Archive for August, 2010

The Inaugural ‘OC Foodie Fest’ Report: This Is How It Rolled.

August 31st, 2010 No comments

The 2010 inaugural OC Foodie Fest officially happened at the Honda Center last Saturday and although I personally was unable to attend, Nibbles of Tidbits sent its favorite Guest Blogger, Bonnie and her trusty photographer, Andrea to enjoy and report about the event.  Somebody had to do it and wish it was me after hearing about it.  Bonnie writes the rest…

The food, the sun and the fun were all perfectly aligned at the Honda Center Saturday afternoon for the inaugural OC Foodie Fest, with over 8,500 people attending the sold out event and 49 gourmet food trucks. No doubt this will be the first of many more Orange County Foodie Fests to come.

Although there were officially declared favorites, the three of us unofficially agreed that the top banana — while bananas are served as an option on top of loukas, which are Greek donuts – should have gone to Louks Greek Gourmet To Go food truck. We think their lamb chops might be the best we have ever had. In fact, they were so good that we decided to take some home with us.

Apparently many others agreed, because while we ran back there at the end of our day, stood in line and paid for the perfectly seasoned and prepared chops, they ran out just one person shy of us.  To their credit, Louks refunded our money and served up an equally tasty Gyro sandwich as a substitute free of charge. Thanks for being so gracious, Louks!

Our next stop was the World Fare Bustaurant, a double-decker with room the top to eat and enjoy the people watching.  Our truffle infused macaroni and cheese balls were mouth watering. And we washed them down with a strawberry-basil-lemonade that was to-die-for. It had just the perfect amount of the basil flavor added to the tasty drink.

The last truck we ate from, Piaggio on Wheels, offered a truly a diverse cuisine. We could not resist trying the water served in a real coconut, empanadas and a bacon wrapped hot dog topped with both chipotle and chimichurri sauce. It was all delicious and truly gourmet food.

We would be remiss if we didn’t mention that all of the shopping provided by the Patchwork vendors was top notch and high quality. There was also an art show with live painting from eVocal, plus live local music and an area devoted just to kids. The O C Foodie Fest also gave back to the community, with a percentage of the proceeds going to three local charities, Child SHARE, St. Vincent’s Meals on Wheels and Pretend City.

The OC Foodie Fest was meant to bring exposure to the growing market in Orange County for food trucks, as well as to give the opportunity for LA trucks to branch out into a new area.  It succeeded on so many levels that we can’t wait for the next one!

THANKS to our Guest Blogger, Bonnie Flamm and event photographer, Andrea Stein for the excellent report and photos — I hope to attend next time.  Learn here where the trucks might be going next or follow them on Twitter.

Instant and Complete Picnic From Cost Plus: Consider It For A Good Time.

August 30th, 2010 No comments

When was the last time you had a picnic?  We mustn’t forget the simple enjoyment of a picnic.  It seems Americans don’t take enough pleasure in them.  While traveling through many parts of Europe, you’ll see people having picnics everywhere and often.  It’s a great thing.

We’re inspired to have more picnics and Cost Plus World Market, a favorite destination for unique and imported food items can make it happen on a moment’s notice.  It has everything one could need for a picnic.  We prepared for this one by getting ALL shown from Cost Plus, including the insulated picnic basket that transported the Salami, Cracked Pepper Smoked Salmon, Bruschetta, Roasted Artichoke Hearts, Pepper Jack Cheese, Assorted Crackers, Almonds, Pickles, Olives, Wine and Cookies.

This day it was too windy to show you it was too windy — Meaning, we couldn’t back up for a wide photo, since all hands were necessary to hold down the light stuff during the wind gusts.  It was (kinda) funny, until it blew over our Chardonnay, and it was a bit scary thinking the Smoked Salmon could possibly land on us, but ultimately it was a lot of fun.

We had this picnic in Temecula, near Pechanga Resort & Casino, where we took our Grandma to see her favorite singer, Engelbert Humperdinck.  Prior to the concert, we laughed eating the Orange Chocolate Rolled Wafers — They are sooooo darn good and fodder for immature jokes that transcend generations, Groucho Marx impersonations and more.

Coy With More Koi From Sherman Library & Gardens: Don’t Eat ‘Em.

August 28th, 2010 No comments

Today we’re heading to Temecula for a lovely picnic among other things and we have a guest blogger goin’ to the OC Foodie Fest to eat from the 50 Gourmet Food Trucks parked at the Honda Center today.  There’s a lot of good eats happening right now.  We’ll soon report about them here.  Until then, enjoy the beautiful Koi, eyes only — They want to be fed too. 🙂

South Coast Winery Restaurant & Tasting Room In Orange County.

August 26th, 2010 1 comment

Have you been to South Coast Winery & Tasting Room in Orange County?  It’s the sister restaurant to the Vinyard Rose restaurant in Temecula at South Coast Winery Resort & Spa

This was our first visit to South Coast Winery Restaurant & Tasting Room in Orange County.  We had a Happy Hour consultant meeting on their patio, a better location than our last meeting and more for Nibbles of Tidbits.  We didn’t get to explore the tasting room this time, but we’ll surely go back for that, especially since the pictured Happy Hour appetizers were impressive in quality and taste.  The service was good too.

The Sliders were juicy, the Parmesan French Fries and Wings were crispy, the Cheese & Fruit Platter couldn’t have been better, since all was fresh, chilled and large, and the Bruschetta flavors were perfect with the extra thin Toastettes.  All on the patio made for a nice meeting — Hope it’s here next time.

Cherry On Top: Self Serve Frozen Yogurt Your Way.

August 25th, 2010 No comments

Looking out through the pink dots, I used to feel so uninspired… cause you make me feel like [wanting] a natural Yogurt — The semi-related song popped in my head and couldn’t resist, since I actually was somehow inspired by the pink dots, natural Yogurt and fresh toppings at Cherry on Top.  As you may or may not know, we’ve been sampling various Frozen Yogurt shops all around town and just tried Cherry on Top.

We’re fans of the tart flavors and really liked their Original Tart and Blueberry Pomegranate.  We were hoping to try the Lychee Tart (sometimes available), as we’re currently hooked on Lychee’s taste, but it wasn’t being offered at the Huntington Beach location this day.

Each Yogurt shop we’ve tried has almost been better than the previous and we especially like the self serve options.  All have offered truly fresh fruit, along with a wonderland of colorful toppings that look equally good.  Although the topping selection is great, most are wasted on me, since I still can’t get past the simple Granola, Blueberry, Mango and sliced Almond combination.  We’ll go to Cherry on Top again.

09/13/10 Update:  For convenience, Cherry on Top will be opening the first drive-thru store of its kind — A first for any leading Frozen Yogurt company.  It’ll open in Culver City in September.  Check their website for more information.

Doctored Up White Cake Mix Becomes Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes.

August 23rd, 2010 No comments

I just posted a Cupcake Report as the Orange County Food Examiner.  It’s a fairly comprehensive report regarding Cupcakes in the OC.  The Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes pictured above were made using a White Cake Mix base.  We added Lemon Zest and Vanilla Bean to the Batter and then frosted 1/2 with a real Strawberry Buttercream Frosting and the other 1/2 with a Lemon Glaze (Lemon Juice and Powdered Sugar) — They’re fresh tasting and perfect for Summer Cupcakes.  We’ll definitely make them again.

Above photos were taken during and after the OC Fair Cupcake Competition — Check out the Examiner links for more information about that competition and Cupcakes in general.

Project Food Blog Contestant Profiles Are Going Up.

August 22nd, 2010 No comments

The Project Food Blog Competition starts in September and Contestant Profiles are going up.  We just posted ours that’s captured in the above screen shot.  During the (12) week competition, Contestants will be whittled down through participation in (10) challenges related to food blogging.  The ultimate prize for the last blogger standing is $10,000 and a “special feature” on Foodbuzz for one year.  Wish us luck!

Project Food Blog Contestants

Nibbles of Tidbits Contestant Profile

Zinc Cafe & Market In Corona Del Mar And The Ocean Nearby.

August 21st, 2010 No comments

We recently wandered into Zinc Cafe & Market in Corona Del Mar a half hour before closing time and happily learned that their Market Salads are 1/2 price during that time, the last half hour before closing.  It was great timing for us, thus we went crazy and got eight of them, five are pictured here and all are always good.  They offer a shady outdoor patio too, but we enjoyed our Salads on the beach (away from the seagulls) and for lunch the next day.  What a deal — It’s the best time to go there.

We didn’t capture the official name of each Salad, since we ate them so fast — Many are seasonal anyway, so you’ll just have to see what’s available and check out their website to see what’s possible.  They offer a lot and will tell you more than we can.

The beach is walking distance from Zinc Cafe & Market in Corona Del Mar.  If I could own a home anywhere around here, it would be in Corona Del Mar, near many restaurants and the amazing beauty pictured below.

The History Of Lemonade – Alex’s Lemonade Stand & The Daily Grill.

August 19th, 2010 No comments

Daily Grill restaurants nationwide will donate all of its proceeds from Lemonade sales on Friday, August 20th (National Lemonade Day) to a special nonprofit that was formed by a 4-year-old girl whose short life continues to make an impact.  Daily Grill founder, President and CEO Bob Spivak hopes to double $5,000 typically generated in sales and donate 100% to Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer.  Daily Grill’s fresh-squeezed, hand-shaken Lemonade has been one of the restaurants’ signature items since 1988.

Alex’s story began in 2000 when the 4-year-old was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a form of cancer that often leaves its young victims unable to walk.  She defied the odds and managed to live an active, albeit short, life.  Her decision to hold a Lemonade stand to help doctors find new treatments and ultimately a cure for all childhood cancers, including her own, became her quest.  In just 4 short years, the “stand” raised more than $1 million.  Her parents, Jay and Liz Scott, have continued Alex’s legacy of hope after cancer ultimately took the youngster’s life at the age of 8 in 2004.  What started as the vision of one little girl has been embraced by a nation of volunteers.


Lemonade can trace its origins to the Egyptians when in 500 AD Lemon Juice was mixed with Sugar to make a beverage known as qatarmizat.

The first Lemonade “soft drink” debuted in Paris on August 20th, 1630.  The drink was made from Sparkling Water and Lemon Juice sweetened with Honey.

Frozen Lemonade made its debut in 1840 in Naples, Italy.

The earliest documented Lemonade stands were introduced by a young entrepreneur named Edward Bok who formed them in Brooklyn street cars from 1873 to 1876.  His background:

  • He was 10 when he began selling Ice Water for a penny to passengers in horse drawn carts who stopped to allow their horses water.
  • Other boys soon began copying Bok’s idea and stealing his business, so he made Lemonade instead and sold glasses for $.03 each.
  • Bok went on to win a Pulitzer Prize for The Americanization of Edward Bok: The Autobiography of a Dutch Boy 50 years later

* Lemonade stands were first referenced in the media by the New York Times in 1879.

* 4-year-old Alex Scott started the nonprofit Alex’s Lemonade Stand in 2000 after learning she had cancer and she sought to find a cure.  She lived only 4 more years and in that short time raised more than $1 million for cancer research.  That organization today has since generated more than $25 million nationwide for children’s cancer research.

* August 20 is designated National Lemonade Day and Daily Grill restaurants nationwide will donate all proceeds from its Lemonade sales that day to Alex’s Lemonade Stand.

For more information, visit Daily Grill or Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation.  Established in 1988, Daily Grills specialize in serving classic American fare at accessible prices in an atmosphere reminiscent of a traditional, upscale New York City grill.  The popularity of the concept has resulted in 21 locations in eight states.

NOTE: The above is a re-published Press Release, not often seen on Nibbles of Tidbits.  It happens occasionally when we believe the information to be important and/or interesting.  We previously attended a fundraiser for Alex’s Lemonade Stand at 50 Forks Restaurant and that report is linked here.

I’m A Pecan: What’s Your Nut Personality? Take The Quiz Here.

August 17th, 2010 1 comment

What kind of Nut are you?  I’ve heard that question many of times, hahaha, and now I know.  It appears I’m a Pecan for those who have wondered all these years.  Fisher Nuts has developed a Personality Quiz to help you determine which Nut you’ve always been.  Take the quiz now — It’ll be such a relief to finally know.  The mystery is somewhat solved. 🙂

PECAN: You are generous and loyal.  Friends and family love to be around you because you consider their needs first.  You are a tenacious, committed team player who doesn’t require recognition.  You are happiest when you share the credit with everyone around you.

Fish You Don’t Want To Eat: Koi At Sherman Library & Gardens.

August 15th, 2010 2 comments

The Koi Fish at Sherman Library & Gardens can’t be eaten, but are delightful to see — Instead Cafe Jardin and Tea Garden Creperie is recommended for food.  Sherman Library & Gardens is a notable place for High Tea, to stroll around varied gardens, visit a Koi Pond, shop, or even get married.  In some instances a $3 donation is requested and it’s well worth it.

Project Food Blog Competition: Nibbles Of Tidbits Is An Official Contestant.

August 14th, 2010 No comments

Working on a Logo for Project Food Blog — Nibbles of Tidbits, a SoCal Food Blog is an official contestant in the Project Food Blog Competition, which starts in September.  Contestants will be whittled down over (12) weeks through participation in (10) challenges related to food blogging.  The ultimate prize is $10,000 and a “special feature” on Foodbuzz for one year.  We’re gonna be opening up a can of… (probably something, oh, and that too). 🙂

Last Day For The ‘Friday Specials’ At The Orange County Fair.

August 13th, 2010 No comments

It’s the last weekend of the Orange County Fair and today is the final day to munch out on the $1.00 Specials (Fridays, Noon – 4PM).  During that time, most food stands offer something interesting to eat for $1.00.  We had all that’s pictured below, including Deep Fried Bull’s Testicles (yeah, that’s right) and much more.  It’s a great time to try different things.

Note:  Hover your cursor over each photo to learn a little more, or stop by each booth and ask ’em what they’re serving for $1.00.

Parfaits On The Bay: A Free Restaurant For Two That’s Open Any Time.

August 12th, 2010 1 comment

Thanks for the Parfaits on the Bay!  It may have been my first.  I’d enjoyed a Trifle or two, but not yet a Parfait, which I believe is roughly similar minus the Cake, as explained by my personal headless Chef. 🙂 He made these with layerings of Vanilla and Peach Yogurt, Blueberries, Blackberries, Raspberries, Strawberries, Granola and Whipped Cream.  We forgot to include the Banana, but it wasn’t necessary with all the fresh Berries that were included.

All ingredients were transported by backpack, while scouting out the best location to enjoy ’em.  We ultimately decided on Parfaits on the Bay, a makeshift restaurant that’s open any time — Private outdoor seating for two.  It was a beautiful day and a great idea for anyone.

“Serious Sliders” Recipe By The New York City Food Guy.

August 10th, 2010 No comments

I stumbled upon the above video by the NYC Food Guy — He sold me on the preparation of his Serious Sliders.  It’s different, easy and produces delicious Sliders (aka Mini Cheeseburgers).

After watching the video, we were seriously compelled to make these Sliders immediately and so did, as shown in the step-by-step photos posted below (left – right working on downward).  Hover your cursor over each photo to learn more.  It’s a fun recipe to make.

Thanks for the Serious Sliders NYC Food Guy — We’ll make ’em again.  They’re no joke!  FYI:  Lawrence, the NYC Food Guy says… “Sliders and Mini Cheeseburgers are totally different!  Sliders are actually Steamed Burgers, whereas Mini Cheeseburgers are just that, Mini Burgers.  They’re completely different animals.”  I think we may need to let a few restaurants know that.

Related Links:

Nibbles of Tidbits Sliders Smorgasbord

Sliders at Charlie Palmer at Bloomingdales

Easy And Tasty Roasted Corn Salad Recipe.

August 9th, 2010 No comments

The photo certainly doesn’t do this easy Roasted Corn Salad combination any justice (sorry about that).  The recipe is simply a mixture of Roasted Corn (cut off the cob), Sun Dried Tomatoes, Avocado, Green Onions and Sea Salt — That’s it.  No Oil and no Vinegar, but it works.  I was sceptical at first, but this is a tasty Salad that doesn’t seem to lack moisture.

OC Cupcake Classic Special Culinary Arts Competition Is Happening Soon.

August 8th, 2010 No comments

The OC Cupcake Classic is the last “Special Culinary Competition” you can enter this year at the Orange County Fair.  Entry Forms are due by August 11th and the Competition will be held on Saturday, August 14th, 2010 at 1PM on the Promenade Stage.  Since Cupcakes are so popular these days, the OC Cupcake Classic Competition will be stiff, but if you still want to enter before it’s not too late, email  Good luck to all — We may come and watch.  I’m content with the two 2nd Place Ribbons won in the Culinary Arts Competition, 2nd Show (pictured above).

A Kid’s Dream Come True: Pick Out All The ‘Cool Candy’ You Want.

August 5th, 2010 No comments

‘Pick out all the Candy you want’ is what I said to my Chef Nieces, Baliee and Lexi from Kids in the Kitchen — It would’ve been a dream come true for me as a kid.  I still love Candy and Cost Plus World Market has the best selection, if you don’t know that already!?

Come with me and you’ll be in a world of Pure Imagination A song superbly sang by Gene Wilder in one of the most magical movie clips ever and appropriate to this post.  Cost Plus could be a modern day Willy Wonka.  Today it was.

I think I would have picked out way more Candy than they did, hahaha, but we did end up with a good cross-section of nostalgic, imported, mainstream, unique and extreme Candy, which was fun to try — On a rowdy sugar high we dumped the tub of Old Time Favorites over Chef Lexi’s head.  It’s raining Candy. 🙂

We had a great time trying the Violet Mints, Candy Buttons, Mango Gummy Candy, Ginger Candy Chews and various small imported Chocolate Bars.  And we enjoyed having a couple nostalgic favorites, like Chick-O-Sticks and Bit-O-Honey.  The Toxic Waste Candy pictured below was ridiculously strong.  They do call it ‘hazardously sour Candy’ and you can tell by the post-sampling expressions.

We haven’t yet tried the Bean Boozled by Jelly Belly.  We’re afraid and may need to host a Jelly Belly Fear Factor Game later — Stay tuned for that when we find a couple brave volunteers.  So far all asked say no way José.

Note:  Photos for this Candy Taste-Off were taken at the Bella Terra Cost Plus World Market.  If going to the movie theater nearby, we suggest stopping in Cost Plus to get the Candy — Shhhhhh.  So sorry, theater Candy prices are gouging and I buy the Popcorn.

Skinnygirl Margarita For A Three Hour Chick Finale.

August 4th, 2010 No comments

A friend brought over Bettheny’s Skinnygirl Margarita for the three hour Bachelorette finale.  Although we’d been into the show throughout the season, we were a little bored at the end.  We’re not really fans of Ali, like Roberto and love Chris L.  The best thing Ali did on the show was let Chris go early, so to spare his feelings a bit.  Bravo for that!  Chris needs to be the next Bachelor.  We wish Ali and Roberto well, but the best part of the finale was the Skinnygirl Margarita.  We didn’t have expectations one way or another and were pleasantly surprised by its fresh Lime flavor — It wasn’t too sweet and it’s nice and stiff tasting.  We served it on the rocks with a squeeze of Lime and will buy it again.  And it does work, we’re skinny girls. 😉

I’m A Semi-Finalist In The Zespri Kiwifruit Kiwi A-Go-Go Bloggers’ Contest.

August 3rd, 2010 No comments

I’m so excited to learn that I’m an Official Semi-Finalist in the Zespri Kiwifruit Kiwi A-Go-Go Bloggers’ Contest — Thanks Zespri!  If you have a Food Blog and wish to enter, the contest is still open.  If you don’t have a blog, you may still enter here to possibly win (4) tickets to New Zealand from Zespri.  And if you’re curious about my contest entry, it’s linked here.  We submitted a fun video and tasty recipe to hopefully be on our way to Kiwi-land, New Zealand to meet the Zespri folks, etc.  Have you tried the golden Kiwifruit yet?  We just did for the first time.  It’s pictured below and looks almost identical to the green Kiwifruit, but seems more mellow in flavor and perhaps less tart.  It’s thrilling to see the golden Kiwifruit in person, since its color is so beautiful, but we’ll most likely opt for the green Kiwifruit to eat.

Link to ‘The Kiwi Game’ on YouTube — Hope to see ya in New Zealand!

Second Culinary Arts Competition Fair Submissions Are Due Tomorrow.

August 2nd, 2010 No comments

The Orange County Fair’s Culinary Arts Competition (2nd Show) submissions are due tomorrow and will be on display starting Wednesday, August 4th.  Most 1st Show submissions will be removed from the display cases and replaced with the 2nd Show entries.  Those entering (and all Fair patrons) will be able to see the placement results beginning Wednesday and will be viewable throughout the duration of the Fair.

We’ll be entering Tangerine Coconut Muffins and an Orange Pound Cake.  Pictured are the practice (fine-tuning) results of our Muffins and a Banana Bread Pudding that was going to be entered into the Retro Baker Regatta Competition, if it hadn’t turned out too dry.  FYI: It’s not too late to enter a couple of the Single Day Special Culinary Competitions — Learn more about them here and good luck to all!

Update 08/03/10:  Actual ‘Orange Sparkle Pound Cake’ entry in 2nd Show (pictured below).