The Green Boheme on Urbanspoon

Whenever I invited one of my omnivore foodie friends to go and try out raw food at The Green Boheme, I'd get a funny face and a "No, thanks." But I have a curiosity to try most food (except insects) and so I had been wanting to try The Green Boheme since it opened a few years ago. Now I don't have a fear of dining alone, but this was going to be a new experience, the kind you want to share with a companion.

Then last month I had been talking with Fox 40's Bethany Crouch. She had been doing Green Boheme's 30 Day Raw Challenge and was loving it. Last month she had set up a vegan/raw meal at The Plum Cafe and this month she set up a raw dinner at Green Boheme. Here was my perfect opportunity.

I knew the place was on Del Paso Boulevard, but had never seen it. No wonder. You can blink and totally miss it. There are no large signs and the neighbors aren't exactly shady, but not something to catch your eye either. The place was filling up and was eventually completely full - sold out. 

The server immediately approached me with a shot glass of green juice. Made mostly of leafy greans and packed full of nutrients, the green juice is an essential component of a raw food lifestyle. This one was bright green and quite palatable. Sometimes I have mostly leafy green juices and they are on the bitter side. 

In the corner was my friend, Joey, who is the owner of Kombucha Kulture. You'll often see him with his converted horse trailer that now serves as a kombucha bar with about nine varieties on tap. Another part of his business is going around to bars, coffee shops, and eateries and installing them with draft kombucha dispensers, just like beer. I got a glass of my current favorite flavor they are distributing: grapefruit sage. 

We sat down for the first two dishes while owner Brooke Preston told her story, a very interesting one. Brooke had been training for body-building and consuming a very high protein diet while doing so. Soon she developed a thyroid condition and other health issues and instead of turning to medications, she went totally into a raw food diet to clean out and restart her body. She went whole hog into it and when I asked her how long it took before the light bulb "I'm never turning back" light went on, she said, "two weeks and I was sold". 

In May of 2012 I posed the question, "Where are the Ethnic Food Trucks?". Almost a year later, I'm here to tell you they are in Stockton. 

Laab from Green Papaya

I still lament on a weekly basis the serious lack of ethnic diversity in the Sacramento food truck scene. We have an abundance of burgers, sandwiches, pizza, and tacos. But where are the Thai, crepes, piroshkis, Filipino, Caribbean, pasta, African, and other ethnically diverse foods? 

Food Truck Frenzy in Stockon
Thank goodness Om Karmabile rejoins the streets this week. Their beautiful newly wrapped truck will come out with more Indian fusion. And there is an Asian truck about two months out as well. (I know every detail but am not at liberty to share. Sorry.) Sometime this summer we will hopefully get to see the new Mikuni sushi truck and Rudy's Hideaway's seafood themed truck.  But for now, the ethnic trucks are a bit of a drive south to Stockton.

The following four trucks are the newest to hit Stockton and San Joaquin county streets. Let me introduce you to Green Papaya, Spicy Grill, The Mamas and the Tapas, and Wok n Roll

Well, I didn't win. But I'm still really proud of my effort. Especially when you know that recipe development is not my forte. I had entered Scharffenberger Chocolate's yearly Chocolate Adventure contest. The 2012 theme had been Cookie Sandwiches. 

Another fact about me is that I don't care for fruit and chocolate. I'm a nuts and chews girl. So don't give me chocolate covered cherries or a chocolate cake that has raspberry jam in the center. Yuck. Yet last year I learned that having a bit of fruit, chopped up, can really add nice texture to cookies. Thank you, Yigit Pura. 

And I do like a good panforte. Panforte means "strong bread" in Italian.  But it's more dessert than bread. The best description is that it is an Italian fruit cake, although it is really closer to a candy than a baked good. It's so rich that you only eat a sliver at a time. Like all those jokes about fruit cakes lasting for years, panforte will last a long time. It was because of this that it was often carried by travelers in the Middle Ages. You can store it in a cupboard, no need to refrigerate, for weeks.

photo via
How close were you to your grandparents? There are those that have none (deceased), or don't have good relationships with them, or are too far away. Some are lucky, like my BFF, because they have a very close relationship with a grandparent. And hard as it is to believe, there are actually people my age (late 40s) that are already becoming grandparents themselves!

I only got to know one grandparent from each side of my family. On my dad's side, my grandfather died when I was about five. I saw my grandmother every once in a while til her death at the age of 98. She was trying so hard to make it to 100 because apparently you get a birthday card from the Queen - she was British. 

On my mom's side, her mother died when she was a child and so I only knew my grandfather. In the Philippines grandfather is "Lolo" and grandmother would have been "Lola". I infrequently saw Lolo since he was in the Philippines and I only got to see him when we traveled through. That means I have only a handful of Lolo memories. 

I have a few key memories, but one that was often repeated was going for ice cream at a Magnolia ice cream store. We would usually get banana splits so that my brother and I could share. My brother would eat the chocolate sauce mound and I would eat the strawberry. Pineapple was where we split the boat. 

Back then I wasn't into eating exotic flavors, even though in the Philippines they are popular. Not surprisingly they have mango, coconut, pineapple, lychee, avocado, and ube (taro). 
Ube is the same as taro

I happened upon the Magnolia ice cream booth at the Fancy Food Show in January and happily tasted all those wonderful tropical flavors. I was taken aback when I saw that they also had ice cream bars and one was of halo-halo. Halo-halo is usually a parfait like dessert of shaved ice, coconut milk, and then add-ins such as beans, tapioca pearls, fruit, and more. Magnolia has managed to make a frozen treat bar out of it! It's also available as an ice cream pint.

I was thrilled when a few weeks later I found an ice chest on my porch filled with Magnolia products. They gave me one of almost every flavor pint and bar! Jackpot! My freezer was filled with tropical frozen favorites!

I love that the coconut ice cream has real coconut milk and pieces of coconut in it. Avocado ice cream is hard to find, yet Magnolia has it.

Magnolia ice cream is distributed by Ramar Foods.  Ramar Foods has been manufacturing Magnolia in California since 1972 and distributes throughout the US and Canada. It's a family business that has grown over three generations to become the brand it is known for today. Magnolia can be found in some Asian grocery stores and Whole Foods Markets. In Sacramento, the biggest Filipino grocery is Seafood City on Mack Road.

This week I've been thinking a lot about the TV show Seinfeld - the show about nothing. Yes, it became famous for the concept that it was really about...nothing.

The reason it has been in my thoughts is that I'm wondering how one writes a blog post about nothing. Since I found out that Doughbot Donuts was going to be competing on a doughnut cooking show, I was determined to write about the whole thing. The problem is the giant gag order from Food Network Canada. I can't ask questions about the show, post the audition tape, even get pictures from their appearance on the show. And we aren't even able to view the show! It's locked for viewing to Canada only and is not even going to be available for online streaming. Doughbot's Bryan Widener has been very tight-lipped as such competition shows have strict confidentiality agreements. Should any information leak out pre-airing, they would forfeit the $10,000 prize. Part of all the secrecy probably has to do with the possibility that the show will eventually air on the U.S. Food Network. So we will do the best we can today, follow the Twitter feed (#donutshowdown) tonight, and then tomorrow you can catch a follow-up post with more details and whether they won or not on
For the rest of this post I'll be using "donut" instead of "doughnut" in keeping with the show.

Doughbot Donuts opened in September of 2011 (Doughbot Donuts Debuts). Bryan Widener and Dannah O'Donnell had been making donuts for friends and family for some time before opening the shop at 10th & W.  Widener has perfected raised donuts, both vegan and regular, with creative glazes and fillings using seasonal ingredients. You might find blood orange for another week or so, but Meyer lemons are now gone because the season is over. You can enjoy a creme brulee donut filled with custard inside and a bruleed crusty glaze on top. Or how about a S'mores donut with homemade marshmallows that are torched to order?

Hanks Hens & All Things Good
As a person with a brown thumb and an ignorance of plants in general, the idea of homesteading is something that is way beyond me. Homesteading equals self sufficiency and that means growing and raising most of your own food. I certainly appreciate the premise, but am I built for that kind of life? Not very likely.

Someone who was bred for it is Susan Hanks. She and her husband, Paul, own Hanks Hens & All Things Good, a homesteading operation in Rio Linda. Susan says that she grew up with farming in her blood, which definitely was influenced by the fact that her family owned a feed mill operation near Petaluma. 

I met the Hanks when I went to an event at Feeding Crane Farm's Lulu Kitchen. She has developed a relationship with Feeding Crane that has greatly helped her own operation. Feeding Crane has helped connect her to local restaurants, such as Mama Kim's and Masullo Pizza, so that she can sell her eggs and herbs. You will also find Hanks Hens at a couple of farmers markets, including the one on 15th & Q on Tuesdays (starting May 6).

discussing manure
Susan is hosting a "farm tour" for some apprentices from Soil Born Farms' Grow Your Groceries classes. Adults can choose from a selection of classes and farm tours under the categories of either Urban Farmer or Home Gardener. There are about eight who have come to learn about turning smaller properties into homesteads or income producing properties.

Hanks Hens is located on just two acres that the Hanks bought as a foreclosure property. Susan explains that they are lucky to not be on hardpan and are, in fact, blessed with really great soil. As we walk the property our footprints actually sink down with each step, indicating lots of looseness and good drainage. It will be easy for the plant roots to grow.