Fun Things to Do in the OC This Holiday Season

Orange County is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike who are interested in a variety of activities during the holiday season. The area is filled with fun and exciting things to do for people of all ages.

The Science of Gingerbread | Santa Ana | Nov. 23 – Jan. 6

One of the more popular events that runs through the holiday season until early January is the Science of Gingerbread at the Orange County Discovery Cube. It includes hands-on activities and cookie decorating for both children and adults. There are also a number of beautiful and impressive gingerbread houses on display.

A Christmas Carol | Costa Mesa | Nov. 24 – Dec. 24

Orange County is also home to a presentation of A Christmas Carol at the South Coast Repertory. This play is a Christmas classic that should be a big hit for the whole family. If you’re looking for another play, check out the Camino Real Playhouse on the weekends through the holiday season to see A Charlie Brown Christmas. The popular TV special comes to the stage on a double bill.

A Charlie Brown Christmas | San Juan Capistrano | Nov. 23 – Dec. 22

Charles Schulz’s beloved holiday television special comes to the stage on a double bill with “Archie Andrews Radio Preview before the show. Let your kids join Charlie Brown, Lucy, Snoopy, Linus  and the rest of the Peanuts gang as they save a tree and uncover the true meaning of Christmas.

Click here to learn how to sell your home this holiday season!

Snow Days with the Critters | Santa Ana | Dec. 15 – Dec. 16

This celebration features stations focusing on winter and snow. Your kids will enjoy watching animals receive icy treats, listening to festive tunes, looking at the winter decor, creating cool crafts and playing educational games and hearing delightful winter stories.

Winter Fest OC | Costa Mesa | Dec. 20 – Jan. 6

Families can also choose to go to the Winter Fest OC to take part in ice skating, tubing, playing in the snow, and cap off the night with a spectacular firework show. You can take your family to see Christmas lights and the tree lighting ceremony that takes place each night.

44th Annual Boat Parade of Lights | Dana Point | Dec. 7 – Dec. 15

Boat owners come out on the water to compete for a number of prizes and try to upstage each other with creative and entertaining Christmas decorations. The boats out on the water make for a spectacular photo opportunity and the entire evening is sure to be remembered.

Sherman Library and Gardens | Newport Beach | Dec. 14 – Dec. 22

Families looking for something more relaxing can head to the Sherman Library and Gardens for the Christmas light walk. Enjoy the colorful displays in the area, alongside some festive and creative Christmas decorations. The stroll is a peaceful way to take in some beautiful lights and makes for a good ending to a busy day.

Keep these in mind this holiday season if you are looking for some of the most popular and fun Christmas events in the Orange County area. With everything that is going on, there is something for anyone and everyone to enjoy.

Are you looking to buy or sell a home in the Orange County area this holiday season? Click here to contact Stacy and Nicole today!

Courtesy of Cuselleration

Top Brunch Destinations for Your Easter Sunday

Easter came late this year so there’s still time to find the perfect place to brunch on that Sunday with the family! Amongst the variety of amazing restaurants in Orange County there are a few that go the extra mile on Easter! We know it can be overwhelming trying to find the perfect place, so we have laid out a few options for you to choose from! Check out these great spots for good food, gorgeous views and a great time!

The Coliseum Bar and Grill at Pelican Hill

If you are an Orange County native, you know you can never go wrong with Pelican Hill. As if the breathtaking views of the serene coastal line and enormous infinity pool weren’t enough to send you over the edge, the food at The Coliseum is divine. The outdoor seating allows couples and families to look out over the bright green golf course and Pacific Ocean, and is the perfect place for a sunny Easter Sunday. The brunch is buffet style with all the classics like waffles, eggs and sausage as well as a few extra items! You can even lounge around all day after brunch and stay for the Easter dinner they serve. This restaurant fills up quick for lunch so make sure to call soon if you’re looking to make reservations!

The Ramos House Café

Nestled in the heart of San Juan Capistrano, The Ramos House Café can be the perfect place to take the family for Easter brunch if you’re looking for something more casual. This restaurant is down-to-earth and the outdoor seating has a warm feel to it. The price of brunch is $40 per person and from there you are able to choose between drinks and an assortment of southern takes on basic brunch items. Many of the crowd favorites are the Smoked Bacon Scramble w/ Wilted Rocket & Apple Fried Potatoes, as well as the Duck Confit Wild Mushroom Mac N’ Cheese. The Apple Cinnamon Beignets also pair great with a fresh mimosa!

Sapphire Laguna

Looking for a spot that’s a little more upscale? Head to Sapphire Laguna for a beautiful and sophisticated brunch with your Easter Sunday crew. The outdoor seating has great views of the ocean, and the bright orange umbrellas protect you from getting too warm. The Easter Sunday menu is a three course set menu priced at $65 per person. The first course, which is a Swiss Muesli Parfait with bananas, goji berries, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, local honey and toasted almonds, sets the tone for the decadent food that Chef Azmin Ghahreman whips up! Your mouth will be watering just looking at the menu.

Back Bay Bistro

Talk about an assortment of food… Back Bay Bistro in Newport Beach offers a variety of “stations” at their Easter brunch so no one can leave hungry! The different options include an omelet, pancake, smoked fish, seafood, crab cake, carving and dessert station! In addition to that, the brunch also offers a variety of foods from the grill. The Back Bay Bistro is a great place to take the family on Easter Sunday because not only to they offer a wide range of kid and adult foods, but they also offer a separate price for children and adults. To brunch until you’re stuffed at the Back Bay Bistro costs $79 for adults and $38 for children. There’s a few more bonuses… the all-inclusive price for adults also includes bottomless champagne and mimosas for the whole morning! The Easter Bunny is also set to make an appearance, so while the adults are enjoying the drinks, the kids are amused too! The Back Bay Bistro is a great place to check out for the ultimate Easter Sunday brunch.

The Phoenix Club

Want to try something different for Easter? Bring everyone to the Ostermarkt Easter Bazaar hosted by The Phoenix Club! Although it’s not your typical sit-down brunch, this festival will have German food, imported desserts, a German bakery, German beer live music and crafts! The Easter Bunny is also said to make a special appearance at this fun festival! There’s no cost to attend the festival and it lasts from 11 a.m to 4 p.m. If Bratwurst, potato pancakes and split pea soup sounds good for Easter Sunday then stop by the Ostermarkt Easter Bazaar!

Social

If the cocktails are a vital part of the perfect Easter brunch for your party of people, then Social in Costa Mesa is the place to go! Although it’s not a traditional, classy Easter brunch, it’s delicious and signature drinks are to die for! Brunch goers can choose from a wide range of menu items. The food ranges anywhere from something as light as market fruits to a hefty plate of chicken and waffles. The food is not where most eyes wander though when there’s such a fantastic menu of cocktails to browse! A crowd favorite at brunch is the “Magic Carpet Ride” which is a mix of vodka, Sauvignon Blanc, jasmine and grapefruit. The atmosphere inside is fun and intimate which is why Social is a popular destination for friend groups on an Easter Sunday! Take a look at their sinful menu of delicious food and drinks today!
Still having a tough time choosing where you want to brunch for Easter? Here’s a short checklist you can use to narrow down your options:

  • How far will you have to drive?
  • Do you want a view?
  • Do you care if there’s outdoor seating?
  • Is there a set menu?
  • Is it family-friendly?
  • How expensive is it per person?

Hopefully now you have the tools to book the perfect Easter Sunday! If you have any questions, contact Stacy & Nicole today!


Courtesy of Cuselleration

Photo Credit: Shutterstock/Yuganov Konstantin

Are You Ready For Some Football?

The one thing that makes you successful in life, no matter what it is you choose to do, is balance. Working hard is important, but relaxing and enjoying time with the people that you love is even more important. Sundays in our house during the fall are saved for church, football, food, food and more food!! Here’s how we do it ladies and gentlemen…..

Biscuits and Gravy Breakfast Casserole

Serves 8 (with the Grands Biscuits)

Ingredients:

– 12 ounces of buttermilk biscuit dough (we used Grands, which are slightly bigger)

– 6 eggs

– 1 (2 3/4 ounce) package peppered gravy mix (makes 2 cups)

– 1 lb sausage, any flavor

– 1 cup cheese, shredded

– 1/2 cup milk

– salt and pepper to taste

Cooking instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 13×9 pan

2. Brown the sausage in skillet and drain thoroughly.

3. Cut biscuit dough into 1″ pieces, and line the bottom of the pan.

4. Layer cooked sausage over the biscuit pieces,

5. Layer shredded cheese over sausage.

6. Whisk eggs and milk, add salt and pepper and pour over biscuit/layers.

7. Make gravy according to instructions, and pour over everything.

8. Bake for 30-45 minutes, or until eggs and biscuits are cooked through.

Seriously, I don’t know a single person on the planet that doesn’t love biscuits and gravy and if they say they don’t, they’re lying!

Stuffed Buffalo Chicken Bread

Ingredients:

– 1 large loaf French bread or 2 smaller loafs

– 8 oz. cream cheese, softened

– 1/3 cup sour cream

– 1/3 cup mayonnaise

– 1/4 – 1/2 cup Frank’s Original Hot Sauce (1/2 for quite spicy)

– 1 ½ tablespoons dry ranch dressing seasoning mix

– 1/2 teaspoon chili powder

– 1/2 teaspoon cumin

– 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

– 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

– 1/4 teaspoon onion powder

– salt and pepper to taste

– 1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles (up to 1/2 cup if you LOVE blue cheese)

– 1 cup freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese, separated

– 1 cup mozzarella cheese, separated

– 3 packed cups (about 1 ½ pounds) shredded chicken*

– Garnish (optional)

– 6-8 pieces cooked and crumbled bacon

– blue cheese (only if you love it)

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Slice about 2 inches deep through the top of the bread, and continue to cut a large rectangle, being careful not to cut through the bottom of the bread. Remove top of bread and hollow out middle to create a rectangular bread bowl. Set aside.

3. Whisk together cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise and hot sauce and all spices/seasonings until well combined.

4. Stir in blue cheese, 3/4 cup cheddar and 3/4 cup mozzarella followed by chicken.

5. Spoon Buffalo Chicken Dip into prepared French bread and top with remaining cheddar and mozzarella cheeses. Bake on a baking tray at 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes or until cheese is melted and slightly golden.

6. Let bread sit approximately 10 minutes to set and slightly cool then slice. Best served warm.

 This is an awesome and easy pull apart finger food, that my family loves! You’ve got to try it!!

Mississippi Pot Roast

Ingredients

– 1 (3-4 pounds) chuck roast

– 1 packet ranch dressing mix

– 1 packet au jus gravy mix

– ¼ cup butter

– 4-5 pepperoncini peppers

Instructions:

1. Place roast in the slow cooker and sprinkle the top with the ranch dressing mix and the au jus mix. Place peppers on top of the mixes, and add the butter.

2. Cook over low heat for 8 hours. Serve with noodles, rice or mashed potatoes. Enjoy!

Notes:

*Do not add any water or broth to this! It will make enough liquid as it cooks.
If your family loves meat and potatoes like mine, this is a MUST. You will never make a roast any other way again because your family won’t let you!! Serve it over mash potatoes or on sandwich rolls… it is AMAZING!!
Now…. I’ve got to go to lunch because I’m starving!! Oh, and if your kitchen is too small to cook all this stuff, give us a call, we’ll help you buy a new one!!! Enjoy my friends!!

Biscuits and Gravy Breakfast Casserole Recipe provided by: Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom

Stuffed Buffalo Chicken Bread Recipe provided by: Carlsbad Cravings

Mississippi Pot Roast Recipe provided by: Belle of the Kitchen


Photo Credit: Shutterstock/Rocketclips, Inc.