Why not set-up a theater in your backyard? Doesn’t this look cozy? Now, what movie?
The top line may push it a bit, but I concur with the general finding. All is good – Thank God.
Guess who/what will be celebrating a big anniversary this month? It’s not the pictured couple if you’re trying to decipher the faces – I don’t know who they are (probably models), but what a great way to commemorate. Come back April 24th with Champagne in hand for the answer.
We recently traveled to Oxnard for a hands on tour with a California Avocado Grower.
It’s a special day when you start it with an outdoor brunch on a hill.
AVOCADOS — The Star of the day in every way.
We learned about growing techniques from Dan Pinkerton on his farm.
Bloggers from all around were invited to experience the California Avocado Story.
We RSVP’ed Y-E-S!
And you can see why we were glad to experience it all.
Avocado in EVERYTHING was the Menu — Starting with a Shrimp and Scallop Ceviche.
Bacon Smoked with Avocado Wood.
A very fresh Fruit Salad, including Avocados — It’s a Fruit you know, right!?
Omelettes with Tomatoes, Asparagus, Cheese and sliced Avocados.
Baby Greens Salad with Avocado.
Spring Vegetable, Sausage and California Avocado Frittata.
Warm Bagels with an Avocado Spread.
Grilled Fajita Potatoes with Avocados.
A Chocolate Mousse dessert made with Avocados.
Professionals also photographed Avocados’ glory.
My first plate (below) before going back for more Bacon Smoked with Avocado Wood.
Take all the Avocados you want they told us — Thank you!
We stuffed our face (and bags to go).
We loved the view, brunch and our friendly, informative tour guides.
Our drive was already worth it.
Then it was on to Dan and Susan Pinkerton’s other grove/farm/crop, along with Jan from the California Avocado Commission to pick our own Avocados and possibly drive a tractor.
Learning about tree buds and what to look for and hope for when growing Avocados.
The beautiful trees were loaded.
Looking to pick some Avocados.
As if all wasn’t enough, it was on to a tour of one of California’s leading Avocado packing houses, Mission Produce — It was truly a behind-the-scenes look at a farm-to-fork journey.
Hair nets please everyone — Oh goody.
Thousands of Avocados — Crates filled on farms and hauled off by tractors to be here.
First a cold wash to bring down the Avocados’ basking-in-the-sun temperature.
The cool-down is an important step to Mission Produce.
On to the belts and rollers, through specially made machinery.
First a wash, then light wax.
Now sorting — Second tier Avocados, Grade 2′s get tossed on top for separate packaging.
Others move on to be weighed, stickered by size and PLU, then packaged.
Each cup weighs then drops the Avocado — I think the heaviest lasts the longest. Not sure.
Boxing Avocados to be shipped to grocery stores and restaurants near YOU.
You’ve seen them sold in stores and now you know the care involved — All is well run.
More Avocados to take home — Thank you! And a 1/2 Avocado Stress Ball. Does it look real?
We’re grateful for all that grows, those who grow it and those who get it to us.
What an amazing day — God bless California Avocados.
At The Getty Center in Los Angeles surrounded by works of art indoors and out.
A tasteful way to spend a day B at the Get-TAY – It ain’t no ghetto. We sang… At the Get-TAY.
A Banquet Piece by Pieter Claesz (1630), a favorite of our food related selections is pictured above – Others are woven between photos of pristine grounds and architecture, spectacular views, and surprisingly great Pizza. Admission is FREE to see all. Parking is $15.00.
Flowering Maze over a reflecting pool — Go through it on a boat. JK, it’s just for viewing.
Still Life Tea Set by Jean-Etienne Liotard (Circa 1781).
City and ocean views are framed within 30-inch square grids of travertine — Beauty abounds.
Still Life with Grapes and Other Fruit by Luca Forte (1630).
There are endless angles to appreciate at The Getty Center.
The Restaurant (below) offers Brunch and sophisticated Lunch and Dinner MENUS.
And the Cafe at The Getty Center is located below it.
The Cafe is somewhat cafeteria-style offering convenient, prepared and cook to order food.
We opted for the Pepperoni Pizza, Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio.
It (above) unexpectedly turned out to be one of the best Pizzas I’ve ever had.
Cheers to the Pizza – I’m ready to go back for IT, more exhibits and new views.
Still Life with Lemons, Oranges and a Pomegranate by Jacob Van Hulsdonck (Circa 1620).
Just a few of the 360-degree available views.
Still Life with Fish, Vegetables, Gougeres, Pots and Cruets on a Table by Jean-Baptiste Simeon Chardin (1769) is shown above, and more architectural wonder is modeled below — A photography student’s or wide-eyed explorer’s jackpot is at The Getty Center daily.
Did you know that Vincent Van Gogh’s Irises (1889) is there too?
Sit amongst courtyard fountains and well manicured trees — Nothing is out of place.
The Museum Store is entertaining in itself with its unique items for play and purchase.
We were at the Get-TAY at the right time to see one of infinity beautiful sunsets.
And A Maid Milking a Cow in a Barn by Gerard Ter Borch (Circa 1652).
Is the cow on the left looking at us? I loved its face in person and miss him already.
We saw (and ate) some thaaangs! Don’t miss it.
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.
Can’t have Burnt Toast featured at the top of the page for too long – Who wants to keep staring at that? Not me. Our recent Brunch at the Rusty Pelican was excellent (and much prettier to see). That’s all about it for now. We’ll go back for more info and Champagne.
My Orange Zest Cheesecake with a Milk Chocolate Ganache recently won a 2nd Place Ribbon at the Orange County Fair. I plan to submit its recipe for the 2012 Orange County Fair Cookbook and will subsequently link to it here. Until then, stay tuned for snapshots of our recent OC Fair Foodie Tour. We found several healthy options in addition to the indulgent.
Shelly’s Jellies — I thought they were winners and now I’m glad to have it confirmed.
Made with real Pink Grapefruit, Oranges, Lemons and Limes (Juice and Zest), they burst with natural flavor — Some days I can’t stop eating them. They are fairly easy to make, but time consuming to cut, sugar and rotate (when necessary to dry out extra moist sides). Since Shelly’s Jellies taste and yield is so great, some have asked me about selling ‘em. That’s TBD.
My Roasted Peach Scones received an Honorable Mention — I’ll take it. Thanks!
And my Orange Zest Cheesecake with a Chocolate Ganache received a Second Place Ribbon.
I’m thrilled with the results and will soon be reporting more about OC Fair food.
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.
It’s a relatively small restaurant with airy, open indoor/outdoor seating.
We thoroughly enjoyed our patio seat and hope for the same one next time.
We like the Tasting Menus so much, we want to try them ALL.
There are 9 Tasting Menus to choose from, which are basically four course meals, with Wine paired with each course – The food portions and Wine pours are extremely generous too.
The Old Vine Café is stylish and its virtuoso menu is presented on painted canvas.
It was hard to decide, but we chose The Premium Tasting Menu and Savory Tasting Menu.
TOAST between each course and if you fancy a Wine, take a bottle home. We fell for the 2007 Von Hovel Riesling Spatlese, Mosel Saar Ruver Germany. It was crisp and not too sweet.
The pictured are generally described — See Dinner Menu for complete (better) descriptions.
At top from first course down, we savored Large Shrimp with a Lemon Grass Curry Sauce.
And Seasonal Greens with Crispy Prosciutto, Fried Onions and Maytag Blue Cheese, a giant Hand Made Raviolo with Smoked Duck, Goat Cheese and Porcini Mushrooms in Brown Butter with Sage, and Prosciutto Wrapped Baby Artichokes with a Citrus Infused Olive Oil.
Char Grilled Lamb Chops with a Blueberry Malbec Demi Glace — The Sauce was magical.
Beef Tenderloin Stroganoff with Shitake Mushrooms served over Hand Made Fettuccini.
Artisan Cheese with Marcona Almonds and Fresh Fruit.
Dark Chocolate Cream Cheese Cake — Cheers to that with Port.
All is set near tall pine trees, a CAMP fire, hammock and the largest wind chimes I’ve seen.
Mark McDonald is the Old Vine Café’s Chef and owner, and a true expert on Local Cuisine, where Orange County’s Best Restaurants are highlighted . I’m also a listed expert and humbled to be named amongst others far more knowledge, especially after this meal.
It’s worth the sometimes parking hassles of The Camp – Once you’re there, it’s a delicious escape. I love it, I love it, I love it, like a Joyologist, and should have my leg kicked up high.
Already ready for the next OVC Tasting Menu.
Behind the scenes with Food Bloggers on Oscar day at Siren Studios in Hollywood – Cool stuff. I had the pleasure of meeting the talented and nice people behind Food Flirt, The Duo Dishes, In Erika’s Kitchen, Run Eat Repeat, Rockin’ Mama, Romy Raves and ICBINB!
A Toast to the Red Carpet by ICBINB! with Molly Sims, Carson Kressley and Brooke Burke.
Siren Studios wait area or S for Shelly — Hhhmmmm.
Leaving studio on the way to the W, just a couple blocks away.
A Champagne toast in the mirror and the option of Toast with I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!
More information about the dishes and RECIPES are HERE.
My favorite was the Pineapple Upside Down Cupcakes pictured above.
Added to all from the W were Kobe Beef Sliders (above).
Off the Fantastic Suite was an outdoor lounge set with Beer, Wine, Champagne and Sodas.
And beyond the outdoor lounge was another patio across the street from the Pantages.
If you got through all that and still want to be entered into a DRAWING to WIN a classy Ralph Lauren Serving Tray, (4) Champagne Glasses, Wine Charms and decorative Butter Knife, do (1) of these things before March 8th ends PST.
We’ll draw (1) name from all entries and notify him/her/you on March 9th with a CONGRATULATIONS! You may enter once a day via any means noted above. If you already Like Nibbles of Tidbits on Facebook (and probably don’t, hahaha), a subsequent comment there or here will count as an entry. Good luck and thanks ICBINB! Peeps.
Searching for an adaptable Peach Ice Cream recipe, I came across Sticky Gooey Creamy Chewy’s Roasted Peach Ice Cream and it was over and on – I began roasting Peaches.
I had 5 Peaches, 1% Milk, Cream, Sugar & Vanilla on hand and made the best recipe with all.
Inspired by the linked recipe, I got lucky with the ingredients and measurements used to make the pictured Roasted Peach Ice Cream, and will happily make the same over and over again.
Always wanting to simplify a process, I merely blended the ingredients, and then transferred the mixture to an Ice Cream Maker to churn — And it couldn’t have turned out better.
It’s crazy good – I’ll roast Peaches forever for this Ice Cream.
A new favorite, Roasted Peach Ice Cream is documented below — Try it.
RECIPE: Halve, pit, and toss 5 – 6 Peaches with Brown Sugar (1 - 2 Tbsps.) and roast them cut side down in the oven at 400° for 25 – 30 minutes, and then set Roasted Peaches aside to cool. Add cooled Roasted Peaches (with skins) to a blender with 1/2 Cup of Cream, 2/3 Cup of Sugar and 1 Tsp. of Vanilla. Once well-blended, add 1 Cup of 1% Milk and blend a little longer to combine. Transfer mixture to an Ice Cream Maker and churn for 30 minutes. Viola.
I’m beyond thrilled to know it’s easy to create one of my favorite Candies, Fruit Gems, also known as Fruit Jellies aka Orange Slices, when flavored Orange, like the first batch I made.
I found a Raspberry Jelly Candy Recipe that I adapted to make the pictured Orange Gems.
Orange Gem RECIPE In Short: Boil 1 Cup of Corn Syrup with 1 Cup of Sugar and Zest of 1 Orange, and in a separate sauce pan boil 3/4 Cup of fresh Orange Juice with 7 Tbsps. of Fruit Pectin and 1/4 Tsp. of Baking Soda — Marry the two combinations, once boiled, and stir for a minute longer, then pour mixture into easily unmold-able pan (as shown).
Bendable, disposable aluminum pans work well for unmolding Candy.
Before dropping into Sugar, let Candy sit and set, loosely covered on the counter overnight.
Cut into strips, then squared gems and coat all sides in Sugar — Voila, they’re awesome!
They taste better than any I’ve purchased — If you love Fruit Gems, you have to make these.
All raved about them too – I made a second batch with Pink Grapefruit (below).
And a third batch with Blueberry Juice and Lemon Zest.
The Grapefruit Gems were superb, like the Orange ones, but the Blueberry Gems were comparably bland, and the Lemon Zest took over — Straight-up Lemon Gems would be good, or Lime Zest with Coconut Extract, the possibilities are endless. All natural first.
The posted RECIPE is an Award WINNER and officially named Chilled Tomato and Cucumber Gazpacho. It’s not a Mexican Shrimp Cocktail silly — Duly advised, but it reminds me of one. Either way, it may be the best I’ve had. It’s fresh tasting, flavorful and super easy to make.
Chilled Tomato and Cucumber Gazpacho
3 ripe Tomatoes, cored and cut into large cubes [I seeded them]
1 Cucumber, peeled, seeded and cut into large cubes [I didn't seed it; used an English Cucumber]
1/2 Green, Yellow or Orange Pepper (or tricolor combo), diced [I used half a Green, half an Orange]
1/2 Shallot, or 1 Tablespoon Red Onion, diced [Shallot]
1/2 cup Scallions, chopped
Juice of 1 Lime
1 T. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 T. Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 t. Tabasco [or other hot pepper sauce, like Red Rooster, which I now like better--use 1 T.]
1/2 cup V-8 Juice [buy one small bottle at a liquor store; grocery stores only sell it by the case!]
Lemon Pepper to taste
Seasoned Salt to taste
Combine all Soup ingredients in blender until well blended (ingredients will retain some pulp, which is great). Pour into chilled bowls and garnish as desired. Makes 1/2 gallon–6 appetizer servings or 3 main dish servings. Tastes better if you make it the night before.
Garnish (with one or more)
1/2 lb. chilled, cooked Shrimp [buy the fresh $10 Shrimp tray from Costco; scarf the leftovers with the Cocktail Sauce]
1 chilled, sliced Avocado
1 T. fresh Cilantro, chopped
I recently made the same for a Holiday Party and everyone loved it well chilled in a cup.
It starts off cute, simple and sweet with a melting Snowman Sugar Cookie, or is it sad?
Purity, honesty, clarity, simplicity and love are white, so are Pumpkins, Parsnips and Pigs.
When asked my favorite color, I used to say WHITE, to often hear “white’s not a color.”
Is white a color?
Pearly White French Macarons are so luxurious and seem a joy to lick.
A Clam in Broth is calming and innocent, what it should be, but could be incredibly bland.
Eggs, a versatile ingredient that’s trippy when over-analyzed, like the Meat aisle.
Talent, intuition, cleanliness, transparency and wisdom are cherished gifts in ones short time.
So much is bigger than you and me, let’s just eat, laugh, love and be grateful for all.
I’m unimportant compared to many things, but better off than Bacon – It’s too well liked.
Cheese made from a cow, goat and sheep are shared with bountiful Root Vegetables from soil.
A Picnic in a Vineyard is on a to-do list — Realized someday with a camera Lord willing.
In color a surprise would be clear or white – Yes?! Though not analogous to above unknowns.
And a white to-go bag for two today — Sometimes it’s just better that way. Ciao.
The Nutrition Source INFO may be helpful — Be humble, it’s not all about YOU (or me).