Red Velvet Cheesecake!!!!

I know I'm late on this train but I finally got my hands on a piece ... Now excuse me while I devour ...

Thank u cheesecake factory!!


Let's add to the collection ..

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My favorite Salad

I'm going on a somewhat health kick cause of all those vacays I've been taking. Its super hot in LA right now so I decided to whip up my fave salad :)

Butter Lettuce
Hard Boiled Eggs
Turkey Bacon
Hearts of Palm

I'm a ranch girl at heart so I'm using fat free ranch (ick) but a dijon vinaigrette would be wonderful!


Late night ihop

Bad. Bad. Bad. I've been eating terrible lately (and LOVEing it) and my latest conquest are these little new things from ihop. I guess the new Despicable Me animated movie is doing a new promo with them and on the menu are some of these weird cinnamon sugar things they call despicablebuns? Kinda crazy, but I like um. Soft dough that tastes like a churro with cream cheese icing with sprinkles, a little kids (and mine) late night dream come true!


Happy Fathers Day!!

Today I took my stylish dad shopping at one of my favorite places in the world -- South Coast Plaza. It's an obvious fave for many reasons, Christian Louboutin Boutique, the best Bloomingdales and Nordstroms on the west coast, Chanel, YSL, Louis Vuitton ... the list goes on. BUT, the store that has my favorite item every time is Lawry's Carvery. Oooh the signature prime rib sandwich is amazing ($9.99?). Perfectly roasted prime rib (rare for me) lying in between two soft pillows of Ciabatta bread - to DIE for. I got my dad the signature 8oz prime rib platter ($19.99) which comes with coleslaw and a choice of side (we got mashed potatoes). We also added a Caesar salad (5.99) to fill our meaty meal with some veggies :) what a perfect afternoon!


Breakfast, lunch and Dinner - Corner Bakery

hahahahah!! Talk about going crazy!! Today is one of those days where I'm holing myself at home and taking care of business!! No time to think of food, so I have it all ready when I need it.

Starting on a new venture, eeeeep! Nerves!


Eegees in Tucson, AZ

Its a hundred degrees here in Tucson! What I've learned is that you cool down with an Eegees, a HUGE slushy drink that literally freezes your brain. Its the only way to beat the heat here, along with some COLD SNAP YOGURT (more on that later). But my absolute favorite thing about Eegees? Pizza Fries! Little itty bitty crinkle cut fries with pizza sauce, cheese and ranch! Gimme a break, I'm on vacay! ;)


Trader Joes - Tarte D' Alsace

If you've ever been to trader joes, you know they have an array of specialty frozen foods and this is one of my absolute favorites. I only get it once in awhile as a very awesome treat because let's be honest - "a French style tart with ham, caramelized onions & gruyere cheese" can't be that good for your thighs when you're trying to shape up for the summer. Well get ready to work it off cause I'm telling you, it's worth it!

                                                             Yummmm - for only $4.99


Arroyo Chop House - Pasadena

Ever since I planned a steakhouse birthday dinner for 20 for my bestie, Margarita, last summer it has become one of our staples when jase and I decided we want a nice steak dinner. As I have stated before, jase is very into being "old man" (i.e. Extra dirty martinis, boat shoes, dinner jacket) and this place suits him perfectly. Not to say Arroyo Chophouse is an old man joint, no no, I'm just saying it's a nice classic change from all the modern wonders of Hollywood.

One of my favorite things here is the pineapple martini ($12). They infuse their own pineapple vodka so it's served perfectly sweet, tart and chilled. Another must get is the garlic bread ($6). Trust me on this one, I don't have a photo, but I have the breath to prove it. Hah just kidding. We also shared a photoless chopped salad ($13). Yummm

What photos DO I have?

A perfect medium rare cowboy rib eye. We split it because it is HUGE. According to them, the reason why the steaks are sooo delicious is because the are the ONLY restaurant in Southern California that serves, exclusively, the highest grade of beef available - USDA Prime. So next time I'm at Mastros, Mortons or Ruths Chris, I'm gonna see what grade beef they have out of curiosity.

Oh, those huge onion rings ($8) were soo good. I hate when the onion ring falls apart and you end up having an onion hanging from your mouth and the breading in your hand, these are perfectly held together rings! And if you're getting potatoes, choose the scalloped ($8).

For dessert, homey apple pie ($9)!! It was practically swimming in a yum caramel sauce. The ice cream to pie ratio was perfect. How could an apple pie that looks like this go wrong? It didn't.

Arroyo Chop House
536 S. Arroyo Parkway
Pasadena, CA


Giada for Target

I was doing a target run today and saw my beloved Giada's adorable cookware line. I love her show and am always dreaming of ways to crash her pad while she's filming Giada at Home. However unsuccessful, i decided the closest I would get to eating her food is, well, never. Unless it came in a jar. Wait a second ...

Ta-da! For just $2.99 a pop, you can pretend she's cooking for you. Or better yet, WITH you. Fun times! I dug out my bag of frozen giant shrimp from Trader Joe's around $10 and my trusty Barilla thick spaghetti $1 and off I went!

My three le creuset babies going to work! I love them so much I use them for EVERYTHING! In the orange we got the water boiling the pasta, the blue has the shrimp sautéing with butter and garlic, and finally in the yellow I sweated an onion and sliced mushrooms before adding the magic Tomato and Basil Sauce. I like to cook the shrimp separately because I don't want them to overcook in the sauce and get all rubbery and gross.

When the shrimp were done (only takes a minute, when they are pink and curled) I took them out of the pan and used some of the tomato sauce to deglaze the bits of garlic and yummy shrimp juices and added it back to the yellow pot. I learned this in cooking class and I realized it really does make a difference in flavor!

Finished! Giada helped me with dinner, can't you tell? It's a shame I didn't have any Parmigiano-Reggiano in the fridge cause then it would really be a Giada masterpiece. Buon appetito!


Cafe Santorini - Old Town Pasadena

For my birthday last year Jason organized a fantastic dinner party here and I remember telling him drunkely, "we have to come back for the food again, because I think its good, but I can't really taste anything!" Haha, silly me. So this past weekend we went to celebrate a special day and I must say - my intoxicated tastebuds did not do me wrong, it WAS good! I ordered the seafood cioppino and it was the best I've ever had! Succulent seafood, tasty sauce, perfectly cooked linguine. Yummm.



I love exploring out of LA, especially on the weekends cause, let's face it, anytime I can get away from a million cars on a 3 lane freeway with construction, I'm a happy girl.

We ventured out to the IE - inland empire about 30 miles east, and settled in at a fun mall named Victoria Gardens. Did some amazing shopping there, and how could u not? Urban Outfitters, Williams-Sonoma, Crate and Barrel, Apple store, American Apparel and Jasons fave MAN store - BASS Pro Shop which literally takes up an entire city block.

But the more important story is - what's for dinner? PF Changs, Yardhouse, Cheesecake Factory, yep they have all that, but didn't I see a Chick-Fil-A on the way here??? Chicken sandwich + waffle fry heaven?! I love you! We don't really have many Chick-fil-A's in LA, actually I've never actually seen one. I've had it once on the drive to Arizona and have very fond memories of dipping those nuggets into their rainbow of sauces. Mmm, moral of the story: see chick-fil-a, stop and eat.
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Boeuf Bourguignon by Julia Child

Scrumptious, belly warming, mouth watering .. how else can you describe this magnificent dish? After watching Julie & Julia, I've been waiting for the perfect opportunity to make this, meaning i'd have to own a Le Creuset first. Everytime i walk into Sur La Table i stare at all the colors and sizes and just dream of a colorful kitchen filled of Le Creusets.  Last weekend i finally broke down and got one. my first choice would have been yellow (as are most things) but they didnt have it in the size i wanted .. Orange it is!

it would be unjust for me to somehow tutorial this recipe in any way, just because i believe you have to get the book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking.  It presents its recipes in such a unique way, i feel if you are going to prepare this dish, you have to do it her way, by her words.

yay! so i did it. and let me tell you, it was easy, but it really wasnt that easy.  i followed her recipe to the T, but i couldnt find bacon with the rind. and the whole foods guy said he wouldn't know where to get it either, so he suggested i just stick with their regular bacon. and not that i know what bacon rind looks/tastes like, everything turned out fine to me.

Also, there are recipes within the recipe like brown braising the pearl onions and sauteing the mushrooms (like i said, get her book) so there were many steps, but it was totally worth it and i would definitely make it again!!


March Madness Update

Sooo .. its been about 23 days into this action and im sorry to reveal that i only lasted 14 days. saadddd. BUT guess what? i lost 7 pounds. and for those 14 days, i did it well. i literally didnt have a drop of sugar, a grain of rice or a piece of bread. and i had SO much energy i was bouncing off the walls. then life kinda happened (parties, birthdays) and not that i fell into the old bad habits or anything but i did allow my self to eat things that i would normally eat, just in very small portions.

3 weeks into March and im very happy! i'll probably do another 2 week run in April, but until then im still eating very very healthy! (except for that Sonic meal over the weekend .. ever had that strawberry limeade drink? a little slice of heaven ...)



haha! i love my entry title. im ALL about the japanese culture. I've been to Tokyo and man oh man, it is one of the most amazing cities in the world. the food, the people, the trinkets, the Harajukus and of course, my Hello Kitty. I came across these cute bento boxes and i just had to share!!


Breakfast 1, week 2

Yay! I love milk in my hello kitty cup :) scrambled eggs, turkey bacon .



Day 6

Its day 6 already and honestly I'm loving it! I'm def a carb girl so I miss my fries, rice and potatoes but my energy levels have been through the roof so I'm very happy.

The homies and I are gonna watch Alice and wonderland tonight and this is what I'm smuggling in as snacks: sugar plam tomatoes, edamame and celery with all natural peanut butter :)

I'm a changed woman.


Healthy Tuna Salad

i looove tuna salad. especially on white bread, but since white bread and i dont get along right now, im going to have it on a bed of salad. mmm, so i did a bunch of healthy shopping at Trader Joes and i was debating if mayonnaise was a good choice for me at the moment. then i made a discovery ... Reduced Fat Mayonnaise - Unsweetened, Low Sodium, Eggless, Cholestorol/Dairy Free. iiiii meaaaaan, that cannot be bad for you at all! so i got it ($2.99, um bargain!), mixed 3 tablespoons of it with 2 cans of albacore tuna in water ($1.49 ea), finely chopped up some celery hearts ($1.69), added about 2 tablespoons of sweet relish and a tablespoon of dijon. easy! i cant even taste the mayo difference! Go Trader Joes! thanks for taking my march madness off to a great start, yay.

March Madness

There comes a time where you feel like you've let yourself go. you know the feeling: eating everything in sight, claiming its "my birthday", "its christmas", "i can't let it go to waste .." YUP, and then it all starts to creep up on you and you say, ugh, i shouldn't have eaten those 19 taquitos.

Well that time is now for me and i feel as if it always happens around March because its the perfect 3 months after Christmas and a perfect 3 months before summer. SO, i declare March Madness eating good clean food month. No sugar, no simple carbs, no fried food, no alcohol. YES, i said it. NO AlCOHOL :) i believe all these foods are things that you can over-do it real easy so im just going to cut them out. if i say im allowed 1 cookie, im just going to eat 3. but who sits around an eats 3 chicken breasts? so, here it is. March Madness.

(i was going to upload pics of what i gorged on in the past month .. but blogger is being mean so i'll do it next time)



Teriyaki chips sound kinda funky let alone teriyaki chex mix, but u find the darndest things during road trips!
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Superbowl Sunday!

We had a few people over to watch the game and it really was more about the food than the game, although im soooooo happy for the Saints!! they deserved it! great season and a great way to end it! We celebrated Drew Brees & Co by having many a beer and yummy finger foods :) i used my fail proof Giada recipes, cause on game days failure is not an option!

Who knew Wal-Mart was so festive?

Meatball sliders! Used Giada's recipe but tweaked it and added some bbq sauce too

Twice Baked Potatoes
(also Giada)

my cousins yummy spam musubi rolls

some spread: my friend Maries super yum corn dip

Farmers Market Veggies from Cuzzie

i made color coordinating cupcakes for each team and even though we weren't
rooting for the Colts, these cupcakes were a big hit!
(Blueberries & Cream, Martha Stewart's Cupcakes)

... and the Saints Cupcakes come marching in!
(Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cupcakes, Martha Stewart's Cupcakes)


Spicy tuna on Crispy Rice!

Jason won't let me say where it is cause its his "secret place" haha! Soo yummy


Menu planning for Superbowl Sunday Funday!

(click to enlarge)

Soooo excited to cook for my friends!! Its gonna be yummy!


New York City!

oh, we had such a fun time!! we hit up most of the places on the "to-eat list" but im still sad we didnt get the potato pizza! oh well, next time! theres a slew of pics, so im gonna let the photos do the talkin ;)

@Lombardis! soo yummy. perfect thin crust, yummy sauce and fresh mozzerella.
FYI it was the first pizzeria ever in NYC, pretty crazy!

me & margie

@Cafe Habana. our FAVORITEST place ever, we went there twice. in four days.
Cafe con Leche ($2.95) for margie, Bloody Mary ($5.95) for me

the best corn ive ever had in my life.
(Mexican Corn $3.95)

Huevos con Chorizo

@macbar a very very cute place that we passed by, its super close to Cafe Habana,
so we went there twice too :)

Mac S'hroom. yum.
(around $7. i also highly recommend the Carbonara!)

@the burger joint. a hidden little gem! its inside le meridian hotel. right past the lobby theres a velvet curtain to the left and a completely tacky neon hamburger sign directs you to the happenin spot. i loved the fact that it was literally a wooden shack housed inside of the le meridian. genius!
@ THE BEST Halal Cart in the City!
53rd & 6th

Chicken over Rice

in line @Magnolias Bakery

it had the most beautiful yummy smell in there!

looks like fun!

now THIS was good. banana pudding

the famous cupcakes.
they were pretty yum. the frosting was a bit on the sweet side for me ...

@dylans candy bar. every time i come here i get a bunch of stuff for jason cause hes a candy freak, and i take a picture of the same step. i love it!

@Rays Pizza in Times Square.

All you can eat/drink sushi/sake for $30/person! omgoodness!
thanks blakely for taking us! i dont know the name to this place though ...


a perfect ending to a perfect trip ...
($5 slice)
ooey gooey perfection!
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