miss lan’s snack review!




So I went to Fancy Food Show last month; not as an exhibitor for once (out of… what, six years?), but as a press attendee! This is such a huge and busy show, and you can’t really look at everything during your 15 minute break. So this year, since I didn’t have to stand at a booth and sell stuff, I took two days to check out both halls. Mainly for restaurant supplies for my friends’ restaurants, investigating new trends, and most importantly… NEW SNACKS!

The children’s snack sector is one of the most promising and fast-growing in specialty foods, and with good reason. Snacks are a good way to get kids to eat vegetables, or to expose them to new flavors and textures that they otherwise would not encounter.
A lot of the companies that show at Fancy and Natural Products are new, up and coming, and aren’t even in Whole Foods yet. So I thought it would be great to introduce some of these delicious snacks to you!

Snacks are rated out of 5 high-fives for the following:

Share-ability: Is this gluten-free? What are the listed allergens? Think of the worst case scenario: if Lan shared this with a friend, will it cause a moral or allergy crisis? (will I get beaten up by other mommies if I shared this snack at a playground in Newport Beach?)
Tote-ability: Do they come in tiny individual sizes? Do they travel well? All samples have withstood a super science toteability test in which products were carried in a crammed tote bag from the convention center to our home via public transit (BART).
Buy-ability: Is it available in stores? Do I have to bribe some import official to get this? More importantly, can I order this in bulk from Amazon Prime?
Flavor: (for obvious reasons)

Here are Miss Lan’s winners from the Fancy Food Show…



Shareabilityfouroutoffive Certified Gluten-free, Non-GMO organic corn, vegan friendly. This product is produced in a facility that uses milk and tree nuts, and this particular flavor contains coconut and mustard. Everything is written in detail, which is nice.

Toteabilityfiveoutoffive Popcorn is close to indestructible in an unopened bag. These bags come in 1.25oz bags.

Buyabilityfouroutoffive Available in some Whole Foods (click here for a locator) and directly online. A 24-pack of the individual bags are currently $42.00

Flavorfiveoutoffive I got a sample of the Thai Coconut Curry and its ah-mazing! Lan never really liked curried things before she had some of this popcorn, and now she is more tolerant of it. It’s perfect for introducing exotic flavors to kids! Other flavors include Tandoori Yogurt, Rosemary Truffle, White Cheddar Jalapeno and Nori Sesame.

Other Things To Note – dat package design!






Shareability- threeoutoffive Non GMO, Kosher, Gluten-Free (non certified). Contains milk, and made in a facility that processes dairy, soy, wheat, peanuts, and tree nuts. Pretty detailed documentation, which is helpful.

Toteabilityfiveoutoffive Comes in .75 oz bags.

Buyabilitythreeoutoffive Currently direct sales only – shoot an email to orders@snacks101.com for deets! However they’re working on their Amazon seller so it should be available shortly.

Flavorfiveoutoffive We got the Smokey Chipotle sample and Lan ate every single piece of it. A little bit of spicy, surprisingly savory –  it’s super good! Other flavors include Sea Salt, Sweet & Spicy Sriracha, and Less Mess White Cheddar.





Shareabilitythreeoutoffive Gluten-Free (non certified but uses Elisa testing in-house), GMO free (non-verified), Certified Kosher. Contains milk and soy, manufactured in a facility that also processes soy, wheat and milk. Chickpea based!

Toteabilityfouroutoffive Comes in 0.8oz 100 calorie pack bags; bags are pretty tiny and will fit in diaper bags easily!

Buyabilityfouroutoffive Available in certain natural product markets, and via direct sales or Amazon. A 24-pack of the individual bags are currently $28.56 on Amazon.

Flavorfiveoutoffive Delicious! For something that is pretty tasty, it’s pretty low-cal, and since it’s got 2 grams of protein per bag, it keeps the kids filled up for a while (at least until dinner!). Other flavors include roasted garlic, Greek lemon and herb, honey caramelized onion.





Shareablity- fouroutoffive Certified Kosher, Certified Gluten-free, nonGMO verified, certified vegan (certain flavors only). No allergens listed except for ingredients list.

Toteabilityfouroutoffive Easily breakable due to pointy edges, but not much more than, say, Doritos. Comes in 1.5oz bags.

Buyabilityfiveoutoffive Available in most natural market stores (locator here), direct sales, and on Amazon. Currently a 24 pack of 1.5oz bags is  $27.69.

Flavorthreeoutoffive A little bitter and seaweed-y due to the high kale content, and a little on the salty side (but still lower than Doritos, you know). Not Lan’s first choice, but she enjoyed it nonetheless. We had the ranch flavor sample; other flavors include cheddar, chili lime, sea salt, and wait for it… TOMATO BASIL!!! (I am clearly too excited about the tomato basil)

Other Things To Note - Made with kale and chia seed, and you know, hipsters are all over that.


Shareability- threeoutoffive Non-GMO verified, vegan, organic (uncertified), gluten-free (uncertified)

Toteability- fouroutoffive Sweet potatoes prove to  be sturdier than your regular spuds! Comes in 1.5 oz bags, so they are lunch box friendly too.

Buyability- fouroutoffive Available in some stores, direct sale via website (TINS! BUCKETS!), and Amazon (30 1.5oz bags for $31.49)

Flavor- fouroutoffive Plain, good ol’ sweet potato chips! Miss Lan is mmmm-ing at the package photo as I type this very sentence.

Other Things To Note- Less guilt because sweet potato chips > potato chips. Also, the bag comes STAMPED with the potato source, which is pretty crazy! My sample bag says: Made with Organic Sweet Potatoes from Quail Cove Farms!!



Disclaimer: Much thanks to the companies that provided take-home  samples at the show – I know that they go fast and your generosity is much appreciated. Written content and product photo is by me, package photos are by manufacturers… And obviously the baby photos are by me!


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hourly comic day 2015


houtly01houtly02 hourlies03

Yesterday was Hourly Comic Day and I finally did one.

I swear as miserable as I make motherhood look in this, I love mine to pieces.
She’s just a bit of a booger butt these days cause she’s (we’re) sick.

Also I need to clean my scanner bed.


just shut up and take my money, IKEA

ikea toys

Look at this leek. This toy leek. It is from Ikea and is part of their “vegetable basket” set. It’s like 14 pieces of soft food plushies for 8 bucks. But that’s not what’s cool about this thing. Look at the swirl that illustrates the allium’s layers, the little roots that eject from the end! My god, the detail on this thing!

ikea toys

I’m just amazed by the quality of these toys. The lettuce, you can peel the leaves off. You can peel a slice off the block of swiss cheese. You can filet your own salmon and halve your tomatoes (from this salmon set). You can even peel and unpeel the banana! Heck, you can mix and match the sets and make yourself a baguette sandwich!!!

ikea toys

Sometimes Lan and I sit in her toy kitchen (also from IKEA) and pretend to fry a halibut or make tomato sauce. Last week she tried to make a gross cocktail of salmon and pineapples. Today, she tried to saute her kangaroo plushie with some green beans (from URAQT).

I have always told Hiroki that once we had more money we were going to “graduate” form Ikea and buy real wooden furniture. But NOPE, I am still buying Ikea stuff… But not because I’m broke, not because I want cheap furniture. No. It’s because their toys are so fricking amazing and adorbs.


because pizza.


I just got this shirt a ZARA today. Normally I am a black-or-grey-tshirts-only kinda person but this shirt was like, screaming ILA WE OUR SOULMATES from the sale section, so I had to buy it.

Unfortunately it’s sold out, and I don’t like to leave people hanging… so here’s some stuff I found on the interwebs recently that’s been trying to pry my wallet open.




I LOVE this Pyknik donut shirt but it’s a little too short for me :(


Modcloth always sells ridiculous shoes but these Cheeseburger heels are pretty out there.


This A Day To Remember sushi shirt is rad if you’re into band shirts.

P.S. I swear this blog is still a food blog!!!




I’ve been taking content creation and recipe consultation gigs for a while now. One of the companies I write for is Spicely Organics, an organic spice company (I used to also work for them, but quit because I wanted to become my own boss).

Anyways, I made some sexy looking cookies and thought that I’d share. You can see the recipe here!


Book Rec: RELISH by Lucy Knisley




Do you enjoy reading Ruth Reichl and Molly Wizenberg? Do you like comics? Well then, this book is perfect for you!

My sister got me a copy of Lucy Knisley’s RELISH for Christmas this year. It’s a memoir of an art student with a dining-a-holic dad and a pastry chef Mom, who’s been traveling the world and stuffing her face with amazing food since childhood.  Reading this, I realized the food has such an impact on children – hopefully Lan will grow up to be appreciative of everything like Lucy.

There’s even some Alinea action in a later chapter. It’s got a little something that all of us food aficionados can relate to. It’s a beautiful comic book – the colors, the people, the stories, everything!

You can visit Lucy’s website here, and buy the book on Amazon.


brussel sprouts


every time i see brussels sprout stalks for sale i think of all the poor gachapins that died for the harvest.