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Food

Family Food

Jelly beans are the Easter Bunny’s poop

Easter Sunday is a magical day, a day we get to tell our children about the Easter Bunny.  How just like Santa, if they are good children they may get a nice gift surprise in the form of a basket filled with goodies. Ridiculous I know, but the joy it gives my children is worth the little white lie.  It shapes a world that is filled with sparkle and shine; more goodness than gloom.  I want my kids to have the opportunity to see the world this way, knowing that as they grow up their perspective will change.

The day began with a nice brunch made by my sister-in-law and myself.  I made a simple sausage, egg, and hash brown casserole, a variation of my recipe is here.  Chrisann made the fluffiest banana pancakes with a strawberry topping.  Violet discovered bacon for the first time and ate only bacon and strawberries. Our bellies and hearts were filled up and then we all enjoyed watching the girls hunt for eggs.

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I hope you all had a great Easter Sunday however you celebrated!

XO,

Mina

 

Food

Love thy self

I started my Valentine’s Day celebration by loving myself.  I woke up extra early to take a Pilates class and then got breakfast for the family.  I went to my favorite cafe for acai bowls, Fit Bar Superfood Cafe.  Acai is commonly called a superfood because it is filled with antioxidants, fiber, omega fatty acids, and micronutrients. All great ingredients to nourish your body.  The berries grow in Central America and South America.  They have a chocolatey berry flavor and are dark purple in color.  This treat is essentially an acai based smoothie bowl with healthy toppings.

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The first time I ate an acai bowl was in Hawaii.  It was such a fresh and tasty meal, so I got addicted.  We ended up getting one every day on our vacation.  It is popular there because it is a cold and refreshing treat. There are also lots of places in California that offer these delicious bowls as well.  Washington is starting to have more locations pop up.  I really love it at Fit Bar Superfood Cafe because the attention to the food quality is superb. They use fresh fruit, plant based protein, and high level ingredients in their bowls and smoothies.  I have two favorites that I rotate.  One is called “PB Power”, it is an acai base mixed with nut butter and coconut milk; topped with blueberries, banana, hemp granola, honey or agave nectar, and shredded coconut.  My other favorite is called “Thrive”, it is a pitaya (dragon fruit) base mixed with coconut milk, topped with strawberries, blueberries, goji berries, raspberries, hemp granola, and honey or agave nectar.  It is the most delicious post workout or any time of the day treat.

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Almost too pretty to eat.

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It was a great way to start my day, to give my family a token of my love for them and their health.  The kids are not hip to the bowls yet, but they enjoy the smoothies there.  The rest of the day was spent hanging out with good friends and indulging in a cheat meal and wine.  How did you celebrate Valentine’s Day?

XO,

Mina

Food

National Pizza Day

Yesterday (Feb 9th) we celebrated National Pizza Day, so it has inspired me to share my five favorite pizza pies in West Seattle.  The creator of National Pizza Day is unknown and though it is a fake holiday, it does answer the age-old question; “What’s for dinner?”.  There are plenty of other fake food holidays to observe, see list here.  I personally needed an excuse to indulge in one of my favorite comfort foods, so we ordered pizza delivery and it was delicious.  No regrets!

  1. Phoenecia (Alki) TRUFFLE OIL – This is my absolute favorite pizza!  The crust is crispy and smokey on the outside but light and airy in the inside.  It has a truffle oil base with mozzarella and comte cheese (similar to a gruyere).  It is simplicity at its best.  This restaurant has lots of other delicious food offerings from tapas and salads, but do not forget to order this pizza.
  2. Pizzeria Credo (Junction) DEL GOLFO – This place has the best Neapolitan, wood fired oven baked pizza.  My favorite pie has large gulf shrimps, San Marzano tomato sauce, ricotta cheese, pesto, and red chili flakes for an extra spicy kick.  Tip: They have a gluten free crust option.
  3. Mioposto Pizzeria (Admiral) EGG and PANCETTA – I first enjoyed this pizza at their Mt. Baker location for brunch and I was blown away.  Breakfast pizza, no way?! I was super excited that they opened another location in West Seattle and was not disappointed.  This pizza has a spicy chili base, pancetta, mozzarella and grana cheese, bread crumbs, and three sunny side eggs.  It is so decadent and definitely a meal you can eat for dinner.  Tip: They have small pizzas for kids 12 and younger and also have a gluten free crust option.
  4. Proletariat (White Center aka Rat City)  POTATO – This location is not as close to me as the others but I will travel for good food.  There are a lot of different unique combination of toppings on the menu but I really enjoyed the potato pizza.  It has thinly sliced red potato, gorgonzola cheese, chives, on an olive oil base.  The pizza itself has the right balance of thickness to be a solid foundation for the toppings but with a thinner chewy crust.  Tip: They have arcade games and a kid play area
  5. Talaricos (Junction) SINATRA – This restaurant prides itself on the size of their pizza, a single slice is 14″ in length.  It is pretty much three slices in one.  My favorite has a spicy sausage crumble, pepperoncinis, black olives, mozzarella cheese, on a marinara base.  It is the perfect balance of sweet, salty, and tangy.  Tip: They have a great kids menu with minors welcome until 9pm and it is open until 2am every night.

There you have it.  My top five pizza spots in West Seattle.  These are the restaurants we go to when we want to treat ourselves to good pizza.  I have a separate list for my delivery pizza options.  Did you guys celebrate National Pizza Day yesterday too?

XO,
Mina

Food

I scream, you scream

The other day, Ume had a day off of school so we planned an ice cream date with the Llorins.  We went to Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream shop in Lower Queen Anne.  Molly Moon’s has been in business for over six years and has six stores to date with two more on the way, opening soon in Redmond and Kirkland.  Her ice cream is super creamy and delicious.  She uses local organic products in her gourmet ice cream and creates familiar flavors as well as creative exotic flavors.  My favorite is the scout mint and it is the best mint ice cream that I have ever had.  I love mint ice cream!  The scout mint is made with crushed thin mint cookies folded into mint ice cream.  Simply divine!  Molly annually buys thousands of Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies from local girl scout troops for this flavor.  I think that is amazing!

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Ume ordering a kids scoop of melted chocolate ice cream with sprinkles.

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The kids love having ice cream dates here.  We enjoy going to the Lower Queen Anne spot because it is not as busy as the other shops, so we can always find a table to sit at and not feel rushed.  At the other locations there are usually long lines out the door of hungry ice cream lovers.

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We are silent investors in the business so you would assume we have bias for this business.  The quality of the ice cream does not lie, but don’t take my word on it.  Go and try it yourself.  It is a truly delicious dessert and the stores are filled with cozy neighborhood vibes.  It is our go to spot for our ice cream fix.

XO,

Mina

Food

Trend: juice cleanse

I have followed the trend and decided to participate in a juice cleanse to jump start my desert body goals. There are some local health stores in Seattle that sell a 3 day juice cleanse for around $200.  I decided to get a discount from Groupon.com and bought a 3 day juice cleanse through Juice from the RAW.  It was $89, which was discounted 54%.  I also had to pay $29 shipping.  Juice from the RAW have two stores in Brooklyn, NY and one in Oakhurst, NJ.  They only use organic produce and cold press their juices to keep the nutrients and enzymes intact, then they ship their juices frozen.

I have done this juice cleanse once before, but only lasted two days because I had a dinner party to go to on the third day.  My mother drank the last six juices and did her own one day cleanse.  The idea is to drink six 16 ounce bottles of juice a day.  There are two green juices that are not so yummy, but the other four taste good.  I am not a green juice fan.  It tastes like dirt to me.  I have a strategy to drink it down though.  I don’t breathe in when I gulp it,  then I exhale a couple of times before I inhale to minimize tasting the yuck.  Just doing the cleanse for two days I did notice a flatter abdomen, more energy, and a smaller appetite.  I was sold!

Juice from the RAW recommends to prepare your body before a cleanse by not smoking, drinking alcohol, and eating processed foods.  The rationale is that you will making your body work harder to remove these unhealthy toxins.   It is also recommended to not work out during the cleanse since you are not consuming enough calories.  Each juice has 14 grams of sugar so it is not ideal to do if you have diabetes.  They give you guidelines on which juice to drink in what order and to space it out 2-3hrs.

  1. Detox Greens: Apples, celery cucumber, wheatgrass, dandelion, watercress, wild arugula, lemon, and ginger.
  2. Piney Apple Mint: Pineapple, apple, and mint.
  3. Sweet Greens: Apples, celery, cucumber, green kale, spinach, swisschard, romaine, lemon, and ginger.
  4. Spicy Lemonade: Filtered water, lemons, organic agave nectar, and cayenne pepper.
  5. Root Veggies: Apple, carrot, beet, lemon, and ginger.
  6. Coconut Fusion: Organic young Thai coconut water and organic young Thai coconut flesh.
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I gulped down Detox Greens before the pic.

Day 1:  I started the day with the Detox Greens and drank it quickly using my strategy to not taste it when it went down.  I drank the rest of the juices every 2 hrs.  It was not difficult to just drink juice.  I was even okay making food for the family.  Smelling the food was not torture, it actually helped because I could pretend that I was eating with them.  I did have to use the bathroom more frequently and I had to remember to drink plenty of water, since the juices do not replace water intake.  Also my body was extremely cold.

Day 2: My abdomen was already flatter; probably from loosing water weight.  I followed the juice guidelines.  I had to stop watching my favorite Food Network shows on TV and I started to dream about what I will eat after the cleanse is over.  I still felt pretty good overall.  No headaches and no stomach pains. I did miss eating and my body was still colder than normal.

Day 3: I have lost 3 lbs total and my mid section is slimmer.  I continue to drink my 6 juices in the day. I got through it knowing it was my last day but it was really tough, I want to eat real food!  Avocado toast for breakfast is my plan for tomorrow, which is my favorite thing to eat any time of the day.  My internal temperature is still pretty cold, from downing all the cold juice.

Overall, I feel pretty good doing this juice cleanse.  I got a jump start to slimming down and moving forward I will eat CLEAN and work out.  Here is some information about juice cleanses here.  I think with everything I do, moderation is key.  I will not do a juice cleanse more than 3 days because I know bodies need food to thrive.  This cleanse helped me by curbing my appetite and overcoming my addiction to junk food.  My body needed a reset!  I probably will do more juice cleanses in the future.

XO,

Mina

 

Food

New year same me

Waking up today to the first day of 2016 started like any other day. The kids snuggled up with me this morning so we can catch some more zzz’s. My mom trying to break into our house to feed us our traditional Korean New Year’s soup (tteok mandu guk). I get up to let my mom in and rally the kids to get up to start the new year.

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This soup is something I wait 365 days to eat. I know I can have it any time of the year. Many Korean restaurants serve it, but something about having it for the first time all year on New Years Day makes it extra special. It connects me to my familial roots, brings an awareness that this is the first day of the new year, and to be hopeful for what will come in the future.

It starts with a beef bone broth that was cooked several days ago. My mother used 3 lbs of oxtail but you can also use beef shank, beef bone-in short rib, knucklebones, and/or neck bones to make a super flavorful broth. Toss your beef bones in olive oil and arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet in a 400 degree oven for 30-35 mins. Place your beef bones in a large stock pot and add enough water to cover the bones with a few inches of water. Add 2 tablespoons of vinegar (this extracts the nutrients out of the bones) and bring the water to a boil, then turn down the heat to the lowest setting, cover and simmer for at least 12 hours. Occasionally check on your broth. Skim off any foam that floats to the surface and add additional water as needed to keep the bones covered as the liquids will reduce down. If you are using the broth at a later time like us, wait for it to cool and then refrigerate.

We put our refrigerated beef bone broth in a large stockpot and began to boil. Place 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet and cook the beef bulgogi. Beef bulgogi is thinly sliced flank stank marinated in soy sauce, sugar, minced garlic, sesame oil, kosher salt and black pepper.

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After the bulgogi is cooked your beef bone broth should be boiling. Skim off any oily film and add your rice cakes.

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Turn the soup down to medium heat and stir the rice cakes in the broth. Add all purpose beef seasoning and salt and pepper to taste. Then add your mandu (Korean dumpling) to the soup.

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This is my dear mother “Sunny”. Not only an amazing woman but also an amazing cook. This is the mandu we used but you can use any brand or type of mandu that you prefer. Homemade mandu is also delicious and will bring this soup to the next level.

Once the mandu is cooked through which takes about 3 minutes, ladle the soup into a big bowl and make sure you scoop a lot of mandu and rice cakes. Top with the bulgogi and pan fried egg. We separated the egg whites and yolks and sliced them in long strips. Top with your favorite seaweed snack and eat with kimchi.

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This soup will give the clarity that is needed to start the adventure of 2016. The clear bone broth is suppose to represent a fresh start in the new year and the rice cake represents money and prosperity. After having my fill of the soup, I feel like my soul is full. I take a deep breath in and am ready to take on 2016, I take another whiff and soon I am brought back to reality that Violet needs a diaper change. Conquering the world will have to wait…

XO,

Mina