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Monday, July 30, 2012

Children's Fairyland

I really think that I stepped back in time when I entered the gates of Children's Fairyland in Oakland. I have heard about this place from many friends, but since I rarely make it over to the East Bay, I had never been. We went there for a birthday party, and it was really, really surreal. The park, whose idea was conceived by Oakland businessman Arthur Navlet first opened it's gates in 1950. All of the storybook sets were designed by local architect William Russell Everitt and during that time, there were costumed guides to escort children though the sets.

What makes Fairyland super cool is that I don't think it's actually changed since 1950! There is a website which showcases old postcards from Fairyland in the 1950's, and if you compare those pictures to the park today, not much has really changed.

It's actually quite magical in it's simplicity, by today's standards. It's reminiscent of a golden era, where kids didn't need to be entertained by video games or T.V. They could be entertained by using their imagination and this park lends itself to just that. Plus, you feel like you are in the middle of a story - it's so cool! They even have daily puppet shows, and they rotate the performances every few weeks during the season.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Pacific Catch

My in-laws are visiting this week, so Brian and I decided to take them to Pacific Catch, one of our favorite restaurants in the city for casual, kid-friendly dining. It's in a great location, they have a varied menu that specializes in seafood, and most importantly, they welcome children without being tacky. We first came here years ago, and it was during that visit that we became fans. Though we had a reservation, the party seated at our table wasn't getting up, and the restaurant was super crowded. While we waited they brought us sweet potato fries to keep our bellies full and were chatty and friendly to our (then) toddler. When they finally seated us, they brought us a ton of appetizers, all on the house. Today we didn't have that problem, and they sat us right away. To start, they leave a dish of edamame and pretzel goldfish crackers. By the time I met up with family, the goldfish were long gone!

The cool thing about Pacific Catch is that while their menu has remained relatively unchanged for the past few years, they also offer daily specials, for those patrons wanting to try something new.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Do any of our followers use Bloglovin?

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

If so, then you are in luck! I finally claimed our blog there, so follow the link, and voila! Instant follower and you'll never miss a post again. Happy eating!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

101 Uses for a Cupcake Pan: Mini Fruit Tarts with Vanilla Custard

Mini, it seems, is in fashion. Everywhere I go I see at least three Mini Coopers parked on every block. Couples are forgoing the traditional wedding cake for cupcakes. And then there's that whole mini corn dog thing. 

With the Fourth of July coming up, I wanted to put together a red, white, and blue dessert. We received some wonderful local blueberries in our CSA box, and I love the taste of berries with custard. After buying a pint of raspberries to complete the color scheme, I knew the only problem was the vessel to put it in. I was making these for my son's preschool class, which also means they needed to be individual serving sizes. Basically, it had to be some kind of tart.