And then a bartender tried to pull a fast one on a beer judge

Okay, so I was eye-rolled by a Mean Girl at Tender Greens. Now let me tell you about the time I wanted to stand up and say “Do you know who this is?” to a bartender/manager who is probably as unhappy as disgruntled-barista-turned-cannibal Gareth from The Walking Dead (spoiler alert: RIP).

Most couples probably have many unspoken rules. One of mine is that I will try a restaurant T picks once, but then I get to decide if I never ever go back. I usually pick the restaurants because, you know, that’s kind of what I do. I have a food blog (HAHAHAHA…. I mean, have you seen how often I post??) and I Instagram a lot of food pics and I Tweet and stuff. If finding and judging good food paid as much as my day job, I’d switch in a heart beat.

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A Mean Girl at Tender Greens rolled her eyes at me

I try to be a nice person most of the time. Sometimes I try to be a snarky person if I feel like someone is purposefully messing up my day. But most times, I try to smile and respond politely. I say hello and thank you to the bus drivers and the building manager in the morning. I include “please” in my requests for food, drinks, or cookies, especially if I want something changed or added. Most of the time, I even brush off mistakes when the wrong food arrives at the table (although, depending on how the server handles it, I may mutter annoyances once he leaves).

But sometimes you encounter baffling customer service that makes you want to storm out, or leave a penny tip, or just never go back.
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Blogging for Books – Crap Taxidermy


If you’ve been to our house in the last few years, and entered through the front door, you would have been greeted by a raccoon mounted on the wall, along with a couple of fluffy squirrels. Some flea market deer and antelope mounts would be gazing at you from across the room. Plus, a couple of piñata heads.

I’m going to go ahead and blame it all on Disney and the now-defunct Country Bear Jamboree for my love of taxidermy animals. The talking mounted heads of Melvin Moose, Max Deer, and Buff Buffalo would introduce the Country Bears and engage in entertaining banter. I always wanted one for my house; in fact, I still would love a gorgeous moose mounted above our fireplace. [Fun fact: if you go on the Winnie-the-Pooh ride at Disneyland, after you go through the heffalump and woozle dream room, if you turn around and look up, you can see the moose, deer, and buffalo heads hanging above the archway!]
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Gyu Kaku – Scripps Ranch

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Gyu Kaku in Scripps Ranch has been open for a while now and I had originally been really interested in trying it out. But then I kept reading the menu online and looking at the prices (especially their “set menu” prices) and I couldn’t help but feel like Korean bbq would be a tastier and better deal.

I finally went once with a girlfriend and we managed to make it in during happy hour. It was a little chaotic and I was distracted by the much older gentleman and his snuggly much younger dining companion at the table next to us who had apparently never been to a place where you cook your own food – so, I can’t even tell you what we ate or how much it cost us that night. I feel like we had some post-dinner talk about how we would have rather gone for k-bbq.

After getting an e-mail that Monday is Happy Hour All Night Long, and also needing to stop at Trader Joe’s for a few things (since it’s in the same shopping center), I figured I would give it one more shot at happy hour prices to see if my opinion had changed.
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Lemon Basil Meatballs


Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Melissa’s Produce to benefit Alex’s Lemonade Stand: Foundation for Childhood Cancer.

This week I’m partnering with fellow San Diego Food Bloggers to support Alex’s Lemonade Stand. If you’re in San Diego, the event is is coming up this weekend: Saturday July 26th, 2014 from 10 am to ­6 pm at 3366 Adams Avenue, 92116. FM 94.9 will be broadcasting live at the Masonic Parking Lot all day. Come to enjoy bands, lemonade, a silent auction, kids’ activities, and more!

This lemonade stand is the biggest fundraiser in California and one of the top ten Alex’s Lemonade Stands in the country. Since its inception, Alex’s Lemonade Stand has raised over $80 million for childhood cancer, and has funded more than 450 research projects at 94 institutions.They also help families struggling with childhood cancer through a Travel Fund and an annual Educational Symposium.

If you can’t attend, click here to donate. Your donation of $50 funds one hour of research. Let’s help the Miller Tribe reach their goal of $15,000 this year, getting them to $100,000 for the nine years they’ve been running.

I’m participating in the San Diego Food Bloggers Lemonade Online Challenge, sponsored by Melissa’s Produce More than a dozen San Diego Food Bloggers will be cooking with lemons in support of Alex’s Lemonade Stand. Check out their lemony recipes online between July 21-­28, and make a donation to the Stand through links on their blogs. All their recipes will be linked to this post too!

A Purpose Driven Wife
Becky Charms
Confessions of a Foodie
Deleting the Adjectives
Family Spice
Frugal Nutrition
Golden State Mom
Jinxi Eats
Kirbie’s Cravings
Making It Sweet
Recipe Renovator
Sweet Sueshine
The H Blog
The Seaside Baker
This Tasty Life

Event Partners:
Alex’s Lemonade Stand
Adams Avenue Business Association
Blind Lady Ale House
FM 94.9, broadcasting live all day
Melissa’s Produce

Many thanks to Stephanie at Recipe Renovator for coordinating this effort!

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Spring Cleaning (and a fruit tart)


Disclosure: Melissa’s Produce provided me with a box of produce as part of the San Diego Food Blogger Challenge but was not compensated for my review. As always, all opinions are mine.

I really thought I’d have more free time this year. Then we got into a pretty major remodel (we’re adding a second story master bedroom and bath, which required half of our existing first floor to get rebuilt/reinforced), my job sucked up a lot of time, and I think I just lost all motivation and energy for anything. Then I changed jobs (or, rather, companies since I’m still doing roughly the same thing) and almost immediately felt happier. Not lying, that one change improved my attitude immensely. But we were still dragging through the remodel, crammed into the front room of our house with 3 dogs and 2 cats.

This weekend, we hit a major milestone with the remodel – the first floor of the house was finished to a point where we could start moving furniture out of the front room and into the rest of the house. In just a single day, we expanded our living space 4-fold and got settled into our new family room (pictures to come, I swear, unless you follow me on Instagram where I’ve been periodically posting photos as we go.) All of a sudden, I just wanted to get into the kitchen and bake. Instead of just going to the kitchen to eat.

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Graze snack box


This all started because I had a bunch of American Airlines miles/points that were about to expire. I didn’t have enough for a ticket to anywhere, but I had plenty for lots and lots of magazine subscriptions. Which is why I get Entertainment Weekly on a, well, weekly basis. In the last issue I read (which may not actually be the most recent issue since our coffee table has a towering pile of magazines that I flip through here and there) I saw an ad for a free Graze box. Continue reading