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

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

I happily went on assigment last month for a couple of afternoons and went to two afternoon teas- and wrote about them for Being A Broad Magazine. I went to two fantastic new hotels in downtown tokyo where afternoon tea is the thing to do. My first stop was the RITZ-CARLTON Tokyo. Their tea was fantastic. Everything I was looking for. Tea cakes, gorgeous porcelin, fantastic views as far as the eye could see and a long leisurely afternoon with my friend over a big personal pot of finely blended black tea!

The second try was at the brand new Penisula, I thought it was nice, but not nearly as special as the Ritz! Since they don't take reservations at the Penisula tea time involves long lines and made me feel not at all special. And the tea service itself was uninspired though the scones were quite nice.

I will cross post the story when it comes out. It was a fun one to do. Next piece for them will be about gourmet gift giving for the winter holidays here in Tokyo.

the ratings?


THE PENISULA TEA TIME 3 fg (disappointing)

Sunday, October 28, 2007

what to do... what to do....

So, my problem used to be, when I imagined owning a restaurant -- I couldn't decide what kind of place I wanted to have, what it would look like, what the menus might be... I just wasn't sure or I lacked the confidence to articulate my ideas.

That has not been my problem for a while now! in fact I have 3 really solid concepts, ideas in my head- down to the LOGOs and at least a rough sketch of the menu ideas. BUT --- No idea yet how and where to put them into practice. Our plan was to be in Hawaii before the end of next year, and be thinking about what comes next--- But with the hubby getting a great new job, and the need to really buckle down and save $$$ for whatever the next thing is- all my ideas are burbling around and on hold. Not a bad situation to be in I supposed. but it feels kind of weird. two of my ideas are on the sort of trendy-side and I am afraid that I will miss a window of really possible popularity with them- but I guess it would be better to miss a window than invent a great idea with a short shelf life. so the waiting may do me good.

Just got a good look at one possible logo for one of our ideas this week. And it is so good! the logo I mean- that I am itching to work on the design and business plan. I guess nothing is stopping me from working on it. hmmmm?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

speaking of cookbooks

An intersting area of cookbooks and recipes is those that were and are put out by food manufacturing companies. We have this little gem at home Recipes with Catsup! It is a little 8 page pamphlet with gems like the cover shot above, called Fabulous Aspic. makes me crack up every time I look at it. totally not appetizing in this day and age, but what a cover.

other hightlights are the Dazzle Dip, and the Sensational Chicken. lots of catsup of course, and plenty of other processed food ingredients.

These little treasures are quite charming. They capture a time and place in american culture. I am on the look out for more. If you know any good sources-- let me know.
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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

stuff I love!

I love cookbooks (well all books really but...) I love all cookbooks- Old ones, new ones, funny small ones, touristy ones... cookbooks are just great. You can get a view of a different culture, feel like you have traveled somewhere new, right from your own kitchen.

You can dream about meals, future, and fantastical.


you can learn about history.

That is where Old CookBooks .com comes in. A great cookbook retailer with an amazing inventory. Great for gifts, and just great to browse around and see a view of meals and food culture from our long ago and recent past.

check out their easy to use site. They are super nice as well. I have gotten a few gifts for special cooking friends in the past. They have repair services too, if your own special old cookbook needs some work.

just a super site to visit and browse.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Fancy Glass Book Review "Chocolate and Zucchini: Daily Adventures in a Parisian Kitchen"

One of the most famous, and one of my all time favorite food blogs is Chocolate and Zucchini. (and I am not the only one who thinks it is great. check out the press page.) Pretty good for a blogger!

And now the author of that wonderful blog is also published!

Chocolate and Zucchini: Daily Adventures in a Parisian Kitchen (Paperback)

Clotilde Dusoulier

one of the great things about this book, is that the lovely author Clotilde, shared the book writing process with us, the loyal readers of her blog. She talked about the book proposal, how she chose topics and recipes, and working through the publishing process. She also celebrated with her online community when the book was set to go live. It was so much fun, and as a freelance author and want to be novelist it was great hearing about the process. I signed up for the book as a pre-order long before it was released.

I hadn't really had time to go through the book till recently. It is lovely! First off Clotilde's personality really shows through. And a lot of the basics she shares in the beginning of the book were helpful and well done.

I am going to be working my way through reading the rest of the book cover to cover, though I have already done a ton of browsing, skipping and skimming.

My one comment would be that I found all the many different layout-fonts a bit confusing and fussy at first. I am getting used to it, but it seems a bit over the top in that area.

So my Fancy Glass Book Review (1-5 glasses with 5 being the best)

Writing and Content- very well done, friendly and approachable with a real sense of the author's voice. 5FG

Layout & Design- a bit too much going on and I thought the photos did not do the recipes justice 2 1/2 FG

Recipe Selection- WONDERFUL 4fg (though I have not tried to make anything yet)

Overall a lovely cookbook that will keep a place on my shelf for a long time. 3 1/2 FG

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Special-TEA- Tuesday- an all tea menu!

I have read a lot about drink and cooking with tea- but as the weather turns colder the idea of a meal made with tea sounds very intriguing to me. Tea is a gorgeous beverage with an incredible history. Now we also know that tea is healthy for us, full of anti oxidants. And with so many different types of teas, grown in so many places- there is a lot of room for experimenting when cooking with tea. Some basic tea-cooking styles can be varied, steaming, smoking with tea, and marinating.

This site has a very interesting "All Tea Menu."
And I have always wanted to try Tea-Marbled Eggs...
I am hoping to try this - maybe this weekend. I will report back for sure!