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

Friday, April 21, 2006

what to make?

running on empty
Foodies come in a few varieties... the cooking kind. (I used to be this kind) And the restaurant and eating out kind. This is what I am now. My husband and I, when we still lived in the USA were the cooking kind. We haunted the Reading Terminal Market, practically living there every weekend. And We cooked up a storm at home as well as going out.

BUT- living in Japan has been a challenge for cooking. There are some very big challenges. Kitchens are small and ill-equipped, Storage space is non existent, Refridgerators are small, and I can't read Japanese kanji very well so finding ingredients and know what I am buying has been very hard. On top of that, many ingredients are just different enough to wreak havoc on a USA scaled recipe.

So all of these challenges, combined with the fact that I work in a restaurant which has made bringing food home or eating a work an easy substitute for cooking from scratch has changed us and I miss the simple pleasures of cooking.

Today I stumbled upon You enter your stuff from what is in your fridge and your cupboard and it sends back some basic, simple stuff you can make from what you have right now. My fridge and cupboard are quite empty this week. We have eggs, milk, bread, and butter... but still some good things came back from my query. I think this type of site might be just what we need to get back to trying to cook some simple cozy stuff at home. I intend to give it a try and get back to you on the results next week.

If you are a beginning cook the site also features basic skills on SkillsBytheNumbers. We'll let you know what we think...

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

cupcake crazies on video

Here is another example of the Cupcake Craze! the mecca of cupcakers - the Magnolia- folks lined up waiting.... wish I was there...

Monday, April 03, 2006

cupcake heaven under the cherry trees...

ever since I started reading the Cupcake Bakeshop- I've been obsessed. I work in a restaurant, Fujimamas... and seriously since I read about all the fantastic creations by Chockylit- I have been bugging my pastry chef to try cupcakes in our pastry case. I think more sophisticated cupcakes would be a hit with all the young ladies who come to our restaurant! So I pestered, bugged, and printed out recipes week after week.

Finally in honor of Cherry Blossom Season here in Japan- He finally gave in and made me gorgeous, delicious cupcakes. The picture of the cupcake above is how they looked, AND the trees are the ones lining the street along the river where I live. This is one of my favorite times of year in Tokyo, largely because that is what I can see right out in front of my apartment.

The Cupcake was filled with strawberry filling - the icing lightly flavored with Sakura liqueur (sakura = cherry blossom in Japanese) They were perfect! We sold some at the cherry blossom festival on my street AND we ate some as well.

I still hope I can get him to try some of the other ideas we've been discussing, afterall Cupcakes are becoming a real trend in the USA and I think we could bring that trend to Tokyo!

this is from a piece in the SF Chronicle talking about the new trend-
Those who inhabited Manhattan could get instant gratification, heading to the illustrious Magnolia Bakery in Greenwich Village for one of its pastel-topped treats -- it took a little longer for the cupcake craze to take hold out West.

Now, the Bay Area is peppered with cupcake bakeshops and businesses (see Page F5), and at least eight cupcake cookbooks have been published in the last two years.

It's almost surprising that it took us this long to figure it out. Really, what's not to love? On a purely functional level, cupcakes are portable, they're small, and they're easily personalized.

other places to spot the trend

Columbia News Service

The Sex & The City Tour
All Cupcakes All the Time
Cupcakes are All the Rage from NY to LA!

Sunday, April 02, 2006

your fortune is brewing...

a bit of fun over at the republic of tea. get your fortune read from your tealeaves and find out your chinese zodiac animal if you don't already know it.

As a rule I love loose tea not tea bags, but the folks at the republic of tea- offer great loose and bagged tea. some of my favorite flavors are-
British Breakfast
Vanilla Almond

they have other fun stuff too, like great books, and tea pots and lots of good gear for "lovers of the leaf" I want to try the new artisan teas with the Jerry Garcia Art inspired labels.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

made the front page of chopstick cinema

I love the blog chopstick cinema... and have been intrigued for months with celestes's requests for chopsticks. Living in Japan, there is an ample supply here, so last month in preparation for spring I picked a lovely cherry blossom inspired pair to send to her.

today she featured my chopsticks and the fancyglass in her new month of food and film... the food being Japanese, the film being Memoirs of a Geisha.

thanks, Celeste, hope you enjoy the chopsticks! I will be sure to send another pair soon.