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Tend To Your Garden: Hopefully It’ll Be Vegetables Galore Here.

June 28th, 2015 No comments

Raised Garden

In two raised garden beds newly built by my wonderful husband and part-time Nibbles of Tidbits photographer, Matt, we planted seeds to grow Carrots, Radishes, Beets, Purple and Green Cabbage, Eggplant, Sweet Onions, Swiss Chard, Butter Lettuce, Broccoli and a Lettuce mix — I THANK him for making one of my dreams come true.  I’ve always wanted a vegetable garden and ideally hope to grow most food plants available to utilize and enjoy on a daily basis, but happily start here.

First Sprouts

After only a few days we’re seeing life — What a joy.

Vegetables Identified In Chaulk

We’ve been excited to check and tend to them each day.  Much attention will be given.

Home Garden

Check back to see how all develop — We’re hopeful for free food.

Tending To A Flourishing Garden: Appreciate Each And Every Growth.

June 12th, 2016 No comments

Tomatoes and more

Remember how all looked not too long ago?  Our garden is flourishing nicely.  We’re picking Tomatoes, Bell Peppers, Jalapenos and Herbs daily, and the Fennel, Corn, Swiss Chard, Onion and Lettuce is coming along well.  Good thing we have a tortoise to enjoy the Arugula overgrowth.

Fennel, Herbs and more

I need to think of more recipes using Arugula.  Our garden is keeping us busy on the home-front. So far I’ve made Salsa and inhaled ripe Cherry Tomatoes and Blackberries before much else can get made. All had without photos, but do check back as we plan to grow, cook and eat forever.  Amen.

The Promenade Event Centre & Gardens: Choose Your Favorites.

August 11th, 2013 No comments

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Do you have an event coming up?  I recommend The Promenade Event Centre & Gardens by The Turnip Rose.  I worked within walking distance from it and enjoyed its gardens and many introspective lunches at Cafe Rose Express.  And now, a couple years later I have an event.  Photos here are from a tasting event held there for current and potential customers.

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Pick a date, package (if applicable) and food favorites, and all shall be great.

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Mini Sliders & French Fries, Seared Ahi, the best Chicken Skewers ever, and more are options as Hors d’oeuvres — Taste all and choose a favorite for your event.

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Crab Cakes too — Contact The Turnip Rose directly for actual choices and official dish names.

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The service has always been exceptional at all Turnip Rose venues and events.

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Your choice of an Entree is also in order — A small sampling of a large sampling is below.

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Several Chicken, Fish and Steak selections are available.

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I need (at least) one more tasting to be sure.

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Dessert Bars, Cappuccino Bars, Candy Bars and Beer & Wine Bars by request, oh my.

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Rock Candy Swizzle Sticks for the Coffee Drinks — I want them too.

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It’s a comfortable and classy indoor/outdoor Event Centre with great food to consider.

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If getting married and/or having a reception, a Wedding Cake by Creative Cakes is included.

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Cheers to all — Thanks for coming.  Okay, let’s party now!

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See you in January and in between with possible reports leading up, then happily ever after.

Grateful To Grow: The Start Of This Year’s Garden.

April 29th, 2017 No comments

Last year we planted six Tomato plants in one raised bed and this year we only planted four.  Though we love an abundance of Tomatoes, we could hardly get to them.  It became a Tomato jungle we had to forge through.  They look sparse now, but we hope to have the same luck this year.

In our other raised garden, we planted Jalapenos, Poblano Peppers, Japanese Eggplant, Red, Brown & White Onions, Cilantro, Curly Parsley, Purple Basil, Lime Basil, Pineapple Sage and Thyme.

We’re seeing at least ten small clusters of Grapes growing on the old Grape vine.

We bought a two-inch Boysenberry vine from Knott’s Berry Farm last year and we’re happy that it continues to grow.  We hope to see Boysenberries on it some year down the road.

Matt has a green thumb, and especially a Pineapple green thumb — We have one starting above, one maturing below, and four others that we’re hoping will do something.  He’s grown several.

Wild Blackberries grow on the other side of the house — They’re great to have, but VERY thorn-ey.

Serrano Peppers grow throughout the year in a couple other pots, whether we want them or not.

Zucchini is growing in another corner of the yard.  I have not grown it before.

And Oyster Mushrooms are growing in the house — In a Mini Mushroom Farm we got from Home Depot.  We soaked its internal plastic bag in water for a day, cut an ‘X’ in the front of it and returned it to its box to grow.  Pictured below is five days growth.  It’s fun to watch them grow so fast.

For non-edible enjoyment, flowers grow in the side planter below.  We planted hundreds of miscellaneous flower seeds to yield a flower-grab-bag to surprise us all summer long.

I had the sign below made for our garden shed — FW stands for Freis West.  Most of the Freis live back East.  In Michigan and Wisconsin.  They’re Freis East and we’re Freis West (FW for short).

We’re also growing Meyer Lemons, Limes, Tangelos and Rosemary (not pictured) and tend to our gardens daily.  We’re grateful to see all grow and will share the abundance in a few months.

Oh How Nibbles Of Tidbits’ Garden Grows: It’s A Better Year Here.

May 4th, 2016 No comments

Blackberries

Much is growing here this year.  It’s something I’ve always wanted.  An edible garden.  I want to grow everything possible to eat — Fruit, herbs, vegetables, berries, nuts, you name it.  It would be a dream come true. Though we’re unable to grow everything, it’s a better crop than last year.

Blackberries

Blackberries.

Pineapple

Pineapples.

Grapes

Grapes forming on healthy vines.

Planters

Six different types of Tomatoes, four stalks of Corn, seven Walla Walla Onions, and three types of Sweet Peppers are growing strong, while Cesar the tortoise mows the backyard lawn.

Early Growth

Before (above) and after (below) in just weeks — Corn, Tomatoes, Peppers and Onions are taking off.

Growing Fast

Herbs (Baby Basil, Oregano, Mint, Chives and Thyme), Jalapenos, Arugula, Fennel, Dill and various kinds of Lettuce are doing well in our other raised garden.  A couple seeds we planted I can’t recall.

Herbs

Heirloom Tomatoes are starting to form — It’s a beautiful sight.  All looks healthy.

Tomatoes

Boysenberries — We bought a Boysenberry plant from Knott’s Berry Farm and now see a mini berry.

Boysenberries

Lemons — A staple for zest and juice in many dishes.

Lemon

Strawberries — The birds or something else usually gets them before we do.

Strawberries

Too many Tangelos sometimes, but we appreciate the tree.

Oranges

Two Pineapples are clearly visible with the potential for two more.

Pineapples

Spring is springing — We’re grateful for all that grows and lives.  Thanks to God.

Leon and Cesar

If all goes well, we’ll be thrilled to show a bounty this summer.

Garden Update:  June 12, 2016 (check back for future updates and bounty).

Cheese Platter For A Newport Fun Tours Luxury Electric Boat Rental.

July 1st, 2014 No comments

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We rented a Luxury Electric Boat from Newport Fun Tours and cruised the Newport Beach Harbor with plenty to eat and drink for 90 minutes — You may have seen them on Groupon.

Cheese Platter Boat Ride - Grey Poupon

A Cheese Platter doesn’t come with a Newport Fun Tours cruise — We brought it and the Grey Poupon too, just in case anyone asked for it, plus it goes well with a fabulous Cheese Platter.

Cheese Platter Ideas

Balboa Fun Zone view (below) from our Luxury Electric Boat — Well, I really wouldn’t call it luxury, since our boat was a bit used looking, like an old water limo, but it ran well for us.

Fun Zone - Boat Ride

The day was cloudy, brightened with Cheese, Wine and cute, smiling serving utensils.

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I made the pictured Cheese Platter with 5 kinds of Cheese, Salami, Crackers, Pecans, Grapes from our garden, Kalamata Olives and Roasted Red Peppers, Peperoncinis and Pickles, with Mustard on the side — A couple seagulls landed on the bow wanting some.  Negative, sorry.

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Wine and snacks are sold at Newport Fun Tours check-in, but the options aren’t this good.

Il Garage Near The Garden At Park Avenue In Stanton Off Beach.

April 7th, 2014 No comments

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It’s Il Garage (il garage ristorante) and it’s set back within/behind Park Avenue Restaurant in Stanton off Beach Blvd. — It’s a separate dining spot on the beautiful grounds of Park Avenue.

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We ate at Park Avenue Restaurant — It’s reported here.  This day we were in the garage. 😉

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I’m not sure if it really once was a multi-car garage, but it looks like it, tractor and all.

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The view of Park Avenue’s famous Garden from our seat couldn’t be beat.

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The Il Garage Ristorante menu changes daily and is dependent on their gardens.

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Our favorites were the Cavatappi Primavera (below), utilizing many vegetables from the PAG.

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And the Orange Panna Cotta — Truly the best Panna Cotta we’ve had in our lives (below).

Il Garage Panna Cotta

It had so much flavor — Cheers to that (and our Two Year Anniversary).

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Enter the PAG — Park Avenue Garden through here (below).

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The PAG is a dream garden, with raised beds and trees growing everything you’d want to eat.

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I think I’d want to live here.

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You’re free to roam the gardens, no matter where you dine.

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My husband, Matt is looking through the weather protectant, plastic drop, near the tractor.

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Nice to receive a $100 Gift Card as a Wedding Gift that can be used at either restaurant.

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It’s not in the best neighborhood, but once inside you forget about it — A good thing.

Il Garage

We plan to go back to both for Dining & Cocktails, as suggested.

Having Our Cake & Eating It Too: Quick Wedding Recommendations.

March 12th, 2014 No comments

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We’re still looking back fondly while settling in.  Did you see our Wedding Cake?  It was perfect!  Not only did it look cool, but it tasted great too.  We highly recommend Creative Cakes and a few other superb wedding vendors noted and linked herein.  Check them out.

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These photos and hundreds of other amazing ones were taken by Tremble Media.  We love them all and the professional Wedding Video they shot and edited for us.  They captured it all.

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The Turnip Rose Promenade & Gardens was the BEST venue for us and people are still talking about the FOOD.  We appreciate so much about them — Quality, service, beauty, etc.

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And Photo Booth On Wheels did a great job too — Nice people run it.

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And mustn’t forget the Most Fabulous DJ around — Andy Nation.  Wow!  He’s an awesome, organized, professional person to work with and did an excellent job at our wedding.

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Everything was lovely, seamless, tasty, entertaining and pleasantly memorable THANKS to all.

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We’d DO it all again the same way.  Thank you!

Fair Foodie Tour: Pineapples, Bacon On Bacon & One Step Beyond.

July 31st, 2012 1 comment

We’re still not done eating at the Fair.  Madness, I call it Madness — Well listen buster you better start to move your feet to the rockinest rock steady beat of the Orange County Fair.

We appreciated the Foodie Tour and sampling of the indulgent and healthy OC Fair food.

The Pineapple Express by Chicken Charlie remarkably offers a few of the healthier options this year (in a Pineapple) — Naked Shrimp, Maui Chicken and a Shrimp Cocktail in a Pineapple.

Fried Pineapple with Chocolate and Coconut (above).

Associated with Juicy, the food concession stands with music, is Dogsville (above).

They serve up Ham and Cheese Corn Dogs, Jumbo Sausages and more.

Chicken Kabobs by Charlie is an OC Fair staple.

Fried Cornish Game Hen from Baja Blues — How about a Carne Asada Stuffed Avocado?

Tasti Chips is family owned and treats Potatoes with tender loving care, from earth to Chip.

Tasti Chips deserve respect and they’re most appetizing with the Jalapeno Cheese Sauce.

The Tasti Chips’ group also mans Grant Burgers — They’re not bad and have tasty Pickles.

And musn’t leave out Bacon-A-Fair, where everything comes with Bacon.

Bacon Wrapped Hot Dogs.

A Pound of Bacon Wrapped around a Turkey Leg (below).

Cheese Stuffed Jalapenos Wrapped in Bacon.

Beer Battered Deep Fried Bacon (below).

Deep Fried Beer Battered Bacon Dogs.

Bacon Wrapped Turkey Leg ready to be had.

Salted Chocolate Covered Bacon popularly photographed by Local Food Bloggers.

And my favorite Beef Brisket Sandwich is from the Chuckwagon.

I love this Sandwich and look forward to it every year.

Corn on the Cob grills throughout.

There’s a large amount of Meat.

Smokin’ Meat — It makes it so good.

On Fridays, small tastes of most seen here and more are available for $2.

Mini and singular variations of Fair favorites are offered (examples above) — It’s a great deal.

Legendairy Gelato has almost every flavor, including Birthday Cake — It really tastes like one.

And we always visit the Wine Garden for friendly tastings poured by the OC Wine Society.

We value the livestock too — Sshhhhhh, don’t tell ’em about the food.

With Hercules shown below — Worth more than the Alligator, if you get what I’m sayin’.

View of the OC Fair from the Ferris Wheel at night.

I never want to come down, well, until it’s time to eat again.

See you at the OC Fair.

Cafe Rose Express: Oasis At The Turnip Rose Promenade & Gardens.

May 19th, 2011 2 comments

One day each week I work within walking distance from Cafe Rose Express at The Promenade Event Centre & Gardens by Turnip Rose, and the funny thing is that I just discovered it.  It’s been tucked back behind my office of more than two years, but I rarely take a lunch that day, until I recently saw someone come back to the office with the most amazing looking Sandwich.

Where did you get that Sandwich?

At Cafe Rose Express, I was told — Walking distance from my office.  What a treat.

It’s firstly a catering facility and event location that offers high quality breakfast and lunch weekly to the public through Cafe Rose Express and I’m happy to now know they do.

There are plenty of nice places to dine inside and especially out.

It’s genuinely an Oasis within walking distance.

The surroundings are beautiful and the food is exceptional.

It’s a pleasurable getaway for a half-hour or more.  Your time there seems longer.

People get married here and enjoy lunch on the lawn with a book when free.

The Southwest BBQ Chicken Salad with Zucchini Bread is pictured above and the Cafe Rose Classic Salad is below.  All Salads have been fresh and generous in size and ingredients.

We also tried the Chef’s Special, Caramelized Garlic Chicken with Pesto Mashed Potatoes and Spring Vegetable Medley.  Everything I’ve tried at Cafe Rose thus far has been superior.

I’m also converted to Zucchini Bread, as theirs is so moist and delicious.

A portion of available inside dining is pictured below.

Ballroom or event room, an option for weddings and parties.  See what others are saying.

Share a Sandwich on the grass for lunch — It’s humorous, the Sandwich that brought me here for the first time is a Sandwich I’d order last.  It was Egg Salad.  I still haven’t tried it, but it looked so fresh and grand, with loose chopped Eggs and all.  I may get around to it someday.

I just love the grounds and food and look forward to going back.

I ate today’s lunch for dinner too, as the portions are extremely generous.

The Blackmarket Bakery Wants You To Decorate Your Own Cake.

January 28th, 2011 2 comments

The Blackmarket Bakery is a true find — First you have to find it, and then you’ll discover that the somewhat hidden treasure offers high quality, unique baked goods.  It’s quirky and stylish like its CIA-trained Pastry Chef Rachel Marie and my kind of place.  It can be found off Sky Park Circle, near John Wayne Airport for those passing through.

Although the colorful store front is small, it packs in a variety of fresh baked (and baking) goods and other cool items.  I love the tie dye chef’s jackets too.

In addition to the weekly baked treats, they offer Cooking Classes – Here’s the current schedule.  Recipes, baking tips and generous samples are included with all.

As you can see, Blackmarket Bakery has won a lot of awards.

I was recently invited there to decorate CAKES with other local, fabulous food bloggers.

The Cakes were frosted by Chef Rachel in the flavor of our choice and bloggers were paired to create their own masterpiece.  The Cakes were then split in half for each to take home.

As you can see, pre-frosted it’s no ordinary Cake — They’re delicious and we got to decorate and take ’em home.  How fabulous!  And YOU now get to do the same for a birthday, event or any day.  Order a simple two or three tiered Cake with the flavors of your choice.  You pick the Cake, filling and frosting, then take it home to decorate it however you please. 

Most of us here opted for the Vanilla Buttermilk Cake with the Vanilla Buttercream Frosting.

The professionals added our chosen Cake borders and we decorated the rest.

It was a pleasure to meet other talented food bloggers at this event — Joseline of Daydreamer Desserts, Kimberlin of Rustic Garden Bistro, Quyen of Kitchen Runway, Priscilla of She’s Cookin’ and Anne of Orange Coast Magazine.  My Cake decorating partner was Todd, who will need to provide his link info — I think our Cake turned out pretty good.

This post provides a few ideas for this DIY concept — It’s fun dressing a naked Cake.

We could run amok with the options, but ultimately learned that simple is often best.

You really don’t need much to make them look good.

The above is our final CAKE, by Team Todd and Shelly.  It turned out better than expected.  Chocolate curls and sugar flowers go a long way — Hooray.

Every Cake looked great and it was the first time decorating for most.

What fun!  Thank you Blackmarket Bakery and Chef Rachel.

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. 🙂

Join Roy’s L.A. Ohana Tour: It’s Going On Now Through August.

June 17th, 2010 No comments

What a great bunch of people they have working for Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion Cuisine.  We recently visited Roy’s in Anaheim at The GardenWalk.  Did you know that each location’s Chef Partner is trained by Roy Yamaguchi himself, yet is encouraged to infuse their own style and inspiration into Roy’s classic menu items?  We just learned that cool fact, which makes each Roy’s special in its own way, thus if you’ve been to one Roy’s, you haven’t been to ’em all.

Roy’s just kicked off its L.A. Ohana Tour, which will give guests the opportunity to experience the different taste variations each time they visit a new Roy’s location — The specifics are detailed in bullet points below.

During our first tour stop, we thoroughly enjoyed Roy’s Original Hawaiian Martini, which includes fresh Pineapple, SKYY Vodka, Stoli Vanil Vodka and Malibu Coconut Rum.  And we loved the flavors of the Ekolu Tuna Roll, the “Rim Fire” Calamari and the Sweet Corn & Blue Crab Crusted Barramundi, which was our favorite — It’s made with a Sun Dried Tomato and Wild Mushroom Anisette Cream Sauce.  If you’ve never tried Barramundi, you’re missing out.  It’s a sustainable farm raised Fish with sweet succulent flesh indigenous to Australia. 

And for dessert, Roy’s Pineapple Upside Down Cake with caramelized Pineapple baked with Brown Sugar Pound Cake and Coconut Ice Cream was the perfect finish.

Roy’s recently announced the launch of its L.A. Ohana Tour, a new rewards program designed for diners to experience the creative chef variations on popular menu items offered at each location.  From June 9th until August 31, 2010, guests are invited to visit (3) Southern California Roy’s restaurants to receive dining rewards and be entered to win an all-inclusive trip to Hawaii, where guests will enjoy a personal dinner with founding chef Roy Yamaguchi.

Your chance to win a trip to Hawaii starts with an inaugural visit to any one of Roy’s participating restaurants, as noted below: 

· At the inaugural (first) trip to any participating Roy’s restaurant, guests are awarded an Ohana Tour Card to present at the next Roy’s location.

· On the second visit, guests will receive a complimentary Chocolate Soufflé with the purchase of an entrée.

· At the third location, guests will receive a $20 Gift Card with the purchase of an entrée, plus an entry into the Hawaiian sweepstakes.

· Restaurants participating in the tour include Roy’s Anaheim, Los Angeles, Newport Beach, Pasadena, and Woodland Hills locations.

THEY SAY:  “In the Hawaiian culture, ‘ohana’ means family,” said Leiala Whattoff, V.P. of Training & Development, Roy’s restaurant. “We designed this tour to thank our frequent guests and encourage new guests to experience our exquisite food and the aloha spirit with their friends and family. By visiting three of our Southern California locations, guests will receive delicious rewards and the chance to win the ultimate dining experience in Hawaii.”

Nibbles of Tidbits will be heading to Roy’s in Fashion Island next for our complimentary Chocolate Soufflé.  Hope to see you on tour!

* We had hoped to post more food photos, but unfortunately didn’t capture the deserving quality of all aforementioned dishes.

Another Bouquet of Herbs From A Friend’s Garden.

September 11th, 2008 No comments

It’s always nice in the Summer to receive Herbs from a Friend’s Garden.  Here’s another creative way to keep them for a short period of time.  It’s fun to open the fridge to see a Cup-O-Herbs, especially if the Herbs have blooms.  This bunch includes Garlic Chives, Rosemary, Basil and Pineapple Sage.  There’s a little water at the bottom of the cup.  It’s like a decoration in your fridge.  I thought about adding a tablecloth. 🙂

But learn something from my unrelated mistake.  You probably wouldn’t notice, but if you do — I should have removed the Tomato Paste from the can before placing it in the refrigerator.  I’ve read that’s what you’re supposed to do.  I was just keeping it for a day, but that’s no excuse.  It’s the bad in the good, the bad and the funny.

Related Links:

http://www.ineedtext.com/FoodBlog/?p=744

Tomatoes Galore & Not The Corn We Expected: It’s Autumn Corn.

June 26th, 2016 No comments

Home Grown Tomatoes

Our garden and Tomatoes continue to flourish — Yeah!  Now I must put all to good use.  I’m currently oven roasting the pictured Cherry Tomatoes at 200˚ in the oven for approximately 4 – 5 hours.  They always turn out great that way.  And I’m contemplating what to do with the rest of them.  Most likely they’ll become a Soup or Sauce, or just had with a little Olive Oil, Kosher Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper.  We’re growing Basil too, a supplement for all the big plans.

Autumn Corn

As for the pictured Corn, we plan to set it aside until October.  They are beautiful and hard as a rock. We thought we were growing edible Yellow Corn, but found these under the husks.  Not sure if it’s something we did or if the baby plants were wrongly marked.  Either way, we’re pleasantly surprised and look forward to seeing what our other corny-children will look like. 😉  It’s exciting.

We’re Still Growing And Cookin’ Here On Nibbles Of Tidbits.

September 22nd, 2015 No comments

Freis West Garden

How does your garden grow?  Quite well as shown, though contrarily slow here and there.

Red Cabbage

There’s no shortage of food material and much fodder for here, nor lack of hot and woody Radishes growing in our garden, just a preoccupation with eating and cooking with a current minor in writing.

Eggplant Growing

Other than the abundant, less than pristine Radishes, our Red Cabbage, Eggplant, Beets and Carrots continue to truck along, while the Peppers, Peas, Onions and Beans crawl along, like the reporting here lately, but more is always to come and often.  Life is good.  We’re growing too.

What Grows The Fastest? Radishes, Beans & Peas, Oh My.

August 2nd, 2015 2 comments

Radishes from the Garden

Though we planted late this year, we’re enjoying the Radishes.  They’re pushing through the soil daily alerting they are ready to pick — It took about 4 weeks from seeds to grow and eat them.

Garden Status

And we learned that Beans and Peas practically grow overnight, but as of today they are far from being ready to eat, especially since our large turtle tortoise (Cesar) ate them when we weren’t looking.  We wrongly planted them in the lower planter, which we’re in the process of amending.

Cesar, our turtle.

As for the other seeds we planted, much is growing or trying to grow.  Our Purple Cabbage has sprouted large leaves, but the row of Purple Cabbage growing at the Orange County Fair includes numerous large heads of Cabbage.  Our garden is coming along slowly, but we’re optimistic.

Home Garden

I wonder what we get to eat (before Cesar) next — To be determined and announced.

Plated (Recipe + Ingredients) Delivered: A Comparison to Blue Apron.

April 22nd, 2016 No comments

Plated Fish

It’s official — I’ve prepared 100+ Blue Apron recipes.  My husband counted them.  After two-hundred plus total dishes, I decided it was time to try a few other meal delivery companies.  At least three to start… Plated, Hello Fresh and Chef’d.  It’s not because we don’t like Blue Apron.  We love them.  I’m now curious how others’ dishes compare.  Are they as flavorful and international?

Plated Box

The Plated Report — Plated’s box was huge and all was packed within a thick insulation that looked like it should be recycled in the garden.  Different than Blue Apron, but it kept all cold and fresh.

Plated Dessert

One of the BEST things about Plated is they offer Dessert.  Blue Apron currently does not.

Plated Recipe Cards

Dessert (recipe and ingredients) costs about $8 more, over Plated’s meal plan — Most comparable to our Blue Apron Meal Plan (3 Meals for 2 People = $60), Plated offers (2 Meals for 2 People = $48 + $6 for shipping = $54).  Shipping is free with $50+ purchases.  I thus added one of Plated’s weekly Desserts to try and to qualify for free shipping.  $56 was our total for 2 Meals and 1 Dessert for 2 People from Plated.  Leon thought all looked good upon arrival (below).  I did too.

Leon and Plated

Plated’s recipes were well written and somewhat unique, like those offered by Blue Apron.  The pictured Plated meals were good, but none knocked our socks off, like many Blue Apron meals have. We also missed the third meal offered by Blue Apron.  Apples to Apples, the same Blue Apron Plan (3 Meals for 2 People = $60), costs $72 at Plated.  I wouldn’t mind future meals from Plated, but I prefer to save money.  Plated is good, but they charge more for the same comparison of food.

Plated Soup

I prepared Plated’s Pan-Roasted Redfish with Baby Kale Risotto (top), Cheese Tortellini with Basil and Spinach in Tomato Soup (above) and Caramelized Pear Shortcakes with Whipped Cream (below).  We liked the Pan-Roasted Redfish the best and the other two recipes were just average.  Plated’s recipe cards are nice and large, but not as glossy as Blue Apron’s.

Plated Shortcakes

The Caramelized Pear Shortcakes aka Biscuits were already baked, which made preparation easier, but the Dessert not as homemade.  I may order from Plated again to try a different Dessert if its weekly menu sounds better than Blue Apron’s weekly menu.  I’m currently subscribed to all listed herein, though opt for Blue Apron most of the time.  If interested in trying any meal delivery company, be sure to obtain a coupon or coupon code, as each offers a $20 – $60 discount on your first box.  Don’t miss out on that.  Check back soon to read our Hello Fresh and Chef’d Reports.

Inspiration And Growth: The Largest Onion We’ve Ever Seen.

July 7th, 2015 No comments

Giant Onion

Would you believe we grew this?  You shouldn’t because we didn’t.  We bought it at the Fullerton Market in downtown Fullerton.  Though I had a Sweet Onion at home, I had to get this giant one for $3.  You can see the size difference below, although it was more impressive in person. People stopped us to ask what it was.  It should’ve been entered in the Orange County Fair.

Onion Size Scale

We continue to tend to our real life garden and we’re starting to see the Radishes, Carrots, Eggplant, Purple Cabbage, Sweet Onion, Green Onion and possibly the Swiss Chard grow — We have a long way to go to grow such a large Onion and will be happy growing one that’s any size.

Sixteen Candles Style Anniversary Celebration With A Fresh Cake Top.

February 3rd, 2015 1 comment

Anniversary Cake

Happy One-Year Anniversary to us, Freis West (above) — It’s told to be tradition to save, then eat the top layer of one’s Wedding Cake on one’s One-Year Wedding Anniversary.  Though the idea is romantic, I wouldn’t look forward to eating it.  Would you want a year old Cake?  Or would you prefer a fresh Cake, just like the one you had on your wedding day?  We opted for a fresh Cake and got it, because we were married at The Turnip Rose Promenade & Gardens, as previously reported. It’s how they do it.  You’ll get a fresh Cake one-year later, if married there too.  Our Cake was white with a Raspberry Mousse filling and Whipped Cream topping.  All is highly recommended.

Sixteen Candles Movie

As shown, we celebrated Sixteen Candles style — We call ours ‘One Candle’ for one sweet year of marriage.  What fun we had in our Las Vegas hotel room, with our Cake propped on an upside-down ice bucket, as we sat on the window sill/air conditioner overlooking the Stratosphere.  Our Anniversary Cake took us a year back, and we hope to be doing this again sixteen years later.

Creative Cakes OC: Custom Wedding Cake With Turnip Rose Package.

January 27th, 2014 No comments

Wedding Cake

Nice package indeed — We LOVED our Wedding Cake by Creative Cakes in Orange.  It came with the Wedding Package offered by The Turnip Rose Promenade & Gardens in Costa Mesa.  Our experience with both was superb!  We called it (above) our Graffiti Cake, since it was piped with amusing words and sayings related to us.  It looked cool and unique and tasted amazing.  As a bonus (also part of The Turnip Rose Package) — Instead of freezing the top layer of the Cake to eat it on our one-year anniversary, a tradition, Creative Cakes will bake us a fresh Cake to enjoy in its place.  We’ll just call around that time to tell ’em what we want.

Come & Get It For 23 Days: See What’s New And What’s Always There.

July 13th, 2013 No comments

OC Fair Opening Day 2013

It’s All About the Food at the 2013 OC Fair (July 12 – August 11, 2013)

Days of Deep-Fried Food, Celebrity Chefs, Decadent Desserts & Culinary Competitions

Just as dinner bells would call hard-working farmers to the table for meals, the OC Fair is ringing the metaphorical dinner bell for Fairgoers to “Come & Get It” July 12 to August 11, 2013. With plenty of food vendors and culinary activities, the OC Fair has something for every palate. Here’s what the Fair is cooking up this year:

• Chicken Charlie: Chicken Charlie is churning out new food with Krispy Kreme Sloppy Joes, Deep-Fried Bacon-Wrapped Pickles and Waffle Dogs (a hot dog wrapped inside a waffle and all on a stick). Plus, don’t miss deep-fried cookie dough!

• Bacon A-Fair: This year’s new additions at Bacon A-Fair include Truffle Gouda Bacon Fries, Bacon Beer (root beer) and Cheesy Bacon Bombs. Plus, wild boar bacon on a stick will be served exclusively at the OC Fair.

• Biggy’s Meat Market: Channel your inner cave man (or woman) and come to Biggy’s Meat Market for the returning 17-inch The Big Rib plus the new Biggy Sausage, a 2-foot-long smoked sausage on a stick, and the Big Chic, 24 ounces of chicken breast on a stick of course.

• Ten Pound Buns: The mad scientists at Ten Pound Buns have added ground bacon, whipped butter and Nutella on top of their famous sourdough “pizza” for the Bacon Nutella Bun.

• Pink’s Hot Dogs: Long known for their innovative hot dogs named after celebrities, the Ghiradelli hot dog takes it to a new level. It is a beef dog topped with cream cheese, honey mustard, crumbled bacon and dark chocolate.

More New Food: There are new tastes to be found throughout the OC Fair this year including deep-fried strawberries, a macaroni and cheese hamburger, fried bacon ice cream, deep-fried lobster, cream cheese on a stick, mango & chamoy popsicle (spicy-sweet lemon chile flavoring), heart-shaped funnel cake, Dirty BBQ Tasti Chips and more.

OC Fair Foodies: New this year the OC Fair is introducing food-themed mascots including Scoop, Carl, Dip and their foodie friends all inspired by iconic Fair and farm foods such as ice cream cones, cotton candy, corn dogs, vegetables, fruit and more. Costumed characters, plushes and signage will be representing the foodie friends throughout the Fair.

• $2 Taste of Fair Food: Every Friday from Noon-4 p.m., Fairgoers can sample the best the Fair has to offer for only $2 each sample. Fun-sized samples include funnel cake, BBQ tri-tip, lemonade, cinnamon rolls, corn dogs, tacos, gelato, cotton candy and more.

• Celebrity Chefs: The 2013 OC Fair presents two shows in The Hangar featuring charismatic celebrity chefs demonstrating their culinary prowess. Scheduled appearances include the owners and chefs of the award-winning La Casita Mexicana Restaurant Jaime Martin del Campo and Ramiro Arvizu (July 20, 4 p.m.) and award-winning chef and owner of Bottega in Napa Valley and Coqueto in San Francisco Michael Chiarello (August 1, 4 p.m.) Free with Fair admission.

• Culinary Presentations: In addition to celebrity chefs, the 2013 OC Fair is also featuring local professional chefs from some of the county’s top local restaurants and other culinary artisans in the OC Promenade. Presentation days and times vary.

• Food Truck Fare at the OC Fair: On top of traditional and new Fair foods, Fairgoers can purchase gourmet fare from their favorite food trucks from inside the OC Fair gates every Thursday from Noon-10 p.m. Access is free with Fair admission and prices for food and drinks vary per truck.

• Kitchen Challenge: Watch local culinary professionals show off their chops and go head-to-head in a series of live cooking challenges set to various themes every Thursday in the OC Promenade: Meatheads (July 18), Time to Make The Donuts (July 25), Firehouse Chefs (August 1) and Vegan (August 8). Winners will receive bragging rights and an award to commemorate their culinary victory. Viewing is free with Fair admission.

• Contests and Competitions: Most of the traditional Culinary Arts competitions have closed their registrations but the Culinary Arts department is again hosting live contests that offer late registration with the Special Culinary Contests held the last four Saturdays, including the popular OC Cupcake Classic on August 3. Registration for these contests is the Wednesday before each contest. New this year is the Salad Daze contest, which is judging for the best picnic-ready salads. For a complete list, visit ocfair.com/competitions.

• Food As Art: Chef Ray Duey is an acclaimed food sculptor who was a gold medal winner from the Food Network’s Challenge Team and will be creating works of art out of fruits and vegetables daily in the OC Promenade. Award-winning Shaile Socher creates masterful floral arrangements out of sugar and will be demonstrating her intricate and dazzling talent in the OC Promenade daily. Demonstrations are free with Fair admission.

• Centennial Farm: Experience being home on the range in this year-round, three-acre demonstration farm complete with crops, livestock and the Millennium Barn. Check out educational exhibits, agricultural organizations and the fruit and vegetable competitive entries. Visit ocfair.com/competitions for details on the Garden and Floral competitions offered.

The 2013 OC Fair, themed Come & Get It, is July 12 – August 11 and brings 23 days of food, rides, exhibits, animals, music, action sports and fun, as well as the Toyota Summer Concert Series at the Pacific Amphitheatre, The Hangar and Action Sports Arena. The Fair is open Wednesday-Sunday. Concert tickets, action sports reserved seats and single-day general admission are available for purchase online at ticketmaster.com or from the on-site Box Office. The popular Super Pass, which offers the passholder 23 days of admission, is available for purchase online at ocfair.com from the onsite Box Office.

The OC Fair & Event Center is located off the 405 and 55 freeways at 88 Fair Drive in Costa Mesa. For more information, please visit ocfair.com, become a fan at Facebook.com/OCFair, follow them at twitter.com/ocfair or call (714) 708-1500. Also, download the free OC Fair iPhone and Android apps featuring a Food Finder and schedules of events.

Source:  Press Release from The OC Fair & Event Center (above).

I’ve Finally Arrived At Park Avenue: The PAG Is Better Than Expected.

June 7th, 2013 No comments

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What a surprise — A Park Avenue Dinner for my birthday.  I’ve wanted to go there for so long.

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I’ve finally arrived!  I knew they had a garden, but WOW on the PAG — Park Avenue Garden.

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Cheers to this exceptional restaurant and to my hunny for ziz-zagging the streets to get us there on the sly.  Where are we going?  Park Avenue — It’s the best birthday dinner surprise!

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We started with Squash Blossoms filled with Goat Cheese and PAG Dried Oregano.

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Park Avenue seems to transcend decades — Its exterior is reminiscent of the 60’s or 70’s.

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It then travels through the food classics by way of modern, beautiful, sustainable gardens.

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It’s bigger than expected, she said — There’s a whole world going on inside Park Avenue.

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Our stuffed Squash Blossoms came from the PAG — A most impressive garden.

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Our night photography doesn’t do it justice — We hope to see all during the day sometime.

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It’s a romantic place with much to offer, including Il Garage, to be reported about next time.

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For Entrees we chose the Slow Cooked Pork Shank (top) and a Ling Cod Special (above).

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All was outstanding with a Happy Birthday Sundae — I wish… To eat here again soon.

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Chef/Managing Partner, David Slay walked throughout making sure all was better than good.

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We want to discover more.