Smoqued Santa Sunday Brunch Coming To Old Towne Orange

Categories: Holidays

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Photo by Amanda DeFrancis

They had us at brunch, but the team at Smoqued wants to show their softer side in this season of giving. By holding two very special meals this month, diners will not only fill their bellies, but pass along some good fortune to others in need. You're wondering how? We're glad you asked.

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Five Great (Non-Traditional) Thanksgiving Courses

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Anne Marie Panoringan
The makings of a great first course

We crave turkey this time of year like our friends tweet Pumpkin Spice Latte updates. But our holiday fix shouldn't be confined to a couple of major holidays. Instead, we look for signs of merriment in alternative forms. Here are five of our favorite tastes.

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Halloween Specials At Confetti's & Sidecar Doughnuts--of the FREE Kind!

Categories: Bargains, Holidays

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Anne Marie Panoringan

Who doesn't like free? You can get out of line, because two of the sweetest purveyors of tasty delights are giving away scream-worthy bites this Thursday to those with patience. And believe us, there will be waits in Costa Mesa.

Let's start with the limited time offer. Our friends at Confetti Italian Ice and Custard already know how to offer incentive via social media check-ins. This time, they require an extra step: a flyer.

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Harry & David Now Open In Costa Mesa

Categories: Holidays

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After they shuttered the last Harry & David shop in the Market Place, we were kind of bummed. It was one of those places we'd wander into just to see what seasonal confections and coordinating decor was on sale-- like a Hallmark store for food.

We came across their new, albeit temporary spot on the first floor of South Coast Plaza, next door to Henri Bendel (For those who don't speak "Mall", that's next to the escalators). The first sign of Christmas was grandiose, with colorful gift displays mounted everywhere. Hickory Farms who?


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IKEA Swedish Christmas Julbord Tickets On Sale!

Categories: Holidays

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We are not Swedish, but there's something about Ikea's annual holiday feast which makes us obsessed. It may be because the last two times we tried getting tickets, they were sold out. Yeah, that's probably it. Although an affordable diner housed within a college graduate's shopping labyrinth is reason enough to go in the first place.

After two strikes, a friend who works at another location tipped us off about the dinner date. The only way we could confirm it was by going to the source. That cafe manager was cool enough to ring up our ticket purchase, even after they were closed for the night. That's the key-- the food service people know what's up. If you don't think $12.99 ($9.99 if you sign up for a Family account) is much of a deal, then take a gander at the AYCE menu.


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Father's Day Dining in OC: Something Besides Golf and Ties

Categories: Holidays

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Chef Yvon Goetz of The Winery

Mothers may carry us for nine months, but Fathers are parents, too. So we're taking a moment to check in on a few dining options this weekend. Let's pretend dad doesn't want to grill for once, but have someone cook for him. It's also less clean up in the kitchen. Reservations are always recommended.

  • Pizzeria Ortica (Costa Mesa) - Chef Justin Miller is picking up an American Kunekune pig from Old Reminisce Farms in Mira Loma for hungry dads, and will create nine dishes from this little piggy. Noteworthy options include fennel sausage stuffed trotters and local cherries, white ragu pappardelle with fennel pollen and a sliced whole roasted ham with braised cabbage and grilled nectarines.

  • The Winery (Tustin) - Dinner service begins at 4 p.m., with live jazz starting at 6:30 p.m. For those hungry dads, expect to see prime rib, venison, lobster and kangaroo emerging from the Goetz kitchen. While you're there, remember to check out their wine list.

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Free Coffee At Sidecar Doughnuts On National Doughnut Day!

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Photo courtesy of Sidecar Doughnuts & Coffee

What did you expect, a free doughnut? That shiz is expensive!

We missed National Frozen Yogurt Day, but Doughnut Day will NOT pass us by. It's on Friday, June 7th, and Brooke Des Prez and crew will be baking up a brand new treat specially for the occasion. Behold the Peach Cobbler with Corn Thyme Crumb. That doesn't even require a description, except that it's probably definitely not the gluten-free Friday special.


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Moms Eat For Free At Hooters On Mother's Day

Categories: Holidays

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Hooters Facebook Page
So you're finding that all the cute champagne brunch spots are already booked up for Mother's Day. What's the next best option? No, after that. No, after that one ... and that one ... and that one, too.

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Four Local Valentine's Day Alternatives

Categories: Holidays
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The Sticky Pig

If you haven't booked something by now, you're screwed. At least, that's what most people think. If you believe there needs to be roses and grand gestures of champagne and caviar on Thursday, you're wrong. Unless your someone special is that high maintenance, and then it's a Catch-22. Instead of the usual suspects, we're branching out for some nontraditional options. Call it creative or other colorful words in your vocabulary. It sure beats standing around on the 14th with nothing.
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Celebrate the Year of The Snake With Ching's Chinese New Year

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Ching He-Huang may be a self-taught chef but she was taught by some of the best, her very own family. With a long line of traditional heritage, Taiwanese-born Ching helped out with a lot of the cooking growing up and moves to South Africa and later to London helped mold her tastes and styles but luckily for us (and our taste buds), she came back to her roots which included dishing up delicious Chinese cuisine. These days Ching has a plethora of bestselling cookbooks under her belt, well-loved cooking shows in the UK and the US, a line of utensils and tableware, and even her own mushrooms! Talk about giving Rachel Ray a real run for the money!

Just in time for the big festivities, Ching's Chinese New Year will be premiering February 10th at 5pm on the Cooking Channel offering up simple and tasty recipes, decoration ideas, and backstories on traditions all from beautiful Chinatown in San Francisco. Ching has the scoop on how to accomplish it all and since she is the pro, we had the chance to ask her all about it and then some.

See Also:
*Debi Mazar and Gabriele Corcos Are Extra Spicy on Their Cooking Channel Show Extra Virgin
*Geeta Bansal Interviews Albert Adria, Pastry Genius
*New Little Saigon Restaurant Serves Rolls And Only Rolls

OC Weekly (Ali Lerman): For those unaware, OK, I'm talking about me, how do the animals come into play with the Chinese calendar?

Ching He-Huang: Well in the Chinese calendar there are twelve animals in the year and they go around in a cycle. None of the animals have a bad meaning so if you are that animal, you take on the characteristics of it. They're all positive traits. Like if you are born in the year of the dragon it means you are powerful and strong, the tiger is one of the luckiest signs, and the rat is very clever and homely and so on. Also right now we are coming into the year of the snake and they have really charming features. They're really social, clever, quick, you know, just like the animal. They're all good things!

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