Archive | April, 2010

Wine and Cheese Please

24 Apr

A couple of weeks ago I scored myself two tickets to the Zinfandel Grand Wine Tasting at The Island Hotel in Newport Beach.  I won these tickets from a little contest that Griffin Eats OC held on his blog.  This was my first wine tasting event and didn’t know how it would be set up.  I’ve only ever done wine tasting at Napa and enjoyed it so much, I thought I would like this event also.

Upon arriving at the event, we were given a wine glass to walk around for pours.  We walked into a big room and there were tons of tables set up with each winery giving out pours.  My wine of choice has always been white wines, but by looking around the room I realized it was only red Zinfandels.  Bummer. I sucked it up and tried tons of different wineries.  I knew I wouldn’t remember my favorites so I took a picture of them
Of all the wines, the Barefoot Zinfandel was my favorite.  I find this funny because that is the only wine that cost under $10. Cheap and good? I’ll take it!  
My favorite part was the cheese. I think I enjoyed the cheese a little more than the wine.  When they brought out the tower of cheese, people swarmed over as if 100 dollar bills were scattered all over the table.  It was definitely a fight just to get a couple of pieces.  
Overall, it was a good experience to go wine tasting.  I enjoyed the red wines a lot more than I thought I would.  I am always open to trying new things and who knew I would take a liking to red wines.  

Restaurant Review: CPK

22 Apr

Last week we decided to head out to Downtown Fullerton with a couple of friends.  Before heading out, we stopped for dinner at California Pizza Kitchen at Main Place.  This wasn’t our first choice, but when we saw the wait for Olive Garden we quickly turned the other direction.  I’ve never been a big fan of a sit down CPK, I prefer CPK ASAP at South Coast Plaza.

We started off with the Crispy Artichoke Hearts from their Small Cravings Menu.  It came with a remoulade sauce which was delicious. I am currently obsessed with artichokes mixed in everything. 
I had the Portobello Mushroom Ravioli with a tomato cream sauce.  You can choose either a tomato sauce or the garlic cream sauce.  I decided to have the best of both worlds. I prefer mushroom ravioli over and other type. I also loved the strands of basil in the dish, it added a nice touch. I would definitely get this again.
Boyfriend got the Garlic Cream Fettuccine. It was a bit too heavy for me, but I loved that you could actually taste the garlic in it. I am pro garlic and tons of it too 🙂

Steve got the Chicken Lettuce Wraps.  He gave me a piece and it tasted like lettuce wraps you can get anywhere, nothing too special
Hoang got the Broccoli Sun-Dried Tomato Fusilli.  I really liked this because it was light.  Sun-Dried tomatoes adds such a great flavor to pastas. 
Hoang and Daniel shared a half order of the BBQ Chicken Salad. It was your basic BBQ salad, nothing too fancy.  I like that there wasn’t too much dressing covering it.
After our dinner party, we headed over to a friends house to do some pre-partying before heading to Downtown Fullerton.  We started off at Matador Cantina where we had a couple of drinks.  Some friends tried meeting us up there, but the line was too long so we left and headed to Cherch Lounge.  The line was not moving at all so we walked on over to Heroes.  I love that bar for their laid back atmosphere and unlimited peanuts.  They have tons of beers on tap and peanut shells covering their floor.  It was definitely my kind of bar.

Beer Can Chicken

14 Apr

Whoever came up with ‘beer can chicken’ is genius.  My dad bought a whole chicken and I wanted to try something new.  I remembered I had this recipe bookmarked for a while.  I decided to roast it instead of bbq and changed it around a bit to adapt to my liking but the basic concept is there.

one chicken cleaned (about 4-5 pounds)
1/2 cup butter
1 tbsp paprika
1 1/2 tbsp Mrs Dash seasoning
1 tbsp garlic powder
lots of pepper
a little bit of salt
one can of beer (but you’re only using half the can, so feel free to drink the other half)
*I kind of eye all my seasonings, but this is about how much I use. 
A couple hours before I started cooking the chicken, I rubbed it with salt&pepper, Mrs Dash season, and a bit of garlic powder.  I let it sit and marinate in the fridge for a couple of hours before cooking.  Also, if you can peel back a bit of the skin of the chicken, season under there also.  I do that since I don’t eat the skin of the chicken and I still wanted it to be seasoned.  
When you’re ready to cook it, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  
1. Pam spray your casserole dish and the beer can so it’s easy to pull out when you’re done
2. Melt the butter and add the garlic powder, paprika, Mrs Dash, and the S&P.  Pour half of this concoction into the half empty beer can.  Set the other half aside.
3. Put the beer can into the chicken and stand it up in the casserole dish.  Make sure your chicken is not hanging over the sides of the casserole dish.  You don’t want the juices dripping out onto your oven
4. Brush the rest of the butter mixture onto the chicken.  I saved some to brush on half way thru the cooking process. Make sure you brush underneath the wing and in every single crevice of the chicken.
5. Cook the chicken for an hour, depending how big your chicken is. Its about 15 mins per pound or until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees. 
This is the chicken pre cooked:

I forgot to take pictures of the final product right when it came out the oven.  By the time I had remembered my mom had hacked into it. But I leave you with the picture I snapped of my plate
I love how golden brown it got. It was nice and moist, even the white meat part! The boyfriend gave me a two thumbs up on this 🙂
I also roasted some broccoli while I had the oven on.  If I could chose one vegetable to eat for the rest of my life, this is it. 
All I did to roast it was toss it in some olive oil, salt, pepper, and lemon pepper. Throw it in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes.  
Dinner was done and ready in about an hour.  I having a whole chicken because you can use it in various meals.  The next day, I used the chicken to make a delicious sandwich. 
I’ve been super busy lately with school so I haven’t had a chance to cook.  I’ll be posting some restaurant reviews soon so stay tuned!


13 Apr

I think this deserves its own post:

Aidens back!!

Spring Break recap

10 Apr

School has been consuming my life lately, thus the lack of posts.  There have been a couple of highlights in the past two weeks.  Be warned…this is a long post

My spring break kicked off with a little adventure to LA for
Twestival with Kim and Shannon.

This year, Twestival around the world was able to raise over $460,000 for Concern Worldwide. We drank, danced and watched Kim collect her numerous raffle winnings, which included 4 Justin Bieber tickets. 

Shannon, me, Kim

(via politeinpublic photobooths)

#1 sugarmama 😉

Overall, it was an amazing event with great music, strong drinks, and amazing company.  
For Spring Break, me and the bf took my parents to Vegas for a couple of days.  They hadn’t been there for a while, so I got them a room and let them roam the strip and gamble to their hearts content. My dad had quite the time and it puts a smile on my face when I see him so happy. 
Some food porn 😉
This is from the Studio B buffet at the M Resort.  It’s a bit away from the strip, but by far the best seafood buffet for $30 (weekends only)

The Spazmatics at Harrahs Casino. They are an 80’s coverband that dresses up in some nerdy get-up. Hilarious to watch and we caught a good 20 minutes of their show. 

And what’s Vegas without having a drink by the waterfall
Other than Twestival and Vegas, my spring break was spent working and resting.  I also did a little shopping, but I will save that for another post. School has been torture this past week and doesn’t end ’til mid next week.  Hopefully I’ll have time for some quickie posts before you forget about me.