All Things Foodie

Homemade Almond Milk

Ok so I decided to finally make my own almond milk and see what all the hype was about. I envisioned it tasting so creamy and amazing just like the one at Pressed Juicery. My high expectations may have been my problem.

I bought raw almonds, measured out one cup and soaked them in plenty of water for 6-8 hours. I even went through the tedious task on removing the skins off the plumped up nuts because I read somewhere that the skin causes wrinkles! Gasp! I then tossed the peeled, soaked nuts into a Ninja blender and added three cups of water and blended away. The liquid turned into a creamy white color and I poured it through a fine mesh sieve. Ok, so maybe I need to invest in a nut bag because the milk did get pretty smooth but not smooth enough. There were still bits of pulp in the milk. I did save the pulp to possibly use in a cookie recipe, waffles, granola, or whatever else I can think of.

I added a bit of vanilla and a sprinkle of sea salt to the milk and whisked until blended. I took the first sip and was very underwhelmed. It tasted exactly like the almond milk I buy at the store and was more expensive to make and time consuming. I know some recipes call for dates to be blended into the milk as well, so maybe that makes it more creamy. Don’t get me wrong, the milk is good and I love that I made it and that it is so pure in form. I just wanted it to blow my mind with how incredibly creamy it was due to all the articles I have read by people exclaiming how much better homemade almond milk is versus store bought in regard to thickness and taste. I am determined to crack the code and get the almond milk I desire. I am going to invest in a nut bag and add some dates and report back.

For now, blend at your risk or stick to the convenient store bought variety.

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All Things Foodie

Strawberry “Nicecream”

I was in the mood for ice cream when I got home today, but wanted to try to win the battle with being healthy, so I resisted the urge to drive to Baskin Robbins. Instead I turned some leftover strawberries into “Nicecream.”

I broke out my trusty little food processor and tossed in a cup of frozen strawberries, 1/4 cup of light coconut milk (I got mine from Trader Joe’s and it comes in a can), a drop of vanilla bean paste, one small squeeze of light amber agave syrup. I then blended all the ingredients until they became a smooth ice cream-like consistency. Scoop out of food processor into a bowl and enjoy! The result is a creamy, fresh flavored strawberry dessert that is guilt free and a close second to ice cream. I’m not going to lie and say it is better than Baskin Robbins Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, but it is refreshing and delicious. You will be pleasantly surprised.

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All Things Foodie

Cha Cha Cha Chia….Pudding

I am always on the hunt for healthy, easy, delicious breakfast options and recently have been obsessed with Chia Pudding. It is super easy to make and has a tapioca-like texture with a slight crunch and is packed with anti-inflammatory omega-3’s.

You will need chia seeds, I buy mine from Trader Joe’s, vanilla, light coconut milk (the kind in a can), and honey or agave if you prefer. In a small bowl, you will mix 1/4 cup chia seeds, 1 cup light coconut milk, 1 tsp vanilla, 1 tsp honey. Simply stir until combined and pour into a mason jar or other air tight container and chill in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning, you will wake up to thick, creamy chia pudding that can be topped with fresh fruit or eaten plain. This fiber rich treat can be eaten for breakfast or a snack and will help you debloat. I love how fool proof this is to make and that it is perfect for people that need something ready to grab and go.

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All Things Foodie

Chai Tea Latte

I love a good chai tea latte. I know it sounds crazy, but my favorite one is served at Panera Bread. It is the Iced Chai Tea Latte. Now that it is fall, I crave this drink more than ever.

It is a creamy blend of two percent milk and chai tea concentrate. The flavor is so spot on and perfect for my tastebuds, that years ago I had to get one daily. The fact that there is no brewing involved and that they just pour the ingredients together is so simple, but results in the most delicious drink.

I found out that they use the Republic of Tea Chai Tea Concentrate to make this concoction. The ingredients include, water, brewed black tea, evaporated cane juice, wildflower honey, vanilla, cinnamon, black pepper, ginger, clove and cardamom. All you need to do to make this blissful beverage is combine one ounce of concentrate to seven ounces of milk or milk alternative. You can serve it hot or cold, but I prefer it iced. The flavors blend so wonderfully together to remind me of the holidays and a lovely fall day.

The shelf life of the concentrate is one year unopened and ninety days after opening in the refrigerator. A sixty-four ounce jug of the concentrate can be purchased online at http://www.republicoftea.com for $46.

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All Things Foodie

Cupcake Wars

I love sweets and cupcakes are no exception. I have tried many cupcakes and like certain flavors from different places. I have conducted an informal taste test here in LA and will share my thoughts with you.

Nothing will ever beat the Sprinkles Red Velvet cupcake. The cake is just the right amount of crisp top with moist middle. This is not a fluffy cake, but more of a dense cake. The cream cheese frosting is perfection. It is seriously the best cream cheese frosting ever. It is the exact right amount of sweet to cream cheese ratio. I also like the Strawberry cupcake from Sprinkles, as it is a different flavor and very lightly strawberry.

Crumbs had the best assorted mini cupcakes to bring to parties. They were candy and frosting coated and came in a cute plastic carton, easy to transport. The cakes were fluffy and perfect little bites.

Georgetown Cupcake has the best Vanilla Birthday cupcake. It has a vanilla bean cake base, with delicious buttercream frosting and rainbow sprinkles. It is a moist cake and their signature swirl of the frosting with the dusting of sprinkles is awesome. I also love the Key Lime cupcake. It is easy to pay here too because you can just pay with a downloaded app on your phone.

Magnolia Bakery has a great Vanilla cupcake. It is simple, but the buttercream frosting is super sweet and pairs great with the vanilla cake base.

These are the big players here in LA that I frequent and turn to for a sweet treat when my friends are in need of a  little pick me up.

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All Things Foodie

Ghirardelli Ice Cream Sundae

When I go to San Francisco I must always get a Ghirardelli ice cream sundae if I can. I twist my friend’s arms, well I don’t have to twist that hard, to take me when I come to visit them in the city.

I wait in line, which goes pretty quickly, and promptly order my sundae with both hot fudge and caramel. I get several scoops of vanilla ice cream, topped with the two sauces, freshly whipped cream, and a cherry and chocolate square on top. The presentation alone is worth the wait, but the taste is out of this world.

The cold ice cream, slightly melting, swirled with the hot fudge, caramel and whipped cream is what I envision the clouds in heaven taste like. Sweet and so utterly delightful. Haha…no pun intended.

If you haven’t tried one of their sundaes, I promise you will absolutely adore them when you do. It is such a fun spot for a date, a family outting, or a day all to yourself, spurging on all the calories that wonderfully make up this blissful treat.

Ghirardelli has many locations, but the original one is San Francisco is my favorite.

900 North Point St.
San Francisco, CA 94109

Hours: Sunday- Thursday 9am-11pm, Friday and Saturday 9am-12 midnight (ice cream fountain opens at 10am)

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All Things Foodie

Husky’s Ice Cream

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! As a child I would often visit Seattle, Washington where my dad grew up. My grandparents would take us for ice cream at Husky Deli as a treat. Husky’s is located in Alki, where my grandparents lived. 

My grandfather’s favorite flavor was vanilla and my grandmother’s was coffee. I was born six weeks early on my grandfather’s birthday, so we always had a special connection. So I of course, wanted to be just like him and always ordered a scoop of vanilla in a sugar cone and he would beam with pride. We would walk hand in hand out of the deli and eat our creamy, sweet treat. 

As I have gotten older, I have changed my order from just vanilla, but there is always a time or two that I order it in honor of my grandfather and to remember that sweet time. I love the Nutella, Lemon Custard, and the Blackberry Cheesecake, but there are a wide selection of flavors and I have never been unsatisfied. 

Husky Deli was established in 1932 and is family-owned. Their ice cream is homemade and they will let you sample as many flavors as you like. They make shakes, serve the scoops in a cone or cup, hand pack pints in flavors of your choice, and have half gallons at the ready for quick pick up on the way to a birthday party or family dinner. 

Husky Deli  www.huskydeli.com

 

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