Saturday, August 31, 2019

Steeped Coffee Review

I am not a coffee drinker, except for that new Nitro cold brew from Starbucks, that stuff is pretty tasty. I love tea however, but then you probably already knew that. I love the act of steeping a tea bag in boiling water and watching the water take color and smelling the fragrance and then of course sipping the beverage out of a nice big  mug. I always wondered why coffee wasn't available in bags like tea, where coffee lovers could also enjoy the act of steeping their favorite beverage. Then I learned about Steeped Coffee and knew I had to share the experience with my coffee loving husband. 

Steeped Coffee is a specialty coffee company that offers single serve coffee bags that you steep just like tea!Making it easy to have a cup of coffee anywhere in just minutes. The single serve coffee bags are filled with 100% specialty crafted quality coffee that is fresh. Every bag is nitro-sealed inside compostable packing making it eco-friendly as well. 

Steeped coffee comes in five different blends from light roast to decaf. I was sent a box filled with a California Blend medium roast and Eventide decaf.  I was so excited to give these to Chris to try because first he loves coffee and second I thought he would totally dig the convenience of them. I received these while our kitchen was being renovated, it was a total mess. My mom had just given us an electric kettle for boiling water and it was like the coffee gods were smiling down on us. 

You simply boil your water, pour it into your favorite mug, place the coffee bag inside and let it steep. My husband loved these! He thought the coffee itself was pretty tasty and he finished the California Blend pretty quick. Chris is a bit of a coffee snob and he definitely does not drink decaf however he drank these because it was so easy too! He was pretty bummed when his box of Steeped Coffee was all gone however, I decided that these would be a great purchase for him. He works a rotation in Alaska and it isn't always easy for him to get a good cup of coffee. Also, at $15 for a box of 10 bags that makes each cup only $1.50. Quite the bargain when he is used to spending up to $5.00 for a cup of coffee at the local coffee shop. 

Check out Steeped Coffee, they even offer a subscription for all you coffee lovers out there. 

The featured product{s} in this post were provided to me free of charge by the manufacturer or PR company representing them. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and not influenced in any way by  anyone.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Bokksu Subscription Box Review

This post is a bit overdue but back in September my sister gifted me with a three month subscription to Bokksu for my birthday. What is Bokksu? It is a subscription box (I love subscription boxes, who doesn't love getting things in the mail?!) from Japan (my dream vacation spot) filled with Japanese snacks (I love all things Japanese and snacks!). They have two different subscription boxes a large Classic box and a Tasting  box. I received the tasting box. Bokksu's Tasting box is filled with 10-14 Japanese snacks and candies as well as a tea pairing all curated around a theme. The first box I received that I am sharing with you today was the Kyushu Kitchen box. Kyushu is the third largest island in Japan and this box was filled with items inspired and containing popular ingredients found in Kyushu.

The items in the tasting box were individual/sample sized items which in my opinion is a good thing. It is a great way to try new things without committing to a full size box if it's something you do not like. If you do find something you like in the box, Bokksu has an online market where you can purchase more of the item. Here are some a few of the things I enjoyed coming out of this box.

This Romance Sandwich is a cake-like biscuit flavored with honey and baked with sugar pearls on top. It also has a thin layer of sugar paste inside. These are commonly given as a omiyage or souvenir. This was tasty!

This Strawberry Kirara is a strawberry flavored cookie sandwich filled with strawberry cream. It also contains bits of freeze dried strawberries in it. Amaou or strawberries are known in Japan as the "king of sweet" and are highly valued throughout Japan. Yum!

These Mantai Curry Karinto are a traditional fried dough snack popular throughout Japan. They remind me of fried chow mein noodles. These are coated with a sweet mentai curry flavored sauce. Mentaiko is a spicy cod roe and gives this snack the perfect amount of spice to sweet. They are kinda addictive.

Kakinotane is a popular snack mix of peanuts and crescent shaped senbei or rice crackers. Typically enjoyed with beer. The yuzu pepper in this kakinotane gives a hint of spice and a tinge of citrus.

This Saga Brown Sugar Marubouro is a combination cake/cookie. It has a 300 year long history in Japan and since it is pretty good I can see why.

These Uni Rice Crackers are seasoned with uni or sea urchin and soy sauce. They are salty and not overly fishy. The crackers are also made in this oblong shape to reassemble a sea urchin.

I also love that each box comes with a different variety of tea that is supposed to compliment the treats in the box. The particular tea that was inside the box was Okurishima yea. Using the finest Sencha leaves in Kirishima, this tea has subtle sweet notes while being full bodied.

Since Bokksu is shipped directly from Japan we did have a couple of snags with shipping, however at one point I received an extra box then what was paid for and Bokksu allowed me to keep it at no charge. If you are interested in sampling some Japanese edibles take a look at Bokksu  and their subscription options. Tanoshi!

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Akemashite omedetou

Happy 2019! We said goodbye to 2018 with a little Japanese celebration. Looking forward to another great year. Stay tuned....

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Restaurant Review: Sushi Love Boat Kaisen

We tried another sushi place in Temecula the other day. I have seen Sushi Love Boat Kaisen pretty much every day for the last year since it is located on the main highway home. We finally decided to stop in and give it a go. First I just want to say the service was spectacular during our visit. We were seated promptly and given a bowl of edamame on the house to enjoy while we perused the menu. After placing our order the waitress brought over two spicy crab salad hand rolls complimentary from the sushi chef. I don't know if this is typical for this restaurant but in any event it was a pleasant surprise. I did not get a picture of the temaki as we quickly gobbled them up. Yummy! Our order followed shortly after. 

First some Ikura because Penelope always orders this at any sushi restaurant we go to. Next I ordered this Salmon Skin Temaki.

I love salmon skin, especially when it is fried to a crisp as this was. It had a semi sweet glaze on it and the roll was stuffed, no skimpy rolls here. Delicious!

The Dragon Roll, a mixture of crab meat, avocado and cucumber and then topped with a whole piece of fresh water eel, was really good.

The Chef Special Roll, tempura shrimp, crab meat, avocado, cucumber and radish sprout topped with spicy tuna. This was also really good, the spicy tuna had the right amount of spice and each maki piece was loaded but did not fall apart when picked up. The itamae here knows how to roll some sushi. I also thought the sushi was the perfect temperature, cold but not too cold and everything tasted fresh. They offered us complimentary oranges after our meal which we declined because we were full but as we saw them being carried out to another table Penelope was disappointed that she had not said yes. It was an orange halved and topped with whip cream but the presentation made it appear like it was more. She did however accept the large individual Poky stick that was given to her upon us leaving. We will definitely be coming back!

Sushi Love Boat Kaisen
33215 Temecula Parkway #E
Temecula, CA 92592

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Restaurant Review: The Bridge on Third

A couple of weeks ago we visited The Bridge on Third in Old Town Temecula. I had been wanting to visit this "modern English pub" since it opened up about a year ago. We finally stopped in on a Sunday evening. The outside patio was pretty busy and there was a live band playing cover songs. The inside of the pub was somewhat empty and had a nice laid back atmosphere. They have a decent selection of both British and non, beers as well as a full bar. The menu is uncomplicated and offers traditional British fare along with some extras.

We decided to start off our meal with Parkers' Pretzel Balls. These warm rounds of soft, buttery, salty dough are served alongside some Newcastle Brown Ale Cheese Sauce and a Sculpin Mustard. The cheese was meh, but the mustard is the bees knees. This stuff is sooo good and I am usually not one who raves over mustard's of any kind. I am getting hungry thinking about dunking these pretzel balls in this mustard. You must order this on your visit.

Chris decided to order the Steak and Mushroom Pie for his entree. The crust on this pie is flaky and buttery while the inside is filled with steak, mushrooms, potatoes, peas and carrots swimming in a Guiness gravy. You also get a ladle of gravy on the side as well as a salad. We both thought the pieces of steak inside the pie were a bit chewy. I was not a huge fan of the gravy either, however Chris thought it was pretty tasty.

I decided to order the King Fish and Chips which comes with a side of mushy peas and tartar sauce, ketchup and malt vinegar for dipping. I thought their ketchup was pretty tasty. Different than your typical red ketchup,maybe a British ketchup? The tartar sauce was nice and dill-y and not sweet. If there is one thing I can not stand it is sweet tartar sauce. I was pretty excited about trying the mushy peas because several years ago when Chris was in England he mentioned trying them. He thought they were pretty bad however these mushy peas were quite tasty. He said they were different than the ones he has tasted in England, maybe he just had a bad batch over there. You get 2 pieces of fish on top of a heaping of "proper"chips. One baby piece of cod and one daddy piece. The batter is crispy and has good flavor. The inside of the fish is flaky and cooked perfectly. The chips on the other hand tasted a little stale and needed some salt. There was none on the table and I didn't feel right asking for some.

I thought this place was pretty good but not the first place I would pick to go back to. I take that back, I need some more of those pretzel balls and mustard. I am also curious about the Edna's Shepherds Pie and Bangers and Mash, so who knows...

The Bridge on Third
41915 Third St.
Temecula, CA 92590

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Restaurant Review: Rakitori Japanese Pub & Grill

After a failed attempt at visiting Kura, a revolving sushi place, we ended up at Rakitori Japanese Pub & Grill for my birthday lunch last month. It was a Saturday around 1pm and the place was empty. However I loved the dark interior and I imagine that it is much more lively in the evenings, at least that's what I was told.

Rakitori is a Japanese restaurant in the heart of Hillcrest in San Diego. They have a variety of items on the menu from appetizers, yakitori, ramen, sushi & sashimi and rice bowls. We started off with some appetizers to share.

The Spicy Garlic Butter Shishito Peppers were tasty and addictive, as shishito peppers are. The Oysters were delicious and topped with tobiko. The Bao Bao Buns featuring barbecue pork and a kimchi slaw were not my favorite. I am not a fan of kimchi but I ordered these because I am a fan of pork. Unfortunately I thought the slaw took away from the flavor of the pork.

I wanted to try something from their large yakitori selection so I ordered the Pork Belly, because like I said I am a fan of pork. The dollop of ume paste was delicious, I swear I can eat this stuff by the spoonful. The pork belly had a nice char and was crispy on the outside with the inside melting like pork butter in your mouth. Pork belly, I love you.

We ordered two sushi rolls to try. The first one is the Rock Star Roll. We had to try this because it contains pop rocks. No really, pop rocks in sushi. A Philadelphia roll topped with a parlsey garlic crunch and pop rocks. This was tasty and literally explodes in your mouth. This roll will make you happy and I now have a list of recipes I need to incorporate pop rocks into. The second roll the What the Hell Roll I ordered this because it promised to be spicy and it was. A spicy tuna roll topped with Albacore, avocado, ponzu sauce and chili oil. Yes, the radish is glowing.

My mom and sister both tried one of their Rakitori combos. Your choice of ramen and a side. They both had the Spicy Tonkatsu Ramen one with a spicy tuna roll and the other with three yakitori. I tried some of the ramen and thought it was just okay. I prefer the ramen over at Rakiraki Ramen.

All in all I enjoyed my birthday lunch, thanks sis.

Rakitori Japanese Pub & Grill
530 University Ave
San Diego, CA  92103