Food ornaments for grown ups

I love a pizza or hamburger ornament as much as the next fool, but I especially adore these new food ornaments from Anthropologie.

Now you can decorate your tree with your favorite grown up treats. Many of them are an acquired taste.

avocado ornamentartichoke ornament
avocado / artichoke

brussel sprout ornamentpomegranate ornament
brussel sprout / pomegranate

fig ornamentoats ornament
fig / overnight oats

grapefruit ornamentblack and white cookie ornament
grapefruit / black & white cookie

cannoli ornamentassorted cheeses ornament
cannoli / assorted cheeses

deviled egg ornamentsardines ornament
deviled egg / sardines

oyster ornamentcaviar ornament
oyster / caviar

Kitchen items that look like food

I’m not much of a cook, but I love these kitchen accessories that look like food. They could make being in the kitchen so much more fun.

Sauced Up ravioli spoon rest – $8

Pickled bottle stopper – $9

The Cooks Carrot whisk – $15

Ham N Eggs potholder and pan scraper – $15

Swiss dish party plates – $15

Lemon tea infuser – $10

Ceramic ice cream cone – $11.95

Splash spoon rest – Β£8.00

Splash lid holder – Β£6.00

Banana bowl – $245

Avocado salt and pepper shakers – $45

Qui Austin

This year, Clay and I spent the time between Christmas and New Year’s Day in Austin, Texas with his family. While there, I was able to cross off an item from my 30 Before 30 list, #15: Eat at a Top Chef’s restaurant. Not only was it a Top Chef, but it was one of my very favorites: Paul Qui from Top Chef Texas.

They graciously accommodated our party of 14 for a 3-hour meal. The menu was exciting and the service was unbelievable. Every course came with unique flatware, locally-designed plates, and table-side presentations. Paul even served and explained a few dishes to our table.

I was already so excited and then I saw calimocho on the menu. I make my own basic version by adding red wine to Diet Coke, but theirs was, expectedly, soooo much better. It included some spices I can’t remember and orange peel. And it came in this really neat spouted carafe. Amazing.

Qui serves family-style so we were able to try most of the food from the menu. We started with an “ode to Michel Bras”: chilled turnip dashi over a selction of vegetables from Austin farmers, and kinilaw: amberjack filipino ceviche (one of my favorite dishes of the night).

Next we had chicken adobo rice, kare kare: filipino peanut curry vegetables, cabbage with crispy chicken skin and spiced yogurt, and sea urchin pasta (not pictured). The kare kare was the best thing I ate. It was a new flavor and so delicious; it didn’t even need meat.

Next we tried dinuguan: pork and blood gnocchi, three preparations of rabbit, and chicken inasal. I couldn’t get good pictures of these courses, but they were all phenomenal. My mother-in-law even said it was the best chicken she’d ever had. After dinner they brought us crackers with a foam topping, meant to taste just like Ritz crackers and cheese. This was an exciting Top Chef kind of moment for me. I haven’t eaten much foam anything, let alone cheese-flavored foam.

For dessert we tried halo halo and a cheddar cheese ice cream sandwich. Both were delicious and so different than anything I’ve ever tasted.

All in all, it was an unforgettable experience. Now Clay and I are talking about traveling the country to eat at more Top Chef’s restaurants. And I can’t wait!

Extreme Sized Things

As I’ve stated many times before, I’m simply enamored with things that are miniature and those that are oversized. Lately, three artists have caught my eye who deal with extreme proportions.

The first is Carrie M. Becker, who created a Hoarders inspired, Barbie-sized mess. She created amazingly detailed, doll-sized rooms filled to the brim with clutter and garbage. Especially wonderful is the neatly organized “after the intervention” room. Bravo.

The second artist is Jean-Francois Fourtou, who shoots beautifully surreal portraits of seemingly miniature and oversized people. His photos trick the eye and are both deceiving and charming.

And lastly, I’ve fallen in love with the work of Shay Aaaron, who creates impeccable food replicas at the tiniest scale. I still can’t believe he can manage that level of detail from sculpting clay, let alone at that size. He sells his creations as jewelry in his Etsy store, and I must say, I want them all.

Organized Lunch

At the beginning of each year I find myself in an anxiety-filled frenzy of organization. Clay and I emptied and scrubbed down our refrigerator, making our food the first thing to keep organized this year. I wanted to maintain that organization with me during lunch at work, so I searched for some bento box lunch containers. I couldn’t find any at our local Oriental market, but I did find these Klip-It Lunch Cubes at the Container Store.

The containers are only $4.99 and perfectly fit the size of meal I prefer. I bought two, one for my small lunch and one for my afternoon snack. I’m sure it wouldn’t give many people much joy, but it really excites me to see my lunch in organized little compartments. It’s the little things I guess. And, truthfully, anything to make my lunch-bringing more consistent is great in my book.