Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Chicken Maison Restaurant

My mom and I wanted salads the other day while visiting my grandparents, and we found a neat little restaurant near them called Chicken Maison.  It is located in Peninsula Center off of Hawthorne Blvd.

Their menu consists of soups, salads, rotisserie chicken, kabobs and some Mediterranean foods.  My mom ordered a Chinese chicken salad and I ordered a chicken Caesar salad.

I have to admit I ate some of my mom's mandarin oranges..they were so good!

You can't tell from the picture but there were HUGE chunks of chicken in there...definitely 1-2 breasts worth!

If you ever find yourself in Peninsula Shopping Center in Palos Verdes, you should definitely check this place out!  They are delicious and reasonably priced :)

I found this place on the internet.  They have no idea I blogged about them and they gave us nothing other than the food we ordered!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Cakedy Winner!

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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Hash Brown Casserole

We make hash brown casserole all the time in my house...I can't believe I have never blogged about it!

2 pound bag of frozen hash brown potatoes
2 tablespoons minced onion
1 can of cream of mushroom soup (or cream of anything soup)
1 pint sour cream
2 cups shredded cheese
1 stick of butter, melted
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350.

1. Combine all ingredients (minus the butter) in a bowl and mix until well blended.

2. Melt butter in a 9x12 baking dish.  Spread butter in pan and pour the rest into the bowl to mix in.  Add mixture to the 9x12 pan.

3. Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees or until brown on top.

Yum!  One of our favorites :)

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Private by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

Yay for a new series by James Patterson.  The Private series is about former Marine Jack Morgan - who runs a private investigation company named Private.  Private is the debut book in this new series.

Private revolves around Jack Morgan and all of the cases his company is working on.  In his book, the company is working on a serial killer who is killing schoolgirls, a huge NFL scandal, and the murder of Jack's best friend's wife.  Wow.  It is awesome to have a book that revolves around so many cases.  You are definitely never going to be bored while reading this book!

The next book in the series is out in hardcover so I will be waiting to buy it when it comes out on paperback!

Progress toward:

2012 TBR Pile Reading Challenge - 8/50
100+ Books In a Year - 8/100

Friday, January 27, 2012

Carrot Casserole

I have to start by saying I hate carrots.  I don't like them cooked or raw.  I have no idea why I like this carrot casserole - but I absolutely love it!

4 large carrots, peeled and cut into pieces
1 cup flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup oil
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350.

1. Boil carrot pieces in water for 25-30 minutes. They should be very soft. Drain and mash with a potato masher.

2. Add in remaining ingredients and mix until well blended.

This is what the batter should look like before you pour it into the pan.

3. Pour into a springform pan (or many little pans like I did) and bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes. You'll know it's done when you can insert a toothpick and it comes out clean!

Enjoy! :)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

It's a Heron!

So for anyone who was on my blog yesterday, I asked about a mystery bird.  It was a heron!  I think that is the first heron I have ever seen.  Really neat :)

Do you have any cool looking birds in your area?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Mystery Bird

So.....my mom and I walked on a new path the other day to just vary our exercise routine (walking) a little bit.  Right away, I saw an awesome (and pretty tall) bird.  I had no idea what it was!

All of a sudden two men on bicycles rode past us and said "Oh what a cool _____".  Grrrrr.  I was so intrigued by the mystery of this bird and they knew exactly what it was.

So I ask all of you...do you know what bird this is?  Am I the only one in the dark?  Stay turned for the answer tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

1225 Christmas Tree Lane by Debbie Macomber

It was bittersweet when I decided to read 1225 Christmas Tree Lane.  I knew that after I read this book, I would never get to read a new Cedar Cove novel again!  I know Debbie Macomber will write more book that I will love, they just won't include all of these characters that I feel like I know!

1225 Christmas Tree Lane revolves around Beth Morehouse, her Christmas tree farm, the puppies that were dropped off on her doorstep, and her ex-husband, Kent.  What a great group of characters!  The book also mentioned a bit about every other character in the series so that you kind of felt like you were getting some closure on all of them.

Well, I just have to hope that Debbie Macomber creates a new series that I will love as much as I loved the Cedar Cove series.  :)

Progress toward:

2012 TBR Pile Reading Challenge - 7/50
100+ Books In a Year - 7/100

Monday, January 23, 2012

Santa Barbara Axxess Blogging...Year 3 #4 - Nicky D's Wood Fired Pizza

I am failing miserably at visiting Santa Barbara restaurants to use my Axxess card.  But I finally used it today at Nicky D's Wood Fired Pizza.  They opened a while ago where Pizza Hut used to be.  The biggest difference between the two places is that Nicky D's has a dine-in option.  The deal there is 20% off your first visit.

There was only one other group dining in when we got there so we got our choice of tables...woohoo!  The guy working the cash register (owner maybe) was also extremely nice, friendly, helpful, etc :)

My mom and I both opted for the lunch special.  You get 2 huge slices of cheese pizza, a mixed greens salad and a drink all for $7.99.  Wow!

This is my mom's salad with everything on it...onions, olives, tomatoes...I forget what else.

This is my salad with lettuce, croutons and cheese LOL

Look at these huge pizza slices!

My favorite thing about their pizza was that it only had a little bit of sauce.  I don't love tomatoes so this was perfect for me.  I think my mom's favorite thing was how full of "goodies" the salad was.  I did love that they made my salad plain! LOL

We saved between $3-4 which is good for lunch.  I think we will definitely be going back there in the future...I want to try their garlic bread next time! :)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Born to Die by Lisa Jackson

I think I have only read one book by Lisa Jackson before.  Her books all sound good, so I would love to read more of them now that I have read two and liked two.

Dr. Kacey Lambert is the starring character in Born to Die.  When women who happen to look just like her start dying, she starts worrying that she may be next!  Kacey soon discovers some of the women had a link to the man she just started seeing - rugged Trace O'Halleran.  Soon Kacey, Trace and Detectives Selena Alvarez and Regan Pescoli are all working - both together and independently - to find out why a killer is targeting lookalikes of Kacey.

I think I have read one of the "to Die" series before.  I don't remember it but since the detectives weren't prominently featured in the book, I didn't feel like I was missing anything.  I am going to be digging through my TBR pile now to see if I have any more books in this series to read!

Progress toward:

2012 TBR Pile Reading Challenge - 6/50
100+ Books In a Year - 6/100

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Cakedy Review

I was really excited when I was given the chance to review Cakedy - Minnesota's Candy Bar.  I requested to try the Peanutter and Choco Chocatus flavors.

While the bars aren't too big, I wanted more opinions than just my own so I split each bar 3 ways.

I take way too many blurry pics...this is the Peanutter flavor.

One really neat thing about the Cakedy bars is how dense the cake is on the inside.  It is almost brownie-like!  We all noticed it tasted a bit off....and when I looked up the flavor online...it has butterscotch chips in it!  Once we knew that, my mom really liked it and my friend Danny and I thought it was okay.

The Choco Chocatus flavor was amazing to me!  My dad also really liked it!  My mom didn't love it because it wasn't milk chocolate.  The slight mint flavor makes it really awesome and it was just decadent.  Yum!

These chocolate-covered cake candy bars were great and I am so glad I got to try them out!  And you can try them out to!

Cakedy is offering one of my lucky readers a chance to win a Cakedy two-pack like I won.  Please enter via the Rafflecopter widget below.  Blog comments will only count if you also fill out the Rafflecopter widget.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Slater's 50/50: Burgers by Design

A fellow blogger reviews Slater's 50/50: Burgers by Design once on their blog and I just knew I had to try it!  I mentioned it to my aunt on Xmas and she told me to let her know when we went and she and my cousin would meet us...yay!  We invited my grandparents to go which was cool because they hadn't seen each other in almost 10 years!

Slater's has make your own burgers with everything imaginable, but they also have pre-designed combinations.  We did a combination of both!

My mom got "The Ballpark" which is a beef patty, chili, cheese sauce, onions and 1000 island dressing.  She took off the top bun and polished the rest off!

I ordered the "Peanut Butter and Jellousy" which is a beef patty, bacon, peanut butter, and jelly.  Oddly enough, the bacon was the ingredient whose flavor was lost.  But....this was delicious!  I am so glad I gave this unique combination of flavors a try :)

My nana made her own burger with a beef patty, teriyaki sauce, pineapple and cheese.  She loved it but brought a lot home!

I think myy cousin, Erik, ordered "The Old Timey" which is a beef patty, American cheese, grilled onions, lettuce, tomato, and 1000 island dressing.  He made the mistake of ordering the 2/3 lb burger while we all got the 1/3 lb burger.  He had at least half left!

My Auntie Marilyn ordered their signature burger, "The 50/50".  The patty is half crumbled bacon and half beef.  It comes with a sunny side up egg, avocado mash, and then she substituted in cheddar cheese and regular mayo.  So unique!

Their burgers all come with pickles, but nothing else.  So the six of us shared two appetizer combination plates.  We had regular fries with bacon infused ketchup, sweet potato fries with pumpkin sauce, and deep fried artichoke hearts with sage mayo.  The sides were all delicious and we actually had leftovers!

Deep fried artichoke hearts are my favorite and I almost always order them when I see them!

Everyone who tried the bacon infused ketchup loved it, but unfortunately I don't like ketchup so I didn't try it.

Have you ever been to a restaurant like this with such unique food items or combinations?  What did you think?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Moo's Chinese Restaurant

While visiting my grandparents, we always try to visit new restaurants.  We tried to go to an Italian restaurant in Torrance, but they basically held all of their tables for reservations so we couldn't get in.  We ended up going to Moo's Chinese Restaurant in the same strip mall and it was a great choice!

The menu had tons of options.  We ended up ordering sizzling rice soup, sweet & sour fish, chicken chow mein and chicken with cashews.  It was all so good and really reasonably priced!

The soup was crammed with meat, veggies and rice!

The fish was piled high.  The menu listing was for whole fish, but thankfully they were nice and filleted it for us.

The cashew chicken came with broccoli...it was like my two favorite dishes combined!

I don't do chow mein but everyone else seemed to like it.

If you ever find yourself in Torrance wanting Chinese food, Moo's would be a great place to try!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Treachery in Death by JD Robb

J.D. Robb / Nora Roberts is one of about five of my all-time favorite authors!  I love the books she writes under both names - they couldn't be more different!  Robb's "In Death" series revolve around Lieutenant Eve Dallas and take place around the year 2060.  I love reading about Dallas and her futuristic world.

Treachery in Death is all about a dirty cop....ooooh!  Dallas' partner, Detective Delia Peabody is taking a shower after a workout when she hears two cops start arguing about someone being murdered.  She brings everything she learns to Dallas and they go from there.  This book totally had my interest from the very beginning through the last page.

Whether or not you have ever read one of the "In Death" books, you should check this one out.  It's easy to pick up these books from any point in the series and quickly figure out who everyone is.  This book is different because you know who the bad cop is - you aren't spending the whole book wondering who did it.  This time you are wondering...how will they prove it?

Progress toward:

2012 TBR Pile Reading Challenge - 5/50
100+ Books In a Year - 5/100

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Mort's Delicatessen

My mom and I were driving to visit my grandparents last weekend when we got hungry for lunch.  We tried to go to Chipotle since neither of us have ever been there, but we accidentally drove right by the freeway exit to go there.  My mom decided to get off at Reseda and just look for somewhere else to eat.  So we got off the freeway and the first place I saw was Mort's Delicatessen - perfect!  What is better than a deli?

The place was packed!  They were turning over tables so quickly.  We sat down, promptly ordered our food, and it came a few minutes later.  What service!

My mom's chicken noodle soup that she loved.

My club sandwich that was delicious!  It came dry though which was weird, I asked for ranch for my fries and ended up using it on my sandwich also.

My mom's corned beef sandwich plus both of our pickles HAHA

The food and service here were both great!  We will definitely visit Mort's Deli again if we find ourselves hungry in Tarzana :)

Monday, January 16, 2012

Nails Inc Manicure

I love trying new things on my nails!  I saw something mentioning magnetic nail polish somewhere, and I just had to have it.
I bought two different colors.  Teal and purple.  Above is the bottle of the teal polish.  You paint a first coat on all of your nails.  You do your second coat one nail at a time, using the magnet immediately after the second coat goes on.  If you let the polish dry for even 15 seconds it doesn't really work.

Below is the purple on my nails.

I love how it ripples black onto your nails.  So cool!  I can't wait to try out the teal :)

Have you heard of the polish?  If so, have you tried it?  If not, would you?