Fruit! Fruit! Fruit!

Fruit! Fruit! Fruit! (and it’s good for you too)
All these “Still Life” fruit photos taken by JoshWillTravel

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Any fruit or 100% fruit juice counts as part of the Fruit Group.
Fruits may be fresh, canned, frozen or dried and whole, cut-up or pureed.

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 “How do ya like them apples?” (An expression of gloating when someone turns the tables on someone else, the phrase originated in World War I with the “Toffee Apple” trench mortar used by British troops, in the 1959 film Rio Bravo a guy tosses a hand grenade and says the line, and it is used again famously in the 1997 film Good Will Hunting)

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“You Talkin’ To Me?” – Banana DeNiro

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“Is that a banana in your pocket?
Or are you just happy to see me?” – Mae West
(usually said when it appears someone has a boner to embarrass and draw attention to them)

 

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Baking Banana Bread pt 1 – Recipe, Instruction & Prep:
Baking Banana Bread pt 2 – “The Banana Bread is Baked”:

Mrs Hochmeyer’s Banana Bread recipe (live on Periscope, and now on YouTube)

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Mrs. Hochmeyer’s Banana Bread!

Here is Mrs. Hochmeyer’s Banana Bread Recipe!
Right Click “Open In New Window” for the Recipe Blog>
http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1DR

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“Who wants an orange whip?
Orange whip? Orange whip?
Three orange whips.” 
– John Candy in “The Blues Brothers”

“Everyone should wake up and have a fresh-squeezed orange every day. By having a fresh glass of orange juice with American oranges, you are supporting the local economy, you have all the vitamin C you need in a day, and you support the environment because you don’t use any plastic from bottles or bags.” – Jose Andres

 

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“The Trunk, Leaves, and Flowers of this Tree, very much resemble
those of the Orange-tree.
The Fruit, when ripe, is something longer and larger than the largest
Orange; and exceeds, in the Delicacy of its Taste, the Fruit of every
Tree in this or any of our neighbouring Islands.
It hath somewhat of the Taste of a Shaddock; but far exceeds that, as
well as the best Orange, in its delicious Taste and Flavour.”

—Description from Rev. Griffith Hughes’ 1750 Natural History of Barbados.

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The grapefruit is a subtropical citrus tree known for its sour to semi-sweet fruit. Grapefruit is a hybrid from Barbados (an accidental cross between two species, sweet orange and pomelo, both were introduced from Asia in the seventeenth century). The grapefruit’s name alludes to clusters of the fruit on the tree, which often appear similar to grapes, but it was known as the shaddock or shattuck until the 19th century. Further crosses have produced the tangelo (1905), the Minneola tangelo (1931), and the oroblanco (1984). Varieties of Texas and Florida grapefruit include: Oro Blanco, Ruby Red, Pink, Thompson, White Marsh, Flame, Star Ruby, Duncan, and Pummelo HB.

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“A table, a chair, a bowl of fruit and a violin;
what else does a man need to be happy?”
– Albert Einstein

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Tangerine, she is all they claim
With her eyes of night and lips as bright as flame
Tangerine, when she dances by, senoritas stare and caballeros sigh
And I’ve seen toasts to Tangerine
Raised in every bar across the Argentine
Yes, she has them all on the run, but her heart belongs to just one
Her heart belongs to Tangerine
Tangerine, she is all they say
With mascara’d eye and chapeaux by Dache.
Tangerine, with her lips of flame
If the color keeps, Louis Philippe’s to blame.
And I’ve seen clothes on Tangerine
Where the label says “From Macy’s Mezzanine”.
Yes, she’s got the guys in a whirl, but she’s only fooling one girl
She’s only fooling Tangerine!
“Tangerine” by  Johnny Mercer & Victor Schertzinger (1941)

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“The trees that are slow to grow bear the best fruit.” – Moliere

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Fruit Juices, Canned Goods & Apple Cider Vinegar

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY
AND THEN CLICK AGAIN TO VIEW THE PIC AT FULL SIZE!

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“You’ve got to go out on a limb sometimes because that’s where the fruit is.”
– Will Rogers

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“Life is just a bowl of cherries…”
Definition of “life is just a bowl of cherries” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus: something that you say that means that life is very pleasant. This phrase is often used humorously to mean the opposite.

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“Life is just a bowl of cherries/Don’t take it serious; it’s too mysterious
You work, you save, you worry so/But you can’t take your dough when you go, go, go
So keep repeating it’s the berries/The strongest oak must fall
The sweet things in life, to you were just loaned
So how can you lose what you’ve never owned?
Life is just a bowl of cherries/So live and laugh at it all”
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Fruit Stand at Pier 39 at Fisherman’s Wharf – San Francisco

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Grandma’s Cherry Cheesecake

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Homemade Jelly Donuts

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“I found my thrill on Blueberry Hill,
On Blueberry Hill when I found you.” – Fats Domino

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The strawberry fruit was mentioned in ancient Roman literature in reference to its medicinal use. The garden strawberry was first bred in the 1750s in Brittany, France, via a cross of Fragaria virginiana from eastern North America and Fragaria chiloensis, which was brought from Chile in 1714.

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Fresh Strawberry Donuts from The Donut Man!

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Berry Panna Cotta & Berry Sorbet

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Strawberry Margarita at El Torito

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Mango Chutney

 

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Fruit Compote for Thanksgiving

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Fruit Stand at Pier 39 at Fisherman’s Wharf – San Francisco

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Angel food shortcake w/buttercream, fruit& almond slices

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“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade” ― Elbert Hubbard (a proverbial phrase used to encourage optimism and a positive can-do attitude in the face of adversity or misfortune)

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Drink – Frozen Mango Lemonade

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Fresh made raspberry lemonade

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The Cranberries are an Irish rock band who formed in Limerick, Ireland in 1989.
The band consists of vocalist Dolores O’Riordan and three other guys.

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Life is Just a Bowl of Kumquats.

 

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AVOCADO?
Fruit or Vegetable?

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And what about Tomatoes, Cucumbers and Corn?
(“that keep us on growing once we have been born”)

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“Mine’s bigger. My cucumber. It’s bigger. I think vegetables (fruits) can be very sensuous, don’t you?” – Eric “Otter” Stratton in “Animal House”

ALL PHOTOS COPYRIGHT 2017 JoshWillTravel (yes, we took them all)

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And what about the Pumpkin?

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NOTE: This Blog is still UNDER CONSTRUCTION!

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After the 4th of July…Midsummer’s Daydream and Dinner at CPK!

I hope you had a wonderful 4th of July holiday weekend!

Fireworks! Celebrate America with explosives!

Fireworks! Celebrate America with explosives!

Family, Friends, Food, and Fireworks! Did you BBQ?

We had a small family barbecue dinner at home in the valley. Chose not to travel this holiday weekend and happy with that choice. I was invited to a big street party in Hawthorne on the other side of LAX that sounded fun, but it was a drive down the 405 freeway and it’s a Highway Patrol “maximum enforcement” weekend. Also, I don’t like to leave my dogs alone after dark on the 4th of July for obvious reasons.

On The Menu: Hamburger, chicken sausage on a bun, dill pickle, avocado, tortilla chips, sweet potato tortilla chips, sea salt & vinegar potato chips, watermelon and a coke. And then a giant fruit tart cake for dessert.

4th of July BBQ (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

4th of July BBQ (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

There was also a selection of olives, macaroni salad, and potato salad.

4th of July dessert - giant fruit tart cake (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

4th of July dessert – giant fruit tart cake (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

I wasn’t happy with the hamburger, so I got busy later after midnight and made a double cheeseburger with turkey bacon.

Today was the Monday after the weekend, a day to recover from the celebration, and then dinner at CPK (California Pizza Kitchen) again. Enjoyed a very nice dinner at the same restaurant last week, and had a coupon good on our next visit, so we went back again tonight.

On The Menu tonight: 1/2 of a Chinese chicken salad and a Hawaiian pizza with pepperoni, sourdough bread and a frozen mango lemonade.

Drink - Frozen Mango Lemonade (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

New Drink – Frozen Mango Lemonade (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Tried the frozen mango lemonade last week and it was cold fruity goodness! So I had it again, but decided to have different food items.

Hawaiian Pizza with pepperoni (copyright 2104 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at CPK – Hawaiian Pizza with pepperoni (copyright 2104 JoshWillTravel)

On The Menu last week: 1/2 of a BBQ chopped chicken salad and a BBQ chicken pizza (no cilantro and light onion), sourdough bread and a frozen mango lemonade.

CPK - Sourdough bread (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

CPK – New AND MUCH IMPROVED Sourdough bread (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

They recently replaced the dry white bread and butter with fresh baked sourdough bread and oil. It is such an improvement! Something that doesn’t seem like a big deal, really changes the dining experience.

CPK - 1/2 BBQ chopped chicken salad w/avocado (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at CPK – 1/2 BBQ chopped chicken salad w/avocado (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

CPK - BBQ Chicken Pizza no cilantro (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at CPK – BBQ Chicken Pizza no cilantro & light onion (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

CPKCalifornia Pizza Kitchen (many locations in Southern California)

Currently working on Blogs for World Cup USA ’94 (here’s a teaser pic):

World Cup USA '94

World Cup USA ’94 Pins – USA, Brazil and Italy; Gold and Regular USA ’94 & Los Angeles ’94

and LAX – Los Angeles International Airport Fact and Info (here’s a pic I took):

LAX - Theme Building (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

LAX – Los Angeles International Airport Theme Building (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Stay Tuned! FOLLOW my Blog! Keep checking back for updates and new stuff!

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Dinner at Taj Mahal Cuisine of India in Encino

Dinner at Taj Mahal Cuisine of India in Encino 

Dinner at Taj Mahal (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Taj Mahal (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Upstairs in one of the weirdest “strip malls” in the San Fernando valley, is the Taj Mahal Cuisine of India restaurant. Climb the stairs (or ride the elevator) to this fantastic dining establishment and enjoy a wonderful culinary experience!

There’s usually street parking (metered 8am-8pm) available on Ventura Blvd. There are a few spaces in the small parking area in front, and many spaces in a very large underground garage below the mall…and it’s FREE. No valet parking surcharge!

The restaurant is a “mom and pop operation”: mom manages the restaurant and pop runs the deliveries and catering. The space has a sterile, modern design with big windows and lots of light during the day and it is always clean. When you enter, you’ll be greeted by the wonderful aromas of fragrant and exotic food cooking in the kitchen. They also have an outside patio dining area with a nice view of Ventura Boulevard and the Ralph’s parking lot across the street. (yes, it’s the valley)

Dinner at Taj Mahal (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Taj Mahal – Dine In, Take Out or Call for Delivery! (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Amazing Indian Food!

Dinner at Taj Mahal (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Taj Mahal – Menu and a Mango Lassi smoothie (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

ON THE MENU: Crispy flatbread crackers served with spicy sauces, Chicken Coconut Curry, Chicken Tikka (Tandoori style), Bangin Bharta (eggplant), Basmati Rice, Peshwari Naan (warm flatbread with fruit and nuts), Raita (yogurt), Mango Chutney, and a Mango Lassi (smoothie).

Dinner at Taj Mahal (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Taj Mahal – crispy flatbread cracker w/spicy sauces (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

For starters, there’s a crispy flatbread cracker served with spicy sauces and pickled root veggies. We like to order their mango chutney, which is sweet, tangy and delicious.

Dinner at Taj Mahal (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Taj Mahal – Mango Chutney (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Taj Mahal (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Taj Mahal – Starter (“bread”) plate (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

They have a wonderful selection of fresh baked naans and kulchas (seasoned breads) served warm out of the oven. I really like the garlic naan and onion kulcha, and they have a fantastic Peshwari naan with fruit and nuts baked in. Have it as an appetizer or with dinner.

Dinner at Taj Mahal (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Taj Mahal – Peshwari Naan, flatbread w/fruit & nuts (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Taj Mahal - Onion Kulcha and Mango Chutney (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Taj Mahal – Onion Kulcha and Mango Chutney (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

They have terrific appetizers. I like the Samosas.

Dinner at Taj Mahal - Samosa Appetizer (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Taj Mahal – Samosa Appetizer (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

They have a great menu! There’s a good variety of chicken, lamb, fish and vegetarian dishes (no beef, of course). In addition to the tasty appetizers, they have wonderful soups and a unique dessert list.

Each flavorful entree is served with tasty basmati rice and raita (seasoned yogurt). My favorite dish is the chicken coconut curry, which can also be done with lamb. The Tandoori chicken is also a good choice, and is served sizzling on a skillet with grilled onions. Have it on the bone or served without bones as chicken tikka.

All of the food is constructed with a mix of spices that delivers a real taste of Indian home cooking. I’ve tried some of their other dishes on previous visits and without exception they have all been excellent. They use a wide range of ingredients and there’s something on the menu for every taste. The cooking is traditional Indian style, but the taste is extraordinary!

Dinner at Taj Mahal (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Taj Mahal – Bangin Bharta (Eggplant), Chicken Coconut Curry, and Chicken Tikka Tandoori Style (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

The Bangin Bharta is a spicy vegetarian dish made with eggplant and peas, and like all the main dishes you can request it “mild, medium, or hot”.

Dinner at Taj Mahal (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Taj Mahal – Raita, seasoned yogurt (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Taj Mahal (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Taj Mahal – Chicken Coconut Curry, Chicken Tikka (Tandoori style), Bangin Bharta (eggplant), Raita and Basmati Rice  (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

I love this restaurant and we come here often for dinner and sometimes have it delivered. They’ve also catered several large parties for us at our home. The food was excellent and it’s easy to serve buffet style (they’ll even provide the chafing dishes).

They also have the classic “all you can eat” lunch buffet and a champagne Sunday brunch at a great price! They advertise in local “coupon mailers” and offer discounts on the buffet and brunch as well as 2-for-1 entrees ($10 off) when you dine in with coupon. There’s also a nice selection of beer and wine available, again at very reasonable prices!

NOTE: the only thing that I’ve found to be annoying at Taj Mahal is the service. My advice is to request anything you need or want when there is someone at your table. If you ASK for ice, extra napkins, additional beverages, water refill, and the check, rather than waiting for service or someone to ask, you will have a much better experience!

There’s also one more thing I don’t like (this is my own personal opinion) and that’s that they’ll plate your food at the table for you, as part of the service. Some people enjoy being served this way, but I prefer to serve myself and determine my own portions and placement of food on the plate. So, I usually tell them “thanks, I’ll just serve myself.”

Dinner at Taj Mahal (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Taj Mahal – Cooking in the Kitchen! (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

 Taj Mahal Cuisine of India17815 Ventura Blvd, Ste 201, Encino, California 91316 818-345-2244 http://www.tajmahaldining.com

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Dinner at Taj Mahal - Mango Lassi, pickled veggies & crispy flatbread cracker (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Taj Mahal – Mango Lassi, pickled root veggies, spicy sauces & crispy flatbread cracker (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)


UPDATE December 17, 2016:
We enjoyed “take out” from Taj Mahal last night and it was great!
This is, in my opinion, the best Indian food in the San Fernando Valley!

On the Menu: chicken coconut curry, chicken tikka masala, banging bharta (eggplant puree with peas), basmati rice, raita (yogurt with cucumber and dill), mango chutney and Peshwari naan (flatbread with dried fruit & nuts).

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UPDATED Friday April 7, 2017

We enjoyed another fantastic dinner at Taj Mahal Cuisine of India tonight!

On The Menu: Chicken coconut curry, boneless tandoori chicken, banging bharta (eggplant dish), basmati rice, onion kulcha (flatbread), mango chutney, raita (yogurt), crispy cracker bread with spicy sauces and a mango lassi