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Sundae in the Park

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    Ventura County, CA
  1. Pretty good discussion about why Halo Top and its competitors are storming the nation's ice cream shelves in Slate. Still don't care for the stuff but I think the this article hits the nail on the head why - I would love to guiltlessly eat a whole pint of ice cream several times a week, but would prefer to eat smaller quantities of better-tasting/higher quality/more real food products. Apparently that is NOT the norm and the market is responding accordingly.
  2. Jeni's Ice Cream

    How do we not have a Jeni's thread yet? My OH friends are NUTS about this stuff and it really does seem to be storming the nation. I can even get it out here in CA at certain stores. If you must have it you can order online and they deliver. I once attended a Columbus-area wedding that had a Jeni's ice cream bar instead of cake and it was, indeed, splendid.
  3. They are quite addictive but very salty, so after the first gorge as astrid notes below, they should last a while. They are terrific as a chip-like, carb-free, savory snack. Yes, exactly about the Golden Island jerky! It always makes me think of the Chinese pork jerky I ate while in Macau, but is actually superior. And, you know, available here.
  4. Do the East Coast stores stock Golden Island jerky? Ours has it, usually in the 2nd row of snacks near the front. We're big fans of the KBBQ-flavored pork jerky. It's a bit sweet for my taste but otherwise just about my Platonic ideal of jerky in taste and texture (thin pieces, easily pulled into long strips, moist but not wet and dry enough to have a nice, firm, chewy bite). Their beef jerky is just OK (much tougher and the flavor is nothing special) - it's really the pork version that shines. A couple other snacky products we usually buy now (always if they are on sale) are the Parmesan Whisps (crunchy parmesan-only baked discs, sized for snacking or topping pretty much anything) and the almond Barkthins (dark chocolate almond bark, broken into fairly thin pieces). Both are also found in the snacking section.
  5. For all you Chris Bianco fans, here's an interesting article from the LA Times talking about his new LA project and book. As one of the folks who has made the Pizzeria Bianco pilgrimage, I'm super excited about the anticipated opening of a location in the ROW DTLA, a developing high-end, mixed-use area next to the Arts District. Excited enough, probably, to make the trip down with two kids under 3 (yeah, that excited)!
  6. Grand Central Market gets a lot of discussion on Slate about the fancification of food halls: Artisanal Tacos on Paper Plates. I still haven't been, but it's been on my list of to-dos since I moved here (trouble is that I'm only ever downtown for work, and don't have time then to play!). Friends have enjoyed the pupusas and the offerings at Sticky Rice and there is a McConnells (out of Santa Barbara) stand as well!
  7. I make more, and more delicious food. I'm on a low-carb diet at the moment that my family doesn't need to share. Typically, I'll add a veg-heavy side or two that I know I'll like that my guys may or may not like (last night's meal: steak, mushrooms, and potatoes for all of us; spinach and cabbage mostly for me, though the guys ate a little. Also, the cabbage turned out surprisingly tasty so it was easier to eat more!). I cook in large batches so the food lasts for a few days and I'll have lots of options in rotation in the fridge for odd snacks or to take for lunch. But the food has to be good enough that I want to eat it (this is especially key for getting good lunches in), otherwise the system all falls apart and I waste time, $, and food So I'd say now is a splurge time for you in terms of ingredients you love/crave and go to town. It is definitely a bit more effort but I find it worthwhile. Oh, and while it is still cool, keeping a big pot (or frozen portions) of a low(er)-cal soup around (veg and/or bean-heavy) makes it really easy to add a course, just for you if need be, to every meal that will help you sneak in more fiber/nutrients and fill up. Finally, whatever it is, put an egg (or 2, or...) on it Adds a delicious (well, as long as you like eggs) healthy protein, is cheap, and takes very little time to cook. To stay on the original topic, I have a few friends who have had a lot of success with intermittent fasting and are able to maintain the diet and their losses, though the fasting intervals go way down in maintenance mode unless they need a reboot. Finding delicious low or no-cal beverages (really complex and/or fruity teas, it seems) seems to be key.
  8. Dinner - The Polyphonic Food Blog

    Tonight: Steak with creamed spinach, curried cabbage, potatoes fried in bacon fat, and sauteed mushrooms Earlier this week: Pesto chicken; grilled sausages, peppers, and zucchini; quesadillas; and beef stew
  9. LA Weekly Restaurant Lists

    Aw, thanks. Besha Rodell is LA Weekly's food critic who came in 2012 as the heir to Jonathan Gold. She's got a few Beard nominations under her belt plus a win in 2014. A lot of the writeups seem to come from her, and the rest come from other staff members..."This year I was helped by our Food Editor Katherine Spiers, our Managing Editor Drew Tewksbury, our contributor Garrett Snyder and our Editor-in-Chief Mara Shalhoup. As always, our food photographer Anne Fishbein has provided beautiful art to illustrate the issue." I've been reading this list since about 2011, slightly before I moved here and I've noticed that some of the reviews for long-standing listees don't get updated every year. That is not to say this is wrong, because the focus of the list is the "essential" nature of the restaurant to the Greater LA food scene/specific neighborhood/cuisine. So the essential nature of the spot is less likely to change from year to year. Though it is nice to see a refreshed review or mini review! I don't know about their methodology, but I can say that, while the places I have tried haven't always been "the best of" they are almost always worth visiting for the item or reason highlighted and just generally good places to check out. Many experiences have been quite outstanding. I don't actually get down to LA all that often so I'm appreciative of this list as a resource that allows me to spend my dining capital wisely. I particularly like it in terms of seeing LA through a tourist's eyes - the "essential" nature of the list means that the listees aren't necessarily the newest, hottest, or even best, but might be the originator or proudest standard bearer of some local and/or cultural tradition, which YMMV but is something I'm seeking out when I visit.
  10. The 2017 edition of LA Weekly's 99 Essential Restaurants has dropped! This year they also have inaugurated a Freshman 15 list of newcomers to watch. In the past I've found their lists to be interesting and the majority of recommended restaurants I've tried have been worth the visit for the reasons described. For the 99 List, I especially appreciate their mapping and sorting-by-neighborhood features.
  11. Butter

    I found this tidbit about the prohibition of Irish butter sales in WI to be interesting. Poor Wisconsonites, no Kerrygold for you! Hope their lawsuit works out!
  12. Well, the story has been picked up by the LA Times and the WaPo, so I'd say that it's making the rounds nationally. A quick skim of the comments on both articles are…interesting and disheartening…per usual folks don't seem to be reading the articles before spewing strong opinions. So far the whole stew seems to have been set off by the waiter-with-border-control-delusional-fantasies without support from management/corporate culture, but it is odd that the restaurant's response and apologies have been, for the most part, scrubbed from social media. Their Yelp page is under active management for trolling reviews and the owner does have a response to a question about the incident in the questions section.
  13. Heh, note that not all Southern California deserts are created equal, conditions in Death Valley were not optimal for creating a superbloom this year, and folks trekking there for flowers have been disappointed. If looking for this year's superbloom, see the thread on Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.
  14. Another year, another Superbloom! Hooray for a wet winter Flowers came up about a week ago and will last a few more weeks in a "rolling bloom" if anyone is interested... Anza-Borrego Desert State Park California Deserts In 'Super Bloom' Thanks To A Wet Winter Anza-Borrego Desert Wildflowers Update NYT video of flowers Pretty flower pics to brighten your day courtesy of the Orange County Register
  15. Breakfast

    We've been making for the past few weeks a cinnamon-raisin french toast bake (that I don't get to partake in at the moment ), which is a nice option for making several days' worth of breakfasts in one easy go. Basically we layer (standing up or at an angle) half-slices of cinnamon bread in a casserole dish, pour over a bunch of beaten eggs and heavy whipping cream, and sprinkle the whole mess with cinnamon, brown sugar, and other warming spices/vanilla as the mood hits. Leave in the fridge overnight to soak in and bake in the morning until appropriately toasty (it smells divine!!!). It is obviously NOT a light breakfast but keeps well (we rewarm in a toaster oven) and has been universally beloved by all that try it.