Fresh Goji Berry Juice!

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 Sorry haven’t posted in awhile! Been busy moving and starting a new job! Because I don’t have to buy groceries/cook for 6 months, I tried to do as much cooking/baking while still at home so I have a collection to share with you all during my stay here. I am currently living in Milpitas if anyone is wondering! So far, I really like it here – it’s cheap, I am living comfortably, and I have time to read for pleasure! I think I am still in a bit of a hermit mode because of studying for the Bar – I really am enjoying this personal time I have for myself right now and getting my shit together – it’s time to shine!!! as my best friend put it! But with this leisure time, I have found myself getting back into reading for pleasure. There are sooooo many books I want to read, re-read, and learn from them. Currently, I am finishing Tony Hsieh’s Delivering Happiness – it is about his life, successes, and thoughts leading up to the development of Zappos. I was first acquainted with this book because my friend’s boss bought her whole company the book. I was reading, waiting for her to get ready, and found myself not being able to take my eyes off of it. When I got the chance, I ordered a copy of it for myself to finish. I have to say it is written VERY well and it is so entertaining. I really enjoy reading his thoughts on life, and the things he looks for in life. He really touches upon things that my friends and I have thought about, and have done (like catching the end of an era in raving, and finding himself in his late 20s). Of course, there is a lot to learn from him – the risks he takes, the importance of building culture, and ultimately, delivering happiness to everyone in his life. It really is remarkable how many things he has achieved during his relatively young life. It is inspirational. Aside from reading that book, I got a copy of Benson Bobrick’s Master of War – a book about the short life of General George H. Thomas. My neighbor loaned his truck to deliver our new toilets to our house and on our way, he told me about this extraordinary man – at West Point, the faculty there studied war battles, and one of General Thomas’  battle during the Civil War was one of two perfect battles in history. The other was one of Napoleon’s. Unfortunately, General Thomas died about 4 years after the battle in San Francisco and was never recognized in history, until now. I can’t wait to read this, and go borrow some more books from him!

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My sister picking the berries off the prickly plant!

Anyway, my aunt grows goji berries in her yard! We picked her up for dinner over the weekend and my sister and dad picked the berries off the prickly plants! We got two boxes full and I couldn’t wait to make fresh goji berry juice!!! I have seen it at Whole Foods before, but because fresh goji berries are hard to keep while fresh, people dry the berries. Usually, juice is made from soaking the dried goji berries and then blending them. But I had the luxury to blend the fresh berries and with some lime and coconut juice. Turned out delicious and I have been drinking it every day before work! It is full of antioxidants, is said to be the fountain of youth, and can treat many health problems! But definitely discuss with your doctor if you take drugs for blood pressure or diabetes as it can interact with your drugs. The juice tastes funky, but it isn’t too bad with the lime – you will get used to it!

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Iced Chai Tea ‘Latte’! – The REAL KIND

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I had made a Chai Tea Concentrate in the past, but I only used Lipton tea bags to make the concentrate. Now, at home, I have access to a huge bag of real India Chai Tea leaves! I figured I would make a delicious concentrate for my sister in the morning to take to work instead of spending money at the chain coffee shops. Plus, this isn’t the sweet, bland flavored chai you get at those chain shops – this is the real deal! I placed quotations around ‘Latte’ because when coffee/chai drinks are iced, it is impossible for it to be a latte since lattes are with steamed milk hahah. Just a minor snooty thing I learned from my past as a barista. If the milk were to be steamed, and it be a hot drink, then the drink would contain some milk with light foam for it to be a latte! Thus, there is literally no point in ordering an ‘iced latte’ at coffee shops – you can just order double/single espresso over ice, and then pour milk over the counter. Same exact thing. Just fyi! 

You can get the Chai Tea leaves at any Indian market!

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SUN TEA!!!

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I’M BAAACKK!!! Long time no see everyone!!! I hope everyones summer has been just wonderful and everyone is tan! After a long hiatus for something called the CA Bar, I am back and ready to make more delicious foods!!!! Lots of exciting things are coming up – new logo coming soon, hopefully a new website design by the end of the year, and much more easy fun recipes! I am back at home so there are tons of machines and ingredients for me to use – I am so excited! After being in a cave for so long, with no ounce of human interaction and happiness for two whole months, I am delighted to get back into shape, get a job, and learn how to cook again! More on my summer later, but what have you all been up to all summer!!!

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The first day back in Lodi I was like DAMN it’s HOT!!! I sat there eating breakfast and looked out the window of my backyard. I realized tons of sun shines right outside my porch in the morning so I figured I would make some SUN TEA! What is thattttt you might ask? Well basically, instead of boiling water and steeping tea bags and then cooling it in the fridge for iced tea, I use the SUN, yes the SUN, to steep the tea!!! This way, I can save electricity and be environmentally friendly! This basically takes no effort – just find a glass bottle or large jar, and put some tea bags in, and fill it up with filtered water! Place it in the direct sun for about 3-5 hours and bring it back inside and place in the fridge. Fill it up with ice and serve! It is seriously the best thing ever. And lucky for me, when I place it right outside my porch at about 9:30am, and if I forget after about 4 or 5 hours, turns out that the sun travels past it and the teas are no longer in the direct sun. People say that if it is left out in the direct sun for more than 5 hours breeds germs and what not. Ew gross, so all you working people, do it on the weekends!

Here are some of my favorite teas!

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Iced Blackberry Green Tea

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Iced Passion Fruit Tazo Tea

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Homemade Chai Tea Concentrate

As much as I wish San Diego would turn Fall, it doesn’t seem close to possible. It’s still 75 deg and sunny! But the nights get chilly, so I have been dreaming about warm spiced drinks for the holidays. But I do have to go on a rant about people skipping Thanksgiving now. What the hell. Thanksgiving is a grand holiday that gets people excited for Christmas but it seems like people are forgetting about it. Friends are decorating for Christmas already, stores are open on Thanksgiving, Christmas decorations are sold before Halloween now. It is getting utterly ridiculous. Like what happened to Thanksgiving ya’ll? What happened to giving thanks for what you have, not the latest TV you can buy on Thanksgiving for $100 cheaper -_-. And this is coming from a person who LOVES Christmas. I swear I will be the perfect mom because I am festive, loves Santa, and actually decorates every single year (lights all over my house, a REAL Christmas tree, day after Thanksgiving dedicated to decorating for Christmas, baking cookies, etc.). I am just mad that Christmas has become so commercial – there isn’t that slow, sweet anticipation for Christmas anymore. WE EVEN SKIP THANKSGIVING NOW. I just want everyone to take a moment and remember those times when we were kids and slowly waited for Thanksgiving to pass and then have a whole month to get ready for Christmas. I want Christmas to be cherished during that special time of the year, not make it a 4th quarterly thing. Let’s all just step back and enjoy the holidays the last quarter of the year : Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years in this order.

In the meantime, I will sip my spicy hot drinks in anticipation for Thanksgiving, and then bring out the peppermint for Christmas. Anyone care to join me?

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Cold-Brew Iced Coffee!

OKAY. IT IS EXTREMELY HOT IN SAN DIEGO, AND I GUESS EVERYWHERE IN CALI. Is it because I am used to SF weather? But really, its awful. The humidity here in SD is just dandy. The windows in my entire apartment are open, fans are running, and still feel sticky. Sweat is pouring out everywhere. It is just gross. But anyway, this hot weather calls for tons of planning…I mean tons. You have to plan where you want to be to avoid the heat, you have to plan what to wear to sleep, what to eat because hotness does not feed the appetite, and what to DRINK. I had a great acai smoothie from Juice Kaboose yesterday in La Jolla to beat the heat, but that didn’t last long because I was back to sweating everywhere within 10 min. I came back and thought about the long weekend ahead (happy Labor Day weekend ya’ll!) and figured I would need something cold and caffeinated in the morning to get me going after waking up in my bed full of sweat. So making cold brew iced coffee took some planning- you have to eagerly wait 12-24 hours for this baby to brew before you can drink up. No wonder cold brew coffee is so damn expensive to buy at coffee shops (cough cough cold brew in Palo Alto)! It takes time, and tons of grounds. Judging by the picture to this post, it seems like I have to make more today since its basically all gone after one drink. Anyway, have a fun, safe, and awake weekend ya’ll! 🙂

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