It’s been awhile since I did a giveaway, so I have a couple of fun ones lined up, including this one for some new yummy candy.

With my sweet tooth, I’m always trying to find ways to feel less guilty about snacking on candy, so when I was given a chance to sample a new line of caramel and fruit chews that contain no artificial flavors, colors or high fructose corn syrup, I definitely wanted to give them a try.

The Lovely Candy Company is a fairly new business that has come out with a line of caramel and fruit chews. There are three varieties currently available: Original Chewy Caramels, Chocolate Swirl Caramels and Superfruit Chews (cranberry, raspberry and blueberry). The chews are available at Target and select retail grocery stores. You can find the whole list here.

I really enjoyed trying out these candies. You can definitely taste the natural ingredients. They aren’t as sweet as typical candy either. When I usually eat candy, I get a big sugar rush and a sudden urge to snack and eat even more. But I didn’t really feel that way with these. They were pleasant and enjoyable, but not too sweet.

One of my favorite dishes to order at a Thai restaurant is the pineapple fried rice. I don’t know what I love most about it: the presentation, the use of cashew nuts, or the sauces that flavor the rice.

I’ve been wanting to make Thai-style pineapple fried rice for the longest time. Every time I see pineapples on sale, I’ll buy one with the intention of making the rice dish. And then I get lazy and the pineapple becomes really ripe, and we just end up cutting the pineapple and eating it.

But I finally did it. I made it. And it was quite easy. It makes me think that the restaurants charge far too much for it.

Romesco became one of the hottest restaurants last year. It was chosen by San Diego Magazine for Best Mexican and Chef Javier Plascencia was named Chef of the Year by Eater San Diego.

Romesco is one of a several of restaurants owned by Javier Plascencia and his family. The majority of the other eateries are in Tijuana, including the famed Caesar’s Restaurant (home of the original Caesar Salad).

Romesco has generated much buzz for their tapas menu, which features more than 40 items. I was invited last month to visit the restaurant. We left our meal choices up to the server.

Tamarind Martini

First up was a round of tamarind martinis. We absolutely loved these. The sweet and sour drink tasted like an adult version of sour straws candy.  It was light and mellow and very fun to drink. The rim was lined with salt and sour sugar crystals. I spent much of the evening analyzing the drink so I can recreate it for a party.

Orejas De Mar

Tender pieces of abalone were garnished in a mild chimichirri habenero sauce. I enjoyed the hint of spice and the crunch of the tostadas.

Roadside Ahi Tuna Tostada

This bite packed a powerful punch. The tuna tasted quite fresh.