The Best Coffee in Costa Mesa

When I was in France, I developed a bit of a coffee drinking habit.  I figured the habit would disappear once I returned home, but I found myself craving a nice cup of coffee every morning.  Since I have the flexibility to work from home, a lot of my client meetings take place in little cafes and coffee shops which led me to begin my quest to find the best coffee in Costa Mesa.

One of my clients, Taste of Paleo (did you get your tickets yet?) was game to try my new endeavor, and we began meeting at various local coffee shops to determine who had the best brew. While there are still many more coffee shops to explore, I wanted to share the three places I consider to have the best coffee in Costa Mesa.

1. Sidecar Doughnuts and Coffee

sidecarcoffeeLike there was even a question that this place would be on my list.  I always order the same thing when I come in: large drip coffee with steamed almond milk.  The place is always packed, everyone is incredibly friendly and there’s a smell of freshly baked doughnuts wafting through the air.  What’s not to love?

2. Outpost Kitchen

best coffee in costa mesaOutpost Kitchen is tucked away in a small industrial park in Costa Mesa and serves a variety of gluten-free, paleo and vegetarian dishes.  Their Four Barrel Coffee is excellent, and I often pick up a paleo bar or two as well.  Plus they have free wi-fi which is an added bonus

3.  Chocxo Coffee and Chocolate

best coffee in costa mesaI’ll admit, it wasn’t love at first sip at Chocxo, but their coffee quickly grew on me.  I also love their selection of bean to bar chocolate and the mellow vibe.  It’s a great place to pop in and get some work done without the hustle and bustle of a Starbucks (better tasting coffee too!).

So those are my three top coffee places (so far).  Where should Taste of Paleo and I venture next?

Ginger Glazed Salmon

Remember a couple of months ago when I went to the Flavors of Aloha event at Tommy Bahama?  At the end of our delicious meal we were each given the new Flavors of Aloha cookbook, and I finally decided to make the ginger glazed salmon recipe that I’ve had my eye on for weeks now (because, salmon).  Not only was this recipe incredibly easy, it was delicious too!

ginger glazed salmonThe key to this recipe’s success is getting really good salmon.  As I’ve mentioned before, I only get my fish at Santa Monica Seafood, and I always make a point to get sustainable wild fish.  Lucky for me, Santa Monica Seafood happened to have some wild salmon on sale, so I jumped on it.

The original recipe in the Flavors of Aloha cookbook calls for hoisin sauce, but since I can’t have soy, I swapped in coconut aminos instead, which still yielded a tasty result.  The rest of the ingredients included diced ginger, sake (or rice wine), green onion and garlic.

From start to finish this took roughly 20 minutes, making it the perfect meal to whip up during the week when you don’t want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen cooking.

We had our salmon with some roasted potatoes, but I think the wasabi mashed potatoes from the Flavors of Aloha cookbook would be a wonderful side to the ginger glazed salmon.  And if you don’t like salmon, try it with ahi, halibut or even sea bass.

Ginger Glazed Salmon (serves 2, from the Flavors of Aloha Cookbook)

Ingredients:

2 salmon filets

1/4 cup coconut aminos

2 tbsp sake

2 tbsp chopped green onion

2 tbsp diced ginger

1 garlic clove, smashed

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Set your oven to a broil setting.  Place your salmon filets skin side up on a baking sheet.

ginger glazed salmonIn a small bowl, mix your ginger glaze and set aside.

ginger glazed salmon bowlPlace salmon in the oven for 2-3 minutes.  Remove from the oven and flip over.  Add the ginger glaze to your fish and place back in the oven for another 4-5 minutes.

ginger glazed salmon filetsIf you want your salmon cooked a little further, I recommend keeping in the oven for another couple of minutes otherwise remove from the oven, eat and enjoy!

Meet the WafflePop

B.Candy is one of those stores that sweet dreams are made of.  The shop is loaded with delightful confections, cupcakes and ice cream in a variety of flavors and colors and bulk candy as far as the eye can see.  B.Candy recently held a blogger event where we were invited to come in and meet the WafflePop, the shop’s latest sweet treat.

meet the wafflepopThe WafflePop is exactly what you think.  A waffle on a stick.  B.Candy’s version is a Liege waffle with sugar pearls and in the shape of the store’s signature name.  What sets the WafflePop apart however, is the toppings.

meet the wafflepopTo get the WafflePop “works,” B.Candy places 3 small scoops of an ice cream flavor of your choice on the waffle and then tops it with whipped cream, sprinkles and a caramel drizzle.  It’s definitely one of the more decadent desserts in town.

meet the wafflepopIf you are a fan of waffles, you can just get the WafflePop plain, or even with a few sprinkles for a fun touch.  The waffle itself is so good that it shines on its own without all of the toppings.

meet the wafflepopB.Candy is planning on rolling out the WafflePop this summer as the newest edition to their dessert line.  Be sure to check out their website for all of the different cupcakes, cakes and cookies the shop has to offer.

Thanks to B.Candy for hosting such a wonderful event and for the delicious blogger treats. OC locals, you’ll definitely want to come and meet the WafflePop for yourself!

We’ve seen cake pops and we’ve seen wafflepops.  What do you think will be the next dessert on a stick?

Paleo Chocolate Doughnuts

I have a new obsession and it is in the form of the coffee from Sidecar Doughnuts.  I’ve written about their doughnuts numerous times, but it wasn’t until recently that their Forty Winks blend made with Stumptown coffee has stolen my heart.  I get the same order every time; large cup of coffee with some steamed almond milk to add just a slight bit of sweetness.  So what does this have to do with paleo chocolate doughnuts?

Paleo Chocolate DoughutsAs we all know, Sidecar makes delicious doughnuts.  And every time I step into their shop to grab a coffee you can smell the freshly baked doughnuts in the air.  The Englishman and I have now established a Sunday tradition where we pop into Sidecar to get a morning cup o’joe and sometimes a doughnut (gluten-free for me) or two.  If you follow me on instagram, then you probably saw that we also started a birthday coffee and doughnut tradition.

sidecar doughnuts and coffeeDon’t get me wrong, I am a firm believer in treating yourself and enjoying delicious things like these doughnuts, but for my wallet and waistline I can’t exactly buy them every time I step into the shop.  So what’s a doughnut-lovin’ gal to do?  Make her own!

These paleo chocolate doughnuts are simple low in sugar, and the perfect accompaniment to my Sidecar coffee.  The great thing about these doughnuts is that you can add nuts or chocolate chips into the batter…or just top your doughnuts with them!

paleo chocolate doughnutsIf you don’t have a doughnut pan, you can easily convert these into muffins as well.

Paleo Chocolate Doughnuts (adapted from The Detoxinista)

Makes 6 doughnuts

Ingredients:

1/4 cup coconut flour

1/4 cup olive oil or coconut oil

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/3 cup maple syrup or honey

1 egg

2 egg whites

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350F.  Grease your doughnut or muffin pan.

In a medium bowl whisk together your coconut flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.  Gently fold in your olive oil, egg, egg whites, water and vanilla until everything is well blended.

Gently fold your batter into the doughnut pan and place in the oven for 20 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let the doughnuts cool for 15 minutes.

Pair with your favorite cup of coffee (or tea!).

Now serious question: do you spell it donuts or doughnuts?  I always have the “ough” when I write it out but I see the other spelling quite often too.