When I first started writing the post I tried to explain all about resistant starch, but I got overwhelmed and concerned that I'm not being accurate in trying to translate my understanding of it. So I decided that I'd leave that research to you because there is plenty of information on resistant starch on the internet. Dr. Oz has talked about it on his show and there was a lengthy article on it in the March 2016 issue of Prevention Magazine, where I learned about it.

I'll keep my sharing of the information to some basic facts. Resistant starch is found in foods. It acts similarly to soluble fiber in that it does not get absorbed in your upper intestine (where calories are absorbed) and instead feeds your gut flora in the lower intestine and produces compounds that are good for your colon and body. It's good to add to your diet for this effect on your digestive tract, but also for people who need to watch their blood sugar levels because resistant starch doesn't spike blood sugar like regular starch does. 

Prevention Magazine says it can help you slim down by "helping the body burn more fat, better control its weight gain hormones, and curb appetite." It also "nudges the body to burn fat, not carbs, for fuel while shrinking the size of fat cells."

The stabilization of blood sugar is why some people consume and bake with resistant starch. Not only does it help maintain steady blood sugar levels without the spikes, but, like a fiber, creates satiety so that you aren't as hungry. It also reduces the amount of calories of the baked good since the resistant starch will not be absorbed in the upper intestine. All of this without changing the action or flavor of the baked good. All you need to do is swipe 1/3 of the regular flour with resistant starch flour.

There are three resistant starch flours I know of on the market. One is Tiger Nut Flour, which I used. There is also green banana flour and then there is a resistant starch flour manufactured by King Arthur Flour. For the milk, I used cashew milk, but I'm pretty confident any non dairy milk will work. Cashew milk is just low in calories and recommended for many cooking applications.

(On a side note, cashews are high in resistant starch and so I've been eating a few of them throughout the day. It does help to keep me feeling full and it may help me absorb less calories from my other foods.)

I stumbled upon a great recipe for single serving scones and now present to you this healthier version using resistant starch, vegan butter, stevia, and cashew milk. I have no way of knowing the calorie content for regular scone versus this version, but I know this one is definitely guilt free.

Below is the healthy recipe.  Keep in mind that it obviously is very successful if you go the normal route with all flour, butter, sugar, and whole milk.

Single serving scones w/ resistant starch

1/3 cup of flour (I put 2 spoonfuls of resistant starch flour and then top off with regular flour
1 t baking powder
pinch of salt
1/2 t stevia powder
1/2 t lemon zest
1 T Earth Balance  buttery spread stick
2.5 T cashew milk

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a small baking sheet or pie tin with a piece of parchment paper.
In a mini-food processor pulse all ingredients except the milk together until the flour is crumbly from the Earth Balance. Add the milk and pulse again until a moist dough is formed.
Add fruit if desired. I usually had a few frozen blueberries.
Spoon onto the piece of parchment paper.
Bake for 8-10 minutes until golden brown. 

Enjoy guilt free!
I am not a sausage loving person. I like them, but I don't love them enough to buy them regularly. Usually sausages are consumed at a friend's barbecue or something of the sort. If I do buy, it's usually kielbasa or hot links, not bratwurst.

Recently I got contacted by Man Cave Craft Meats.  I often do get pitched products and services and I say on my bio page that sometimes I'll accept things with no promise of promoting. Basically, I have to like it. So, legal stuff out of the way - disclaimer: I received product in hopes that I would review it. 

Man Cave Craft Meats is based in Minneapolis and the reason I was getting pitched out here in California was because this small producer just landed a distribution deal with Winco. So if you are a Winco shopper, listen up.

Man Cave produces a line of sausages and burger patties. Some of their products include: Jalapeno & Cheddar beef patties, Garden Peppers turkey patties, Bacon, Cheddar, Beer pork bratwurst, and Bacon, Egg, Cheddar, Hash Brown breakfast sausages. 

I was hoping for some burger patties, but initially Winco is only going to carry their sausages, and so Brandon for Man Cave shipped me out some samples. He sent me the Bacon, Cheddar, Beer bratwurst and their Buffalo Style w/ Bleu Cheese bratwurst, even though I warned him I don't like buffalo style or bleu cheese.

Buy these sausages and I'll tell you why. I came home fresh from the gym to find the shipped box on my doorstep. I knew I needed to eat some protein right away and was also in that situation of not having anything planned for dinner.  Being lazy, I opened up the bacon cheddar bratwurst and proceeded to cook it up with a side of sauteed kale. No bun. No condiments. Just a brat and kale. 

I cut myself a piece of that brat and was very pleased at what I tasted. A super juicy brat that was flavorful and oozing melted cheese! I took a closer look at the uncooked brats and sure enough, you could see little pieces of cheddar through the casing. It was mixed in with the ground pork and when you cooked it, the cheese melted so that when you pierced the brat with a knife or fork the melted cheese just oozed out. Plus there is also bacon and beer mixed in as well. I did not need anything else to enjoy this incredibly tasty brat. No bun, no condiments. 

Now I did try the buffalo style as well and while I can't say I cared for it, I can totally see how it is one of their biggest sellers. It had a unique flavor that I can see being a hit with other people, just not with me. Even though the bleu cheese flavor doesn't hit you directly, you still get the undertone of it in the mix.

So I asked Brandon some more about his company. I wanted to know about where the meat is coming from and how they make it. After all, a big reason I don't care for hot dogs is the pink slime factor where the scrapings of carcasses are used.

"We grind pork shoulder muscle- will have a slightly different texture because of the improved leanness." Brandon said.  "For the beef we use Choice Angus chuck and brisket- gives the best grind and flavor. We are very proud of the inclusions as well: real beer (not just some powder), fresh hand-chopped jalapenos (not IQF), real eggs, actual hashbrowns, custom made bacon pieces, Wisconsin cheddar, huge chunks of bleu cheese, real butter and hot sauce for the buffalo sauce." 

The meat is from Midwest farms that do not use growth hormones. "All Bacon we are making and using will specify that we didn't add any nitrates/nitrites (except for those naturally occurring in sea salt and celery powder)."

I asked about the other products and the hope is that if the sausages do well, the patties will follow. So, if you happen to be at Winco and are looking for some incredible sausages for home or to take to your next picnic or camping trip, pick up some brats from Man Cave meats. You won't be disappointed. 
For the last seven years some of America's best chefs have been traveling to famed Pebble Beach to serve up tasty bites at the Pebble Beach Food & Wine weekend.  This year Sacramento makes a great showing by sending five of our best as well. Our representation includes Oliver Ridgeway from Grange, Kelly McCown, at The Kitchen by Selland Family, Bill Ngo from Kru, and Michael Thiemann and Matt Masera from Mother and Empress

The Pebble Beach Food & Wine (PBFW) weekend is considered to be one of the top, if not THE top, food and wine gatherings in the country. Here you can see your favorite chefs from across the country and your TV screen all in one place. Some are there to do demos. Others are presenting seminars or speaking on panels. Some are just there to enjoy themselves with other top class chefs. Whatever the reason, PBFW spans four days and will have the best of the best. 

Tickets are individually sold for each event, ranging from $100 for a seminar up to $500 for a wine reserve tasting. Money goes toward charities throughout Monterey County, specifically those that deal with families and children, such as Boys & Girls Club, Voices for Children, and Make-a-Wish.

Many of the daytime events focus on wine and alcohol.  You can go to wine pairings or learn about the current revitalization of cocktails as bartenders return to classic shrubs and bitters. There are cooking demonstrations with chefs you might have seen on TV, such as Curtis Stone or maybe learn about ramen from Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto.

Our Sacramento chefs will be spread throughout the weekend. 

Bill Ngo, owner of Kru, will be busy at two events, the Pig & Anchor BBQ on Saturday and the Grand Tasting Tent on Sunday. Bill is looking forward to moving Kru later this spring to share the quarters with Selland's OBO off Alhambra Blvd. He's also got his second Fish Face opening in Carmichael.

Oliver Ridgeway, from Grange at the Citizen Hotel, will be making bites for Sunday's Grand Tasting event. 

This year Michael Thiemann and Matt Masera (Empress and Mother) are doing separate events. Thiemann is scheduled for the Pig & Anchor BBQ on Saturday and the Grand Tasting Tent on Sunday. Masera is at a Stella Artois luncheon on Friday and then meets up with Thiemann for the BBQ on Saturday.

Kelly McCown has worked at numerous restaurants throughout the West Coast, but Sacramento residents remember him from his years at Ella before he went to Napa's Goose & Gander. Now he's back at the helm at The Kitchen. I'll miss him again as he's at Thursday's Opening Night Reception and then the after hours party on Saturday.

Sommelier Joe Vaccaro, Wine Director of Selland Family Restaurants is also attending PBFW. 

Ramon Perez, from Puurchocolat.com, will also be at the Opening Night Reception and then at the Grand Tasting on Saturday. 

Michael Passmore of Passmore Ranch will surely be there as well. Like last year, he's a major contributor to the chefs, supplying fish for them to use in their dishes. 

When I heard that the owners of Aji Japanese Bistro was opening another restaurant in El Dorado Hills, I knew I had to put it on my to-do list. Especially because this concept is comfort food. Luckily I have a friend that lives up that direction and so I made a trek up the freeway.

My curiosity was further peaked last month when Milestone was mentioned on a blog I read often, The Bitchy Waiter. He's a server in NYC that blogs about the crap that servers often have to put up with from the jerk customers in this world. Turns out that someone had left Milestone a crappy review and the owner put that reviewer in their place. 

So as I sat waiting for my friend to join me, I scrolled through the Yelp reviews to find that Milestone has a rating of 4.5, as does its sister restaurant, Aji. I read a bit more so I could also see what people were recommending as dishes to order.

My friend arrived and marveled at the change in the location. Formerly an Italian restaurant, she mentioned it was dark and joked about as being the place where people having affairs came to hide in the dark. Now it was bright and open. We were at a wooden booth with pillows velcroed to the backs. I did have to pry off one pillow to add to my other one for extra padding for my back. 

We decided to start with the smoked salmon lettuce cups that were on the happy hour menu. Two large, crisp iceberg lettuce leaves were filled with smoked salmon and ricotta cream, onion smoked salmon, kohlrabi slaw. They were bright and fresh and the perfect light appetizer to have before our heavier comfort food.

A popular recommendation from diners was the roasted cauliflower with almond romesco and chimichurri sauce. My friend shared a story of how she grew up on roasted cauliflower and loved it. This one was nicely done, I only wished for more of the chimichurri sauce.

She ordered another recommended favorite, the fried chicken. She received half a chicken with a splendid herb batter that was fried to perfection. It was super crisp and the meat within was nice and moist. Nothing was left on her plate by the end of the meal.

Even though I was tempted to order the Steak Diane to compare with the bitchy customer's comments, I instead opted for the veal schnitzel served with a mustard cream sauce. We were both a bit shocked by the large, super crisp pieces that arrived with a side of crisp green beans. I'm not kidding on the crisp part. The batter shattered when cut because the fry was done so well. Only complaint, needed more of the sauce.

For dessert we were plied with comfort favorites such as fresh baked chocolate chip cookies, cheesecake, and banana cream pie. Being that it was National Banana Cream Pie day and we were missing the pie eating contest at Fat City, we opted for the pie. The crust was wonderful and flaky without being too hard to cut through, even with a chocolate layer. It was generous with loads of banana as well. We were in dissecting mode at this point and both agreed that the only fault was that the banana was cut in too large chunks. They could have been cut once more in half and still be chunky versus sliced.

All in all we had a great visit and would agree with the majority of reviewers on Yelp. A great find, good service, wonderful food. 

If you are a brunchy type of person you might have heard of Mario's Early Toast. There is one in Roseville, another in Folsom, and another soon to open in Granite Bay. Obviously they are doing well enough for expansion.

I decided to check them out this Sunday and offer you my quick, one visit review.

Arriving around noon I knew there would be a wait. There were quite a few people outside waiting, but the quote time for two was only 20-25 minutes. A wait was expected so we took a seat and luckily were seated in about 15.

Inside we found the restaurant to be quite large, with a bar and two seating areas that can handle large parties. We sat in a booth and were offered drinks, of which I asked for a hot chocolate. Mistake.

The hot chocolate here definitely tasted instant from a machine or Swiss Miss. It was definitely not hot milk mixed with a quality cocoa or chocolate syrup. I'm very picky with hot chocolate and was still remembering my excellent hot chocolate from Tower Cafe when I was so disappointed by this one. 

The menu contains both brunch and lunch items. It's definitely heavy on omelettes, benedicts, and other breakfast favorites. The lunch menu has typical burgers, sandwiches, salads, some seafood and some Mexican. 

My friend ordered the Rooster salad: grilled chicken breast, Romaine lettuce, corn, avocado, black beans, corn tortilla strips, topped with cheddar cheese, cumin & cilantro cream dressing. She was told the dressing was spicy so she ordered vinaigrette to the side. Her assessment? It's a salad.

I ordered a savory crepe, something called North of the Border? It had avocado, chorizo, onions, peppers, spices and a crema zag on top. It was like a breakfast quesadilla made with a crepe instead of a tortilla. While the filling was good, I did feel it needed hot sauce which I added. That's my taste, wanting more zing. The disappointment though, was in the country potatoes. They were undercooked so that I couldn't eat them.

If I were a star rater, I'd give them 3. The service was good, but the food was not memorable. Not enough to encourage me to come back when there are other brunch places closer to home. Keep in mind this is a one-time review for the Roseville location.