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

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

things I am looking forward to #4

this is a Wiener Schnitzel!
made famous in Vienna- and something I am really looking forward to trying on our christmas holiday.

according to the wikipedia
Wiener schnitzel (from the German Wiener Schnitzel, meaning Vienna-style veal cutlet) is one of the most, if not the most, famous of traditional Austrian dishes. Possibly originating in Northern Italy (as cotoletta alla milanese), the recipe may have appeared in Vienna during the 15th or 16th century. According to another theory, it was introduced by Field Marshal Radetzky in 1857. The term "Wiener schnitzel" itself dates to at least 1862.Wiener schnitzel is traditionally prepared from a thinly-sliced piece of veal, which is further tenderized by pounding with meat mallet, then successively dipped into wheat flour, eggs and breadcrumbs before being fried in clarified butter or lard. Sometimes the breadcrumbs are seasoned with freshly ground black pepper.

there is a good recipe for Schnitzel here.
and according to The Passionate Cook...
The only condiments allowed near a Schnitzel are lemon juice (to sparingly drizzle over - you want it to cut through the grease, but don't allow the breading to go soggy) and cranberry compote. If you want to avoid dropping pips on your meat, wrap the lemon in gauze for a "safety net"...

Chris and Lauren Schnizel escapades are coming your way in just 17DAYS!!!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

things I am looking forward to #3

I read this passage today on

Vienna - a romantically imperial city: Vienna is a dream city for anyone with a romantic streak or an interest in history. Sightseeing opportunities are to be found in abundance. Wander along narrow, medieval alleyways or across imperial squares, view Schönbrunn Palace or the Imperial Palace (Hofburg) in the footsteps of Sissi and Emperor Franz Josef, and marvel at the majestic architecture along the Ring boulevard. Be inspired by an atmosphere steeped in history - which also boasts the comforts and infrastructure of a modern city!

needless to say, this sounds wonderful to me! looking forward to those narrow alleys and the beautiful city scape.

Monday, November 27, 2006

things I am looking forward to #2

more on my upcoming vienna prague christmas. We arrive 2 days before the "official tour" starts- this will be wonderful needed down time and transition. I booked us into a fun modern hotel for these first two nights. Das Triest! I love good hotels, oldfashioned or modern. Since we are staying at the very elegant old school Hotel Sacher Wein on the tour. I went with modern for our first two days on our own.

I love the look and feel of this conran designed place.

and the bar and restaurant sound great too. I really am a sucker for Luxury Hotels. (love b&b's too)

Sunday, November 26, 2006

things I am looking forward to, #1

Sacher Tort.... when we are in vienna on the upcoming christmas adventure we will be staying at the Hotel Sacher Wein. Famous for the creation of the sacher tort! I will be sure to try this out and blog about it.

According to wikipedia-

Sachertorte is a chocolate cake, invented by Franz Sacher in 1832 for Klemens Wenzel von Metternich in Vienna, Austria. It is one of the most famous Viennese culinary specialties.

Friday, November 24, 2006

what working in a restaurant for thanksgiving looks like

a picture is worth a thousand words

King of Turkey!

All Set up and ready to go

Plate for two with gravy!

That is A LOT of turkey

Pie as far as the eye can see

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


we tried a new little place tonight. A small nameless french-japanese bistro, about 15 mins walk from the apartment. We had some very nice comfy fall food. Started with house wine, I had a decent merlot chris had a mediocre cab... but not horrible. We had a cheese plate and then Escargo! YUM. I like mine a little more simple, less basil-pesto, more butter garlic. BUT these were nice.

mains were Chicken in a pot (kind of tomato stew in a mini casserole) and Chris had a steak with mushrooms.

some nice crusty bread. Definately a place I will go to again!

I forgot to pick up a business card when I left so I will have to update you with address and "real" name soon.

food blog round up

one of my favorite Food Blogs in 101 Cookbooks. Wonderful stuff and some of the most gorgeous food photographs on the net. Recently the blogger over there, Heidi Swanson, did a round-up of food blogs she recommends! There were some real winners on her list. I did some major grazing on all the sites she posted.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

next month

My hubby and I are headed on a christmas adventure next month. Since joining Fujimamas I have worked every christmas, one year we even had to move an office ALL day and then work that night... ! Recently the travel we have done has been either politics or work related and often with other people so this time we are getting away on what I hope will be a super romantic holiday. We are going to Vienna and Prague for Christmas on a fancy tour. Usually i don't like the tour kind of thing. But it is nice this time because since we are so busy we don't have tons of time to plan this trip and everything will be taken care of for us...

the plan looks like this

Vienna & Prague Christmas: 8 Days Escorted Tour

Picture-perfect scenes from olde world Europe await on this winter wonderland holiday to the Vienna of the Imperial Hapsburgs and to beautiful Prague. Stay at deluxe hotels, attend classical Christmas concerts, wander about Christmas Markets brimming with crafts and warm spiced wine, and see the sights of historically rich cities. Gypsy music mixes with the concert piano, the old embraces the new, and Christmas-time is simultaneously bustling and peaceful.

* 3 nights at the Sacher Wien Hotel in Vienna
* 3 nights at the Radisson SAS Alcron Hotel in Prague
* 6 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 6 dinners


* Visit Vienna's St. Stephen's Cathedral and Hofburg Palace
* Dine at Schonbrunn Palace and attend a holiday concert
* Tour the Vienna Woods
* Enjoy Christmas Markets at Vienna City Hall Square, in Baden of the Vienna Woods, and in Prague
* Explore Prague's Old Town, Wenceslas Square, St. Vitus Cathedral, Prague Castle and the old Jewish Quarter
* Attend a symphony or opera performance in Prague
* Enjoy free time in each city


Day 1 - Depart
Board your overnight flight to Austria.

Day 2 - Arrive Vienna/Christmas Market
Welcome to Vienna, Austria's refined capital on the Danube River, known for its coffeehouses, for the Hofburg and for the waltz. Transfer on your own to the hotel, then in the mid-afternoon, visit the Christmas Market at the Rathausplatz (City Hall Square), where the Viennese come to stroll among elaborately decorated trees, to look for crafts and to enjoy Gluhwein (warm spiced wine). Your elegant Viennese hotel sits in the very heart of the city on a pedestrian street.

Day 3 - Hofburg Palace/Vienna
Walk (the best way to experience Vienna) on the pedestrian Karntnerstrasse to medieval St. Stephen's Cathedral, symbol of the city, and to Hofburg Palace, the Imperial Palace of the Hapsburg dynasty, to visit the Treasury and see the crown jewels. This afternoon, explore the hilly Vienna Woods, inspiration for Schubert's music and Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony. Visit the former royal hunting lodge at Mayerling and wander the Christmas Market in Baden, which is also known as the Advent Mile. Dinner is out on the town this evening.

Day 4 - Vienna/Schonbrunn Palace
Your morning is free in Vienna. This afternoon, see the Baroque masterpiece Schonbrunn Palace, which is often compared to the palace at Versailles. About 40 of the Palace's 1400 rooms are open to visitors. Stroll the Christmas Market on the grounds before enjoying dinner in the Palace's Cafe and a concert in Schonbrunn Palace.

Day 5 - Czech Republic/Prague
Travel through the rolling Austrian and Bohemian countryside, hopefully white with fresh snowfall, en route to Prague. This beautiful city is known as "a symphony in stone," where Charles VI ruled as King of Bohemia and Holy Roman Emperor and amassed wonderful Gothic landmarks, including Charles Bridge and St. Vitus Cathedral. Dine out on the town this evening.

Day 6 - Prague/Old Town/Old Jewish Quarter
Begin city sightseeing with a walk to the Stare Mesto (Old Town) Square to see the Astronomical Clock on the Old Town Hall. Explore the Jewish Quarter, the best-preserved complex of Jewish monuments in the whole of Europe. The Old-New Synagogue dates from the 13th century and the Jewish Cemetery has a fascinating variety of Renaissance and Baroque tombstones. This afternoon, see Wenceslas Square, Charles Bridge and the meandering Vltava River.

Day 7 - Christmas Day/Prague Castle
Prejeme Vam Vesele Vanoce! The morning is free for anyone wishing to attend church service. This afternoon, visit Prague Castle, the complex of monuments standing as the symbol of the nation. St. Vitus Cathedral, Old Royal Palace, St. George's Basilica and the Golden Lane are all here. This is Christmas Day and as a finale, attend an opera or symphony performance this evening.

Day 8 - Conclude Prague

I hope to do LOTS of eating and blogging about eating.
should be fun. One of my missions is to find some great christmas things at the traditional markets! and we are staying in the Hotel Sacher- home of the sacher torte! reports on that for sure!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

exciting events on the horizon

Well, the election is behind us! WHOO HOO. the dems did great and there was much celebrating- "We drink from the keg of glory, Donna... Bring me the finest muffins and bagels in all the land." ...

And in the rest of my life the fall-food season is jumping into high gear. This weekend my friends over at Orca International are helping me launch the Fujimamas saturday school. A tribute to the Hip Tasters program in San Fran. We will be doing Sat. School classes. this first one is on how to gain confidence in blind tasting. telling your wines apart without seeing the labels.

Also, this week, I finished my first piece for the new to launch in dec. Being A Broad magazine. (published by the dynamic and wonderful Carolyn Pover) this is a mag. that will be targeted to foriegn women living overseas. My piece was on a few reccommendations of Sweet Indulgences that women can treat themselves to during the crazy-care-for-others holiday season. I will post the info when the magazine comes out.

AND I am fast into working on another piece- about cooking in IBK's or Itty Bitty Kitchens, with a review of a book by the same name.

Then NEXT week. we are into THANKSGIVING!!!!!!!!! My restaurant has already take reservations for over 450 people for our 4 seatings on thurs. and fri. PLUS caterings pick ups and deliveries... we are up past 500 portions! WOW this will be the biggest year ever. Will report as we go along. We officially start serving Turkey Lunch from thurs. 16th... and gear up from there.

Our Democrats Abroad group will also have a thanksgiving party on Wed. night before thanksgiving... so I am going to be triptophaned out...

Should be a fun two weeks.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

who are they kidding?

The Japanese government, in an act of true hypocrisy- is complaining about Japanese restaurants overseas that they say are not really good enough to call themselves Japanese! Why is the hypocrisy- Because Japan if FULL of fake or Japanified Italian, French and American restaurants as well as any other cuisine you can name. Food "Adjusted" for Japanese taste... I understand the idea of Certifying those you think are good- but agressively attacking those restaurants that you think aren't Japanese enough... Seems just wrong.

Here is the story from AP.

Japan planning crackdown on food-fakers worldwide
Sat, November 4, 2006

TOKYO -- Are the chefs slicing the raw tuna correctly? Is the rice sticky enough?

Tokyo is launching a crackdown on restaurants abroad that bill themselves as authentic Japanese, but fall short of Japanese culinary standards.

A panel of food experts was appointed Thursday to discuss a certification system that would presumably certify restaurants that serve dishes served in the true Japanese tradition.

The system would promote "authentic Japanese culinary culture" abroad, according to the Agriculture Ministry.

"There are many restaurants overseas that call themselves Japanese, yet use culinary techniques and ingredients far removed from those of authentic Japanese food," said a ministry statement.