Kika’s Treats: A bite-sized bit of heaven

April 13, 2010

Have you ever bought something just to support a cause and then realized you were in love with the product?   That’s what happened when I purchased a package of Brazilian honeycakes from Kika’s Treats.

Now, I had no idea what Brazilian honeycakes were before that fateful day at the Ferry Building Farmers market a few weeks ago.  I spotted a tent that housed products related to La Cocina, a Bay Area nonprofit that serves as an incubator for low-income food entrepreneurs.  I made a beeline over to the tent and looked at the table displaying all sorts of delicious treats. 

I beheld a neat little plastic bag filled with little dark chocolate-covered squares.  It had a bright, happy yellow label (paper sort of wrapped around the bag) with a drawing of a smiling little cook and the words “Handmade in San Francisco.”   A purchase that involved chocolate (the food of the gods) and was local?   How could I resist?  

After my purchase I got distracted by all the fruits and vegetables; but when I got home, my husband who had stayed behind, went straight for the bag of treats.  What’s this?  Chocolates?   Are they good?

He decided to open them and find out.  Luckily I am not on a diet, or I would have been so sorry he did so.  The little Brazilian honeycakes are de-li-cious!  It’s like biting into a fluffy cloud of  honey sweetness gently held together by a rich chocolate blanket that slowly dissolves in your mouth.  

Each little treat is highly satisfying, but that still did not prevent their dessimation in a few short days. 

Oh and I almost forgot the best part.  You can actually understand what all of the ingredients are – sadly rare in the landscape of food in this country.  Look at them.  Everything is natural!

Ingredients:  Semisweet Chocolate (cacao beans, sugar, cocoa butter, soya lecithin, vanilla beans), Organic Soy Milk (filtered water, organic soybeans), Unbleached Wheat Flour, Honey, Organic Unrefined Sugar, Baking Soda, Baking Powder, Kosher Salt, Organic Cinnamon, Organic Cloves, Organic Nutmeg, Organic and Fair Trade Coffee Beans.

If you happen to be on a diet, I apologize to you.  Although the danger would be in that they are so delicious you would want to eat the whole bag not that they are particularly weight-inducing.  In fact, I was quite surprised when I looked at the nutrition facts that something so tasty could actually be not super  high-calorie and surprisingly low in fat (111 calories, 6% of your daily value of fat).   Living in the US, I’ve grown accustomed to eating my share of foods that result in my jaw dropping when I find out how much fat is in them. 

You can buy them on line, and it looks like they have other flavors as well.  I have yet to try those, but I’m sure they are also delicious.  The coconut shortbread wrapped in milk chocolate sounds mouth-wateringly tasty.


Easter Surprise

April 4, 2010

A rainy Easter Sunday in San Francisco.  As I sit warm and cozy in my apartment a couple blocks from Union Square, I think of two things:  1) all of the outdoor Easter egg hunts that were planned and had to be canceled; 2) all of the poor tourists who I can bet were not counting on cold, rainy weather.

The locals will be fine.  They are used to San Francisco’s temperamental weather.  Last week, for example, on my morning walk to work, I was really unhappy about having forgotten my gloves at home; my fingers were almost numb.  Later that morning, I took my dog up to our workplace rooftop (dog-friendly office), and it was so sunny and warm out, I considered getting my laptop and just working up there for a while.   A couple of hours later, it was windy and cold; but by the time we walked home around 4, the weather was nice and warm again.

The tourists, however, are a different story.  Yesterday we saw a bunch of them sitting on the open deck of one of those buses that take people touring around the city.   It was quite cold; I’m talking beanie, gloves, scarf weather.  I commented on it aloud to my  husband, about how it was kind of strange that there were so many of them riding up there on the top deck.  Then I realized, oh it’s their holiday; they all came to San Francisco for Easter.

Most guidebooks warn about the foggy San Francisco summer days, but here is what had to say about this time of year:

Spring in San Francisco


March, April and May are some of the most inviting months to visit San Francisco. Characteristically cloudless and mild, some of the warmest and driest days of the year occur in San Francisco’s spring months, making San Francisco’s springtime noticeably free from the spring showers that moisten other parts of the United States. (

Those poor bastards never stood a chance.

Ferry Building Farmers Market: Summer in a Jar

March 30, 2010

The ferry building farmers market in San Francisco is one of my favorite places to be on a sunny Saturday morning.  I love walking through a colorful sea of art as I make my way past the vendors that set up colorful stalls across the street from the ferry building.  I like imagining what I would buy as a beautiful reminder of this wonderful city if I were a tourist.

Usually I find myself being evil and resenting the tourists in this city, but at the farmers market I am happy to float along with the crowd. Although I always tell myself I will stick to the mission plan and only stop at the specific vendors to only buy what is on my list, I always find myself succumbing to the lure of trying something new.  That’s the fun of the farmers market – and also the reason my husband does not allow me to go there alone.

My most recent farmers market find is absolutely one of the tastiest food products I have ever eaten – an organic peach conserve (notice it’s not called “peach preserves”) from Frog Hollow Farm.   Eating it is like taking the ripest summer peach and spreading it all over your bread or cracker or tortilla; I could just eat it with a spoon.

A sad number of food products in this country are tasty but consist of scary ingredients.  It is always with a bit of trepidation that I peak at the ingredients of a newly-discovered-by-me unbelievably tasty food.  I was thrilled to find that all of the ingredients on the label – organic peaches, organic sugar, ascorbic acid (Vitamin C), citric acid – were all things I recognized and would knowingly put in my body.

If you don’t live in San Francisco, don’t fret; you can buy some of this bottled sunshine online.  Gosh I love the internet!   The URL is below.

Bay Area Mija: An Introduction

March 23, 2010

Welcome to the blog Bay Area Mija.  Mija is a Spanish contraction for mi hija, which means “my daughter.”   It is used as a term of endearment.  The first few years of my life, I thought it was my name.

That’s the “mija” part.  But why Bay Area?   Well, the area in which you live can have such a profound effect on you – your lifestyle, personality, values and life views.  One example that comes immediately to mind is a New Yorker.   It’s a bit of a chicken-and-egg thing, trying to figure out if certain areas and cities attract and retain certain kinds of people or if certain places transform their residents.  Regardless of the causality, residents of a certain region behave and think in certain specific ways.

I grew up in Monterey County, just south of the Bay Area and after 5 years back East moved back to California – specifically to San Francisco, where I have been living the last few years.  The culture here is part of the fabric of my being, so in writing about my views and experiences, I will be writing largely about the Bay Area.

How is my life typical of a Bay Area resident?  I am multi-lingual, will have children whose grandparents on both sides were not born in the US, have a strong affinity for entrepreneurship, value the beauty of nature and want to act in an ecologically and socially responsible manner.  My general life view is one of tolerance and aversion to war.  The origin of the ingredients in my food – fresh, organic, local – is very important to me.

Hello world!

March 21, 2010

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