For the Love of Tennis!

My teen idol wore shorts and a headband. No, it was not Richard Simmons but a blond Swedish god. A tennis god, Bjorn Borg. Everything about him appealed to my shy, self-conscious teenage self; his lean physique, his flowing blond locks, those piercing blue eyes, his deadly two-handed backhand and his graceful moves on the court. Because of him I took up tennis and found I was pretty good at it, not like soccer (I hate running, especially into people) or volleyball (not good for pianists as I once sprained a finger when the ball hit my hand at a bad angle and I couldn’t play piano for two weeks).

Strawberry and White Chocolate Muffins by

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Pseudo French Toast

What is your earliest breakfast memory?  Mine goes back to my childhood in Hong Kong when I stayed for the weekend at my grandmother’s home and shared her breakfast.  She was born in Japan, hence, she served me pickled daikon, soft-boiled egg, toast, fruit and then a cup of tea with a generous amount of condensed milk.  I always looked forward to those weekends.  That hot cup of, beyond sweet, creamy flavourful tea still fortifies my soul when I think of it.  And I still use her technique to make the perfect soft-boiled egg.  I suppose I looked forward to those weekends because it was just the two of us.  She really made me feel special.

French Toast

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The Laaracino

I don’t come from a family of coffee drinkers or even tea drinkers for that matter.  Just water and milk when I was growing up.  But that would change when my Dad spent some time in France studying French, it was there that he got accustomed to drinking coffee.  Not too long after that Dad took my brother and I on our first European trip.  It was in Paris where Dad encouraged me to have my first cappuccino.  As a teenager obsessed with Vogue magazine, it seemed like this cup of creamy, foamy coffee was the perfect entry point into the world of Catherine Deneuve, Chanel, the Concorde.

Since then, I will have the occasional latte when going out for coffee.  My husband has learned that drinking coffee has all sorts of benefits such as reducing the risk of diabetes, staving off Alzheimer’s disease, it may also be helpful to those suffering from depression.  So now we make coffee at home a few times a week.

My Dad is Mr. Health, and his knowledge and lifestyle has influenced how I eat and take care of myself.  So when I found a whole stack of McCafe coffee cups on his kitchen counter I knew I was on the right track.  One night after family dinner we ended up at Dairy Queen, and my Dad was the first one to order and I was wondering what he could be getting, because he doesn’t eat ice cream, or anything sugary.  Then we saw him picking up 3 cups of coffee, and I thought, “Strange, why three?”  None of us drink coffee after dinner.  So when I asked about it, he said, he paid for one and got 2 refills, to drink in the next day or two.  Is my Dad smart or what?

I have inherited my frugalness from my Dad.  Every year I will allow myself one Frappacino for the whole summer.  But very rarely do I ever take myself up on that offer.  First of all, it’s an expensive drink that is mostly crushed ice.  And, if I want it to taste good, there’s going to be tons of sugary syrup.  So I have come up with my own version, thus naming it after myself.  My version is dairy free, gluten free, sugar free and has superfoods. One thing about coffee is that it can inhibit absorption of vitamins and minerals, so for those who have a morning coffee, take your supplements an hour away from it. Because of this my Laaracino actually does not have coffee in it.  I do not miss the coffee taste because the maca, malt and the cocoa satisfies my coffee loving taste buds.  But by all means add coffee to my Laaracino, if that is what pleases you.


Laaricino 3 Kake2kale

The superfoods in my Laaracino:
Cocoa – High in vitamin B’s and magnesium, both of which supports the nervous system. It also has phenylethylamine, which stirs up happy feelings, and releases stress. Cacao has an even higher amount of antioxidants than blueberries.
Maca – This root from Peru has lots of nutrients, but it is mainly known for increasing cognitive function, libido, energy levels. It is also an adaptogen which means it helps the bring the body into balance.  For instance, when the body in under stress, maca helps support the adrenal glands to deal with the stress.
Coconut oil –Has antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and antiparasitic properties and contains lauric acid which is found in mother’s milk. Breast-fed babies are better able to fend off infections than babies not given mother’s milk.
Vanilla powder – This is simply the seeds that are inside the vanilla pods. They contain a phytochemical called vanilloid that reduces inflammation and improves brain function.
Cinnamon – Can be beneficial for reducing risk from diabetes and heart disease.
Laaricino Kake2Kale

Laaracino serves 2

  • 2 cups almond milk (or any type of milk)
  • 2 t. maca powder
  • 2 T. malt powder, gluten free if made from rice (optional)
  • 4 T. cocoa powder
  • 2 T. coconut oil
  • 1 t. cinnamon
  • 1  t. vanilla powder
  • 5 drops stevia (or other type of sweetener)
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 4 cups of ice


  • Put all the ingredients in a good blender, whiz until the ice has been blended and serve in two frosty glasses.
  • Feel free to experiment with this recipe and make it your own, ie. add a banana, frozen yogurt, liquer, coffee if you must, you get the idea.

*You may wonder if it is possible to substitute vanilla extract for the vanilla powder, I haven’t simply because extract wouldn’t be as nutritious as the powder.  If any of you do make this with the extract let me know how it goes.

Eat healthy, live great! – {Kake}

Laaricino 2 Kake2Kale