Tag Archives: food

Lunch With the Girls at Oggi’s in Rancho Carmel Plaza


It’s not everyday that I get the chance to go out and spend an afternoon with my sister, Rholnna, and my niece, Mei-Lin, so it’s wonderful when that opportunity happens.  Since my sister’s family lives in Rancho Bernardo, I headed north a couple of weeks ago and we decided to eat at Oggi’s Pizza & Brewing Co., located in Rancho Carmel Plaza in the Carmel Mountain Ranch area.  Oggi’s is a family spot that my husband, son and I like to frequent because of their delicious menu and sports bar surroundings.  I’ve watched quite a few San Diego Chargers games at Oggi’s!

I’ve always had their pizza, sticking with favorites like The Works or The Heavy Weight.  For this outing, I decided on the Prosciutto Mac & Cheese because I have this secret goal to try a “mac & cheese” dish at every restaurant that offers it!  I’m glad I strayed from my norm because this version was absolutely delicious.  The three-cheese blend elbow pasta, baked with crispy prosciutto, broccoli and crushed red peppers looked great in the menu description, and was even better on my plate.  I guess I’ve met my new favorite! My sister and niece both felt like pizza for lunch, but had different tastes in which ones they wanted, so it’s great that Oggi’s offers several sizes, including a personal size.  We had a fantastic time, but it’s easy when there’s great food in a fun atmosphere!

Oggi’s Pizza & Brewing Co. is located at Rancho Carmel Plaza, 10155-10195 Rancho Carmel Drive, San Diego, CA 92128.




Prosciutto Mac & Cheese


Personal Size “Create Your Own” Pizza




Kids’ Mini Cheese Pizza



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.

(Photos by Rholnna Jiao and myself)

Cave Tools Kabobs Skewer Set Review: Perfect Party Food!

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New Year’s Eve is upon us, which means parties galore!  My husband, Deon, is quite the BBQ connoisseur and is known to create some fabulous meals on his Traeger Grill for several parties here right at home, especially during football season.  Recently, Deon made amazing kabobs with the Cave Tools Stainless Steel Kabob Skewers Set.  He really liked the overall design, especially how the skewers set on the rack (they can be set in eight different positions).  He also thought the “built-in-food-slider” was the most convenient part of the skewers, in addition to how easy they were to clean.  Above all, the kabobs were evenly cooked and didn’t stick to the grill because the rack sits right atop it.  Overall:  These are Deon approved!   So if you’re looking for a dish that will be a hit for your next party and have a great grill like we do (we have the Traeger Junior Elite Grill), grab this great skewer set from Cave Tools (check out below how fantastic his kabobs turned out).  Cheers and see you in the New Year!

Cave Tools Collage 2


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

Kabob Set 15% Off: LHWJZQMZ

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0117OY5IA/ref=sr_1_23?ie=UTF8&sr=8-32&me=A3IEEDMWTA8OSP&keywords=kabob+set&linkCode=as2&tag=hyacinth17-20

Cave Tools: http://cavetools.com/products/kabob-skewers-rack/?utm_source=Blogger&utm_medium=Review&utm_campaign=KabobSet

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

Weekend in Pictures: Anniversary Get Away To Palm Springs

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A couple of weekends ago, my hubby and I had a lovely little get away to Palm Springs.  The first time we went as a family was back in 2011 (post here).  This time it was to celebrate our 7th wedding anniversary.  We didn’t have a set plan on what to do or where to go, other than Deon’s scheduled tee time (of course).  If you’re wondering, I slept in while he played, then hit Downtown for a little shopping.  We winged it the entire weekend and simply aimed for relaxation.  The result was one of the best little mini-breaks we have had in a long time, filled with good food, good shopping (we even found a record store), and of course alone time with the love of my life.  Could anything be better?

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Our cute little room at the Days Inn Palm Springs.

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How beautiful is the Escena Golf Course?

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Art representing life…

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My hubby’s first time eating escargot at Lulu California Bistro.  I’ve had it before, so I knew what to expect.  I think the jury is still out for Deon on the whole edible snail thing!

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Peabodys Cafe Food Collage

The “Best Bloody Mary Ever”, a Ruben sandwich and Patty Melt at Peabody’s Café.  The food was definitely delicious, and that Bloody Mary was pretty good, too!

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We spent quite a bit of time in here…our haul in an upcoming post!

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Our final breakfast in Palm Spring was at Rick’s Restaurant (and across the street is Rick’s Desert Grill).  Forgot to take pictures because we were getting ready to hit the road!

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One of my favorite pictures of the two of us, taken at Hair of The Dog English Pub.  Can’t you just feel how relaxed we are?  Such a fantastic weekend!

Food For “The Big Game” From Allrecipes.com


If you’ve been following my blog, you know just how big of a football fan I am.  Although my San Diego Chargers didn’t make it all they way through the playoffs this year, I’ll still be watching the Superbowl because it’s the final football game until the new season in August.  My husband is big on preparing great food for any sporting event, so I’m glad to share with Any Second Now readers some awesome recipes for your Game Day get together through this fantastic graphic from Allrecipes.com, in partnership with Tabuleau Software.  After you click on the picture above, it will take you to the graphic where you can use the circular icons to filter recipes by type, which will update the map to show you the top recipes for that type by state.  If you would like to see all of the recipes available regardless of state, the list on the lower right hand side will also update by type as well.

I’m going to spend some time clicking through all of the great recipes in the graphic to help my hubby create our final menu to enjoy while we watch the Seattle Seahawks play the Denver Broncos.  Cheers and enjoy “The Big Game” on Sunday!

Allrecipes.com, the world’s largest digital food site with more than 1 billion visits each year, partnered with Tableau Software to share a state-by-state look at America’s Super Bowl game day favorites, including chili, dips, drinks, sandwiches, snacks and wings.  Using a massive amount of data from nearly 95 million visits, Tableau has created an interactive graphic that can be viewed here (or by clicking on the graphic above). Some interesting findings include:

– When it comes to snack recipes, we are a nation divided. Depending on where you are, Americans appear to have a strong preference for Little Smokies recipes, nachos or meatballs as their gameday snack of champions. Note that in both Washington and Colorado, the top snacks recipe is Mexican Potato Nachos. However, in New York/New Jersey, the top snacks recipes is The Best Meatballs.

– New York stands alone as the only state whose favorite chili recipe is turkey over beef.

– Two dip recipes stand out as head and shoulders above the rest – the recipe for Seven Layer Taco Dip dominates much of the Western part of the country (including California) and the Northeast and Southeastern states have a preference for Buffalo Chicken Dip.

– The one thing all Americans agree on is wings. The recipes for Baked Buffalo Wings is tops in all 50 states.

Game Day Food Collage

Row one:  1. Baked Buffalo Wings; 2. Buffalo Chicken Dip; 3. Mexican Potato Nachos

Row two:  4. Seven Layer Taco Dip; 5. Simple Turkey Chili; 6. Slow Cooker Chili II

Row three: 7. Slow Cooker Pulled Pork; 8. The Best Meatballs; 9. The Real Mojito

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The picture above is of the Slow Cooker Pulled Pork my husband made last year, using the exact recipe from Allrecipes.com (we had the barbecue sauce on the side).  SO. GOOD! 

FTC Disclosure:  This is a sponsored post.

Vegas Vittles: Monta & English’s

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My last post about my recent Las Vegas trip will be about the two new places we ventured for noshing:  Monta Japanese Noodle House and English’s Gastro Pub.  Deon’s Uncle Junior has been talking about Monta Ramen for a while, and since every restaurant has air conditioning, having hot soup actually sounded appetizing, despite the heat.  The restaurant is pretty close to the strip but very small, which caused a line to build quickly after we were seated.  We started off fried rice and gyoza, our favorites.  Apparently the gyoza is placed in a press that fries it on each side.  It’s also made fresh to order, and I can definitely say it’s the best gyoza I’ve ever had.  Finally, we had the ramen, which was again, the best I’ve had.  If you’re willing to venture away from The Strip, this place is definitely worth it.

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Fried Rice

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The. Best. Gyoza. EVER.

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From the Monta Noodle House menu:  “Tonkotsu-Shoyu Ramen (pork bone and special shoyu base) has a cloudy white colored broth. The broth is like a mix of the Tokyo and Kyushu style blend. This style is the newer trend in Japan.  Basic toppings are green onions, two slices of chashu, bamboo shoots and kikurage.”
Englishs Collage 2

Englishs Collage 1

On the Saturday before we left Vegas, Deon’s mom suggested we try English’s Gastro Pub at the Town Square Mall, also off The Strip.  Being the Anglophile that I am, I jumped at the chance to bring a touch of England back into my life.  My mother-in-law actually suggested we do Afternoon Tea, but since all of us were eating there for an early dinner, we decided to have actual meals this time round.  My husband and father-in-law kept it simple with burgers and chips (my hubby added the house salad below).  Not pictured is the child’s version of the burger meal, which was with a slider and chips, and included a drink for only $5.  My mother-in-law had the cod and chips with crushed peas (aka mushy peas).  I decided to go all the way English and had the Toad in the Hole.  All of the food was good and fresh, and I loved the gravy of my Toad in the Hole.  The last time I had tea was in London last year at Harrods (post here), and I think I’m due for another go.  This visit to English’s just made me feel all nostalgic, and after seeing a few people who had the tea service, and I vowed that the next time we would be in town, my mother-in-law and I would venture on our own for Afternoon Tea.

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Photo 1: House salad (leaf salad, tomatoes, cucumber, green onions, croutons); Photo 2: Burgers & Chips.

Englishs Collage 4Photo 2: Cod & Chips with crushed peas.

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Toad in The Hole:  Mini Yorkshire pudding wrapped bangers, onion gravy, mash.

Dinner at Bellefleur

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I’m playing catch-up with some posts about restaurants I have visited in the last month, and this will be a quick one.  When my mother-in-law came to visit at the beginning of May, we wanted to eat dinner close to where she was staying prior to the Carlsbad Village Faire.  I remembered there was a restaurant I had not eaten at yet at the Carlsbad Premium Outlets called the Bellefleur, and we agreed it would be a quick and easy way for a nice sit down dinner with the family.  Happily enough, we came at a great time because they had a 3 course chef special, celebrating their 15 years in Carlsbad.  The special was just $15, so we all chose to eat from their prix fixe menu.  My choices are all pictured below, and were all fantastic.  Because we arrived quite late for dinner, we saw the set up and asked our server about the brunch.  He described all of the wonderful food and we decided that when my mother-in-law returns to San Diego, we plan on going to their Sunday Champagne Brunch.

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Tomato bisque soup

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Blackened chicken pasta

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Chocolate mousse

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Dominic with Grandma

Weekend in Pictures: Record Store Day Food!

RSD 2013 Food Collage from Pink CandlesWho knew that our food adventures would be just as eventful as our fabulous finds during Record Store Day?  It’s not so hard to imagine when the adventures happen with a friend who is a food blogger!  As mentioned in last Monday’s post, here is part two of my Record Store Day adventure with CC of the blog Pink Candles at Ridgemont High (who provided photos for the mini-collage of moi above).  We started off the day very early by standing in line at Donut Bar in Downtown San Diego.  I can safely say that this is the first time that I have ever stood in line early just to get into a food establishment.  We left my house at 7:15 am and there were still people in front of us!  The picture below was taken after we had already been inside and then sat down across the street to enjoy one of our donuts (you can see a picture of our day in line on their Tumblr page here).

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RSD 2013 Food Collage 1

RSD 2013 Food Collage 2I’m glad that the menu was posted because we got the chance to think about what we wanted prior to going in (they also post their menu daily on their official Facebook page).  Even then, walking past all of the donut goodness had me changing my mind several times before I made my final decision: German chocolate cake donuts for my husband and mum; a blood orange, a blueberry with meyer lemon glaze, a creme brulee and maple bacon bar all for myself.  CC selected the same ones, sans the maple bacon bar.  Needless to say, I ate the maple bacon bar straight away, but my runaway favorites were the blood orange and creme brulee.  The blood orange donut had a wonderful citrus glaze and the donut was so soft and fluffy.  The combination melted in my mouth.  The creme brulee one was a filled donut, and had the same crunchy candied sugar topping as a true creme brulee dessert, so it was like eating a handheld version.  Overall, quite a delicious start to our day!  We saved the rest of our donuts for later and at that point headed to the San Diego Record Show and then Groovy Records.  After our first two record stops, we headed to Pacific Beach (the M-Theory line was a bit too long).  I took the picture a row of bikes after we parked the car (below).  I just adore that mint and pink one.

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RSD 2013 Food Collage 3

Before we ventured into Thrift Trader and Cow Records, we had lunch at Papa Luna’s Empanadas, an establishment specializing in empanadas.  Being Filipina, both CC and I are very familiar with empanadas, but I’ve never had them like this.  CC had two empanadas:  a shrimp filled one (I don’t think it was on the menu pictured above) and one filled with butternut squash.  I had the special of the month, the Moussaka (lamb, eggplant, garlic and parmesan).  CC explained that you can have them either baked or fried, and she suggested fried, and I couldn’t have imagined having them any other way.  Because I usually have ones filled with beef and potato, the empanadas at Papa Luna’s were so flavorful and unexpected.  I will have to go back and bring my family and try the dessert empanadas.  That dulce de leche and apple one has my name written all over it!

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RSD 2013 Food Collage 4CC suggested that we have dessert at Sugar & Scribe, an Irish bakery next door to Cow Records, which was our last food stop of the day.  Everything that I had at Sugar & Scribe was fabulous and oh-so-delicious.  CC bought a few desserts to take home and also had a quiche in the store.  Here were my goodies: the orange creamsicle and Grandpa Soapy’s lemon curd mini-cupcakes, a spicy ginger chew, a couple of mini sugar cookies and a bag of shortbread cookies.  The mini-cupcakes were light and so very fresh.  I love desserts with citrus in them (such as the blood orange donut at Donut Bar), and both the orange creamsicle and lemon curd cupcakes satisfied that craving.  The mini sugar cookies were as pretty as they were yummy and the ginger chew reminded me of Christmas.  I’m savoring the shortbread cookies, and I still have two more to have with tea.  Not only did I love the baked goods, but I adored the quaint decor, personal pictures on the wall, the stories behind each recipe printed and displayed, and the lovely conversation we had with the owner and her family members.  I had such a great time on Record Store Day because it was an all around spectacular sensory experience for the mind, stomach, ears and soul.  I want to thank CC for a great outing, and here’s to more to come!

RSD 2013 Food Collage 5

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RSD 2013 Food Collage 6