After my fun filled weekend in San Diego I took the train up to Orange County so I could spend the week with my family. Let me just say, the train is the way to go… no traffic, beautiful scenery (even when gloomy like above!). Amazing.
Mum picked me up at the train station with yummy* green juice.
Look at these great veggies mum bought for us to barbeque that night…
We roasted some in the oven as well… a quick drizzle of olive oil, some salt and pepper, and then just pop in the oven at 350 degrees for thirty minutes or so.
chicken marinating in a lemony herby mixture
Check this out… this is my parent’s olive tree, and if you look closely you can see some baby tomatoes growing amongst the leaves. They never planted them there, but somehow they started growing!
so jealous of all mum’s herbs!!
And take a look at these crazy flowers growing up the wall by our kitchen!
The next day I had some homemade granola with greek yogurt and berries for breakfast… greek yogurt has to be the best discovery ever, it’s so good.
We made two different salads for dinner… heirloom tomato with the creamiest of creamy burrata, drizzled with balsamic and olive oil and finished with a quick grind of salt and pepper.
And my current fav… mixed greens with goats cheese, cranberries and pistachios.
The next day my dad and I went to our favorite lunch spot for chicken tacos… Strawberry Canyon Golf Club. We’ve been going for years and they never disappoint. Plus they taste extra good if you sit outside… so peaceful.
That night my brother and I hit up P.F. Changs. We always start with the chicken lettuce cups… my healthy ones are a decent substitute, but you can’t beat the original!
We then shared the mongolian beef
and Chang’s spicy chicken. Delish.
The next morning I had my favorite breakfast since I was a child, boiled eggs and toasted soldiers. How cute is my egg cup? I got him in this exquisite chocolate shop in Nice, France when I went there for Easter in 2005.
On Thursday I made some turkey meatballs for the surprise party on Saturday. I winged the recipe a bit, but if you want a similar one take a look at Giada’s… I used her recipe the first time I made these.
I also made ‘turkeys in blankets’… turkey sausage wrapped in puff pastry.
D flew down Thursday night, and on Friday morning we hit up Cafe Zinc for breakfast.
The scones are ahmaaaaaazing.
We then went to Salt Creek beach, which happens to be the first beach I ever went to upon moving to the States.
It was a gorgeous day out there… I’m so glad we were able to fit in a couple of hours at the beach before we left to head down to San Diego for Noreen’s birthday!
I can see why Noreen loves Basic so much… this was the second time for me in one week and it was just as good!
Guess who ordered this one… girls or boys?
Yup, you guessed it.
Meat toppings = boys
We spent the night at Ayesha and Matt’s that night, which meant we were able to have lots of Zara time the next morning. Isn’t she gorgeous?!
We started prepping the food for the party that night. Tomato mozzarella skewers are a super easy appetizer to make, and are a great choice for a crowd… just skewer tomatoes and small mozzarella balls with basil leaves and drizzle with a balsamic vinaigrette.
The turkeys in a blanket are super cute when you serve them with small bowls of ketchup and mustard.
We warmed up the meatballs and served them in a tomato sauce… also great the next day as leftovers with spaghetti!
Ayesha bought all of Noreen’s favorite 80′s candy… candy cigarette anyone?
Zara was very taken with the chips and dip we put out.
“Just one more” became her favorite three words…
Seriously, every photo of Zara has a chip in it!
and one more…
Look how surprised Noreen is!
She honestly had no idea whatsoever!
My high school friends, Allison & Amanda, showed up in very fabulous 80′s splendor. Allison’s dress was once her mom’s, and has amazing fringe-y tassels on it. Amanda had a hot pink fanny pack… amazing!
And here’s my college crew!
Happy Birthday Noreen!
On Sunday morning we drove back to OC, and arrived home just as mum was finishing up her fabulous kumquat marmalade. I didn’t even think I liked marmalade until I tried mum’s. And it’s pretty cool that the kumquats used to make the jam are from a tree in their garden.
I took that cute round-shaped one back up to SF with me.
On another note, Yogurtland is doing a partnership with Hello Kitty… fun!
self-serve fro yo is so hip right now… I love it
(especially with hello kitty cups)
On the menu for our last night?
A simple salad with some barbecued filet mignon, chicken & sausages,
with some bubbly for the girls, of course!
I so wish we could barbeque more in sf…
food just tastes better when it’s grilled.
Mum made peach melba for dessert… a classic dessert from the 1890s where you remove the skins from peaches and toss in a homemade raspberry sauce. It’s funny how something so simple can be so crazy good.
Especially when served with the tart frozen yogurt that we picked up earlier…
completely and utterly delicious!
It was great to be home! I can’t wait to plan my next trip down.