Monthly Archives: February 2015

High marks for PDXgiftbar

IMG_3658Howdy, friends. I’d like you to meet Rebekah Bar.

Rebekah and I met nearly a decade ago at the World’s Greatest Journalism School. We lived down the hall from each other, shared a great number of classes and were supervised by a self-important nerd who initially introduced himself as “Shinobo”.

Credit: Callie Zilk

[Ed. note: If you are going to read one of the words in there as negative, please make sure it’s “self-important”, not “nerd”. Hodor.]

After our schooling, we both went our separate ways. I ended up going towards South Carolina; Rebekah, further west.

She’s now settled in Portland, Ore., and for the last couple of years, has just been slaying it with her blog PDXfoodlove, a conversation on cooking, cocktails and life in the northwestern corner of the contiguous 48. PDXfoodlove served as an inspiration for starting Breaking Off a Piece, and is just a delight to visit — in its imagery, in its design and in its content. I owe my favorite sandwich — the avocado-based chicken salad BLT — to her, and have impressed [Ed. note: “impressed”] at least four separate people with recipes I found on her site.

Because she is as generous as she is creative, she sent two Gift Bars my way in support of BOaP. My thoughts are as follows; once you’re finished with those, though, head on over to PDXfoodlove and check it out. Continue reading

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Let’s Discuss: Who Are Your Five Dating References?

IMG_3654On Monday evening, thanks to the generous, esteemed Boof Bar, I watched the Bucks get blown off the court by the Bulls. [Ed. note: It’s OK. I’m not upset. Own the future, boys.]

As is customary, we shared a postgame meal and conversation at the one and only Tater Tot Land, a swell establishment that has a kitchen open ’til 1 and serves, you guessed it, tater tots. (Also sandwiches and salads and iced tea, but who the hell wants to hear about Iced Tea Land?)

Among the topics covered in said conversation: basketball, traveling, “Bolognese”, respecting the process, roommates paying rent and/or doing dishes, Bop, work, “idiosyncrasies”, Mediterranean chopped salads, new cars, our respective adventures in the realm of dating.

Just two single fellas havin bro talk; inevitably some frustration surrounding that last topic seeped out. At one point, amongst a great deal of other points, Boof said, “It would be easier if after the first date, you could give her five people to call about you, and if she still wants to date you after that, then … let’s proceed.” (Or something like that. I didn’t have a tape recorder.)

Me: “Haha, that’s rich. ‘Hey, darlin’, I had a great time. Call these five people, and get back to me if you’re still interested.'”

LET’S DISCUSS: Assume that it’s accepted social norm that after a first date, both parties exchange a list of five references for the other to call to determine whether they want to continue to date. The references come with a maximum five-word descriptor and phone number (e.g. Will Smith: actor, rapper, Renaissance Man XXX-XXX-XXXX). These references do not know they are going to be called, but they have to at least answer the phone when the call comes.

WHO ARE YOUR FIVE REFERENCES? Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Brit Week is Over. Where Next? SPACE.

IMG_3652

U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!

[Ed. Note: Yeah, I know it’s a whole galaxy. But I am feeling patriotic. And, besides, more celestial bodies within said galaxy have American flags on them than celestial bodies with any other country’s flag. What a horrible sentence.]

Tagged , , ,

Brit Week: A Minty Cheerio (Not the cereal. That would be gross.)

IMG_3648

Brit Week came to a lovely little conclusion yesterday evening as I noshed on a Nestle Mint Aero as I watched How To Train Your Dragon 2 get jobbed at the Oscars. [Ed. note: You got the Oscar in my book, Hiccup.]

The Aero was a lot like Hershey’s Air Delights, only the addition of CDM-style chocolate enhanced not only the candy bar’s flavour, but also its consistency: The bubbles were bigger and more pleasant in my mouth. [Ed. note: That sentence felt dirty when I typed it.]

IMG_3649

I can’t, however, say that I enjoyed it: The mint side of the Mint Aero was not a mint that I enjoyed, different than that of a candy cane or Andes candy (though, it may be the exact same as an Andes, just with a greater proportion of mint). I was fine with a few breaks, but a whole bar would have been overkill.

So, after a week of British sweets, my thoughts:

– That’s some good-ass chocolate.
– It’s better when it’s simple. You start throwing too much crap in it, and you lose the appreciation of the more nuanced flavor.
– Give me US chocolate when you’re getting wacky with the ingredients. Give me CDM chocolate when it’s just chocolate.
– In the future, I won’t do theme weeks back-to-back. It was certainly a fun two weeks, but I don’t know if either you nor I appreciated this as much as we could have. Let me know if I’m wrong.
– I do not, in any way, understand why they decided to stop this stuff from being imported. Petty stuff.

Google Search That Brought Traffic to BOaP of the Day

“what happens when you melt a hershey air bar”

Tagged , , , , , ,

Brit Week: A Candy Bar Even Neil Armstrong Could Love

IMG_3640

Do you remember going to the space museum when you were a kid?

It … kind of sucked. Sure, there was the likely day away from school and the bus ride commingled with terrified parents to look forward to, but of the museums, the ones centered around space lacked dinosaurs and fun costumes. It was just planets and stars.

[Ed. note: This is in diametric opposition to my feeling about space museums now. Because space is awesome. And learning about space is awesome. I want to learn about all of the celestial bodies and phenomena and ponder whatever the hell infinity is. If this blog ever takes off, I’d love to very generously compensate Neil deGrasse Tyson to explain to me everything that’s ever happened. We don’t even have to go in his sweet spaceship, though I’m still secretly hoping he invites me. Space is the best.

But when you’re 7, dinosaurs and lightning and tribal weapons are just so much cooler.]

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , ,

Brit Week: (Thom?) Yorkie

IMG_3638It’s a candy bar named after a dog.

Short story: It’s a poor man’s CDM.

Long story: It’s a poor man’s Cadbury Dairy Milk.

IMG_3639Really, it’s just a chocolate bar. Definitely Brit-style, just not as creamy as the Cadbury.

Tagged , , , , ,

Brit Week: Sometimes You Don’t

IMG_3633The Almond Joy and the Mounds are not two of the most popular candy bars in the American canon.

You have to love coconut, for starters. And then you have to also have a personality that would pick a coconut candy over the other tremendous flavors in the candy bar aisle and/or the bowl of Halloween candy.

You weirdo.

There’s also that indelible jingle, the one you can’t scrub out once it gets up inside your noggin.

On Thursday, I opened up a Bounty, which seems to be the Brit version of a Mounds.

(*pauses*)

(*googles Bounty commercial*)

Whoa. That was … primal? Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , ,

NEWS: Nestle to Remove Artificial Ingredients By End Of Year

MK-CS817A_NESTL_11U_20150217190325

Big announcement in the candy bar world today: Nestle’s goin’ natural.

According to the Wall Street Journal, you can probably expect others to follow in their footsteps.

The move makes Nestlé USA, a unit of Switzerland-based Nestlé with about $10 billion in sales, the first major U.S. candy manufacturer to remove such artificial ingredients—though others are working on similar moves.

Burgeoning demand for food made with simpler ingredients has put pressure on the packaged-food industry in recent years to develop natural substitutes that have reliable, cost-effective supplies.

Now, call me maybe, but I’m not getting particularly stirred up about this. If the only “artificial” things being removed from the candy bars are artificial flavorings and food dyes, then this isn’t going to change a whole lot — the lactic acid esters and soy lecithins of the world will still be included, and I’m still going to be not sure what the hell they are.

I’ll be OK with that, of course. But this move really seems to be mostly one done for PR purposes.

Tagged , ,

Brit Week: Union Jack, I Got Your Back

IMG_3623About a month ago, I did a little bit of ranting about some silliness involving Hershey’s, Cadbury, and international trade and commerce. In response to said silliness, I vowed to import a smattering of candy bars and eat them in succession.

Basically, the Boston Tea Party, only in reverse.

Well, friends. It’s here. Welcome to Brit Week. [Ed. note: Yes, I know it’s Wednesday.] Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , ,