A Culinary Exploration of Cali-for-ni-a

Recently I was blessed to be able to travel to beautiful Anaheim, California to celebrate the milestone success of my special guy.

The trip was so excellent and so exclusive that I wasn’t able to take pictures during any of the corporate festivities. That means I don’t have anything to show for the food they lavished us with from the time of our arrival to the time we departed. So no photographs of the gourmet meals of filet mignon and grilled chicken. No quick pics of the Asian buffet, Mexican buffet, slider buffet, and sandwich buffet (with the best Orzo E-V-E-R). No visuals of the breakfast samplings so abundant and assorted they would rival any Cracker Barrel and Shoney’s combined (except they were gourmet). And no captured memories of the unlimited Mickey ears ice cream, cake pops, chocolate ganache dessert, churros and liquid elixirs of kiddie strength and much stronger.

Not to fret though, the beautiful Disneyland Hotel and ALL the nibblets of goodness around, and an hour and a half away in North Hollywood proved to be just the perfect sampling of food, food, food!

I won’t do it a disservice by trying to describe it all. Sometimes the pictures simply have to speak for themselves. I will say, the next time you’re in Anaheim for a trip to Disneyland, be sure to visit LaBrea Bakery in Downtown Disney for the crab cake sandwich, the fried chicken sandwich with crunchy slaw and a secret sauce, hibiscus lemonade and the perfectly prepared medium-plus burger oozing with juices and flavor.

When you’re adventurous do decide to hop in an Uber and travel all the way to Los Angeles in rush hour to realize why Oprah felt compelled to give Miss Robbie a show because the TJ’s Sweetie Pie’s fried chicken seasoned through and through, macaroni and cheese with abundant perfectly cinched cheese on top, collard greens choked full of meat, peach cobbler better than somebody’s southern Grandmama and lemony-sweet lemonade were enough to write home about. Or at least call and wake up your Mama like I did.  It truly was the BEST soul food this Bama bred girl has ever, ever had. Hands down. Sorry mama and all of my many matriarchs.

When you’re in the Disneyland don’t leave without the butteriest ear of corn you’ve ever had. And be certain to sprinkle visits to The Counter Custom Built Burgers in LAX and Uno Pizzeria Express in Chicago’s O’Hare airport (home of the planned layover to sample some pizza or Chi-town dogs) into your plans. And please, people, whatever you do, don’t ever leave the Happiest Place on Earth without enjoying the magic that is the Disneyland Hotel’s Mickey Mouse cookies, sans the milk for those of us intolerant:)

TJ's Sweetie Pie's.png

Sweetie Pies Fried Chicken, Greens, Macaroni and Cheese, Cornbread and Peach Cobbler.png

Custom Angus Burger from Counter Custom Built Burgers.png

Parmesean and Garlic Fries from Counter Custom Built Burgers.png

Grilled Chicken with Swiss and Mixed Greens from Counter Custom Built Burgers.png

Fried Chicken and Slaw with Secret Sauce at La Brea Bakery in Downtown Disney

Uno Pizzeria Pepperoni Personal Pizze.png

La Brea Bakery's Hibiscus Lemonade.png

Cookies and Milk from Mickey


There’s a Mouse in My House


Early one Monday morning (last week to be exact) I rose at “0: dark thirty” to head to work. Preparing to walk out of the house I turned on the kitchen light and was greeted by Mickey’s cousin. A petite little rodent ran across my path and almost scared the hebedejeezes out of me. I quickly turned on more lights, surveyed the property, looked for Mickey’s cousin and laid out a few traps left by my pest control agent last year to help catch a snake. Now, before I continue let me clarify. I live in the country (or at least it’s the country in my mind). Because I live where I live it is nothing unusual to have deer, foxes, ducks, lizards, geese, cranes, snakes, turtles and the likes around just as casually as my next door neighbors. However, I’ve never seen a mouse in my eight years of living there, and I’ve certainly not seen one inside of my house, which by the way, is clean (In other words… I’m Angie’s daughter and was taught how to clean like my life depended on it, which is why “ain’t no shame in my game” when it comes to posting this post which some might deem TMI..too much information.)

Anywho, since discovering my unfriendly friend and hearing the Orkin man say it may take as long as two weeks to catch him I decided to exit the premises and set up shop with my parents. Let me be honest and say that the thought of having to pack up a weeks worth of clothing and cosmetics each week was not a part of my plan, nor was it something I was looking forward to. I also was non-too pleased about the fact that Mickey’s cousin (and his cousins, as my sister is sure my mini-Mickey isn’t in this mission alone) and the $135 pest control bill I paid and am waiting on to work are the reasons for having to leave. If I were leaving home I would much prefer it to be because I’m traipsing off to some exotic location for sun-soaked respite. I enjoy being at home, and the older I’ve gotten the more I enjoy being at home alone. Not to be a sourpuss, I must say emphatically that I’m so very grateful to have two parents who would toss me the garage remote and welcome me with open arms. Boy, what an adventure this mini-vacay away from home has been . Home-cooked meals, chats over basketball and reality television, clothes washed and the occasional swishing of my mother’s house shoes across her hardwood floors as she rises at 5:30am to “make sure I’m up” have become my new norm in the last week…and counting.


Rather than stew in misery about the mouse in my house I started pondering, “Now, I wonder why on earth this would happen now”. The pest control specialist said the mouse likely came in my house through a pipe during a time we had days of torrential rain here in Birmingham. So I know his reasoning. What I didn’t know readily was why the Lord would allow such a seriously comical situation to take place knowing that in just a couple of months I will be moving to another location and no longer calling this house home. After asking the question the answer surfaced. My moving soon, starting a new chapter after a long, drawn out story (new blog post coming soon) is exactly why this happened now. Mickey’s cousin isn’t the culprit, no matter how much he makes my flesh crawl (or cross as some people say…LOL!). This seriously comical occasion is like a pruning stage and simply providing the foundation to get me mentally ready for the pending sale of my home, making my trek to the transition of what’s new and coming soon one that is smoother and more familiar before it even happens. Plus, I’m enjoying great times with my great family and having lots to laugh about with my friends who think I’m a wuss for fleeing in the first place. This mouse in my house is a blessing. That’s how I choose to look at it…at least until I get to look at him on that trap.

Not to be outdone by Mickey’s cousin, I want to be clear, in all my revelatory glory, that I want him O-U-T! There’s a song from my college years with a name and lyrics I shan’t mention, but with a beat so catchy it immediately came to mind when I thought about Mickey’s cousin. So, for those of you fresh on your 90s hip-hop (especially the songs we shouldn’t have been sweating our hair out to) see how long the nifty little tune to this flashback stays on your mind and when it does, as you clap to the beat think about Mickey and me… There’s a mouse in my house. There’s a mouse in my house. If you see him put him out.