Entries tagged with: food

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Bon Puf Cotton Candy


The Original Bon Puf Cotton Candy has an online store now! For those who have been trying to taste the candy floss fluffiness through instagram for years, but haven’t been close enough (or managed to make it to an event the adorable cart has popped up at) - you can now had organic sugar cotton candy in fun flavors like Champagne Sparkle (edible glitter and all!), Pop Puf (pop rocks!), Sugar Cookie, Salter Caramel, Watermelon, Mango and more show up right at your doorstep. I’ve been a bit slow writing this post, because my fingers keep getting sticky as i taste the various flavors and type right now…

If you haven’t peeked at the Bon Puf Instagram yet, you must. Let’s face it, sadly, a picture is worth more than a thousand words (and perhaps more than the experience itself at times) today. And while Bon Puf has mastered the instagrammable, happy, fluffy, colorful deliciously playful world of cotton candy digitally - i was so curious how the organic cotton candy fluff actually is! So… yes, it’s super tasty! Can i taste the difference of organic sugar? I’m not sure - but if definitely tastes better than that county fair vendor stuff! Also, it’s so adorable with the subtle toppings sprinkled throughout and I’m still excited to one day see the super cute cotton candy cart in person! But for now - it makes a fun surprise to send to a friend (or to yourself) now that you can order Bon Puf Online! And if somehow you end up with too much - clearly you can use it as a topping, or in lieu of sugar in things like my espresso in the gif up top!

Take a look at the unboxing and some of my favorite pics from their feed on the next page.

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Green Door Gourmet Local Farm Box CSA


On finding things that are uniquely local - i’m currently obsessed with the Green Door Gourmet in Nashville, TN - particularly their CSA Local Farm Box! Traditional CSA (community supported agriculture) models rely on customers to buy subscriptions for weekly boxes, pay up front, and essentially fund the farmers to buy seed, grow crops and do their thing. Super awesome, but terrible for people like me who have rather sporadic schedules and are terrible with planning.

While Green Door Gourmet has a traditional CSA option, they also have a limited number of “Flexible CSA model (Pack-Your-Own)” boxes! Which is awesome for those with crazy schedules or go through cooking bursts , commitment-phobes, and even travelers passing through! Sure you could go to a normal market or a farmer’s market, but there’s something so nice (and so much more delicious somehow) about popping by the farm, and picking deliciously fresh produce from the baskets. To join in, just get on their email list, and every week you get a message about what this week’s box includes, and you can place your order and prepay the $27 by Thurs to pick up Sat or Sun. They’ll happily explain what everything is to you, share recipes and tips, and tell you more about who, how, where they were grown and more.

Take a peek at how fun the Pack-Your-Own process is, as well as the amazing market/general store is on the next page!

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Custom Lay's Instagram Chips


On ridiculous things - these custom Lay’s Bucky BBQ Potato Chips just arrived! I had forgotten that 6+ weeks ago i got curious about an instagram ad, and ordered a free bag of customized Lay’s! Love the fun packaging (nice box print details) and print quality of Bucky droooooooooling on the bag looks pretty good. (Don’t mind the caption, they only let you pick from prewritten messages.) Fun example of social media digital campaigns to physical manifestations. You can see what everyone else has been putting on their Lay’s too! (Surprise - LOTS of dogs and cats!) Details on the next page…

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Nicoletto's Pasta Co & Italian Kitchen


Nicoletto’s Pasta Co. is my latest Nashville discovery/obsession/craving. Another reason to add to the list of reasons we love East Nashville and started the NOTCOT Project House! I’m not even sure where to start - the fact that I kept being drawn to the black and white adorableness on our multitude of Home Depot trips… the fresh pasta… the fun packaging… or the MACARONS!

OMG. The macarons. Let’s start there - it is the most delicious/amazing dessert mashup i’ve tried in some time. They are like the jelly donuts of macarons. And the flavors change every few weeks! And Nicoletto’s Italian Kitchen is the only spot you can find them! Yes, it’s a pasta company, and yes the pasta is quite delicious, BUT it’s totally worth going by just to get a macaron. The one we had (and then went back the next day for another, but more on that later) - was filled with white chocolate ginger cream around an apricot jam center… and the shells are painted beautifully. Head to the next page for all the macaron/pasta adventures and details.

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Seersucker Candy Co for Bourbon Lovers


Mmmmmmm… good scotch and dark chocolate are a favorite pairing of mine. Bourbon and caramel is another delicious one. Now mix up a delicious soft bourbon caramel in a divine dark chocolate shell… shape it with facets and colorful splashes and gold? WOW. Especially good when it isn’t just any bourbon but - Belle Meade Sherry Cask Bourbon, Woodford Reserve Double Oaked, Weller Antique 107 Proof, and Bulleit Rye Whiskey. Seersucker Candy Co. and Olive & Sinclair have outdone themselves. Their new limited edition Bourbon Lover’s Collection is a terrible thing, simply because they are only making 100 factory exclusive boxes that you can’t order online! I wish i could send you all a box! It’s THAT good.

When i first noticed it on their instagram, it was so pretty and sounded so good i shared it on NOTCOT.org immediately. Then as we kept working on the Nashville house, being only a few blocks away from the Olive & Sinclair factory/store, I convinced Shawn to take a break with me to go get some! We joke that we picked the new house project in part because of its proximity to delicious chocolates and our favorite breakfast sandwich, but having tasted these new chocolate caramels, maybe it’s not really a joke? Take a peek at more details on the next page - and if you’re in Nashville, go get some!

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LA Love: Compartes Chocolate


With neighbors doing construction on with two sides of our bedroom wall (it’s that time of year?) starting at 7am every day, i’ve certainly been a bit more of a grumpy zombie than i’d like to admit. BUT, luckily we’ve been trying to counteract all of that with field trips… and chocolate can never hurt! So the other day we popped over to Compartes! As fun as their wacky photocollaged chocolate bars boxes are individually (or in little clusters at stores) - a wall FULL of them is pretty mesmerizing… and bound to take your mind off anything else. And the black and white stripes inside their black and white bags are so fun to stare into! So we picked a few bars, a bunch of chocolate covered marshmallows and oreos as well as some dark cherry and strawberry clusters and headed home after construction to dive in. How can “Campfire S’mores” and “Let Them Eat Cake” and “Donuts & Coffee” chocolate bars not make you feel better?

Check out the delectable (and visual) inspiration on the next page!

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Belcampo Beef Blunts


On things disguised as other things… while at Belcampo Butcher Shop in Santa Monica, i came across these faux-cigars (in wood box and all) that are 100% Beef Blunts! So of course i had to try one!

They are basically fancy slim-jims? Mini cigar shaped salamis? They are what i imagine our hardcore paleo non-smoking friends will give out at the birth of their kids. take a peek at the details and what’s inside (as well as the lovely Belcampo store!) on the next page.

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Gift Guide: Easter Chocolates


Wow - Happy March! Easter is nearly upon us… and with it come a barrage of bunnies, chicks, and chocolate! There are the childhood classics like Cadbury Creme Eggs and the Mini Eggs… and then there are all the other drugstore/supermarket options and variants… as well as all the overly ornate (and often HUGE) chocolate eggs… but i’m most curious about the modern and unique Easter Chocolate options available this year! Much like my Valentine’s Day 2016 Chocolate Gift Guide - while these CAN be gifts, i’m even more interested in the seasonal packaging and product designs! Take a look at how Easter 2016 is looking in the chocolate world on the next page!

p.s. If there are more you find or love that i’m missing - leave a comment!

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Wonderboo: Luxury Dog Food


How adorable is this luxurious Wonderboo Premium Dog Food Truck? It’s like a Louis Vuitton inspired Piaggio Ape… and it might be cruising around London now handing out samples!

While the Ape is definitely what pulled me in first - and i can’t seem to decide how i feel about the branding… there’s a very Rodeo Drive, luxe lingerie/jewelry, purse dog vibe going on… it is very consistent and eye catching! From product to logo to concept store to… mini truck and Land Rover Defender! This Swedish luxury dog food brand launched last year and is currently available in Sweden and the UK. (So no luxury taste testing for Bucky quite yet.) They offer Swedish Ox and Swedish Cod flavors, and have recently added food for big dogs and puppies too. Of course they also have Wonderboo Accessories including luxury jewelry (for humans) and leather leashes and collars (for dogs). Take a look at the details on the next page!

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Trader Joe's Coffee: Brew In The Bag


Trader Joe’s Pour Over Coffee that you Brew In The Bag! As usual - Trader Joe’s has fun with the graphic design on their private label goods. How could we resist trying out this adorable Pour Over Coffee that you brew in the bag? Just add hot water! Also - we much as Shawn’s all about the chemex and fresh stumptown… it’s pretty good! Supposedly the quality falls somewhere between a traditional pour over and french press.

A bit of research quickly shows that the danish company behind this fun packaging and concept is Grower’s Cup. They have this setup for both coffee and tea - as well as specialty kits (like Irish Coffee!) and you can even find some on Amazon. While not necessarily something you need at home - it’s perfect for on the go, especially camping! AND… the cheap, flat packaging is REUSABLE! Just scoop out the grounds and refill.

See more pictures of all the details on the next page.

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Gift Guide: Valentine's Day Chocolates


Mmmmm chocolate. It should come as no surprise that i love a good piece of chocolate… especially a beautifully wrapped or designed piece of deliciousness. A quick search for chocolate on NOTCOT.org brings up quite a bit - as does looking for chocolate on NOTCOT.com! Over the last 10 years, that’s a lot of chocolate.

Well Valentine’s Day is around the corner (or so marketers want us to think, since Christmas is over) - and since historically, chocolate and V-day go hand in hand - being one of the biggest chocolate selling holidays, that means loads of special packaging and chocolate offerings coming up every February. And it has already begun! I found so many Valentine’s 2016 chocolate specials, and have rounded up the most interesting (and delectable) ones in this roundup. From incredible box graphics, to chocolate frogs, lovebugs, oysters, champagne corks, cigars and more…

So whether you need to get started on ideas and planning early, or are just curious to see what i found researching chocolate tonight… see it all on the next page!

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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.

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The Honest Kitchen: Scratch & Sniff for Dogs


The Honest Kitchen has launched a holiday scratch & sniff story… for dogs! The free storybook packed with samples, Is that my dinner?, does not actually have scratch & sniff DOG FOOD (like i initially would have guessed)… but rather scents you can find around the holidays… and people food! After all, The Honest Kitchen is all about people quality food for dogs. The agency behind this cute holiday story is RTO+P, according to Adweek.

Take a peek at the promotional holiday storybook up close on the next page as i let Bucky flip through it… the hard part was keeping him from trying to jump right to the ending.

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INSPIRATION: North Park, San Diego


Sometimes you just need to get away… catch up with an old friend… take a day trip… for tacos… and donuts on the beach… and check out some fun new shops… and that’s just what we did! Day trip to San Diego to see the new spots in North Park… and cruising up the coast to see what’s new in Del Mar, Solana Beach, Encinitas, Carlsbad, Oceanside… and stopping off in the OC for soup dumplings and puffles! Check out the inspiration and goodies we found along the way on the next page!

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Halloween: Food With Eyes

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

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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