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Chia Pod, Coconut Water Probiotic and Hot Lips Soda

In Food, Food Product for Home on July 25, 2014 at 14:25

Review on several products that I liked recently from the grocery store.

First, this Chia Pod snack.


It came in a small cup with many different flavors including this mango one that I had.

Chia seed was a healthful ingredient that was packed with very high amount of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids and lots of fiber.

It was very similar to the chia pudding that I got at Chaco Canyon minus the coconut milk.

The particular mango one tasted like Asian mango pudding with tapioca with a rice pudding consistency, and quite filling.

Chia seed products were not cheap and for about 6 oz. this cup cost about $3 on sale.

It was most definite an occasion healthy snack.

Next was the Good Belly probiotic coconut water.


I was very happy to find a non-dairy non-soy probiotic product — got the benefit of good bugs to aid in digestion without dairy and perhaps GMO soy.

Good Belly offered many fruit juice versions with probiotic as well; I figured coconut water was the better option with its high electrolyte content vs. fruit juice that mainly contained sugar.

This coconut water drink still had grape juice in it, perhaps to satisfy the sugar requirement for fermentation.

Its flavor reminded me of the Japanese yogurt drink that I grew up with called Yakult – a fermented milk-base yogurt drink – but much lighter, less creamy and more refreshing.

Mild coconut flavor with slight white grape flavor, it was still a little sweeter than my liking; nevertheless definitely enjoyable over ice or with extra fizzy water.

Finally, relatively “healthier” delicious soda from Hot Lips.

We seldom drink soda because at the end, it was still empty calories of sugar.

However, in the rare occasion hot days that we had been experiencing in the Pacific Northwest, Hot Lips were mostly definitely treats for us.


Hot Lips was a small pizza chain out of Portland, OR, and they bottled their own sodas that could be purchase at Total Wine or BevMo!

What made them highly coveted for me was the sodas were made with real fruit juice and certainly one of the cleanest ingredients one could find, usually contained sparkling water, fruit juice, lemon juice and cane sugar.

Juice content ranged anywhere from very low percentage for lemon and ginger (which were potent juices and understandably low amount of juice usage) to my favorite berry ones were about 10-15% juice to more than 90% for pear and cranberry.

Only the pear one was made with juice concentrate.

The fruits were all locally sourced in OR and native for us Northwesterners.

They had an array of flavors including exotic Marionberry, black raspberries, along with cranberries, pear, lemon and cherries to name a few.

On their website, they stated that they had special seasonal flavors on tap at their pizza stores — they were definitely on my to-go list next time I visit Portland.

My favorite was the Marionberry soda.

I loved that when I poured the soda into the glass, it was murky (black raspberries and red raspberries were also murky).

Literally as if berries where crushed into pulp, and fizzy water was added to it.

Beautiful purple color, with distinctive marionberry flavor, wild, light and refreshing, it felt like Pacific Northwest in a bottle.










Terra Plata and Cupcake Royale

In Eating Out, Food, Food Product for Home on July 23, 2014 at 10:55

Terra Plata, a local sustainable restaurant in the Capitol Hill area of Seattle.


The triangular layout of the restaurant made the place fun with its inviting sliding doors opening to the street.

The heavy natural wood décor gave a very down to earth, layback feeling to the space.

DH and I came for brunch.

My curiosity led its way to their cherry drinking vinegar.

It was pungent, vinegary with very light cherry flavor and a grainy aftertaste.

Drinking vinegar had long been a folk medicine for many ailment including obesity and diabetics.

If I were to get into the habit of drinking it, I believe I would see it as “medicine” to take a shot of, rather than an enjoyment of a drink!

We waited for an unreasonably long time for our food and when we finally got our shishito peppers, they were great.


It was cooked just right, fairly spicy hot, but a little too greasy in the mouthfeel.

The lemon aioli was delicious with the addition of chives.

The heat from the peppers slowly built up as I consumed more; and I loved that these peppers did not have a strong green pepper-like flavor that I found overwhelming at times.

DH got the pork hash with cauliflower, carrots, celery and potato.

The pork was chunky, a little spicy, very savory and the poach egg was delicious.

The runny egg yolk made the dish creamy.


I had the pita sandwich with buttery fluffy eggs, sausages and arugula.

There was a “Spanish sauce” in the sandwich that was very delicious with unknown spices – perhaps cumin?

Roasted potatoes were crisp on the outer and nutty and soft inside.


Food aside and most importantly of all, it was an enjoyable and rare brunch time outing with DH that I treasured.

Terra Plata on Urbanspoon

I was not a crazy cupcake fan, but my sister enjoyed them.

If I were to consume cupcake, I liked New York Cupcake’s.

I only wanted to try Cupcake Royale’s red velvet ice cream as it was out in the market for a very long while now.

We killed 2 birds with 1 stone when my sister visited.


My sister got her favorite lavender cupcake, and bought the seasonal strawberry rhubarb crisp, cherry chocolate cheesecake and my favorite red velvet.

I loved the strawberry rhubarb cake with filling!

The cake was eggy, super fluffy with tart and awesome strawberry rhubarb filling.

The reason I preferred New York Cupcakes over Cupcake Royale was because of the icing.

I found Cupcake Royale’s icing often grainy, sugary and too sweet for my liking; unfortunately the strawberry rhubarb cupcake’s icing was no exception.

The cherry chocolate cheesecake cupcake minus the icing was very chocolaty goodness, visible cherry pieces was moist with nice flavor but the cream cheese icing was too cloying.


As for the red velvet ice cream, I enjoyed it a lot!

delicious sweet cream ice cream which was super buttery, thick and rich, mixed with chunks of red velvet cake.

The resulting mouthfeel was a little mealy but did not bother me.

It had the expected cocoa flavor from the red velvet and also an unexpected saltiness from the cake which I thoroughly enjoyed.

Regrettably both DH and my sister did not enjoy the mealiness of the ice cream. – good news for me!!!

Cupcake Royale on Urbanspoon

Richmond Night Market

In Eating Out, Food, North America, Travel Food on July 21, 2014 at 11:10

So wonderful to be visiting the Richmond night market!

Weather was nice and so many people — queueing up for food, waiting for food and it was so much fun!



There were way more food that I wanted than my already flexible stomach could hold in one go.

As a result, the plan of attack was to get the food that I really missed!

Number one being curry fish balls!


I could make that easily for myself at home, but having curry fish balls on the street was very nostalgic for me —  it was one of the quintessential street food in Hong Kong.

Next, delicious lamb skewers.

Had to admit that we might have gone to the wrong stall as the famous stall might be an aisle down.


This stall still had non-stop business with a long line, a tell-tale sign of a good place, Asian way.

They served chicken, beef, pork and shrimps as well, but I was partial to lamb.

The lamb skewers were still very fresh, delicious and spicy hot!

Tender and perfect balance between meat and fat, slightly charred with slight burnt meat/fat flavor – such a delight!

I was happy to find stinky tofu!


Rumor was that night market had stopped serving stinky tofu because it was still too stinky for the public.

Stinky tofu were tofu that had gone under fermentation, and the process imparted an almost blue cheese flavor to the tofu.

They were then fried or sometimes steamed to serve, and was considered one of many Chinese delicacies.

These stinky tofu were Taiwanese style with hot sauce, sweet soy sauce paste, cilantro, and pickled cabbage.

They were not nearly as stinky as what I was used to having growing up (I remembered literally able to smell the stinky tofu street vendor blocks away).

In fact, I saw the sign on the stall front, rather than reaching them via my nose.


It was still a tasty rare find, and I was glad the night market still had this dish!

We walked past stalls that was making the fine art of dragon beard candy…


Yummy fried chicken fillet and mochi dessert…


Our friends got the grilled calamari that was tender and delicious, cooked in its own juice.


On our way to night market, I saw a girl with a cup of Chendol that looked delicious; since then I had kept my eyes peeled on finding one for myself.


Eventually I got the Chendol while DH got a mango drink.

Chendol was a popular Indonesian drink dessert with hard-to-miss green rice noodle, coconut milk and palm sugar.

This stall version also consisted of red and green beans, almond tofu and jelly.

It was refreshing and filling at the same time.

DH was not quite full yet from all the teaser nibbling, and we landed on the pancake roll.



The pancake wrap was similar to roti and we opted for pickled vegetables and pork filling.

It was buttery delicious mixed with crunch and tartness of pickled vegetables.

The stall also had kimchi and beef, and the traditional Chinese dry shredded pork with eggs filling.

At this point, my stomach was nearly at end of its stretch.

Passed by a fried Mars bar bus…


…and would really loved to try the new Korean crazed ice cream-filled spiral called IceCane…


At the end, went for my little eggs as some of my friends had never had this classic Hong Kong street food.


We walked and ate until it got dark.


Went back to our hotel with a happy, satisfied and full stomach!


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