Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Rock & Republic Jeans at Costco

I found these super cute jeans at the Mission Valley Costco yesterday. They are only $49! Totally a bargain. Check out this site for a full view of the pants and then go pick up a pair, PRONTO!

Lucha Libre

This place is legendary in San Diego. It was even featured on The Travel Channel's Man Vs. Food. I eat here with my family often but up until yesterday I had not tried their Surfin' California gourmet burrito. This was the burrito Adam Richman ate on Man Vs. Food. The menu describes it as "Surfin' California - Grilled Steak, Shrimp, Fresh French Fries, Avocado, Pico De Gallo, Cheese, & Super Secret Chipotle Sauce."
As you can see from the photograph, the burrito is enormous and it is overflowing with shrimp and steak. Delicious!

I also love all of their salsas, so good. And their TJ corn, it's amazing, really something special. It's cheesy and well seasoned.

The restaurant is really vibrant and overflowing with Mexican wrestling memorabilia, photographs, and masks (and patrons.)  Check out their website. The look and feel is the same as the restaurant. You're going to love it.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Dessert at Stone Brewing World Bistro and Gardens

Dessert Menu Blue Cheese Jalapeno Cheesecake Smoked Porter Float

As soon as I read Blueberry Blue Cheese Jalapeno Cheesecake, I knew I had to try it. Separately, I love all of those ingredients and I trust Stone with my palate. So, why not?

My very good friend who is also a blue cheese lover shared this different dessert with me. We loved it. The flavor was mostly sweet, especially with the blueberry compote. However, make no mistake, it is blue cheese and the jalapeno is  present making it just spicy enough.

Since we were there on my birthday, I was given a choice between a Smoked Porter or root beer float. Obviously, I picked the alcoholic beverage. It was lovely.

This summer, you must visit Stone Brewing World Bistro and Gardens. Sit outside and make sure to reserve a table with shade. It's gorgeous outside. If it's too hot, the inside is still fabulous.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Summer BBQ Apricot Chicken

Today was my first time barbequeing, really. I love my oven and stove and rarely venture outside to cook. I'm happy to report that it was a success. What luck on my first try too! Sorry, I don't have a photo. The chicken was consumed before I could get a snapshot. However, let me tell you that this was tasty, easy, different, something that you should try this summer.

First, I marinated chicken thighs in a simple brine.

  • 9 cups of water
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • a couple of bay leaves
  • 3 smashed garlic cloves
Leave the chicken submerged in the brine for a couple of hours in the refrigerator. When you're ready to barbeque quickly throw together this simple and different sauce from Stiletto Chef.
  • 1 cup apricot preserves
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard

Heat the grill on high for a few minutes, put the thighs skin side down and reduce heat to low. When the skin caramelizes, turn them over with a metal spatula. Close the lid and check on the chicken in 5 minutes. Cut open the thickest thigh to check for doneness. 

Blackberry Chocolate Chip Muffins

I've been wanting to try Williams-Sonoma's Big Blueberry Muffins recipe for a couple of weeks now, but the summer heat has kept me from turning on my oven. Today I gave in. I had guests coming over and I thought muffins would be a nice parting gift. Upon gathering the ingredients and inspecting the quality of my blueberries, I noticed that they were a little overripe and came up with an alternative. Blackberries and chocolate chips.

My guests loved them. Success! If you'd like to try the blackberry and chocolate chip version, omit the blueberries and use 3/4 cup blackberries cut into blueberry size and 1/2 cup chocolate chips. Add the berries and chocolate to the flour mixture and then fold in the other ingredients. Enjoy!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Mission Valley Cafe


I've been told that I should try Lakeside Cafe however, I'm rarely in that part of town. Normally we stay in Mission Valley for breakfast or venture out for an ocean view with our meal. Mission Valley Cafe opened last month and it's the same as the Lakeside Cafe. They are both owned by San Diego Home Cooking. Check out their site for more locations and the entire menu. 

I ordered the Baja omelette. It's filled with bacon, Ortega chilies, fresh tomatoes, jack cheese, and topped with avocado. So good! With an omelette comes your choice of bread or pancakes AND one of many breakfast potato options, fresh fruit, or cottage cheese. Not bad at all. It was enough to share with my kiddo and not have to order a separate meal for him. 

The service was outstanding. Everyone greeted us on the way in and we got a round of thank you's on the way out. 

The interior of the restaurant is contemporary. I was shocked. I thought it was going to look like an IHOP or Denny's but it was really nice. They even have a great bar where you can grab a couple of drinks and an outside patio where your pets can dine with you. 

I'm definitely coming back. Can't go wrong with good food, good service, and a central location.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Stella Cupcakes

 A blogger, has created a tribute to Stella McCartney's citrus fruit spring pattern with a cake. She made a citrus cake with lemon curd filling and lemon orange butter cream. Please check out the link to see her beautiful work and her adapted recipes.
I made these tasty treats and packaged them up as favors for my birthday. They were well received. :)
  • To make the cake, I used a white cake mix. I added 3/4 cup of ricotta cheese and 2 tablespoons orange zest in addition to the egg whites, oil, and water the recipe already calls for. *Save those oranges for the OJ you will need for the butter cream frosting. When baking the cake, lower the temperature of your over by 25-50 degrees than the recommended temperature on the box. This will help the cupcakes rise with a flat surface instead of a hill. The hill is a harder to decorate.
  • Here's the link to the lemon curd recipe I use or can use the one given by Apollinas.
  • I followed her recipe for butter cream to the letter and it came out beautifully. It was creamy, buttery, and had just the right of citrus flavor. Gorgeous.
  • When shopping for your fruit, pick the tiniest lemons, limes, and cuties possible. The cupcakes give you very little room for decorating. The original version of this was done on a 10 inch cake so she could have more surface area for fruit and mint. 
  • If you choose to fill your cupcakes, check out this link for helpful tips. It's a little more work but makes the cupcakes much more flavorful.
I know you'll enjoy these baked, filled, and frosted gems. Perfect for summer.