Dunkin Donuts comes to Encino… and a Giveaway!

A few days ago I was trollin’ FB as I do, when a post caught my eye. My friend Melissa had posted about a grand opening for Dunkin Donuts in ENCINO! Encino is about 6 minutes from my house. Color me excited! Now, I’m not a huge donut lover (that’s the hubby), even though there’s a donut in the DCD logo. However, I am a huge lover of the occasional delicious treat, and the Dunkin Donuts Chocolate Kreme donut fits the bill! Also, growing up in Chicago, Dunkin Donuts became a landmark of weekends – whenever a dozen donuts showed up at our house, it officially signified the start of a special weekend.

dunkin donuts encino inside store

Dunkin Donuts is now open from 5 AM to 11 pm in Encino, at the intersection of Balboa and Ventura.

I headed over today for the grand opening and got myself some delicious donuts and lunch. For lunch I chose the egg and bacon sandwich on a pretzel roll. Super yummy! I loved the crunch of salt against the chewy pretzel roll. I also got a massive unsweetened iced tea ($1.99, holla), because DD knows their beverages – no watered down tea concentrates here. (Hubby is a fan of the DD coffee). I loved how all of the staff at the Encino DD were friendly, smiling, and hustlin’. It felt like a taste of the Midwest here in LA!

Bacon and Egg Sandwich on Pretzel Roll with Large Iced Tea - yum!

Bacon and Egg Sandwich on Pretzel Roll with Large Iced Tea – yum!

To celebrate the grand opening of Dunkin Donuts Encino, you have a chance to win a $20 Dunkin Donuts Gift Card! You can use this gift card at any location in the United States – hooray! To enter, use Rafflecopter to submit your entries. The give away starts at 12:00 a.m. on 6/10 (Early birds reading this on 6/9: sorry for the delay!). I’ll choose a winner next Wednesday, June 17th. United States only, must be 18+. Good luck – and if you win, get a Chocolate Kreme (or Blueberry Cake!) donut in my honor 😉

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Are you a fan of Dunkin? Visit DunkinDonuts.com to find a location near you 🙂


Disclosure: I was offered a $10 giftcard for writing this post and the $20 gift card for giveaway. All opinions are my own and I wanted to share as a Midwesterner happy to see some Midwestern food love coming to California 🙂


Bike to Work Day 2012

Dad bikes to work for his job as a telecommunications engineer!

Last week, it was Bike to Work Day in my hometown of Petaluma, and both of my parents rode their bikes to work. That got me thinkin’, I wanna try it! Here’s a great shot of my dad after his 6.5 mile bike ride.

Though there’s some debate about if LA County’s Bike to Work Day is today or tomorrow, I rode my bike to work today! I live just under 4 miles from work, and on the way there, it took me about 38 minutes. I was going slow and rode on sidewalks and used the lights to cross major intersections. The San Fernando Valley is not especially biker-friendly… I think I rode into branches, spider webs and various sidewalk clutter several times. There’s a lot of major streets that don’t have sidewalks either, which put me dangerously close to the caffeinated soccer moms schlepping their wonder children in gigantic SUVs.

Sucess! Four miles there, four miles back!

What I loved about my bike ride was that I felt so much more awake by the time I got to work. The sun was shining, the breeze was blowing, and when I hit a smooth, straight patch where I just cruised, it was like being 9-years-old again and pedaling around town for fun. What I didn’t love is that I didn’t have the foresight to bring a change of clothes – and I spent the rest of the day feeling like a stinky, sweaty chick.

The ride to work was about 40 minutes, and the ride home was about 30 minutes, probably because I took a different route with less lights. I also really took my time – I wasn’t interested in impressing anybody. I feel really proud that I made it both ways! In fact, for the ride home I was thinking of getting a ride with my friend because it was 84 degrees and I felt lazy – but my bike didn’t fit in his car, so it was a sign that I needed to not be a lazy bum and pedal to the metal all the way home.

Helmet hair is so in vogue! (Hey, I'd rather look dorky than have a traumatic brain injury!)

While I don’t know if I’ll become a regular bike commuter just because my bed is far too appealing in the morning,  this definitely gives me some insight into what morning exercise might do for my energy level. All day I felt so alert and alive – pretty impressive for someone who’s usually yawning at 3 pm. I’m proud of myself because eight miles feels like an epic journey – which is why it’s staggering to me that so many of my friends (I’m looking at you, Amy, Jason, Shelley, Matt…) regularly run huge, long distance marathons for PLEASURE. Who knows – maybe I’ll become a convert!

Have you ever rode your bike to work or some place else “far” away? What’d ya think?


Box full o’ noms

I love getting stuff in the mail – and now, every other week, I receive a box full of organic goodies! I’ve loved the idea of CSA, or community supported agriculture boxes, for a long time, but I never found a company that delivered near me. When I attended the graveyard movie a few weeks ago, a friendly gal was passing out flyers for Farm Fresh to You and I signed up on the spot! Now, every other week we’ll receive a medium sized box of seasonal produce and fruit.

The lettuce is bigger than my head!!!!

This week we got peaches, pluots, corn, lettuce, cauliflower, Nante carrots, beefsteak tomatoes, zucchini and cucumbers. Matt got to open the box on his lunch break (I admit, I was jealous I didn’t get to open it!) and when I got home, it was like a veggie Christmas. The price is very reasonable ($25 every other week) and all of the produce is organic and locally grown. This is a great option for our household because I love to cook, I love fruits and veggies, and I’m in full favor of supporting a local farm rather than giving bits of my hard-earned pay check to Monsanto.

Nante Carrots

The first night we got the box, we used the zucchini, carrots and my own garden grown squash to make a delicious vegetable saute in olive oil and fresh garlic. The carrots were so sweet because roasting and caramelizing veggies brings out all of their natural sugars. The corn on the cob was OFF THE HOOK and we finally got to use our cool corn dishes we got as a wedding gift.

Peaches come from a can, they were put there by a man in a factory downtown.... NOT THIS PEACH! (5 points for whoever gets that)

I had a peach for breakfast that reminded me of summers spent in Conyers, GA with my aunt and uncle, and the pluot I scarfed down yesterday was divine. I know a lot of people think the ‘organic tastes better’ opinion is hocus pocus, but I can honestly say for many fruits and vegetables, organic just tastes… better. Essentially organic means home grown – and a garden grown with love will produce a way better taste than a garden grown with chemicals and machines.

Feeling corny? Butter me up and we'll see what happens.

I’m super excited for the next box. We can even customize it to leave out things we don’t like (eggplant made that list, and zucchini is going on the list since I grow my own), or request more of the things we do. I think the CSA box will be an awesome thing for Matt and I, and will encourage us to try new recipes, eat more fruits and veggies, and help us continue to be mindful of where our food comes from.  Would you consider a CSA box? If so, you should check out this link for more information and to find a participating farm near you!