Archive for the ‘ Rant ’ Category

What Pinterest Wrought

The other day, while nursing the baby, I flipped through page after page and picture after picture of delicious food and other people’s rock hard abs next to inspirational sayings and snarky comments. I was on Pinterest and I was zoned out. I hardly noticed Gideon sidle up to me. He was watching the pictures fly by too. And he set his heart on this one:

He has spring break this week and he was not happy about it. He loves routine and all things being just the same as they always are. I was trying to think of things to do this week that would be exciting and I figured this might be a good substitute for going to Cabo San Lucas. So I bought the stuff we would need:

Oreos (double stuff, cause we roll fancy)
Mini Oreos (didn’t know they existed before last week)
Chocolate Almond Bark or CandiQuick or whatever you call that fake chocolate that melts in the microwave and is super cheap compared to the chocolate I actually want to consume
Skewers (in spite of already owning a whole package of them — why don’t I ever look in my own cabinet before I leave for the store)

The kids made their own before supper tonight and then consumed them right before bed. I’m guessing sugar coma looks the same as going to bed.

Then I made the rest.

And it was messy.

And not as easy as Pinterest wants us all to believe.

That’s the thing about all of those pretty pictures. I have friends who are amazing at making things and making things that look so very very beautiful. I have children that are gracious and easily impressed. I’m thankful for all of them.

Now let’s eat.


Restaurant Review: Ingredient Omaha (One Pacific Place)

Restaurant Location:
10317 Pacific St,
Omaha, NE 68114
Visit their website.

Date I Dined: May 21, 2011
Meal: Supper
Diners: Me, Jud and Allison

Decor: Located in the old California Pizza Kitchen bay of One Pacific Place, Ingredient, is open and spacious. Windows and natural light keep it from seeming dark, but the tint kept it cozy too. There was a heavy use of plexi-panneling with bamboo and dried flowers and swirls and such to add privacy and visual interest. This is an order at the counter diner trying to feel like it’s upscale, except that they plastered the place with televisions. You can watch sports! And look at wheat encased in plexi-glass! I don’t know, either.

The menu is large, and I don’t just mean that there is a lot to order. The actual menus that hang on the wall are gigantic with writing so far up the wall that I literally had to crane my neck to read them. Granted, I’m 5’2″, so this is mostly bothering me, the little people and children. Still. Proportions matter.

Ordering: The young woman behind the counter seemed tired and a little overwhelmed, with a deep line of people coming her way, I couldn’t blame her. We asked about the ‘draft of the day’ which is $3/glass she stated it was Coors.

Can you see why that seemed slightly ridiculous?

Yeah, it should’ve been obvious that things here weren’t going to go well. If only, we’d gone straight to Red Mango at this point.

But we didn’t. We ordered the following:

Crispy Asian Salad – ALLISON
thai-chili glazed steak, napa cabbage, bok choy, glass noodles, edamame, crisp red peppers, snow peas, carrots, and spicy cashews with sesame ginger dressing, topped with crispy wonton strips 9.95

Thai Pie Pizza – THE JUD
curry chicken, grilled broccoli, red onions, julienne carrots, thai peanut sauce, fresh cilantro, and chopped peanuts 9.95

Meat Lovers Pizza – ME
Italian sausage, pepperoni, apple wood bacon, capicola ham, with rustic tomato sauce and our three-cheese Italian blend 10.95

AND, unfortunately, Allison and I decided to share a carafe of margaritas.

It seemed like a good idea. But it wasn’t. It really, really wasn’t.

First, it was a TINY carafe. Now, I know, in their defense, it says right there in giant numbers that this is a 1/2 liter. I, of course, am spatially stunted, so that means nothing to me. I expected one thing and got another.

When the young woman brought it to our table, she seemed apologetic. Probably because the carafe was full of ice. It was mostly ice. And I have never really hoped to pay $15 for a carafe full of ice, unless maybe I was taking the carafe with me at the end of the meal. Even then….

There were so many harbingers of the horror to come! If we had only been paying attention and not trying to catch up with each other and enjoy our birthday celebration. Be ye not so unwise, dear readers!

And then the food came.

And it was not pretty. I should say that the pizzas were not pretty. In fact, they looked barely baked, save for some char on the crust rim. The cheese was just to the other side of melted. You could still see the outlines of the shredding in some spots. Not gooey. Not bubbly. The salad was bright and had some nice pops of color. Jud and I were both immediately jealous of Allison (as if we weren’t already! Have you seen her stuff?).

And then we started eating. I know this guy, doesn’t agree, but it was awful. I believe my exact words were “I wish I was eating a Totino’s Party Pizza. I would be $9 richer and it would taste better.” The meat wasn’t high quality. The cheese was nothing of note. And the crust was bland, rubbery and flaccid. Jud’s pizza was no better. The thai peanut sauce tasted exactly like Kraft’s Asian Sesame Ginger sauce (which is pretty awesome on a salad at home, but less so on a pizza). The vegetables weren’t especially cooked. They clearly needed to spend more time in a ridiculously hot oven. The cheese and crust were just like mine.

Meanwhile, over in awesome land, Allison was not too unhappy with her salad. She munched. We all talked. Jud and I choked down our pizzas because we were STARVING. And then, IT HAPPENED. There was a terrible noise, like grinding and enamel and rocks. Why? Oh, because THERE WAS A ROCK IN ALLISON’S SALAD. Not like a little pebble or something. A rock. A rock that had been hiding in some lettuce and that she bit into multiple pieces. How large? Here you go. We photographed it.

Salad Rock - Post-Bite

After she had a moment to catch her breath and pick the rock shards from her mouth, Allison went to the restroom to inspect the damage. We asked to see a manager. When he came over, we explained what happened and he said “Well, lettuce grows in the ground so these things happen.” And then, as Jud as my witness, the dude Kanye shrugged. As if to say “Whatev!” “Not my problem!” “Lettuce can be rocky!”. And then he was all “do you want another salad?”

Let’s see? Another salad that you most likely have also poorly washed? NOPE! We’re good, sir!

Jud said “You know, water comes from the faucet and you should wash your produce.”

Another Shrug. “Do you want your money back,” asked Shruggy McShruggerton.

“This isn’t about the money,” I said. And it isn’t. It still isn’t. It’s about proper food preparation. It’s about public trust. It’s about taking responsibility and owning the fact that someone was INJURED eating the salad for which your name should be vouching.

Then he picked up the largest piece of rock and walked away.

Allison returned. We walked out and over to Red Mango where all of our hopes and dreams for humanity were restored.

Verdict: Eat at your own risk, Dan. I bet the rest of you are with me. Any place that wants to pride themselves on what goes into their food (hence the name ‘Ingredient’ I suppose) ought to start off with something great, make sure it is prepared properly and serve it with class. They missed the mark on every level and we will be using our own ingredients from here on out.

Chalk One Up

Apparently there is a difference between 24 hour fitness, 24 hour fitness sport and 24 hour fitness super sport. I had no idea. I mean, yes, I understand that each of them has some different addition and I’m guessing that those words mean SOMETHING, but I don’t know WHAT and I for sure didn’t know that I couldn’t work out at the one with the ‘super’ attached to it. It would have been helpful to know before 5:30 am when I am 20 minutes from home on my first day of work. Luckily the woman at the desk gave me a by and I was able to work out after only some minor pathetic theatrics. After experiencing the amazing difference of super sport, I must say that the word ‘super’ seems a bit much. They didn’t have my favorite ab machine, but they did offer mouthwash and lotions in the bathroom. I used neither. I guess I’m not super enough to throw my obsessive compulsion with cleanliness and personal hygiene to the wind. It was all a little too creepy for me. I’ll just take my poor sport butt to a different one. One where no one offers me mouthwash in the locker room.

My first day was typical – IT problems, waiting for the person who’s training me to finish their real work so that they can show me how to do amazingly simply things. Essentially I prepare TPS reports and send them out to people, with cover sheets of course. It would’ve been helpful if my trainer had told me that the report needed to be inserted into the microscopic slits in the folders before I sealed the envelopes they were in, but it didn’t take that long to open them all up, insert all of the papers into the slits and reseal them with packing tape. Not as long as pounding my head against a filing cabinet for 50 minutes, but nearly as much fun. I was pretty relieved to find the work so simple, but also a little frightened because I am sure I cannot do this for a long period of time. We’ll see how it all works out.

I’ll give a shout out to the ‘rents who celebrated their anniversary yesterday. Holla!!

And finally, Adam, you better be treating my dogs nicely (i.e. when preparing yourself a tuna fish sandwhich, be sure to open two cans of tuna, use as much tuna as you’d like for two-four sandwiches but make sure to leave a little extra in each can and give one to each puppy). If you don’t they will just bite you, or cry a lot, or lick you, or pee. Have it your way, I guess.