Category Archives: Spotlights

Dagoba Chocolate

I was making some matcha tea bread with a chocolate filling, so I needed to get some chocolate. I thought I would get a chocolate bar instead of chips to put in the recipe and found myself standing in front of the chocolate section trying to narrow down my choices (not an easy task for a chocoholic). I found a brand that was on sale, so that helped to narrow my choices a little. I new I wanted a dark chocolate, narrowing my choices still further. I ended up looking at Dagoba Chocolates, they have quite a few dark chocolates, so I looked at the percentage of cocoa in the bars and settled on two choices: the Eclipse bar with 87% and the Xocolati with 74%. I figured I would use the Eclipse bar in the recipe, but since I was buying chocolate, I might as well have one to nibble on during the week too. I tasted a little of each kind just to be sure and here is what I think of them.

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Continue reading Dagoba Chocolate

Tea

Tea.  My favorite drink next to water.  I like it warm or cold, with a meal or just on its own.  I like green, black, white, red (rooibos), herbal, oolong, they are all good.  Personally, I don’t care for tea bags, I prefer loose tea, and I found a great place to get my tea and an easy (and quicker) way to brew my tea.  I was researching loose teas a couple of years ago and came across Adagio Teas (Adagio Teas – Best Tea Online) and fell in love with their products.  They have high quality, yet affordable teas.  My first purchase was their Tea Starter:
Tea Starter Set

Continue reading Tea

Some Yummies & taste tests

Here are some food items that I have tried this past year:

First up: Raspberry Preserves from Costco

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Walls Berry Farms Raspberry preserves is sooooo good!  It tastes amazing on croissants, and makes an awesome raspberry sauce for anything chocolate.  If you can find it (only offered seasonally at Costco, I always get 2 when they have it), give it a try.  Tres Yummy!

Next up, Naked Juice Orange Juice

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I really like this juice.  We use this every morning in our smoothies.  Sometimes I’ll combine it with pomegranate, cherry, grape, or apple juice (which is also good).  It has a nice fresh taste and mixes in really well and doesn’t overpower anything in our morning smoothies.

What’s next? Organic Food Bars – Vegan and Active Greens

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There are numerous other flavors and I have liked all of the ones that I have tried (blueberry and chocolate chip are both yummy).  These make a great meal replacement for those days when you are running around doing errands, or are on a long hike.  It works great too for when your hubby is out all day and you know he’s not going to stop to eat anything, so I make sure he has one of these with him.

Lastly, Whole Soy Yogurt

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I like this yogurt too.  I use the plain & vanilla flavored for baking, and once in a while I’ll get the fruit flavored ones to mix with granola for a nighttime snack.  Whole Soy & Co. is usually a little cheaper than Silk, so that’s why I go with it. 

Bonus pix:

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Some yaki soba – I’ll share the recipe later, it was yummy!!

Turtle Mountain

Turtle Mountain’s Purely Decadent ice cream alternatives has come out with another product.  I can’t wait to try this!!! I haven’t been able to find it here in Prescott yet, but I am hopeful that it will come soon.  They have ditched the soy in 3 of their products and are using coconut milk instead!  So, for all of you who are allergic to soy, or try to avoid it, here is a great alternative.   The flavors are Gluten Free Cookie Dough (I tried the soy version of this one, it is YUMMY!), Vanilla Bean, and Chocolate.  I would love for them to come out with a coconut flavor one, maybe with chocolate chips or even a coconut matcha, ooh, that would be yummy too!  What are your ideas for some coconut milk ice cream flavors? 

Don’t forget to check out the turtle mountain site for other yummy flavors and your stores freezer case to try some (the mint chocolate chip is really good, so is the cookies and cream). 

Pike Place Market and the Waterfront

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We started out the morning at Mighty-O Donuts, then drove down to Pike Place Market.  Ooo, there it is, oh, we need to find parking.  Ok, so we drove a couple blocks further and found parking, then walked back to the market via the waterfront.  What gorgeous views! 

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We also passed by where the cruise ships are boarded, as well as some other great boats:

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Ok, on to the market.  You climb about 5 flights of stairs to get to the market area from the waterfront, but it is well worth it.  The front of the market is surrounded by fresh produce stands where we tasted a grapple (grape-ple) that smelled like grapes.  They were really good.  (We overheard them say they soak the apples in grape juice.)  We also bought an artichoke named Audrey III, but I’m going to save those pictures for later.  We also tried some Muscat grapes which were fabulous!

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and the home of the flying fish.  They didn’t throw any fish on our first day there, but when we went back on the weekend, we got to see quite a show, it was really fun.  Of course, we didn’t have our camera with us on Sunday, oops.

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One of the next shops had some beautiful chili pepper displays:

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and some absolutely beautiful flower stands:

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For lunch we ate at the Three Sisters bakery.  Wow!  We had lentil soup, hummus sandwich and hot tea.  Sooo tasty.  The soup really hit the spot (it was a bit chilly and a little rainy).  I would totally go back there again.  I think we spent about 3 hours just enjoying walking around the market.  It’s a good thing I don’t live there, because I would be there every day!  The waterfront is also amazing, beautiful views, relaxing atmosphere, probably the highlight of the trip, well, second to spending the week with my family.  If you ever get a chance to go, make sure you stop by, there is free parking (for 1 hour) for the market down below by the waterfront.  Oh, there are also condos all along the waterfront, most starting around $400,000 for about 600 square feet, but what amazing views to wake up to and go to sleep to everyday.  Seattle really is a great city. 

After Pike Place Market, we headed back to my sisters house for a quick dinner before my nephews swim lesson.  It was a lot of fun to see all of the 6 year olds in his class learning how to do the back stroke.  Back to my sisters for a little chatting and off to bed.  All in all, a great day!

Vacation in Seattle

Our trip to Seattle was great!  Cold, but great.  We had so much fun and I think we did more on this vacation than we ever have before.  Wednesday was so jam packed, I’m going to split it up a bit and just start with Mighty-O Donuts.  Now, as a precursor, when I was growing up, my parents owned a donut shop.  I ate donuts almost everyday and I loved every bite.  That was 20 years ago and I have yet to find a donut that I like as much as theirs…until now. 

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Mighty-O Donuts are so good!  Mighty-O is located in a residential area with some really cute houses.  We went there for breakfast on Wednesday and got a dozen donuts for the week and to share with my sisters family.  YUM! 

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We got 2 raised donuts, the chocolate covered and maple bars, then 10 cake donuts: vanilla sprinkles, vanilla glazed, vanilla glazed topped with nuts, vanilla cake coconut, chocolate glazed, lemon poppy, oreo cookie donut, french toast, chocolate coconut, chocolate peanut butter, and chocolate mint.  Every one of them was good.  My nieces and nephew liked the french toast, sprinkles, maple bar, and the chocolate glazed ones.  We actually went back again on Sunday afternoon because we ate all of the rest of them and got 6 more: chocolate cinnamon sugar, chocolate raspberry, french toast, french toast with nuts, chocolate glazed and chocolate with nuts.  Here are some pictures:

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Up next, Pike Place Market! 

Spotlight on Kumquats

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Kumquats, also called kinkan, are cute little citrus fruits that you can pop in your mouth skin, seeds and all. They grow on trees under water! and produce 20 to 40 fruit a year and the fruit is often found floating near the shore during the growing season.  Kumquats originated in China, then spread to Japan, Europe and finally North America.  Kumquats look like miniature oranges in an oval shape.  They range in color from yellow to red and are in season from late fall to mid-winter.  They are usually sold by the pound ($5.59 a pound here at my health food store), but they don’t weigh much.  The bunch I got from my store (pictured below) cost me $1.76.              

Kumquats are generally eaten raw, the rind is sweet and the center is more sour, so they balance each other (its okay to eat the seeds).  If only one part is eaten, it is usually the rind.  The fruit is ripe when it has turned a yellowish-orange and may have a tint of green.  You can use kumquats in making jelly, marmalade, preserves, alcoholic beverages, sliced and added to salads.  They can also be pickled in salt or sugar (preserved).   You can use a few pickled kumquats that have been salted with some of the brine, mixed with hot water as a remedy for sore throats.  You can keep kumquats pickled in brine for a few years without losing its taste.   Try adding kumquats to your kabobs! 

Kumquats should be firm to the touch with no bruising.  You can store these fruits for up to 2 weeks in a plastic container or bag in your refrigerator.  Kumquats are choleserol free, fat free and sodium free!  They also provide you a good source of fiber, vitamins A and C, and they contain trace amounts of calcium and iron.  About 8 kumquats equal 100 calories.  The kumquat can be grown in warm climates.  It is attractive plant not to mention delicious, all packaged in an evergreen tree!   

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