Alhambra Chicago Style Popcorn

Ever since I first tasted Garrett’s Chicago Mix while in Chicago, I have been trying to find a similar creation in the San Gabriel Valley.  The mall popcorn stands just can’t capture the warm, oily, cheesy caramel-y goodness that is the Chicago Mix.  The mix has to be served hot, fresh, and greasy.  Well, finally, I found a good substitute – at the Kettle Korn stand at the Alhambra Farmer’s Market!  It’s not quite Chicago style but close enough.  And it was served hot and fresh.  $6 for a good size bag.  I was in heaven all day.  True Chicago Style has separate cheese corn and caramel corn mixed together, but the Alhambra version has the cheese and caramel mixed together on one kernel.  Still works for me.

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Friday Night Food Fair Fun in Pasadena

Last Friday I checked out the Food Fair and Artisanal Marketplace at the Chefs Center in Pasadena.  I really went because I needed another samosa roll fix from Ma Jasmin’s.  (Tip – the samosa rolls are $1 less at the Alhambra Farmer’s Market on Sunday.)  I also ate a delicious chocolate chip cookie called The Holy Grail.  This cookie was so large that I only ate part of it and refrigerated it for the next day.  The chilled cookie was perhaps even more delicious the next day.

Tons of people came out for the Food Fair.  Lines grew long and it was hot, but still it was a fun outing and I recommend this as a lovely way to kick off the weekend with your friends.  The Center has picnic tables outside and cooler indoor seating.  It’s also fun to look around their kitchens.  The Chefs Center helps people launch their food business dreams.  Many of the artisanal vendors gave out tasty samples – jams, cupcakes, sweets.  The only downside – other than the crowds – is the price.  The trucks charge restaurant prices – yes, I know these gourmet trucks need to make money – but why charge a restaurant price when there is no restaurant overhead?   Cut us some slack and take a buck or so off the price.  I think people who pay $7 for a banh mi are crazy.  Nevertheless, I probably will mosey on out for tomorrow’s fair to grab a grilled cheese sandwich.  Friday’s trucks will be:

> Slammin’ Sliders (menu)

> KO Tacos (menu)

> Flying Pig (menu)

> Coolhaus (menu)

> Grilled Cheese (menu)

> Greasy Wiener (menu)

Check out the Chefs Center site for more details.

The Food Fairs run till October 2011 and are on Fridays from 6-9 pm.  Parking is on the street.   45 N. San Gabriel Boulevard at Colorado in Pasadena.

Here are pics from last Friday’s fair (7/1/11):

Ma Jasmin’s

After reading about Ma Jasmin’s on Wandering Chopsticks’ Twitter feed, I knew I had to try it. Here they are below at the Alhambra Farmer’s Market, Sundays from 8:30 am to 1 pm.  I loved their samosa rolls – the spinach and cheddar was delicious globs of Indian spinach and good ol’ cheddar wrapped like an eggroll – a great combo!   The beef and potato samosa roll was also quite tasty.  I should have taken a picture of the rolls opened but I couldn’t control myself after one bite and inhaled them both.  I read on other blogs that Ma Jasmin’s is British Indian food.  I loooved loooved it and will be back to try their whole menu.  In fact, I found out that they participate in the Chef’s Center’s Friday Food Fair in Pasadena.  Can’t wait for my next fix!

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Summer Reading Programs – Not just for kids!

This summer, I hope to read more and what better way to motivate me than the local public library’s Summer Reading Program for adults?  For every book I read, I will be entered in a weekly drawing to win a $5 Starbucks gift card.   And if five books get read, I’ll be able to get even more goodies.  Read instructions above (click to enlarge) for the Crowell Public Library in San Marino’s adult program.  As you can see by the jar below, the competition does not look too stiff.

Most public libraries hold summer reading programs – just ask at the reference desk.  Prizes vary by library.

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