Ba Ren is one of my favorite chinese restaurants in San Diego. The restaurant specializes in Szechwan cuisine. Recently when trying to pick a place to eat, I realized it’s been well over a year since our last visit. Time to rectify that.

Szechwan cuisine often uses a lot of chili peppers and peppercorn. With the cold weather, Ba Ren is the perfect place to dine since the majority of the menu is made up of spicy dishes.  I like coming here when I have a large group of people because they have several large tables and the restaurant usually isn’t full.

At the front of the restaurant they serve house-made cold appetizers. You can get a plate of three as a starter for around $5. We got two plates since we had such a large group. I really enjoy the cold appetizers here. I’ve tasted almost all of them at some point and they are all well-made.

This plate consisted of marinated gizzard, seaweed salad and marinated bamboo shoots.

This plate consisted of spicy tripe, spicy pig ears, and cucumber salad.

A specialty of sichuan cuisine is spicy boiled beef.

Breakfast biscuit egg bacon sandwich in a cute, portable form. Preparation only takes about 10 minutes. This may be my favorite breakfast cup creation yet.

I’ve been wracking my brain to come up with another breakfast cup idea. I’ve loved all the variations I’ve tried: pancake bacon egg cup, bacon toast cup, bacon egg cup, cheese bacon egg cup.

I knew there were more variations I haven’t though of. Some great one I’ve been missing. Then the other day I saw my brother eating a biscuit breakfast sandwich. And suddenly I had my answer.

When I used to get breakfast at McDonald’s, my choice was always the sausage biscuit sandwich. This is a take on that sandwich, but with bacon instead of sausage, and in a convenient cup form.

Happy happy Friday! I’m super excited it’s Friday, are you? It’s December and time for another giveaway! This time there will be four winners. Four!

Recently, I was given an opportunity through Foodbuzz to give away Duncan Hines coupons for free products. I was given 2 coupons for free Duncan Hines products (up to a $3.99 value for each one), and then given 8 more to give to my readers. So I’m going to pick four lucky readers, each who will receive two coupons for free Duncan Hines products.

Even though I bake from scratch quite frequently, I like to keep a few boxes of cake mix on hand at all times in case of an emergency-no-time-to-bake-from-scratch type of scenario. I also like to keep them on hand to make cake mix cookies! I adore cake mix cookies. They have a homemade feel but without much work. What’s so  great about Duncan Hines is that they carry red velvet cake mix, which I haven’t found with the other big cake mix brand companies.

I’ve made all sorts of cake mix cookies, but in December, I love making some festive red velvet cake mix cookies. The cookies pictured are ones I made last year. I plan on making them again soon. The cookies have a crispy exterior and fudgy interior. Yum.