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Sundae in the Park

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    Ventura County, CA

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  1. It has taken my Big exactly 5 days of preschool to come to the same conclusion. His school includes hot lunch, so he is seeing and (sometimes) trying new/differently prepared things - yay! However, yesterday's lunch had green beans, which he found acceptable for the first time. I offered to make them at home and, "no thanks, the green beans at school are better than yours." (And yes, I can see how probably canned green beans are more palatable to a small person than the sauteed or stir-fried versions we have at home, but, conceptually? I just die a little. Also, I can pretty much guarantee that canned vegetables I open at home would be refused, but I am willing to test this.)
  2. I found Vox's recent treatise on the importance of various dietary fibers to be interesting and informative, particularly in light of certain approaches to low-carb diets, which they reference but mostly refrain from bashing generally. The newer (less woo-woo) research on gut health has been eye-opening and seems to be leading us back to a more old-fashioned, common sense approach to nutrition, where moderation and lots of whole foods, with emphasis on fiber-filled plant foods, promote overall health and wellness. It's really tempting and easy (and often very tasty) to concentrate on meats and fats to maintain blood sugar control, but alas, we are not simply blood-sugar machines. So this article was a great reminder that avocados, beans, nuts, seeds, yogurt, pickles, BROWN rice, mushrooms, and All of the Cruciferous and Leafy Veg, not just eggs, cheese, and bacon (duh but 😂) need to be the building blocks of my (YMMV!!!) healthier, lower-carb diet. One spot of good news on the fiber front - dark chocolate has some. Yay!
  3. Over the weekend, we made gochujang rice cakes with kale and ground turkey and "paratha burritos," which are curried ground beef, chopped tomatoes and cucumbers, and garlic yogurt sauce wrapped in parathas (bought frozen from Ranch 99). We'll probably make the paratha burritos again later this week since we still have all the ingredients. We also roasted up a tri-tip and a bunch of zucchinis and made a loaf of soda bread. Monday night I stir-fried some peppers, zucchini, and mushrooms with fajita-ish spices, made a pot of rice, and a big bowl of guacamole. Together with the leftover tri-tip and chopped tomatoes we've been having some rather excellent Mexican-style bowls for dinner/lunch. Yesterday we made a batch of cheesy tuna mac, roasted up a couple pans of asparagus, made a meaty tomato sauce to eat with spaghetti, and prepped a fruit salad of cantaloupe, honey mango, and blackberries.
  4. Thanks guys! Hopefully things will only get better now that we have a diagnosis and some help. I was genuinely and somewhat pleasantly surprised that he qualified for feeding OT since I'd convinced myself that we were dealing with a normal picky kid. Actually, ktmoomau, green sauce tastes pretty decent (ooooh, and it's best when you have bacon fat to add in, yum) and I eat it sometimes as well (and not just when I'm finishing up my kids' trashed leftovers). I started making baby food for my 1st because commercial baby food generally tastes bland/awful (and then the joke was on me when my 2nd refused to eat any mushy food). I didn't add much or any salt at first but I didn't see why the kids couldn't have otherwise flavorful foods, so I mostly cooked low-sodium versions of the foods we were eating or wouldn't mind eating. Now, despite their other forms of pickiness, spiciness and strong flavors are not usually the problem - they both LOVE gochujang-flavored everything and pretty much all curries. This is our fundamental Costco dilemma so I hear / tear out my hair with you...
  5. Hahahaha well I'm just glad y'all are enjoying the pics I posted for y'all. And I do think y'all should go and see/feel it all for yourselves if y'all can 😋
  6. I couldn't agree more and would have visited already if it weren't for my two car-averse kids who would lose their ever-loving minds if I made them sit in a car for 9 hours (best case scenario) over the weekend. So until they are more car-amenable (i.e., when they have the attention span to watch movies while we drive), road tripping is out for us and I'll have to "smell the wildflowers" via video.
  7. Oooooh, good reminder (and pic!), as we love Singapore noodles and have often thought we could try it at home. Not much cooking yesterday, as we went out to celebrate a birthday, but I did put up a few pans of roasted vegetables (zucchini and asparagus), made a skillet of sauteed zucchini with the extras that didn't fit on the sheet pans, and cut up carrot sticks and cantaloupe to have healthy stuff readily available in the fridge. Over the weekend we made a bazillion meatballs in sauce to eat with spaghetti, and have subsequently been eating meatball subs on bakery bread with gusto and glee. I also made what is probably the last batch of chicken/corn/egg soup for the season, as it is finally looking like the sun is here to stay. I've been eating down the kalua pork we've had for too long in the freezer for lunches, microwaved over rice, mashed with a hard-boiled egg, with some of my zucchini. It's actually a pretty good combination.
  8. If you can't get there, you can still enjoy the PRETTY!!! Current Anza-Borrego Desert Wildflowers Update Superbloom pics from the NTY from the 1st week of March USA today article w/ video and lots of pics
  9. Then you'll love this as well - with the prunes I also found a few cubes of old sweet potato and it turns out that both work quite well mixed into fruit smoothies (that is to say, undetectable both in color and taste). I think I'll be including sweet potatoes and possibly carrots in my smoothies from now on. Green vegetables are out for now because the Little usually has a Hatred of Green Things but maybe I'll sneak those in via very small quantities...the idea, of course is to get them to voluntarily eat all sorts of colorful fruits and vegetables eventually, but this will help things along nutritionally in the meantime. If my Big learns the phrase "a bread" I suspect we will never hear the end of it... Other than smoothies they have both been sporadically willing to eat cantaloupe this week (the Big ate some at school and asked for more, which I already had on hand, and then the Little copied his brother). It's a similar case with "green sauce" noodles. The Big has been eating "green sauce" his entire life - first as pureed vegetables when he was a baby and now as a pasta sauce, mixed in with a little pesto. It's usually broccoli, spinach, and peas, cooked in chicken broth with onions and garlic, an added fat (schmaltz or olive oil), soy sauce, a tich of cooking wine, and a bunch of pepper, all whizzed with the immersion blender, and I always have cubes of it ready to go in the freezer. The Little will now occasionally deign to eat some, especially if the noodle shape of the day is small and fun - his favorite is ditalini (tiny tubes). We've recently learned that the Little's food issues (mostly texture avoidance and joy in cheek stuffing and spitting) are officially worthy of occupational therapy (two separate opinions), which is a relief to hear - he is genuinely difficult to feed, it's not just our imaginations, and his size doesn't allow much leeway in letting him starve it out. Hopefully we'll make some progress under the OT's guidance!
  10. Unexpectedly passed by the Arcadia location today so had to stop and grab some beef rolls and dumplings. Since I was by myself I decided to order the fish (described as "sole fish") dumplings and another order of the lamb dumplings (my family doesn't favor either). I was excited to try the fish dumplings, as I have been every time I see fish dumplings on the menu (regardless of whether I actually order them, and this is definitely traceable to an order of pan-fried fish and cilantro dumplings I had @ China Bistro in Rockville back in 2014), but they were merely...fine. The filling was actually quite nice - gently mashed, loose and flavorful, with a scattering of scallions for oomph, and admittedly far from the spongy fish ball texture that I detest - but ultimately paling in comparison to the herby and succulent sliced fish filling of my memories. The lamb dumplings were great as usual, plump and juicy, and the many rolls I ordered to go were excellent and enjoyed by all who partook. Sigh, the hunt for truly excellent fish dumplings continues. I guess I could always fly back to DC... BTW, if you find yourself here and in need of cash, the 7-11 on the same block has the nearest ATM.
  11. Their fish dumplings have haunted me for five years and I live near flippin' LA! Granted I'm 1.5 hours from the San Gabriel Valley, aka both the self-proclaimed and possibly actual center of all Chinese food in this country, and I don't exactly order fish dumplings every time I'm in the area / they are on the menu, but the times I have ordered them it has always been a disappointment by comparison. The reason is very simple - none have them have been filled with sliced fish. While a ground / mashed / fish meatball filling makes a lot of sense and can even be quite good (as long as they aren't packed too tight), it's not even in the same ballpark as tender, mild, flaky fish. I'm not sure why fish dumplings have caught my imagination so - I actually prefer pork / pork and chive / beef / lamb dumplings - but maybe the fact that they are so unusual and I haven't had the like since...that's probably why I can't stop myself from trying them every so often, only to have my hopes dashed time and again. Anyway, this all is to say that y'all are lucky to have China Bistro, I wish them a long and prosperous restaurant life, and I hope to return someday. Eat some Lenten dumplings for me!!!
  12. I adore Chris Hemsworth as Thor (3>1>2) but Rush is an absolute must-see for any of his fans. His character is, ahem, even hotter than Thor (in both looks and attitude), a bit more layered, and allows the actor to show off some genuine chops. Also, the movie's storyline and acting quality is interesting enough to draw interest from racing-haters. I genuinely enjoyed it overall and not just for the scenery 😉
  13. OMG TrelayneNYC, all your food but especially that mushroom ragu!!! #foodgoals in the extreme! On the much simpler end of the cooking spectrum, on Tuesday I made: 4 pans of roasted asparagus, cauliflower, and zucchini chicken congee the Thai eggplant/pepper/basil dish that's super limey, which comes out much better than my black-bean sauce version guacamole white rice Earlier this week we'd made separate cheese, pepperoni (well, salume), and white sauce-mushroom pizzas, KBBQ-marinated sirloin steaks, a double batch of GF, peanut-butter cookies, and pesto chicken salad that we've been eating over greens all week. For eating the steak, my husband has been cooking up a few Costco panko-coated fried shrimp in the toaster oven in order to have surf-n-turf meals and has been very happy.
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