I have been trying to get my computer to work for an hour and I’ve finally gotten in. It seems there are times when we need to let go and let the universe dictate our schedule. I called a friend Denise Clark and we enjoyed a long conversation and now I’m back to it.
So recently, my friend Donna told me about a new cannabis shop in Martinez, California. I’ve been wanting to sleep better, so I thought I would check out what gummies they had for sale. Back when I was in Portland, found Electric Lettuce and wrote about that experience in this blog. Here are all of the products that I found while walking through Velvet. Green Bee Botanicals sells massage oil, and face serums with CBD. They sold Heavy Hitters vape pens and cartridge batteries. OrangeAde by Citrus and Pine is a great hybrid to try.This is a sativa type dominant weed that leads to good mood and increased energy.
Farmer and the Felon Cannabis Company makes SpyRock Sour, Runtz Cake, Cherry AK, Gelatti (an Indica Hybrid Strain), Smoking Sundae Driver, Blue Dream and more. Space Gem makes gummies and edibles that are infused with cannabis. Wunder is a drink made with THC and CBD. The flavors are grapefruit hibiscus, blood orange bitters, lemon ginger flavored sparkling beverage and they claim they are half the calories of beer or wine.
Ember Valley makes weed called zombie cookies, wedding pie, watermelon gelato, now and laters, northern fire, MAC, orange peels, riff OG, ice cream cake and more. Pure Beauty makes weed called Harlequin X GDP, Purple Rain, Terry T, Hybrid Babies, Lobo Loco, Zelda OG, Lemon Haze Flower Cigarettes, Labyrinth, Double Dragon, Secret Friend and many more varieties to choose from.
Jetty Extracts are also sold at Velvet. These are unrefined live resins found in natural plant compounds. The flavors are Pina Colada, Sour Berry, Lemon Sour Diesel, Gelato, Vanilla Frosting, Peanut Butter Breath, and a Pineapple Upside Down Cake flavor. You can purchase Wedding Crasher or Blueberry Muffin which are Live Sugar Concentrates. There is a Lemon Grass resin cartridge sold with oil dablicators. Am I getting this right? I think I need a class in cannabis products.
There were many cannabis drinks to choose from also. I spotted Keef a cannabis infused lemonade or fruit punch, or you could buy Bubba Kush Root Beer, Original Cola, Orange Kush, or Pineapple which is 100 mg of THC. The Fizz is a strawberry cannabis infused sparkling water with 10 mg of THC, a brand called “Take Me to The Beach”, “Hold Me While You Dance”, and a ginger lemongrass drink. Another one was called Hi-Fi Hops made by Lagunitas which have blasts of THC, CBD or both. And you can buy them by the case!
A few last items I came across were Petra Cannabis Mints that came in flavors of Moroccan Mint, Tart Cherry, Citrus CBD, Saigon Cinnamon, Pineapple and Blackberry CBD Mints.These are sold as a way to microdose all day and are sugar free. Kiva Lost Farm makes blueberry chews and gummies in strawberry lemonade, and raspberry gummies. They also have a juicy peach and sour apple hybrid strain that help with stress, energy, creativity and mood. It is a women owned business which is always nice to hear. Kiva confections also makes Camino a cannabis infused gummy. These are available at Velvet in wild cherry, watermelon lemonade, wild berry, sparkling pear, and pineapple habanero flavors. Some are designed to uplift your spirit or make you chill and relax to help you sleep. Now that’s what I was looking for.
All of the employees were happy to assist me and answer any questions that I had. It was a fun place to check out after picking up soil at MacCalvey’s for my Fall vegetable garden. In the end I picked up a few new goodies to try. Hoping they help me fall asleep and stay asleep.
Thanks for joining me on my adventure into Cannabis land in Martinez at Velvet. I’m looking forward to hearing about your cannabis journeys in the comments.
Spent time in Capitola and Santa Cruz recently with my niece Jasmine. She had time off from work and needed a get away. We all need mental health days and Santa Cruz was just what the doctor ordered. Good thing we are both over 21, since a few of the places we explored required a valid drivers license if we wanted to buy the mind altering drugs which I describe below. In today’s blog I will write about the unique stores that we found in downtown and explain what we learned along the way.
Several years back, I had been to Santa Cruz with my neighborhood book club. Our friend Rachel lived near campus and offered an overnight at her place. In the morning, we ventured into town and ate at one of the local restaurants. I had wanted to explore the area further, but we didn’t have time. So I was happy to make a trip back to the Pacific Avenue strip with Jasmine. Too bad she isn’t talking to me these days.
We started off in Capitola at Gayle’s Bakery where they have every sweet imaginable including Florentine cookies, pavlova’s and German Chocolate Cake. Yum. We spent a couple of hours eating and walking around, when we decided to move on and find this cool neighborhood that I had been to years back. We stopped at a gas station and asked a local. He knew exactly where we wanted to go and after Google map search, we made it there. Side note: My grand parents on my mother’s side Elvina and Bill lived in Santa Cruz when I was a child, so my family would take trips on the weekends and holidays at the Beach and Boardwalk. So fun!
We started off at a small shoe shop since Jasmine’s feet were killing her. I scored some Teva sandals and she found a comfy pair of sneakers. Off we went!
Next we asked about massages at the Tea House Spa, but they didn’t have any appointments available. Might have to make a special trip back just to spend time there to drink herbal tea and get a body treatment.
We walked past Mission Hill Creamery which specialized in local organic ingredients. Salted Caramel, Dark Chocolate, Vanilla Bean, Candied Ginger, and Nutty Cookie Monster were just a few of their ice cream flavors. They also served Margarita Sorbet, Strawberry Daiquiri Sorbet, Mango Sorbet, Avocado and Almond Milk and Toasted Almond plus a Blueberry Goat Cheese all perfect for vegans. We had stopped for coffee earlier at Mr. Toots Coffeehouse in Capitola, so we weren’t in the mood for these ice cream treats quite yet.
Glow Candle Lounge came next where we observed two women assembling colorful wax cubes into molds to make candles. This looks like a fun activity when you have all day and can come back later to pick up your candle.
Melo Melo Kava Bar attracted us in with their wall of living ferns and houseplants and plush, bright, modern couches. We had no idea what was going on in there, but it looked interesting enough to take the seats at the bar. One guy was preparing a chocolate drink using Keith’s Cacao 100% Pure Ceremonial Grade Cacao. And chocolate drinks always get my attention. This was serious stuff. They serve sipping chocolate one called Midnight Mystic which is 80% cacao, vanilla bean and himalayan salt, and Global Warrior which is 65% cacao, with maca, turmeric and cardamom. We learned that raw cacao contains more than 300 different chemical compounds and nearly four times the antioxidant power of your average dark chocolate. It is a mind stimulant and a great aphrodisiac. I’m a fan.
This article explains Kava’s non addictive-medicinal South Pacific root and how people are using it to calm their nerves and relieve anxiety instead of using drugs. Kava Kava Root (Piper Methysticum) relaxes the nervous tension, muscle cramps and helps to stabilize moods. It is a mild psychoactive, tastes like earth like you are licking an outside of a potato, and will numb your throat when you drink it.
The employee recommended us trying the Nak-Out 8 oz. drink of kava and to add the Rip Tide to it which is an extra boost of kava. Here was her explanation about Kava.
My niece and I were smart enough to pass on these drinks especially since we still had an hour drive home.
Go Ask Alice was another interesting place to check out. Here we found many medicinal herbs like Chaga, Ginkgo, Mullein, Borage, Calendula, Comfrey, Holy Basil, Lemon Balm, Red Reishi and many more. There was a section of herbs under an Aphrodisiacs sign like Cacao (which we learned at the previous business), Blue Lotus, Cordyceps, Damiana, Kava Kava Root, Maca, Macacao, Muira Puama, Mucunna, Oat straw, Schisandra, Shatavari Root, Tongkat Ali, and Tribulus. Weird stuff, but if it helps people then I’m all for it. They also sold CBD, Kratom and devices to smoke them with. It’s all news to me.
Under the Sleep Aids and Sedatives sign were Ashwagandha, Catnip, Hops, Mugwort, Mulungu, Night Tea, Passionflower, Skullcap, and Valerian Root. I grow Valerian, Borage, Comfrey, Mullein, Lemon Balm and Calendula and many more herbs in my garden, but I haven’t made them into tinctures for health purposes.
Go Ask Alice sold Let’s Thrive a CBD wellness products, Melo Out Man a CBD Milk Chocolate Bar, Honu CBD Chocolate Turtles and CBD Peanut Butter Cups, Kratom Chocolates and Treometry Raw Cacao and Reishi products. These items reminded me of my trip to Portland at Electric Lettuce.
Go Ask Alice had everything from Root Remedies Kava Liquid Chill drops to Rainbow Bliss Botanicals Rooted Tea. Host Defense Primordial Chocolate Bar, Choquiero Chocolate Bars like Spicy Chipotle a 73% with cacao nibs and cayenne pepper or Mayan Rose that included a 75% cacao plus cinnamon and maca root. This place was mind blowing!
There were lots of books on Psychedelic Healing, one on The Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Plants by Christian Ratsch, the Handbook on Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda by Bridgetta Shea, The Honey Prescription by Nathaniel Altman and many more. One could spend all day here and get all the feels that Santa Cruz has to offer.
Jasmine grabbed a couple of cookies from the Pacific Cookie Company. They had so many to choose from including Triple Chocolate, Mint Condition, Coconut Macaroon, Almond Joe, Chocolate Chip with Walnuts, Oatmeal Chocolate Chip, Oatmeal Raisin, Snickerdoodle, Ginger Spice, Peanut Butter and Gluten Free varieties from Mariposa Bakery. The place smelled intoxicating and I wanted one of each, but I had already purchased and eaten a Florentine cookie earlier. I definitely want to make them. All of them looked delicious!
Retro Paradise was a clothing store with lots of colorful and erotic merchandise and reminded me of The Haight in San Francisco. Of course the Pride Parade took place last weekend, so I’m sure many folks bought their outfits from this shop.
There was plenty more to see, but we decided to drive back before it became dark. When I’m not familiar with a new neighborhood, I don’t like to be there into the evening. It looked safe enough, but we needed to get back to the care before our time ran out on our parking meter.
We made it back to San Jose in time for a drink, hot wings and chicken fingers at Smoke Eaters. Fieldwork Blackberry Parfait a Sour Ale, Jackrabbit Afterglow a Brown Ale, Hop Dogma Stout, Anderson Valley Nitro Cerveza Crema, Lagunitas Citrusinensis a Pale Ale, Knee Deep Simtra Triple IPA, Six Rivers Sasquatch Double IPA and many more were sold on draft. Or you could choose from their signature cocktails Rose Martini, Lemon Pie Martini, Black Beauty, Pisco Sour or a Prickly Pear Mez-arita. The bar was fun and lively everyone watching the hockey game hooting and hollering. I drank water since I still had another hour drive back to my house, but Jasmine had a cold pineapple cider. She taught me how to order wings by choosing a sauce like mango habanero, honey sriracha, garlic Parmesan or the extra hot inferno sauce. Eating at Smoke Eaters Restaurant was the perfect ending to our day together.
So if you are looking for an outing a little out of the ordinary, check out Santa Cruz. Whether you visit the far out kava house Melo Melo also located in Berkeley, or bother to stop off at Go Ask Alice for a mood elevator or plant sedative you will not be disappointed. Maybe you are lucky enough to take a friend or loved one with you like I did.
Thanks for spending this time with me and reading my blog. I’m so happy I can share my treks and good eats here and give you ideas for your next vacation or day trip.
Please leave me a comment and share your Capitola and Santa Cruz experiences with me. Next I will be sharing my trip to San Francisco with my son Andrew and also share a fun beer crawl in Walnut Creek with my son Curtis. Someone has to have some fun, so it may as well be me.
Here is my famous Carrot Cake Recipe for you all to enjoy.
Fabulous Carrot Cake
2 C. Granulated Sugar
1 C. Canola Oil (Vegetable or Grapeseed ok)
Zest 1 Orange (Blend with the sugar in food processor)
1 teas Pure Vanilla Bean Paste
2 1.2 C. Unbleached All Purpose Flour (Can substitute flax seed, freshly milled bulgur, wheat bran)
2 teas Baking Powder
1 teas ground Cinnamon
1 teas ground Ginger
¼ t ground Cloves
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 teas Baking Soda
½ teas Maldon Salt (kosher ok)
3 ½ C Grated Carrots (can substitute zucchini)
1 Grated Apple
3/4 C Chopped Toasted Walnuts (or pecans)
¼ C. Chopped Crystallized Ginger (Found at Trader Joes) Or 1 T freshly chopped ginger
½ C Flaked or Shredded Coconut(Can be toasted first)
½ C Dried Cranberries, Raisins or Currants (steep in warm brandy before adding)
Cream Cheese Frosting
8 oz Pkg cream cheese softened
½ Cube Butter Softened
1 teas Vanilla Bean Paste
1.5 C Powdered Sugar sifted (Can use less)
1 T Heavy Cream
Premier Pastry Pride (A Non Dairy whipped cream found at Smart n Final)
Directions for Cake:
Preheat Oven to 350 degrees
Grease 8 ½ X 12 ½ Bundt Pan with shortening then dust with flour
Or Make 2 dozen cupcakes using muffin pans and use paper or foil liners. I like CupBakes brand which are grease resistant and found in restaurant supply stores.
In a large bowl, cream together Sugar, Oil, Eggs, Orange zest and Vanilla until combined. I use my Kitchen Aid Mixer.
In a separate medium size bowl sift together all dry ingredients flour, spices, baking soda, salt, baking powder until combined.
Using a Cuisinart, grate carrots and apple. I swear by this piece of equipment and use it every day when cooking and baking.
Chop walnuts and set aside.
Starting with the dry ingredients, alternately add dry flour mixture to wet sugar, oil and egg mixture while mixer is on low. Then add some grated carrot/apple to mixer and blend. Keep adding more dry, then more carrot/apple until all ingredients are in the mixer ending with flour.
Remove bowl from Kitchen Aid, and fold in remaining ingredients: Crystallized ginger, coconut, cranberries (rehydrated with brandy) and walnuts.
Pour carrot cake mixture into prepared bundt pan or lined muffin pans. If using a Bundt pan, bake for 45-60 minutes. Cupcakes will only take 15-17 minutes or until a tooth pick comes out clean.
Frost with cream cheese frosting when cake has completely cooled.
Directions for Cream Cheese Frosting:
Place softened room temperature cream cheese, butter in a mixer and blend until smooth. Add vanilla and powdered sugar slowly while mixture is running adding heavy cream to get the right consistency.
Last and final note. I give credit to the original recipe to Lorraine Andrew’s who is the mother of my previous coworker Cynthia. I worked with her at Dr Hunter’s office over 20 years ago. I’ve added a few extra ingredients to make it my own and love spoiling my family with this cake on special occasions.
Until next time.
Here is the link to the white cake with strawberry jam and whipped cream frosting cake I made for Mom’s 80th.
Today’s blog will be all about Portland’s popular #cannabis scene and everything I learned about edibles. I will also explain how I was inspired to apply to a baking competition. Blogging is my all time favorite past time, but my first love has always been baking. That’s why I include some of my favorite recipes here. Just last week I saw a post on Paul Hollywood’s Instagram about an amateur baking show looking for someone who can bake exceptional cakes and perfect pastries. That’s me! Included is a #Buckwheat Pancake Recipe which I know you will love.
My son Andrew’s version of BCP Banana Cream Pie and here is him singing at his Taekwondo School
So I put my priorities in place, and applied to the #GreatAmericanBakingShow. I’m so excited, even though I haven’t been contacted yet. The possibility of being on TV and baking in front of judges blows my mind. I decided it was time to extend myself and try something a little out of reach. Why not do what scares you most?
Everyone who knows me has tried convincing me to bake professionally, yet I’ve never listened. I’ve always enjoyed baking as a hobby. Well, now I’ve gone and put myself out there. Who knows what will happen next?
After I parked my rental car, I walked towards Woodblock Chocolate where my Nines Hotel concierge directed me too. I had every intention of walking into the chocolate factory, but this other attractive building caught my eye. The outside sign said “Electric Lettuce,” and as an avid gardener I had to check it out.
Colorful Artsy building attractive to newcomers
You can imagine my surprise when I found a cannabis dispensary inside. It couldn’t hurt to look around, take a few photos and see what all the hoopla is all about. I had to show my license before I stepped in to make sure I was over 18 I guess. The employees were welcoming and helpful answering any questions I had. Looking back, my siblings and I were always surrounded by second hand smoke, especially on long car rides to visit our grand parents. So I never took up smoking as a teenager. And I still can’t stand being around some one who is smoking.
Electric lettuce sold everything from T Shirts and hats, to tinctures and tonics. They sold a probiotic soda called Gold Dragon Ginger Ale, a sparkling beverage called Legal Hybrid made with cannabis-infused Rainier Cherry or a Lemon Ginger, Magic Number Ginger Beer and Gentle Giant– a type of weed that you drink. Or you could buy edibles such as Titan’s Kind Chocolate Chunk Sandwich Cookies, or Wyld edible gummies in raspberry, huckleberry, marionberry, pomegranate and strawberry flavors. They sold tart cherry, lemon ginger, strawberry basil, triple berry, or spicy passion fruit Gumdrops made by Serra that were infused in cannabis. Each variety had a description of how many milligrams of THC and CBD were in each candy. They also offered easy, groovy, cosmic or mellow as descriptions as to how each candy would make you feel after consuming it. There were so many tempting options to choose from.
I could have tried their bean to bar Chocolate bar made exclusively with Woodblock Chocolate, CBD and THC but I didn’t feel adventurous enough. If chocolate wasn’t your thing, you could buy cannabis filled Caramels. The Stumptown Coffee Caramel candy had 50mg THC and was made by Serra. Woodblock Chocolate Caramels had 50mg CBD and 25mg THC and another variety was even stronger and sprinkled with Jacobsen Sea Salt another local Portland Company.
Memorabilia displayed at Electric Lettuce
This magazine was on display
This is what I learned from one of the flyers on display:
CBD (Cannabidiol) is known as a non-psychoactive cannabinoid. It helps balance the psychoactive effects of THC, offers antioxidant properties, helps ease inflammation, reduces anxiety, can promote cardiovascular health and can comfort effects from neurological disorders.
THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) is responsible for the psychoactive or “high” feeling a person gets from using cannabis. The most common effects felt will be euphoria and relaxation. The benefits of THC include relief from chronic pain, inflammation, insomnia and migraines. This drug suppresses nausea yet encourages appetite. Some suggest it helps patients with their mental health. People that suffer from depression and PTSD Post Traumatic Stress Disorder might benefit from this drug.
The Entourage Effect is a synergistic reaction in the body when a person consumes THC and CBD. Even though it isn’t clinically proven this combination can help people experiencing anxiety.
The Cannabis plant consumption can be dated back to 2700 BC in China and India. They believed this plant could be used for its anti inflammation properties and to treat disorders such as nausea, seizures, pain and spasms.
I kept taking pictures of my surroundings while plenty of customers made purchases and knew exactly what they wanted. I was still trying to figure out what everything was. Avitas and PRUF Cultivar make cartridges filled with extracts like Lemon Meringue, Oregon pinot, Orange Thai, and one named ACDC. I also saw varieties called Timberline Haze, Tangie Biscotti, Blue Dream and G Krush all made with different percentages of CBD with or without THC. It’s all a mystery to me, but it sure sounds like dessert. These guys are marketing geniuses!
I have to admit it was tempting to bring some home to gift my mom who has cancer, but it wasn’t worth the risk getting thrown in jail trying to get on a plane back to California.
Remember pop rocks? Well now Leif Goods makes a product called Junk Dynamites which is a watermelon flavor exploding candy that sizzles in your mouth. Yuck! I can’t stand watermelon candy. I ate a ton of watermelon gum at a baseball game when I was little and now feel sick to my stomach whenever someone is chewing that flavor of gum around me. Leif Goods also makes a vegan friendly confection called Junk Marshmallow Bon-Bons. Anything with marshmallow in it sounds like the perfect treat. They have thought of everything!
Portland has seen a huge revival in small craft distilleries as well as taking the lead into bringing cannabis into plain sight. I was surprised to see Blue Star Donuts proudly displaying weed in their breakfast treats.
I’m thinking. Should I eat a donut with CBD in it? Yes I should
My first time experiencing a Blue Star CBD chocolate hazelnut custard donut was the next morning when I went to visit the Multnomah Village in Portland. I made sure that I didn’t drive right away after I ate it just in case I was feeling different. To be honest, I didn’t feel remarkably different which was a good thing. The flavor was outstanding and the crumbly crunchy outside was so good, you wanted another. Good thing I bought three more (without CBD) which included an orange olive oil one, an apple cider fritter and a lemon poppy buttermilk donut. And believe me, I wanted to eat all of them, but I saved a few tastes for my husband when he came back from work.
Even Prosperity Pie Shop advertised adding 10mg of CBD to any drink for $3.00. You could try their peanut butter chocolate, banana chocolate, key lime, chocolate cream or the gluten free vegan, nut free chocolate bliss pie. I had my fill of sweets for the day, but it was a nice place to hang out.
Let me conclude by neither condemning or condoning the consumption of cannabis. It’s a personal choice just like drinking alcohol is. I can’t say I’m a huge fan since my experience is limited, but either way I got an education on the subject for sure and I hope I’ve entertained you a little at least.
So if you are ever planning a trip to Portland, make sure to check out all of these interesting places. Whether you decide to try an edible at Electric Lettuce, or eat a CBD filled donut at Blue Star, or hang out at one of the 50 craft distilleries, I know you will have a good time. Or go visit Powell’s City of books megastore. The kids will be entertained at Finnegan’s Toy Store where you can buy anything from kites to nerdy science kits. They have it all.
Be sure to check out my next post which will be all about ice cream in Portland. Yes, I tasted those too and I can share the scoop on the best boozy ice cream cocktails like cherry bourbon at Fifty Licks.
I need to get this blog posted, so I will add the recipe for banana cream pie a little later. Hope you enjoy and thanks for reading. Please follow me by subscribing to my blog. You will get an email when I post my next write up. And hopefully you will see me on The Great American Baking Show. Keep your fingers crossed.
Here’s a new Buckwheat Blueberry Pancake recipe I made last week for my family. It was a huge hit and I will be making them again soon. Love trying new recipes and making healthy breakfasts. You will want to make it too! Buckwheat flour was found at Berkeley Bowl Grocery Store in their bin section. Now that I have purchased a grain mill from #Mocksmill I will be making more baked goods.
Buckwheat Blueberry Pancakes with butter and maple syrup
Buckwheat Blueberry Pancakes
1 C Buckwheat Flour
1 C All Purpose Unbleached Flour
1/4 teas Baking Soda
1 teas Baking Powder
1 teas Kosher Salt
⅓ C Granulated Sugar
1 T Molasses
3/4 C warm Milk
3 T Plain Yogurt
1 t Active Dry Yeast
1 t Honey
½ C warm water
4 T Melted Unsalted Butter
2 Whole Eggs
1 C Fresh Blueberries
½ C Sourdough Starter
1 teas Vanilla
Canola Oil for frying
Extra butter for Serving
In a medium size bowl, mix buckwheat flour, all purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt,and sugar.
In a small bowl, mix warm water, dry yeast and honey and let sit on the counter until bubbly.
In a small pot on the stove, warm milk and melt butter together. Cool. Add molasses and yogurt to the pot and set aside.
Crack eggs into a small bowl and stir.
Place dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl, pour cooled milk and butter into the bowl. Add eggs, add bowl of bubbly yeast, sourdough starter and mix until combined, being careful to not over mix. Fold in blueberries.
Heat a large non stick skillet on medium heat. Pour a tablespoon of canola oil into the pan. Using a measuring cup, scoop batter and pour onto a hot pan. Flip when bubbles disappear and the pancakes are light brown.
Buckwheat Pancakes with blueberries. They are sweet and nutty
Heat oven to 200 degrees. Place a sheet pan in the oven with a wire rack on top. Put cooked pancakes into the oven as they are ready. Serve with butter and maple syrup. Makes enough for 3-4 people.
Thanks again for reading my blog. Hope you get a chance to comment below and share this blog with your friends and family. Maybe you will run across buckwheat at the store and be inspired to make pancakes. Love to you all.