Archive for February, 2012

Vegetarian Day Off: Every Leap Year Cows Have An Epiphany.

February 29th, 2012 No comments

Happy Leap Year — It’s a bizarre extra day every four years.  I love Gary Larson.

Be Careful What You Work As: It Could Be Your Last Day At The Office.

February 28th, 2012 1 comment

I’m considering this Turkey for employment — Photo Credit.

I Believe ‘I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!’ Rocked The Red Carpet.

February 27th, 2012 No comments

A Bedazzled I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! is the real star here — It wore more than Toast.

What are you wearing I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!?  These Fashion Experts want to know.

It’s an appetizing MENU designed by Katie Lee I’m wearing, replied ICBINB!.

I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! is going places, and Nibbles of Tidbits will soon offer a GIVEAWAY and report about the happenings this Oscar day in Hollywood at Siren Studios.

Who, what, where and when showing soon — And related blog report(s) to be linked.

Spread your mind after Toast.

The Only Thing To Make For Dinner This Week Are Reservations.

February 26th, 2012 No comments

Orange County Restaurant Week starts today — It’s the best time to dine out in the OC.

Its Launch Party at Newport Lexus was the perfect kick-off — Tasty bites at every turn.

Wine and song to entertain.

The Chocolate Raspberry Martini almost made me want a Lexus.

Pulled Pork Sliders from the House of Blues — Love it as a concert venue.

The Cupcakes were gone by the time we finished savory — Should’ve reserved one.

A special shout out goes to RA Sushi — We couldn’t get enough of their Shishito Peppers.

The Lobster Bisque offered by Scott’s Restaurant & Bar was one of our favorites.

And the Lobster Mac & Cheese from House of Big Fish may be the best I’ve ever had.

 The only thing to make for dinner this week are reservations, they say.  I think so too.

May need to go to Sundried Tomato to have this Chopped Salad (below) again.

I’ve appreciated Melissa’s Produce for years and have a story for another time.

Where are you dining this week?  Polenta with Pulled Pork (top) was from Cucina Enoteca.

Starfish and a couple others ran out of food early — Wasn’t fond of that, but went elsewhere.

An honorable mention goes to Slater’s 50/50 for their Vampire Dip — It’s Gar-Lick-Key, but oh so darn good, and what nice servers they had.  All was a good time.  Thanks!

A Taste Of The Funny: Ever Have Wasabi Nose Or Grapefruit Eye?

February 25th, 2012 No comments

While contemplating the next color in Nibbles of Tidbits’ Food Coloring Series, The Funny and The Bad will be similarly featured in photographs in between — Fortunately The Good usually prevails here, and we laugh at the funny and learn from the bad that happens around FOOD and in life.  This prelude is a taste of funny that can also be bad.  I’ve experienced 7 of the Food-Related Injuries identified above, most commonly Wasabi Nose.  How about you?

Come Back For The ‘I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!’ Red Carpet Party.

February 24th, 2012 No comments

It’s happening HERE on Facebook Sunday, February 26th — We’ll be at the W Hotel in Hollywood at the I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! ULTIMATE Red Carpet Viewing Party.  Come back to watch the Online Show that’ll be streaming LIVE from 3 – 4pm PST.  At this point, I don’t know a lot about it and plan to be surprised.  I do know that I like ICBINB!’s Olive Oil Spray, and the event should make for an interesting day either way, if we survive Hollywood traffic on Oscar Night.  Until then, peek at Hollywood-Inspired Recipes and we’ll report back regarding the festivities, FOOD, cocktails, celebrities, W and penthouse view, if you miss it.

Starfish Laguna: Asian Coastal Cuisine To Share Amongst Friends.

February 23rd, 2012 No comments

In respect to Asian traditions, you’re encouraged to share dishes with friends and family — I read it on the Starfish Menu (created for sharing), and gladly did so.  Embrace the custom.

Starfish in Laguna Beach serves Asian Coastal Cuisine that’s best described here.

Its atmosphere is sexy and stylish, set for passion, desire, pleasure, romance and sensitivity. 

As well as energy, unity, strength, compassion, patience and heart, they hope — I see it.

It’s good for the eyes and soul — And so are the amazingly flavorful Korean Galbi Tacos.

We also had the Wagyu Banh Mi Sliders (above) and Starfish Baby Back Ribs (below).

Every dish packed a punch of flavor and the Ribs were fork tender, a must for my vote.

I love its light blue and red colors, and the back lit wall in the Bar area — It’s beautiful.

Starfish is an alluring find in the Aliso Creek Shopping Center, across from the Montage Resort.

And they also wish YOU luck, longevity, prosperity, happiness and wealth.

Che Loong Starfish — We appreciate the FOOD and well wishes.

Roasted Peach Ice Cream: Will Never Not Roast ‘Em Now.

February 21st, 2012 1 comment

Searching for an adaptable Peach Ice Cream recipe, I came across Sticky Gooey Creamy Chewy’s Roasted Peach Ice Cream and it was over and on — I began roasting Peaches.

I had 5 Peaches, 1% Milk, Cream, Sugar & Vanilla on hand and made the best recipe with all. 

Inspired by the linked recipe, I got lucky with the ingredients and measurements used to make the pictured Roasted Peach Ice Cream, and will happily make the same over and over again.

Always wanting to simplify a process, I merely blended the ingredients, and then transferred the mixture to an Ice Cream Maker to churn — And it couldn’t have turned out better.

It’s crazy good — I’ll roast Peaches forever for this Ice Cream.

A new favorite, Roasted Peach Ice Cream is documented below — Try it.

RECIPE:  Halve, pit, and toss 5 – 6 Peaches with Brown Sugar (1 – 2 Tbsps.) and roast them cut side down in the oven at 400° for 25 – 30 minutes, and then set Roasted Peaches aside to cool.  Add cooled Roasted Peaches (with skins) to a blender with 1/2 Cup of Cream, 2/3 Cup of Sugar and 1 Tsp. of Vanilla.  Once well-blended, add 1 Cup of 1% Milk and blend a little longer to combine.  Transfer mixture to an Ice Cream Maker and churn for 30 minutes.  Viola.

Emerald Of A Lemon-Lime Fruit Gem: Best Recipe (For All) In Stone.

February 20th, 2012 4 comments

Our Best Recipe for Orange, Grapefruit, Lemon-Lime, and Lemon or Lime Fruit Gems is HERE.  Like an Emerald, a discovery was made, then cut and polished for optimum consistency and flavor.  The pictured were made with Lemon and Lime Juice and Zest.  All flavors are superb.

Homemade Fruit Gem Ingredients: 1 Cup of Corn Syrup, 1 Cup of Sugar, Zest of 1 (Orange, Grapefruit, Lemon and/or Lime), 3/4 Cup of Fresh Squeezed Juice (Orange, Grapefruit, Lemon and/or Lime), 7 Tbsps. of Fruit Pectin, 1/4 Tsp. of Baking Soda, and Food Coloring (optional to improve color).  Recipe was fine-tuned after earlier posting and best measurements are noted herein, and amended in this post, for best clarity and color, though the previous variation worked well too.  Step-by-Step instructions (and same recipe) are linked here.  Irish eyes smiled this day — Should Lemon-Lime become the New March Madness?

Pescadou Bistro: It’s Where To Get Foie Gras While You Still Can.

February 18th, 2012 No comments

Pescadou Bistro gladly discovered during Newport Beach Restaurant Week.

Must have passed it a hundred times on Newport Boulevard and finally dined in.  It was a Wednesday when there is no corkage fee.  We didn’t know it until we saw patron after patron walk in with a bottle of Wine.  Next time I’m bringin’ a bottle too (most did), and won’t feel stupid — Always thought it awkward, but it’s smart when no corkage.  Who’s stupid now?

Enlightened is the word — We ordered from the restaurant week and regular menu, as many French specialties sounded good, and previously reported about Pescadou Bistro’s Paté.

Don’t have exact names of the pictured here, but confidently state ALL was a pleasure.

A toast with Wine on the tab, to the Paté, Salad with Wild Boar Salami and Gold Potato, Cream of Cauliflower Soup, Grilled Lamb Chops and “Gigot” Slow Roasted Leg of Lamb.  Santé!

And to one of the best desserts I’ve ever had — It doesn’t look all that, especially in the photo below, but DANG, it was taste-TEE and unfortunately not on their regular menu.  It should be.

Described as an Ice Cream Parfait with Candied Fruit and Red Raspberry Sauce, it was extraordinaire.  I hope to have IT again.  And Foie Grasbefore the end of the year (preferably on a Wednesday) — It’s at Pescadou Bistro, until it’s banned from being sold in California next year.  I’m not keen on the politics of it and recommend the Bistro become a speakeasy for it.  There’s a lot more to say and write about it, but on a different blog.

Back to Pescadou — Stop in for dinner (only) ahead of passing it by.  It’s romantic too.

Historic Prices At The Blue Beet: If The 100 Year Old Walls Could Talk.

February 17th, 2012 No comments

Once the site of a speakeasy during prohibition, The Blue Beet plays on.  And do you remember Sid?  More history about the place can be found here.  It’s a cool joint with good food and music.  One of our Guest Bloggers, Bonnie recently enjoyed their historic prices (currently offered on Thursdays) with her son and wrote the following: 

We went to the Blue Beet tonight for the “Throwback Thursday” specials that they are doing for their 100th Anniversary.  Both Jay and I (and it seems like everyone around us) ordered the Beef Stroganoff, plus their “Gourmet” Mac ‘N Cheese.  I think it’s the most incredible deal I have ever gotten for a dinner. It was a full plate of Stroganoff on top of Mashed Potatoes and comes with a very generous side of Green Beans.

Although I didn’t particularly care for the Mac ‘N Cheese, it was a full bowl, along with two slices of Garlic Bread. With two Cokes, the meal for both of us came to $24.00 and I have enough left over for a full lunch tomorrow!!  Too bad I didn’t have my camera.

Menu offerings on Throwback Thursday:

Garlic Bread $1.95

Clam Chowder $2.95

Dinner Salad $2.95

BBQ Chicken Salad $4.95

Top Sirloin steak $5.25

Beef Stroganoff $5.25

Pork Chops $5.75

Steak Sandwich $5.75

Mac ‘N Cheese $3.95

Jay never had Stroganoff before, but he loved it!  He ate every single bite of it, along with the Mac ‘N Cheese and his Garlic Bread.  I highly recommend the place.  That’s my report for now.

Thanks Bonnie!  You better bring a camera next time — Above photo credited to a Yelper.

Orange County Restaurant Week Served Up Soon: Pick A Mesa.

February 15th, 2012 No comments

Celebrate Leap Year during Orange County Restaurant Week, February 26th – March 3rd.

Participating restaurants may be seen from a participating restaurantOrange Hill.

Food Coloring Series: Pretty In Pink Food Perfect In February.

February 13th, 2012 1 comment

Our Food Coloring Series kicked off with orange to spotlight Orange County Food Blogs, then explored shades of purple, yellow, green, blue, red, whiteblack, brown, and now PINK

Pink is sweet, tart and familiar to me — “All of her lovers all talk of her notes.”  Indeed they do, but we talk food here.  I’d guess that to be true in the lead photo too.  Pretty in pink.

Pictured is a collection of pink favorites and parallels — Continuing top down it goes.

A Pink Grapefruit Salad, Beet Juice as a dye, and a path I’d love to walk.

Beef (Rib Eye Steak), well qualified for the brown, red (when less cooked) and pink posts.

Have you tried Dragon Fruit?  I haven’t yet, but plan to.  How about you?

Not exactly my dream kitchen, but I like, especially the mixer I’ve yet to buy.


I still eat Cotton Candy at the OC Fair.

Pink Lemonade for a Garden Party to reminisce with old friends.

Always time to donate $ to find a cure for a nuisance that ruins too many lives.

Watermelon Ice Cream Cake.

Part of the dining community under the wondrous sea.

Cupcakes made by our very own Kids in the Kitchen.

Cured salmon, another shade of pink.

Adorable miniature bites in pink — I always fall for tiny things.  They’re so cute!

A refreshingly beautiful Gelatin mold to see, couldn’t find the recipe.

Cheers to sharing Cupcakes and Milkshakes together.

Does This Say I Love You Honey Or Beware I’m Haunted Toast?

February 12th, 2012 No comments

Good morning — Eat at your own risk.

Searching For Valentine’s Day Cookies In All The Right Places.

February 11th, 2012 No comments

I see you searching for Valentine’s Day ideas and you’re in the right place — Open here.

PALA’s Choices Now In First Place (Thus Far) In Our Casino Buffet Tour.

February 9th, 2012 2 comments

Seemingly endless choices at Choices, The Buffet at PALA Casino Spa Resort.

Choices is decidedly our first choice of Casino Buffets, inched up after a second visit.

Too many items to accurately list, track and photograph, and too busy having fun making choices, but generally describe the captured — Our tastes included, from top down, Pork Tenderloin, Carved Turkey Breast, Lamb and Sausage, and well cooked Fish in a Sweet Sauce.

The Largest Shrimp Cocktail in the World — You’re allowed to eat all of it, if you can.

BBQ’d Hamburgers, Hot Dogs, Chicken and Carne Asada to order, if you so choose.

Travel around the world while making choices at Choices — From Asia to Italy and beyond.

Lots of Pizza choices — Pepperoni and Jalapeno looked best to me.

Shrimp Fajitas in Mexico.

Or a good old-fashioned Sandwich exactly how you like it.

The decor is pleasant and the seating is comfortable.

One of the Pastry Chefs — He was nice and willing to assist, that’s all I know.

Spectacular Dessert Cases — It feels like you’re in a Pastry Shop to eat all you want/can.

One of each, to-go please, yeah I wish — Can’t eat all in one sitting and wish I had ’em now.

Pick any one, two, three, four, five, etc.

Have something custom made – A Banana Split, Crepes, Bananas Foster, Rootbeer Float, etc.

And the best part of the story is… We celebrated my Grandma’s 90th Birthday.

Happy 90th Birthday Grandma — We love you!  We won big this day just being together, and didn’t lose too much in the video poker machines.  It was a beautiful day out near Temecula.

On to the warning… Don’t order a Glass of Pinot Grigio — It’s $12.  That was a shocker when the Glass of Chardonnay was only $4.  We tasted both comparatively and will unanimously opt for Chardonnay next time.  The Pinot Grigio wasn’t $8 better tasting, especially at a Casino.

You Want A Slice Of Me? You Should!

February 8th, 2012 No comments

It/he/me (and a whole lot more) are at Choices Buffet at PALA Casino in beautiful northern San Diego County — Our endless dish report re our continuing Casino Buffet Tour is coming soon.

Eureka: Homemade Fruit Gems Aka Best Orange Slices Squared.

February 7th, 2012 No comments

I’m beyond thrilled to know it’s easy to create one of my favorite Candies, Fruit Gems, also known as Fruit Jellies aka Orange Slices, when flavored Orange, like the first batch I made. 

I found a Raspberry Jelly Candy Recipe that I adapted to make the pictured Orange Gems. 

Instead of Raspberry Extract and Water, used in the linked recipe, I substituted Orange Zest and Orange Juice — Technically the Juice of 1 Orange plus enough Water to equal 3/4 Cup.

Orange Gem RECIPE In Short:  Boil 1 Cup of Corn Syrup with 1 Cup of Sugar and Zest of 1 Orange, and in a separate sauce pan boil 3/4 Cup of fresh Orange Juice with 7 Tbsps. of Fruit Pectin and 1/4 Tsp. of Baking Soda — Marry the two combinations, once boiled, and stir for a minute longer, then pour mixture into easily unmold-able pan (as shown).

Bendable, disposable aluminum pans work well for unmolding Candy.

Before dropping into Sugar, let Candy sit and set, loosely covered on the counter overnight.

Cut into strips, then squared gems and coat all sides in Sugar — Voila, they’re awesome!

They taste better than any I’ve purchased — If you love Fruit Gems, you have to make these.

All raved about them too — I made a second batch with Pink Grapefruit (below).

And a third batch with Blueberry Juice and Lemon Zest.

The Grapefruit Gems were superb, like the Orange ones, but the Blueberry Gems were comparably bland, and the Lemon Zest took over — Straight-up Lemon Gems would be good, or Lime Zest with Coconut Extract, the possibilities are endless.  All natural first. 🙂

Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament: New Show And Upgraded Feast.

February 5th, 2012 3 comments

More rivalry and revelry at Medieval TimesNew Show, two years in the making.

It’s now showing at the California Castle with an upgraded utensil-free MENU.

Waiting to be called for the Dinner & Tournament with a Glass of Wine. 

Guests may also enjoy the Courtyard before the show.

And the Sword Store.

All then enter the theater to join their assigned (colored) team members.

We cheered for the Blue Knight — Can’t you tell by our lighting?

Menu — Though it reads Garlic Bread, it’s Focaccia Bread with Olive Oil and Seasoning.

The show begins with the most spectacular horse (below) — It’s gorgeous and talented.

It and the free flying falcon made the show for me.

Tomato Bisque — We liked its flavor.

The Oven Roasted Chicken was juicy, tender and easy to eat without utensils.

The Pastry of the Castle was warm Braided Apple Strudel.

It struck me that Medieval Times sure employs a lot of people — Why not support it?!

I was here about 15 years ago and it’s better than I remember, and a fun experience.

There’s much hospitality at Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament and the food is good.

Castles are found in eight states and two countries — Time to get into the 11th Century.

Blushing Over Much: The Moments I Thank God I Am Alive.

February 3rd, 2012 No comments

These are the moments I thank God I am alive, for what’s up, down, and around the corner.

A trickle of pink food coloring (series), while creating and collecting more — Pink Grapefruit Jellies and recipe coming soon, my second favorite Candy flavor after Orange.  I’m still riding the wave of accomplishment over the seamless preparation of delicious Orange Jellies.

Anatomical Creations Utilizing All Parts: Zest, Peel & Juice.

February 1st, 2012 No comments

Do you remember Orange Guy?  I thought he was so cute and wanted to peel him alive.  Well, I gave it a try and created Orange Dude, if you see what I’m sayin’ — It just happened that way.  The photos are minimized to tone down our rating.  Enlarge each for a better peek. 😉

What excites me most here are these Orange Jellies I made for the first time — They are absolutely delicious!  I will soon be posting more about them, along with an easy recipe adapted from another.  All pictured utilized one glorious Orange.  It’s a sexy, sweet thing.