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Everything posted by MomOfLittleFoodies

  1. I'm a busy mom with 5 kids. On school nights, I'm all about things I can make quickly. I save the laborious stuff for weekends or when the kids are on break from school. On school nights, things are just too hectic to do anything elaborate.
  2. I've lived in the SF Bay Area for 14 years... I can help you out with some of these... Arnolds brand is called Orowheat on this side of the Rockies. The labels look exactly the same except it says Orowheat rather than Arnolds. They sell it at pretty much every Safeway in the area. I've seen Radaitori pasta at Whole Foods Market, Lunardis and pretty much every other high end grocery store. Spaetzle and real Hominy grits I've seen at Lunardis. Pasteurized eggs are available at pretty much every big chain grocery store (Egglands Best) Cappicola ham, I've seen at Whole Foods, some Safeways and the deli section at Lunardis.
  3. Freddy's, Whataburger, Culvers, Smashburger? Wha? Are my West Coast roots showing yet? Here are my rankings... 1) In-N-Out (because I'm from the SGV, birthplace of In-N-Out) 2) Nations (a Bay Area Chain) 3) The Habit 4) Jack In The Box 5) Fatburger 6) Carl's Jr. 7) Burger King 8) Wendy's 9) McDonalds 10) Sonic (love their chili cheese tots though) I figured that if Five Guys is in the mix, I could throw Nations and The Habit in there too. We do have a Five Guys here, but I refuse to set foot in there because of their use of peanut oil (long story)
  4. I like Round Table Pizza too... while it's not gourmet, it's good. Dominos and Pizza Hut are tolerable in a pinch. My pizza of choice though, is a local chain called Skipolinis. I'm a peasant though, and don't like my pizzas too frou frou.
  5. I've gone through about 3-4 bags of these in the past 2 months. I like them. They've got a little hint of tomato going, but mostly that light bacony taste with a hint of mayo flavor.
  6. Kikkoman Soy Sauce, import or domestic are both fine, but it has to be Kikkoman.
  7. I'm not a food professional by any means, but as an average Joe on the street, here's some things that draw me into a restaurant. First off, make sure you're listed on websites like Yelp, and things like Foursquare if they're available in your area. When I'm craving something different from my usual, or looking for something nearby in an area that I'm not terribly familiar with, I search using yelp or foursquare. Also consider local news blogs too. For example, I found my favorite taqueria through a local news blog (claycord.com) when they were discussing where to get the best burrito in the area. Another local news source, Patch.com, occasionally runs articles on restaurants. When I'm walking out walking or shopping, things that catch my attention are things like good smells, attractive photos of some of the products being offered, or even take out/paper menus by the door. Being able to take a menu with me without having to commit immediately has helped me find some of my favorite places, and I also have a small stack of menus of places I want to try in the future sitting in the car. Specials and loyalty programs are attractive too.
  8. I live in California, where waitstaff get paid the same minimum wage as the teenager bagging groceries gets ($8/hr), unless you're in San Francisco, where minimum wage is $9.92/hr. The "I don't make minimum wage before tips, take pity on me" card isn't really an issue here. Hubby and I tend to tip around 20%, never less than 17% unless the service is wretched. That said, we're not talking about fine dining establishments. LOL From the California Department of Industrial Relations website FAQ on minimum wage "Q. I work in a restaurant as a waitperson. Can my employer use my tips as a credit toward its obligation to pay me the minimum wage? A. No. An employer may not use an employee's tips as a credit toward its obligation to pay the minimum wage."
  9. I'd rather use local, fresh tomatoes when available over anything that comes in a can, no matter how "premium" the canned stuff is. Granted, when I make pizza, I'm not going for gourmet, I'm going for what my kids like and will eat.
  10. He's kind of annoying. Unfortunately I know his S/O (went to school with her for 6 years) so I need to play nicely, at least on social media.
  11. This pretty much sums up my feelings on the issue too.
  12. As the mother of a milk allergic child, there is always a place for margarine in my fridge. That said, I try to avoid cooking with it when I can. Mostly I use it to make icing, cookies, other baked goods and for "buttering" her majesty's (my milk allergic daughter) toast.
  13. Granted I tend to stick to family style restaurants and ethnic eateries lately, but if the service is really wretched I reserve the right not to leave a tip. For average service I tip 20%.
  14. Over the years, I've eaten many meals with Buddhist priests, which included meat. My great-grandfather and great-uncle were/are Buddhist priests in Japan, and they both consume(d) meat. Most of the very devout Japanese Buddhists I know are not vegetarian or vegan.
  15. At our elementary school, the kids get 20 minutes from the time lunch starts to the time we release them to the playground. That includes the time spent in line waiting for a hot lunch if you're buying lunch.
  16. A lot of why school lunches are so screwed up comes down to funding. I know that in our school district, the food services department is supposed to be self supporting. The district only provides funding to maintain the facilities and pay staff. Everything else gets paid for with revenue from meals and snacks bought, and the USDA reimbursements for free/reduced price lunches, and other subsidies. The school district would have to probably double the price of the lunches to be able to provide the kind of lunches Jamie Oliver touts.. and our district actually has some of the healthiest school lunches in the area.
  17. I'm a noon supervisor at an elementary school. A lot of the kids at our school won't drink the nonfat Chocolate milk they offer either. There's usually anywhere from 6 to 24 cartoons of milk left on the table by the garbage bins every day, and the vast majority of them are chocolate. USDA requirements state that each student buying lunch must take either a milk of an extra serving of fruit/veg if they don't want milk if the school wants to be reimbursed for the meal. I like most of Jamie Oliver's work, but this Food Revolution bull drives me nuts. He's a little too pompous about it, IMO.
  18. Marzipan, and those nasty red twizzlers. I'm more of a red vines kind of gal.
  19. The San Ramon In-N-Out is kind of funny. Half the time my family goes there it's over run by the local high school kids. Once a drunk backed into my husbands minivan in the drive through there late at night. That was funny (just a bump). Actually, we're getting two In-N-Outs in our area. The empty lot one, which is reasonable walking distance from my house, and the one near the "stay away during Christmas shopping season" intersection in the same city. I like burgers with bacon too., but for me In-N-Out is a nostalgia thing. A double double animal style (onions grilled in mustard and pickles) hits the spot every time. I grew up in the San Gabriel Valley, home of the first In-N-Out. I joke with my husband, a Bay Area native, that if I could have a Nations burger with In-N-Out fries, that would be perfect.
  20. Fear not, it stills airs on PBS, in Chicago at least. Your dieting plan could work. It still airs in the SF Bay Area too (KQED Create), late at night. I watch just to mock her when I have nothing better to do.
  21. We're actually getting two... the one in the contested location you mentioned, and another further down the road. I like In-N-Out, but I'm also originally from the San Gabriel Valley, so go figure. Have you tried The Habit or The Counter in downtown WC yet? Both get good reviews.
  22. My personal favorite? The fruit flavored whole milk yogurts at Trader Joes. I started out buying them when my now 5 year old was a toddler as a quick breakfast, and have been buying them ever since.
  23. I've purchased both chicken and turkey Mexican style chorizo before, and I actually prefer it to the pork and beef stuff I get at the Mexican markets around here... similar flavor, but less greasy and more meat left when you're done cooking it.
  24. Fat Free (Skim) Milk... I'm not big on milk flavored water, TYVM.
  25. I always put celery, garlic, onion, chopped apple and bacon into my stuffing/dressing, and I moisten it chicken stock. My paternal grandmother always made a sausage and giblet stuffing. My maternal grandmother (Japanese) stuffed her turkeys with chicken flavored rice a roni.
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