Tiramisu Thoughts

Tiramisu Thoughts

I left my house Sunday morning around 7:30am, waking up to a light fog cast around my neighborhood. I only needed to put in 8 miles that day. The running miracle that is ‘tapering’…

I ran a route close to home solo, since many of my teammates are undergrads that went home for spring break. I took it as an opportunity to run AT home, and eat here after the run as well.

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Urth Caffe – Santa Monica

I finished my run on Main St., pretty much at the steps of Urth Caffe. It had been a few years now since I’ve been to one…the visits I paid the WeHo and DTLA locations were when I was a fresh Los Angeleno craving weekend foodie adventures and soaking in as much of the city as possible.

Two and half years later, I walk into this Urth Caffe with a straighter posture and resting LA face (much like a another “resting face” people are more familiar with…). I get in line, knowing that crowds are expected even at 9am on a Sunday, barely giving the menu a glance since I already know what I’m going to get—a Spanish Latte with soymilk and an Earl Grey Tiramisu.

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Feeling like a latte…

I take my honey-glazed, sweet-filled pastry over to a counter seat by the window. I dig in with a fork, and people-watch as I think about a number of things. The fact that I walked into this place on a whim…it wasn’t planned. I felt like having something sweet paired with something warm, Urth was nearby, so I just went.

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Views.

Even two and a half years ago, I would have been riddled with panic if my food plans had to change. Any and all visits were planned, and excuses were made if anything tried to “destroy” those plans.

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Hello, gorgeous.

But now, I was digging into this tiramisu with enjoyment. The calorie counter was still ticking in my head, but the number didn’t phase me as much as it used to. I got this tiramisu not because of its number, but because I was craving it as my post-run treat.

When my latte arrived, I held the mug in both hands, took a sip, and was immediately transported to Barcelona.

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Something warm.

A young woman sitting next to me looking over sheet music asked how I was doing with a huge smile, which at first took me by surprise, but then I gave a her a huge smile back. There was no need to hold on to my “resting LA face”. Happiness starts with YOU, and welcoming every smile or greeting bestowed upon you by others only helps to grow and sustain that happiness.

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“I may not be in Barcelona, but I’m going to pretend I was there yesterday morning since this Spanish Latte certainly made me feel like I was”

I left Urth Caffe feeling refreshed and fulfilled with my self-care time and reflections. I have so much to be thankful for, and so much to look forward to. I used to fear the unknown, rather than look at it with anticipation.

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Slice of decadence…

I could sit back, and worry about not hitting my goal to run under 4 hours at the marathon this weekend. I could ruminate over whether or not I can sustain the relationships I am cultivating now in the future. I could be anxious about reaching my academic and career goals…but I’m coming to the realization that letting those thoughts take up brain space leads to wasted time…

I’d rather be using that time laughing with E in lab over a coffee break, smiling to myself when I reread funny text conversations between my sister and I, and taking pride in my daily running achievements (whether that be a new fast pace or just getting out to run despite not having the motivation).

Honestly, life is just too short…get that piping hot Spanish latte, demolish that decadent tiramisu, and take pride in knowing that life is yours for the taking.

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“Run 8 miles, replenish with an Earl Grey Tiramisu”…and enjoy life.

Urth Caffé Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Matcha Cha Cha

Matcha Cha Cha

Disclaimer: I was not provided compensation except for product samples for review by Tenzo Tea, and all opinions are my own.

There was once a time I used to be OBSESSED with matcha green tea. When I was in undergrad, the only drink I would get at Starbucks would be a matcha green tea latte. There was something about that earthy green color, combined with a milky tea taste and warm froth that was just so comforting. I must add however that this was all before I developed a liking for coffee. I actually had my first cup of black coffee during grad school interviews and (with two packets of sweetener) it didn’t taste as bitter as I’d imagined.

I bring up coffee because it sort of got in the way when it came to my drink choices for some time. There was a whole world of coffee and coffee drinks that I was eager to try, that I left green tea and tea drinks to the side.

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But the reach of green tea has expanded a lot since then. Now there are matcha shops in LA and probably other major cities. Matcha green tea is staking its claim, and companies like Tenzo Tea are aiding the effort.

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I was able to sample and review a variety box last month, featuring a number of flavors. All of the packs have matcha green tea powder, but some are even flavored. In my box, I had Premium, Latte, Raspberry, Blueberry, Blend, and Organic flavor packs.

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On the back, it gives simple instructions on how to use the packs to make a hot cup of tea. I had to go to lab the weekend before leaving to Tulsa. As a pick-me-up of sorts, I mixed a Blueberry pack with some hot water, and put it in a ceramic thermos my friend gave me for my birthday.

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To be honest, I was expecting a blue powder and a blueberry flavor to totally overwhelm any hint of green tea, but the powder was pure green, and one would not suspect any added blueberry. Unfortunately, I didn’t taste any blueberry either.

I brought some packets with me to incorporate in meals when I was on vacation. All of them happened to be breakfast meals too!

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I had some mixed with some waffle mix, and as a result, had waffles with a green hue. I think an extra packet of matcha would have made this waffle as green as grass.

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I already knew protein powder mixes so well with yogurt, but what about matcha? To answer that question, I mixed the blend with key lime Chobani. Topped with some Krave cereal, it made for a delicious morning treat.

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Then there was oatmeal. The latte blend (one packet) made this bowl beautifully green. I added it in after cooking the oats in some milk. I also topped it with some craisins.

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I gifted some of the duplicates I got to family friends, and they were definitely intrigued. They are tea drinkers, so I’m sure they’ll enjoy these Tenzo tea packets as much as I did!

Are you a tea or coffee drinker? Or both?

Her 21st

Her 21st

Last weekend’s events were spectacular. I am so grateful for being able to visit my sister on a milestone occasion—her 21st birthday!

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Slice of chocolate birthday cake. Can’t pass up a slice in celebration!

I wanted to maximize the time I spent with her so much that I took a night MegaBus so that I could get to Oakland by 7am that Friday morning. From there, one of our besties who also didn’t want to miss out picked me up, and after getting coffee we drove 3 hours to Fresno!

My sister couldn’t contain her excitement when she knew we were close. She skipped class (haha) so that we could all have lunch together at Taqueria Don Pepe.

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Taqueria Don Pepe

It was incredibly hot outside (pushing 100s!!) but they had a small, shaded patio where we could sit down and enjoy our lunch. My sister and I both got vegetarian tortes while our friend got enchiladas (despite talking nonstop about her taco craving for the 3 hours I drove with her, lol).

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Pickle bar, small interior

The torta was made with a soft but toasted hoagie roll and filled with refried beans, good ol’ avocado, tomato slices, onion, and shredded cheese. My friend seemed to like her enchiladas, but she actually got bored mid-plate and started talking about splitting fries with my sister from Dog House Grill next door!

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Veg torta anyone?

We went shopping for a bit afterwards at Target, and then came back to my sister’a dorm for some rest before heading out to dinner.

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Everythannnng in here

My sis and friend spent forever doing their makeup, and opened a bottle of wine to drink before we left. I was “designated mommy” since I don’t drink, so I let my sis enjoy her new-found freedom with alcohol. She’s actually probably the smartest person I know when it comes to drinking safety…she did her research and did not go crazy at all. She told me she stayed hydrated and drank only after eating something substantial the night she had her first drink, on her actual birthday. Obviously I’m bragging now because I’m such a proud older sis.

After they had their fun, I drove us all to The Cheesecake Factory because my sister had a giftcard she wanted to use, and because I had never been to TCH!!

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The Cheesecake Factory on a Friday…so busy!!

We had to wait about 45 minutes before we could get a table, and when we were taken to our seats we came across a server who was scrambling to set up our table. It was the most awkward thing ever, as it looked like he was literally playing musical chairs with silverware. We stood there in polite silence, but were all actually thinking what the…

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Sis and friend’s drinks…I helped myself to chips and guac.

We ordered A TON, and I ended up reprimanding both ladies for it afterwards because we needed up taking four boxes home. We devoured a whole bread basket, shared chips and guacamole, and my sis and friend ordered huge plates of burgers with sides. My sis got a side salad that she didn’t even touch because she got the kale salad appetizer. I tried the mozzarella flatbread, and while it was crisp and creamy from the cheese, it was not the most stellar thing to cross paths with my tastebuds.

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A sub-par flatbread pizza

After dinner, we walked through the mall for a bit and then drove back. We finished the night with the Bratz movie (just to make fun of it, and it was unsurprisingly the only thing we could all agree upon) and I was the first one to fall asleep.

I woke up the next morning to squeeze in a 6 miler, but as soon as the ladies woke up, we for ourselves ready for an eggy brunch—Fresno style!

Do you drink?

What was your first alcoholic drink ?

Taqueria Don Pepe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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