Goat Milk Ice Cream, Baobab, Pre Run Snacks and Coconut Flour: Four Favorites September

Laloo's Deep Chocolate Goat's Milk Ice Cream - Four Favorites September | Fake Food Free

 

It’s time for Four Favorites, the September edition! I say that like there have been previous editions. Well, there haven’t.

You see, I’ve come across so many cool specialty foods and ingredients over the past year. Some I buy myself, others are sent to me for review. Many have become regular staples in my kitchen, others are treats that I think you must try.

In the past, I haven’t felt comfortable sharing about some of my favorite finds because they aren’t all ingredients. Having a blog called Fake Food Free that is focused on eating fewer processed foods has pressured me for a long time to show that I make just about everything we eat.

The truth is, I don’t make everything. I used to make a lot more when we lived in Kentucky, but in the Bay Area I have access to so much. I’m finding foods that are equally, or more, natural, unrefined, delicious (whatever term you want to use) than I can even make myself.

Don’t worry. I plan to keep on cooking and making things from scratch as I have for the past several years. I value that. There are some things that I really want to share, though, because the products are great or the companies are doing great work. And sometimes you can use a good gift idea!

I love browsing favorite thing posts from other bloggers so I thought it was time I start my own. Just once a month and hopefully you’ll find something fun you haven’t tried before. … 

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A Run in the Rain and Coffee in Seattle — Closing Out IFBC

I woke up last Sunday morning with a food hangover. Have you ever had one of those? It’s not quite the same as the kind caused by alcohol, but it a good indication that you had an enjoyable dinner the night before.

Sleepy and sluggish, I had yet to engage in a workout since I got to Seattle so I made myself get up and run. It was more of a run/walk as I tried to navigate where I was going, but then something awesome happened.

It began to rain.

And I began to bound. Well, I’m sure it didn’t look like bounding to the street-side spectators. Given all the food I’d consumed in the past 48 hours it was probably a heavy shuffle, but it felt like bounding in my mind and spirit. I stopped just short of running down the middle of the street waving my arms in celebration. RAIN.

If you ask me what I miss most after moving to California, the answer is rain. I don’t miss dangerous storms, but I do miss long, gloomy days filled with pouring rain. I was thankful Seattle pulled through for me.

After closing out a great conference, I still had one more food (and drink) adventure before my flight – Storyville Coffee. I’d learned by word of mouth (more like word of Facebook) that this was a new coffee shop opening in Pike Place Market. The official opening day is October 1, but throughout September anyone can visit by emailing for a reservation.

The big surprise is that it is not just a visit. It’s an incredible friendly greeting at check in followed by an invitation to order any drink and pastry you want, all on the house. I ordered a delicious cappuccino and a salted caramel roll that was outstanding.

As I sat in their ultra-cool loft-style space with a cozy fireplace burning up front and gazed out the window at Pike Place Market below, I thought, who does this?! Free coffee? (And excellent coffee, by the way.) Free food? All month before a grand opening? Available to anyone?

Well, Storyville does and it was pretty awesome. I’m so happy I had the opportunity to go during my visit to Seattle.  I can already predict that it is going to be the best place to escape from the craziness of the market. And I mean that in the best possible way, but wow, does Pike Place get crazy with tourists.

When I finally made my way through the long, slow security line at the airport, I was greeted with one of the friendliest TSA agents I’ve encountered yet. Through overhearing his conversations with others, I learned he was from California. He looked at my license, looked back up at me and said, “Did you miss the sunshine?” I said, “No, I actually really miss the rain. I loved it here.” He smiled and said, “Me too. That’s exactly why I moved up here.”

So it turns out not everyone dislikes the weather in Seattle and as you can tell the city can certainly hold its own when it comes to amazing food.

The International Food Bloggers Conference is in Seattle again, by the way. Same weekend, but with a larger group (up to 500), they are moving it to the Westin. Registration is up now for any bloggers who might be reading this.

Disclosure: I was required to write 3 posts about my experiences at IFBC in order to receive a discounted registration fee. This is email 3 of 3. The weekend involved many free products and foods from companies and restaurants that I may or may not write about. Thoughts are my own. I am not required to write about these foods or companies and will receive no compensation for doing so. 

Kentucky Road Trip: Natural Bridge State Park and Red River Rockhouse

 
During the summer of 2012, my husband and I made it a point to visit a few places around central Kentucky that were new to us, or that we have put off year after year. One place I reviewed a few weeks ago, The Bluebird, is a wonderful restaurant serving local foods in the small town of Stanford, Kentucky.
Our next stop included food, but some activity too. Kentucky is pretty well-known in the world of rock climbing for Red River Gorge, an area located in south eastern Kentucky, only about 45 minutes from Lexington. Nearby is Natural Bridge State Park, surrounded by Daniel Boone National Forest. For those of us who aren’t rock climbers, this may be a better fit. 
Walk up to the Natural Bridge
 
The natural bridge is just that – a natural sandstone bridge that arches  65 ft above the ground. The area is beautiful, and a nice place to spend the day hiking especially in late summer or early autumn. 
View of the bridge

 

Walking across the Natural Bridge

View from on top of the Natural Bridge
After a day of activity, you’ll likely be hungry. Until recently, pickings were limited. You could eat the traditional Kentucky buffet at the resort park, or there is always Miguel’s, the pizza place very popular among rock climbers. 
A few months ago, I had the pleasure of meeting the owner of a new place that opened up in the area. In fact, they are celebrating their one-year anniversary this weekend. I had promised to visit soon, so we knew what our lunch would be on this trip. 

The Red River Rockhouse is a cool little burger joint that has the charm of a quaint coffee shop. They source their meats from local farms, and they offer plenty of vegetarian and vegan options. And because they are located just across the county line, they also serve beer. 

 

 
Now, I have to be completely honest. If you are not a rock climber, you will be an outsider. That’s not to say that everyone isn’t incredibly friendly. They are. But you will likely get a few stares as you pull up to the parking lot. That is something I wasn’t expecting the first time I went to the other eating option in the area, Miguel’s. Rockhouse did seem to be a little more diverse with more locals as well as traveling climbers, but there is no doubt that I have – I’m not a climber – written all over me. But hey, when good food is involved, I step out of my comfort zone. 
We got there early so they needed to change the breakfast menu over to lunch, but we were still able to get a burger. A good burger too, with grass-fed beef from a Clark County farm. Unlike just about everyone I know, I don’t like thick burgers. I like thin, griddle style burgers that have crispy edges. It’s difficult to get a grass-fed burger like this, but if you like them too, then the Rockhouse is the place for you.
We left happy, full, and exhausted. (I think my exhaustion had a little bit to do with my 2 hour adrenaline rush due to my fear of snakes, but that is a story for another time. The burger got my mind off of it.) 
If you find yourself enjoying some of Kentucky’s gorgeous parks soon, be sure to seek out the Rockhouse. Oh, and a tip for finding it – just keep driving. The sign will jump out at you at the last minute, and you’ll have to turn around and go back. But that’s part of the fun in driving in rural Kentucky. Enjoy! 
Red River Rockhouse
4000 KY Route 11
Campton, KY 41301
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