L.A. Diet

Punk Icon Alice Bag Eats Chocolate-Sauerkraut Cake, Is Called ‘Snackula’ By Friends

Bag at Eagle Rock's Coffee Table Bistro
Bag at Eagle Rock’s Coffee Table Bistro Photo: Javier Cabral

Alice Bag, a founding matriarch of U.S. punk rock, amateur pastry chef, Chicana role model, and feminist author, fuels her continued ass-kicking with servings of home-baked sweets, deep mugs of dark-roast coffee, and by chugging down malty German ales on a circadian rhythm. When it comes to eating, Bag admits, “It’s all about pleasure. I know that I’m supposed to eat to fulfill bodily needs, but most of the time it is just about enjoyment for me; the sensual experiences, the taste of the food, relaxing and enjoying somebody’s company.” Grub Street kept company with the punk-rock icon, Mount Washington and Phoenix-based mother, and Diary of a Bad Housewife blogger to learn what she ate this week in today’s L.A. Diet.

Wednesday, February 13
I’m a coffee addict. My husband wakes up puts the coffee pot on, filled with whatever’s on sell at Trader Joes. I could drink a whole pot of coffee by all myself but I try not to because I know it’s really bad for me. I had some almond cherry cereal with almond milk, which has a good mouth-feel; it’s thicker, almost like a milkshake.

A little later I had a snack of rosemary lavash chips and hummus from Trader Joes. I really abuse those. I’ll buy ‘em in the morning and they are gone by the time my family gets home. I snack all day; my friends call me “Snackula.” I just really enjoy eating. I had a vegan Mexican chocolate doughnut a little later from a friend opening up a restaurant in Pheonix and making all vegan pastries. We’re forming a band together, it’s going to be called “The Mrs.‘s Howls,” based on the classic character on Gilligan’s Island, older ladies that like to dress up. I tend to scream and not be a real sweet singer.

For lunch, I had a sandwich with just a wedge of cheddar with slices of avocado on rye. As a side, I chopped bell peppers and red onions on top of mixed greens and added whatever cheese I have in the refrigerator, today it was an herbed goat cheese. I have to have dessert after every meal, even after breakfast sometimes. So I had some chocolate covered cherries and toffee from Ikea.

Dinner was penne with tofu sausage and salad with Spaten Optimator. I brown the sausages in olive oil and like them better than Tofurkey ones. A lot of the choices I make with food are because of my family. I’m not vegetarian, but I mostly cook that way because my daughter is vegetarian, so we can all eat one meal instead of separate ones.

Thursday, February 14
I had eggs with soyrizo, peppers, onions, and tomato with corn tortillas. That’s usually my regular weekend breakfast, sometimes I do it with soy sausage, sometimes a little bit of both to be extra bad.

A little later I had a banana, peanut butter, and honey sandwich. I toast my bread to melt the peanut butter a little bit and use the smooth stuff. I’m a sucker for See’s Candies, so I had one of their truffles for dessert.

For dinner, I had a Masala veggie burger on those whole grain thins, accompanied by frozen sweet potato fries and a little salad. I was going to make a Paula Deen recipe for pumpkin squares for dessert. I was talking to my vegan friend and she recommended using coconut oil instead of oil. It was a happy mistake. I set out to make the pumpkin bars but realized it wasn’t blending well, so I decided to add some toasted coconut into the batter and it came out like a pumpkin coconut cake with the texture of a really dense carrot cake.

Friday, February 15
I try to keep my flavors and cooking style Mexican, so for breakfast I cooked up an egg scramble with bell peppers and onions, tomatillo salsa, and corn tortillas. Nothing too special. I used to use milk for my scrambled eggs, but I took a baking class and the chef mentioned I should use water instead. So now they come out fluffy.

My husband brought home some ciabatta. I have already had so much bread so I just made a pizza out of it with onion and rosemary, two pestos, and herbed goat cheese. It was so good. My daughter thought it had more like a mollete texture. I followed it up with some truffles and a Spaten Optimator.

I try to drink a beer a day. I heard that it’s good for you, which is a good excuse. I used to have cocktails. My husband studied bar-tending. When we were younger, he would come back from work and make cocktails for us. It would always be cocktail hour at home.

Saturday, February 16
Have you ever tried putting sliced bananas in warmed up pumpkin butter from Trader Joes? I did that and put it over some french toast today, it was so good.

A little later I had a ciabatta and goat cheese snack, which was basically the toasted leftover of last night’s dinner. That evening I had a Salve Germania cocktail made with rye whiskey, elder flower liquor, and some orange. I don’t remember what else went into it. Dinner was some falafels, hummus, salad, and pita from Trader Joes. They are good enough. I still would rather go to a Lebanese restaurant.

My family and I went to the movies and saw Mama. We had some theater-style popcorn, though it was hard to eat since the movie was pretty scary and I like to scream a lot.

Sunday, February 17
Sunday morning breakfast was daughter-influenced again: Morningstar breakfast sausage, eggs, and toast.

It’s become a habit with me to go out to this German beer house, Haus Murphy’s, every Sunday afternoon. I really like Optimator with a big a big German pretzel and spicy German mustard. My husband and I will split an order of brats and German potatoes too. And then, have you ever had a Chocolate-Sauerkraut cake? It’s so crazy, so good. It’s really dense, the chocolate is really dark and the sauerkraut’s tang goes really well with it. It’s not as weird as it sounds.

For dinner we had tofu tacos. I brown some Morningstar crumbles, add taco spices, and brown it all. It’s more like a Taco Bell-type taco but you know, my daughter used to eat them. I use corn tortillas, though now she likes it with lettuce on a spinach wrap.

Monday, February 18
My favorite pan dulce is the elote one, traditionally cinnamon-flecked and covered in sugar with a vanilla strudel interior. My husband likes “Yoyos,” the pink coconut pastries covered filled with strawberry jam or cream. I eat both of these for breakfast every now and then. I balanced them out this morning with some oatmeal, since I can eat a lot of pan dulce if I don’t have something else.

For lunch, I heated up some vegetarian chili with homemade croutons. I used leftover ciabatta, but didn’t have olive oil so I just melted butter, added some Parmgiano Reggiano and fresh herbs, and that was pretty much the highlight of the meal. It was totally bad for you but really tasty.

Dinner was just frozen Masala samosas from Amy’s with some brown rice. Later on, my daughter made dinner also. She made some Trader Joes curry sauce with tofu and vegetables. 90% of my diet probably comes from Trader Joes.

Punk Icon Alice Bag Eats Chocolate-Sauerkraut Cake, Is Called ‘Snackula’ By