Nothing makes me happier than my best friends being in town. Maddy and Gina were in town to celebrate Eric & Gina’s recent engagement! Lots of great food, drinks, and company to be enjoyed.
Happy 1st of September! I can’t believe the year has gone by so quickly. It’s almost time to bring out my boots and scarves for our chilly fall; well, by California’s standards at least. The weather was near perfect today, so J and I decided to take Casey out and have lunch at Bruxie, since we had an eFoodie deal.
I’ve been to Bruxie a few times in the past, but since it’s a bit out of the way, I’m far from a regular. I’ve ordered their waffle sandwiches before, which are great. The quality of the ingredients is fantastic, and the service has always been great. For those who are apprehensive of waffles in savory food, fear not. The waffles aren’t sweet, but have a perfect light, crispy texture.
I ordered the Buttermilk Fried Chicken Cobb Salad, which came with chopped fried chicken, tomatoes, eggs, avocado, bacon, and bleu cheese, which I substituted for cheddar. It was topped off with ranch dressing and a thin, circular waffle. The salad was a bit pricey for its size, but it was tasty and hit the spot.
I gave the bacon pieces to this little cutie since I don’t eat bacon. And, really, how could I say no to this cute little face?
Josh ordered the Bacon Avocado Burger, which looked delicious! Since Bruxie is a waffle joint, the hamburger bun was replaced with a waffle. I’m fairly certain he finished it with a few bites. I asked him how he would describe it and he said “juicy, meaty, and bacon-y”. Well, sounds like he picked a winner.
Bruxie doesn’t have traditional sodas, so I ordered a “lemon lime” drink in lieu of Sprite, which is typically a rare treat for myself. It was good, and not too sweet. It reminded me of the drinks at Mendocino Farms.
J ordered a Strawberry Lemonade, which was perfectly refreshing. Plus, did I mention we got free refills?
My favorite thing about outdoor seating is the people watching. While so many people were fascinated by Casey’s cuteness (no, I’m not just saying that!), I loved watching the sporadic groups of people walking by.
There were a few other people in the patio with us, but besides that, it was pretty quiet. The food was delicious and quality was great, but given its price and portion, I wouldn’t go out of my way to have it on a regular basis.
I wanted to check out a new bakery across the street, so J and I split a “brookie”, which is, you guessed it: a brownie and cookie combo. It had a hint of coffee in it, but had the right texture, which is essential for the perfect brownie.
Similar to Bruxie, the prices were a little higher than expected, so I don’t plan on visiting too often. But, remember, it’s ok to treat yourself every now and again! When in doubt, say yes to the Brookie. :)
After hearing about Native Foods Cafe for several months, it was finally time to grub! I browsed their menu online and was able to order ahead of time so that I could grab my food for lunch and head back to the office.
I was so excited to see “Sri Lankan Curried Tater Bites” on the seasonal menu. I mean, how could I not order them?! They were $6.99 I also ordered the kids meal (shhh!) with chicken fingers and a side of veggies for $4.99. I set my pick-up time for 1p.m., but my food wasn’t ready until 1:10p.m. No big deal, but in the future, I’ll set my pick-up time a bit earlier!
The taters were TO. DIE. FOR. They were absolutely delicious, and my only issue was that I didn’t order more. We call them “cutlets”, and in Sri Lanka they can be filled with potatoes, fish, or chicken. These were filled with potatoes and had an incredible dipping sauce. Next time, I’ll ask for extra sauce on the side.
Only three chicken fingers were included in the kids meal, and they had a more “baked” texture instead of “fried”, which I’m sure made it healthier. Y’know, besides the ranch dressing! The portion was small for me, but would be great for a child.
I topped my meal off with lavender lemonade, which came with my kids’ meal. It was crisp, refreshing, and tasty!
While Native Foods is a bit pricier than normal, the quality was great. I was able to get a small drink, a side of veggies, cutlets, and chicken fingers for about $12 and felt full. I can’t wait to go back and try some new menu items, too!
Ever since Casey came into my life, essentially everything revolves around the little man. Since he’s little, it’s hard to leave him unsupervised at home for a long period of time, so I try to schedule things to the best of my abilities. I haven’t been able to eat out too much lately (which I’m sure my wallet is happy about), but it changed when I found out that Rutabegorz in Orange is dog-friendly! The only other restaurant that Casey had been with us to before was Lazy Dog, and besides barking at one dog, he was an absolute angel. We’re trying really hard to train Casey to behave himself with other humans and dogs, and socializing him at a young age seems to be putting us on the right track.
I decided to meet J for lunch at Ruta’s, and of course Casey was invited! I’ve been to other Ruta’s, but never to the Orange location. It’s located right across from Chapman University, but since we had visited at noon before school was back in session, it was quiet.
We had the patio to ourselves for most of lunch, and it was perfect for people watching. I loved the relaxed atmosphere; in fact, it was next to a handicraft store that I’ll have to stop by next time. I don’t spend nearly enough time in local cafes, so it was a great change of pace.
It was an absolute perfect day to sit outside, soak up some sun, and catch up with J, all with Casey by our sides. It was going to be a long day, so I ordered an iced vanilla latte to start out with. It wasn’t the best I’ve ever had, so I’d probably try something else on the menu the next time around.
Ruta’s definitely has one of the biggest menus I’ve ever seen; everything from salads to wraps to sandwiches to soups. There are a ton of vegetarian options, which make it a solid option that will make everyone happy. I’ve heard people complain about the menu being too big, but I consider extra choices to be a good thing!
Ruta’s always has a great deal for an appetizer for a dollar or less; I’ve had various types of hummus, spreads, and chutneys that I normally wouldn’t have ordered if it wasn’t for the obscenely great price. This months’ was a chiptole dip with chips. It was creamy with just the right amount of kick. I wish they’d jar these monthly specials up to take home!
The great thing about Ruta’s is that the food comes out quick. Probably quicker than any restaurant I’ve ever been to, actually. Our waitress was really sweet and even gave in to Casey’s pleading for a ear scratch. I mean, how could you not love this face though?
I ordered the garlic chicken salad, which has been my go-to meal for a year. It has garlic chicken, tomatoes, walnuts, avocado, cucumber, crunchy wonton sticks, and a side of balsamic vinaigrette. In case you haven’t heard, Ruta’s salads are huge! They’re definitely share-worthy, I always order the full size so that I can take the extras home for dinner.
J ordered the chicken enchiladas. I know I said I order the same thing every time, but if I had to order something else off the extensive menu, it’d be the enchiladas. They come smothered in cheese, which, in case you didn’t know, is one of my favorite foods. It’s his go-to meal, and I’m lucky he let’s me snag a few bites here and there. He ended up pouring the remaining chipotle sauce on the enchiladas, which took it to the next level. So. Good.
We were both stuffed by the end of lunch. Casey was very well-behaved, which means he can certainly join us next time around! I forgot to ask if they had any food items for dogs on the menu (Lazy Dog brings out chicken and rice for about $5), but I’ll have to ask next time. It wouldn’t be fair for Casey to miss out on the great food at Ruta’s again, now would it? Oh, and I couldn’t leave you without one more good picture of this babe…We can’t wait to go back!
If you’re looking for the perfect summer salsa, you’ve come to the right place. I love salsas and dips, so it was about time I started to make my own! This sweet salsa has a tiny kick to it and is ideal for dipping with chips, on top of chicken, or even by itself. Plus, did I mention it’s super easy to prepare?
-3/4 large pineapple
-1 red onion
-1 tablespoon salt
-1 tablespoon red chili pepper (or, to taste)
Slice pineapple, mango, and tomatoes into cubes.
Julienne cucumber and onions.
Add fruits and veggies to bowl. Cover and chill for 30 minutes.
Drain excess liquid if desired.
Top with salt and chili pepper.
If you want a more liquid-like salsa as opposed to chunky, throw all ingredients into the blender for 30 seconds.
Homemade, thin vanilla crepes oozing with delicious strawberry cheesecake filling, and topped with fresh strawberries and powdered sugar. These strawberry cheesecake crepes aren’t gluten free. They aren’t low calorie. And they sure as heck aren’t organic. But they ARE so unbelievably good. Agree that these are worth the calories? Read on for the recipe for these delicious, and easy-to-make treats that will make any brunch twenty times better.
-2 cups all-purpose flour
-1 cup milk
-1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1 cup water
-4 tablespoons butter
-5 oz. vanilla Greek yogurt
-1/2 cup whipped cream cheese
-1 cup strawberries, diced
-1/8 cup brown sugar
-1 strawberry, sliced
-Powdered sugar to taste
You’ll also need…
-Butter (for grease)
-Large mixing bowl
-Cutting board for berries
-Mixing bowl for filling
Note: I initially considered using my KitchenAid mixer, but decided against it. There’s no heavy duty mixing required, and clean-up is easier without it.
-Whisk milk, melted butter, water, vanilla, and eggs in large bowl. Whisk until yolks are completely broken.
-Slowly sift in flour and salt. Stir until no clumps are visible.
-Cover mixing bowl and place in fridge for thirty minutes. While the batter is chilling, you can work on the filling.
-Mix cream cheese, Greek yogurt, and sliced strawberries. If you want the filling to be more “liquidy”, add more yogurt. If you’d like it to be fluffier, add more cream cheese. Add brown sugar when mixed.
-Cover bowl and chill in fridge while dough is being cooked.
-Heat non-stick pan at medium heat. Add butter to grease.
-Pour dough on pan. Cook each side for approximately 30 seconds, or until fully cooked.
**Remember, crepes are different than pancakes because they are thin! It took me a couple tries to find my desired thickness and diameter, so don’t be afraid to play around. Also, don’t make the mistake of forgoing the butter on the pan. No matter how great your non-stick pan is, it needs butter! I poured dough in a small cup before putting it on the pan to make sure I had the right size/thickness each time. Pour it in a circular motion from the inside out to “fill in” gaps.**
-Take filling out from fridge. Stuff cooled crepes with desired amount and roll. Top with strawberries and powdered sugar and enjoy!
Looking for a spin on this recipe? You could also substitute blueberries for the filling or omit the berries inside and top with bananas, peaches, strawberries, etc. The possibilities are endless. Happy cooking!