Archive for March, 2010

Zucchini Potato Soup From The Farmer’s Market Cookbook.

March 29th, 2010 No comments

Farmer's Market Soup Ingredients

Zucchini Potato Soup is the first recipe we made from Southern Living’s Farmer’s Market Cookbook.  We got all ingredients (except Bacon) from the Corona Del Mar Farmer’s Market, since that’s what it’s all about.

                   Homemade Chicken StockFryin' the BaconCookin' the Soup

We made Chicken Stock from a leftover Rotisserie Chicken, a leftover piece of El Pollo Loco Chicken and a leftover piece of Boston Market Chicken — We just so happened to have all on hand, ha.  It turned out great and made the Zucchini Potato Soup more flavorful.

Final Soup with Bacon and Sour Cream

Overall, the Soup was good and easy to make.  The recipe is pictured below, if you can see it.  We added a little Lemon Juice to the Soup, and Sour Cream as a garnish to go with the yummy Bacon on top.  Since the recipe was inspired by Vichyssoise, it’s to be served cold.  My friend loves it that way, but I prefer it warm.  This Soup is flexible that way.

Farmer's Market Cookbook Recipe

The recipe is well written, like many we’ve read in this Cookbook — In other words, the order of instructions make sense for optimum freshness and flavor.  However, whenever sauteing Onions with Garlic, we always caramelize the Onions and add the Garlic at the very end, no matter what the recipe states, because we think it ultimately creates the best flavor.

Photos From The Farmers’ Market In Corona Del Mar.

March 28th, 2010 No comments

Farmer's Market in Corona Del Mar

We’ll soon be posting about Orange County Farmers’ Markets on  This weekend we started with a visit to the Corona Del Mar Farmers’ Market.  Our visit was also inspired by the new Cookbook we’re trying, Southern Living’s Farmers Market Cookbook.

Farmer's Market Flowers

Right now the Corona Del Mar Certified Farmers’ Market has a lot of beautiful flowers — You can surely tell it’s Spring.  It’s one of the smaller Farmers’ Markets in Orange County, but offers plenty of variety.  We post a sampling here and will later publish a slide show on Examiner.

Farmer's Market Squash

Farmer's Market Flowers


More Farmer's Market Flowers

Fava BeansFarmer's Market HoneyAsparagusClock Tower Near Farmer's Market

The Corona Del Mar Farmers’ Market is at PCH and Marguerite, near the pictured clock tower.

Phony Food To Go With Our Favorite Twilight Zone Episode.

March 27th, 2010 2 comments

Veggie Platter -- Does it look real?

Would you believe ALL the food pictured in this post is fake?  It’s true — It’s all phony baloney!  Some of it looks close to real and some obviously counterfeit.  Nonetheless, it’s the best forged food we’ve seen.  It goes well with our favorite Twilight Zone episode titled a Stopover In A Quiet Town.  In it a couple wakes up in unfamiliar surroundings (a doll house) after a night of  partying.  They then discover that everything in the house and town is a prop and that they’re now living dolls for larger people on a different planet.  These party platters would be served there.

Fake Appetizer Platter

Solid Meatballs & Undipable Sauce

Phony Meat Platter

Fake Meat & Cheese Platter

Don't eat this Deviled Egg Platter!

Fake Spinach Dip and real flowers, not.

Phony Croissant Sandwiches and Olives

Obviously fake looking Sandwiches.

Buffalo Wings aren't real anyway!

Phony Fixins

All photos were taken at The HoneyBaked Ham Company in Corona Del Mar.

11/09/11 Update:  The Corona Del Mar location is now closed.

Farmers Market Cookbook: Harvesting A Fresh Look At Local Flavor.

March 24th, 2010 No comments

Farmer's Market Cookbook

We’re already liking this Cookbook and haven’t made a recipe yet.  We’ll be heading to one of our local Framers’ Markets soon — It’s in Corona Del Mar at PCH/Marguerite and will be reported about on

Lime Ice Cubes

We look forward to sampling several recipes from this Southern Living Cookbook and will report about all here.  We’ve got to see what looks best at the local Farmers’ Market and take it from there.  Until then, we think these Lime Ice Cubes (above) are worth mentioning.  They’re so simple to make and memorable at a party, brunch, BBQ or just for fun.  Kids like ’em too.

* Nibbles of Tidbits is happy to be trying this Cookbook — Check back for future reports.

Islands Former Sunset (BBQ) Burger Is Now Called Mavericks.

March 21st, 2010 No comments

Maverick Burger at Islands

A BBQ Burger at Islands Restaurant used to be called a Sunset Burger, but it’s now called a Mavericks Burger (pictured).  It also differs in that it now comes with Onions Strings (Island Reds) and Mayonnaise instead of Mustard.  We still haven’t had a bad Burger at Islands and would surely order this one again, especially since the Sunset is history.

Santa Anita Race Track, Winnings, Hot Dogs, Beers & Fun.

March 20th, 2010 1 comment

Beer & Hot Dogs

It’s still St. Patrick’s Day at Santa Anita Race Track, which was a good thing for us today.  We saved a lot of money on Beer and Hot Dogs and went home with a little more money than we came with — That’s a good thing!  It was a beautiful, thirst quenching day.

Santa Anita Race Track

The big money was won on a 55/1 (odds) to Place — Too bad we didn’t go all the way with the Win.  Nevertheless, we had a magnificent time at Santa Anita.  It’s an entertaining way to spend the day.  The horses are only running live at Santa Anita Race Track until April 18, 2010.

Condiments at the TrackSanta AnitaMisc. 03-20-10 016Start the Race

Other media was broadcasting from the track and another race was getting ready to start, as we headed for six Beers for the price of one.  FYI:  There’s FREE Admission and more $1 specials every Friday.

Hooked On Grilled Romaine Salads, Not Phonics.

March 18th, 2010 No comments

Grilled Romaine

Still hooked on Grilled Romaine Salad and busy working on a lot of exciting projects — Stay tuned and full.  Click here and above for the how to’s and more.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day — Cheers From Nibbles Of Tidbits.

March 17th, 2010 No comments

Preparing Corned Beef with Beer

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! We already had our Corned Beef and Cabbage and post about it here.

Corned Beef

Fish Cooked On A Rack In The Oven — It’s An Okay Option.

March 15th, 2010 No comments

Bertolli 001

If you can’t BBQ, grill or poach Salmon, this cooking method works well too – The above Salmon was marinated in a Chimichurri Sauce, then cooked at 350° for 15 – 20 minutes on a rack that’s placed on a foil lined cookie sheet.  Any rack will do.  There’s very little clean up and the gross white stuff (fat) that tends to collect around cooking fish is minimized.

TIP:  Save the rack from an old toaster oven before discarding it — It’ll come in handy for various cooking purposes, like this.

The Taste & Tweet Is Happening Right Now.

March 14th, 2010 No comments

Bertolli's Lemon Herb Shrimp & Penne

During Bertolli’s Taste & Tweet, we tried the Lemon Herb Shrimp & Penne.  We were impressed with the consistency and Lemony flavor of the Sauce and its ease of preparation.  All is happening right now — See link above for more details or click here for instant access.

* We paired our meal with Gnarly Head Pinot Grigio.  It went well with this Bertolli meal and will be reported about separately.

Bertolli’s Taste & Tweet Sunday Night — Tune In Everywhere.

March 13th, 2010 No comments

Bertolli Lemon Herb Shrimp Penne

Bertolli & Pinot Grigio PairingStay tuned tomorrow on ABC starting at 9PM (Pacific) and on Twitter for Bertolli’s Taste & Tweet Sunday Night Dinner Party.  Nibbles of Tidbits will be virtually dining with other VIP Bloggers via #BertolliItaly — We’re on Twitter as FoodBlog and our Tweets (aka Chirps) are RSS’d below.  Our participatory selection for this fun event is Bertolli’s Lemon Herb Shrimp & Penne paired with Gnarly Head Pinot Grigio.  We can’t wait to try all during Desperate Housewives, when the Into the Heart of Italy episodes premiere.  Learn more @

* Come back tomorrow to see how the above cooked up and click here for previous Bertolli product reviews.

Important Women’s Health Issue Regarding Margaritas.

March 12th, 2010 No comments

MargaritaImportant Women’s Health Issue:

* Are you feeling tired?
* Are you stressed?
* Do you have feelings of inadequacy?
* Do you suffer from shyness?
* Do you sometimes wish you were more assertive?
* Do you feel overwhelmed at times, as if there is not enough time in the day for all of your responsibilities?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist about Margaritas

Margaritas are the safe, natural way to feel better and more confident about yourself and your actions. Margaritas can help ease you out of your shyness and let you tell the world that you’re ready and willing to do just about anything. You will notice the benefits of Margaritas almost immediately and with a regimen of regular doses you can overcome any obstacle that prevents you from living the life you want to live. Your stress will literally melt away. Shyness and awkwardness will be a thing of the past and you will discover many talents you never knew you had. Stop hiding and start living, with Margaritas. 

Margaritas may not be right for everyone. Women who are pregnant or nursing should not use Margaritas. However, women who wouldn’t mind nursing or becoming pregnant are encouraged to try it.  

Side effects may include:

– Dizziness
– Nausea
– Vomiting
– Incarceration
– Erotic lustfulness
– Loss of motor control
– Loss of clothing
– Loss of money
– Table dancing
– Headaches
– Dehydration
– Dry mouth
– And a desire to sing Karaoke 


* The consumption of Margaritas may make you think you are whispering when you are not.

* The consumption of Margaritas may cause you to tell your friends over and over again that you love them.

* The consumption of Margaritas may cause you to think you can sing.

* The consumption of Margaritas may make you think you can logically converse with members of the opposite sex without spitting. 

Please share this with other women who may need Margaritas.

Note:  Photo by Food Colors — Above was forwarded by a friend. Original origin is unknown.  We think it’s funny!

RA Sushi To Name Surf City’s 2010 Maki Madness Champion.

March 10th, 2010 No comments


Since this sounds like a fun contest with a great prize, and its proceeds benefit a much needed organization (all good criteria), we’ve reprinted the details here on Nibbles of Tidbits.


Attention Surf City: It’s Time to Put Your Sushi Where Your Mouth Is — March 21, 2010!

WHAT: On Sunday, March 21, RA Sushi Bar Restaurant is partnering with CASA of Orange County and OC Weekly to host its inaugural Maki Madness Sushi Eating Contest to coincide with the NCAA March Madness. Whether you’re a professional food eater or just like a little competition, you’ll definitely enjoy this sushi throw-down. One participant will be named Surf City’s 2010 Maki Madness Champion – winning sushi for a year, which is equivalent to 12 $50 RA gift certificates. Think you’ve got what it takes?

All interested gamers must register in advance online at – space is limited to 40 participants. All of the proceeds from the $10 cash only registration fee and raffle (no purchase necessary), will benefit CASA of Orange County.

RA will feature its signature Tootsy Maki and offer guests a selection of themed drink specials. In addition to the sushi showdown, spectators and cheerleaders will enjoy full coverage of the NCAA March Madness tournament and may take part in mini basketball competitions.

WHEN: Sunday, March 21, 2010, 4:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

WHERE: RA Sushi Bar Restaurant
The Strand in Huntington Beach
155 5th Street (at PCH)
Huntington Beach, CA 92648
Phone: (714) 536-6390

* The Hamachi in the photo is from a Sushi experience of another time.

The Lazy Dog Cafe Opened At The Market Place In Irvine.

March 8th, 2010 1 comment

Togarashi Edamame Beans

Welcome to Irvine — The Lazy Dog Cafe.  We’re lucky to have you.  The Togarashi Edamame Beans (above) lead this post, because we think they’re the best Edamame in Orange County.  Wash your hands good before eating ’em, so you can lick your fingers.  Their smoky flavor is amazing.  My friend couldn’t stop talking about them, thus they made one of the biggest impressions.

Trio of Hummus

The Lazy Dog Cafe at The Market Place in Irvine just opened a few days ago.  Nibbles of Tidbits happily attended a pre-opening sneak peek and we now report about a small portion of what’s on their menu.  To sum it all up, we were impressed with everything — The service, decor, friendliness, food and prices.  Here’s what we had… Trio of Hummus Dips which includes a Walnut Pesto, Sundried Tomato and Traditional Hummus served with Flatbread, Cucumbers and Tomatoes.

Spinach & Sundried Tomato Cheese Dip

Spinach & Sundried Tomato Cheese Dip with Jack, Parmesan and Swiss Cheeses blended with fresh Baby Spinach, Garlic and Sundried Tomatoes.

Kitchen Area -- Food Pick Up

Our sneak peek included a tour of the bustling kitchen and dinner with fellow Orange County Food Bloggers.  It was super fun to meet Scott from Foodie in Disguise and see Christian again from OC Mex Food.  And Griffin Eats OC posts another interesting report on The Lazy Dog Cafe.

Cast Iron Idaho Trout

Continuing with the food… We enjoyed the Cast Iron Idaho Trout that’s baked in a cast iron skillet with Sea Salt Roasted Vegetables, Baby Potatoes and topped with a Citrus Walnut Brown Butter Sauce.

Bacon Wrapped Coulotte Steak

Bacon Wrapped Coulotte Steak (best part of the Sirloin) served over Confetti Veggies and Mashed Potatoes with Burgundy Wine Sauce.

Mushroom & Onion Flat Iron Steak

Mushroom & Onion Flat Iron Steak topped with sauteed Madeira Mushrooms and Onions, served with Mashed Potatoes and Confetti Veggies.

Beer Battered Fish N' Chips

Beer Battered Fish N’ Chips made with Coldwater Cod and served with a Horseradish Tartar Sauce, Asian Slaw and French Fries.

Baja California Burger with Sweet Corn Salad

Baja California Burger with Guacamole, Ortega Chilis, Jack Cheese and a Jalapeno & Lime Aioli with a side of Sweet Corn Salad.

The Bar

The Bar Top is spectacular — I could stare at it all day, but probably wouldn’t get much accomplished.  Unfortunately I don’t remember the cool specifics about it, but ‘it ain’t no laminate’ on top.  We’ll ask our resident Interior Designer, Guest Blogger Bonnie to add a footnote about it.

Lazy Dog Bar Top PhotoIceberg WedgeChicken Tortilla SoupCobbler

Also pictured above is the Iceberg Wedge Salad, Chicken Tortilla Soup and a Cobbler — By the time the desserts came along, I was stuffed and had to get a move on, thus don’t have a clear report on the best part of the meal for some.  I sure wish I could take a bite now.

Lazy Dog Cafe Dessert

Cinnamon and Sugar Pizza

Baked Brownie Pie

The view below is from the entrance looking into the bar.  It’s a big, cozy place with a menu to satisfy all tastes, even a dogs.

Entrance Looking Into Bar

Dogs are welcome on the patio and even get their own menu upon request.  Not yet mentioned is The Lazy Dog Cafe’s Drink Menu — Who has time, fresh Mojitos, Margaritas, Lemonades and more, oh my.  I’ll go to The Lazy Dog Cafe anytime!

Easy & Delicious Appetizer: Bacon Wrapped Dates.

March 6th, 2010 No comments

Bacon Wrapped Dates 007

Bacon Wrapped Dates 004Bacon Wrapped Dates – They’re amazing tasting and one of the easiest appetizers to make.  The sweetness of the Date goes so well with Bacon, the only two ingredients in the recipe.  Just wrap short slices of Bacon around each Date.  I cut the Bacon with kitchen shears, after wrapping it once around the outside of the Date.  And I’ve since learned it’s not necessary to secure the Bacon on each Date with a toothpick, if you press it together well when assembling.  Then bake all in a 350° oven for 25 minutes (or until nicely browned) turning once about halfway through.  Cool slightly before diggin’ in, so not to burn your mouth on a hot Date.  With that in mind enjoy!

Bacon Wrapped Dates 009

Many Bacon Wrapped Date recipes include Cheese, such as Cheddar or Parmesan that’s stuffed in the center of the Date, but we prefer them without Cheese — It’s a good thing too, since they’re faster and easier to make.

* If you like this recipe, you might also like Bacon Wrapped Asparagus.

The Lazy Dog Cafe At The Market Place In Irvine Opens This Thursday.

March 2nd, 2010 2 comments

Lazy Dog Cafe

Tonight I learned it’s a real treat to have The Lazy Dog Cafe in your neighborhood.  One is officially opening this Thursday, March 4th at The Market Place in Irvine.  It’s large yet cozy, stylish and warm, hospitable to people and dogs, and offers a very impressive well-rounded menu.  We’ll be posting the full report of our tasty samplings soon.

Lazy Dog, Family 037

* Pictured above is The Bleu Cheese New York and a Pizza going into The Pizza Oven.

Nescafé Taster’s Choice Instant Coffee Stick Packs.

March 2nd, 2010 No comments

Instant Coffee

Our office appreciated saving money on Coffee this week, while trying Nescafé Taster’s Choice Instant Coffee (Stick Packs).  They’re made with real Coffee Beans and taste better than the Instant Coffee I remember from years ago, and would be preferred over some brewed Coffee.  Our favorites were the Gourmet Roast and 100% Colombian.  Might they be considered an inexpensive replacement for a daily Coffee Shop stop?  Maybe, but they can’t replace my occasional Latte out. 

* Try it for yourself on them — Click here to learn how.