Food Harmonics in Ojai California

A Dream stop for Foodies!

Food Harmonics is so good they merit a trip to Ojai, not just a stop in if you are already in town. Located in Ojai California, a fun little city overlooking the beautiful mountains of Los Padres National Forest between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, Food Harmonics is an absolute must.
Don’t be fooled by the quick order appearance when you first walk in, this place is quality food made fresh and worth sitting down to savor. There is great seating in the back or on the outdoor patio where you can look out and enjoy nature.

Don’t be intimidated by the menu board either. Take your time, ask questions, and know that everything we tasted blew us away. Homemade bread, soups, unexpected drinks both hot and cold are a mix of the familiar and items that might be foreign to you.

The entire menu is organic and gluten free. There are also amazing Raw, Vegan, Vegetarian, and Paleo options. I know, very California Foodie but don’t roll your eyes until you have their Raw Vegan Pizza on your tongue and then it will be completely pleasure induced. Yes the Raw Vegan Pizza is my top pick!

Raw Vegan Pizza – Not the first thing you think to order, but it should be! Not exactly the gooey cheesiness we usually associate with the term, but I would eat this any and every day that it is offered. The crust has a surprising crisp texture, thick and hearty. The toppings are so fresh they make you feel good from the first bite. Pesto, cashew cheese, mushrooms, fresh tomato, and pickled onion give the pizza a unique taste. It couldn’t be better proof that healthy and tasty can go hand in hand especial when added to the long list of dehydrated goodness that make up the crust! Honestly one of the best things I have ever eaten.
(more…)

New Games and Gaming Devices You Will Love

Looking for some fun games to play with the kids? We have some suggestions.

Mario Kart is one of those games which turn a room full of strangers into a room full of new buddies- or at least rowdy racers.  With equal parts skill, luck, and know how, Mario Kart has consistently been a gem of this gaming’s generation.  The latest in the franchise, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, dare I say may be the brightest gem so far.  With almost all characters unlocked to begin with, this game is built for multiplayer.  As the new Switch will show you, it is easy to grab a controller and play.  Each player takes the mini controller for their racer and plays.

With tons of characters to choose from, everyone can pick their favorite without arguments.  Characters of different wights and sizes act differently and effect your controls, as do the type of vehicle and even the tires selected.  The game also includes support for amiibo’s and amiibo cards, which unlock more content in game, allowing for even more customization. Mario Kart Deluxe 8 is available no for $59.99 from retail locations of via download fro the eShop.

 

We have two indie titles-  one for the 3DS and one for the Playstation 4. Fun, inexpensive, and most gamers will enjoy them and be able to play (no master skill sets required).

This is the third Box Boy game in the line, Bye Bye Box Boy , is a game where players use the power of boxes to solve various puzzles as Qbby.  This game is an enjoyable puzzle game which is simple to get into, but difficult to put down.  My 9 year old has loved every Box Boy game and this is no different, but now with a few additions like 4 new powers, baby boxes to rescue, and new environmental issues to contend with (like water, wind, and scales) there is more to do.  He enjoys the Box Boy series- it’s tough but not too tough for him to figure out after thinking about it and trying a few things, or in some cases, with some help from Dad.  Bye By Box Boy is available now on the eShop on the Nintendo 3DS and retails for $4.99.
(more…)

Surveying The Pittsburgh Restaurant Scene

In a city like Pittsburgh, there are endless options on where and what to eat. It’s a diverse city, populated with people of many different ethnic backgrounds. They come to the city with a particular background, find a space, stock a commercial refrigerator with the supplies of their trade, and head to the stove to create masterpieces. As you might expect, the resulting culinary offerings are almost endless.

In fact, there are so many good restaurants in Pittsburgh that any attempt to saturate the scene and visit all the best would be futile. It’s just more than anyone could bite off–literally and figuratively.

A better way to approach a food tour of a unique city like Pittsburgh is to break it down geographically. Each nationality represented in the city is heavily populated in one or more city neighborhoods, and the restaurants in those areas reflect that influence. So start with a map and finish with a fork as we review Pittsburgh’s culinary scene.

Oakland: Conflict Kitchen

The name may be puzzling at first, but hear us out. Conflict Kitchen seeks to provide a place not just for stimulating food but for stimulating conversation. Speakers and performers provide the context for conversation, and an Iran-influenced menu is served.

The response is overwhelmingly positive, constructive, and enjoyable. Somehow it’s a little easier to see things from another’s perspective when you sit down and break bread together.
(more…)

The Flavors of Louisiana in Virginia at Bayou Bakery

New Orleans native Chef David Gaus has won accolades from The Today Show, the Travel Channel, Food and Wine, Southern Living, Saveur and Bon Appetit for his Arlington, Virginia restaurant Bayou Bakery. There you can taste the authentic flavors of the Crescent City while in the suburbs of D.C./Northern Virginia.

When you walk in, you order your food choices at the counter, and then take a seat to wait for your items to be prepared. There are colorful Southern and New Orleans touches to the decor, but it’s not kitchy. Sofas and smaller tables make mingling and socializing easier, and there is wifi should you want to bring your laptop (which many people seemed to want to do).

new orleans

New Orleans was a port destination for coffee for centuries, and  Bayou Bakery has some unique and natural coffee infusion drinks, incorporating unexpected flavors like basil, honey, and ginger root. Or, if you are in the mood for something a little harder, did you know cocktails were invented in New Orleans? Their Bloody Mary takes a fresh twist with pickled veggies as garnish. It won’t sear your tongue, however, but rather, it has a tangy drinkability.
(more…)

Cream of Tartar, Recipes and More

If you ever bought a can labeled cream of tartar and got a powdery stuff inside, don’t worry, there is nothing wrong with either your eyesight, or the product. That’s the way it is supposed to be. Cream of tartar is an acidic substance that also goes by the names of potassium bitartrate and potassium hydrogen tartrate.

This powdery substance is actually, a by-product of the process of making wine. Who would have thought, right? Well, I wouldn’t be so keen on writing about cream of tartar and its many uses if it hadn’t been for an article I read the other day. It contains everything there is to know about cream of tartar, from culinary uses to those that go beyond the kitchen.

Prepare the Perfect Dessert with Cream of Tartar

When preparing a dessert like cakes, cookies and meringue pies. Because, let’s face it. Preparing a delicious meringue pie is not enough if it doesn’t look inviting. And to look inviting the topping should be fluffy. The answer to achieving this fluffiness lies in whipping the egg whites. More precisely, you should add a 1/8 teaspoon for each egg white while you are whipping. So if the recipe calls for 3 egg whites you add 1/8 teaspoon x 3. This will help the formation of air bubbles and you can rest assure your topping won’t be flat. What’s more, cream of tartar when added to eggs will increase their tolerance to high temperatures.
(more…)

Johnsonville’s Spark the Season #FirstBrats #ad

Warmer weather is on the way, get your grill ready! If you are like us, and on the older side of millennials- one of the over 80% of “mature millennials” – you might also rank grilling as one of your favorite summer activities.People who love to grill can’t wait to grill – and these extreme grillers may even do it when it’s not quite time yet.

Johnsonville’s Spark the Season is ready to come out of the “dark period” of winter and get grilling. Spring, and new chances to cook and eat outdoors, signifies Spring beginning just like flowers and warmer weather.

Former Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher helped Johnsonville grill and serve bratwursts at Sunday’s Chicago Polar Plunge on March 5, 2017, in Chicago. (Jean-Marc Giboux/AP Images for Johnsonville)

To kick off this new beginning, Johnsonville has partnered with former pro linebacker Brian Urlacher and is sponsoring the 2017 Chicago Polar Plunge, so shivering participants can warm up with our piping hot Johnsonville #FirstBrats of the season, fresh off the burners of the Big Taste Grill.  What could be better? Other then a warm beach somewhere, LOL.

The Big Taste Grill is a 20-foot tall, 65-foot long grill, which cooks 2,500 brats an hour or 750 bratwurst at a time on its 40 square feet of grilling surface.

The Plunge is hosted and benefits Special Olympics Chicago, which aligns directly with the charitable mission of the Big Taste Grill. If these extreme plungers are willing to jump in freezing water for a good cause, Johnsonville should be a part of it, as we don’t let weather get in the way of what we love – grilling brats.

Former Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher helped Johnsonville grill and serve bratwursts at Sunday’s Chicago Polar Plunge on March 5, 2017, in Chicago. (Jean-Marc Giboux/AP Images for Johnsonville)


(more…)

Instantly Fresh Herbs from Litehouse

Disclosure- We received the items below in order to facilitate this review. All opinions are our own and honest.  Because we prepare meals as a family, we hoped that the Litehouse Instantly Fresh Herbs would be an flavorful addition to recipes.  We discovered that the herbs are easy to add and delicious.

Since watching cooking shows is wildly popular in our home, we were eager to try the Litehouse Instantly Fresh Herbs.  We learn about ingredients and combinations of flavors while cheering on our favorite home cooks as they challenge chefs with years of training.  We watch as the chefs mince and chop herbs wondering if we could learn to chop with such finesse. As a result, we research recipes to prepare as a family.  Recipes often call for a pinch of fresh herbs but keeping fresh parsley, ginger, mint, or cilantro on hand to add to our favorite dishes is a challenge.  Because fresh herbs can be expensive, spoil quickly, and require a bit of knife skills, we often leave out these ingredients.  Also, dried herbs lack flavor and aroma.  Therefore, having Litehouse Instantly Fresh Herbs on hand makes it easy to prepare delicious family meals at home.

About Litehouse Instantly Fresh Herbs

Litehouse Instantly Fresh Herbs are freeze-dried without preservatives. The herbs are gluten-free and made from non-GMO crops.  Since moisture in the fridge can rehydrate the herbs, it is best to keep opened jars in the cabinet with other spices.  Herbs are available as single ingredients
(more…)

The Radio City Christmas Spectacular #GreenGiantXRockettes @GreenGiant

radio city

This past week, we went into New York City to see the The Radio City Christmas Spectacular. It’s one of those things that you need to do at least once in your life, if not more often (if you are close enough that you are able).

radio city mucic hall

Running through Jan.2, 2017, you and your family and friends can go see one of NYC’s iconic show’s (and some of the world’s most iconic dancers) to really get the holiday season started. The Rockettes have been performing at Radio City since 1932, and during the Christmas season they preform 7 days a week. The Rockettes also perform every year at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in NYC and America’s Thanksgiving Parade in Detroit. They also lit the Empire State Building red and green for Christmas. Gotta love those hard-working ladies!

pic8The kids were enthralled- my son’s favorite scenes were the Rockette- reindeer pulling Santa’s sleigh, the many dancing Santa’s, and the Radio City version of “The Nutcracker”, with teddy bears.

He loved the surprise streamers and snow that fell on the audience as well. We all enjoyed the ending, the true meaning of Christmas. It was a beautifully done “walk” by the 3 Wise Men and their entourage, as well as live animals, as they went to pay tribute to the new born King. At the end, traditional hymns and Christmas songs were sung and the whole group was in front of the Baby Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.
(more…)