Loving

I absolutely love reading these posts and I love sharing them! I’m just going to run you guys through some of my favorite things recently.

Jumping right in let’s start with a show! We have both been hooked on to Botched recently and can watch hours of this stuff. It’s so fascinating to me and who doesn’t love a good before and after? Am I right?

I know I shared buying this oil, but after having used it for a little while now I can honestly say I love it. It’s SO hydrating and leaves my face feeling glowy. I use it every night along with another oil, but I occasionally will use it under my moisturizer during the day if my skin is feeling particularly parched.

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This jacket from Abercrombie has been my go to. It is super soft and cozy and keeps me SO warm…sometimes maybe even a bit too warm. I love the fit and the way it looks! If you’re in need/want of a teddy jacket this would be the way to go!

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Trader Joe’s has been my go to right now for fruit. I love the selection of apples they have had recently and this particular apple is my favorite. The Kiku is crisp and sweet and my absolute perfect apple!

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Another great Trader Joe’s find were these mandarins. I adore mandarins during this time of year and I have been sad at the selection recently. I got this 5 pound box on a whim and swooned. These are so easy to peel and sweet-I’m actually going to get one right now…

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Bob’s Red Mill peanut butter and banana bars have really been hitting the spot when I need something to grab and go. I honestly haven’t been buying bars recently because I don’t enjoy them as much as I used to, but during our December travels I tried one of these and ended up loving them. They have the texture of a date and nut bar so if you enjoy Lara bars you may like these.

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I think I am going to cut it off there for my favorites, but I would love to know what you guys have been loving recently.

Let me know in the comments below!

Oh the food we will eat…Pikunico

One of the blessings of living close to LA is that when you hear about a food spot on YouTube or TV it’s close enough to drive to go and check it out.

We are big fans of Worth It on YouTube and recently they had a show about fried chicken sandwiches. One of the spots they talked about was Pikunico and the way they described this sandwich and the way it looked had us drooling!

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We were in OK at the time, but we made plans that when we got back from our trip we would be trying this place out. We arrived on a Friday night to find it pretty empty minus a few people. We had to order the Golden Chicken Sandwich so we did along with the salad sampler and fingerling fries.

The salad sampler had their 3 salads that were fresh and delicious, but I could easily skip next time. The broccoli and beet were my favorite out of the three.

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The fingerling potatoes were crispy on the outside and soft and buttery on the inside. These were seasoned really well with salt and negi!

The sandwich was the star of the show. The bun was a golden turmeric bun with pickled daikon, watercress, sprouts, lemon aioli, jalapeno, and miso jam. The chicken was dark meat and fried to a delicious crispiness.Β All of these ingredients came together to create the most incredible melody of salt, fat, acid, and heat (love that docuseries)!

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This was one of our favorite chicken sandwiches and definitely one of the more complex, in terms of flavor. I highly recommend Pikunico if you ever get a chance to try it! Get the chicken sandwich and fingerling potatoes πŸ™‚

Do you have a favorite chicken sandwich? Also has anyone had the Popeye’s? What’s the hype?

Some stuff I forgot to mention…

Before Christmas and our trips we were trying to not waste food so we were using up what we had left and we chose to eat out after that so we had some really yummy food that I never had a chance to share with you guys. Besides that B took a lot of these pics and they were so good I couldn’t help but share!

Starting off on a sweet note we had Baked for dessert one night…I’m not sure how good it is that we live so close to one. It’s seriously so freakin’ good. I really want one right now!

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Speaking of Baked, you know what else is good from there? Their cheesecakes. This one in particular is the yema creme brulee one and it was one of the best cheesecake/dessert items I have ever had. Since then we’ve tried the ube and it’s also incredible, but I would say go for the yema first!

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I’ve known about Harry and David pears and decided to try them out with the husband when we spotted them at our Trader Joe’s. I’m not sure if I’m missing something, but they tasted like a good ol’ fashioned pear?! Nothing spectacular…

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We had some Thai food-soup and pad thai for the win. It was a cold day and this was some Thai comfort food at it’s best.

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To say I had a lot of turkey sandwiches would be an understatement. For whatever reason sandwiches and chips were just really hitting the spot at the time and why stop when you have a good thing going?

We recently discovered Mr. Dumpling and have been back a couple more times (that’s how good it is!). We got the fish and celery dumplings as well as the beef and green onion. We got the spicy beef soup which was fantastic as always…this sounds pretty delectable right now.

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Last but not least we have the bagel sandwiches from 42nd Street Bagel Cafe. Keep the sandwiches and chips coming! We got an everything bagel with egg and cheese as well as their pastrami sandwich on an everything. I loved both, but the pastrami sandwich won out by a tinyyy bit here. Honestly, their bagels by themselves are so yummy! I am so happy to have found this bagel place!

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That wraps up this post! Have you guys been having any cravings? Any new food finds? Let me know in the comments below!

 

Christmas in OK

We had a lovely Christmas back at home, but are also happy to be back in a routine after the holidays.

I always feel a bit sad post holiday season, but this year I am happy to get back to day to day.

On the day we arrived we went and stayed at my parents house. I showed hubby family albums and we ate a lot of cookies.

Day 2 was Christmas! Since everything was closed we were restless so we explored some of our old stomping grounds and reminisced about the past and the changes. We decided to grab lunch at IHOP (it was the only thing open)! Pancakes, omelettes, and burgers galore.

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Day 3 we finally had the opportunity to hit up the gym and we headed to B’s parent’s house. Before that we had grabbed some treats from Trader Joe’s and had the fam meet us at Torchy’s for tacos.

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Day 4 we went to the gym and hung out until dinner time. We checked out a mall and went to Ted’s. I guess we missed our Tex-Mex! Andy’s frozen custard was walking distance so we obviously had to check it out πŸ˜πŸ˜‹

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Day 5 included another gym session and eating leftover Ted’s post workout. It’s a commonly known fact that when you go to Ted’s you end up filling up on tortillas, chips, salsa and queso so you take home your entree and that is what happened. It made for a yummy meal! We got some donuts from Hurts donuts for dessert #health. We headed to my parent’s for the night and hung out for a bit before calling it a night!

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On Sunday, we woke up dark and early at 4am to get to the airport the next day. We flew home with no bumps or delays and arrived home to run errands and get ready for the week of New Year’s and a busy work week! We had some Blaze pizza with high rise dough this time and cupcakes from our favorite place! We hit the hay quite early-we were pooped!

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That, my friends, concludes our Christmas! I hope you all had a lovely holiday!!

Oh the food we will eat…Republique

We recently had a fun little date night in LA which included going to a restaurant I’ve had on the list for a while now. This was definitely quite the experience and we really enjoyed it.

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We were seated and brought menus and asked about any allergens before being given some recommendations. When we mentioned not eating pork it was passed on and remembered by our server. I loved the attentiveness of the staff and the attention to detail they took. They really worked hard at creating a wonderful experience for their diners and it was very much appreciated by us.

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We perused through the menu and decided on some bread and butter, a cauliflower dish, and some roasted chicken for our main.

Before our food came out we were brought out the cutest little bowls of this creamy mushroom soup. It was so delicious and umami in flavor and the perfect way to warm up our appetites.

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Next up was the warm bread and butter with a dash of salt on the side. The butter was shaped and the perfect texture/temp for spreading it on the bread. If you’ve been around Grubbing with Jess long enough you know how much I love some warm bread and butter. This bread was crusty on the outside and soft on the inside-it wasn’t so hard it would cut up your mouth, but just enough to give you some texture.

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This cauliflower dish is something I still think about. The layers and depth of flavor in this dish was just incredible. There was the roasted cauliflower, a sweet potato hummus, and a tangy yogurt sauce. It was such a gorgeous presentation and the flavors combined together to create the perfect bite.

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The side for our chicken dish contained pork so we had fries on the side and man oh man were these the best fries. I have never understood under-seasoned fries or uneven seasoning, but these fries were the perfect amount of saltiness and served with a super garlicky aioli.

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I could have been perfectly content just eating these, but then there was the chicken…

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I know it may seem like just chicken, but you guys this chicken was so juicy and tasty. I am picky when it comes to meat and any off flavor usually means I won’t eat it, but this chicken was just incredible and so savory.

After having a line up of all these wonderful dishes I couldn’t help but order dessert. We went for this brown butter almond cake with stone fruit and ice-cream and they poured this hot chocolate sauce on it when it was brought to the table. Again the textures and flavors were layered and brought together in the most magical way.

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If we ever have an opportunity to go back I would do it in a heartbeat. If you’re able to get a dinner reservation I highly recommend it and I’ve heard wonderful things about the brunch as well.

Thanks for reading friends! Till next time!!

New Food, New Places

There have been quite a few restaurants or foods we’ve wanted to try but the timing never seemed to work out or our tastebuds changed last minute and it seemed like something that would never happen until recently.

This first one may seem kinda silly, but since coming to California I have wanted to try California Pizza Kitchen. I know it’s not just in California, but it seemed fitting to try it in the place it’s named after. We took a leap of faith and ordered a margherita and a California veggie (subbing the corn for olives).

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The margherita came on their thin and crispy crust while the California veggie was on their regular crust (I think). I definitely enjoyed the regular crust more than the thin crust. This is mostly because I feel like the thin crust here is like a cracker crust and I am not a fan of that! In terms of flavor I did not enjoy the eggplant in the veggie. I may be crazy, but I felt like it had a fishy flavor from it.

Overall, I don’t think we’ll be revisiting CPK, but maybe we didn’t get the right things? Let us know if that’s true and we may have to go back and check it out at some point πŸ™‚

This next item isn’t something that was on my list to try until I spotted it and got it for B’s birthday. This guy LOVES Reese’s PB cups and he LOVES PB and LOVES PB/chocolate anything. His eyes light up anytime he sees that combination anywhere (ice-cream store, donut shop, etc). When I saw Jessie’s Nutty Cups online-it felt like a hallelujah moment. I got an assorted 8 pack.

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I was excited about these, but not as excited as B was and they sadly fell a little flat. They didn’t hold together when you bit into it and although it was fun to try out all the flavors it’s not something I would recommend to a true PB cup enthusiast.

The Nutty Cups were a total win compared to this next little bakery spot: Paris Pastries. The display case of little cakes and meringues totally did me in and we had to pick up a few things, but you guys, these were SO BAD. Out of the 4 items we purchased NONE of them were good. I was super sad, but got over it pretty quickly. We will not be revisiting!

Now that we’ve gone through some fails, let’s perk this post up and talk about some wins!

I’ve never had a caramel/candy apple. I’ve also never had a burning desire to have one until recently when walking by Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory and seeing their apple monstrosities. Have you guys seen these? They have the basic apples, but then they have the super pimped out apples that are larger than my face! I needed one and of course we had to go for the Reeses coated version.

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We had the lady slice it in store and when we got home and opened the bag we had quite the surprise. There was so much coating still on the apples, but a large amount had fallen off and was sitting in the paper basket. I could not believe that all this peanut butter cup goodness had been layered onto one apple!

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Needless to say this was absolutely amazing. It totally makes my apple dipped in PB look like child’s play!

The Hat is apparently a San Bernardino County institution and they serve pastrami dip sandwiches. The spot has old school diner vibes and serves food in large portions. We knew this coming in and ordered their famous pastrami dip and a “small fry.” The “small fry” was placed in a fry container, but it was almost like the carton was an after thought because the fries filled the bag almost a quarter of the way up.

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The pastrami was served in a super soft bread spread with mustard and a hefty amount of pastrami topped with pickles. I really enjoyed this sandwich in all it’s savoriness. I can see why people love this place so much. When we went it was filled with families and older couples-it was definitely a jump back in time.

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After the Hat we walked around thinking about having something sweet. We thought through a few places and couldn’t decide until we remembered Baked. It’s been a spot that we had gone into, but never tried anything from. Since we were in that “try something new” mood we figured it would be the perfect day. We ordered for mini cupcakes-a s’mores, nutella, ube flan, and a dulce de leche.

We enjoyed the ube flan and dulce de leche the most, but they were all super yummy! This bakery has some Filipino flavors embedded into their baked goods and I am here for it. I will definitely be back when I am in that cupcake mood to get some of their larger cupcakes…or maybe I’ll get a bunch of the minis again. You guys know how I love trying little bits of everything πŸ˜€

Even though some of these spots/items ended up being a fail I really enjoyed trying them out. I find it super easy to get into a routine and stay there whether it’s with a workout, food, or just life so it’s nice to switch it up every once in a while. Stepping out of my comfort zone (even if that’s just with CPK) gets me a little more comfortable with trying other things when those opportunities open up.

What is something new you have tried whether it’s a food, workout, event, anything? Let me know in the comments below!

P.S. I was super serious about your CPK suggestions if you are a CPK lover. Let me know what you love!

Happy Monday-ing you guys!

A Century City Adventure

When we lived in the Valley we loved heading into LA and walking around Century City. To this day it is my favorite mall and since moving out of the Valley and LA we hadn’t really visited in a while.

We changed all that and made a little date night adventure out of it. After the somewhat long drive into the city we needed a little snack to power us through so we stopped by Shake Shack and tried their Chicken Shack and got some fries. I loved the dilly flavor and the green pickles in this chicken sandwich-I would get it again! The fries are always a win because they remind me of childhood. I love how crispy they are!

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While walking around we spotted Randy’s and got donuts to share because what is an adventure without donuts? These donuts were so good and had some substance to them while being so soft and pillowy and melt in your mouth!

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We had meant to do some shopping, but totally got side tracked by some of the new spots that had opened up. There was toffee shop that opened up and were sampling their goods. We tried a sample of the almond toffee and their toffee popcorn-both sweet and yummy!

While passing by we saw another place sampling cheese tarts and after having a sample we had to get a couple to have. We decided on the almond and strawberry and both were so GOOD!

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We actually had the tarts with some coffee (I had an espresso and hubs had iced coffee) from La Colombe. It’s our favorite coffee place-they literally have some of the smoothest tasting coffee I have ever had!

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After Century City we went to the Grove and walked around until we were ready to visit our last two spots and head back home! It’s kind of a tradition for us to go to Vito’s Pizza and SK Donuts, but recently Alcove (for cake) has been added to that list so that is what we did and how we ended our night!

Vito’s is hands down the best NY style pizza place we’ve found in Southern California and I will always encourage anyone that is craving a NY slice and living in LA to try it out.

That’s where I’ll leave this post! Until next time friends!!

Have a great weekend!

Trader Joe’s Treats Review

We absolutely love Trader Joe’s all year round but the seasonal stuff really gets us giddy. I cannot tell you how many videos I’ve watched and blog posts I’ve read hauling and reviewing Trader Joe’s goodies this season-it’s definitely been an obsession.

Over Thanksgiving break we had hauled quite a few goodies from Trader Joe’s to try out for ourselves and since I love posts like these I figured I would share our thoughts πŸ™‚

Jumping into our first item are the Apple Cider Cake Donuts. These were coated in cinnamon sugar on the outside which would lead you to believe they may fall in the too sweet category, but these were very mild in sweetness. In terms of texture this fell on the dryer side of things, but not in an unpleasant way. I wasn’t reaching for water with every bite, but maybe every few bites? We really enjoyed these, but I don’t think they would be a staple in our house.

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The Danish Kringle in almond was something we had no idea what to expect. I knew it was a pastry and people absolutely love it, but we aren’t big pastry people (usually). THIS though was fantastic. The almond paste filling was super nice if you enjoy the flavor-if you don’t then stay away! I will also say this was SUPER sweet between the filling and the icing on top. We tried warming a piece in the microwave and in the toaster oven. The toaster oven definitely had the better texture, but be careful because the icing becomes super hot super fast.

Steering away from the sweets for a minute to check out these Cornbread Poppers. These were filled with pepperjack cheese and serrano chilis, but they are by no means spicy in any way. The outside was a cornbread with the inside filling being a gooey cheese, but when I got these I had assumed it would be a cornbread ball that had cheese and serrano chilis mixed in. Because it wasn’t that I think I was a bit disappointed, but overall these were pretty yummy.

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The Soft Baked Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies are something we had been eying for a long time. I had one cookie from this and hubby finished the pack so it’s probably safe to say I thought they were fine and he LOVED them. These are super peanut-buttery in flavor and the chocolate chips felt a bit like an afterthought. If you love peanut butter cookies you will definitely enjoy these!

Staying in the cookie category this next purchase was an impulse buy. We were in line waiting to check out when we saw the customer next to us had these in her basket. Thank God TJ’s isn’t a big store because I was able to speed walk there and back in good time to check out. All that being said, these were a fail for us. I am not a big fan of crispy cookies and that is what all of these were. In my head I was imagining a variety of butter cookies, but I definitely should have looked at the images a bit closer. As I always say after one of these incidents, “at least now we know!”

The last item are these Ridge Cut Potato Chips with Horseradish and Chive. These were nice and crunchy, but not as crunchy as a kettle chip. In terms of flavor they are very similar to a sour cream and onion with a hint of horseradish. I feel like horseradish lovers and those who aren’t horseradish fans would enjoy these. I know hubby thought these were just okay, but I’ll probably have some with sandwiches and finish off the bag. The combination of us not buying chips often enough and there being a large amount of chips in the world to try I can say safely we probably won’t be rebuying these.

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If you stuck it out this long thank you so much and I hope you enjoyed this post as much as I enjoyed writing it! I know all these items weren’t seasonal, but what are some of your current favorite Trader Joe’s goodies (seasonal or not)?

Have a great week and happy Monday!

What we ate on Thanksgiving

The past few years we have made burgers for Thanksgiving, but this year we decided to switch it up and go a bit more traditional. I won’t lie we didn’t really make anything from scratch (other than the Brussels we roasted and ate for breakfast πŸ˜€ ), but the meal ended up being pretty delicious!

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We had both sweet and regular mashed potato. The mashed potato ended up being our favorite out of these two-although I will say that the mashed potatoes weren’t as garlicky as I thought they would be?

A corn casserole dish…or as Trader Joe’s calls it Corn Pudding. This was interesting in that the top was the texture of flan.

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We obviously had to have gravy and were super pleased to find that Good & Gather had made a turkey gravy. This was super umami in flavor and really brought the meal together.

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Plus turkey and rolls πŸ™‚ I won’t lie the turkey was turkey to me because I am usually in it for the sides, but who isn’t?

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The only thing I felt like we were missing was cranberry sauce. There’s something interesting about cranberry sauce-I didn’t think I would miss it, but while eating this all I could think was “this NEEDS cranberry sauce.”

Later on we made sandwiches with the rolls and leftovers and again I felt like the slight tart/sweetness from cranberry sauce would have taken it up a few notches. I guess we know for next time!

For dessert we had decided on pies and went for a slice of apple and a slice of chocolate mousse-both of which were really good!

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That concludes our Thanksgiving meal, but I can’t conclude without giving hubby a big shoutout for these pictures! Thank you babe for taking these ❀️

How was your Thanksgiving and what did you guys end up eating? Let me know in the comments!

Oh the food we will eat…Combine Kitchen

Since moving I’ve been on the hunt for a brunch spot-on Yelp this place has 4.5 stars and 1085 reviews so I had to check it out.

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We arrived after a workout ready to eat! We ordered two savory items to share-one being the steak and egg toast and the other being the lox toast.

We tried the lox toast first which came with house cured salmon, dill cream cheese, watermelon radish, pickled red onions and candied mustard seeds served on a slice of toasted bread. I loved everything about this toast-the silkiness of the salmon, the perfect amount of cream cheese, the bite from the radish and pickled onions and the sweetness from the candied mustard seeds. It was so good!

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Next up was the steak and eggs which arrived with skirt steak, poached egg, topped with salsa verde on a hefty piece of garlic toast. This had a side of arugula with lemon vinaigrette which we also added to the toast to add some texture and brightness. This toast was the hardier of the two and the more savory.Β  It was just meaty and had some creaminess from the egg and brightness from the salsa verde, but adding the arugula helped add a freshness that it needed.

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I won’t lie I did add sriracha to both of these because I love some spice and I loved it that much more!

I will be back to have more food because I really, really enjoyed this place and the eats!