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.

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because pizza.

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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.

inpizzawecrust

This IN PIZZA WE CRUST tank from LOOKHUMAN

donutcare

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

burgershoes

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

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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!!!

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coooookies

peppakakor

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!

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Book Rec: RELISH by Lucy Knisley

RELISH COVER

RELISH INTERIOR

 

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.

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brussel sprouts

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

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on the baby friendliness of Napa

Grapes!

People tend to think that your social life dies after having a baby.
The truth is, you can still have fun, but your schedule drastically changes. Instead of late night crawls in downtown to celebrate a friend’s birthday, you go on winery day trips with said birthday friend. And, guess what! Napa Valley, the land of fancy wines and cheeses, is super baby (and pet!) friendly.

Now that you have a baby in tow, the max number of wineries you will be able to visit is maybe three. So choose wisely! You’ll also need a head start on your day, because just having a baby around adds like 30 minutes to everything that you do (chasing after jail break baby, changing diapers, calming down cranky baby…), and wineries tend to close around 4-5pm.

Bouchon Bakery

We started our Napa Valley trip at Bouchon Bakery in Yountville to pick up some sustenance. I had already packed a picnic lunch, but we needed snacks! When we got there around 10, there was already a line coiling around the tiny shop… So get there early!

We picked up some cakes and wine snacks and headed off to our first stop…

Napa Style Winery

Napa Cellars!

I chose Napa Cellars as our first stop because they have an open picnic area. There are lots of wineries with picnic areas in Napa, but most seemed a little out of the way (but with gorgeous views). We just needed an open area for baby to run around in so she can blow off some steam.

Napa Style Winery

Not only does Napa Cellars have lots of space, they also have lawn games like bocce ball! Drunk sportsball, it’s like college all over again.

Flights at Napa Cellars are $10, which are waived if you purchase a membership. After the tasting we purchased two bottles and brought it to the picnic table outside.

Salmon Rillettes, Cow Girl Cheese

We had picked up a jar of Salmon Rilletes at Bouchon Bakery, as well as the Cowgirl Creamery seasonal cheese at a local gift shop. The rillete was amazing, but the cheese (“Pierce PT”) is nutting AMAZEBALLS. It’s a jersey milk cheese, washed in white wine and then rolled in wild herbs and flowers, and tastes as magical as it looks. I’ve been hooked on it since, and have been purchasing their seasonals for a while now. The autumn one is rolled in dried shiitake (“Chimney Rock”), and the winter one is rolled in sweet and hot peppers (“Devil’s Gulch”).

cake!

Also, itty bitty cakes from Bouchon. So amazing. TK is king for a reason, yo.

After lunch, we mosey’d on over to Grgich Hills Winery. Grgich is one of those old famous ones that you sort of have to visit when you’re in Napa – it’s always packed with parties and tourists. Grumble grumble Chauteau Montelena grumble grumble Bottle Shock.

@ grgich hills

Plus, they have air conditioning! Perfect when your baby passes out. Plop her in the stroller and go grab a tasting ($20 or $40, depends on the tasting).

Napa Valley

Our last stop: Domaine Chandon. Because a birthday is incomplete without bubbles.

Chandon is made for young people. The tasting room looks like a night club, with sleek looking bars and a bar menu (dude. brie grilled cheese, anyone?), and beautiful chicks just lounging around on the sexy clubby sofas.
The outside is a different story though; they boast gorgeous gardens, and lots of grass to hangout on with your dog or baby. In fact, there were a lot of young parents in the outside area, carting (or baby-leashing) their babies around. Domaine Chandon also has a sit-down restaurant if you want a more substantial meal.

We were done after Chandon, so we headed home after that. Truth be told, I think baby had the most fun out of us all. All that nature and sunlight is great for baby, and the vibe is sooo chill. I may be too old for Kamikazes and cramped jam sessions at Detroit Bar (R.I.P.), but I am totally okay with that.

 

Other notable baby friendly Napa suggestions include:

 

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baby and cat

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the cat tolerates baby’s existence (barely).

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