Healthy Halibut Tacos

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by Susan Russo

halibuttacos.jpgBuying fish used to be easy. You'd go to the seafood store, look in the case, select your fish, and go home to cook. Nowadays, it's a lot more complicated. If you're pregnant, you need to avoid mercury-rich fish; farm-raised fish are good, except for when they're bad; some species which are endangered still show up on the menus of restaurants. All of this leads to confusion and often frustration on the part of many consumers.

What should you do? Visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch website. The Seafood Watch program "helps consumers and businesses make healthy choices for healthy oceans" by guiding you through these murky waters.

The folks at Seafood Watch share their "seafood recommendations" which are organized by geographic region, teach you about pressing ocean issues, provide sustainable seafood recipes, and even show you how to get involved in the cause. Best of all, you can acquire an app that will help you when you're in the market shopping for fish.

The Dirtiest Slice

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by Louis Gropman

outdoorcafe.jpgI’m a staunch advocate of the five-second rule. Even endorsing an extended 10, or 20 seconds in the instance of cleaner surfaces. But when it comes to the Venice Beach Boardwalk, I’m reluctant to trust the integrity of fallen foodstuffs; cautious of sand, stale urine, or general beach-funk.

At least that was my attitude when three pieces of pizza crashed to the ground.

I was with my brother, who was visiting from college. On his last day, he asked only to “sit somewhere and sip something.” Easily satisfied. We cruised to the beach. Found a bustling boardwalk. It was Sunday. It was slammed. Finding somewhere to sit where we could order something to sip proved more difficult than anticipated.

We finally spotted an opening in the back corner of the Candle Café patio. Swooped in on a recently vacated table. Vestiges of the previous patrons remained: A couple pint glasses, and a red ketchup squeeze-bottle forgotten on the floor under my chair. I picked up the orphaned ketchup bottle and placed it on the table. We ordered beers and pizza. Our table was wiped down. Except the ketchup bottle was left behind.

Bad Day Times Two

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by Cathy Pollak

pharmacy_generics.jpgThe Wild Boar (a.k.a. my husband) and I were having a little contest yesterday trying to decide who had a worse day.  He won.

Since my day was really a series of frustrations... things like sitting in the bank with the operations manager as she posted 200 check stop payments on my account.  The bank's check printing company lost my checks...somewhere between their office and my mailbox.  That was fun.

Then there was my trip to the pharmacy where I went to pick up a prescription for myself. However, the pharmacy had mistakenly labeled another prescription for someone else with my name and phone number.  I knew right away it wasn't mine as I was not there to pick up a prescription for a highly contagious STD!

I told the woman it wasn't mine and pushed it back towards her.  She said, it has your name and phone number, it's yours.  I pushed it back, it's not.  She pushed it back, it is.  Can you even believe this was happening?

Companion Piece

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by Lynne Rosenberg

weddinginvite.jpgI am at That Age. The age when once every couple of weeks, you check your post mail and instead of a bill (yes, I still use the United States Postal Service to pay my bills) or the 1,000th solicitation from Doctors Without Borders you've received that week, you have a real letter. Or, at least what looks like a letter - it's got a handwritten, maybe even calligraphied address and a return label with the name of your friend or... wait... the name of the parents of your friend...

I am at The Wedding Invitation Age.

Full disclosure, I'm actually a little behind the times. I'm among that "Creative Class" where people are either too poor, too career-focused, too gay, or too anti-establishment to marry in the "typical" mid-20s. But, at 30, I have finally arrived.

Summer Lime & Lemongrass Cooler

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by Laurie Winer


In August I love to drink fresh lime juice in the evening. If you keep the mixture on the tart side, the zing from the thing is so intense you won’t need to add alcohol. But a drop of rum or vodka never hurt anyone. Here’s my recipe for two:

limecooler.jpgSummer Lime Cooler

1 stalk lemongrass*
2 Thai basil leaves
2 mint leaves
1 kaffir lime leaf
1 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup super fine sugar (honey also works), or 1/2 cup if you are a lightweight
Lots of crushed or shaved ice
Tonic Water

Cook lemongrass stalk at 300°F for 20 minutes. Cut 2 inches off the stout end of the lemongrass and 1 inch off the slender end. Roughly chop lemongrass.

Put lemongrass, basil, mint, kaffir lime leaf, lime juice, and sugar in blender. Blend. Let sit for 20 minutes or more. Blend again. Mix with 1 cup tonic water, after all the blending. Pour through a fine sieve into a little pitcher. Pour over into cocktail glasses with lots of ice. Have more ice on hand to add while drinking.

*If it’s too much trouble to find lemongrass or if you are too lazy, substitute an inch of fresh ginger, roughly chopped.

Laurie Winer is an editor at the Los Angeles Review of Books.



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