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Sizzler Joins the Food Truck Craze

Oh my goodness, I thought for sure that would be a headline for an Onion article.
Though, if they serve Sizzler cheese toast out of the truck, I *might* stand in line. That was typically the best part of a Sizzler meal as a child.

Sep 21, 2010
swissgirl in Food Media & News

Light, not-too-sweet workplace birthday-dessert suggestions needed!

Sure Karykat, I'd love the cobbler recipe. A nectarine cobbler souunds wonderful.

Aug 29, 2010
swissgirl in Home Cooking

Light, not-too-sweet workplace birthday-dessert suggestions needed!

Wow, Thanks for all these great ideas; I'm going to peruse my options here. It is a little challenging - the birthday gal is a nice lady but I don't really know her. Had to ask a coworker about her preferences. Anyway, perhaps lemon bread, angel food cake or a cobbler. Look for low sugar variations. Fresh fruit on the side for sure.

And I'm going to save the stuffed apple and pumpkin cookie recipes to make at home with the kiddos. All sounds great. By the way, I also prefer healthy foods myself but someone at work discovered I enjoy dark chocolate. So that was the theme of my birthday celebration. It was all very good.
Thanks again.

Aug 28, 2010
swissgirl in Home Cooking

Light, not-too-sweet workplace birthday-dessert suggestions needed!

Hello. It is my turn at work to bring the birthday dessert for a colleague, as the last one to have a birthday is the next in line to provide the main dish at the next celebration. The birthday lady in question likes to eat healthy, enjoys food low in sugar and not too sweet. She is also lactose intolerant.
Usually 10 people or so stop by to give birthday wishes and of course, check out the food offerings! Most every time, the guests are women in our department.

I'm looking for simple ideas and a dish with perhaps 3-5 main ingredients, as I have limited time and budget to shop. Something with fruit is probably a good idea. I do enjoy baking but could also make another dessert, perhaps a fruit salad or something like that.
Any suggestions? Thanks in advance.

Aug 27, 2010
swissgirl in Home Cooking

Favorite Cereals (No Mix-Ins)

Trail Mix Grape Nuts are tasty. Even better is the unfortunately elusive Cranberry Vanilla Grape Nuts.

Aug 31, 2009
swissgirl in General Topics

A Eulogy for the Shopping Mall: What are/were your favorite food court foods?

Oh my goodness VickiL, are you my twin on the Eastern Coast? When I was a kid, we'd eat at Magic Pan in one of the San Jose, Ca malls quite often and the only dish I'd order was the spinach crepe with the mandarin orange salad. I never deviated because I loved that spinach crepe so much.

Aug 03, 2009
swissgirl in General Topics

A Eulogy for the Shopping Mall: What are/were your favorite food court foods?

I already miss Hot Dog on a Stick because I relocated to the Midwest without any outlets nearby. The Cherry Lemonade is great. I miss the veggie hot dog on a stick option from a mall in Santa Cruz/Capitola.

I also used to hit up Mrs. Fields cookies during every mall visit; at the end of the day, the store would often give away extra cookies.

And for awhile when I was a mallrat, I lived on Gloria Jeans Ice Cap drinks, sugary cold goodness with a little bit of coffee included. Yum.

When I was little, my mom took us to Eastridge Mall in San Jose ( crazy big mall with 3 or 4 levels and sloping hanging walkways I used to run down, driving mom crazy). Anyway, we'd hit the donut store at the food court. I seem to remember crazy pink and blue circle 1970s decor and really good glazed donuts. Don't see many donut places anymore in malls.

Jul 13, 2009
swissgirl in General Topics

Steak and Ale

The corporate-owned Bennigans locations closed; the franchised outlets remain open.

Jun 22, 2009
swissgirl in Chains

Kona Grill

I really llke this chain. My favorite item is the Sweet Chili Glazed Salmon salad. I also like the noodle dishes such as Pad Thai and Peanut Chicken; I was able to sub tofu for the meat in the noodle dishes, which is an option I prefer.

May 25, 2009
swissgirl in Chains

Preserving leftover bananas for a short time

Thanks, I'll try this tip too. Happen to have both OJ and pineapple juice on hand.

May 18, 2009
swissgirl in Home Cooking

J. Buffett's Cheeseburger in Paradise

In my neck of the woods, when the side of the restaurant is open in warm weather, it looks out onto a busy freeway. Kind of a weird juxtaposition with the beach theme and all.

The chocolate nachoes are good. I really appreciate the turkey and veggie burger options.

May 18, 2009
swissgirl in Chains

Preserving leftover bananas for a short time

That's great! Or this, which I've actually seen presented on a shopping network (sort of NSFW).
http://bananabunker.com/

Everyone else: Thanks for the "cut in the skin and wrap in plastic" tip. I will try that. I hate to waste food.

May 18, 2009
swissgirl in Home Cooking

Preserving leftover bananas for a short time

My one-year old son loves bananas but can't eat a whole one at once. Short of freezing the leftover banana portion, how can I preserve it for 24 hours or so without it turning brown and mushy? I can't help eat the fruit because I detest bananas!

May 18, 2009
swissgirl in Home Cooking

CiCis Pizza?

It's a great place to take kids. While my daughter attended a friend's birthday party at CiCi's, my husband and I ate from the buffet. I can't say the pizza was good but it was passable ( I only tried the Spinach). The apple pizza was dry. Wished I'd tried the cinnamon rolls - I didn't realize they are a tasty item at Cici's. The place was loud and filled with kids, making it the optimum place for a noisy kid's party among all the other patrons.

Apr 27, 2009
swissgirl in Chains

new vitamin water 10: weird-tasting

These waters are too sweet on their own. However, I find splashing some into a glass of regular tap water adds some flavor while keeping the overly-sweetness at bay. Plus the bottle lasts longer (I keep a stash at work). I do this with the regular vitamin water (don't really care about the vitamins and purported health benefits, just the flavors) and also cheaper, flavored water found at Walgreens and Target. Haven't tried this new less sweet version of Vitamin water yet.

Apr 20, 2009
swissgirl in General Topics

Favorite Morningstar product?

The website also lists Thai and Asian Veggie burgers. I *have* to locate these, don't believe I've seen them yet at the store. Everything I've tried from Morningstar is delish. When I find a sale, watch out, time to stock up,especially on Grillers, Corn Dogs and Bacon Strips.

Apr 13, 2009
swissgirl in General Topics

Favorite sugar cereal? :)

I can't think of a sweet cereal I don't like. The only flavor I wouldn't try is banana flavored cereals because I abhor bananas.

I LOVE trying brand extensions of existing sweet cereals:

French Toast Crunch
Cinnamon Chex
Maple Life Cereal
Chocolate Trix
Grape Nuts Trail Mix Vanilla and Cranberry
the list goes on and on and on.....

Apr 13, 2009
swissgirl in General Topics

Starbucks New $3.95 Breakfast?

Maybe the registers aren't programmed to accept the coupon until 2PM. I ran into that at a JC Penney day after Thanksgiving where a coupon was good starting at 3PM and the clerks couldn't redeem them before 3PM. If the store wasn't busy, they could have gone ahead and made your drink and rung you up after 2PM, I suppose.

Mar 03, 2009
swissgirl in Chains

Macaroni Grill - What is the appeal????

Those Brinker names -Spageddies, Eatzi's and Cozymel's- sound like a marketing department run amok. Let's take Cozumel and add a "Y"! I work in Marketing and have had to come up with product names; it can be a difficult task but those are just bad. I hope the actual restaurants are better than the names.

Mar 02, 2009
swissgirl in Chains

Macaroni Grill - What is the appeal????

Yes. I remember the menu used to be in Italian. When MG came on the scene, the idea seemed to be "dining in an Italian courtyard" with singing waiters, those giant wine bottles on display and really good, fresh food. But it sounds like the concept devolved into an ordinary Italian chain restuarant over the years. No doubt, some cost-cutters nibbled away at everything, even the high-standard dress code. That's an interesting tidbit.

Mar 02, 2009
swissgirl in Chains

Macaroni Grill - What is the appeal????

When they first opened (in the SF Bay Area anyway), Macaroni Grill featured singing waiters - and I mean decent singing. I don't think they do that anymore, do they? I kind of liked the concept but maybe it just didn't work.

Also, when I first went to a MG, the open floor plan restaurant thing was pretty novel. Also, the bread and dipping oil were good. I haven't been in a while but the last time, the menu was kind of ordinary and my favorite dish ( a manicotti) had disappeared. As far as mid-level Italian chains, I'd say Maggianos or Buca di Beppo are better.

Mar 02, 2009
swissgirl in Chains

Starbucks New $3.95 Breakfast?

Recently, over on the Starbucks Gossip blog, baristas were anticipating customers would want to make substitutions and apparently, baristas aren't supposed to sub in a different drink or food item to make custom combos. It would have been better to have a "choose two for $3.95" menu like at Panera, for example, with their soup/salad/sandwich combos at lunchtime - "choose any two for $6" (or whatever the priice is).

Mar 02, 2009
swissgirl in Chains

Due to bad economy, some restaurants are eliminating busboys

Catching up on some WSJ reading and came across this: Due to slumping sales and fewer customers, some restaurants are eliminating busboys and relying on servers to take over typical busboy duties such as clearing tables and refilling water glasses. Not surprisingly, some servers are not happy about the increased workload.

I don’t know what to make of this statement from a restaurant industry consultant: “The busser is a luxury that, in this environment, is very difficult to justify.” Really? It seems to me bussers are needed to ensure efficient and smooth running of the restaurant both in the dining room and the kitchen. Sometimes, bussers are invisible but the work is essential. Yes, servers can take up the slack to some degree but service will suffer if servers are wiping tables, moving dishes to the sinks, and trying to wash their hands after handling dirty dishes all while performing their regular duties.

And to top it all off, since eliminating busboys, many more spoons than usual are disappearing from Bob Evans. I wonder if the same is happening at other restaurants who’ve cut back on busboys.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB12330...

Feb 17, 2009
swissgirl in Not About Food

Gordon Biersch

Known for garlic fries and of course, beer. The overall menu has a good variety of seafood, pasta, steak dishes and I've always enjoyed my meals and drinks there. I've been to the San Jose and Vegas locations.

Feb 02, 2009
swissgirl in Chains

Taco Bell quality

In order to get a Taco Bell "tostada", I've resorted to ordering a taco, no meat, add beans and breaking it in half. It's a decent substitute.

Jan 26, 2009
swissgirl in Chains

Vegetarian Lunches

Lentil soup (very filling). I actually use Progresso and add a little shredded cheese on top.

I have to say, sometimes a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on whole wheat also hits the spot.

Jan 12, 2009
swissgirl in General Topics

Vegetarians: What chains do you eat at?

Red Robin IS over-priced but at least they have a good variety of burger combos. They used to have an out-of-control mixed drink menu too but that has been pared down in the last few years.

Jan 05, 2009
swissgirl in Chains

Vegetarians: What chains do you eat at?

A quick Google search seems to indicate that TB's beans are lard-free but rumors abound that they aren't.

Jan 05, 2009
swissgirl in Chains

Vegetarians: What chains do you eat at?

Thanks for the info. I don't like sour cream and order without it (so I guess I order a 6-layer burrito at the 7-layer price...hmmm). But I didn't know the sour cream contains gelatin.

Dec 30, 2008
swissgirl in Chains

Vegetarians: What chains do you eat at?

Fast food - Subway for the Veggie Delight or Veggie Patty sandwich. Otherwise, Taco Bell and the 7-layer burrito is the go-to.

Casual Chain Restaurants - My fave is Red Robin because you can sub a veggie patty for any burger.

Dec 29, 2008
swissgirl in Chains