Tag Archives: food blogger

Cave Tools Meat Injector Review

Sorry for the long wait between posts! I’m still trying to balance the best way to schedule my blogging with my home based job, and I can tell you I’m still figuring it out!

I mentioned back in December in my “Absolutely Last Minute Gift Guide” that my husband, Deon, tried out the Cave Tools Stainless Steel Meat Injector. After Deon followed a delicious new recipe, the pork tenderloin turned out to be juicy and flavorful, all made easier by using the Cave Tools Meat Injector!

My husband found this recipe on The Spruce Eats for their “Easy Pork Injection Marinade“.
Deon liked the different choices of gauges for the injector

To purchase your own Cave Tools Stainless Steel Meat Injector, click the links below AND, you can get 15% off with the following code!

Discount code: INJECTOR15

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/s/s/ref=sr_nr_p_89_13?fst=as%3Aoff&rh=n%3A1055398%2Cn%3A284507%2Cn%3A289754%2Cn%3A760358%2Ck%3Ameat+injector%2Cp_89%3ACave+Tools&keywords=meat+injector&ie=UTF8&qid=1536814943&rnid=2528832011&ajr=1&tag=mdmrare-20

Cave Tools: https://cavetools.com/products/marinade-meat-injector-kit

FTC Disclosure:  I received the product in exchange for a product review.  Although I did receive product, the opinions in this post are strictly my own.

Atlas World Fresh Market Grand Opening in Poway

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A couple of weekends ago, I attended two events in one day.  The first was the grand opening of the Atlas World Fresh Market in Poway.  It is an amazing supermarket with everything from a deli, to a juice bar to an incredible Food Hall.  I roamed around several times, taking in the variety of foods from all over the world, tasting samples and enjoying their fresh Juice Bar.  I called my husband to let him know we needed to come back, not only to grocery shop, but to enjoy everything this amazing store has to offer, especially their bakery!  Thank you Atlas Market for inviting me to your spectacular grand opening.  My family and I look forward to returning again and again!

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I have never seen so many kinds of honey, including actual honeycombs!

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These are all made fresh in their Juice Bar!

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My refreshing pineapple drink, so delicious!

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The samples were so delicious, including their breads and Turkish coffee!

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On my next visit, I’m going to be having a little something from their Bakery.

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I’m pretty sure my husband would not know what to do with himself at the meat & seafood counter, or even the deli!

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Looking for spices?  Look no more!

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This Food Hall was so amazing. My family and I need to come back and try everything!

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Congratulations on your new store and thanks again for inviting me to your Grand Opening!

Cave Tools Veggie Grill Basket Review: Grilling for the “Big Game”!

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Who’s getting ready for “The Big Game” today?  Football is a big deal in our house, and my husband will be grilling it up, of course!  Our game day menu will consist of wings (of various levels of spiciness), hot dogs, slow-cooker chili, corn bread and garlic bread.  This tri-tip sandwich would also be addition to any game day menu!  My husband made this sandwich a couple of weekends ago, and grilled the vegetables using this fantastic Veggie Grill Basket by Cave Tools.

Before we started using this grill basket, my husband used to make little foil “boats” to grill any vegetables, or we would pan fry the vegetables on the stove-top.  Although those methods are convenient, it doesn’t really get the kind of true grilling flavor that he wanted.  This grill basket is made of stainless steel and has slats to allow the grill to not only heat up and flavor the vegetables, but also prevents any small bits from falling through.  To cook the vegetables and prevent them from sticking, he used a vegetable oil spray and they came out amazing!

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To purchase your own Cave Tools Vegetable Grill Basket, click the links below AND, you can get 15% off with the following code!

Vegetable Basket 15% Off: VEGGIE15

Amazon:   https://www.amazon.com/Vegetable-Grill-Basket-DISHWASHER-Accessories/dp/B01G2EIW02/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&sr=8-1&keywords=grilling+basket&m=A3IEEDMWTA8OSP&tag=hyacinth12-20

Cave Tools: https://cavetools.com/products/vegetable-grill-basket

FTC Disclosure:  I received the product in exchange for a product review.  Although I did receive product, the opinions in this post are strictly my own.

Blonde Ambition: The New Starbucks Flavor Sensation at Rancho Carmel Plaza!

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My weekends have been quite interesting lately, especially with my husband!  I finally got the chance to hang out with him for a full game of golf last weekend, which was actually quite fun.  But our weekends have lately been filled with “The Hunt”, as we’ve come to name the all consuming search for Funko Pop! vinyl figures.  On the way to Barnes & Noble in the Carmel Mountain Ranch area, we dropped by Rancho Carmel Plaza, a little strip mall usually frequented by me and my sister.  I wanted to try the new coffee flavor sensation, Starbucks Blonde Espresso.

I do have to say that this is one of my favorite Starbucks locations because of this very seating area (below).  It looks more like a comfy living room rather than a coffee shop, and if you placed an ottoman in front of me with my favorite movie playing in the distance with a nice cup or coffee or tea, I swear I could sit there for hours.

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On to the coffee: I really loved it!  It is a light roasted espresso, and is supposed to be creamy with hints of lemon and orange.  I was told by the barista that the Blonde Espresso would be smooth and sweet, and I would have to agree.  I had the Blonde Espresso Latte and I drank it straight without adding any type of sweetener.  After that kind of first impression, I am anxious to try all of their Blonde Espresso offerings:  the Blonde Vanilla Latte, the Iced Blonde Caffe Americano, the Blonde Cappuccino, and the Blonde Flat White.  But I think I will also ask if they will do a shot of Blonde Espresso on its own, just so I can get the full taste of the espresso and see if I can taste those citrus notes at its purest.

Starbucks is located at 10195 Rancho Carmel Drive, San Diego, CA 92128 and they can be reached at (858) 613-7754.  They are open Monday to Saturday from 5:00 am to 8:30 pm and Sunday from 6:00 am to 8:00 pm.

Cheers and here’s to one smooth cup of (Blonde) ambition!

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FTC Disclosure:  I received compensation to patronize a business at Rancho Carmel Plaza.  Although I did receive compensation, the opinions in this post are strictly my own.

Cave Tools Burger Press Review: Patties Made Easy!

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I love a great burger, especially homemade ones.  My husband makes fantastic burgers, filled with onions and other secret ingredients to make it savory and mouth-watering.  One tool my husband didn’t have in his arsenal of cooking utensils was a way to make the perfectly portioned burger patty.  So earlier this week, he tried the Burger Press Patty Maker by Cave Tools and found a new favorite!

My husband said that using this Burger Press Patty Maker cut his prep time in half, getting these delicious patties to the grill in no time flat!

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This Burger Press Patty Maker comes with 200 non-stick patty papers!

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To purchase your own Cave Tools Burger Press, click the links below AND, you can get 15% off with the following code!

Burger Press 15% Off: BURGER15

Amazon:   https://www.amazon.com/dp/B074ZKMCY9/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&sr=8- 2&keywords=burger+press&m=A3IEEDMWTA8OSP&tag=hyacinth14-20

Cave Tools: https://cavetools.com/products/burger-press-patty-maker

FTC Disclosure:  I received the product in exchange for a product review.  Although I did receive product, the opinions in this post are strictly my own.

Have Tacos Any Day at Senior Taquero!

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Rather than Tuesday, Dominic and I had tacos on a Sunday!  While out and about just before the Thanksgiving holiday, we had lunch at Senior Taquero in Sabre Springs Plaza.  The menu is very straightforward, with so many items to choose from!  But we stuck to our favorites: rolled and street tacos.  I had the shredded beef rolled tacos topped with lettuce, salsa fresca, guacamole and cheese.  Dominic came a little bit out of his comfort zone by having birria tacos (shredded beef short ribs), which comes with salsa fresca and guacamole, much to his delight!

We can always count on our 8-year old to be open and honest about what he likes; not only did he order an additional two more tacos, but he gleefully said, “Mom, we have to come back here, my tacos were so good!”  There you have it, out of the mouths of babes, Senior Taquero is a must for tacos anytime!

Senior Taquero is located at 11385 Poway Rd San Diego, CA 92128 and they can be reached at (858) 668 -2467.  They are open seven days a week from 8am to 10pm, and you can skip the line by ordering ahead online at their site here.


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Shredded Beef Rolled Tacos with lettuce, salsa fresca, guacamole and cheese

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Birria Tacos with salsa fresca and guacamole

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Dominic approved!

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FTC Disclosure:  I received compensation to patronize a business at Sabre Springs Plaza.  Although I did receive compensation, the opinions in this post are strictly my own.

Cave Tools Pigtail Flippers Review: Weekend BBQ!

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The weather has been so crazy lately here in San Diego that we’ve taken to lots of outdoorsy things, which includes a BBQ!  As I’ve mentioned before, my husband has a Traeger Grill.  He actually recently sold his smaller one and purchased the next size up this summer at the San Diego County Fair.  One of my favorite meals in my hubby’s steak arsenal is London Broil.  He cooked one up this weekend and used a pair of Pigtail Flippers by Cave Tools.  He said he liked the sharp hook and it was quite easy to use.  He also said that it’s great that there are two sizes, depending on what you want to cook.

As you can see, my hubby was able to handle this large piece of London Broil with ease using the Pigtail Flippers, and it turned out absolutely delicious!

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To purchase your own Cave Tools Ultimate Pigtail Flippers, click the links below AND, you can get 15% off with the following code!

Pigtail Flippers 15% Off: PIGTAIL15

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01IRDE62E/ref=sr_1_65?ie=UTF8&sr=8- 65&keywords=pigtail+flipper&m=A3IEEDMWTA8OSP&tag=hyacinth11-20

Cave Tools: https://cavetools.com/products/pigtail-food-flippers

FTC Disclosure:  I received the product in exchange for a product review.  Although I did receive product, the opinions in this post are strictly my own.

Celebrate ENERGY BOWLS™ Happy Hour at Jamba Juice!

Jamba Juice June 2017

I drink a healthy shake every morning, and we make fruit smoothies and shakes at home all the time.  So it should be no surprise that one of my family favorite places for blended goodness is Jamba Juice (the picture above is from my Instagram feed)!

From September 12th to 22nd, Jamba Juice will be celebrating their ENERGY BOWLS™ Happy Hour from 3pm to 6pm, and those of us in San Diego can grab one for just $4 with the coupon in the link below!


As an added bonus: If you post a picture of one of your favorite  ENERGY BOWLS on social media with the hashtag #BowlGoals, you can win a chance to get a free bowl on your next visit!  Their social media platforms are listed below:




 Jamba Juice TV


I can’t wait to try these: The Chunky Strawberry Bowl and the Fruit and Greek Yogurt Bowl.  Look out for my #BowlGoals posts in the upcoming weeks on my Instagram feed!

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FTC Disclosure:  I received a gift card to celebrate this campaign.  Although I did receive a gift card, the opinions in this post are strictly my own.

Quick Wok: Tasty & Affordable Chinese Cuisine!

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During the summer, it’s always great when my sister and I can get together and take the kids out, especially since we have similar days off.  Earlier this month, we took the kids out for a fantastic lunch at Quick Wok, located in the Carmel Mountain area at Rancho Carmel Plaza.  The food was fast, delicious and the prices averaged at $10 or below, which made our lunch with drinks $35 for four people!

If you’re craving tasty Chinese cuisine at an affordable price, Quick Wok is located at 10175 Rancho Carmel Drive, San Diego, CA 92128 and they can be reached at (858) 592-7770.  If you’re in the area, you can also use Door Dash to have their full menu delivered to your door!


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Hot & Sour Soup

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The Sesame Chicken was amazing!

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My sister had the House Special Beef and she loved it! 

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The kids love dumplings, so each ordered the Fried Pot Stickers.  With a side of rice, it was a perfectly sized meal for each of them!

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Our entire meal as pictured, with four drinks came to $35! 

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FTC Disclosure:  I received compensation to patronize a business at Rancho Carmel Plaza.  Although I did receive compensation, the opinions in this post are strictly my own.

(All photos taken by Rholnna Jiao)

On Birthdays, We Wear Pink!

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Before the month ends, I wanted to put up pictures of when my sister and I went out for my birthday earlier this month.  We both have Monday’s off, and my birthday was on May 8th, which fell on a Monday this year.  Since my husband was working and our son was in school, my sister and I went on a mini-adventure in the Irvine area.  I’ll split our trip up into two parts, which was what I wore, and what we ate!

Birthday Adventure 2017:  THE OUTFIT

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I bought two things from the Victoria Beckham for Target line:  The Blush Floral Jacquard Bomber Jacket and the Black Collared Dress, which I’ll be wearing in another outfit post (pictured above).  It was fitting that we visited the Hello Kitty Cafe on our way home, because pink was the order of the day, and who wears it better than Hello Kitty!  I wore the jacket very casually with black jeans and a white t-shirt, but jazzed it up a bit with a pom-pom necklace, metallic sneakers, and of course…pink pins!

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Outfit:  Blush Jacquard Bomber Jacket by Victoria Beckham for Target (no longer available online); The Cotton Box-Cut Pocket Tee by Everlane; Michael Kors purse (older, no longer available); Jeans and Leather Eyes Bag Tag by Madewell

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Pom-Pom necklace purchased at Vocabulary Boutique; Chic” pin by Pin Drop; “Just Another Tweenage Dirtbag” pin by Pretty Nobody Co.; “George Michael” pin by Bang-Up Betty

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Breakpoint Metallic Canvas sneakers by Converse

Birthday Adventure 2017:  THE FOOD

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Our food adventure began at Burntzilla (menu here) and ended at Stax Cookie Bar (we didn’t actually eat at Hello Kitty Cafe).

Burntzilla is a brick & mortar cafe, combining two of Orange County’s popular food trucks: Burnt Truck and Dogzilla.  We originally had other plans to visit a place that served specialty tater tots, but unfortunately it was closed on Mondays.  Since I was in the mood for tater tots in any form, I searched “tater tots Anaheim”, and Burntzilla came up (although the location is in the Irvine area).  I love a good slider, so the menu was appealing because it had different variations on sliders and mini-hot dogs.

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The folks at Burntzilla generously gave me a complimentary Golden Combo for my birthday!  The Golden Combo is a great deal because you can get two Sliders or Zillas (or one of each), with a soda and naked side.  Along with the tots, I had the Yaki Zilla (hot dog) and the Sloppy Joe Slider.  Both were amazing and the tots made my meal perfect!

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My sister also had the Golden Combo, but had the Dogzilla, Cheeseburger Slider and fries, since I had the tots.

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For dessert, we wanted something out of the ordinary.  On the fly, my sister hit the dessert jackpot in her search while we were literally on the road, and found Stax Cookie Bar, right across the street from UC Irvine.  Based on the pictures below, you’ll see why!

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This is the Smookie.  Stax has a variety of filled cookies to choose from, and you can top it any way you desire.  Since it was my birthday, I had the Snickerdoodle cookie (filled with Nutella) topped with birthday cake ice cream and caramel sauce.  I can’t even begin to describe how decadent it was!

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On the left is the Bacon Chocolate Chip Creamrito, which my sister attempted to get through.  The Creamrito is rolled ice cream wrapped around more ice cream and other yummy fillings.  This truly is a two-person dessert, and we do plan on coming back up and doing it justice because it was quite delicious.  On the right, is the famous “Waffle Shot” by Zia Valentina.  I had my first one at The Grove, but the one I had at Stax was espresso with ice cream at the bottom of the shot.  Yes, it was as good as it sounds!

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I had a great time on this mini-food adventure with my sister, who gifted me with several new pins, because well, she’s my sister and knows what I love!  Thank you Rholnna for spending my birthday with me, and here’s to more foodie adventures to come.  Cheers!