King Cake season

King Cake from Haydel's Bakery
King Cake from Haydel’s Bakery

We love us some King Cakes.

Haydel’s Bakery is our favorite. We always get the sugar only (the sugar + frosting is pretty sweet) and we get the package with the coffee, bead pack, etc. because why not!?! The high costs of these cakes are due to FedEx shipping but good luck trying to find a legit King Cake outside of NOLA. Buy NOLA and support their economy!

Antoine’s and Gambino’s are pretty good too.

I have yet to try a filled King Cake which is usually cream cheese but there’s lot of different options (flavored cream cheese, brownie filled, praline, German chocolate) so a bit of choice overload.

 

hibiscus tea

hibiscus tea photo

The new to me hotness -> hibiscus tea and the best is supposed to come from the Sudan.

Benefits of drinking hibiscus tea include weight loss, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, prevent types of cancer and depression, and pro-liver; not at high doses.

Every tea seller has hibiscus tea but a lot are in blend form w/ black tea or berries, e.g Imperial Red from Imperial Tea. Luckily Berkeley Bowl has some just plain old hibiscus tea.

I’m not going to link to bad Google results for Karkade recipes which is a sweet hibiscus drink (there are no links to an Egyptian or Sudanese website for a recipe? really?). It’s basically dried hibiscus, sugar, and water which is also agua de jamaica.

And I had no idea that jamaica was hibiscus. I didn’t know what the red and tart drink was, just thought jamaica tasted good. Who knew? Anyway, it was nice to get introduced to hibiscus tea and will probably need to drink up other teas/mix it up a bit before I go overboard and get sick of it. Hasn’t happened yet though.

ramen part 2

Ramen shop

Ramen Shop in Oakland – Chez Panisse vets opened up a Ramen Shop near Zachary’s Pizza on College Ave.; pretty good, a bit on the expensive side for a bowl of ramen but the execution is nice…could be giving some of the best ramen shops in Japantown in LA a run for it’s money once they find their groove…

and Ramen Tomo will be opening up on Telegraph near Koryo soon…

If I knew and was really passionate about ramen (I’m not), I’d open up a ramen shop called Fukuoka Ramen or FU Ramen for short. Fukuoka is supposed to have the best ramen anywhere, famed for their tonkatsu ramen, and Fukuoka is also Oakland’s sister city.

There’s a name idea for you for whoever wants to open up a ramen shop in Oakland.

 

 

clean diet and core training

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Working on the “clean” diet and “core” training routine to get into snowboarding shape for this Winter and hopefully launch me back into Ironman triathlon training.

Clean diet – “clean” foods, clean meals, simple ingredients

Core training – shoulders to thighs training with emphasis on developing ab and back strength

Bernachon: jour et nuit

This candy bar — jour et nuit by Bernachon —  my sister brought back from Paris was pretty darn great.  I need to figure out how to get more of this, might be the best chocolate bar I’ve ever had.

The other chocolates and pate de fruits from Patrick Roger were pretty good too.

Just goes to show that “caviar taste on a beer budget” is genetic.

 

Eatwell Farm

This is our box for the week from Eatwell Farm.  We’ve got apples, oranges, lemons, strawberries, lemon balm, parsley, sugar snap peas, green garlic, spring onions, spinach, carrots, mixed greens.

We’re on the 12 week program (13th week is free) w/ a half dozen eggs, which comes to about $29 a box.  Considering we get our box next door, the fruits and vegetables are organic AND they’re picked the week of delivery, it’s a no brainer value — and ridiculous from a freshness standpoint.

You also get things you might not normally buy at the store like romanesco, daikon, rainbow chard, jerusalem artichokes, rutabagas, and watermelon radish.  And you learn to eat seasonally, which makes you realize we actually do have seasons in Northern California.

There are a few drawbacks.  It’s not always easy to eat everything in a week, and you do have to cook.  You might get weeks of weeks of something you might not like for example red cabbage or kale.  You might not have enough of something to finish a recipe — need one more eggplant or one more onion, so you’ll have to supplement that at the store.  You’ll also never get bananas (obviously) and probably some other “non-standard” vegetable.

Sign up with Eatwell if you’re in the Bay Area or I’d encourage signing up for another Community Support Agriculture (CSA) program like Eatwell Farm.  A lot of them are popping up all over California and the rest of the United States.

* Hard to say whether or not CSA is scalable, I’m sure less than 1% of the country subscribes to a CSA.  But it would be great to see because in practice we feel healthier and feel better knowing where our  food comes from and the knowing the people who farm it.

Acai bowls

I’ve been making these Acai bowls for breakfast or lunch and they’re delicious.  First had these at Lanikai Juice in Kailua and then had them again when I was in Los Angeles at a couple places.

Really simple to make, just need to buy or order the frozen Acai pulp, I get mine from Berkeley Bowl but can also get from Amazon.com.  The fuzion is good but I like the original blend.

To make it, just two of the smoothie packets, some soy milk (or apple juice but I like soy milk) in the blender and blend away.  Put it in a bowl, add fruit like: blueberries, raspberries, bananas, strawberries, and then add some granola.  I’ve seen some with a little bit of yogurt too but maybe too much.  I like Cafe Fanny’s granola but also Blue Bottle’s granola.  It takes at most five minutes to put it all together, which is great too.

This bowl is maybe 300+ calories but if it’s breakfast or lunch it’s not bad.  I like eating it post workout too — just tastes good and looks pretty too.