23 October 2014

Sockerbit.


It's no secret that both Alex and I love candy. So discovering this candy store in LA was pretty great. Sockerbit, a Scandinavian sweets store, has quite a large selection of candy (lots of licorice especially) and they are all made without high fructose corn syrup, GMO's, or unnatural food coloring! So you can feel slightly better about binging on their candies? Good enough for me.

All the candy names are in Swedish, but they have funny little translations below. Here are some of my favorites:

Screech Salta Hallon = slightly salty licorice covered in sweet raspberries
Doppade Floppy = strawberry marshmallow dolphins from the great chocolate ocean
Greven = noble chocolate smuggled from the palace to our store
Stora Hjartan = an entire raspberry field squeezed into this juicy heart
Salta Salmiak Pastiler = warning! very salty licorice. only for the brave
Cola Huggormar = jelly snakes that crawled out of a cola can
Skumbananer = baby banana marshmallows, always ripe for picking
Sura Vattenmelonsbitar = sour watermelon sticks that will refresh you even in the gobi desert

It's right by the original Farmer's Market and the Grove, so the next time you're in the area, definitely go check it out! (unless you're an alien that doesn't like candy?)




18 September 2014

Avocado Farm Tour

Avocado Farm_017

I was recently invited via Locale Magazine to tour Jason Mraz's avocado farm with the Chipotle Mexican Grill team down near Oceanside, CA. The farm is in the final stages of it's organic certification, it takes 3 years to get certified! It was a very informative tour, I learned a lot about both avocado growing and about Chipotle's food! Win win! He sells all of the avocados from his farm to Chipotle's restaurants (last year that number was 850 cases!). Also, it takes a lot longer than I realized for an avocado to sit and grow on a tree! But once you take it off the tree, it's life span is reduced to 7-10 days. And one of their biggest enemies are bugs called Thrips! What a great name, too bad they aren't good. At the end of the tour, they made us a giant bowl of guacamole using Chipotle's recipe (really quite simple) and had a make-your-own burrito lunch.

Chipotle's Guacamole Recipe, in case you wanted to know:
3 large Avocados
3/4 c finely diced Red Onion
1 1/2 c chopped Cilantro
1/8 c Citrus Juice
2 JalapeƱos, finely diced
1 t Salt

Mix all together & enjoy!


Avocado Farm_009
Solar panels providing power for his house & farm.

Avocado Farm_006
His farm caretaker, Scott Murray, showing us Jason's favorite tree on his property: a mango tree, gifted to him by Cyndi Lauper. 

Avocado Farm_011

Avocado Farm_010

Avocado Farm_013
In order to keep producing fruit, avocado trees must be stumped so they can be rejuvenated and reach their full production potential.

Avocado Farm_015

After the tour, I went and checked out his recording studio (it's where the bathroom was that we could use).

IMG_9422
Instead of a mirror, this. Pretty great.

IMG_9424
The bathroom seems like a suitable place to keep all your awards, right?

IMG_9433
I like his style.

Avocado Farm_034
Guacamole heaven. 

Avocado Farm_040
The loveliest patio for lunch after the tour.

Avocado Farm_037

Thanks for the tour, Chipotle & Jason Mraz!

05 September 2014

Angeles National Forest Camping.

Angeles Forest Camping_06

A couple weeks ago we decided with some friends last minute to go up to the Angeles National Forest for a quick camp trip. We packed up Thursday night and on Friday Jordan and I picked up Cami and Alex from work in LA and we headed up into the mountains. We tried out Buckhorn campground, but it was full (obviously. but one can dream) so we headed back down the mountain to meet Jon and Nekku at a site they'd picked out at Chilao campground. It wasn't the most private of campsites, but I didn't even care because I was just glad to be up in the mountains and out of the city. And $12 a night isn't bad at all. We made a fire and stayed up late talking, then woke up early the next morning and were treated to a french toast breakfast from Nekku before heading out on a hike. I believe we did the Mount Hillyer trail but I'm not 100% sure. We just went to the visitors center and asked for advice on where to go and followed their advice. Also, it rained while we were hiking, and Cami and I about died from happiness. I have never appreciated rain more in my life since moving here and it being such a rarity. It felt so good. Also, the pinecones here! Geez. It was a quick trip but now that I realize how close we are to the Angeles Forest, and how good it is, I know we'll be back soon. Hopefully a trip out to the Sequoias will be somewhere in our near future as well. Have to take advantage of these things while we are living out here!

Angeles Forest Camping_01
our drive was accompanied by a beautiful sunset, which I had to pull over and document.

Angeles Forest Camping_02
I love my new biolite stove so much. Thanks for the awesome birthday present, family!

Angeles Forest Camping_03
deluxe.

Angeles Forest Camping_04
jon's tan lines are out of control.

Angeles Forest Camping_05
This is maybe the coolest pinecone I've ever seen in my life.



Angeles Forest Camping_07

Angeles Forest Camping_10

Angeles Forest Camping_08