Tag Archives: USC

Jan. 12, 2010

12 Jan

11:15 am

1/2 box of Kraft white cheddar macaroni n’ cheese

1 can of Diet Coke

I actually don’t mind Kraft’s macaroni n’ cheese. Yes, the powder is violently orange (not in this case, it’s white cheddar) and the cheese powder is probably 20% sawdust. But out of all the instant mac n’ cheese on supermarket shelves, Kraft is one of the better ones, with some tanginess that could be mistaken for cheese flavors. I sometimes crave the orange, goo-ey mac n’ cheese typical of boxed varieties over the homemade casserole kind. Sometimes, I’ll make it from scratch and make my own cheese sauce. The secret to keeping the cheese sauce velvety is condensed milk. One day, I’ll make it, take pictures and write out the recipe. For now, I just have this one humble bowl of Kraft’s white cheddar mac n’ cheese to show you.

2 pm

Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf

1 medium vanilla ice blended

6 pm

curry rice

1 can of Diet Coke

Instant curry rice! A tell-tale sign that I’m a bachelor, and Asian. You see the meat in the picture? It doesn’t come in the sauce pack. I’m supposed to add it myself. Fuck. That. The point of instant food is not cooking outside of microwaving or boiling water (I also used microwaveable instant rice). That picture is unreasonably ambitious.

BTW, this post revealed that 70% of all food bloggers are Asian. Interesting. Me writing this food blog is really no different than owning a Honda Civic. I should add a spoiler to this site, turn it into a complete rice rocket. Consider that picture of Ottogi instant curry the food-blog equivalent of a spoiler and ground effects.

9:30 pm

1/2 pint of Ben N’ Jerry’s Phish food

I would’ve eaten the entire pint if I hadn’t seen the nutritional information. A quarter pint is 57% of your daily fat intake. Jesus Christ! I read this article stating that serving sizes are often inaccurate. It’s in fact, usually worse. Fuck. Me. Why do they serve ice cream in pints? It’s just small enough to polish off in one sitting, but too large for it to be reasonable for any human being. In my freshman year at USC, when the idea of stealing football coaches from Tennessee was only a pipe dream, they opened up the cafeteria until 11 p.m. and sold fried food and pints of Ben n’ Jerry. Since I no longer had parents to tell me what to eat, I ate either chicken nuggets or a pint of ice cream every night. Needless to say, I gained the freshman-15 (x3) in only two months and lost some good opportunities to get laid because I was a newfound fat ass who’s clothes didn’t fit him properly. When I went home for the holidays, my brother saw me sleeping and said, quote unquote, “holy crap, you look like a beached whale.” That’s why the Simpsons episode where Homer wears a muumuu resonates with me. I too have once felt the pain of struggling to get off a couch and using a broom to type (blogging was a lot harder back then). Anyway, pints are evil and dangerous. If you’re reading this as a college student, don’t do as I did and eat the whole thing. It’ll ruin your formative years for getting laid with hot college girls.

Speaking of hot girls at college, and USC in particular, I’d like to extend a warm Trojan welcome to Layla Kiffin.

On a serious note:

Tuesday’s 7.0 earthquake at Haiti caused a devastating impact on lives there. Here are four organizations that are accepting donations for relief:

The American Red Cross’ International Relief Fund

UNICEF’s Haiti Earthquake Fund

– Wyclef Jean’s Yele Haiti

Operation USA

Dec. 21, 2009

21 Dec

9 am

1 banana

1/2 cup milk

12:15 pm

Mo-chica

ceviche

1/2 arroz con mariscos

1/2 quinotto

1 glass mayurca (passionfruit juice)

1 glass water

Every time I go back to my alma mater’s campus, USC, I’m filled with blinding jealousy over some of the perks I didn’t get to enjoy. Where I stayed in cramp, decades-old dorms, there are now gleaming condo-like lofts surrounding the campus. While I spent hours editing in cramped, dingy bays, the film school now has a $150 million monolith as big as a battleship with names like “Spielberg,” “Lucas” and “Zemeckis” towering over the gateway. It’s a monument to brazen talent and money that Ayn Rand would’ve loved. I especially envy the food options. Chano’s, a dingy, late-night burrito stand, was my favorite eatery around campus at the time. Now there are Chipotle’s, microbrews, a wine bar, and across the 110 freeway, Mercado La Paloma, a Mexican mini-mall with a handful of stalls selling trinkets, crafts, dresses and food. The venerable Yucatan eatery Chichen Itza anchors one end while the other is inhabited by Mo-chica, a modest Peruvian food stand that belies an accomplished chef trained at various sushi restaurants.

It seems like every other restaurant has ceviche, tartare, sushi, sashimi, crudo and every other type of raw fish dishes, and I’ve watched many Top Chef contestants pump them out to save themselves. It’s relatively easy to prepare and easy to sell, but few are memorable. Mo-chica’s ceviche is the type you’ll remember. Sashimi-grade fish is sliced into medallions and marinated in a citrus and pepper sauce that’s a spicy slap in the face. The fish is only “seared” on the outside though. The inside is still raw, and that’s where you notice the chef’s trained skill at picking out high-quality fish. The tartness is strong but not overpowering and the peppers have a curry-like essence and gives you another flavor to contemplate. There’s boiled sweet potatoes to temper the punch, and bland ears of corn, both in hominy and puffed form for textural differences. The ceviche changes every day, depending on what’s available at the fish market. The one I had was sea bass. That’s a powerful incentive to frequent Mo-chica.

The arroz con mariscos provided the one misstep in the meal; the rice was gummy. But the flavors were still excellent, and there was a generous amount of mussels, clams and a pair of jumbo shell-on shrimps. It was our other main course that beguiled us. “Quinotto” isn’t really Peruvian. It’s a quinoa-and-mushroom dish that looks and feels like cream of wheat. Despite it’s humble look and demeanor, the flavors are deep, earthy and satisfying. It’s like a really creamy risotto, still toothsome from the quinoa grains but not gummy like rice tends to get. My friend Robyn took one bite and said, “Oh wow, that’s good.” I couldn’t argue.

6:30 pm

ham sandwich on wheat with mayo

8 asparagus spears

1 can of Diet Coke

7 pm

4 Oreo cookies

1 cup milk

9:30 pm

1 cup Breyer’s reduced-fat chocolate ice cream


Dec. 5, 2009

5 Dec

11 am

Wendy’s

1 small Frosty

1 small Diet Coke

The Frosty is what happens when you don’t eat breakfast and you’re running really late to a tailgating party. My friend Ryan wanted to make a detour during our long walk to the site and that ended up being a good idea. It seems that I sometimes get “east” and “west” mixed up and I sometimes get a bit too stubborn about admitting that I’m wrong about directions, so it took two hours or so for us to find the tailgate location. This also came into play when I accidentally led my friends around the entire LA Coliseum to get to our seats when our tailgate location was right outside the proper gate. Hey, at least I get us there. So stop bitching.

12:20

4 carne asada tacos

2-3 spoons of potato salad

3 Newcastle beers

1 can of Coke Zero

1 mini chocolate Hostess Donette

The giant platter of carne asada is courtesy of my former cohorts at the Daily Trojan, who organized a reunion at the USC-Arizona game. Reunions are interesting. You see people for the first time in years, and their main memories of you are the stupid shit you did as a 20-year-old. You can be a VP at a large company or a hot-shot blogger who once worked for E!, and they’ll always look at you as the guy who puked and pissed himself at the same time right after a keg stand. Why can’t you people see me for the man I am now?! Honestly, I wrote at the Daily Trojan a year after most of the alums there, so I didn’t know them too well. But thanks to the magic of Facebook, I could see when they had babies or took vacations or couldn’t wait for the workday to end. And we had the shared experience of spending many late hours working on newspapers that half the student population used as makeshift paper towels.

I got a Daily Trojan flashback a couple days beforehand from this profile in the LA Weekly on “Up In the Air” director Jason Reitman. Scott Foundas was my film editor when I edited the Entertainment section. His immense writing skill was evident then, though he had a penchant for turning in 8,000 word articles for a 1,200 word space. I had no idea that Jason was on the staff while I was there; I think he just emailed all his articles in and avoided us staffer types. I guess that didn’t hurt his career. Anyway, reading this article brought back college flashbacks and it continued through the weekend. And all I have to show for my journalism background is this blog.

2 pm

LA Coliseum

kettle corn

Every time I see kettle corn, I buy the biggest bag humanly possible. This one was 4-feet tall. While other former classmates of mine brought their babies to tailgating, I bought this bag of kettle corn. I even named it: Shambo, after that crazy Navy lesbian on “Survivor.” Oh Shambo, you so crazy. Anyway, I always eat half of the kettle corn/surrogate child and give the rest to my mom, who LOVES kettle corn and constantly asks me when she’s getting grandchildren. It kills two birds with one stone. Quite convenient for me.

4:30 pm

2 carne asada tacos

1 mini brownie bite

I’d like to thank the Daily Trojan alums* who organized this for including me in the festivities. And for letting me eat 6 tacos that day. It was good seeing everyone.

Finally, I should acknowledge the general suckiness of USC’s football team this year. Yes, we lost four games and we’re slinking off to the Emerald Bowl, a game I had no idea existed until recently. But, if 8-4 is a failure, then our team is in a pretty good state. I actually worked for the USC football team when Paul Hackett coached there, and they went 6-6. So trust me, it could be a LOT worse. And we’re still better off than UCLA and Notre Dame. With that, if Matt Barkley doesn’t mature and our defense doesn’t improve next year, you can all go to hell. Don’t make me register firepetecarroll.com.

7:30

1 bowl of Total 100% raisin bran

* They also collected donations for the American Brain Tumor Association in memory of Christian Ewell, the former sports editor when we were there. You can contribute here.

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