Bone Broth – Benefits & How to Make it!

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A good friend of mine started talking about how he sips on bone broth in between meals and during long lectures at school. He started talking about how good it makes him feel and about all the nutrients it has. So I looked into it 🧐

It turns out that a lot of people drink bone broth like coffee as part of a healthy diet.  I saw bone broth being promoted on news segments, Dr. Oz, articles by nutritionists, at Whole Foods, and celebrities like Salma Hayek, Shailene Woodely, and Gweneth Paltrow crediting bone marrow for their youthful skin, while athletes like Kobe Bryant claims a boost in energy and less inflammation from his bone broth intake.

So what is some of the good stuff?

Collagen- this promotes healthy skin and decreases wrinkle lines and cellulite! Collagen also helps obtain healthy gut lining which lets the gut absorb nutrients.  This all results in a healthier digestive system, that is also known to help reduce food allergies for those who are sensitive to gluten or cow’s milk.  Collagen is also known to be amazing for the joints and bones.  Surgeons have recommended patients to sip on bone broth as part of a post-surgery diet for a faster recovery in healing their bones 💪🏼

Adiponectin- A hormone that comes from the bone marrow fat that can help reduce the risk of diabetes and help the cardiovascular system 💗

Fatty Acids- Omega 3 goodness that contributes to healthy functioning of the brain 🧠

alkylglycerols (AKGs)- Known to regulate the production of white blood cells which helps fight diseases like cancer.  A Swedish oncologist did a study in the 1950s that involved giving bone marrow to leukemia striken children to help restore their health after radiation therapy, and many were recorded to have immediate improvements in their body 🙏🏼

Lots of Minerals- Calcium, Potassium, Iron, Zinc, Phosphorus, Magnesium which contributes to healthy bones, good renal system, increasing hormonal secretion, improving your moods, boosting immune system.  These minerals help the prevention of anemia, chronic fatigue, heart disease, and much more 🤩

MY EXPERIENCE? Without reading all the benefits beforehand, so as to not fall to the placebo effect, I started buying the frozen bone broth from Whole Foods and drank a cup each day for two weeks.  While I can’t say how much good it did to my organs, I can say that i noticed an energy boost, softer skin on my face, and my nails were at its longest without a single crack.  I have been healthier in general with my diet, so it could very well be the combination of eating less junk food and consuming healthier foods including the broth.

WHERE TO BUY IT:

You can buy it frozen, bottled, or boxed at grocery stores and vitamin shoppes.  I found a good variety at Whole Foods, where I chose frozen bone broth by Bonafide, that is until I started making my own bone broth.

 

HOW TO MAKE IT:

It’s written that if you want the full health benefits, it’s crucial to make sure you get your bones from grass-fed healthy cows.  This is why health-consciuos stores like Whole Foods are great.  I walked in and what do you know….

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They provide packaged bones along with a bone broth recipe!

The added step I did was that I roasted the bones first, some recommend this for a tastier flavor.

Here we go…

Ingredients-

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2-2.5 lbs of Chicken, beef, lamb, or fish bones    Ingredients_web

1 onion chopped

3-4 carrots chopped

2 celery stalks

1 tablespoon of Salt

1/4 Cup of Apple Cider Vinegar

Peppercorn (I added a handful because I like the kick).

✔️ Roast Bones for 15 minutes (optional). I also took advantage of treating myself to some bone marrow before using it for the broth 🙂

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✔️Place bones and onion, carrots, celery, salt, and peppercorns in stock pot

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✔️Pour enough water to cover ingredients

✔️Add vinegar and let stand for 30-40 minutes

✔️Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for the recommended time

*Chicken- 8-24 hours

*Fish 6-24 hours

*Beef 8-72 hours

✔️Look for any foamy/scum that rises to the top and remove with a spoon.  The cleaner the animal, the less of this foam you will see.

Note: I start my bone broth in the morning when I know I can be home all day, then right before I go to bed, I turn off the stove and leave the stock pot covered overnight, and then fire it up the next morning again for a couple more hours. I try to shoot for at least 12 hours of simmering.  I did read that as long as I leave it covered, it should be fine sitting out overnight.

✔️Strain and discard everything in the strainer

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✔️When it’s first refrigerated, let the fat layer thicken, so you can spoon it out.

✔️Refrigerate up to 5 days, or freeze up to 3 months.

〰️Thaw and heat on stove or microwave for a cup of goodness while you relax or on the go.

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DECKMAN’S, Amazing Open-Air Restaurant & Vineyard in Baja CA

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If you like wine, gourmet sustainable cuisine, the outdoors, and being close to the ocean, then Valle de Guadalupe is the place to lose yourself for a few days.  Two hours south of the border, you will find a stretch of vineyards, and hotels of both rustic houses and modern architecture.  Most hotels are small and subtle with limited space, so as to keep the guest surrounded by nature as much as possible with minimal tourist traffic.

The brightest gem in Valle de Guadalupe by far, is the restaurant Deckman’s, that takes place outside, kitchen and all.  This is the taste of Baja, as you will only taste meat, fish, herbs, salts and wine from the region.  I was working on a film that was shooting at one of the prestigious hotels, and on the crew’s weekend off, it seemed like everyone got the memo that Deckman’s was the place to splurge on food.  It also seemed to be the place to have a date travel over for a romantic dinner.  I ran into many crew members and producers with their spouses or parents that had driven over for the weekend.  The setting is simply beautiful with dangling wine bottles, small critters wandering by, candles, and the view of the sunset over their vineyard.

As I started to mention before, Chef Drew Deckman takes pride in cooking only with local ingredients.  The vegetables, oils, and herbs are picked right from their Mogor Ranch. Their seafood is from the Baja waters, and their meats and cheeses are all from local producers.  Even their salt is from San Felipe.  They recycle everything, including the water for irrigation. They don’t offer commercial bottled water or soft drinks. They continue the respect for their lands by cooking outside among their ranch, vineyards, and guests.  Throughout the evening, you see the kitchen staff work non-stop with keeping the flames alive, as everything is cooked by hand-made fire.

Grill meat

 

My co-workers and I went for the 5 course “Bounty of Baja” menu for 700 pesos, that’s about $40 for a 5 course dinner of the freshest and most organic ingredients prepared by the talented Chef Drew Deckman.

1st up….

KUMIAI OYSTERS from Ensenada/ mignonette/ olive oil

oysters

 

2ND COURSE – MOGOR CEVICHE / tomatillo/ radish/ fermented habanero

Ceviche

3RD COURSE – VALLEY QUAIL/ black beans/ radish/ purslaneQuail

4th COURSE- PORK JOWL/ young vegetables

This was by far the most succulent pork I have ever had.  The meat quickly separated  the second I pressed my fork onto it.  This even had my vegetarian co-worker go carnivorous and had no regrets.

Pork Jowl

5th COURSE- A DESSERT OF ORANGE IN MANY WAYS

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At this point, the sun is starting to set, and then there’s nothing left to do but sit back, feel the warmth of the setting sun, sip more wine and talk with friends…and a kitten that has been circling our table the whole time.

Do you use the hole in your soda can tab?

Do you know what the hole in your soda can tab is for?

That hole on your soda tab can have another purpose…a straw holder! I saw my boss flip the tab over ( you can spin it around as well) and place her straw in it. I laughed and said “That’s cute!” Her and another co-worker looked at me and said “That’s what it’s for.” Really?? Well, it turns out many have used that tab hole to keep the straw from dancing around and rising everytime you let it go. I’ve used a lot of straws for my canned drinks and that never occurred to me. I also hadn’t seen anyone else do it either.

Drinking through straws is probably more sanitary than placing your mouth on the can anyway, so I’ll probably pick up the straw habit again, and this time, use my straw holder 🙂

Everyday is Taco Tuesday in Tijuana!

I finished working on a production in Tijuana for three months, and I’ve been in Taco heaven!  I’m spoiled with having so many delicious tacos and for half the price I pay back home.

You can find all the meat in Mexico, starting in TJ!  Theses Taco stands have all the parts of the animal you can think of.  Not much is wasted.

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The first taco establishment I was recommended was Taqueria Franc, a place that is known for their “Adobada” Tacos, aka “Al Pastor” tacos.  When I first saw “Adobada” on the menu, I had no idea what that was, and then I was confused as to why I couldn’t find “Al Pastor” on

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Taqueria Franc

the menu even though I saw it cooking on a the vertical rotisserie.  I then found out that in Tijuana and other states such as Michoacan and Jalisco, it is referred to as “Adobada,” which means marinated.

 

 

 

In San Diego, there was an “Al Pastor” contest, where Taqueria Franc participated and won 1st place.  Since then, many Americans have crossed the border for a plate of tacos.

The next place that became my favorite was Taconazo, there a couple of these locations throughout Tijuana, but it was the one on Hipodromo Avenue, down the street of the Grand Hotel that was the best.  Not only did I enjoy all their meats, I loved their vegetarian taco too!  The “Vegetarian” comes with grilled cactus and guacamole, and topped with pico de gallo and hot sauce.  I never thought I would be ordering a vegetarian taco but it is that good.

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The employees provide a happy ambience with great memories of your order once you’ve gone two or three times.  This became my Sunday night ritual.  I would uber to the place, pick up my 6 tacos (hey, it was my sunday funday), pick up a “suero” at my hotel bar, and go up to my room to watch Game of Thrones while chowing down.

What were these tacos made of? Tripas, Cabeza, Lengua, Adobada, and if they weren’t out of it…Ojo (eyes)

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Taqueria Franc:

Blvd. Sánchez Taboada 9013
22000 Tijuana, Baja California
Mexico

Taconazo (Hipódromo):

Hipodromo 126, Tijuana, Mexico

La Corriente Cevicheria Nais, Tijuana

By far the best Ceviche Tostada I have ever had, and I had my share of trying many ceviche dishes during my summer in Tijuana.  While there were many great seafood establishments, fancy to hole-in-the-wall, there is one that stands out and will have me back the next time I step across the border. Cevicheria Nais, pronounced “Na-ice” or “nice” in a Borat voice.

Located in central Tijuana, the restaurant is a spacious but cozy place, complete with a back patio and a nautical theme throughout.  You get greeted with a cup of seafood broth at your table, and this settles you right into the seafood vibe as you sip and scan the menu.

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Back Patio (photo courtesy of Mrt. T)

One of things you will notice about the Micheladas here is that there is a separate menu list for what all can come inside your Michelada, called “Clamatos.”  It can be as simple as having clam juice to having bites of octopus, shrimp and clams with saladitos (salted prunes).  I had the “Tiburon Tiburon” (Shark Shark) which is beer, clamato, clam juice, shrimp, celery, and a saladito.  This feels more like a shrimp cocktail with beer.  Depending on how you look at it, it can be like a little appetizer you have all to yourself, or a beer with too much going on for your taste.  If you are looking to pound a cerveza down, you’re better off just ordering it plain.

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Tiburon Tiburon Drink

 

 

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Pacifico Tostada

On to the star of the menu, the Pacifico Tostada! It is a batch of thinly sliced fresh tuna and scallops marinated in lime juice, Petrolera Hot Sauce, Serrano Chilis, and onions.  It is the freshest and and most savory tostada de ceviche I have ever had.  They do not skimp on the fish and scallop at all, you will find bits of delicious tuna falling off to scoop up afterwards.  All for the price of about $5

 

Then we have the Aguachiles, a molcajete (stone bowl) of raw shrimp curing in a bath of lime juice and your choice of smashed chili, and mixed with cucumber and red onion slices.  This is a mouth-watering treat for thoseimg_1682 who love lime juice and getting heat on the tongue.  The classic is usually the green serrano aquachile that packs a good punch.  This is great way to get your thirst going and start backing those bottles of cerveza.

 

 

 

 

There’s more savory treats like the Octopus Cracklings, Marlin Tacos or Grilled Octopus Taco with melted cheese 😛 No matter what you get, it will be taste fresh and delicious.  For your appetizer, make sure you get the Pacifico Tostada, it’s worth trying at least once.

Address:

Flores Magón 8330
Col. Centro
22000 Tijuana, Baja California
Mexico
 

 

Huntington Library Tea Room, Updated

In the past I have known the Huntington Library Tea Room to be set up as a food buffet with tea and scones served at your table.  Now a tiered tray of tea sandwiches and pastries are served at your table. You now receive a menu, listing the items that will be served. There is also a long list of teas that you may request in addition to the signature Huntington Blend such as Jasmine, Tropical Fruits, Vanilla, Bergamot, etc.

If you have a large party, like I did on this day, there is a small private room that also has plenty of light shining in and with views of the herb garden.



Smoked Salmon & Caviar 🍴Avocado w/ Arugula and Mushrooms [intended to taste like bacon] 🍴 Persian Cucumber w/ Goat Cheese and Watercress 🍴Chicken Salad Sandwich 🍴Egg Salad Cup


Crumpets are a new item that are added to this tea experience. Scones and Crumpets are made fresh every morning…


The fruit was fresh and light. I noticed a little fella on the top tier that I was not familiar with, it was a gooseberry…


Oh you little Gooseberry! Fun Nutritional Fact: High in Vitamin C and known to fight aging, cancer, and neurological diseases. Fun Urban Term: Someone who tags along with a couple or couples, but is single themselves 😁
It was a mixture of rain and sunshine today. My group was lucky, it only rained when we were in the tea house. It was so calming to be sipping on a variety of teas and nibbling on finger foods while looking out at the garden with the rain coming down.

Live Sea Urchin @ Smorgasburg Los Angeles

A friend introduced me to heaven today…Smorgasburg in Downtown Los Angeles.  I wish I had a big enough stomach to fit all this wonderful food. I had to choose wisely since I was only going to fit a few items down the gullet. 

There it was, I saw someone pass by with a huge sea urchin on their plate, gold meat just seating inside a giant shell. Off to Jolly Oyster! $15 per Santa Barbara Sea Urchin freshly cracked. They remove the membranes and have it ready to serve. Now I didn’t realize the spines would still be moving, I instantly felt some guilt thinking this animal was being tortured. However, I later found out that it’s common for the body to move even after it has died, and with a lack of a central nervous system, it is unaware of the pain. 

Immediately I noticed the saltier flavor of this Urchin, it’s the salt water taste which doesn’t last long because it is immediately followed by the creamy uní flavor that coats the tongue. It’s probably one of the hardest food flavors for me to describe. Since there is not a lot of “meat” in the shell, it forces me to take my time and savor since the experience will end after a couple of bites.  Thank you succulent Sea Urchin for feeding me so wonderfully today…



Epazote!

Excited to be growing Epazote, an herb native to Mexico and South America. My mom would place a bouquet of Epazote in the middle of the table for us to pick leaves off and sprinkle it over tacos or soups. Consumed as a tea, chewed raw, or applied on skin, it is known to lessen flatulence, alleviate cramps, and even kill intestinal parasites. Too much though, and it becomes toxic 😅

38 degrees Ale House & Grill

Taco Tuesday is now celebrated at the 2 locations of 38 degrees Ale House (Alhambra, CA & Monrovia, CA).  They may not be $1 tacos like most places, but the flavor is worth paying a little extra. These are are the 3 types of tacos i ordered for my 3 for $8.

Roasted Brussel Sprouts Tacos with roasted tomato salsa quemada, caramelized onions, and vegan creme fraiche. 


Braised pork tacos w/ daikon sprout and carrot slaw, sliced jalapeno, sriracha aioli. 

Sesame marinated beef short rib tacos w/ house-made kimchi, queso fresco, salsa verde (center)


Pair that with one of their beers and you’re all set 😌