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Sundae in the Park

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    Ventura County, CA

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  1. Sundae in the Park

    Dinner - The Polyphonic Food Blog

    Beans (red and pinto beans, done in a crock pot) and rice (done in a rice cooker), warmed-up Hawaiian pork rescued from the freezer, grilled corn cut off the cob, cucumbers, grape tomatoes sauteed until they popped, and purple cabbage peanut-sesame slaw made for some pretty awesome not-burrito bowls. More importantly, none of this prep made the kitchen hot and we'll have lots of leftovers. Unfortunately, baby ate only pork, big kid basically ate only rice. Sigh.
  2. This is a good writeup from Vox about the underlying industry particulars of the U.S.'s aggressive stance on this issue: The next frontier of Trump’s defense of baby formula. Apparently they are setting the stage to support promotion of the "growing-up milks" formula substitutes as well. As a counterpoint to the general outrage on this topic and with regards to the missed opportunities in adding nuance to the WHO's BFing recommendations, here is an essay from Slate illustrating the problem (and almost my exact experiences) with how promotion of BFing under the WHO's "Baby-friendly" guidelines is implemented, at least in the US: WHO’s Language on Breastfeeding Really Is Flawed.
  3. YES. This is why the WHO guidelines and support matter so much, particularly, in developing countries. Regardless of what you think about the quality of studies showing that breastfeeding makes kids smarter / better behaved or provides superior nutrition*, it is basically inarguable that breastfeeding is a substantially safer method of feeding in places with inadequate sanitation and literally saves lives. Then again, this administration hasn't shown much interest in helping people in or from developing nations so this stance is, sadly, par for the course. *I say this as a BFing mama on her second round feeding a year+ child that thinks the pressure to breastfeed in the U.S. has gone way overboard. Promotion of a feeding method and pressure to do so are not the same.
  4. Sundae in the Park

    Dinner - The Polyphonic Food Blog

    July 4th grill-out was Korean BBQ and Gochujang chicken thighs, corn, and tomatoes, with sauteed zucchini, roasted cauliflower, sliced cucumbers, watermelon, cherries, tater tots, and brownies. Yesterday we cooked a bunch of food to prepare for our end of the national heat wave and made beef-turkey meatballs, lots of pasta, guacamole, more roasted zucchini and cauliflower, and an apple spice cake (random, but I had some old apples to use up). We've been making a lot of "pink drink" for the kids, which is usually a medley of frozen berries and/or cherries, lemonade or OJ, and maple yogurt (this is key!). I threw in some frozen mango this time and it didn't change the flavor or color appreciably, but probably added some different nutrients. Very refreshing in the heat, and I think I'm going to try making this concoction into popsicles.
  5. THE HABIT BURGER GRILL SPICES UP FAN-FAVORITE WITH NEW SRIRACHA LIME SPICY GREEN BEANS This article has a picture of them. Don't know if you have them at your local Habit, but mine does!!!! And they are GOOD, especially if you like the crunchy, spicy, mayo-ey, ridiculousness of an over-topped sushi roll. They say it is a limited-time item but I hope it sticks around for a while.
  6. I had hoped they were talking about breakfast, which would be a reasonable change. I don't think they got quite the reaction they were hoping for.
  7. Sundae in the Park

    Dinner - The Polyphonic Food Blog

    We went to the Asian market!!! So this week we had 1) Shanghai noodles with shitakes, baby bok choy, and chicken, 2-3) gochujang noodles twice (one with long noodles and once with rice cake ovalettes, and the noodles are accompanied by more boy choi and ground pork), 4) pork and spinach potstickers, and 5) chicken and pork/vegetable steamed buns. On the side, we ate loads of honey mangoes (have to, when you buy a case and don't want any to go bad) and cake rolls from the store bakery.
  8. Sundae in the Park

    Dining at Airports

    This was a while ago but I was really disappointed by a visit to ink.sack at the LAX International terminal. Most of the sandwiches sounded ordinary and uninteresting, and the banh mi pork was sold out at 6 PM on a weekday. I got...something, but all I remember was that it was fine, small, and didn't feel it was worth the $$. 800 Degrees Pizza was slightly better. They do have a wood-fired oven and but I'm not sure they keep to VPN standards. My pie had a slight char to the underside and some decent floppiness, but the ingredients were just OK and didn't taste like anything exceptional. Still, this was pretty good airport fare, though it didn't make me want to try the other locations. Skewers by Morimoto in Terminal 5, however, was a pleasant surprise. Their ramen was quite decent (especially for an airport! though a little salty) and the ramen pork noodle bowl was downright delightful (no soup, but springy noodles, rich pork, and crunchy vegetable-ish bits). The American-looking rice and meat plates looked bland and boring, but I'd eat any of the ramen-based meals again. BTW, in case you think a trek from Terminal 5 to the International terminal (only 1 away! how far can it be? and the food is supposed to be so good!) will be quick, it's about a mile+ with all the weird turns you have to make, so plan accordingly.
  9. They have hot, fluffy buns coming out at midday as well! I wandered in when the Din Tai Fung line was too long for a quick stopover (still 20 mins @ 1:30 on a weekday, sigh) to grab some goodies and was delighted when the servers let me know that a fresh batch of pork / vegetable buns (slightly under-seasoned, without a ton of filling, but tasty with cloud-light bread when fresh) was just ready. I grabbed a bunch, as well as some of the best curry beef pastries I've ever had (nicely flaky pastry, lots of filling, and strong curry flavor), and a few cake rolls. Perfect treats and driving food to beat the afternoon traffic, and the remainder kept very well until I got home.
  10. Sundae in the Park

    Dining near Our Museums

    Eater had a nice feature last year pointing out some of the nicer places to eat near some of LA's most popular museums. Here are a few more ideas from Discover LA. Of these (that are not chains), I've only been to the Getty Museum restaurant. It's light-filled and beautiful, much like the rest of the museum, and the food is upscale American with worldly influences and priced to match the setting. I've only eaten there once and it was perfectly fine / nice, but for my fine dining $s, I prefer seeking out a more food-centric place. However, for meeting a group in a daytime fancy setting, it's hard to beat. Especially now with kiddos (not that we've been back since we had kids, but theoretically), I prefer to grab takeout from somewhere awesome close by and picnic on the lawn. As I've mentioned previously, the Exposition Park Museums (CA Science Center, Museum of Natural History, USC stadium) are just down the street from the Mercado la Paloma, which houses Chichen Itza and its newish sister restaurant Holbox (Mexican seafood), either of which are worthy as a food-destination in its own right. For Huntington Library, most ways to get there from LA proper go through the heart of the San Gabriel Valley, so I would grab whatever Chinese food most strikes your fancy before / after. Here are some ideas by town (with a map feature!) from The Infatuation.
  11. Sundae in the Park

    Dinner - The Polyphonic Food Blog

    We had a leftover pork loin so made up a gochujang sauce (the same marinade we'd used on the loin originally plus some sour cream) and smeared it on some bakery rolls. Added warmed-up slices of the loin plus some cucumbers and those sandwiches tasted GOOD. At least food truck-, if not restaurant-worthy.
  12. Sundae in the Park


    You guys did so well on your trip! Here's LA weekly's take on the restaurant, which has a freshly minted 2018 spot on their 99 Essentials list. Eater will make you hungry to visit with a very pretty video of the dishes back from when Otium opened in 2016.
  13. Sundae in the Park

    Trader Joe's, 16 Area Locations

    This is interesting: What Brands Are Actually Behind Trader Joe’s Snacks? Apparently Eater does investigative food journalism??!! It's from last year but I didn't see it linked here. Some speculation but they make a strong case for their thesis, with FOIA data and everything 😉 I saw a bunch of other articles on the same topic later that week, but they were all citing the Eater article. We've been eating a lot of their pizza dough lately (we always get all three kinds - white, wheat, and herb). High in sodium but otherwise so easy and delicious when you don't feel like prepping dough a day+ in advance. My store seems to have gotten rid of the non-organic petite frozen peas, which were a mainstay buy for years. Who does that??!! Oh, right, TJ's... 😞
  14. I think they changed the recipe or the cooking technique. The most recent couple bags haven't had any caramelized/burnt (in a good way) edges, the pieces have been thick, and the texture is now chewy. The flavor is still fine, if sweet, but it turns out I favored the texture much more. I checked a lot of the bags this weekend on offer and they all looked like chunks of dried char sui pork, which is fine if that's what you like but isn't what I'm looking for
  15. Sundae in the Park

    Dinner - The Polyphonic Food Blog

    Oooh, beauty! How did the baingan bharta taste? I've tried making it literally dozens of times but was never satisfied with the results (it never looked or tasted quite right). Would you mind sharing the recipe?