Tag Archives: Eat

Celebrate Free Slurpee Day @ 7-11 today!

Wow, this heat must be going to my head because I totally forgot that today is Free Slurpee Day at 7-11 stores nationwide. And while the heat of the day may be burning off, that doesn’t mean there’s not still time to get out there and get your free Slurpee on. So, have one on me, amigos!

Oh, and stay away from the Sugar-Free Mango flavor. I tried it recently in an effort to stick to my diet and, lord in heaven, it is a total abomination. Seriously, it’s the worst Slurpee flavor I’ve ever tasted, and I’ve had them all…so, avoid the Sugar-Free Mango at all costs! You’ll thank me later…

And, once again, Happy Free Slurpee Day 2012, everyone!

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Sprinkles Ice Cream opens today!

First there were Sprinkles Cupcakes, then they put in a 24-hour Cupcake ATM and now, the sugar mogul behind Sprinkles is opening an Ice Cream Shoppe. Hooray! Located next door to their now-iconic brown storefront in Beverly Hills, the design of the sleek, new Sprinkles Ice Cream looks to be just as simple and elegant as its predecessor.

I’m sure people are already lining up for the grand opening today, but, I think we’ll wait a while on this one. I mean, as tempting as a red velvet waffle cone sounds…the idea of waiting that long in line sounds a little intense. Besides, who needs an actual store anyway? I’ll just wait for the Sprinkles Ice Cream ATM!

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Sprinkles Cupcake ATM Machine

Hello, again. Wondering where we’ve been all this time? Or why I haven’t blogged about this year’s Cannes Film Festival even once this whole month when it ends in like, four days? Well, the answer, amigos, is twofold.

Part one of the reason I’ve been away is that I’ve been working (a lot) on a couple of writing projects that actually, you know, pay. So, sadly, that leaves little time for blogging here. Sorry…

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And the other reason we’ve been away for so long is that we’ve spending entirely too much time thinking about the Sprinkles Cupcake ATM Machine. Actually, we’ve been doing a lot more than “thinking about it”, we’ve cheated on our diet exactly three times to get our hands on some tasty Sprinkles Cupcakes, and every time has been better than the last.

Seriously, our last visit at 1:30AM might have been the best yet…or maybe that was the pumpkin cupcake talking. Either way, this freaking cupcake ATM is a revelation. The way it works is pretty simple, step up to the touch-screen monitor, scroll through the cupcakes pictured till you find one you like, click on the image and then swipe your credit card. And $4.00 later your selection appears in a cute little Sprinkles box. Just like a real ATM, only sweeter!

There’s always a line (even at 3:30AM!) but it moves quickly and everyone is so happy to be there that the camaraderie only adds to the whole cupcake-to-go experience. The funniest thing we noticed lately is how many straight single men are in line for this thing. Women, tourists and city-savvy gays you’d expect, but burly straight dudes on their way home from a bar or the gym? Wow…I guess cupcakes really are the great equalizer.

Anyway, back to my daydreaming about that sweet-ass pumpkin cupcake. Happy ATM-ing everyone!

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yeti9000:

Sorry for the reblog again, but, come on, it’s about donuts…how could I not share it with you? Now grab a glass of milk for dunking and enjoy a reblog of our first annual L.A. Donut Tour…yay!

Originally posted on Stay-at-home-Yeti:

A good friend of ours is staying with us this week and seeing as we are both between jobs, we decided to have some good cheap fun this visit. No movies at the Arclight, no expensive theme parks or museums, no shopping…just good, old-fashioned donut worship. And what better place to explore the magic of cheap fried dough than in the car-centric Southland? So, without further ado, I give you our first ever L.A. Donut Tour! Yay!

Despite talking about it for years, neither of us had ever been to the world-famous Randy’s Donuts in Inglewood, so, naturally, we started there. We tried a cake donut, a chocolate frosted and a sprinkled and despite the giant, iconic donut on the roof of the building and the appropriately seedy, LAX-adjacent vibe in the parking lot (like all the best donut joints in Los Angeles, Randy’s does not have a…

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National Taco Day 2011

I just heard that today is National Taco Day! Wow…who knew? I mean, I consider myself somewhat of an expert on the subject of tacos and I have never heard of this wondrous day. But, now that I have, you can bet your sweet ass our family will be celebrating National Taco Day 2011 in high style tonight!

Yep, we might even bypass our usual Taco Tuesday fiesta at Del Taco and go somewhere a little more authentically Mexican…you know, where they sell real street tacos like the lovelies pictured below. Yum!

But wherever we end up tonight, here’s hoping the rest of you find time to celebrate the magic of a truly tasty taco on this happiest of days as well. Happy National Taco Day, amigos!

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Voodoo Doughnut, Portland, OR

There are two reasons I’ve put off blogging about the now-legendary Voodoo Doughnut in Portland for so long. One is because, well, they are kind of legendary now and it seems like everyone blogs about them. And two is because I knew the minute I started writing about them, I’d want to eat donuts (or doughnuts, whatever!). And guess what I’m craving right now…Voodoo’s finest, the Maple Bacon bar. Mmm…

I know it’s been covered on TV and everything, but, trust me, there is a reason this delicious maple bar topped with two thick-ass strips of crispy bacon is famous. And that’s because it is seriously, out-of-this-world amazing. You never had such yumminess in your mouth at the same time…wow!

Another favorite were the various cereal-covered donuts. We sampled the Captain Crunch, which was a bit odd. The cereal itself was kinda moist, from being exposed to the air I suppose, but the thing that really made the donut work for me was the fact that the white icing tasted exactly like milk. Yep, you got it, milk and cereal on a donut. I don’t know how they did it, but it worked.

Also very good was the devil’s food cake donut with the pentagram frosting, but for sheer drama, I think my favorite donut of the day was the one shaped like a tiny Voodoo doll. Covered in chocolate frosting, each little Voodoo man has a tiny pretzel stake jammed into his heart and actually bleeds red berry filling when you remove the stake. So weird and awesome!!

The decor is also totally rad, with all sorts of funky Voodoo, pop-culture and movie references everywhere you look. I don’t know the significance of the giant velvet Kenny Roger’s portrait over the register area, but, it seemed to be important. And, hey, who doesn’t love, Kenny?

Oh, speaking of old-ass Kenny Rogers, they even had a shrine to recently departed celebrities by the rear side door, complete with Voodoo donuts prayer candles. As you can see from the pic, Peter Falk had just died when we were there. R.I.P. Detective Columbo.

Oh, and if you’re really hungry, an order of three dozen donuts and $100 will buy you a tiny wooden casket donut delivery box. I didn’t get one, but, man alive, if I lived in Portland, that would be the first thing I’d order for my next big birthday party gathering. Donuts in a coffin for everyone…so cool!

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National Donut Day 2011

Although I still think it should be held in the dead of winter, instead of the beginning of June, today is National Donut Day! And you know what that means? You guessed it…free donuts at Krispy Kreme and Dunkin’ Donuts locations nationwide. Hooray!

I’m not sure who else is participating in this glorious day, but, it’s worth checking out your local donut mongers to find out what kind of deals they got going. I mean, hey, even a sale donut is better than nothing!

See ya in line, amigos…

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David Lynch Signature Cup Coffee Commerical…

As you know, I’m still not a huge fan of his David Lynch Signature Cup coffee (organic-smorganic, give me my chemicals!) but, I’m still a mega-fan of Mr. David Lynch, the artist. So, when I heard that he’d directed a super-creepy 4 minute online ad for his coffee, co-starring Barbie? Well, how could I not share that shit with you?

The ad runs a bit long and like I said, is a tad disturbing — a couple times it looks like Barbie’s pretty little head is gonna pop right off in Mr. Lynch’s hand, yikes! — it is also really darkly hilarious as well, so, enjoy!

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day from Timbuk2!

Plopped my corned beef in the crock pot (un-preheated, of course, so as not to repeat last year’s debacle!) cranked up my new St. Patrick’s Day playlist on the iPod and then found this rocking little clip from Timbuk2 in my inbox.

For those unfamiliar with them, Tumbuk2 started selling kick-ass, handcrafted bicycle messenger bags in the bay area in 1989 and since then have expanded their line to include backpacks, duffle bags, wallets, and even luggage. In fact, I use one their laptop bags as a diaper bag and it’s way roomier and easier to clean than most real diaper bags.

Simply put, Timbuk2 rocks. I mean, hell how can you not love a company that would send out a hilariously-festive St. Paddy’s Day video like this and offer a one-day 15% discount to boot? So cool! Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone!

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Oscar Nominee Luncheon (2011)

OK, I’ll totally admit it…aside from actually attending the Cannes Film Festival, one of my dreams is to attend the Academy’s annual Oscar Nominee Luncheon. And, I ain’t picky, I don’t need to attend as a nominee. No way. Hell..I’d wait tables or, you know, make lattes for them if it got me in the door!

I mean…check out these pics and tell me this does not look like the coolest event of the entire award season. No pressure to win, no live-television audience, just all the free food, drink and movie star snapshots you can stomach. So awesome!

Oooo, hey, come to think of it, I made scads of lattes for Ms. Bening when I worked at Peet’s, so, who knows…maybe she’ll give me a recommendation for next year. Either way, sign me up!

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Williams-Sonoma “Star Wars” kitchen collection on sale!

I have been waiting for the chance to blog about the super-cool “Star Wars” Collection at Williams-Sonoma for a while now. But, every time I wanted to write about it, something came up, and then, when I heard that the entire collection of cookie cutters, pancake molds, sandwich molds, aprons and spatulas was on sale for 20% off through Sunday 01/23, well, I knew the time had come.

Released a little over a year ago, every piece in the “Star Wars” collection was personally approved by Mr. Lucas himself. And, from the looks of it, the dude likes to eat, so, I’m thinking he knows what he likes in his kitchen gear. And, hello, it’s made by Williams-Sonoma, so, you know this shit is gonna last forever.

We started our collection with the “Star Wars Heroes and Villains Pancake Molds”, and, though the  details on Darth Vader and the Stormtrooper’s masks run together a bit when they cook, as you can see from our pics, the Yoda head pancake looks freaking awesome on the plate.

We also have both sets of the cookie cutters — which work beautifully and look amazing either frosted or un-frosted — the Darth Vader spatula and the “Galactic Empire Cupcake Decorating Kit”, which is like, my childhood fantasy come to life. So cool! Where were you when I was ten, Williams-Sonoma?!

Anyway, whichever side you chose to align yourself with — as you can tell, we lean towards the dark side in this household — the “Star Wars” collection at Williams-Sonoma is a must for any true fan. To paraphrase Obi Wan: “These definitely are the kitchen gadgets you’re looking for! And they NEVER go on sale!” So, get shopping already!

Oh yeah, and make sure and pick up one of those handy Williams-Sonoma Pancake Pens too. They make pouring the batter into the molds easy as pie and they open at both ends, so, clean-up is a dream!

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The Elvis Sandwich @ Peanut Butter & Co., NYC

Last Saturday would have been Elvis Presley’s 76th birthday, and though we didn’t get to celebrate his big day like we usually do, we did ring in Elvis’ 75th birthday in high style last year. So, let’s just consider this post my 2011 birthday tribute to the King. Happy birthday, dude!

Last January 8th, Christine, Greta and I had just arrived in New York City for a friend’s wedding. There was snow on the ground and a definite chill in the air, but, it was Elvis’ birthday and we were determined to try the Elvis sandwich at Greenwich Village’s legendary Peanut Butter & Co..

I mean, sure, we’d had peanut butter and banana sandwiches before (at Graceland no less!) but the fine folks at Peanut Butter and Co. add two key ingredients which really set that freaking sandwich on fire: honey and bacon. It sounds kinda weird, I know, but, trust me when I tell you that this tasty-ass sandwich is a thing of rare beauty, amigos. Incredible!

Washing the whole thing down with a truly decadent Fluffernutter Shake — which consisted of peanut butter, milk and Marshmallow Fluff! — we scooped up a few jars of dark chocolate and honey-infused peanut butter to go, wished the King a happy birthday and set about touring Manhattan.

And when it came time for our last meal in NYC a few days later, guess where we headed? You guessed it, right back down the street to Peanut Butter & Co. for more of their savory/sweet Elvis-y goodness.

Now, if book-ending your first big family trip to New York City with Elvis sandwiches doesn’t spell true fan devotion, well, I don’t know what does.

Happy birthday, EP. We love you!

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The WordPress/Make.See.Eat.Do. Year in Review (2010)

Happy 2011, everyone! With all the “year in review” wrap ups going on right now, I thought I’d throw my hat into the ring with this super cool Blog Health email I got from WordPress today.

Wow…who knew that people cared that much about Denny’s and the freaking KFC Buffet? Thanks for sharing, WordPress. You guys rock! So, without further ado, I give you our blog’s  first official Year in Review. Enjoy!

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The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how your blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads: Wow!

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

About 3 million people visit the Taj Mahal every year. This blog was viewed about 53,000 times in 2010. If it were the Taj Mahal, it would take about 6 days for that many people to see it.

In 2010, there were 70 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 494 posts. There were 228 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 39mb. That’s about 4 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was February 9th with 432 views. The most popular post that day was Free Grand Slam Day @ Denny’s!.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were designdazzle.blogspot.com, nurserymuralsandmore.com, en.wordpress.com, flickr.com, and search.aol.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for the orphanage, kfc buffet, bettie page, baby nursery, and marla singer.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Free Grand Slam Day @ Denny’s! February 2009

2

Greta’s baby nursery featured on Unique-baby-gear.com March 2009
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3

“The Orphanage” October 2007
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4

The KFC Buffet August 2007
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5

Bettie Page (1923-2008) December 2008
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Some of your most popular posts were written before 2010. Your writing has staying power! Consider writing about those topics again.

See you in 2011!

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Red Velvet Cake Ice Cream @ Baskin Robbins

If you consider yourself a true lover of ice cream, you will stop reading this right now and immediately drive yourself to your local Baskin Robbins. Seriously, I’ve had some great cake ice creams in the past, but this one, well, let’s just say it takes the cake. Pun completely intended!

Rich, creamy, cake-y to the max, the Red Velvet Cake ice cream at 31-Flavors is so good that I don’t know why I even bothered with a second scoop of my usual favorite Chocolate Fudge. I shoulda just got two scoops of Red Velvet Cake, and you know what? Next time I go, I will!

But if you’re interested in this amazingness, you gotta act fast because Red Velvet Cake ice cream is the flavor of the month for December, and, in just a few short days, December will be over. Forever. So, check it out while you can, and in case you’re wondering…that white, creamy stuff swirled throughout the scoop is frosting and it is AH-MAZING!

I’m not kidding, the flavor profile for this rocking ice cream is so subtle and lovely, you’d swear you wear eating a vastly more expensive cone.

This is Christmas for your mouth, amigos…so, start celebrating today!

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Denny’s 2010 Holiday Slam Menu

Ah, man…just when we thought we couldn’t love Denny’s any more than we already do, they go and get all deliciously-seasonal on us!

That’s right, amigos, for a limited time only, the house of Denny’s is offering a Holiday Slam Menu featuring such mouth-wateringly-good concoctions as cranberry-orange pancakes, gingerbread french toast and peppermint chocolate cocoa and milkshakes! Mmhmm, top that, IHOP!

But as tasty as all that stuff is, the crowning glory of the new Holiday Slam Menu has gotta be the Holiday Turkey Melt: turkey, stuffing and Swiss cheese served on potato bread with a healthy dollop of cranberry honey mustard and a side of gravy for dipping. I think Christine said it all when she described this heavenly sandwich as: “The best part of Thanksgiving“.

Hmmm…for me, the best part of Thanksgiving has always been the loving communion with cherished friends and family, but, if Christine says it’s all about the food, well, who am I to argue?

Either way, this spectacular sandwich tastes like the best Thanksgiving leftover sandwich you ever had. Seriously, it’s kinda magical. But, it won’t be around for long, so, check it out while you can. Yum!

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Missing Martha Stewart…

While putting up our classically cool, white-on-white Martha Stewart Christmas tree this past weekend, Christine told me that she suddenly realized that she really missed being able to watch Stewart’s daytime show “Martha” on a daily basis. I think she said “profoundly missed”, but, I could be wrong.

Either way, there is a void in our lives this holiday season and it is all due to the fact that Martha Stewart moved her show to the freaking Hallmark Channel. Urgh! No offense, Hallmark Channel, many of your made-for-television movies look awesomely bad, but, come on, why you gotta bogart the Martha?

I mean, who even gets the Hallmark Channel?? I know we don’t and I don’t think very many other cable carriers down here do, so, who is watching “Martha” in our absence? Well, according to a recent LA Times article, no one. Stewart’s show is tanking in cable obscurity and it’s just not right!

So, for the love of all things good and baked and hand-made this holiday season, ditch the Hallmark Channel while you can and come on home to network television, Martha. The holidays are so not the same without you…

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Chicken in the shell…

My Grandma Cecilia, who tends to favor her meat very well done, used to refer to her hopelessly-burnt BBQ chicken as “chicken in the shell”. And man alive, was that shit tasty…all that crispy, blackened chicken skin (or “shell”) just sliding off that juicy-ass meat into a river of BBQ sauce. Delicious!

Last night’s 2010 spin on “chicken in the shell”? Not so much…

I think the pictures speak for themselves, but, all I can say is make sure you take your packaged Costco rotisserie chicken out of the oven before you turn it on to roast your brussel sprouts. Yikes…

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The Ice Shack, Grants Pass

OK, people who still think global warming is a myth can totally suck it. This has been one of the hottest falls on record and it doesn’t show any signs of letting up. So, it’s official, everybody…the world is totally melting.

And in honor of that utterly depressing sentiment, I thought I’d share with you some pictures of my favorite new hot-weather treat…shaved ice! Traditional snow cones and 7-Eleven Slurpees will still totally do in a pinch (Lord knows they saved my sweaty ass last night!) but for me, the best way to stay cool and blissfully wipe any visions of melting polar ice caps from my head is to suck down a nice cold shaved ice.

And though we recently found a groovy little place near the Americana in Glendale (rock on, Stewie’s Shaved Ice!) that offers some great flavor combos, for me, the best place to find a truly fantastic shaved ice is at The Ice Shack in Christine’s hometown of Grants Pass, Oregon.

Located on the north end of town just off of 7th street, The Ice Shack is, just what it sounds like, a drive-thru shack where all they sell is flavored icy goodness. And let me tell ya, the Shack rocks, yo. We went there almost every day we were in town last summer and it never got old!

The decor is awesome — the bamboo walls and thatched hut roof outside would be cool enough for most places, but the fact that they use an actual surfboard as the drive-up window is just too cool for words! — the ice is shaved to perfection and the place is staffed by the nicest, cutest girls this side of the Rogue River, but the real reason to visit The Ice Shack are the flavored syrups.

I never checked to see what brand they use, but, wow, that shit is amazing. Literally every flavor we tried (except grape, which is hideous) was out-of-this world tasty, but, my favorite combo was the cherry banana pictured above. Not too sweet, not too syrupy, just the perfect blend of flavor and ice. Mmm…

Anyway, I know it’s a schlep for most of you, but, if you do ever find yourself in Grants Pass on a hot day (or hell, even a cold one!) you truly owe it to yourself to stop by The Ice Shack. Oh, and don’t forget to ask for extra napkins because that candy-colored ice melts crazy-fast, baby!

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Dutch Bros. Coffee, Grants Pass

Ever since we first started dating, way back in the 20th century, August has always been all about the big road trip to Christine’s hometown of Grants Pass, Oregon. And, just like in my hometown, we have a little checklist of places we make sure to eat and drink at the minute we hit town.

Abby’s Legendary Pizza and Millie’s Sandwich Shop are always on that list, but Dutch Bros. Coffee is the place I visit almost every day (sometimes twice a day!) when we’re in town. I know I’ve written a lot about bad coffee these days, but let me tell ya, amigos, there is nothing remotely bad about Dutch Bros. Coffee.

In fact, I would even go so far as to say that Dutch Bros. is probably my favorite coffee joint anywhere, and, considering the fact that they are mostly tiny drive-thru locations — except for the badass mothership cafe downtown — that is really saying something!

Dutch Bros. doesn’t just have crazy-friendly baristas and great, fresh-roasted beans, but they also have some of the best coffee drinks this side of Seattle. Seriously, once you’ve had a Dutch Bros. Kahlua Kicker on a hot summer day, you’ll never look at a plain-old Iced Mocha the same way again.

Founded in March of 1992 by brothers and former dairy farmers, Travis and Dane Boersma, Dutch Bros. began life as a modest coffee shack in downtown GP and today has 154 locally-owned and operated locations in seven states, including a few newer outlets in Northern and Central California.

I’ve been watching their website to see where the Bros. are migrating next, and, so far, they haven’t ventured south of Fresno, so, until the do, here’s to another coffee-tastic Southern Oregon summer!

Oh yeah, I should also mention that there is a very cool Dutch Wear boutique connected to the mothership downtown. Christine and I already have a closet full of Dutch Bros. merchandise, but something tells me we might be coming home with something a little smaller this year. Hmmm…a cute little Dutch Bros. onesie in a size 18-24 months, perhaps?

Hot and cold perfection in a cup…long live Dutch Bros. Coffee!

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Stride Shift Berry + Mint Gum

Normally, I would hate to follow a bad review with another one, but, this latest salvo in the Stride Gum Revolution was so bad that I simply had to warn you away from it. Yes, I know, the commercials are kinda cute and gum that changes flavor as you chew it does sound like a Wonkatastic idea. But, trust me, amigos, Stride Shift Berry + Mint gum is just plain horrific.

Being the cheap-ass that I am, I waited until their was a two-for-one coupon in the newspaper and the minute it came, I cut that baby out and practically ran to Vons to get me some Stride Shift. Now, before I go any further, I should tell you that the other flavor we sampled was the Citrus + Mint, which was only mildly repulsive…but that Berry + Mint? Wow, what a disaster!

At first blush though, everything seemed cool. The packaging was kinda retro and fun, and the website describes the Berry + Mint flavor as, and I quote: “a gateway gum to Unbelievablesville”, so, I was so ready to get down with this stuff. But then I opened the package and saw a very strange, purple-hued gum that can best be described as spongy candy sandpaper.

I imagine the gritty feel of the individual pieces is due to the flavor crystals or some shit, but, seriously, who wants to eat gritty gum? Yikes…

Once I started chewing it, however, I soon realized that the grit was the least of my problems. I mean, the artificial berry flavor up front was fine, and, you know, appropriately artificial tasting, but the truly epic terribleness of this gum was only revealed to me after “the shift”.

My brother described this gum best by calling it “Berry + Aluminum Foil” and, sadly, that is not far off. Tinny, sharp and freakishly metallic tasting, the mint flavor is so weird that you’d swear you lost a filling or something. Blech…coupon or no coupon, I’d say stay as far away as you can from this Stride Shift nastiness.

Oh, and just in case you do happen to keep this crap in your mouth after “the shift”, I should warn you that Stride Shift Berry + Mint completely disintegrates — and sticks to everything in your mouth! — in a little over an hour. Yep, I said disintegrates, like asprin melting on your tongue.

Urgh…just try “shifting” that taste outta your mouth!

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Free Slurpee Day @ 7-Eleven

My apologies for not posting news of this wondrous event in time for y’all to actually partake in said free 7-Eleven Slurpees, but, the good news is that once you read this post, you’ll know to look out for Free Slurpee Day 2011. So, yay!

Never heard of Free Slurpee Day? Well, until last week, neither had I. And I am a fairly regular consumer of Slurpees,  my usual being a mixture of Fanta Banana and Coke flavors. Anyway, this magical day is celebrated every year at participating 7-Eleven stores on July 11th. Seven-eleven…get it?

Cooler still is the fact that the free Slurpees come in cute-ass little cups that measure out to exactly, you guessed it…7.11 ounces. Awesome! The only problem we had is that the first 7-Eleven store we went (at Verdugo and Olive in Burbank) claimed to be out of free sized cups by the time we arrived? Huh?

I mean, yeah, it was 8:30PM, but the promo was supposed to last until 11:00PM! So, as you can imagine, we were seriously annoyed.

We got even angrier when the dude behind the counter wouldn’t answer us when we asked him if they had any more free sized cups. He just stared into space ringing up customers. It was so weird. Luckily for us, my brother Ryan (who took the lovely pictures you see here) was there to cut through the bullshit.

Glaring at the dude from across the store, Ryan bellowed, as only he can bellow: “Oh really?! You’re out of free Slurpee cups on Free Slurpee day?!” I swear to God, I thought the cashier was gonna faint…he looked absolutely terrified. And two seconds later, we had four free sized cups in our hot little hands. Ha!

So, we filled our tiny cups a few times over then headed off to another 7-Eleven that was supposedly offering 50-cent hot dogs as well! Yee-haw!

That 7-Eleven (which is now officially our favorite in Burbank) is located at the corner of Hollywood Way and Burbank and was far more festive with all kinds of banners and balloons and shit in the store.

But even though they were much more forthcoming with the free sized Slurpee cups, they were totally out of 50-cent hot dogs, which kinda sucked. That said, the cashier there was the nicest 7-Eleven clerk in the world and even had a big old plate of free sliced fruit at his register, so…we left smiling!

Until next year, happy belated Free Slurpee Day 2010, amigos!

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Happy Father’s Day, amigos!

Thanks to this delicious 10 pack of Dad’s Root Beer (made with real cane sugar, y’all!) I know what I’ll be drinking this Father’s Day. But even better than the frothy root beer will be the awesome company I’ll get to share it with!

I know it sounds super corny, but being your Daddy is the best job I ever had, Greta B., and I’ll love you forever. Happy Father’s Day, everyone!

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Free Cane Sweeeet Iced Tea Day @ Popeyes

When Christine told me last night that yesterday was National Iced Tea Day, I just knew we had to have some. And when we walked into Popeyes for dinner and the place was covered with flair advertising their brand-spanking-new offering, Cane Sweeeet Iced Tea, well, guess what we ordered to drink?

Actually, Greta and her sweet-tea-hating Mommy had water. And even though I am usually more of a Dr. Pepper man at Popeyes, I decided to honor this awesome holiday I knew nothing about by sampling the Cane Sweeeet Iced Tea.

And, man, was I glad I did! I haven’t had sweet tea in years, even when my Mom and sister lived in the South, we never drank it. I mean, it’s good and all, but, a little Southern sweet tea goes a long way. I’m not kidding, you get like, instant cavities…it’s freaky.

But this Popeyes deliciousness is a freaking revelation! I don’t know if it’s the cane sugar or what, but this is the best sweet iced tea I’ve ever had anywhere. And unlike most sweet tea, you can really taste the fresh-brewed tea in every sip. I actually had flecks of tea leaf in my ice when I finished! Awesome!

So, I take a bunch of pictures and am getting ready to blog about this cane sugar perfection and what do I read online? This Saturday, June 12th, in honor of National Iced Tea Day and Popeyes’ 38th anniversary, Popeyes locations nationwide are offering my favorite new drink in the world for free! That’s right, y’all, free Cane Sweeeet Tea for everyone! Yay!

Here’s hoping Popeyes has a rocking birthday and to the visionary soul who invented the best new holiday ever…we salute you. National Iced Tea Day 4eva!

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Our St. Patrick’s Day miracle of the crockpot…

After sampling an amazing corned beef brisket cooked in a crockpot last night at Trader Joe’s, I got all inspired and decided to slow cook my corned beef this year too. Hooray, I thought, chuck that baby in the crockpot and spend the rest of the day chilling with a frothy pint o’ Guinness!

Well, that’s not exactly how things went down. Things started off great, I got up and fed Greta, Googled some corned beef in a crockpot advice and then washed and preheated our crockpot. Yes, much to Christine’s chagrin, I preheat my crockpot. I’ve been doing it for years and have never had a problem…until today.

The minute that slab of cold corned beef and all that pink juicy goodness plopped into the overheated ceramic crockpot, I heard a horrible CRACK and knew right away what had happened. That’s right, I broke my crockpot crock in half…a nice clean crack right down the left side.

So, with pink corned beef juice slowly leaking into the metal pan of the crockpot, I hurriedly transferred everything to a regular pot on the stove. Crazy! And while that came to a boil I decided to call Rival’s Customer Service number to see how much a replacement ceramic crock would set me back and was promptly put on hold…for 43 minutes!

Now, a sane, reasonable person would have probably hung up and called back later…but not me! I held that sweaty phone to my ear like a crazy person as I rocked Greta to sleep for her nap and when an operator finally came on I told her my plight. And what happened next can only be described as a St. Patrick’s Day miracle…the lovely young woman at Rival offered to replace my ceramic crock for FREE! No shipping charge, no handling fee, no “wow-you-preheat-your-crockpot” charge, nothing.

It seems they’ve been having trouble with their phones today — which might explain my 43 minute wait on hold! — so to compensate for that, Rival was offering their customers all sorts of cool stuff. She even said, and I quote: “Well, sir, the luck of the Irish must be with you today!” Hilarious!!

So, as I blast U2, Sinead and the Cranberry’s and the aroma of boiled corned beef wafts through my house, all I can say is, thank you, Rival Customer Service…you guys seriously rock. And though I won’t be able to slow cook my corned beef brisket till next year, you can bet your shillelagh that I’ll be thanking St. Patrick for the miracle of the replaced crockpot as I do it.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, amigos!

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Ben & Jerry’s Limited Batch: Hannah Teter’s Maple Blondie

OK, I know you’re probably sick of hearing about more Winter Olympic stuff at this point, but this new limited batch ice cream flavor from our old friends Ben & Jerry is just to good not to blog about! Named for Olympic Snowboarding Gold Medalist Hannah Teter, Ben & Jerry’s Limited Batch: Hannah Teter’s Maple Blondie is kinda magical.

A crazy-good blend of maple ice cream, blonde brownie chunks and a maple caramel swirl, this ice cream is so amazing, you might just try snowboarding for yourself. Seriously, I was on such a sugar high after eating this deliciousness that it’s a good thing there aren’t any halfpipes in Burbank…cuz I woulda snowboarded them. Yep, it’s that good!

And even better than those chewy blonde brownie chunks is the packaging. Aside from the bad-ass image of the Ben & Jerry’s cow riding a snowboard, Vermont-native, Hannah Teter’s sweet, smiling mug is everywhere you look on the packaging and she is a cutie. Whew…talk about Vermont’s Finest!

Anyway, with the Olympics over, this tasty, limited batch ice cream won’t be on store shelves for long, so, get thee to a grocery store and stock up. I know we did!

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Christine’s award-winning Gingerbread House Bundt Cake

OK, we have been waiting to blog about Christine’s award-winning bundt cake for a year. Literally! See, by the time we finished making it for Christine’s work Christmas party, it was already too late in the season to blog about it, so, we skipped it. Well, not this year!

Actually, there isn’t much to this thing…all you need is a Nordic Ware Bundt Pan, Gingerbread cake mix and all kinds of crazy candy for the outside. We bought our Bundt pan the year before at an after-Christmas sale at Sur La Table, and from what I can gather, our exact style is no longer available on most sites. But I did find a similar pan at Wal-Mart that would work just as well.

For the cake itself, we used Trader Joe’s Deep Dark Gingerbread Cake and Baking Mix, which is freaking delicious on its own, but even better in tiny Christmas house form. Yum!

As you can see in the second picture above, the cake comes out of the over kind of rounded on the bottom, so, we cut that part off and promptly ate it. Then, with the bottom of our Gingerbread house flattened, we placed it in the center back of our cake plate (gotta leave room for a big, snowy front yard, yo!) and got down to decorating the outside of our house.

Aside from the little jelly candies we used in the windows — which we found in the candy aisle at our local CVS — we stuck to pretty traditional candy decor: M&M’s, Red Vines, candy canes, and marshmallows.

The most expensive “building materials” we used were probably the Williams-Sonoma chocolate covered peppermint sticks (aka North Poles) we used for the fence. They weren’t cheap, but we only needed a few of them and since we had them in the house already, we used them.

The snowy ground cover in the yard was powered sugar mixed with water and, lemme tell ya, that stuff was hard to work with! You have to wait for it to kinda half-dry before anything will stick to it and if you wait too long, it gets too hard and you’re screwed. Trust me, this is where having two people working on the house came in very handy!

After plopping down a marshmallow snow woman in the front yard, we dusted the entire house with more powdered sugar and hurried off to the party where, lo-and-behold, we actually won a prize! Hooray!

But even cooler than the shiny award certificate or the $20 Target gift card that went with it, was the fact that the people at the party positively devoured our Gingerbread house. I’m not kidding, man. I saw a dude scraping the sugar snow off the plate…crazy!

I’m not saying everything we used wasn’t edible, because it totally was, but, wow, we never thought anyone would actually eat the whole thing. Yikes…guess the pickings on the buffet table were slim.

Anyway, if you’re looking for a quick, easy-to-make Gingerbread house this holiday season, Nordic Ware has the pan for you. Happy Baking, amigos!

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A Mother’s Cookies Christmas…

One of the coolest things about Mother’s Cookies triumphant return from the dead this year was that it meant we would have one more variety of Christmas cookies to plate for our holiday guests…you know, provided we didn’t eat them all first. That’s right, amigos, Mother’s Holiday Circus cookies are back!

We were so excited at this news — thanks for the tip, Santa Fe Sarah! — that we actually bought two bags of the red, green and white Holiday Circus Animal cookies when we found them at the store. I also just now discovered another variety of Mother’s holiday cookies online: the all-white Holiday Frosted Cookies, pictured below. Wow, who knew?

So, although Mother’s classic Gingerbread cookies have gone the way of the Dodo, the good news is that you can still get your Christmas cookie on with Mother’s this year. But you gotta act fast, because this frosted goodness won’t be around for long. They were literally flying off the shelves at the Safeway in Santa Cruz when we bought them, and that was at Thanksgiving. So, the odds may be against you at this late date, but, happy hunting anyway!

Oooo…and even if you can’t find the cookies anymore, you gotta check out the Mother’s gift shop at Kelloggs.com. Mugs, t-shirts and even a magnetic Mother’s Cookies bag clip! Best stocking stuffers ever!

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The results are in…Via rocks!

Contrary to popular belief it did not take me twenty days to decide what I thought of Starbucks new Via Instant Coffee — I knew what I thought the second I tasted it! — but it did take me that long to find time to blog again with the wee one taking up almost all of my waking hours, so, many apologies. The truth is, I’ve missed you guys, probably a whole lot more than you missed me (ha!) but, in any case, it’s very good to be back.

And now, at long last I can tell you that the new Via Ready Brew is absolutely fantastic. I was so shocked at how good it was that I literally failed my taste test.

Starbucks Via Taste Test Challenge #1

Starbucks Via Taste Test Challenge #2

Starbucks Via Taste Test Challenge #3

Seriously. I made such a face when I found out I’d guessed wrong that the barista actually laughed out loud. It was hilarious and I must say, completely surprising. Who would think instant coffee could taste exactly like brewed? Amazing.

I can’t vouch for the Colombian, but the Italian I had was so good that I actually bought a three pack to take home. And next time we go anywhere, you can bet your ass that a couple dozen of those cute little packages will be stashed somewhere in our Vue! Add some hot water at a gas station, stir, and I can drive all night, baby! Que viva la Via!

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FREE COFFEE ALERT: Starbucks Via Taste Test Challenge starts today!

Just when you thought Starbucks had done it all, the mad scientists from Seattle have outdone themselves yet again. Starting today Starbucks will be selling their very own line of instant coffee — you know, the stuff your Grandparents drink — in the form of the beautifully-packaged Starbucks Via.

Available in two flavors, a mellow Colombian Roast and a more bold, dark roast Italian, the coffee comes in little packets that look to me like those fancy sugar containers at hotels and such. And though the mere mention of instant coffee brings me back to the bad old days of my Maxwell House-filled youth, I have to admit, I have been dying to try Via since I first heard about it. So, hooray!

Starbucks Via Instant Coffee #1

Starbucks Via Instant Coffee #2

Even more exciting than the launch of this new coffee product is the fact that Starbucks will be giving it away all weekend long as part of their Via Taste Test Challenge. All you have to do is show up at your local Starbucks, ask to take the taste test and you’ll be given a cup of Starbucks’ traditionally-brewed coffee and a cup of the new Via Instant Coffee. That’s right, two free cups of coffee all weekend long. Awesome, huh? I mean, hell, even if it sucks, it’s still free, right?

I might not be able to take the test myself till Saturday, but in the meantime, am dying to hear what the rest of you think of the latest and greatest from Starbucks. So, by all means, comment away…

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