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Friday, June 29, 2007

Call me unpatriotic, but I'd like to defect

We just got back from seeing Michael Moore's new documentary, Sicko, and I'm just so incensed about it.

Turns out Cuba has better health care than we do. Free. And their hospital in Havana looks like an airport. And medicine that costs us $120 costs them $0.05.

It isn't right. Not that they have those things. They should have them. But we should have them too; there's no excuse that we don't. Except maybe greed.

I want to leave this country for good.

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Thursday, June 14, 2007

Spread the Sandwich Love

It's been awhile since I've written a blog about sandwiches. In fact, my last sandwich blog no longer exists, since it belonged to my first myspace incarnation, which I deleted over a year ago in a fit of fed-up-ed-ness with the addictive nature of myspace.

But now that I've recovered from that addiction and have my myspace time down to a reasonable amount, it's high time I post a new blog about sandwiches. I'm excited to do so, since I've discovered some delicious new favorites over the past year.

For anyone who doesn't know about my fetish for sandwiches, let me just say that I could eat sandwiches everyday for every meal. There's something about the combination of breads, meats, cheeses, and veggies that is simply irresistibly yummy. So let's get on with my current sandwich obsessions:

1) Caffe Niche (300 S. 800 E.), which I recently mentioned in my favorite things blog, makes two of my favorite sandwiches. The first is a grilled cheese, with Irish cheddar (a delightful white cheese), mustard sauce, and pecans. The second is a grilled turkey, which happens to be the most unique turkey sandwich I've ever tried. In fact, all of the food at Niche is unique, and you can tell that a lot of thought has been put into how the flavors of the ingredients work together. Anyway, the turkey sandwich dresses its roasted turkey with bacon and radicchio, which looks like purple cabbage, but has a slightly bitter flavor – a nice compliment to the blue cheese mayonnaise that tops it off.

2) Red Rock Brewing Co. (200 W. 250 S.) has a very tasty philly steak and cheese sandwich. I'm not usually into philly sandwiches, but I decided to give this one a try, and it was well worth it. It's nice that they actually do use steak, instead of roast beef, which might account for the slightly pricey cost of the sandwich. But a good sandwich is worth a pretty penny, at least on occasion. Try this one with Red Rock's fantastic cole slaw, which is by far the best slaw in Salt Lake.

3) Siegfried's Deli (200 S. Main) is a charming little German shop, which delightfully carries my favorite German chocolate, Kinder Riegel. But they also make the best Reuben sandwich in Salt Lake. If you've ever seen a menu at Piper Down, you might know that they claim to have the best Reuben you've ever tasted. But they don't. It's Siegfried's. Would you expect anything else from a German deli?

4) Jason's Deli (across the street to the south of Fashion Place Mall) still makes the best turkey croissant sandwich around town. I think I mentioned this one in the old blog, but since that blog doesn't exist anymore, I feel like I can mention Jason's again, and it's well deserving of a second mention. The light and flaky croissant is topped with good turkey, bacon, really dry and rich tasting swiss, tomatoes, and sprouts. And this is the only place I know of where you can get a side of fruit with dipping yogurt instead of chips. Wish more places would do this.

5) Faustina (300 S. 450 E.) makes a really good chicken cordon bleu. But perhaps the most delightful thing about this sandwich is the side of homemade sweet potato chips that come with it. Salty and sweet in a crispy little chip – a very nice addition to any sandwich. Faustina's atmosphere is also really nice – lots of art lining the walls, pleasantly vibrant-but-not-over-vibrant colors, and friendly wait staff. In fact, when our waitress had to inform me that they were out of iced tea, she was kind enough to volunteer to make it for me by brewing some hot tea bags and then putting it over ice. Way to accommodate!

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Wednesday, June 13, 2007


I'm afraid of talking on the phone. Strange, no? But it's true, I've always hated it. It gives me anxiety just thinking about talking on the phone. Well, it used to more so than it does today, because as a secretary I've had to deal quite a bit with phones every day for about 5 years now. Phobias are irrational, so there's no talking sense to get you over something you're afraid of, but being forced to face your fears on a regular basis does make managing them easier. Even so, it's really just the answering of incoming call that has gotten easier through my job. Placing calls is a different matter entirely. When I was younger I would sit with a phone in my hands, trying to talk myself into dialing the numbers when I needed to make a call. It could take 5 or 10 minutes before I'd get up the guts to make the call.

So it's no wonder I put off getting a cell phone much later than most of the population. I didn't bother getting one until I graduated college, just a few years ago. Now that cell phones are all equipped with text messaging, I find I like them much more. It's easy for me to send a text. I've always been more comfortable with expressing myself in writing. There's a protective cushion between you and the other person when you communicate in writing. It's somewhat removed and less personal. It feels safer.

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Sunday, June 3, 2007

Top 5 Weekly Favorites

Favorite things for the week of May 27 - June 2:

1) Kozy Shack Rice Pudding
I've been hooked on this delicious pudding since I decided to try it a few weeks ago. My favorite is the European Style Rice Pudding
which is similar to their Original Recipe, but has a richer flavor and thicker texture. The best thing about this pudding is that I know what's in it by reading the ingredients, and it's all natural. Milk, Rice, Sugar, Vanilla, and absolutely no corn syrup! The taste speaks for itself.

2) Coin Rolls

I like to dump all my pocket change into an old fossil watch tin until such time as I can roll the coins up and exchange them for real money at the bank. You can buy the paper coin rolls from the store for a couple bucks per hundred or so rolls, or banks will give them to you for free, if you ask. But I find both of these options less convenient than printing them out at home, so I don't have to get my lazy butt out the door. I found a set of utilitarian templates for all denominations and a pretty template for quarter rolls only, and then decided to modify them and make my own templates. They work great and are super easy to cut out and tape together. Bravo.

3) Knocked Up
I loved this movie. It's refreshing to watch an intelligently funny movie for once instead of the usual stupid-funny movie, even though stupid-funny has its place. But it was also touching and realistic.

4) Ikea
We visited the new Ikea in Draper, and I must say it lives up to the hype. I bet all the other furniture stores in Utah are pissed, cause now they are going to actually have to make an effort to compete with a store that has both attractive furniture, and reasonable prices. It's true that the quality of the furniture isn't tops, but it's definitely not the same as target or wal-mart furniture. And besides, if it looks good, and doesn't hurt your checkbook too bad, then that's all that really matters. Mostly I like the Parade-of-Homes-type feel the store layout has. Very labyrinthine.

5) Caffe Niche
Last, but definitely not least, is my new favorite neighborhood cafe, Caffe Niche. They're located on the corner of 800 East and 300 South, which is conveniently right around the corner from my office, so it's my new coffee hole of choice, which is good, cause I was tiring of starbucks somethin fierce. Niche has the package deal, great atmosphere -- including art, decor, and jazz music -- friendly workers, and excellent and unique food. My favorite lunch item is the grilled cheese, which uses some kind of Irish cheddar, I think, and a mustard sauce and pecans on delicious bread. On sundays, they have a brunch, and I tried their excellent french toast custard, which is similar in texture to bread pudding, with fresh berries and real maple syrup. God bless you, Niche.

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