7.20.2014 | TI8

SUNDAY I ATE

Breakfast: Grapenuts with cranberry juice and fresh strawberries.

LunchRoast beef sandwich with bbq sauce

Afternoon snack: Watermellon at the pool. Thank you summer!

Dinner:  Pork tenderloin with Yuki’s apple sauce and green bean and tomato salad

Dessert: Nectarine cake that Suzanne tried out for the first time. Great.

7.18.2014 | TI8

FRIDAY I ATE

Breakfast: Grapenuts with cranberry juice and fresh strawberries

Lunch: peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I sometimes forget just how awesome these are, but I had a loaf of good sourdough bread and nothing else to put in it.

Afternoon snack: Kettlecorn. I love my co-workers. I really do. But rolling out of work today, my stomach wanted to find who brought whoever brought a giant bag of this for communal consumption and make them eat my dinner for me.

Dinner:  Tortilla soup.

Dessert:   Strawberries and ice cream

7.14.2014 | TI8

MONDAY I ATE

Breakfast: Grapenuts with cranberry juice

LunchLeftover pizza from Little Star

Afternoon snack: A couple of chocolate chip cookies from Bittersweet.

Dinner:  Pasta with arugula pesto from the garden.

Dessert: Egg creams (actually we quickly turned them into chocolate sodas). This is a revelation for us dessert-wise… when I was growing up, my brother’s friend, Tom, worked at Baskin Robins. He was 9 or so years older, so I was maybe 6 and thought it was so cool that I knew the guy at Baskin Robins. If it wasn’t busy, I got to try all sorts of flavors and one day he made something special for me — an Ice Cream Soda. This was just chocolate sauce, seltzer water, and a scoop of ice cream. It kind of reminded me of that scene in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory where Willy Wonka hands Charlie the mug of chocolate to drink (“hasn’t there been anything to eat in your house lately”) and as the “chocolate ran down his throat… his whole body… began to tingle with pleasure, and a feeling of intense happiness spread over him.” Seriously, I love chocolate sodas that much. I used to order them all the time, which gave many an ice-cream parlor employee a conniption fit. I eventually learned to just tell them how to make them. But I’ve kind of stopped ordering that kind of stuff, and hadn’t had one in a while. Then Suzanne was reading Seriously Bittersweet (by Alice Medrich) and she had a great description of her love of egg creams. Now I’d never had an egg cream and always assumed I wouldn’t like them because I don’t like eggs, but it turns out they don’t have eggs in them… you know how it goes. Turns out I love them. But I like them better with a scoop of ice cream and now we’re right back to my beloved ice cream soda.

Chocolate soda

Basically, pour some milk in a glass, and some soda water (hello Sodastream!) and add chocolate sauce.

To make it better, Alice offers a chocolate sauce recipe. I always kind of thought I should just bottle up the first step of making hot chocolate, and it turns out, I should have. This stuff is fantastic.

 

 

7.13.2014 | TI8

SUNDAY I ATE

Breakfast: Grapenuts with cranberry juice

LunchTurkey sandwich with avocado, ripe tomato, and some really spicy hummus

Afternoon snack: Ice cream. From Smitten Ice Cream.

smitten ice cream

Wow. This place is crazy. They individually mix up your ice cream in a couple of minutes using special mixers and liquid nitrogen. It really gets a wonderful consistency… just past that super soft, just out of the churn stage, so you can actually scoop it up. The salted caramel was great, the brown sugar and cinnamon was so good I thought I was eating an apple pie (apparently, no apple. Turns out, I really think the ice cream is the critical flavor in apple pie). The mint chip, sadly, was just a touch disappointing. It’s made with fresh mint, which was cool, and all, but it came across as just a bit too earthy. I’ve made my own ice cream with fresh mint and thought I’d just done something wrong, but apparently that’s just the flavor. I like my mint ice cream almost like a tic-tac where it takes your breath away and the chocolate is the mellowing influence. 

I was all over the N2 ice cream machines, though. In a way, it’s a sign of my own failure as a gadgeteer. I used to make a lot of liquid nitrogen ice cream in graduate school… whenever there was a big party, we’d always fire it up. And I was always disappointed. It was a great schtick, and it impressed the hell out of visitors, but the ice cream was always too fluffy from too much vigorous stirring, by turns soupy and icy, and never as good as what I’d make with rock salt and a churn. I just assumed that was what it was… but this Smitten person looked beyond the problems and saw something beautiful and made it so. I’m so impressed, I didn’t even cringe at the price ($6 for a standard dish)… hot ticket: buy a pint for $11 and share with 4.

Dinner:  Sloppy Joes. On the brioche rolls. Damn good. I followed a recipe from The Pioneer Woman, and it was pretty good. Only thing was it was just a bit too sweet. I’d skip the optional tomato paste, or maybe 1 Tbls of brown sugar next time.

 

7.12.2014 | TI8

SATURDAY I ATE

Breakfast: Doughnuts from All Star Doughnuts in El Cerrito

Lunch: Roast beef and rocket attempt. This is the first time I tried since our trip to Friday Harbor. Since Laurie at Market Chef casually mentioned a bunch of things that weren’t in my earlier attempts (like mayonnaise and lemon juice) I had pretty high hopes for this one. The sauce was much, much closer to the original; close enough to make me really suspect that the prepared horseradish from Trader Joe’s is just kinda not that good. It has the smell like it’s going to bite, but then, even with a ton of it dumped in, it just sort of whimpers on the tongue. I need to try something better. I also need to roast my own beef. Not that the packaged stuff is bad, but I always feel like that’s a place to improve. The bread here is the brioche bun that Suzanne has been making every day for 2 weeks while she tries to figure out how to stop them from cracking. This one didn’t solve that problem, but cracking doesn’t stop it being delicious. The rocket, at least, is fresh from the garden, natch.

2014-07-11 08.10.37

Dinner:  Pizza from Little Star.