Archive for March, 2012

Volunteering At Mary’s Kitchen: Feeding The Homeless In Orange.

March 31st, 2012 No comments

Chefs Bailee and Lexi of Kids in the Kitchen, my lovely Nieces volunteering at Mary’s Kitchen.

You can volunteer there too — Mary’s has been feeding Orange County’s homeless since 1984.

The kids really like going and it gives them much appreciation for what they have.

This breakfast they cracked and beat all the Eggs, cooked Pancakes, served food and washed dishes — Wonderful things to do for others.  Nibbles of Tidbits is proud of Kids in the Kitchen.

Fixin’ Foodbuzz: It Ain’t Pretty When Potato Salad (Or Links) Go Bad.

March 29th, 2012 1 comment

Turning to Gary Larson while feeding a cold and fixing code to the wrongly displayed ad at top.

Gracias Mi Madre: Maker Of Thousands Of Meals In This Very Kitchen.

March 28th, 2012 No comments

Thank you for the thousands of meals prepared by you in this kitchen for decades.  Enjoy its fifth or so remodel.  I understand the country bar stools are next to go.  Happy cooking!

Could This Be The New Trend In Chicken Sandwiches?

March 27th, 2012 1 comment

Just kidding — It’s not recommended.

Everybody Wins: An Office Bake Sale To Raise Money For Charity.

March 25th, 2012 No comments

Cake Pops seem to be the trend at Bake Sales and parties these days — They sold out fast.

Whole Cakes were raffled off, which generates a lot of money and is fun for the office.

And some Cake winners shared them with others — Thank you!

This Bake Sale was at EPL — They raise a lot of money for local charities.

And they do cool things for their employees too.

Why not have a Bake Sale to raise money for someone who needs it.  You get to eat it.

Everybody wins — Sign up to have a Bake Sale or bring something.  It can happen any time.

Asparagus Potato Soup: A Shake Up Of Carrot Soup Superstar.

March 24th, 2012 No comments

This Asparagus Potato Soup was inspired by the Carrot Soup we can’t get enough of.  With no more Carrots on hand, Asparagus and Potato stepped in with Rosemary, and a shake up of the process — Instead of caramelizing the Onions in a pan, I roasted one with Bacon Grease in the oven.  Unlike the Carrot Soup, this one tastes better with a squeeze of Lemon at the end.

Asparagus Potato Soup — General instructions posted.  Please see here for related prep.

Roast Asparagus in the oven with Olive Oil and S & P, until they start to char.  Cut-off Asparagus tips and set aside.  In a Dutch oven, sauté sliced Potato with fresh Rosemary until softened and slightly browned, then add the Roasted Asparagus stalks and Chicken Stock.

I’m presently hooked on Knorr’s Homestyle Stock Concentrate — Just add Water.

Stir, then squeeze Roasted Garlic from the Bulb directly into the mixture — You can see it (below).  Also add an Onion that’s been baked in the oven, and Rosemary instead of Thyme.

A Baked Onion was substituted in for the Caramelized Onions in the Carrot Soup.

All is then puréed in a blender, drizzled with Lemon Juice and garnished with Asparagus tips.

TIPS for all Soup variations — There should be just enough Chicken Stock added to cover all vegetables, which should be soft and cooled down (somewhat) before blending.  The variations seem endless and none need Cream to be creamy or to taste superb.  The Carrot Soup is preferred to this one.  Also, the Asparagus Potato Soup purée may need to be strained to remove some of the hard stalk inherent to Asparagus.  Or peel the lower ends before roasting.  I had to pull a few fibers from my mouth.  This Soup is good, not a superstar.

Easiest Recipe For The Tastiest 5 Ingredient Carrot Soup.

March 22nd, 2012 No comments

This Carrot Soup is the absolute best, because it’s easy to make and tastes complex.

The 5 ingredients are Carrots (8 – 10), Roasted Garlic (1 Bulb), Caramelized Onions (1 Sweet Onion), Fresh Thyme Leaves (2 Sprigs) and Chicken Stock (3 – 3 1/2 Cups).  You basically combine all and cook until the Carrots are soft, then puree and eat — It’s good for you too. 

More INFO, if needed…

• Roast a Garlic Bulb (in foil, with top cut off, drizzled with Olive Oil) in the oven at 400° for 45 minutes.  I generally have one or more on-hand, since I roast ’em often to add to many things.

• Caramelize chopped Onion in a pan with a little Olive Oil, then add the peeled, chopped Carrots towards the end and cook 5 – 10 minutes longer.  Add the Chicken Stock, Thyme Leaves and Roasted Garlic (squeezed from the bulb) to the sautéed Carrots and Onions.

• Cook until the Carrots are soft, then purée all in batches in a blender.  Transfer to a sauce pan to re-warm and add Salt and Pepper to taste, if needed.  Season the Onions and Carrots with S & P along the way, and with a good Chicken Stock it’s generally perfect after blending.

Best Not Ask Me To Bring Deviled Eggs To Your Party.

March 21st, 2012 3 comments

What’s the trick for consistent easy shell removal from a hard boiled Egg?  I’ve read and tried many different processes, but (obviously) haven’t found one that consistently works.

Sometimes it’s really bad and sadly not exaggerated above, but…

They still taste good with the perfect blend of Mayo, Mustard, Vinegar and S & P.  I’ll have to research all again and officially test and document the processes — Only venting about it now.  Who is the authority on this?  I want easy shell removal every time.  Is it too much to ask?

Detour To A Classy Place With The Best Prime Rib Sliders Around.

March 20th, 2012 2 comments

We set out for The Blue Beet (below) for Throwback Thursday, but unfortunately so did everyone else.  The crowd in conjunction with a no-show Hostess and too narrow wait area sent us on a detour for peaceful dining — And we didn’t have to go far to find tranquil class at 21 Oceanfront (above).  Both are walking distance from the Newport Beach Pier.

The unexpected surprise of the evening was the Prime Rib Slider at 21 Oceanfront.  We thought it to be the best Prime Rib Sandwich each of us ever had.  Unfortunately the photos didn’t do ’em, or much of anything else justice this evening, as much as all was appreciated in person.  We’re going back for more Prime Rib Sliders, $6 during Happy Hour.

Our hazy, gazy view of Newport waves from a 21 Oceanfront table — We toasted to it.

Achtung Baby: Snow Diets Might Not Be So Good For You.

March 19th, 2012 No comments

In contrast to the preceding, it’s snowing in a lot of places.  Have you ever caught snow in your mouth?  Are you sure it was snow?  Haphazard snow diets aren’t recommended.

Bakin’ Bacon And Advice From Pigs: March For The BLTA.

March 18th, 2012 No comments

Technically it’s a BLT+A-L that’s preferred.  No suncreen is needed for that Sandwich.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day: Keen On The Green Scene.

March 17th, 2012 No comments

Are you wearing green?  It’s on your underwear right?  That’s what I used to tell people when I’d forget to wear it — It worked in a pinch to avoid a pinch.  This year I’m most prepared with a Green Bagel to start the day, with Cupcakes and Cookies to finish it.  Happy St. Patrick’s Day.

Later it’ll be Green Beer for the fun of it — Have you seen our green food post?

The Corned Beef already happened.  If you’re looking for it, here’s a quick link.  Cheers!

What Jelly Belly Flavor Would You Want Created?

March 15th, 2012 No comments

Why not any of these flavors?  Dog Food could be part of Bertie Bott’s — Great for practical jokes (my favorite) or a Jelly Belly Fear Factor Game.  I’ll host, but won’t play.  Would you?

Unga Bunga Bur-ger: Carl’s Jr. Aka Hardee’s New Southwest Patty Melt.

March 14th, 2012 No comments

I hate to keep bustin’ their chops, but I’m not sure if Carl’s Jr. wants me to buy this Burger!?  It’s the Southwest Patty Melt with Jalapenos, Grilled Onions and Pepper Jack Cheese, which sounds fine, well and good, but I’m not Snap-On Tools.  Do I hang this poster in my garage?

I like the ingredients with Carl’s Santa Fe Sauce and Sourdough Bread, but hope for more creative advertising — I mean, she’s pretty and all, but what’s it got to do with the Burger?  Wow, she likes it, I want one too.  Me want Bur-ger, unga bunga.  Is that the simple hope?

Anyway, it doesn’t work here, but we do like the combination of ingredients on the Southwest Patty Melt, though want the Onions to truly be grilled.  We got a few crunchies, which wasn’t too pleasant.  May need to ask that the Onions be well done, if we buy one in the future.

Kraft Milk Bites: Milk And Granola Bars Stolen From The Fridge.

March 13th, 2012 2 comments

The last Strawberry one was stolen from the fridge — Okay, I know who did it and you’re busted.  I guess that means you like them, but next time ask, as I still had study to do.  I mean, I wanted it.  Heading to the conference room for a meeting, I found it satisfying and timely this day, with a pad of paper and Coffee in the other hand.  It’s a Kraft Milk Bite Bar that’s the subject here.  A group of us recently got to try them.  They’re of interest because I LOVE Milk, like Granola, and I’m always looking for a good, quick breakfast bite.  Thanks!

View from my new office on an overcast day, with a Snack Like Nothing Else, they report.

Voting on the office favorite, another points to the Strawberry Milk Bite, though all liked all.

We also tried the Chocolate Milk Bite with nothing bad to say about it.  I liked the Strawberry better too, but found it a tad rich towards the last bite, thus think I’d really like the Mixed Berry or Oatmeal Raisin one best.  You can learn about the nutritional information from them at, or at the top link.  It’s back to work with much awaiting review.

Calm Down On The Over-Marketing Of Organic: It’s Just Food People.

March 12th, 2012 1 comment

Corned Beef With Cabbage And Carrots Cooked On The Side (Please).

March 12th, 2012 No comments

March is time for Corned Beef and Cabbage, and I always cook the Cabbage, Carrots and Potatoes on the side.  No Potatoes were used this time, as I generally pick around them.

Why cook the vegetables on the side?  Exhibit A (above), all the crap that ends up floating in the Broth, after the Corned Beef cooks in a Crock Pot (or Dutch Oven) for 10 hours. 

Instead I strain and boil some of the Crock Pot Broth, and then cook the vegetables in it.

When the Corned Beef is ready to fall apart, I brown the vegetables in a little Olive Oil.

And then add the strained, lightly boiled Broth to the pan, cover it, and cook all until the vegetables are tender — It doesn’t take that long.  Why would you cook them for 10 hours?

Finally, there is peace of mind knowing that nothing scary is hiding amongst the Cabbage.

Karo Corn Syrup Dessert Challenge: Tangerine Fruit Bursts.

March 11th, 2012 1 comment

Two more days to enter the Karo Corn Syrup Dessert Challenge — Do you have a recipe?

If so, enter now on Recipe Riot or check out other assignments thereI entered the above.

I submitted a recipe (and video) for Tangerine Fruit Bursts — Since the recipe cannot be previously published, only excerpts (freeze frames) of the video are posted here now, and because I’m bashful about creating a novice recipe video, a funny learning experience.  You’ll have to find it.  All Karo Corn Syrup Dessert Challenge submissions can be viewed here.

Good luck all!  Required product branding photo — By me, only for fine products.  Karo is one.

Who’s The Lucky One? The Answer Is Here. Giveaways & Style.

March 9th, 2012 No comments

Most often seen in trendy Hotels, I recall — And that still seems to be the “case” with respect to the soda cans above.  This time they’re at the W in Hollywood at the I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! Red Carpet Event.  More about the elusive cans and event are here.  Moving on.

The purpose of this post is to announce the winner of the ICBINB! Giveaway.  We appreciate all entries.  And the WINNER is… Ms. A. Thompson from Signal Hill, California — We’ll soon be in touch regarding your stylish prize.  Speaking of style, our Guest Blogger and Interior Designer, Bonnie writes about her point of view on the event.  Her report follows.

The Fabulous Features of the “Fantastic” Suite — They claim there are only two “Fantastic” suites at the W Hotel in Hollywood, which is appropriately situated at the iconic intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Streets.  This is where we spent the latter part of our Oscar Sunday afternoon. “Our” stunning suite had killer angles, floor to ceiling views and not one, but two glamorous rooftop decks to check out the Hollywood vibe going on below us.

 The Suite – and indeed, the entire hotel lobby – offers contemporary design along with a bold color scheme to create the ultimate Hollywood experience.  Every detail was impeccable, from the flowers to the design of the food servers themselves.  In my interior designers mind, the I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! food was impeccably served and we all had fun along with fabulous service.  Here’s a BIG Shout Out to all the women involved in setting us up in the stunning Fantastic Suite at the W Hotel. They rocked it!

 Thanks Bonnie and I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!

Get Your Eyes Off These Carrots: Ingredients For The Best Carrot Soup.

March 8th, 2012 No comments

Hhhmmmm — Not sure where to start regarding the above, so instead report about the Carrot Soup I made and will post the recipe when prepared again and photographed.  It was a superb combination of Roasted Carrots, Chicken Stock, Caramelized Onions, Roasted Garlic and Fresh Thyme, puréed.  It was beautiful, complex and flavorsome.  The pictured Carrots weren’t used for my Soup, somehow it wouldn’t seem right!?  Should they put on pants?

Mystery Solved: Why Your Food Might Taste Funny Sometimes.

March 7th, 2012 No comments

Another reason why food might taste funny.

Look Inside Photographing What’s Outside: Lights, Camera, Action, Cut.

March 6th, 2012 No comments

Paradoxical camera — More beautiful inside, with purpose to illustrate the outwardly stunning.  As a side note, does the left side of the camera look like a dog with its tongue hanging out!?

Spike’s Fish House: Hard Or Soft Taco, Slider, Wrap, Plate Or Bowl.

March 5th, 2012 No comments

Fresh Fish simply grilled to perfection at Spike’s Fish House, a fast-casual concept created by Pasta Bravo’s creator.  Do you remember Pasta Bravo?  The last one closed just a couple months ago.  It was my favorite fast-casual restaurant for Pasta; most specifically I loved their Greek Pasta Salad and the Thai one too.  I’m sad it’s gone, but happy that Spike’s in town.

Spike’s Fish House, born during low-carb times, is a respected, distant relative of Pasta Bravo.

We liked everything pictured and the nice people at Spike’s, who make all how you want it.

Check Today’s Catch, then choose a Slider, Taco, Wrap, Bowl, Salad, Plate or Sandwich. 

Pick a Sauce — Spike’s Sauce, Pico de Gallo, Chimichurri, Poke Sauce or Lemon Pesto Aioli.

We were impressed with the flavor of all Sauces, especially Spike’s that goes well with the Lettuce Wraps, and the Poke Sauce that’s great with Soba Noodles, a substitute to Rice.

Shown prepared from top down — Basa Fish Plate, Mexican Ceviche, Hard and Soft Fish Tacos.

One of the largest and best tasting Lettuce Wrap Tacos around (above).

Chowder Bowl — It’s not just Clam Chowder, it’s a Seafood Chowder with Clams.

Sliders prepared with your choice of Fish — Cute, tasty, fresh and satisfying with Spike’s Sauce.

And a Salmon Bowl — Interchangeable Fish, Sauce and Selections make the possibilities seem endless.  Spike’s Fish House also offers Chicken to those who just don’t want Fish.  There are currently two locations, this one in Laguna Niguel and another in Rancho Santa Margarita.