Monday, May 30, 2016

Hard Rock Cafe San Francisco 2016 World Burger Tour Review #worldburgertour

*The information, gift card, gift pack and giveaway have been provided to me by Hard Rock International.

This year for Mother's Day we decided to drive to San Francisco to celebrate. I LOVE the city, the food, the people, the houses and the ocean. Each time we go to San Francisco we stop at Pier 39 to eat and shop. This time we decided to eat at Hard Rock Cafe San Francisco. The first thing my son loved was the giant guitar that stands outside the entrance of the restaurant, we had to take a classic tourist picture of course. The gift shop is the first thing you walk into as you go into the restaurant, they have so many great items and even a Bob Marley life like figure.

Once you are in the restaurant the place has so much to see. The priceless items that decorate the walls are amazing! The wait staff encourages everyone to walk around and look at the memorabilia and other patrons are very nice if you want a pic of something cool near their seating area. There was even a guy going around making animal balloons, of course we had to have him make my son one.

The menu has so many great burgers on it! I had a hard time deciding which one to select. My mother in law went with the Legendary Burger and I had the World Burger Tour Seattle Java Lava Burger to celebrate my own Mother who lives in Seattle area. The Java Lava is amazing! It has a very unique flavor from the espresso rub that I loved. It was a juicy burger with crispy onions, bacon and even a fried jalapeno.

The wait staff was amazing too! We were seated by the kitchen which for me is a treat. I like hearing the kitchen bustling, seeing and smelling all the great food passing by us as we wait for our own. Our server Matt was super kind, he fixed an issue we had right away, checked on us often, made recommendations and even giggled with us as my son ordered two things off the menu. My son could not decide on a meal so I let him get both, he picked a bit from each and we took the rest to go.

We had a wonderful experience of good food, great location and amazing staff. We stopped in the gift shop to get my son a Hard Rock Guitar plate like the one his meal was served on. He loves that plate and has me serve his lunch on it daily. I bought myself a Hard Rock coffee mug with pictures of San Francisco on it so I can be reminded of the great Mother's Day I had there.

With full bellies and smiles on our faces we left Pier 39 and headed to the beach to make sand castles and jump in the waves. I highly recommend eating at the Hard Rock Cafe in San Francisco, its good food and a fun environment. I told a couple I met at my work who was visiting from Australia to check out the Hard Rock Cafe since they had plans to go to San Francisco the next day. Hopefully they will grab a World Tour Burger too!

The limited-time World Burger Tour menu is available Sunday, May 1 through Thursday, June 30, 2016. Hurry to a Hard Rock Cafe near you to try these legendary burgers! I made a reservation using the Open Table App, it was super easy and I recommend reservations in the upcoming summer months since it is a busy time for Pier 39.


Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Strawberry Clafoutis Recipe

This recipe for making a Clafoutis is becoming one of my favorites. It's sort of like a flan and a tart, and it's French, so how can you go wrong?
I know when I have read about making this dessert, it seemed like something I would never attempt. My first and only try at making flan was somewhat of a disaster, so a Clafoutis would have the same fate I thought.

But I was wrong, and it turned out delicious. So here I am again, using strawberries to make this one, and it's amazing.
A Clafoutis is very simple to make, and you can use different fruits in it for different tastes. It's creamy and smooth, and just fancy enough to impress your guests.
After it bakes in the oven, let it cool for a bit, then sprinkle it with powdered sugar. And you could even top it with a tiny bit of whipped cream if you like.

Recipe for Strawberry Clafoutis


 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 cup half-and-half
2 eggs
1 egg yolk
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting


 Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Brush a 9-inch ceramic pie plate or casserole dish with the melted butter.
In a large bowl, whisk together the half-and-half, eggs, egg yolk, sugar and almond extract. Add the flour and whisk just until smooth, being careful not to overmix. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and scatter the raspberries evenly over the top.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the Clafoutis is just set and the surface is golden brown. Dust with confectioners' sugar and serve warm. 

Serves 6.


Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Little Flourless Chocolate Cakes Recipe

Chocolate is my weakness, and these little cakes had me going slightly crazy, that's how good they are. If you love over the top, rich and chocolaty desserts, you'll love this recipe.

I've always wondered how a flourless chocolate cake would taste because I've never made a cake without flour before. I guess I just thought it was an odd concept, no flour in a cake?

Well, this cake needs no flour at all because it's filled with moist, and chocolaty goodness. I made it in six ramekins, though the recipe says to use ten smaller sized ones. You can do either, but I liked the idea of a bigger serving.

The recipe comes from the cookbook Sheet Pan Suppers by local Seattle author Molly Gilbert. Of course the supper recipes are amazing but when I was looking through the book, my eye caught the Flourless Chocolate Cakes.

You can either sprinkle them with powdered sugar or do what I did, which is to add a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Either way, they are just so good.

Recipe for Flourless Chocolate Cakes


1/2 pound ( 2 sticks) unsalted butter
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 teaspoon espresso powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
6 large eggs

Confections' sugar, or vanilla ice (optional)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with a rack in the center position. Place ramekins (6 larger or 10 smaller) on a sheet pan.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Remove from the heat and stir in the semisweet chocolate. Stir until the chocolate is smooth and fully melted. Add the vanilla and stir to combine.

Whisk together the granulated sugar, cocoa powder, espresso powder, and salt in a large bowl. Add the eggs and whisk until smooth. Add the melted chocolate and whisk until well incorporated.

Divide the batter among the ramekins, filling each about three-quarters full. Bake until a skewer inserted into the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs, 30-40 minutes.

Let the cakes cool slightly- they will fall a bit in the center-  before serving warm, dusted with confections' sugar or a scoop of ice cream.

The cakes will keep, wrapped in plastic, in the fridge for 3-4 days. Eat them cold or rewarm them in a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes.


Friday, May 6, 2016

Hard Rock Cafe 2016 World Burger Tour and Giveaway #worldburgertour

*The information, gift card, gift pack and giveaway have been provided to me by Hard Rock International.

San Francisco here we come!! Hard Rock Cafe has launched their 2016 World Burger Tour for Northern America. I am definitely a burger fan and after looking over the menu I am not sure which one I will select to eat when we visit for Mother's Day. I may order the Java Lava Burger since I do love Seattle or the Tango Salsa Burger since I have not eaten a burger with a fried egg on it before. I am thinking I will have everyone in our family select a different burger so we can taste a few of them. The menu has a time limit on it as how long the burgers will be available so be sure to visit before June 30, 2016.

Hard Rock World Burger Tour

·         Hard Rock Cafe locations in North America are celebrating the start of burger season with a menu showcasing international Local Legendary™ Burgers

·         The limited-time World Burger Tour menu is available Sunday, May 1 through Thursday, June 30, 2016

·         This year, Hard Rock is also offering a literal World Burger Tour, a travel package that takes the most adventurous burger enthusiasts on the road (and the skies) to sample offerings from the World Burger Tour menu at Hard Rock Cafe locations in London, Athens, Buenos Aires and Seattle!

Backstage Burger Pass

Hard Rock gives chefs at their cafes the freedom to create a unique Local Legendary Burger that captures the flavors of their city. This year more than 160 local burgers were evaluated by Hard Rock’s culinary team with fan favorites selected to headline the World Burger Tour menu. Throughout May and June, Hard Rock Cafe menus* will feature the following World Burger Tour offerings:

·         English Breakfast Burger (London, England) – a Certified Angus Beef® patty topped with sliced ham, a sausage patty, a fried egg, a portobello mushroom, arugula and garlic aioli and served with a side of baked beans

·         Java Lava Burger (Seattle, United States) – a Certified Angus Beef patty grilled and dressed in a house-made espresso rub and topped with lava sauce, crunchy java onions, bacon, melted Cheddar cheese and garnished with a fried jalapeño

·         Tandoori Chicken Burger (Mumbai, India) – a dark meat chicken patty seasoned with aromatic spices and fresh herbs, topped with mint mayonnaise and served with a side of cucumber

·         Jamaican Jerk Burger (Montego Bay, Jamaica) – a Certified Angus Beef patty topped with banana pepper rings, mango jalapeño cream cheese and jerk mayonnaise

·         ATOMIC! Burger (Las Vegas, United States) – a Certified Angus Beef patty topped with Atomic beer-battered peppers, pepper jack cheese, caramelized onions, sautéed mushrooms, garlic chipotle ketchup and chipotle mayonnaise

·         Tango Salsa Burger (Buenos Aires, Argentina) – a Certified Angus Beef patty topped with andouille sausage, Monterey Jack cheese, chips de batata, a fried egg, salsa criolla and garlic aioli

·         Greek Burger (Athens, Greece) – a Certified Angus Beef patty topped with arugula, feta cheese and a tomato slice

·         Aloha Burger (Honolulu, United States) – a Certified Angus Beef patty topped with Portuguese sausage, Monterey Jack cheese, a grilled pineapple ring with sweet soy glaze, guacamole, pico de gallo, served with Furikake french fries 

Burger Tour for the Roadie

For those a little more hungry, Hard Rock will bring its menu to life and offer a unique burger experience that takes guests’ taste buds on an international journey. Hard Rock, in conjunction with global experience agency Infrared, is offering a World Burger Tour travel package that includes stops at iconic cities including London, England; Athens, Greece; Buenos Aires, Argentina; and Seattle, United States. This four-stop, once-in-a-lifetime excursion celebrates the cities that inspired Hard Rock’s World Burger Tour. The World Burger Tour travel package is a private, 10-night trip that includes flights, first class hotel accommodations, ground transportation and exclusive dining and music experiences at Hard Rock Cafe locations in each city not typically available to the public
Have you eaten at a Hard Rock Cafe before? What is your favorite Burger there? I will be posting our review of the San Francisco Hard Rock Cafe location later in the month.


Hard Rock Cafe Gift Pack will include a branded oven mitt pair, apron, and spatula.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Limited to US residents 18 years old and above. Giveaway starts May 6, 2016 and ends on May 31, 2016 at 12:01 am PST. Winner will be emailed and has 48 hours to respond before another winner is selected. I was not paid for this giveaway or post. I was provided a gift card to visit my local Hard Rock Cafe. The opinions on this item are 100% mine and may vary from others. The sponsor is responsible for providing the prize.


Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Peanut Butter Toffee Cookies Recipe

I know a lot of people think milk and cookies are a kid thing, but believe me, they're not. I know some grownups who indulge in this ritual on a regular basis and it makes life more pleasurable. I happen to be one of those people, and so finding a new cookie recipe that I love and can make for my family is a real pleasure in my book.

I think a home baker who has a good list of cookie recipes to rely on can always whip up a batch on the spur of the moment. My granddaughter Ashley will sometimes ask me if we can bake something and cookies are often what she chooses to help me make. What four year old doesn't love cookies?

So milk and cookies are a regular treat around our house and I wouldn't have it any other way. This cookie recipe is quick, easy, and utterly delicious.

Recipe for Peanut Butter Toffee Cookies


1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups chopped chocolate covered toffee candy


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, beat together butter and peanut butter until smooth. Add sugars, baking soda, and baking powder. Beat together until combined. Beat in egg and vanilla. Stir in flour, stir in candy pieces.
Roll dough into 1-inch balls and place on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool on a wire rack.

Makes 24 cookies.


Monday, May 2, 2016

Keen Sandals for Kids: A Summer Must Have #BoundlessWonder

* I was sent a pair of Keen sandals for my review. All opinions expressed in this post are my own.

Summer is almost here! As soon as the sun is shining in California my family takes the opportunity to wear sandals. As a parent I know each season my son usually needs new shoes. He can't fit in anything from last year as I would expect him not to, so this means we always have a good reason to go shoe shopping.

I have tried many types of shoes for my son for the warm weather from flip flops and slides to leather fisherman sandals. Each have their pros and cons but one that I absolutely love for the summertime is Keen. They are durable, toes protecting, machine washable, functional shoes for kids. Sure I get the parents out there that may feel they are not as "cute" as some other sandals but shoes are about what is best for their developing feet and not the latest fashion trends.

My son loves his sandals! So much so that he made up a dance with them on, his moves were epic. He can put them on himself, gotta love Velcro for busy kids and parents, they come in cool colors and he can wear them in the lake and river to protect his feet (they are waterproof). I love that he has proper foot protection while he is busy being a kid.

I recommend Keen shoes all the time to my customers at work for all summer long and especially for people planning trips to Disneyland or Hawaii. No one wants achy feet on vacation or to have a pair of flip flops trip up your day.

If you would like to have your little ones feet sized and properly fitted for Keen Sandals you can go to your local Nordstrom to have a Certified Fit Expert assist you in finding the right style for your children. If your little one has narrow feet like my son I would suggest the Seacamp style and for a little bit wider foot I would go with the Newport.

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