Girls on Food


Reno Tastebud’s Remixed Hash Browns

Weekend breakfasts always included hash browns with lots of cheese. I remember my Gramma over the stove with hot oil splattering all over frying up shredded potatoes and browning them to a golden crisp. As much as I love Gramma’s hash browns, I don’t love the weight that has found it’s semi-permanent home right on my butt. Spaghetti squash has become my favorite winter squash because it’s so versatile and well..heathier!

Get the new and updated recipe for hash browns below using spaghetti squash! It’s clean, healthy and tastes just as good.

Remixed Hash Browns 


  • 1 Spaghetti Squash Halved (I always recommend keeping cooked spaghetti squash halves in the fridge for easy use)
  • 1/2 Cup Gluten Free All Purpose Flour
  • 1/4 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/4 Cup Shredded Low Fat Cheddar Cheese
  • Pinch of Sea Salt
  • Fresh Cracked Black Pepper
  • Green onions for garnish (optional)


  • Cut the squash in half lengthwise, and place flesh side down in a microwave safe casserole dish filled with hot water (only an inch of water or so).
  • Cover the dish with plastic wrap, and then place in your microwave for 8-10 minutes.
  • Be careful when removing the plastic wrap, you will get a steam burn if you pull the plastic back and your arm is in the way.remixed hashbrowns
  • Let the squash cool, until you are able to place the halves on a cut board.
  • Take a spoon, and scoop out the mushy middle, like you would a cantaloupe. It will contain seeds and needs to be discarded.
  • Grab a fork and start shredding the squash. You will notice it shreds in strands resembling spaghetti.
  • Place the spaghetti squash in a mixing bowl, and combine your flour, parmesan cheese, sea salt and cracked black pepper.
  • Mix well with hands. Your mixture will be wet and that’s ok. If there is excess moisture and it’s too wet to work with, add some more flour until you get a dryer, thicker consistency.
  • Form little 1 inch thick patties out of the hash brown mix. remixed hasbrowns2
  • In a stainless steel pan, heat olive oil and wait until you can see the oil separating in the pan. You don’t want the pan smoking, or else you will burn the patty. Olive oil burns easily, so heat over medium heat for approx. 2-3 minutes before placing your patty in the pan.
  • Once you place the patties in the pan and you hear them sizzling, let them cook for 5 minutes on each side. You will notice they will firm and brown around the edges, (similar to pancakes) and that is when it will be time to flip.
  • When the hash browns are finished, turn the heat to low, and sprinkle the cheddar cheese on top and let melt. You can also top with sliced green onions as well.


remixed hasbrowns 3

GOF Dish and Discuss: EGG-Stravaganza

Fairfax - egg slut
The Gaucho

Eggslut in Downtown Los Angeles was at the top of my list when I visited last winter. These people are my brethren – I’m a huge fan of eggs in practically every style. The star of the eatery and the menu is eggs, and each menu item is mouth watering.
Eggslut is located in Grand Central Market in DTLA, and you’ll know which one it is because the line will wrap all around the stall! Each egg is made to order, so you can request it to be cooked all the way through like I did for my Fairfax sandwich that had scrambled eggs, chives, cheddar cheese, caramelized onions and sriracha mayo in a warm brioche bun. It might take a little longer, but the staff is enthusiastic and rightfully proud of their amazing sandwiches.
Take the Gaucho, for example, which has seared waygu tri-tip steak, chimichurri, pickled onions, shaved manchego cheese and seasoned arugula topped with a medium egg, all sandwiched in a warm brioche bun. It sounds like the perfect way to ring in a lazy Sunday afternoon.
The Slut - Egg slutOr their signature dish, the Slut: a coddled egg on top of a smooth potato puree poached in a glass jar and served with a demi baguette. Not only does it look adorable, but it is also one of the most comforting dishes I’ve had in a long time. When the yolk mixes with the buttery potatoes, it creates a magical combination, especially when you dunk bread into the mixture.
Whether you like eggs over easy with meat, coddled runny eggs, or classic scrambled eggs in a bun, Eggslut combines rich, gourmet ingredients into deliciously casual, balanced dishes. I dream of Eggslut on the regular, and pray to the Egg gods that one day they’ll think of coming to the Bay.

As a fly by the seat of my pants kind of gal, (meaning my schedule is insane) I really needed a breakfast that was going to keep me full and prevent me from getting hangry within the hour. With that said let me preface this with the fact that I was never much of a breakfast person. However, on my journey to becoming a more fit, healthy version of myself I learned how important that first meal of the day is. So I started eating breakfast. I ate oatmeal every single morning. It sucked. I needed something savory.


Enter the hardboiled egg. I am sure you all know eggs are an egg-cellent source of protein (I am not apologizing for that cheesy play on words). Protein is the thing that keeps us full and from hulking out midmorning. Allow me to share with you my go-to breakfast that takes no more than a few minutes to make. It is super yummy, keeps you satisfied and is really good for you.

Take two hard boiled eggs and chop them up.

Add half a ripe avocado, dash of salt and pepper and then mash them together with a fork.

I spread this amazing concoction on a slice of sprouted bread and serve with a side of fruit. Sometimes if I am feeling extra fancy, I add hot sauce. Talk about heaven in your mouth.


When you can make eggs scrambled, poached and sunny-side up, why would you ever fry them? That’s something that I would have thought before I fried and egg for an on-the-go breakfast sandwich. My routine is to workout in the mornings, and that often leaves little time for me to have a big breakfast before work. So, what do I do? I make my very own egg breakfast sandwich. I take a small bagel, a slice or two of prosciutto and a fried hard egg white or full egg and make the best post-workout breakfast. The best part? Preparing a hard-fried egg is super easy to do! It is different from a sunny-side up egg in that you can beat the egg fully before tossing it into a hot skillet. Or, you can crack the egg into the pan as if you were going to prepare a sunny-side up egg, take your spatula and break the yolk so it spreads a bit before flipping the egg to cook the other side. If you are going to enjoy this quick breakfast treat, be sure to pair it with a bagel, English muffin or any bread of your choice and whatever else you like. Spinach, smoked salmon, and the classic breakfast staple, bacon, are all some foods you can enjoy with your fried egg. Bon Appetit!
The egg is a very versatile food. It’s used for so many savory and sweet applications as an ingredient but is also fully capable of being a stand-alone meal. Hard boiled, scrambled, or even egg salad is just an example of some of the ways eggs can be prepared, for any meal of the day. My personal favorite though…with bacon. Oh, you meant a style of preparation…right, sorry. I love my eggs sunny side up; with bacon, haha.
Sunny side up is perhaps one of the simplest preparations of eggs, but not an easy task by any means. The whites should be bright white and set; a light brown border should garnish the very edge while the yolk maintains an ooey-gooey center. I love being able to break open the center with my fork and dip my toast in the rays of sunshine that just poured into my plate. What’s your idea of an egg-cellent egg dish?

As a vegetarian, there are a few foods I strongly rely on than eggs. Cheese (because…cheese), beans of any type, hummus (okay, technically that’s beans too), veggies, bread, and eggs. And contrary to popular carnivoristic belief, many of the meals I eat are actually pretty exciting. Eggs, however, are a bit more tricky.
As eggs aren’t the easiest food around to work into any meal of the day, and are more often than not an ingredient in things rather than the main course, I’ve been learning to get creative with them. Flavored olive oils – from spiced to mushroom-filled to basil-infused – act as a delicious base for any scrambled egg platter. For this particular meal, I used Olio Basilico from my favorite store at Pike Place, Sotto Voce. I keep things fairly simple and usually just crack my eggs straight into the pan with the oil and get in there with a spatula. Once they’re ready, I’ve been peppering them with a big ol’ dash of Lavender Pepper, which I found on a recent trip to San Juan Island’s Pelindaba Lavender farm and gift shop. I find the use of local ingredients to be extra satisfying, especially since I can easily stock up when needed – but I do think these places ship out of state as well 😉
The final result is a fluffy yet stable mound of protein that offers both palatable satisfaction and a feeling of fullness. A note for aromatherapy geeks: the minty basil aromas are perfect for alerting the senses on early mornings, and when you add in those of the anxiety-reducing lavender, you have one brilliant dynamic. Reverse the time frame and you have a meal that will relax and clear your mind after a long day!
So far, this has been a successful routine at any hour, and my next goal is to find more exciting gourmet salts and peppers. Cheers to culinary b”egg”innings!

From Egg Harbor Cafe (19 locations in Illinois).

I am an egg-a-holic, so I can eat my eggs any style. All of the above are a satisfying way to start the day, but my favorite style lately has been over easy. Sunny side up comes close, but I prefer the whites to be cooked a little more. I love being able to dip sides like toast, bacon or sausage, even sautéed veggies in the yolk. My mom used to add Lawry’s seasoning salt to top it off, so I’ll always be attached to that, but I’ve just been satisfied with fresh cracked black pepper. I got to start watching my sodium intake.
Over the Thanksgiving weekend, I went to Illinois-based breakfast and lunch restaurant Egg Harbor Cafe, which has 19 locations all over the state. Their classic breakfast with two eggs, sausage patties, grits, English muffin with blackberry compote hit the spot! They even have Intelligentsia coffee, which is a staple in Los Angeles.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @girlsonfoodblog

Spanish Bikinis at BCN in West Hollywood

BCN (the airport code name for Barcelona) is serving beautiful Bikinis in WeHo.
These Bikinis are not the swimwear that you have in mind. A Bikini in Barcelona is a softly pressed sandwich and also the specialty at BCN among other traditional and vibrant Spanish street foods like Cocas and Bocatas.

 IMG_8453 IMG_8490

BCN West Hollywood
8719 Santa Monica Blvd
West Hollywood, CA

IMG_8491 IMG_8486

BCN is located in the heart of West Hollywood. The place is cozy with a minimalist and modern vibe. The staff is super friendly, and it has an inviting terrace on the front that makes it the perfect spot to catch up with friends while enjoying delicious food and some virgin sangria.


We ordered the Patatas Bravas as an appetizer. Let me tell you that this was not your ordinary potato fries. The patatas came with a zesty tomato sauce and aioli. They were crispy but still soft inside and very well seasoned. The tomato sauce sits on the bottom of the plate so you can smother your patatas as much as you’ll like.


It wasn’t quite dinner yet, but we were able to try the Saltwater Prawns Coca that was only served on the dinner menu. The Coca is not soda it is a stone baked flatbread. The Saltwater Prawns were cooked to perfection. I absolutely loved this dish. I would have eaten the whole thing by myself.


After that, I had to try the itsy bitsy Smoked Tuna Bikini. The Spanish Bikini is an adaptation of the croquet monsieur without the béchamel, in other words, a softly pressed sandwich. Smoked Tuna is such a Spanish thing that you typically don’t see in LA not even in WeHo so I couldn’t resist. It was delicious. Although it was smoked, the Bikini was light and flavorful.


BCN is the kind of easygoing everyday Spanish spot perfect for the neighborhood. They use high-quality ingredients imported from Spain and from local vendors that support sustainable practices so if you are in the area make sure to stop and get yourself a bikini and don’t forget to try the desserts.


Orangetheory Fitness: Sunday Funday Can Be a Fitday!

Sunday Funday is a time for so many activities of note. Some of us worship at the altar of fantasy football; others gather around swanky downtown tables for a boozy brunch while I took the time to journey to the magical Mall of Yeah Old Staten Island for The Orangetheory Fitness celebrity breakfast. 
Offering up generous portions of bagels and schmears for free while patrons could hear the mission of Orangetheory currently gearing up to open up a location nearby on Staten Island. Outfitted with licensed personal trainers- Orangetheory offers the client a customized exercise program that provides specialized data to track your progress while working out. It’s like Fit Bit times a gazillion and with real live people touting the trendy logo “Orange Is The New Fit”. However, you won’t be sent to jail for the hardcore training program these ladies will set you on.

I had a chat with local food celeb, Staten Island’s own Frank Bilotti from Fox’s Hell’s Kitchen, who told me about the joys of getting yelled at by Gordon Ramsey and explained the origins of his sweet tattoo. Designed personally, it’s the contents of stock, the base of any good meal.

Stand-up comedians Mike Bocchetti and Stacey Prussman, who regularly appear on The Artie Lange Show, were in attendance to bring some comic relief to the event. See above as Stacey tests out their state of the art water rower. Audience members were encouraged to compete row for row in hopes of winning prizes.

The event included raffles, a spirited question and answer session about the new Staten Island location, and cheeky live blogging shenanigans.

Former NY Jet Rob Carpenter was on hand to make the ladies of Orangetheory go wiiiiilllllld and of course, lend his hand to pulling raffle tickets.

If you’re looking for a way to burn calories and feel like a celebrity every day, look no further than the staff at Orangetheory. You’ll get a workout as personalized as a monogrammed L.L. Bean backpack circa 1996 but like… will also give you a super hot bod and who doesn’t want that?

It’s a Date: Romancing the Bean Cafe

Romancing the Bean Cafe is a family own and run cafe that fits perfectly with its neighborhood. Located in the super cute and community oriented Magnolia park in Burbank. Kerry Krull’s is the owner and chef. Her son Ramsey set up the computer system of the place and from time to time acts as a barista and her daughter Kendra decorated the place. The atmosphere at the cafe is very chic. It has an upscale vibe with a warm welcoming décor.

 IMG_8652 IMG_8651

Romancing the Bean Cafe
3413 W Magnolia Blvd.
Burbank, CA 91505

IMG_8648 IMG_8647

GOF, Girls on Food, got invited to sample the new menu at Romancing the Bean. The point of the event was to showcase the exciting new food and drinks that are currently being served. They are proud to use the freshest organic ingredients available to them and to support local farmer markets. Their menu has been crafted with a little bit of something for every taste including gluten free bread for the gluten free Angelinos.

IMG_8636 IMG_8639

They welcomed GOF with a beautiful and delicious table spread that included some of their best selling items that you can get in their sammies, wraps and salads. We had samples of their famous chicken curry, salmon tartare, tuna, Italian chop salad, the superfoods salad and amazing cheese and cold cuts plates with a variety of bread.

IMG_8633 IMG_8631

I particularly liked the superfoods salad. It was so tasty and full of good foods like kale, almonds, cranberries, blueberries and goat cheese.

bean kale

I also enjoyed the tuna, but then again I’m a sucker for tuna. It was flavorful and lite. It is made with albacore, capers, red onions, lemon zest and tomatoes. So good!


Romancing the Bean cafe is the perfect place to catch up with friends, meet people for business or just to have a little bit of me time drinking an amazing cup of coffee. They’re open 7 am – 7 pm during the week and 8 am – 5 pm on the weekends.

Romancing the Bean Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Rustic Bakery in Larkspur, CA; Where It All Started With Crackers

Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 12.19.29 PM

Have you ever eaten happiness? Would you dare try to count the flaky layers in a freshly made butter croissant like it was a gumball jar guessing game at the county fair? Ever discovered a new favorite flavor through a mispronunciation? “What is a Queen Al..i..mond?” “You mean a Kouign Amann?” The person behind the glass says with an informatively easy going smile, the worker clearly knew how to create a customer centric experience. “It is a croissant that has a layer of caramelized sugar on the top. They are delicious!!” Have you ever delved into a smiley face mocha or indulged in a peanut butter or cheesecake brownie so good it can only be described as decadent?

Well, I have. On a quiet little street, in a shopping center as ordinary as shoelaces, next to a hair salon and a craftsman’s frame shop, sits a little café, a café so unsuspecting you would almost speed right past it if it were not for the devious smells wafting out into the cool Northern California breeze. On this sleepy little California back road, in the town of Larkspur sits a culinary gem, the original Rustic Bakery. Even in the local area it something of a hidden phenomenon. Maybe they should look to boost their online presence by using Local SEO Audits. With its brother store looking over the San Francisco Bay at Marin Country Mart on the opposite end of Larkspur and its sister store found at the gateway to Sonoma County in Novato on Grant Street, Rustic Bakery has become one of Marin Counties premiere eating locations for anyone eager to taste classic French baking and pastry at the highest quality. A bakery and company that has become so popular that Pope Francis, the pontiff himself, personally requested flatbread crackers and crostini be served on his private flights across America. Not too shabby a request for a small town bakery which has always demonstrated big-time ambition yet has always respected its own noble beginnings. It would be great for this wonderful bakery to grow even more with additional exposure. I guess in the modern climate this would be best achieved online with a dependable seo company.

Rustic Bakery
1139 Magnolia Avenue
Larkspur, CA 94939

Rustic Bakery is the taste bud taunting dream come true of Carol LeValley. Just as “passionate about art, design, baking and local organic food” (North Bay Business Journal, June 2013), this Willie Wonka of Challah started with something as simple and down to earth as the idea of making crackers. She has built the name of Rustic to mean more than just rural or simply fashioned. It has come to be associated with something fresh, something true and something good. The unpretentious bakery and café that Carol has created offers her patrons the opportunity to put the hustle and bustle of life on hold and just take a moment to enjoy the simple things in life, like meeting with an old friend and enjoying an irresistible nosh before getting back to the real world.

At Rustic Bakery, organic ingredients transform themselves in the hands of their proud assemblage of trusted bakers. Classic treats like cinnamon rolls and Pain Au Chocolate

image (1)

are given just as much attention as newer temptations like savory wheat free scones and orange olive oil cake. Like so many busy Mr. Geppetto’s actually handcrafting their creations, each baker pays special attention to detail, ensuring that the nut-to-sugary goo ratio is perfect on every pecan sticky bun and that the crunch in each loaf of Polenta Sourdough remains the same from the first slice to the last. It is this meticulous attention to detail which has allowed the Marin County community to so easily embrace Rustic Bakery.

Now when you first walk into a Rustic Bakery be prepared. You and your senses may be a little overwhelmed. While everyone in the trusted staff often suggest you get one of everything “just to make your life easier”, look carefully or you might miss something. Towers of temptations stand before you, just waiting to be gobbled up. Croissants of so many varieties, scones and muffins,


giant cookies (chocolate chip with pecans with a tall glass of milk is definitely my weakness); strata and croissant bread pudding and the most eclectic selection of freshly made bread is a literal feast for the eyes and tummy. But just when you think you have seen everything and you have hit a deliciousness overload, look up and you will discover even more… the café menu.

From a classic breakfast Panini, to parfaits with seasonal fresh fruit and the most addictive granola you have ever tasted,

image (6)

to the seemingly endless sandwich selection, all made with their own fresh bread and the best organic ingredients Northern California has to offer. So many salads to choose from, like the Asian Chicken or Updated Chicken Cesar with half kale and half romaine lettuce. You can go bold and choose the Saigon Sandwich, a 5-spice roasted chicken sandwich with pickled carrots and daikon, cucumber, jalepeño, cilantro and radish cress with spicy soy dressing; or you can choose to go a bit more classic with the quiche and soup combination. I personally love going with their delicious and eclectic soups. Soups so good they makes any Campell’s soup can run and hide in fear and any little old grandmother stand up and cheer.

Even with all of the comforting food Rustic Bakery has to serve up and dish out, the best, most engaging part of the entire Rustic experience is the warm and friendly atmosphere. Anyone of the Rustic crew members is more than happy to assist in any way they can. From loading up heaping high boxes of after soccer game goodies to celebrate a championship win, to helping create the perfect cheese, cracker and wine pairing for your next gift or family gathering. Just look for anyone in the signature black Rustic t-shirts. They are the first voice you hear when you walk through the doors. Quick with a “Good Morning!” or “How are you?” They are there not only to give you that quick caffeine and sugar jolt you need just before you drop the kids off for school or get in a quick 12 mile run before work. They are there to give you even just the briefest moments of pâtisserie positivity to start, continue and end your day. They are more than the people who make artfully create your café latte.

image (1)

Those who work at Rustic Bakery are actresses, mothers, aspiring singers, survivors; students of life and lovers of so many things, like elephants, sea turtles, and anything and everything Michael Jackson. They come from all different backgrounds and cultures and have all journeyed down different roads. At the most complex yet simplest of summations, they can really only happily be described as one thing: a family. The warmth that is felt resonating throughout the bakery comes not just from the ovens in the back, which over the years have turned out thousands if not millions of delicious treats, but also from the employees in the front. Who really, when you get down to it are there just waiting to help the next customer.

Rustic Bakery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Squeeze Play: Reno, Nevada’s Squeeze In

I am going to start this review off by admitting I have an unhealthy addiction to this funky, unique breakfast joint. I literally just told my husband this morning if I had to choose between a knock out sex crazed bikini body or the eggs benny that Squeeze In puts out, you would find me sitting in Heidi’s section eating my eggs benny in my yoga pants with yolk stains smeared across my cheeks.

Squeeze In
5020 Las Brisas
Reno, NV 89523

We just recently discovered this place a few months ago. We see the lines packing out of the place every weekend and decided we should wait it out and see what all the fuss was. Bobby Flay threw down with their owner and Squeeze In was featured on the Food Network…that’s huge for Reno.

squeeze in1The first time we ate here, Heidi was our server and she was very informative giving us a tour of the menu and sharing what dishes were guest favorites. I ordered the chocolate covered bacon, (because who wouldn’t order that to try it?!?) and a Nebraska Rae omelet which had cream cheese, avocado and bacon all blanketed inside the fluffy egg. The coffee was really good, (you can’t have a breakfast joint with crappy coffee) and the atmosphere was upbeat and friendly.

***This is where the addiction begins***

Very shortly after that first visit, I had this craving for the restaurant. Not necessarily for the food, but for the experience they give you when you are their guest. Hubs and I showed up again, waited in line, and were sat in Heidi’s section again. Now lets talk about Heidi…

Heidi is a very friendly, upbeat server who works her tail off. She is always on top of the service she provides to you and makes sure your coffee cup never goes empty. She provides recommendations based on what you like, and makes you feel like you are an ole’ timer every time you walk in by greeting you by name. Heidi is to the service industry as Jane Fonda was to aerobics in the 80’s. Her performance is tight, on point and is always flashing a smile while providing satisfactory results.

Ok, back to the visit. I was really craving some egg’s benedict, and was eyeballing the veggie benny. I asked her opinion on it, and she told me it’s good, but really good if you add bacon to it. Done. Shortly after, it arrived. (Insert angels singing) The eggs benedict I have searched for all my life. Here were two very large and tasty English muffins, toasted to pure perfection. Not burnt, not soggy, but crisp with an outer browning on the edges. The butter just melted right into those little nook and crannies and if it couldn’t really get any better, it does. There is cream cheese slathered from east coast to west coast. On top, sits three bouncy, perfectly rounded poached eggs smothered with hollandaise that has just the right touch of lemon juice, fresh tomatoes, gently wilted spinach, avocados and the bacon I had added. On the side, there are crisp potatoes served “Otis Style” with onions and cheese. I know you are trying to imagine this, but you really just have to experience it for yourself.


The staff all works together in perfect unison like a carefully led orchestra. They all have each other’s back, and you can tell each one is carefully focused on providing the best guest service they possibly can.

I am so grateful to have such a dynamite breakfast place like this to roll in to every weekend. The staff, food and atmosphere is an all around top notch establishment and I urge you to experience it for yourself. Paris may have Maxim’s, Birdlands to NY, but Reno has Squeeze In and I am damn proud of it! Feel free to say hi if you ever stop in…I am the one along the wall in the yolk stained yoga pants with the veggie bacon eggs benny!
Squeeze In Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Vegan Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding

chocolate chia seed pudding

This may be the most beautiful recipe I’ve shot yet! And it’s not because of my mad photography skills – all the credit goes to the food and it’s natural beauty?? Not to mention, this chia seed pudding allows me to consume chocolate in breakfast form. Now I just gotta work on lunch and dinner.

chocolate chia seed puddingI’ve made this recipe a handful of times since photographing it and I love it because it’s so simple to make. Simple is good since I’m one of those people that wakes up and refuses to talk or make contact with anyone until I’ve had coffee and breakfast + a substantial amount of time to process the fact that it’s morning and I’m awake. So basically, I’m delightful. ?




However, I can’t take all the credit for this masterful recipe you are about to read. I adapted it from the Minimalist Baker, another awesome food blog with some great recipes.

The star of this show is obviously the chia seeds. They are native to South America and were consumed by the Aztecs and Mayans because they provided sustainable energy. Chia seeds are high in fiber, protein, antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids.

chocolate chia seed pudding

For this recipe, all you do is mix the following ingredients together in a large bowl:

  • 1 & 1/2 cups rice milk (or any non-dairy milk)
  • 1/3 cup chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar

The cocoa powder will be clumpy, but continue stirring and it will dissolve. Stir or whisk for a couple of minutes until you have a smooth mixture. Cover and keep in the fridge overnight (recommended) or for a few hours until it gains a pudding like consistency.

raspberriesI poured some of the pudding into a nice sized glass, followed by a layer of fresh raspberries, then the rest of the pudding until it filled the glass. I topped with a few more berries, a drizzle of vegan chocolate sauce (melted coconut oil and cocoa powder) and a sprig of mint. This makes one portion. You can sub the coconut sugar for maple syrup or vegan honey.

Enjoy this tasty, easy to make recipe packed full of nutrients. You’ll love it if you’re a morning person, and if you’re not (like yours truly), you’ll love the zero effort needed to pull this dish out of the fridge and eat immediately. Even better, double the recipe and have your breakfast for the following day, too!

Jillian ♥

Breakfast at Liberty Market in Gilbert, Arizona

My husband, Matt, and I love trying new breakfast places. For the longest time, I really did not enjoy eating breakfast. I was never an egg fan to be quite honest. But, being married to someone who loves breakfast and is an avid egg eater, I have grown to love them and have quite the appreciation for breakfast. I have heard Liberty Market has an awesome breakfast menu, but have never had a chance to try it. We woke up early, decided that today was the day, and made our way over to Liberty Market.

Liberty Market
230 N. Gilbert Road
Gilbert, Arizona 8523

Located in the historical downtown Gilbert area, Liberty Market was originally built in 1935. There is some really great history behind Liberty Market that they made a short video about. If you’re interested, check it out here.


When you arrive at Liberty Market, you notice it is quite a unique space. Open ceilings, beautiful brick and industrial style decor really makes it a great spot! Liberty Market was founded by partners Chef David & Kiersten Traina and Gilbert restaurateur Joe & Cindy Johnston.


Liberty Market offers delicious house baked goods as well as weekly and weekend specials. They recently offered a Shrimp & Crispy Bacon Burger, Chorizo Pizza and Stumptown Affogato. They’re regular menu items are incredible, but there is something exciting about knowing that no matter what day of the week it is, Liberty Market offers unique specials that are brought from local farmers and suppliers. The chefs at Liberty Market enjoy their craft and you can tell that this is their passion. They continuously cook up creative, craft cuisine.

They offer amazing cinnamon rolls, house made bottled cocktails and delicious espresso drinks. I have never been a very big coffee drinker, but Matt loves coffee. We were told that their cortado was the best choice. Matt decided to give it a try and was blown out of the water. He loved it! For breakfast, we both decided to stick with some very basic, classics. Matt ordered the American Standard which came with three scrambled eggs, Liberty potatoes, biscuit, and your choice of bacon, Schreiner’s breakfast sausage, grilled flattened meatball or sausage gravy. He went with the sausage gravy. Of course, I made him let me try a little bit of his food. The sausage gravy was delicious! Not too thick, not too thin; just right! I ordered the Demi-Breakfast which came with two scrambled eggs, biscuit or pancake, and your choice of bacon, Schreiner’s breakfast sausage, grilled flattened meatball or sausage gravy. I decided to try their pancake and Schreiner’s breakfast sausage. It was delicious! The breakfast sausage was the perfect choice. It wasn’t too spicy, but had a delicious kick of flavor to it.

There are many delicious restaurants that offer amazing cuisine, unique atmosphere and a very welcoming vibe in Arizona, especially Gilbert. Joe Johnston is a recognized East Valley restaurateur & entrepreneur, with many other great restaurants that I am sure you will be reading about from me very soon. If you’re ever in Arizona and looking for a really great cup of coffee, warm breakfast and friendly smiles, Liberty Market is the place to go!
Liberty Market Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Eighth & Roast: Nashville’s Best Brew

There are a lot of coffee places in Nashville, A LOT and the really good ones often have more than one location or wholesale their coffee to local restaurants and bakeries. I love drinking coffee and reading reviews on the latest coffee machines. If you want to check some out for yourself, Click Here. Eighth & Roast is the first place I had a real cup of coffee so it’s my favorite, but it’s also my favorite because they were my very first wholesale customer when I owned my bakery. Eighth & Roast is owned by Brad and Lesa Wood and I spent many early mornings talking to Lesa about women in business in “Music City” and I learned more than my brain could comprehend about coffee notes from Brad, so to write this post was a little like a home coming for me.


Eighth & Roast
2108 8th Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37204

If there is one thing Nashville has it is a large hipster population. The hipster can typically be found in many of the coffee shops in Nashville and I usually avoid those places; it is one of the many reasons I love Eighth & Roast, it has a low hipster population. On my morning writing this blog, there were no fedoras or man buns in sight.

When you first walk into Eighth & Roast the first feeling you get is warm and welcoming with a slight industrial feel. The whole left side of the shop has exposed brick with dark wood counters lining the large front window and the exposed brick wall. Two large community tables that came from old bowling alley lanes compliment the dark wood and brick. There is also an abundance of electrical outlets through out the seating area and cute little tables out front if you wanted to drink your coffee outside.


They make all their pastries in-house and this morning, after standing in line probably too long deciding between a bacon egg cheese biscuit sandwich, lemon poppy seed muffin, granola, or breakfast burrito, I settled on the strawberry cardamom muffin. I also got a cup of the Ethiopia brewed coffee and yes a latte, as you can see. I had yet to have my cup of coffee this morning and I panicked. I couldn’t decide between beautiful latte art or the necessities of my morning fuel so I got both, don’t judge.

It is by far the best cup of coffee in Nashville. Lesa roasts all the beans right there and you can almost always find her in the roasting room roasting away. The coffee is gentle and not over roasted. They only roast beans from small estate and small co-operative grown farms. You can find all the usual suspects at Eighth & Roast, pour over bar, lattes, cappuccino, but there are two things I would recommend in a heart beat. If iced coffee is what you are wanting, this is the ONLY place in Nashville to get it. The coffee is flash chilled and it is served on tap, yes I said tap, just like beer, but iced coffee. If it’s a latte you are looking for, the Nutella Latte is slap your momma good.


The Strawberry Cardamom Muffin was moist with just the right amount of spice and had large slices of fresh strawberries. It was a nice compliment to the coffee. Roast also serves lunch and has a second, smaller shop located at 225 Chestnut Street, Nashville, TN.

Eighth & Roast Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Coffee Whisperer: Yelp Reno’s Coffee Tasting at Wood Fire Roasted Coffee Co.

IMG_0454“But first, coffee” are typically the first words out of my mouth on a daily basis. Some people wake up and do yoga, some take their dogs for a walk, and most usually shower…But I wake up and hike my butt straight to my coffee bar where I start the fresh pot of freshly ground coffee beans. I even scored a shirt that has my motto written right across it and yes, I occasionally sport it. Being that it is #NationalCoffeeMonth, our local Yelp community is celebrating by doing Coffee Cult(ure) and educating the peeps of Reno on all the local coffee houses and roasters. Today, I was invited to attend an event hosted by Wood-Fire Roasted Coffee Co.! Let me tell you all about it!

Wood Fire Roasted Coffee Co.
30 Ohm Place
Reno, NV. 89502
(775) 856-2033


Tim Curry, owner and Master Roaster at Wood-Fire Roasted Coffee Co. is also known to folks here in the Reno area as “The Coffee Whisperer”. Excited yet?!? This name refers to his ongoing practice of roasting only the finest Arabica beans from all over the world in his own Artisan style, over a wood fire in a custom made small batch wood roaster from Italy. Tim states that by roasting the coffee beans by this method, it perfectly merges the traditions of “Old World” and the “American West”  and brings out flavor complexities found in no other coffee. That statement can be found right on the back of every bag that they sell. Tim is the ONLY, wood fire roaster in the state of Nevada, and only 1 of 9 in the United States that roasts coffee with wood.


Once the coffee has been packaged for his customers and vendors, which include Whole Foods, Scolari’s Grocers, and multiple local restaurants and coffee houses they are promptly delivered and held to very strict freshness standards. Tim explained, that after 2-3 weeks, the flavor profile components of coffee beans fall apart with oxygen interaction. Even though the bags are vacuum packed, you can never get 100% of the oxygen out. After the freshness wears off, you may not notice a change right away. However, once brewed, and after a few minutes have past after that first drink, you will begin to develop a bitter aftertaste due to the acidity that has fallen out of balance. Coffee should hold it’s flavor through the cooking process all the way through the last sip inside your coffee mug, according to Tim.

Did you also know that freezing coffee beans will also change the flavor profile completely as well? It is highly recommended to buy your coffee beans fresh every couple of weeks, to maximize freshness and flavor. Grind your beans fresh before every brew.  I do it every morning and I am the laziest morning person you will ever meet. It only takes 10 seconds people in exchange for a cup of kick ass coffee! I mean, you put fresh underwear on every day, why wouldn’t you grind your coffee fresh? It’s the same in my book. If it came down to fresh underwear or fresh coffee beans…I’m going with the coffee beans. Just keepin’ it real here!

Tim took us through the actual roasting process and taught us how to roast coffee beans by sound. “Pop” “Click” “Clack” “Pop” … was like listening to the wind rustling the autumn leaves across a prairie. AKA the best sound in the world in my book. He has very specific timing in regards to how long it takes for the beans to expand and rise in temperature. Once you hear the beans crack not once, but twice…it’s time to get your roast on! The beans are released from the chamber they are being held in and then go round and round, like happy little children on a merry go round with pony’s and unicorns preparing to be packaged for your enjoyment.

IMG_0440 IMG_0438

Tim has personally roasted every single coffee bean that has been sold from Wood-Fire Roasted Coffee Co. He is self taught, and learned by reading numerous books on roasting coffee beans with a wood fire roaster. His product has won high honors from Coffee Review and has had mentions in Saveur Magazine as well.

I have to give major props to Michael Tragash, Reno’s Yelp Community Manager for coordinating this special event. He works tirelessly to connect people to awesome local businesses face to face the same way and the yelp mobile app do online.  Michael cultivates a community of Yelper’s who are passionate about supporting local businesses by telling their story to others and sharing their passion. The Reno Yelp scene is full of pride and compassion towards one another and I can honestly say that is all due to having a positive leader like Michael, who genuinely cares about his community and thrives on seeing local businesses succeed!

IMG_0397 IMG_0387

Here in the Biggest Little City, we are proud to say that we posses 1 of only 9 wood fire roasters in the entire United States. Tim’s fine craftsmanship is definitely worth experiencing for yourself and you can do so by either stopping by his roastery, or by purchasing online at I strongly urge you to snag a bag, I promise you will never go back to commercial grade coffee again after experiencing this unique craftsmanship.

A huge Thank You to Tim Curry for sharing his time, knowledge and passion with us, and an equally big Thank You to Michael Tragash and Yelp for inviting me to experience an outstanding demonstration on wood fire roasting.

Something for Everyone: Buttercelli’s Organic Bakeshop in Sherman Oaks

Buttercelli Organic Bakeshop is a small American bakery located in Sherman Oaks, CA. Nestled between other small store fronts on Ventura Blvd. Buttercelli’s can be easy to miss if you aren’t looking for it. However, once inside you are welcomed by friendly staff and a glass case full of incredible looking baked goods.


Buttercelli Organic Bakeshop 
13722 Ventura Blvd,
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
The bakery is just down the street from work, so I regulary stop in for breakfast. I start off witha  cup of their amazing organic coffee, then spend time selecting just the right treat. Buttercelli’s offers a large selection of scones, doughnuts, cakes, pies, brownies and more!  Buttercelli’s prides itself on their gluten-free, paleo and vegan desserts ensuring there is something for everyone!


This morning I debated between a Key Lime muffin and a glazed doughnut. I finally realized I couldn’t just pick one (ok, ok… I didn’t really want to just pick one). I ended up buying and devouring both!

This was the first time I’d ever had a Key Lime muffin. The muffin was layered with the flavors you would find in a great Key Lime pie. The light glaze on top gave my breakfast just the right amount of sweetness and the lime flavor throughout was tart. The combination was incredible!



The doughnut I ordered was not new to me. I often stop in for some Buttercelli’s doughnuts on my way to work. The doughnuts at Buttercelli’s are cake-like and delicious. They come in a variety of flavors. Today I chose a caramel glazed doughnut, however, I’ve tried everything from vanilla and chocolate to maple-bacon! These doughnuts are consistently bring a smile to my face.

I have found after countless visit’s to Buttercelli’s that you can’t go wrong with any of their baked goods. if you are in the Los Angeles area be sure to check out Buttercell’s Organic Bakeshop. Oh! and be sure to request a rewards card. You can earn money back for future purchases, you’ll want to snag a rewards card on your first visit because youll be back for more!