Tag Archives: lobster

Crab Town – San Diego, CA

My world revolves around food. It truly does. I’ve always said food brings people together. A meal can mend, heal, celebrate whatever you’re going through. I’m on a crazy Louisiana seafood boil craze at the moment and I’m lucky to have amazing friends who help me feed my current food frenzy. I hadn’t heard much about Crab Town and didn’t even know about them. But they have lunch specials that other similar style restaurants don’t offer so it was the perfect opportunity for me to finally try out Crab Town in San Diego.

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Pacific Coast Grill

I think I visited Pacific Coast Grill when they were located some miles South in Solana Beach years ago. Sis has mentioned that the views and food in their Cardiff location is pretty good. Friend took his nephew and niece here some months ago and agreed with sis’ sentiments. We visited for Easter brunch last month and had one of the best breakfasts ever in San Diego.

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Top Island Seafood Restaurant (Thanksgiving Dinner) – Alhambra, CA

I usually celebrate Thanksgiving in San Diego and host a dinner at my place for friends & family who don’t have a place to go. But this year my mom wanted all of us to drive to Los Angeles so she could treat everyone to a Thanksgiving dinner at a seafood restaurant. I’ve seen Top Island Seafood Restaurant a few times when I was in San Gabriel but never had a chance to try them out. So we trekked it to Los Angeles Thanksgiving Thursday to spend a very traditional holiday at a Chinese seafood restaurant (note irony and humor in that).

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Karina’s Mexican Seafood

I was invited to try out Karina’s Mexican Seafood and was pretty excited as this seafood restaurant has been on my bucket list for years. Karina’s Mexican Seafood has been notorious for two things : 1) beautiful servers and 2) ceviche. I was able to bring a plus 1 and called CDJ. When I asked if he wanted to try Karina’s his reply was ‘who is that’.

me: ” It’s kinda like the Mexican Hooters…”
him: (interrupts me) “I’m in”
me: “…that serves ceviche, seaf….”
him: “I’M IN”
me: “…seafood, it’s in down…”
him:” stop talking you had me at Hooters”   Continue reading Karina’s Mexican Seafood

The Buffet @ Valley View ( Free AYCE lobster buffet for 1st timers) – San Diego, CA

The Buffet

( Just a precursor : This is a long post with LOTS of photos about the buffet. FYI… )

I don’t introduce random people to my family. It takes awhile for me to even introduce friends to them. It’s just that my family isn’t the warmest or most social of beings if that makes sense. You don’t just go over to their homes and have freshly baked cookies and a glass of warm milk if ya know what I’m saying. It’s more come over to Faye’s house for dinner, say hello to family who probably won’t remember your name when you say hello and goodbye, and eat at the ‘kids’ table all night (you know what’s funny that I’m totally thinking about right now…my sister has kids now and even *she* still sits at the kids table).

Continue reading The Buffet @ Valley View ( Free AYCE lobster buffet for 1st timers) – San Diego, CA

Merry Christmas 2013 !

It’s been a lazy Christmas morning for me and I don’t think I would have it any other way. This week blew by so quickly that it’s hard to believe that TODAY is actually Christmas.

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I taught the kid’s Sunday school the other week and it was actually about the story of Christmas (yes!). I was relieved b/c it’s a story that most kids know. There were figurines to cut out to help illustrate the story telling. As I was teaching, one of the kids picked up the figurine of the little girl and asked ‘Miss Faye, who’s this?’. I did my blinking in confusion thing and looked over to the other woman helping me that morning. We both had NO idea who this little girl was. Was it Mary’s friend? Was it just a random little girl visiting the inn? I smiled and said ‘oh, it’s the inn keeper’s daughter?’. It’s moments like those that make me smile and appreciate every opportunity I have with these kids.

Youngest sis and I did some last minute shopping yesterday (mostly for ourselves – no shame in admitting that 🙂 ). We came home late and our feet ached from all the walking around. She decided to stay home to wrap presents (for the family) . I was going to Xmas eve service with a few friends but everyone’s plans changed last minute so I ended up going alone (which I kinda preferred).

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I look forward to two evening church services every year: Easter (eve) and Xmas eve. Always. There’s something about these two night services that brings back beautiful memories for me. They give you a candle at this service to light at the end.

Toxie wasn’t able to make it that night.

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So I got another candle to represent the both of us being there that night 🙂 I told her she would be there regardless of where she was at that moment.

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The church has a guest that night that did some incredible free hand painting while the a pastor gave the sermon. It was really cool. And at the end, we all light the candles and sing Christmas carols.

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I used an old blanket that Lifu and Mochi used to sleep on as the Xmas tree skirt. Poor Lifu was confused as I find him hanging out under the tree quite a bit. Look at him. He actually looks really cute under there.

Here is my present to youngest sis today…

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It’s a 3 tier candle tower from my favorite store Anthropologie. Not only do the candles smell amazing, they can later be used as DOG BOWLS!!!! How cool is that?!!

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We made Lifu pose with the side of the candle that most resembled his breed. See how happy he looks (yeah, not really right).

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Our ‘brunch’ today. Lobsters from H Mart!

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I use LOTS of fresh garlic and butter for the dipping sauce. I microwave the butter and raw garlic and that seems to tone down the ‘spiciness’ of the raw garlic. It’s really really good.

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This is all the lobster meat from the two lobsters. Kind of a lot of work but oh well.

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I forgot that H Mart gave out free calenders one particular weekend. It was a nice quality calender too.

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– sashimi salad/poke: tuna, salmon, snapper (?)

I found a small batch of cut of sashimi from H Mart as well so I thought I’d make a sashimi salad of some sort (I made a salmon poke version some time ago too).

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– mayo, sriracha, and sweetfish roe

These were already in my fridge. I like my stuff super spicy but youngest sis doesn’t so I’m going to let her adjust the sashimi salad the way she wants it.

Side note: did anyone else hear about the possible shortage of Sriracha?

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There were plenty of bottles at H Mart recently so not sure what’s up.

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Look at the beautiful, bright orange tobiko !!

So that’s where we’re at right now this sunny Christmas day. Youngest sis is still wrapping gifts as my nephews are coming over in a bit.

I sincerely wish those reading this post today a wonderful and peaceful Christmas/Holiday. Remember those that are important to you and your life. Don’t forget that this is the season to make things better (not only for others, but for yourself as well).

From my family (that would be the dogs) to yours, Merry beautiful Christmas…

Puck’s Tavern ( Test Dinner ) – Anaheim (Honda Center), CA

My earliest memories of Wolfgang Puck was in college. One of the University’s dining areas had Wolfgang’s pizza and salads. I remember the food being really expensive AND their Chinois chicken salad being really spicy (wasabi-spicy).

My college buddies and I used to joke that we would make a special trip to Cut (Puck’s famous steak house in LA) when we make our first bazillion dollars or something.

My friend Arrow (nickname to be explained later) is a huge foodie. He has no issues dropping a hundo on a bottle of wine or on a very good steak at a restaurant. He’s the one guy in my life that loves food as much as I do and we can talk about food for hours. Plus, he’s quite the relationship expert. You never go to Arrow if you want compassionate advice on a relationship. You go to him knowing that he will give you the absolute truth about someone – it doesn’t matter how much you try to sway him to believe otherwise. I guess that’s the attorney in him.

Arrow knows people in the food business and goes to alot of private dinners or soft grand openings. I’d always hear about them and sigh in silent jealously that he always gets these opportunities. He recently moved to Orange County from San Diego so he has even more restaurants and such to try out.

I consider him to be my older brother and he calls me at least once a week to check in on me. Recently he was invited to the new Puck’s Tavern at the Honda Center in Anaheim. I’ve never been to the Honda Center and heard it’s a really cool place. He said this was a ‘test dinner’ where you go and try out their food. I asked if it’s tray passed appetizers or something and he said no – it’s a full service deal so that they can see how everything goes.

Hmmm. Sounds interesting. It was on a Thursday night at 7p so traffic from SD would be horrible. Oh well – what’s another 2 hour drive to see a friend and to eat at a new restaurant. I drove to Costa Mesa to pick him up and then we headed to Anaheim.

The Honda Center had an event that day so the entrance to get in was a bit confusing. I was worried that we had to pay for the Center’s parking but our friends, who were already at the restaurant, said to tell the gate people that we were here for the dinner event. I’m not sure if the restaurant will somehow ‘validate’ parking for customers in the future. B/c I personally wouldn’t pay the $15+ for the Center’s parking to eat at any restaurant.

The Honda Center is really cool though. It reminds me of Petco Park here in San Diego (but without the outdoor baseball field). I wish San Diego had a Center like this (I guess our version is the Sports Arena which is a travesty in itself).

We thought there might a hockey game that night (Anaheim Ducks plays there!) so we both got really excited. Arrow swears the best place for a woman to meet a good dude is at a hockey game.

Unfortunately, the event ended up being Disney on Ice.  Pretty hilarious and ironic if you ask me.

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The restaurant looks brand new. It reminds me of the Karl Strauss and Gordon Biersch restaurants in San Diego. The walls were a bit bare and the restaurant seemed a bit empty at 7:15p. After a bit of confusion, the hostess sat us with our party. We had a high table for four right by the kitchen.

The menu was a bit confusing to me. Were they a seafood place? A steak place? Maybe a pizza place? Everything seemed expensive too. I think I was forgetting that this restaurant IS located INSIDE a sporting center though (where food tends to be more expensive).

Our waitress was nice if not a bit stressed out looking. She took our drink orders and quickly came out with some fresh baked bread.

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– fresh baked bread and goat cheese spread

OMG. These breads LOOKED precious. Shiny, plump, fluffy and oh-so-yeasty. The waitress said it’s baked in house. I believe the darker bread was made with squid ink (Jinxi and Kirbie would like this) but there wasn’t much of a squid ink taste to it.

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I can’t eat goat cheese but I ‘buttered’ Arrow’s piece of squid ink bread with the spread. Every one at the table said the spread was good.

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– Moscow Mule

Two of us ordered this drink. I don’t remember what’s in it other than Ginger Beer and vodka. I know there was a candied ginger on top though. We were both disappointed that the Mule wasn’t served in a copper cup. That was pretty much all we had to say about this drink. It tasted ‘ok’ but not as memorable as we had hoped (the copper cup probably would have helped).

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– Sizzling Mussels $20

white wine, shallots, herbs, grilled bread, béarnaise

This portion was HUGE. Like MASSIVE. It comes out sizzling and steaming for all to witness and admire. I don’t like mussels but I am usually ok w/ the broth that it’s served in (for me to dunk the bread in).

One girl doesn’t like mussels either but she tried one and said it was pretty good. The other people enjoyed this dish quite a bit.

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– grilled bread covered w/ bearnaise sauce

This was my favorite part of the mussels dish. The creamy sauce was absolutely delicious. I’m used to shellfish being steamed in white wine but this bearnaise sauce was so creamy, almost tangy. I couldn’t get enough of it.

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– Lobster & Crab $18

toasted black bread, chili aioli, masago, scallions

The waitress suggested this item. It’s lobster and crab, tossed in a siracha aioli, and then topped on toasted black bread.

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There were thinly sliced cucumbers on top of the toasted bread (under the lobster/crab mix). The pic on the right is a shot of the black bread. The cucumber didn’t do much for me though.

The lobster and crab tasted nice (although mine had some shell in it). This dish is spicy so be careful of that. I think this dish would have been better if not served bruschetta style. Perhaps the lobster/crab mix would have been served alone and the toasted bread placed on the side.

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– Butternut Squash Soup $8

One of the girls ordered this and loved it. It would be her favorite dish of the night. She said it incredibly flavorful yet light.

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– Shellfish on Ice $45

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– raw clams, jumbo shrimp, fresh oysters, mussels, and lobster

I thought this would be served ‘tower’ style but it was served on one large ice platter. It was a generous portion for the price tag. The cocktail sauce had a nice kick to it (b/c of the horseradish). I don’t know if one particular shellfish stood out though. I thought the oysters probably tasted the best to me.

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– Miso Cod $32

crispy rice, asparagus, pickled cucumbers

Two of us ordered this Miso cod that night. I’ve never really ordered miso cod before. Not sure why. I know Japanese restaurants do a nice, expensive rendition of this dish but I’ve never ordered it.

The first pic is of my cod as I asked for no crispy rice (they gave me extra asparagus).

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I was pretty speechless after my first bite of the miso cod. It was sooooo soft. Soooo moist. Was this better than my beloved Chilean sea bass?

Ummmm…that night…I think it was!!!

The fish tasted so fresh and perfectly prepared. I wish it had a bit more miso or sauce on it but that’s just me. I didn’t finish my dish as we ordered a few more things to try out. BUT, the miso cod tasted amazing as left overs the next day.

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– Lamb Shank $32

Moroccan spices, dried fruit cous cous, harissa

One of the girls ordered this (which was odd yet funny as she’s this tiny little thing). It was a large portion and the lamb, from what everyone told me, tasted good. Friend said that the dish was a bit heavy for her taste.

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– Tavern Burger $17

brioche bun, aged cheddar, remoulade, fries

Arrow ordered this as his entree. I asked him why in the world would you order a burger to try out on a test menu. He shrugged and said sometimes dudes just want a burger for dinner (I think Ben might relate to this).

He loved loved loved the burger. It was grilled a perfect medium and the meat tasted juicy.

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– burger’s fries

I’m not a big french fries kinda gal unless the fries are extra crispy. And folks, these fries, that night, were SO crispy!! They tasted amazing – I don’t know how to explain the crunch that I love so much. It’s the end parts of the fries that usually captures my heart – they typically have the most crunch and punch (crunch & punch!! hahah!).

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– Flor de campo pinot noir $8.00

Arrow ordered this pinot for me to try as he is a wine S.N.O.B.

He said this was a beautiful pinot that I would love. I joked that’s probably b/c it’s the cheapest glass on the wine list for $8 bucks right. He laughed and said no, it’s because it’s a REALLY good pinot. And I hate it when he’s right. It was the best drink we had that night.

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– Osso Bucco $38

ansen mills polenta, marsala, orange rosemary gremolata

We ordered this for the table to share. I believe this is veal. I’m not a fan of veal but the bite I had tasted moist and flavorful. The winner in this dish was the gremolata – you could really taste the garlic, parsley, and orange zest.

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– Fennel Sausage Pizza $16

pesto, charred tomatoes, roasted peppers

Who can come to Wolfgang’s and NOT try a pizza. That’s what he’s known for right.

We were all pretty full at this point but had a bit more room in our bellies to try it.

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They have their own pizza oven in the kitchen.

The pizza was a bit soggy in the middle but that didn’t bother us. I liked the combination of the fennel sauce and roasted peppers together. The crust had a nice char to it (and the pizza actually tasted good re heated the next day).

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Everyone shoved their food in front of me so I could take one grand pic of it all 🙂

While everyone was chatting, I took time to stroll around the restaurant (and wait for my full stomach to settle a bit).

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Their bar area is spacious and had three large flat screen tv’s in the background. They have quite a selection of draft beers as well as premium hard liquors.

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– partial view of kitchen

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– sparkling water

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– dessert menu

I didn’t want any dessert but Arrow said we had to try a few.

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– cappuccino

Three of us were from San Diego so two of the girls ordered cappuccinos. The cappuccino was served in a large cup and looked really frothy.

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– Bacon Donuts, Maple Glaze $7

OMG. I have YET to try any type of donuts that has bacon in/on it!!! This was going to be *MY* chance to do so and I was going to tell everyone how amazing it was!!!

I’ll take one order please Miss Waitress…

Unfortunately, the donuts were really heavy and really dense. They weren’t light and airy as I had envisioned (kinda like a Krispy Kreme donut when it comes right outta the fryer). The little oblong things on the plate were donut holes and they tasted just as heavy. We were told the maple glaze was the best part of this dish but no one felt like it did much to this dessert. And the strip of bacon tasted like a breakfast bacon – savory and salty. Which made this dessert a bit stranger tasting for us.

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– Peanut Butter & Jelly Sundae  $7.00

PB ice cream, peanut butter sauce, cranberry jelly and caramelized peanuts

Arrow ordered this on the recommendation of the waitress. I have had Peanut Butter & Jelly (together) ONE TIME in my life. ONE TIME when I was like seven years old and it grossed me out so bad (I think that’s when my no-food-mixing/touching phobia set in). So I wasn’t going to try this dessert.

I heard Arrow say that he could only taste whip cream. My ears perked up like Lifu hearing the word ‘cookie’. I grabbed a spoon and stuck it in the dessert cup. Right as I was taking that first bite, I heard one of the girls exclaim ‘omg…what is that weird jelly thing I’m tasting….’

And sure as all things holy, I felt the jelly cube thing in my mouth. I can’t stand anything jelly or boba in my desserts. It’s just somehow so off putting and so strange to me. I grabbed a napkin and quietly spit out the jelly cube.

This is NOT to say this dessert was terrible or something was wrong with it. It’s just this dessert wasn’t meant for a person like me. On the drive back, Arrow commented that he just wanted a PB&J sundae without having to taste some weird jelly cube thing in there as well.

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–  Pumpkin Pie “Brulee” with 5 spice Cotton Candy

Let’s be honest here. We all know why this dessert was ordered. COTTON CANDY man.

The pumpkin pie brulee was ok – it could have used a bit more torched sugar. But the cotton candy – it was pretty fun and cool. It was a great way to end a meal. One of the girls was playing with the cotton candy (last pic) and we were both laughing at how it just brings back childhood memories.

Service was ok that night. It’s understandable as it was just the test dinner. I felt the busboys were great though. The waitress spilled and broke a full glass of wine right behind me and it got all over my trench coat and white purse. I am not sure if she apologized as she left rather quickly afterwards. I guess that’s understandable too but still….

The busboys came over to clean up mess and they noticed me trying to clean off the wine stains on my purse (my coat was black so that was ok). They immediately got a warm cloth for me to use to wipe of the wine splatters on the purse. So thank you to the them for that.

I would definitely come back here if I was watching a game or attending an event at the Honda Center. I just looked online and it says that it opens TWO hours prior to an event. So maybe they don’t open to the public during non-events?

Regardless, it was a fun night.

Pucks Tavern
2961 E Katella Ave
Anaheim, CA 92806
P: (714) 704-2992

I was invited by a friend that night who was a guest of the restaurant. The meal was complimentary. The views on this posts are my own.

 

….

 

Christmas is almost here. I can’t believe it. I’m picking up sister from LA today (leaving actually right now) so that she can come down here to spend the Holidays w/ me (and help me wrap all the presents). I’m running late and I’m terrified I’m going to hit traffic again. So forgive me if there are errors in today’s post as I’m scrambling to get everything done…

This is what happens when you rush and then fall down the stairs …

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This happened Friday. I always bruise myself somehow when I rush. Oh well.

Hopefully everyone has a short work week and is enjoying this crazy warm weather!

 

Post Thanksgiving eats (& activities) – San Diego, CA

This was the first Thanksgiving I think we’ve ever had that had NO Asian food. Like zero, zilch, none. And the turkey wasn’t just a centerpiece for everyone to look at and pass over for fried rice, noodles, or roast duck.

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– Prime rib

I usually cook this medium+ because of the family’s kids, etc. But this year there were no kiddies around so I was able to experiment with a medium/medium rare version. It turned out really nicely .

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– prime rib au jus

This is my own recipe that I’m too lazy to go into details about right now. But I suck at making sauces but this sauce is my claim to fame in my picky hard to please family.

After I take the roast out to rest, I simmer the vegetables and drippings with a few other ingredients.

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– creamed corn, mashed potatoes, and roasted cauliflower

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– Roast Turkey

My nanny once told me the trick to roasting a bird is to put the breast side down so that it stays moist from the basting and it’s own drippings.This turkey was a fresh Butterball turkey and about 10lbs. I didn’t grow up eating stuffing so I usually put a ton of garlic, celery, granny smith apples, butter, onions into the bird cavity.

This year, I took the bird out a bit earlier than I wanted (I think I was just super un-stressed about how the food would turn out b/c I was completely comfortable that everyone would be ok w/ whatever I served that evening you know?) . Having that stress taken off me, I think, changed the dynamics of how I prepped everything. So yeah, the turkey actually tasted good – I think we were all kinda surprised.

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– Voila 🙂

 

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– cranberry sauce

So sis tried to make cranberry sauce for pancakes the next morning. Keep in mind she’s never used cranberries before either. I think it was our first time even eating a raw cranberry (it tastes like a super sour, super tart, super not sweet little tiny apple). She added sugar to the cranberries and reduced it. I didn’t try it b/c it just sounded really weird the next morning but mom thought the sauce was super tart.

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– funny socks

My great uncle bought these socks for me when I was in Taiwan earlier this year. I thought these toe-separator socks were so adorable so he got me a few pairs. Never wore them so mom and I decided to try them on while watching TV that beautiful Friday morning.

I told mom and sis that we just HAD to go to the mall for Black Friday. No one really wanted to but we figured it was late enough that morning where most of the crowds were probably already gone.

The mall wasn’t disastrous and I managed to find parking pretty quickly. We hit up Macy’s first and it was a total mess. I don’t do well with crowds and neither does mom. But she wanted to duke it out with the others.

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Poor fella.

The pic above is of a guy (probably a dutiful boyfriend or husband) inside Macy’s by the women’s shoe department. He’s carrying a few bag loads of stuff and it appears that he’s just exhausted (and napping) from a very long morning with his girlfriend. I wanted to go to the furnishings department and get a blanket on sale to put over him. Is it weird that this gave me hope that there are nice guys out there 🙂

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– Tender Greens

We went to Tender Greens inside the mall for lunch. I had the cobb salad, mom had Thai Shrimp salad, and sis ordered the chorizo mussels.

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– William Sonoma

I love this store. I would furnish my kitchen with all their stuff if I had the moo(lah) to do so. You know they actually have a small tiny prep kitchen inside? So sometimes they bake up little treats for people to sample. So that morning, they were baking their Bouchon double chocolate cookies and one of the girls added WS’s dark chocolate peppermint barks on top. So freakin’ good. I mean, soooooo good.

They also sell the Starbucks kcup espresso machine thingies. The handsome coffee man offered to demo the machine to me and make me a double espresso latte. Do I look like a girl who would say no to that. Gimme my latte and thank you very much 🙂 It was a generous portion too AND it was piping hot. Perfection.

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– sister’s trees

I love looking at this picture. Makes me think of Ben’s rain quote (well, probably because it was raining that day).

Friend and I met up Fri night for a late dinner. We wanted something fast and cheap. So Mimi’s Cafe sounded good for some reason.

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– French onion soup

I wasn’t even in the mood for this but it was so dang good that night. Our amazing waitress Leanne was the best. The server prepares the soup for their customers so I requested mine w/ no crouton and less onions (more broth instead). The soup was hot, intense (onion wise), and cheesy. Delicious.

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– Spinach salad w/ honey mustard dressing; complimentary bread basket

Salad was great too – their honey mustard made this dish. Bread basket had carrot bread and not-so-good french bread.

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– chicken pot pie

Piping hot, creamy, and the crust was pretty good.

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– Brioche Croque Madame

Open faced sandwich with ham, swiss cheese, and fried egg. Kinda salty and it was a smaller portion than what we had imagined. No matter. It was late and the day after Thanksgiving. The food overall was good and Leanne was just the coolest.

I can’t even remember what I had planned for Saturday. My friends from Orange County were driving down to see me later that day but I wasn’t sure what time. CDJ and one of his best friends wanted to do a hike at Lake Poway. For those that know me, I’m no country bumpkin – I’m not into hiking, nature, etc. But they convinced me to go so fine….

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– Nutmeg Bakery & Cafe

We were going to meet up somewhere on Poway Road for lunch but we didn’t exactly know where. We found Nutmeg by chance and it turned out to be a cute place to have a late lunch 2p on a Saturday.

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– Capri: Roasted Chicken, Organic Walnut Pesto, Fresh Mozzarella, Sundried Tomato Spread, Roasted Garlic

Not sure what’s up post Thanksgiving – but all of the food I’ve had since then has been pretty darn good. This sandwich was no exception. The bread was delicious and I enjoyed the melted mozzarella inside the panini. CDJ ordered same thing as well.

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– Permalosa: Salami, Prosciutto, Port Salut Cheese, Grain Mustard, Pickled Shallots

Friend had this panini and he liked it quite a bit. This friend (who I’ll call NY) is the coolest b/c he lets me take random pics of his food AND let’s me take the first bite outta his food before he gets to try it (not b/c I’m a selfish brat but b/c I’m weirded out by germs 🙂  ).

NY paid for our lunches. They were taking their sweet ol’ time eating when I kindly reminded them that the park/lake closes at 5p which would give us about 2 hours to trek up the trails to the top of the Mount Woodson. I think they purposely were eating slow so they wouldn’t have to hike as much.

 

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– Lake Poway and Mount Woodson

This was my first time here. I couldn’t believe it. It was truly beautiful. The park closes its gates at 5p so you MUST be out by then or you’ll be stuck w/ your car there. It was about 3:08p by the time we started hiking. Mount Woodson is known for its Potato Chip Rock. I didn’t really care at first but then I saw a few photos on yelp and decided it was worth the trek.

None of us knew how long it would take to get to Potato Chip but we had to be back in less than 2 hours so it was looking really bleak. And the boys were sooo slow getting started. Jeez. Come on. They’re both from New York too. You know what they did best the entire time? Cuss. Like ALOT. It always makes me giggle in awe when New Yorkers cuss. It sounds so serious. So mean.

It was apparent we weren’t going to make it to the very top. Every 20 minutes, NY or I would ask someone coming down the trails ‘How much farther to the top, man’. And EVERY one would say 1.5 hours. Even after an hour of hiking, each person would say ‘you better hurry your pace’ or ‘yeah you have another 1.45 hours to the top’. How is that possible.

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NY and CDJ wanted to call it a day and head back down as no one wanted to be locked in this park after 5p. At least the sun setting was really beautiful and serene. NY took the pic of me standing on a rock – pouting – to see if I could get a glimpse of Potato Chip (which there was no way since we were still so far away from the top).

It was such a great afternoon though. I’ve met NY a few times and he’s so genuine, funny, and jovial. I don’t think there was a moment during the lunch/hike when one of us wasn’t laughing from the other person saying/doing something totally ridiculous.

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– The Lake after sunset

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We all came back to my house afterwards to have left overs and watch the UFC fights. My friends from OC came down soon after so we all just hung out at home. It was the perfect night. There was no planning. No obsessing. No need to entertain or to be a great hostess. It was just ending November with a group of friends that I felt safe and comfortable with.

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This was a bottle of wine that I bought in honor of Lifu (j/k). Everyone liked it though. Isn’t the hippo cute?

Sunday came around and it was a big day for me. I usually help w/ the kids Sunday school but that day, I had to teach the kids by myself. I was nervous and anxious trying to prepare last week but I figured my angst should take a back seat to the actual task at hand. We always get together 30 min before we start and are given words of encouragement, etc.

The quick message that morning was that this is the season (the month) of hope for a lot of people.  Remember there are people out there with a different (difficult) journey than yours. You might just be an answer to their prayers and not even know it. So be that light in someone’s life. Be that spark of hope. Intentionally make this month more special.

I was going to meet up with family afterwards for lunch at Uncle’s house but I was tired. So I went to HMart to get stuff to make for lunch (and dinner). HMart always has great live seafood deals (usually they beat 99 Ranch by a few bucks per pound). But look at this deal!

$4.99/lb!!! For LIVE lobster. I am not sure how they do it here though. They have a tank of live lobster that sells for $6.99/lb. Then they have a guy manning a box (with no water) with live lobsters for $5.99/lb. Then I see the same guy inspecting a few of his live lobsters and putting a few choose ones in the show case box (over ice and the ice fog show). The lady behind the counter said it’s $4.99/lb for these chosen lobsters. I asked if they were dead or somehow defective (I don’t freakin’ know). But she said they’re alive and tried to show me a few dead ones (this had me laughing a bit). But there were a few that were still moving so I got two of them.

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They were only 2.85 lbs but who cares. The beer in the pic was used to steam the lobster (ok, fine, I did take a sip before I used it to steam the critters). I was really happy w/ the price tag and it made for a really great late lunch that Sunday (even though the stupid Chargers game was blacked out and they lost to the Bengals anyways).

So it’s December you guys! I hope this post finds you well and that your stomachs are gearing up for this December season….

Oh and it’s Cyber Monday right?! I’m getting emailed mostly free shipping & handling offers though (big whoop right).

H Mart (San Diego) – Family Seafood Dinner

Uncle loves to get live seafood from the newly opened H Mart in Mira Mesa, San Diego. H Mart does have decent deals on live lobster – about $6.99/lb a few weeks ago. Mom told him that she enjoys the way I prepare live lobster and crab so he and my aunt went to H Mart and bought a ton of fresh seafood of us to prep for a family dinner one Saturday evening.  Continue reading H Mart (San Diego) – Family Seafood Dinner