My Gratitude Journal

A morning filled with gratitude at Cafe Gratitude

My friends and I recently had a day of fun at Downtown LA. One of our stops was at Cafe Gratitude for breakfast. This wasn’t planned and was more of a spontanous decision being that we had a list of places that we wanted to hit that day. It ended up being one of my favorite stops of the day.

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day after all. I’m such a hypocrite of that because I usually skip breakfast and ironically, breakfast is my favorite meal. So you can imagine my excitement when we chose this cafe for breakfast.

Cafe Gratitude serves up many great dishes, bakery items and drinks for breakfast. Everything is 100% organic and plant based.

We started off with drinks. We were told by the server that when we order, we can order (only if we wanted to) by saying “I am…” and stating the name of the drink or meal.

All of the meals and drinks are named after positive affirmations. I wanted an iced hibiscus tea which was called “love”. So I said to the waitress, “I am love”. One of my friends ordered the turmeric pepper tea and my other friend ordered the matcha green tea (both hot drinks). I can’t remember the name of their drinks but I tried a sip of each of them and they tasted so healthy. Yes, that’s my way of being positive because both of these drinks weren’t my cup of tea (haha, punny…)

We decided to get a couple of dishes and share them family style. We decided on the “I am open-hearted” buckwheat flax pancakes and they were good. We ordered cashew coconut whipped butter on the side and that was even better than the maple syrup it came with. We also ordered the breakfast toast which was named “I am peaceful”. I love toast for breakfast or anytime of the day. I wanted to try one of each so we got a breakfast toast sampler which was called “peaceful flight”. It had a smashed avocado toast, a chickpea frittata toast and a sliced banana toast. My favorite was the chickpea frittata toast. Just writing about it is making me hungry! Those spicy pickled vegetables were delicious and savory. It was a perfect compliment to our pancakes.

After we ordered the waitress left us with a question or thought of the day. Ours was “what are you looking forward to?” I was very excited to share my answer with my friends so I answered first. I said “today” which meant our day trip in DTLA.

We chit chatted while waiting for our food. When it arrived, our server put the food and drinks down in front of us and said “you are love”, “you are open hearted” and “you are peaceful”. Our server then went back to get us some plates since we were sharing and on the plates it stated “what are you grateful for?” We took turns answering. I loved hearing everyone’s answers.

What a great breakfast and such a great way to start off the day.Starting off your day with gratitude is the fastest path to happiness. I do it every morning. I list 3 things I am grateful for. I try to pick three different things but I admit that some mornings are a little harder than others and my list ends up being the same three things. Then there are some mornings when I can just go on and on. Those are the days that start off the best. I feel abundant which leads me to more happiness and gratitude.

I am happy and grateful for my friends and our fun adventures. I look forward to more adventures together.

Happy Friday,

Sweet Monday

My Gratitude Journal

Halloween party food ideas

If you are in need of some ideas on how to decorate Halloween food and tables,  here are some examples of our award winning Halloween food and decorating contests from years back:

We made a Jell-o “brain” and put candy eyeballs on cupcakes. 

We made spaghetti, put candy eyeballs and used a hot dog cut in half lengthwise for a tongue.

We took some wire to string cheese cubes, salami, beef jerky and tomato. We used this to decorate a witch hat. It was alot of work to string all that food. But it was also alot of fun creating with friends. 

We took some mini saugsages, wrapped them in tortilla “bandages” and dipped them in ketchup to resemble bloody fingers. We made more fingers using string cheese. We scored the cheese to create knuckles and then put the skin of a pepper for a fingernail.

We made cupcakes and to decorate them to look like a witch fell through it, we used a peppermint patty, a hersey’s kiss and some fondant for the witch’s hat. For the witch’s legs, we used a chocolate covered pretzel stick and more fondant for feet and stripes on her stockings.

For a cornucopia theme, we used tablecloths in fall colors, fake fall leaves, baskets, and pumpkins to decorate our table. 

For a darker theme, use black cloth, skulls, lights, candlesticks and necklaces to decorate the table. 

My Gratitude Journal

Chado Tea Room in Pasadena

My friend and I visited the Chado Tea Room in PasadenaWe have been to many tea rooms through the years. It’s one of our favorite things to do!

The Chado Tea Room in Pasadena is located at 79 N. Raymond. They are open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. We made reservations before hand, which is highly recommended as it  seems to be a popular spot and it gets very busy.

A Groupon for chocolate and tea tasting brought us in. But we were also hungry for lunch so we ordered food. They offer soups, sandwiches, salads and desserts. They also offer vegetarian choices. I chose the Punjab sandwich which consists of eggs marinated in their lapsang souchong smoked tea then combined with mayonnaise and green onions. The bread was toasted and the crusts were cut off. It was super delicious. I also ordered a tomato basil soup, which was also vegetarian. My friend ordered the afternoon tea. It came with four half sandwiches (four different kinds), one scone with homemade cream and fresh fruit, and a dessert. It was presented on a three tier rack. And of course, it also included a pot of tea.

We were told that they have about 400 teas. The tea menu was a book. I mean, really, it was a book. I chose a chai tea called Brendan’s Chai which is an Assam Black tea blended with ginger, cinnamon, lemon grass. It was creamy, rich and delicious.

The service was great! Our waiter was very knowledgable about the teas and attentive. Before our chocolates and teas came out, our waiter brought out a strawberry display tea. A display tea is just that…a display tea… although you can drink it too. You watch your tea flower bloom while it is steeping. A wonderful 5 minute show. Tea leaves that were bunched together in a little ball were placed in a glass tea kettle with hot water. The leaves unfurl to create a flower creation.

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Lovely unfurling…

Then our teas and chocolates came out. We were offered three more teas in addition to the display tea. The teas are meant to be paired with the chocolates. We tried a chai tea, a green tea and a pomegranate tea. The pomegranate tea was my favorite. It really brought out the taste of the chocolate.

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Chocolate? yes…..

They also have beautiful tea cups, tea pots and delicious tea leaves, including blooming teas in tins for sale. It’s a very relaxing environment. I suggest that if you make a visit there, that you plan two hours of your time so that you can relax and unwind. 

You can valet park, park in public parking with the first 90 minutes free or you can park at the meters. That’s what I did. 2 hours of metered parking cost a total of $2.50.

The Chado Tea Room was a great place to visit. We plan to go again. Sandwiches, chocolates and tea? Can’t go wrong with that combination.

Today I am grateful for traditions with friends and afternoon tea with my friend, Marylisa