It’s happened again, a favorite dish is taken off the menu. For some reason I tend to favor dishes that don’t sell as well as others. This time it’s not much longer after reporting about it that it’s gone. It was Simmzy’s Cauliflower with Cilantro Pesto, linked here. After sitting down with a Beer Flight at Simmzy’s Long Beach location, we learned it’s no longer on their menu. What? Maybe they will bring it back. Until that fine day, we tried Simmzy’s Caramelized Brussels Sprouts (pictured), a suggested popular dish. It’s good, but it’s not their super-tasty Cauliflower with Cilantro Pesto that is now on my copycat list. I must try to recreate what I can no longer point to and have. Aside from these dishes, Simmzy’s menu offers much I’d like to try.
Much is growing here this year. It’s something I’ve always wanted. An edible garden. I want to grow everything possible to eat — Fruit, herbs, vegetables, berries, nuts, you name it. It would be a dream come true. Though we’re unable to grow everything, it’s a better crop than last year.
Grapes forming on healthy vines.
Six different types of Tomatoes, four stalks of Corn, seven Walla Walla Onions, and three types of Sweet Peppers are growing strong, while Cesar the tortoise mows the backyard lawn.
Before (above) and after (below) in just weeks — Corn, Tomatoes, Peppers and Onions are taking off.
Herbs (Baby Basil, Oregano, Mint, Chives and Thyme), Jalapenos, Arugula, Fennel, Dill and various kinds of Lettuce are doing well in our other raised garden. A couple seeds we planted I can’t recall.
Heirloom Tomatoes are starting to form — It’s a beautiful sight. All looks healthy.
Boysenberries — We bought a Boysenberry plant from Knott’s Berry Farm and now see a mini berry.
Lemons — A staple for zest and juice in many dishes.
Strawberries — The birds or something else usually gets them before we do.
Too many Tangelos sometimes, but we appreciate the tree.
Two Pineapples are clearly visible with the potential for two more.
Spring is springing — We’re grateful for all that grows and lives. Thanks to God.
If all goes well, we’ll be thrilled to show a bounty this summer.
Garden Update: June 12, 2016 (check back for future updates and bounty).
It’s from Simmzy’s Eat – Drink – Pub — I had seen photos of great looking food at Simmzy’s and have wanted to dine there for some time. While in Huntington Beach recently, we stopped at Simmzy’s for a Beer and Starter. Only one, since we had just dined at Saint Marc footsteps away, but we had to try something. We opted for the Cauliflower with Cilantro Pesto, caramelized florets with Garlic Breadcrumbs and Lemon (pictured above and described below). It has such a tasty, bold, lemony flavor I had it again at Simmzy’s Long Beach location a couple weeks later.
Simmzy’s Eat – Drink – Pub’s Long Beach location is on a corner in Belmont Shore (below).
It’s where the Shore House Cafe used to be when I lived in Belmont Shore years ago.
Simmzy’s Menu — Enlarge for a better view.
Simmzy’s Huntington Beach location is pictured above — Most seats offer an ocean view across PCH.
Though we planted late this year, we’re enjoying the Radishes. They’re pushing through the soil daily alerting they are ready to pick — It took about 4 weeks from seeds to grow and eat them.
And we learned that Beans and Peas practically grow overnight, but as of today they are far from being ready to eat, especially since our large
turtle tortoise (Cesar) ate them when we weren’t looking. We wrongly planted them in the lower planter, which we’re in the process of amending.
As for the other seeds we planted, much is growing or trying to grow. Our Purple Cabbage has sprouted large leaves, but the row of Purple Cabbage growing at the Orange County Fair includes numerous large heads of Cabbage. Our garden is coming along slowly, but we’re optimistic.
I wonder what we get to eat (before Cesar) next — To be determined and announced.
Would you believe we grew this? You shouldn’t because we didn’t. We bought it at the Fullerton Market in downtown Fullerton. Though I had a Sweet Onion at home, I had to get this giant one for $3. You can see the size difference below, although it was more impressive in person. People stopped us to ask what it was. It should’ve been entered in the Orange County Fair.
We continue to tend to our real life garden and we’re starting to see the Radishes, Carrots, Eggplant, Purple Cabbage, Sweet Onion, Green Onion and possibly the Swiss Chard grow — We have a long way to go to grow such a large Onion and will be happy growing one that’s any size.
In two raised garden beds newly built by my wonderful husband and part-time Nibbles of Tidbits photographer, Matt, we planted seeds to grow Carrots, Radishes, Beets, Purple and Green Cabbage, Eggplant, Sweet Onions, Swiss Chard, Butter Lettuce, Broccoli and a Lettuce mix — I THANK him for making one of my dreams come true. I’ve always wanted a vegetable garden and ideally hope to grow most food plants available to utilize and enjoy on a daily basis, but happily start here.
After only a few days we’re seeing life — What a joy.
We’ve been excited to check and tend to them each day. Much attention will be given.
Check back to see how all develop — We’re hopeful for free food.
Jury Duty is always fun — Not, though I did appreciate the hour-and-a-half lunch and not having been impaneled this year. It wasn’t so bad under those circumstances, especially with a multitude of above-average food options within walking distance. I wanted to eat at several. The Jury Room at Orange County Superior Court’s Central Justice Center in Santa Ana provided a map and list of restaurants to help all get to a tasty meal and back to the courthouse again. It was very helpful.
The website associated with the Restaurant Guide and Downtown Santa Ana Map is linked here.
It was hard to choose just one restaurant — I almost wanted more Jury Duty, but instead will go back with the map and list on my own time. During my one-day duty, I opted to eat at Chapter One: The Modern Local. I had previously seen and liked several items on their menu and still wonder why I chose the Organic OC Vegetable Basket. I love roasted vegetables, but the pictured weren’t roasted nearly enough. They were pretty, but all were too hard and seemingly raw. I had to take them home and cook ’em more, though I didn’t want to bring leftovers back to the jury room. I’d order something different next time, as much there sounds appetizing.
Eat Downtown Santa Ana — I value the provided information. It makes nearby Jury Duty better.
Have you ever tried Ethiopian food? I hadn’t until recently. Do you know anything about it? I just moved to Fullerton near several Ethiopian restaurants. Curious about them, I researched ‘local Ethiopian food’ to learn which is best. Since those closest (Tana, Abyssinia & Merhaba) had good reviews on Yelp, I became less clear where to go, thus I tried and compared them all myself, along with my adventurous husband – One Vegetarian Combination Plate at a time, served on Injera, a sourdough-risen flatbread with a slightly spongy texture.
We started our Local Ethiopian Food Tour’ at Tana Ethiopian Restaurant (above) on La Palma Avenue in Anaheim. It’s located in a small strip mall and doesn’t look like much on the outside, but inside it’s relaxed and smells like something good is cooking. Don’t be timid to go inside, everyone’s nice — A common theme of all three. There’s a better world inside each.
We had a Vegetarian Combination Plate at each restaurant — It’s a varied combination of Shiro Wot, Kik Alicha, Gommen, Yemiser Wot, Sinegkarya, Lentil Stew, Potato & Carrot Wot, etc., which generally translates into Cabbage, Spinach, Potatoes, Carrots, Lentils, Split Peas, Green Beans and/or Chard cooked with Onions, Garlic, Ginger, Chili Powder, Turmeric and other spices. A Wot is a thick stew of different vegetarian and non-vegetarian types.
Inside Tana (above) — Toasting with African Beer. Beer & Wine is served at all three.
No utensils are provided — You eat with your hands using the Injera. It appears most meals are served on it and more is provided on the side. We didn’t take lessons on how to eat. We just tore-off a piece of Injera, pinched a little Wot and ate it. It worked well and made us full.
The Injera can be quite filling — Towards the end, I wanted a fork to eat less of it.
Abyssinia Ethiopian Cuisine (below) is the second Ethiopian restaurant we tried in Anaheim, California — It’s located off West Lincoln Avenue and it too is unfancy on the outside and welcoming inside. Its Vegetarian Combination Plate also offered ten unique dishes.
Both Vegetarian Combination Plates thus far had similar dishes with a Salad.
Except for the Salad, most dishes are served warm, though above had additional cold dishes.
Inside Abyssinia Ethiopian Cuisine (above) — Toasting with Honey Wine & African Beer.
We also tried their Doro Wot aka Doro Wat – A Spicy Chicken Stew made with Chicken Legs and Hard Boiled Eggs. The Sauce was flavorful and the Chicken was tender, but there wasn’t enough of it — Abyssinia’s Vegetarian Combo was more filling than their Doro Wot.
And finally, we tried Merhaba East African Restaurant (below), last on this tour, but certainly not least. Consistent with the others, its exterior isn’t pretty, especially sandwiched between an Emergency Walk-In Center and a Thrift Store, but there’s a friendly escape inside.
As shown, Merhaba’s Vegetarian Combination Plate (below) has six dishes and no Salad. It includes fewer dishes than Tana’s and Abyssinia’s Combos, but we both liked Merhaba’s plate the best. Each dish had an abundance of flavor. It’s quality, not quantity at Merhaba.
It’s funny… I was least excited to go to Merhaba, mostly because it has less of a presence online, but it may now be my first pick. It’s similarly comfortable inside too (below).
Cheers to Merhaba with a different African Beer.
Next time we’ll try their special Coffee (below), which is served after a ceremonial process.
As reported, Tana Ethiopian Restaurant, Abyssinia Ethiopian Cuisine and Merhaba East African Restaurant are indeed good and worth a visit and more. All should definitely try Ethiopian food. Contrary to what some think, Ethiopian food is filling and appetizing.
It wasn’t easy saving these Crispy Fruit as munchies for our cruise, because I LOVE Freeze Dried Fruit, and admit I did eat Crispy Green’s Crispy Tangerine too quickly to photograph it.
Pictured above is the Crispy Fruit Pineapple aka Freeze Dried Pineapple — It is indeed crispy, like a Chip, and should not be confused with Dried Fruit, generally with a chewy texture.
We were leaving Miami here for Puerto Rico, St. Thomas and St. Maarten, amongst the Virgin Islands, with bon voyage Fresh Apples and its Freeze Dried counter-part pictured below.
The Apples were equally crunchy and crisp, either way — Fresh and/or Freeze Dried.
Crispy Green makes it right, and crispy, which is everything to good Freeze Dried Fruit.
It was then on to planning our first breakfast on the Celebrity Reflection — Sail back for more.
How to contribute to Thanksgiving — Make this Turkey Vegetable Platter for your family and/or friends. One friend is making this for her family on Thanksgiving and she’s going to send us a photo when it’s done. We’ll be posting it here in an update. That ain’t no jive.
The ten winning photographs in the Idaho Potato Recipe Photo Contest are now posted on the Idaho Potato Commission’s website here. As previously reported, one of my ten entered photographs was chosen as a winner. Pictured here is the Idaho Potato Vegetable Casserole Supreme, which didn’t win, but is our victor for flavor — Recipe and winning photo are here.
You can’t see the Sofritas under the tasty selection of toppings on my Chipotle Salad, and don’t be afraid when you do — Chipotle’s Sofritas are made with shredded Tofu that’s braised with Chipotle Chilis, roasted Poblanos and aromatic Spices. Its spiciness makes it desirable.
Sofritas is an option for vegans or anyone who likes its flavor — We eat it all.
It looks like this (below) and probably better in person. 😉
Chipotle Mexican Grill always seems to be busy, but the line usually moves along quickly.
You have to slow the employees down to get exactly what you want, but it’s okay, I guess.
They’re making a Burrito for another and a Burrito Bowl and Crispy Tacos with Sofritas for us.
Guacamole costs extra — I’m going to want a BIG scoop, thank you.
I love Chipotle’s delicate, crispy Taco Shells, but one must eat ’em fast for optimum crunch.
At times I could imagine I was eating Ground Beef Tacos instead of Tofu ones.
Though Sofritas is good, there’s a Barbacoa mountain to climb — I LOVE it, as evidenced here.
Chipotle’s MENU has something for all — It’s easy to have a good meal there.
It’s toasted Sourdough Bread and sliced Avocado drizzled with Olive Oil and spattered with several evenly distributed dots of Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce with Salt & Pepper. This snack, lunch, dinner and/or breakfast was originally prepared to fill the What to Make with Avocados post and to best use all the California Avocado Commission Avocados received, but I’m now having this tasty combination (almost) every day. It’s simple to prepare, yet so very good.
It’s easy to eat all above, especially Blueberries and Pineapple — Stay hydrated my friends.
Meet Yolanda’s Fridge — The latest STAR on the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. It would inspire me to cook and eat (and drink) well. All is easily identifiable and accessible. It’s pretty like Yolanda too, and better stay pretty since it’s a walk-in fridge with see-through doors. I love its contents in both photographs. Pre-washed and ready to eat is a most ideal treat.
Where’s the Grey Poupon? Hopefully there’s a hidden fridge too for the less attractive food, condiments and leftovers. I wonder!? Yolanda’s Fridge is on Twitter — Why not ask it. Huh?
I try to avoid politics here, but better decisions need to be made — People and animals first.
I set out to assess and collect information regarding 2013 Food Trends and thankfully found a compilation of several predictions at Nutrition Unplugged and many are linked (below) for convenience. I’m glad to see that Cauliflower will be taking over for last year’s over-rated Kale trend, since I like to roast it in the oven with Garlic Cloves and Lemon. Happy eating in 2013!
Andrew Freeman & Co. – How Hotel & Restaurant Trends Will Shape a New Reality in 2013
Baum + Whiteman – 17 Hottest Food and Dining Trends for 2013
Cooking Light – Our Predictions: 2013 Food Trends
Epicurious – Epicurious Predicts the Top 10 Food Trends of 2013
Food Network – 2013 Predictions from Food Network Kitchens
FohBoh – 2013 Food Trends
Innova Market Insights – Top Trends for 2013
Meat Poultry – Top Food Trends for 2013
National Restaurant Association – What’s Hot 2013 Chef Survey
Orange County Register – Food Trends for 2013
Phil Lempert – The Top 10 Food Trend Predictions for 2013
Produce Marketing Association’s Produce Trends – Produce Trends
Sterling-Rice Group – Cutting-Edge Dining Trends of 2013
Technomic – Technomic’s Take: What’s Ahead in 2013?
The Food Channel – Top Ten Food Trends of 2013
Considering the next color to be featured in our Food Coloring Series. Perhaps 50 shades of GRAY? We’ve previously highlighted orange, purple, yellow, green, blue, red, white, black, brown and pink. What color should be next? Gold is valuable. Rust isn’t. Silver? That’s gray.
I made a variation of these Baked Green Bean Fries — They question whether or not they can be called “Fries” since they’re not fried. What do you think? Are Fries determined by shape or cooking method? I understand the debate, but can’t take a side. We say both.
We dipped them in Ranch Dressing, just like French Fries, but call ’em Stix if you insist.
Either way, I likely won’t be making them again, as they’re just okay for the effort.
Heather’s RECIPE is HERE — The Green Beans are basically coated with Egg and seasoned Bread Crumbs, then baked in the oven. I used Panko Bread Crumbs instead and seasoned them with Smoked Paprika and Ground Chipotle, Salt and Pepper. They were of interest to try, but I prefer Green Beans simply made with Butter, Lemon Zest and S & P, or with Bacon.
Apologies for the poor copycat photos — Love to experiment with almost everything.
Hhhmmmm — Not sure where to start regarding the above, so instead report about the Carrot Soup I made and will post the recipe when prepared again and photographed. It was a superb combination of Roasted Carrots, Chicken Stock, Caramelized Onions, Roasted Garlic and Fresh Thyme, puréed. It was beautiful, complex and flavorsome. The pictured Carrots weren’t used for my Soup, somehow it wouldn’t seem right!? Should they put on pants?
Happy Leap Year — It’s a bizarre extra day every four years. I love Gary Larson.
Mustard Braised Brussels Sprouts with Dijon and Shallots sounded good to me too.
I thought the cooking process was interesting, especially the beginning. I like how the Brussels Sprouts are placed cut side down in Olive Oil undisturbed for 5 minutes — Most were golden brown. Shallots and Broth are then added and all is cooked covered for 20 minutes.
The exact RECIPE is here.
Remove Brussels Sprouts, stir in Dijon Mustard until well blended, and cook 2 minutes more.
Pour the Mustard Sauce over the reserved Brussels Sprouts (add optional Parsley) and serve.