Showing posts from March, 2012

Panera Bread in Irvine, CA has good selection of breakfast and lunch options

Located near the corner of Irvine Boulevard and Sand Canyon Road is Panera Bread. Once you enter the doors, the scent of fresh baked bread fills the air. As you peruse the menu, make sure to sample some of their breads so you can make the right choice. All of their bakery items are on display whether you are in the mood for a pastry and coffee for breakfast or picking a dessert for after lunch. The service is friendly and attentive most days.
Jalapeño & Cheddar Bagel Breakfast Sandwich is an all-natural egg, a thick slice of Vermont white cheddar and smoked, lean ham all grilled on a Jalapeño & Cheddar bagel. The flavors were awesome! Gooey, melted cheddar with smoky ham and a spicy kick from the jalapenos in the bagel made this sandwich a winner. Thumbs up, way up!
Frozen Mocha is velvety chocolate & icy espresso, topped with whipped cream & drizzled with chocolate syrup. This was a perfectly blended mocha, not too sweet, great espresso flavor, and creamy. Thumbs up!

Taco Maria is crafting upscale Chicano cuisine in Southern California

Chef Carlos Salgado started cooking at a young age helping out in his family’s restaurant, La Siesta in Orange, CA. After finishing culinary school, he stayed up in the Bay Area working in some of the finest kitchens in the area – Vernon Morales’ Winterland, Daniel Patterson’s Coi, and James Syhabout’s Commis. Classically trained as a pastry chef, Chef Carlos brings his culinary talents and his culture to bear in all his offerings to SoCal foodies. Chef Carlos is definitely a farm to plate chef – always using local, seasonal ingredients. If you visit him in a farmers’ market environment, during downtimes, you’ll see him talking with the farmers. Frida, the Taco Maria truck, is setup like an exposition kitchen - big pane glass windows, sparkling stainless steel kitchen appliances, and all of the staff dressed in perfectly pressed white chef coats. You can watch them prepare items before your very eyes, whether it’s prepping ingredients or assembling your order.
Chilaquiles from Taco Mar…

Pasta Prima Spinach and Mozzarella Ravioli

Pata Prima makes a Spinach and Mozzarella Ravioli (frozen and sold at Costco stores) that is awesome! I tried it during a sampling while we were shopping and fell in love with them.

Since of boiling them, I've been sauteing them in a skillet with olive oil. The raviolis turn golden brown like a wonton. Last winter, our friend bought a electronic turkey fryer and use it as a deep-fryer in the kitchen when we don't have a turkey to deep-fry. I thought to myself, what if we deep-fried the raviolis like they serve as appetizers in restaurants? They turn out perfect, just like wontons filled with spinach and mozzarella. Sprinkle on the parmesan oregano packet on top and you're good to go.

St. Patrick's Day Dinner

Corned Beef and Cabbage (used Better Homes and Gardens recipe as base then expanded)

Added red potatoes (halved), made a bouquet garni with seasoning packet from inside corned beef package with coffee filter and butcher twine), added 2 pint glasess of water,  and cooked in crock pot for 7 hours on high.

For dessert, I made The Naughty Leprechaun from BetterRecipes.
Better than McDonald's Shamrock Shake with an alcohol kick. Made 3 at one time in blender and split into 3 wine glasses.

Hope you're St. Paddy's Day was great!


OC Food Diva

The Summit House is serving up hearty fare with English flare in Fullerton, CA

With beautiful views of North Orange County, The Summit House sits above it all. The exterior looks like an old English Inn with beautifully landscaped trees and shrubbery on the grounds. The interior is dark with a tavern off to the side and a huge main dining room with floor-to-ceiling glass windows so all guests can partake in the view. The tables are perfectly manicured with white linen table cloths and decorative folded napkins. The servers are dressed in period attire making the experience more memorable. All they need is the English accent and you would be transported to Ole England. My husband and I spend a Valentine’s Day dinner here back in the 1990s so we were interested to see if it had changed. 
Your evening starts with basket of bread (sourdough and walnut bread). I just love the scent of fresh aromatic breads!
Escargots Bourguignonne are served in a Brandy Pernod Garlic Butter. OMG, this is just like I remembered it. The Summit House was my first experience with escargot.…

Pampas Brazilian Grille is Brazilian dining with a seafood flare in Las Vegas, NV

Nestled within the Miracle Mile Shops inside the Planet Hollywood Casino Resort, Pampas Brazilian Grille lures you in with the scent of freshly grilled meats. The exterior looks like any other restaurant in the mall so let your nose guide you through the glass doors to the interior with the dining room directly ahead of you, the enormous salad and hot food bar beyond it and the cocktail bar with al fresco dining to your right. I love to people-watch so the al fresco dining is always my choice!
If you haven’t been to a Churrascaria (Brazilian steakhouse) before, you’re in for a treat. Passadores (the servers) dash around the dining room with huge skewers of sizzling meat and carving knives. Think of it as a Brazilian Dim Sum, but instead of carts, you have grilled meats carved fresh right at your table. This is my favorite cuisine! The Surf and Turf Rodizio is unlimited servings of fresh seafood of the day, grilled meats like Picanha (beef tenderloin with the fat cap), BBQ Pork, Grille…