Southern California by IPhone

Hello, friends!  Happy New Year!

Long time no oversharing, I know.  Seems like it's been a thousand years since we chatted last, doesn't it?  Well, it does to me.  I really miss ya.

In case you couldn't tell, I took a little break from making dinner for about two weeks straight there.  Not because I don't enjoy making dinner during the week (because you know I do) but because with the holiday craziness we quite literally did not eat dinner at home all that much.  And when we did we resorted to our standard go-to meals like soup, tuna melts, eating peanut butter straight from the jar with a spoon, shredded rotisserie chicken over salad greens, and homemade (boring) pizza.

Nothing to blog home about.

But we also went to California!  Splitting our time between L.A. and San Diego, the hubs and I took a mid-winter break for a few days to the land of palm trees, avocado BLTs, sunshine, and Bentleys. 

And we were up to no good (but sooooo much good) foodwise.  Said my husband: "Wow, you started and finished this trip with a burger and fries."  Yes, yes I did.  But really, why wouldn't your first stop be the In & Out Burger just outside the airport?  He was just lucky I allowed us to pick up our checked bags first.

Multiple coffees daily.  I kept it to decaf and still had the giggly jitters most of the day. 

Pizzaria Mozza was my dream: a charming, elegant pizza joint tucked away in the big city where unusual ingredients and gourmet topping combinations meet thin, crispy, wood-ovened pizza crust and lots of wine.  And their menu was just that.  Pizza and wine.  Um, hello?

We got a seat right at the bar overlooking all pizza-making operations.  We chose our pie based on the combinations we saw being made, the look of the ingredients, and the smells coming out of the wood oven.  It was amazing.

We started the meal off with a white bean bruschetta topped with olive oil and saba.  I dont know either.  But it was fantastic.

Then we shared a Margherita pizza and one topped with fennel sausage, red onion, scallions, and panna.  I'm pretty sure I died it was so good. 

In San Diego, at the Hotel del Coronado, two coffees and a container of fruit costs $17.  Just so you  know.  Maybe they also charge you for the view as you sit on a bench admiring Coronado Beach.  If I owned that view I'd charge too.

And our hotel was haunted!  I swear it was totally haunted.  I'm almost positive we had a ghost in our room because the bathroom light would turn on in the middle of the night for no reason.  Husband says it was just the motion detector setting that we couldn't figure out, but I don't buy it.  Also, our leftover pizza kept slowly disappearing without any help from me.  Odd.

On New Year's Day we splurged on fancy-pants brunch at our hotel.  Reserved for only Sundays and holidays, this brunch requires reservations and stretchy pants.  Gooood Lord.

Bloody Mary bar for the win.  About as healthy as it got that morning, my friends.

This is only one half of the salad selection.  With things like a hand-carved meats station, a seafood smorgasboard, a make-your-own waffle creation bar, omelets made-to-order, imported cheeses and charcuterie, soups, stews, and trifle bowls filled to the brim with macarons also existing in this room, salads took a back seat I'm sorry to say.

A chocolate fountain with many dipping options if you're still hungry.  Have you ever had white chocolate Fruit Loop bark dipped in milk chocolate?  I have.

Good thing there are a million ways to be outside and be active in California so we could work off our daily food comas.  It's all about the balance, you know? 

And while we took in the sun, saw so many beautiful beaches, and ate like kings, I am so ready to get back to routine and get cooking again.  New recipes starting Monday featuring do-it-yourself adaptations of some of my favorite California meals, like shrimp tacos with a secret sauce and I-want-to-take-a-bath-in-you Cioppino!

Yes, that means we did eat more than pictured.  Pass me a salad and let's get going with 2013! 

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