July 20, 2007

BlogMe



I worked at at ice cream shop throughout high school. When I left for college my boss gave me a Chicago Bear stuffed animal that was issued in honor of the Bears' 1986 Super Bowl victory. I still have the bear- one of my sons sleeps with him.

When I was in college in Texas, I worked at a Mangia, Chicago-style pizza place.

In the late 1990s, I won, and ate, a year's supply of Lean Cuisines.

Eric Schlosser's book, Fast Food Nation, changed my life. I stopped eating Lean Cuisines, ground beef, and, for a short while, almost everything but chocolate.

I love rich, creamy chocolate.

When I was pregnant with my second child, I had many strong food aversions, but I craved Italian subs from Hero's on Addison.

I do not crave, nor do I eat, meaty Italian subs when I'm not pregnant.

I can't stand cilantro. Ditto with blueberries, due to an unfortunate childhood experience.

I have started two fires in my kitchen, plus I once almost smoked us out of the house.

Why yes, I happily accept paid writing assignments.

Soon you’ll swoon over El Sueño: A Scrambled CAKE restaurant review


El Sueño
9850 Milwaukee Avenue, Glenview
(847) 298-9090

Don’t be fooled by the drab exterior. Here are ten reasons El Sueño will leave you swooning. If you have any remaining doubts after reading this, click over to the Scrambled CAKE photo album at Chicago Parent.

1. They just opened this spring and their reputation is growing quickly. Hurry in soon while you can still get seated without a wait. This place is going to draw crowds.

2. Freshly made salsa. ¡Bueno!

3. Easy on the wallet. Every item on the menu is under $15.00 and the portions are huge. Our family of four could have enjoyed a filling meal with about half of the amount of food we ordered. Fortunately, the veggie burrito makes an excellent breakfast (even cold, but shhhh…I could lose my food writer credentials for admitting to enjoying cold leftover burritos).
4. Did someone say veggie burrito? They offer a special vegetarian menu.

5. Your meal includes a cup of bean soup (made with bacon). “Great soup,” says nine year-old, Smartypants.

6. See number 3. The affordable food means you’ll have a few pesos to spend on a margarita or three.

7. Their innovative menu features traditional Mexican foods with a modern twist, such as pumpkin tamales and duck tacos. Traditionalists can enjoy El Sueño's authentic Mexican breakfast buffet on weekend mornings.

8. Kids meals are $3.95. Options are a chicken or cheese flauta, quesadilla (Mexican grilled cheese, made with tortilla instead of bread), or for the child with absolutely no sense of adventure, chicken nuggets.

9. The kids have gulped down their food, but you are just starting to savor the fiesta of flavors in yours. No need to let them ruin your meal, simply send them to the mini-kids theater in the back of the restaurant where they can watch cartoons until bedtime. You can keep an eye on them from your table thanks to windows conveniently built into the theatre room wall.

10. Great service; our waitress was very attentive and patient.

A few cautionary notes:
* There are no baby-changing facilities.
* Bring your Lactaid and Beano. Seriously, your family will thank you.

If there is a wait because by the time you actually make it out to Glenview the place is wildly popular and you’ve got a hungry child with you who doesn’t have a deadly sesame allergy, head next door to Pita Inn for some good and also inexpensive Mediterranean food.

July 08, 2007

180 more reasons to buy local and organic

Make that 217 reasons. You know about the tainted pet food and you're probably aware of the toxic toothpaste. Well, according to this Forbes article, "the Chinese government recently announced that it had shut down 180 factories and revoked 37 licenses of food makers for using dangerous chemicals during the six months from December to May."

A Chinese government watchdog group "said it had found over 23,000 cases of adulterated food nationwide in the six months...including flour, candy, pickles, biscuits, bean curd and seafood."

Yuck.

The article notes that it's unclear whether any of these foods were bound for exports, but still, yuck. Should anybody be using soy sauce that is alleged to be fermented from human and animal hair? (From what the Internets tell me, it's usually made of salt, fermented soybeans - or hydrolyzed vegetable protein- and water, maybe some artificial coloring...but no hair.)

Granted, there are lots of things we'd prefer not to know about our food, but, as they suggest in this post at The Sustainable Table, an organization I learned about at the Family Farmed Expo in March, maybe it's time to be COOL and introduce Country Of Origin Labeling on our food. What do you think?

I learned about this through Britt Bravo's post at BlogHer*. It's an interesting, chock-full-of links, read. She mentions a book I picked up earlier this year- Plenty: One Man, One Woman, and a Raucous Year of Eating Locally by Alisa Smith and J.B. Mackinnon. I liked what I read of it, but I didn't finish it because it was a library book and it was due (okay, overdue) and I had to get it back and I have a nightstand full of books just begging to be read. Smith and Mackinnon alternate chapters, giving you a he said/she said take on their year of only eating food grown within 100 mile of their Vancouver home.

If that sounds tempting, you may also want to read Barabara Kingsolver's new book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life, in which she and her family eat only what they can produce on their family farm over the course of a year.

So many books, so little time! If you've read either of these books, I hope you'll leave some feedback on them in the comments section.

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*I'm going to the BlogHer conference! Are you?

July 03, 2007

Krusty-O's and Buzz Cola and Squishees, oh my!

If you’re a Simpsons fan you know what I’m talking about. You’ll find these products soon at a 7-Eleven near you. It’s all part of the marketing hype for the Simpons movie that’s due out later this month. We Moldofskys are fools for a clever campaign. In fact, for the first time in my life, I'm actually jonesing to go to 7-Eleven.

Be forewarned, you won’t find any Duff Beer. The powers that be wisely decided that it wasn’t appropriate to market an alcholic beverage in conjunction with the PG-13 movie.

If you're wondering where the fictional Simpson family lives, check out http://www.usatoday.com/life/movies/simpsons-contest.htm and decide for yourself. Each Springfield that's hoping to host the movie's premiere made a promotional video. If you've an hour to kill, watch 'em all and then vote for your favorite Springfield or choose between some of my favorites: Vermont, Tennessee, Nebraska and Illnois (but only because I live here).

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