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Penzeys Specialty Spice Retailer: An Aromatic Oasis In Anaheim.

September 18th, 2016 No comments

Inside Penzeys

I’ve used Penzeys Spices for years.  I ordered them through the mail.  It was the only way to get them some time ago, but now there are six Penzeys retail stores in California.  And one of them is in Anaheim, a few miles from our house.  This Penzeys store is an oasis in a busy shopping center off Euclid and Crescent — It’s spacious, welcoming, aromatic and tranquil in contrast to outside.

Penzeys Anaheim

One of the best things about shopping at Penzeys is… YOU can smell everything they sell.  Each herb and spice is presented in a large jar for the sole purpose of smelling it.  Put your nose in and take a whiff — Doing so helps to distinguish flavor nuances in similar spices like Vietnamese and Indonesian Cinnamon, Californian and Hungarian Paprika, and herbs like Turkish and Mexican Oregano, etc.  How do they differ?  How are they alike?  Aside from taste, your nose can tell.

Various Pepper

You may not want to smell the Mignonette (above) and other Pepper, but you can.

Kid's Area

Penzeys‘ Anaheim store has an adorable kids area where kids color while you sniff and shop.

Cute Area at Penseys

There is also a retro kitchen display that offers the best in baking Spices, Extracts and Vanilla Beans. Once past the hustle and bustle outside, it’s fun to shop inside Penzeys in Anaheim.  Its employees are friendly and knowledgeable, and prices are good too, especially since you don’t have to pay for shipping.  I love Penzeys Spices and retail store option.  I’m lucky one is nearby.

Pickles Loves Pickled Grapes: Favorite Blue Apron Repeat Recipe.

September 5th, 2016 No comments

Pickling Grapes

Have you ever tried Pickled Grapes?  I hadn’t until last year and will now eat them forever.  I buy Grapes more often because of it.  Pickled Grapes are amazing, especially when served with Fish over a Summer Succotash, pictured below — It’s our favorite Blue Apron meal that I’ve made several times.  The original recipe used Cod, which is fine, but I’ve since used Salmon and Yellowtail at different times.  This dish is extremely flavorful with much attributed to the Pickled Grapes.

Favorite Blue Apron Meal

A little White Wine Vinegar (2 T.), Sugar (1 T.), and a big pinch of Salt do a lot to elevate Grapes (at least 2 oz.), to a refreshing gourmet topping, side or special ingredient in another dish. Simply combine cut Grapes with all ingredients, let marinate for at least 10 minutes and see what we’re saying.  Yum!  Pickling is a beautiful thing, I’ve discovered.  And my husband happens to call me Pickles.  It’s just meant to be.  Consult Blue Apron for more about recipe #227.  We love it too.

Hello Fresh Meal Delivery: A Comparison to Blue Apron And Plated.

July 18th, 2016 No comments

Hello Fresh Test

Well… Hellooooooo Fresh.  It’s finally your turn — Nice to try you.  It’s hard to give-up Blue Apron, but I’m ready.   Temporarily that is.  We previously tried and reported about Plated, another meal (recipe + fresh ingredients) delivery company.  It’s my plan to try most, if not all of the popular meal delivery companies and here we try and compare Hello Fresh to Blue Apron and Plated.

Box from Hello Fresh

The Hello Fresh ingredients and recipe cards arrive in a large box that lists the enclosed meal’s nutrition facts on its side — A nice feature not included on the Blue Apron and Plated boxes.

Hello Fresh Menu

All ingredients were well packed and arrived fresh.

Leon and Hello Fresh

In fact, each meal is packaged individually in nice windowed white boxes.  It’s different than Blue Apron and Plated — The recipe ingredients are contained and sealed together in the large box.

Hello Fresh Packaging

The smaller boxes are impressive, but unnecessary — Hello Fresh can save on this packaging.

Hello Fresh Ingredients

The proteins arrive under blocks of ice, as like the others, and all was perfectly fresh.

Hello Fresh Meat

The Hello Fresh recipe cards are smaller than all others I’ve used, including the recipe cards from Chef’d, soon to be reviewed here on Nibbles of Tidbits — Check back for that comparison.

Hello Fresh Recipe

The Hello Fresh recipe cards are harder to read than the others — The card and photo are smaller, thus appear less detailed.  The Blue Apron recipe cards are more user-friendly than those printed for Hello Fresh and Plated.  Blue Apron includes a photo of the chopped ingredients and the others do not.  I had no trouble following the Hello Fresh recipe cards, but Blue Apron’s are better.

Hello Fresh Meal

Taste and the recipes — I made Jamie’s Roasted Chicken with Lemony Bombay Potatoes (above) and Spring Asparagus and Shrimp Risotto with Meyer Lemon (below).

Hello Fresh Shrimp Dish

I’m not sure why my Shrimp Risotto (below) looked albino compared to its photo (above).

Hello Fresh Risotto

Dukkah-Roasted Chicken with Sweet Potatoes, Snap Peas and Citrus Sour Cream (below). I liked it best from our first box.  Not pictured, we also tried three Hello Fresh vegetarian meals. Since I forgot to deselect upcoming meals, I received a second Hello Fresh box in the mail. Related to that, the Hello Fresh web interface could use improvement.  It’s not as easy to view and/or cancel future meals as it is on the Blue Apron and Plated websites.  I had switched from the Hello Fresh ‘Classic Box’ to the ‘Veggie Box’ subscription on their website, because it’s a better value.

Hello Fresh Chicken Dish

Hello Fresh costs approximately $10 more for a Classic Box (three meals w/meat) = $70.  Three meals w/meat from Blue Apron costs the same as three vegetarian meals from Hello Fresh = $60. Aside from cost, we agree that Blue Apron meals are more flavorful and sophisticated overall. And since they do cost less, they’re a better deal all around.  I keep the Hello Fresh and Plated subscriptions open in case there’s a meal I can’t refuse, but need to manage them better so not to receive meals from all companies in the same week.  Each offers potential for a great meal.

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.

Blue Apron Review: The Menu Of The Week Never Looked So Good.

April 30th, 2015 No comments

Cod

Blue Apron Box Report No. 2 — We love them even more now.

Blue Apron

It’s Blue Apron’s unique and enticing recipes that I appreciate most — The meals are exciting to eat.

Chicken

We received 3 new recipe cards and the ingredients to prepare them all — Our final dishes are pictured on the right of its respective recipe card and our first Blue Apron report is linked here.

Cod

Each meal was completely different than the one before it and all had exceptional flavor.

Pork

We’re already looking forward to the next box from Blue Apron.  Originally I was just going to try them, but their weekly menus and quality of ingredients are keeping me interested.  I had also planned to try and compare similar companies, but after a little research it looks like Blue Apron may be offering the best deal.  If that continues to be true, I may not want to try nor like another. Each looks similarly impressive, but I must have a good price too.

Similar companies are listed below and prices may change — Check them out yourself.

Plated.com – Eating Well Made Easy ($12/Serving – $72/Week – 6 meals total for 2)

Hello Fresh – Restaurant Quality Meals At Home ($11.50/Serving – $69/Week – 6 meals total for 2)

Green Chef – Deliciously Simple ($14.99/Serving – $89.94/Week – 6 meals total for 2)

Forage – Recipes from Notable Restaurants ($7.50 – $15/Serving – $60/Week – 4 meals total, which may serve 2. It’s unclear)

Chef’d – The Easiest Way to Cook Like a Pro ($19 – $38/Serving for 2 – Each meal has its own cost)

Testing Out Blue Apron: A Weekly (You Cook) Food Delivery Service.

April 15th, 2015 2 comments

Spicy Turkey Meatball Pitas

Have you heard of Blue Apron?  It’s a weekly food delivery service.  Blue Apron delivers recipes and ingredients to your doorstep for YOU to prepare.  Blue Apron takes meal planning and grocery shopping off your To-Do List.  They do that for you then deliver all to you.  We tested them out.

Blue Apron Delivery

Our delivery included 3 Recipe Cards and all the ingredients to make them.

Leon and Blue Apron

All was wrapped in bubble foil insulation with sealed frozen ice blocks.

Blu Apron Box Inside

After review of its contents, let’s just say that I hope every box is as fresh as this one.

Fresh Ingredients

All produce was fresh — Kale, Spinach, Bibb Lettuce, Fava Leaves, Sugar Snap Peas, and the meat appeared fresh too.  The box of ingredients even smelled fresh.  The quality of all made me happy.

Blue Apron Ingredients

Each recipe comes with a “Knick Knacks” bag, which holds small and measured ingredients.

Shrimp Ingredients

Knick Knacks bags may include Butter, Cream, Spice mixtures, etc.  I love organization.

Beef Ingredients

I had fun exploring my first Blue Apron food box and couldn’t wait to make and taste everything.

Blue Apron Ingredients

Shrimp, Flank Steak and Ground Turkey were included in this delivery for Lemon & Black Pepper Shrimp with Fresh Linguine Di Cavolo & Fava Leaves, Pan-Seared Steaks with Green Peppercorn Sauce & Roasted Fingerling Potatoes, and Spiced Turkey Meatball Pitas with Sugar Snap Pea & Bibb Lettuce Salad — A good variety of recipes I wouldn’t make or try, but for Blue Apron.

Blue Apron Meat

I like trying new things and I like surprises, so this type of service is entertaining.

Recipe Cards

You can look ahead at upcoming recipes online or surprise yourself when the box arrives.

Meal Prep

The step-by-step instructions on each recipe card are done well.  I’ll often change something in a recipe to make the dish better, but I didn’t need to and wasn’t going to, as I wanted to make all as instructed for this post.  Recipes are created by Blue Apron’s culinary team and renowned guest chefs.  Recipes will never be repeated in the same year and meals are 500-700 calories.

Lemon & Black Pepper Shrimp

Meals take about 35 minutes to prepare and ingredients are pre-measured, so there’s no waste.

Pan-Seared Steaks

Matt liked all the meals too — Maybe I’ll get him to cook one of the recipes.

Hey Matt likes it!

I didn’t expect to like Blue Apron as much as I now do, but I find it convenient and enjoyable — You still need to chop, mix and cook all, but it’s nice to not have to plan what to make and shop for the ingredients.  If I shopped for the quality ingredients I received here, it would probably cost more money, and more time and stress to look for and obtain all, let alone conceive the recipes.

Blue Apron Meal

Choose when you want your box of food delivered and how often — Once a week, every other week, once a month, etc.  I set up Blue Apron to deliver recipes and ingredients every other week for now and look forward to trying more recipes.  If everything remains fresh, I may be a customer for a long time, though I simply intended to try it.  I’ve seen advertisements for similar food delivery companies and may need to compare them to Blue Apron who sets the bar high.  Blue Apron’s prices are reasonable too, approximately $60/week for three meals for two.  Shipping is included in the price too, which helps sell me.  Check back to see how our second box of food turns out.  Posted will be a clear side by side comparison of each recipe card and meal.

Greatest Food Mystery Soon To Be Solved: We Keep Chicken The Mail.

July 29th, 2013 No comments

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Ideal Topping Reference: Pepperoni, Mushrooms, Olives & Pineapple.

July 22nd, 2013 No comments

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If unlimited toppings, add Jalapenos, Artichoke Hearts and Roasted Garlic to the Pizza.

The OC Fair Culinary Arts Competition Starts Again: Come & Get It.

July 10th, 2013 No comments

Fair Entries 009

The Orange County Fair starts in just a couple days.  Come & Get It is the theme and today was delivery day — Delivery of culinary, baked goods, confections and sugar arts for the Culinary Arts Competition at the Orange County Fair.  My entries were dropped off at the very last minute.  It’s also judgment day, when all is tasted and ribbons are assigned.

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This year my entries included the pictured… Strawberry Stars (in Confections, Jellies), a Tangerine Cream Cheesecake topped with Candied Tangerine Slices (in Cheesecakes, Fruit Flavored and/or Fruit Topped) and Coconut Pineapple Scones (in Bread, Scones or Biscuits).  I didn’t get to try my Cheesecake, but it looked good with the Candied Tangerine Slices.

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The Scones were way too big, but tasted good — They were drizzled with a Pineapple Glaze.

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OC Fair peeps taking in the goodies (below) for you to come and get it (or see it) soon.

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I hope to win a ribbon, or two, or three — See you at the Orange County Fair.

Post Update (07/13/13):  I won a First Place (Blue) Ribbon for the Strawberry Stars only and may be featured in the Orange County Register this weekend.  I was interviewed by a reporter and one of the paper’s photographers took my photo.  We shall see…

Fair Results - Candy

Opening Day at the Orange County Fair with family (below).

Fair 2013 Opening Day

Honor System Fruit Stand: Weigh & Pay With No One Around.

June 23rd, 2013 No comments

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On the way home from Sequoia National Park, we stopped at this Honor System Fruit Stand on the side of the road — I can’t recall exactly where it was, but we thought it was great.

Sequoia 011

We weighed out a lb. of Peaches, Plums & Nectarines, inserted money and went on our way.

How To Enter A Culinary Arts Competition At The Orange County Fair.

May 18th, 2013 No comments

Division Winner

If you don’t enter, you can’t win.  Why not enter?  Anyone can win a Culinary Arts Competition at the Orange County Fair.  The deadline for competition entries is fast approaching.  Do you know how to enter?  Do you know what to do after you enter?  If not, this post may help.

OC Fair Competition Info 002

First, enter (most competitions) online — The OC Fair’s website can get you on the way.

OC Fair Competition Info 006

Go to the OC Fair Competitions’ page to learn ‘How to Enter an OC Fair Competition’.

OC Fair Competition Info 013

When you’re ready to enter, visit the OC Fair & Event Center On-line Entries page (below).

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Entrants are called Exhibitors, thus register as such before entering a competition.

OC Fair Competition Info 019

Choose Department (Culinary Arts in this instance), then Division and Class for each entry.

OC Fair Competition Info 028

Each entry costs $5.00 and one ticket to the OC Fair is presented on delivery day.

Fair Entry Day

After online entry, note delivery date and time and have all goods ready — Learn more here.

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On delivery day you’ll drive onto the fairgrounds, while all is being assembled for opening day.

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Culinary Arts Competition entries are generally submitted at the Exhibit Promenade (above).

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All entries must have a list of ingredients on an index card attached, as shown above.

Fair Entry - CheesecakeShelly's Jellies - GrapefruitRoasted Peach SconesLemon-Lime Jellies

Pictured herein are previously submitted entries and a was-gonna-be entry mishap below.

Entry Mishaps

The above was going to be Tangerine Dream Bars (similar to Lemon Bars), but it didn’t set.

What would've been.

Fortunately most past entries have turned out well — It’s what’s hoped for on delivery day.

Fair Entry - BlondiesFair Entry - ConfectionsConfectionShelly's Jellies

Above shows what YOUR entry/submission should look like, and below shows what it could look like when checking the competition results displayed on opening day at the OC Fair.

Fair Competition Results

It’s exciting to see how well you did or didn’t do — You can’t win ’em all.

Fair Results

Entering a competition at any Fair makes all more fun.

Fair Result 001

June 10th, 2013 is the last day to enter the Culinary Arts Competition (excluding Special Culinary Contests) online — See the Culinary Arts Competition Guidelines for all specifics.

OC Fair Results

Guidelines are available for all OC Fair Competitions.

OC Fair Competition Info 040

Come & Get It is the theme of this year’s Orange County Fair.

OC Fair Competition Info 035

Good luck to all!

Tracy’s King Crab Shack: The Best Alaskan King Crab Bisque In Town.

April 3rd, 2013 4 comments

Crab Bisque 027

From Alaska to California and hopefully back for more — I’ve never been there, but our resident photographer cruised Alaska last year and came back exclaiming he had the ‘Best Crab Bisque’ ever.  It was at Tracy’s King Crab Shack in Juneau and he couldn’t stop talking about it.

Alaska

I tried to find its recipe online, but could not, thus resorted to having it shipped from Tracy.

Crab Bisque 002

It’s not cheap (mostly due to shipping), but I learned it’s worth it — Wow!  I see now.

Crab Bisque 003

Though not as pretty as when it’s served to you in Juneau, Alaska, it cooked up flawlessly.

Crab Bisque 005

One has the option to add Cream, Milk or Stock — I added Cream, as recommended by Tracy.

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She also suggests a squeeze of Lime at the end — It has generous pieces of King Crab.

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This King Crab Bisque is superb without a Lime squeeze and magnificent with one.

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Tracy’s King Crab Shack was recently featured on Top Chef, as shown in a few TV pics.

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Chef-testants had to quickly create a dish with Tracy’s Crab Legs — The Best Legs in Town.

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Tracy’s King Crab Shack Story and Stovetop Instructions are above.

Alaska 1

Thanks to Matt for the beautiful Alaskan photos and tip on Tracy’s — I’m hooked on all!

Sometimes Pizza Delivery Is Easiest And Best For All.

March 11th, 2013 No comments

Funny Food 54

It’s easy being cheesy.

Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop: Happy Hour, New Kids Menu & Curbside.

February 18th, 2013 No comments

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Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop in Costa Mesa — I’m glad to see them in the neighborhood.

Greenleaf 024

It’s a narrow, well utilized, stylish space with goodness to offer.

Greenleaf 015

A group of us (various media) were invited to sample Happy Hour and Kid’s Menu items.

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We liked it all and learned that Greenleaf Chefs take pride in each and every dish.

Greenleaf 001

We especially liked the Turkey Melts on Pretzel Bread (below) and Turkey Meatballs.

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The Kid’s Menu Chicken Bites with Sweet Potato Fries are pictured below.

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See the Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop website for new menu specifics.

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A Delivery Program will soon be launching and Curbside Service is currently available.

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They also offer Business Catering and an in-house Coffee/Juice Bar/Specialty Item Shop.

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Cheers to Greenleaf with Sangria and another tasty house specialty drink.

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They seem to be about healthy food and good times.

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More of everything please.

FREE Coffee For The Stranger Behind You: No Thanks Wanted.

December 13th, 2012 1 comment

A friend recently drove through a Starbucks Drive-Thru and when she got to the window to pay, the employee told her that her Coffee had been paid for by the anonymous person in front of her.  She only remembers it was a lady.  The gesture made my friend’s day, an otherwise bad one in other ways.  It came at the right time and she’s still talking about it.  Now I’m going to do it!  And it doesn’t need to happen at a Starbucks — Any drive-thru will do, like El Pollo Loco, unless there are too many people in the car behind you, ha.  You decide.

French Macarons By Nicole Lee Fine Chocolates: On Our ‘To Make List’.

May 31st, 2012 No comments

Until I attempt the process of making French Macarons, I enjoy testing the local best.

I haven’t found a French Macaron (around here) that I must have again, thus ordered a dozen from Nicole Lee Fine Chocolates, a company I learned about at the Los Angeles Luxury Chocolate Salon I helped judge last year — So far they are the best I’ve had.  Each unique taste combination is pleasantly identifiable within its respective, delicate, creamy, flavorful Cookie.  The preliminary favorites are Blackberry, Lychee Rose, Passion Fruit and Raspberry.

Next time we’ll try the Vanilla Olive Oil, Rum Raisin and Genmai Green Tea flavors, but can’t be ordering them too often, as they’re not cheap, especially combined with shipping.  To save money and experiment, French Macarons are on the ‘To Make List’ and when it happens I’ll start here, where there’s a collection of helpful tips and information about them.

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.

Celebrate Celebrations, Come On: There’s A Party Going On Right Here.

December 11th, 2011 No comments

The Turnip Rose Grand Newport Plaza, Celebrations and Elite Catering — A celebration to last throughout the years.  So bring your good times and your laughter too, they’re gonna celebrate your party with you.  Everyone around Orange County come on.  It’s a wonderful place for a memorable wedding (or event) and we got a taste of it.  Wow about everything!

The venue, FOOD, decor and service couldn’t be better and Celebrations couldn’t be hipper.

At a “Taste of Turnip Rose” we tried a little (and in some cases a lot) of that being offered by The Turnip Rose Elite Catering and we’re still talking about how great it all was.

This is your sample of our sampling of the Grand Buffet, California Classics Buffet and more.

All Chicken was tender and flavorful, not commonly said about wedding reception Chicken.

We’re still marveling that each Filet Mignon being perfectly cooked.

Unique Scalloped Potatoes.

There were self serve and full service stations throughout the Ballroom at the Grand Newport Plaza.  We hit ’em all more than once and rolled out with giant smiles on our faces — More “Filet Mignon PLEASE” seemed to be our theme of the evening.  Gracias.

And many thank you, thank you, thank you’s and WOW’s.

Mahi Mahi (below) to be plated and topped with a Cucumber Mango Salsa.

Filet Mignon and Mahi Mahi shared our third plate of food. 🙂

Flawlessly cooked Filet after Filet after Filet.

Sample table setting.

Pretty Special Martinis.

Hors D’ Oeuvres were passed by well-dressed, friendly and knowledgeable Servers.

The Mandarin Chicken (above) tasted like the Sauce was basted in — Truly tasty alone.

The adorable Gourmet Sliders have Truffle Oil, yum-and-a-half regarding that.

Additional Martini options include the Filet Peppercorn Martini and others below.

Salad Buffet.

Peanut Butter Brownie Shooters and Mini Cupcakes.

Bride and Groom Strawberries.

The service was impeccable and the affiliated DJ played great songs.

We met nice, soon-to-be Brides and Grooms including Nikki & Kyle.  Enlarge for a better view.

Sample food choices/options — You can’t go wrong with The Turnip Rose Elite Catering.

Coffee Stations, a Chocolate Fountain and Liquor injected Strawberries in the courtyard.

Lots to dip.

The Festival of Strawberries, a Sweet Things item with an injection of Kahlua…

…Amaretto, Tia Maria, Drambuie or Grand Marnier, if you so choose.

Love is Sweet! Candy Buffet for guests to pack a box to go.

Fun for all ages — We enjoyed the Candy days after the event, a lingering memory.

On to the hippest, we ended the night with a personal tour of Celebrations.

Celebrations is the most stylish OC wedding venue I’ve seen — Every detail is covered too.

It’s well designed and highlights each Bride and Groom in special ways.

Nice lighting, monogrammed floors, a photo booth, nearby Bars, changing wall photos, etc.

Celebrations is located in the former Club Vegas space, $2M later and way better.

Guests will certainly be impressed with the place now.  We are!

Choose your colors.

The kitchen is pristine too, like everything else there.  Was tempted to show the bathrooms.

As if all isn’t enough, a Farewell Table was set up with Hot Tea, Coffee and Donuts.

Even the parking is pleasant and close to the Grand Newport Plaza and Celebrations.

We love Kelly, one of the nicest around — He runs all with his Brother and a dedicated team.

Full with a Farewell Table Donut bagged in hand — Let’s celebrate, it’s (more than) all right.

08/05/13 Update:  Visit The Turnip Rose website for venue information — The Grand Newport Plaza event room is no longer available, but Celebrations is going strong, and so is The Promenade Event Centre & Gardens in Costa Mesa.

Happy Filet Mignon Friday: It’s Fish Friday’s Rebel Cousin.

November 4th, 2011 No comments

Filet Mignon with Cognac Sauce — Each Steak was cooked beautifully by The Turnip Rose Elite Catering.  We recently attended a “Taste of Turnip Rose” at the Grand Newport Plaza and everything was over the top in the best ways possible.  We were almost paralyzed by the quality and perfection of food, style, hospitality, service, detail and coolness.  What an evening!  Will you marry us?  A full report of the event will soon be posted.  Thank you for all.

We stumbled upon the best wedding venues in town — Celebrations and more.

Someone Cares Soup Kitchen In Need Of Volunteers – How About You?

October 30th, 2011 No comments

Someone Cares Soup Kitchen can always use volunteers and donations.  Contact them today.

It’s Delivery And Judgment Day At The Orange County Fairgrounds.

July 13th, 2011 2 comments

The Orange County Fair starts this Friday, July 15th and the Culinary Arts Competition entries were due today.  It’s now baked, done and delivered and out of our hands.  The Judges are deliberating and ribbons are being awarded.  Will there be one waiting for me?  We will see.

I like driving on the fairgrounds when it’s not open — It’s like a ride. 😉

For the first show I made Blondies and a Confection, Fancy White Chocolate Flags — Ribbon winning recipes shall be linked and posted.  The results are publicized on opening day.

Mimi’s Slow Roasted Turkey Breast: Just Right For A Bare Stomach.

June 16th, 2011 No comments

The Slow Roasted Turkey Breast wouldn’t be my first pick at Mimi’s Cafe, but one must ease into nourishment when returning from infirmity, where I unfortunately visited a couple days.  Eating for the first time after that, it had to be something good for me.  Had nothing in-house and didn’t want to cook, drive, or shock the system with something too adventurous (the status quo) — A reproduction of Thanksgiving dinner ended up being just right for an unfilled stomach and is now recommended by Dr. Me.  It provided agreeable sustenance at the time.

The Slow Roasted Turkey Breast is served with Mashed Potatoes, Gravy, Cornbread Dressing, Vegetables and an Orange Cranberry Relish, and an added French Onion Soup for $2 more.  Luckily a Mimi’s Cafe is within easy walking distance.  When all was picked up, the server asked if I ever had the Turkey before — I said no, and she said… “It’s so good?”  I thought GREAT, but how good could it be?  It’s just a basic Turkey dinner, right!?

What’s GREAT about it is the quality and juiciness of the tender Turkey Breast.  The server was right.  The Dressing, Potatoes and Veggies were a little bland, but necessary at the time.  Overall, each item was appreciated for lunch, dinner and mini-lunch again.

What’s In The Box Wednesday? Still Kickin’ Day Titles Down The Week.

May 25th, 2011 No comments

I just love surprises, large or small.  They don’t have to be grand and can even be expected, like The Treasure Box (TTB) — My secretary told me about it.  TTB is described as a week of (family) food at a world of savings.  Almost anything food related for the blog.  Order one, I said.  We decided to split a Treasure Box.  This month’s box, titled Simply Enough was $24.  She picked it up nearby on a specific date and brought it to the office.  Here it is.  Surprise!

Hhhmm.  All was frozen and most items were easy to share, but we negotiated a couple others.  She doesn’t like Peas and I do, and I don’t care for Brown Rice, but she does.  The rest, I wasn’t that enthused about, but will give it a try and update this post if notable.

The whole office wanted a piece of this — Do you want a piece of this?  The menus are here.