Food Adventure Collage.

carnitas snack shack. c-level. world famous. woodstocks. terra american bistro. buddies. corbins. casey's cupcakes. mandarin beijing. nazca grill. eiffel tower restaurant. gordan ramsay burgr. in-n-out. bankers hill bar and grill. los primos. bistro sixty. ruth's chris.


... to a place I like to call my very own. *waving hello*

I invite you to enjoy reading about the food adventures that I have with friends, family, and colleagues.

I adore food and I cannot just choose one particular food that is my fave.

Food is really is my favorite. Enjoy!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

[Recipe] Easy, No Fail Turkey Meatloaf - Courtesy of Sweet Treats and More

This is my first cooking post - yay!  Although... I did not take pictures of every step.. haha, oh well... anyway, I am excited to share with you an amazing recipe for turkey meatloaf, courtesy of Kristy from Sweet Treats and More.

Meatloaf can be boring, but to me, it's comfort food and delicious at anytime of the year... even during the hot, hot summer that we are experiencing in San Diego.

Sprouts Farmers' Market was offering a great deal on their ground turkey, so I bought two pounds worth from the meat counter for $2.29 a pound.  I just love how they wrap up the meat in butcher paper.  Just like a gift... of meat.  When we got home, I searched "turkey meatloaf" online and browsed through Ina's recipe and others until I found Kristy's recipe on her food blog.  The recipe calls for exactly two pounds of ground turkey and I had all the other ingredients needed at home, so bababooey.... I made it.

Recipe from Kristy's blog, Sweet Treats and More:

2 pounds ground turkey, thawed (or use extra lean ground beef)
1 egg
1 onion, finely chopped
1 cup milk
1 1/4 cup dried bread crumbs
salt and pepper

3 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons prepared mustard
1/3 cup ketchup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl combine the ground turkey, egg, onion, milk, bread crumbs, and salt and pepper (I use my clean hands to combine).

Using hands form into a loaf and place in a lightly greased 9 X 13 in baking dish. Sprinkle top with another dash of salt and pepper.
In a separate bowl combine brown sugar, mustard and ketchup. Pour over the top of the meatloaf, spreading evenly. Sprinkle a little bit of brown sugar over the top of sauce. Bake for about one hour or until cooked through.

I did not have any canned bread crumbs at home, but I did have slices of whole wheat bread.  I made my own bread crumbs by taking four slices of wheat bread and putting them in the toaster oven for about 10 minutes on 250 degrees.  Then, I used my food processor to grind them all up. 

Reading the reviews before actually prepping the meatloaf, some cooks thought that one onion in the meatloaf was too much so I only did a half an onion, which seemed like a lot after it was chopped, but I think that I will put in the whole onion next time.  I don't mind a little onion-y flavor!

The recipe mixture called for salt and pepper in the mixture, so I basically put three large pinches of kosher salt and a few large shakes of ground pepper.  It was the perfect amount.

One hour later on 350 degrees, here it is... I'm telling you.  The fragrance of the meatloaf filled out house, and it was tantalizing and teasing us! 

I should have lined my 13 X 9 ceramic pan with foil.  *note to self* ....and to you!  It just took me quite a while to scrub every bit of caramelization off my nice pan.

I was too lazy to make an accompanying starch dish, so I made garlic bread and a Caesar salad instead.  The meatloaf was SO flavorful. I ate it with ketchup on the side.  Kristy recommends that you double the sauce recipe for serving the sauce on the side later. 

I tend to "underestimate" the baking times because of my oven, but I wanted to ensure that the turkey was cooked all the way.  Baking it for one hour was good and it was cooked through, but I think I can achieve more moisture if I took it out maybe five minutes earlier and let it rest.  I will do that the next time.

Gosh, I am so grateful to Kristy for posting this wonderful recipe.  It is simple, NO HASSLE, and super duper delicious.  I made myself a meatloaf sandwich the next day and it tasted wonderful cold too.

Try it... you will be thankful too!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Homestyle Hawaiian - Chula Vista

Sooooo... one of the L&L Hawaiian Barbecue locations gave me really bad food poisoning last year and I swore to never, EVER visit again. I have not been to one since.  I often forget that there are quite a few options for good Hawaiian BBQ/food besides the L&L franchise, and Homestyle Hawaiian is one of them.  I have heard of them, I have not had the chance to try their food until we had their food at the University of San Diego (USD) recently.

Our family was invited to the Pacific Islander student group's annual luau at USD and Homestyle Hawaiian catered. I did not have a chance to take photos, but their food was amazing. They served teri chicken, kalbi ribs, mahi mahi in a lemon butter caper sauce, kalua pork, Korean chicken, steamed rice and caeser salad. YUP, I had a little bit of everything, including an extra scoop of rice because I told them that my toddler son (whom I was holding him in one arm and our plate in the other!) and I were sharing. 

They passed out menus at the end of the buffet line. One of the staff members said to me as I took one, "We'll see you at the restaurant!"  We were pleasantly surprised to see there is a location in Chula Vista. I still live under a rock - I had no idea! 

We have gotten take out a few times already.....

I ordered the teri beef plate ($7.50) with macaroni salad. It is a must, must, MUST for me to have mac salad with a plate lunch.  The other option is a green salad with dressing.  The portion of the beef was HUGE! The teri beef was so flavorful - garlicky, sweet, salty. The slightly charred bites were my fave. For all that meat, I needed an extra scoop of rice to finish. The mac salad was yummy - a bit overdressed with mayo but I did not mind at all. 

[closer look at the teri beef]

Hubby ordered the two-item plate lunch ($10.95) with teri chicken and kalua pork with mac salad. The combo comes with two scoops of rice and one scoop of mac salad. The chicken pieces were marinated boneless chicken thighs. Although a bit tough, it was still good in flavor.  The kalua pork melted in my mouth. It was really savory and left me wanting more bites of his meal. 

For the second take out visit, we wanted to try their kalua pork wontons (5 for $3.75), but they ran out!  Instead, they gave us a hefty portion of meat lumpia - ten of them and only charged us for the wontons - a plus for them!  Six meat lumpias are $4.00. Thanks, guys!

The lumpia was crispy and I could tell it was fried on the spot.  They put a side of sweet chili sauce for dipping.  Yum.  Compared to my mom's fabulous lumpia, which will always be the best to me, these were really good!  The meat, which appeared to be pork, was flavorful and the fact that the fried wrapper was still crunchy during the car ride home says a lot.

The hubby cannot resist kalua pork ($7.50).  This time he didn't get the two-item plate lunch, which they use a black styrofoam container as opposed to the white ones for single item plate lunches.  As you can see, they PILE on the pork.... even the scoop of rice is huge!  

I ordered the kalbi ribs ($7.95).  There were four in my order, which is a nice hefty portion for just one person.  Two of these short ribs had a lot of fat on them.  Sometimes I don't mind the fattiness, but I ended up trimming a good portion of them off.  The charred meat though.... was so delicious!  I really miss grilling on a charcoal grill and I long for that simple taste.  These ribs do the trick for that wanted flavor, though.  One of the four ribs -- however -- was very chewy.  I found myself chewing for an unusual long time.  

[close up of the mac salad - yummmm]

At another visit.... mmmm, the Korean chicken ($7.95).... so crispy and flavorful.  This is my favorite entree here, so far.  It took us about 20 minutes to drive our food back home and the chicken was still crispy.  To me, I may put the salted pepper chicken wings aside for a few and focus on the Korean chicken for a little bit.  It is not spicy, and it has really good flavoring!

The hubby ordered the teri chicken ($7.50) by itself and we made our own two-item plate lunch....

TA-DAHHH..... way to go when we don't need the extra scoop of rice (and saves us about $3.00 each if we both wanted the two-item plate lunch).  Still very, very filling!

Our favorite place for Hawaiian BBQ so far.... if you have any other suggestions, let me know!

Homestyle Hawaiian
1558 East H Street, Suite A
Chula Vista, CA 91913
* located near the oil change place, facing Otay Lakes Road

Friday, June 21, 2013

New Strawberry Heaven Menu at Marie Callender's

Happy First Day of Summer!  We all know that summer time means that strawberries are in season!  Who doesn’t love fresh strawberries to eat as a snack?  I love strawberries.  Growing up, I used to dip my strawberries in granulated sugar before taking a bite for that extra sweetness!  Also, at almost every family party, we had an angel food cake with peanuts and strawberries.  Yum!

This is the perfect time to let you know that Marie Callender’s Restaurant and Bakery is offering their Strawberry Heaven menu right now through September 2.  Here's a detailed menu of what they offer:
Fresh Strawberry Pancakes ($7.99) – Four fluffy made-from scratch buttermilk pancakes topped with fresh strawberries and finished with fresh whipped cream

Fresh Strawberry and Banana Stuffed French Toast ($9.99) – Thick slices of egg bread stuffed with whipped cream cheese, strawberries, bananas and strawberry jam dipped in egg batter, then grilled until golden brown. Drizzled with almonds and Grand Marnier syrup

Fresh Strawberry Waffle ($7.99) – Thick crisp waffle topped with fresh strawberries and whipped cream

California Chicken Waldorf Salad ($11.99) – Baby greens and crisp romaine lettuce tossed with fresh strawberries, pineapple, apples, mandarin oranges, cranberries, gorgonzola cheese, caramelized pecans and balsamic vinaigrette topped with chicken

Pecan-crusted Chicken with Strawberry-Habanero Jam ($15.99) – Pecan-crusted chicken breast served over coconut rice topped with strawberry-habanero jam and drizzled with balsamic reduction

Monte Cristo Sandwich ($10.99) – White bread with Honey-Dijon mayo, strawberries, smoked gouda cheese, turkey and ham dipped in egg batter and grilled golden brown. Served with a side of strawberry-habanero jam

Grilled Salmon with Fresh Strawberry Mango Salsa ($16.99) – Grilled salmon fillet over coconut rice, topped with fresh strawberries, pineapple and mango salsa.

As you all know, Marie Callender's is known for their delicious, fresh pies and desserts.  Here is what they are offering with their Strawberry Heaven menu:
  • New York-Style Cheesecake with Fresh Strawberry Topping
  • Fresh Strawberry Pie
  • Fresh Strawberry Shortcake Sundae
  • Fresh Strawberry Banana Cream Pie
  • Fresh Double Cream Strawberry Cream Pie

YUM!  Marie Callender's has a number of locations here in San Diego.  If you want your strawberry fix, you know where to go...

Happy Summer!

** pictures provided by Murphy O'Brien Public Relations
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