Crabs, Beet Juice, and Other Highlights From My San Francisco Trip

April 27, 2017

Competing in the San Francisco Fight For Air Climb was certainly a highlight of last weekend, but the weekend had lots of fun stuff – and the stairs at 101 California weren’t even the only stairs I climbed!

Check out the view from these public stairs! Gorgeous. These are the Read the rest of this entry »

We Have A NEW Winner! Plus, Kitchen Sink Smoothie

April 28, 2012

Happy Saturday!

So I have bad news and I have good news. The bad news is that Randi Marie Simpson failed to come forward to claim the Edible Arrangements fresh fruit bouquet that she won yesterday. As I explained when I announced the contest, and again when the winner’s name was announced, the winner has 24 hours to email me to claim their prize. Unfortunately, Randi didn’t email me – and I checked my Spam folder and everything.

The good news is that someone else now has a chance of winning the fresh fruit bouquet! I went through the same process as before with the random number generator at, and a new winner was generated. That number was 81, and the 81st comment belonged to…

GEORGINA FIGUEROA!  Yay, you won! Here’s Georgina’s comment:


Same rules apply: This post went live at 7:15pm PST on Saturday, April 28th, and you have 24 hours (until 7:15pm PST on Sunday, April 29th) to send me an email at to claim your prize. Remember how, when you left the winning comment, you had to provide an email address? You gotta email me from that address (which I can see but no one else can) so I know it’s you and not an imposter!

I’m tired of picking winners. Georgina, come claim your prize!!!

**Update: Georgina has claimed the prize. Congrats, Georgina!**

Moving on…

I’ve never been a huge smoothie person. I’ve enjoyed them occasionally, but it rarely crosses my mind to make my own smoothies in my own kitchen. That might be starting to change. And I have frozen fruit to blame thank.

A few weeks ago, I came across strawberries at a ridiculous prize: $1.25 for a one-pound container. I spent $5 and bought four – I couldn’t pass it up! Unfortunately for me, it was one day after a big visit to another supermarket, and I was already loaded up on fruit. So I washed and hulled all 4 pounds of strawberries, put them in a big container, and froze ’em.

Earlier in the week, it occurred to me that the strawberries would make a great base for a smoothie. They’d both flavor and chill the smoothie at the same time, and I do love when fruit is capable of multitasking. So I made a smoothie. And I enjoyed it.

Yesterday, I made another smoothie. And I jotted down what I used to make it, so I could share with you.

There are a bazillion smoothie recipes out there, and I didn’t look at a single one. I pulled out all my fruits and vegetables and tossed a bunch of stuff in, including a few things that probably have no right being in a smoothie. But that’s the joy of smoothies (and why I call mine Kitchen Sink Smoothies): You can throw pretty much anything in there, and add enough fruit, and it’ll taste great! I have a hunch I’ll never make a smoothie the same way twice.

I started with about 1/4 cup skim milk. Then I added a handful of frozen strawberries, and a handful of frozen grapes (which taste awesome frozen; they’re a great snack all by themselves). Then I went through my veggies to see what was closest to going bad. I settled on 3 roma tomatoes and a zucchini. I roughly chopped ’em up, and added them in. And, just to bulk it up with veggies a little further, I added 2 baby eggplant and a radish (I thought the heat might be a nice touch). Then I added more sweetness by throwing a pear and kiwi into the mix.

The end result, as shown above, wasn’t sickly sweet. It was perfect. Couldn’t taste the zucchini or eggplant (the two items I was most skeptical about), and because of all the veggies, I didn’t worry about it being a huge calorie bomb, like some smoothies can be (especially at juice bars). It ended up being a lot of smoothie, too – I was drinking smoothie for half the day, without any guilt at all!

I’m already thinking about what I can use in my next smoothie.

Keep it up, David!

What’s In The Coffee Cup?

October 23, 2011

There is something drinkable in this coffee cup.  What do you think it is?

I’ll gave you a couple hints:

  1. It’s not coffee.
  2. It’s not a hot beverage of any kind.
  3. It’s the juice of a fruit that is rare in this country.

Any guesses?

If you guessed dragon fruit juice, you’re right!  Ding ding ding!  It was the contents of this bottle:

Pitaya is another name for dragon fruit.  I bought a dragon fruit for the first time recently, and on this blog I said that it “may be the most beautiful piece of fruit EVER” (read that post, with lots of dragon fruit photos, here).  The folks over at Bing might have thought similarly, because the very same day my dragon fruit post went up, they used this great dragon fruit picture on their home page (thanks to observant reader Dacia for pointing it out):

That day turned out to be all about dragon fruit, because I also got a great email from Pitaya Plus in which they offered to send me some free juice.  Yes, please!  And that is how the bottle pictured above ended up in my hot little hands.

Since I’m not terribly familiar with the taste of dragon fruit (I’ve only had it once, after all), I bought a couple more dragon fruit after the juice arrived.  A few days ago, I cut one up to enjoy with the Pitaya Plus.  It was a very dragon-fruit-centric lunch!

I roped in my friend Lisa, the gifted graphic designer, to sample both with me.  She had never heard of dragon fruit, so it was all new to her.  We tried the fruit first.  She was as impressed by its appearance as I was, and she was also a little let down by its flavor, like I was.  “It’s not bad, but it doesn’t taste like anything,” she said.  It does have a very mild flavor.

Next we tried the juice, which looks like this:

The juice also has a mild flavor.  It doesn’t actually taste like juice at all!  I don’t normally drink much juice because it’s sweet and delicious and I always end up drinking way too much.  In the past two years, most of the juice I’ve consumed was stuff I’ve juiced myself, where I can monitor how much fruit I use.  Were I to buy a 2 quart bottle of juice, the whole thing would be gone in 36 hours.  And that’s over 1,000 calories in my system.

Pitaya Plus is nowhere as sweet as other juices.  I didn’t finish the juice and immediately want more.  I drank it, enjoyed it, considered myself satisfied, and moved on with my day.  The juice was thin, like watermelon juice is, and the flavor is watermelon-ish and kiwi-ish.  Like the dragon fruit itself, the contents of a Pitaya Plus bottle isn’t nearly as vibrant as the packaging!  But I’d drink it again.  I’d actually like it after a workout, I think.

Dragon fruit juice has significantly fewer calories than other juices.  A serving of Pitaya Plus has 70 calories, compared to 112 calories for orange juice, 128 calories for apple juice, and 140 calories for grape juice.  Which brings me to my little pet peeve about Pitaya Plus:  A serving of it (like most juices) is 8 ounces.  So guess how many ounces are in the bottle?  10.5!  Ugh – I’m not a fan of busting out the calculator to figure out calorie counts, but I did it, because I was curious.  Since 8 ounces is 70 calories, the entire 10.5 ounce bottle is 92.  You’re welcome.

To find more info on Pitaya Plus, check out their website.

I gotta get going… to do burpees!  This is Day 7 for me of the No Excuses 30-Day Burpee Challenge, which means today I’m doing 21 of them.  Since I calculator was already out, I punched the numbers: during Days 1-6 of the Challenge, I did 105 burpees!  WHOA.

Keep it up, David!