Paleo & Primal Food, Wine, Travel & Living

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Look Mom…I was on the Radio! Part One

Andy and I met Mike Wreyford (host of The Good Life Show and author of the website MiketheWineGuy.com) last October at the The Westin St. Francis San Francisco on Union Square at an industry and media Champagne Tasting put on by the Champagne Bureau. We quickly learned how much our websites had in common as well as our love for food, wine, and travel.

The Good Life Show airs live every Saturday afternoon from 2 to 4pm on KMYC Talk Radio 1410 AM.

In a future blog post I will be interviewing Mike about his show and his website, but first, here is part one of his interview of me on The Good Life Show that aired on December 6th, 2014.

Soon I will be posting part two of the interview on The Good Life Show as well as my Q & A with him. Stay tuned!

You can find Mike the Wine Guy on Facebook here and follow him on Twitter here.


A Look Inside Dr. Bob’s Donuts and DoYos in Roseville

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Last Friday, I stopped by a new place in Roseville called Dr. Bob’s Donuts and DoYos. They’ve been open about 3 weeks now and are the first to serve steamed gluten free and vegan donuts in the area. At Dr. Bob’s, customers are able to fully customize their donuts with different glazes, syrups, puddings, and dozens of toppings. Taking their creations a step further, they can add up to two different kinds of dairy free frozen yogurt to make a DoYo. Donuts AND frozen yogurt? And it’s healthy? Where do I sign up? :)

During my visit, I spoke with Tasha Richard, owner and co-founder of Dr. Bob’s Donuts and DoYos. She was neatly dressed in her chef’s attire, and though in the middle of a busy afternoon rush, she made time to answer some of my questions and chat with me about the her culinary background, food philosophies, and the shop itself.

Immediately, Tasha made a strong impression on me as a person who doesn’t want to change the world, but rather wants to help the world change. She and I have that in common as I have tried to help people who want to change their diet with this website and access to my Paleo and Primal recipes.

It’s been a long time coming, but I believe people are finally realizing that “food is medicine and medicine is your food”. There’s a direct correlation between sugar intake and disease. There’s also a connection between foods with highly processed ingredients (enriched flour, high fructose corn syrup) and obesity. It was exciting to interview Tasha because as she spoke to me about the donuts and her products at the shop, she transformed from a soft spoken business owner into a passionate health food advocate!

It wasn’t always like that for the Chef-Owner of Dr. Bob’s. After 25 years in the food industry and a typical American diet, Tasha had fallen into ill health with a myriad of digestive issues. Eventually she went to Hawaii and met Dr. Bob. Instead of prescription medicine, Dr. Bob placed her on an elimination diet. The elimination diet usually involves cutting out foods/ingredients to which people are commonly allergic such as milk, eggs, nuts, wheat, and soy. It took 2 years, but finally Tasha’s health improved and the gastrointestinal problems vanished. Her waistline did a vanishing act, too–she lost 80 pounds!

One of the keys to Tasha’s success and managing an elimination diet was developing a gluten and dairy free treat that reminded her of one of the things she loved and gave up: donuts! (To be honest, I miss those, too!) With her chef background, she worked on the mix for the donuts with Dr. Bob and came up with a blend of: Sprouted Brown Rice Flour, Criollo Cacao Powder, Yellow Pea Protein Powder, Peruvian Maca Powder, Golden Milled Flaxseed, Hemp Protein Powder, Cinnamon Powder, Sprouted Brown Rice Protein Powder, Moringa Leaf Powder, Tumeric Powder, Green Tea Powder, Ginger Powder, Probiotics, and Minerals.

The donut mix is vegan and common allergen free (no gluten, wheat, dairy, corn, eggs, or nuts) and now available for sale on their website and in the Roseville storefront.

products for purchase at register

So how does it work inside Dr. Bob’s Donuts and DoYos? Well, here’s a look inside the shop:

inside store

First, you select a donut. You can choose from vanilla, chocolate, or even unsweetened chocolate. For the uninspired, there are also several premade donuts with glazes and fruit already on them. All of the donuts are kept warm in a glass cabinet.

vanillachocolatepre madechocolate donut with topping
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After you select a donut, you can top it with any of the house made glazes and sauces. This one is the “Ultra Sauce” made with almond butter, organic cacao butter, organic coconut butter, and Dr. Bob’s G* Sweet (a sweetener made with a blend of cane sugar, coconut palm sugar, lo han guo, coconut water powder, and stevia) that is 6 times sweeter than table sugar–meaning you can use less of it and it still tastes very sweet. :)

ultra sauce
glazes

After the sauce and glazing station, you can visit the frozen yogurt machine:

fro yo machine
Or not. Since I was going to be driving back to Sacramento, I arranged to keep my donuts and frozen yogurt in separate containers so the frozen yogurt would not melt as quickly.

Then, more toppings are available on the fresh bar next to the yogurt machine. There is fresh fruit like strawberries and kiwi as well as a few different dairy free mousses and chia pudding. Tasha explained to me that some people skip the donuts altogether and just enjoy the puddings and fresh fruit together. It’s really a choose your own adventure at Dr. Bob’s.

yogurts toppings

Next and finally there is the dry bar of toppings. This station gives a little bit of crunch and texture to your creation. There are also a few different agave nectars and honey if you need a little more sweetness.

dry bar toppingsdry bar 2 honey
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Looks pretty good! After you’re all done making your custom donut or DoYo, it’s time to pay. What to drink? There is a small coffee bar across from the cash register and there are also two fresh juices available daily. If you feeling generous and want to take some donuts into the office, they are available in packs of 4, 8, and 12. For pricing and menu, you can click here.

at register

Dr. Bob’s Donuts and DoYos is located at 336 Lincoln Street in old town Roseville. They are open 7 am to 8 pm Tuesday thru Sunday. For more information, you can call them at 916-742-5241. You can find Dr. Bob’s Donuts and DoYos and tons of photos/ideas for donut creations on their Facebook page here.

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Attention Honda Drivers! Your Honda Story Could Be In Honda NorCal’s Next Short Film!

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The Northern California Honda Dealers Advertising Association is giving Honda owners an opportunity for their Honda “special moments” to be included in a short film produced and distributed online.  Your Honda “special moments” can include almost anything where a Honda vehicle has played a special role in your life, like:

  • Going to college
  • Driving you to the hospital for the birth of a child
  • Your first vehicle owned as a married couple
  • A memorable road trip taken in a Honda
  • A Honda that’s been in the family for generations
  • Any unique modifications done to a Honda that display your personality
  • Why you chose Honda over another car brand

The key is to tell your story the best way you can. Be emotional, factual, exciting, entertaining…whatever works best for you.

It’s really easy to enter! Just upload your entry on the CONTEST ENTRY PAGE HERE by Jan 31, 2015 at 11pm Pacific Standard Time. Your story must be 1,500 characters or less, and should include a photo showing you (or the owner) and the vehicle. Winning submissions will be featured in Honda’s #NorCalGetsIt campaign as short films.

If you’re selected as a winner your story will be re-imagined as a short film in Honda’s #NorCalGetsIt campaign. A little tip…be sure to read the rules before you enter to make sure you do everything possible to chosen. And, don’t forget to Follow NorCal Honda Dealers on Facebook here.

This is a sponsored blog; consideration was paid to me by The Northern California Honda Dealers Advertising Association to help announce this contest.


Recipe: Gluten Free, No Sugar Added Büche de Noel

 

finished buche 2
I used to work at The Bonbonerie in Cincinnati, Ohio and the most amazing thing they make (other than their masterpiece wedding cakes—many of them creations by the incomparable Richard Prince) is their Büche de Noel (pictured below).

yule log 2 best-93
I never attempted to make one myself until this year, and just to raise the stakes, I made it Primal friendly! :) I used coconut flour and eggs and made a simple sponge cake that would roll without falling apart. I am posting the recipe and hope you will try it yourself because it really is not that hard, but it takes a little effort and patience. And great ingredients.

I’d like to thank Challenge Butter, Bob’s Red Mill, and Pyure Organic Stevia for helping make my Büche de Noel taste amazing. They all sent me products that were used in cookies for my annual Ladies Gluten Free Cookie Exchange, (I’ll be writing about that very soon) and I am continuing to use their ingredients in other recipes that will be featured here on my website throughout the year.

First, prepare your filling and frosting.

date paste_buttercream
For the Filling
Ingredients:
20 Medjool dates soaked in hot water and drained
2 Tbs Challenge Butter
sea salt to taste
2 tsp vanilla extract

Procedure:
Pulse all ingredients in a food processor until the filling becomes a caramel texture.


For the Buttercream:
Ingredients
1 stick Challenge Butter
1 cup Pyure Organic Stevia
1/2 cup coconut oil (solid, not melted)
1/4 melted semisweet chocolate
1 Tbs unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp vanilla extract

Procedure
This is another food processor item. Start with the Pyure Organic Stevia. Pulse the product in the food processor until it becomes a fine powder. Then add the Challenge Butter and coconut oil and blend together until you have a buttercream-like substance. Add the cocoa and vanilla extract. When ingredients are combined completely, add in the melted chocolate. The chocolate will heat up the butter and coconut oil and mixture will look rather runny. Pour the mixture into a bowl and place into your refrigerator while you make the chocolate bark and the cake. Next, prepare your chocolate “bark”.

Chocolate Bark
Ingredients
2 cups dark or semisweet chocolate (broken into pieces)
1/2-3/4 cup coconut oil

Procedure
Melt your chocolate pieces and the coconut oil in the microwave 20 seconds at a time, stirring after each 20 seconds. Do not overheat. Stir until the mixture is completely smooth and spread on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Place baking sheet in the refrigerator until semi-solid. Then take out the sheet and with the twines of a fork, drag lines across the chocolate to create a “bark” texture. Then return the pan to the refrigerator to solidify completely.

chocolate barkNow it’s cake time.

Sponge Cake
Ingredients
8 large eggs (room temperature)
1 tsp lemon juice
½ tsp cream of tartar
2 tbsp Bob’s Red Mill coconut flour
(plus 1-2 Tbsp more for dusting your baking pan)
1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa
4 tbsp Pyure Organic Stevia
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp salt
Juice of 1 large orange
Rind of 1 large orange
Procedure:
Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Line a jelly roll pan with parchment paper and grease the sides of it with coconut oil or butter. Then lightly dust with Bob’s Red Mill coconut flour and tap off the excess.

Separate the eggs into 8 yolks and 8 whites. Whip the egg whites with the lemon juice and cream of tartar, until firm peaks can be formed. You can do this with a stand mixer, a hand mixer or you can do it like I did by hand. If you do it by hand it’s quite a workout!

In a separate bowl, whisk together the Pyure Organic Stevia, The Bob’s Red Mill coconut flour, the orange juice, orange zest, salt, vanilla and egg yolks. Once you have combined those ingredients completely fold in 1/4 of the egg white mixture. Once the first 1/4 has been folded in, fold in another 1/4 of the egg white mixture. Continue adding portions of the egg whites, while folding until you have a complete incorporation of the two mixtures.

Pour your batter into your prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

Remove from the oven and place a sheet of parchment paper directly over the top. Then roll the hot cake into a “jellyroll” and then let it cool while it’s still rolled tight. Remove your date paste and the buttercream from the refrigerator. The date paste will be a perfect spreading consistency, but the buttercream will be pretty solid. To get it to the right texture, simply stir it around and it will loosen up pretty well the closer it gets to room temperature.

Now it’s time to unroll and fill your Büche de Noel. At this point, the cake should look like this (below):

baked cake

Fill your cake with the date paste and then spread a thin layer of chocolate buttercream over that. It should look like this (below):

cake being filled

Then roll up cake and frost with the remaining buttercream. Now it should look like this (below):

frosted buche
Next, break up the chocolate bark you made and place it on the cake so that the cake looks like a fallen log. I added some toasted coconut to resemble lichen and some seeds and dried fruit so it really looks like a little forest bed. When you slice the Büche de Noel it will look like this in the middle (pictured below).

sliced buche
I plan on making this cake every year (perhaps with different frostings and fillings, but keeping it free of gluten and added sugar). I hope you will attempt this recipe as it is not too tricky with practice and patience.

I hope all of you had a safe New Year’s and I wish you all the best for 2015! Cheers :)


12 Days of Christmas Picks for the Food and Wine Lover: Tickets to the Zinfandel Experience

If you’re reading this, it’s actually AFTER Christmas now and I am late in bringing you my twelfth Christmas pick. Oops. I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas. If you are still looking for gift ideas, you’ve come to the right place. Maybe the gift you chose was a big fail and you need something completely different. I am here to help!

But first, a special shout out to Esther Price Candy in Dayton, Ohio. I ordered a one pound box of assorted chocolates for Andy and an eight ounce sugar free box for myself a few weeks ago to arrive in time for Christmas. Esther Price is Andy’s favorite candy and I order it for him as a special treat every year just for Christmas. Unfortunately, the box from Esther Price turned up missing at the UPS store. (Even though someone had signed for them at the store on the 19th of December, they were gone by them time Andy came to pick them up.)

I contacted Esther Price and they took very good care of me. They immediately shipped out a replacement order next day air with no charge to me! It was around 1pm on Monday the 23rd when I called about my missing package). By the next day (the 24th) at around 1pm UPS arrived with the candy. So very awesome!! Thank you for your great service, Esther Price. We got the candy just in time for Christmas! :) You can find Esther Price on Facebook here.

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Now for day 12 of my 12 Days of Christmas Picks for the Food and Wine Lover: Tickets to the Zinfandel Experience.

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The Zinfandel Experience features four festive, celebratory events over three days and offers a diverse selection of Zinfandel wines and styles from renowned producers and emerging wineries. The events also showcase Zinfandel producers’ spirit of collaboration and community. Set at the historic Presidio overlooking the San Francisco Bay and the iconic Four Seasons Hotel, the Zinfandel Experience is the largest single varietal tasting of its kind, bringing together top producers and wine lovers to celebrate America’s grape.

Over 100 ZAP producer members will participate in the 2015 Zinfandel Experience. Thirty-four winemakers will participate in Epicuria on Thursday, January 29 at the Golden Gate Club, Presidio of San Francisco. Over 30 winemakers will host tables at the Zinfandel Experience Dinner and Live and Silent Auctions on Friday, January 30, 2015 at the Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco. Over 100 winemakers will participate in The Tasting at the Golden Gate Club and the Film Centre, Presidio of San Francisco Saturday, January 31, 2015.

A 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, ZAP was founded in 1991 at a time when Zinfandel was the underdog with a cause. A small group of passionate winemaking pioneers and Zinfandel lovers joined to create a movement that would elevate the understanding and status of Zinfandel wine – rightfully establishing it among the premier varietals of the world.

Attending 2015 Zinfandel Experience is more than going to a fun and lively wine tasting event. It’s also about making deeper connections with others who love Zinfandel as much as you do. It’s about introducing your friends to a meaningful part of your life. And it’s about discovering new ways of bringing Zinfandel’s magic into the world.

Click here for more information on the event line up and ticket pricing.

You can find ZAP on Facebook here and follow them on Twitter here. The official hashtag for the 2015 Zinfandel Experience is ‪#‎ZinEx.


12 Days of Christmas Picks for the Food and Wine Lover: How to Travel the World on $50 a Day, Revised

Day eleven of my 12 Days of Christmas Picks for the Food and Wine Lover and it’s Christmas Eve!

I want to wish all my readers a Merry Christmas. I am really enjoying this holiday season—more than I have in a long time. Back home in Ohio, my family has grown by one member, my brother’s son Casper Ryan Morris (pictured below), so I kind of wish I was home to meet him and visit with everyone in the clan, but at the same time I am loving the fair weather here and our house and our tree and spending Christmas with Andy. :)

If you’re still looking for gift ideas, your time is running out. However, it’s not too late to order my gift idea for today because it hasn’t been released yet! Also, it’s never to plan for next year.

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Today’s gift idea comes from a book I received for review called How to Travel the World on $50 a Day (Revised Edition). You can pre-order it by going here and it will be sent out after the release date (January 6th). Actually, this gets you out of hot water if you are a procrastinator, because you can say, “Hey, I got you something, but it hasn’t been released!” ;)

How to Travel the World on $50 a Day was written by Matt Kepnes, a Boston native who was never a big traveler at all until 2006.  That year, he went on a tour trip in Costa Rica, and got hooked on travel. He quit his desk job and decided to take a year off to travel. The year turned into 18 months, and Matt is still on the road.

Since then, Matt has been showing readers of his enormously popular travel blog (nomadicmatt.com) that traveling isn’t expensive and that it’s affordable to all. He proves that as long as you think out of the box and travel like locals, your trip doesn’t have to break your bank.

His book How to Travel the World on $50 a Day gets an upgrade in this new revised and expanded edition—it still has Matt’s signature tips, tricks, and secrets to comfortable budget travel based on his experience traveling the world without giving up the sushi meals and comfortable beds he enjoys, but it also has brand-new content, including new chapters on China, Japan, and India. Other tips include how to:

• Avoid paying bank fees anywhere in the world
• Earn thousands of free frequent flyer points
• Find discount travel cards that can save on hostels, tours, and transportation
• Get cheap (or free) plane tickets

A good read for anyone beginning to travel or someone who already lives out of their suitcase. You can find Nomadic Matt on Facebook here and follow him on Twitter here.

Tomorrow will be day 12 of my 12 Days of Christmas Picks for the Food and Wine Lover. Don’t miss it!! :)


12 Days of Christmas Picks for the Food and Wine Lover: DIY Chocolate and Pistachio Fudge

fudge
It’s Day Nine of my 12 Days of Christmas Picks for the Food and Wine Lover, and today’s idea comes from my love of chocolate and pistachios. It’s my recipe for Chocolate and Pistachio Fudge!

It’s a pretty easy recipe to make, and once you’re done you can pick out a nice cookie tin and present it to your recipient (but instruct them against shaking it). Remember to tell your candy lover to store the fudge in the refrigerator (when they are not too busy eating it) ;)

For the Pistachio Layer:
2 cups roasted pistachios
1-2 Tbs coconut oil, softened
1½ Tablespoons agave nectar or honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tsp sea salt

For the Chocolate Layers:
2 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate (whatever your favorite brand happens to be)
1/4 coconut oil, softened

Line a 9 x 13 in. baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.

Begin with roasted pistachios (either roast them in the oven or buy them pre-roasted, but try to get them unsalted, as this will add an unnecessary amount of sodium to the recipe). Pulse the pistachios in a food processor until the nuts begin to stick to the sides (you’ll end up making a pistachio butter by the time you are done blending). Add the coconut oil to help the pistachios turn into a butter. When the mixture is completely smooth, add your sweetener of choice, the vanilla and the salt. Set this mixture aside.

Melt your chocolate with the coconut oil (either in the microwave in 10-15 second bursts and stirs) or over a double boiler on the stovetop. When the chocolate is completely melted, spread half of it onto the parchment lined baking pan. You’ll want the layer to be a little less than 1/4″ thick on the bottom. Let the chocolate harden before you move onto the next step. You can speed things up by placing your pan in the freezer for 10 minutes.

When the chocolate has completely solidified, spread the pistachio mixture over it 1/4″ from the edge of the chocolate. Spread the mixture evenly. Then top the pistachio layer with the remaining melted chocolate and also spread evenly. The idea is to get all layers pretty even so that when you cut it, the pieces of fudge will look elegant and uniform. :) Return the pan to the refrigerator/freezer and allow to harden completely.

The next step is to cut the pieces of fudge in little diamonds. You can do this by making diagonal slices all the way across from left top to right bottom, and then diagonal slices from the top right to the bottom left. You can place the slices directly into your parchment-lined cookie tin with a spatula.

Now you’re all set to give a delicious, addictive homemade gift. You might not want to give it away once you try it. ;)

Join me tomorrow for another 12 Days of Christmas Picks for the Food and Wine Lover (DAY 10!!) Getting sooo close to Christmas now! Cheers! :)


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