Hi all! Can I just say I feel so lucky to have great life long friends?! Yesterday we kept the tradition going with our Elf on the Shelf Scavenger Hunt and Christmas Tree Lighting on Santana Row. This tradition actually started when another friend took me for the first time to Santana Row. This brought 4 of us back for a cookbook signing that just happened to be on the same day as the Christmas Tree Lighting. We all fell in love with Santana Row and 3 of us made it our annual tradition to go find the little elves, devour delicious food, listen to carolers, see the singing/dance shows, lights, shop and gab the day away. I truly love it and look forward to it every year!
Disclaimer: This is one event that I don’t stress on the points but focus on tasting everything and stopping when I am satisfied. It also helps sharing everything with 2 other people.
Before heading out, I whipped up a 2 egg chicken apple sausage scramble with 1/2 an orange.Our first stop is always at Hunan Taste for these Meat pies. They have layers of taco meat, crispy lettuce in between these crispy chive pancakes. They give you a homemade peanut sauce and sweet hot sauce as toppers.
This is my favorite thing and I always make room for 2 wedges.We then pick 3 new dishes to try with a goal to get through everything on the menu eventually lol. I had a 1/2 cup each with a little steamed rice.
Spicy Kung Pao Chicken – I put the sweet hot sauce in this too.Spare Ribs in black bean sauce – I love their black bean sauce best on shrimp.Plus broccoli beef.After lunch we did a little shoe shopping and stopped at Cost Plus before heading over to shop at Santana Row.
My favorite stop that I bought a few things at with 20% off my entire purchase!We stopped for coffee and shared two mini cakes at Cocola Cafe.
I had 1/4 of the cappuccino cake and 1/3 of the strawberry shortcake that had a marzapan layer – so flipping good with my Americano.This totally fueled us for the scavenger hunt. It’s so fun as the stores get really into hiding the elves and spreading holiday cheer with free samples, drinks, etc. It doesn’t hurt you win a cute prize for collecting all your stamps.
This is last year’s card as I somehow missed taking a picture of this year’s lol.This years light theme included all these animals throughout. We also met Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Hello Kitty, stilt walking angels and a Power Ranger (I think).We break for wine (Mount Verdeer Cabernet) and dinner at Pizza Antica before the big tree is lit.I can totally admit that it is this brussel sprout salad that draws me in every time.
Bacon + caramelizes onions, fresh herby thyme, homemade croutons, egg, parmesan….need I say more?!
I have 1/3 of it and always think about trading my pizza slice for more 😀I resist and have 2 slices of this homemade sausage, mushroom and caramelized onion pizza. So light, crunchy, doughy, good.The grand finale was this dark chocolate olive oil cake with vanilla bean gelato. It was crispy like brownie edges but moist like a cake. I had 2 bites and pondered eating all the gelato.Such a fun friend filled day – it totally makes it worth being tired the next day.