Cocozia 100% Organic Coconut Water

November 18, 2014 § Leave a comment



A few weeks ago, Cocozia offered me a chance to taste their coconut water (here) to review. we’ve never heard of Cocozia’s brand before so we were eager to try it. We’ve had several other brands but there’s (ahem) one in particular that the Mister always seems to get. So here you’ll be getting both our takes on Cocozia.

Let’s start by summarizing each of our view of coconut water. The Mister doesn’t like the taste of coconut water. I won’t quote what he has compared the taste of it to in the past but let’s just say he drinks it as a “necessary evil.” Meaning he drinks it for the health benefits, not for the taste. He actually prefers to drink the flavored ones.

I prefer the straight coconut water or the fruit flavored ones. I can’t stand the taste of the chocolate or other weirdly flavored ones. Yuk!

On first look, Cocozia has a nice clean container, the green probably representing the organic and Non GMO side of the product. There’s a straw for convenience which I liked very much. Also Cocozia is kosher so another brand option for those who need kosher.

Now the taste. (You know it’s all about the taste, about the taste, no treble) Sorry Meghan Trainor, couldn’t help myself. We bit found Cocozia a bit less sweeter than some other brands, which actually is good if you want to use coconut water for cooking or baking. I didn’t detect any weird metallic aftertaste that I’ve noticed in a couple of other brands. It is a nice clean taste. The Mister said it was a bit more palatable than the other brands. For someone who doesn’t care for the taste of coconut water in general, that’s a positive. As a matter of fact, he’s been drinking it straight before bedtime.

I’ve used it in my pineapple-mango-spinach-Pom juice smoothies and I don’t really taste the coconut water at all. But then pineapple and mango can mask a lot of flavors. I’ve even tried making a batch of mini coconut cupcakes using it instead of milk. The texture was on the dry side since I didn’t compensate for enough fat in the recipe so I’ll be trying that again. I did, however, use it in a simple icing I used on a store bought bunds cake that someone gave me. I mixed about 3:1 part of powdered sugar to coconut water. Mix well then drizzled over the bundt cake. Sorry no pictures but I had people over and it was a bit crazy. It was a hit though, no cake left.

The only drawback is that Cocozia is on the higher end of the price spectrum of coconut waters. I haven’t seen it in stores so to get it from Amazon (here), expect to pay just above $2 per container. You can get it in a case of 24 or larger containers, too. If all the brands we like were layed out in front of us and asked to choose one, I honestly would pick the cheapest one, assuming I’m paying for it. Hey I never said I wasn’t cheap. But I would stock up on Cocozia if it was on sale.

Strawberry Freshcream Cake – Paris Baguette (in Zion Market)

August 13, 2013 § 15 Comments

Can you believe summer is almost over? We have been in the steady low 80’s here, not that I’m complaining. August has been typically the hottest month in San Diego.  The record was 93F in 2003. I always seem to focus on August’s temperatures since our wedding day had felt like the hottest day ever. It really wasn’t but it felt that way.

For this year’s anniversary, I decided to get a Strawberry Freshcream cake from Paris Baguette. I was running  errands in the Clairemont area so ended up at the Zion Market location. There’s also another location in H-Mart in Mira Mesa, just fyi.

I’ve been wanting to get a freshcream cake from Paris Baguette for some time and have been waiting for the right occasion. The cakes are not cheap for the size of the cakes, certainly not something I would just get on a whim. Included in the price, you can get complimentary candles as well as a plastic serving cake knife, which I thought was cool. The good news for anyone who doesn’t want to shell out $28-40 dollars or just don’t need a whole one, some of the cakes are available by the slice.

The freshcream cake reminded me of the birthday cakes my mom would buy me from Asian bakery stores when I was growing up. I love these kind of cakes because the cakes are fluffy, just lightly sweet so the fruit filling can shine through. Whipped cream frosting and filling are my favorites.

I got the smaller of the cakes available since I wasn’t sure how we (I) would like it. I figured that if we loved the cake, I can get another one for the Mister’s birthday in a couple of weeks. To quote him after his first bite, “Mmmmmm, oh this is really good.” He concurred that this was the best cake I’ve brought home to date. Even better than the strawberry coconut cake I got him last year.

Here’s a look at the x-section. The only complaint I had  was that there could have been more strawberries in the filling. What little there was was sweet and fruity. I’m using all the will power that I can muster not to go slice a piece right now!

While I was waiting for my cake to be boxed, I got really hungry staring at all the pastry so I bought a small red bean mochi and a soft cheese cake. I ate both of them before I had the mind to take pictures. I did say I was really hungry, didn’t I? Both were very good. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the cheese cake but it is NOT like the Western cheesecake. This was an actual cake with cheese flavoring. The texture was soft, as in the name and had a mild cheese flavor. The texture and flavor are hard for me to explain but I liked it. You should try it. I think I’ll pick up a few more variety of desserts the next time I’m there. Certainly have to get one of these soft cheese cake for the Mister since he gave me a hard time for not getting him one. Not really a hard time but hey, I was hungry, okay?

One more thing, not hard to notice that my blog has a different look. I’m playing around with an updated theme and color scheme. There are some limitations to the template so I decided to go back to my old logo header rather than spend hours on end editing the the codes to fit the animated version. Simple is best these days. Let me know what you think.

Hope everyone’s enjoying their summer so far. Have a great rest of the week!

Choco Pie Fever

July 3, 2013 § 7 Comments

The Mister and I have been on a choco pie kick for the past few months.  Love having one (or two) of these chocolatey chewy pies with the morning coffee! So far I’ve only tried the two main brands, Lotte and Orion. Both available at the local Korean markets. But while The Mister was in S. Korea, he sent back some Orion choco pies. It wasn’t until I bought some Orion locally that I realized there were slight differences between brands and even within the same brand. So let’s take a look at some side-by-side comparisons.

Here we have the Korean Orion brand on the left in each picture (the ones the Mister bought in Korea) and the Lotte brand on the right (bought locally in SD). Orion’s package is a little bigger than the Lotte because the actual pie is slightly bigger.


It might be a little easier to see in these pictures. The Orion is the pie on the bottom.


As far as taste, they both had the same flavors, meaning if I were to close my eyes and bite into them, I wouldn’t be able to tell solely based on taste. Texture-wise, on the other hand, was the big difference. The Orion had a softer cake. The Lotte ganache was firmer, reminding me of a s’mores like texture although the cake wasn’t dry like a graham cracker. The cake was drier than the Orion brand. The Orion was more like a whoopie pie. I think because of the softer ganache and cake, the marshmallow texture seemed to be more prominent. I tried just the marshmallow from both to see if one was softer than the other but no, they were both the same. The Mister and I both preferred the Orion brand. But neither of us would say no to a Lotte choco pie.

Even though we can get Orion brand locally,  we still prefer the Korean version of Orion. Here’s why. Introducing the Orion US choco pie on the left, Orion Korean on the right.

The first thing I noticed was that the US version is smaller. The picture makes the US ganache seem shinier because of the lighting but it really isn’t.

The US cake is just minimally thicker at the most. Two other side-by-side comparison showed more of the size difference.


I didn’t take any comparison pictures of the Lotte and Orion US versions but they are pretty similar overall. The only slight difference I noticed was that sometimes the Orion cake was a little softer.

So there you go. I got some other snacks as part of the care package but they will have to wait for another post later.

Hope everyone has a fun Independence Day!  Stay cool and safe!

South Bay Food Crawl – The Wrap Up

January 7, 2012 § 8 Comments


Before we went to Tijuana Seafood Bar, we stopped by Hogetsu to get some mochi and to give our bellies a bit of a rest. I waited to take pictures when I got home, showing some restraint from schoffing these down just long enough to take a couple of pictures.

It was my first time there but this place has been on my list for a very very long time. What I got were similar to what CC had gotten, which you can read about here. I got a white with red bean and a pink one with white bean filling (my favorite), an orange one with white bean (which was delicious), a pink flower with white bean (it was pretty but I preferred the more plain ones), and a sweet potato with cream, which I wasn’t a fan of. It was just a bit too mushy for my liking. I also got one that had a powder, which I can’t remember what it’s called, with red bean filling, I think. (CC mentioned that the yellow powder is called kinako, which is soybean flour.) Overall, the pink colored and orange flavored with white beans are my favorite. Wish I would have bought a dozen of those!

After our last taco stop at TJ Seafood Bar, we decided to walk off our meal a bit by visiting Seafood City. I’ve never been to Seafood City, not even the on in Mira Mesa (even when I lived in MM) so this was quite fun for me and I learned a lot about Filipino food from CC (not that I can remember it all). I only took a few pictures but check out CC’s post here since she always has fun and informative pictures.

As our last stop of the day, we popped down just a bit further south to Teresita’s Fruiteria. I’ve read about their chamangos from CC (read her post here) and was eager to try one. It almost sounded like a li hing mui mango slushy.

I really didn’t need to look at the menu to know what I was getting. Here’s our order. I think these were medium sized.

Can I just say that I’m addicted to these things now? The chamoy is kind of like li hing mui powder I suppose as far as flavoring stuff. But chamoy is a paste where li hing mui powder is not (duh, CAB!). I love the saltiness of the chamoy mixed in with the slushy-mango-y flavor. The chamoy is the dark red stuff. Look at those chunks of mango on top! GAW I love these!

Not only did we enjoy some delicious food, I also received some wonderful stuff. Here’s a picture of the lovely cardamom braided bread that Cathy made for us. So good toasted and with coffee. The bread is sitting on a cake plate that CC made for me. I loved the retro Christmas pattern.

Here’s a shot of the bottom. Pretty cool.

And that wasn’t all. CC also made a smaller, more contemporary platter for me. Very elegant and I loved the candlestick bottom.

 And let’s not forget the remainder of the food. Well, at least the ones I remembered to take pictures of before I inhaled them. CC’s gift goodie packaged treats (those prawn crackers were gone in minutes). I also received some home baked goodies from CC, lemon cheesecake bar (oh they were so good!) and I think Magic 7-Layer Bars, which the Mister called dibs on. But uh, yeah, we kind of eat those before I remembered to take a picture.

I also got some calamansis oranges (these are not oranges but a hybrid of citrus fruits, thanks for the correction, CC)! I’ve used some in a roasted chicken the other day.

Not a bad haul, huh? It was a great day of good eating with good friends. Can’t really ask for much more than that. Well, maybe just to do it again in the new year.


So glad it's Monday?

December 5, 2011 § 4 Comments

I never thought I’d say this but boy am I glad it’s Monday. It means that this past weekend is over and I can finally relax for a few days before the Christmas crazies starts. It’s been a rather hectic couple of weeks but it all ended with a Change of Command ceremony yesterday at the Coronado Amphib. base. I won’t get into all the Naval jargons and blah-di-blahs, probably would get some of them wrong anyway. There was a reception after the ceremony. The food was okay, nothing to write home about. But what I want to share is the cake!

I had a few tasks assigned to me for the event, one of them was getting the cake. I knew from the start that I wanted a cake from Jenny Williams of Jenny Wenny Cakes. She did not disappoint. There were a few items I had wanted on the cake. One of them was the unit’s logo, seen on top of the cake.

Another was the American flag, which I had seen on one of the cakes showcased on her website. It was draped towards the back of the cake. The third item, and probably the toughest request, was this…

It’s (one of) the insignia for Surface Warfare. Surface Warfare Officers (SWOs) wear the gold pin on their uniforms and various versions of the SW insignia can be seen throughout the building. All the SWOs were ooo-ing and aaa-ing at it. So I made sure it was the first thing I took off the cake and set aside for the Mister. But it wasn’t the only thing that people were oogling at. People were hovering around the cake from the time I brought it in to the time I cut the cake.

The bottom tier was mango and macadamia nut cake with cream cheese filling. Top tier was white cake with passion fruit filling (to die for!) and butter cream frosting. Both layers were covered in fondant. It was great to see how everyone was going ga-ga over the cake. Luckily we had a bit left over of the bottom tier that came home with me, yea! As a matter of fact, I think I’m going to go have a bit for breakfast!

Thanks again to Jenny for making a fabulous and delicious cake for us! Please check out her webpage for more information on the wonderful cakes and baked goods that she offers. She uses nothing but the finest ingredients and it shows (tastes!).

Hope everyone is staying warm in SD on this chilly morning (it was 34 degrees F in Poway this morning, brrrrr). Hang on to your boots cuz Christmas is just around the corner!


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