Showing posts with label California. Show all posts
Showing posts with label California. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

January in Review

Last year I used Lisa's approach to recapping a month, where I'd highlight the meals, moments, reviews, and remembering from the month before. Except there were times where I didn't have an exceptional meal to highlight, or nothing too out of the ordinary happened to mention in my moment. Instead this year, I want to use the same basic idea, but in a free-er form where I don't need to highlight each single item. Which leads us to...

In January...
Huntington Gardens
...I spent a week in California visiting with family and friends.
Burrito with Mole Sauce
...the boy made burritos with mole sauce using a specialty seasoning mix he had purchased in California.

...I posted reviews of 5 books and 3 movies.
Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
Somewhere in France by Jennifer Robson
The Gods of Heavenly Punishment by Jennifer Cody Eppstein
Degrees of Courage by Shari Vester
Splintered by A.G. Howard
47 Ronin
The Wolf of Wall Street
I, Frankenstein
Out of all of these Somewhere in France was without question my favorite.

...four years ago, in 2010, I recaped the first episode of Jason Mesnick's season of The Bachelor including this gem,
"I liked Melissa, the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader. "
Of course, while Melissa wound up being the winner that season, Jason later choice Mollie who he married and now has a daughter with. And Melissa is also now married with a baby of her own!

What are your highlights from this January? And would you rather recap a month with defined guidelines or without any?

Thursday, January 30, 2014

I'm in the Gardens

Last week I wrote about my trip to California, about how we didn't see to do much except visit family and eat good food. Except one thing we did manage to fit in was visiting the Huntington Gardens. I'm told I've been there before, but this was the first time where I've been old enough to remember. And since these photos don't really require a lot of description, here's a glimpse to help transport you.
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In the Chinese Gardens
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A giant tree
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My brother and his girlfriend with koi
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In the Japanese gardens
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Rock gardens
With Georgina Duchess of Devonshire
Me and Georgina, Duchess of Devonshire
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In the herb gardens
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A pomegranate bonsai tree
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With the mountains in the distance
When was the last time you found yourself at a public garden?

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

I'm Going Back to Cali

I realize that posting has been quite light these past few days, but I do have a reason behind the madness. I spent last week home in California, and am only now getting back into the swing of things. Looking back on our trip, we actually didn't do a whole lot. Instead it seems everyday were we spending the day catching up with a new relative. And most times it was over a delicious meal. So I can't help but share a few shots from some of those delicious California meals.
Caprina E Carciofi Pizza
One of our first nights we went out for pizza at Michael's Pizzeria. This was their Caprina E Carciofi, which has pesto, artichokes, goat cheese, and I believe potatoes.
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One food item I always try to make happen on trips to California is fish tacos. You just can't really find them in Louisiana. This time I had them at the Huntington Gardens, and while I wouldn't necessarily list them on my all time favorite fish tacos, they were pretty delicious.
Cronuts
While in California, I had my first taste of a cronut, which is a cross between a donut and croissant. While it was really good, I can't say it quite lived up to my expectations for them.
Lunch at Super Mex #finallyrealmexicanfood #homeinCA
Another California staple I always try to make happen is good, simple Mexican food. This was a shredded beef taco at Super Mex. It's kind of funny because it really only is meat, cheese, beans, and lettuce, but it's something that really doesn't compare to Mexican in Louisiana.
Grilled Chicken Pesto
For something new to me, we went to The Iron Press, whose specialty is waffle sandwiches. I had their chicken pesto, which was a lot of fun.

This won't be my last post on California, but without doing a lot and just spending time with friends and family I actually don't have a ton of photos. But sometimes, that's exactly the type of getaway I need.

When you spend time at home are you sometimes surprised by how little you go out to do?

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Mailbox Monday (29)

Somehow I've managed to link up with Mailbox Monday for the past 4 weeks straight. And I have a feeling that I'll be linking up next week as well, since Tuesday is when the book my college roommate/ bridesmaid wrote comes out! Although next week we'll be with a different host, but today for the last week of April, we're linking up our new reads with MariReads.
Mailbox Monday
Gifted
The Jewish Holiday Kitchen by Joan Nathan
This is actually part of a wedding present from my MOH's mom, who I consider my second mom. This was one of hers as well as my mom's favorite cookbooks. (It's actually where my mom's brisket recipe is from.) My brother actually has my mom's copy, but now I have own. And I'm pretty sure this version is updated from the one my mom had, which means even more recipes to try out!

For Review from Publisher
The Apple Orchard by Susan Wiggs
I've actually been seeing this on quite a few blogs lately. It's a romance that takes place in an apple orchard in California's wine country. And just in case you've been wanting to visit wine country, the author is actually giving away a trip for 2 to Sonoma to one person who preorders her book before May 1st. You can find out all the details at the author's website.

What did you find in your mailbox this week? And do you own any of your mom's favorite cookbooks?

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Giving Thanks in California

On Tuesday I about our Thanksgiving trip to California. Except I never actually got to Thanksgiving. Finally here is the second installment where we're together as a family feeling thankful.

Thursday morning we went over to my Grandmother's house, we're we started making gumbo. And by we, I mean I made the beautiful roux below, while the boy did the rest. And when I say made, I mean the boy added everything to it and stirred. But you all understand, right?
Making Roux
My grandma had the table all dressed up and cooked a ton of delicious food.
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Of course, there was a turkey.
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The boy made duck and sausage gumbo.
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And there were a ton of side option. My plate below has turkey, mashed potatoes, oyster stuffing, green beans, roasted squash, pickles, baby corn, olives (including a few cured by my mom), cranberry sauce, and a roll. My favorites are always stuffing and mashed potatoes, which you could probably tell based on the fact they take up almost half of my plate!
Thanksgiving Plate
For dessert we had pumpkin loaf, pumpkin pie, and cranberry upside-down cake topped with freshly made whipped cream. (This is where my camera flash finally started to work again!)
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To end the festivities we all took a group picture.
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The following day, we drove up to Hollywood to watch the LSU game over lunch at Fuku Burger. I had their Kinoko, which was a burger topped with mushrooms. And while I don't tend not to drink a lot of beer, I could help by try their pumpkin cider.
Kinoko Burger aka Mushroom Burger with Pumpkin Cider
All to soon through it was time for us to fly to Louisiana. Although for one final food photo, here's the salad I bought from LaBrea Bakery to eat on the trip. It was a great time back in California, but too short as always, and hopefully we're able to get back soon.
California Organic Salad
Where do you celebrate Thanksgiving this year? And what's your favorite Thanksgiving dish.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Pre-Thanksgiving in California

I've mentioned how I was in California for Thanksgiving, but till now have yet to blog about it. I have a ton of photos, although every almost every single one of them is of food, so if you weren't hungry before reading this, you will be by the end.

I flew in Saturday, and after getting picked up at the airport my dad picked up dinner at the local Greek restaurant, Cafe Neo. I had their spicy feta chicken wrap, which definitely met the spicy factor. It was good, but next time there I'll probably be ordering something else.
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The following night, my dad, brother, and brother's girlfriend all went out for tapas at Cafe Sevilla. We ordered a few things to share, but the one I really wanted to try was, I believe, duck topped with a fried egg.
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Yes, I realize these are all awful photos, but the flash on my camera decided to stop working. I wasn't too concerned since it had happened before and fixed itself then. Sure enough halfway through the trip it was back to normal. But we're still left with some awful, but still delicious looking photos, such as this vegetable paella we all split.
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Finally for dessert my brother and I split their churros, which is probably my highlight of the whole meal.
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The following day (which was Monday), I stopped at Rubios for my fix after renting a car. I got my standard 2 fish tacos with pinto beans. Although I did try them especial (which means with cheese and guacamole), but really couldn't taste the difference. When I had them again the following day, I went back to having them normal.
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That night the four of us again went to dinner, this time walking to Number Nine, a Vietnamese noodle shop, where I had chicken pho. My family couldn't believe that this craze hadn't hit Baton Rouge yet, but from the sound of it, I'm sure it won't be too long.
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Tuesday, I picked up my BFF/MOH at the airport and we went to lunch at Boudin at South Coast Plaza. I had some type of chicken sandwich (pesto maybe?) and butternut squash soup. The sandwich was enjoyable, but the soup was awesome. I loved the fact that they had dried cranberries in it, and since I have a box of butternut squash soup in my pantry I think that's exactly how I'll be eating it.
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After lunch we hung out at the mall and then went for manicures (which I had pretty much peeled off the following day... the main reason I don't get manicures).

Look finally a photo with a person in it!
Us playing around in the Disney store.
Wednesday I picked the boy up from the airport, and we went out for Italian at Michael's with my dad. They started dinner off with a taste for each one of us, which I believe was a fig with prosciutto drizzled with some balsamic.
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My appetizer was Cavatelli con Anatra (Hand-rolled pasta with chestnut and braised liberty farm duck). I only wish the picture of this was clearer, because it really was yummy.
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My main dish was Vitello alla Milanese (Ciabatta breaded Veal with forest mushrooms, Brussels sprout and roasted potatoes), which is probably my worst photo from the whole trip. But I didn't want you to think you were missing out due to my broken camera. :) Although there's not really a lot to see here since all the vegetables were hidden under the veal.
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For dessert I had Cremino di Zucca (Pumpkin mousse with ginger bread), which was easily my favorite part of the meal. I'm really disappointed the photo doesn't do it justice, but the mouse was actually an orange color, and the whole thing was so much better than I expected it to be.
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Now that I've written a whole novel, I'm finally ready to start about Thanksgiving itself. So I think that's a good breaking point to end this post.

Did you travel anywhere for Thanksgiving? And which of these dishes do you think you'd most want to try?

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sunday Social (9)

I've been in California the past few days celebrating Thanksgiving with my family. But last night we got back into Louisiana, and so far we've been enjoying a relaxing day around the house. I've been writing about the trip eventually, but for now I'm linking up with A Complete Waste of Makeup's Sunday Social.
1. Name 4 jobs you’ve had in your life:
  1. Summer Camp Counselor
  2. Lacrosse Team Manager
  3. Head of College Math Lab
  4. Underwriter at an Insurance Company (Probably the most I've ever said about my current job on the blog.)
2. Name 4 movies you would watch over and over:
  1. Love Actually
  2. Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
  3. The Little Princess
  4. The Notebook
3. Name 4 places you have lived:
    I think this one might be a favorite
  1. Long Beach, California
  2. Crab Feast
  3. Towson, Maryland
  4. With the Pont D'Avignon
  5. Avignon, France (Assuming 3 weeks on a study abroad trip counts.)
  6. In Death Valley
  7. Baton Rouge, Louisiana
4. Name 4 of your favorite foods:
  1. Lasagna
  2. Feta Cheese
  3. Foie Gras
  4. Creme Brulee
5. Name 4 things you always carry with you
  1. Cell Phone
  2. Book I'm currently reading
  3. Wallet
  4. Camera (At least I try to make this happen.)
6. Name 4 places you have been on vacation:
    Cotton Candy in front of the Eiffel Tower
  1. Paris
  2. 04
  3. Florida Keys
  4. Me and My Mom before doing pottery
  5. Japan
  6. Myself and Sara in front of the western wall
  7. Israel
If you haven't linked up with Sunday Social, let me know some of your answers in the comments. And if you have, please say hi so I can stop by your post!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Bridal Shower Weekend

While I've already posted about the shower, I've yet to post what else I did while in California. So finally here are a few highlights.
With Josh
Sunday we went to the Renaissance Faire which is where my brother is currently working. (At least on the weekend while it's open.) For the first time in forever, I didn't wear a costume to the faire. My costume was (and still is in Louisiana) and while I thought about flying it back with me, I decided not to. But even costume-less we still had a great time. We saw the queen,
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saw a few shows,
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and of course, ate!
Steak & Mushroom Shepard's Pie
To start with I had a steak and mushroom pie, which doesn't make for the best picture, but was delicious. Then I had a mango ice. (Hard to tell, but served in a mango peel.)
Mango Ice
Then we all split a royal crepe, which was filled with strawberries, bananas, and nutella, and topped with chocolate sauce and whipped cream.
Royal Crepe
And Monday night, for my last night in California we went to WP24, which is Wolfgang Pucks newest restaurant on the 24th floor of the Ritz Carlton.
View from WP24
View of Downtown L.A. from the restaurant
This wound up being a really interesting restaurant. To start with it, they only offered a fix price meal, but had several options to choose from for each course (as well as a few side options). And while we were deciding what to order they brought out a few small plates for the table.
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This is two (of three) small plates. On the left is a fried seafood dish and the right is a pickled cucumber. For my first course I went with peking duck rolls,
Peking Duck
and had some of the best lamb chomps I've ever eaten for my main course.
Lamp Chops
When we got the dessert menus I was surprised to see that Sally Camacho of Top Chef Just Desserts was the pastry chef. Sally was one of my favorites last season, and I was so excited to finally be able to eat official top chef food. While she did have one of her quickfire challenges on the menu (an Ovaltine based dessert) I instead went with her caramel apple themed dessert. It included cinnamon doughnuts, ice cream (if remember correctly it was star anise flavored), plus apples, whipped cream, and of course bits of caramel. (The congrats is because my dad told the waiter I was in town for my bridal shower.)
Caramel Apples
Along with my actual shower it wound up being a great weekend back in California, and all too soon I was back in Louisiana.

And for a little have you ever... Have you ever been to the Renaissance Faire? Or eaten at a Top Chef's restaurant?