Where ‘Ya Gonna Eat In… Rancho Cucamonga, CA? Guido’s Italian Deli, of course!

This marks the first in my new series: “Where ‘Ya Gonna Eat In…” I’ll be highlighting great places to eat in cities & towns all around the US… and hopefully abroad too! Kinda like what I already do, but with a cool title now attached to it! LOL! 

I’d been hearing about this great little sandwich shop in Rancho Cucamonga, CA for quite some time. Back in January, I decided to pay them a visit & see what all the hype was about. First, Guido’s is located in a strip mall.photo 3-001

You’ll notice it says Guido’s Pizza on the front there… disregard that- they no longer make pizza! Guido’s is run by two brothers: Guido & Tony Sciortino. They’ve been in the same location for literally decades & are both sweethearts! photo 2 Nowadays, they sell a large variety of cheeses, homemade sausages, deli meats, and sandwiches. Oh, they also have a few Italian staples, if you need pasta or sauce-they got it. photo 4 What Guido’s is famous for, is their Sandwiches! There’s something about a great sandwich, it’s like comfort food, ya know?! You can purchase a 7 inch sandwich, for just $5. You can also try their Daily Special, which is a Ham or Turkey Sandwich-Macaroni or Potato Salad & a Drink for just $5. You can’t beat that! photo 5-001 I absolutely fell in love with this little sandwich shop, they treat you like family here. There’s no place to sit down, so you’ll be ordering your food to go. Guido was zipping around behind the counter so fast, I really couldn’t snap a pic of him, but here’s what I got: photo 4-001 That’s him in red, bending down to get some bread rolls. This little joint will remind you of days gone by, when everybody in the neighborhood knew each other & looked out for one another. Now, for the good stuff! Here’s my Guido Sandwich!photo 4-002 Can I just tell you it smelled so darn good! I couldn’t wait to bite into it. The Guido Special has 3 meats: Salami, Mortadella, & Capocollo, and the best Provolone ever! Add to that lettuce, tomato, your choice of dressing, and a 7″ roll and it’s on! photo 1-002photo 2-001 Overflowing with ingredients, this sandwich will definitely fill you up. It was the best sandwich I’d had in ages. It was made with fresh ingredients, by someone that really loves what he does. I will go back to Guido’s again & again.photo 5-002 If you happen to find yourself in Rancho Cucamonga, CA- please stop by Guido’s Deli, he’ll be happy to see you!

Guido’s Deli & Pizza – 9755 Arrow Hwy. Ste. G – Rancho Cucamonga, CA – 909-980-8962

 

This post is NOT sponsored in any way, shape or form. I paid for my meal, and Guido had no idea I’d be blogging about his lovely establishment. 

Aquarius Restaurant -Dream Inn- Santa Cruz, CA

I was invited to Aquarius Restaurant for dinner. I was under no obligation to post a review. No compensation has been received. All opinions are my own. 

Every now & then, you find a real gem of a restaurant. One so special, that you almost don’t want to share it with anyone else. Aquarius Restaurant, is that kinda place! It’s located just past the Santa Cruz Boardwalk, in the Dream Inn. photo 13641332159_2aa9303b2a_b      Aquarius Restaurant offers fabulous oceanfront dining just off the beach in Santa Cruz, CA, and is locally renowned as one of Santa Cruz’s top dining destinations. The restaurant and lounge is truly a “window box on the sea”, allowing guests to experience panoramic views that stretch north to one of the nation’s top surf spots – Steamer Lane, south to the majestic Monterey Bay and Peninsula and East to the Santa Cruz Mountains. The cool and breezy interior is especially romantic at night when the moon casts its glow onto the sea. The California Coastal Cuisine is inspired by fresh and local products and produce, including local sustainable seafood, complemented by a regional wine list. Aquarius is a proud supporter of Fish Watch program, promoting sustainable seafood and clean oceans.

First, let’s talk ambiance, shall we?! This restaurant has it in abundance. There are tables for large parties, and cozy little spaces perfect for enjoying a romantic meal with your honey. photo 4-002photo 2 It’s right on the ocean! You talk about an impressive view… OH MY GOODNESS! The pic above was taken at night. Let’s take a little looksie at the day time views below …1889055_859454297413618_98515136_o Can’t you just see yourself sitting there, enjoying a fantastic meal? And speaking of meals, Aquarius does not disappoint! 

photo 5-004I was there on a Monday night, and they have a special promo running on Monday nights. It’s called Homemade Mondays – the prices are excellent and the food is ridiculous! And by ridiculous, I mean DELICIOUS! Here’s a look at the menu for the night I ate there. Keep in mind, the menu does change. photo 2-003 Do you see those prices? You can’t beat that. Those prices, that view, and this food! photo 5photo 3-002photo 2-004 You gotta believe me when I tell you this food is everything! Each entree was flavorful and cooked to perfection. The chicken wasn’t greasy, like some places. It had a good crunch to it- the mashed potatoes… let’s just say there were none left on the plate!

That Shrimp Fettuccine Alfredo was seasoned just right- the shrimp nice & tender. Those Braised Short Ribs- we were all but fighting over them! That meat just melted in my mouth. The Polenta was mighty tasty. 

The Chef at Aquarius definitely has the Midas Touch – our meal was pure gold. Everything was fresh and you could really tell it was made with love. 

So, once we were done with our meal-we were asked if we wanted to try a dessert or two.    No meal’s complete without dessert, right?! Hold on to your seats, this is gonna be good! First up, Cheesecake-it was rich-just like cheesecake should be. photo 1-001 Apple Galette A La Mode was next- I think it was my favorite. So much flavor packed in there- so yummy! photo 4-001 Last, but not least- Chocolate Cake! Decadent- you betcha! photo 31 I cannot say enough about the staff at Aquarius. They went above and beyond to make sure we had everything we wanted and/or needed. Our waiter was extremely knowledgable about the menu, and told us how each entree was made. Everyone at the restaurant was uber polite and professional.

Kudos to all the staff and management- you have a very well oiled machine in Aquarius. I was so impressed with the view, the food and the staff. Can’t wait to get back for another visit and to taste some of the other menu items.

If YOU’D like to visit Aquarius Restaurant, the address is:

175 West Cliff Drive
Santa Cruz, CA 95060 

Call (831) 460-5012 to make a reservation. You might want to check out the LIVE Jazz every Thursday & Saturday night. 

Let me know when you visit, I’d love to hear what you ate! 

Carrot Smoothie & a #HamiltonBeach Giveaway!

I’m a Hamilton Beach Ambassador & have been provided sample blenders to facilitate this review & giveaway. No other compensation has been provided. All thoughts are mine.             

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Y’all remember my last Hamilton Beach Blender Giveaway, right? Well, I’m back with another! This time it’s the Single-Serve Blender – with 2 Jars and 2 Lids (51102). 51102  

“Why take out your big blender when all you need is one or two drinks? The Single Serve Blender is perfect when you want a smaller quantity of smooth refreshment and don’t want to clean a whole blender jar. 

Rushing through breakfast or skimping on your health with vending machine drinks is no way to start out the day or live a healthy lifestyle.  Instead, invest in a personal-size blender that makes it easy to have a nutritious beverage on the go. That’s right, the Hamilton Beach® Single-Serve Blender delivers all the delicious-tasting flavors of restaurant smoothies and frozen drinks at a fraction of the price.

What’s more, this little blender lets you personalize your recipes, perfect your mixology skills and control your portions, all in one. With its durable stainless steel blades and pulse blending action, it’s fully equipped to prepare a variety of great-tasting smoothies, shakes and more.”

Product Features:

  • 2 blender jars and 2 lids included
  • Travel lid lets you drink from the jar
  • Jar fits in most car drink holders
  • Great for fruit smoothies, icy drinks, shakes & more
  • Stainless steel blades
  • One-touch blending
  • Easy to store and clean
Dimensions (inches): 11.8 H x 3.94 W x 3.94 D

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I love this little blender, it’s just the right size for my smoothies. Speaking of which, I made a fantastic one this morning! Have you ever made a carrot smoothie? Here’s a super easy recipe for you. 

Easy Carrot Smoothie
Yields 1
Yummy smoothie made with carrot juice!
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Ingredients
12oz 100% Carrot Juice
4oz Orange Juice
1 banana, chopped up
handful of crushed ice
Instructions
Place all ingredients into blender and blend. That's it- you're done!
Notes
You can use ice cubes instead of crushed ice- no worries!
This Mama Can Cook http://thismamacancook.net/
 This smoothie was delicious! Even the kids loved it. Great way to incorporate carrots into your menu. You gotta try this one! 

photo-518Giveaway time! The great folks over at Hamilton Beach are going to give one of my readers this wonderful blender- I’m so excited! Good luck everyone!  

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Food Network’s, Rachael vs. Guy: Kids Cook-Off, Now Casting!

This is for my friend, Elppa’s son, Alessio, and all the Future Chefs out there! 

Rachael Ray and Guy Fieri are back for battle and are in search of the most talented kid chefs in the country. They are looking for kids with captivating personalities who believe they’re at the top of their culinary game and want to inspire a Food Network audience through their passion for food and cooking. The winner will receive a grand prize that will help to kick-start their culinary career!

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For more information and how to apply, please visit our website at www.RachaelvsGuyKidsCasting.com

 
Good Luck to all the Little Chefs! 

Thrifty Cooking 101- Veggie Stir Fry Made With …

Before I go any further, I’d like to apologize for losing all of my posts from February. I’ve been trying to move everything over to a new server (was working on it yesterday) & in the process, I lost February’s posts. If you need a recipe, pls contact me & I’ll get it to you. Everything has been transferred to the new host-so I shouldn’t have this problem ever again! 

If you have been following me for a while, you know I’m thrifty. (You can read some of my money-saving tips on my Mommy Powers Blog). I know there are folks out there that don’t eat leftovers & actually turn their nose up at them… I’m NOT one of those people! Food is way too expensive to throw away – I try to make use of everything I purchase.

A few days ago, I hosted a little get-together at my home. After everyone went home, I realized the veggie tray went virtually untouched. I packed it up and put it in the fridge, determined not to let it go to waste.

The next day, as I was thinking about what I wanted to make for dinner, I remembered the veggie tray in the fridge & immediately knew what to make: Veggie Stir Fry with Chicken! 

 This is so easy, I’m not even gonna use the recipe app for it- I’m just gonna walk you through it! First, I chopped up some garlic & onion and sautéed in a bit of olive oil, in my wok.

Next I added my veggies from the veggie tray.photo 1-1 I sautéed them for a few minutes, then I added a splash of reduced sodium soy sauce. It was now time to add the chicken & I used Tyson’s Grilled & Ready Chicken Breast Fillets, I just diced up 3 fillets, before placing them into the wok. A few minutes later, it looked like this:  photo 2 And that’s all there is to it! Healthy, quick, and best of all; I used up all my Veggie Tray! SCORE! 

Are YOU a Thrifty Cook?! 

Celebrate Big Game Day With My Quick & Easy Food {Recipes}

When it comes to The Big Game, I’m all about having fun and enjoying not only the game, but good food. With the Super Bowl fast approaching, I thought I’d share some of our favorite NFL menu items. Whether you’re hosting a game day party, or just enjoying the game with your family-these tasty morsels are sure to please. 

photo-494I don’t want to be stuck in the kitchen all morning before the game, so I like taking shortcuts with my cooking. No, I’m not making everything from scratch … yes, everything I made was delicious! If you want to save time, prepare some good eats, and be done cooking BEFORE the game actually begins- then you’ll love the recipes I’ll be sharing with you today! photo-491 I like to make lots of food for Game Day, that way my guests have many options to choose from. These are three items that will be on the menu when the Seattle Seahawks face the Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl. 

First up, I have my Sweet Bar-B-Q Pulled Pork Game Day Nachos! You could literally make a meal out of these. I kept them simple, because little ones don’t normally like jalapenos or a bunch of “stuff” on their nachos. These are kid friendly. I “cheated” by using   Lloyd’s Shredded Pork and Tostitos Salsa Con Queso-Medium

Sweet Bar-B-Q Pulled Pork Game Day Nachos
These hearty nachos will become your faves!
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Ingredients
1 bag Tortilla Chips
1 16 oz tub Lloyd's Bar-B-Q Shredded Pork
1 15 oz jar Tostitos Salsa Con Queso-Medium
2-3 chopped up tomatoes
1 can chopped olives
Instructions
I like to set up a little assembly line of all the ingredients, and allow my guests to prepare their own nacho creations.
Grab a handful of tortilla chips and place on plate.
Add heated shredded pork to top of chips, using a spoon.
Add heated salsa con queso to top of pork.
Generously top with tomatoes & chopped olives.
Enjoy!
Notes
You can add as many toppings to your nachos as you'd like. These are kid friendly and work well for families with little ones.
This Mama Can Cook http://thismamacancook.net/
Everyone likes hot dogs, right? I mixed it up a bit by using Saag’s Beer Bratwurst. My Pickled Pepper Brats hit the spot! First, I chopped up some onions, and colorful bell peppers, and sautéed them in a wee bit of oil. photo-493 Love those colors and the house smelled divine! Then I took it outside to the grill and put my brats on the fire! Once they were looking nice & golden brown, I brought them back inside. I slapped ‘em in a hot dog bun, added some ketchup, mustard, pickled relish, and my onions & bell peppers. Done! 

Gotta have something sweet, correct?! How about my Chocolate Drizzled Strawberry/Banana Kabobs? photo-492 Easy peasy to make. Just slice up a couple bananas, wash off some organic strawberries & remove the stems. Thread them onto a shish kabob stick, alternating between the two. Place on your plate and then drizzle with Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup. Yum!

I hope you’ll try my recipes. Before I go, I want to say THANK YOU to my San Francisco 49ers! Ya’ll played a great season & we love you. Shout out to my favorite player, Mr. Kaepernick- well done! 

Wilton Armetale Grillware Griddle {GIVEAWAY}

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A few weeks back, I was sent a Wilton Armetale Grillware Griddle to review. If you’re not familiar with their products, they’re perfect for the grilling enthusiast. Once you begin using them, you will quickly see why it’s great for cooking and serving food from the grill. You’ll wonder how you’ve grilled for so long without it! (Football season & tailgating will never be the same!) 

Have fun and spend more time with your guests around the grill. Cook your entire meal on the grill, then serve in the same piece ~ perfect for those slip-through-the-grates foods. No need to run back and forth with some foods on the grill and others in the oven. Grilling just got a whole lot easier! 

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You can cook your food, in the Grillware pieces, then serve them on those same pieces. Not only can use use these on the grill, but stovetop as well! 

• Grill & Serve in the same piece
• Keeps your food hot longer on the table
• Lasts a Liftetime, Guaranteed against breakage
• Outdoor entertaining made easy
• Clean up’s a snap
• This stuff won’t rust like cast iron

It even keeps foods from the fridge cold longer! 

 I had a blast trying out my new Grillware Griddle. I used it inside, as it was a bit too cold outside to fire up the grill. photo-475photo-474 I made my Spiced Apple Pancakes & they came out perfect… take a look: photo-476 Looks good, doesn’t it?! The wonderful folks over at Wilton Armetale have giving me the go ahead to host a GIVEAWAY for all my readers! Thats right- 1 of you will win the same exact Grillware Griddle that I have! What a fantastic way to end 2013! Good luck! 201263  a Rafflecopter giveaway

3rd Annual, GREAT FOOD BLOGGER COOKIE SWAP hosted by Love & Olive Oil and The Little Kitchen

Once again this year, I had the pleasure of participating in the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap!

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“The GREAT FOOD BLOGGER COOKIE SWAP brings together food bloggers from around the world in celebration of all things scrumptious. The premise is this: sign up. Receive the addresses of three other food bloggers. Send each of them one dozen delicious homemade cookies. Receive three different boxes of scrumptious cookies from other bloggers. Eat them all yourself (or, you know, share. If you want. No judgement either way.) Post your cookie recipe on your blog. See everyone else’s cookie recipes. Salivate. Get lots of great ideas for next year’s cookie swap. Rinse and repeat.”

This year, we are again excited to be partnering with COOKIES FOR KIDS’ CANCER, a national non-profit organization committed to funding new therapies used in the fight against pediatric cancer, which claims the lives of more children in the US than any other disease. By participating in this cookie swap we’re not only contributing to the food blogger community, but also supporting a great cause.

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Who doesn’t like receiving cookies in the mail?! It’s so much fun!photo-469I love participating in this cookie swap because it’s a blast and it’s for a great cause. The money we raise is going to help so many children.

This year, I decided to bake Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies. 133830

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
Yields 2
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Ingredients
1 can canned pumpkin
1 cup granulated Dixie Crystals Sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
2 tablespoons Grandma's Molasses
2 cups Gold Medal Flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
Instructions
Combine pumpkin, sugar, vegetable oil, egg, & molasses.
In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, ground cinnamon, and salt.
Dissolve the baking soda with the milk and stir in.
Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and mix well.
Add vanilla, & chocolate chips.
Drop by spoonful on greased cookie sheet and bake at 350*F for approximately 10 minutes or until lightly brown and firm.
This Mama Can Cook http://thismamacancook.net/
 Thanks to all the great sponsors!

 oxo-1dixiecrystalsgoldmedalflourgrandmasmolasses 

Count me in for next year’s swap!

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Find a Clean Bathroom Every Time You Travel, with Clnli

Today’s conversation brought to you by Clnli. All opinions are my own. clnli_logo

Today, I want to talk about something we all encounter, but very few of us ever discuss: the lack of clean bathrooms when we’re out & about! I love to travel, and explore new places. What I don’t like, is never knowing where to find a clean bathroom! 

 It’s an understatement to say that traveling with kids ain’t easy. Between packing the emergency bag, packing the food, and corralling everyone, sometimes it feels easier to just stay home on a Saturday. And of course, once you make it out to wherever you’re going, you’re bound to hear that common refrain, “Mommy, I need to go pee-pee!”

When this happens, the options are pretty limited. Searching Google Maps for “bathroom” turns up a bunch of home repair stores and construction companies. McDonald’s and Starbucks are on every street corner, except for the one you’re on. And even if you found a public bathroom, it probably isn’t one you want to send your kids into. (And don’t even get me started on “Rest Stop” bathrooms, so gross!)

This is where Clnli (pronounced Cleanly) comes in. It’s a smartphone app that aims to solve all those “Mommy, I need to pee” moments. (And also the “Mommy needs a bit of privacy” moments.) With the Clnli app, you’ll have the location of all the cleanest bathrooms, right at your fingertips. I am SO excited about this new app, you just have no idea! clnli_product_shot

Clnli works by having store owners, and anyone else with a clean bathroom, offer their bathrooms exclusively to the Clnli network. When an emergency strikes, just pull up your smartphone and launch the Clnli app. The app tells you where all the Clnli bathrooms are in your area, let’s you filter by certain criteria (e.g. baby changing table), and gives you directions to whichever one you choose. For just a low monthly or per-use fee, you can guarantee a close, clean bathroom no matter where you are.clnli_sign

Unlike public bathrooms, clnli bathrooms can’t be accessed by every random person off the street. The bathrooms are kept clean, no more bathroom nightmares! clnli_sign_up

Pay for 2 months, get 4 months FREE!

 

For a limited time, there’s a special offer for 6 months of Clnli for just $20! This deal won’t last long, and will only be available to the first 100 people who reserve their spot. Reserve your spot here. Clnli will be launching in Spring 2014- be one of the first to take advantage of this $40 savings! 

 I think this is a fantastic idea (wish I would’ve thought of it!) and I’m so excited to be the one introducing you to Clnli! Thanks to Clnli, traveling with little ones just got a whole lot easier! 

Travel: The Sandman of Coronado Island

Every once in a while, you meet someone that just makes you smile, and fills you with joy. The Sandman of Coronado Island, is that type of person. sandman 

I found the pic above on his website, yes, he has his own website! I had never heard of him before meeting him. He made sure to tell me to look him up on the internet. I told him I would, so I did. 

Coronado Island is right across the bridge from San Diego, if you’ve never been there- make sure to add it to your list when you visit San Diego. The views of San Diego are fabulous from the bridge. SONY DSC photo-464We were on our way to the Coronado Beach, (at the Hotel del Coronado above), which by the way has been named one of America’s finest beaches by The Travel Channel, when we stumbled upon The Coronado Sandman (Alberto Avilla). You can find him on Coronado & Mission Beach St. I saw his “work,” before I actually spotted him. photo-467 That’s sand on a parking lot (well, it’s not a parking lot, it’s a turnaround). He uses a broom to create his works of art. I immediately fell in love with his work! photo-466 He told me he takes custom orders and can write whatever message you need on the pavement. (I do something similar actually, but mine are done at the beach.) photo-468 Here he is, such a friendly guy- full of smiles & so proud of his work. photo-465 I hope to see The Sandman next time I make it back to Coronado Island. He’s spreading joy his way, and I can respect that! He’s out there every day, creating his masterpieces- if you see him, be sure to stop and talk to him, you’ll leave smiling from ear to ear. sandman2 

Do your thang, Sandman, do your thang!