OC Food Diva Orange County restaurants

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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Pie Crust Manju

I was trying to think of something to make for our Chinese New Year Potluck at work. I looked through my cookbook collection and found a recipe for Pie Crust Manju in the The Island Plate II: More Recipes from the Honolulu Advertiser (2008) by Wanda A. Adams.
The pie crust part of the recipe is very simple and I bought canned azuki bean paste from 99 Ranch Market. Be sure to buy red beans made by a Japanese company as it will not taste right otherwise.

 All filled and ready to bake. Just need a touch of egg glaze.

They came out perfect with a wonderful golden brown color. 

All it needs is the little red stamp on the top. For those of you who have had manju before, you'll know what I'm talking about. :)

Thank you to my mom for helping me put this together. The folks at work appreciated it.

Mahalo!

OC Food Diva

Portuguese Sausage Fried Rice

Chop up a whole Portuguese sausage. I used Redondo's Spicy Portuguese Sausage from Hawaii. Brown it up in a deep pot or wok. I did something different this time, I used a combination of 1 cup calrose rice, 1 cup brown rice, and 1 cup of quinoa. It's a little healthier than just calrose rice plus you get a crunchy texture from the brown rice and a nutty flavor from the quinoa. The quinoa makes the mixture very fluffy. I added the combination of rice, still hot from the rice cooker, into the pot/wok. Then, I mixed in 4 scrambled eggs, one at a time, to the pot, folding in the eggs. The hot rice cooks the eggs immediately and makes a fluffy coating on the rice. Add shoyu to taste.

Mahalo!

OC Food Diva

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Eat St. Video Contest

10 more days to vote for your favorite food truck and they could be on Eat St. Check out the website and vote now! http://memelabs.com/eat-st/

Mahalo! (Go Chunk-N-Chip!)

OC Food Diva

Friday, January 20, 2012

Border Grill in Santa Monica, CA serves up Modern Mexican Cuisine from the “Too Hot Tamales”

In the late 1970’s, Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger crossed paths in kitchens from Chicago to France and always knew that they would work together again. In 1981, they reunited in Los Angeles and opened the City Café on Melrose Avenue, but outgrew the space in a short period of time. In 1985, they moved and opened CITY restaurant and Border Grill (Melrose) based on their culinary travels to Thailand, India, Mexico, and other exotic locations to take their clientele on an epicurean journey without ever leaving Los Angeles. In 1990, Border Grill in Santa Monica opened its doors in the perfect location, just a few blocks from Santa Monica Pier with the scent of fresh seawater in the air. In 1995, they became a national sensation on the Food Network’s “Too Hot Tamales”. They are as spicy in real life as they are on television; meeting them a few years back at the LA County Fair during a radio broadcast and attended one of their cooking classes at Border Grill. The most memorable experience that their restaurant gave me was on October 30, 2000, when my fiancé and I celebrated our rehearsal dinner at their Border Grill location in Las Vegas. What a great way to start a marriage with wonderful food that feeds the mind, body, and soul!

Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger define modern Mexican cuisine as light and healthful with large doses of flavor. They take authentic Mexican fare featuring traditional meats, poultry, and seafood and enhance them with fruits, vegetables, herbs, fresh salsas, rice, beans, and handmade tortillas. Everything is made from scratch using the freshest and sustainable ingredients from the food to even the signature cocktails. They are members of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program and only serve sustainable seafood. They also developed a program called “Good for the Planet, Good for You” giving guests the choice of dishes made from at least 80% plant-based ingredients. This program encourages guest to get meat out of the center of the plate and build the meal around vegetables, grains, beans, salads, and fruits.

To read more and see photos, please visit: http://www.examiner.com/restaurant-in-anaheim/border-grill-santa-monica-ca-serves-up-modern-mexican-cuisine-review

Mahalo!

OC Food Diva

Border Grill on Urbanspoon

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Mustache Mike’s Italian Ice serving their 100-year old family recipe in Orange County, CA

Mike and Adelle Elder love their family. The one sport that all of their children loved to participate in is soccer. Mike thought of using his family recipe for Italian Ices as a fundraiser for their children’s teams. It got to be so popular that in 2006, it planted an idea in Mike’s head to start his own business and expand the flavors of this delicious concoction. The result is premium, authentic, Sicilian Italian Ice. Since then, Mike has expanded his palate to 120 different flavors. His Italian Ices are carried in restaurants around California and independent vendors across the country. In June 2011, Mustache Mike’s hit the gourmet food truck road dispensing their luscious delights to hungry foodies. It always hits the spot whether it’s hot or cold outside.

If you’ve never had Mustache Mike’s before, it is non-dairy, naturally fat-free, gluten-free, cholesterol-free, and even Kosher. His recipe is amazing! It tastes so creamy, but there is no dairy. Let’s take a look at some of his flavors:

To read more and see photos, please visit: http://www.examiner.com/restaurant-in-anaheim/mustache-mike-s-italian-ice-serving-their-100-year-old-family-recipe-the-oc-review

Mahalo!

OC Food Diva

Mustache Mike’s Italian Ice on Urbanspoon

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Knowlwood is a piece of Orange County, CA farmland history

In 1960, Roy and Fay Knowlton partnered with Gene Wood to start a restaurant called Knowl-Wood at the old Orangewood Ranch which is now called Anaheim Hills, CA. Their homemade food and friendly service became their trademark. Even before the 91 freeway was built, Knowlwood was a favorite stop along the old Imperial Highway.

When we first moved to California in the 1970s, there were still row upon row of orange trees that dotted the side of the 91 freeway from its border with Corona and all the way west to Anaheim. As a small child, I remember seeing deer nibbling away on grass on the Green River Golf Course on the north side of the freeway. As we were acclimating to our new home, my dad tried a lot of little restaurants around his workplace. One place stuck out so much that he had to take us there for dinner. The place was Knowlwood, right on the corner of La Palma Avenue and Imperial Highway in Anaheim Hills. Back then, it was in a dirt lot with lights strung up over picnic tables and a little shack pumping out the best burgers in town. Over the years, Knowlwood actually became a covered restaurant and they expanded to Fullerton, Irvine, Laguna Niguel, Santa Ana, and now they have a Knowlwood Café at the Zoo at the Santa Ana Zoo.

To read more and see photos, please visit: http://www.examiner.com/restaurant-in-anaheim/knowlwood-is-a-piece-of-orange-county-ca-farmland-history-review

Mahalo!

OC Food Diva

Knowlwood on Urbanspoon

Knowlwood on Urbanspoon

Knowlwood on Urbanspoon

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Cowboy Cut Standing Rib Roast + Four Brix Winery's 2009 Scosso

Perfectly marbled Cowboy Cut 2-rib Standing Roast aka Prime Rib (Grass fed beef).

My famous garlic parmesan toasts using a French baguette.

After 2 1/2 hours of roasting at 250 degrees, it ready with an internal temperature of 110 degrees.

My center cut was perfectly rare.

My slice (still mooing) with a side of Lawry's creamed horseradish (didn't quite taste like the one at Five Crowns, but close)

The perfect compliment to this meal, a glass of 2009 Scosso from Four Brix Winery.

Mahalo!

OC Food Diva

May Cookie Company Now Available on QVC!

If you read my article about the May Cookie Company back in November 2011 (http://www.examiner.com/restaurant-in-anaheim/may-cookie-company-serves-up-healthy-and-convenient-cookie-mixes-to-make-your-review), you would have read that I loved their Triple Chocolate Oatmeal Cookie and Hearty & Wholesome Oatmeal Cranberry Cookie Mixes. You don't have to search for them in stores anymore! They are now available on QVC's website at: http://www.qvc.com/qic/qvcapp.aspx/view.2/app.detail/params.item.M111743.desc.May-Cookie-Co-Cookie-Mix-Sampler.cm_scid.zone)?&cookie=set.

Mahalo and Happy Cookie Making & Baking!

OC Food Diva

Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Viking Truck is pillaging your hunger with Caucasian Fusion food

Caucasian Fusion? Luis Flores is half Hispanic and half Norwegian, but decided to take off after his “Caucasian” side for this truck concept. Luis is quite a character. Ask him about anything and he’ll tell you a story. He loves to talk about his truck, his family, and food. Food was an important part of his family. Food brings the family together. And you can image the smorgasbord of feasts at his house during the holidays from the Hispanic and Norwegian sides. The Viking Truck is a newbie on the road, opening in October 2011. Luis gives a big shout out to the OC Food Truck for letting him work on their truck to learn the ropes of the food truck business. This concept took two years to make and was well worth the effort.

Odin is smoked bratwurst, bacon, cheddar cheese, sauerkraut, red cabbage, spicy brown mustard, and Viking ketchup. The bratwurst was perfectly cooked, has a rich, meaty flavor, and a good snap. The toppings are amazing! You experience it in every bite – smoky, salty, creamy, sour, tangy, and sweet hitting you all at once. Thumbs up, way up!


Mahalo!

OC Food Diva

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

POP’s Cheesesteaks serves authentic cheesesteaks in Las Vegas, NV

POP’S (Pride of Philly Steaks) Cheesesteaks not only serves cheesesteaks, but authentic cheesesteaks. They fly in the main ingredients, like Amoroso’s Bread, from Philadelphia so you’re getting the real deal. They go through 5000 lbs of meat a month, if that tells you anything. Their location was built in 1964 as a Wienerschnitzel. Since then, it’s been a few different restaurants, until Perry Walters decided to open up POP’S Cheesesteaks in July 2002 and have called it home ever since. Open 24 hours a day, it’s a great place to be in Sin City where everything is pretty much open 24 hours. After watching the craze of the gourmet food trucks, POP’S has decided in 2011 to hit the road too, feeding hungry foodies around the Vegas area as well. Permanent and mobile locations are the best of both worlds for this type of cuisine.

#32 Peppers & Mushroom Cheese Steak is grilled sliced beef with grilled peppers, onions, mushrooms, and your choice of cheese. This is the best cheesesteak I have ever had! I’ve had them in Philadelphia and, I have to say, POP’S is so much better. The meat is to die for! It is cooked to perfection – juicy and full of flavor. The vegetables are cooked with the meat so the uber beef flavor envelops the vegetables like a warm blanket. Just like Pat’s, they served Cheez Whiz. If you’re not a fan, try it on the side first. The provolone cheese melts to a gooey goodness and covers every bit. The Amoroso bread is wonderful. It has a sturdy crust on the outside, light and airy on the inside. It has a subtle french/sourdough taste to it which works great with the steak. Thumbs up, way up!

To read more and see photos, please visit: http://www.examiner.com/restaurant-in-anaheim/pop-s-cheesesteaks-serves-authentic-cheesesteaks-las-vegas-nv-review

Mahalo!

OC Food Diva

Pops Pride of Philly Steak on Urbanspoon

Monday, January 2, 2012

Great Bao in Las Vegas, NV will make you “bao” down in thanks

Sheridan Su was born in Chinatown, Los Angeles and grew up in Monterey Park. For us Californians, these two cities are the mecca of Chinese cuisine in the southland. His playground was his family’s kitchen, watching and learning what techniques and flavors make a dish. Sheridan took his childhood fascinations to school as he enrolled in and graduated from the Culinary Institute of America. He began his culinary career at Ambrosia on Huntington in Boston which was recognized as of one of Esquire Magazine’s 25 Best New Restaurants. Since then, he has been in kitchens from the Atelier in New York City, Joel Robuchon at the Mansion in Las Vegas (Michelin 3-Star restaurant), Social House in Mexico City, Mexico. In 2010, Chef Sheridan became of the youngest executive chefs on the Las Vegas strip at the age of 28 years old.

But, his dream was to own his own restaurant, making food and flavors from his childhood. In April 2011, his dream became a reality when the Great Bao food truck took to the streets, delivering this special delight to the hungry foodies of Las Vegas. With his popularity abound, in July 2011, he found a permanent stand inside the Touch Salon and Spa. Great Bao is inspired from the flavors of Chef Sheridan’s childhood and the night markets of Asia.

To read more and see photos, please visit: http://www.examiner.com/restaurant-in-anaheim/great-bao-las-vegas-nv-will-make-you-bao-down-thanks-review

Mahalo!

OC Food Diva

Great Bao Asian Cafe on Urbanspoon

Korean Chicken Wings

Great thing about this recipe is that the marinade becomes the batter for these little devils. Warning: These are addictive! You can't have just one.

This recipe is from the cookbook, "Pupus: Island Adaptations" by Sachi Fukuda (my aunty)

Mahalo!

OC Food Diva

Wine-Marinated Grilled Chicken Breasts

This is a great recipe especially if you are trying to cut down on your sodium intake. I didn't have a grill readily available so I roasted it in the oven at 350 degrees for 2 hours. The chicken came out tender and reserved the drippings for my next chicken soup stock. There's no waste in our kitchen!

Here's a link to the recipe: http://www.recipe.com/wine-marinated-grilled-chicken-breasts/#commentForm

Mahalo!

OC Food Diva

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year 2012!

I just wanted to thank you so much for your support in 2011. On Examiner, I had almost 20,000 views of my column in 2011. I'm glad that you are enjoying my articles and hope to continue the momentum in 2012.

Mahalo and Hau’oli Makahiki Hou (Happy New Year)!

OC Food Diva