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Sundae in the Park

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    Ventura County, CA

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  1. So I'm lazy and pretty much have always cooked with at least some non-stick assistance in my pots and pans. I'm getting skeeved out by our burn rate through cheap non-stick pans, though, and am thinking of going big and getting the All-Clad 12-inch stainless frying pan, but am worried about learning to cooking on stainless (the sticking!!). Any tips, tricks, testimonials, or literature I should check out before taking the leap? Should I do it? What say ye?
  2. Sundae in the Park

    What Are Your Kids Eating Tonight?

    The big one had eggplant parm last night! The little did not, with projectile vengeance. The big was delighted that the dish counts as a vegetable and so gleefully requested it for breakfast this morning to get his daily veg allotment out of the way early.* I'll take it! *We know that mandating veg and fruit to earn treats is not ideal, but it's working for now with 95% less daily negotiating so the tactic has been completely sanity-saving. The Satter method of dividing food responsibility cut down the negotiating but had us genuinely worried about malnutrition for a bit, so we built on it by adding incentive (yup, married to an economist) for him to make better-for-our-peace-of-mind choices. Yes, he tried right away to earn extra treats by eating more servings of fruit and veg but we shut that down hard and now he sort of understands step functions. I don't include this longer-than-original-post aside because I think DR-ers would be mean, but to show how we are dealing with our our more rational picky kid in case someone else is having a similar issue. The little is still a processed food monster that isn't shy about throwing food or going hungry. Sigh. I welcome any and all ideas for that one.
  3. Sundae in the Park

    What Are Your Kids Eating Tonight?

    The baby knows how to make a quesadilla! Can't talk yet, but apparently can indicate through pointing, pantry burrowing, and yelling that he wants tortillas and cheese cooked on the stove. He ate most of it, too.
  4. This seemingly recent (I think? Why isn't anything dated anymore??!! The stalls seem quite up-to-date, though) round-up from The Infatuation of the best places to eat at GCM has a lot of great pictures that will make you hungry and want to explore. Plenty of places to hit when the Eggslut line is too daunting...
  5. Sundae in the Park

    LA Food Trucks

    I'm not a huge fan of the Grilled Cheese Truck, but I'm thrilled when I'm at a food truck event and they show up. As a perennial crowd favorite, they are GREAT at drawing off people into their line! I've tried it a few times (waiting in a LONG line each time), but, in the end, it's a rapidly cooling cheese sandwich that you're eating in a parking lot somewhere. Turns out, I like to enjoy my grilled cheese more slowly, in a cozier setting, preferably with something soupy to dip into. I've tried the cheesy mac, cheesy mac-n-rib, and nutella melts - all are luscious and decadent, and they do serve tater tots(♥️), but it's just as easy to make something similar or better at home for a fraction of the cost. Since I hate to be able to say that about my outside-the-home food, no longer let myself be seduced by their cheesy promises 😉
  6. Sundae in the Park

    Dinner - The Polyphonic Food Blog

    But how did the peppers taste? They sound adorable and perfect for the season. We had Costco food last night - Kirkland fish sticks made in the toaster oven, and pork tamales made in the steamer (they aren't as good as ktmoomau's look, but they do the job, especially when you bother to steam them), with guacamole that we actually made ourselves. Easy peasy.
  7. Haha, depending on the taste of the "spongy mass," that might actually be a benefit for us, since my kids are masters at picking out vegetables that are too loosely incorporated into meat. Looks like I'll cross my fingers that they are sampling them when we visit Costco but expect to buy a bag to try without going crazy. I have been making a lot of dumplings lately and could use a break here and there. Thanks for the feedback, all!
  8. Sundae in the Park

    Dinner - The Polyphonic Food Blog

    It's chicken week! Creamy chicken and wild rice soup for our batch meals, made on Saturday. Baked chicken tenders on Saturday night that were meh, dry, and under-marinated. Pan-fried chicken cutlets (same panko crust as the previous night) last night were MUCH better and served with mushroom-sherry sauce over pasta, sauteed asparagus, and plums.
  9. Has anyone tried the Ling Ling frozen potstickers? They are on warehouse sale this month and I just got a chest freezer so if these are good, I'll be stocking up. The ingredient list seems pretty short and pronounceable for a prepared food.
  10. Sundae in the Park

    Dinner - The Polyphonic Food Blog

    Saturday was a whole bunch of turkey meatballs with spaghetti. Last night we made lentil soup, grilled gochujang pork loin, Santa Maria-style grilled tri-tip, and two pans of roasted zucchini. Should have enough food for a day or two 😉
  11. Sundae in the Park

    Vancouver, BC

    We stayed at the Blue Horizon way back in 2008(!!) and loved its location. We had our engagement dinner at Joe Forte's on that same trip. It was clubby , nice, festive, and close-by, with wonderful service, and we expected it to be there in case we wanted to come back in the future. The food was good but not particularly memorable for Vancouver - I recall mostly very fresh fish and the warm atmosphere/service, but we expected that going in based on reviews so were happy with our visit and choice. Good to hear that it is still there and the experience sounds very much the same.
  12. We have a fairly large house, two toddlers, and two adults, and we don't spend enough at Costco to make back the executive membership cost with the cash back, so we have the basic (Gold) membership. I've heard that some of the best $ savers from membership is for pet food/supplies and booze, neither of which apply to us. Diapers can be cheap there when on sale, but overall, an Amazon subscription is cheaper for baby stuff, too. We keep our membership because we like their products and the rest of the family LOVES the trip itself for trying samples. My kids will eat anything while there, even if they turn up their noses at the same food brought home. We typically get meats, cheeses (Babybels, especially on sale, are a fantastic deal), paper goods (parchment paper, TP, and paper towels), pesto, mushrooms, oilve oil, and frozen prepared foods. We like the tamales, spinach ravioli, breaded shrimp, fruit, and the Cod fillets > the fish sticks (though those are pretty decent, too). The frozen perogies, when available (only by special vendor event) are great for prepared foods. We also buy a lot of higher-end snacks, like jerky, chocolate treats, dried fruits, nuts, candies, etc. and they are quite a bit cheaper in bulk and last...long enough to be eaten down. The boxes of chocolates or other treats can also make nice hostess/host gifts. If you use the brands of toiletries they sell, you can save a bit there as well - all our lotions (Aveeno, Cetaphil) come from there. The price for regular grocery store snacks (Cheez-Its, Ritz, granola bars, chips) doesn't seem to be better than buying on sale and then you can do so in smaller quantities for a greater variety. We also buy some random household items/dry goods/clothes there as well, depending on what's available/on special sale. They've set it up in treasure hunt style so you never quite know what will be there to find. Their return policy is still quite generous, even with the recent pullbacks. For food that you tried and don't end up liking, they will accept the remainder, no questions asked, and refund your $. For example, the big thing of cream that spoiled? Brought in the empty container (per their instructions) on my next trip and received my $ and an apology. We go about once a month to catch whatever is on special warehouse sale that month plus to stock up on our usuals. Now that we have a chest freezer we might be stepping up on the prepared foods, but I don't want to go crazy for sodium-watching reasons. Many of the items are available for online order and free delivery, so if things are particularly bulky I'll check there first and just have the things sent to my house.
  13. Sundae in the Park

    LA Food Trucks

    Eater has a nice retrospective checking in on various (relatively) famous LA food trucks.
  14. Sundae in the Park

    LA Food Trucks

    Eggslut has morphed into a hugely popular mini-chain with 4 LA-area locations, one in Vegas, and one in Beirut??!! It doesn't appear to have a truck anymore. Ludo has two locations; a stand in the Staples Center and a spot on Universal Citywalk. I miss their truck. BellyBombz has two storefronts; one in Artesia and one in Whittier. They still run a fleet of trucks but I always check and triple check that they're coming to an event, because I've been frequently disappointed by their last-minute cancellations (granted, they come up a long way to get to my county but sometimes they just never show up!!). I still try to get their boneless wings whenever they come up our way.
  15. Sundae in the Park

    LA Food Trucks

    Here's what we've had to say on the LA food truck scene in the past (from the original Dining in LA thread):