February 17, 2011 Comments Off
Last night we celebrated Matt’s 29th Birthday with some friends at Gabbi’s Mexican Kitchen in Old Town Orange. We had such a wonderful time :) We always have a good time hanging out with Matt and Kara, we should do it more often! The food as always, was amazing. If you haven’t tried their mole, you simply must. This is definitely one of Drew and I’s favorite restaurants. Happy Birthday, Matt! and thanks for picking such a great place for your birthday dinner!
February 15, 2011 Comments Off
During my previous visit to the camp in costa mesa, I had noticed that a new taco place opened. Drew and I both enjoy mexican food, so I figured we would give a try so last weekend we went with Kenny. It’s not your average taco shop. They do “gourmet tacos”, which means tacos with non traditional fillings as you can see from the menu. Since none of us had been there before, we decided to get the flight of first 8 tacos. My favorite tacos were the curried paneer, lamb, and corazon. The spice in the paneer taco was really good, the lamb was super tender, and the corazon was interesting and I love pickled veggies. I didn’t think the others were all that impressive, although drew and kenny both liked the pork belly one the best. They also have a decent beer selection. All in all, it’s a place worth trying out, if just for something new. With those prices, though, I don’t think I would be back very often. (An improvement they could make is having a meal deal as in 2 tacos with beans and rice for 12 or something like that.)
February 13, 2011 Comments Off
For my birthday this year, Drew decided to take me to the observatory. I love the stars. I don’t really know anything about astronomy but the stars have always had this magical quality for me. My favorite thing about going camping is that we’re far away from the city and the sky is so clear. I’ve been wanting to go to the Griffith Observatory in LA for a long time now, but we’ve just never gotten around to it, so I was very excited to finally be there. Since we don’t go to LA very often, we decided to make a whole day of it.
First stop: Bottega Louie for brunch. It’s a gorgeous space near downtown LA with high ceilings which give a feeling of airiness that you rarely feel in restaurants. The brunch food was ok, nothing really special (thus no pics :p) but the dessert! I love macarons, and I can make a pretty good one, but they had so many wonderful flavors. It took all my willpower to only pick 3 :p They also had cupcakes and cakes and tarts and eclairs. I think if I lived closer, I would be here all the time getting small treats :)
Once we were full, we headed up to the observatory. It was a beautiful clear day so you could see the whole city in front of you and a good view of the Hollywood sign. I had never seen the sign before! The observatory isn’t large, but it had good exhibits and we watched one of the shows in the planetarium, which I highly recommend doing. Our plan was to see the exhibits and the solar telescope during the day, then head out for dinner and come back at night to look through the telescope so once we looked through the exhibits, we headed out for dinner.
Dinner time! The observatory is obviously the highlight of the trip, but I think if you asked both Drew and I what we enjoyed the most, we would probably both say the food at Father’s Office. I had heard so many good things about this place (from Todd mostly) that it had become a must go for us. Although they do have other things on their menu, there’s really only one thing anyone gets, the burger. They only make it one way, no substitutions, no additions. It was the best burger either of us had ever had. Really, if you’re in LA, you have to go. It was tasty, beefy, sweet, salty, the onions, the cheese, everything was great! The sweet potato fries were also really good and they have a great selection of beers on draught as well as bottles. I think Drew’s face says it all :p
I suppose the only thing that didn’t go as planned was that it took us waaay longer than I anticipated to go from the observatory to dinner and back. The distance wasn’t long, but I vastly underestimated LA traffic on a Saturday night. By the time we got back to the observatory, the line for viewing the telescope was too long for us to get a chance to use it before closing. However, there were some amateur astronomers there who let us look through their still very powerful telescopes and we saw some star clusters and a nebula :) I would say, however, that I would probably not go back to look at stars, LA is just too bright to see very much. It was really pretty though to see the lights of LA twinkling below :)
February 4, 2011 Comments Off
I made this lasagna last night and I can’t wait to share because it has to be one of the yummiest recipes I’ve ever made! It’s based on this recipe I found over at Apartment Therapy. I love that it’s full of flavor but it’s also relatively healthy. It’s completely vegetarian and doesn’t even have that much cheese. The original recipe called for mushrooms (drew doesn’t like them) and chard (I didn’t have any) which I substituted for some frozen corn and spinach. I also added a can of tomato sauce since I was using the noodles that didn’t need to be pre-boiled I wanted to give the filling some extra liquid.
Vegetarian Lasagna with Butternut Bechemel
1cup frozen corn
1big bunch of spinach (use however much you want)
1 16oz can tomato sauce
-Cube butternut squash and roast at 375 degrees until soft
-while roasting squash, saute corn and spinach until spinach is wilted
-add the tomato sauce to the corn/spinach mix and bring to a boil
-bring down heat to low and let sauce simmer
-when squash is soft, put in a bowl and let cook a little bit
-add 1 cup milk to the squash
-use immersion blender to puree until smooth (you can also use a regular blender)
if the squash is too thick, just add more milk until you get the consistency of thick milkshake
-add salt to taste and pinch of nutmeg
-now layer the lasagna by spreading a little tomato sauce mix on the bottom followed by noodles, tomato sauce, butternut mixture and thin layer of parmesan. Repeat 2x or 3x depending on the size of your pan.
-bake, covered at 375 degrees for 30min, then uncover and bake another 10-15 min until golden brown.