Cabo Chips Churro flavor… Missing Something…

IMG_8171I picked up a bag of Cabo Chips at a grocery store near the beach recently, and broke them out last night for a taste testing.

Taco Bell remembers...
Taco Bell remembers…

Cabo Chips, Churro flavor… made me think of that side served by Taco Bell back in the 1980’s. I used to work at a Taco Bell in high school and one of my jobs was to fry all the tortillas for the taco salads and those fabulously cinnamon-y Cinnamon Crispas. If you think that they were not worth remembering, just do a search on Facebook and see how many people would like to see these cinnamon-dusted fried flour tortillas make a glorious comeback.

What does The Boy think?
What does The Boy think?

Honestly, I was hoping that the Cabo Chips would taste like the Cinnamon Crispas I used to fry up… but, it was not to be. While the bagged treat tasted nice, Cabo missed the boat with these by not using flour tortillas.

Too bad!
With corn tortilla chips the flavor just isn’t quite right.
Not bad, but not quite right.

New Menu Monday: Italian Chicken and Stuffing Bake (a recipe with potential…)

italian-stuffing-chicken-LifeInTheLofthouse-e1410538520279Here’s a great recipe to try. It’s great because it is forgiving.
Italian Chicken and Stuffing Bake from the food site

It’s perfect for illustrating all the reasons why a recipe can go wrong… like, if someone feels like swapping ingredients and decide to not follow certain/most instructions, for instance. Experienced cooks, comfortable in the kitchen, should be able to monkey around with ingredients and directions. Experienced, comfortable cooks also get to botch things up, too. Also, someone would have liked to have posted this yesterday (New Menu Monday), but someone’s son monopolized the desktop all evening for an “I swear, I’ll be done in ten minutes, mom, it’s easy” assignment.

IMG_8058Let’s take these simple ingredients:

  • 1 (14 oz.) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 (6 oz.) package stuffing mix for Chicken
  • 1/2 cup water (or broth)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-1/2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1/3 cup prepared basil pesto
  • 1 cup  shredded mozzarella cheese

If you decide to use four enormous whole chicken breasts, not chopped, swap a different kind of stuffing mix instead of the typical national brand, add the cheese in the wrong place and you will have to cook everything for twice as long as the directions, you might have some issues.


But, these are good flavors that go well together which stand up to Scattered Home Chef Syndrome… something I seem to suffer from. Yep.

Here’s what I did to mess up this recipe:

1. Use waaaay too much meat.
1. Use waaaay too much meat.
2. Pesto on top, no problem here.
2. Pesto on top, no problem here.
Mix tomatoes, water, stuffing... check.
3. Mix tomatoes, garlic, water, stuffing… check. (see that cheese? Yeah, forgot to put it on the chicken at this point)
Stuffing mix on chicken...
4. Stuffing mix on chicken…
...and cheese on top. Oops.
…and cheese on top. Oops.
Try to flip the stuffing and cheese... succeed in mixing them instead.
Try to flip the stuffing and cheese… succeed in mixing them instead.
Bake 375 30 minutes. JK, bake one hour.
5. Bake 375 30 minutes …one hour. Worry that stuffing is too dry and chicken is under cooked.
Enjoy the flavors of tender, pesto chicken (not under baked), and cheesy stuffing even though it is in the wrong spot.
6. Enjoy the flavors of tender, pesto chicken (not under baked), and cheesy stuffing even though it is in the wrong spot. I would use more cheese next time.

What to be Thankful for- Parents of Collegians Edition


It has been about six weeks since The Husband and I moved our child into her dorm room, the first place she has ever lived outside of her family’s circle of love, protection, and comfort. We have been left to consider the following:

  • The Roommate is great, right down to her family that we met
  • the school’s coffee was more than drinkable. It was downright good
  • all girl dorm, woo-hoo!
  • we got out of town with under $1K spent on books and dorm supplies
  • the Jesuits, as they reassured all the parents, have been educating for close to 500 years
  • scholarships rock… even partial ones
  • the school’s coffee is pretty good!
  • when your independent child hugs you like she will miss you
  • five days after you leave, your independent kid really does miss you
  • you know she misses you, because she texts you that she misses you
  • And the best, two weeks later… when she finally calls home.

I wonder if the cafeteria was serving good coffee because the parents were all moving in their collegians?

San Diego’s Little Italy, Ballast Point Brewing, and A Lovely Afternoon

What to do on a Sunday afternoon when you have a bit of time and many options… it’s a little too warm and humid for the beach or hiking (IMHO only, I am sure), we don’t feel like watching a show or game on TV…

IMG_8100How about hitting Ballast Point in Little Italy for a snack and, true to this year’s challenge, try a different drink? Well, don’t mind if I do!

“Piper Down Scottish Ale- Sweetly complex, with roasted toffee flavor, roasted pumpkin, and a subtle addition of spice.”

I shouldn’t be surprised, but still was- they have a fall beer brewed with pumpkin and spices. Of course they do. The entire nation goes crazy for (my favorite) warm spices associated with (also my favorite) pumpkin pie this time of year. So I had to try it, don’t you know. This Scottish ale does have a very, very subtle hint of spice and pumpkin, which I think goes nicely with a usual caramel-y taste of a darker brew. Not enough to scare off traditional ale drinkers, but different enough if you want a taste outside the ordinary.

As The Husband and I enjoyed our brews and snacks, we had to ask- why don’t we get to places like this more often with friends? The patio at this Ballast Point has several covered cabanas with their own fire pits and can be reserved. No excuse. This is on our To Do with Friends Soon list. Bonus: the music isn’t too loud and you get to watch the planes coming in to land at Lindbergh, making this a great meeting place for people of all ages.

Spanish Caprese Salad and PBJ Wings (Peanuts, Blackberry jam and Jalapeno glazed)
Spanish Caprese Salad and PBJ Wings (Peanuts, Blackberry jam and Jalapeno glazed)
Looks like a fun event!!
Looks like a fun event!!
I can NEVER get tired of watching the planes land at San Diego's Limburg Airport
I can NEVER get tired of watching the planes land at San Diego’s Lindbergh Airport

A Hoppy Beer that I Did Not Hate!

This is a Russian River Pliny the Elder. A double IPA. The Husband’s drink, not mine.

I’ve been told on numerous occasions that this is one of the finest beers ever crafted.

As usual, I asked for a taste, knowing full well that I would not like it. I never like his beer.

As usual, I enjoyed the smell of an IPA- but, if it is so great, why can’t it taste as nice as it smells?

And finally, for once, an IPA- this particular IPA- wasn’t bad at all! I really liked it, for the first time ever.

The well-known and most beloved aspects of hoppiness came through with grapefruit and floral flavors meeting right there on your tongue, just as your nose promised. Just as all you hop-heads have been raving about.

I guess I only like The Best of The Best!