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Product Review: Just the Cheese Crunchy Baked Cheese Snacks!

Just the Cheese Packaging
Photos By Gail

Do you like cheese? I sure do. Cheese is my favorite food group! For me, one of the most exciting things about making a quesadilla or grilled cheese sandwich, or heating up a slice of pizza, is when a bit of melting cheese oozes onto the surface of the hot pan and bakes into a little cheesy wafer of impossibly delicious goodness. Step away from the crunchy cheese, I say — it’s mine! But seriously, if the idea of eating crunchy cheese is exciting to you, but maybe the process of grating cheese into a hot pan and waiting for it to get all golden-brown and crisp seems too labor intensive, then you will be glad to learn that Just the Cheese crunchy baked cheese snacks are a thing that exists.

Just the Cheese

Just The Cheese crunchy cheese snacks are made with 100% natural Wisconsin cheese with no artificial additives or preservatives, so they are gluten free and low carb. Each packages contains two snack bars (just 75 calories each) of crunchy baked cheese that tastes just as delicious as you would imagine. Since Just the Cheese needs no refrigeration, it is the perfect grab-and-go snack for your purse, back pack or desk drawer. And if a cheese-loving friend or co-worker becomes curious when they see you snacking blissfully on your delicious crunchy cheese, well, you have bar to share wit them — that is, if you can bear to part with it.

Just The Cheese

You could even use Just The Cheese snack bars as a cracker substitute, adding a variety of your favorite toppings (more cheese, anyone?) to create fancy snacks for your next party!

Just the Cheese Packaging 2

Just the Cheese crunchy baked cheese snacks, made with love by Specialty Cheese Company, come in three simple flavors: Jalapeño (with real jalapeño pepper bits baked right in), Grilled Cheese, and Aged Cheddar. These snacks are currently available only in select brick-and-mortar markets, but you can buy them via online outlets such as Amazon Prime and others. Visit Just The Cheese Dot Com to order yours now!

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Modern Art Monday Presents: Bridges By James Doolin

Bridges By James Doolin
Photo By Gail

Euro-American traditions of landscape art tend to work differently from those of Native peoples, often picturing the land from afar as a space to behold. James Doolin (19322002) carefully studied the landscape to create Bridges (1989), spending a week at the off-ramp from the 110 Freeway to Interstate 5 in Los Angeles. Using principles that originated in European painting, Doolin designed an expansive vista in which a vast space is seen from a single vantage point. The small figure in the foreground  — intended as a stand-in for the artist or viewer — also appears in many traditional landscape paintings. By applying these motifs to 20th Century Los Angeles, Doolin refers to the power of historical images in shaping our modern experience of place.

Photographed in the Autry Museum of the American West in Los Angeles. 

Video Clip of The Week: Swervedriver, “Spiked Flower”


‘Transcendent’ is not a world that I find myself using very often these days when talking about modern music, if I talk about it at all. I looked at the Billboard charts a couple months ago for the first time in probably a decade — just being serious — and when I realized that every band or artist in the top 20 or so positions on that chart was either someone I’ve never heard of, or someone I am familiar enough with to have a strong distaste for their songs, I knew l’d made the right decision to abandon rock journalism and start writing about art and food. Because I would rather listen to The Beatles or Led Zeppelin for one hundred million billion years than any of the boring, shitty, derivative, eardrum excoriating garbage that ‘the kids’ are downloading for 15 minutes. Fuck the kids.

Of course, it’s not that everything sucks, but the really good stuff is now back in the underground, and this is why it takes me a week to uncover even one song worth featuring in this column. Fortunately, hard work pays off. This week’s clip, “Spiked Flower,” comes to us from the band Swervedriver, who were being pitched to me when you were in diapers: when I was cranking out CD reviews and long-form interviews with top musicians at a pretty steady clip. How are they still around, and how do they still sound so fucking good? “Spiked Flower” is song that’s transcendence distilled, and I don’t even feel compelled to defend it beyond offering that it sounds like if Husker Du had a baby with the Jesus and Mary Chain. Sometimes the only quality that good music has to have to is that it sounds good“Spiked Flower” can be found on Swervedriver’s upcoming album, Future Ruins — earning bonus points for featuring Coney Island’s iconic Parachute Drop and Thunderbolt roller coaster on its cover — which will be released on January 25th, 2019 on Dangerbird Records. Enjoy!

future ruins hi-res cover

Pink Thing of The Day: Giant Pink Origami Dinosaur

Pink Dinosaur Display
Photos By Gail

OK, you can probably tell that this not a “proper” Pink Origami Dinosaur but, rather, what is meant to appear as a Dinosaur Wrapped in Pink Paper, as if it were  gift waiting under the Christmas Tree! Other pink-wrapped gifts include a Guitar, a Swan Pool Floatie, a Globe, a Bicycle and a Cactus, among other items easily identified by their distinctive shapes.

Pink Dinosaur Display

It’s all part of a fun Holiday display that I spotted at H&M Clothing Store on 5th Avenue and 48th Street in Manhattan!

Favorite Photos From Descanso Gardens, December 2018!

Purple Flowers
All Photos By Gail

On my last full day in California, I spent a couple of late afternoon hours strolling through the very beautiful Descanso Gardens, a 150-acre botanical garden located in the La Cañada Flintridge area of Los Angeles. The daylight was already starting to fade, but I got some good shots of the many varieties of gorgeous flowers that are still blooming even in late December. Enjoy!

Camellia Bush

Descanso is well-known for their signature pink Camellias, of which there are numerous varieties.

Pink and White Camellia

Of course, I love anything that is pink. This one has a tiny wound on one petal, but its beauty is unspoiled.

Pink Camellia

Pink and White Camellia

You would almost think you are in Hawaii when you see flowers like this!

Prismatic Star

For the Holiday season, Descanso hosts a special evening event called Enchanted Forest of Light, which competes with the numerous Chinese Lantern Festivals going on at the LA Zoo, the LA Arboretum, and elsewhere. This prismatic star is just one of the many added features that help to transform the nighttime garden into fantasy wonderland for this always sold-out event!

Prismatic Shape in Garden

I’m guessing that this prism is illuminated from within once the sun sets.

Red and Peach Roses

While the beds are not necessarily lush at this time of year, the Roses are still in bloom and looking good!

Red and White Rose

Pale Pink Rose

I love how the petals of this delicate pink bloom are almost transparent.

African Daisy

This flower is called an African Daisy.

Yellow Snapdragon

These Yellow Snapdragons have a tiny visitor!

Yellow Chrysanthemums

Yellow Chrysanthemums!

Red Thistle

Red Thistles – gorgeous!

Daffodils

Daffodils!

Pink Berries

I don’t know the proper name of this tropical-looking plant with its tiny pink berries, but I have seen one like it at the NYBG in the Bronx.

Blue Purple Iris

Purple Irises!

Descanso Gardens is Located at 1418 Descanso Drive, La Cañada Flintridge, CA 91011.

Eye On Design: Beaded Vest By Marcus Amerman

Beaded Vest
All Photos By Gail

This elaborately Beaded Vest (2013) was inspired by the catalogs for the Burpee Seed Company, an online purveyor of gardening supplies. Whereas much Native American beadwork features flat, abstract designs, Marcus Amerman (Choctaw, Born 1959) stitches each bead individually, alternating colors to create three-dimensional effects. The result is vivid imagery that leaps off the surface and defies our expectations of the medium.

Beaded Vest

Although the realism and commercial source of Amerman’s imagery are nontraditional, floral imagery has a long history within Native North American beadwork as an art form and a symbol of cultural resilience. Floral imagery emerged as a mainstay of beadwork during the fur trade, when beaded horse gear, bags, and clothing found a ready market among non-Native traders and settlers. As Native groups were disrupted and displaced by expansion, disease and war, floral imagery retained symbolic meaning known only to tribes, forming a visual language capable of surviving the destructive forces of empire.

Beaded Vest

Photographed in the Autry Museum of the American West in Los Angeles, CA.

Shark Attack Checkout Aisle!

Shark Attack Checkout Aisle
All Photos By Gail

Each year on New Year’s Eve day, I round up all of my not-yet-redeemed free product manufacturer coupons that are expiring at midnight on December 31st and head to Whole Foods and other neighborhood Supermarkets to load up on free stuff! Woo! This year’s haul includes ice cream, milk, frozen vegetable soufflés, and cottage cheese. Food just tastes better when it is free.

Shark Attack Checkout Aisle

Even better, imagine how excited I was  to notice this large Plush Shark Toy perched atop the illuminated sign on checkout register Number 9!

Shark Attack Checkout Aisle

Shark Attack, Bitches!