join the club

sqirl

Yummm!  Yummm!  Yummm!

Join the Sqirl Jam Club:  2 jars of scrumptious jam made in Los Angeles, delivered every other month for 4, 6 or 12 months. Yes it’s $15 for each tiny jar but it’s the bomb!

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giving 2016

holiday-2016This year of all years, give the gift of a donation to causes that need our support like the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, Union of Concerned Scientists, The Sierra Club, NPR, etc… If our government is not going to protect what’s near and dear to our hearts as caring citizens, then it’s up to us to make a difference. Friends and family will understand if donations are a priority and gifts are small this year. With that in mind, here are just a few small gift ideas to help take minds off our worries:

1. No holiday season (or stressful time) is complete without a little chocolate. This bean to bar chocolate company weaves social responsibility into everything they do so you can feel good about this guilty pleasure.  Askinosie Chocolate Peppermint Bark  $30  |   2. Pizza solves all woes. Where to Eat Pizza from Phaidon  $20  |   3. Maybe the future holds something better. Here’s Hoping!  Tea Leaf Reading Kit  $23  |   4.  A little humor goes a long way even if hidden from view. Cheeky Knickers by Naja  $22 each   5.  YOGA!!  Two Toned Mat by Stella McCartney  $71    6. The ultimate mind-numbing puzzle challenge.  500 pc. Gradient Puzzle  $20, avail in 3 colorways.

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have you seen this?

juicero-cold-press-juicer-1This sleek wi-fi enabled contraption is the latest invention in the cold pressed juice craze. No longer do you need to lug umpteen heavy bottles of juice home from the store — and when you’re juicing that’s 6 bottles a day mind you. Or ship a maximum 3 day supply from a cross-country juicery. No more nasty cleaning of a traditional juicer that removes all the good stuff anyway. This handy dandy machine is a sleek, clean, easy to use counter top version of a high pressure juice pressery, previously only available for commercial use.

OK, it’s expensive at $700. But it’s brand new, heavily VC funded and will come down in price eventually (she says hopefully). Just buy the machine, download the app, order juice packs that range from $5-7 each and come in 8 juice combinations, use the app to verify the freshness of the pack via QR code (the machine won’t juice if the pack is out of date), insert the pack and within 2 minutes you have fresh cold pressed juice. Simply throw the pack away (or rinse and return for recycling), no need for clean up.

I’m thinking it’s actually not all that bad a deal.  if you juice regularly and spend $200 plus $25 shipping for 3 days of juice, the machine will pay for itself eventually. OK better if it were $400 then it’s in the range of your stand mixer price, that you maybe use once in a blue moon while this beauty would get used every day — and look great on your counter top too!

The Juicero, currently only available in California but expanding to a state near you one day soon.

my new obsession

paleonolaThis is my new breakfast obsession. Simple ingredients and no grains. The crunch is perfect and a small serving with a scoop of Fage Greek Yogurt or a pour of almond milk and a handful of berries keeps me going all morning.

OK, it’s not cheap and I could probably just as easily make my own. But I’m lazy that way. Available at your local Whole Foods or order online from Thrive Market for a savings of a couple dollars per 10 oz. package.

Happy Eating!

go classic this v-day

Candy HeartsGive classic conversation heart candies to your love this Valentines day — but customized to your liking. From the original makers, Necco.

farewell to the oc

OutpostKitchenWhy is it you find your new favorite restaurant just before leaving town?  I just couldn’t leave Orange County without sharing this fabulous little spot — a funny little spot really in a semi-residential/industrial part of Costa Mesa run by Aussie expats. Of course!

Nobody does breakfast better than Australians in my book and that is what Outpost Kitchen is dedicated to. I made four trips there in my last few days before moving to Los Angeles. I just couldn’t resist. Everything is as good as it looks. I highly recommend you stop by.

Clockwise from upper left:  Aussie Scrambled Eggs; Granola with fresh fruit & almond milk; Poached Eggs with house smoked Salmon; Avo Toast with Poached Eggs

Outpost Kitchen
1792 Monrovia Avenue
Costa Mesa, CA 92627

Mon-Fri 7-3
Sat 8-2

what to take for xmas

KringleImagine my surprise to find this wonderful almond Kringle treat in the freezer section of Trader Joes. This is Wisconsin’s famous Danish pastry and the perfect hostess gift this holiday season. Can’t find one in your local Trader Joes, no worries . . . order direct from O & H bakery in Racine. But hurry, time is ticking.

Available in multiple flavors. $19.99 ea. (plus shipping)

last minute gifts — the subscription

Still have Christmas Shopping to do? Well nothing is easier than letting your fingers do the walking online for gifts that ship out sight unseen. Even better, they keep on coming throughout the year so your low effort actually pays off big long after Xmas is over. Here are some great options — and don’t be surprised that most fall in the food. But who doesn’t like a little grub coming by post . . .

baconofthemonthclublogoZingerman’s Bacon of the Month Club — they say everything is better with bacon. Just about every chef has endorsed this club too. So you can’t go wrong. 3 month, 6 month of 12 month options from $99 – $400.

Zingerman’s, in fact, has a slew of food of the month options. And each has a downloadable PDF so you can hand your recipient something on Christmas morning. Check them out here.

salami of the month clubOlympia Provisions Salami of the Month Club — staying on the meat theme for a moment, this is really good stuff. Made from Northwest region pork using old world techniques, a unique flavor goes out each month with notes on tastes and how to enjoy. Choose from 1, 2, or 3 salami a month for 12 months. Add a snazzy pocket knife ($22) if you’re feeling like an extra bonus is needed.

$145 – $390

Popcorn boxQuinn’s Monthly Popcorn Subscription — the best microwave popcorn on the market. All natural, great flavor combos like Hickory Smoked Cheddar & Parmesan Rosemary, even a healthier bag. As simple as it gets. Subscription includes 3 flavors a month with free delivery. $50.97

SkoshboxSkoshbox — Japanese snacks delivered monthly. Have you ever had a hankering for a green tea Kit Kat, a Hello Kitty marshmallow or even just wanted an eraser shaped like sushi? Skoshbox can bring all that to your gift recipient in their monthly curated box of Japanese goodies. Just the design alone is worth it and will bring a smile to anyone’s face. Starting as low as $10/mo depending on total month subscription.

Morgan'sMorgan’s Don’t Run Out Bathroom Products — I like this one because 1) the products are natural & great looking and 2) the basics will always be on hand. No more running out to the convenience store at midnight for extra toilet paper. $66 every two months for everything you see here or whittle down your choices to just the items you think they’ll need. Brilliant!

Sock CardiganFoot Cardigan — a new pair of mystery socks in their mailbox every month for as many months as you wish. Fun socks. Crazy socks. All sorts of socks. Available for men or women, sized accordingly.

$9/mo

 

bloom of the monthBloom of the Month by The Bouqs Co. — flowers are always appreciated. Who wouldn’t want a fresh bouquet showing up every month to brighten up their life? Choose from 3 sizes and let their team pick the flowers or you can specify your wishes from their roster of bouqs.  Flowers are fresh cut and known to last longer due to the fast grower to customer timing. $40, $50 or $70 with discounts for multiple deliveries.