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eG Foodblog: CaliPoutine (2011) - Surviving and Thriving in the Land o

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#1 CaliPoutine

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 09:39 PM

Hi, I'm Randi. I'm coming to you from bright and sunny Socal, more specifically, Santa Clarita. Santa Clarita is infamous for chain restaurants and Six Flags Magic Mountain. Santa Clarita was incorporated in 1987 and is comprised of the cities of Valencia, Stevensen Ranch, Newhall, Saugus, Castaic and Canyon Country. I usually tell people I live in Santa Clarita, even though I really live in Canyon Country. Santa Clarita is the 4th largest city in LA county. We're about 35 miles from Downtown LA, Hollywood and Santa Monica. Much to my dismay, I'm 60 miles from Long Beach. I go to Long Beach a lot and traffic on the 405 is a bitch.

The last 4 times that I blogged, I was living in Exeter, Ontario, Canada, Pop. 4,000. .When I lived in Canada, I was in a same sex marriage, for almost 7yrs. Unfortunately, as we all know things happen, people grow apart and change and marriages dont always work out. However, there is usually a silver lining to every sad story. In our case, we are both in new relationships. My partner Julie is amazingly fabulous and I thank the universe and facebook(where I found her again) every single day. We were together 18yrs ago and 11 yrs ago, but the timing wasnt right. You know what they say, the 3rd time is the charm : ).

Prior to moving to Ontario, I attended law school. For mumerous reasons, I didnt practice in Canada, instead falling back on former culinary training. I cooked for some very ungrateful seniors in a senior dining program for 3yrs. I wasnt happy with the job nor with where I lived. I'm a city girl and Exeter is very much the country. I discovered egullet while I was living there and I'm grateful because I've met some wonderful people. I miss my Heartland folks very much!!

Now that I'm back in California, I'm planning to take the California Bar Exam in February. I was supposed to take it in July, but I had to have surgery so I had to pull out of my prep class and the exam. My prep class starts again in December so I'm using my time before to study, cook some food for the freezer and do house projects. We're currently in the process of gathering quotes for a full kitchen remodel. I have a quote from Costco, an independent cabinet maker and my next stop is Home Depot. Julie and I discussed Ikea, but she wasnt crazy about those cabinets.

I brought my two standard dachshunds with me to Canada when I moved there, and of course they came back with me( they are 12 and 13). Julie had 2 dogs as well, both females, a cairn and a westie. Now we have 4, we're like the lesbian version of the Brady Bunch, except with dogs, not kids.

As far as this week goes, I have a few things brewing. Tomorrow I'm going to Long Beach to break the fast with my aunt and uncle. I lived in Long Beach before I moved to Canada and I honestly wish I still was living there. My uncle discovered a new Thai restaurant in Cerritos where he wants to go. Sunday is our towns Farmer's Market and I usually go. I also have a meet and greet for a foodie meetup group I'm a member of. Monday, I'm going to Santa Monica and will go out for lunch and to my favorite fish market. I have a cake to bake this week, a friend asked me to donate a cake for a "cakewalk" fundraiser. I also told Julie I'd bake something for her to take to work. Friday we're going to Pasadena for a DineLA meal with another foodie meetup group. We're spending the weekend in Long Beach too( we're dog sitting for my aunt/uncle). They have 3 dachshunds so we'll have 7 dogs to take care of.

Not sure what else is on the agenda, anything you want to see?

Edited by CaliPoutine, 07 October 2011 - 09:58 PM.


#2 CaliPoutine

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 10:14 PM

Julie is a police officer with LAPD. We were in Vegas last week ( we came home last night)for a Legal Conference. We had a city car that we needed to bring back to the motor pool today. Motor Pool is in downtown LA. After we dropped off the car, Julie suggested we go to Philippe's for lunch. Philippe's is the home of the orignial french dip sandwich. Julie told me the restaurant has been around since 1927. I dont eat beef, so I had the turkey. Julie had the original french dip. You can order it single dip, double dip or wet. J got a double dip. We also got an order of potato salad, macaroni salad, a pickle and a slice of cake. The cake was just meh.

I took a bunch of pics, but I'm having problems uploading. Let me go see what I can do about that.

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Edited by CaliPoutine, 07 October 2011 - 10:35 PM.


#3 heidih

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 10:27 PM

Did you try their hot mustard? I like it with the lamb sandwich.

#4 CaliPoutine

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 10:36 PM

Did you try their hot mustard? I like it with the lamb sandwich.



No, I have zero tolerance for spice( and heat). I'm a wuss. I just used regular yellow mustard.

#5 Jenni

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Posted 08 October 2011 - 12:10 AM

Hi Randi, good to see you blogging! I think I've seen you mention the no beef thing before. Can I be really nosey and ask why and if you exclude any other foods from your diet?

Also, I'm going to need to see pictures of your dogs :)

#6 Mjx

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Posted 08 October 2011 - 03:27 AM

. . . .
Not sure what else is on the agenda, anything you want to see?


Anything special and regional? Although I spent most of my allegedly formative years in Italy, I did spend a bit over half my life in the US, and remain kind of fascinated by its regional food, which I somehow never actually experienced much, and seems sort of elusive.

Looking forward to whatever you have to dish up, though!

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#7 LuckyGirl

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Posted 08 October 2011 - 06:49 AM

Take lots of pics of the Santa Monica market!

#8 Genkinaonna

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Posted 08 October 2011 - 08:56 AM

Can't wait to see what you have to share this time!

What's in season right now? I know it's warm all year, so are you still looking at summer type produce, or do you see more of the typical fall stuff?
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#9 CaliPoutine

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Posted 08 October 2011 - 09:16 AM

Hi Randi, good to see you blogging! I think I've seen you mention the no beef thing before. Can I be really nosey and ask why and if you exclude any other foods from your diet?

Also, I'm going to need to see pictures of your dogs :)



I have psoriatic arthritis and my dr. told me that beef was very inflamatory. I gave it up when I was first diagnosed( 24yrs ago) and I dont miss it at all. I dont exclude any other foods for health reasons, moreso because I'm a "supertaster" and I dont like strongly flavored foods( ie: olives, blue cheese, brussel sprouts, salmon).

#10 CaliPoutine

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Posted 08 October 2011 - 09:17 AM

Can't wait to see what you have to share this time!

What's in season right now? I know it's warm all year, so are you still looking at summer type produce, or do you see more of the typical fall stuff?



We went to the Farmer's Market last Sunday and we were still seeing peaches, plums and nectarines. Strawberries too. I tried samples of all and wasnt impressed. The market still had corn and other summer veggies, along with apples and squash.

#11 CaliPoutine

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Posted 08 October 2011 - 09:39 AM

FYI, I'm not fasting today for health reasons. I started my day with an iced coffee. I only started drinking coffee about 2yrs ago. My ex always had leftover coffee in the pot, so instead of throwing it out, I asked her to throw it in the fridge. After adding some half and half and splenda and ice, I liked it. I switched to sugar free vanilla syrup and now I use a combination of sugar free caramel and vanilla. I get the syrup from Amazon on a subscribe and save program. I get a delivery every 3 months. I only like my coffee iced. I've never liked hot drinks, even while living in the frozen north. I grew up in Florida and California so maybe thats why :rolleyes:

Yesterday, I made a pot of irish oatmeal. I had mine with truvia and almond butter. Julie had brown sugar and bananna.

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Julie had to work today, so she heated up the leftover oatmeal for her breakfast since she leaves at 5:30am. Last night, I made her a PB&J. She takes the same sandwich every single day. Its easy to eat in the police car and requires no refridgeration. And, she loves it. She takes a bunch of snacks too, nuts, fruit, pretzels, and lots of water. She works in the San Fernando Valley and it gets really, really hot.

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Edited by CaliPoutine, 08 October 2011 - 09:40 AM.


#12 CaliPoutine

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Posted 08 October 2011 - 09:58 AM

Here is my coffee deal. Nothing fancy. I make a pot the night before so it can chill. It lasts about 3 days. Posted Image

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I'm currently using The Coffee Bean coffee. They donated numerous pallets of it to Julie's base( Julie is also in the airforce reserves). She brought home a few bags of regular and more than a few bags of decaf. Its already ground. Since I doctor it up so much, it probably really doesnt matter what kind of coffee I use.

I mixed the regular half and half with the coconut creamer. I wanted to see if it makes a difference( it did).

I drink out of Tervis Tumblers. We own a lot of them. They are double insulated, made in the USA and are virtually unbreakable. Because of my arthritis, I drop things a lot. :sad:

Edited by CaliPoutine, 08 October 2011 - 10:02 AM.


#13 CaliPoutine

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Posted 08 October 2011 - 10:08 AM

Here is the inside of the Coconut Crack Cake. I've made the cake numerous times, but only for special occasions. It weighs close to 6lbs. The last time I made it, was for my sister's 40th bday in 2010. I got the recipe from Brooks Hamaker, eG member Mayhaw Man.

If you love coconut, you have to make this cake.

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I used the Leon's custard picture for a teaser because Julie is originally from Milwaukee. She introduced me to Leon's and I love it. So unlike any other ice cream. Julie's first job just happened to be at Leon's too.

The burrito is a BREAKFAST Burrito from The Coffee Cup cafe in Long Beach. Its my favorite breakfast burrito. I get it with egg beaters. It also comes with brown rice, black beans and chicken. So, not as unhealthy as it looks, but I'm sure it still has a million calories. I usually skip lunch when I eat it for breakfast.

Edited by CaliPoutine, 08 October 2011 - 10:12 AM.


#14 heidih

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Posted 08 October 2011 - 10:34 AM

I like those Tervis tumblers - would be perfect for a friend who is always hauling around a "Big Gulp" size of iced tea wherever we go and some of the other larger insulated cups do not fit in the car cup holder.

What prompted you to try the coconut creamer? If calories are an issue, have you tried and of the fat free 1/2 & 1/2 brands?

The coconut cake is calling to the coconut fiend in me though I generally avoid sweets. I like the combination of toasted almonds and coconut on the outside.

#15 annabelle

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Posted 08 October 2011 - 10:57 AM

Hi, Randi! Thanks for blogging again. Is it weird to be back in California? It's a good thing you never got the metric system mastered after all! :laugh: I'm pleased that you are giving us a chance to catch up on your adventures and best of luck on the bar exam.

#16 CaliPoutine

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Posted 08 October 2011 - 11:46 AM

I like those Tervis tumblers - would be perfect for a friend who is always hauling around a "Big Gulp" size of iced tea wherever we go and some of the other larger insulated cups do not fit in the car cup holder.

What prompted you to try the coconut creamer? If calories are an issue, have you tried and of the fat free 1/2 & 1/2 brands?

The coconut cake is calling to the coconut fiend in me though I generally avoid sweets. I like the combination of toasted almonds and coconut on the outside.



You can find the Tervis tumblers at Bed, Bath and Beyond. We love them and have turned more than a few people on to them. They also have different lids, straws and other sizes.


I tried the coconut creamer because it was on sale and I had a coupon. Ive tried the fat free half and half, I didnt care for it.

#17 CaliPoutine

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Posted 08 October 2011 - 12:06 PM

Hi, Randi! Thanks for blogging again. Is it weird to be back in California? It's a good thing you never got the metric system mastered after all! :laugh: I'm pleased that you are giving us a chance to catch up on your adventures and best of luck on the bar exam.



It was weird to be back at first. I felt like I was on an extended vacation. Now, it feels like I never left.I'm living in a very different place than before. I was close to the ocean and the weather was very mild. Here, its freaking hot. Some days I feel like I'm living on the surface on the sun.

I did pick up the metric system, but it took awhile :unsure: . I do like the imperial system( is that the correct term?) better. I guess its all what you're used to. There are a lot of things I miss about living in Ontario. I miss all the great yard sale bargains I'd find, I miss doing canning,I miss eG member Pookie( my first friend in Ontario, I met her thru my first foodblog), I miss the cheap prices on the great produce( I miss Ontario strawberries),I miss the honor system on the side of the road, I miss Kozliks mustards and I miss my niece. I guess I'll pick up some mustard when I return to Toronto in 2014 for the Legal Conference we just attended in Vegas.

Edited by CaliPoutine, 08 October 2011 - 12:08 PM.


#18 andiesenji

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Posted 08 October 2011 - 12:24 PM

There are a few good things to be found locally that you wouldn't find in Ontario.

Blum Ranch in Acton has the new crop of almonds in.
I'll be making a trek down there in a few days to pick up my supply for holiday baking.
31880 Aliso Canyon Rd
Acton, CA 93510 Open 8 am to 6 pm every day.

I haven't been down there yet but they usually have some wonderful winter squash.
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#19 CaliPoutine

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Posted 08 October 2011 - 12:45 PM

I had a PB&J for lunch too( minus the crusts). I use Jif PB and Bonne Maman Strawberry Jam. I had a glass of skim milk too.

I'm off to make the loooonnnnggg drive to Long Beach.

#20 Shelby

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Posted 08 October 2011 - 01:26 PM

Hi Cali!!! I feel like I haven't seen you in forever!!! :wub:

#21 LindaK

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Posted 08 October 2011 - 02:15 PM

Hi Randi, count me among those who are really looking forward to your blog. Yet another culinary taunt from Southern California, with all your great produce and markets that most of us can only dream about.

So that coconut crack cake really weighs 6 lbs?? Very impressive. I remember it from its appearance in the infamous Cake or Pie? topic. I guess we know which side of that argument you're on!


 


#22 suzilightning

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Posted 08 October 2011 - 03:07 PM

I have psoriatic arthritis and my dr. told me that beef was very inflamatory. I gave it up when I was first diagnosed( 24yrs ago) and I dont miss it at all


randi-

are you on any injectible meds for the psoriatic arthritis? johnnybird has the condition as well but his physician didn't say anything to him about beef. is it possible since i source locally raised organic it makes a difference?

can we see the ocean? how about fresh dates - fruits not people!?
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#23 ScottyBoy

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Posted 08 October 2011 - 03:10 PM

Yay for more California blogging!
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#24 suzilightning

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Posted 08 October 2011 - 03:14 PM

Julie had to work today, so she heated up the leftover oatmeal for her breakfast since she leaves at 5:30am. Last night, I made her a PB&J. She takes the same sandwich every single day. Its easy to eat in the police car and requires no refridgeration. And, she loves it. She takes a bunch of snacks too, nuts, fruit, pretzels, and lots of water. She works in the San Fernando Valley and it gets really, really hot.



have y'all thought about a hard sided insulated lunch box? both john and i have them and they are great. i have two smallish sig bottles that i half fill with water, freeze and fill in the morning with more water. great, ice cold water that keeps the tiny containers of whatever is in the box good. course pb&js do also go in several times a week :wink:
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#25 KatieLoeb

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Posted 08 October 2011 - 03:39 PM

Randi:

So happy to see you blogging again! We have a lot in common. I too, am not fasting today because of my acid reflux. If I don't eat anything I start to feel really ill. I think we get a pass and get into the Book anyway, if we atone properly. Happy New Year and Gut Yontif to you!

I'm also a supertaster, but I LOVE strongly flavored foods. The only thing I can't handle are bitter flavors, which seem off the charts to me. Unsweetened coffee or tea, hoppy beers, some amaros, Campari, etc. Even tonic water is too bitter for me. I can't spit enough times to get that nasty taste out of my mouth after I get the YUCK face if I accidentally ingest something bitter.

I would also like to see pics of the dogs. I love dachsies!! They're so sweet! Also the obligatory fridge shot...

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#26 CaliPoutine

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Posted 08 October 2011 - 08:57 PM




I have psoriatic arthritis and my dr. told me that beef was very inflamatory. I gave it up when I was first diagnosed( 24yrs ago) and I dont miss it at all


randi-

are you on any injectible meds for the psoriatic arthritis? johnnybird has the condition as well but his physician didn't say anything to him about beef. is it possible since i source locally raised organic it makes a difference?

can we see the ocean? how about fresh dates - fruits not people!?



I'm on an IV medication( Remicade). I'll be going to the hospital for my infusion on Wednesday. They serve me lunch while I'm getting the drugs. I'll post pics of that( the lunch, not the medication. LOL).

#27 CaliPoutine

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Posted 08 October 2011 - 08:59 PM

Randi:

So happy to see you blogging again! We have a lot in common. I too, am not fasting today because of my acid reflux. If I don't eat anything I start to feel really ill. I think we get a pass and get into the Book anyway, if we atone properly. Happy New Year and Gut Yontif to you!

I'm also a supertaster, but I LOVE strongly flavored foods. The only thing I can't handle are bitter flavors, which seem off the charts to me. Unsweetened coffee or tea, hoppy beers, some amaros, Campari, etc. Even tonic water is too bitter for me. I can't spit enough times to get that nasty taste out of my mouth after I get the YUCK face if I accidentally ingest something bitter.

I would also like to see pics of the dogs. I love dachsies!! They're so sweet! Also the obligatory fridge shot...



Happy New Year to you too. I'll post pics of the dogs on Friday ( there will be either 7 or 9 of them, depending on if I'm watching my aunts friends 2 dogs). Feeding time is hilarious with that many dogs.

#28 CaliPoutine

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Posted 08 October 2011 - 09:30 PM

Dinner tonight was at Thai BBQ in Cerritos( a neighboring town to Long Beach).

My aunt and uncle ordered 4 appetizers. Chicken satay, beef satay, fried tofu and calamari.

After the apps, we got pad thai, crispy duck and veggie fried rice. I brought home the leftover fried rice and chicken for Jules. Those are the only 2 dishes(from what was leftover) she would eat and she questioned me up and down if there was fish in the rice. She wont eat seafood. Did I mention she is a very picky eater?

All that food came to $66.17.
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Edited by CaliPoutine, 08 October 2011 - 09:38 PM.


#29 Dejah

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Posted 09 October 2011 - 07:25 AM

Great to see you blogging again, Calipoutine - from an entirely different locale. :cool: We stayed in Valencia for a week in August and yup...it was hot! Do you go to Marie Callender's Pie and Pasta? There was one beside the hotel, and I found their custard pies and banana cream pies very good.
Coming to Tarzana next August. If you want specific Canadian stuff, let me know! We'll be driving so no problem with weight/luggage restrictions - unless you want a whole pig or some crazy reuqest like that! :rolleyes:
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#30 CaliPoutine

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Posted 09 October 2011 - 08:07 AM

Great to see you blogging again, Calipoutine - from an entirely different locale. :cool: We stayed in Valencia for a week in August and yup...it was hot! Do you go to Marie Callender's Pie and Pasta? There was one beside the hotel, and I found their custard pies and banana cream pies very good.
Coming to Tarzana next August. If you want specific Canadian stuff, let me know! We'll be driving so no problem with weight/luggage restrictions - unless you want a whole pig or some crazy reuqest like that! :rolleyes:



No pig, no worries. I dont eat that much pork :wink: I wish I would have known you were here, I could have given you some restaurant recommendations and had you over for a meal. Or you could have cooked for me, Santa Clarita is sorely lacking in Chinese food( a constant craving of mine). I usually satisfy my craving for that when I go to Long Beach. Last time was my first time trying Thai food with my aunt and uncle. We usually go to a Chinese restaurant in Garden Grove.

I've never eaten at that particular Marie Callender's, but I know exactly where it is. Did you notice the plethora of chain restarants here? It's not that there are not independent restaurants too, its just that for the most part, they suck.

I was sitting here thinking about what independent restaurants we frequent, and I can only think of one Mexican place.

I might take you up on your offer. I do miss that mustard and they dont ship to the US. I can have it shipped to your house before you come to Cali. Oh and there is an awesome Jewish bakery in Tarzana if you're into that. They make the BEST Rye bread.





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