Food

Java Connection

Coffee Brew Just For You!

Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel

 

When you’re running errands or heading out to the beach,

it’s great to have a spot to stop for a jolt of caffeine, meet with friends, or just chill out.

 

SurfWriter Girl Sunny Magdaug is always on the lookout for someplace new to try – an alternative to the ever-present chains that have come to dominate the coffee landscape.

 

With Java Connection, located at 4105 Ball Road in Cypress, she hit the jackpot.

 

Fresh-brewed coffee, tea and chai.

Steamers, apple cider and Italian sodas. Sandwiches and baked goods. Inviting seating areas.

And friendly staff like proprietor Adam and barista Jonathon. There were even magazines and books to read.

Java Connection is definitely that undiscovered place you’ve been looking for. So, pull up a comfy chair and settle in!

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Rumaki Rocks Chinese New Year!

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Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel

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The perfect appetizer to serve guests when you’re celebrating Chinese New Year (Jan 28th) – the Year of the Rooster – and throughout the whole year is rumaki.

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This blast-from-the-past has connections to Asia and Polynesia, tiki culture and the swinging, Mad Men advertising era of the 1950s and 60s.

Rumaki was a staple on the menus of tiki-themed restaurants in Beverly Hills and Hollywood.

Created by Trader Vic restaurant founder Victor Bergeron, this popular pupu platter bite tastes just as good today as it did then.

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SurfWriter Girl Patti’s parents were regulars at Trader Vic’s and not only had rumaki there, but made it at home. So, she has a personal recipe on hand just for you.

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Patti’s Rumaki Recipe

“Three’s a charm” with this rumaki recipe because it only requires three ingredients – chicken livers, water chestnuts (8 oz. can, sliced) and sliced bacon. Cut bacon slices in half or thirds. Place a piece of liver and a water chestnut slice on top of each bacon section. Wrap the bacon around the liver and water chestnut and secure the ends together with a toothpick.

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Put the rumaki skewers on the top of a broiler pan. Broil in the oven (3 – 4 inches from the heat) for 8  – 10 minutes, turning each piece once during cooking.

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Serve the rumaki while it’s hot – either plain or with a teriyaki sauce or Dijon mustard for dipping.

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Then dive in!

To put even more kick into your Chinese New Year celebrations, put a Moscow Mule cocktail on the menu. Served in its trademark copper mug, this drink will definitely get the party rocking. For the recipe, just click on SurfWriter Girls story: Moscow Mule.

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Corn Pancakes You’ll Flip For

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Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel

Looking for some comfort food during the cold winter days? Something you can have for breakfast, lunch or dinner…as a main dish or side dish?

maize-in-ancient-mexicoThen look no further than an ingredient that was first cultivated over 7,000 years ago in Mexico – maize. Or, as we call it in America, corn.

One of the things SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel like best is Greg Kishel’s corn pancakes. No matter what time of day it is we’re always in the mood for these tasty treats. Quick and easy to make, here’s Greg’s corn pancakes recipe.

You’re sure to flip over them!

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Greg Kishel’s Corn Pancakes Recipe

Open one 15 oz. can of whole kernel corn (can also use cream corn) and drain the liquid into a blender. Pour in half the corn kernels, keeping the rest in reserve. Add a couple of drops of vanilla and a dash of salt. Then 1 cup of flour, 1/4 cup milk, 1 tsp cooking oil and 1/8 tsp baking soda.

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Blend ingredients. Pour mixture into hot skillet to make pancakes. Add the remaining corn in reserve to each pancake during cooking. But, watch out for popping kernels.

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Topped with butter and maple syrup, these amaizing pancakes will fill you up and warm you up. Add some apple sauce on the side or sausage and you have a complete meal…

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that’s good to the last bite.

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Baked Apples Give Taste of Fall

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Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel

Nothing says fall like apples. Apple pie, apple cider, applesauce and apple crisp. SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel can’t get enough fresh, juicy apples. One of our favorite treats of all is baked apples. Simple, sweet and easy to make. Who can resist?

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SurfWriter Girl Patti remembers sitting in her grandmother’s kitchen in the Hollywood Hills and watching her create these hot, cinnamon-flavored treats. Patti’s job was to fill the cored apples and put them in the pan.

So you can enjoy your own fall treats, here’s SurfWriter Girls can’t miss recipe.

Baked Apples Recipe

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Core 4 (or more) baking apples, leaving some apple at the bottom to hold the filling. Fill each apple with 1 T brown sugar, 1/8 tsp cinnamon and 1 tsp butter. Place apples upright in baking dish with 1/4 inch of water in the bottom. Bake 20 – 30 minutes.

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An all-American classic, this fall treat will be the apple of your eye!

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Forever Stamps Look Good Enough To Eat!

Soda Fountain Favorites Are Cool Treats

banana splitWritten by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel

We don’t have to lick postage stamps anymore to make them stick. But, when you take a look at the U.S. Postal Service’s new Forever Stamps you may be tempted to.

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The ice cream-themed stamps, called Soda Fountain Favorites, were introduced this summer to showcase cool treats beloved by generations – banana splits, root beer floats, ice cream cones, and more.

A part of the American experience, soda fountains have faded away as a place everyone used to go – even movie stars like Angela Lansbury and Lana Turner (said to have been discovered at Schwab’s in Beverly Hills).

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But their classic ice cream creations live on.

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So, jazz up your “Wish you were here” summer vacation postcards with a cool Soda Fountain Favorites stamp.

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Then chill out with your own favorite ice cream treat.

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Monkey See, Monkey Do

Monkeys Want to Dine With You!

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Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel

Next time you’re looking for a good breakfast (or lunch or dinner) and are feeling in a playful mood, drop in to the Monkey Business Café in Fullerton.

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MB front

chicken and wafflesThe café, which is a “non-profit social enterprise,” prides itself on serving fresh and healthy food to the community with everything prepared in a scratch kitchen and many ingredients locally-sourced from the Fullerton Arboretum.

Hal Russell, the café’s Director of R.E. Development, and Chef Andrew Evans told SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel that Monkey Business hires teens/young adults who have been in foster care and helps them build work skills and a pathway to success.

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You’ll find lots of waffles on the menu, including Nutty Monkey Waffles (with peanut butter and bananas), omelettes, huevos rancheros, chorizo scrambles,  sandwiches, sliders, Portobello mushroom wraps, Cajun chicken pasta and all kinds of burgers. If you try the 2 1/2 patties King Kong Burger be sure to bring your appetite!

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Located at 301 E. Amerige Avenue, Monkey Business Café is a relaxing place to start the day, meet friends, or take a break from work or browsing in Fullerton’s downtown shops.

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It also offers take-out and catering services. Whatever you choose, you can be sure of one thing:

You’ll be getting a good meal and giving back to the community.

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Want to Have the Perfect Tea Party?

Look to Vancouver’s Empress Hotel for Inspiration

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Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel

When SurfWriter Girls friend Lesley Meredith, who lives in Seattle, sent us a surprise package in the mail – a box of tea from the Empress Hotel in Victoria on Canada’s Vancouver Island – we knew just what to do. Have a tea party!

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The Empress Hotel (opened in 1908), known as the Grand Old Lady, is one of the world’s most regal hotels. Steps from Victoria Harbor, it’s welcomed guests from Jungle Book author Rudyard Kipling and the rich and famous to King George VI and Queen Elizabeth II.

Along with its stately beauty, it is famed for its afternoon tea in the hotel lobby – a tradition that draws locals and tourists alike to pause and enjoy this special British tradition.

20150601_134644Steve and Lesley Meredith and her parents.

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lobby overview

In the spirit of the British Empire, SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel were excited to put together our own afternoon tea…with an Italian twist. Instead of the traditional tea sandwiches we opted to make a frittata. Similar to a quiche, a frittata doesn’t have a crust and is quicker and easier to make.

DSC06070What’s great about it is that you can vary the ingredients to customize it to your own taste. Our recipe calls for asparagus, but broccoli works, too. Or you can add crab meat. Whatever you like. So, when it’s time for tea, don’t fret – frittata!

SurfWriter Girls Frittata Recipe

2/3 cup chopped onion; 1 cup chopped asparagus; 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms

1 clove garlic; 1 1/2 t. salt;  1/4 t. black pepper

3 eggs; 1/2 cup milk; 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Melt 2 T butter or margarine in large skillet. Add onion, asparagus and mushrooms. Add garlic. Saute until tender, seasoning with salt and pepper. Cook over low heat, covered, for 7 minutes. While vegetables are on stove beat eggs, milk and cheese in a bowl. Combine the two mixtures and pour into a greased, 1-qt, shallow, casserole dish. Bake 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Frittata should be firm.

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For our tea party, along with the frittata, we had chocolate croissants, shortbread cookies and fruit.

 

 

Lingering over the tea, a special blend of leaves from Kenya, Tanzania, South India, Assam, Sri Lanka and China, we agreed that this was an afternoon break we could definitely get used to. We just wished that our friend Lesley could join us. A native of Scotland, she is always ready to stop and enjoy a good “cuppa.”

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If tea isn’t your thing or you want something heartier, a frittata can easily turn a breakfast into a brunch. In fact, the next day SurfWriter Girl Patti’s husband Greg Kishel did just that. Putting his own spin on the leftover frittata, he added slices of provolone cheese on top and strips of ham before reheating. The result? Delicioso!

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Surf City S’mores Party for the Records Book!

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Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel

Last summer its Epic Big Board Ride – with the most people riding the biggest surfboard – put Surf City, USA in the Guinness World Records Book.

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Now, Surf City has gone back for s’more…earning another Guinness World Record on April 21, 2016, for Making The Most S’mores at the same time.

All in all, 423 people gathered around the Huntington Beach fire pits to toast their marshmallows and make the marshmallow, chocolate square, graham cracker sandwiches. To qualify for the record, the marshmallows had to toast for at least 10 seconds – all roasting simultaneously – and be assembled into s’mores immediately afterward.

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Beating out the previous record of 407 people making s’mores, HB is now part of the s’mores culture, which dates back to the 1920s when Girl Scouts began making them around campfires. The Campfire Marshmallow Company published the earliest known s’mores recipe in 1925, calling the gooey treat a “Graham Cracker Sandwich.”

And in 1927 a recipe for “Some More” was included in the magazine Tramping and Trailing with the Girl Scouts.

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Since then, s’mores have become a campfire favorite and have been spun off into other treats including candy bars, Pop Tarts,

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ice cream, cookies,  assorted snacks, and even Eggo Waffles. Whether you make them the traditional way or pop them in a toaster, we just can’t get enough of them.

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We always want s’more!

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Comments:

“The s’mores look ‘delicious’ times ten!  WOW!”  – Helena De Coro

“I’m not a big fan of s’mores but I really like your story!” – Cyn Mejia-Giudici

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Spring Favorite Asparagus is Back!

Asparagus Parmesan – A Dish for Kings

asparagus with tieWritten by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel

asparagus in storeIn looking at vegetables from A – Z, for one that’s both healthy and delicious, look no farther than the letter A – for asparagus. A spring perennial that has started showing up in supermarkets in abundance, asparagus is loaded with antioxidants and vitamin K for good digestion, blood coagulation and strong bones.

Favored by the ancient Egyptian and Roman royals, asparagus was even pictured on an Egyptian frieze dating back to 3000 B.C. The Roman Emperor Augustus was so fond of the green stalks with the feathery stems that he created an Asparagus Fleet to bring the vegetables back to Rome.

augustus CaesarPopularized in France and England in the 1600s, asparagus was brought to America by the colonists and was served at the tables of both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.

Mt. Vernon houseNow, while asparagus prices are low, this vegetable that has been called the “food of kings,” is ripe for the taking….and there are lots of ways to prepare it, whether you channel your inner-Julia Child or go for something simple. SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel opted for the latter with this no-fuss roasted asparagus with Parmesan cheese recipe.

Oven-Roasted Asparagus Parmesan Recipe

DSC058521 bunch trimmed asparagus spears

3 T olive oil

1 1/2 T grated Parmesan cheese

1 t garlic powder

1 t salt  & 1/2 t pepper

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. Then place the trimmed asparagus in mixing bowl and drizzle olive oil over it to coat the spears. Blend the cheese, garlic, salt and pepper together in a small bowl and pour mixture into the bowl with the asparagus, coating the pieces. Lay asparagus stalks on baking sheet.

DSC05844Bake for 12-15 minutes until tender. Drizzle with lemon juice (optional) and serve.

Quick and easy, the dish can be made after a busy day at work or surfing and is equally at home with a gourmet meal or a take-out pizza.

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Be Kind to Yourself!

Do the Kind Thingc

Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel

Now that the new year is here and everyone is thinking about dieting and exercising to take off those extra holiday pounds, it’s a good idea to have some Kind bars on hand to get the energy and nutrition you need. Made with all-natural ingredients that you can say and pronounce, Kind’s snacks are sold in clear packages that let you see what you’re getting.

Kind CEO by truck

KIND FRUIT NUT BARAnd when you decide to munch on a Kind bar, you’ll be helping others, too. Since its conception in 2004 by Daniel Lubetsky, Kind has made charitable giving and social consciousness a key part of its operation. In fact, the company motto is: “Do the Kind Thing.”

To find out more about Kind, check out the story in SurfWriter Girls.

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Javier’s For The Holidays!

Celebrating Good Food And Friends

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Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel

Nothing says The Holidays like good food and friends. And who doesn’t like authentic Mexican tacos, enchiladas, tostados, and chile rellenos? Or a smooth, caramel custard flan dessert?

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So, when SurfWriter Girl Patti Kishel and her longtime friends from Culver City High School wanted to celebrate the joys of the season they chose the perfect place.

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Javier’s Cantina and Grill at the Irvine Spectrum.

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Javier’s menu has all the flavor and spice of the food you’d grab at the beach, but elevated to a gourmet level…and served in a charming and elegant setting – without the sand!

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Once we all arrived at the restaurant – Lynn, Linda, Barbara, Mickey and Jan – we couldn’t wait to settle in and catch up on the latest news about family, travel, and adventures. The fresh tortilla chips hot from the kitchen and cool drinks got the party going as we placed our orders.

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Javier’s lunch menu has numerous enchilada and taco plates, chile verde, steak picado, carne asada, and seafood dishes (using sustainable seafood).

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There’s also a bar menu with empenadas, quesadillas, ceviche and other appetizers. And check out the the extensive list of wines, margaritas, martinis, and single malt scotch whiskeys.

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There are so many things to choose from that picking what to eat isn’t an easy task. When the food was brought to our table, though, we knew the effort was worth it. Everything was beautiful and delicious.

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For dessert we couldn’t resist Javier’s classic flan.

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You’ll find it hard to resist, too. But, why try?

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Cypress College Bistro

Gourmet Cuisine from Choice Destinations

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Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel

It’s always special to dine in a little gem of a restaurant that’s off the beaten path with delicious food in a beautiful setting.

DSC02007So, when SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel were in the mood for Pacific Northwest cuisine we knew just where to go…and surprisingly it wasn’t one of the many restaurants in Huntington or Seal Beach. It wasn’t even along the OC coast.

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voc_ed_hotel_restaurant_photo_01In case you haven’t discovered it yet, it’s Cypress Bistro – the student café run by the Cypress College Hotel, Restaurant Culinary students. Located at the college’s District Headquarters in Anaheim, the restaurant offers first class dining with a 3-course, prix fixe lunch menu that varies each week. With a focus on American regional dishes and International classics, it’s always an adventure to see what the students have in store.

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SurfWriter Girls Sunny and Patti were particularly eager to try the Pacific Northwest menu because we both have ties to the Northwest. Sunny spent some of her childhood years in Seattle. Patti’s stepfather Henry Smith, a Canadian who lived on Vancouver Island, invented the Henry Smith Special Spoons, a favorite lure with fishermen for catching Cohoe Salmon.

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Thinking the more the merrier, we made reservations for four and asked Cypress College economics professor Fola Odebunmi and music professor Helena DeCoro to join us.

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DSC05062AHRC professor Lisa Clark and her “front of the house” restaurant students were standing at the ready, smoothly and efficiently greeting and seating everyone. Before we knew it, we were poring over our menus and trying to make up our minds what to order.

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For starters there was a choice of red apple arugula salad or pan fried crab cakes.

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In looking at the entrees, the cedar smoked salmon offered an authentic taste of the Northwest that was hard to resist. And the pan roasted dill buerre blanc chicken breast was tempting, too.

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When Fola asked if there were any vegetarian options Chef Jeremy Peters, who oversees the “back of the house” culinary students, appeared seconds later offering to make her a special salad that turned out to be a tour de force.

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And for dessert, we all agreed to order different items and share so we could taste everything. The salted caramel budino, mocha creme brulee, and the Not Your Ordinary Macaron didn’t last long when they reached our table. Spoons in hand, we made short work of them!

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In talking to the students, we learned that they were responsible for creating the lunch menu and every aspect of the presentation.

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The table decorations (glasses festooned in lavender and twine on a wood base) had all been made by hand.

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The Cypress Bistro is serving lunch on Thursdays (12 noon to 1 p.m.) until the end of the fall semester so you can discover this little gem for yourself. If you want to try the Pacific Northwest menu, it is being offered again on November 19th.

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What’s New? Noosa!

Say G’Day to Noosa Yoghurt!

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Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel

When it comes to food, it turns out that the Aussies are known for more than shrimp on the barbie and beer. For a unique taste of the Land Down Under, Noosa Yoghurt hits the spot.

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SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel discovered Noosa at a beach event sponsored by the Surfrider Foundation. The Noosa booth was packed with people eager to try the different flavors – and there are lots of ones you probably haven’t heard about.

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Noosa tubs

Strawberry Rhubarb

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Smooth, creamy and delicious, it’s the perfect – and healthy – pick-me-up when you’re heading out or back from a day at work or surfing. Started in 2009 and named after a town in Queensland, on Australia’s Sunshine Coast, Noosa Yoghurt blends whole milk and a touch of honey with a puree of real fruit.

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Co-founder Koel Thomae emphasizes that Noosa doesn’t cut corners on quality. To ensure that the milk is just right, Thomae enlisted friend Rob Graves, from Colorado, to provide the milk from his own dairy farm. Graves became a co-founder in Noosa and his cows are on board, providing the best milk ever.

Northern Colorado agriculture, dairy farmer and ranch owner standing in front of his tractor near Fort Collins, Colorado.

Noosa Yogurt3.JPG Koel Thomae at her Noosa Yogurt Stand at the Boulder Farmer's Market Cliff Grassmick / June 23, 2012

big cow on board

Surfing Cow image courtesy of photographer Arthur Browne

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Quick and Easy French Summer Dessert

Vive Les Apricots!

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Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel

 On hot summer days no one wants to spend too much time baking in the kitchen. But, when you see how easy this French clafoutis (custard) is to make, you won’t be able to resist.

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Traditionally made in France’s Limousin region, one of the things that makes this recipe so perfect for summer is that you can use a variety of the fruits in season – cherries, peaches, nectarines, berries.

Apricot Clafoutis Recipe

Ingredients:

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3 Eggs; 1/2 C. Sugar; 1/2 C. Half-and-half; 3 Tbsp Flour

1 1/2 Tbsp Lemon zest; 1/2 tsp Salt

4 Apricots, sliced

In a large bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, half-and-half, and flour together. Blend in the lemon zest and salt. Pour the mixture into a 1 qt. ceramic or glass oven-safe dish. Place the apricot slices on top.DSC05488

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. After removing the dish from the oven let it stand for 10 minutes to cool. Afterward dust the dessert with powdered sugar.

 

Whether you’re having a backyard barbeque or a gourmet meal, this refreshing French treat will add a welcome touch of panache.

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Quench Your Thirst!

Turn Lemons into Lemonade!

lemonade face

Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel

 Now that summer is here, kids everywhere are setting up lemonade stands.

For lemonade on the go in convenient bottles, Hubert’s Lemonade hits the spot…and it’s all natural.

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Surfrider Sponsor Hubert’s Lemonade was started in 1935, selling fresh juices from a truck, driving from one SoCal film studio to the next.

With a variety of flavors from classic lemon to mango and watermelon, Hubert’s Lemonade is the perfect cool-down on a California summer day.

SurfWriter Girls Sunny and Patti like the mix of tartness and sweetness you get with each sip. It tastes just like homemade.

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Fish Tacos –

The Catch of the Day!

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Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel

For a true taste of the beach nothing comes close to a fish taco.

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Wahoo’s and Rubio’s – the restaurants that popularized the Baja California surfing staple – know what it takes to make this beach favorite.

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rubios soy fish taco

So, kick the sand off your feet, grab a fish taco and enjoy an authentic fiesta feast!

taco party beach

Surf’n Beach Scene Magazine

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Springtime Strawberries

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Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel

Now that spring is here nothing is better than the taste of fresh-picked, juicy strawberries…whether you eat them fresh from the field…

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hand strawberries

pile them high onto a strawberry shortcake…

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or use them to make strawberry shakes or strawberry jam.

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To experience all things strawberry, go right to the source – Tanaka Farms in Irvine (5380 University Drive, Irvine, CA 92612), a multi-generational family farm that has been providing Orange County with quality fruits and vegetables since 1940.

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At Tanaka Farms daily “U-Pick Tours” (every hour from 9:30 am – 2:30 pm) you can pick your own strawberries and look for the ripest, plumpest, juiciest ones of all.

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A Sea of Love

Chocolates Add Romance to Valentine’s Day

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Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel

In the 1500s when the Spanish explorers sailed across the seas looking for treasures in the New World they found gold, silver, spices…and something more – chocolate.

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Discovered in Mexico’s Aztec civilization, chocolate quickly became a favorite in the royal courts of Europe – prized for both its velvety taste and as an aphrodisiac.

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SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel learned that the belief that chocolate had love-inducing powers originated with Aztec Emperor Montezuma himself, who was said to drink 50 golden goblets of chocolate each day.

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By the mid-1800s, giving chocolates on Valentine’s Day as a way to celebrate romantic love was popular in much of the world.

One of the first chocolate-makers to create special Valentine’s, heart-shaped boxes was Richard Cadbury of the famous British chocolate company.

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The Victorian-era Cadbury boxes were so beautiful that people kept them long after the chocolates were gone and the boxes became treasured family heirlooms.

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The art of making chocolate spread throughout Europe and the Swiss, Belgians, and French established themselves among the premiere chocolate-makers.

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Artisanal Belgian chocolates

Familiar names include Nestle, Lindt, Tobler, and Godiva.

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And, in America, Hershey, Mars, and that ever-popular Mrs. See’s.

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National Geographic named Swiss chocolate company Teuscher the best chocolate maker in the world.

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To see – and taste – why these chocolates are the best SurfWriter Girls Sunny and Patti drove down the coast to Newport’s Fashion Island to visit the Teuscher Chocolate Shop.

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The upscale chocolates are like precious jewels…and just as dear.

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When you enter the Teuscher shop you feel like you are entering a shrine to chocolate.

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“It’s a small shop,” says Sunny, “but it’s overwhelming with all the different types and styles of chocolate to try… some shaped like ducks and elephants…

and planes and fish.”

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“And there’s hot chocolate, too,” adds Patti. “From the first sip there’s an intense burst of rich flavor. You just want to take it all in and enjoy each sip.”

In fashioning its chocolates Teuscher finds the best ingredients from around the world. Marcus, the shop owner, told SurfWriter Girls, “The chocolates have no preservatives in them. Every two weeks an order of chocolates comes from Switzerland.”

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Myths, folklore – and now even science – tell us that chocolate does in fact put people in the mood for love.

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So, on Valentine’s Day, to heighten the romantic mood, be sure to give your sweetheart some chocolates, whether it’s a fistful of M&M’s or that gold standard of Swiss perfection, Teuscher.

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Plain-M&Ms-Pile

Or simply make s’mores on the beach.

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

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The_chocolate_making_workplace

Patti & Sunny

Surf’n Beach Scene Magazine

SurfWriter Girls

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Coffee Brewing in Seal Beach – Part I

Get Your Cup of Joe – to Stay or Go!

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Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel

old town sign

When it comes to coffee culture, there’s always a Starbucks or McCafé nearby. But, if you’re looking for a change of pace and want to experience some coffee houses with a local taste, Old Town Seal Beach is the place.

On Main Street and Ocean Avenue, just steps from the Seal Beach Pier, you can sample what’s brewing at four different coffee houses, each with its own unique style – Bogart’s Coffee House, The Crema Café, Javatini’s and The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.

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DSC02175SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel love all the different choices for coffee that Seal Beach has to offer…especially now that fall is here and there’s some nip in the air.

Depending on our mood and what we’re doing, we can always find a coffee house that’s just right.

Bogart’s Coffee House (905 Ocean Avenue) is directly across the street from the Seal Beach Pier. You couldn’t ask for a more inviting place to relax with friends or just sit and enjoy the ocean view through the large windows.

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DSC02876It has a retro vibe and casual ambience with café tables, a comfortable couch and leopard-print easy chairs to settle into.

A painting of silver screen legend Humphrey Bogart is on the wall and a life-size Bogart is there to greet you along with stacks of newspapers and books waiting to be read at your leisure.

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The closest coffee house to the beach, Bogart’s is the place to stop in the morning for a steaming hot cup of coffee or a chai latte to take with you for a walk down to the water’s edge to watch the surfers and seagulls skimming the waves.

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Or drop in after a jog on Ocean Avenue and cool down with a smoothie. If you’re interested in a light breakfast or snack, there are pastries, crepes, and paninis to choose from.

When SurfWriter Girls Sunny and Patti are parked in the one-hour spaces on Ocean or coming back from the beach it’s nice to know that Bogart’s is right there. We can grab a quick cup of coffee on the run or stop and stay awhile.

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The Crema Café (322 Main Street) offers everything you could want in a coffee house with its gourmet coffee, pastries, full-service breakfast and lunch menu, and charming garden setting.

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It’s a place where you definitely want to linger, savoring a coffee refill and putting your other activities on hold.

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Whether you relax at a table inside or take time to slow down and enjoy the total Crema Café experience in the garden patio, you’ll start to feel a sense of well-being as soon as you enter the doorway.

The warm woods, plank tables and sunlit windows looking out on Main Street give the interior a cozy atmosphere that makes you want to sit down and catch up with a friend or stop to read the morning paper or a good book.

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Whatever the weather may bring, the table umbrellas and sheltering trees stand ready to keep the elements at bay on the patio.

And, when the café is busy and it gets crowded outside – especially on sunny days and weekends when everyone wants to enjoy the garden – Crema Café offers free coffee while you wait for a table.

With a large selection of sandwiches, paninis, savory and sweet crepes, omelets, quiches and salads, the hardest part about eating at Crema Cafe is choosing what to order.

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DSC02891SurfWriter Girls observed that many people, like Kay Kwok and Cyndee Ewing, like to pick different things to try from the menu and then share, having more dishes to taste. The portions at Crema Café are large. So give yourself time to indulge.

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The only ones in a hurry here are the waiters, quickly and courteously taking orders and ferrying plates back and forth from the patio to the kitchen.

To be continued. Look for Part Two with the latest on Pumpkin Spice Lattes and other Thanksgiving treats.

Coffee Brewing in Seal Beach – Part II

Thanksgiving is Pumpkin Spice Latte Time

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 Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel

 Old Town Seal Beach is the perfect place to stop and savor the crisp fall weather and indulge in a Pumpkin Spice Latte.

Old Town street

To usher in Thanksgiving and the holiday season, SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel always make a stop at Javatinis (148 Main Street) for its special PSL.

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Located right in the middle of all the action on Main Street, Javatinis central location makes it an ideal spot to meet friends for coffee or to stop and take a break from shopping or work.

DSC00336There are upholstered chairs up front, café tables along the side windows and counter seating in the back with bar stools.

Seal Beach locals hang out here and catch up on everything from the latest gossip and surf conditions to news and politics. On any given day, you never know who you will run into or what they will be talking about.

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One of the first things you notice is the smell of the freshly roasted coffee beans. SurfWriter Girls learned that Javatinis roasts its own beans on-site every day.

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PumpkinSpice DrinkSo you can be sure that you’re getting the freshest cup of coffee possible. That’s why its PSLs are so good.

Javatinis also specializes in what it calls “Latte Art,” creating original designs in the coffee foam.

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To go along with your coffee or latte, there is a variety of fresh baked goods to tempt you, including gluten-free options, breakfast sandwiches and gelato.

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During the Christmas holiday season Javatinis makes ginger bread men, too, which are great to eat on the spot or take home to put in a stocking or use to decorate a gift package.

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The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf (347 Main Street), on the corner of Main Street and PCH, is hard to miss as you drive into Old Town Seal Beach.

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A true sidewalk café, it has eye-catching, bright red umbrella tables and a street front location that’s ideal for watching people and cars go by while sipping a perfectly-brewed cup of coffee or tea.

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As you walk inside, you immediately see an extensive assortment of premium beans and tea leaves from around the world displayed in clear wall units.

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There is a broad selection of coffee bean choices from light and subtle to dark and distinctive, sourced from Latin America, East Africa and the Pacific…

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and whole tea leaves gathered from plantations spanning the globe…Sri Lanka, China, Japan, Thailand, India, Kenya.

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Picking out which coffee or tea you’re going to try is like taking a journey and certainly part of the fun.

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There’s a full range of ice-blended drinks, too, in coffee and coffee-free versions.

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So, when the weather is hot or you’re feeling adventurous, try the chocolate-cherry Black Forest, strawberry-banana Malibu Dream, Mucho Mango fru-tea or one of the other concoctions.

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Then find a table where you can savor your CBTL creation and chill out.

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And, for something to munch on, check out the pastries and other treats in the baked goods case – the muffins and bagels are huge. There’s bound to be something there that’s hard to resist.

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SurfWriter Girls agree that Seal Beach locals and visitors are lucky to have so many different coffee houses to choose from.

DSC03031 With Bogart’s, The Crema Café, Javatini’s, and The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, whether you just want to get a cup of coffee to go, feel like socializing, or are in the mood to relax, there’s something special brewing for you.

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And that’s definitely something to be thankful for.

Thanksgiving Turkey

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Patti and Sunny

Surf’n Beach Scene Magazine

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Food and Friends Come Together

Avocado Cafe – Huntington Beach’s Healthy Choice

A Surfrider Foundation Sponsor Story

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Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel

Next time you’re standing on the corner of PCH and Main Street, looking for someplace to eat in Huntington Beach, there’s a great restaurant waiting to be discovered just a few blocks away – Avocado Café (438 Main Street).

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SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel first heard about Avocado Café when we talked to the owner, Jon Vidales, at a Surfrider Foundation Huntington/Seal Beach Chapter beach cleanup.

Vidales told us, “I wanted to create something different.” The restaurant, which offers fresh, nutritious meals and an assortment of juices and smoothies, “emphasizes good service, a healthy lifestyle and a sense of community.”

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Whether you go for breakfast or lunch, the minute you walk in the door you know that you’re welcome…from the bright, inviting atmosphere and the big smiles that greet you.

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As SurfWriter Girls studied the menu board Cash, Alexa and Jacque were eager to explain the different items.

Starting with the Signature Sandwiches, everything is made with the highest quality ingredients with a choice of wheat bread, squaw bread or ciabatta. Or you can order your sandwich made as a wrap or a panini.

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Joes BLTAThe Basilico

SurfWriter Girls couldn’t resist the Kissel’s Club, made with roast beef, turkey, applewood smoked bacon, tomato, white cheddar cheese, romaine lettuce, sprouts and cucumber on squaw bread.

Kissels Club

The Chuy

The Chuy is another specialty that was too good to pass up – turkey, applewood smoked bacon, goat cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickles, and honey Dijon mustard served on whole grain bread.

There’s also Gaston’s Cuban, an oven-roasted chicken creation that includes Black Forest ham, avocado (of course!), Swiss cheese, pickles, spicy mustard and wasabi mayo spread…all pressed on ciabatta bread and served hot.

Gastons Cuban

the tower 9

The Tower 9 sandwich is as tall as its name and loaded with homemade chicken salad, avocado, pepper jack cheese, sprouts, cucumber, tomato and spring mix, on squaw bread.

The Signature Salads don’t disappoint, either. Whether it’s Tito’s Avocado Classic or the Green House Salad, everything looks like it came straight from the farm.

Green House Salad

the tito avocado classic salad

Tony G’s Albacore Stuffed Avocado – Albacore tuna, tomato, sprouts, shredded jack cheese and spring mix served in an avocado shell – is artistry on a plate!

Tony Gs Albacore Stuffed Avocado salad

Ho Bros Grazer

Can’t decide between a sandwich or a salad? Have both! Bud’s Combo includes your choice of a half sandwich, small soup or salad, and chips.

Check out the Signature Breakfasts, too, and jumpstart your day with the HB Breakfast Sandy or George’s Breaky Burrito.

breakfast burrito

PNut Butter smoothieThe smoothies and juices are blended on the spot and made with bananas, apple juice and honey. Some of the drinks to chose from include Pineapple Express, Sunrise Berry, Orange Rush, The Green Room (apple, celery, cucumber, spinach and kale), and Billy’s Avocado (avocado, pineapple, mango, lemon and lime juice, with a touch of vanilla and salt). You can also make any smoothie into an Acai Bowl.

With all the choices it can be hard to make up your mind, but Phoenix and Cash told SurfWriter Girls Sunny and Patti they’re glad to help.

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Cash even has his own sandwich on the Grommets (kids) Menu – Cash’s PBBJ, made with peanut butter, bananas and strawberry jam.

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Cashs PBBJ

While people often debate whether the avocado is a fruit or a vegetable (The Mayo Clinic calls it a fruit), there’s no debating that Avocado Café delivers on its promise of healthy food that’s good to eat.

AC Menu

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Enjoy Summer’s Cool Delights

Beat the Heat with Ice Cream Treats!

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Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel

“I scream. You scream. We all scream for ice cream.” So, the saying goes, especially in the summertime when everyone is looking for a cool treat.

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SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel love ice cream, particularly when we’re out at the beach and want to escape the heat. Whether it’s a waffle cone, hot fudge sundae or a date shake, there’s something good to try.

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In ancient times, dating back to the Roman Empire (54-86 A.D.), ice cream was reserved for emperors, who claimed it as their “just desserts.” To make the dish, Nero Claudius Caesar sent the empire’s fastest runners into the mountains to bring back snow, which was flavored with fruits and juices.

Over a thousand years later, when Marco Polo returned to Italy from the Orient bearing amazing treasures, one of the riches he brought was the recipe for sherbet. It still took 400 years, though, before ice cream reached the masses in the mid-17th Century.

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Fortunately, today we have lots of choices of ice cream right here in the OC…and you don’t have to be an emperor or an explorer to enjoy it!

 If you’re looking for new flavors to experience, then Baskin Robbins is the place. With 31 flavors on its menu, there’s a flavor for every day of the month.

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Some of the flavors for summer include: Cotton Candy, Splish Splash Sherbet, Very Berry Strawberry, and Blueberry Cheesecake. They’ve even got a movie-tie-in treat, Amazing Spider-Man 2.

And that summer favorite Baseball Nut is back. The classics are still here, too – Jamoca Almond Fudge, Oreo Cookies and Cream, and Old Fashioned Butter Pecan.

DSC03688And, when you’re feeling creative and want to express yourself, then head to Cold Stone Creamery and supervise your own Signature Creation, made right in front of you on the ice cream shop’s trademark stone mixing surface.

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You can choose your own candy, fruit, nuts, and other mix-ins to make your personal creation that’s uniquely you.

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How many flavors can you make? According to Cold Stone, “We stopped counting after a gazillion.”

For a quick, refreshing ice cream cool-down that won’t break the bank, Rite Aid hits the spot. When Rite Aid acquired Thrifty Drug Stores it wisely kept the chain’s beloved Thrifty Ice Cream.

DSC03381A summer treat that has a special place in many people’s memories, Thrifty Ice Cream is no farther away than a walk to your neighborhood drugstore. Known for its iconic, cylindrical-shape scoops, Thrifty Ice Cream cones have been satisfying generations of fans since 1940.

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Some of the flavors that have been popularized over the years include: Mint Chip, Birthday Cake, Rainbow Sherbet, Pistachio, Coconut Pineapple, and Surfwriter Girl Sunny’s favorite Chocolate Malted Krunch. The cones don’t cost 25-cents anymore, but they’re still a great value.

When you’re in a party mood and feel like sharing, Farrell’s is the place.

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The home of The Pig’s Trough (a “traditional banana split times two!”) and not soon forgotten Farrell’s Zoo (a creation “so huge it takes two Strong servers to deliver it to your table”)…

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Farrell’s is that classic ice cream parlor of old.

And, when you’re cruising along the Pacific Coast Highway on a California Dreamin’ day, make sure to stop in Ruby’s Shake Shack (7703 E. Coast Highway, Newport Beach), overlooking the historic Crystal Cove beach.

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Along with your ice cream treat, you’ll get a panoramic ocean view unlike any other. You can also get the best date shakes this side of Palm Springs, a unique taste of California that keeps SurfWriter Girl Patti coming back year-after-year.

Everybody likes ice cream. Even SurfWriter Cat Smokey…

DSC03393So, now that summer’s here, let’s all scream for ice cream!

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Surf’n Beach Scene Magazine

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