Oh the food we will eat…Mario’s Place

For a little date night we decided to take a hop, skip, and jump over to Riverside.

I had been craving pasta for a bit now so we decided on Italian. Hubby found the place and made the reservation.

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We were seated immediately upon arrival. On Yelp the attire recommended was California casual. If you don’t know it just means some are usually casual and some are super dressed. Being date night we had dressed up a little and I am so glad because so was everyone else there.

The restaurant was a lot more formal than either of us were thinking. White table cloths and prettily folded napkins greeted us at our candle lit table.

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I had glanced through photos on Yelp and saw some items that were popular. We had already decided to skip apps to save room for a pasta dish and a pizza.

Our final decision ended up being the mushroom ravioli and their pizza of the night-a red sauce, mozz cheese, cauliflower, sausage creation.

After we ordered we were brought this beautiful bread-warm, crusty outside and oh so soft inside. It came with butter at the most perfect temp. Super easy to spread without being overly melty.

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Since we don’t eat sausage we got the ‘za sans sausage. Even though it ended up being a cheese pizza with cauliflower it was a very delicious pizza with cauliflower.

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The sauce was savory, the cheese had good pull, the chilli flakes added some heat and the cauliflower added a nice textural change. We each had one slice and decided to dig into the pasta.

The mushroom ravioli was swimming in cream sauce and porcini mushrooms. It had a nice heap of shaved parm on top too.

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The ravioli was filled with the most savory mushroom filling. The sauce was creamy, but not overly so and very well seasoned. The mushrooms added a nice meaty texture and flavor.

I’m not big into white sauce pizza or pasta but this pasta has me rethinking all of that!

We ended up taking the rest of the pizza home since we were so full from the pasta. Not to worry…I ate every last slice over the period of a week 😉

We had a lovely time at Mario’s place. If you happen to live in or near Riverside it’s a great little spot for a date night!

Pizza and friends

Our friends that had moved out of state came to visit and we had to see them! They are the most wonderful people and they have the sweetest kiddos.

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We had been to the Luggage Room in Pasadena with them before and hadn’t been back since then so we decided it was time for a visit!

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After chatting for a bit the husbands went to order and oh man did we order!

They ordered a couple of pizzas and a salad. We ordered a chopped salad, a burrata pizza, and some deviled eggs.

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You guys, I love a good chopped salad. Nothing makes me happier than being able to shovel salad in my mouth without the interruption of oddly shaped leaves being half in and half out of my mouth. This salad was right up my ally!

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The deviled eggs were yummy. There was either mustard or horseradish or something mixed in to give it a bit of a kick. We both really like deviled eggs, but it’s not something we commonly see on a menu. I think we were surprised and intrigued by the fact it was at a pizza place.

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The pizza was a Neapolitan style and you know how much I LOVE a good Neapolitan pizza.

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The burrata was gooey and soft, the sauce added a really great brightness to contrast the rich cheese. I love that they just chop up a bunch of basil to top off their pizzas. It adds a nice herby freshness.

After eating, talking, and more eating and talking we had to go our separate ways. We had plans to go to Alcove and were sad they couldn’t join us, but so happy to have seen them.

Alcove had a line to order food but since we just wanted a slice of cake we were able to skip the line. We eye drooled over all the cakes on display but settled on an oldie but a goodie-the birthday cake 😋

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Okay so that’s where we had planned on our food adventure ending, but B mentioned that Donut Man was on the way home.

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Donut Man is kinda famous in SoCal for their glazed donut filled with strawberries. There is usually a line and we had been once before. Sadly the other donut they are known for is a tiger tail but they ran out before we ordered the last time.

We were determined to get a tiger tail this time. And we did…along with a couple of other donuts…

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The tiger tail was warm and I could feel it through the box. That led us to trying that and all the donuts in the car 😬

Totally worth it because very few things are as wonderful as a warm, yeasty donut. This was a good combination of melt in your mouth and having a good chew. Donut Man does a great classic donut!

We drove back home sugared up and tummies full!

Do you have a favorite local donut shop? Talk to me in the comments below!

Our Valentine’s Date

I know I’m a bit late posting this, but I am happy to finally share our Valentine’s Day. Being completely transparent, we hadn’t planned on doing anything major. We were going to stay in, cook dinner, and watch a movie. Everyday is basically Valentine’s Day for me because I get to spend it with the best husband ever, but he knows how much I love a good date night so out we went.

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We had no reservations anywhere but forged ahead and walked to an outdoor mall with plenty of options. Our plan was King’s Fish House but the wait would be an hour to an hour and a half. We decided to check out somewhere else and put our names down for Kabuki because the wait was 35 minutes!

While “waiting” we walked around and asked about some other waiting times. Lucille’s BBQ had a wait for three hours!! I was astonished!

Thankfully for us all of that killed some time and we arrived back at Kabuki and chatted for a little while before it was our turn to get seated. We were both so happy to finally be sitting and looking at a menu! To say we went a bit overboard with ordering is being kind.

Anytime we go get sushi we always get edamame. Whether it’s plain or garlicky and spicy we love the stuff. It’s something delicious to munch on and distract you while you wait for everything else. This time was no different and we ordered the spicy garlic edamame.

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This menu had pictures and when I noticed the black miso cod it looked so good so we had to try it. The cod was crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. The freshness of the cucumbers and carrots that came with it added a nice contrast to the perfectly cooked fish.

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Ever since discovering spicy tuna on crispy rice we always look for it on the menu. There’s something so magical about the tuna piled high on the crispy cake of rice. The texture of the soft fish and the crispy rice patty really make it delectable.

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We ordered three sushi rolls. The first was a nice basic spicy tuna roll. It was good and fresh! Nothing to complain about and nothing to write home about..

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I wish I could remember what the 2nd and 3rd rolls were, but I can’t and I’ve been combing through the menu now for a good 10 minutes and have had no luck figuring it out.

I think the second one was the Sun Kissed Roll with salmon the outside and spicy tuna and avocado on the inside.

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The other had this coconut curry base with red bell pepper, cilantro, and shrimp on top of a California roll (maybe??)..

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We both left feeling fully and happy! It was a little panicky in the beginning trying to figure out a plan B on the fly, but thankfully it all worked out! We had a great time and enjoyed spending some together time…goodness I do love my guy!

For Valentine’s are you guys stay at home and relax to the max people or go out people? Let me know in the comments below!

Random eats and a fruit haul

I really enjoy doing a recap of our meals because it takes me back to those days and gives me all the mems.

Like this turkey and hummus pita with shrettuce and pickles. I remember being so hungry and eating quite a few carrots while making this.

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We visited Mendocino for lunch one day and shared a couple of sandwiches with these amazing spicy chips.

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Once a week salmon saga continues with baked salmon and roasted carrots…

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My favorite thing at Denny’s used to be the Fit Fare Sizzlin’ Egg Skillet, but it is now this veggie omelet. I got it without cheese and a side of steamed brocc.

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The hashbrowns that it came with were so crispy and went perfectly with the soft eggs. Side of turkey bacon…all of the proteins!

One particular night we had a little bit of leftover ground beef so we made burgers and had chips on the side.

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I was super proud of us this night because we used up our last two potato buns and leftover shrettuce. It is so satisfying to use things up!

I don’t know if it could be considered a fruit “haul” but we have been eating a lot of fruit lately.

It started from a walk to our Farmer’s Market where we got three pints of strawberries and some mandarins.

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I don’t think it’s berry season, but these were the most yummy strawberries. The mandarins were juicy and sweet. Omg I could have just eaten pints and pints of those strawberries!

We visited Sprout’s and found these golden kiwis. I had been wanting to try them and I am so glad we did! These kiwis were so sweet and as promised golden on the inside. Love, love, love!

Mangoes were another fruit that I was certain would not be good right now, but ended up being delectable. It was so sweet and reminded me why I don’t need any other dessert when I have a good mango.

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Do you guys feel this way about fruit? If the fruit is good enough and sweet enough I don’t need anything else to curb my sweet tooth.

Thanks for reading friends! See you next time!

Oh the food we will eat…Porto’s

For hubby’s birthday one of his co-workers had very sweetly gifted him a gift card to Porto’s. Now, we love Porto’s and would have gone anyway, but having the gift card was definitely an added incentive 🙂

Porto’s is this amazing Cuban bakery that has delicious baked goods (duh), coffees/teas/beverages, and incredible food. The lines are always long, but go pretty quickly. Once you get to the front of the line you get called by an available person where you order all the baked goods your heart desires. You do have to be a bit loud because people all around you are ordering too.

Once you order your person tells you to wait right there while they run and grab all your treats. They then have you go to the cashier and order any other drinks or food you’d like and pay. After ordering our treats this time we decided to order food. We ordered and got a tracker so they could bring us the food to our table.

It’s quite the experience to say the least!

Now for what we got! We were hungry so we ordered the grilled citrus chicken breast with salsa verde. We wanted a sandwich as well and got the Porto’s Torta with grilled steak.

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The chicken dish came with rice, black beans, and plantains. Every part of this dish was so good-my highlights were the chicken and plantain. The chicken was savory and the salsa verde added a good acidity. The plantains I saved for last because they were sweet and caramelized and the perfect little ending (except we also had cookies…more on that later).

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The sandwich had guac, black bean spread, cotija cheese, lettuce and tomato. I loved that the grilled steak was chopped up so it was easy to bite through. It drives me a bit bonkers when there are grilled pieces of steak and when you bite into your sandwich that whole piece of steak comes out. The sandwich came with a side of plantain chips-y’all know I love my plantain chips!

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On to the sweeter side of things…I had gone there with the intention of getting these soft, shortbread type cookies filled with dulce de leche. They are called besitos and they are one of the best things on the planet. We each had one after our meal and lordyyy…one of the best meals ever!

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Other than the besitos we had gotten a few things to have throughout the next few days. The caramel flan which is absolutely delicious and not to sweet. If it’s your first time here I would recommend the individual size tres leches, the caramel flan, guava and cheese pastry (we didn’t get this time) and besitos.

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I wanted to try the creme brulee this time but it ended up being a bit of a fail. The custard was a bit to runny and there wasn’t that satisfying crispy top. I wasn’t too devastated by this because they have way too many other delicious treats.

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We also got the chocolate twist which was so flaky and mildly sweet with chocolate swirled throughout the pastry. I really liked the cinnamon roll, it had a super vanilla smell and flavor. We warmed it up and it was sweet and gooey!

The brownie was dense but cakey at the same time. It was not my favorite chocolatey treat, but the hubs really liked it. I think if you like dark chocolate then you would definitely enjoy this!

Now the piece de resistance was this tres leches cake roll. To be honest it wasn’t much of a cake roll, but I didn’t mind that one bit. Tres leches cakes are one of my favorite cakes and I can never turn one down. The frosting was thick and fluffy at the same time but not at all sweet. I like that they left the sweetness up to the milky cake. It was a great balance.

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I was telling B that the only thing to make this even better would have been some fruit! I mentioned before you should try the individual tres leches, but after you’ve done that I highly recommend the tres leches “cake roll.”

I’ve had the opportunity to try their large sheet cake of tres leches with fruit and it is incredible and remains on my list of favorite cakes of all time, but there’s only 2 of us and we don’t need that large of a cake no matter how much my eyes and stomach say otherwise.

If you ever get the chance to visit Porto’s I highly recommend you to go and experience it for yourself! Have you ever been to a Cuban bakery? What are some of your favorite treats?

Thanks for reading! I’ll see you next time!

 

Empties

I think I’ve done an empties post before and I think I mentioned how much I love reading these. I think a part of it is that I love seeing what other people are loving and usually if you’ve used up a product you either love it or you tolerated it enough to use it all up.

The other part is that I am always so excited to use something up especially if it’s a product that you don’t go through quickly (face wash, body lotion, etc). There is something oddly satisfying about the whole thing!

Jumping right in since I have more than a few products that I have emptied out is this Mario Badescu face wash. I am a big fan of Mario Badescu products-the drying lotion, the acne cleanser, and this face wash are my favorites. I have had this face wash for a looooong while now…I don’t even remember how long.

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It’s very gentle and I use it in the mornings. I love that this doesn’t dry your face out. The thing to note about this is that it doesn’t leave your face with that squeaky clean. Don’t get me wrong, your face is clean but it’s not squeaky and tight feeling. I am very okay with that especially during the drier, colder months when my skin needs a little extra moisture.

I have gone through many of these e.l.f. eyebrow pencils and I always make sure I have at least a couple of backups. They are $2 and fantastic at filling in your brows. I use this as my everyday brow product and save the $10 NYX one for special occasions or once a week weekend use. I use deep brown and find it super easy to use and the best part? Majorly affordable and easy to find.

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I remember hauling this oil almost a year ago in March. I have the teensiest eensiest bit left and plan on using it, but I had to include it in this empties. Oils are a part of my night time routine and this was great for summer time because I could wash my face and throw this on and be done.

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During the winter this alone was not enough and I had to add in some extra moisturization. That being said I love the floral scent and I would add this into my oil purchasing rotation.

I’ve used this Simple smoothing facial scrub for many, many years now. I use it at night time to take the day off and it supposedly helps you absorb all the goodness from your skincare. I don’t know if that’s true, but I have not had any issues with it and enjoy the little rice granules as a physical exfoliant.

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I used to get it from Target and they stopped carrying it, found it at Ralph’s and was buying it there until I couldn’t find it there, so I’ve resorted to buying it on Amazon.

When the Aroma Therapy lotions went on sale at Bath and Body a year or so ago I had gotten a couple of these Rose and Vanilla scented ones. I am so happy to say I have used up a whole one and now have moved on to the second. It’s such a good scent but after having used it for a while I am ready to be done!

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I received this Vasanti Exfoliating Cleanser in a Fab Fit Fun box a couple of years ago and I really enjoyed it. I used it once a week as a super exfoliator and noticed my face would feel softer after use. I loved having it and using it but I don’t know if it’s a product I need or will be buying again.

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My last product is the Dove Antiperspirant Spray. I used stick antiperspirant/deodrants for a long time before discovering the beauty of a spray. It stays nice and clean because you’re not rubbing it all over your armpit and it’s done a great job at keeping me feeling fresh and not stinky! Always a good thing 🙂

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Thanks for reading if you’ve made it this far! While you’re here let me know what are some empties you’ve recently had. Are they products you loved and used up or products you would never buy again?

Have a great week and I’ll see you all Thursday!

Republique Round 2

I think I mentioned in my Saturday Lunch post that we were spending the day in LA because we had a friend’s birthday thing that evening. Well, our friend’s birthday thing was at Republique and ended up being one of my favorite foodie experiences!

Once we arrived we were taken upstairs to a space reserved for the event. We caught up and chatted with our friends and before we knew it food started showing up. It was served family style with course after course and I definitely had to work hard to pace myself.

In true Republique style the service was so incredible and the food was brought out with what seemed like the perfect amount of timing. You had enough time to chat and eat the dish that was brought out before the next one came out.

All these pictures are taken by B, but there are some dishes that were missed. He did a great job of managing to eat, talk, serve our little group, and take pictures! He’s a gem!

We started with oysters…neither the hubs nor I could figure out if this was our first or second time with oysters. I was convinced that it was our second! Either way the oysters were amazing with a squeeze of lemon…

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These crostinis with fish and caviar were a real treat! Crispy, salty, and delicious!

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We had two pasta dishes. One was filled with butternut squash and sweet while the other was a cacio y pepe and much more on the savory side of things.

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These fried potato puffs were so good and I can’t remember what the sauce was, but it was really good.

I think I’ve had duck once before and I am so happy that this was my second duck dish ever because it was so tender and perfectly cooked!

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From what I remember there was a salmon dish and a short rib dish which were both really good. The short rib dish was one of my favorite things we ate, but I have no pictures. In fact the night was a big blur of food and I can’t remember all the other savory things we ate.

There were three desserts and they were all beautiful and delicious and balanced. We don’t have a picture of the first one, but I believe it was a berry sort of situation. The second one that came out was this chocolatey glass of goodness. It had some hints of hazelnut and although looking super chocolatey I don’t remember thinking it was overwhelmingly chocolatey…if that makes sense?

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This last dessert was a pastry boat with caramelized apples (or pears?) and a scoop of soft vanilla ice-cream. The big surprise was that once it was brought out they shaved cheese on top of it. We were all a bit in awe, but once we dug in we were all cheesy grins (sorry, not sorry for the pun)! It was sweet, savory, crispy, creamy, cold and warm-one of my favorite desserts of the night!

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You guys we were there for four hours…FOUR hours and we had no idea! A large part of that was the great company. We had planned on heading home after dinner, but spontaneously decided to head to the next birthday destination-Lucky Strike.

We bowled, played pool, had more snacks, had more cake, and by the time we got home and got ready for bed it was 2:30am…we crashed hard to say the least!

I love food experiences where you get to try a little bit of everything, are you the same? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for coming by!

 

 

Treat Review

We LOVE treats in this house and a majority of the posts that I do contain some sort of treat because it makes my heart happy. I thought a fun way to share some treats from the past month would be to do a little review.

Let’s start with this cereal pie from Pie Hole. If I’m being completely honest neither of us are big into pie, but this was more like a cheesecake with fruity cereal mixed into the cheesecake batter. I have no complaints and would give this a 5/5 stars!

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You guys know how obsessed I have been with Baked and how much I love their treats. When I saw this ube brownie I needed to try it out so that is what we did. This is 3/5 stars because this felt more like a cake in texture than a brownie. The flavor was a yummy, mild ube flavor but I was expecting chewy fudgy brownie and this was not that.

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After our outrageous Reeses apple from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory we knew we needed to try out their other sweets. We had high expectations for this chocolate caramel covered marshmallow. I was imagining milk chocolate with creamy caramel and fluffy marshmallow, but instead it was milk chocolate with hard, crunchy caramel and not much marshmallow. Rating? 3/5

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An extreme high note from Rocky Mountain was this concoction called an “avalanche.” It’s Rice Krispy cereal mixed with peanut butter and marshmallow and topped with little mini chocolate chips. This was one of my favorite things of life. I rate this a million/5 😀

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I’m planning on doing these every now and then just because I enjoy reading them and I find them helpful. Let me know what you guys think!

Also, what are some of your favorite treats?

Saturday Lunch

You know how you sometimes go to a place, love it, and never really get a chance to go back? Well, you know how when you go back and you fall in love all over again? Yeah that happened to me recently…

This particular Saturday we needed to be in LA for a friend’s birthday so we decided to just make a whole day of it. We worked out, got ready, and headed out to Pasadena to eat at Fiore Market Cafe.

We were really worried that they were going to be out of bread (fresh baked in house) because we have had that happen before, but lucky for us bread was a plenty!

We ordered 2 sandwiches to split-the tempeh bacon sandwich and the short rib sandwich.

The short rib had an Asian slaw, pickles and chipotle mayo. It was super simple, but so yummy. The beef was shredded and savory while the slaw and pickles added acidity and freshness. If you’re a first timer here I would highly recommend this!

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The tempeh bacon sandwich was their take on a vegan BLTA. It had tomato, lettuce, avocado, and veganaise. This was the hubby’s favorite out of the 2 which surprised us both. The tempeh had a bit of sweetness which I think he enjoyed.

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Both of these came on their freshly baked bread. You guys this bread is soft, fluffy white bread with this crusty outside. If I weren’t starving and ready to inhale anything put in front of me I would have cried at the beauty of this bread.

We obviously had to get some chips on the side and the jalapeno cheddar kettle chips reminded me of queso? B did not agree, but I kept eating and exclaiming how much it tasted like queso! The sandwiches came with a simple side salad dressed with a vinegary dressing of sorts-honestly it was really good. I love a good side salad!

After lunch we walked around the area and enjoyed the trees, houses, and stores until we came across Berry Opera. It was a little French bakery and I needed something sweet so I decided that we should share one of their mini cream puffs. B decided on the pistachio-this puff was nothing we expected. The puff itself was more bready than pastry and the cream was thick and butter creamy. We both enjoyed it and our sweet tooth was satiated!

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I love Pasadena in general and if you guys ever find yourselves here you won’t find a shortage of yummy things to eat or beautiful things to see. What is one of your favorite cities/towns to visit where you live? Let me know in the comments!

Chicken legs and Cauliflower gnocchi

We made quite the yummy dinner on Sunday night and it was super simple and came together with very little work.

We roasted up some chicken legs with seasoning that included the Trader Joe’s Mushroom Umami seasoning. If you haven’t tried this, you absolutely must. It makes everything so savory. Just be careful how much salt you add because the Umami seasoning has salt.

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15 minutes into the baking process (total time was 45 minutes) we threw the Brussels into the same pan as the chicken and let it all finish cooking together. Chicken definitely takes a lot longer than fish, but it was worth the wait.

To really round out the meal we decided to make some of the cauliflower gnocchi from Trader Joe’s. We’re not huge pasta people, but it almost feels like everyone adores this cauliflower gnocchi so we got it and the hubs made it. We had heard to not steam it like the directions said but sautee it in a pan. Hubby sauteed and added in some marinara.

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These were very yummy, soft little pillows of pasta. It was a great addition to the meal!

If you have had the cauliflower gnocchi from Trader Joe’s let me know your thoughts. I am by no means a gnocchi aficionado so let me know how this compares to regular gnocchi.

Thanks for reading!