My Last Frappuccino

Starbucks hasn’t exactly caught on to the whole real food movement yet. Since dumping the option of organic milk back in 2008, their only organic option is soymilk! Crazy, huh?

Yummm, hormones.

Instead of continuing a rant over milk, I should stop and recognize that my Starbucks order is usally iced and frequently a frappuccino. Ingredients in a frap? Not so pretty. Which is why I have to let them go. Check it out…

  • Frappuccino® Premix: Whole Milk, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Sugar, Skim Milk Powder, Cream, Corn Syrup Solids, Natural Flavors, Salt, Cocoa (Processed With Alkali), Algin (Kelp Extract), Sodium Caseinate (Milk Protein). Concentrated Coffee and Water are added to make the Frappuccino® Base.
  • Frappuccino® Light Premix: Skim milk, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Sugar, Oligofructose, Cream, Corn Syrup Solids, Natural and Artificial Flavor, Sodium Caseinate, Salt, Cocoa Powder (processed with Alkali), Disodium Phosphate, Carrageenan, Carboxymethyl Cellulose, Sucralose (Citric Acid, Trisodium Citrate, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate), Acesulfame K. Concentrated Coffee and Water are added to make the Frappuccino® Light Base.
  • Universal Beverage Base Powder: (SKU #156011): Sugar, Nonfat Dry Milk, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Corn Syrup Solids, Salt, Sodium Casoinate (milk protein), Mono and Diglycerides (E471, an emulsifier), Dipotassium Phosphate (E340ii), Artificial Flavor, Soy Lecithin (E322, an emulsifier), Tricalcium Phosphate (E341iii, prevents caking), Xanthan Gum (E415), Cellulose Gum (E466). Nonfat Milk is added to make the Universal Beverage Base.
  • Java Chips: Confectionary coating (sugar, partially hydrogenated palm kernel and palm oils, cocoa, emulsifiers [soy lecithin E322, distilled monoglycerides, sorbitan monostearate, polysorbate 60 E435], artificial flavor, vanilla)), Cocoa (processed with alkali, 9%), Cookie Crumbs (enriched wheat flour[wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin, mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid], sugar, hydrogenated soybean and/or cottonseed shortening, cocoa processed with alkali, high fructose corn syrup, corn flour, chocolate mass, salt, dextrose, sodium bicarbonate [E400], soy lecithin [emulsifier, E322], natural flavor, chocolate mass (2%), salt.

Remember in the 90’s when frappuccino’s only harmed Beavis by making him a little jumpy?

I won’t lie. I’m sad. Really sad.

But, do I really need to drink my trans fat and corn syrup? (Uh, no.) I can make fraps at home and can make them tasty, too. In fact, that will be my mission to share with you tomorrow. I am especially excited to do so because I learned a secret from the kind barista today. Instead of milk added to your frap, opt for a little heavy cream and use coffee for the remaining liquid needed. Heavy cream will give the frap a milkshake consistency and the coffee some extra caffiene. (Is it already passe’ to say, Winning!?)

I know what you are thinking. Heavy cream? I’m not drinking that! Remember, you just need a little! Two tablespoons maybe? I’ll find out tomorrow. I’ll make a batch using half and half as well. Wanna see my frap from today? I couldn’t wait until I parked the car to snap a photo before drinking. Full of crap or not, they taste pretty darn good. Le Sigh.

Goodbye my lover. Goodbye my friend. You have been the one. You have been the one for me. (Lyrics by James Blundt. Probably written for his long lost frap as well.) 

Go Your Own Way

So, I am taking advice from my good friend Rachel. She once sang an amazing cover of Fleetwood Mac’s, “Go Your Own Way” to her ex-boyfriend. She’s totally my pretend friend from Glee, by the way.

I’m not really Kim’s friend.

Anyway, I have decide to go MY own way! You might have noticed that this blog has posts with major gaps between and quite a strange mix of topics. I’ve been struggling to decide just which way this blog would go. While I want it to be a discussion ground for all things food, I also want to talk about my own food passions. Stop talking in circles girl, get to the point!

Ok, so after my experience with real food and Jamie Oliver’s cookbook, I have slowly been taken hostage by eating only…well, real food! So that coffee creamer I talked about in post number one, gone. I actually had some creamer in my coffee at church on Sunday and couldn’t drink it. How quickly my taste buds have jumped their artificial ship! So, this blogger found her voice and it speaks REAL! Booyeah, now we can get rolling.

*Oh, I say totally outdated things like booyeah and amazeballs. We watch a lot of Nick Jr., Alvin and the Chipmunks and My Little Pony. Sorry, I will work on my sassy talk.

So, wanna journey through the world of real food with me? No? Then check out Kendi, she has a delicious fashion blog. For the rest of you, I’d love to introduce you to a real foodist’s book list!

  

While I give you some time to click each book photo above, I will go finish making the “cake” I made with my son tonight. We started cooking the Basic Cake recipe from Mark Bittman’s “How to Cook Everything.” I didn’t read the recipe ahead of time. It’s almost bedtime and I promised Dallas we would make a cake while I was in the middle of a conversation with my friend Lisa. Anything to get in some adult chat time, right? I should say, mom chat time. Adult chat time sounds like something else.

Halfway through the recipe I read that we needed to ground 1/2 pound of almonds? Uh, no thanks. I just threw in some flour, milk, eggs and more sugar in a good ole’ willy nilly fashion. I’ll let you know how it all turns out. (I’m guessing the next post will be called, “Cake Gone Wrong.” More real food talk to come as well.

Real Time Farms and Brown Cow Yogurt

 

What a fantastic resource! I am in love with http://www.realtimefarms.com/ and all that they are attached to! Use their handy website to find local food sources, food artisans, restaurants and Farmer’s Markets.

 

I have been hoping to take my boys to visit a dairy farm and this site has been the perfect starting point. If you are interested, you can register with Real Time Farms and connect your favorite farms/markets or otherwise to the rest of the blogosphere. Pretty interesting!

 

 

While on the subject of visiting dairy farms, I should talk a little about my new favorite food. Brown Cow Yogurt. Seriously, it’s my FAVORITE food right now. This is how the Brown Cow describes itself,  “We use only natural ingredients, like fresh, wholesome milk, the finest fruits, pure maple syrup, honey, real vanilla, coffee and cocoa and never any preservatives, artificial colors, artificial sweeteners or refined sugar.” I challenge you to pick up a Creme Top yogurt, check out the ingredients for yourself and give it a taste.

 

Oh Lordy, it is amazing! Apparently, someone in the world started using the words “amazeballs” in the past year or so and yes, Brown Cow is amazeballs! I’ve stopped eating low or no fat foods after some research and trial. It’s true that fat does not make you fat. I can never, ever go back to eating the yogurt of the past. Dannon Light N’ Fit? Gag me.

 

I really enjoyed watching videos from the Brown Cow dairy farmers (here). After hearing how well these cows are cared for and fed, you may start to wonder about the cows we don’t ever hear about. You know, feedlots, antibiotics, all that…well, crap.

 

As I get more and more into talking about the world of dairy and how we should be slurping up the full fat milk from local, grass-fed cows, I pose a challenge. As a great first step into dairy awareness (OK, pause here to just make it known that it is REALLY hard to type dairy without constantly typing DIARY instead) check out where your milk is from!

 

http://whereismymilkfrom.com/

 

Go grab your milk, copy the code into the handy website listed above and check out the distance between cow and your fridge! I’ve found the best source of local-ish, organic milk to be Fresh & Easy. They carry Humboldt Creamery and it is pretty good!

Empanadas? We Like a Lottas.

Life is Peachy
We are lucky enough to be immersed in farmer’s markets where we live. In addition to the standard Saturday markets, San Ramon also has a Thursday artisan market. As if that weren’t enough, Walnut Creek (10 minutes from San Ramon) holds a fabulous Sunday market, too. I’ve been making a point of hitting at least one farmer’s market a week, lately it has been the Thursday artisan affair. The market caters to the local business lunchers and stay at home moms.
 One of our favorite finds have been strawberries from the guys with the giant yellow banner. What, you don’t know who I am talking about? We also stalk the Kettle Corn man, the guy who sells peaches and nectarines, Dairy Goddess cheese, Jamaica Iced Mocha, the Brentwood corn man and our newest found love, the EMPANADA man!
I normally prefer my pastries to contain anything sweet, but after trying a little meat pie from the El Porteno man, my eyes have widened! I wish I knew more about the man who sells the empanadas at our farmer’s market, but I can say he is not from California! Empanadas can be found all over South America (except for Bolivia, where they are called saltenas.) Anyway, he is just the person I want to buy empanadas from. An old, striped sweater and linen M.C. Hammer pants, curly hair, braces and an indistiguishable accent. The kids and I ate two chicken pies for lunch and brought three beef home for dinner. El Porteno has a San Francisco location in addition to their farmer’s market booths. Check it out!
Berries from the yellow banner guy, Dairy Goddess cheese on our sweet potato and a carne empanada from El Porteno.

Corn Is For Pigs?

We can never eat corn at my parent’s house without my mom reminding us of my dad’s old mantra , “Corn is for pigs.” Apparently, after learning that pigs are fed corn, the grain lost its appeal with my dad. He has since gotten over his corn hang up, thankfully. I need grilled corn after swimming in their pool on a hot day. (Yeah, I’m over there a lot.) Know what? I’m not alone in my corn-lovin’ attitude. Most of us love corn and don’t even know how much. Apparently, corn is in something like 4,000 of the 10,000 products sold at the grocery store. Mama Mia! After reading The Omnivore’s Dilemma, I was shocked to learn how corn has become a serious stakeholder in our guts.

“Grown on massive farms, oceans’ worth of the golden kernels and green stalks are then processed, deconstructed, and reassembled in factories into everything from a Chicken McNugget to salad dressing. We eat so much corn that, biologically speaking, most Americans are corn on two legs.” (Powell, 2006)

Pollan describes one of my favorite kitchen staples, coffee creamer as…brace yourself, “a foodlike substance.” Well, poo. I love my creamer! The more exotic the flavor, the better! I am talking about CoffeeMate, International Delight and now even BAILEY’S. I guess my coffee has a bit of corn in it too! Corn is of course, not a bad thing. It’s just the base of a seriously overprocessed thing, high fructose corn syrup. Do I still drink the stuff? You bet. It is a little like smoking a cigarette, I know it is bad for me, but it is soooo good TO me! I don’t actually smoke, just pretending to know how a smoker feels.

The photo above was taken last week at Ardenwood Farms in Fremont, California. Dallas is learning to grind indian corn that was shelled (scraped) off of a cob. We were on a field trip and prepping some food for the farm animals. Too bad I didn’t have my camera out when he dumped that whole bowl of ground corn over while we were preparing to feed sheep. Yes, it was on purpose. His excuse? “The sheep just made me nervous. They were blinking at me.”

So, in addition to pigs, corn is for chickens too (and livestock of all kind that needs fattening.) You know who else corn is for? Corn is for me! That stuff is good! Did you see the move, Nacho Libre?  In the movie, Jack Black’s sidekick, named Esqueleto, eats corn on the cob in a way I had never seen before. I’ve searched and found it called, Ghetto Corn, Mexican Corn, Chile and Lime Corn and Nacho Libre Corn! I’d love to try this, but I’ll have to wait a couple more months.I refuse to buy corn on the cob right now while it’s so expensive, but come June I will be expiramenting! In the meantime, do you have a good recipe for Nacho Libre Corn?

Interested in what else Michael Pollan has to say? Read a little more here.