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

Sunday, April 29, 2007

I love the golden compass

hope the movie is good

Saturday, April 28, 2007

about one of my favorite Podcasts...

Podcasts are fantastic ways to learn new things. I think we have been missing much in the modern era- in terms of shared aural traditions, story telling and sharing information. Podcasts are bringing back that tradition! There is a podcast for just about everything.

EAT FEED is one of my favorite food podcasts. EAT FEED has been around for a while, and has just gotten better and better.

This is who they are- from their ABOUT page

Eat Feed believes that enjoyment is fed by enlightenment and that smart eaters are just more fun to dine with. To that end, we tell the stories behind all the great food you love to eat, to cook, and to share with friends and family.

We currently produce three distinct Eat Feed podcasts and continue to add more each year

In Season
Taste the freshest flavors of the month and get inspired - and sometimes offbeat - ideas for timely entertainments

Amuse-Bouche Tickle your tastebuds and enhance your culinary vocabulary with these highlights of food experts’ favorite gastronomic words and phrases

Eat Feed Midwest Explore great food from the great lakes to the great plains as we uncover surprising and delicious bites from the Midwest

To learn more about podcasts EAT FEED also provides a great What is a podcast? page.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Journalling and Moleskins


In addition to online journals- blogging, which I do a lot of, I am a big proponent of writing a journal or journals. I work on visual journals, and straight written journals, some on random thoughts and some on specific topics.

I started journaling more regularly about 2 years ago and It has made a big difference in my life. One of my favorite kinds of notebooks to use for just about everything is the famous MOLESKIN's which have made a big comeback recently.

this nice blog has a great review of moleskins for journaling.
Jon Aquino's Mental Garden
From 43Folders here are some great MoleSkin HACKS
http://www.43folders.com/2004/11/18/more-moleskine-hacks/
and over on BoingBoing some Moleskin POP-UP ART
And another great moleskin piece over at Creating Passionate Users.

I love my moleskins and highly recommend them! you can purchase them online at many sites, including amazon.com

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

playing around with Slide.com

Special-TEA Tuesday 4/24/07


Dreams of tea-travel... While thinking about tea and tea culture I stumbled across this wonderful website encouraging tea travel in Cumbria. (the Lake District)

Just reading about these country side tea rooms made me itchy to travel- We had long talked about a bike journey in France but maybe this english version would be the ticket. It would take care of the language barrier issues. And let's face it- I do like tea even more than I like stinky cheeses, and that is a lot!

This particular write up really caught my fancy, and seems to be a MUST SEE...
Tea for two? There's no better place for this than Sharrow Bay, a country house hotel in the Lake District, whose restaurant also happens to boast a Michelin star. Afternoon tea here is a delectable feast of tasty snacks, fine china and unobtrusive service. In fact, tea-swillers will find England's North Country to be the Holy Grail of afternoon tea, with traditional teashops scattered right across the region. True aficionados should spare some time for the Cumbria Tea Trail, which links twelve fantastic tea shops, each showcasing some of the region's finest produce, from Buttermere ice cream to Cumberland sausages. For the best of the best, be sure to stop by the Hazelmere Café, voted Top Tea Place 2006 by the Tea Guild. The café is set in a Grade II listed building overlooking ornamental water gardens.
So- Here's to Tea-Time and Travel Day Dreams

Kahn!!!!!!!!

  after a recording a podcast the other night at the M42 studios, Sean, chris and I headed out for dinner- wandering around Ebisu we tried to get into a Korean BBQ place that Sean knows- but were told that it would be an hour wait... too hungry for that we turned around and saw a cute, tiny Mongolian BBQ joint. And decided to try that...

Mongolia BBQ is called Ghengis BBQ here in Japan. We have one in our neighborhood that I have written about before called the Black Sheep. But we had not really tried other spots. This one was cute, tiny, smokey like they all are. And privately owned.

Mogolian BBQ is made on a dome shaped hibachi. The attendants bring the Hibachi to your table and use Suet to grease the top so everything doesn't stick. They first cover the cast iron dome with veggies, including sprouts, onions, leeks, and other tasty stuff. As that start to cook down you make a bald spot at the top and start to grill your meats. Oh and most of the time Mongolian BBQ is mutton and lamb. This time we had mutton roast, ribs and then chops.

It was wonderful.

The meat was definitely of better quality than The Black Sheep. and it was so clear that the owner who was working that night Loves his little business. He is also clearly a surfer- was showing surf movies on a flat screen TV over the kitchen. and there was surf paraphernalia everywhere. I had a very nice bottle of sake, and Chris and Sean were well supplied with draft beer. We ended up the night happy and too full to find out if there was dessert. I definitely want to go back. (by the way- I don't remember the name of this tiny place so when we go back I will find out and report back)
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Sunday, April 22, 2007

UK Conbini coming to Japan


According to Forbes...

UK's Tesco to open convenience stores in Japan (in Japan called conbini) - TOKYO (XFN-ASIA) - Tesco PLC, the world's third-largest retailer, plans to enter Japan's convenience store market by opening 35 stores by February 2008, the Nikkei business daily reported, without citing sources.

recent years have seen more and more foreign companies opening in and around the Tokyo area. Ikea made big news coming here. Costco is doing quite well- and of course Starbucks has done very well. This year they are celebrating their 10th anniversary.

As a foreigner living here, seeing international companies come to town is nice. But I also always sadly note the homogenization of the world with some sadness. Great that globalism brings a clear path to working together peacefully- but sad that it always overshadows local small business and local culture. The world is becoming smaller and more the same everywhere you go. :(

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Sumo-Size me?



from Reuters... Supersize food invades Japan, but will it conquer?

By Linda Sieg

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's centuries-old less-is-more approach to eating -- tiny portions, elegantly arranged to feast the eye as much as the stomach -- is being challenged by an invasion of supersize fast-food, American-style.

Mega Mac burgers at McDonald's, giant pudding servings and mammoth packets of instant noodles are tempting consumers in a country whose moderate serving portions have often left foreign visitors wondering when the main course would arrive.

The Godzilla-sized creation -- four meat patties layered between three slices of bun with cheese and lettuce -- joined McDonald's menu from January for a limited period and is back for brief cameo appearances after proving more popular than expected.

"It's tasty, but hard to eat," said Takanori Nakayama, 32, a self-employed businessman, after sampling a Mega Mac, which at 350 yen ($3) is more than triple the price of a regular burger. read the rest
I for one certainly hope that the Japanese resist the trend. As I have written Portion Distortion is a major problem both with our health but also with people's relationship with food in general. Our bodies need much less than we think to be satisfied. Stuffing ourselves and going beyond that "satisfaction level" does not increase enjoyment, excess is bad- as with most things.

It is refreshing in Japan that this sort of Super-size-me mentality has not been popular (sumo wrestlers aside) I think it would be terrible if it gains ground here.

one to try out for sure


Found this review from the Japan times...

Nakame's hip new super kitchen- By ROBBIE SWINNERTON
The three sturdy wooden doors that form the frontage of Kinsai open out onto busy Yamate-dori, a 10-minute walk from Naka-Meguro Station. It's an unromantic location, but that doesn't deter the well-clad clientele who have been filling the place every night since it opened at the beginning of this month.

There's a definite buzz going on here -- and with very good reason. Kinsai is the latest addition to the stable of estimable eateries created by the people behind To-Vi, the company that more than any in Tokyo has made it hip to eat -- and eat well -- on your feet. read the rest here.
This one is in my neighborhood, so I am sure we will be trying it out soon. It sounds like fun, though I hope i can find an un-crowded night to go... maybe the next cold rainy tues? We have had a lot of days like that recently.

I like the idea of standing restaurants for folks with a busy schedule. Fast food that is not bad for you! I used to love the standing seafood restaurants in Baltimore and the Harbor. And there are lots of great examples of these types of places in NYC, glad to see the trend picking up again in japan.

Friday, April 20, 2007

For FANCY GLASS FRIDAY- creative cocktails


Quote for the day!

The creative process is a cocktail of instinct, skill, culture and a highly creative feverishness. It is not like a drug; it is a particular state when everything happens very quickly, a mixture of consciousness and unconsciousness, of fear and pleasure; it’s a little like making love, the physical act of love.
::: Francis Bacon :::

Thursday, April 19, 2007

a wonderful archive for american culinary history


University of Michigan has a fantastic center, set up a few years ago The Longone Center for American Culinary Research. This is a place I would LOVE to go, do research and read... And they are hosing their second symposium this May.

If you find yourself in Ann Arbor- this sounds like it would be a foodies dream event- especially those foodies interested in culinary heritage, the slow food network and the history of food in the usa.

The Janice Bluestein Longone Culinary Archive at the
William L. Clements Library on the University of Michigan campus in Ann Arbor contains thousands of items from the 16th to 20th centuries - books, ephemera, menus, magazines, graphics, maps, manuscripts, diaries, letters, catalogues, advertisements, and reference works. It is a work in progress, and material is being added and catalogued daily.
And you can see the may 18th to 20th event program here. I wish I could go, and I hope someday to be able to include food history and slow food travel in my future.

some other amazing sounding food events...
Slow Fish in Genoa
Slow food nation book tour

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

funny translation from Avon japan


My friend, while doing some research for work, came across this funny online translation of the Avon website here in Japan.

Here's to the woman who lives!

not just food


So, the fancy glass is primarily a food blog. But I love a lot of other arts in life. music, travel, movies, books.... and much more. So forgive me for sharing other stuff I think is cool. Today I heard about something that sounds soooooo fun. Opera On Tap!

I heard about it in a segment on npr- here is what they do...

Our mission as a not- for-profit 501(c)3 company, is to promote opera as a viable, living and progressive art form deserving a place on the American cultural landscape.

In 2005 we created Opera on Tap as a performance outlet for our friends and ourselves. We wanted an opera "gig" in the vein of the New York rock or jazz gig. Freddy’s Bar and Backroom provided us with the opportunity. It was an affordable way to have fun together and work on our music at the same time... Guess what else happened…

We discovered a new audience starved for intense, acoustic, musical experiences!

More often than not, opera is perceived in this country to be elitist, pretentious, stuffy and boring. Going to the opera means dressing up, shelling out a lot of money, putting on an air of sophistication and most importantly, not making any noise whatsoever, unless it’s the appropriate time to applaud the diva. There is indeed a tradition of behavior at the “Opera”: Act classier than you really are. In America, opera is placed on a high pedestal, so high unfortunately that the average Joe is throwing his hands up and spending his money elsewhere.


I have been feeling quite homesick for the liberal elite east coast these days- and this type of thing would be one of the reasons why! more about opera on tap via the New York Times.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Special-TEA-tuesday April 17th 2007


Genmai Cha is an exotic Japanese recipe that combines popped rice and popcorn with tender and delicate green tea leaves.

One of my favorite types of green tea is genmai cha. I love the puffed rice smell, and the soft round taste. It fills the mouth and is quite lively on my palate. Genmai has all the superior antioxident features of all green teas. It is good for you- but don't be fooled. All green tea has caffine- actually it has more caffine than black tea!

I love how genmai looks, long green dried tea leaves with whitish-brownish rice puffs. You can purchase a very nice genmai online at Adagio teas.

the ridiculous food network awards



Thanks to Jen over at the news blog...

THE FABULOUS FOOD NETWORK AWARDS!! NOT!!!!

by Bourdain

It is a measure of how seriously crack-brained, rapacious and evil the Deep Thinkers at Food Network must be that I find myself--yet again--in deep sympathy with their stable of stars. Last night, during the breathtakingly awful, interminable cruelty that was The Food Network Awards, I even found myself feeling bad for Rachael Ray. YES, friends. Rachael Ray. If nothing else, Rachael's BIG now. Network talk show-- doing- well- in- ratings- Big. Own magazine Big. Friend-of-Oprah Big. So, how must it have felt for her to stand up there in front of what appeared to be a halfway empty room of stunned, near comatose trout and feign enthusiasm while presenting the award for "Best Appliance"?
full story here

Monday, April 16, 2007

My friend's new webzine!


A woman I met through Democrats Abroad- and her Chef Husband have launched a new online food webzine with production. The Site is called Food Travels: a gastronomical journey- nicely laid out with wonderful content. I enjoyed the first few info pieces today. The site has a great mission- Here's how they introduced the effort

Food-Travels.com is the multimedia project of a chef and journalist who have been combining their love for food and travel with their careers for many years. We believe food choice is a social and political act where informed citizens can safeguard traditional cuisine from the threats of culinary homogenization, fast food, and mass production.

Our weekly webzine seeks to promote these aims with stories about artisanal producers, local cultures, and endangered foods. We hope to serve as a bridge connecting stories from around the globe in an ever smaller, more interdependent world. We also provide authentic tours in regions of our personal expertise. To subscribe to our webzine please click here.

We thank you for reading and look forward to hearing from you.
Food-Travels.com, A Gastronomical Journey!

this time I really enjoyed the piece on "Drinking Chocolate" Take a browse on the site, there is a lot to enjoy.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

what is all this blogging business anyway


According to Wikipedia...
Blogs often provide commentary or news on a particular subject, such as food, politics, or local news; some function as more personal online diaries. A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, web pages, and other media related to its topic. The ability for readers to leave comments in an interactive format is an important part of most early blogs. Most blogs are primarily textual although some focus on photographs (photoblog), sketchblog, videos (vlog), or audio (podcasting), and are part of a wider network of social media.”

There is a good basic article on what blogs are, what they are becoming, and the basic stuff behind the blogs at The Blog Mill. It is a commercial site selling blog stuff but it is still a good basic overview.

the blogosphere is still in it's infancy but it is great to watch such amazing exchanges of ideas, information, research and disccusion. And I really think the best is yet to come.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

This is very cool


From the Kiwi Travel blog

"The world's first underwater restaurant

If you don’t suffer from claustrophobia then you might like this new restaurant at the Hilton in the Maldives. If you do suffer then don’t read on…

Ithaa Undersea Restaurant is all glass hidden 4 metres below sea level in coral reefs with wall to wall fish-eye views. It seats only 12 and the dress code is formal for sipping cocktails like a mermaid and dining on Western-Asian fusion food."

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Slow Down....

I have been listening to lots of podcasts about food and reading a book about chocolate and a common thread keeps appearing. "things are better slower." enjoyed more slowly and deliberately, grown more slowly and with care. I heard three podcasts where this message was key, in 3 totally different ways.

First in a podcast about Portion Distortion. The speakers were talking about how portion size in restaurants is now often 4-5 times the amounts our bodies can use or need to be "Satisfied."

But besides the size issue being one of health, the one professor said that the first thing she tried to get her students/clients to do is SLOW DOWN. eat more slowly, enjoy between bites and start to pay attention to where and when their bodies are feeling satisfied.

then in 2 other podcasts- one about French cheese and one about hard cider- the point was made that slowing down the process often 3 times slower than industrialized product producers, is what makes the cheese and cider that was being discussed, truly remarkable.

Specifically they discussed slowing down the aging (fermenting) process. that was the magic. aging more slowly. Which I have been thinking really translates across everything.

Slowing life down gives time to think, process, and reflect. When I think of my main issues or my friend terri's stresses a lot comes from rushing- crashing through from event to event, meeting to meeting. Not taking stock of where you are - where you've been- and where to go next.

this was also reflected in the book I was reading about chocolate. Slower growing, slower business development, slower artisan's producing made for magic and success.

The problem with "jack of all trade-ness" that I have been thinking about since college- maybe it's related to that. The chocolate book talked a lot about Parisian Chocolate craftsmen taking time to make great chocolate. And it mentioned how a really great Mexican mole takes at least 27 ingredients and TIME. There is no rushing things like that.

The Cider podcast I listed to specifically talked about slowing down the aging of apples, naturally, in special rooms. Slowing down the process creates better flavors, more richness. This mirrored the cheese podcast where I learned that some cheeses age in cave for 14 mons and one even for 4 years!

I think there is something to this in people too. Slow down to recognize and develop richness and variety in days and experiences. In terms of the food and health expert, slowing down creates the time for deliberate choices. Instead of life happening to us. I think a lot of events in our lives happen in default mode- and we fall back on type with out thinking.

SLOWING DOWN= more variety, richness and good choices as well as more time to reflect and learn from experience.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

words fail me....

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Calories have gotten cheaper while other nutrients have gotten more expensive


I am very interested in food politics but find it hard to introduce the topic in a meaningful way. This opening paragraph from a webpage I saw today is as good a place as any to start...
There have been changes in food over the last 50 years, and those changes have been driven by the food industry’s requirement to make a profit. I may be wrong, and I’m happy to discuss this with people who know more (or less) than me, but I think the most important change has been that calories have gotten cheaper, but other nutrition has gotten more expensive.

this is a nice begnining thinking point for some of the basics of the consumer politics of food which play a lot in class and race issues as well. so I just put it out there to ponder. hopefully I will find new ways to introduce the topic and talk more clearly about it with friends and blogger types on the inter-tube-net.

special-TEA-Tuesday


I want to get back to some of my original fancy glass ideas of a few special things each week. Originally, since tea is a huge part of my food and bevie life I wanted to write on Tuesdays- about tea... and called it SpecialTea Tuesday! Needless to say like many good intentions, I never stuck to this one. BUT I am back at it and this week's edition is going to be all about Rooibos.

I, like many people, first heard about rooibos tea while reading the book "The No 1 Ladies Detective Agency" The main character- a large woman in Africa- was always drinking this Red bush tea and serving it to her clients. made me curious.

This cooincided with a need to find a nice hot tea beverage with no caffine for night time. I am not a big fan of herbal teas generally speaking- Some are nice, but I usually like black or green tea. Both of which have caffine. So I decided to try this newly popluarized brew Red Bush tea or as it was known in South Africa "Rooibos"

according to Wikipedia...
Rooibos, (Afrikaans for red bush; pronounced [rɔɪbɔs]; scientific name Aspalathus linearis) is a member of the legume family of plants and is used to make a tisane (herbal tea). Commonly called african red tea, the product has been popular in South Africa for generations and is now consumed in many countries.

Some key points of Rooibos;

• Rooibos Tea is a herbal tea:

It is prepared from the leaves of the herb Aspalathus Linearis.

• Rooibos is unique to South Africa:

It is produced only in the Cape of Good Hope, South Africa. Rooibos (pronounced “roy-boss”) is an Afrikaans word meaning “red bush”, referring to the garnet colour of the herb leaves after fermentation.

• Rooibos is known as the New Miracle Brew:

Black and Green Teas were much acclaimed for their wonderful health indications, but now Red Tea (Rooibos) is the New Miracle Brew!
Rooibos has 50 times the anti-oxidant power of green tea!
The health benefits of Rooibos for both adults and children are quite remarkable!

• Rooibos contains NO caffeine:

Even decaffeinated green tea has 30mg of caffeine per cup!

• Rooibos has a wonderful flavour:

It does not taste like a herbal tea at all - only like a sweeter version of regular teas. Rooibos has no bitter aftertaste - no matter how long it is left to brew!

• Rooibos is an everyday / anytime beverage:

• Rooibos is very versatile.

So these days, my evening drink of choice as I surf the net at night and read food books is to drink a cup of hot red bush tea with my husband.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Wine Party Coming Up

April 18th we are going to be having a wonderful wine event at Fujimamas, Tokyo. Call now to reserve your spot 03-5485-2283/ click on the image for more details

Sunday, April 08, 2007

la Colina.... :(

 
this photo represents the only part of my meal at the new restaurant la Colina that was any good- and we had to wait more than 20 mins to even get these cocktails...

I didn't expect a lot because I knew it was only the first week that they opened. But if there are not big leaps and bounds of improvements quickly this fancy-style-mexican is never going to make it.

I should have known when I made my reservation by phone three days ago... I called, it rang many times and when the woman finally picked up the phone she didn't say anything but just held the phone near her mouth while she finished another coversation with a different guest who was leaving the restaurant. I said excuse me a few times--- wondering what the hell was going on, and finally she said "Wait a moment" (no please) when she was finally ready to take my call- it was clear she had no idea how to even take a reservation. I had to ask her if she needed my name, and if she wanted to know what time I wanted to come!

So anyway, we showed up sat. for our reservation, which they didn't have written down. Got seated right next to the kitchen at probably the worst table in the room. And then waited and waited and waited for our two simple drinks. One of which was sangria which at most places is already half-prepared.

As I said I expected slow, and some problems but this place really did seem clueless. We went to their other long standing restaurant, fonda de la madrugada, review below... and so I did expect that there would be some base professionalism since they already have another place...

We got food menus, AFTER our drinks finally arrived. and ordered.

the guacamole on the menu said "made at your table to your taste" but what came out was a small plate of already made guacamole that was very bland. The man at the table next to us actually handed me a bottle of tabasco and said, "I think you are going to need this"

I ordered a grilled fish with capers, tomato sauce and olives, and chris a crepe wrapped chicken dish with a pistachio mole sauce. both were bland bland bland. Our theory is that the managers told the chef that Japanese people don't like spicy food so he blanded-down all the dishes. It looked great but had no taste.

The tipping point for me though, was the 10 minutes that I had to listen to the MANAGER (note - not some part time staff) Polishing silverware and dropping it noisly on a tray right behind my head. He continued this for 10 mins. until I turned around and asked him to stop because it was sooooo loud. The scary thing was he was really sorry and looked like it had never occurred to him that this would be a problem. this is the manager! whose job it is to think about the guest's comfort and needs. this guy was a nightmare.

and finally- when chris had first arrived he gave one of the other managers his computer briefcase- they said no problem just pick it up from the bartender on your way out... I am sure you can guess how this is going to end up.... When we left- of course no one had any idea where chris'bag was...! he finally found it himself behind the cash register with the clueless door lady who didn't take my reservation before.

two thumbs down for sure. we will not be going back except maybe to try to offer a job to the one good waiter we saw there- I plan to tell him when he gets tired of all there bad service he should come on over to work for us at Fujimamas!

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Saturday, April 07, 2007

morning brought to you by Dean and Deluca

 
After a meeting yesterday I stopped off at Dean & Deluca at the new Tokyo Midtown. It was mobbed... I don't really think eating and shopping there will be easy or comfortble for 6 mons. This is a problem in Tokyo. In a city of 30 million people when something is new or trendy- a LOT of people show up there. Still I had a nice time. Though it was packed. The new store is one of the largest in japan- the clerk said the shinagawa one was about the same size although Midtown has a bigger wine selection. Actually I know the dean and deluca wine buyer here. He is a really nice guy named Jay. I used to talk wine with him long ago.

So I picked up a few treats for breakfast- and indulged this morning. Some new English Breakfast tea- (which needs to be steeped more than my regular brand!) Very nice. Some bread that D&D calls "morning bread"- basically nice white bread in a kind of mini sized loaf. And a jar of Pumpkin Butter by American Spoon Food- The pupkin butter is sweetened with maple syrup according to the catch copy... it was very tasty. Makes toast taste like little morning pumpkin pie! Yum. Not really a spring taste- but fun anyway. I want to go back and eat at the cafe there. and I can see this will be a nice little luxury shop for some food-blog experiments and gift buying.

Tonight chris and I are going back to Midtown to try out La Colina a new mexican restaurant.
more updates to follow.
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Friday, April 06, 2007

3 mons later Krispy Kreme Tokyo making the AP



Small story picked up by the AP on sweet-tooth food trends here in Tokyo. What I want to know is, when will we get an In and Out Burger? I guess it would be hard to have one of those since they use local produce and prepare everything fresh. They couldn't mass import frozen supplies- and if they did they wouldn't be the In and Out we all love!

Yuri Kageyama | the Associated Press
Posted April 5, 2007

TOKYO -- After years of staying slim on a humble diet of fish, vegetables and rice, Japanese are developing a sweet tooth. That's proving a business opportunity for Krispy Kreme and other fast-food chains from the U.S., home of the Big Gulp and supersized fries.

Since opening in December, Japan's first Krispy Kreme Doughnuts store is drawing long lines for an hourlong wait or longer just to get in. In the first three days, 10,000 people came to the shop.

"The texture was fluffy and sticky, unlike any other doughnut," said Yoji Yahagi, 22, who stood in line with his girlfriend to eat two chocolate doughnuts each.

The couple are typical of a growing number of Japanese who are gobbling up doughnuts, ice cream and other calorie-rich goodies. Full Story

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Book review and new feature

A new fun book I am reading and playing with is THE NEW FOOD LOVER's TIPTIONARY. It is an a-z guide with more than 6000 food facts. By Sharon Tyler Herbst. Lots of fun and great if you want to learn something about everything from apples to zucchini.

I want to read and share a bit of info each week, gathered from this book and other sources...

So starting with "A" here is our tidbit for this week.
ALMONDS- Did you know? Almonds are NOT actually nuts. They are kernals from the fruit of the Almond Tree. Also, Almonds are very healthy - helping with Osteoporosis, are packed with antioxidants, calcium, fiber, magnesium and potassium. This is a great site all about almonds from the California Almond Board.

Huli Sue's on Dishola


There is a great new site, DISHOLA.com which is a celebration of food by foodies. Basically you sign up. Write up a review of a favorite food you have had somewhere, photos are good too, and post it up there. I recently posted up a BBQ plate from Huli Sue's (our company's newest pace) and much to my happiness it made it to the front page of Dishola for a little while!

It is a fun site and the folks running it are very nice. I had a problem with one of my posts for Fujimamas and they helped me get it sorted out right away. Based in Austin they prob. have more texas dishes listed than anything else but it is starting to expand. I highly recommend DISHOLA!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

2007 hanami cupcake

 
For the second year in a run, Michael the pastry chef, has indulged me with Cherry Blossom Cupcakes. This is a shot from this year's batch. YUM. the buttercream icing was much better this year. So beautiful. A big hit at the hanami catering.
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fonda de la madrugada

  I am working on a little piece for a magazine about Cinco De Mayo and yummy Mexican food available in Tokyo. So last night the hubby and I went out to the venerable Fonda de la Madrugada... a long standing Mexican restaurant in the Yoyogi area. Kind of theme park feeling, but they did great things with the interior. One of the owners of Fujimamas, Lisa, was involved in the opening but I don't know how much of the interior or other aspects came from her. I have always meant to ask her for more of the history and experience of opening that place?!

I loved the chairs and tables, very rustic and still comfy. Our server was not very good but the food was fast and fresh and hot. He had guacamole and a stuffed crab dish as starters, then Hubby had a trio of enchiladas and I had chicken mole with rice. It was nice. Some of the dishes were pretty salty. I loved the musicians who played through out the night and the restaurant seemed pretty busy even for a Monday. A bit pricier than our usual hang out Junkadelic (tex mex in Nakameguro near where we live) but fun. It was our first time though we had been meaning to go for years.

We liked the Sangria, though it was a little sweet. I might go back with a group- that would be fun... but not sure it would be high on the list to go again soon. I am eager to try their new spot in the Tokyo Midtown Development. It is called La Colina. We will go to midtown next week I think and check out a few of the new spots for the blog and for my writing. I really want to check out the new huge Dean and DeLuca.

Address for Fonda-
VILA BIANCA B1
2-33-11 JINGUUMAE , SHIBUYA-KU TOKYO
map available on their site


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Monday, April 02, 2007

evening in full bloom

 
The Blossoms are fully blooming now and this weekend there were tons of folks in our neighborhood enjoying strolling and eating and drinking and talking with friends. There are some lovely folks selling hot wine which is nice for strolling with as it is still chilly at night. I love this time of year in my area, even though the crowds are a bit overwhelming esp. right outside my door.

Michael, My pastry chef friend, made me some cherry blossom cupcakes again this year. And we had a great time celebrating the season. Soon it will be over- just this morning I started to see the green leaves coming in as the blossoms begin to fall. but I guess it is all the more lovely because it is fleeting.
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