Some Black Friday Specials

I do not have affiliate agreements with any of these vendors – I just like the products. 

  • Buying coffee gift cards to help feed folks – you can see yesterdays post on how Joe Coffee Provincetown is using its gift card campaign to raise money for the local Soup Kitchen in Provincetown (SKIP) here: November 27, 2020
  • Plant Apothecary.com is running its Black Friday sale and including free shipping for orders over $25. They are one of my fav body washes and I purchase the Wakey Wakey and Get it On pretty regularly. But also love Start Happy one.

These I also have affiliate agreements with – so for transparency, I am noting that:

  • Some of you know I am a fan of @PlexusWorldwide and use the #slim and #collagencomplex powders daily. Well, they have a preferred customer discount of 20% through Monday; https://plexusworldwide.com/MentorSF/home use the code# GIVE2U .

 

Giving Back in Provincetown at Joe Coffee Provincetown

Hey Everyone,  I hope you are recovering from however you choose to celebrate on Thursday. I know some of you have jumped on the Black Friday bandwagon. Like, may of you, this year more than ever I will be shopping more online. But while I will still use some of the “big-box stores” I also am making an effort to use local and small businesses when I can.

Several recommendations I have I will list below as well.

Drinking Coffee For Good at Joe Coffee Provincetown

Hanging out at a coffee shop is usually part of my morning ritual when I travel, as Paul usually sleeps in. It gets me out of bed and catching up with local pals or out walking. Not to mention they often serve as part of my mobile office on more than one occasion. Now – it is no secret that a part of my heart is always in Provincetown and I have posted about my trips back a number of times. Well,  my old college pal, Glenn, and two friends of his took over ownership of Joe’s Coffee in February of 2019. They even managed to make it into my last summer’s TikToks about the new app they had rolled out while I was working on the COVID19 response instead of vacationing this year.

@frank_mentorsfOne of the of the few gifts of #COVID19 is app & web based ordering. #coffee #coffeeshop #notalkingbeforecoffee #fypシ #provincetown #notalk

♬ original sound – Frank

 

Joe Coffee is running my favorite type of promotion this season. For every purchase you make, they are giving back money to Provincetown’s Soup Kitchen. SKIP as it is known in town prepares upwards of 150 hot lunches a day from Nov – April each year and with so many people not working as much leading into the winter  – supporting these programs is more important than ever.

Joe Coffee is running two winter promotions; 

Gift Cards for you and others

For all gift cards purchased between Nov 28  and Sunday, Dec. 13- they will donate money to SKIP. the more the value, the more they donate.

    • gift card value: $25 – $49;  joe donates $2 to SKIP
    • gift card value: $50 – $99;  joe donates $5 to SKIP
    • gift card value: $100 plus;  joe donates $10 to SKIP

To order your gift cards (which can be sent via email to the recipient if you want to send as a gift) use this GIFT CARD Link:   https://www.toasttab.com/joe-coffee-cafe/giftcards

SKIP Guest Cuppa’

You can also purchase a SKIP GUEST CUP OF COFFEE  either online from anywhere across the USA or In-Cafe at the register. Each of these sold, will be added to the 150 FREE COFFEE COUPONS  they already plan to include in the SKIP GUEST lunch bags on the day that Joe Coffee sponsors lunches. These coupons come in handy when someone wants a reason to hit the coffeeshop and money is tight. Sure – will it save the world? No. But can help someone have some reason to get out (masks and all) without worrying does that money need to be spent elsewhere.

You can buy a SKIP coffee donation here: https://www.toasttab.com/joe-coffee-cafe/v3

For more information on Joe Coffee you can visit them online at https://www.joecoffeeptown.com/ or check out its Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/joecoffeeptown and Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/joecoffeeptown/

For more on SKIP visit them online at https://www.skipfood.org or visit the SKIP’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/soupkitcheninprovincetown/

Note – This post has no paid affiliate links I earn nothing from sharing this post.

Keto Chocolate Chunk Biscotti

I am a huge biscotti fan and I have hate paying the price for them in the store when they are super each to make. I do a bunch of flavors, but one of my “go to’s” is a recipe for mini M&M Chocolate Marble Biscotti that I found some time back. But with friends and family members eating more Keto or gluten-free I have started to play around with recipes and this one got a remake this week.

So I went from this version with all the sugar and flour:

To a new version that uses almond four, sugar substituted ingredients:

 

With a few minor tweaks, I was able to get it working to rave reviews. But first, you have to have the ingredients. So I used these alternative brands (I don’t have a relationship or affiliate with any of them) but they are all easily available at both Safeway and Luckys grocery stores. in my test batches, I found I liked the chocolate bars chopped up better than using the Lily’s chips.

Here is the recipe:

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup of margarine softened (You could use butter but it will affect the softness of the biscuit – but add more flavor)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar substitute – I used the Monkfruit version
  • Two large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 2 -3/4 cups Almond Flour ( with up to an additional 1/4 cup if needed on the side)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder (you may find you can use less)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda (you may find you can use less)
  • 1 -3/4 cups sugar-free chips or chocolate bars chopped up
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder*
  • 1 cup slivered almonds (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons instant coffee granules (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Almond Extract (optional)

To make:

Preheat over to 325°F.

Cover two cookie sheets with parchment paper ( if your sheet are large you can do two bars at once but they will spread some)

Note- this batter is soft enough to do by hand or hand mixer if you do not want to use a stand mixer

Steps:

  1. In a large bowl, cream margarine and sugar substitute until light and fluffy;
  2. Mix in eggs and vanilla.
  3. In a medium bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda;
  4. blend into creamed mixture. Note: The dough will be much softer than the traditional version.
  5. you may want to add in some extra almond flour here if needed.
  6. Stir in 1 1/4 cups of chocolate pieces, mix well
  7. Layout plastic wrap on your counter and scoop out the dough and shape into a ball with your damp hands.
  8. Divide dough ball in half. Put one half back in the bowl, and leave one on the counter.
  9. Add the cocoa powder and coffee granules to one half of the dough in the bowl. Work together until the dough and powders are mixed. The cocoa powder will make the dough stiffer as well.

Making the marbled look

  1. On the plastic-covered counter ( you can also use almond flour on the counter if you prefer not to use plastic). Gently knead the  “white” dough and shape it into a wide log. Put aside.
  2. Do the same with the “chocolate” dough and gently knead into a similar shape
  3. Place the two logs together, one on top of the other, and knead them three times together to form a marbled effect.
  4. Divide the dough into two pieces again  and roll out as two similar shaped logs about 2 inches wide

Baking:

  • Place each log on a cookie sheet, (leave room around the log as they will spread in baking).
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes ( Almond flour burns faster than regular flour – so keep a close eye on it. In my oven 20 min was perfect)
  • Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for 15 to 20 minutes
  • Carefully remove from the pan to a cutting board (They will be soft! )
  • Using a serrated knife, slice logs into 1/2 inch slices (it may yield anywhere from 12 to 15 slices per log depending on how you cut them)
  • Rearrange them back on the cookie sheet cut sides down.
  • Bake an additional 10 minutes, Turning the over halfway through is optional
  • Turn the oven off and let them sit in the oven for another 5-10 min
  • Then remove from the pan and let them cool on a rack. store tightly covered

Other tips

  • Wrap each log in plastic and place in the refrigerator fo 15 min – 30 min before baking to chill helps to slow the spread when baking.
  • You can freeze the logs until ready to bake in the future, just let thaw 10 -15 min before baking.
  • Adding the coffee granules is optional. If I don’t have any, I don’t use them. Don’t use ground coffee.. it will be too bitter

 

 

Needing some new books to load on to your Kindle?

I had posted this over on Mentorsf.com/Engage this morning and figured I would share here as well.

Unlike when I talk about cable these days – “I have nothing to read” are words you will rarely hear come out of my mouth.

Whats makes that even better has been my Amazon Prime membership. It’s been a constant companion since I was back in school. From Summer and winter “disconnect trips” to my commutes between San Francisco and DC/Atlanta. Having the ability to download groups of books has meant I always have something to read.

Summer Reads

With COVID19 keeping so many of us indoors,  in addition to many bookstores closing up, many of us have not been able to get to our fav bookstores. So while I still advocate using independent bookstores when you can. It may be time for you to try #Amazon Prime. I’ve been a fan of it for several years. 

They currently have a discount promo being offered with 50% off the regular monthly subscription; https://amzn.to/3llLOAp

 

 

Try Prime Discounted Monthly Offering

Struggling with lighting needs for online calls?

Learn from the students who know.

Adjustable and dimmable ring lights offer a flexible easy way to give you better lighting. Also great for new tiktok users and stuck-at-home workers needing portable lighting.


Get 50% off till 9/4 from my link for the one I use.

Neewer 18-inch SMD LED Ring Light Dimmable Lighting Kit w/stand 50% off with code till 9/4.

 


Neewer 18-inch SMD LED Ring Light Dimmable Lighting Kit w/stand 50% off with code till 9/4.

 

My journey in resin art continues

Keeping Creative

As a way to stay mentally challenged from the other side of my brain – I started to learn how to use epoxy-resin as resin-art.

A lot of this was inspired as a new way for me to use more of the old jewelry pieces I used for the 2019 Holiday Trees and 2018’s Planner Keepers and Bookmarks when I was given a box of old jewelry to do something with. So since then I keep trying new ways to use up the “broken and unloved baubles & beads” as more people donate them to me to give them a new life as gifts for others.

I first started with pouring and casting coasters to get a feel for the process (and yes they will most likely show up somewhere come December for gifts). It was an interesting process needing to pay attention to the temperature in the room and bubbles etc. from Coasters I branched out to more art-themed pieces with some multidimensional art with some practice pieces using an owl mold filled with pebbles for feathers.

This week I wanted to begin to use up some leftover resin before we close up and head back east in a few weeks at the end of the month.

That means going back into the “gaudy baubles & beads” box for some finishing touches to a series of bookmarks for those that still read actual physical books.

For the background in how I reuse old previously loved, broken and vintage jewelry and the gaudy baubles box visit: https://bitetheroad.com/dec2019recap/

After coaster and trees, it was time to tackle journals, trays and wall art!

This is to me testing my creative side during COViD19.

I decided to see how free form resin pours would come out with an eye towards making a vase/candy dish/trinket bowl type thingy. Definite lessons learned but for my first try, it’s not awful. The with the surplus resin I did a series of bookmarks

More tales from my COVID19 Shelter In Place

The days are as full as ever; so it helps keep the mind from wandering

  • Changes are the norm. Trips were cancelled.
  • TEDxProvinvetown 202o is shelved as well.
  • I will be starting a new detail on COVID19 response next week.
  • Been keeping my hands busy with Tiktok (@frank_memtorsf) and some crafting xmas gifts early more on that later.
  • Cooking as usual

On the home front

Plenty of time with the 4-legged boss while managing to teach to night classes.

Just found out that that the “What the “Bears” can teach Goldilocks talk I did for TEDxProvincetown 2018 now has the transcript translated in three languages including Japanese https://www.ted.com/talks/frank_strona_what_the_bears_can_teach_goldilocks

Continuing to cook up a storm to keep the boys fed;

This is what happens when Paul And I watch Saturday morning cooking shows.

P: Honey. Make this…
Me: What? The Mexican inspired pizza?
P: No, the green sauce. Let’s do “make your own Tacos”. So we can use it.
Me: “eye roll”. Fine. I bet you mean use hard taco shells too. Not the soft ones .

So the end result; I swapped out a kicked up ground turkey for traditional carnitas (pork) that I wasn’t about to make or regular ground beef. Used whatever greens I had around and dinner is ready. Paul got his Taco and as usual mine got turned into a layered salad.

The roasted Tomatillo Salsa recipe is great. Will make again. Note to self; 1 roasted jalapeño wasn’t enough. A second or add the seeds/ribs next time

Getting lots of specifc food cravings too. So this Instant Pot Rice Pudding with cinnamon, shredded coconut, and my new non-dairy decadent treat – “condensed coconut milk”; all the sticky sweetness without the dairy hit the spot. Using lactaid free milk also added to the whole, making the whole dessert good for is “intolerant” folks. Chilling now to set but looks super easy to replace items and with only 20 min cook plus set up – including cooking the rice.

Another win at the house was a simple Instant Pot, 5-spice chicken & vegatable stew to go along with our Jodie Foster weekend. From Hotel Artemis to Silence of the Lambs

Been dragging recipes up “from the past” treat was inspired by strawberries that needed to get used. Old school Strawberry Shortcake with a twist of sweetened greek yogurt cream and homemade biscuits.

One day I even had time to have a cookie day with my version of “monster cookies”. Pretty much an “anything goes” coolie, so perfect way to use up bits of this and that.. chocolate bunnies from easter, nuts, m&ms, etc. it’s no delicate tea cookie. Its a solid oatmeal and peanut butter base great dunking.

The boys got all excited about a 70’s fav dish with “shake & bake” porkchops, baked sweet potatoes & green beans from our childhood too which was part of retro week. When I did a past’ & beans for dinner. A favorite since I was a kid and money was tight. Its kinda like the italian-american version of fast comfort food. Not to mention all the Friday grill ups we have been doing

I’ll be getting some recipes up this week too

 

Instant Pot Monday; chicken & potatoes

What to make for dinner?

Always a challenge, but more so when I didn’t get off work till late. So after I did a search in the depth of my freezer to see what I had to work with.

Enter the Instant Pot.

With some frozen chicken, red potatoes, assorted herbs, broccoli and some jarred black bean and corn salsa. My dinner was set. After I added veggies to steam in the residual heat for a final few minutes. Dinner was ready in 30 minutes.

The recipe is super simple

In the Instant Pot; add 5-10 red potatoes, rinsed and halved. Add 4-6 frozen chicken breasts, pour 1 cup of water and one 24 ounce jar of the corn and bean salsa, add 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to taste. Add a few stems of rosemary, (or any other herbs). Got some dried fruit? Sun-dried tomatoes? Toss them in too. Save Cilantro for topping at the end.

Turn the IP on pressure cook for 20 minutes, use then use the quick release, toss in the broccoli and cover again for 5 minutes to “steam”. Add chopped Cilantro, a few squeezes of lime  and serve

 

Thats it!

Some ways I’m spending my off hours #shelteringinplace

From creative cooking challenges

While not everything I want is available at the stores- I am finding some fun in coming up with ideas using what I have. Vanilla Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip “Pop Tart” wedges, was one that rose to the top. Then just because Paul is lamenting the Walking Dead “COVID-interuptus” episode last week, his got topped with ice cream and a dollop of whip cream.

And a rainy Sunday seemed like a good day for banana choc chop & peanut butter bread

Shelter games

While we settled in after already being on lockdown for several weeks. The May 1 extension for #ShelterInPlace got my crazies in play too.

I adjusted the “kitchen” with labels and containers as the new “employee lounge”. With three adults all teleworking from home, often from 7am -7pm, this is where we meet during office hours‬. The boys appreciated my humor…

Order up!

I even joined in the scavenger hunt and put one of the only bears I have in the window. With a little light swing to brighten him up at night.

Of course Paul managed to make Dino part of the madness. Poor Dino but he is taking it in stride and loves us home so much.

Then I discovered Tiktok!

As a fun distraction, way to connect and meet new people and mostly for general silly fun.

@frank_mentorsf

As if anyone has ever had to ask me this more than once #painintheass @wolfbearman @danielgomez9518

♬ original sound – janadetrick56

 

@frank_mentorsf

#duet with @jamusic4 Taking a #StellaDora break from #Covid19 today.

♬ original sound – jamusic4

@frank_mentorsf

#duet with @hunterharden All about the research .. gaydads, #gay #penissize #beefyboys #late_afternoon

♬ original sound – hunterharden

Food Lover’s Guide to Eating in Manhattan

Any true foodie will rejoice on a trip to Manhattan. This melting pot of cultures features the country’s most diverse dining landscape, making it easy to find something to satisfy any craving. Here are four types of cuisine to indulge in while in the Big Apple.

Asian Food

A rich history of immigration to the US by people from Asia has resulted in a significant Asian population in New York City. With this large population of Asian immigrants comes a host of opportunities to indulge in authentic cuisine over a wide range of cultural subsets. The best place to start your Asian cuisine exploration in New York City is in Chinatown. Simply take a stroll along Canal Street and you will be met with a host of restaurants to welcome you in for a fabulous meal. If you’re looking for a finer meal, Shanghai 21 is highly rated by customers as a quality restaurant with vegan options. If you’re looking for some cheaper Asian fare, Xi’an Famous Foods and Tasty Hand-Pulled Noodles can both get you some quick yummy dumplings or soup for under $5.

Classic Steakhouses

There is no more quintessential New York City dining experience than enjoying a steak dinner in one of the area’s many classic steakhouses. These traditional steakhouses harken back to the old days with their leather furnishings, wood trim, and soft lighting. Popular places to consider for your meal include Gallagher’s Steakhouse, Delmonico’s, Peter Luger’s, and Smith & Wollensky. Any of these upscale joints will provide the best cuts of meat paired with all of the traditional steakhouse sides.

Bar Food

New York’s lively nightlife and bar scene translate to a cornucopia of bar food goodness. With so many options, you are never more than a short distance away from an amazing gastropub. Some of the best choices to consider include The Spotted Pig in the West Village, Ousia in trendy Hell’s Kitchen, Pier A Harbor House in Battery Park City, and Bolton & Watt in the East Village. If taking an Uber home, be advised that ride-share fare may increase during inclement weather, so plan your transportation carefully.

Italian Cuisine

For the most amazing Italian food in the states, be sure to head to New York City’s Little Italy neighborhood. Savvy travelers will check out the welcoming atmosphere and fabulous food at places such as Da Nico, Angelo’s of Mulberry Street, and Il Cortile. After you have noshed on fresh pasta and pizza, you are going to want to leave time to explore this lovely district with a cone of genuine gelato. If you’re looking for some good, cheap pizza on the go, however, you might want to stop by Joe’s Pizza in Greenwich Village or one of the surrounding locations.

Manhattan is not just a place to sightsee. You should prepare your taste buds to be met with an explosion of flavors with a trip to Manhattan. This bustling city will leave your stomach full and your heart happy.