Apple Fritter Monkey Bread (Home-baked)

Breakfast, Dessert / Sweets, Homemade/Home-baked

My mom had visited last week and brought a butt-load of apples… why? πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ I have no idea, haha! But that’s what my mom does–buy stuff in excess and leaves it at my house, haha!

Looked up some recipes and came across this…

Recipe – Apple Fritter Monkey Bread Seemed easy enough especially because it involves using canned biscuits (probably not the best thing to eat but it’s so good! πŸ˜‚). Also, who doesn’t enjoy cinnamon sugar??? C’mon!!!! 🀀 Even w/ a drizzle of icing! So good!!!!!!

In the end, it tasted great! Even though the recipe called for as much sugar as it did, it wasn’t as sweet as I thought it would’ve been–a plus! Ended up making another loaf for a neighbor… hopefully they don’t have some sort of special diet (but I wouldn’t be surprised, I mean, we do live in LA–where all the trending diets are in full force πŸ˜‚).

Eli says to make it w/o the apples the next time… I agree. But it’s dangerous for me to make things like this at home… because I’ll eat it like there’s no tomorrow πŸ˜–πŸ˜«

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Noodle World, Jr (Sherman Oaks, CA)

asian, Fast Food, noodles, ramen, Thai, Vietnamese

Came upon this place one night when I was meeting up w/ a friend at the nearby On the Thirty (another post to come). As soon as I saw it, I was excited to tell Eli because he understands how deep my love of noodles goes, haha!

[Below] I ordered the Chicken Tom Kah–broth was not exactly like a traditional tom kah but it was a good base. So, I just asked for dried chili (came w/o any spiciness) and lime (a must in any tom kah) and problem was solved! Overall, it was good for being a fast food type of joint.

[Pic below] Eli ordered the Spicy Beef Stew Ramen. He must have not had high expectations because after the first couple bites, w/ his raised eyebrows, he exclaimed, “Wow, it’s pretty good!” And then proceeded to devour it πŸ˜‚ No leftovers for him.

Aside from the food, the service was EXCELLENT! We interacted w/ two staff–the one that took care of us w/ bringing us food and making sure everything was good throughout our meal was especially awesome! Wish I had gotten his name πŸ˜‘πŸ€¦β€β™€οΈ

Another great thing is that this place was very clean and organized!! How can you not enjoy a meal w/ seeing that???

So, if you haven’t figured it out… yes, go to this place for some fast food yumminess! BTW, this is the kind of place where you order first and then they bring the food to you. And they also have rice dishes, too.

California Fish Grill (Woodland Hills, CA)

poke, seafood

Omigoodness! I don’t know if this place can be placed more perfectly… it has become Eli’s and mine go-to after workout meal 8 out of 10 times. Same shopping center as our gym; so, we can just beeline over! 😁

Heard somebody raving about it and didn’t give it much thought. But, thank goodness to our laziness of not wanting to drive anywhere one night after working out, we discovered why ppl be raving about it 😝

The prices are decent and, from what I’ve ordered, the flavors are awesome! I usually stick to the poke bowls, the clam chowder, and some of their sides (Brussel sprouts and kale tabbouleh are winners). The hubs has ordered some of their fish platesβ€”those aren’t as tasty as my dishes πŸ˜‘ IMO, they’re a bit dry, no bueno πŸ˜” The slice of bread that’s included… I don’t quite get it because it’s not toasted, warm, or buttered at all; literally, just sliced bread.

⬆️ Eli’s swordfish w/ Cajun sauce

As for the poke bowls, whether it’s salmon or tuna, you can’t go wrong. You have the option of it sitting on top of a quinoa mix or rice (brown/white). Also, if soup is your thing, the clam chowder is good, too–slightly thinner than what I prefer but still good.

⬆️ Appetizer Ahi Tuna

This location always has good service (to par), but we have been to another location in Culver City and that was kind of a mess (in terms of service and food)β€”maybe it was just that moment that we were there.

The interior is ALWAYS clean! And the team members are always on top of clearing and cleaning the tablesβ€”no matter how slow or busy πŸ‘πŸ‘

Lastly, they have awesome sodaβ€”no artificial coloring!! Yay!!

Emporium Thai (Westwood/Los Angeles, CA)

asian, Thai

This is a cozy and well-decorated restaurant–felt so classy 😏 Would be perfect to celebrate a promotion, b-day, or the like. Definitely a good date spot! πŸ˜›
What’s also nice are their drinks–they have the typical young coconut and that nature but they also serve adult drinks 🍸🍷 At our table, we had the mango and the Thai Basil drinks… tasty–not too strong, not too sweet 😊

I was fortunate to have been able to sample multiple dishes since I was part of a group–I love those types of dinners… I’m not limited to just one or two dishes, hehe!
One of my fave Thai dishes is the grilled pork slices that come served w/ a spicy dipping sauce 🀀!! That was delish, as I expected! 😍

We had two types of curries, both yellow… one was chicken and the other was tofu. I’m not too much of a fan of yellow curry (I’m a red curry lover), but they were both tasty nonetheless. 

A staple for whenever we go Thai is Pad See Ew 🀀… I’m a noodle lover and my daughter enjoys it even though she can be suspicious of foods outside her comfort box, haha! If you like stir-fried noodle dishes, get this! And if you’re into even more spiciness and enjoy salty, ask for the fish sauce w/ Thai chilis… that definitely completes each bite for me! ❀️🌢

I’m a veggie lover as I am a gym and fitness lover. So, it was great to have a stir-fried veggie dish–tasty veggies??? BRING IT ON!!! There’s not too much I can say about the mixed veggie dish since it’s pretty basic but it was tasty and healthy–can’t beat that! 

Something that I wasn’t expecting to be as FANTASTIC as it was… the 2 desserts we tried!!!! HOLY MOLY!!! 
Though I love me some Thai food, this meal ended AMAZINGLY!!! 
We had the common mango and sticky rice dessert. Don’t know if maybe it’s because I haven’t had it in a while, or it was just w/ love (hehe) but the coconut sauce and the ripeness of the mango and the texture of the sticky rice was in perfect unison!!! I’m drooling right now just thinking of it!! Oh! And I can’t believe I almost left this part out–the sticky rice came in the shape of a heart! I was hesitant to be the one to ruin the heart 😐

Then, there was the Thai Donuts (not sure if that’s the actual listed name on the menu). They looked like donut holes and they came with a dipping sauce (as I wipe my drool haha). I wanted to eat ALL of them but having to be under control, I had 2 (enter sad face). Maybe one of these days I can eat nothing and just eat 10 of those, haha!! 

Finally, there’s the service. As we all know, food can be amazing and delish like no other, but if the service lacks, continuing visits is highly unlikely. 
That is DEFINITELY not the case with this place! We got to meet John, one of the owners… so gracious, friendly, humble, hospitable, and not to mention, handsome 😏😝 (coming from Crystal haha!)… it’s no wonder his staff is! (If you’re reading this, John… Hi! πŸ‘‹ hehe!)
So, all in all, yes, this place is a must visit! πŸ‘πŸ‘

Influenster: LIFEWTR

Drinks


Received a complimentary bottle of this pretty bottle of purified water that’s pH balanced w/ added electrolytes for taste. Thanks, @influenster and @LIFEWTR! 
The bottle reminds me of Smart Water (which I enjoy) but this one differs by the oh so pretty packaging! The design of this bottle makes me WANT to drink from this bottle… why is that?? I suppose it’s the same when it comes to beauty packaging–when it’s more pretty/cute, makes me want to reach for it (i.e. Korean beauty). 

Taste of this water isn’t quite as smooth as Smart Water (I assumed it would be) but it’s still decent. I’d definitely grab it first because if the packaging… in a total sucker for marketing ploys obviously 😳

What’s cool about the design is that they give credit to the designer…


Thanks, Jason Woodside for the design! 😁

#2017 #InspirationDrops #contest

San Tung (San Francisco,CA)

Chinese


This place is well-known for their chicken wings. Wings are moderately glazed with Asian themed flavoring–probably has hoisin and is slightly sweet but not too much. The wings are bigger than Buffalo style wings. Wings were just okay to me since I’m more of a savory kinda gal and prefer more of a dry rather than wet chicken wings.

Come to find out later, ppl spoke about their dry wings–wondering now if I was supposed to specifically ask for that? At the time, figured that if there were options, they would ask…? Oh, well…
Eli liked the wings, though. He’s okay with it being slightly wet and sweet. 
In addition to the wings, I also ordered their green beans. I’ve gotten into the habit of always ordering green beans at Chinese restaurants, I’ve come to realize. Can’t leave the place w/o a plate of them. 


For those who are into beans as well, I’d avoid the beans here and save your $$–they were bland. Have had better home cooked ones. Looking at the pic again now, they did look delicious, though–too bad the flavor didn’t match the appearance πŸ˜”

Starbread Bakery (Vallejo, CA)

bakery

Wow, Wow, Wow! This discovery was a pleasant surprise! 

Thanks to my friend, Danny N, I was able to experience amazing Senorita bread! 

If you’re in this area and love soft, buttery, slightly sweet bread–RUN to this place and get a ton! Haha!
Idk if I am glad or sad that this bakery is not by my house, haha! Glad because then there’s no temptation for me to hoard and become a fatty from eating all the wonderful bread; sad because it’s not by me for me to hoard and turn into a fatty… HAHA!!

Downtown Phully Cheesesteaks (Woodland Hills, CA)

American, burger, Deli, Fast Food, sandwiches

Decided to go here last minute. No plan, no nothin’. Sometimes those times just work out for the best. And are we glad that was the case for this eatery 😁

When Eli heard me say Philly cheesesteak, he was immediately hesitant since he DOES NOT want that usual cheesesteak greasiness… ugh πŸ˜‘

Found this place on Yelp and saw that we could get a drink or fries with a check-in. Since there was two of us, we were able to score both! Yay! Love check-in deals πŸ˜›


Got the fries and wasn’t expecting much but they weren’t too bad (only because I prefer skinny fries 😊). What really made them AWEOME was the ranch that they provided without us even asking!! Wha?? This guy just read my mind!! And they were not stingy on the portion or quality either!! One of THEE bestest ranch sauces I’ve ever had–rich and flavorful, not watered down at all! Thank you for that, Downtown Philly Cheesesteak β€οΈπŸ˜€


I’ve been on a Chicken Caesar salad kick lately; so, when I saw a hoagie version on the menu, it was a done deal! It does really taste like you just put a chicken Caesar salad into a bun–nothing fancy, just simple. It was good but not amazing. Next time, I would definitely try something else. I appreciated that the bun wasn’t soaked from grease or water from the lettuce… thumbs up, yay! πŸ‘πŸ‘


I know, this doesn’t look fancy by any means; but the flavor was fully present! Again, not greasy and not dry–it’s a winner, folks!! 

I couldn’t finished the whole thing. Saving the other 1/2 for lunch tomorrow… don’t cha love it when you get 2 meals in 1? 😜 

Another thing I must mention is the interior–though it’s more of a quick eatery type of place, they didn’t skimp on the furnishings and decor. Loved the chairs and tables! And in the back, there is a roll-up door, as though it were a warehouse but it wasn’t since it was like any other strip mall. 


I think I’m just a sucker for wood decor at the moment ☺️

We’ll definitely be back another time! 

Oh (!!), and the service was frigging AMAZING!!! Professional, friendly, welcoming, accommodating!! Can’t ask for more! πŸ‘πŸ˜

Trader Joe’s Mochi Rice Nuggets

asian, japanese, Snack


As soon as I saw this on the shelf at TJ’s, I had no other choice but to get it! Why? Because I love me some mochi!

Wasn’t sure how it would taste but had positive hopes…

Unfortunately, some things in life doesn’t work out or taste as one would hope πŸ˜” This was one of those moments…

There is a slight ‘chewiness’ to it but there’s more crunch than chewy. And the nuggets are a pretty hefty size–I was expecting something slightly bigger than a pea; this is more like a popcorn kernel size. 

Don’t expect much flavor. This is more for those who enjoy mochi in a different texture (very crunchy). 

Daglas Drive-in (Winnetka, CA)

American, burger, Fast Food

Been on a fries 🍟 kick lately. And I’m lovin’ it 😝 I don’t do fast-food chain fries though–those scare me 😳

While out at Trader Joe’s the other night, already was set on stopping by Jerry’s Deli for some fries before home; turns out they closed the particular location I had in mind πŸ˜” Heard they shut down after having been there for 40 something years 😧 Goes to show, always have to stay current and competitive. 

Anyhow…

Now that I was set on fries, I needed to find a place in a jiffy! 

When I saw the fry pics from Daglas, it wasn’t a question! 


Added bonus… it wasn’t far from where we were at, YAY!! 

Other than curly and shoestring fries, seasoned fries are my go-to! This was just meant to be! 

I’m glad to say that it was exactly how I hoped it would be–crispy, perfectly seasoned, and delish! LOVE it when food turns out as good as I hoped/imagined or better! 😍

Only thing I would change about it would be the packaging–it came in a paper bag inside of a plastic bag. With it being fresh out of the fryer and steaming, it’d be best if it was in a more flat container to let the steam release so that it wouldn’t get soggy by the time I get home to devour it πŸ˜‹ 

Lastly, the eatery itself is a bit outdated but as long as it’s clean, I’m cool with it. They’re probably able to maintain such an inexpensive menu because they don’t have to pay for the cost of renovation/updating. 

It’s a typical hamburger stand but also have salads and wraps, but mainly burgers. Will definitely go back to try their burgers… w/ a side of fries, of course! πŸ˜‰

If you’re in that area, get your butt over there and grab some grub and TASTY fries!!