Friday, July 27, 2012

Dazbog Coffee

Zdravstvuj (zdrah-stvooy; hello)! I'm waiting in Denver International Airport, waiting for my delayed plane ride up to San Fransisco.

While walking to my gate, my eye catches deep red & white bold designs. I've arrived at Dazbog Coffee. Instantly, I recognize Russian alphabets and my curiosity is peaked.

I take a look at their products and I'm thinking this could be a fun adventure. Since I already consumed a cup of joe at an ungodly time of the morning in St. Louis, I chose to try Dazbog's Chocolate Pu-Erh tea instead.

My thoughts? The tea smells like smooth chocolate butter, soft and sweet. The taste, very subtle hints of chocolate and I think of you added some sugar and milk, it would make for a great alternative to a mocha latte. The base of the tea is black leaf tea. Dazbog has other teas made from green or herbal leaves. The next flavor I'd like to try is the Orange Peppermint decaf green tea. Mmmmm.

I'm glad I've discovered a new tea & coffee brand. Read about Dazbog's story here.

Happy Friday! Do svidaniya! (duh svee-dah-nee-ye)...Till next time!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Zucchini Bread Version 1

Zucchini Bread, oh how I try to pin down a really good recipe but somehow find a way to mess it up. So simple the ingredients yet so hard to get it at a consistency that is reminiscent of my husband's childhood. Probably because I skirt around the main ingredients of using REAL sugar and lots of oil. Ah, but not this least with the oil, I used Smart Balance cooking oil because it said it had ALA Omega-3 in it. Yes, I'm THAT consumer, plus, less greasy guilt on my mind. But again, I think other kinds of oil like Coconut Oil might be interesting to use or how about Vegenaise?

For easy removal, line bread pan with parchment paper (I used the new Reynolds Wrap Non-Stick Pan Lining Paper. One side paper, the other aluminum), along with giving the edges some non-stick cooking spray love. I'm very happy with my Zucchini Bread this time and I look forward to getting better with each attempt. 

Zucchini Bread Version 1
Recipe adapted from my Southern Peach Paula Deen at
Makes 2 standard loaves 

2 cups of Whole Wheat Flour
1 1/4 cups of Oat Flour
1 1/2 teaspoon of Himalayan pink salt
2 teaspoons of Baking Soda
1 teaspoon of Jamaican All Spice (Whole Foods)
1 teaspoon of Ground Cinnamon
2 cups of Sucralose
1 cup of Raw Sugar
1 cup of Vegetable/Cooking Oil
4 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup of Water
2 cups Zucchini, grated
1 teaspoon Lemon Juice
  • Preheat oven 350 degrees. 
  • Combine wheat flour, oat flour, salt, baking soda, both spices and both sugars together in a bowl. I usually stir it all together with a whisk (don't whisk but stir...although whisking flour would be quite comical).
  • In another bowl, combine oil, eggs, water, zucchini and lemon juice.
  • Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and fold in, mix well.
  • Pour content into lined and non-stick sprayed pans. Bake for about 1 hour or until tester comes out clean. Like I always emphasize, you know your oven best. I baked mine for 50 minutes! 

Friday, July 20, 2012

Homemade Almond Milk Ice Cream

My sister purchased a Cuisinart Frozen Yogurt-Ice cream & Sorbet Maker (Ice-20 Series) as a wedding present three years ago. This last week I decided I would finally use it while she was in town for our Comic Con trip. Plus, I had a large carton of unsweetened almond milk that needed to be used soon. My new favorite thing to do is not have anything go to waste. I surprise myself at how creative I can get with food. So far, so fun.

Be sure to have the freezer bowl completely chilled before use. I'm sure most of you already knew that but this was my first time, so it was definitely something I didn't think about. I guess that's why they have instruction manuals.

For this recipe I've used whipping cream but for those of you who are lactose intolerant, using coconut cream is a great alternative. Ooooh, that would taste delish. I'll have to incorporate that into my next concoction.

Homemade Almond Milk Ice Cream
Recipe adapted from Cuisinart booklet

2 1/2 cups of Unsweetened Almond Milk
3/4 cup of artificial sweetener (Sucralose)
1/2 cup of whipping cream, well chilled
2 teaspoons of Pure Madagascar Vanilla extract

  • Whisk almond milk and sweetener until sucralose is dissolved.
  • Stir in whipping cream and vanilla. Mix well.
  • Turn on machine and pour content into freezer bowl through ingredient spout. 
  • Let it mix for 25-30 minutes. 

*I'm still on a quest to find out how to keep an ice cream consistency without it hardening in the freezer. I had leftovers but the next day it was hard as ice. Whaa, whaa.*

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

I've Been Traveling in the Tardis of Life

Wow, I look at my blog and realize how much I've been starving it of recipes and attention...all sorts of attention. My only good excuse is that I've been traveling in the Tardis of life! Hours turn into minutes with great company and days and nights are mumblejumbled and the only thing that keeps me aware of time is my trusty iphone alarm ringing a nostalgic Animal Crossing song every morning. Then I forget time all over again.

However, you are in luck because I have recorded some pics and highlights of my travels and in particular today, my time at Comic-Con 2012 in San Diego. This was our second year attending and I'm happy to report that our con experience gets better with frequency and good company. This year my sister Julie decided to join us in our quest for toys and geeky fun. Here are some of my highlights.

Highlight #1: Meeting and making news acquaintances and friends is probably one of the best bits of Comic-Con. The three of us traveled early that morning, 4 a.m. from LA, and luckily we arrived on time for the Trailer Park and Twilight panel in Hall H. I must confess, I've never read the Twilight books but I do appreciate the movies on Redbox. I got harassed by some fans for that confession but soon enough eased my way into making friendships with those fans and fellow Hall H hopefuls. I had the pleasure of meeting Shannon Morse of Hak5, she told me she has an obsession with vampires so that was quite fitting, there's also a chance we might be related somehow through our great grandfathers. Small world. We also met a great couple, Jeff and Kristina, both had such fun and infectious laughs. The two hour wait time zipped by so fast we were seated and armed with 3D glasses and ready for the program to begin.

Team Edward or Jacob?
Highlight #2: Making it into your favorite panel and getting the chance to hear background stories about the new show or episodes coming soon to a screen near you. We attended the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the Doctor Who panel as well. I'm excited to see both shows this year and look forward to what's in store for next year. TMNT will "surface" on Nickelodeon September 29. Doctor Who will be premiering Fall of 2012 on BBC & BBC America. Chris Hardwick did a fantastic job hosting the DW panel. Just between us, I wouldn't mind auditioning to be in both of these shows. I think I could be a great voice-over actress for TMNT and a great companion to the Doctor (admit it, there needs to be another ethnicity in the mix. Hehe).

TMNT Panel 
TMNT Panel: Kevin Eastman delivered pizza. Hehe
The Doctor and the Ponds-Williams.
The one and only Steven Moffat
A Dalek attended the panel. His question was never answered. 

Highlight #3: Free Stuff! Standing in the Hasbro line multiple times just to get a variety of free toys and hoping to get the entire set of Star Wars or Transformer toys. My sister was into all the "Django Unchained" freebies. She also waiting in line for four hours and received autographed posters by the cast and crew. Nice work. My favorite of the "Django" swag had to be the Bounty Hunt via Twitter or Facebook, where they gave you clues as to where the "outlaw" was located. Once you've encountered an outlaw, you say the code, "The D is silent" and get a coin to exchange for a free tee shirt.

Another crowd pleaser or THE crowd pleaser was the Turtles vs Foot Clan hats and possible free bag of exclusive Kevin Eastman (creator/co-creator of the TMNT) toys. You had to go their website and vote for a team, either Turtles or Foot Clan. Show your vote and receive a free hat. Wear the hat during Comic-Con and you could win a bright green bag full of awesome prizes like a Ron English designed t-shirt and an unopened, unpunched and signed-by-Kevin-Eastman-TMNT toy. How totally tubular is that?!

Highlight #4: Discovering new artists and buying their work. My sister Julie gave us the best Comic-Con 2012 gift ever. The artists names are Victoria Ying and Mike Yamada and we fell in love with their artwork the first time we laid eyes on this poster. It's great to have the opportunity to talk with the artist and get to know them and understand the influence of their art. The list just goes on and on and one could spend all four days just getting to know each creative. Massive amount of art everywhere.

Highlight #5: Cosplay all the way. One could shoot over 2000+ photos of cosplayers both amateur and professional. You could even make a game of trying to guess who's dressed as what character. I'm so inspired by them that next year, I'm hoping I will have the proportioned body and costume for the character I want to parade around as. A secret for now.

Love. Doctor Who fans.
***Update*** How could I forget this Doctor?! Cheers 10th Doctor Tennant!

Spotted him the first day! 

Hope I've caught you up with one of the many things that's happened. Have an extraordinary Tuesday!