Archive | March, 2010

March 31, 2010

31 Mar

9:30 am

1 bowl of Frosted Flakes

1 pm

1 cup of ice cream topped with a Cadbury egg

1 glass of water

Cadbury Creme Eggs, by their inherent nature, are fucking awesome. It’s chocolate encasing two kinds of sugar in a festive egg shape. Actually, the inside is just sugar, with the center dyed yellow. But I like to think that it’s different, and I’m eating an aborted chocolate bunny, just like a real egg. In England, McDonald’s serves a Cadbury Creme Egg McFlurry. Holy. Crap. Why did we not steal this idea from the British? We didn’t have to throw away all shackles of British colonialism after the Revolutionary War. We could’ve at least kept Cadbury Creme Egg McFlurrys and topless page three girls.

If there’s one good thing about us Americans though, it’s our ability to innovate. We’re the frontier type. Doing my best Daniel Boone imitation, I decided to make my own Cadbury Creme egg McFlurry. In other words, I mashed an egg into a cup of vanilla ice cream and ate it. Was it good? MY GOD YES. The only crappy part was the sugar; it congeals when it’s cold so it stuck to my spoon like a lollipop. That still meant I had an Cadbury-creme-and-ice cream lollipop. As Lil Wayne once eloquently said, “He’s so sweet, so I let her lick the rapper. Shawty said l-l-lick like a lollipop.”

6:30 pm

10 frozen dumplings

1 glass of water

So the good people at Roland gave me a $350 Fissler pressure cooker to test out and write about on their website. So what’s the first thing I make with this thing? Frozen dumplings. That’s like taking a Ferrari out to the corner 7-11 for Fritos Red Hots and a six-pack of Miller High Life. Nevertheless, I cooked my $3 bag of dumplings in the pressure cooker. It took five minutes, as opposed to the 10-15 it would’ve taken boiling it. So I have about 5-10 minutes using this $350 contraption. Pretty cool. Nevertheless, I am planning on taking it for a real test drive soon with real food. Like Dinty Moore’s beef stew, perhaps?

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March 30, 2010

30 Mar

9 am

1 NuGo bar

1 pm

Gelson’s Market

orange chicken, steamed vegetables

1 bottle of grape Vitamin Water

6 pm

1 bag of turkey jerky

1 glass of orange juice

My favorite snack food, of all things, is jerky. I love it and will devour an entire bag with no facade of willpower stopping this voracious hunger. Nutritionally speaking, jerky is about as perfect as snack food can get; it’s all protein, has virtually no fat and is pretty low in calories. If you overlook the fact that there’s enough salt in one bag to abnormally enlarge your heart, then jerky is pretty good diet food.

I primarily ate jerky and drank Diet Coke on set when I worked as a camera assistant on several reality dating shows. The craft service guy learned to get an extra bag just for me. It wasn’t to do me any favors, he just wanted everyone else to get a chance to eat beef jerky as well. Since jerky is all protein and low fat, I’d lose 5-10 pounds on every show. Some people gain weight on set. They might expend 4,000 calories running around on set while consuming 5,000 calories of crew meals, craft service and after-hour drinks. It’s stressful work, and eating helps relieve stress. Jerky happened to be my stress reliever. I’d lose weight at work, then gorge and gain it all back in-between shows. I guess it’s true that everyone in Hollywood has an eating disorder of some sort. I don’t eat a lot of jerky anymore though. It cost about $6-$7 a bag, and that’s a lot for general snack food. The only reason why I ate so much in the first place was because it was free at work. I only bought this bag today because it was on sale for $4. But I couldn’t wait to get home, so I scarfed down the entire 3.25 oz. bag in my car and that ended up being my impromptu dinner. My heart just might explode in my chest because of it.

8:30 pm

4 Chips Ahoy cookies

1 glass of milk

March 29, 2010

29 Mar

10 am

1 scrambled egg tostada (leftover from Malo)

water

1 pm

handful of beef jerky

7 pm

egg salad sandwich on potato bread

2 glasses of kosher Coca-Cola

I’m not Jewish, but I still look forward to Passover for one slight reason. Now there’s no reason for me to attend a seder (though I did go last year) and I rarely craved matzah, kugel or gelfite fish. Instead, I get excited for kosher Coca-Cola. During Passover, kosher standards tend to tighten up. Among the casualties is corn syrup, so Coca-Cola rolls out kosher soda around Passover that uses real cane syrup instead. I can be a snob about sodas and strongly prefer sugar over corn syrup. Cane sugar has more depth, isn’t as sickeningly syrup-y and tastes a thousand time better than the corn syrup soda Coca-Cola introduced as “Classic” back in the 80’s after the New Coke fiasco. If you’re wondering, kosher Coke is exactly the same as the Mexican Coke that comes in glass bottles. The only difference is the 2-liter plastic packaging and the yellow cap with Hebrew written on top. Taste and ingredient-wise, they’re both the same. But only one has been blessed by a rabbi.

9:30 pm

7 hard cider samples

cheese and crackers

Everyone has interests and hobbies, but not everyone decides to try and turn that into a living. My friend Brook Bennett decided to give it and go and brew hard cider. I can’t fault a man for wanting to spend his life make alcoholic drinks, so of course I wish him the best. He has a name for his brand, “California Dry,” and even a brewer somewhere north of LA who makes batches of cider for him. Tonight, he had a tasting for three of his varieties. One of his three was well-liked and another had a lot of potential. In other words, he might actually make a living doing this. So you can now rank “making cider” above “blogging” as lucrative hobbies.

March 28, 2010

28 Mar

11 am

Malo’s

Pozole poached eggs

side of potatoes

iced coffee

chips and guacamole

I’ve been to Malo many times, mostly for $1 tacos and/or margaritas, but I’ve never gone for brunch. Seeing Malo in daylight, as opposed to it’s normal dark and crowded interior, gives it a drastically different feel. Nevertheless, sitting outside at the patio on a sunny Sunday morning is very comforting. Like their regular menu, brunch is Mexican food given a slight twist. Hence, my pozole, an ancient Mexican soup of hominy, meat (chicken in this case) and spices had two poached eggs swimming in it. Since I like to add egg yolk to everything, I was happy with it, though it actually didn’t go well with the pozole. My biggest complaint was the portion, it was pretty skimpy. My friends’ meals were all massive, so I seemed to have gotten the one item that didn’t skew that way. The ice coffee, on the other hand, was perfect for a warm, sunny, LA day.

2:30 pm

1 orange

6:30 pm

Galleria Market

hae doe bap

Galleria Market, a Korean supermarket in Northridge with a small food court attached, has a large banner that boasts $5.99 hae doe bap, or sashimi mixed with rice and chili pepper paste. That sale has been going on since September 2009 for what was supposed to be a “limited time.” One day, they will get wise to the fact that seven months does not constitute a limited time and end the discount. And when that day comes, I will stop getting takeout from their food court. Until then, I’ll stop by when it’s convenient. Conversely, keeping regular customers like me might be why that sale has been going on for seven months.

7:30 pm

1 snickerdoodle cookie

March 27, 2010

27 Mar

10 am

1 banana

1 glass of water

1 pm

Yogurtland

a big tub of yogurt

various fruit toppings

When it comes to frozen yogurt, I’m officially a convert to Yogurtland. It’s a lot cheaper than Pinkberry. I can also pile on as many different flavors as my imagination see fit. Yuzu, red velvet cake, pistachio and chocolate? Fit for a God! Speaking of using the lord’s name in vain, I try to build my yogurt and fruit toppings like the Tower of Babel, openly defying God’s conventions of gravity and ambition. No omnipotent being can tell me what not to put in my frozen yogurt! And of course, God smites my yogurt structure right before I place it on the scale and sends pineapple chunks spilling everywhere. That’s what I get for sacrilegious hubris.

7:15 pm

1 chocolate cupcake

lemonade

In honor of my rollerskating endeavors, here are five rollerskating songs:

Vaughan Mason & Crew “Bounce, Rock, Skate, Roll”

De La Soul “A Rollerskating Jam Named Saturdays”

Dire Straits “Skateaway”

Olivia Newton-John and Electric Light Orchestra “Xanadu”

And the one song I always associate with roller skating…

Bay City Rollers “Saturday Night”

9 pm

Colombo’s Italian Steakhouse

fried calamari

1 glass of house chardonnay

several pieces of complimentary garlic bread

Colombo’s is the type of clubby Italian restaurant where¬†Henry Hill might sneak his date through the kitchen. Booths are huge, the leather is red, the interior is heavy woods stained to dark colors and there’s live entertainment that drowns out conversations. If there was ever a restaurant for The Sopranos’ abrupt ending to continue, Colombo’s would be that place.. The menu is classically Italian-American with big steaks, heavy pastas, large plates of chicken piccatas and no real surprises. I wasn’t too hungry and limited myself to an order of fried calamari. The breading clumped together, but the calamari was cooked to a perfect consistency. My friend’s all ordered pasta, enjoyed their meals and had quite a bit of leftovers for the following day.

11 pm

1 screwdriver

3 cans of Bud Light and/or Tecate

4 pieces of Hershey’s Minature chocolates

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March 26, 2010

26 Mar

9 am

1 NuGo bar

water

2 pm

Crazy Rock n’ Sushi

edamame

Lunch Combination (1 spicy tuna roll, 5 piece assorted sushi, miso soup)

What can I say about this meal, except that it was easy on the wallet.

5 pm

Robek’s

1 straw-nana berry shake

7 pm

2 Manwich sandwiches

side of cole slaw

I hated sloppy joes as a kid. They were on the school lunch menu 2-3 times a week, and it was awful 2-3 times a week. School lunches, like prison and military food, weren’t designed to be tasty or nutritious. They’re supposed to be cheap and easily eaten. Watching Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution brought back horrifying flashbacks about my school lunches in the Chicago Public School system, which alternated between sloppy joe and a revolting beef stew they haphazardly called chop suey. As much as I loved junk food, sloppy joes and chop suey were too processed even for me.

As an adult though, I like sloppy joes. I can’t explain why exactly. It’s an easy meal, and it’s essentially meat and ketchup. My friend Abigail likes them, and she was the one who got me to rethink sloppy joes. A couple of years ago, I even threw a dinner party based on sloppy joes. It did not go over too well, unfortunately. I think if people separate themselves from the horrible food of their youth and prepare them with some care, then they might like it. I top my sandwiches with cheese and cole slaw, which adds a nice contrast. I also add cumin, chili peppers, unsweetened chocolate, garlic powder and a heavy dose of black pepper in the sloppy joe mix. In other words, I try to make it taste like chili. I could just make actual chili and serve it on buns. But it then wouldn’t be the sloppy joes that I barely ate as a kid. Even though I detested them then, I still like to hang on to some semblance of it now. So as an adult, I say bring on the Manwich! And as a rapper would say, no homo.

March 25, 2010

25 Mar

9 am

1 bowl of Cocoa Pebbles

1:30 pm

Wako Donkasu

1 pork tonkatsu

water

I realize I eat a LOT of tonkatsu. In terms of bang for the buck, Wako’s is a good deal. $10 ($8 at lunch) gets you a pretty hefty piece of pork, a side of shredded cabbage that always comes with tonkatsu for some reason, miso soup, a little bit of turnip kimchee and pickled jalapenos, and a bowl of rice. That’s a lot of food for $10. They also give you a mortar and pestle to grind sesame seeds while you wait for your food. The waitress then pours a sweet katsu sauce in there. It’s about as compelling as drawing with crayons on paper placemats, and it does satisfy whatever primordial instincts you might have while waiting for deep-fried pork. I grinded the shit out of the sesame seeds, just because I could.

7:30 pm

2 Manwich sandwiches

side of cole slaw

handful of Tostitos tortilla chips

2 Black and Tans

In answer to the question on my beer glass, I watch the 11 pm or 1 am Sportscenter, usually.

My former roommate and current Irishman Barry came over to watch college basketball and to do our fantasy baseball draft. He brought Harps and Guinness to make Black and Tans. Because of him, I now expect every Irishman to carry Harps and Guinnes for Black and Tans at anytime, quaff them down with the townsfolk, then get into drunken fisticuffs by a river clear. They showed “The Quiet Man” a lot on TV when I was growing. I’m from Chicago and this is my general impression of the Irish.

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