I love having meals in the summer that don’t require the oven. That way they are quick and easy and I am not heating up the whole house. Our air conditioner is often running 8-12 hours a day in the summer so I don’t need to add to the electric bill.
Making sandwiches with Natural Choice Uncured Hand Salami, cheese and wheat bread makes perfect sandwiches. I just added some chips and carrot slices and we had a full meal. Hormel Foods has a lot of meat choices for my picky eaters.
I also made some sandwiches with some Pulled Pork. It was already seasoned and cooked and just needed to be heated up. I added some Hormel mashed potatoes and a dinner salad and we had a meal. The kids aren’t huge fans of (my) mashed potatoes but they devoured these.
We also had a Snackers Jalapeno Nacho Cheese. I packed it with some chips when the kids went to camp to have for some snack food. Having Hormel Foods in our house is just a part of almost every meal. From breakfast to dinner and snacks in between. Hormel has healthy foods we can prepare quickly for family meals together.
Burger Lounge San Diego
I recently was in San Diego for a few days for a mini vacation with the kids and visiting an old friend. I’d heard about Burger Lounge from someone that is often in San Diego and thought we’d give it a try. It was only 20 minutes from Sea World (where we spent the day) and burgers seemed like the perfect food for dinner. We were all starving and a bit of a mess (from Shamu splashing us) and we wanted high quality food that didn’t require is to be dressed up.
We arrived and parked a few stores down (first parking space we saw so we grabbed it) threw money in the meter and ventured inside to meet the manager, Edgardo. He was expecting us. He told us to order whatever we wanted to try out on the menu and even managed to save an empty table for us. The place was packed with people of all ages. A group of college kids. A couple on a date. A few families. No one complained about the line since it was moving fast and they knew the food was worth it. Burger Lounge is a must-dine-at restaurant while in San Diego or Las Angeles.
We ordered a variety of burgers, drinks and I even let my daughter order a Big Lounge chocolate shake.
The prices were fantastic and when we got our food and dived in there was barely any conversation at the table. We received A+ service and felt like we were celebrities. This place is awesome!
Got Our Drinks & Food Is On The Way
Also available in vanilla or malt and they also have a root beer float. I didn’t try this but my daughter did. There wasn’t a drop in the glass after she was done. She said it was thick and rich and full of flavor.
The Lounge Burger.
100% fresh, American Grass-Fed Beef. This was my burger and it was huge. The burger was just made and hot when it arrived at the table, as well as all the other food. The bun was soft and the whole burger was a melt-in-the mouth experience. Regina ordered the Chicken Digglers. I’m not a fan of ‘chicken nuggets’ so didn’t think I’d want to try these until I was encouraged. These taste nothing like a children’s menu of breaded chicken pieces. Kids might love it too but it is definitely an adult favorite as well. The chicken was tender and full of flavor and the sauce that comes with them is a house-made chili-lime. I even took some sauce to go. I’m thinking I need to see if I can order this sauce online and have it shipped to my house. I try to eat a salad with every meal and saw a few healthy ones to choose from. I decide on the Fresh Vegetable Salad. Not much of a name but this salad was 100% fresh and was piled high. This salad had romaine, spinach, mizuna, tomato, corn, carrot, cucumber, red onion, jicama, aged ricotta and a choice of two dressings. The Seared Albacore Burger isn’t a traditional fish patty. It is more like a fresh cut piece of fish that is lightly grilled. Regina ordered it well done and enjoyed it was tomato, watercress and dressing. The burger was recommended by the server and was thoroughly enjoyed.
Delicious juicy 100% grass-fed beef burger with bacon added on. The servers also had some awesome Bacon-themed t-shirts that were getting a lot of positive feedback.
1/2 and 1/2 Side of Onion rings and French Fries added (we all shared these). Happy faces and full bellies all around happened after dining here. We could totally understand why the line was out the door when it 8pm. A children’s meal, veggie and turkey burger and other desserts are also on the menu as well as ‘Mexican Coca-Cola’ (coke with real sugar, only made in Mexico), Lavender Mint Lemonade, iced tea, soda and beer. Right now Burger Lounge restaurants are in 14 locations in Los Angeles and San Diego counties as well as one location in the Inland Empire. I’ll be crossing my fingers, hoping they come to Ventura County soon.
Trying Poutine For The First Time
We recently ventured out to Hollywood to check out a brand new restaurant. Originally from Canada with stores all over the place we got to dine on something fabulous on opening day. What exactly is Poutine? Well, I had to ask too, so don’t feel stupid. According to Wikipedia Poutine is is a Canadian dish (originating in the province of Quebec) made with french fries and cheese curds topped with a light brown gravy-like sauce. It dates back to the 1950’s and is roughly based on ‘fries with curds and gravy’ but has morphed into a whole restaurant with over 25 items on the menu. They even have vegetarian dishes. Poutine can be ordered at Smoke’s Poutinerie in Hollywood in three sizes and drinks are available too. The place was packed with people ordering and the staff was on their toes getting all the orders made promptly.
Everyone was extra nice and it was fabulous meeting and chatting with the owner. We tried three out different poutine dishes.
Steak Fajita had flat iron steak, onions, red peppers, salsa and sour cream along with cheese curds. This was delicious. The mix of everything on french fries made the meal filling and full of flavor. with the onions, peppers and salsa it was definitely a south-of-the-border taste on top of fries.Montreal had shaved Montreal smoked meat, pickle and mustard. This was my favorite. The steak was phenomenal and the mustard and pickle added extra flavor, like a meal at a baseball game.
Bacon Cheeseburger had bacon, prime ground beef and cheese sauce. My son devoured this one and tried some of the other two. We met another blogger, Michael Welsh, from Eating Around So Cal while there and he posed for some silly photos with my son in front of the Smoke’s Poutinerie background. The crowd was huge the whole time we were there, with people eating outside as they socialized and took pictures.
This is a must-stop to dine place while in Hollywood. They can also be found in Canada and Northern California.
Located at 1552 N Cahunga Blvd, Hollywood, Ca.
Kona Kai Resort & Spa in Shelter Island
We recently stayed at the Kona Kia Resort while in San Diego. It is located in Shelter Island. A tiny peninsula with peaceful water and boats on both sides and some hotels in the middle. We stayed here three days and two nights and had a fabulous room while being close to a lot of things in San Diego.
Our room had double beds, perfect for me and the kids, and had a large flat screen tv, a beautiful balcony, mini-fridge and awesome little table and chairs inside and on the balcony for me to set my laptop up on so I could get some work done. Inside the hotel it was quiet and we barely saw anyone in the hallways. The pool was often full of families swimming and sunbathing and the beach below our hotel hosted a few parties including a wedding reception, work party and birthday party. Fire pits are available to rent on the beach too.
I love the Hawaiian feel of the room with the decor. The beds and pillows were comfortable and we slept great. We did have a problem on the second night with the outside party going until 11pm but once I notified the front desk it was taken care of.
The view outside was so beautiful that I just wanted to sit on the balcony and soak in the view. I’d never been in a hotel so close to the water and it was relaxing. The cool breeze kept the days nice enough to be able to have the balcony door open and A/C turned off.
We roamed around on the other side of the hotel and found a old Asian bell and some statues. There is plenty of benches (some with shade) and grass areas for people to rest and enjoy their vacation.
We dined at the Vessell restaurant for lunch on Sunday and I had a delicious salad with fresh greens and veggies as well as an order of fish and chips. The food took quiet a long time to arrive but was piping hot and we devoured it quickly. The kids ate burgers but dug into them before I could get a picture.
The resort also offers a spa with all of the special pampering. Pedicures, makeup, hair, massages and more. They also have a fitness center with bike rentals available.
We had a wonderful stay here and all of the staff at the front desk, pool and maid service were friendly and polite. I love how child-friendly the resort it, since most vacations I take are with both kids. We were able to drive to Sea World one day and back to the hotel again and went to downtown San Diego the other day. Everything was within 20 minutes of Shelter Island. I love that I felt like we were on our own private beach and not in a busy city.
Olive Garden in Santa Clarita
My boyfriend and I recently went to the Olive Garden in Santa Clarita for a date night. We got there right at the rush hour so were told there would be a 20 minute wait. We took the buzzer thing and went out to walk around. We waited less than ten minutes and were buzzed to come back. Our table was ready. We ordered drinks, an appetizer, salad, dinner and dessert and the total, including the tip, was under $75.
I ordered the seafood pasta dish. I loved the little ‘kick’ it had from the chili pepper and the mix of tomatoes and asparagus with a variety of seafood made it a delicious dish.He ordered a lasagna and chicken pasta meal and was pleased with all of it. Olive Garden is famous for pasta, soup, salad and breadsticks.
We also ordered a mixed appetizer, salads and dessert. The dessert was a little expensive. $7.99 for one slice of cheesecake. But after one bite we were sold and decided it was worth the price.
Raspberry Cheesecake The raspberry mixed in the cheesecake and the raspberry drizzle on the bottom made the whole thing come together perfectly. I didn’t care much for the whipped cream on top but everything else was divine. It even had a chocolate graham cracker crust. The building has a beautiful design and is very aesthetic for the shopping mall. Right now if you sign up for their e-Club you can get a free appetizer.