Monday, February 24, 2014

A Long Weekend in Laguna Beach

This year I decided I needed some sun for the President's Day weekend and I got it, in Laguna Beach, CA. Here are the highlights from my trip.

Getting There: We took direct flight from Seattle to Orange County Santa Ana airport. We rented a car to get to our hotel. But frankly, you can't be without a car in Southern California.

Accommodations: We stayed at Surf and Sand Resort in Laguna Beach. An oceanfront hotel with a pool and a superb restaurant.

Food: I did a lot of reading on yelp to find places to eat on our trip. Here is a list of restaurants we went to, all of which I would highly recommend.

1. Splashes Restaurant at Surf and Sand Resort offers excellent food. We had ahi tuna tartare and the best rack of lamb I have ever had. 

2. Carmelita's Kitchen in downtown Laguna Beach serves fantastic Mexican food. They do use a lot of pork fat! We had halibut fish tacos, tamale and chile relleno.

3. House of Big Fish and Ice Cold Beer Bar/Restaurant was a great place to hang out - loud bar, great food and it is also good for the families, prices are also reasonable.

Things to Do and See: We did a lot of walking on a beach. We walked along the beach that starts right at the Laguna Beach downtown area. 

One day we went to the Crystal Cove State Park. It is a great park to walk for a long time. Rocks with mussels and starfish are also an attraction.

A walk in Salt Creek Beach Park was very nice too.

Rainbow Chard with Bacon and Shallot

Lately I have been cooking rainbow chard with bacon, shallot and a little bit of chicken stock. It is very quick to make and is a good side dish to almost any meal. Here is my recipe.


1 bunch of fresh rainbow chard, washed and chopped as desired
2-3 slices of bacon, chopped
1 small shallot, finely chopped
2 oz of chicken stock
Salt and Pepper to taste


Saute bacon and shallot in a skillet on medium high heat for about 2 minutes until bacon starts to get brown. Add chard and chicken stock, stir, reduce heat to medium low and cover with a lid. Let cook for 5 minutes. Chard is ready to eat. Salt and pepper to taste if needed. I usually don't need any more salt since bacon and chicken stock have plenty.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Valentine's Day favorite

Every Valentine's Day I am awaiting for Fran's dark chocolate heart with caramel inside. It is my all time favorite this time of a year. Never tried? Do.

Party Food - Baked Hot Chicken Wings and Pigs in a Blanket

Big event happened this week in Seattle - Seahawks went to the Super Bowl and won it. I decided to make hot chicken wings and pigs in a blanket for the show last Sunday. Both came out delicious. Here are the recipes.

Baked Hot Chicken Wings

3 lbs of chicken wings cut into segments
1/2 cup of white flour
2 tablespoons of canola oil
Franks Wing Hot sauce
Canola oil spray
Salt and Pepper to taste.
To serve:

2-3 carrots, peeled and cut into 3-4 inch strips
2-3 celery sticks, cut into 3-4 inch strips
Blue cheese dressing
Franks Wing Hot sauce


1. Preheat oven to 400 F. In a large bowl using your hands rub chicken wings with flour and oil. Salt and pepper to taste. Spray the baking sheet with an oil spray and layer chicken wings on it. Bake in the oven for 40 minutes, turning chicken once.

2. Take wings out of the oven and using tongs dip each wing piece into Franks sauce. Put chicken wings on a baking sheet covered with aluminum foil and bake at 400 F for another 15 minutes, turning chicken once. Take chicken out.

3. Serve with celery and carrots. Use Franks sauce and Blue cheese dressing for dipping.

Pigs in a Blanket


12 oz of uncured beef hot dogs (ended up using only 6 out of 8 in the package), cut in half
1 sheet of frozen puff pastry (Aussie Bakery brand)
1 egg
Canola oil spray


1. Defrost pastry in the refrigerator for about 3 hours. Preheat oven to 450 F. Dust the table with flour and then using a rolling pin roll the dough out to desired size. Cut the dough into rectangular strips ( almost the same length as half of a hot dog) and then wrap each hot dog with one. Layer hot dogs wrapped in a dough on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with an oil spray.

2. In a small bowl beat and egg and rub an egg wash on each pastry. Bake hot dogs in the oven for about 20 minutes. Take out and eat. Some prefer having them with ketchup. They are tasty either way.

As always I encourage moderation. So enjoy a small plate of these delicious nuggets!