressing concerns, it might be difficult to take time to note the special moments. 

So it is worth noting that GhilaDolci Bakery downtown celebrated its one-year-anniversary.

Local baker and pastry chef Courtney Ghilarducci-Dendy opened the shop at 19th Street last May. Paying tribute to her Italian roots, she has offered cannolis filled to order (the best way to get them) as well as cannoli cookies, limoncello tarts, chocolate-dipped apricot cookies, biscotti and much more. That's in addition to custom orders.

She told Californian columnist Anna Smith last March, "There are many things that I love about baking: the enjoyment that it gives others, being a part of life’s big moments and especially how it allows me to create and be creative."

During this pandemic, the bakery has offered a rotating menu, which is posted on Instagram (@ghiladolcibakery) the day before. Customers preorder through the website and pay ahead. The next day, they call the bakery for contactless pickup outside the door.

Even as some businesses reopen, the bakery is continuing its preorder menu with curbside pickup.

On a personal note, I am glad this is still an easy way to get treats to go. During the past two months, I have enjoyed plenty of what the bakery has to offer, utilizing the simple contactless pickup outside the business.

GhilaDolci Bakery, 2002 19th St, is open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Orders must currently be made the day before by 1 p.m. through the website, with menus posted on its Instagram page.

Meals giving back

We're trying to readjust but many are still in need of some comfort. Here's a reminder on a couple of options to give back.

The Kitchen (1317 20th St.): In addition to offering weekday pick-up meals, the teaching kitchen and event space continues to offer comfort meals for those in need of a good dinner.

People can nominate someone, including themselves, for a meal for two (or a family) by emailing Include "Comfort Meal" in the subject line and explain why you nominated the person or family for meals.

Recent meals have highlighting local growers and purveyors including Rankin Ranch Beef, Pickalittle Farm, Green Frog Meat Co., Broadfork Acres and Ayden's Eggs.

Even if you don't have someone to nominate, you can still help by donating money toward the cost of a comfort meal. The total cost of a meal for two is $48 but any contribution, no matter how small, is welcome via The Kitchen's Go Fund Me page (, which is putting all funds toward these free meals.

Those with some time at home can also still tune into "Tuesdays at 2" on The Kitchen's Instagram page. Each Tuesday at 2 p.m., chef Richard Yoshimura provides a live demo of a recipe or cooking technique. This last Tuesday, The Kitchen crew took a field trip, touring Pickalittle Farm, which was the featured grower for dinners that week. It's interesting to see what new ideas they explore while classes are on hold.

For more details, visit The Kitchen's Instagram (@thekitchen1317) or Facebook page (

Romano's Macaroni Grill (8850 Rosedale Highway): Through Sunday, the Italian restaurant is allowing customers to add on a first responder meal ($10) to their orders. Diners can have an order of Mom's ricotta meatballs and spaghetti delivered to a firefighter, police officer, paramedic or hospital medical staffer.

Order at or call 588-2277. Note: If ordering online to have your order delivered to your address, you must make a separate transaction for the delivery of the first responder meal.

Stefani Dias can be reached at 661-395-7488. Follow her on Twitter at @realstefanidias.

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(1) comment

Masked 2020

nice story

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