Category Archives: poway

Lappert’s is open!

Lappert’s Ice Cream is now open!  I think they’ve only been open for a couple of weeks.  They did run out of Dole Whip last weekend, but I heard the guy say more was on the way and they did not plan on ever running out again.  Yes, you heard me – Dole Whip.  That crazy pineapple thing you only get at Disneyland when waiting for the Tiki Room.  Now you can get it in Poway, that’s how cool we are.

I can’t tell if Lappert’s is different from Lappert’s Hawaii, or if the difference is in the location of the stores.  Lappert’s flavors have tropical things like coconut, macadamia nuts, Kona coffee, banana, mango, and guava (but not all in one ice cream).  I tasted the guava sorbet (kind of tart, very guava), the cinnamon (nice and subtle but tasty), and the banana caramel (yummy, but a little fluffy).  T had the run raisin, which tastes exactly how rum raisin should taste.  I also informed him that See’s Candies makes a nice rum raisin candy.  The ice cream is creamy, not grainy, and the flavors are good.  They taste like you expect them to taste and they’re clean, not muddied or confusing.  I don’t even know if that makes sense.  There is also a self-sprinkle bar where you can add sprinkles of many colors.  The kids seem to enjoy that.

We are definitely going back for the Dole Whip.  We don’t really go out for ice cream (or frozen yogurt) very often, but I’d much rather go to Lappert’s instead of Baskin Robbins.  So, there you go.  Frozen treats in Poway = Golden Spoon, In the Mix, and Lappert’s.

Lapperts Ice Cream on Urbanspoon

In the Mix – Poway

Everyone knows that Pinkberry created a monster when they unleashed their oh-so-hip, we-only-serve-two-flavors, tart frozen yogurt franchise.  Copycats sprung overnight to fill in spots.  Some continue to serve only 2 flavors; others got all fancy and went with 4.  We’re a big fan of Yogurt World (especially the newer Mira Mesa location), with their 12 or so different flavors.  A Whole Lotta Yogurt opened up in Poway and we started going there after eating at Mr. Hummus, but it wasn’t the same as Yogurt World.  The mochi balls weren’t the same, either, which I don’t understand because how many different mochi ball vendors can there possibly be?  We did try a Cactusberry in Palm Springs, which was very good and quite refreshing in the August heat.  I liked their guava yogurt.  T had mango fruit on top of his plain vanilla yogurt, but the mango tasted like sushi.  Yuck.  Now he’s scared of mango in yogurt places.

Not too long ago (maybe a couple of months?) we would be driving down Poway Road and we’d see a guy with a sign that said “Yogurt”.  It would sometimes be pointing to the Vons shopping center, but he was always standing on the Ultrastar side of the street.  If I wasn’t the driver, I would always scan the shopping centers, trying to figure out where this yogurt place was.  Was it even frozen yogurt?  Maybe someone decided to open up a regular non-frozen yogurt bar.  In Poway.  Who knew?  For the longest time, I couldn’t find it.  When I went to Henry’s, I’d forget about it and never thought to drive around looking for the sign.  Finally, a friend said it was in the Vons center, next to Vons.  We still didn’t see the sign.  The sign guy was still standing on the other side of the street.  And then, one day, I saw it.  In the Mix.  Next to H&R Block, next to Vons.  But we still didn’t venture in.

The other night, we were going to go for a walk up the big hill behind our house.  But we got accosted by our crazy neighbor (seriously, she’s crazy and apparently thinks going ballistic is a better approach that just asking nicely) and by the time she stopped screaming and ranting it was too dark to climb up a hill.  So we walked the other way towards the shopping centers.  And decided to finally see if In the Mix was suitable for a local frozen yogurt snack.  The flavors are different, and I don’t know that I like all of them.  The peanut butter was really good, and I enjoyed the strawberry banana.  I’d like to see a mango or peach flavor.  A good banana flavor would be awesome.  If they could manage to get guava, like Cactusberry I’d be in heaven.  All in all, we like it better than A Whole Lotta Yogurt.  They do have mochi balls, but not those funny flavored jelly bits you see at Yogurt World.  I think they had 8 flavors total.  Oh!  They have malted milk powder as a topping.  If you’ve ever had that on ice cream, you know it’s really good.

So, yes, worth stopping by.  38 cents an ounce, just like everyone else in the frozen yogurt community.  They do use paper cups, not styrafoam, if that makes you more inclined to give them business.  The spoons are still regular plastic, though.  The decor is very cute.  More cupcake shop that frozen yogurt, but I’m into that.  If you see their kids running around, that also adds a big dollop of cuteness. =)

In celebration of bacon

… and backyards.

To celebrate our new backyard (thanks, Mom!), we threw a Labor Day bbq.  Except we did it on the day before Labor Day so we’d have an extra day to recuperate (I think I actually didn’t feel caught up until Wednesday).  T felt we needed a theme, but we didn’t want some cheesy theme.  I also didn’t want something that would require extra decorating beyond “clean” and “just vacuumed”.  We ended up going with “bacon”.  Here’s what I threw out for appetizers:

  • bacon-wrapped, cream cheese-filled jalapenos (from the garden!)
  • bacon-wrapped, mustard-marinated bananas
  • peanut butter, scallion, & bacon canapes
  • bacon-wrapped water chestnuts
  • blue cheese bacon dip
  • deviled eggs with Bacon Salt (so, no real bacon involved there)
  • jalapeno artichoke dip with endive and cucumbers (so I could offer healthy vegetables; the dip came from Costco)

People, I went through 4 pounds of bacon.  Four pounds!  And I ran out of bacon when wrapping the water chestnuts!  We also made bacon-wrapped scallops, corn, tri tip, pork ribs, dorado with mango salsa, and Cami brought her famous potato salad.  Then we continued to stuff people with dessert: malted milk ice cream, lemon basil sorbet, grilled pound cake with blueberries and peanut butter whipped cream, and the grilled banana bar (thanks to Jayden for the idea!)  I’d say it was all a hit, except for the grilled Caesar salad.

Everything worked out that we were able to show out outdoor movie, which ended up as a lot of silly screaming and some disturbing broom-whapping (the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre).  Either I’ve seen the remake or I’ve watched a “horror” movie with very similar scenes.  I can’t figure out which.  But it was quite fun and I’m looking forward to more movies.  Even after the warm weather is gone.  I’m going to curl up on the patio with hot chocolate and down blankets! 

I think it was a very successful party.  Friends from out of town came in for the bbq, and I was very happy to see them.  I was also touched that they would arrange their schedules and travel in for us.  I mean, obviously they get to see all their friends in one place, but I’m glad we were able to provide that opportunity.  I must be getting older because I’ve started to really appreciate the friends we have and that we have the ability to see them so often.

T said we keep outdoing ourselves and raising the bar too high.  After this bbq, I’m inclined to agree.  I mean, I actually enjoy going all out for our parties and showing off what we can pull off.  I’m good at it, so why not?  Each of our friends throw equally fun parties in their own styles and it’s always a good time.  I joked that our next party was going to be totally simple, to lower everyone’s standards.  I said we’ll just order pizza and get back to square one.  Then I started thinking about it and decided that even if I said we’ll order pizza, I know I’d end up buying pizza dough and setting up a grilled pizza bar.  Probably with root beer floats with homemade vanilla ice cream.  And T would probably want to try making the root beer himself.  Or we’d provide the vanilla porter we just brewed (and tasted).  Maybe “simple” isn’t in my party-throwing nature.

In just a few months, it’ll be holiday time.  Which means time for another Pre-Thanksgiving/Early Festivus party.  It’s usually fewer people, but a fancier dinner.  It’s going to be busy this year with conferences, a baby shower, and regular holiday stuff, but I’ve been saving up my grievances so we’re totally holding a party!  Plus, I finally figured out how to roast a prime rib, which is pretty awesome and totally show-off of me.

Summer is fleeting, but I have to admit that we’re getting into my favorite seasons.  I love long summer days and weather perfect for hammock-napping, but when the air starts getting chilly (which it hasn’t, yet) and we get to build fires and curl up in blankets I am a totally happy girl.  And if I thought September snuck up on me, I know the rest of the year will be going by in the blink of an eye.

Coney Island Pizza – Poway

**Update: Coney Island Pizza has become Sweet Home Chicago, but still offers many of Coney Island’s pizzas.**

There’s this place I feel compelled to tell you about.  Except, it’s not perfect and there are some things that get us frustrated every time we order, and it’s kind of out of the way, so I don’t want to rave about a place you may not love.  Having said that, it’s become out order out default choice, much like Chinese take out to other people (although, not really any one I know).

I am not ashamed to admit that my favorite pizza used to be a thin crust sausage, mushroom, and pepper pizza from Papa John’s.  Add some totally unhealthy (and might kill you) garlic “butter” sauce and a pepperocini and I was a happy gal.  Some of our friends like NY Giant Pizza (in some form or another), I like to believe because of the convenience it brings to feeding a lot of people at once.  Even Oggi’s pizza has some merit, especially the one with white sauce and a ton of garlic.  Today, I’m announcing that from here on out, when I think of pizza, I can only thing of the Spinach Ricotta Pizza from Coney Island Pizza.  I’d also like to note that the menu on their website is way different from the menu we picked up and use when ordering.

We’re always getting coupons from pizza places in mailers and the paper.  T has been searching for a good stromboli (although, no one has produced a cheesesteak stromboli on the West Coast) and he keeps these coupons in our Restaurant Coupon folder.  Somehow, some weekend, we ended up on a search for Coney Island Pizza and found it down Poway Road (past the car dealers) in the same strip mall as the mediocre Thai place.  We had their stromboli (fresh, hot, tasty, really hot) and a mini cannoli (it was okay, nothing special, but they did fill it when I ordered it so it was still crispy).  T seemed to approve of the place.  Then, some later weekend, when we were probably doing yard work or housework or something that involved me getting tired, dirty, and sweaty, he called them up to see if they would deliver a pizza.  We ended up with half Spinach Ricotta and half something that had meat.  The pizza crust is as thin as you can get, crispy and chewy but not too chewy, and the toppings were very yummy.  I pretty much fell in love with the fresh ricotta sitting on the pizza.

Now, they have a very small delivery area.  The first time we called for a pizza, there was actually some discussion of whether or not we were too far away for them to deliver.  I think it we were any closer to Pomerado instead of Community, we would have had to pick that pizza up ourselves.  This means that any of you who live west of us are not going to be able to get a pizza delivered.  But you can come to our house and we’ll share a pie with you.

We’ve gotten their pizza 3 times now, every time with half Spinach Ricotta, half something with meat (this part changes under T’s direction) and always when we’re too tired to cook something up and too dirty to go out to eat.  There are always leftovers (2 slices from the large is enough, don’t try to eat another half slice or you’ll be too full – trust me) and they toast up perfectly the next day.  It’s simple, not too saucy, not too bready, and you know it’s a hit when T doesn’t leave any crusts for the dogs.  He’s also pretty fond of their italian ices, which come in little styrofoam cups and you have to scrape the surface with a spoon to make it icy.  He says he likes them better than Flavors italian ice in Carmel Mountain (I know!)

Coney Island Pizza looks like it’s been there for a while, so I’m not too worried about them going out of business.  They’re certainly not in a convenient location for a lot of people, but if you have a chance to go, I do recommend them.  They have a lot of non-pizza things for lunch and I think they also sell pizza by the slice.  And it’s yummy.  I almost wanted nothing but pizza for a week after that first one.  It’s so good, I would probably still eat it even if the dog licked it while my back was turned.  I mean, that hasn’t happened (that I know of, with pizza) but if it did I’d still eat the slice.  It’s not so delicious (or expensive) that I would pry it out of their mouth and eat it, something I’ve witnessed with a chocolate truffle back in the days before chocolate truffles were everywhere.  Ahem.

Coney Island Pizza on Urbanspoon


Palm Springs, in the middle of August, is freakin’ hot.  I know… it boggles the mind.  After the second weekend in a row of being out of town, I am very happy to be home.  Home, where I don’t have to deal with a suitcase or mini bottles of shampoo, housekeeping that thinks it’s a good idea to set the AC to 85 degrees, a thermostat that keeps falling off the wall, and crazy heat.  It was an extremely fun, extremely exhausting, and extremely productive weekend.

The dogs missed us so much, they left a dead opposum in the backyard for us.  And some dug up sod, that apparently was put back before I ever saw it.  There are already some dying pee spots that I can see, but I knew this would happen going in.  I think once the grass gets established, we’ll be in a better position to keep it healthy.  Right now, it’s still just sod that you could essentially pull up in one piece.

Just another summer day

Oh, I know, the posts around here have been few and far between.  I have no excuse other than the fact that life keeps getting in the way.  I come home from work and we try to get dinner going so we’re not eating at 8:30 pm every night.  Then there are dishes to do, dogs to pet, e-mail to check, maybe a DVR’d show to watch and before you know it, it’s bedtime.  I have countless photos on my digital camera to sort through and upload.  T has piles of actual photos waiting to be sorted and placed in albums.  When do I have time to sit and write about the little day-to-day things we’ve been doing?  I feel like we barely have time to even do the day-to-day things…

So, we went to Vegas, we came back from Vegas, and then we discussed Vegas.  We’ll just say it was a trip that made me realize my pretend-to-be-nice functions aren’t all that functional.  So, if anyone out there has ever wondered if I actually like them or have been faking it the whole time, rest assured I must actually like you.  Because I am lousy at faking it.  I feel very lucky that I am dating someone who doesn’t actually get mad at me (aside from drunk argumentative statements), doesn’t hesitate to apologize first, and is able to calmly discuss problematic situations without getting defensive or illogical.  This helps, because I have a tendency to get defensive and throw out radically illogical statements sometimes.  I’m also fortunate to be with someone whose main concern is always my well-being and comfort.  It is a comforting and cherished feeling to know that someone has put you first in his life.

We also started “menu planning” for the week’s dinners.  This really only works if you’re able to do one big shopping trip on the weekend.  Doing it after work means you get home later, which makes dinner later, which delays the option of twice-baked potatoes because those suckers take a LONG TIME.  Also, buttering the outside of the tortilla for quesadillas makes a big difference.  I highly recommend taking the caloric plunge to do so. 

Salt has become my new best friend in the kitchen.  I mean, I’ve always used salt and I know that when food tastes flat it’s really just lacking salt.  Salt brings hidden flavors out and makes everything alive.  Brines add moisture and flavor to just about any meat out there.  But lately, I feel like I’ve really been testing that theory and I feel a little bit dumb when I realize how true it all is.  Before we grilled lamb chops, I sprinkled them with salt and let them rest.  Every bite of lamb was juicy and full of flavor.  Yum.  When we grilled ribeyes, I just sprinkled them with kosher salt and let them sit, instead of adding the Montreal Steak Seasoning we usually use right before grilling.  Even though the steaks were mildly beyond medium/med-rare, each bite tasted heavenly and like a happy cow.  The other night T used the rotisserie to cook a chicken, a chicken liberally spiced and salted and each inch of chicken meat had flavor and was delicious.  Granted, I know the juiciness has to do with cooking method and not overcooking it, but I can’t help but feel that salt played a good part in those meals, too.  It kind of makes me want to read Salt: a World History.

Let’s see, what else… Maya the pup is still cute as ever and it makes my heart twitter when she gets so excited to see me that she cries.  I love that dog, even though she’s not mine.  Cassie would never let her come home with us, anyway.  Any time Maya comes near me, Cassie runs up and sits next to me, letting me know that she’s my girl, not this wiggly dog.  I do love Cassie… she’s my favorite. 

The sod is being installed today!  I think that marks the end of the landscaping project!  Except for the plants we need to buy and plant.  And the drip system that we need to install to water the plants we haven’t planted.  Yay!  I can’t wait to get home and see new grass.  It’ll be so awesome.

Also, in totally boring news, Poway finally started (restarted?) issuing rebates for low-flow toilets, which means it’s time to swap ours out (because they’re leaking and old anyway).  Every time I look at them, I know they need to be replaced, but I’ve been waiting for the rebate program to kick in.  Why not save some money?  So, now I’m trying to decide if we want to go with a dual flush toilet or not.

There you go.  There’s my update.  See?  It’s not like we’ve been globe-trotting or working to solve global warming.  We’ve just been living life and trying to enjoy the rest of the summer.

Need more weekends

Somehow, it became August right under my nose.  It happens all the time; months fly by so quickly more often than now.  So why does it always surprise me when I realize we’re in a new month already?  Right now, I’m looking at a month of weekends already scheduled.  A month of weekends full and busy and lacking free time.  Don’t get me wrong, they’re full of fun plans and it’ll be exciting and enjoyable.  But weekends at home, without definite plans, make me pretty happy at the moment.

T went deep sea fishing on Saturday and came home with dorado and albacore.  Not as much fish as last year, but enough that we’ll be happy to see the end of it (when that finally comes).  Last weekend he had to work on Saturday, and since my weekends feel more like weekends when he’s around, it’s kind of like I’ve had half-weekends recently.  We still get a lot accomplished, though.  A late morning motorcycle ride and we also put together the patio dining set and gazebo and assembled the new grill.  Then we grilled lamb chops, corn, and potatoes on it, along with a quasi-apple crisp (it was a complete meal cooked on a grill!) and ate it in the new gazebo.

I have to say, I’m loving our new backyard.  Saturday morning, I ate breakfast on the patio and was so happy.  Then I made T join me for Sunday breakfast on the patio.  At dinner, when the inside of the house was still warm and stuffy, a light breeze through the gazebo made our meal cool and enjoyable.  It’s just all come together so nicely… and the grass isn’t even in yet!  We’ve made an informal pact to spend the rest of summer in the backyard as much as possible.  There are still plans to get some patio lights, a deck box, and some solar lawn lights, but it’ll get there little by little.

So, every weekend we’re home, we get our home a little closer to the way we want it.  Which is why I like weekends at home, despite the fun we have when we’re away.