Archive for August, 2008

Egg Flower Minced Pork Soup. Hochiak!

August 30th, 2008 3 comments

I stumbled onto this blog and learned that its writer was running a contest.  What fun!  He’s offering a $100 prize too.  Who can’t use that these days?  The challenge is to make one of his recipes and post about it on your blog — Then votes will be collected on his blog.  PLEASE vote for me, Entry #17. 🙂

Thanks for the cool challenge.  I decided to make the Egg Flower Minced Pork Soup, because it has very few ingredients and I’ve never added a minced (ground) meat to a Soup before.  I’ve been excited to make it all week, but finally got the chance up against the Malaysian timezone.  Good thing I picked a relatively easy recipe.

Yum!  It was better than expected.  I did it.  I put the Onions in first, then lowered the temperature to a simmer and added the Pork, Eggs and Green Onions.  It was pretty flavorful.  I will definitely make it again.  Thank you Delicious Asian Food.

PLEASE VOTE for ME – Entry #17 directly below.  Voting is open until 09/09/08 (Malaysian Time). 

UPDATE: The Contest is over.  I unfortunately didn’t win, but had fun competing.  THANK YOU to those who voted for me.  I appreciate it.

Contest Information:

Delicious Asian Food’s recipe and original post:


Agua Caliente Casino Buffet in Rancho Mirage.

August 28th, 2008 3 comments

We had the Agua Caliente Casino Buffet for lunch today.  The food was fair compared to two other Casino Buffets we’ve had this year, but the Desserts were tops.  The pictures will give you a taste. 

We liked the Buffet best at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio.  It offered Prime Rib, Carved Turkey, Shrimp, and a great variety of International dishes, Salads and Desserts.  It’s very impressive.  When we hit it everything was fresh.  And the Buffet at Pala Casino Resort & Spa in San Diego County was second runner up.

You Know El Matador in Costa Mesa, Right?

August 27th, 2008 No comments

I wrote a lengthy review about El Matador for Orange County Mexican Restaurants (OCMEXFOOD Blog).  Christian Z’s site has a lot more food pictures.  Check them out.  I just ate there again and had the Chorizo Con Huevos y Papas with a side of Tortillas and good Cadillac Margarita.  I liked it all. 

I’ll tell a semi-funny story about Chorizo when I prepare a Soy Chorizo post.  I don’t wanna think about the ingredients now.  Ciao.  🙂

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Moussaka On The Go. Why Not?

August 26th, 2008 1 comment

I was busy working on many things today, but near one of my favorite Greek Restaurants and had to eat something.  I hadn’t tasted the Moussaka from the Greek Town Grill yet, since I always get the Dolmades.  I wrote about them in a previous post — They’re the best. 

The Moussaka (aka Mousaka) was good, but I have to admit that it didn’t top the one served at Papadakis Taverna in San Pedro.  It’s amazing there.  Both restaurants have tasty Greek dishes — It’ll just depend on where you find yourself.  Greek Town Grill is more casual and both are very welcoming.  The waiters often dance at Papadakis.  It’s a fun atmosphere.

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La Siesta Catered The Ole Hanson Beach Club.

August 25th, 2008 1 comment

La Siesta Restaurant was working hard, not napping.  They recently catered my friend’s wedding reception and did an excellent job.  The food was very good. 

I had never heard of them before, but I’ve since learned that they’re well loved in San Clemente.  I picked up one of their business cards and it says they specialize in Carnitas.  That’s what I liked the most.  Oh, the reception was very fun too. 

The view from the Ole Hanson Beach Club was spectacular.  It’s a great place for a wedding reception.  La Siesta was set up on the roof.  It’s a winning combination for those looking to tie the knot.  And finally, here’s a picture of the Cake.  It was cool too.  Congratulations Andrea & Mike.


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If you’d like information regarding the Cake, please let us know in a comment.

Have You Tried Broccoflower Yet?

August 24th, 2008 No comments

I finally tried it.  To me it tastes like Cauliflower, but with less flavor.  I didn’t expect that.  It’s a pretty color and fun to try, but I wouldn’t go out of my way for it, unless I needed its color contribution to a dish. 

I prepared a dish I make often with Cauliflower.  This time it’s ‘Roasted Broccoflower’ with Lemons, Garlic, Olive Oil and S & P.  It’s so simple and good.  If needed, the exact cooking instructions from a previous post are linked below.

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Rachael Ray’s Potato Salad Fra Diavolo Esta No Fantastico.

August 23rd, 2008 4 comments


Lo Siento.  I’m not really sure why I’m trying to speak Spanish right now – HA.  I tried a recipe I saw Rachael Ray make on 30 Minute Meals.  It’s called Potato Salad Fra Diavolo.  The combination sounded really interesting to me, so I made it, but didn’t like it. 

That was a bummer, since I was hoping to eat it for lunch throughout the week.  I followed the recipe exactly, which I rarely do.  I’ll usually change something.  To me, the flavor was a bit heavy and didn’t jive — Perhaps too much Mustard or Fennel, I’m not sure.

I love the TV Food Network and Rachael Ray, but this particular recipe doesn’t work that well, with all due respect.  It’s from Episode#: TM1903.  Has anyone else made it?  If so, I’d love to hear from you.

Here’s a few pictures of my preparation and a link to the recipe so you can try it yourself.  Good luck.

Recipe Links –


Happy Hour at The Yard House.

August 22nd, 2008 2 comments

Most of the appetizers at The Yard House are half price during Happy Hour, which is 3:00-6:00pm (M-F).  It’s a great deal on good quality food.  We got the Crab Cakes, Ham and Pineapple Pizza, Sliders with Bearnaise Sauce and French Fries, plus a Hefeweizen and Dirty Martini.  We liked it all.

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Dolcissimo Where Did You Go?

August 21st, 2008 4 comments

Dolcissimo Cupcakes on 19th Street is NO MAS.  I’m not sure if they just moved or closed.  Their website doesn’t currently state.  It just shows business as usual, but their telephone number is out of order.  I’ll update this post later if I get the full story.  It appears the property owners didn’t have trouble securing another tenant.  The sign is already posted — Mazzottis Italian Deli & Catering, which doesn’t sound bad, but I’ll miss those Cupcakes.  I guess it’s another reason to make my own Cupcakes.

UPDATE 08/03/09:  It appears that Mazzottis opened, then closed a few months later.  The space is now occupied by Thai Tastee.

Strawberry & Banana Filled Crepe By Chef Nieces.

August 20th, 2008 No comments

My Nieces made this for breakfast today and sent it to me in an e-mail.  It’s a Strawberry and Banana filled Crepe with Chocolate Sauce.  It looks great — I wish I got to eat it.  Thanks!

The Breakdown Of A Chocolate Bean.

August 19th, 2008 1 comment

Chocolate’s progression on its way to your mouth.  I didn’t get to see the entire process, but the HOW TO MAKE CHOCOLATE links below will show you more.

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2008 Celebrity Food Show Cake Competition.

August 18th, 2008 2 comments

It was a Cake Making Competition among culinary students from The International Culinary School at the Art Institute.  The participants represented a few different schools, including Orange County, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Texas. 

The theme was America’s Best.  On this first day of the competition we saw the makings of a Liberty Bell, Luggage, a Hamburger and French Fries, a Stadium, the United States, and a few others we couldn’t make out at the time.

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And the winner is…


We didn’t see all the Cakes in final, but do have a picture of the WINNER.  This picture was sent to me by one of its creators, Michael Hadobas, who is coincidentally the one piping the playing cards above.  He did a great job on them.  He and his partner Dorthy Sepcic made the winning Cake.  As you may guess, they’re from The Art Institute of Las Vegas.  Congratulations!

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2008 Celebrity Food Show Review.

August 17th, 2008 2 comments

The event was touted as the 2008 Celebrity Food Show.  It was heavily promoted and looked enticing, so I went with a friend.  We didn’t stay for the Ace of Cakes Show because the food exhibit area was way too small.  We had reservations to see Duff and the rest of the gang at the 4:30 show, but left before it started.  The picture is from a peak at the 2:30 show.

We had arrived at 1:30 to first experience the Cake Making Competition and Food Exhibits, but there wasn’t enough to see to fill the time.  Overall we weren’t impressed.  It seemed more like a glorified swap meet or Costco’s on a Saturday, plus a fair number of vendors weren’t fabulous or even set up.  And we saw way too many Salsa booths.  

All didn’t seem worth the $25.00 entry fee — And no one even asked for our tickets.  People were just wandering in and out of all the open doors.  The pictures below are of a few items we sampled or purchased, and a couple displays that caught our eyes.  The Cake Making Competition pictures will be featured in a future post, since it was the best part of the event.

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Beautiful Summer Dahlias in Costa Mesa.

August 16th, 2008 No comments

Some flowers are edible, but these aren’t.  This post is for the locals, but you can certainly enjoy the pictures.  If you’re nearby it’s a fun find.  Dahlias can be fresh cut from our Costa Mesa neighbor’s backyard from June to September.

Just point to the one you want and Mr. or Mrs. Banks will cut it for you.  They’re located at 1589 Riverside Place in Costa Mesa, California 92627 – (949) 642-8107.  The Dahlia prices range from $3.00 – $8.00 each.  If there’s a ‘Dahlias Today’ sign out front, feel free to walk back to see the beautiful flowers.  They’re gorgeous.

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A Bouquet of Herbs From a Friend.

August 15th, 2008 1 comment

A friend gave me these herbs from her garden.  I love bouquets of everything.  This one consists of Rosemary, Basil, Garlic Basil, Chives and Garlic Chives.  Thank you very much!

A Bunch of Homegrown Tomatoes.

August 14th, 2008 No comments

What should I do with them?  Maybe a Tomato Soup or Gazpacho?  I really don’t feel like peeling them.  Any suggestions?

Food Trade Show Open To The Public.

August 13th, 2008 1 comment

It’s at the Anaheim Hilton starting this Friday, August 15 through the 17th.  I’m going on Friday and can’t wait. 🙂

I’ll be getting lots of pictures of the good stuff, so stay tuned.

Here’s a few links, if you’d like to go too.

Categories: Local Events

Have You Seen This Yet? It’s Frozen Cilantro.

August 12th, 2008 1 comment

It’s a new cool convenience to fresh Herbs if you don’t have them on hand.  They’re pretty good and especially great for Soups and Stews.  I’ve seen them in Basil too at Trader Joe’s, but the manufacturer sells a larger variety.  Both links are below.

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Houston’s Braised Red Cabbage with Goat Cheese.

August 11th, 2008 17 comments

Have you had it before?  Houston’s Restaurant makes a fabulous Braised Red Cabbage.  I like it so much, I created this Copycat Recipe.  To me it tastes just like it — It’s super easy too.

Braised Red Cabbage Recipe:

1 Head of Red Cabbage (Chopped or Shredded) 

1/2 Cup White White Vinegar

1/4 Cup Water

2 1/2 Tbsp. Butter

2 1/2 Tbsp. Sugar

Add the Vinegar, Water, Butter and Sugar to a Dutch Oven.  Heat all on the stove for about 5 minutes.  When the Sugar is dissolved, add the chopped Red Cabbage. 

Stir all together, then cover and braise in the oven at 325° for 2 hours.  Stir every half hour or so.  If the liquid completely evaporates, just add a little extra Water.

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Houston’s serves their Braised Red Cabbage with Goat Cheese.  Since I wanted to create the entire experience, I purchased a Goat Cheese trio from Trader Joe’s

TJ’s trio includes a combination of Plain, Garlic & Herb and Four Pepper flavored Goat Cheese.  I had already used the plain, so I used the Garlic & Herb for this dish.  Each is 3.5 ounces and individually wrapped, which is great for freshness.

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Coconut Ginger Shrimp Over Basmati Rice.

August 10th, 2008 2 comments

It was quick and easy to make, but next time it needs Vegetables and more Cilantro.  Here’s the step-by-step pictures of the preparation.  It’s fun to experiment.

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I first sauteed the Onion, then added grated Ginger and minced Garlic, then the Shrimp and cooked all for another 3 minutes.  I separately mixed Cornstarch and more grated Ginger into some Coconut Milk, then added the combination to the Shrimp saute along with a few Red Pepper Flakes. 

I quickly brought all to a boil to thicken, then added what little Cilantro I had and served it over Basmati Rice.  And here’s the final (below) — It’s WAY too white.  All was just okay, NOT great.  Its preparation was a bit impromptu, but with a few changes it has the potential to be better next time. 

Claim Jumper’s Frozen Blackberry Pie.

August 9th, 2008 9 comments

Claim Jumper’s Blackberry Pie from the freezer section of the grocery store.  It was good, not great, but good.  I added a fair amount of Cinnamon and Sugar to the top crust, as I do with most Pies. 

The instructions note to line your cookie sheet with foil before placing the Pie in the oven.  Be sure to do that, since mine made a bit of a mess.  I’m not sure if that happens each time, but it’s best for cleanup if it does.  I was glad I wasn’t serving it to company, since it didn’t look as pretty as those that haven’t bubbled over.  

I did like the ease of preparation and the smell of it baking in the oven, so I’m not going to completely rule it out as a future dessert of the week.

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Contact the Claim Jumper directly here.

El Toro Bravo Tortilleria Review.

August 7th, 2008 1 comment

El Toro Bravo Tortilleria is hidden to those who don’t know it’s there, but every time I’ve been by there’s been a line.  I wrote a review for Christian Z’s blog OCMexFood.  Check it out.  The links to the story and pictures are below.

Mexican Restaurant Reviews:

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Location Information:

Amsterdam’s Cocktail Sauce Recipe.

August 5th, 2008 1 comment

I learned how to make this fabulous Cocktail Sauce from a Waiter, while having Oysters in Amsterdam.  I wish I was there right now.  It was about eight years ago and I’ve been making it ever since.  I never buy Cocktail Sauce because I always have the ingredients on hand, and homemade is always better.

Amsterdam’s Cocktail Sauce Recipe:




Mix all together to taste, more Horseradish if you like it spicy and less if you don’t — Then just add a little Cream. 

It’s so simple and good — Just 1, 2, 3.  Mine is prepared a little on the spicy side.  Enjoy.

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