Dining at Raya | Ritz Carlton Laguna

Every once and a while I get a hall pass to go out with the girls. I really try to have something on the calendar at least once a month that does not involve kids or dishes and preferably revolves around copious amounts of food that I get to photograph. My dilemma lately is how do I split up what little time I have between the have to's and the want to's. There are some events that I need to go to no matter how much driving or how little food is served, its good to get out and connect with people in real life especially when so much of my presence is online. I try to put myself out there and I also have good friends who refuse to let me sit in my cave for too long (you know who you are). Then there are the want to's ...

Reverb 11 | Day 27 :: My 2012 Cookbook Want List

What new foods did you try this year? Well nothing extremely interesting I assure you. racking my brain to come up with at least one that was out of my comfort zone. I think the Carrot Halwa dessert at Tamarind of London was the most unique dessert I tried this year, it is a traditional Indian dish very similar to a more textured version of rice pudding. In the recipe department there have been a few new additions to the rotation, Honey Mustard Rosemary Pork Roast, I love roasts, this one I have made at least once a month. Another new one for me this year was discovering brisket. I can't say I've made a whole lot of brisket's in my life. With some hesitation I decided to try the Mom's Brisket Recipe (recipe 9 of 22) by Michelle Bernstein. The recipe is in Macy's Thanksgiving and Holiday Cookbook, the same book that also has that delicious Chef's Mix I raved ...

12 Days of Giveaway | Temecula Olive Oil Company

Last summer I visited Temecula for a little food and wine tour, you may have remembered all the yummy things I brought home one of them being Temecula Olive Oil. There is something decadent about hand pressed olive oil. I could actually drink this stuff straight it is THAT good. If you did you would definitely notice what I called the 'after burners' that spicy heat caused by the antioxidants that remain intact in fresh pressed olive oil. Its intense. I have a stash in my pantry now and I will never buy store bought dressing again. Last night I paired Fresh Basil Olive Oil, Roasted Garlic Olive Oil with Vanilla & Fig Balsamic Vinegar I simply poured them directly into the salad without even emulsifying it. There wasn't even as much as a bite left.  You can also drizzle the oil (and vinegar as well) on roasted or grilled vegetables. So the wonderful people of Temecula ...

Latest Crave | Tamarind of London

Raise your hand if you like Indian food? (raises both hands) I don't just like Indian food I LOVE Indian food.  I certainly wasn't exposed to many Indian dishes growing up in Southern California. I think my mom had one dish in her rotation, Hurry Curry. It was a very Americanized version of curry that included more sour cream and condensed soup then curry but I still thought it was the best comfort food aside from mac n' cheese my mom made. Over the years I have developed a fondness for spices like cardamom, mint, cumin, turmeric, ginger and allspice and in my best attempt have come pretty close to recreating some authentic dishes but let's face it my range is limited. Instead of immersing myself in learning how to cook traditional Indian food I settled for Chicken Tikka at the neighborhood strip mall. Until now. :) Last Monday Tamarind of London opened its doors with its first ...

The Cellar | Historic Fullerton

The other week in the middle of our first summer wave of heat I got a hall-pass to meet a few of my favorite local bloggers (Ksugarandspice, WoodbridgeOC, Nicole, Gina, and my pal Priscilla ) at a very cool, <-- literally... local restaurant in Fullerton the Cellar. It's not easy to find which I think adds to the allure or frustration depending on who you ask. I liked walking through what used to be a historic hotel, Villa Del Sol. You'll pass a British Grocery store on the left, that reminds me my grandmother loves tea biscuits, now I know where to pick some up along with some Cadbury chocolate. Ok, sorry follow me you'll see a large carved pillar that looks like something out of Pirates of the Carribean, well it is kind of, I'll get back to that. Follow the flight of stairs to your left. You can't miss the bottles appropriately aging behind the glass. ...

Stonefire Grill Simply Delicious

June here you are already. So many things leading up to this month the gateway to summer. If you follow my instagram feed you know we were finally knocked out of our baseball bracket which essentially also derailed the take out train. I really REALLY miss cooking, I said cooking not cleaning up after, that is the gigantic perk of take out in my mind. I have every intention of jumping right back into my apron but for now I found a GREAT stand in, Stonefire Grill. Stonefire is located in Irvine and was our featured restaurant during our last BlogCrush meet up. Stonefire is unique, they keep it simple, tasty and offer healthy alternative dishes that taste GOURMET. Stonefire Grill wants you to come in and ENJOY a home cooked meal with your family but without the time spent in the kitchen. And let's just put it out there, who really wants ...

BlogCrush on Zovs

February 26, 2011 5 , Permalink

Thursday night I met up with some of my favorite OC bloggers at Zovs in Irvine. As a group of bloggers we often get the chance to try out new restaurants, sample menu items and meet head chefs, I always look forward to getting in a little food photo time when I go to these things. We've been to Haven Gastropub (Orange Circle) where I had my first Beer Float (yep beer and ice cream, soooo GOOD) and a Russian Mule (ginger beer and vodka). Gastropub images: Marcie Taylor There was also Blog Up, where we had the chance to get in touch with our inner beetnik and test the open mic with a little reading from our blogs, berets optional. It was BYOB ... so I LITERALLY brought my own bubbly. Next up Lazy Dog Cafe and then Z'Tejas all of these events leading up to the annual  BlogCrush Ball over the summer. Things have been busy for the OC ...

Wordless Wednesday with a Lemon Twist

I know this blog has been heavily saturated with talk of iPhones and photography, I do apologize for being so redundant but its just my world lately. I know you are asking yourself what happened to the recipes doesn't she even cook anymore? I do but I could be cooking more and ordering take out less.  But then I wouldn't be able to share shots like this... and this I had an idea, I'll try and combine the best of both worlds, cook and take photos just using my phone. That will save me hours right? As it stands right now I probably have at least 6 months worth of recipes and the photos to go with them all sitting on my hard drive collecting dust. I need to stop taking new ones and use what I already have, that statement works on so many levels for me. Anyhoo... The other night I ...

Tips for shopping Whole Foods Market

Like I was saying about my new found food awareness and Oprah's Vegan Challenge the American diet is not working for me at all. Even though I am tall and somewhat lean that doesn't mean I am healthy, far from I suspect. People assume that because of my height that my weight is easier to maintain, it's not. Yes I can tip the scale at 150 and still fall within a healthy BMI but that doesn't mean I am in good shape. Trust me when I say that since I started blogging my ratio of body fat to muscle flipped and my scale (that measures body fat %) reminds me of that every day (not that I weigh myself EVERY day). Surprisingly enough I found sitting in a chair pecking away at keys for hours at a time does absolutely nothing for you midsection, what an epiphany eh? So now I am on a mission to ...