Wednesday, February 04, 2015


It does not surprise me that people flock to Coachella Valley to live. Look at that weather report below. Not just for the winter, but all year round people discover this area as being a great Southern California destination to live. 
Yes, it does not have the panache of Orange County or similar coastal regions, which in turn keeps real estate values in check. For now, that is.

The winters here are very very nice. It's early February, a time when I used to set up a booth at an industry trade show in Edmonton freezing at minus twenty usually.  Here? We went to the mineral pools yesterday. Even when living in Jarnac, with a more moderate climate, January and February there were somewhat wet and grey. I do miss the Croissants though...

While we certainly do have an issue with global warming for one reason or the other (did you know the earth fits into the sun 1,3 million times?), warmth and sunshine seems better to me for human beings than cold and freezing temperatures.  Maybe a bit of a blue eyed, ignorant comment, but what if I am just happy that I don;t have to wear socks. No mood enhancing pharmaceuticals in my drawers either. All natural Vitamin D I need.


THIS .......

........OR THAT

Monday, February 02, 2015


There is no limit to marketing with social media, is there?. Around 5 pm today #3 advised me that it's  free yogurt day at a national  chain and we have to go, celebrate and get our fill of free frozen yogurt now. Say what?

Ever the obliging parent, we drove off to the nearest Yogurtland in La Quinta. What's two miles for your kid's eternal gratefulness (or the usual ten minutes of it). Small challenge on arrival however...... though listed on their national website, this location is still under construction and there was no yogurt to be had. Oh joy, back home, watch some TV. Not so says off spring, there is another location in Indio and it's "only" six miles down the road. 

Being more of a Haagen Dasz fan myself, I really did not want to drive all the way to Indio for a product  from a company I never heard of, but decided to write off the six o'clock news for my daughter's quest in pursuit of an excellent, all natural dessert.  I even said that I don't think there will be a line up, it's Indio. Ehm, well, you can imagine the rest.
Social media most definitely has changed the marketing side of things, not only have I never heard of Yogurtland before, but I really did not see any free treats advertised in my kind of  media anywhere. How old am I?

THE LINE UP WAS TWENTY MINUTES! I NEVER STAY IN LINE FOR FOOD. NEVER! (With the exception of a pre paid turkey at Thanksgiving). Free stuff works apparently. I dropped off Isabella, looked for a parking spot and walked the strip mall before meeting up 10 minutes later and still having to wait ten more before a very very friendly staff member handed me a cup. 

It's a cool system really, a wall lined with self serve machines, a good variety of flavors followed by the piece de resistance, the toppings bar. From fresh fruits, to chocolate chips and a nice selection of cookies and wafers, they make it very appealing to load up your cup. 
Since it was free, I saw some amazing towering creations, kids lining their cups with Oreo cookies prior to filing up with yogurt, then going back to the condiment bar and choosing pretty much everything not so healthy.
I am happy to report that Isabella was much more moderate in her approach, carefully choosing toppings that are gluten free.

And yes, the frozen Yogurt is very good. Kudos to the staff who were extremely friendly and helpful as well.

Saturday, January 31, 2015


If only I would know a regular Blog reader who has spent a few month in Japan recently and can maybe even speak the language. ....What does "Domo" mean in context with Sushi? Hello Sushi? Thank you Sushi?

Anyway. Ever since arriving here in October, I tried to find a reliable, safe Sushi bar for the 66% of this family who can't eat gluten, but love Sushi. Would you believe that none of the Bars serving Sushi in La Quinta are willing to offer GF soy sauce, or guarantee their ingredients? I've called a number of them and ever visited some, but no dice. One even told me, no service with outside food, yes, that included soy sauce. Oh that fear of the unknown. 
 In their defense, most of them are mass market, Sysco supplied Chinese restaurants offering Sushi to  their MSG addicted regulars anyway. So no big loss there.

Enter a place on the other side of the tracks in Desert Hot Springs. We saw the sign on our Spa tour the other day and went back today to see some more places.
Lunch hour rolling around, we stopped in the parking lot to inquire of the possibilities for some fresh fish. Planning ahead, we brought along our own soy sauce, which it turns out was unnecessary, since the owners are aware of Celiacs/gluten free food issues. In Desert Hot Springs. That place starts to grow on me.

Family run with the son handling service, his father preparing the Sushi and the family matriarch takes care of the cash. Smart job sharing.
A huge menu with tons of specialty rolls, Sashimi, ect and Udon,  It's been a really long time since I had some japanese food

The freshest of all fish was Halibut, but as hard as I tried, the picture just turned out white on white, it was the freshest fish, almost see through. Perfect flavor. 
Victoria had her usual spicy Tuna and I ordered some (non GF) Tempura Udon. The broth itself is made from scratch and very flavorful. 

So. I am not sure if any celiacs even still read this Blog, but if you find yourself in the Coachella valley and seek out GF, safe Sushi, this is the place. For all readers without food issues, and if you love Sushi, well, what are you waiting for? Don't believe everything you read, you won;t get shot in DHS.