Friday, December 4, 2009

Mickey Mouse Chips

Isn't it annoying that it's sometimes cheaper to buy a larger bag of tortillas than a smaller bag? It makes me sad to throw away a good bag of tortillas, so what do I make without buying more ingredients? Mickey Mouse chips!

Instead of frying up regular triangular chips, I added a Mickey touch. It brought me back to the days when Disneyland would sell Mickey Mouse shaped chips. (I think it was usually for the kid's meal; that's how long ago it was!)

Anyway, I purchased 3 Mickey cookie cutters when I visited Tokyo Disneyland 2.5 years ago. I have yet to find a great rolled sugar dough cookie recipe, so these cutters had never seen any dough action.

I highly recommend using metal cookie cutters instead of plastic ones. Metal ones just CUT through the tortilla faster and cleaner than plastic.

Trader Joe's Creme Brulee (4 Pack)

After several trips to Trader Joe's I finally caved and bought the Trader Joe's Creme Brulee (4 Pack). At $4.99 (no tax), it's a pretty good deal because if you think of the time it would take to make and cost of ingredients, this is a less inexpensive route.

To defrost, either leave them out on the counter for 1 hour OR leave them in the refrigerator for 3 hours. I left mine (just 1) on the counter for an hour and came back to a very glossy, rich, and smooth tasting dessert. This creme brulee does not have the cracked, sugary topping that traditional/fresh made ones do though. I really don't know what the brown spot on top is about.

Anyway, what makes this creme brulee different is the edible chocolate container it comes in. I felt it was a bit too rich to eat the chocolate and the creme brulee at the same time (in the same bite), so I alternated chocolate and creme.

While you can't beat fresh made creme brulee, this one wasn't that bad! I'd give it 3.5 stars out of 5.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Cove Bar (2nd Trip) - DCA

It has been a year since my first trip to the Cove Bar at Disney's California Adventure. I thought I would try something else on the menu, besides the Lobster Nachos and Buffalo Wings.

There were 2 noticeable changes from a year ago:
  • Fish tacos replaced the fried calamari
  • Tri tip sliders replaced the crab cakes

New Menu:

This time I tried the BBQ Chicken Pizza. While, I prefer CPK's BBQ Chicken Pizza, this one wasn't bad at all. The crust is indeed very thin, but tasty. My only complaint was this thick union chunk that was not properly dispersed on the pizza.

For $9.99, plus tax and tip this really is a great bargain on Disney property. Similarly, across Paradise Pier, Pizza Oom Mow Mow, offers 1 slice for $6.49 and up ($31 for a whole pizza.) This place is worth it.

Date visited:
November 2009

My first trip to Cove Bar

Monday, November 9, 2009

Stagedoor Cafe - Disneyland

Located in Frontierland (next to The Golden Horseshoe), Stagedoor Cafe isn't a very noticeable place to eat, but the food isn't that bad. It's your standard fare of fried food.

Fish and chips. (4 pieces total)

Chicken nuggets and fries.

This was the former chicken strips meal with fries.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Cove Bar - DCA

The Cove Bar overlooks Paradise Bay, in the Paradise Pier area of Disney's California Adventure. You're supposed to be surrounded by water, but when I visited the bay was dry in preparation for 2010's World of Color water show spectacular.

You don't have to order an alcoholic beverage to eat at the Cove Bar. This place isn't even listed on the DCA park map! It looks like it's apart of Ariel's Grotto, but it isn't. So, hang a left through the open double doors at Ariel's Grotto and then you're at the bar. Seat yourself and someone will be there to take your order. The menu is limited, so it shouldn't take a long time to decide.

What I ate on this trip...
Lobster Nachos
Yummmy! These were SO good, and as you can tell by the picture there was A LOT! Surprisingly, they were very generous with the lobster, cheeses, and tomatoes. This kind of dish is better for sharing with a party of 4, than a party of 2. Anyways, it was hot, it was tasty, it was delicious!

Buffalo Wings
These were SPICY! I ate about 3 wings and my mouth was on fire!!! I assumed the wings weren't going to be too spicy, because Disney food generally appeals to generic taste buds, but I was wrong. All the ranch dressing in the world couldn't put out the fire in my mouth. So, take caution when eating these! The wings were very tasty though.

Final thoughts: The service was very good (top notch Disney service was expected of course), but the food took awhile to come out. I was fine with waiting a bit longer to have the food freshly prepared for me, than eating something under a heat lamp. I thought the prices were reasonable. It sure tasted better than the hamburgers at the Disney resort.

Date visited: November 2008

Wine Country Trattoria - DCA

Located in the Golden State of Disney's California Adventure, Wine Country Trattoria offers sit-down, moderately priced Italian lunches and dinners.

Think of this place as the Disney version of Olive Garden. But it is more expensive with a less extensive menu.

The Menu:


Tuscan Salad - Hearty salad of white beans, beets, black olives, red bell peppers, celery, salami, grape tomatoes, mixed garden greens, mozzarella and croutons served with your choice of Italian, blue cheese, ranch or oil & vinegar $10.99

The salad with Italian dressing on the side came in a chilled bowl. (A nice touch!) I was surprised that all of the toppings were sectioned off into distinct areas. (All the corn in one area, black olives there, etc...) I just assumed that everything would be tossed together, but this turned out to be advantageous for someone who doesn't like everything in the salad. The only topping I did not eat were the beets, so I happily scooped them away.

Everything in the salad was cold, crisp, and very fresh tasting.

Final Thoughts:
I would definitely come back and try some of their pasta dishes. After a long day at the parks it's nice to sit down and have a "decent" meal on Disney property. Was $10.99 plus tax and tip expensive for a salad? Sure it was, but this is Disney, everything is overpriced, but at least the food tasted good!

Other notes:
  • Priority seating is available. (I waited about 5 minutes for a table, but it wasn't a very busy day at the park anyway.)
  • Use your Annual Passport for a discount. (Deluxe and Premium only.)
  • With your meal you get a olive oil/balsamic vinegar along with breadsticks. The breadsticks were okay. They weren't warmed up and had little flavor by itself. You won't miss much if you pass on the breadsticks.
Date visited: September 2009

Monday, November 2, 2009

Sprinkles' Strawberry Cupcakes

I found this recipe on Martha, from the Sprinkles cupcake store in LA. Having never been to the real "Sprinkles," I have nothing to compare this recipe to, but I hope that the real store tastes a lot better than these.

I followed the recipe as best as I could, only substituting whole milk for 2%. Does it really make a difference? I don't know.

Let's just say that these cupcakes were very BLAND and didn't taste like strawberries at all! I added more strawberries than it needed, because I thought it would help. In the end, it was a waste of strawberries.

Before Frosting and After pictures:

Yes, they LOOKED good but tasted "ehh.." Batter - Frosting


Sonics (fast food) finally arrived in San Diego county. I can't express the joy I felt when I found out that San Diego was FINALLY getting a Sonics. I was excited to finally experience 1 of their many colorful drink combinations, tator tots, and maybe an ice cream sundae. I had always seen their TV advertisements, and was definitely looking forward to my first Sonics experience.

Where was it?
10515 Mission Gorge Rd.
Santee, CA 92071

What I ate/shared:
  • Cherry Limeade - It was okay... tasted like a Shirley Temple drink. There was even a maraschino cherry beneath a lot of crushed ice.
  • Chicken finger sandwich - Pretty good for a $1 sandwich. Would have tasted better with some BBQ sauce though.

  • Chili cheese tator tots - These were okay. It would have been nicer if the tots and chili were hotter.

Some thoughts:
Felt a little stupid, because I didn't know how to order. It's the big, RED button on the bottom right hand side.

It was a very ODD experience to see families pull up in their flatbed trucks and eat hamburgers out of the bed's of their trucks. I always thought of Santee as being "suburbia." Instead, I got this "country vibe."

You get a mint served with your drink. It wasn't necessary, but a nice touch.

Would like to try more drinks. It's a little far drive from where I live, so I don't know when my next opportunity to do so will be.

Extra Pictures:

Snickerdoodles from "1001 Cookie Recipes"

This year I inherited
the book, 1001 Cookie Recipes: The Ultimate A-To-Z Collection of Bars, Drops, Crescents, Snaps, Squares, Biscuits, and Everything That Crumbles. The previous owner of the book had only tried 1 recipe out of 1001, so I was skeptical of the potential results.

Browsing through the many recipes, I noticed that most of them called for vegetable shortening. Shortening is an ingredient that I try to avoid. I don't consider myself a "health freak," but I try to avoid unnecessary calories when appropriate.
The ORIGINAL recipe (as seen in the book) - pg 387:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
Cinnamon Sugar:
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
Abbreviated instructions:
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Combine flour, baking powder, and salt
  • In large bowl, cream shortening (or butter), and sugar. Beat in eggs. Beat in vanilla extract. Gradually blend the dry ingredients.
  • In a small bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon.
  • Pinch off 1 inch pieces of dough and roll into balls. (Or use a cookie dropper.) Roll each ball in cinnamon sugar and place 1 inch apart on baking sheets.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool.

Instead of (my substitution):
  • Vegetable shortening - I Can't Believe it's Not Butter Cooking and Baking

Some pictures:

In the cinnamon sugar.

On the baking sheet.

Final Thoughts:
  • Would I make them again? Yes. These cookies (even using a butter/shortening substitute) were very soft and cake-like.
  • Suggestions: Before baking, press dough slightly on baking sheet so it doesn't look like a perfect ball. Just a nice circle will do.


Welcome to Gyoza Gal's Food Adventures! Why the name Gyoza Girl? It's simple, I love gyoza! I've never met a gyoza that I didn't like. But really, I love all kinds of Asian dumplings. (It also didn't help that seemingly a lot of the good "food" blogs have already taken the good blogger names.)

Anyway, this blog will contain my latest foodie adventures (primarily in San Diego), cooking and baking, and anything else related to food. Enjoy!