Halloween Cupcake & Cookie Decorating: Priceless Annual Treats.

October 27th, 2014 No comments

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The true annual treat is spending time with best friends decorating Halloween Cookies, Cupcakes and Candy.  Each year we take home trays and boxes of homemade and hand decorated treats after a fun evening of trickery — It’s quite a funny bunch (below).

Halloween 2014 Friends

I’m truly grateful for all!

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This year’s decorating ideas are posted here and others from previous years are linked here.

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We’re no design professionals, but have a lot of laughs and the Cookies always taste great.

Halloween Cookies 2014

It’s also possible that you may learn how not to decorate your Halloween Cookies here. ;)

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Halloween Appetizer Idea — Deviled Eggs with Olive Spiders.  You can figure it out.

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Happy Halloween from Nibbles of Tidbits and friends.

What Are The Best Things To Eat At Disneyland, I Asked My Phone.

October 22nd, 2014 No comments

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What are the best foods to eat at Disneyland, I asked my semi-smart phone.  We were going to Disneyland and Disney California Adventure and wanted something different than an average Burger and Fries.  I hadn’t been to either park in 10 years.  After reviewing the search results, I chose two food dishes that were included on several lists — One at Disneyland and the other at Disney California Adventure, two places I’ve never known and probably wouldn’t have found.  Each sounded appealing.  We started with the Carthay Signature Fried Biscuits with Apricot Honey Butter at Carthay Circle Restaurant at Disney California Adventure.

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Carthay Circle Restaurant is fancier than expected, but we sought to have the best food at Disneyland.  We went there to try the Carthay Signature Fried Biscuits that are described as amazing and to-die-for.  Stuffed with White Cheddar, Bacon and Jalapenos they sound good.

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They don’t look like much on the outside, then surprise with a gooey middle.  With the Apricot Honey Butter, it’s interesting and different — I like its concentrated flavor and it’s not bad on the Biscuits, but we really didn’t fall in love with them.  They’re good, not great and expensive for its small size and amount.  Several Starters looked better to us and more filling.

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My husband set out to photo bomb Goofy, but wasn’t obvious enough — At Disneyland.

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Across the square from Disney California Adventure, we sought to have the Lobster Roll at the Harbour Galley Restaurant in Critter Country at Disneyland.  It too appears to be a Disneyland favorite.  It’s less fancy than Carthay Circle with only a few takeout windows.

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I wasn’t able to take a good photo of the Lobster Roll, but the Clam Chowder in a Bread Bowl looked, tasted and photographed well.  It too is well-liked by bloggers and papers.

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The Lobster Roll was great, with a good amount of Lobster and nice lemony flavor.

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We’d have the Lobster Roll again for $14.99, but not the Carthay Signature Fried Biscuits for $12.00.  Next visit we’ll try other Disneyland favorites discovered on my phone.  Thank you!

Calivino Wine Pub In Anaheim: More Spinach Wontons Please.

October 14th, 2014 No comments

Calivino House Burger

Have you been to Calivino Wine Pub?  It’s in Anaheim, near the Honda Center, Angel Stadium of Anaheim and other happenings, off Katella Avenue. We just learned about it and gladly so, since the food is terrific. We’ve been to other Wine Bar/Pubs that serve great food, like Sealegs and The Twisted Wine, so the test-bar is high, but Calivino unexpectedly stood out.

Calivino Wine Pub

Calivino Wine Pub is a bit hard to see off Katella.  Its cross-street is Howell — Just turn into the business park area, keep heading left and you’ll see it slivered-in, amongst other businesses and eateries.  Hooters is across the parking lot to drop off the boys on a Girl’s Wine Night out.

Toast to Calivino Wine Pub

Seating includes a long bar and a good combination of couches and tall and short tables.

Calivino, Anaheim

It’s rare when everything on a menu sounds appealing, well not that rare, but I do want all on Calivino’s Menu.  Since we weren’t sure where to begin, we tried a few house favorites.

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FOOD pictured from top down:  The House Burger with Fried Onions, Onion Jam and Havarti, which is sweet, spicy and juicy – Bacon Dates with Goat Cheese and Honey – Spinach Wontons with Parmesan and Garlic – Brussels Sprouts roasted with Crispy Pork.

Calivino Spinach Wontons

I’d have all again and the Spinach Wontons (above) every day — You certainly can’t tell how great they are from the dark photo, but WOW, they’re a perfectly seasoned combo of Baby Leaf Spinach and crunch.  Each Wonton tastes like the best Spinach Dip already on a chip.

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Oh yeah, Wine.  It’s a Wine Pub after all — I like Wine too.

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The Reds, Whites, Sweets & Sparkling — Calivino’s owner, Daniel hand selects them all.

At Calivino Wine Pub

And there’s Beer too — A rotating selection of fine, local brews are noted on a chalkboard.

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Calivino — Cali for California and Vino for Wine.  We like it and the CA Flag Bear on the logo.

CWP (Wine & Beer)

It’s a nice mix of old world and new world and it feels that way.

Matt at Calivino

We tried REDS from California and Spain — Leaping Horse Cabernet (2013), Beso De Vino Garnacha (2011), Reserva Eguia Tempranillo (2009) and Artezin Red Zinfandel (2012).

Calivino - Semi-Changing Wine Menu

We liked sipping Wine on the couch and the rustic tables with bottled water and succulents.

Chillaxing at Calivino Wine Pub in Anaheim

I’m heading back soon with a group of girls for more bites and Tempranillo.

Calivino Sign

Calivino Wine Pub — A great stop before or after an event, for Happy Hour (3-7pm, Sun – Fri), 1/2 Price Bottles of Wine on Wednesdays, and 1/2 off Glasses of Wine on Thursdays.  See their website for more info and/or changes.  New food dishes will be added below.

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Updated 10/21/14: Next visit we had more of the same, which was equally as good, and Alison’s Baked Brie in a Puff Pastry with Candied Nuts and Honey (above).

Totally 80’s Bar & Grille In Fullerton: Oh Good, It’s In The Hood.

October 5th, 2014 No comments

Totally 80's Bar

We can walk or bike to Totally 80’s Bar & Grille in Fullerton — It’s a relatively new Bar, Restaurant, Dance Club & Karaoke Bar in the neighborhood.  It occupies the space of a former Mexican Restaurant, Bar & Event spot.  There’s little change to its exterior other than the somewhat cheesy sign (sorry).  Its theme caught our attention and made it a must stop.

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I love 80’s music and inside it’s a whole new retro world — We’re impressed!

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It’s well decorated and fun throughout.  We’re unsure about the “Grille” part of Totally 80’s Bar & Grille, as we only tried the ‘Totally Awesome Tots’, which appear to be popular.  We tried two of the three offered — The Chili Cheese Tots and Nacho Cheese Tots.  The third, Tots Poutine includes Gravy and an Egg.  Good combinations.  The Tater Tots were crisp, but a bit expensive ($10), if not from their Late Night Menu ($6) — We’ll try the Tots Poutine then.

Totally 80's Bar - Robert Smith

Robert Smith (above) of one of my favorite bands, The Cure — We’re definitely going back to try and photograph more.  Actual 80’s bands, real and cover play here too.  We’re monitoring their events schedule.  Welcome to the hood Totally 80’s Bar & Grille.  Great to see you!

Related — That 80’s Bar in Montclair and New Wave Restaurant in Lakewood.

Listen To Dining With Dills On Angels Radio: Cheers To Elmer Too.

September 30th, 2014 No comments

Peter Dills

It’s Peter Dills in the photo with me.  He’s the son of a man I admired, Elmer Dills, a good man and former long-time Restaurant Reviewer, etc. on KABC.  Elmer passed away in 2008, but his son, Peter carries on his niceness and love of food.  As far back as he can remember, Peter was following Elmer from restaurant to restaurant — That’s some fabulous training!

Matt at The Catch

Did you know that Peter Dills has a radio show on Sundays on AM 830 KLAA Angels Radio?  It’s called Dining with Dills and starts at 11:00a.m.  Give it a listen.  We went to The Catch restaurant in Anaheim this day to celebrate Dining with Dills, and eat and drink of course.

The Catch Kitchen

The Catch kitchen (above) — I like its open look.  Can’t hide anything here.

The Catch Dining

It’s a large restaurant with dining all around — Above is just one stylish sliver of it.

The Catch Apps

Though blurred, I like the photo above — Delicious appetizers were served, but hard to obtain if you weren’t immediately adjacent to its introduction.  It was a bit of a frenzy to get them.

Peter Dills Event

I’m not sure if I got to try all the appetizers, but my favorite was a Fish Cake Lolli-Pop of some sort (not pictured) that I don’t currently see on their online menu — It was a round, crunchy fish cake served on a stick.  It had a great flavor and perfect texture.  I wanted more.

Peter Dills Event at The Catch

We over took the back room of The Catch, which lead out to a fenced in, outdoor patio.

With Patty Mitchell at The Catch

Me with Patty Mitchell, the Executive Producer at Peter Dills, TV Show, etc.  She’s sweet too!

The Catch Bar

The Bar at The Catch (above) — We need to spend time in here next visit.

City National Grove of Anaheim

The Catch is across the street from many events at the City National Grove of Anaheim.

Toasting To The Best Blog Days Ahead Thanks To Cornell Care.

September 29th, 2014 No comments

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It’s become necessary to make improvements and upgrades to Nibbles of Tidbits — THANKS to Cornell Care, we’re moving on up to a deluxe apartment in the sky.  They’ve been working hard behind the scene to make all here the best it can be.  Cheers to that!  Now let’s eat.

The Funny: Food Related Comic Relief Whenever (Microwave Pranks).

September 17th, 2014 No comments

Microwave Funny

It’s been too hot to blog, though it’s never too hot to eat.  I have a lot to report on — Food in Michigan, most specifically the Pasty, the best restaurant and bar in Puerto Rico, the Anaheim Packing District and its speakeasy, The Blind Rabbit, and more.  Check back if interested.

Credit: Someecards.

Crispy Artichoke Hearts At El Galleon Restaurant: Get Something Else.

September 9th, 2014 No comments

Fried Artichoke Hearts

Do you see the pool of Garlic Butter under the Crispy Artichoke Hearts (above)?  We had the same Hot Appetizer at El Galleon Restaurant in Avalon on Catalina Island, except our pool of Garlic Butter was twice as deep.  Our formerly Crispy Artichoke Hearts could high dive into it.  We were surprised to see them served that way.  Why would El Galleon fry them to a crispy, golden brown only to place them essentially in Oil again?  It’s simply a bad idea.  The Garlic Butter should be served on the side to preserve crispiness.  Don’t you think so?  And they’re too expensive at $11.95.  We’ll get something else next time.  El Galleon is otherwise a fun place with Live Karaoke and countless other dishes and specialty drinks to choose from.

Matt and Shelly Freis in Catalina

We LOVE spending time on Catalina Island — See our previous Blue Water Grill report.

Tortilla Republic In Laguna Beach: It Really Is A Feast For All Our Senses.

September 5th, 2014 No comments

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First, we LOVE Tortilla Republic’s location, location, location.  It’s in Laguna Beach off PCH with an outdoor patio view of the ocean.  We recently sampled a few items from its Brunch Menu.

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Though it’s often hard to park in the heart of Laguna Beach, there’s a small parking structure directly behind Tortilla Republic.  It’s best to park there, as there were spaces available.

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Tortilla Republic’s Brunch Menu is impressive — Several items are pictured here.

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I highly recommend the Salsa Trio and Guacamole sides (above).  All three Salsas were different and flavorful, and the Guacamole was fresh, dense and excellent tasting.

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My photos don’t do it justice — It’s a cool looking, nautical-ish, dark and light, stylish place.

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The front is completely open to allow most inside to view the ocean across the street.

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They have a Brunch, Lunch, Afternoon and Dinner Menu and/or Bar for just a drink.

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I’m not sure, but believe the above is a Hibiscus Margarita — They offer many unique drinks.

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Pictured from top down, we tried Tortilla Republic’s Huevos Rancheros, Fresh Corn & Blueberry Pancakes, aforementioned Salsa Trio and Guacamole, and Egg White Omelete.

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Carnitas Tacos (above) — See Tortilla Republic’s Menus for additional descriptions of all.

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Pescado a la Parrilla aka Seared Albacore Tuna Taco (above).

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Chilaquiles (above).

Tortilla Republic Burrito

Machaca Burrito (above).

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Mole Enchiladas (above).

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Black Beans & Mexican Rice, a side option.

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Seared Albacore Tuna & Sweet Potato Hash, served with two Poached Eggs (above).

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At Tortilla Republic Restaurant in Laguna Beach — View from inside looking out.

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Hallway in and out — It’s hard to see, but it’s the sea, past the nice cars out front.

Cheers to Tortilla Republic

Cheers to Tortilla Republic with their Prickly Pear Bellini!

Bistango Gardens: A Hidden Al Fresco Dining Area At Bistango.

August 31st, 2014 No comments

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I’ve loved Bistango Restaurant for years, its Bar, and paintings throughout its walls, and now there’s Bistango Gardens, a relaxing oasis in the heart of the Irvine business district.

Bistango Lamb Sliders

We recently enjoyed a sampling of Bistango GardensTerrace Menu designed for sharing.

Bistango Wine Toast

CHEERS to outdoor patio dining near a fountain with great Wine — We seek that out.

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The Souvlaki Greek Marinated Beef Kabobs (above) were nicely tender and flavorful.

Bistango Fish Tacos

They offer several tasty Small Plates, a few are pictured.  Some photos are from Bistango.

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See linked MENU for plate specifics.

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We tried all the items listed below, savored each bite and left wanting more.

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We especially liked Bistango Gardens‘ Lamb Sliders with Brandied Balsamic Cherries, Goat Cheese and Arugula on a Brioche Bun (pictured at top).  The flavor combination was perfect.

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Chili Marinated Shrimp (below) — See Bistango’s Menus to learn more about all.

Bistango Shrimp

The best part of this report is that… I will most likely be moving into the building across the street from Bistango, its Gardens and all of this, at the beginning of January 2015.  My other career, Paralegal, takes me there.  I was very happy to see all within walking distance from a high story window view in the center of great things.  I’m looking forward to more.  Thanks!

Bistango / Airport Tower

I appreciate Bistango’s exemplar hospitality over twenty-plus years.

The ‘Real’ Fresh Brothers Pizza-Salad-Wings Land In The OC.

August 24th, 2014 No comments

Fresh Brothers Pizza

The real brothers of Fresh Brothers Pizza-Salad-Wings are pictured above at the opening of a new Fresh Brothers in Newport Beach.  It’s their first in Orange County.  I’m not saying they’re fresh, but their Pizza is.  And they really are brothers, but their last name isn’t actually Fresh.

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Their Pizza is good, but I fell for the Fresh Knots aka Garlic Bread tied in a knot and dusted with Parmesan Cheese, served with Pizza Sauce on the side.  I’d make a meal of it.

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Their Pizza liked me too — Thumbs up to much success.

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Samples of most items were offered to media invitees and passers by this day — Thanks Bro’s!

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Fresh Brother’s Wings are baked and never fried — They offer 6 different kinds.

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Meatball Sliders served on Kings Hawaiian Sweet Rolls are available too.

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What do you see below?  Not Chicken Tenders.

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They’re Vegan Tenders that seem like Chicken and they’re pretty good too.

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One of my plates (above) — All was enjoyable.

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Fresh Knots reiterated (above) — Yum.

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They also offer Make-Your-Own-Pizza-Party packages for kids — A fun idea.

5-Hour Energy Yummification Contest: Introducing The 5 N’ Thrive.

August 19th, 2014 No comments

It’s likely we won’t win the 5-Hour Energy Yummification Contest, but we learned a lot trying.  The contest closes today, and then it’s our video amongst 400+ other video entries (I think) vying to win $50K, $30K, $10K or $1K.  All sound good to me.  We each created a Drink Recipe using (1) 5-Hour Energy Drink and a one-minute video preparing it.  Our drink, the 5′ N Thrive is simple to make and good tasting, but our video ended up compressed by time and size limits.  Overall, it was fun to do and we still hope for the best — Recipe is on the video.

Lay’s Do Us A Flavor Chip Contest Take Two: We Pick Only One.

August 14th, 2014 No comments

Lay's Chip Contest II

I submitted a Potato Chip flavor idea in Lay’s latest Do Us A Flavor – Choose Your Chip Contest, but never heard back.  It appears they didn’t choose my flavor idea… Steakhouse Bloody Mary Kettle Cooked Chips, which would have to be better than Cappuccino, don’t you think?  I was surprised to see and taste that option, but do appreciate its uniqueness.

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With respect to Lay’s actual picks (above), I was most excited about the Wasabi Ginger and Mango Salsa, thought the Cheddar Bacon Mac & Cheese to be basic, and the Cappuccino to be odd.  After tasting all, I’d only be able to eat an entire bag of one, the Cheddar Bacon Mac & Cheese.  I’m not sure how I’m able to taste Macaroni in a Potato Chip, but somehow can.  They’re pretty good.  Overall, we could only eat a couple Cappuccino Chips before they got sickening, a few more of the Wasabi Ginger Chips before being overpowered by their flavor, and the Mango Salsa Chips tasted like my favorite Fruit Lollipop at Disneyland, a flavor not sought in a Chip.  We say #SaveBaconMac, if any.  Vote for your favorite — Previous winners.

OC Fair Report: Second Place Equates To Three Wins For Shelly’s Jellies.

August 7th, 2014 No comments

OC Fair Win - Watermelon Shelly's Jellies

What, no Blue Ribbon?  It’s Second Place for my Watermelon Jellies (above) — Orange, Grapefruit and Lemon/Lime Jellies previously won First Place Ribbons, a division win in Confections, and were close to Best in Show.  Last year my Strawberry Stars Jellies earned a Blue Ribbon too.  Each flavor is carefully made with 100% real fruit.  Collectively all have been dubbed Shelly’s Jellies.  I make them because they’re one of my favorite Candies.  I’ve always liked Jelly Candies and can’t believe I can actually make them, and better than any I’ve purchased.  I’m grateful for that and for any win at the fabulous Orange County Fair.

Deep Fried Lobster on a Stick

This year we tried the Deep Fried Lobster on a stick with Pineapple — Not bad, but not cheap.

Fruit Carvings

We’re back tomorrow for more FOOD and Fruit Sculptures — The OC Fair ends this week.

The Hobbit Restaurant In Orange May Serve Your Best Meal Ever.

July 27th, 2014 No comments

The Hobbit Lamb

Have you ever been to The Hobbit?  It’s a restaurant and unique dining experience in Orange that has nothing to do with the novel, movie or Hobbit character, whew — At least I didn’t see any visual cues of it, though didn’t ask the origin of its name.  Regardless, it’s simply a great place to possibly have the best meal of your life, if you have a few hours to spare.

Shelly Freis at The Hobbit

After years of hoping to dine at The Hobbit, my husband took me for my birthday, another reason why I married him this year.  Dining here could be an annual occasion, he may be afraid to learn, as it’s not inexpensive, but worth the time and money — It’s a good value, I think.

The Hobbit Patio The Hobbit Entrance The Hobbit Dining Room

We’ve arrived — Who and what’s behind the door?  Looks like a speakeasy slot, I like it.

Thee Hobbit Bar

We started with a Glass of Wine and seat in the Bar (above) — The Hobbit experience starts with an optional drink in the Bar, or in one of the other sitting areas inside or outside.

Upstairs Hobbit Bar  The Hobbit - Me in Bar Mirror  Cheers at The Hobbit

After orientation of the Bar and various rooms within an old converted house, all head downstairs to the Wine Cellar for Champagne & Hors d’ Oeuvres (included in a fixed price).

The Hobbit Wine Cellar Stairs

You may eat and enjoy as many Hors d’ Oeuvres and drink as much Champagne as you like.

The Hobbit Hors d' Oeuvres

The photos don’t do all justice – Each Hors d’ Oeuvre was exceptional, delicious and top notch.

Beef Satay  The Hobbit App  At The Hobbit

Busy trying everything while I could (about ten dishes over and over again), I didn’t take notes — Amongst other dishes, they offered a smooth Liver Pâté, Steak Tartare, Beef Saté, Caviar, etc.  I’m personally not a big Caviar fan, but appreciate their generosity.

The Hobbit Caviar

I loved The Hobbit’s Steak Tartare — It was perfectly chilled and fresh.

Wine Cellar

If you like, while in the Wine Cellar, select a bottle of Wine to have with dinner.

The Hobbit - Our Dinner Table

The experience continues upstairs, from the Wine Cellar at a privately assigned table.

View from Dinner Table

It’s romantic too.

The Hobbit Dinner Roll

Even the Bread Roll was extra special, with a lot Herbs.

The Hobbit - Menu of the Day

The Hobbit meals come with an ever-changing menu/program, with intermission and all.

The Hobbit Salad before Intermission

Your menu will most likely be different, but ours included Seared Loin of Lamb with Organic Red Quinoa and a Tart Cherry Reduction (top photo), Butter Lettuce with Roquefort Dressing and Port Poached Pear (directly above), and Wild Mushroom Stuffed Filet Mignon (below).

Wild Mushroom Stuffed Filet

Almond Cake, Apricot Ice Cream and a Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse (below).

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Enlarge photo with menu (above) to view descriptions of all dishes.

The Hobbit Chefs in the Kitchen

During intermission that’s followed by Sorbet and the main entrée, we visited the kitchen and enjoyed our Wine on the outdoor patio, while hoping to make room for more food.

Matt & Me at The Hobbit

We toast to the Chefs and owners of The Hobbit — We LOVED our meal and time there.

Cheers to going back to The Hobbit someday...

Make another reservation for me, PLEASE!

Quick Reference Baby Shower & Bridal Shower Food Ideas.

July 24th, 2014 No comments

Baby Shower Idea

I’m not sure where the baby shower idea and photo (above) originated, but think it’s adorable, thus post it here along with my favorite bridal shower FOOD idea (below).

Wedding Shower Idea

More baby shower food ideas are here — More about my Cupcake Bridal Shower Cake is here.

The World’s Most Expensive Food For Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.

July 22nd, 2014 No comments
most expensive dishes

Blaze Pizza Unexpectedly Bursts Ahead Of Its Formidable Competition.

July 20th, 2014 No comments

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We love to build our ideal Pizza for a fair fixed price and can now do it at Blaze Pizza.

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Tell them exactly what you want on your Pizza and they’ll make and blaze it for you.

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Pick a Sauce, Cheese, Meat and/or Vegetables, or mix a few, several, or all if you like.

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Blaze Pizza offers Kalamata Olives, Pineapple, Roasted Garlic and Red Bell Peppers, sautéed Onions, Jalapenos and Artichoke Hearts, all my favorites, and more than what’s shown here.

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Its Thin Crust cooks fast and we realize we like Blaze Pizza slightly better than its local competition, Pieology, which has nothing wrong with it, but Blaze fires ahead in flavor.

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One just opened in La Habra and others will be opening soon throughout Southern California.

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The Pizza above was made with 1/2 Classic Red Sauce & 1/2 White Cream Sauce, and the other (top) was made with a Spicy Red Sauce and various toppings — We want another.

Alegria Cocina Latina In Long Beach For Sangria, Flamenco & More.

July 8th, 2014 No comments

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It was great to be back at Alegria Cocina Latina in Long Beach.  I have old memories there.  It’s probably been over 15 years since I’ve been to Alegria and it looked just as good, if not better than I remember.  It has new owners who continue to care for and enhance it.  I’ve always liked the bright, multi-colored tile floor, stylish bar and outdoor patios, and their Sangrias of course.  Nobody does them better! A lot of care and time is put into making them.

Alegria - Sangrias

They offer a Red, White and Seasonal Sangrias all the time.

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Alegria’s cuisine is a fusion of Spanish, Mexican and Latin American flavors.

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A portion of Alegria’s patio is above and one dining area is set for a large party below.

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We tried a few dishes, including Paella Valenciana (top) and Ceviche De Cameron (below).

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I liked the Red Sangria best and the guy looking at you below liked the White Sangria better.

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They also have a Flamenco Stage with a band and dancers – You can watch, or dance too.

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The Humitas Chilenas (below) was different and decadent — It’s a Homemade Sweet Corn Tamale Soufflé with Shrimp and a Cayenne Cream Sauce.  I’d have it again next visit.

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We enjoyed the El Gaucho too (below) — It’s was quite flavorful and tender.

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And it’s literally called… El Grande Final! (below) — A platter of Alegria’s bite-sized desserts.

Alegria Desserts

My favorite was the CapirotadaTheir Bread Pudding with Fruit and Nuts.

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And yet in another room (below), a painting class was taking place — Very cool.

Alegria - Brush Strokes and Bevs

It’s an occasional gathering at Alegria put together by Brushstrokes and Beverages.

Alegria - Painting Class with Wine, etc.

Pine Avenue has a lot to offer — New restaurants, long-time beloved ones and more.  Alegria included, there are countless reasons to spend time in Long Beach.  LOVE the LBC and miss it.

Recipe Photo Contest Reveals More About Food Than Photography.

July 2nd, 2014 No comments

Turkey Burger Pie

From a Potato Contest I’ve learned to appreciate Ground Turkey, and other dishes I wouldn’t choose to make — At least there’s that, since my photos haven’t produced many wins.

* The pictured is not an official entry in the contest. The chosen ones are much better, I think.

Cheese Platter For A Newport Fun Tours Luxury Electric Boat Rental.

July 1st, 2014 No comments

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We rented a Luxury Electric Boat from Newport Fun Tours and cruised the Newport Beach Harbor with plenty to eat and drink for 90 minutes — You may have seen them on Groupon.

Cheese Platter Boat Ride - Grey Poupon

A Cheese Platter doesn’t come with a Newport Fun Tours cruise — We brought it and the Grey Poupon too, just in case anyone asked for it, plus it goes well with a fabulous Cheese Platter.

Cheese Platter Ideas

Balboa Fun Zone view (below) from our Luxury Electric Boat — Well, I really wouldn’t call it luxury, since our boat was a bit used looking, like an old water limo, but it ran well for us.

Fun Zone - Boat Ride

The day was cloudy, brightened with Cheese, Wine and cute, smiling serving utensils.

Cheese Platter Boat Ride 001

I made the pictured Cheese Platter with 5 kinds of Cheese, Salami, Crackers, Pecans, Grapes from our garden, Kalamata Olives and Roasted Red Peppers, Peperoncinis and Pickles, with Mustard on the side — A couple seagulls landed on the bow wanting some.  Negative, sorry.

Boat Ride 040

Wine and snacks are sold at Newport Fun Tours check-in, but the options aren’t this good.

The Orange County Fair Starts Soon: More Culinary Contests To Enter.

June 27th, 2014 No comments

Fair Competitions

See what’s cooking at the OC Fair this year: Featuring 23 Days of Iconic Fair food, Celebrity Chefs, Craft Beer & Culinary Competitions and Exhibits — The 2014 OC Fair is cooking up a delicious summer for Fairgoers. From July 11 to August 10, 2014, the OC Fair is serving up summer fun, along with culinary events and new Fair food that are definitely worth the trip.

  • OC Fair Creations (Past Winner)Chicken Charlie is introducing the new-for-2014 Deep-Fried Doritos and Deep-Fried Chicken Skin in addition to his classic favorite fried treats of Oreos, cookie dough and Twinkies.
  • Bacon A-Fair is introducing Bacon-Wrapped Jack Daniels, a unique churro concoction with a little whiskey kick at the end (non-alcoholic). Also, a deep-fried bacon-wrapped turkey leg!Bacon Wrapped Turkey Leg
  • Biggy’s Meat Market is bringing gluten-free options this summer with GF hamburger buns, fries & a newly gluten-free The Big Rib.
  • Texas Donuts is putting a twist on its popular giant donuts with new flavors like Cherry Pop Rocks, Banana Chocolate Cream and Peanut Butter Cup. Also new this year, a Latin twist with the new deep-fried Gansito.
  • OC Fair Foodies, the OC Fair’s food-themed costumed characters, are back this summer. Join Olivia Orange, Cotton Candy Carl, Arturo Churro, Cornelius Corn and Ice Cream Scoop as they delight Fairgoers.
  • $2 Taste of Fair Food, held every Friday from Noon-4 p.m., offers Fairgoers the chance to taste Fair food for $2 per item. Fun-sized samples include funnel cake, tri-tip, lemonade, cinnamon rolls, corn dogs, tacos, gelato, cotton candy and more.Fair Competition Results
  • OC Brew Hee Haw, a craft beer roundup, is July 11-13 and will bring some of the best local craft beers to OC Fairgoers for five sessions of beer tastings, demonstrations and exhibits. Visit ocbrewheehaw.com for details and tickets.
  • Celebrity Chefs will bring their colorful cooking skills to The Hangar stage on three Thursdays. Scheduled appearances, include Carla Hall, co-host ABC’s lifestyle series “The Chew” (July 17, 4 p.m.); Roy Choi, founder of the famous Korean taco truck, Kogi BBQ (July 24, 4 p.m.); and Kelsey Nixon, host of her own show, “Kelsey’s Essentials” on the Cooking Channel (July 31, 4p.m.) Free with Fair admission and autograph sessions will follow each appearance. Presented by Vons.Fair Award - Shelly (Borrell) Freis
  • Chef Challenge will put talented culinary professionals in competition against each other with a themed cook-off every Friday at 7 p.m.: July 18 (Earth), July 25 (Water), August 1 (Air) and August 8 (Fire). Free with Fair admission.
  • Special Culinary Contests include Eating Smart Starts Here (July 19), Hot! Hot! Hot! Chili, Wings or Salsa (July 26), OC Cupcake Classic (August 2) and Fairtastic Food (August 9). Registration is the Wednesday before each contest. For a complete list, visit ocfair.com/competitions.
  • Daily Culinary Demonstrations can be enjoyed for free in the OC Promenade throughout the run of Fair. The Bakeology exhibit will highlight the wondrous things a baker can create from just butter, flour, eggs and sugar with daily demonstrations by Blackmarket Bakery chefs. Chef Ray Duey will carve works of art out of fruits and vegetables. Master Food Preserver Ernest Miller will teach Fairgoers how to preserve fresh vegetables, sauces and more. Artist Shaile Socher will create delicate edible sugar art and Cake Decorator Greggy Soriano (July 11-27 only) will make cake go from bland to grand.Fair 2013 Opening Day
  • Award-Winning Wines are available by the taste or glass in the Wine Courtyard throughout the Fair, and on weekends wine-lovers can learn more about the various varietals during the Orange County Wine Society’s Wine Seminars (most require an additional fee).
  • Centennial Farm, the OC Fair & Event Center’s year-round, three-acre demonstration farm is complete with crops, livestock and the Millennium Barn. Fairgoers can check out educational exhibits, agricultural organizations and the fruit and vegetable competitions.

The 2014 OC Fair, themed Summer Starts Here, is July 11 – August 10 and will bring 23 days of food, rides, exhibits, animals, music, action sports and fun, as well as the Super Pass, Toyota Summer Concert Series at the Pacific Amphitheatre and events in The Hangar and Action Sports Arena. The Fair is open Wednesday-Sunday. Concert tickets, action sports reserved seats, single-day general admission and the popular Super Pass are available for purchase online at ocfair.com or from the on-site Box Office. Free parking and shuttle service are available on Saturdays and Sundays from the Experian parking structure located off the Bristol St. exit of the 405 freeway.   The OC Fair & Event Center is located off the 405 and 55 freeways at 88 Fair Drive in Costa Mesa. For more information, please visit ocfair.com.

Fair Pie Contest

Credits:  Photos were taken during previous visits to the Orange County Fair and text is republished from the OC Fair & Event Center Communications Department.

 

Pieology Pizzeria: The Study Of ‘K’ustom Pizza At One Fair Price.

June 21st, 2014 No comments

Father's Day 014

At Pieology Pizzeria, I can finally get all the Pizza toppings I want without worrying about cost.  I usually limit Pizza toppings to 3 max, otherwise it gets expensive.  Here it makes sense to have more.  For one price — $7.95 — You can have them all if you want.  And it’s fast too.

Pieology

It’s easy — Just go through the assembly line and tell them what you want.

Custom Pizza

What kind of Sauce?  What kind of Cheese?  1/2 and 1/2?  Simple?  Complex?

Kustom - Custom Pizza

It’s all up to you.  Want more Pepperoni than generally allotted?  You can have it — I like that!

Cheese Options

To simplify, you can also choose one of Pieology’s 7 Specialty Pizzas from $6.45 – $7.95.

Pieology Pizza Oven

It’s a nice sized Pizza with a perfectly crisp, thin crust, for one or two people.

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A friend of mine works at a movie theater near a Pieology Pizzeria and says many sneak Pieology Pizzas into the theater.  I’m not sure how, but it’s done.  And he says… it’s the most coveted leftover by those cleaning theaters — Some like it so much, they’ll eat a stranger’s last slices if they’re left in the theater.  Yikes!  I surely wouldn’t do that (hahaha), but it goes to show how good it must be, or theater employees need to eat before going to work.