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Wrapping Up Knott’s Berry Farm’s All Season Dining Plan: Whew.

December 28th, 2016 No comments

Seemingly free or not, there were times that I just couldn’t eat it — I didn’t want to use Knott’s Berry Farm’s All Season Dining Plan, though I had already paid for it.  Sometimes because the food just didn’t sound good, and other times because I didn’t want to wait in a long line to be greeted by a Knott’s employee with no sense of urgency.  They get paid no matter how many meals are served.

This Southwest Burger could be our last meal using Knott’s All Season Dining Plan.  The Southwest Burger at Coaster’s Drive-In at Knott’s consists of a Hamburger, Cheese, BBQ Sauce, Fried Jalapenos and Pickles.  Different.  That makes a Southwest Burger?  Well, it wasn’t too bad this evening.  We were hungry and they have good Pickles.  And most meals come with a lot of French Fries.  I almost want it again, before the end of 2016 when our plan ends.  We’ll see.
 
This will be my last report regarding Knott’s All Season Dining Plan, unless we renew it sometime down the road.  Also, we will not be renewing Knott’s annual pass in 2017.  We tend to purchase one every other year.  Knott’s meal plan is a great deal, but, well, you know.  It’s explained above and in previous reports.  The Knott’s employees we encountered in 2016 were nice. Overall, we love and appreciate Knott’s Berry Farm, with, but most likely without, a meal plan.

A Safe & Happy July 4th Celebration To You: God Bless The USA.

July 4th, 2016 No comments

July 4th Strawberries

We wish all a SAFE and happy 4th of July celebration.  I made the above with Strawberries, White Chocolate and Blue Sugar Crystals.  They are easy to make and perfect for an American observance. They’re red, white and blue beautiful and tasty too.  God bless America today and always!

RECIPE:  Melt White Chocolate.  Dip half the Strawberry in the melted White Chocolate and then dip the Chocolate-covered Strawberry tip in the Blue Sugar Crystals.  As pictured above.  That’s it.

Knott’s Season Dining Pass Report: Meals From Wilderness Broiler.

April 25th, 2016 No comments

Knott's Hamburger

Knott’s Season Dining Pass (Report #5):  1/2 lb. Cheeseburger (above) and a Spicy Chicken Sandwich (below) from the Wilderness Broiler on the edge of Ghost Town.  It’s our first time trying the Spicy Chicken Sandwich.  It’s not as commonly offered as the Cheeseburger.  Speaking of, we may be on the verge of discovering that Knott’s Cheeseburger tastes the same no matter what restaurant it’s from.  It’s just called a Cheeseburger at the Grizzy Creek Lodge, but it seems to be the same, though the Grizzy Creek Lodge has a Condiment Bar offering more to put on a Cheeseburger, Sandwich and/or Hot Dog.  Outside the Wilderness Broiler there’s Yellow Mustard and Ketchup only, and neither sound right to remedy a dry Spicy Chicken Sandwich.

Knott's Spicy Chicken Sandwich

I suppose it’s called a “Spicy” Chicken Sandwich because it has Jalapenos on it.  That’s the only spicy part.  The Chicken didn’t appear or taste spiced in any way.  The Chicken Breast was relatively thin, large, well-done and crispy — The type that’s best smothered in Gravy and had with a knife and fork, not served on a small, equally dry Focaccia Roll.  Where’s the Chipotle Mayo or something like it?  Flavor needs to be added to Knott’s so-called Spicy Chicken Sandwich.  I wish I could report it’s better.  We like Knott’s, but it’s only April and I’m starting to realize that I somewhat dread its meals, though we paid for an annual Season Dining Pass.  Well, there’s more to try and test and we’ll continue to hope for the best.  Come back later to read about the rest.

Knott’s Berry Farm Season Dining Pass Meals: Tostada Salad And More.

February 12th, 2016 No comments

Tostada Salad at Cantina

We’re eating our way through Knott’s Berry Farm’s Season Dining Pass — The Chicken Tostada Salad (above) from the Cantina in Fiesta Village is my current favorite meal there, though I haven’t yet tried them all.  Pictured below is the Pepperoni Pizza and French Fries from Boardwalk Barbecue.  It was described as a Flat Bread Pizza, but appears more like a typical slice of Pizza, and with French Fries it’s quite heavy.  It would be better if the Pizza was served with a Salad.

Pizza and Fries

All Knott’s Season Dining Pass Meals will eventually be pictured here on Nibbles of Tidbits — Check back once I stop eating the Chicken Tostada Salad.  Previous meal reports are linked here and here.

Knott’s Season Dining Pass Meal: Cheeseburger At Grizzly Creek Lodge.

January 9th, 2016 No comments

Knott's Cheeseburger

Our first meal with Knott’s Berry Farm’s Season Dining Pass was this mega Cheeseburger at Grizzly Creek Lodge in Camp Snoopy.  We each had one, though one Cheeseburger could certainly feed two. They gave us a lot of French Fries too.  Without the Season Dining Pass, the meal comes with a drink and costs $15.29.  We presented our Season Pass Cards and seamlessly received our meals.

Season Pass Dining

The Cheeseburger here is quite thick and large as mentioned, and tastes a little like Salisbury Steak, or the Burgers I used to get in elementary school.  There’s something home-y about it.  It’s old school tasting and I kind of liked that.  It’s not the best Cheeseburger in town and we didn’t expect it to be, but it will suffice.  By the end of the year, we will have tried all items available with Knott’s Season Dining Pass.  It will be interesting to see if the Burgers at the participating restaurants are the same or different.  I hope they will be different, but I suspect they’re the same.  We will see.

Grizzly Creek Lodge Cheeseburger

Season Pass meals are shown with a red fork, spoon and knife in a yellow circle that’s circled in blue.

Grizzly Creek Lodge

I like the large condiment bar at Grizzly Creek Lodge, but it may not end up being our first choice to eat, since it’s in Camp Snoopy and there were a lot of screaming kids inside there this day.  I may be more of a Cantina girl.  The year will tell and so will I.  It’ll be an adventurous time at Knott’s.

Knott’s Berry Farm Season Pass Dining: Eat Twice A Day Every Day.

December 17th, 2015 No comments

Sutter House

We just purchased Knott’s Berry Farm 2016 Season Passes and Knott’s All Season Dining Pass. For around $185 each, we get (1) Lunch and (1) Dinner every day in 2016 at Knott’s Berry Farm. There are no blackout dates.  What a deal!  We technically wouldn’t need to spend anything more on food or entertainment for the entire year.  We can go to Knott’s every single day and eat twice. There’s a (4) hour interval between meals.  Locals should seriously consider this as a good meal and entertainment plan, especially if poor and often bored.  We’re within biking distance and couldn’t pass it up.  We plan to try and report on the food at all participating restaurants.  There are seven.

Sutter's Grill Menu

With a Season Pass Dining Plan one can enjoy Lunch and/or Dinner at each of the following restaurants… Sutter’s Grill, Wilderness Broiler, formerly known as Bigfoot Broiler, Hollywood Hits, Coaster’s Diner, Boardwalk Barbecue, Cantina and Grizzly Creek Lodge — They are listed in the same order they’re pictured herein.  We barely photographed all of them before the sun went down.

Season Dining Pass

Sutter’s Grill is pictured at top, as Matt points out, and its Season Pass Dining Menu is below it.

Big Foot Broiler

If you circle Knott’s Berry Farm clockwise from the front gate, you’ll find each of these participating restaurants in the same order they are presented here.  The Wilderness Broiler, also in Ghost Town is pictured next.  They’re grilling up Chicken Sandwiches, Cheeseburgers and Hot Dogs.

Wilderness Broiler

It’s hard to see the various menus here (better if enlarged), but they’re all somewhat similar.

Menu

Moving into Boardwalk, Hollywood Hits restaurant offers Pizza.

Hollywood Hits

If wanting Pizza instead of a Burger or Hot Dog with Season Pass Dining, go to Hollywood Hits.

Knott's Pizza

Each participating restaurant menu offers four Combos and a Caesar Salad to choose from.

Menu

Coaster’s Diner (below), also in Boardwalk is a cute place to eat.

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Chicken Tenders and a Southwest Cheeseburger are offered here, differing from the other menus.

Inside Coaster's

Boardwalk Barbecue (below), another participating restaurant is also in Boardwalk.

Cantina

In addition to a Grilled Foot-Long Hot Dog, Cheeseburger and Grilled Chicken Sandwich, Boardwalk Barbecue offers a Flat Bread Pizza.  And then there’s the Cantina in Fiesta Village, the only restaurant where you can get a Burrito, Taco or Tostada Salad on the Season Pass Dining Plan.

Cantina

The Cantina is pictured above and below.  Every restaurant offers a Caesar Salad too.

Cantina Menu

And finally there’s Grizzly Creek Lodge, the largest restaurant of all in Camp Snoopy (below).

Grizzly Creek Lodge

It offers dining downstairs and upstairs, inside and out.

Grizzly Menu

Once you have circled the park stopping at each of the participating restaurants on Knott’s Season Pass Dining Plan, there are no new menu offerings at Grizzly Creek Lodge, except for the large condiment bar pointed out by Matt below.  Though the menu items are somewhat repetitive, the deal is good, since each combo costs around $15.  Drinks are not included with Season Pass Dining.

Knott's Food

A 2016 All Season Bottle can be purchased for about $25 for Unlimited Free Refills on drinks.  We didn’t purchase that.  I believe we’re allowed to bring a bottle of water into Knott’s (I need to confirm that), which will suffice since we rarely drink sodas.  We’d rather purchase a liquor plan.

Matt

We start our Season Pass Dining at Knott’s Berry Farm in 2016.

KBF

Check back to see what tastes best there.

Photos Of Food & Fun On The Carnival Inspiration (Weekend Cruise).

October 11th, 2015 No comments

Carnival Cruise Desserts

What to do on your birthday?  Leave on a cruise, especially if you don’t have to fly first or drive far. I’m lucky to live by the Long Beach Port, where cruise ships depart, so that’s what we did.  Yay!

Lobster Dinner

I was willing to go on any cruise I could walk to, only if I had to that is.

Carnival Inspiration Food

And it was the Carnival Inspiration that set out for Ensenada the very day of my big day.

BYOB

If you’re considering the Carnival Inspiration, snapshots of the food and ship are shown here.

Seared Ahi

Though Carnival has or had somewhat of a bad reputation in comparison to other cruise lines, we have no complaints.  The Inspiration is an old ship, but we didn’t mind it.  We’d prefer new, but knew we would make the most of it.  And we did.  Here are a few photos of our experience.

Cheese for Dessert

The food was good.  We liked everything okay, but didn’t fall for any specific dish.

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I didn’t take notes and don’t recall the names of the dishes, but the pictures show what you might get on a 3 – 4 day Carnival cruise — Seared Ahi, Escargot, Lobster, Ceviche, Beef Carpaccio, Salmon and Chicken dishes, Caesar Salads, Flat Breads and Cheese plates, just to name a few.

Flat Bread

We had a bit of everything, plus what was available at the ever-changing Buffet (pictured at top).

Oysters Rock

Escargot, common on cruise ships (above) — Matt had it.  Me, been there, done that and over it.

Ceviche

Ceviche (above) — Good, but needed more chips.  It’s your right to have more of anything.

Escargo

Stuffed Mushrooms (above).

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Carpaccio (above) — I should have had more than one, since it’s fairly costly in restaurants.

Salmon

Various Salmon, Chicken and Beef dishes were available each evening in the dining room.

Chicken

Carnival could work on plating as you see, but most dishes tasted better than they looked.

Beef

The Inspiration has a Game Room where we played Jenga — I don’t recall who won, probably me. 🙂

Game Room

We enjoyed the sunsets on deck too.

Sunset Dinner

And whipped it up Gangnam Style in the Dining Room with the waiters.

Cruise Dining Room

Overall, we would cruise with Carnival again.  It was a nice getaway and HAPPY birthday for me.

Wings Cafe Will Be Opening Soon: Hoping For Good Final Inspections.

September 28th, 2015 No comments

 

Wing's Cafe

I wrote about Wings Cafe five months ago and I finally see its runway leading us there.

Wing's Cafe 2

We rode bikes there last week to sneak a peek and we were invited in by its owners.

Wing's Cafe Booths

Brian and Sherri White were there putting the finishing touches on their cafe.

Nose Cone Movies

What a GREAT JOB they have done to make Wings Cafe unique, cool and stylish — Mission accomplished.  Above is an actual plane nose cone that’s showing real footage that was shot with the camera built into it.  It prominently hangs on a wall.  And the airplane it’s from is shown below.

Airplane of Nose Cone

The ceiling at Wings Cafe — It was new, then each square was hand distressed by them to the point of perfection.  The final result compliments the historical and other creative aspects of the cafe.

Wing's Cafe Roof

The flight suit and helmet of Brian White’s father stands in one of the cafe corners — He’s a decorated Marine.  Thank you for your service, and thank you Brian and Sherri for inviting us in.

Owner's Father's Uniform

A few days later we attended a Wings Cafe opening event and saw more finishing touches.

Inside Wing's Cafe

The glass partition was illuminated, airplane components were added to booths and more.

Peek Window at Wing's Cafe

I love the peek-a-boo window where all can see what’s happening behind the scenes.

Unique Light

Much in Wings Cafe is made from airplane parts.  Each piece has a different story and they can probably tell you about it.  And the view… there are moving airplanes.  It’ll be a fun place for all.

Wing's Cafe View

Wings Cafe is scheduled to land October 5, 2015 (Soft opening with Bacon, Eggs and Pancakes) with its Grand Opening to be October 10, 2015, provided inspections go well — They have two more to go and then Wings Cafe can really take off.  We wish Brian, Sherri and staff many years of success.

New And Interesting Food At The 2015 Orange County Fair.

July 18th, 2015 No comments

Samoa Donut

The Orange County Fair is happening NOW through August 16, 2015 — We’ll soon be there to taste some of the new FOOD items they’re serving up this year.  The BIG LIST is here: List of New and Interesting Food at the 2015 OC Fair.  Pictured is the Samoa Donut, a jumbo Donut designed after the popular Girl Scout Cookie, the Samoa aka Caramel DeLite, my favorite, made with Chocolate, Caramel and Coconut shavings.  We may have to try it.  We LOVE the OC Fair!

Credit:  Thank you to the OC Fair Communication’s Department for the photo and list.

Camp Blogaway 2015: Seventh Annual Camp For Food Bloggers.

May 13th, 2015 No comments

 

Camp Blogaway 2015-3549

In a beautiful mountain setting with food bloggers from around the country, I learned more about FOOD, food photography, sponsors’ ingredients, food-related careers and food blogging in general.  It was my first time at Camp Blogaway.  I’m glad it’s held in California.  One blogger flew from Morocco to attend, and others I met came from Oklahoma, New Hampshire, Oregon, Idaho, etc.  Those I recall now, but all attendees are linked here.  It was interesting to meet people that do the same things around the world and locally, and other accomplished food industry people.  I appreciated all of it.  Camp Blogaway was a 3-day whirlwind of food-related workshops, tastings, nature walks, and mingling with Wine and Coffee.  Snapshots of my experience are posted below.

Lodge

I arrived early with Chef Marie, an awesome lady and carpool buddy who made my trip great.

Name Badges

Do you see me?

Setting up Lodge

I assisted with set-up while enjoying the view from the lodge.

View from Lodge Deck

Enlarge photo below to view the 2015 Itinerary.

Intinerary

Wine from Wente was on the itinerary each evening — A Highlight.

Wente Wine

Cheese from Cabot with Wente Wine on the lodge deck was my favorite combination.

Cabot Cheese

I loved the Cheese Ball Pine Cones by Cabot with the Almond Board of California Almonds.

Pine Cone Cheese Ball

I will someday be making a Cheese Ball Pine Cone with Almonds and Rosemary, as shown.

Session Speakers

Session Panel with Lana of Bibberche and Louise of Geez Louise, moderated by Foodie Goes Healthy.

Phil Lempert

Session Panel with the Average Betty who interviews Phil Lempert, the Supermarket Guru, regarding his experiences, knowledge, opinions and expertise, which was informative.

Photo Class

My favorite session was the Natural Light Photo Workshop with Christina Peters.  She’s a great teacher — I learned a couple things, but need to learn more, as indicated by too many photos.

Chef Marie

Chef Marie (above) made tasty North Carolina Sweet Potato Smoothies with Davidson’s Safest Choice Pasteurized Eggs for arriving campers on the first day of camp.  I had several cups.

Chef Marie Books

Chef Marie has written at least 12 books, including the Saint-Tropez Diet, a few are shown above.

Food Line

Though we were a bunch of food bloggers, it was camp and it wasn’t fancy, but everyone was nice.

One Dinner

I tried my first White Sweet Potato (above) from North Carolina Sweet Potatoes and liked it best.

Cabot Cheese

I was in Cabin 5, pictured below.

My Cabin

All preparing to take the annual Camp Blogaway group photo.

Group Photo Prep

Patti Londre, our Fearless Leader, leading the successful way.

Patti Londre

Camp Blogaway happens each May at De Benneville Pines Conference Center in Angelus Oaks.

Camp Info

After Camp Blogaway I asked myself… What is it I want out of food blogging other than opportunities to try food?  I have ideas.  I’d love to sell Shelly Jellies, my award-winning candy someday, or work with a brand I truly believe in, or just keep doing what I’m doing.  All are pretty great.  I cook anything I want and my husband loves it, and we luckily get to try all kinds of FOOD, and only the food-related products we’re interested in.  In other words, I’m content and I’d like more, but to obtain whatever (more) might be requires work and diligence to make it happen.

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.

The Creamiest Ice Cream Is Made With Liquid Nitrogen At Creamistry.

December 7th, 2014 No comments

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Creamistry Ice Cream — Because Liquid Nitrogen is so cold, it causes the Milk particles to stay very small creating an ultra-smooth creamy texture, Creamistry reports, and after having it, I think it’s the creamiest Ice Cream I’ve ever had.  It is CREEEE-MEE!  Creamistry Ice cream is made using Liquid Nitrogen while you watch and wait.  Fresh ingredients are frozen fast.

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Chosen ingredients are frozen at 321 degrees turning all into a creamy goodness.

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Choose your SIZE, pick your BASE, and then choose your FLAVOR and TOPPINGS.

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I chose the PREMIUM BASE, Strawberry flavor with Roasted Almonds for a topping.

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The Liquid Nitrogen fogs up the place like dry ice — It’s fun to watch, though a little hard to see.

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I met a family in line who traveled from San Clemente to Irvine just to get Ice Cream here.

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I liked it more than I expected and now find myself craving its creamy texture and want to try other flavors.  Creamistry offers a multitude of flavors and toppings creating a slight dilemma when choosing.  I must go back to try more.  It can take some time getting through the line when it’s long and it’s not cheap, but a little goes a long way.  It’s ultra-rich, creamy and good.

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I wanted to ask more questions about the process and see all clearly from start to finish, but it was a busy day at Creamistry in Irvine.  It’s already loved by others, I’ve seen and heard, and now I like it too.  It’s not just another Ice Cream.  It’s fun to experience and different to taste.

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Red & Green Foods Of December: Food Coloring Series Revisited.

December 2nd, 2014 No comments

Red and Green Food 6

It’s already December — Another year flew by too fast and my computer just went kaput.  This month starts with a test of my new computer and return to Nibbles of Tidbits’ Food Coloring Series, featuring the relevant colors of Red & Green, and timely food ideas that spotlight them.

Red and Green Food 2

Most dishes can be deciphered without a recipe or tailored to your taste.

Red and Green Food

Previous Food Coloring Series posts are linked here — Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange, etc.

Red and Green Food 5

Some dishes start off festive, but once the Peppers and Cucumbers get eaten, then what?

Red and Green Food 3

If looking for more Red & Green Food Ideas, they’re linked here.

Red and Green Food 7

Merry Christmas to me from my new computer.

Red and Green Food 1

More to test and explore, after Shrimp Cocktails and picture-perfect Christmas Cookies.

Red and Green Food 4

An impressive Snowman Fruit Bowl that’s perfect for the season and looks easy to make.

Red and Green Food 8

Credits and additional instructions may be linked: Crostini’s, Shrimp Cocktails, Christmas Cookies, Christmas Wreath Vegetable Platter, BLT Salad, and Snowman Fruit Bowl.  Happy Holidays!

Halloween Cupcake & Cookie Decorating: Priceless Annual Treats.

October 27th, 2014 No comments

Yellowtail, Halloween 008

The true annual treat is spending time with best friends decorating Halloween Cookies, Cupcakes and Candy.  Each year we take home trays and boxes of homemade and hand decorated treats after a fun evening of trickery — It’s quite a funny bunch (below).

Halloween 2014 Friends

I’m truly grateful for all!

Yellowtail, Halloween 015

This year’s decorating ideas are posted here and others from previous years are linked here.

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We’re no design professionals, but have a lot of laughs and the Cookies always taste great.

Halloween Cookies 2014

It’s also possible that you may learn how not to decorate your Halloween Cookies here. 😉

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Halloween Appetizer Idea — Deviled Eggs with Olive Spiders.  You can figure it out.

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Happy Halloween from Nibbles of Tidbits and friends.

What Are The Best Things To Eat At Disneyland, I Asked My Phone.

October 22nd, 2014 No comments

Disneyland 015

What are the best foods to eat at Disneyland, I asked my semi-smart phone.  We were going to Disneyland and Disney California Adventure and wanted something different than an average Burger and Fries.  I hadn’t been to either park in 10 years.  After reviewing the search results, I chose two food dishes that were included on several lists — One at Disneyland and the other at Disney California Adventure, two places I’ve never known and probably wouldn’t have found.  Each sounded appealing.  We started with the Carthay Signature Fried Biscuits with Apricot Honey Butter at Carthay Circle Restaurant at Disney California Adventure.

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Carthay Circle Restaurant is fancier than expected, but we sought to have the best food at Disneyland.  We went there to try the Carthay Signature Fried Biscuits that are described as amazing and to-die-for.  Stuffed with White Cheddar, Bacon and Jalapenos they sound good.

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They don’t look like much on the outside, then surprise with a gooey middle.  With the Apricot Honey Butter, it’s interesting and different — I like its concentrated flavor and it’s not bad on the Biscuits, but we really didn’t fall in love with them.  They’re good, not great and expensive for its small size and amount.  Several Starters looked better to us and more filling.

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My husband set out to photo bomb Goofy, but wasn’t obvious enough — At Disneyland.

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Across the square from Disney California Adventure, we sought to have the Lobster Roll at the Harbour Galley Restaurant in Critter Country at Disneyland.  It too appears to be a Disneyland favorite.  It’s less fancy than Carthay Circle with only a few takeout windows.

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I wasn’t able to take a good photo of the Lobster Roll, but the Clam Chowder in a Bread Bowl looked, tasted and photographed well.  It too is well-liked by bloggers and papers.

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The Lobster Roll was great, with a good amount of Lobster and nice lemony flavor.

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We’d have the Lobster Roll again for $14.99, but not the Carthay Signature Fried Biscuits for $12.00.  Next visit we’ll try other Disneyland favorites discovered on my phone.  Thank you!

Totally 80’s Bar & Grille In Fullerton: Oh Good, It’s In The Hood.

October 5th, 2014 No comments

Totally 80's Bar

We can walk or bike to Totally 80’s Bar & Grille in Fullerton — It’s a relatively new Bar, Restaurant, Dance Club & Karaoke Bar in the neighborhood.  It occupies the space of a former Mexican Restaurant, Bar & Event spot.  There’s little change to its exterior other than the somewhat cheesy sign (sorry).  Its theme caught our attention and made it a must stop.

80's Bar 4

I love 80’s music and inside it’s a whole new retro world — We’re impressed!

80's Bar 1

It’s well decorated and fun throughout.  We’re unsure about the “Grille” part of Totally 80’s Bar & Grille, as we only tried the ‘Totally Awesome Tots’, which appear to be popular.  We tried two of the three offered — The Chili Cheese Tots and Nacho Cheese Tots.  The third, Tots Poutine includes Gravy and an Egg.  Good combinations.  The Tater Tots were crisp, but a bit expensive ($10), if not from their Late Night Menu ($6) — We’ll try the Tots Poutine then.

Totally 80's Bar - Robert Smith

Robert Smith (above) of one of my favorite bands, The Cure — We’re definitely going back to try and photograph more.  Actual 80’s bands, real and cover play here too.  We’re monitoring their events schedule.  Welcome to the hood Totally 80’s Bar & Grille.  Great to see you!

Related — That 80’s Bar in Montclair and New Wave Restaurant in Lakewood.

Listen To Dining With Dills On Angels Radio: Cheers To Elmer Too.

September 30th, 2014 No comments

Peter Dills

It’s Peter Dills in the photo with me.  He’s the son of a man I admired, Elmer Dills, a good man and former long-time Restaurant Reviewer, etc. on KABC.  Elmer passed away in 2008, but his son, Peter carries on his niceness and love of food.  As far back as he can remember, Peter was following Elmer from restaurant to restaurant — That’s some fabulous training!

Matt at The Catch

Did you know that Peter Dills has a radio show on Sundays on AM 830 KLAA Angels Radio?  It’s called Dining with Dills and starts at 11:00a.m.  Give it a listen.  We went to The Catch restaurant in Anaheim this day to celebrate Dining with Dills, and eat and drink of course.

The Catch Kitchen

The Catch kitchen (above) — I like its open look.  Can’t hide anything here.

The Catch Dining

It’s a large restaurant with dining all around — Above is just one stylish sliver of it.

The Catch Apps

Though blurred, I like the photo above — Delicious appetizers were served, but hard to obtain if you weren’t immediately adjacent to its introduction.  It was a bit of a frenzy to get them.

Peter Dills Event

I’m not sure if I got to try all the appetizers, but my favorite was a Fish Cake Lolli-Pop of some sort (not pictured) that I don’t currently see on their online menu — It was a round, crunchy fish cake served on a stick.  It had a great flavor and perfect texture.  I wanted more.

Peter Dills Event at The Catch

We over took the back room of The Catch, which lead out to a fenced in, outdoor patio.

With Patty Mitchell at The Catch

Me with Patty Mitchell, the Executive Producer at Peter Dills, TV Show, etc.  She’s sweet too!

The Catch Bar

The Bar at The Catch (above) — We need to spend time in here next visit.

City National Grove of Anaheim

The Catch is across the street from many events at the City National Grove of Anaheim.

Bistango Gardens: A Hidden Al Fresco Dining Area At Bistango.

August 31st, 2014 No comments

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I’ve loved Bistango Restaurant for years, its Bar, and paintings throughout its walls, and now there’s Bistango Gardens, a relaxing oasis in the heart of the Irvine business district.

Bistango Lamb Sliders

We recently enjoyed a sampling of Bistango GardensTerrace Menu designed for sharing.

Bistango Wine Toast

CHEERS to outdoor patio dining near a fountain with great Wine — We seek that out.

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The Souvlaki Greek Marinated Beef Kabobs (above) were nicely tender and flavorful.

Bistango Fish Tacos

They offer several tasty Small Plates, a few are pictured.  Some photos are from Bistango.

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See linked MENU for plate specifics.

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We tried all the items listed below, savored each bite and left wanting more.

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We especially liked Bistango Gardens‘ Lamb Sliders with Brandied Balsamic Cherries, Goat Cheese and Arugula on a Brioche Bun (pictured at top).  The flavor combination was perfect.

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Chili Marinated Shrimp (below) — See Bistango’s Menus to learn more about all.

Bistango Shrimp

The best part of this report is that… I will most likely be moving into the building across the street from Bistango, its Gardens and all of this, at the beginning of January 2015.  My other career, Paralegal, takes me there.  I was very happy to see all within walking distance from a high story window view in the center of great things.  I’m looking forward to more.  Thanks!

Bistango / Airport Tower

I appreciate Bistango’s exemplar hospitality over twenty-plus years.

The Hobbit Restaurant In Orange May Serve Your Best Meal Ever.

July 27th, 2014 No comments

The Hobbit Lamb

Have you ever been to The Hobbit?  It’s a restaurant and unique dining experience in Orange that has nothing to do with the novel, movie or Hobbit character, whew — At least I didn’t see any visual cues of it, though didn’t ask the origin of its name.  Regardless, it’s simply a great place to possibly have the best meal of your life, if you have a few hours to spare.

Shelly Freis at The Hobbit

After years of hoping to dine at The Hobbit, my husband took me for my birthday, another reason why I married him this year.  Dining here could be an annual occasion, he may be afraid to learn, as it’s not inexpensive, but worth the time and money — It’s a good value, I think.

The Hobbit Patio The Hobbit Entrance The Hobbit Dining Room

We’ve arrived — Who and what’s behind the door?  Looks like a speakeasy slot, I like it.

Thee Hobbit Bar

We started with a Glass of Wine and seat in the Bar (above) — The Hobbit experience starts with an optional drink in the Bar, or in one of the other sitting areas inside or outside.

Upstairs Hobbit Bar  The Hobbit - Me in Bar Mirror  Cheers at The Hobbit

After orientation of the Bar and various rooms within an old converted house, all head downstairs to the Wine Cellar for Champagne & Hors d’ Oeuvres (included in a fixed price).

The Hobbit Wine Cellar Stairs

You may eat and enjoy as many Hors d’ Oeuvres and drink as much Champagne as you like.

The Hobbit Hors d' Oeuvres

The photos don’t do all justice – Each Hors d’ Oeuvre was exceptional, delicious and top notch.

Beef Satay  The Hobbit App  At The Hobbit

Busy trying everything while I could (about ten dishes over and over again), I didn’t take notes — Amongst other dishes, they offered a smooth Liver Pâté, Steak Tartare, Beef Saté, Caviar, etc.  I’m personally not a big Caviar fan, but appreciate their generosity.

The Hobbit Caviar

I loved The Hobbit’s Steak Tartare — It was perfectly chilled and fresh.

Wine Cellar

If you like, while in the Wine Cellar, select a bottle of Wine to have with dinner.

The Hobbit - Our Dinner Table

The experience continues upstairs, from the Wine Cellar at a privately assigned table.

View from Dinner Table

It’s romantic too.

The Hobbit Dinner Roll

Even the Bread Roll was extra special, with a lot Herbs.

The Hobbit - Menu of the Day

The Hobbit meals come with an ever-changing menu/program, with intermission and all.

The Hobbit Salad before Intermission

Your menu will most likely be different, but ours included Seared Loin of Lamb with Organic Red Quinoa and a Tart Cherry Reduction (top photo), Butter Lettuce with Roquefort Dressing and Port Poached Pear (directly above), and Wild Mushroom Stuffed Filet Mignon (below).

Wild Mushroom Stuffed Filet

Almond Cake, Apricot Ice Cream and a Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse (below).

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Enlarge photo with menu (above) to view descriptions of all dishes.

The Hobbit Chefs in the Kitchen

During intermission that’s followed by Sorbet and the main entrée, we visited the kitchen and enjoyed our Wine on the outdoor patio, while hoping to make room for more food.

Matt & Me at The Hobbit

We toast to the Chefs and owners of The Hobbit — We LOVED our meal and time there.

Cheers to going back to The Hobbit someday...

Make another reservation for me, PLEASE!

Quick Reference Baby Shower & Bridal Shower Food Ideas.

July 24th, 2014 No comments

Baby Shower Idea

I’m not sure where the baby shower idea and photo (above) originated, but think it’s adorable, thus post it here along with my favorite bridal shower FOOD idea (below).

Wedding Shower Idea

More baby shower food ideas are here — More about my Cupcake Bridal Shower Cake is here.

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.

The Orange County Fair Starts Soon: More Culinary Contests To Enter.

June 27th, 2014 No comments

Fair Competitions

See what’s cooking at the OC Fair this year: Featuring 23 Days of Iconic Fair food, Celebrity Chefs, Craft Beer & Culinary Competitions and Exhibits — The 2014 OC Fair is cooking up a delicious summer for Fairgoers. From July 11 to August 10, 2014, the OC Fair is serving up summer fun, along with culinary events and new Fair food that are definitely worth the trip.

  • OC Fair Creations (Past Winner)Chicken Charlie is introducing the new-for-2014 Deep-Fried Doritos and Deep-Fried Chicken Skin in addition to his classic favorite fried treats of Oreos, cookie dough and Twinkies.
  • Bacon A-Fair is introducing Bacon-Wrapped Jack Daniels, a unique churro concoction with a little whiskey kick at the end (non-alcoholic). Also, a deep-fried bacon-wrapped turkey leg!Bacon Wrapped Turkey Leg
  • Biggy’s Meat Market is bringing gluten-free options this summer with GF hamburger buns, fries & a newly gluten-free The Big Rib.
  • Texas Donuts is putting a twist on its popular giant donuts with new flavors like Cherry Pop Rocks, Banana Chocolate Cream and Peanut Butter Cup. Also new this year, a Latin twist with the new deep-fried Gansito.
  • OC Fair Foodies, the OC Fair’s food-themed costumed characters, are back this summer. Join Olivia Orange, Cotton Candy Carl, Arturo Churro, Cornelius Corn and Ice Cream Scoop as they delight Fairgoers.
  • $2 Taste of Fair Food, held every Friday from Noon-4 p.m., offers Fairgoers the chance to taste Fair food for $2 per item. Fun-sized samples include funnel cake, tri-tip, lemonade, cinnamon rolls, corn dogs, tacos, gelato, cotton candy and more.Fair Competition Results
  • OC Brew Hee Haw, a craft beer roundup, is July 11-13 and will bring some of the best local craft beers to OC Fairgoers for five sessions of beer tastings, demonstrations and exhibits. Visit ocbrewheehaw.com for details and tickets.
  • Celebrity Chefs will bring their colorful cooking skills to The Hangar stage on three Thursdays. Scheduled appearances, include Carla Hall, co-host ABC’s lifestyle series “The Chew” (July 17, 4 p.m.); Roy Choi, founder of the famous Korean taco truck, Kogi BBQ (July 24, 4 p.m.); and Kelsey Nixon, host of her own show, “Kelsey’s Essentials” on the Cooking Channel (July 31, 4p.m.) Free with Fair admission and autograph sessions will follow each appearance. Presented by Vons.Fair Award - Shelly (Borrell) Freis
  • Chef Challenge will put talented culinary professionals in competition against each other with a themed cook-off every Friday at 7 p.m.: July 18 (Earth), July 25 (Water), August 1 (Air) and August 8 (Fire). Free with Fair admission.
  • Special Culinary Contests include Eating Smart Starts Here (July 19), Hot! Hot! Hot! Chili, Wings or Salsa (July 26), OC Cupcake Classic (August 2) and Fairtastic Food (August 9). Registration is the Wednesday before each contest. For a complete list, visit ocfair.com/competitions.
  • Daily Culinary Demonstrations can be enjoyed for free in the OC Promenade throughout the run of Fair. The Bakeology exhibit will highlight the wondrous things a baker can create from just butter, flour, eggs and sugar with daily demonstrations by Blackmarket Bakery chefs. Chef Ray Duey will carve works of art out of fruits and vegetables. Master Food Preserver Ernest Miller will teach Fairgoers how to preserve fresh vegetables, sauces and more. Artist Shaile Socher will create delicate edible sugar art and Cake Decorator Greggy Soriano (July 11-27 only) will make cake go from bland to grand.Fair 2013 Opening Day
  • Award-Winning Wines are available by the taste or glass in the Wine Courtyard throughout the Fair, and on weekends wine-lovers can learn more about the various varietals during the Orange County Wine Society’s Wine Seminars (most require an additional fee).
  • Centennial Farm, the OC Fair & Event Center’s year-round, three-acre demonstration farm is complete with crops, livestock and the Millennium Barn. Fairgoers can check out educational exhibits, agricultural organizations and the fruit and vegetable competitions.

The 2014 OC Fair, themed Summer Starts Here, is July 11 – August 10 and will bring 23 days of food, rides, exhibits, animals, music, action sports and fun, as well as the Super Pass, Toyota Summer Concert Series at the Pacific Amphitheatre and events in The Hangar and Action Sports Arena. The Fair is open Wednesday-Sunday. Concert tickets, action sports reserved seats, single-day general admission and the popular Super Pass are available for purchase online at ocfair.com or from the on-site Box Office. Free parking and shuttle service are available on Saturdays and Sundays from the Experian parking structure located off the Bristol St. exit of the 405 freeway.   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.

Fair Pie Contest

Credits:  Photos were taken during previous visits to the Orange County Fair and text is republished from the OC Fair & Event Center Communications Department.

 

Reflections Of Food On The Celebrity Reflection Cruise Ship.

May 21st, 2014 No comments

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We recently cruised on the Celebrity Reflection by Celebrity Cruises and now reflect on the food we had on the ship.  We didn’t have a bad meal.  The food was delicious and plentiful.

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Thanks to Executive Chef Darran Ridley (above) and his staff for our never-ending meals.

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I took the Heartbeat of the Operation Galley Tour — A behind the scenes look at the Galley.

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In the Galley are photos (above) of every dish prepared for the Main Restaurant (below).

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Guests seated above were waiting to tour the Galley, while Chefs answered their questions.

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Did you know 2,300 Dozen Eggs and 3,800 lbs. of Butter are on the Celebrity Reflection for an average 10-Day Cruise?  And 1,000 Gallons of Ice Cream and 75,000 lbs. of Fresh Fruit.

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2,000 liters of Heavy Cream, 1,900 lbs. of Salmon and 12,300 lbs. of Potatoes get consumed.

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3,000 lbs. of Tenderloin and 2,740 lbs. of Rack of Lamb — I don’t recall how many Lobsters.

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Unlimited Main Restaurant/Dining Room FOOD is available inclusive for all.

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Post cruise reflection… I should’ve had more Oysters Rockefeller.

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I didn’t photograph everything and don’t have any menu descriptions, but know that I would’ve appreciated finding this information after researching Celebrity Reflection.

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All food posted is for the Main Restaurant and included in the cruise price.

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 For an extra cost, Celebrity Reflection has several other restaurants to choose from.

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The ever-changing Main Restaurant MENU was so good each night, we never strayed.

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Celebrity Reflection also offered a Sushi Making Demonstration and Star Chefs Cooking Show.

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And several Wine Tasting Workshops around the ship.

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Our Eastern Caribbean Cruise stopped in Puerto Rico, St. Thomas and St. Maarten

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We thoroughly enjoyed each port with Celebrity Reflection’s lovely meals woven in between.

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Baked Alaska on a cruise, of course.

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A Chocolate Soufflé.

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And Cherries Jubilee.

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We were in Concierge Class and received daily snacks and flowers — A sample daily snack (below) included Olives, Hummus, Chips, Cheese and Salsa.  It could’ve been better.

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We became fond of Cellars Masters, a sophisticated, Enomatic Wine Dispensing Bar (below).

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Us (below) on Formal Night, while on our Honeymoon, btw.

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Celebrity Reflection docked in Puerto Rico (below), our favorite port, though we loved them all.

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Info regarding our favorite Bar and Restaurant in San Juan, Puerto Rico is reported here.

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Cheers to us here and always!  I didn’t even mention Celebrity Reflection’s Buffet… tmi.