So you all know that I’m a bit of a foodie, right? I think my Norwegian friends actually find it quite strange and amusing. Whatever, it runs in the family! Anyway, considering my love of food, it’s only natural that when anticipating my trip home to California for my sister’s wedding, I was not only excited about spending time with family and friends and basking in the weather that makes Southern California paradise, I was pretty much just as pumped about all the good food I would eat while I was there. And, as my friend Jackson advised, I did not waste a single meal. Or a single opportunity to go to Starbucks. On the way home from the airport my mom and I stopped at the neighborhood Starbs, or Buckies, whatever you like to call it, and I spent 20 minutes discovering all their new merchandise, drinks, sandwiches, and pastries. I was enthralled. And to hear English spoken on top of all of it…sigh. What a homecoming.
Well, I had this bright idea to take a picture of every single meal I ate while I was in Cali, but that got a little boring and also, I forgot too many times. I was on vacation, you guys. I was busy with things a little more interesting than my dear little Eeper. But I did take a lot, so here are some of them, along with their descriptions. Californians, you are lucky dogs. Norwegians and others…I’m sorry. Try not to salivate on your keyboard. (Pictures after the jump).
The day I got home my dad picked me up and took me to my favorite grocery store, Trader Joes, where I staggered around in a jetlagged fog but managed to fill
my basket respectably. Soy flaxseed tortilla chips, corn and roasted red pepper soup, FRESH PRODUCE, trail mix, hummus, and some good herbal teas.
My mom is on this kick where she’s drinking almond milk instead of regular milk, so this was my breakfast every morning: Bran buds mixed with Wheat Chex with almond milk, a kiwi, and a glass of ice water. Yum…
Monday I went to one of my favorite places in Santa Clarita, The Alamo, with my friend Katie. We used to sit there in high school eating massive amounts of tortilla chips and salsa and refilling our sodas. I got an icy Diet Pepsi and a “mini” plate of nachos…yep, for less than $5. I love the USA!
Later that day, I went to Starbucks with my sister, my mom, and some friends. Look at this delicious refreshment:
On Wednesday night I went to dinner with a friend and had some fancy stuffed halibut, but I forgot to take a picture…BUT we did go to BJs for dessert and got a famous Pizookie…for those of you who don’t know, that’s a cookie freshly baked in a deep dish pan, served to you warm and gooey with vanilla bean ice cream on top. We had half triple chocolate, half Oreo. We finished it so fast I barely remember what it tastes like. In our defense, you HAVE to eat a Pizookie fast, or the ice cream melts! Oh, and I kind of forgot to take a picture before we had inhaled half of it. *Sheepish shrug*
Friday I went to Open Sesame, a sweet Lebanese restaurant in Long Beach, with my sister and the other bridesmaids. I was totally craving falafel, so that was good, but next time I’ll have the shawarma. I don’t have a picture of the food, but here’s me and the beautiful bride-to-be:
Saturday morning we had a brunch scheduled at my parents’ house for our family and the groom’s family. Jeff made a bunch of his famous gourmet quiches (artichoke, mushroom, brocolli, ham, cheese), Grandma and Wally brought the fruit, and Mom made the mystery rolls from the Pioneer Woman site I found a few months ago. Unfortunately, that was the same day a giant fire threatened to burn down our town, so the freeways were closed, trapping us in the valley and keeping Sarah, Daniel, and Daniel’s family far away in Long Beach. Such a bummer. But, as Rachel’s boyfriend observed, “So now it’s 8 quiches and 8 people…coincidence?” Rachel was pretty excited about the quiche…and Grandma was excited about posing for a picture.
Here’s the chef, too:
Here’s the full plate. Note the Tapatio…yup, we’re in California. Oh, and for “dessert” I busted out the brown cheese I brought all the way from Norway. I topped some Digestive cookies with some thin slices…and nobody liked it but my stepgrandpa, Wally. Sad! They were all puzzled at the strange new taste they were experiencing, likening it to the first time they tried Indian food! Hee. I guess it IS an acquired taste.
My last meal in California was at one of my favorite places: Stonefire, known for its ridiculously amazing South of the Border salad. Katie and I split a “petite” size and still had a ridiculous amount leftover. You can’t go to Stonefire without getting at least one garlic breadstick, which is pretty much just an excuse to have something to eat their bbq sauce with. This salad is SO good you guys. Purple onions, corn, tri tip, feta cheese, tortilla strips, tri tip, and that cilantro lime dressing! Addictive. And I’m not the only one who says so!
And it’s even better when enjoyed on the patio, in the California sunshine. Did I mention that the weather was almost PERFECT while I was there? I found myself thinking a couple of times, “Why did I ever want to leave here?” And then I encountered L.A. traffic again. Oh yeah.
So we have this weird thing in my family where we tend to reward ourselves with treats in the form of food. It’s surprising we’re not morbidly obese! Anyway, I definitely learned this habit from my mom. On Monday morning, she had to drive my sister and her boyfriend to the airport, 45 minutes away, at 4:00 in the morning. When she got back she took a short nap, and had a weird dream that she had stayed at the airport and was wandering around looking for a little package of those crumb-covered donuts to buy to reward herself for the butt-crack-of-dawn trip to the airport. Dude, my mom was dreaming about rewarding herself with food! I cant’ judge her though, because when I got to the Oslo airport on Tuesday night, after 20 hours of travel and still a train trip to go, I wandered around looking for the best food reward to enjoy while I killed an hour and a half waiting for the train. I found something pretty good:
This peanut butter crunch cake probably cost me about the same as a year of college tuition, but hey. That and two glasses of ice water gave me the energy and morale boost I needed to get through the last leg of my trip and home to Grimerud. And now it’s back to Wasa, salami, and dairy, dairy, dairy!
Oh, and before you judge me, yes, I do plan on blogging about the non-food aspects of my trip. Soon.