Sunday, July 24, 2011

Family Beach Day!!!

We have gone to the beach a few times this summer, but this day was especially great! First of all, it was just the four of us. Our family unit! My loves, My life, My joy! Daddy, Mommy, Izzy, and Jake! We packed the car full of umbrella's, a small cooler, towels, a blanket for sand, lots of sunscreen, and lunch. Off we went to Malibu! Zuma beach is one of my favorites! Ryan and I really enjoy the beach, so incorporating it into our family life is very important! The beach is calming, relaxing, peaceful, and makes for a great playground full of exploration and fun!

What a perfect day! The sun was shining down on us, early this morning! We arrived in Malibu around 10AM. Not a cloud in the sky. Mommy and Daddy set up camp, and the kids were already digging in the sand! Isabelle dived in to her sand toys, while Jacob discovered the flavors of seaweed. Daddy tried to take Iz to the water, but the cold temperatures of the Cali Pacific Ocean, scared her off. I'm positive if we were in Hawaii or something, we wouldn't have been able to get her out of the water! Instead of playing in the water, Iz spent her time building sand castles with daddy. She also got buried in the sand for the first time! She wasn't a huge fan, but she loved bury daddy! Jacob spent all of his time on the sand exploring. He LOVED eating the sand and pretty much anything else he could get into his mouth. I spend my time following him around, keeping things out of his mouth.

These are the days I live for! There is nothing better than a day at the beach with the ones you love!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Adventure #2 of the Szechuwan Garden 07/08/11

I'm Sitting on the couch watching The Food Network's show, "Food Network Star," thinking... could that be me?? Could I be the next Food Network Star? LOL for this moment in time, I guess not. I can dream though, right!?! Food is one of my many passions. I love eating food, I love cooking food, and I love trying new and interesting food. My stars may not be in line for the Food Network yet, but for now I will settle for discovering the Szechuwan Garden of Moorpark.

Today's picks, which came from my lovely Facebook friends are #'s 25 and 100. Number 25 is Kung Pao Shrimp. Love it!! Woot, Woot (Thanks Niki!). Number 100 is Shrimp with Black Bean Sauce (sounds yummy, thanks Rachel). Today is a shrimp day! I love shrimp and I've had Kung Pao, so I'm not feeling intimidated at all.




The Kung Pao Shrimp was yummy as I was anticipating. I expected the sauce for the Kung Pao to be spicier, so that was a little disappointing... and then I bit into a chili. My tongue was burning along with the back of my throat. I spoke to soon, or I guess in my case since I was alone, I jinxed myself. I love the peanuts in the Kung Pao for the crunch factor, and the water chestnuts add a cooling factor. For me personally, there were a little too much of the water chestnuts, and not enough peanuts. Overall it was tasty and I would order it again.

The Shrimp with Black Bean Sauce was delish! I'm so glad this item was chosen for me! I don't know if I would have ordered it on my own. Not because I don't like black beans... I love black beans! I guess I just couldn't imagine a black bean sauce with shrimp. I'm not a picky eater, so I was excited to try something new! However; I have to say, I wasn't thrilled when I saw the green bell pepper mixed in with the shrimp. I usually pick those out of dishes, or I omit them when cooking at home. They are bitter, and just not one of my favorite veggies. I decided to take a bite of the green bell pepper first. If I could eat the pepper, than I felt I would be able to eat the shrimp. To my surprise, the pepper was great! The sauce was a little sweet and had a bit of a creamy texture. I think that caused the pepper to taste more mild than bitter. This dish also had onion in it which was a little caramelized. I absolutely love caramelized onion!! I will for sure order the Shrimp with Black Bean Sauce again!

Today I decided to order these items off of the lunch menu. The lunch menu gives you fried rice, an appetizer, and a Chinese salad. If you eat in the restaurant, you get a choice of soup, but for take out, it's an extra charge. Booooooo. The fried rice was nothing like the fried rice you can order off their menu. It was literally just fried rice. It didn't have carrots, peas, or egg in it. It was just rice. I should have just gotten the steamed rice. I would have been happier. The appetizer was a single fried Wonton, which was ok. I love anything fried, so I can't really complain about it. Just wasn't AMAZING. The salad was also a joke! It consisted of lettuce and lettuce LOL with a simple Asian dressing. The dressing was sweet, but there wasn't much of it, so I can't really give an effective comment. Next time I will order the items solo, and not order them as a part of the lunch special. 

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Adventure #1 of the Szechuwan Garden 06/30/11

Recently I discovered a local Chinese resturaunt which offers 189 different menu options!

I originally went there for their Wor Wonton soup sometime last week. I was suffering from a severe sinus infection/upper respiratory infection and felt that soup might do me some good! The soup was delicious and did make me feel better, but ultimately wasn't the cure. Since the soup was yummy, I considered ordering a different menu item in the near future! I love trying new places! and we ALL know... I LOVE FOOD!

On Thursday I was craving Chinese food! Staring at to go menu for the Szechuwan Garden, I was feeling overwhelmed with how huge their selection was! 189 items?? Really! How was I ever going to decide! If you know me, I have the hardest time deciding on a place to eat, let alone deciding what I want from that place LOL.So I had an idea! How about I let my Facebook friends pick something for me! I asked my friends to pick a number between 1 and 189!

My friend Andrea was the first to respond. She chose #74- Chicken Cream Corn Soup. My husband was the second to respond. Of course he chose the #69- Pu Pu Platter (Assorted Appetizer). Sorry, I have to laugh! LOL... HHmmm I thought to myself! Neither really sounded good. I should go with the first choice since I did ask for someone to pick a number. I like corn chowder. Would it be similar?? and What the heck is the Pu Pu platter? I couldn't decide LOL even though someone had already decided for me =-) Sorry folks, This is how my brain works. I pretty hungry, so maybe I should get both? I dunno what to do... AAhhhh

Well I ended up getting both along with my husbands request for fried rice. We decided to try the House Fried Rice (#186), which had chicken, beef, and shrimp! The fried rice was great! Each piece of meat had a nice coating of a light batter and the seasoning was perfect. Sometimes I find fried rice to be a little bland, but not this one! It was delicious and fried. Two of my favorite things... This meal was not figure friendly.

The Pu Pu Platter (for two) came with fried shrimp, beef on a stick, some kind of ground meat in the shape of a crescent, bbq pork, and spring rolls. The fried shrimp was good except, as I got closer to the tail, I saw the huge poop filled vein. That kind of grossed me out. The beef on a stick was good. Had the taste of All spice I think. The crescent shaped thing was interesting. It smelled and tasted a little like cat food. I think it was chicken, but needless to say, I didn't finish the whole thing (I've never actually tasted cat food just for the record). The bbq pork was good! It tasted like any other bbq'd pork I've had at other Chinese restaurants. Lastly for the Pu Pu Platter, the spring rolls. They fit into the standard category as well. Tasty with the hot mustard is how I like them!

The Chicken Cream Corn Soup was actually my favorite out of the whole meal! I will definitely order that another time! It reminded me of Egg Flower Soup, with the addition of corn and chicken. I am a soup lover and since I have been sick, it was warm and comforting!

Overall, I would say my experience was interesting. I'd like to try this experiment again, just to see what numbers people pick and what kind of items come out of it. Until next time... Keep eating!