Archive for July, 2009

OC Fair’s Second Show Culinary Arts Contest.

July 31st, 2009 1 comment

misc-014My final contest entry of Scones in the Orange County Fair Culinary Arts Competition awarded me a Third Place Ribbon.  I submitted Lemon Zest Scones with a Pomegranate Glaze.  They were good, but I really wanted a bite of the First Place Scones.  And the pictured Chocolate Loaf won the division.  Stop by the Orange County Fair, near the Promenade Stage to view all Second Show entries. 


Related Links:

An Unnecessary Ingredient In This Baja Fish Taco.

July 29th, 2009 2 comments


There’s an unnecessary ingredient in Long John Silver’s New Baja Fish Taco.  They call them “crumblies” — Cute, but they’re basically just fried pieces of batter.  The addition doesn’t make sense on this Taco.  If the Fish is crispy, why add the crumblies?  It’s just more fat.  And if the Fish isn’t crispy, the crumblies seem to emphasize the fact, which was the case with this Taco.

Long John Silver’s INFO:

The Nachos For Jack In The Box Taco Lovers.

July 28th, 2009 No comments


For some reason, many like and love Jack in the Box Tacos.  They’re unlike any other, which seems to give ’em a place amongst fast food Tacos.  The taste is reminiscent of grammar school lunches and miniature Tacos from the freezer section, I had several years ago.  And although they’re often too greasy, I enjoy a Jack in the Box Taco every now and then myself, with lots of Hot Sauce.  Their Taco Nachos are made with (2) Tacos cut in thirds, and then topped with a Cheese Sauce and Jalapenos.  They were fun to try, but (2) Tacos for $0.99 is a much better deal.  It costs a little over a dollar more to add Cheese Sauce, Jalapenos, Salsa and a bed of Lettuce — Back to an occasional Taco.

Jack in the Box INFO:

Illegal Or Barely Legal Foods In The USA.

July 27th, 2009 No comments

Did you know that these foods are illegal or barely legal in the United States?  Check out the link to learn why you cannot eat certain foods in the USA and perhaps why you shouldn’t eat others.

Single Day Pie Competition At The OC Fair.

July 25th, 2009 No comments


oc-fair-2009-iii-007The Single Day Pie Competition went down today at the Orange County Fair.  Approximately 20 Pies were entered and Ribbons were awarded for Best of Show, 1st, 2nd & 3rd Place, plus 3 Honorable Mentions.  After the judging, FREE Pie was served to the public.  It’s best to be around at that time (2PM each Saturday and Sunday at the Promenade Stage).  During this Contest, I happily received an Honorable Mention for my Chocolate Mountain Orange Cream Pie.  It’s pretty good.  Here’s the RECIPE: Orange Cream Pie Recipe.  Enjoy!


More Orange County Fair Competition INFO:

Valley View Casino Buffet In San Diego County.

July 23rd, 2009 No comments


Do you like a good Buffet?  If you join the Player’s Club at Valley View Casino, you’ll receive a FREE Lobster Buffet.  We joined the Player’s Club today and enjoyed a complimentary Lunch Buffet.  Steamed Maine Lobster and Alaskan King Crab is featured on the Dinner Buffet only, and Carved New York Strip (above) is featured during lunch.  Although I would have loved the King Crab Legs, there’s 275 items to choose from otherwise — We captured a few.




The service is good and we were so impressed with this carved Watermelon — It’s the best I’ve ever seen.  I can’t quite figure out where to start to accomplish this.


Buffets are fun, but sometimes the options can be paralyzing — One can only eat so much.  It’s best to have a plan for maximum satisfaction and least waste.  We started with a Salad plate, then an Entree plate, followed by a Dessert plate or two.



TIP:  To avoid a long line, it’s best to arrive at this Buffet right when it opens.  They added more seating, but it gets packed.

Valley View Casino Buffet INFO

MORE Casino Buffets reviewed by Nibbles of Tidbits:  Agua Caliente Casino Buffet in Rancho Mirage

A Sampling Of Tacos From Taco Mesa Restaurant.

July 22nd, 2009 No comments


It appears that many love Taco Mesa Restaurant — That’s what I’ve heard and it always seems to have a packed patio of diners.  Today we tried a sampling of a few Tacos.  From top to bottom, left to right, we enjoyed their Taco Alambre, Salmon Taco, Al Pastor Taco, Potato Chorizo and Egg Taco, and their Blackened Chicken Breast New Wave Taco.



We like that Breakfast is served all day and that we’re able to have a Potato Chorizo and Egg Taco at night.  All Tacos were good, but we prefer the regular Tacos to the New Wave Tacos.  The New Wave Tacos are served in blue and red Tortillas, which is fine, but they fell apart more easily than their standard Tacos.  We look forward to going back to try the Carnitas Pibil, Carne Asada and Tacos Fritos, since the prices aren’t bad — We’ll report about those Tacos next time.

Taco Mesa MENU & INFO:

Pink’s Chili Cheese Fries, New To Our Report.

July 20th, 2009 No comments


We’ve just added Pink’s Chili Cheese Fries to our Chili Cheese Fries Comparison Post — And they’re now our second favorite, next to Original Tommy’s Chili Cheese Fries.  ALL are linked below.

Chili Cheese Fries Comparison Post & Photos:

Pink’s of HOLLYWOOD:

Pink’s Chili Cheese Dog & OC Fair Booth Photos:

Chocolate Covered Bacon At The OC Fair.

July 19th, 2009 4 comments


Each year the Orange County Fair serves up a new weird food item (E.g., Fried Twinkies, Fried White Castle Burgers, etc.), and this year it’s Chocolate Covered Bacon.   We’ve tried ’em all, thus had to sample the Bacon.  As you can see (above), it’s covered in thick Chocolate — And it’s kinda difficult to bite into, since it’s served from the freezer or fridge.


Overall, the flavor isn’t bad and is reminiscent of Chocolate Dipped Pretzels.  The Bacon has a salty flavor and crunchy texture that goes well with Chocolate.  The OC Fair’s Chocolate Covered Bacon is okay, but we would have preferred full strips instead of broken chunks.


It’s served in Chinese take out boxes with a packet of Salt on top, which seems odd, but whatever — We were done after a few bites, though think it’s better than some of the other crazy food items we’ve tried at the Fair.

More posts about Orange County Fair FOOD

More Cheesecake Factory Food Photos HERE.

July 17th, 2009 No comments


Can you believe this is a lunch portion Salad?  I love the large portions served at The Cheesecake Factory, even when they’re supposed to be smaller.  Today we had the Chinese Chicken Salad, Barbeque Chicken Pizza, Crispy Artichoke Hearts and the Pasta Carbonara.


We enjoyed our meals, but found the Pasta Carbonara to be pretty bland and it needed more Sauce — However, with a little Salt and additional Sauce it was much better.  Nibbles of Tidbits has previously posted several Cheesecake Factory reviews and food photos.  Please see links below to view all.

MORE Cheesecake Factory Reviews & Food

Cheesecake Factory MENU

More Food & Fun At The Orange County Fair.

July 15th, 2009 3 comments


Today we tried the “Cheesey Potato Melt” from Original Bratwurst.  It’s Mashed Potatoes with Cheese with optional Bratwurst on top.  It sounded interesting, but only tasted okay — More flavor/spice is needed.  The Orange County Fair’s Daily Events Calendar has a coupon for a FREE one with the purchase of any Sandwich.


And it was fun to see Pinks at the Fair — I’d been to the Pinks in Hollywood, but it’s more convenient to have their Chili Cheese Dog in Orange County.


We found the Chocolate Dipped Bacon and will be trying it this Saturday.  This visit we opted to simply enjoy its producer in the All Alaskan Pig Races.  They’re so cute — The Races run at 3, 5, 7 and 9PM every OC Fair day, and at 1PM on weekends.



And it was Beef Ribs for the road — YUM.  It’s just another day of food and fun things to see and do at the Orange County Fair.


Related Links:

There’s Always A Food Angle To A Good Story.

July 13th, 2009 No comments

misc-003Today our family taped the Family Feud show and had a BLAST!  It was an all day event with Subway Sandwiches in between.  I don’t think we saw the “Green Room?!”  Although its defining factor isn’t that it’s green, the room we lunched in was all burgundy, otherwise we were in the studio taping shows the entire day.  I cannot report if we won, but will report the air date (when known) for you to find out.  A big thanks to the Family Feud Crew and John O’Hurley for a great time, oh and the Subway Sandwiches too.  Now we’re ready for Spam.  

How to be on Family Feud:

Subway DIRECT:

Spamalot Musical (John O’Hurley’s current show with a food and story angle):

We love Seinfeld too:

* Photo is of a previously enjoyed Subway Sandwich.

Food Preview At The Orange County Fair.

July 12th, 2009 1 comment


It’s Orange County Fair time again.  We’ll be heading back to try all the new crazy stuff that’s being offered this year.  It’s been rumored that Chocolate Dipped Bacon is being served, but we haven’t seen it yet.  If it’s at the OC Fair, we’re ready for a bite or more. 


The Ribs are always good at the OC Fair and we might try a Grilled Chili Pepper stuffed with Cheese next time — Until then we’re on the hunt for the craziest food items this year.  Check back to see what they are.  Ciao.

Orange County Fair INFO

Culinary Arts Competition Results At The OC Fair.

July 11th, 2009 2 comments


oc-fair-0082The results are in for the first phase of the Culinary Arts Competition at the Orange County Fair.  I’m excited to learn that my Ambrosia Bundt Cake won a 2nd Place Ribbon and my Gourmet Nut Clusters won a 3rd Place Ribbon.  Not bad for a first time OC Fair submitter — Two for two.  For the second phase of the Culinary Arts Competition, I’ll be delivering Scones on July 28th, and for the Single-Day LIVE Judging Contest a Pie on July 25th.

oc-fair-0051This day I met Jaqui Dulebohn (Santa Ana), a Division Winner in the Preserved Foods Competition.  That’s impressive!  It means she won a 1st Place Ribbon, then beat out all the other 1st Place Ribbon winners in the Jam’s Division.  Congratulations to Jaqui on her Apricot Jam.  She looks forward to the competition each year.  ALL entries are displayed in the Home Arts Building.  You’ve got to get to the Fair for all the fabulous food and fun.


Competition & Contest INFO

PHOTOS from 2008’s Culinary Arts Competition

The Orange County Fair Opened Today — Yeah!

July 10th, 2009 4 comments


The Orange County Fair opened today — It’s time for our favorite Sandwich. Every year we look forward to the BBQ Beef Brisket Sandwich at the Texas Style BBQ Stand.  So far we haven’t found one we like better.  Look for this sign near the Fair entrance, if you want one too.  Is the cow appropriate for this post?  Either way, it’s all at the OC Fair with a whole lot more.  Have FUN and enjoy the FOOD.


Last year’s Sandwich (up close) is linked here — The stand looks a little different this year, if we’ve got it correct.  We’ll check back to confirm.

Pascal Epicerie & Wine Shop In Newport Beach.

July 9th, 2009 No comments


I’ve only just begun to explore the goods offered by Pascal Epicerie and Wine Shop and I’m already hooked on the Salads.  I’ve stopped in 3 of the last 4 days to choose from the Daily Pasta and Vegetable Salads offered by the pound.


So far we can’t get enough of the Bean Salad(s) and Roasted Vegetables — The Green Beans aren’t pictured, but they’re my favorite so far.  Pictured with the aforementioned is the Ratatouille and Beet Salad.  We look forward to trying ALL their Pasta and Vegetable Salads, to be posted here soon.  Pascal Epicerie and Wine Shop is next door to Tradition by Pascal, one of the best restaurants in Newport Beach.

Lunch At The Irvine Spectrum Yard House.

July 7th, 2009 No comments


After meeting a work deadline, we were happy to finally be sitting down for a late lunch at the Yard House.  This day we tried the Penne Pasta with Chicken and a Grilled Pastrami Sandwich.  The Garlic in the Pasta overtook our table and car, a little too much — And we were hoping for more of a Marsala flavor, since that’s how it’s described.


The Yard House BBQ Chicken Salad is huge.  Their portion sizes are always generous.


Below is the Portabella Burger, although not its best side, the Eggplant, Roasted Red Peppers and Feta make it a tasty Sandwich.


misc-0062The Summer Salad includes fresh Strawberries, Avocado, Oranges, Candied Walnuts and Leeks, a fun combination of ingredients.  A White Balsamic Vinegar might be aesthetically better on this Salad than a brown one.  Overall, the Yard House serves a lot of excellent dishes.  Our preference is Happy Hour, when the appetizers are half price.

More INFO and Yard House food photo LINKS:

In That Same American Backyard On July 4th.

July 5th, 2009 No comments


Last year the Carne Asada was from Gems Market in Yorba Linda and this year it’s from Costco.  Both were good — We’ve got no complaints about anything.  It was a beautiful day in America.



We had Hot Dogs, made Tacos, ate Salads, Fresh Cherries, Edamame, Chips, Salsa, Watermelon, Homegrown Tomatoes, Basil and more.



And check out these shoes (directly above right), they’ve got bottle openers built in to the bottom of them.  Too funny — I had not seen that before.  They came in handy on this thirsty day.

Related Links:

Fourth Of July Cake On Its Way To A Party.

July 4th, 2009 No comments


It’s a doctored up Red Velvet Cake from a mix — I added a box of Chocolate Pudding Mix, Vanilla Extract and Orange Juice in place of Water.  And the Glaze was made with Pineapple Juice and Powdered Sugar.  I hope it tastes good, since it’s on its way to a 4th of July Pool Party.  We’ll report back.  Happy 4th to YOU and God Bless America.

UPDATE:  By the time the Cake was cut, I was busy swimming in the pool in my dress, HA.  I’m told it was good, but unfortunately didn’t get a photo of its beautiful color.

Aloha Pineapple & Carl’s Jr. Teriyaki Burger.

July 2nd, 2009 No comments


I mostly appreciated the Fresh Pineapple received in launch of Carl’s Jr.’s New Teriyaki Burger — That was fun.  The Teriyaki Burger is good too, because I usually choose a Hula Burger aka Hawaiian Burger aka Teriyaki Burger, that’s generally served with a Pineapple slice or two and a sweet Sauce.  Shown is the Six Dollar Teriyaki Burger on the house, but I subsequently purchased another with a regular Burger and think it’s better.  And the Pineapple actually has a grilled taste to it, which is nice.  I’ll take the Fifth regarding their commercials.  Aloha.

Related Links: