Category Archives: New Products

Nutty for Zena’s Sass Sauces

Shrimp with Zena's Sass Sassy Almond-Sesame Sauce.

Shrimp with Zena’s Sass Sassy Almond-Sesame Sauce.


These sauces definitely have sass.

So does their creator.

Zena’s Sass are nut-based artisan sauces made in Santa Cruz that are vegan, gluten-free and low-glycemic.

They’re made by Zena Krakowsky, who ran her own restaurant, C.B. White’s, and bakery, Zena’s Bakery-Cafe & Catering, both in Truckee.

Even after selling those businesses, fans of her almond-sesame and peanut-sesame sauces continued to clamor for them, even bringing their own empty salad dressing bottles to her door, hoping to get them filled.

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Oatmeal Tête–À–Tête

Oatmeal for dinner -- a comfort dish even naysayers will love.

Oatmeal for dinner — a comfort dish even naysayers will love.


A typical day at my house:

(Rip, rustle, rustle, as I open a package that arrived in the mail, this one containing sample tins of Flahavan’s Irish Steel Cut Oatmeal.)

Me to my husband: “Oh, look, it’s oatmeal! You like oatmeal, right?”

My husband: (Snorts, shrugs.) “Eh, yeah.”

After all, he eats it for breakfast at least a couple times a week. But of course, I’m in the mood to do something different with it.

Me: “Guess what I’m going to do! I’m going to make savory oatmeal for dinner with it!”

My husband: “WHY?!?!?

Me: “You cook it like risotto. That sounds really good, doesn’t it?”

My husband: (Makes a face, shrugs, looks at me cross-eyed.) “If you must…”

Yup, that response is typical, too, whenever I want to cook up something a little different from the norm. But at least he’s a good sport about it, right? Well, sort of.

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A Tasty Visit to Planet Rice

Planet Rice Quinoa & Sprouted Rice Power Blend, raw on plate, and cooked in the bowl.

Planet Rice Quinoa & Sprouted Rice Power Blend, raw on plate, and cooked in the bowl.


Being Chinese-American, I grew up on white rice. And nothing but.

Black, brown, red and even bamboo-green rices were non-existent in my parents’ kitchen.

That’s why these other types intrigue me so much now. So when I had a chance to try samples of Planet Rice’s sprouted rices, I happily did so.

What is sprouted rice? Just what it sounds like: rice that has been soaked in water until the grains sprout ever so slightly.

The result is a softer texture. Not only that, but studies have shown that the sprouting increases the amount of fiber, B vitamins, and magnesium, as well as Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid, an amino acid that can help lower anxiety and blood pressure, and afford deeper sleep and improved cardiovascular functions.

Who wouldn’t want more of that, right?

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Moustache Coffee Club Has Your Caffeine Fix

Each bag tells you the origins of the beans and when they were roasted.

Each bag tells you the origins of the beans and when they were roasted.

Magazines, newspapers, farm-fresh produce boxes, artisan chocolates, and a whole lot more. You can get most anything these days by subscription service delivered right to your door. So why not single-origin coffee beans?

Moustache Coffee Club offers just that.

The Los Angeles-based company sources freshly roasted, single origin beans every week from small-batch, Los Angeles-area roasters and ships them to you at home or your office. You choose the frequency: weekly, bi-weekly or monthly.

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The First U.S. Grown, 100 Percent Stoneground Cereal

A novel new cereal.

A novel new cereal.


I don’t think I’m alone when I say I’m in awe of the two guys behind Back to the Roots.

Nikhil Arora and Alejandro Velez had just graduated from the Hass School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley when they turned their backs on lucrative job offers in investment banking and business consulting. Instead, they turned their attention to starting their own business — creating DIY mushroom-growing kits using spent Peet’s coffee grounds.

That single product launched them at Whole Foods and other major retailers. Next, their Back to the Roots company devised a Water Garden, a self-cleaning fish tank that grows fresh herbs in a compact aquaponics system.

Now, they’ve set their sights on the cereal industry. The result is Organic Stoneground Flakes ($4.99 for an 11-ounce container), which bills itself as the first U.S. grown, 100 percent stoneground cereal on the market. It’s made with only three ingredients: organic, non-GMO stoneground whole wheat from California, sea salt from the San Francisco Bay, and a touch of organic cane sugar from Florida.

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