Hi all! As promised earlier this week, I am back with the highlights of our Annual Santana Row Christmas Tree Lighting extravaganza. Our tradition started over 5 years ago after this Barefoot Contessa Sighting. Every year since, my friends and I head down to Santana Row for shopping, the Elf on the Shelf Scavenger Hunt and some serious eats.
My disclaimer on this post and day is Smartpoints do not count – I focus on enjoying every bite slowly and stopping when I’m full. The goal is to taste everything then walk it all off in one day! Because…you know that’s exactly how it works lol.
Before heading out, I had a simple 2 egg scramble, persimmon and pomegranate seeds.We totally plan our day so we get to eat both lunch and dinner at two of our favorite places.
First up – Hunan Taste. Our absolute must order is this meat pie. Layers of homemade green onion tortillas topped with spicy pork, crisp lettuce and spicy peanut dip.My personal favorite – homemade pork & veggie potstickers made with a thick wrapper topped in a spicy soy.The rest, we pick based on seeing what others order or what sounds good.
Basil Chicken – not like the Thai version – this dish was do spicy it makes your nose run.To balance that out, we ordered the prawns and asparagus in black bean sauce. This was hands down my favorite dish of the day. I loved all the garlic, gingery goodness that paired so well with the black bean sauce and rice.One of my friends wanted something sweet to go with the salty, spicy goodness above so we ordered this Lemon Chicken. It’s not fried but perfectly seared all around.After lunch, we headed over yo Santana Row to walk it all off and shop.But first – coffee and treat. I love the saying on their cup.We shared a strawberry ice cream macaroon. So freakin’ amazing! I’m not sure I can have just a regular macaroon again.I checked out the purses finding one I didn’t want….so funny.?Then, I found this super cute Kate Spade purse. I totally want it and think I may have to go back to get it.We also spent about an hour in Sur La Tab before checking out the other stores and finding Elves. I bought a few Christmas gifts and books along the way.
I also want these mini Le Creuset pans – perfect portion control.My completed Elf on the Shelf Scavenger Hunt form. The kids get super cute toys and adults get entered into a drawing to win a $250 gift card. I had so much fun finding the Elves – this one at Crate & Barrel might’ve been the hardest to find. I also dig that so many of the stores get into the spirit serving hot cocoa, wines, cookies, etc.They go all out decking the row.
The entertainment begins around 5 pm with all sorts of entertainers from bands (love their suits!)To Christmas Carolers To interesting entertainers like this Bright Angel on Stilts.After checking out the dancers, crafts, holiday flower planting and bands, we headed for some wine and dinner Al fresco at Pizza Antica.We started with the “fried” Brussels Sprouts topped with lemon Chile flakes and parmesan. I am pretty sure I could’ve eaten this entire dish. The crispy leaves melt in your mouth as you get a little tang, salt and spice.Burrata!!! (Burrata = creamy mozzarella that spreads) topped with brandied figs and lemon arugula.Kale Salad topped with golden raisins, pine nuts, parmesan and lemon vinaigrette.This Brussels Sprouts salad is the reason we come here every year.
Brussels Sprouts, caramelized onions, bacon, egg, croutons all in a herb vinaigrette that makes this taste like Thanksgiving.We come for the pizza too. Homemade sausage, caramelized onions, portabella mushrooms plus red sauce…this is a small.
The Manager bought us desserts so how do you say no?!
Chocolate Budino with sea salted caramel and almond biscotti.My personal favorite was this Chocolate Hazelnut Semi Freddo… translation Nutella Ice Cream topped with Nutella. It was so smooth, creamy and velvety.It was such a fun day but I have to say, my stomach couldn’t handle all the richness. Just a good reminder of how healthy I’ve been eating and to stay the course 😀
Have a fantastic Friday all! Check back tomorrow for my list if Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes and ideas.