Sunday, August 2

Primizie Thick Cut Crispbreads

An interesting new snack food came to my attention recently. Primizie Crispbreads sent me samples of their Gouda and Garlic flavored chips (technically it's bread). Primizie is run by a husband and wife team from Texas who previously owned a catering company.

I was really pleasantly surprised with the balanced flavor in these chips. They taste exactly like pita bread with the hummus flavor baked in. The gouda is not too strong and the garlic is prominent but not overpowering. These are great by themselves, with a dip, or topped with salsa. You can get them at Raley's for $3.99 a bag.

Monday, July 20

Pinkberry Has New Flavors and a Summer Happy Hour!

If you love Pinkberry's unique frozen yogurt for this hot hot summer, you'll be happy to hear they have two new flavors and a half off happy hour. 

Strawberry Margarita – is an alcohol-free fruity, citrus flavor made with real strawberries and lime juice.  Enjoy with our triple berry sugar salt topping for a fun margarita-like experience.
Blueberry –is a fresh and fruity flavor made with real blueberries.
And the summer fun doesn’t stop there! July 6th through July 30th Pinkberry is hosting HAPPY HOUR! Customers can enjoy 1/2 off any medium or larger Pinkberry, at participating locations The offer 50% off any medium or larger is valid every Monday through Thursday from 5pm-7pm. Pinkberry’s Summer Happy Hour Promotion is for all flavors.
The Santana Row, Santa Clara, and Sunnyvale locations are part of a few South Bay locations participating. 

UPDATE: Thanks for Pinkberry for a complimentary tasting, I was able to try the new flavors. Here they are

 Foreground: blueberry yogurt with raspberries, mangoes, strawberries, blueberries, and almond slivers. Yum! The blueberry yogurt flavor is sweet and creamy, more of a dairy flavor.
Background: Strawberry margarita yogurt with Oreo crumbs, gummy bears, cookie dough balls, M&Ms (or some candy like it), and cinnamon sugar sprinkle. The yogurt flavor tasted just like a margarita mix. More citrusy and fruity than the blueberry flavor. Both good.

Saturday, June 13

Pregnancy Eats

Nine months of pregnancy has got me eating the following things which I haven't really posted anywhere on social media so I thought I'd summarize them here. These were not all cravings, they're just things I ate. Notice the increase in sweets especially given that I never had a sweet tooth before. Pastries are probably one thing I am not going to want to touch again for a few months. I'm so tired of that carby sugary taste which does nothing but leave me feeling very thirsty and fat.

In no particular order:

Healthy homemade granola. My husband loved this. It was a good way to divert him from snacking on Airheads candies.

I wanted brownies but I didn't want to buy or bake a big batch so I used this recipe for a small batch and replaced cocoa powder with protein powder because it's all I had. It still turned out great! 

Linguine with small scallops (which I overcooked - boo) in a browned butter sauce with capers, radish greens, and tomatoes. Served with a side of roasted organic heirloom carrots. It was excellent! No recipe, I just made it up.

Shrimps with their head and shells on dressed in oil, cajun seasoning, little bit of fish sauce, and brown sugar. Sauteed in a pan. The orange color and seasoning comes from it's head guts. I take out the shrimp and stir fry my rice in the pan with all the shrimp sauce to pick up the extra flavors. 

Sauteed ong choy greens with garlic, dried shrimp, tamarind and shrimp pastes. Served on ripe tomatoes. 

My favorite Korean honey toast and affogato from Big Mug Coffee Roaster.  

A huge portion of pancakes at Hash House in Campbell for brunch with my friends. Heavy carb foods gave me heartburn during pregnancy and this one gave me heart burn for 7 hours afterwards. 

I love this new place, Soyful Desserts. They specialize in soy based drinks and cold soy desserts with different sweet toppings like this red bean and sago one. 

Tried some new items at Veggie Grill like these crispy cauliflower bites. Twas good. 

Thai (fake) chicken salad bowl. It's not a new item. And it's not very good. Do not order. 

Their classic vegetarian buffalo chicken burger which is still good as always but somehow the portion size keeps shrinking. The side of quinoa and black bean chili is good. 

The new summer item is the glazed tofu banh mi which I thought was pretty good. 

Mentaiko pasta from Tanto which I ate there and then tried to replicate it again later that week. So I ate pasta 3 days that week and it was totally worth it. 

Tried my first cronut from Paris Baguette. It's sweet, oily, and stuffed with a custard. Glad I tried it but would not buy it again. 

I had a very strong craving for ice cream sandwiches specifically with chocolate chip cookies and vanilla ice cream. I didn't satisfy this craving often because I am super picky about the quality of cookie and ice cream and if I were to eat the calories, it had to be on something worth it. Well clearly this macaron ice cream sammy from Icebox is not what I wanted but Icebox is good enough for me to use my calorie quota on.  

Ordered a great healthy Jamaican jerk chicken from Farmhill for lunch at work one day. Their version of the sauce was excellent even if not authentic. Quality whole foods like this really kept me full for longer than processed foods. This has always been true for me (and for everyone) but during pregnancy the baby took up more of my energy but my stomach had less space than before so the quality of ingredients I consumed was immediately reflected in my energy level. In the first trimester, I resorted to instant noodles and fast food when I was too busy or too sick to cook and I'd be hungry again in an hour. As pregnancy progressed I learned to manage my time and eating and felt much better. I ate less frequently but each meal gave me more energy. So, don't give in to all the urges for fast food if you're pregnant, you'll pay the price later and not just in weight gain but in energy level. Those empty calories won't take you as far as you think it would.

Of course I wasn't always good. There was that sweet tooth to deal with. We had 2 baby showers back to back, one of which was ours and both of them had lots of delicious cakes. Like this red velvet, Warriors themed cake that Lydia from Macahhrun made for us. 

And Warriors and basketball themed macarons.

And cookies we baked from Its Its cookie dough. 

Here's an example of processed food I cooked on lazy days. Crescent rolls from Costco, with chopped up hot links, scrambled eggs, and roasted garlic inside. Notice there are no greens and everything came from a package except the eggs and garlic. But we all have those days when we come home from work late and are pregnant and tired. 

Treated ourselves to a special Easter Brunch at The Sea by Alexander's Steakhouse. This lobster scrambled egg was so good. Just parmesaney fluffy eggs underneath.

Everyone's been telling me about 85* Bakery, a Taiwanese chain with lines out the door. So when a new one opened near my work, I went to purchase a sampling of their stuff. That egg tart and chocolate cookie were the best. The rest is good but I wouldn't care to buy them again. 

Early in my ice cream sandwich craving phase, I settled for this really disappointing sandwich from Swich in San Francisco. Don't. Just don't go here. Not everything in SF is worth it's hype. 

Speaking of hype, a new restaurant and bar in Campbell just opened with alot of hype. I stopped by Willard and Hicks after dinner and wanted to just sample something to get a teaser for a possible future review. I tried this jalapeno honey cornbread and it was so good. I got my eye on this place for a future write up.

Wednesday, June 3

Outtakes from Metro News Articles

 I'm taking a break from writing food reviews for Metro News so I thought this would be a good time to show you the photo outtakes from my articles. 

Hatcho miso ice cream

 Miso glazed black cod

Renkodai (red snapper)

Salmon jerky with mayonnaise and pepper powder

Pork belly and avocado buns

Pork belly rice plate

Alligator stew

Squid ink pasta

Halo Halo with ube ice cream

Sizzling sisig platter

Beignets and coffee

Eggs benedict with scrambled egg

Xiao Long Bao

Chilled wontons in spicy sauce

Profiteroles with chocolate drizzle

Creme bruleed ice cream sundae

Salmon and red quinoa

Steak and potatoes

Tuesday, March 10

Sampling Manresa Bread in Los Gatos

If you've so much as peeked at the internet lately, you have probably learned that Manresa Bread recently opened a brick and mortar shop in Los Gatos. It is the result of hard work from partners David Kinch of two Michelin Star restaurant Manresa, and Andrew Burnham with head baker Avery Ruzicka, formerly of Per Se and Bouchon before heading the bread program at Manresa. I was invited to stop by and try some samples and I was in carb heaven!

The rotating menu is determined daily/seasonally, hence it is just written on brown butcher paper and crossed off as items sell out. You'll have to ask for the prices, it's not listed. Manresa Bread opens from 7AM to 3PM Wednesday through Sunday and will eventually open 7 days a week. They open until they sell out which has been earlier than 3PM since grand opening.

Left: (I think this is the hazelnut brown butter cake) Sweet with a creamy hazelnut center topped with a toasted hazelnut was one of my favorites. Not super sweet nor oily, a little crumbly and nutty tasting.
Right: Chocolate filled croissant. The chocolate was a little too dense for me but the croissant was light and flakey and perfect.

Left: Savory Tart - This was our trio's favorite item. It's a fluffy buttery croissant-like pastry with cheese, nuts and seeds, and roasted potato wedges on top. It looks and sounds intimidating but is actually a winning combination.
Right: Chocolate chip whole wheat cookie. They only offer one type and it's so good, they only need to offer one cookie.

The ham and cheese brioche was probably my least favorite. Unlike the savory tart which was nice and light, this brioche was dense and heavy and contained ham, cheese, and a billion seeds in its rolls. Well they can't all be winners.

We were given a round of the buckwheat cranberry bread which I fully intended to take home and cut up. Instead we stood outside Manresa Bread and started tearing into it with our hands. By the end, half of this round was gone before we made it to the car. Bread like this sums up exactly what Manresa Bread is about. Fresh baked, rustic style loaves or rounds, hard and crusty on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside. 

The staff gave us tips for keeping the bread at home. You can use a bread box or put it in the microwave. If you've already cut into it, put the cut side down. You can also try reheating it in the oven. I put mine in a bread box and it still kept pretty well the next day but was never again quite as satisfying as it was when I ate it outside the storefront on the day it was made. Definitely buy and consume same day if you can.

Manresa Bread is partnering with Verve Coffee and selling their beans in store. Verve Coffee is a small batch roaster in Santa Cruz sourcing from authentic sustainable origins. I just made an espresso from 2 teaspoons of this Street Level variety and was so impressed. I'm not a coffee fan either but I definitely enjoyed this espresso shot. It was smooth, slightly sweet, with semi-sour fruity notes. The description says wet-process, cherry cordial, caramelized, orange zest - so maybe that explains the fruity notes. The bag is sitting at my desk at work waiting to be shared with coworkers and the smell is intoxicating throughout the day.

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