La Croix

Reliable. That’s what I’ve come to know it as.

It started with a text, I suppose, the day I wrote a piece about moving on from soda and trying to cut back on Monster. A few hours after it published I saw, while scrolling through Facebook, that yet another of my friends was going to try Whole 30. What I knew of it was limited, all I knew was that it wasn’t food specific, just food-type specific. You can eat these and those, but none of these or those etc.

So I figured I’d look into it the best way I know how: ask someone who’s done it. Nick, who I co-host the Poppin’ Bottles Dad-Cast with, has done it a few times now with his wife Sarah. We’d talked about it a couple of times on the podcast and the types of results he was getting as far as overall weight loss, etc. So I shoot off a text…

“Ok…so…tell me about this whole 30 thing. What food is allowed basically.”

The response text started with “Hoooooooo boy” and we went from there.

Through all the details, there was one thing I was looking for: a substitute for soda. With the program you can drink black coffee (which I already partake in) and water for sure. But I needed something else. That’s when he mentioned La Croix.

Apparently not only a popular soda replacement with people my age group, but also the only flavored drink approved by most dietitians at doctors. It’s sparkling water with a hint of flavoring to it.

The tendency I have of course is, when I start something, I go hard.

The next day I found myself in costco with a 24 pack with cans of the Lime, Lemon, and Grapefruit flavors.

It’s basically all I’ve been drinking since then.

So now I’m 10 days into no soda at all, and in 10 days I’ve only had 2 Monsters. Definitely a step up, but…..in 10 days with no soda and little Monster, drinking mostly La Croix and green tea, as well as intermittent fasting…..I lost 10 pounds this week.

I guess they really were telling the truth when they said “you are what you eat”.

-BK

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Adventures in Macarons

I love baking during the holidays. It’s just one of my things. Chocolate chip cookies are my go to but I can never turn down a good Pumpkin Pie, my Mom’s “World Famous” Brownies, or my Dad’s Icebox Cake.

But this year I’m hit pretty hard by the “Baking Bug” so I decided to try something thats been on my “Hey you should try this” list for some time now.

French Macarons.

Those tiny, pretty, colorful, sweet little sandwiches of yummy are a two delicate cookies with some sort of cream/icing in the middle. When done correctly, they can be amazing. However….if not prepared correctly, or baked to long or too short, they can be a disaster.

My first attempt was just that.

After finding a basic recipe on AllRecipes.com, I realized 3/4 of the way through that something wasn’t right. As instructed, I purchased almonds and ground them into as fine a powder as I could with the food processor I have available. No good. Not fine enough. It wasn’t until a realization that my egg/sugar/Almond/confectioners sugar mix wasn’t thick enough, a bit of research (and a more reliable YouTube video) that a solution was presented: Almond Flour.

Attempt #2: Success. Well…..kinda. The egg mixture was still coming out pretty thin despite using the directed measurements. So I tried using more sugar to thicken it out, figuring I’ll take the risk on it being too sweet.

Lo and behold….the right texture, the right baking time, and MEGA SWEET French Macarons. I also discovered that I’m not at all a piping bag type of guy. My best result as far as uniform shape came in the form of a large spoon, dolloping the batter and twisting the spoon.

Conclusion: One of these days I’ll make some killer French Macarons. Once I hone in on the recipe, remembering to leave the eggs out till they are room temp before mixing, and a few other tweaks.

Till then,

-BK

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Hot & Fresh Out The Kitchen: Basic Salmon

I love cooking, it's just one of my things. Actually it's a family thing. I grew up learning about it from my parents and my brother Ash (who went to culinary school) as well as spending plenty of time professionally in kitchens as well.

So I figure, as I enter into a new evolution of the blog, I'll start sharing some of my favorite recipes. Hope you enjoy this one and be sure to check out the cooking podcast with me and my Dad called "Dads In The Kitchen"!

**Please handle raw fish as cleanly as possible, keeping tools, hands, and work surfaces as clean as possible!!! Also be sure to cook it thoroughly as to avoid getting sick!!!!**

Basic Salmon

For some reason people like to add a lot of salt to their Salmon. While I do indeed add salt, you'll find I use considerably less since Salmon is already a flavorful fish! This is as basic as it gets! I get farm raised Salmon from COSTCO, and most of my seasonings come from a farmers market not far from home.

What You'll Need

  • Powdered Garlic
  • Himalayan Pink Salt
  • Your favorite Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Fresh Salmon of your choice, I usually get it in "full-side" servings, prep on Sunday's then stretch it out over the week.
  • Baking dish big enough to hold your fish
  • Foil

Prep

  • Line your baking dish with foil
  • Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees
  • Evenly coat fish with olive oil, making a thin layer across the fish
  • Evenly coat fish with garlic powder and a THIN layer of Pink Salt
  • Bake at 425 degrees for 25-30 minutes

And that's it! I know…very basic, keeping the flavor of the fish alive while giving it a little extra something!

Thanks for reading, and hope you enjoy!

-Ben

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