Category Archives: Travel

Green Festival LA!

Join me at THE GREEN FESTIVAL on October 29th, the biggest GREEN LIVING event!

I will be demonstrating how to make nut milk, raw oatmeal, and a healthy eggy delight!
http://www.greenfestivals.com/speakers/kagan

What: Healthy Delectables Breakfast of Champions 

When: Saturday, October 29th 11am

Where: Downtown Los Angeles Convention Center
1201 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles, United States

Email me for limited FREE tickets!

With Every Season…

The Groom & Groom!

Last month I took a trip to the East Coast for a wedding. My dear friends Chris and Keith, who have been together for 15 years, decided to seal the deal as soon as gay marriage became legal in the state of New York. I arrived at the edge of Fall, the leaves had just started to change, and the weather quickly transitioned from the hot, muggy and balmy that greeted me upon my arrival at JFK, to cool and drizzly. The wedding was in the Catskills, near Phoenicia, one of several towns in that area that was sadly devastated by Hurricane Irene. Despite the still visible signs of damage, with broken roads, and trees, some signs of flooding, the locals were friendly and happy to be in business, have their power back and moving on.

Along with the wedding, which I was SO excited to go to, with my foodie partner in crime, April, who as most of you know is the Director/Producer of The Healthy Delectable Web Series, I couldn’t wait to explore the food. When I lived in the East Coast, one of my favorite things to do was go to the Farmers Markets, for the many varieties of local apples, and when the weather got especially cold, there was nothing better than a cup of hot cider to warm my hands and my tummy. On our first day, we learned about a Farm Stand called Hanover Farms, in Phoenicia, that is open 24 hours a day! They sell local honey, maple syrup, dairy products and local fruit and vegetables. And let me tell you, their Honey Crisp Apples were outstanding! The perfect amount of sweet, tart and crisp; Fall was in my mouth!

 

Hanover Farm Stand, Phoenicia, NY

Honey Crisp Apples

We stayed in an adorable little cabin in Chichester, NY that had the most curious and friendly goats on the property. These goats (with the help of the proprietor, Cindy) produced the creamiest and loveliest goat cheese. That was as local as I’ve ever eaten! There were so many gems of experiences to cherish – the greatest of course being the sweetest, funnest and most touching wedding I’ve ever been to.

Charming Catskills Cabin

Friendly Goat #1

Friendly Goat #2

Friendly Goat #3

 

 

 

 


 

Click on the pics to enlarge.

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I returned home to warm and sunny Los Angeles, where most fruit and vegetables are available year round. And even in Los Angeles, while not as dramatic, there is a palpable shift in the seasons. My trip reminded me of the importance of eating seasonally. Not only are you eating locally, supporting local farms, and limiting your carbon footprint, but it’s also so fun to change your diet according to the seasons, to try out new recipes, flavors and ingredients!

Fall foods are some of my favorites; early to late in the season, there are so many wonderful and nourishing foods to taste!

Among some of my favorite Fall foods in season in Southern CA are: Apples, Artichokes , Asian Pears, Basil, Beets, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Chard, Chili Pepper, Eggplant, Grapefruit, Grapes, Green Beans, Kale, Lemons, Mushrooms, Oranges, Pears, Persimmons, Potatoes, Raspberries, Spinach, Tomatillos, Tomatoes, and Winter Squash, (and many more!) :)

What a wonderful season for soups and stews, hearty greens and delicious fruity desserts! Here is one Fall recipe I will share with you. More to come. Happy Harvest, enjoy the big yellow moon!

Braised Red Cabbage

Braised Red Cabbage with Apples
*Feel free to play with this recipe to suit your taste. Try it with green cabbage, sub apples with pears, add nuts, top it with a poached egg…so many possibilities!!

Ingredients:
1 Red Cabbage (about 2 lbs)
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil (or butter)
1 Shallot (or onion)
1-2 Apples (Granny Smith are a good choice because they’re tart)
1/2 Cup Chicken or Veggie Broth
1 Bay Leaf
1/3 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar (or try Red Wine Vinegar or Port!)
Dash of Salt and Pepper
*Optional 1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar (I don’t find this is needed, but some like their braised cabbage sweet)

Directions:
Discard the outer leaves of the cabbage if they’ve browned. Slice the cabbage in four, cut out the core, then cut the quarters into thirds. Rinse in cold water and set aside. Saute shallots and apples with olive oil or butter over medium heat, until they start to soften, about 2 minutes. Add cabbage, Bay Leaf and broth and cook until it the cabbage wilts, about 5 minutes. Add vinegar, salt, pepper and optional sugar, and simmer for about 20 minutes until the cabbage is soft, stirring occasionally. Make sure to take out the Bay Leaf when serving.


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Some awesome links, related to this post.

* Check out Chris and Keith’s fabulous online store, Fred Flare.
Here are some of the causes they believe in and requested donations for in place of a wedding gift:
* The Mark Project, an organization dedicated to relieving the devastation from Hurricane Irene.
* It Gets Better Project is a place where young people who are lesbian, gay, bi, or trans can see how love and happiness can be a reality in their future.  It’s a place where our straight allies can visit and support their friends and family members.  It’s a place where people can share their stories, take the It Gets Better Project pledge, watch videos of love and support, and seek help through the Trevor Project and GLSEN.
* Mount Tremper Arts, is the wedding venue, and is a very special non-profit arts center for contemporary visual and performing artists in the Catskills.

Turning Procrastination Into Inspiration!

While attempting to cross off a to do on my list of new to do’s and to do’s I’ve been putting off for a length of time I don’t care to admit, I found myself daydreaming about Greece. It’s the appeal of being somewhere other than where I am – a desire to escape the facets of my life that don’t motivate me, like paying bills and filing papers. It’s the desire to have something that seems out of my reach, for budgetary and logistical reasons. It’s the yearning to have a magical, life altering experience, that is actually within my grasp. And my daydream doesn’t entail anything too fancy…want to hear it?

I wake up in a warm cozy room, beneath a big duvet, or a soft cotton blanket (depending on how warm it is at night), with sun streaming into a big window overlooking the big blue Mediterranean. I stretch into the day with some deep invigorating yoga, and then go sit on a beautiful white patio with a bright yellow umbrella and drink delicious Greek coffee, with Greek yogurt and honey, nuts, figs and fresh fruit. Then I take a long walk through the town (I picture myself on one of the islands), and wind up at the beach, inhaling sea air, listening to the sound of the Ocean. For lunch, another walk through the town, and a simple meal of fresh feta, tomato, olives and greens; maybe some hummus and fresh pita from the oven. I have tried retsina, a white wine, distinct to Greece, with a distinct flavor, not unlike turpentine. I’ve been told that in Greece the acquired taste is easily reached – and so, in my fantasy, I have acquired this taste, and enjoy a glass or two of retsina with my lunch. What naturally follows next is a hearty afternoon nap. Then, upon rising, another stroll, perhaps in the dusk hour, as the Mediterranean blue sparkles with hints of orange and  fuschia from the setting sun. For dinner, a big salad, dolmas, freshly baked spanakopita, followed by hot mint tea and baklava for dessert. A heavy head, full of ocean air (and wine), and the bliss of the day, lay me down to dream, before another beautiful day in Greece. Perhaps tomorrow a tour of an olive farm, or visiting some ancient  ruins, or taking a sailing trip (although I have very bad motion sickness – but it’s a fantasy – so no motion sickness!). And somewhere in the midst of all of this adventure, there will be blogging about it!

Aah, writing out my fantasy has been invigorating. I am inspired, and now have an even more specific vision of what I want to experience. In the spirit of the laws of attraction, this should surely help my fantasy become a reality. In the meantime, I’ll make sure to buy some fresh feta from the farmer’s market, make a trip the beach, and maybe learn a few new Greek words. Oh, and cross off some more to do’s on my list!

So don’t procrastinate…inspirate!

Corfu Oia Bougainvillea

Your Neighborhood Farmers Markets!

It’s Spring, the season of artichokes, baby carrots, strawberries, lettuces, and more!

Recently, a friend took me to the Larchmont Farmers Market, and it’s turned into a Sunday ritual. I’m still loyal to my Monday Farmer’s Market at Plummer Park in West Hollywood. I have a few favorite vendors that I enjoy seeing every week, including Hassan at the Greek stand (best olives and feta cheese!), Dirk, with his beautiful, flavorful mushrooms, the squash blossom man who teaches me new words in Spanish each week, and Laurent Bonjour, with the loveliest cheese. I feel a real sense of community when I’m there.

The Larchmont Farmer’s Market has a stand with fresh Italian pasta, more vegetable and fruit varieties, a stand that sells vegetable garden kits, and the lovely and adorable Kei, the Sugarbird Sweets & Teas lady. I sampled her delicious Zoe Tea, which is a green tea with mint, cacao nibs, peppermint and vanilla, and bought her most delicious homemade dark chocolate chip scones. Warning, if you’re a dog lover like me, there’s a puppy rescue stand next to the market, and it’s hard to leave without a brand new doggie! So, check out your neighboring markets, explore, explore, explore!

Foodie Fun in Sea Ranch, CA!

My family and I are rarely all together in one place. My sister lives in Paris, France, my parents live in San Francisco, and I’m in Los Angeles. Our last family trip was to Thailand for my Dad’s 60th birthday in January, 2007. This weekend, we all took a trip up to Sea Ranch, a three hour drive north of San Francisco, off of winding coastal Highway 1. We’ve been going there for many years, and I have never failed to avoid car sickness. But the nausea is totally worth the crisp sea air, ocean views, and being surrounded by nature and adorable deer, jack rabbits, wild turkeys and horses every which way.

Two Fish Baking Company, Sea Ranch CA

Two Fish Baking Company Sea Ranch, CA

It rained all of yesterday, and we were stuck indoors for most of the day. But this morning, the sky was a gorgeous blue, and the sun was out, so the four Kagans took a morning hike up to The Two Fish Baking Company, a popular little spot among the locals, that is off the beaten path for your run of the mill tourist traffic. The artisan bakers and owners are two awesome ladies, Margaret and Hilla, who opened up shop in 2003. They bake starting at 2:30am, and offer different fresh breads and pastries, and delicious coffee from Equator, a small roaster in San Rafael. (Anyone who knows me, knows how seriously I take my coffee, and theirs was GOOD! :))

Our morning pastries were yummolicious! My Dad got a delectable Bear Claw, Mom got a perfectly zesty Orange Currant Scone, my sister got a slice of Coffee Cake that was a delicious balance of crumbles, while not being too sweet, and I got a Morning Bun, that was like the pastry child of a croissant and a cinnamon donut, only better. Then just when things couldn’t be better, Margaret, who at first gave me a hard time for taking photos in her shop, brought out a slice of Lemon Rosemary Olive Oil Cake I was eyeing. It was AMAZING!! The Olive Oil, while not overpowering, melted in my mouth, and the Rosemary and Lemon combination…well, you just have to try it, and that’s that.

So, next time you’re in the mood for a trip up north, make sure to check out
Two Fish Baking Company, and say hello to Margaret and Hilla for me.