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Bea Arthur Mountains Pizza. Similar to, but different than This Guy. You’re welcome.

Ah, the Buffet.

So, recently, my rugby friends and I experienced Las Vegas. Or should I say, IT experienced US? (Seriously, though, we experienced it.) Originally the reason for our trip was to watch the International Rugby 7s Tourney. It then became a trip designed to let us escape the snow for at least ONE CUSSING DAY.

PLEASE just make it STOP for ONE. BLESSED. MINUTE.

Anywho, along with some good rugby and good laughs, we got to eat some great food. (We also ate quite a bit of Baja Fresh. On Sunday my friend Donkey ate a burrito for every meal, which we began to refer to as the “Burrito Hat Trick” or, more cleverly, the “Burr-three-to”. She almost went for a fourth the next day, which we of course would have called the “Four-itto”.)

SUNSHINE! THANK THE GOOD LORD!

Our last morning there, we decided to hit up one of Vegas’ many buffets. We hopped on the monorail from The Excalibur (where we stayed) to Mandalay Bay (only a few minutes away in travel, but miles above in class.) So, here’s the thing about sweet buffets. You not only end up eating lots and LOTS of food, but you end up eating some pretty weird combinations of things.

The thought process going through a buffet is something like this: “Oh man! Pork! I better get some of that. What the- is that scrambled eggs? Heck yes! Oh man, chocolate pudding, this is going to be great! I wonder how much of that cottage cheese I can fit on here?” And so your table ends up looking something like this:

What you see there is, of course, shrimp cocktail, cream of wheat and in the background some chocolate cake. And suddenly, what seemed like a great idea in the buffet line becomes a little weird at the table.

And then there was this:

“What is that?!” you ask yourself, “An empty ice cream cone? Sacrilege! Who is responsible for such a  tragedy?”

The little guy responsible for this ice cream-less cone is some little kid that intercepted me on my way to the ice cream machine. And when I say that the kid “intercepted” me, what I really mean is that “he vomited in the spot right in front of the ice cream machine”. And instead of losing my appetite completely, I just waited until someone came to clean up the vomit. Fat kid!

CHOC

Raaaaage! Raaaaage!

Hello all! I am currently raging against the world. And here’s why:

Do you KNOW what that IS? Well, yes, it is one of my favorite coffeeshops and hipster-watching locations: One World Cafe. It also is, strangely enough, a picture of my computer screen with a gchat conversation with Liz.

But, most importantly, the rage-against-the-world-worthy part, is the PLATE of FRIES who’s ultimate destination is the TRASH. The woman across from me ordered these delicious fries, complete with OLD BAY topping (it’s a Bawlmer thing, I suppose) and KETCHUP (it’s a universe thing, I’m guessing?). She finished with them about 20 minutes ago and pushed them away from her, and closer to me.

And here is what I really truly, (madly,) deeply wish for the world: that it would be socially acceptable for me to just reach across and eat a couple of those bad boys. OR that we lived in a society where it was socially UNacceptable to just throw away perfectly good, uneaten food. Like, it was just normal to walk around offering your extra food to your STARVING tablemates who only had a salad for lunch because they are still trying to work off the excess calories from their Las Vegas shennanies. Just sayin’.

CHOC

Featured Sandwich: Monte Cristo

Selleck Waterfall Sandwich. Good Use of Internet.

Similar to, but different than Scanwiches which is also Good Use of Internet.

PB & J

Triple-Threat-Gingersnap-to-your-FACE (the mouth part of your face, that is)

Dark Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies w/Candied Ginger

Fresh Ground Pepper Buttermilk Biscuit

Coco Brownies with Caoco Nibs

New England Style Gingerbread Cookies

So these are a few of the things that I made this fall, and then it seems I stopped taking pictures of things I was making as I realized I probably wasn’t going to blog about them. There are a few notable dishes missing: all of Thanksgiving, Swiss Chard and Sweet Potato Gratin, BeerCake, and a bunch of other things that I remember were delicious but undocumented. Oh well!

LM

So for those of you who might not know me, I should tell you now that I really like me some facial hair (not on myself, of course, but just in general- the concept, the visuals, etc.). I have asked many a confused middle school girl at work “if you were a guy, what type of facial hair would you have?” only to receive a look that is both totally blank and full of fear, if that is possible. My answer is mutton chops and a sick handlebar mustache, in case you were wondering.

This dude knew what was up.

And so naturally this guy hooked me immediately with the title of his blog: The Food In My Beard. But it turns out the name isn’t the only great thing about this blog. Dude knows how to cook, and makes recipes that are easy and accessible. He even has a section entitled “Stubble” where he gives some basic, staple recipes to cook. Check it out!

CHOC


I’ve realized that I have pattern where sometime over the desolate winter months I begin to hoard information about how awful the world can be. Usually, this attitude starts because I decide to watch some documentary about something I already find frustrating (this year was Food Inc.) and then I end up watching many more documentaries (Very Young Girls) and reading lots of articles and then I end up yelling about Monsanto to people I don’t even really know. Because I really, really, really do not like Monsanto.* Really don’t like them.

But I digress. Yesterday when I wandered around the internet I came across an article by Mark Bitten in the NYTimes about the issue of sugar consumption in the US. If you didn’t know, it’s a pretty serious problem. And, know now that I’m not going to get into the socio-economic factors (that sugar consumption is higher in poorer neighborhoods because high-fructose products are cheaper and easier to find) and I’m not going to talk about it now because I don’t have time and again, the anger. But I will asterisk this for the New Haven-ers.**

Now, if you happen to be wondering why I’m spending so much time talking about sugar and the evils of agribusiness it’s because I really care about where our food is coming from and the effects that factory farming has on our individual, societal, and ecological health. I would go so far as to say that the way that we have manipulated food produces equal parts grief and terror in my life. And this is part of the reason why I love to cook so much– because I love to know where my food is coming from and to cook in a sustainable way.

I think that I can say for both Caitlin and myself, that the cafe we hope to have one day (you know, the reason for this blog) will be a cafe that supports organic and LOCAL agriculture and hope to facilitate conversations over delicious and healthy treats about the future of food and sustainable agriculture. And if I had it my way, I’d also have our cafe on a farm, but that seems unlikely. We will have a garden though!

Yes. We will grow eggplants.

*I was trying to find an appropriate link to explain why I don’t like Monsanto as I’m trying not to sound like a ranting lunatic and found many articles that made me all angry again. Like this one. This one.  And watch the documentary that started my ranting about these things– or at least watch the trailer. Or read this helpful review of the documentary from BeThinking.

** New Haven. Look at where the fast food chains are located in the town. How many can you think of that are in the downtown area and how many are on Whalley Ave. Just sayin’.

Note: Just about all of documentaries I mentioned are available online on Netflix. And I think that The Corporation is free and legal somewhere on the internet.

LM