play with your food

It's no secret I love food. It's also no secret I love FAKE food. German toymaker Haba puts out some incredible looking little tins of wooden mushrooms, peas and carrots, tea bags, pineapple rings, potato chips, sausages, sardines, gummi bears and the amazing sweet treats in the photo above. I'm so happy Oliver is at an age where he's not putting everything in his mouth, so we can freely play with all these little morsels. 

A sample bag for the entrée round: strawberries, eggs, mushrooms, oregano, and cucumbers.

Stella's number one answer to "what do you want to play?" is "chopped". As in the television show Chopped. In our version, each player grabs a grocery bag and stuffs four or five items in for the opponent to use, the idea being to stump the other player. Like yesterday when Stella filled my bag with carrots, zucchini, fried chicken and a salami....for the DESSERT challange! I wasn't stumped. I "made" a broth out of the chicken and vegetables and cooked my sweetened masa in it. Then I slivered the salami super thin, mixed it with sweetened coconut and raisins, and stuffed them into the masa for tamales. I covered them in chocolate sauce, because I could. 

Of course I had no masa, no chocolate sauce, no coconut, but we pretended and substituted just fine. I am so happy Santa and the Easter Bunny have continued to stock Stella's kitchen over the years. It makes play a lot of fun. Oliver has really gotten into it, too, although he prefers to crash and throw everything, keeping Stella's room in a constant state of disaster.

Some more samplings from yesterday:

 Pretzel encrusted sardines on bagel bruschetta with garlic milk sauce and a pickled ginger garnish.
Also, potato chips sauteed in garlic and lemon on a bagel.

 BLT on a donut, cheese fries, homemade cinnamon ketchup with hot cross bun crumbs to thicken the sauce.
Rice bars with sautéed mushrooms and buttered toast on the side.

Some kind of sweet and sour soup, chicken pot pie, tea.

This is from a different day, but I think I'm looking at a strawberry ginger fizz beverage,
a cherry tart and who knows what's going on with those gummies, lemons and biscuits.

I've mentioned this before here, but I really LOVE to photograph these wooden and plastic foods. I've thought about going through the blog and shooting representative photos of any recipes I've done here with fake food. That would be a lot of fun!


  1. Those look absolutely darling! Adorable!

  2. They look so yummy! Some great lenten choices too!

    1. I keep waiting for the sad day when Stella outgrows this stuff. Soon, I bet. But then there's real food to be made! :)


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