Sunday, May 1, 2022

A Day Filled with Sweetness + Some Fun Kitchen & Bath Finds

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I've cooked so much in my life. Sometimes I wish I'd been a life long journaler. I could say - I've cooked 1,000 pies, and here's what the gas prices were in x, y, z years. But I'm not. It's pretty often that I think I'll start - my grandfather faithfully wrote a few lines each day and I love reading them - but not a lot of people have that discipline, and the world was also quieter then, and kinder to routines.

I can tell you I've cooked enough to be one of those people that knows the sound of properly cooked bacon, and the fork feel of a properly baked potato and so on and so on. And I enjoy the heck out of it. I've cooked since I was VERY young, thanks to my mom and the cooking track of 4H, which I would recommend to anyone. I knew more about food safety by the time I got hired at McDonald's at 16 than the people hiring me did, and back then McDonald's was spic-n-span and so trustworthy. Fun fact - my job there was JUST before the RUINOUS low fat craze, and the fries there were fried in beef fat, not some gross processed oil from God knows where - and they were literally the best fries in the world. It puzzled me even then that people thought cooking food in a chemical substance instead of the natural oil in what they were eating was a good idea, but I don't pretend to understand humans anymore.

So today I'm bringing you a little sneaky peeky of tomorrow's Hero Kit and it's a doozy for us kitchen loving types! I can't wait to show you the kit and the add-ons, one of which I used in a VERY edge-case way as you will see tomorrow - MUAHAHAHAHA.

The kit for May comes with an incredible fancy die with a frame - I've used a part of it here - the pie, a cling that you can use for a tile backsplash, brick, or a cute Italian tablecloth as I've done here, and then some FABBY food-themed sentiments. I colored this with my OLO Markers and a white gel pen, and embossed the sentiment in white on Pitch Black cardstock. SO cute for making tags with foodie gifts, or just really cute cards, as you will see in all the peeks and tomorrow. You can see all the other kits (I'll be using a past available kit tomorrow) and subscribe here.

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Now speaking of food, I decided in 2021 that a subscription to the New York Times cooking site would be a good idea. I actually joined for a single recipe - their picadillo, because for as long as I've lived here, I've longed to recreate the TacoDeli Akayushi picadillo - it is to die for. I can say that the NYT got DARNED close, so to me, that was worth my subscription! I know there are a lot of free recipes out there, but like anything else, you get what you pay for! So I pay for that and Homesick Texan.

This weekend's cooking plans include the third round of the RIDICULOUSLY awesome red lentil tofu, which I will make into Sticky Peanut tofu again - that stuff is so good. But the really exciting news is I'm trying out my new tofu press with it!! This is made in the USA, stainless steel and no awkward, fiddly business like rubberbands, screws, blah blah blah. It's not cheap, but it's less than the ones I've thrown away for being terrible. In my allergy food groups - I'm allergic to soy, that's why I make my own, but I LOVE tofu - you would not BELIEVE how many people have smashed expensive casserole dishes and pans doing DIY tofu pressing. Here is an example:

This is from one of my FAVORITE food sites - the Spruce Eats - for their tofu nuggets recipe for kids. (Literally everything I've tried from them is a favorite so check them out.) This is how many of my friends break their dishes.

I would die if an Emile Henry or Le Creuset went crashing to its death onto the tile, when I could just use this.

There are oodles of plastic ones, which, no. Also lots of contraptions that require you to tighten screws every so often - also no. 

Then I'm going to make another white whale of mine - shawarma. I'm trying to recreate the chicken shawarma from Tino's in Austin. We will see. I haven't succeeded yet, but if I get it right this time, I'll share.

I wanted to share two more finds with you, one of which I can take no credit for - it comes from Aaron at Hero Arts, who was kind enough to share a few recommendations with me for gifts to send to a friend in the Bay area. First was this LOVELY florist who creates art with California grown flowers. I absolutely will never do any Teleflora/1-800-Flowers etc. sites because literally every time I have my credit card has been hacked. So I look for local florists I can contact directly, and man was I impressed with this one. I also wanted to send her a food-themed gift, since she's even more of a foodie than I am and just finds the best things. So Aaron recommended this UNBELIEVABLE local bakery that has a delivery service in the area. As I was drooling my way through their site, I noticed that they deliver some of their items outside California, so I ordered my sister this Cafe au Lait spread for her birthday. I was hoping if it was good, I could try to make something similar with coconut milk instead of dairy. She said it's TO DIE FOR. I also ordered the raspberry lychee jam and the tabasco salt for me, which I will be trying this weekend. So if you are in the Bay area and want to treat yourself, I can tell you Aaron is right on the money with these two, as usual.

And, in non-food news, I saw this hilarious shower curtain with a little surprise in it in one of my home design groups, and I might have to get it. 

I hope your weekend is filled with nothing but sweetness!


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  1. Love your Italian tablecloth! How clever! And I wish you luck in your gourmet pursuits! Can't wait for the release tomorrow!

  2. I think this kit looks amazing and it is going to sell out FAST! Your card is so cute, love the tablecloth.

  3. I love this idea. I would never of thought f using the background die this way. I see lots of possibilities with this kit.

  4. What an adorable idea for that background. You always have great ideas on how to use things in a most unconventional manner. This card is so perfect for so many things. We tend to think food for most any occasion such as illness-take some soup; a death-take a casserole; a friendly visit-bring a dessert. I just can't wait to get my hands on this set.

  5. Love the cute card. Great adjustment to the background tile/brick background stamp to make a table cloth. AWESOME!

  6. I love your card as well as your post!! I've had a hand in cooking for longer than I could reach onto the counter and my gram would sit me on the counter to supervise!! Lol...I also love the spruce eats!! Can't wait to see the full reveal on Monday!!- Dawne Wilcox

  7. Using the background stamp as a tablecloth was a great idea! Can't wait to see more of this kit.

  8. This is incredibly clever! Can't wait for the reveal!

  9. The flowers were so beautifully wrapped and shipped, and the baked goods were so very delicious and comforting (and that jam IS amazing). Thank you sweet friend. And I LOVE your card with this kit!


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