There’s great work in the Gallery this week:
If there is anything that stands between me and a wholly local food existence it is undoubtedly my love of dining out — especially in small, authentic, ethnic atmospheres. That and guacamole. Unfortunately, Michigan weather is not terribly conducive to the growing of avocados.
There is something about walking into a family-run food establishment and being recognized by the person behind the counter; about them knowing your favorite dishes, your family and that you are interested not just in lunch but their life. It is something that feeds not just the body but the soul. And occasionally I find sacrificing some fossil fuel for that satisfaction is entirely worthwhile.
When I first happened across East & West Gourmet Afghan Food, a company that you can find both on Foodzie and on their personal website online, my heart skipped a little beat. Both excited to have found such an awesome product — one not available, to my knowledge, locally — and a bit saddened not to live near enough to meet the staff in person I jotted down their information to share here later. A few weeks ago, when I decided the last week of each month here should be dedicated to the discovery of one cool new producer I knew they had to be the first.
East and West Gourmet Afghan Food is the story of an Afghan woman and her family’s struggle in the search for a better life. Supported by her husband and eldest son they immigrated to the US and founded East and West Gourmet Food.
Originally the companies signature Bolani — a traditional Afghan flatbread stuffed with spinach, potato, pumpkin or lentil filling — was found only in San Francisco Bay area farm markets, but through word of mouth and excellent customer service has grown exponentially in just over five years worth of business.
Billal Sidiq is an “Ambassador of Love” in most of the San Francisco Bay Area’s Farmers’ Markets and even beyond. He represents his company with an inviting face, running mouth, and hands full of samples. Today East and West participates in up to 100 farmers’ markets every week. The product is now also found in Whole Foods markets and Andronico’s.
Relatively inexpensive, packed with nutrients, low in calories and carbohydrates, East & West’s Bolani has been getting rave reviews from foodies around the country. If you happen to try them out, let me know what you think!
I did a fun and spontaneous search on etsy tonight for “summer” and this tote quickly caught my eye! La Lune Designs is based in Leavenworth, Kansas and their shop is stocked with a great assortment of bags, pendants and baby blankets.
Wondering why summer is on my mind? Well it was a beautiful sunny weekend here in Vancouver – and even though I was working the view from my window kept me smiling. But that’s not it! Both my husband and I are self-employed, meaning during our busy seasons (about 6-8 months of the year) we really put it into overdrive, so sometimes it’s tough to have time for ourselves, each other, and our friends. It’s tough but we’ve gotten used to it and for me anyways it helps me to enjoy the off-season even that much more.
Buuut I don’t think I’ve explained myself fully, and I think there’s more to this story!
Since it’s been more than a month now with no days off – we decided we should head up to Whistler (beautiful mountain town, 2 hours drive from where we live in Vancouver) in a couple weeks for a weekend getaway. Lots of relaxation, no computers, you know the drill! Now I love Whistler but we usually go there at least once or twice a year – so I figured maybe I could cook up something a bit more exciting… And I think I have!
I secretly booked us for a quick trip to La Jolla beach in California! My husband loves to surf so I think he’ll be pretty stoked when I tell him where we’re actually going. I’ve decided to let him know the day before and I know he’ll be surprised because I’m not exactly Mrs. Spontaneous! It’s a really quick trip but seeing as I have never been to California and have dreamed about it for years I’m feeling really lucky that we can go.
So lets talk surprises, I had so much fun planning this one that I think this is something I need to do for family and friends more often. I’d love to hear your stories – small and big ways you’ve surprised someone you care about!
I know it’s still January, but have you put any thought into the Valentines your child will be exchanging at school this year? While it’s fun to get all glittery and gooey, it’s not technically necessary to get your hands dirty anymore. You can go the VIP route and order up some of these super cool valentines, from Peas and Thank Yous customized for your child, in time for Valentines day. Just be sure to get your order in soon!
I like that there are both boy and girl versions of these Rocker/Princess Ticket style valentines and that the design is so funky and fresh. It’s easy to go kitsch with Valentines and these are a graphic and surprising twist (but still sweet!).
Check out all the awesome paper goodness in Peas and Thank You’s Etsy Shop.
Dawn: The whole process of creating begins with an impression–from the weather, a moving picture, a book, a feeling, an experience. The materials–a vintage button from a flea-market in Berlin, Dutch wax cotton, the finest Italian linen or raw canvas or combed cotton–each element could well stand alone. Taken together, they create an irresistible whole. These are my paints.