Fresh Fruit Ice Pops

Fresh Fruit Ice Pops

Darling Sister,

I had a lot of fun making these ice pops with you! The fruit from the farmers market was affordable and tasty, and I enjoyed trying all the samples.

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Kale, ginger, watermelon, cucumber, carrots, cantaloupe, apple, blackberries, strawberries, mint and coconut water.

Your juicer worked perfectly at separating out the pulp. My juicer is a hassle to clean out, because you have to take it all apart when it gets full.

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The mint was juiced, stems and all.

The first flavor was melon, cucumber, mint. The tiny cantaloupe from the market was really flavorful, but when paired with cucumber it needed something more. Mint was the missing ingredient.

Next we sealed the plastic into long skinny pouches and filled with a silicone funnel. Remember that we had to leave two inches at the top empty to be able to insert back into the sealing machine to finish.

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Don’t tilt it like I did and spill juice all inside the sealing machine!

The other flavors we tested out were:

carrot, apple, ginger (spicy)
kale, strawberry, ginger (spicy)
strawberry, cucumber, honey
watermelon, ginger (spicy)
blackberry, cantaloupe

A little bit of ginger goes a long way, and can quickly overpower the other flavors. Mix carefully before really going for it. “One” coconut water works great to fill in some flavor, and I find that brand has the most coconut flavor out of all of them.

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The final product!

Freeze and enjoy whenever! I read that frozen juices can last up to 3 months in the freezer before losing their nutrients. I am no scientist, but these taste great no matter what.

Chinatown Lunch

Chinatown Lunch

My Darling Sister,

I thought I would share my lunchtime walk with you today. We started out towards a geocache located in Chinatown. We walked two blocks to Kearny and agreed we were both starving – I spotted the House of Nanking. I hadn’t been there since college (1999) and it has changed since then.

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I ordered the wonton soup, expecting the tradition clear broth. This was the BEST I have ever had! Coconut milk as the base, with slices of lemon and fresh basil leaves and stems. They had fresh pork wontons in there, and crispy rice with a splash of hot oil. No more crazy lines to get in, and cramped seats – it is more open and there was no wait. Food came out right away!

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So tasty!

Next we headed up Washington to our geocache. It was located in an alley that has a fortune cookie factory you can view for free! So of course we did.

Interesting sign.

Interesting sign.

Fortune Cookie Factory

Fortune cookie making! We payed a dollar to take photos - as the sign requested.

Fortune cookie making! We payed a dollar to take photos – as the sign requested.

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My favorite colors.

My favorite colors.

Next geocache was located near the Cable Car Museum.

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First off this museum is SO LOUD! Obviously it is still a working station driving the cables for all the cable cars to run across the city. It is also free!

Cable car waiting for its run.

Cable car waiting for its run.

Hipster cable car man.

Hipster cable car man.

You can barely make out the Mason sign in my picture, but each wheel is labeled for which cable car it runs.

There are what run the cables for the whole cable car line.

There are what run the cables for the whole cable car line.

Giant spool of cable. It is super heavy. Even a 4 inch piece of cable is heavy to hold.

Giant spool of cable. It is super heavy. Even a 4 inch piece of cable is heavy to hold.

You can purchase old street signs for $175.00. Not bad.

You can purchase old street signs for $175.00. Not bad.

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We saw this building on our walk back and decided to check it out. On our walks we have discovered hidden temples before – although this isn’t quite hidden.

The entrance.

The entrance.

FullSizeRenderI didn’t take any pictures inside, but it is altars and beautiful lanterns hanging from the ceiling. There is incense burning and old ladies sitting around folding prayer papers. Pretty cool.

Mosaic on the outside steps.

Mosaic on the outside steps.

Some cool fruits and my favorite colors.

Some cool fruits and my favorite colors.

Kumquats? Anyhoo hope you enjoyed my lunchtime walk. We got 6,800 steps in!

Edible Gold Nuggets! (you know how we love gold)

Edible Gold Nuggets! (you know how we love gold)

My Darling Sister,

I attempted a Pinterest craft…and succeeded! For a moment I lost faith, and thought this was going to a Pinterest fail. My motivation was to make cupcakes with gold nuggets for a gold panning theme.

rockcandy

I purchased black Wilton cupcake papers from Michaels. I like how ripply the edges are. Purchased two cans of Wilton edible gold spray, and blue rock candy from the checkout line. I would have purchased clear if they had it, but the choices were red, purple and blue.

lined box

I lined a vans shoe box with tin foil and parchment paper, to handle all the overspray. 

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I took a wooden spoon and broke the rock candy off the stick and into large pieces while still in plastic package. Then I poured the contents onto a tupperware lid. The spray is very liquid and pools, so I took advantage of that.

rocks

 

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The original poster added lustre dust to the rock candy while wet to add a more yellow-golden hue, but I was too lazy to drive back to Michaels.

The first coat was disappointing. Once it dried, then the second coat really stuck and restored my faith in this Pinterest project.

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It took two cans to coat three packages of rock candy.

I frosted the cupcakes with my trusty recipe for buttercream frosting:

3 cups powdered sugar
2/3 of a stick of softened butter
1  teaspoon of vanilla extract
3 teaspoons of milk (I don’t actually measure that I just add little bits at a time till I like the consistency)
a pinch of salt

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GOLD!

I pushed the gold nuggets into the frosting right after piping onto the tops of the cupcakes, because if you wait too long the frosting gets a nice crust.

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Check out my new super-sweet cupcake carrier/display stand. I couldn’t resist – it collapses down to one tier for storage! Also purchased at Michaels – wish I had one of those coupons I always allow to expire.

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We will have to think of more edible things to gild, sister!

 

Geocaching: Lunchtime Treasure Hunts!

Geocaching: Lunchtime Treasure Hunts!

Darling Sister,

Im so excited to share this app with you. Geocaching is a outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices (your phone). Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location.

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During lunchtime today, we tried our first Geocache. This was the first clue (they are in the titles of the caches) Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough. I won’t reveal how that played into finding it. The GPS alerts you when you are within 30 feet of the hidden container. We spent around fifteen minutes searching and going over the clues. If you are really stuck there are hints and photos to help you locate it.

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Our handles are MAYONAISE and THE MYSTERY PARADE

Some tell you ahead of time to bring a pen or pencil. We didn’t realize that till we discovered it, and borrowed a pen from a business-lady nearby. Log your discovery on the app, and add some words.

Fired up from our find, we headed to the next closest point on the map – general vicinity of the Exploratorium. This one was super fun because the summary offered the clues. “Through air, elevated flows, cut between, surface arrows show, by wind, chorused voices sometimes blow.”

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Score!

The Mystery Parade solved the riddle on this one. You put them back exactly where you found them (discreetly) and move on to the next.

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We stopped to try out the rickshaw obscura in front of the Exploratorium.

The third location was a bust. We could not find it, but saw that someone located it 4 days ago. We logged – stating we did not find it. Maybe you can find it! It’s on the corner of Mission and Steuart. “One to All”.

Container sizes can vary from small to large, so keep you mind open.

Tomorrow we will set out again during lunch to locate more treasure! This is a fantastic way to invigorate our lunchtime Fitbit steps. We should try it out on the weekends around Martinez, there are tons in the hills.

Have a great day!

 

 

 

Oolong Noodles

Oolong Noodles

Darling Sister,

We went for a walk today into Chinatown to find this famous custard cup bakery, that was unfortunately closed. But, on the walk back on Washington – saw this sign.

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Decided to be adventurous and give it a try. We could see this man through the window rolling out fresh noodles!

I ordered mushrooms with tofu, and added a soft boiled egg soaked in tea.

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While waiting, I made a buggey-eyed friend.

Back to the office – it was too windy out to eat on one of the rooftop gardens.

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Fresh veggies, and fresh noodles. I definitely recommend if you are in the area.

I will post again when the famous custard cup bakery is open. In the meantime – this place is called Oolong Noodles on Washington, between Kearny and Columbus.

Later!

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