Huntington Library Tea Room, Updated

In the past I have known the Huntington Library Tea Room to be set up as a food buffet with tea and scones served at your table.  Now a tiered tray of tea sandwiches and pastries are served to your table. You receive a menu listing the items that will be presented. There is also a long list of teas that you may request in addition to the signature Huntington Blend (Jasmine, Tropical Fruits, Vanilla, Bergamot).



Smoked Salmon & Caviar 🍴Avocado w/ Arugula and Mushrooms [intended to taste like bacon] 🍴 Persian Cucumber w/ Goat Cheese and Watercress 🍴Chicken Salad Sandwich 🍴Egg Salad Cup 


Crumpets are a new item that are added to this tea experience. Scones and Crumpets are made fresh every morning…


The fruit was fresh and refreshing. I noticed a little fella on the top tier that I was not familiar with, it was a gooseberry…


Oh you little Gooseberry! Fun Fact: High in Vitamin C and known to fight aging, cancer, and neurological diseases. Fun Urban Term: Someone who tags along with a couple or couples, but is single themselves 😁 
It was a mixture of rain and sunshine today. My group was lucky, it only rained when we were in the tea house. It was so calming to be sipping teas and nibbling on finger foods while looking out at the garden with seeing the rain fall 

Live Sea Urchin @ Smorgasburg Los Angeles

A friend introduced me to heaven today…Smorgasburg in Downtown Los Angeles.  I wish I had a big enough stomach to fit all this wonderful food. I had to choose wisely since I was only going to fit a few items down the gullet. 

There it was, I saw someone pass by with a huge sea urchin on their plate, gold meat just seating inside a giant shell. Off to Jolly Oyster! $15 per Santa Barbara Sea Urchin freshly cracked. They remove the membranes and have it ready to serve. Now I didn’t realize the spines would still be moving, I instantly felt some guilt thinking this animal was being tortured. However, I later found out that it’s common for the body to move even after it has died, and with a lack of a central nervous system, it is unaware of the pain. 

Immediately I noticed the saltier flavor of this Urchin, it’s the salt water taste which doesn’t last long because it is immediately followed by the creamy uní flavor that coats the tongue. It’s probably one of the hardest food flavors for me to describe. Since there is not a lot of “meat” in the shell, it forces me to take my time and savor since the experience will end after a couple of bites.  Thank you succulent Sea Urchin for feeding me so wonderfully today…



Epazote!

Excited to be growing Epazote, an herb native to Mexico and South America. My mom would place a bouquet of Epazote in the middle of the table for us to pick leaves off and sprinkle it over tacos or soups. Consumed as a tea, chewed raw, or applied on skin, it is known to lessen flatulence, alleviate cramps, and even kill intestinal parasites. Too much though, and it becomes toxic 😅

38 degrees Ale House & Grill

Taco Tuesday is now celebrated at the 2 locations of 38 degrees Ale House (Alhambra, CA & Monrovia, CA).  They may not be $1 tacos like most places, but the flavor is worth paying a little extra. These are are the 3 types of tacos i ordered for my 3 for $8.

Roasted Brussel Sprouts Tacos with roasted tomato salsa quemada, caramelized onions, and vegan creme fraiche. 


Braised pork tacos w/ daikon sprout and carrot slaw, sliced jalapeno, sriracha aioli. 

Sesame marinated beef short rib tacos w/ house-made kimchi, queso fresco, salsa verde (center)


Pair that with one of their beers and you’re all set 😌

Guy Fieri’s El Burro Borracho- Best Place to Eat in Laughlin

I have been driving to Laughlin, Nevada for a lazy getaway with my family since I was a child.  This is our mellow version of the Las Vegas strip vacation.  With the strip, you can easily relax, but can easily get caught up in the running around to see all the fancy hotels and casinos, race to catch a show or make it into the latest hyped up club.  With Laughlin, I go with the mindset that I will spend the majority of the time laying by the pool and river with bloody marys and dine at buffets.  The active part would include a walk through a few casinos, gamble in the evening, and do one water activity such as ride a wave runner on the river or drive a patio boat on the lake.  I truly relax and feel a good distance from home without having to drive more than I would for Vegas.

This time, however, I went with an added goal. I saw that Guy Fieri opened a new restaurant, El Burro Borracho at the Harrah’s Hotel, where we were staying.  As much as I enjoy the buffets, I was very curious about this restaurant and thought it would make for a nice birthday dinner for my sister.  I am happy to say that everything ordered was excellent!

I enjoy margaritas, but sometimes I think twice about ordering one, due to places that load them with a lot of syrup and sweetness.  On this menu, the margaritas sounded really good, and I had to try one…

I ordered the Habanero-Pineapple Margarita: Pineapple + habanero-infused Cabo Wabo Silver tequila, triple sec, pineapple chucks, and homemade sour mix

Pineapple-Habanero Margarita
Pineapple-Habanero Margarita

If you like spicy, you will love this drink. It tastes light and fresh with a light lingering burn and the added spiciness of a chili salt rim.

Next, it was time for the appetizer- THIS WAS THE BEST PART OF DINNER.

We ordered Grilled Street CornGrilled corn cob, crema, chile de arbol, cilantro, lime, mayo + crumbled Cotija cheese 

This was so creamy and with the right touch of salt and spice.  It is the closest thing to having street corn in Mexico.

Grilled Street Corn
Grilled Street Corn

There are enchiladas, tacos, tortas, fajitas, and burritos for entrees.  It was very hard to choose just one entree, but fortunately there were four other dishes that were ordered at my table, so I got to taste more than one.

Pork Chile Verde EnchiladasMarinated pork shoulder, queso casero, tomatillo salsa, sweet onion, tequila-lime crema + cilantro

Pork Chile Verde Enchiladas
Pork Chile Verde Enchiladas

Chicken Mole EnchiladaGrilled Chicken, queso casero, mole verde, diced onion, tequila-lime crema + cilantro

Chicken Mole Enchilada
Chicken Mole Enchilada

Old Skool AmericanoSonoran-style braised ground beef, shredded cabbage, cheddar cheese, tequila-lime creme + pico de gallo, parmesan cheese-dusted crispy corn tortillas

Old Skool Americano Tacos
Old Skool Americano Tacos

Drunken Fish TacosBaja-style or la plancha mahi mahi, shredded cabbage, avocado, tequila-lime crema, pickled red onion + cilantro, grilled corn tortillas

Drunken Fish Tacos
Drunken Fish Tacos

There was not one plate that wasn’t delicious.  The combination of ingredients worked very well and tasted very fresh.  It truly was authentic Mexican food.  I am in love with Guy Fieri now for the dinner I had here.

Oh! let’s not forget about their way of celebrating birthdays…

BirthdayGirl

They provide a straw hat with long, soft donkey ears and a delicious dessert, all while singing a birthday song!

Birthday Dessert

Check out the rest of the menu to see how incredible each recipe sounds!

MENU

Pasta Night with Trader Joe’s ingredients

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Usually I go to my Italian market for pasta night, but I decided to try getting all my major ingredients at Trader Joe’s.

TJ Ingredients: Egg Pappardelle Pasta, Arrabiata Sauce, Seafood Blend (shrimp, calamari, bay scallops).

Other ingredients: Red chili pepper flakes, olive oil, garlic, herbs, salt & pepper

Added red chili pepper flakes and garlic to the pasta sauce and let it simmer while my water boiled for the pasta. Boiled the pasta for a few minutes while adding the seafood to a hot pan of olive oil.

When pasta was ready, mixed in pasta sauce. When seafood was thoroughly cooked, added that to the mix. Salt and peppered pasta. Chopped up some herbs and sprinkled on top… voila!

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Great with red wine 🙂