Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year - Resolutions

For me, it's been a very craptastic year. I really don't want to get into why. I know I'm not alone in all the things that have gone wrong this year. A few great things happened this year too and I'm still fortunate to have a great family and an amazing group of friends who have kept me as sane as possible.

I have two New Years resolutions:

1. Be as happy as I can be. I am over being and feeling beat down. This is a new year and I'm moving on.
2. Blog more. This should be the easier of the two but we'll see.

I have so many ideas and I find myself feeling that I need to focus more on one area of my foodie blog. Do I do restaurant reviews, do I do my budget friendly things, I also need to loose weight so do I focus on being a foodie on diet? These are the things that make me go hmmmm.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


Chilaquiles are so good. It's like Mexican Lasagna in a way. You just layer sauce of your choice, tortillas, and really anything else you can think of. Its common to have them for breakfast and add eggs to them. We eat them for dinner. I can make them ahead of time and put them in the fridge and then put them in the oven and set the timer to have them done when I get home.

I use a basic red sauce. I buy the sauce from the store and then add to it. I start with Mexican Chocolate. It's delicious. It's like half semi-sweet, half unsweetened chocolate but with other "stuff" added. I don't know exactly what's in there but I know there are some cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg. You should buy it and save it. Use it for hot chocolate. It's so good. I melt the chocolate in the bottom of a heavy pan (I use my Le Creuset pot) with a little butter.

Then I add in the Las Palmas Mild or Medium Enchilada sauce and bring it to a simmer for however long it takes me to crisp the tortillas.Crisping the tortillas is where the controversy starts. Some people use tortilla chips. My husband doesn't like that. He says it makes the chips just soggy. K. Some people just cut up strips of tortillas, which is fine if I'm in a hurry. I try to crisp the corn tortillas in a hot pan before layering them in the dish. I start off with a layer of sauce in the bottom of the caserole dish, then I just toss in the tortillas. I don't cut them into strips. I then add another layer of sauce, a layer of cheese and repeat until I'm out of cheese :) Sometimes I add in some green onions and chopped black olives. It just depends what I have on hand.

We top it with sour creme and if my husband had his way I'd make rice with it but I'm going through one of my rice oversions again (sorry dude).

Ok, so it's not a "pretty meal" and no, these aren't the plates I use. This is my daughters plate but the beans looked less offensive on this, than on my white plate :)

Cost Breakdown:
Red Sauce: $2.49 (19 ounce can)
Chocolate: $1.00 (a box is about $5 and there are 6 chocolate rounds in a box)
Tortillas: $1.00 (I buy a bag of 30 and use half a bag)
Cheese: $2.99 (Ralphs usually has a special for $2.99/half pound you just sometimes have to walk all over the store between the deli and the dairy dept.)
Beans: $1.00 (I use Rosarita non-fat green chili and lime)
T0tal: $7.48 for 6 servings

Nutrition breakdown:
Fat: 21g (I have to estimate that there are 2 (1oz) servings of cheese so 18 of the fat grams are from cheese)
Calories: 445 (220 in the cheese, 110 in the tortillas, 100 in the beans, 15 in the sauce)
Fiber: 11g (7 in beans, 3 in tortillas, 1 in the sauce)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

It's been a while

I've had so much junk going on this summer!!! I'm glad my daughter started school again today and I can get back to a routine, including blogging!

Part of the junk going on is that I'm poorer than ever, but being a foodie, I can't give up good food and cooking. But, I can do it on a budget. So, tonight I made a pork brisket grillers. I saw them at costco. I've never had them but I thought I'd give it a try.

They come in a four pack that looks like this. My four pack was $13.45 (3.36/package) Although, since I had never had them before I had no idea what was going to be inside. I opened it, put on a little bit of rub. I make my own rub, but grillmates is fine. I cooked it up on the grill and this is what it looked like. I was shocked how much food was in there!!!

Each of these is about 6-7 inches at it's largest point. It's similar or a little bigger than a decent size boneless skinless chicken breast. It is plenty for my family (2 adults and a 4 year old) with left overs for 2 servings (so enough for 3-4 adults or 1 teenager).

I made it with rice-a-roni which is 4 for $5 at my grocery store so $1.25/box. I did use 2 boxes. My husband LOVES rice.

Cost breakdown:
Pork: $3.36
Rice: $1.25
Total: $4.61

So even if there are only 3 servings in a package that is $1.54 serving!!!

Even better the nutritional value/serving (per the packages):
3.5 grams of fat (2 in the pork and 1.5 in the rice)
420 calories (110 in the pork and 310 in the rice)
There is a lot of sodium in the rice, but other than that, it's all pretty good! Now if I could only get the husband to eat veggies!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Ice Cream

I love ice cream but, not as much as my mom. My mom LOVES ice cream, so since I'm poor, I decided I'd make her ice cream for Mother's Day. I used an Alton Brown Recipe. I'm not gonna lie, I don't know what the heck Vanilla Sugar is, and I'm sure I could google it, but whatever. I used regular sugar and I love vanilla so I probably added about another tablespoon of Mexican vanilla. I swear that I think the secret to vanilla is Mexican vanilla. I don't know why it's better. I don't think its processed or artificial. So next time you go to Mexico, do yourself a favor and stock up on vanilla. I let the liquid ice cream mixture chill in the fridge overnight and then I put it in the freezer the next morning for about 30 minutes. Only then did I put it in the Ice Cream attachment to my mixer. It turned out great.

I also had gone strawberry picking with Stella 2 days before this so I folded in some fresh strawberry puree. Sooooo, good. My mom liked it too. Next time I need more strawberrys. The ice cream itself was delicious! My favorite thing in my kitchen is my lime green Kitchen Aid mixer!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Quiche X 2

I've never made quiche so when my mom asked me to make some for Mother's Day, I said sure. You can't turn down your mom on Mother's Day, right? My husband however HATES quiche. Ok, so how am I going to make both mom and hubby happy?

So after searching the internet and I found a recipe to make hubby happy from Paula Dean (aka, everything is made with straight butter and heavy cream). Low and behold, girlfriend didn't disappoint. She had a hash brown crust quiche instead of a traditional crust that got rave reviews. I substituted half and half for 2% milk. The cooking time on the hash browns was longer (I had to bake it for about 50 minutes instead of the 25 she said) but otherwise I followed the recipe. My suggestion is to do all the prep work the day before (grate cheese, cut onions, cut ham, bake hash browns) then assemble the morning of your brunch. The combining of ingredients is the easy's all the prep that takes forever. I thought it was good, but my husband actually liked it! Yay.

I also wanted to do something with a traditional crust, but with less traditional breakfast ingredients. So I found this Emeril recipe. I don't trust the Emeril. I have made many recipes of his and I swear a cook time or an ingredient always seems to be missing. I bought pre-made Marie Calendar pie crust from the frozen foods isle. Again, prep work is everything. Caramelizing onions are like low riders, they need to cook low and slow. These onions are not even close to being done. It probably took about 30-40 minutes to do it right.

Next step is to sautee the mushrooms. You want to do this so that the mushrooms don't release all their juice inside the quiche. That would make the crust all mushy and disgusting.

I used the Gruyere cheese, it was soooooooooooo good. So savory. I will make this again!

The key to quiche is patience, and a little of this:

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Taste of Ladera

So I work on Saturdays. It sucks! I've tried many times to hire, reschedule....everything to get Saturday's off. It just never works. I own my own business, I need to make it happen right? However, if I'm done by 1pm I try to do stuff with my family. Yesterday, I texted my husband and said "taste of ladera tomorrow?" he replied "sure". So today I got home at 1, got small child and the husband in the car and headed to Liberty Park in Ladera Ranch for good food and walking around. I actually had completely forgotten about Taste of Ladera until I got an email from workout lady at boogie box saying they were going to have a booth there (more on boogie box later).

I'm torn by Taste of Ladera. Keep in mind that I'm an expert on EVERYTHING! They had food vendors, some random vendors and some kiddie stuff to do but it was just horribly organized. Liberty park is HUGE! The food vendors and the regular vendors were mixed in with one another. So to decide what we wanted we had to walk around a ginormous park. I'm fat, lazy and hungry and they made me walk a lot. I finally decided on Beachfire which had the option for skirt steak or jerk chicken with rice and black beans. We walked around and let our daughter go on some bounce house thing. Walked around some more, and had a hot dog from Jerry's hot dogs on the way out. HOT DOGS ARE GOOOOOOOD there. I recommend everyone add celery salt to their dogs and check out Jerry's! The food was good, the organization was not.

Also, for those who put on A Taste of Ladera, I understand about your entrance fees. I understand about having to pay for food. I do, I completely get it. But A Taste is just that... a taste, not a whole meal. I think you should do tierd wrist bands and have an entrance fee plus 5 kids rides, plus 5 taste/drink tickets for $30, or entrance plus kids rides plus 10 tastes for $50, etc. The taste should be like a Costco sized taste, not a whole meal. I wanted to taste all of Ladera but my tummy can't hold a whole meal for all the restaurants represented (despite my size which I'm desperately trying to boogie box away)

Boogie box
rocks! I try to work out twice a week. I really haven't changed how I eat (in fact it's probably gotten worse since First Class Pizza opened). I've lost 10 pounds and 4 inches in my bust, waist and hips in a month. So go boogie box people. It's fun and even uncoordinated people can do it! They have a free trial so go try before you committ!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Sun Dried Tomato

We went to Sun Dried Tomato's new location in San Clemente. We went on opening night, April 7th. We sat outside. It was cold but they had heaters out there. It was completely spur of the moment so I didn't take pictures. Sorry!

I had a cold and all I wanted was their super decadent Sun Dried Tomato soup. It didn't disappoint. It is so good. It is creamy and delicious! They serve all their meals with a bread bowl and a sun dried tomato butter.

My husband had a sirloin burger which is served with shoestring french fries. My husband likes to call them frittes so that it sounds fancy. He's funny! His burger was great and the fries are something special!

We took dessert home. It was cinnamon apple beignets which were ok. They were good, but I probably won't get them again. They are not at all like the Cafe du Monde beignets...they are more like doughnut holes. The flavor was fine, the texture was a little off, in my opinion.

I have since been back for a take out lunch. I got the 1/2 and 1/2 lunch with the apple salad and cream of jalapeno soup. I loved the flavor of the soup but I thought it needed to be thicker. The salad was delicious like always with the fantastic dijon viniagrette!

You need to go...NOW!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

How many Stacey's does it take to screw in a light bulb?

This has nothing to do with food, just me being me. If you know me you'll say "ya, I can see how she did that". So we have this stairwell at our house that is sooooo tall. We have lived here 4.5 years and I've just been waiting for THE light bulb to go out. But I made a mental note that my dad has one of these light bulb extension thingies:

Awesome right!!! No, that little thing at the top screws on. It is not permanently attached to the handle. I don't know why. If I ever meet the inventor...we are going to have words because LOOK what happened!
FRICK! How am I going to get that down from 18 feet! Seriously.

Please ignore the bad photoshop. I just wanted you to see how big the stairwell is. Also, clearly the light is on so I fixed it. But I was freaking out. If that light which was hanging on by about 1/4 turn had fallen, little tiny shards of light bulb glass would have gone EVERYWHERE! The light bulb was wobbly so it was quite cumbersome to screw the pole in without unscrewing the light bulb. But alas, after about 20 minutes of messing around, I now know that it only takes 1 Stacey to screw in a light bulb!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

First Class Pizza

So as a Talega (that's the side of San Clemente that pays big taxes so the other side of San Clemente can hate us) resident I've been dying for more stuff to open in the Talega Village Center! Seriously, we Talegans love family friendly stuff and First Class Pizza opened today! This place is fantastic. I went for lunch today and got myself a lunch special with a cheese pizza, small salad and a drink for $5.99 ($6.51 after tax). I decided it was so good that I ordered two more pizzas to be delivered (yes, GOOD PIZZA delivered!) throughout the day to my business. The owner was there with his family at lunch. They greeted everyone and made sure all the guests were happy. I stopped by at dinner and the place was packed. This is fantastic because he didn't advertise at all that he was opening today. He did get a lot of promotion from me though ;) I think my clients liked the free pizza too. They have a great family special. I'll see if I can get permission to scan a copy of their menu for you guys! It's so great!!!! YAY!

First Class Pizza has no website. But call, visit! Eat, drink and be merry!

Also, Sun Dried Tomatoes opens Tuesday. Stay tuned for a review (with pics)

Thursday, March 19, 2009


I got this from my friend Mallory. I think it is so cute. Let's keep the love going.

Here is the deal: The first four people to comment on this post will get something made by me.

My choice.

For you.

This offer does have some restrictions and limitations:
1- I make no guarantees that you will like what I make.
2- What I create will be just for you.
3- It'll be done this year.
4- You have no clue what it's going to be. It may be a story. It may be photography, I may sew or paint something. Who knows? Not you, that's for sure!
5- I reserve the right to do something extremely creative.

The catch? Oh, the catch is that you must re-post this on your own blog and offer the same deal to 4 of your own lucky blog readers. So, the first 4 people to leave a comment telling me they are in, win a FAB-U-LOUS homemade gift by me! Oh, and be sure to post a picture of what you win when you get it

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Ariels Grotto

I didn't take pictures of the food. Sorry. Ariel's Grotto is fantastic with a 4 year old. Ariel is at the bottom of the stairs when you walk in. You get to take pictures with her. Multiple princesses come out to visit. We saw Cinderella, Aurora (that's Sleeping Beauty to all you non-princess peeps), Snow White and Belle. The Princesses take time at each table. It's really very sweet.

As far as the food, it started out looking promising. They sent out a 3 tiered anti pasta plate with salami and cheese, salad, jello for the kiddo's. My husband and I both got some sort of pasta. It was "fancy Hamburger Helper". My friend Mike got steak...that was not a wise move. All the food is just well presented Disney food. Disney is not known for their fine dining. I have been to PCH Grill for breakfast with Lilo and Stitch. That was buffet style and really not bad. I went for the breakfast buffet and it was not a bad price. Ariel's Grotto is not as good as PCH Grill.

Pricing...there is NO pricing on any menus, drink menus, websites, etc. I knew it was going to be pricey so I wasn't really surprised at the bill. Adult prices are $31.99 and children's prices are $17.99. That does not include the 18% gratuity that Disney charges. Will I go again? I'm not sure. It just depends on what my own little princess wants :)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

I suck

I haven't eaten food in the last two weeks. Wait, no. That's not entirely true, but I'm surviving purely on Juice it Up, and anything that only requires me to re-heat/boil it for dinner. I friggin love Costco's flautas, potstickers and ravioli. I always thought it was really tacky to heat up a jar of Prego in the microwave like a college student and pour it over my pasta. But alas, this is what my foodie life has boiled down to in the past couple weeks.

I'm going to Ariel's Grotto on Monday for the Princesses birthday. Maybe I'll review that. I wonder what the mouse will think?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Sea Smoke

I work close to Sea Smoke (no website...WTH) in San Clemente. This restaurant is created by Chef Abe who is also behind Bluefin in Newport Beach and Izakaya Zero in Huntington Beach. I have started going there over the last month for lunch. I get the kids bento to go and I take it back to my office to work/eat. I'm a HUGE fan of the kids bento. It's perfect with a nice portion of teriyaki chicken, fresh fruit, rice, wasabi mashed potatoes, steamed veggies and a tempura shrimp. It's just the right size and it's $6.95. I don't like fish so this really hasn't been a place I've been dying to go to.

Lets start with the service. We got lucky, we had Jennifer as our waitress. Normally, someone else waits on me and lets just say that she's a touch rude. You would think if I own a business nearby that sees 200ish families a week, you may want me to sing your praises. I will praise about the food, but not the service.

My husband got the Sea Smoke roll which was Filet mignon wrapped over rice and tempura shrimp with avocado and cucumber, topped with horseradish. The husband says it was pretty good, but he's had better. Next time he's going to stick to fish. I had a bite. I forgot I hate sea weed! Eww.

I got the adult bento size this time. I worked all day and was rather hungry. It had a salad with a nice sweet dressing, california rolls which were good for having seaweed. There was teriyaki chicken and beef. My daughter ate most of the chicken which is great and I've had it before. The beef was tender and delicious. The wasabi mashed potatoes are not overpowering and are light (for mashed potatoes). I also got the tempura shrimp and veggies. The tempura batter is light and tastes so good.

Pricing was good. I hear a lot of people saying that it's really expensive. My Bento was $18 and my husband's roll was $16. Its' a lot of food. They also have drink specials so I had a glass of Chardonnay for $4. After the day of work I had, the wine was well received! I feel the menu is appropriately priced. We'll be back...maybe I'll even try something new :)

Saturday, February 28, 2009

OC Restaurant Week, Part Three

Friday afternoon we went to The Winery at The District in Tustin. I was particularly excited about this one as I thought they would have wine pairings too. Unfortunately, there were no wine pairings, which seems odd at a place called The Winery, you know? However, that was the only disappointing part of the whole experience.

My first course was The Winery House Salad. This was delicious. The dijon vinaigrette was fantastic. It was tart, tangy and paired well with the sweetness of the tomatoes and grapes.

My husband's first course was the soup de jour. Friday it was a carrot/ginger puree soup. OMG, WOW! "this is the best use of carrots I've ever had" coming from the anti-veggie husband. So it really was impressive. The ginger wasn't overpowering, and IMO it was the single best dish I've had at Restaurant week.

I don't really like fish so I got the "Grand Cru" burger which is made with Kobe beef, I chose blue cheese, carmelized onions, lettuce, avocado, tomatoes and bacon. The little frittes were seasoned perfectly, but I only had like 4. This burger is huge! I just stared at it for a minute and tried to figure out exactly how to tackle it. Once I figured out the logistics of actually eating it, I can honestly tell you it was the single best burger I've had in my life. I would have liked more blue cheese, but overall this burger was super!

My husband got the Chili-lime rubbed Mahi-Mahi. It was good. It was cooked through and as previously stated, I don't really like at all. But for posterity sake, I did take a bite and it was good. I don't think I can eat a whole portion, but I could have eaten a couple more bites. The chutney on top of the fish was excellent and really it's what made the dish!

My husband had the apple cranberry tarte tartin. It was good. It was a tarte. It was everything a tarte is supposed to be and was presented beautifully. It was not memorable. I wouldn't get it again.

I would get the Creme Brulee again. WOW! I have been in dessert heaven this week. The flavor was amazing, the texture was perfect, the little chunks of chocolate hiding on the bottom were amazing. This was the best creme brulee I've ever had. The only mildly disappointing thing was that the sugar crust wasn't crunchy, but I can get past it. This was served with a chocolate cookie that was ooie-gooie yummy goodness. It melted in my mouth.

The service was timely. Again, at lunch I'd hope for less time between courses so that the working people could take an hour and a half lunch instead of 2 hours (with drive time incorporated for my husband coming from the airport area). Obviously, this was a very minor detail, but the servers were good.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Pot Roast

Pot Roast is one of my favorite meals. I love comfort food. It's easy and I work a lot and Stella was kinda sick so here is dinner. Stella only at the potatoes.

Ingredients for everything:
1 can cream of mushroom $1.49
1/2 cup red wine (free because I had a bottle open)
1/2 white onion $.50
Chuck Roast $3.79/lb...mine was $7.08
Potatoes $2.00
Butter $.50
Seasonings (cost minimal)

Total: $11.57
This makes enough for 4 servings, so $2.89/serving.

To cook the pot roast, I cut my onions up in pretty big chunks and put them in the bottom of a crock pot. I sear the chuck roast and put it on top of the onions. Then I add the can of cream of mushroom soup right on top of the roast (I do not dilute it, I just leave it right there on top of the meat). I add the red wine and 2-3 cups of water. I add water until the liquid level is just above the roast. I cook mine in the crock pot, on high for at least 5 hours. The longer the better :)

Mashed potatoes are the easiest. I peal and cut the potatoes, but them in a pot and cover them generously with water. Once the water starts boiling I continue cooking them for about 12-15 minutes. I drain most of the water, add 1/3 cup of butter, 1/3 cup milk, 1/4 teaspoon of both pepper and garlic powder, 1 teaspoon sea salt. Add it all and mash it up!

Gravy is easy. Don't be scared by it. Take the juice from pot roast. I like gravy so I usually take about 2 cups and let it sit in a fat separator for a few minutes. Add it to a pan, the beef plus the wine and the cream of mushroom is enough and you don't need any other seasoning! I brought the gravy to a boil and slowly mixed in about 3 tablespoons of Wondra.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

OC Restaurant Week, Part Two

I have a feeling that all other restaurants this week are going to have to try to live up to The Loft at Montage! Tonight we went to Mozambique which I LOVE and have been to a couple other times before. I've become addicted to the flavors and spices they use. That's a whole different post though. Also, Mozambique is a very dark restaurant, so my camera and the lighting at the restaurant didn't get along. Sorry for the over-exposed photos. The service at Mozambique was good. My glass was never empty, I know this is one of those places that they encourage you to take your time to eat, but I think the length of time between courses was a little long. The waiter was fine, not memorable, but fine.

This is the Caesar Salad. I should have gotten the Mediterranean Salad instead. Another table had that salad and it looked better. This on was fine, but just salad you know.

I ordered the sirloin. I like my meat well done. Everything was cooked fabulously! The flavor in the meat was fantastic! The asparagus was great, the mushrooms and jus were to die for good!!!

My husband got the peri peri rotisserie chicken and giant prawns with a mango salsa. I make a mango salsa (also for another post). My husbands suggestion was that I make mine chunkier like this. The chicken was so tender. The prawns were great and I LOVE that peri peri dipping sauce (the brown one). Unfortunately, Mozambique isn't selling it anymore. Hopefully, I'll get to the bottom of that someday!

My husband and I discovered Mozambique on our anniversary. It was referred by my husband's co-worker. Anyways, they gave us a complimentary bread pudding dessert on our anniversary. This is one of my least favorite desserts ever. My husband and I, who never turn down food, ate the whole thing. This is the dessert I chose for restaurant week. They make it with toasted macadamia nuts, bananas, white chocolate, and amarula sauce. I got one for my mom to go since she watched our daughter again for us tonight. She said it was sinful! If you go to Mozambique, I do recommend trying it.

I love chocolate. I could eat it for every meal if my body would tolerate that! My husband got this warm potted chocolate cake with coconut ice cream. It was like eating fudge. It was so good.

We have one more restaurant on Friday for restaurant week and I haven't been there before. I'm excited and I'm really excited that this one has wine pairings too.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Meatloaf - Budget Meals!!!

Tonight's meatloaf night, just like my momma makes :)
This momma can't eat at The Montage every night!

1 lb ground beef (I get Morans from Albertsons 3lbs 7.99) $2.66
1/2 lb ground pork sausage (I use Jimmy Dean 1lb $4.49) $2.25
1 cup dry bread crumbs $.50
1 1/4 cup milk $.27
1/2 white onion $.50
1.5 teaspoons salt (I'm not counting this for price)
1/4 teaspoon pepper, celery salt, garlic, dry mustard $.50
1 tablespoon of worcestershire or A1 Sauce $.50

Total Cost: $7.18

Bake at 350 degrees for 90 minutes.

This is all I eat. I suppose I made it with broccoli. This will make enough for a family of 4. My husband will have 2 meatloaf sandwiches. I'll save some for both of us for lunch tomorrow. You can't beat the price. It breaks down to $1.79/serving (plus the cost of the broccoli).

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Loft at Montage

It's OC Restaurant Week here! Last year during restaurant week I was busy opening a business. This year, my husband and I have big plans for the week! Today we visited The Loft at Montage in Laguna Beach. We are big fans of Laguna Beach, but had never visited Montage. Wow! That's it...just wow! I'm going to start saving for our daughter's wedding there. She's not quite 4, so I hope that's enough time to save. Sounds like a promising start, right?

So after finding our way to the restaurant within the ginormous hotel, the hostess guided us to our table. Here was the View. There were 3 windows directly in front of our table. I took a picture out each window.

Our first course was BARBECUE-BRAISED LAUGHING BIRD SHRIMP with heirloom spinach and garden herbs, winter citrus vinaigrette. I got the wine pairing for an extra $15 which was well worth it! This course came with a chardonnay. I don't remember the wine producers...sorry.

I'm so not sharing with this guy!!!

The husband got MAPLE-GLAZED SONOMA CHICKEN SANDWICH with wild arugula and aged gouda, local tomato marmalade. The marmalade totally made this sandwich. The bread was perfect!

I got the ORGANIC UDON NOODLES rotisserie suckling pig and wild mushrooms, lemongrass cream. It was great! It was so filling. The lemongrass cream is not to heavy. The flavor was absorbed perfectly by the udon. The mushrooms were amazing. The pork was ok. The pork flavor was great, but it was a little dry. Don't get me wrong, the whole dish was fantastic and I'd order it again in a heartbeat! This course was paired with AlbariƱo, a white spanish wine.

Dessert was a GERMAN CHOCOLATE CAKE. OMG. I'm not a German Chocolate Cake fan, but there were almost truffles in there. Usually, the coconut jam is too coconutty and overpowering. This was perfect. It was served with a burnt butter ice cream over candided pralines. I LOVE the ice cream.

I did mention I was full after the udon noodles, right?

The service was fantastic. One waiter went way above and beyond and almost gave me an ingredient list for the salad vinaigrette. My wine pairings were thoroughly discussed, and the wait staff was just all around phenomina!

Here is the view from the ocean side of the Montage.

View from the concrete trail behind the resort.

Here is the trail. It's gorgeous. The plantlife is beautiful. The path isn't to steep and I love that it's paved. There is public parking right at the Montage for $1.50/hour. It has a pay station, so leave your quarters at home.

My parents took our daughter to the Wild Animal Park while we were being foodies. She came home EVIL. I had this for dinner. I don't normally have 4 drinks in one day!

New Years Eve

My New Year's Eve tradition started 4 years ago. I was 7.5 months pregnant and didn't want to go out. I just wanted good food, my husband and to stay home. So ever since 2005, this is what we do.

This year the menu was:

Passion Fruit Bellini's
(1-2 ounces of passion fruit juice, 3-4 ounces of champagne or sparkling wine)

Corn Chowder, pork tenderloin with apple chutney, and twice baked potato poppers.

Pork Tenderloin:
1. I butterflied the tenderloin
2. Lined it with the apples only from the chutney (don't use the juice)
3. Roll it and secure it with toothpicks
4. used a bobby flay rub on the outside
5. Grill on each side over medium/low heat
6. turn meat every 15-20 minutes.

Apple Chutney:
1 Tablespoon butter
1 small red onion finely chopped
2 teaspoons finely chopped ginger
2 cloves chopped garlic
2 Granny Smith apples, cored, peeled and sliced thinly
1 tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
1/3 cup Orange Juice (or any juice really...please, no Kool Aid)
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Heat butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, ginger, and garlic. Cook until soft. Add the apples, the juice and vinegar, and cook until the apples are soft. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Transfer to a bowl and let sit at room temperature for a half hour before serving.

Twice Baked Potato Poppers:
5 small red potatoes
2 stalks green onion
3 pieces of bacon, diced and cooked
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons sour creme
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
Salt and freshly ground pepper

I don't know how to cook potatoes other than in the microwave. So stick a fork in them and put them in there and hit the baked potato button on the microwave. Once they are done, let them cool until they are cool enough for you to handle. Cut the potatoes in half. Scoop out the centers into a bowl. Add to the bowl, the onion, butter, sour creme, salt and pepper to taste, 1/2 the cheese and 1/2 the bacon. Stir mixture and add them to the hollow potatoes. Top the potatoes with the remaining cheese and bacon. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes.

Surf and turf made with bbq short ribs, Shitake mushrooms and grilled lobster tail.

Short Ribs:
1. Rub outside of meat with a wee bit of Olive Oil
2. Season with Season All and Steak Rub from Mozambique
3. Grill to taste. I like things well done!

Lobster Tail:
1. squeeze about a tablespoon of fresh lemon onto the meat side of the lobster tail
2. season with a bit of salt, garlic and rosemary
3. Grill for about 8-10 minutes
4. Serve with a garlic butter dipping sauce

I did not make dessert. This is a triple chocolate mousse from Bristol Farms.

This was a dark chocolate mousse, also from Bristol Farms.