*notcot - 11.23.15 , 21:35 - 0 Notes

Tasteologie: Thanksgiving Inspiration!

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Anyone else still deciding what to cook for Thanksgiving? While figuring out our menu, and exploring options to spice things up or surprise people a bit… here’s some of the fun i found on Tasteologie! Click the pictures to find out more.

*notcot - 10.27.15 , 10:30 - 0 Notes

Halloween: Food With Eyes

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On hilarious food trends happening at Tasteologie… FOOD WITH EYES! Some adorable, some creepy… all amusing! To find out more and make your own - click the squares!

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*notcot - 10.22.15 , 13:03 - 0 Notes

British Museum of Food: Bompas & Parr


Here’s the latest from London-based editor and resident zoologist, Justine Aw as she shares more awesome happenings in London!

There’s no arguing the fact that Sam Bompas and Harry Parr are passionate about food… and architecture, technology, experiences, and where they all intersect! Their projects have dabbled in the cutting edge of food and food science as well as its history and role in our culture, and you can we’ve been covering their incredible adventures for the last 5 years. They are now embarking on a new adventure, the British Museum of Food with the tagline “from field to table, mouth…and beyond”. Get a first peek inside the opening in London’s Borough Market on the next page! You won’t believe the British menus, stunning buttferflies, massage chairs and more…

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*notcot - 10.18.15 , 00:41 - 0 Notes

Stewart & Jasper Orchards: Newman, CA


Just pulled into a little seaside hotel in Cambria, CA as we slowly make our way down the coast from SF to LA… this road trip has been filled with little adventures squeezed in between official work commitments… including the discovery of Stewart & Jasper Orchards company store in a little strip mall off the 5 freeway in Central CA - filled with locally grown and produced treats and gift baskets. Their website says “Stewart & Jasper, a family-owned almond company on the West Side of the San Joaquin Valley, is well known for its commitment to product quality and customer service. We are an almond grower, huller/sheller, processor, exporter and retail marketer with over 60-years experience in farming and food production.” They’ve been doing their thing since 1948 and is still run by 2nd and 3rd generation family members.

On a quick gas stop in Patterson, CA, the store caught my eye and we had to pop in… I was so dazed from roadtripping for hours, i didn’t even think to take pictures, but Google Maps has it covered. You walk into the store, and you see wall to wall sweet nutty treats, beef jerky, jams, candies, and more… part of an old PICK UP TRUCK (also filled with treats and gift baskets)… and the whole back half of the store is an adorable wine/beer area! At first, I thought it was a Harry & David like brand - with fruits and gift baskets, until i looked more closely at the offerings and noticed a huge section of Glazed Almonds with flavors like: Strawberries & Creme, Cinnamon, Orange Creme Brulee, Caramel Latte, Peaches & Cream, Butter Toffee, Pralines & Cream, Birthday Cake, Caramel Apple, Snickerdoodle, Key Lime, Root Beer Float, Razberry Cheesecake, and more… and that was only the glazed almond wall! There were also quite a surprising variety of chocolate covered almonds (i.e. Dark Chocolate Chipotle, Coffee & Creme, White Chocolate Coconut), chocolate covered fruits in a range of colors, as well as more traditional basic nuts, jams, butters and far more than i can remember.

My curiosity couldn’t resist trying some Birthday Cake Glazed Almonds, Almond Smore’s Mix, and Yogurt Covered Raisins. By the time we nibbled on them up to SF, we were hooked. While I first picked them for sounding intriguingly amusing, we were more surprised by how delicious they all were! Sharing some with friends, we looked up the Stewart & Jasper Orchards website thinking it’d be easy to see the rest of the available flavors and order more online to try. To my surprise, the website only shows a slim selection of their offerings, and I learned they only have 4 stores all in the center of California. Their orchard/factory and store are in Newman (apparently you can get tours!) not far off the 5, and the other 3 stores are in Patterson (also off the 5), Modesto, and Monterey. So on the drive down, we took a little detour in Monterey to see that store, pick up treats to share, and find out more! While there we not only bought two bags full, but also learned more about the family run company, factory, and that even though they are far too busy to update the website regularly, you can call the Newman store at any time to find out more about seasonal flavors, custom gift baskets, and placing orders to ship all over the US. Since you can’t see much on the Stewart & Jasper Orchards website, take a look at some of their more surprising offerings on the next page!

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*notcot - 09.24.15 , 15:01 - 0 Notes

MARCH: Jollypop

jollypop0.jpg Here’s the latest from London-based editor and resident zoologist, Justine Aw as she explores London Design Week 2015!

Jollypop! These beautiful, natural lollipops by March have such lovely branding and packaging, and look deliciously designed. When flipping through Justine’s pictures, i stopped immediately at these and had to know more. Not only are they playful to look at - but their booth had them displayed on sound dampening pyramid foam!

Who is March? “MARCH is product invention studio based in Vilnius, Lithuania.We like new materials and technologies. We like good design. And we like good concept even better.” Martynas Kazimierenas and Egle Opeikiene definitely sound like our kind of people. I love that they go on to say “MARCH is anti-designerism. Most new designer products are unnecessary in our overproduced world. Besides, every new production have impact to the environment. New products have to be better in their concept, not just appearance. MARCH is new concept + new technology + new material = new goodness.” We need more designers who think like this.

Ok - but back to those Jollypops that we found at Tent London 2015… double sided cherry lollipop! And they are all handmade. see all their loveliness on the next page!

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*notcot - 08.19.15 , 02:00 - 0 Notes

Bulls Bay Saltworks


UPDATE: The great branding was designed by Fuzzco!

I just discovered Bulls Bay Saltworks while meandering about online and these amazing line art logos of sea creatures taking on lighthouses pulled me right in. Aren’t they adorably incredible? As i started to get past that… the SALT! From how it looks, to how it’s made, to the story and incredible couple, Rustin and Teresa Gooden, behind it all… i’m late night smitten and wanting to go to South Carolina.

Here’s how they explain the salt making process, “On our home property, we evaporate water in a big greenhouse that we call the solar tunnel. Our salt is crystalized using solar and wind evaporation, harvested by hand and set aside to complete the drying stage.” As for why their saltwater is extra special, “Bulls Bay is located in Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge, which contains a Class One Wilderness Area and is home to one of the healthiest saltwater ecosystems and known for its acclaimed oyster clusters, clams and other seafood.” For even more details, go read up on the Bulls Bay Saltworks FAQ. For now - go lust after the lovely packaging of their products with me on the next page!

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*notcot - 03.29.15 , 10:22 - 0 Notes

Flor de Lis Restaurante - Guatemala City

flor0.jpg The ultimate meal isn’t just about the food. It’s about the flavors, the plating, the ambiance, the decor, the company, the conversation… and it all came together perfectly at Flor de Lis. Though, you know what’s impossible? Taking photos that do it all justice while armed with just an iPhone and bouncing between great conversation and delicious bites you need to taste as soon as they reach the table. So consider this post a teaser of the reality of a meal at Flor de Lis… but honestly, you need to get to Guatemala City to properly experience it for yourself (or if you’re lucky, we can get them to come do a pop up in LA! or NY? or Miami?)

Backing up a moment - i’ve shown you our amazing Guatemala adventures as well as the story of Flor de Lis’ Pingüi and our Puma Penguins… so you’ve seen peeks of Flor de Lis, but a proper post is definitely overdue! The plating is so stunning! And it all tastes… SO GOOD. To be honest, when Harold reached out about the penguins, with our few hours in Guatemala City, I had to find my way to Flor de Lis, so of course we happily accepted when Harold invited us to dinner with his fiancè and Chef Diego Ruben Telles. Chef Diego is originally from Guatemala and after cooking in Spain and training in Denmark at NOMA, he’s returned to experiment with modernized Guatemalan cuisine.

I’m not kidding when I say the meal was one of the best i’ve had in some time. Situated in Guatemala City’s modern Paseo Cayala (think mini city with-in the city complete with private security - it reminds me of a huge Santana Row with luxury shopping, homes, offices and more which will continue expanding the next few years) - Flor de Lis is a delicious modern twist on traditional Guatemalan flavors and ingredients. While Chef Diego often described the plates as ‘simple’ with regards to the minimal ingredients used, the way he transforms a single ingredient (like a carrot!) into multiple textures (think charred, powdered, saucey) on the same plate is a masterful transformation that i’d consider molecular gastronomy. In addition to using local ingredients (as local as the plants growing right next to our table!) their stunning plating includes traditional Guatemalan pottery, wood, ceramics and more in a whole new context. They want you to truly experience and enjoy the food - so while the plates may look too pretty to disrupt at first, the smell will pull you in, and once you grab a piece with your fingers and taste the sauces, the ultimate compliment is for the chef to see you licking up every last drop! Flor de Lis serves up a delicious, relaxed, beautifully modern experience all around that can’t be missed if you’re in Guatemala City. See the iPhone pics of our experience on the next page!

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*notcot - 02.27.15 , 19:55 - 0 Notes

Ice Screw Apple Corer + Apple Ribbon Galette

galette00.jpg On random inspiration from our Ice Climbing Adventure in Johnston Canyon last week - i feel ridiculous saying this - but when i was playing with the ice screws that we were hanging from, all i could think was… APPLE CORER! The one i’d been using previously was hard to aim accurately (honestly, most apples don’t have perfectly vertical cores!), sprayed a mess of juice all over, and were hard to get the cores out of. The ice climbing screws are precision engineered to make a perfect hole and displace the ice out of the center. The Black Diamond Express Ice Screw even has a little crank knob that flips out to make it even easier once you get it going. Inspiration comes from everywhere, right?

I’ve also been experimenting with different things i can do with my Benriner Spiralizer - mostly because it’s so fun, and its fascinating to see how a recipe changes when you alter the form of the ingredients! So coring the apples, then using the spiralizer to slice the apples into ribbons (basically take out the blade with teeth), creates a delicious pie filling! Much more tender than the usual chunky apple slices, yet they still hold their form nicely. I love the way it tastes and feels! (You’ll understand once you try it!)

So freshly home, and catching up - I had to make an Apple Ribbon Galette inspired by our Alberta Winter Adventures! So the apples are cored with the ice screw from ice climbing in Johnston Canyon, Banff, they were sliced up on the cutting board i made with Oliver Apt, Edmonton, and spiced with apple pie spice from Silk Road Spices, Calgary! Check out my Apple Ribbon Galette recipe and more on the next page!

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*notcot - 02.19.15 , 21:20 - 0 Notes

Duchess Bake Shop & Provisions

duchess0.jpg This post is part of our special NOTCOT Alberta Great Escape series thanks to our friends at Travel Alberta. In Part I, we roadtripped up from LA for a fall adventure. In Part II, we are experiencing all that Alberta Winter has to offer! Follow the series to see what inspires us along the way!

If there’s one place that keeps coming up on Edmonton lists that you HAVE to try, it is Duchess Bake Shop, as well as their specialty baking store Provisions by Duchess, next door. The bakery has clearly become a destination for foodies and macaron lovers everywhere, and as soon as you step in, it’s easy to see why. Tucked away in a strip of shops, you enter an ornate, yet modern, parisian feeling spot filled with world class pastries made daily from scratch. And if you’re inspired to make your own, Provisions is filled with the who’s who of pastry cookbooks, specialty ingredients, baking tools, and even their new self published Duchess Bake Shop Cookbook - complete with 80 recipes for their most loved pastries from the bakery.

While our culinary adventures in Edmonton surprised us - so many delicious new restaurants filled with modern interiors I loved, and incredibly nice folks. Heading to Duchess near lunch hour was a bit more like Disneyland! But worth the chaos. One thing to note if you make the pilgrimage to Duchess is that they are not open Mondays, and if Monday happens to be a public holiday (in this case Family Day), they are also closed Tuesday. Luckily, we were driving to Jasper on Weds, so managed to squeeze in a quick stop to check it out, have a quiche and croque monsieur, and pick up a box of treats to enjoy on our road trip! Of course, once i got there and peek at the cookbook, it warranted a longer read… so check it all out on the next page!

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*notcot - 02.01.15 , 16:50 - 0 Notes

Slingshot Yogurt Drink

slingshot0.jpg On packaging based impulse buys at the supermarket… was intrigued by this Slingshot “Yogurt protein drink with a crunchy shot”. The strange ring around the neck of the bottle is filled with toasted oats, chia seeds, and almond bits . It’s like a Yo Crunch in drink form (before YoCrunch apparently turned into candy/cereal/super sugary branded mix ins?). I tried the peach flavor which was pretty bleh - but the packaging is most intriguing! See details on the next page.

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*notcot - 12.20.14 , 17:34 - 0 Notes

On amex points + meat/veggies + a challenge…

cooking0b.jpg In early November, Shawn and i decided to try a challenge: for 30 days could we go carb free (yup, no rice, pasta, tortillas, etc!), no processed, minimal sugar (minimal! not none - we were trying to be realistic and set ourselves up for success), and no alcohol? We were curious how it would make us feel, how our bodies would react… of course a week into it, i’m already going stir crazy (i get bored easily!) and need to figure out how to mix things up a bit. Thank goodness for his self control (enough for both of us!) or i clearly never would have made it.

To keep it intellectually interesting i also needed different missions weekly to learn some new skills, acquire some new tools… which kind of turned into a cookbook reading mania and kitchen upgrade. I wanted to find ways to essentially short cut to having an understanding and intuition about what i’m cooking and how things work - not simply follow directions. So with this approach to learning while experimenting for our nutritional lifestyle change - i began exploring a different side of cooking reference books. Amazingly, after the 30 days, we’ve been feeling energized, lighter, and healthier - so we’re going to try to keep it going! Surprising side effect - i’ve dropped about a dozen pounds, and he’s dropped 20 something. Crazy, right? Anyhow, rounding up some of what NOTlabs instagram followers have been seeing peeks of - see the deliciousness, tools, and cookbooks that have i wish i had long ago!

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*notcot - 11.25.14 , 14:15 - 0 Notes

Break Bar: Dandelion x Snarkitechture

snarkchoc0.jpg WANT! Cool Hunting’s latest CH Edition goes Willy Wonka with their Break Bar: a Chocolate bar done only the way Dandelion Chocolate x Snarkitecture can. In a limited edition of 500 pieces, 5 of them will include a magical “White Ticket” that can be redeemed for the non-edible gypsum sculpture in the exact same form as the Break Bar. As for the chocolate itself - it is made from 70% chocolate made from Maya Mountain, Belize beans, this six ounce bar is the equivalent of three standard Dandelion Chocolate bars. And if that doesn’t make it the perfect gift (even for yourself) - All proceeds benefit Southern Exposure, a San Francisco-based non-profit organization committed to supporting visual artists since 1974.

Ready to see the fun packaging and chocolately goodness up close? To the next page!

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*rugenius - 09.17.14 , 13:46 - 0 Notes

Johnnie Walker’s Symphony in Blue

jblue.jpg Here’s the latest from NOTCOT’s London-based editor and resident zoologist, Justine Aw.

This afternoon, London’s Merchant Taylors’ Hall was taken over by Johnnie Walker in celebration of Johnnie Walker Blue Label, Symphony in Blue. The afternoon was a delectable experience filled with a playful celebration of whisky including glacial ice, burning barrels, a fog of whisky, flavor organ and a banquet that was literally all singing and all dancing. An enormous production from Done and Dusted and Bompas & Parr.

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*notcot - 07.02.14 , 10:41 - 0 Notes

Good To-Go Gourmet Dehydrated Meals

gtgmain.jpg What happens when a professional chef (Jennifer Scism of Annisa and more) has to spend a lot of time in the backcountry? Good To-Go gourmet dehydrated meals! I’ll admit i was first drawn in by the bright, bold, playful packaging - especially that background pattern! But when it comes to dehydrated meals it’s all about the taste - and the ease of rehydration. Think of it as fancy cup o’noodles? They say “Each recipe was developed with one goal: to elevate your expectations of what trail food can taste like.” Currently there is Thai Curry (Spicy yellow coconut curry with vegetables and jasmine rice), Smoke Three Bean Chili (Traditional chili with corn and caramelized onions), and Herbed Mushroom Risotto (Classic risotto with sautéed mushrooms and basil pesto). We received one of each to try and had a little faux-backpacking dinner out in the yard last night to try it out. Basically just tear it open, add boiling water, zip it back up, let it sit for 20 minutes - then bon appetit! See all the close ups on the next page!

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*notcot - 06.23.14 , 22:35 - 2 Notes

Kellogg’s Cereal: Good. Night. Snack.

nightcereal2.jpg I don’t know why this is so amusing today. Apparently Kellogg’s has created “Limited Edition Packaging” for some of their cereals - having them go dark. They actually have the night sky filled with stars instead of their brighter usual boxes… I thought my mom was joking - so she scanned over a coupon as proof. My first thought was - are there glow in the dark marshmallow stars inside? Second thought - are there really people out there who didn’t know they can eat cereal at ANY hour? Third thought - what’s going on with the cereal industry to need to change ONLY the packaging to tell people they can eat cereal at night?!?!?!

But maybe it worked - when we noticed the box of twilight Mini Wheats - we bought it. And i had to take pics of how absurd the packaging is to share with you. And now i’m totally having some at night… See it all on the next page!

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