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Dining Guide for Families in Orange County

Risotto Love at Brio Tuscan Grille

Posted by on Feb 17, 2016 in Featured, Italian, Recipes | 0 comments

 One of my favorite things to eat is risotto. When I learned that Brio Tuscan Grille was introducing two new delicious risotto dishes, I couldn’t wait to plan dinner at Brio with the family. We dined on a Sunday evening after a fun weekend exploring Orange County together as a family. The kids were relaxed in the family-friendly environment and enjoyed coloring on the “paper tablecloth” while waiting for our dinner to arrive. Dinner began with a spicy shrimp bruschetta with housemade lobster butter sauce, fontina cheese, and charred tomato relish. The bruschetta came beautifully presented on a long wood tray and cut into bite size portions. I was expecting the bruschetta to be very spicy, but it was just right. The spice wasn’t too overbearing, and even my daughter enjoyed the flavor combination. Next we shared the Brio...

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Embracing Health and Seasonal Ingredients At Napa Rose

Posted by on Sep 21, 2015 in Disney, Events, Recipes | 0 comments

 We attended as a guest of the venue If you’re a Disneyland fan, and let’s face it, for the most part, who isn’t? And you enjoy challenging yourself by running marathons in your spare time… then Disneyland was the place to be September 1st through 4th as Cigna presented four days of running events culminating in a half marathon on Sunday on the grounds of the happiest place on earth. While I am no marathoner, I do love cooking demos. So when I was invited to participate in a four course cooking demo with Chef de Cuisine Chris Faulkner and Executive Pastry Chef Jorge Sotelo at Disney’s esteemed restaurant, Napa Rose, I hightailed it over there. About 40 bloggers and runners, including lucky me, were rotated through four cooking stations where we gained some insight into one of Napa...

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East Meets East: Sustainable Salmon Slider Recipes

Posted by on Jan 29, 2015 in Recipes, Seafood | 2 comments

 Are you a seafood lover? Maybe you have a grilled seafood dish you’ve come up with that your family and friends love. Well, Slapfish is looking for fresh ideas that celebrate sustainable and where possible local ingredients for their recipe contest with the winner’s recipe earning a place on the soon to open Newport Beach location’s menu. Beyond bragging rights, the winner will also be able to order their creation for two months for free! Sounds fun right? Well, I think so and with some encouragement from Shelby Barone, I decided to see what I could come up with. My first challenge was selecting a sustainable seafood to work with. I chose salmon because there are sustainable sources here, its Omega 3 offers health benefits, and it’s a natural for the grill. When thinking about how to prepare it,...

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Dale DeGroff Talks Bitters at Bosscat Kitchen

Posted by on Jan 1, 2015 in Dining News, Events, Recipes | 0 comments

  We seem to be in the midst of a cocktail renaissance with restaurants showcasing their mixologists’ boundary pushing creations as well as elevated classics that have moved the cocktail to the forefront of the dining experience for many foodies. As a wine lover, I’m surprised by how often I’m tempted to have a cocktail now instead of wine. When I scored an invite to a bitters class led by the legendary mixologist Dale DeGroff, recipient of the 2009 James Beard Foundation’s Outstanding Wine & Spirits Professional Award at Bosscat Kitchen & Libations I was intrigued. Bitters? What I know about bitters is basically nothing other than they are used in a few drinks and they are well… bitter. What I learned though is that the diversity in bitters is much like the diversity in wine. With ingredients such...

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Dr. Andrew Weil and Chef Arik Markus Share True Food Recipes

Posted by on Nov 21, 2014 in Cooking Classes, Gluten-Free, Recipes | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of True Food Kitchen I’m not gonna lie, I love bacon, butter, steak, cream sauces as much as the next person and I don’t think I have it in me to give up meat and rich foods entirely. However I do appreciate when I find dishes that are not only delicious, but also healthy, especially when they are creative and incorporate ingredients that provide strong health benefits. Last week I was invited to attend a cooking demo with Dr. Andrew Weil, co-owner of True Food Kitchen and Executive Chef Arik Markus. Dr. Weil, a trained Medical Doctor, is a leading authority on integrated medicine and a renowned author, blogger, and speaker on health, aging, and healing. He is a proponent of sticking to an anti-inflammatory diet to help reduce inflammation that can lead to...

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Celebrate Chocolate Week at Wood Ranch

Posted by on Mar 19, 2014 in Dining News, Recipes | 0 comments

  During American Chocolate Week March 17-23, all Wood Ranch locations will be offering the Godiva Chocolate Martini, a brand new Wood Ranch Chocolate-Chili BBQ sauce, and a new Black & White Chocolate Cheesecake. The Godiva Chocolate Martini blends Godiva Dark Chocolate Liqueur with vodka and Bailey’s Irish Cream, among other delicious ingredients to get your palate rolling. Godiva Chocolate Martini Recipe 1.25 oz. Godiva Dark 1.25 oz. Crème de Cacao Dark ½ oz. Well Vodka ½ oz. Baileys ½ oz Vanilla IO Base. Shake 25 times. Swirl Chocolate Syrup In the glass before the drink is poured in. The new Wood Ranch Chocolate-Chili BBQ sauce was made especially for this week. The sauce will be served on the side and it goes best with the St. Louis Ribs, the Texas-Style Brisket and our Tri Tip. Put on a...

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B. toffee Shareable Shake Recipe

Posted by on Jan 8, 2014 in Featured, Recipes | 0 comments

 Just in time for Valentine’s Day, B. toffee will once again offer its B. mine Valentine’s gift set for lovers. The limited edition package features both milk chocolate and dark chocolate B. toffee, along with complimentary B. bits and a special recipe for a romantic B. toffee Shareable Shake that couples can make at home. Each gift set comes with two 9-ounce canisters of B. toffee (one dark and one milk chocolate), one complimentary package of B. bits, recipe card and Valentine’s packaging, priced at $32 (plus tax and shipping, if applicable). To order, lovers should email [email protected] or call 949-722-9001. B. toffee also offers customizable Valentine’s boxes for personal and corporate gifting. Orders of any size can be personalized with special sentiments or company logos! Owner Betsy Thagard’s handcrafted toffee is the perfect gift for any occasion and...

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Traditional Pozole Recipe

Posted by on Jan 4, 2014 in Disney, Featured, Recipes | 0 comments

  Have you ever wondered how to make a traditional pozole? Many families will be preparing this traditional dish this weekend in celebration of Three Kings Day (Dia de los Reyes). Pozole is a stew that originated from Mexico and has ritual significance. It is made with pork, chicken or turkey along with a variety of spices. Pozole is currently being served until Monday at Disney California Adventure Park in celebration of the holiday. We had a unique opportunity to share how to make this recipe with Disneyland’s Chef Toby. Chef Toby offers a step-by-step guide on how to make this delicious stew for your family this weekend. The recipe is simple to make, and just requires a couple of hours to simmer while the flavors blend together. One tip that is not mentioned in the video is that...

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Ocean Vodka Holiday Cocktail Recipes

Posted by on Dec 24, 2013 in Holidays, Recipes | 0 comments

  Ocean Vodka has released its featured holiday cocktail recipes, perfect for every occasion this holiday season. Created by their own Ocean mixologists, we share these with aloha and holiday cheer from their home island of Maui…to your home. Ocean Vodka is 100% certified USDA Organic, gluten-free, made on Maui and the only vodka in the world made from organic sugar cane and deep ocean mineral water, sourced from a depth of 3,000 feet off the Kona Coast of the Island of Hawaii. Ocean Vodka Caramel Splash 1½ oz Ocean Vodka 1 oz Godiva Caramel Liqueur ½ oz Simple Syrup Drizzle caramel down the inside of a chilled martini glass. Place all ingredients into a shaker with ice. Shake well and pour into a chilled martini glass. Ocean Vodka Chocolate Martini 1½ oz Ocean Vodka ½ oz Godiva Chocolate...

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Four Spooky Halloween Cocktails

Posted by on Oct 31, 2013 in Recipes | 0 comments

 Planning a spooky Halloween party? Looking for some unique cocktail recipes to serve to your guests? The talented mixologists with CÎROC Amaretto have designed these spooky Halloween cocktail recipes to help make your Halloween party extra spooktacular! Get your shaker reader to start mixing these fun new Halloween cocktails! Mummy’s Golden Empire 1.5 oz Vodka .5 oz Brown Sugar Syrup 2 Dashes Bitters Shake/ Stir/ Rocks Garnish Orange Twist Bloody Madre Martini 1 oz Vodka 1 oz Cranberry Juice .5 oz Triple Sec .25 oz Honey Syrup .5 oz Lemon Juice Shake/ Stir/ Martini Garnish Lemon Twist Scary Sorella Sour 1.5 oz Vodka .5 oz Lemon Juice .5 oz OJ .5 oz Simple Syrup .05 oz Lillet 1 Egg White Shake/ Stir/ Martini Garnish Fine Crushed Almonds Amalfi Espresso 1.5 oz Vodka 1 oz Bailey’s Irish Cream .5 oz...

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Hellmann’s Chocolate Cupcake Recipe

Posted by on Oct 14, 2013 in Recipes | 0 comments

 Hellmann’s just celebrated this 100th birthday with a big celebration in New York City. Celebrities like Katie Holmes, Mario Batali and more came out to celebrate this special day with a delicious piece of chocolate cake from Magnolia Bakery. In celebration of Hellmann’s 100th birthday, these have offered this delicious chocolate cupcake recipe for us to share with all of you! Enjoy~! HELLMANN’S CHOCLATE CUPCAKE RECIPE Yield: 2 Dozen Cupcakes 2 cups of All Purpose Flour ¾ cup Cocoa powder 1 ¼ tsp Baking Soda ¼ tsp Baking Powder 3 Eggs ¾ cups Sugar 1 tsp Vanilla Extract 1 cup Hellmann’s Mayonnaise 1 1/3 cups Water, room temperature Directions 1. Preheat oven to 275°. Line a cupcake pan with paper or foil cupcake wrappers; set aside. 2. In medium bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and baking powder; set...

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National Taco Day Recipes

Posted by on Oct 4, 2013 in Recipes | 0 comments

 Happy National Taco Day! Chef Aarón Sánchez and Ortega have offered these delicious recipes to make for National Taco Day. You will have a mouthwatering celebration when serving these to your family. FUNDIDO FIESTA FLATS™ Prep: 10 minutes Cook: 5 minutes 1 lb ground beef 1 package (1.25 oz.) ORTEGA® Taco Seasoning Mix or 40% Less Sodium Taco Seasoning Mix ½ cup water 6 oz. American cheese, cubed 1 jar (16 oz.) ORTEGA® Salsa (any variety) Chopped fresh cilantro 12 ORTEGA® Fiesta Flats™ Taco Shells 1. Brown beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat; drain. Stir in taco seasoning and water, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until thickened. 2. Meanwhile, combine cheese and one cup salsa in a microwave-safe bowl and cook on high for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring every 20 seconds, until smooth....

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Chef Zov Offers Healthy Lunchbox Suggestions for Families

Posted by on Sep 30, 2013 in Featured, Mediterranean, Recipes | 0 comments

  Although it is always easy to toss in a juice box, bag of chips and a pre-boxed lunch for your kids, it is not always best for their growing bodies. So many parents want to pack healthier lunches for the children but are stuck wondering “How?” Chef Zov offers healthy lunchbox suggestions for families to that might be struggling with what to pack in their children’s lunchboxes. “It’s disturbing to learn about the deplorable eating habits of America’s youth,” said Zov, who conducts cooking classes for young people and ventures into local schools to share her knowledge. “I think if youngsters were more aware of what they’re putting in their bodies, they would re-evaluate their diets. They just need the door opened for them so they can explore the exciting world of food and how simple experimentation can...

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Tofu Pumpkin Bread Recipe

Posted by on Sep 26, 2013 in Recipes | 0 comments

  Families are attempting to make healthier meals, and the holidays are always a struggle to continue healthy eating. As Thanksgiving quickly approaches, try swapping out that traditional pumpkin bread for this tofu pumpkin bread recipe. Your family will not be able to tell that the bread is even made with tofu. Tofu lightens up recipes and takes away saturated fats that most pumpkin bread recipes contain. We use House Foods Tofu because it is non-GMO verified, kosher, and gluten-free. We guarantee that this will become a new favorite in your family holiday recipe card box. Tofu Pumpkin Bread Makes 1 loaf/10 servings INGREDIENTS: ½ package House Foods Premium or Organic Tofu Soft, drained ½ can pumpkin ½ cup vegetable oil 1/4 cup water 1 cup sugar 1 tsp. vanilla 1 cup wheat flour 1 cup all purpose flour...

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Healthy Back-to-School Snack Recipes

Posted by on Sep 25, 2013 in Recipes | 0 comments

 Back-to-School time is the perfect time to start thinking about healthy eating. I have found that eating fresh smoothies help to curb my appetite while the kids are in school. Try swapping out that diet coke and bag of chips for one of these healthy back-to-school snack recipes. Peach Nectarine Orange Juice Instead of a calorie-laden caffeinated beverage in the morning, add a cup of Peach Nectarine Sparkling ICE ( to your Orange Juice for some added fizz, vitamins and antioxidants, without the extra calories. You’ll wake up your taste buds, without giving your body a caffeine shock. Very Berry Juice Ingredients: 2 cups of strawberries 2 cups of blueberries 1.5 cups of raspberries Directions: Wash all fruit. Press through an Omega VRT350 juicer, stir to mix the flavors, serve, and enjoy for breakfast or lunch. Juicing is a...

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Cocktail Recipes to Celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month

Posted by on Sep 24, 2013 in Recipes | 0 comments

 National Hispanic Heritage Month is happening now until October 15th, and celebrates the richness of the Latino culture. Award-winning mixologist, Franciso Mora, shares his favorite cocktail recipes for celebrating this special holiday. Raise a glass in celebration of this diverse cultural celebration. Pasto Verde 2 oz. Sobieski Bison Grass Vodka ¾ oz. honey water (1:1) ¾ oz. lemon juice 6-8 basil leaves Add all ingredients in a shaker, then muddle. Add ice and shake. Strain over fresh ice in a collins glass. Garnish with a basil leaf and lemon peel. Antiqua Plaza ¾ oz. CAMUS Elegance VS ¾ oz. blanc vermouth ¾ oz. anejo tequila 2 dashes of Peychaud’s bitters 2 dashes of Angostura bitters Add all ingredients in a pint glass with ice, then stir. Strain in a rocks glass. Garnish with large orange peel. Blanco Diablo 1...

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Cheesy Bean Dip Crock Pot Recipe

Posted by on Sep 2, 2013 in Featured, Recipes | 0 comments

  We love entertaining and being together with friends.  Over the years, this cheesy bean dip crock pot recipe has been put to the test on so many of our friends and they have all loved it!  Not only does it taste great, but it is so incredibly easy.  This recipe is also perfect for children or those who do not care for bean dips all that much…make this and their beliefs will be put to the test! Ingredients: One can organic black bean soup from Trader Joe’s One container jalapeno pub cheese from Trader Joe’s  Directions: Get out your crock put and spray the interior with a non-stick cooking spray for easy clean up.  Turn it on to low heat. Open the can of black bean soup and drain off the liquid.  This helps the cheesy bean dip...

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Summer Cocktail Recipes

Posted by on Jul 3, 2013 in Recipes, Wine Bars and Bistros | 0 comments

  Melding the art and science of mixology with fine artisan spirits, freshest seasonal ingredients and current pre- and post-Prohibition cocktail trends, Chez Soi a Modern Café house mixologist Shane Croughan (Picca, Sotto) shares a trio of intriguing, new summer recipes that complement owner-chef Mark Gold’s “simple and refined’ approach, sourcing ingredients from all over the world and southern California farmers’ market-fresh produce. Croughan’s libations invite guests to kick back, cool off and enjoy the flavors of summer with these summer cocktail recipes. Thyme for Peaches is made using a ripe peach half, skin on, muddled in a shaker glass with a sprig of fresh thyme, ¾ oz. fresh lemon juice, and ¼ oz of simple syrup. Add 2 oz. Famous Grouse blended scotch, ½ oz. St. Germain elderflower liqueur and ice cubes before shaking “like a Polaroid picture,”...

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Bacon and Garlic Rainbow Swiss Chard Recipe

Posted by on Apr 30, 2013 in Featured, Recipes | 1 comment

  While spending some time at my favorite farm in Laguna Beach, Alegria Farms, I brought home some fresh Rainbow Swiss Chard. Since Alegria grows all of their produce using vertical hydroponics, they are able to produce some the biggest, freshest and healthiest vegetables 3x faster than conventional gardening. The rainbow swiss chard was so fresh and delicious raw, and adding the flavors in this recipe made it even better. Here is the yummy swiss chard recipe that I served to my family tonight along with a piece of lean chicken. Ingredients: 2-3 large pieces of rainbow swiss chard 4 cloves of garlic 2 Tablespoons of olive oil 4 Slices of bacon 1/2 lemon Directions: Clean, dry and then chop the swiss chard. Heat olive oil in a saucepan for 3-4 minutes on medium heat. Chop bacon into small...

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