you don"t need to save the crystal for a special day, even water tastes better in a "Fancy Glass"

Sunday, March 26, 2006

reflections on a wine party

In the beginning of march we held a big wine tasting party at Fujimamas. The snaps above were shot with me and the two guests of honor. Eric from Dunham Cellars and Charles from K-Vintners.

My friends Jeff and Jan at Orca International were the wine importer/distributor hosts- and they pulled out all the corks as it were. We had over 50 wines to try from their catalog, and a 4-5 from the two VIPS above. About 100 people came and everyone had fun, but no one had too much fun if you know what I mean.

This was all by way of kicking off a Tokyo Tradition. For the last few years March has been Washington Wine month. During which there are many wine tasting parties, and events to feature the wines from Washington State.

I had a great time, and I think our guests did as well. We had great tunes from a couple of DJ's from the online radio wonder and the two guests Eric and Charles were very charming!

all this fun tasting and experimenting has me looking forward to more wine adventures in the future.

from Dunham Cellars I reccommend
Dunham Three Legged Red

and the Dunham Cabernet Sauvignon VII (2001)

and From K Vintners
K 'The Boy' Walla Walla (2004)
Thanks Eric, Jeff, Jan and Charles!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Sushi at home

Living here in Japan, and visiting friends and family back home, it has been interesting to see how Japanese food makes it way to the states, and then even sometimes returns back to Japan somewhat changed.

Some examples are the rise in Traditional Sake sales and green tea sales in the USA- and then the creation of original cocktails stateside using these items that are now returning and are served in Asian fusion restaurant back here in Japan. Also note the introduction of green tea based items at the uber-popular starbucks.

When Most americans think of Japanese food, a big thing that they think of is Sushi. But here there are still often misconceptions. Sushi is NOT raw fish- that is sashimi. Sushi is a way of preparing rice with a vinegar. It is easy to make at home and then is used to make sushi rolls with fish or veggies or any other ingredients you like. Or Sushi rice can be used in negiri sushi, the little hand formed rice balls with fish or other items arranged on top. You can read about making some basic Japanese foods including sushi rice at home here.

More interesting reading via the Sushi Chronicles includes the History of Sushi. Short but interesting read. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

hmmm??? I don't know about this one?

according to the kind people over at my love-to-be-addicted to product company...
“Coca-Cola Blak is a uniquely invigorating beverage that is full-bodied in flavor and as refreshing as you expect Coca-Cola to be,” said Katie Bayne, senior vice president, Coca-Cola Brands, Coca-Cola North America. “There is no other beverage available today quite like Coca-Cola Blak. Imagine the refreshing taste of an ice-cold Coca-Cola that finishes with a rich essence of coffee. Only Coca-Cola can deliver that distinct combination of flavors.”

I am DEFINATELY skeptical about this one!
read more at BEVENET

Monday, March 20, 2006

Sunday Night-DUCKFEST

last night we went out with the Curewitz-Family. And TMac and My Hubby and I for Peking Duck. It had been far to long since Chris and I had enjoyed Peking Duck and this was a great restaurant recommended and chosen by mama-curewitz Who is Chinese and definitely knows her Duck!

If you want to know more about what Peking Duck is and how it is prepared- check out wikipedia.

We had the full three course tradition, Sliced duck skin and meat in the pancake crepe like wrapper with three kinds of sauce. WE also had the stir fried duck and then Soup make with stock from the Duck bones! It was delicious from start to finish.

Peking Duck Recipe

We did have one wickedly spicy salad! Too hot- Loads of chills!
Can't wait to go back there again. This branch was in Ebisu, near the station. "Chinese Cafe 8" Funny thing was the decor. which had all kinds of racy and sexual connotations. some kind of fertility connection! Very funny.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Primer of Japanese food

A lot of folks, when they hear the words "Japanese food" picture sushi shops, or exotic blow fish stories. But Japanese food has so much to offer from the simple and everyday to the very fancy and sublime. Living in Japan now since 1997, I have grown to mostly love the home-cooked everyday kinds of Japanese food.

recently I stumbled across this very good site just talking about some of the basics from rice, to miso, to sake, to green tea. Great site if you want to browse and learn a bit of the broad range that makes up Japanese cuisine. go to

Itadakimasu! (Japanese for "let's enjoy eating" kind of like Bon appetite")