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Tag Archives: snacks


Bar exam: Art’s original blend Pro Bar

Here’s one I don’t allow myself to indulge in too often: Pro Bars. These are one of the more expensive bars on the shelf, but they’re so hard to pass up with all the gorgeous fruit mosaic labelings and truly unique flavors.

I chose this one specifically because I had no idea what it was. Most of the flavors are very descriptive, but this Art’s Original Blend was a mystery to me. From the ingredient list I at least knew that I was in for peanut butter and chocolate chips, and really what more could I ask for? 😉

Art's original blend Pro Bar

There are 19 grams of sugar and that’s more than I like, but at least it’s not full of corn syrup or anything gross like that. The 10 grams of protein is a nice touch.

At 370 calories, I really feel like this is more of a meal replacement bar than a snack. I love that Pro Bar is honest about that too. It says right on the front that it’s a “whole food meal bar,” that tells me right away that this is a meal in and of itself.

Art's original blend Pro Bar ingredients

I couldn’t be happier with that ingredient list. It’s rather long, but most everything in it is real food, much of it in a raw state.

Art's original blend Pro Bar unwrapped

Appearance: It’s a bit smaller than anticipated, and with a $3.49 price tag that can be a little upsetting. It kinda feels like I’m being tricked with the rectangular packaging making the bar appear wider than it is. But inside, everything is as it seems in this bar. Whole nuts, seeds, and dried fruits are held together with what looks like a peanut butter glue.

Art's original blend Pro Bar up close

Texture: It has a great soft and chewy texture, and even though all the ingredients are whole in this bar, it isn’t a chore to chew through. Bites flake off in big chunks, but it isn’t so crumbly as to be messy. The big chocolate chips have a wonderfully soft texture, not chalky or hard.

Art's original blend Pro Bar bite
Taste: It’s hard to explain, but you can actually taste each individual ingredient. If I think about the papaya, I can taste the papaya. If I try to taste the sesame seeds, they come rushing to the foreground. If I’m not thinking about it, it tastes mostly like a mixture of brown rice syrup and peanut butter, studded all over with fat chocolate chips and juicy sweet raisins. The chocolate chips have an incredible flavor too, almost fruity like raspberry or blackberry.

Overall, I absolutely loved this bar. The flavor is incredible and the ingredients are so wholesome. With it’s higher price and calorie content though, it’s definitely one that I would reserve for those random occasions that I miss a meal and need a healthy snack to fill me up for hours.

Do you ever use snacks like this when you know you’re going to miss a mealtime?


Chinese tea eggs

Finally, I got em’ right!

Chinese tea egg 3

I have been trying to get these Chinese tea eggs to come out beautifully marbled and full of salty smoky flavor and I finally did it!

Egg in sake cup

Tea eggs are a common Chinese snack found in street food stalls and also made at home to eat with a hot cup of tea. The intricate marbled lacework across the white comes from soaking in a marinade of soy sauce, Chinese black tea, and spices. Here’s how it’s done….

If you can boil water, you can make tea eggs. I used this method of hard-boiling eggs to make sure they came out the perfect consistency and it worked marvelously! Place up to 6 eggs in a pot that isn’t too huge for them but also not crowded. Add 1 and a half quarts of water and start heating it up.

Eggs in cold water

As soon as the water comes to a bare simmer (rising bubbles are starting to make the surface bounce and quiver but not yet roll,) remove the pot from the heat and let the eggs sit in the hot water for 10 minutes.

Eggs coming to a simmer

Then rinse the eggs under cool water until they are cool enough to touch.

Now comes the fun part, bashing them up!

Crack with spoon

Use the back of a spoon to break the egg all over, making a fine meshwork of cracks. There is a membrane just under the shell that will hold all the pieces in place so don’t worry about breaking it apart, just don’t hit it so hard that you jam shell pieces down into the egg!

Crack all over

Add the eggs back to the pot and add just enough water to cover. I use the same water that the eggs boiled in and just pour some out.

Add soy sauce, mirin, cinnamon sticks, anise, black peppercorns, and any style of black tea you can get your hands on, though a traditional Chinese black or pu-erh is best. Heat the marinade just until you can smell the spices infusing and the tea leaves are unfurled and soft. Don’t let it boil or even simmer, it’ll overcook the eggs!

Eggs in tea marinade

In China it is common to let the eggs sit in the marinade for 2 days to fully absorb the flavor. I let mine sit overnight, on the counter until cool and then in the fridge in a sealed plastic container. If you really wanna eat them sooner, 4 hours should do it.

Then they’re ready to peel. I have not found a good way to do this without half-mangling the egg whites, so if you have a preferred technique by all means use it. One good tip I do know of though is to try to get under the membrane so that you can peel up more of the shell at once.

Eggs ready to peel

Serve with tea or any time!

Chinese tea egg 2

Chinese tea eggs

Hard boiled eggs marbled with fragrant soy, spices, and Chinese black tea.


  • 4 to 6 eggs
  • 1.5 quarts water
  • 1 star anise pod
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tsp. black peppercorns
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. mirin
  • 2 tbsp. or 2 teabags of black tea

Cooking Directions

  1. Put eggs in cold water in a saucepan that is just big enough for them.
  2. Bring heat up to a bare simmer, remove from heat and let sit in hot water for 10 minutes.
  3. Run cool water over eggs then crack all over with the back of a spoon.
  4. Return eggs to pot and pour out all but enough of the water to just cover eggs.
  5. Add seasonings and sauces and turn heat to medium-low to infuse spices and tea into liquid.
  6. After the marinade smells fragrant, turn off heat and let eggs sit in the liquid for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  7. Peel eggs carefully and store in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

Chinese tea egg 1

The flavor is faintly smoky and lightly salty with a slight tickle from the spicy anise. I love to keep of few of these in the fridge for a healthy and satisfying snack in the afternoon. They are perfect to pop right after a good workout for a protein punch! But mostly, I like to savor them in exactly 4 bites, each with the perfect proportion of creamy just-set yolk.

Chinese tea egg creamy yolk

I hope you try them, they’re worth the wait!


My muesli

I read a lot of blogs that always feature the most beautiful and decadent breakfast recipes. French toast covered in berries, fluffy pancakes dripping with nut butter and syrup, veggie-stuffed omelets, smoothies in a bowl with pretty toppings, elegant overnight oat parfaits with melty banana soft-serve….and let’s not forget the endless oatmeal permutations.

Here’s a confession: I am just not a breakfast person.

When I wake up I usually just want to shove food in my mouth as fast as possible, so I cannot fathom making homemade waffle batter or processing frozen bananas before I get to eat. I also can never manage to eat very much even though I feel really hungry, so a giant stack of pancakes would go largely uneaten.

You’ve seen my fruit and yogurt bowls, nanner with nut butter, and the occasional bagel with cream cheese, but here’s another one in heavy rotation: muesli.

My muesli with nectarine

Essentially a bunch of nuts, grains, and dried fruits that I eat like a cereal with almond milk and seasonal fruit.

For this muesli, I tried my hand at popping amaranth for the first time. It was really easy!

Just heat a pan to medium-low and add about a tablespoon of raw amaranth.

Dry amaranth

It should start popping within 2 seconds if the pot is hot enough. I clamp on the lid since the little buggers like to jump straight into my eyeballs. Just wiggle the whole thing back and forth to make sure every grain gets heated evenly.

Popping amaranth

Just like with popcorn, some grains are just not ever going to pop, so get them outta there as soon as things start quieting down.

I love the warm nutty flavor and crispy texture of the popped amaranth.

Popped amaranth

Mixed in with all my other favorite bits and bobs, it makes for a healthy and filling breakfast.

My muesli

My muesli

This healthy muesli is quick and customizable, delicious served with cold almond milk.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Yield: approx. 3 cups

Serving Size: 1/3 cup


  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/4 cup popped amaranth
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup flax meal
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup oat bran
  • 1/4 cup toasted buckwheat
  • 1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1/8 cup dried goji berries
  • 1 tbsp. cocoa powder

Cooking Directions

  1. Mix everything together thoroughly and serve with almond milk like cereal

The cocoa in this is a little bitter, but once the sweet almond milk hits it becomes the perfect sweetness. You could absolutely leave it out if that’s not your thing. It’s a great breakfast for a hot summer day and it keeps me full for a long time.

Have you ever made your own cereal?