VIP Yoga, Meditation, and Swag Bag Giveaway with Malika Chopra!

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I am giving away 8 VIP passes to “Seren-i-Tea in the Square,” an interactive event featuring music, meditation, yoga, education, natural refreshment and inspiration – all aimed at encouraging people to take time out to achieve balance in their hectic lives. The event, hosted by Mallika Chopra, daughter of famed author Dr. Deepak Chopra and founder of Intent.com.

Anyone can register for the event, but each Club Dine In VIP will receive a custom tote that contains a yoga mat, a designer scarf and other items, a total value of $75. Also, each Club Dine In member will receive a $50 Whole Foods gift card.

All you have to do is go to Club Dine In’s Facebook page and leave a comment with a positive message. I will randomly pick 9 fans to join me for this exclusive event in San Francisco.

What   Seren-i-Tea in the Square,an interactive midday event featuring meditation, yoga, education and refreshments.

Who        Registration for this event is open to the public, but 9 of my readers get to attend with me as VIP guests!

Featured guests include:
Mallika Chopra – The daughter of Deepak Chopra, Mallika Chopra is a mother, author, blogger and founder of Intent.com. She will serve as event keynote to guide participants in finding serenity in their daily lives.
Stephanie Snyder – Well known for her unique ability to infuse her challenging classes with strategic sequencing, yoga philosophy, technical alignment, and heart-felt humor, Stephanie has been featured on the cover of Yoga Journal Magazine, has been a contributing writer to Yoga Journals’ “Home Practice” and was named San Francisco’s most sought after yoga teacher by InStyle Magazine.

When: Saturday, June 25, 2011 from 12:30 – 2:00 p.m.

Where  Union Square, 333 Post Street, San Francisco, CA 94108
Why        Our hectic days are consumed with jobs, loved-ones, everyday pressures and obligations. Often the last obligation we think about is the one we have to ourselves.
This event is aimed at providing a real-time “self-moment” for participants and will offer tools and techniques to make “me-time” a deliberate and important part of daily routines – helping us achieve balance from within.

About Seren-i-tea
Sokenbicha will donate $5 for every person who attends Seren-i-Tea to nonprofit partners making a significant impact in San Francisco:

  • Headstand brings stress reduction techniques and yoga to youth in economically-disadvantaged communities.
  • Off the Mat uses the power of yoga to inspire conscious, sustainable activism and ignite grassroots social change in the world.

About Sokenbicha

  • Sokenbicha combines the refreshing taste of water with the flavor and goodness of all-natural, authentically brewed tea and botanicals.
  • Each of the five varieties of Sokenbicha is unsweetened, zero calorie and made with natural botanicals sourced from around the globe.
  • One of Japan’s largest tea brands, Sokenbicha is created in partnership with and endorsed by Japan’s revered natural health and wellness experts – Nihondo.
  • From the packaging to the process of developing the beverage sold inside, Sokenbicha reflects a commitment to environmental sustainability.

Be sure to follow @SokenbichaTea on Twitter and Liking Sokenbicha on Facebook. Also, guests can register for the event here: http://bit.ly/SereniTea

Club Dine In! is on Twitter and Facebook. Follow @clubdinein for daily health, fitness, and social news, recipes and delicious tips! Join the Club Dine In! community on Facebook to connect with like-minded individuals and find out about exclusive Club Dine! events. Be sure to sign-up to receive posts and updates straight into your inbox!

Wake Up The World (Brunch) Event May 14th!

World Fair Trade Day is May 14. Join the Wake Up the World campaign to take action for Fair Trade. Supporting farmers and workers around the world is as easy as a cup of coffee and a banana.

Fair Trade USA and Stag Dining Group invite you to join us for Wake Up the World Brunch on Saturday, May 14th at 10am in San Francisco. Chefs Jordan Grosser and Ted Fleury are committed to creating unforgettable dining experiences with a keen eye on social, economic and environmental sustainability. In celebration of World Fair Trade Day, Stag has prepared a delightful brunch menu that features a wide variety of Fair Trade Certified ingredients, paired with Fair Trade Certified coffee, tea and cocktails.

Please enter the code ClubDineIn20 for 20% off!

Cookies for a Cause: Bakesale for Japan

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The first time I attempted to bake cookies from scratch was when I was 10 years old. My two girlfriends (pictured above on the header) were my guinea pigs. They were really nice to me, but honestly the cookies were more like bricks. Since then, Rajita and Nafisah have endured many of my failed cookie attempts until I got it just right. Though, by the time I got it just right, I didn’t care about baking anymore. I found more satisfaction and restraint in just buying one serving size at a cafe and not worrying about over indulging.

Then, during this past holiday season, I got the baking itch. That may be because I have been hanging out (online and offline) with more food bloggers and bakers. Social influence. So at the 18 Reason’s DIY Desserts: Holiday Cookie Swap I baked cookies for the first time in over a decade. I was nervous and intimidated. I also didn’t have any of the fancy baking equipment, like a Kitchen Aid mixer. There were a ton of cookie recipes out there, too, which was overwhelming. I also wanted to make something healthy-ish and couldn’t find anything uncomplicated. So after anxiously debating if I really wanted to bake (the strong Vata in me), I remembered baking a cake using only almond flour years ago and it turned out fantastic. So I applied the same methodology and attempted to make cookies out of the pistachio flour I already had on hand. I was  pleasantly surprised that the cookies turned out pretty good. I took them to the cookie swap, and everyone seemed to really like them too. Also, my husband, who thinks he is an Iron Chef judge, told me he really liked them. So, I did the natural thing, and baked these cookies for every holiday party we had to go to for rest of the season.

Last Saturday I participated in Bakesale for Japan, which meant I spent Friday night baking. I had overambitious plans to make a multitude of desserts, but then when it came down to the wire, I only had the bandwidth and courage to make two types of cookies. My baked goods were going to be placed right next to professionals and pro-bakers like Tartine Bakery, Eat The Love, and Desserts First. So I baked my now infamous pistachio cookies and adapted a recipe from 101 Cookbooks. I accidentally came across the recipe and it looked so simple to make. Plus, I love and trust everything on 101 Cookbooks. I hope to post my adaptation of the recipe here soon enough.

It was really fun spending the evening baking. I opened a bottle of wine, that I randomly picked up from Whole Foods for $10, which turned out to be excellent. So with a glass of vino rojo in one hand and whisk in the other, I was baking away. Also, I would intermittently go on Twitter and follow the hashtag #bakesale4japan to chat with other bloggers who were doing the same thing I was (but probably without the bottle of wine). I  felt like I was apart of something really BIG. A few weeks ago, I felt so small and helpless when I was following the Twitter stream during the earthquakes and Fukushima meltdown.  Though, after seven dozen cookies had cooled and seeing a tweet about someone’s cute packaging, I went into panic mode. I hadn’t even thought about the packaging! Normally, I am on top of these things and have been coined the name Martha Stewart amongst my friends, but with all that has been going on, I just forgot about cute labels and packaging. And, I hate a missing an opportunity for DIY creative packaging. Then, the creative side kicked in, and managed to come up with something really unique and chic. I used leftover silk favor bags from my wedding to put the cookies in and used my adorable Moo business cards for the labeling. I didn’t even make the connection until I saw a few Japanese people really enamored by my cookies (err packaging). The silk bags were red and had gold flowers on them that looked like cherry blossoms. In the end, it always works out.

The turnout at the bakesale was incredible! I got to the Bi-Rite  Market location right at starting time, and managed to squeeze in my cookies on the very crowded table. That table was a sweet-lovers dream come true. I was tempted to buy everything. There were so many baked goods, graciously made by the blogging community, home-bakers, and professionals, that boxes had to be dispersed to a multitude of locations. At last count, together, we raised $120,254.38. The money will benefit Peace Winds Japan.

Since the community really came through at the Bi-Rite location of the bakesale, a lot of the baked goods had to be dispersed to other locations in San Francisco, Oakland, Marin, and San Jose.

Around the corner, 18 Reasons hosted an art sale where people made origami cranes.

Irvin (Eat the Love) and Anita (Desserts First) at 18 Reasons.

Someone bought my cookies!

I also stopped by the SPQR location in Pacific Heights to say hello to a few friends.

SPQR closed down the restaurant to host the bake sale. They also made paninis and crostini for the bakesale. Blue Bottle and Blue Bottle Sweets were also on site, serving their delicious coffee drinks and pastries. Nearby restaurants, Citizen Cake, Jane, and Out the Door, also pitched in with delicious desserts.

The clever ladies, Annelies and Laiko, dished out deals throughout the bakesale. I got there just in time for the 2-for-1 deal, and snatched up cupcakes to share with friends that afternoon. Let’s just say, I didn’t pay attention to my sugar intake that day.

I promise to post the recipe for the cardamon-rose pistachio cookies soon!

Club Dine In! is on Twitter and Facebook. Follow @clubdinein for daily health, fitness, and social news, recipes and delicious tips! Join the Club Dine In! community on Facebook to connect with like-minded individuals and find out about exclusive Club Dine! events. Be sure to sign-up to receive posts and updates straight into your inbox!

Bakesale For Japan, April 2, 2011

I’ve mentioned in my tweets, Facebook, and here that I am participating in a Bakesale for Japan organized by Samin Nosrat. What was going to be a bakesale held at a few locations in the Bay Area  blew up into a national event!  Bakesale for Japan is happening this Saturday, April 2nd from 10am to 2pm in nearly 45 cities nationwide!

Go to the location nearest to you and buy a few goodies (hey, it’s for a good cause). I will be at the Bi Rite Market location for sometime. I am also making gluten-free pistachio cookies, chocolate-puddle cookies, and maybe gulab jamun.

Club Dine In! is on Twitter and Facebook. Follow @clubdinein for daily health, fitness, and social news, recipes and delicious tips! Join the Club Dine In! community on Facebook to connect with like-minded individuals and find out about exclusive Club Dine! events. Be sure to sign-up to receive posts and updates straight into your inbox!

Update: We Raised Over $4000 for Doctor’s Without Borders.

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Last September, Sila Mutungi posted on his Facebook status that he was thinking for doing pancake festival/fundraiser. I contacted him right away wanting to help organize. Sila and I split up in our tasks; he was in charge of organizing the music and I was in charge of everything related to the pancakes. Usually in large food festivals, sustainability is not even considered and I wanted to make sure that all of the ingredients were sourced sustainability.  Through generous donations from local farms and businesses, we had medjool dates, fair-trade coffee, bananas, chocolate, and sugar, organic apples and pears, organic butter, whipping cream, and milk, farm fresh eggs, and buttermilk pancake flour. View more pictures here and here.

Marcus Cohen Presents the Congress

Organizers: SILA and Nimisha

Roger Anthony, of Soul Cocina, was our executive chef.

Despite the rainstorm, hundreds of people walked through the doors, to enjoy live music and eat sustainable pancakes. In the end we raised over $4000. The entire event was run on donations and volunteers. 100% of the $10 cover charge went to Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). We had chosen Pakistan as the recipient of the fundraiser. Pakistan was devastated by flooding, triggered by torrential rains, affecting 20 million people. The floods washed away crops and destroyed villages.

 

 

Here is a summary of how the money was used in Pakistan in response to the floods:

 

 

  • Conducted over 106,616 consultations at five hospitals, seven mobile clinics and six diarrhea treatment centers;
  • Screened more than 97,000 children and pregnant and lactating women and treated more than 8,800 malnourished children;
  • Conducted 434 complicated birth deliveries and 82 Caesarean sections;
  • Admitted 339 new born babies to the nursery;
  • Distributed 2.1 million liters of clean water per day and built 709 latrines, 280 shower sites, and 130 hand-washing points, and installed 271 hand pumps;
  • Distributed 73,708 relief item kits and 22,629 tents;
  • Distributed 2,000 transitional shelters

I would like to thank our donors, volunteers, and musicians again. A special thank you to Sila Mutungi, Roger Anthony (Soul Cocina),  Satish Ambati, and Bruce Hanson (for providing CODA SF).

MUSICIAN INCLUDED
SILA, Native Elements, Marcus Cohen Presents the Congress, The Dunes, Classical Revolution, Miriam Speyer, Dj Santero, Dj Zeph, and Dj Amar.

DONORS INCLUDED:
Alter Eco
Bob’s Red Mill
Straus Family Creamery
Farm Fresh To You
Whole Foods, Noe Valley
Rainbow Grocery Co-Op
Weavers Coffee and Tea
Bi-Rite Market

Rotee

Club Dine In! is on Twitter and Facebook. Follow @clubdinein for daily health, fitness, and social news, recipes and delicious tips! Join the Club Dine In! community on Facebook to connect with like-minded individuals and find out about exclusive Club Dine! events. Be sure to sign-up to receive posts and updates straight into your inbox!

Cookbook Potluck Party Recap

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Club Dine In! and Slow Food SF co-hosted a cookbook potluck party at JAX Vineyard’s beautiful loft on Sunday. We had about 20 people bring a dish from the cookbook Cooking With Italian Grandmothers by Jessica Theroux. Jessica who lives in the Bay Area also came to the party. Gina from California Olives and Olive Oils (COOO) set up an olive oil and olive tasting table for us. We got to taste three of the amazing olive oils and the olive from which the oils are produced.  I was introduced to COOO at the Fort Mason Farmer’s Market, which I have been going to consistently on Sunday mornings for the last six months.  During the summer, they were the only ones selling fresh lemons. JAX Vineyard also poured a glass of their Taureau and Chardonnay.  I loved their Taureau. Overall, the atmosphere was causal, warm, and friendly. Just like a dinner party should be.

JAX Vineyard's loft in SOMA

Old and new friends mingled over olives, olive oil, and wine.

The space was comfortable enough for everyone to enjoy each others' company. Dava, of Slow Food SF, gave an introduction to the cookbook. Jessica talked a little bit about her experience in documenting the grandmothers and her time in Italy.

We watched a delightful short film that Jessica made in Italy.

There was an abundance of food made from the recipes in the chosen cookbook.

Convivial Table

*Club Dine In! hosts events that enriches  the community through sustainable practices. Members can stay connected through a discussion board on Facebook to share ideas, experiences and suggestions with each other.

Did you know that Club Dine In! is on Twitter and Facebook? Follow @clubdinein for daily health, fitness, and social news, recipes and delicious tips! Join the Club Dine In! community on Facebook to connect with like-minded people and find out about exclusive Club Dine! events.

Patate Arrosti con Rosmarino- Potluck Party

Join Club Dine In! and Slow Food SF at JAX Vineyard’s Loft for a potluck featuring recipes from the new book, Cooking with Italian Grandmothers by Jessica Theroux.  Choose your favorite recipe from the cookbook and join us for dinner. JAX Vineyard will pour wine and California Olives and Oils will  have olive oil for tasting. Theroux will be at the potluck and  show a screening from her time in Italy. Members can stay connected through an discussion board on Facebook to share ideas, experiences and suggestions with each other.

When: Janaury 16, 2011 5-8PM
Where: JAX Vineyards SF Loft 334 Brannan Street San Francisco, CA 94107
RSVP: Tickets are $15 per person and includes an olive oil tasting and 1 glass of JAX Vineyard wine with dinner.

Healthier Social Eating: The Holidays

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With so many holiday parties, gatherings, shopping, work, school and kids, eating well, resting, and working out could easily drop off your radar.Though, at this time of the year, it is really important to take care of yourself to prevent health goal relapse and catching a cold or the FLU.  Follow these simple tips for maintaining balance and prevent guilt from overeating.

This is a modified list to Healthier Social Eating: BBQ’s

1. Sleep Well and Rest Enough
If you are tired, lethargic or sleepy, you might  tend to load  up on junk food and caffeine for an energy “boost.” Loading up on empty calories and caffeine will only make you hungrier and cause you to crash after the sugar high starts to wear off. Extra caloric intake (without extra caloric output) will lead to weight gain over time leading to obesity. Sleep deprivation also lowers your immune system’s ability to fight off bacteria and viruses. Also, inadequate sleep has been linked to depression, lowered cognitive (brain) function, higher blood pressure, and irritability. Try to get at least seven hours of sleep each night for optimal health and happiness.

2. Eat Regular Meals and Have Healthy Options Available
Many people tend to skip their regular meals in favor of eating at holiday parties and gatherings. Typically, parties tend to only serve junk, cheap, or highly processed food, even if it is in a sophisticated form. A gourmet cookie is still  made of sugar, butter, and flour. And, brie is still a high, saturated fat cheese, even if it’s topped with cranberry sauce. Do not walk into a party hungry, as you will end up eating  the party food  and drinking high caloric drinks to replace dinner. Instead, fill up on healthy, satisfying food beforehand party and only eat the really amazing food at the party.  If it is a potluck party, bring healthy alternatives to desserts, crackers, and cheese. Look at everything that is offered and choose only the items you really want to eat. This way you can fill up on the healthiest foods first, without worrying about bad calories, sugar, and fat.


3. Think Before You Drink
A drink that is not a glass of water has calories and sugar. Drink at least eight ounces of water or so that your thirst is quenched and stomach already feels a little full.  You will  less likely  chug the alcoholic drink to quench your thirst. Is that chocolate martini or eggnog rum drink really worth 500-700 calories (equivalent to a meal)? Make your choices worthwhile and sip on a glass of wine or beer.


4. Mix and Mingle
Choose three or four items you really want to eat, and then step away from the food table so you’re not tempted to graze. You will be less likely to keep mindlessly refilling your plate if you are in the middle of an interesting conversation and standing on the other side of the room from the food. Being with friends and family and having a great time at  the party also contributes to overall good health. Focus on the people at the party instead of the food and drinks.

5. Make Room for Dessert
Cookies, cookies, and more cookies are on everyone’s mind during the holidays and parties are dedicated to just desserts. If you have been good about sticking to your health goal, then a cookie or piece of yule log is nothing to feel guilty about. Don’t let a relapse turn into a downward spiral. In the long run, a piece of dessert is not going to harm you if you follow a healthy, clean diet. It’s pretty clear that sugar is toxic and should be consumed as treats, not regular snacks. Instead of saying “there’s always room for dessert,” actually leave room for it. Eat a little less of everything else so you can have a piece of that cake, cookie or pie. Desserts typically take a long time to make, therefore spend time eating the dessert instead of devouring it at once!


Did you know that Club Dine In! is on Twitter and Facebook? Follow @clubdinein for daily health, fitness, and social news, recipes and delicious tips! Join the Club Dine In! community on Facebook to connect with like-minded people and find out about exclusive Club Dine! events.

Club Dine In! dines out with Grub Crawl

Grub Crawl has teamed up with Club Dine In! for a special progressive dining experience in the Cow Hollow neighborhood of San Francisco!  The ticket gets you exclusive entrance and great grub at three restaurants.  Each restaurant will showcase a special Club Dine In! Grub Crawl menu. The restaurants are close together, so we will be walking (“crawling”) from restaurant to restaurant.

When: Wednesday, December 15th.
Time: The Grub Crawl  starts at 6pm SHARP!
Where: Appetizers at Marengo on Union, entrees at Gamine, and desserts at American Cupcake.
Tickets: http://grubcrawl5.eventbrite.com/
Get you tickets here now as space is limited!

Read Club Dine In!’s review of Marengo here.

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