faboo mama

inside the mind of an opinionated mama…

Internet Confession Time: Hunger

This is what runs through my mind when I’m starving and looking for something to eat:

Five Guys Meetup

Granola bars done right

Natures Valley Sweet & Salty Nut Bar

Nature Valley Sweet & Salty Nut Bar

People claim that I am a picky eater. It’s not true, I just happen to like what I like. It’s not my fault some things are just not fit for consumption. Last week, looking for cheap and “healthy” snacks for my kids that can be carried in my pocket, I found Nature Valley granola bars. They looked interesting & the price was right, so I grabbed them.  When I got home and looked at the box, I saw that they had yogurt on them, so I chalked it up to something else I won’t be eating because dried yogurt doesn’t appeal to me. It was only in a fit of desperation for something sweet to eat that I decided to go ahead and nibble on one, with one eye on my 3 year old human garbage disposal.


That’s not quite the word. It doesn’t it do it justice. When you bite into the bar it’s bland, but then it’s like little sugar crystals dancing on your tongue.  All of a sudden, the back of your throat gets lightly slapped with a slight salty taste.   All of this happens over and over again creating a burst of flavor. It was so good, I had forgotten about the dried yogurt.

Nature Valleys Sweet & Salty Flavors

Nature Valley's Sweet & Salty Flavors

I freely admit to eating another right after the first. The bar was so good that, I almost coveted them as badly as I do my Girls Scout Thin Mints.  Anyone who knows how I do not share my Thin Mints will understand how much I liked these bars.  It wasn’t until the bars were gone that I bothered to glance at the nutritional values of it.  I still haven’t quite paid attention to it, but I’m posting an image of it so you can make your own decisions.

Nutritional Values
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FRIENDFEED MEETUP 02-21-09 @2pm| Five Guys Burgers and Fries

Just heads up for anyone else in Los Angeles, we are going to have a meet up at Five Guys this coming Saturday.

What I posted on FriendFeed:

Our East Coast friends got us curious, but Anna Lynn tipped us to the fact that there’s a couple here in SoCal. So join us *next Saturday (02.21.09) @2pm * to see if Five Guys is indeed better than In-N-Out: Cerritos Promenade ~ 11461 South Street Cerritos, CA 90703 ~

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Cherry Blossom Festival

We attended the Cherry Blossom Festival in Little Tokyo yesterday. It was a lot bigger and more fun that I expected. Kudos to the organizers of the event. As usual, with things like this in Los Angeles, it emcompassed all of Asia (though Indians were not represented at all), so we got to see things from all along the Pacific.

We started out our morning in the Plaza. Our original plan was to have get some coffee and pastries from Homeboy Bakeries but they were closed. So we wound up in the Japanse Plaza at the bakery there. BTW, they had surprising good coffee and the baked goodies we got were tasty. While we had our coffee, we sat outside the shop and watched this group. I guess they’re jazz singers and usually they’d be using a piano…I don’t know, I hadn’t had my coffee when they were introduced. Anyway, later on in their set, they sang Sukiyaki but the original Japanese song. I know some of the Japanese, but I know the English like everyone else. My husband asked me, “What is this song?” I was shocked. Mr. Music didn’t know this song? “It’s Sukiyaki!”. He looked at me, “How do you know that? See, I told you you know everything.” Whatever.

Something totally unexpected and random, Red Hat Society singing on stage. Yes. You read that right. I have pictures if you don’t believe me. We walked around, everyone and their brother were giving away trips to Hawaii. There was a section for kids with bouncy thingies. We watched a Hawaiian group play. Ilia liked that because she has a ukelele too. The kids made Chinese lanterns, something that took a lot longer than expected. There were quite a few tables set up for kids. They could learn origami, do a fish kites, paint a pet rock or make a lantern.

We walked around a bit, and looked for lunch. That should have been an easy task, but most of the places we usually eat at were closed. We wound up at an okay place, but $1.50 Kirin on tap. How could we not? Really? After lunch, we went to rejoin the crowds on the street. We caught the tailend of the Kabuki dancer.

Ilia loved it, but Alton did not enjoy the music. Then we went on the other side of the stage to see the Geisha dancers:

We also got a chance to watch the Japanese groups (I call them dance crews, since I’ve never seen them do anything but dance) do a dance in a circle. There were 4 “crews” and random people in a circle doing a dance who’s name is escaping me right now. It’s always fun to watch and it was even better to see more people under the age of 60 involved.

My little girl just loved all the dancing and the music. She wants a taiko, she wants a kimono, she wants to learn hula and kabuki. She wants to learn Japanese! That she wants to broaden her horizons and learn more about the world means the weekend was a success.

I have a craving

For brussels sprouts sauteed in garlic butter.

Homegirl Cafe

I just got back from breakfast at Homegirl Cafe in Chinatown. I hadn’t been to the one in Boyle Heights, though I’ve driven past it. The one in Chinatown–across the street from Chinatown?–has been open for a few months now and I’ve been meaning to get there. I really wish I had my camera or at least my cell phone with me. This will be a photo-less food review.

First we went it just to get coffee ($1.50), and then I saw the bakery goods. Homeboy Bakery has a little corner where they sell desserts, muffins, and fresh made bread. Crap. I meant to pick up a loaf of the rosemary olive bread before I left. Anyway, I bought the kids a crisp ($2). It looks like pita bread dusted in sugar, it tastes like flaky bits of heaven. I ordered my coffee and then noticed a menu…with breakfast. Breakfast is served until 11am and it’s $6. 14 items on the menu and each plate is $6. I chose to have the omelet with spinach, queso fresco and morita salsa. I got it with a side of Homegirl potatoes.

The omelet is good. A little bland, but since no one in LA County can make a decent omelet, this one is utterly brilliant. The eggs were perfectly moist and had a little crepe like crust on it. Yum. Usually, I can’t eat raw spinach added into things. For some reason, my throat closes up. I still order it and I forget until I can’t breath again. So, I did it again and I tried it, but so far my throat hasn’t close up. They could use a bit more queso fresco in there and definitely some onion, but it was a good omelet. The Homegirl potatoes are your basic breakfast potatoes mixed with fried corn and onion. My first bite of the potato was ho-hum, but as you eat them, you realize there’s complexities in there. I don’t know what it’s seasoned with, but it’s quite tasty.

I also got a side of the tofu chorizo ($2). Now, anyone who knows me knows that two things I won’t eat are tofu or chorizo. For whatever reason, I absolutely love tofu chorizo. I thought my kids would too. Unfortunately, the little boy only eats 3 items and none of them were around and the girl who loves tofu refuses to eat it with “spicy stuff” mixed into it. So, I got to have the wonderfully delicious tofu chorizo all to myself. It’s served over potatoes with cilantro on top. The dish also came with a piece of baguette. The bread had sesame seeds on it which made the tofu chorizo even more interesting in your mouth.

I highly suggest you go to Homegirl Cafe if you can. One of the best bonuses: It’s right across the street from Chinatown Station served by the Gold Line.

If lovin’ you is wrong, I don’t wanna be right…

God help me, but I love me some Hickory Farms Turkey Summer Sausage. I don’t know why. It’s not entirely healthy, it does funny things to my belly and the chemical taste should just end it right there. None of that stuff can stop me from consuming two sticks in a day. Let’s put it this way: I’d rather my kids starve than share one thin slice of Summer Sausage with them. HAHA…I said “rather”. They do love it too. So much so that I have to buy 4 sticks at a time. Forced too, I am! I remember one year, someone gave me a footlong stick for my birthday. I thought I had died and gone to heaven.

Now get this: My husband talks crap about it all the time. “How can you eat that stuff?”, “It’s so sugary!”, “It can’t be healthy to eat 36oz of meat in less than a day.” Blah, blah, blah…in the next breath it’s “Can I have some?”


Just wanted to share joy and glory of the Turkey Stick. It’s my Little Pink Sock.

Tasty is…

Trader Joe’s Rice Crisps.

I first tried this about a month ago. Craving salt & vinegar chips and being at Trader Joe’s, I saw these things. Rice crisps? Can’t be all that bad. But it is a TJ brand, so it could be cardboard for all I know. I bought a bag. A bag is 4.2oz. It took my family of four almost 5 days to finish them off. There’s that many in a bag. Yummy, crispy, saborsitos. Delicious. We went back to Trader Joe’s the other day and I bought the sour cream and onion flavor. WOW. Even better than the salt and vinegar ones.

If you live near a Trader Joe’s and these are there, I highly suggest you grab a bag.

Pasadena Greekfest ‘07

Yes, we went to the LA Greekfest earlier, but we were hungry see and couldn’t decide on what to eat. I wanted kebabs, he wanted lamb chops…by all rights, that means we were destined for Middle Eastern food. Then I said, “You know…the Pasadena Greekfest is nearby and it’s cheaper to get in than the LA one.” The rest is history. We plopped down our $3 a head and entered.

This one was smaller than the LA Greekfest, but still nice. We pulled some cash out the ATM and headed inside the church for some home-cooking. Let’s see…we got that casserole sorta dish with the pasta tubes and ground beef (yum!), rice, chicken and mousaka. It was good, if a tad salty. I was stuffed, but Adrian didn’t like his food.

After lunch, we headed outside, and strolled a bit. Unfortunately, all the vendors were the same exact one from the week before, so we didn’t have much to look at. Ah, but there’s the beer garden. It’s Hillas time! Oh, but wait…what is that guy cooking over next to the stage?

Greekfest Crowd

Oh…it’s a wine booth. 4 tasters for $10 and he was cooking saganaki.


I had never heard of it and it looked interesting. Despite being stuffed, I decided we needed wine and cheese. We had 4 Greek wines–I had all reds–that were pretty okay. They all tasted like variances of Egri Bikavér, which is to say that they’re palatable, but nothing to right home about. The first wine I tasted was actually kinda crappy. It was too vinegary for me. But then I took my first bite of saganaki, and sipped the wine afterwards and it was delish! The wine actually tasted a bit sweeter. Each wine was a perfect match with the saganaki. The only thing that could have made it more delectable is some apple slices, maybe some Gala apples.

While eating, I noticed that some of the people there looked familiar. I had seen them at the LA Greekfest. I asked the wine guy, if he noticed the same people and he said, “Yeah, Greekfest groupies.” Ha! What killed me, was that many of them were wearing the same exact clothes they had on the week before. Strange.

Anyway, we went to watch the people dancing. The guys behind us struck up conversation, asking me about my shirt (the first one) and we come to learn that they had attended the Greekfest in Cardiff the week before. I told them what the wine guy said and they laughed. We split and went to get some cotton candy. Let me tell you, a baby and cotton candy don’t exactly mix. Alton had no idea what to do with and all 3 of us were pantomiming eating it. He finally got it and, naturally, liked it. We walked around again and wound up in the beer garden and got our Hillas.

Hillas Beer

We pretty much spent the next 3 hours sitting there and watching the people go by. I spent most of that time obsessing over the cheese, desperate to get another, unwilling to share it and unable to justify an extra $7 for it. I actually spent most of last week, calling cheese shops around the area to see who had some. I plan on making it for our dinner party in a couple of weeks. I don’t know if I’ll share it with my guests. ;P