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

Sunday, December 28, 2008

I wish me a yummy Christmas and a tasty New Year!

Our new family tradition, 3 years running, is to spend the Christmas holiday season in Europe, particularly in very Christmassy countries like Austria, Germany, and this year we also went to the Czech Republic and Hungary.

On Christmas day we were in Vienna, and we had Christmas Brunch in our hotel, the classic HOTEL SACHER WEIN. This shot is the dessert part of the brunch buffet. It was amazing!!! what a great meal. I was full for two days, just started to get my appetite back today in fact.

There were so many tasty treats on the buffet and the desserts were truly divine. I wanted to try everything but it was not possible-- especially after the roast duck, suckling pig, goose liver pate tart, salads, sausages, breads and so much more.

What a wonderful meal.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Evening View of the Prague Christmas Market

First full, awake and wonderful day of my Christmas trip 2008. This is the walking street headed into the main Old Town square in Prague. Ahead is the wonderful Christmas market filled with yummy foods, hot mulled wine, Christmas ornaments and souvenir bits and bobs. Had a wonderful day walking, seeing, looking and doing. We spent the morning at the KAMPA mondern art museum, the afternoon at the Museum of Decorative Arts, and the evening at the Christmas market. Everyone is tired tired tired. But happy.
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Sunday, December 07, 2008

Sushi American Style in Japan

This is one of my new favorites~! Fujimamas Firecracker Roll.
Very tasty. Many types of sushi rolls, well known in the USA are viturally unheard of in Japan. California rolls, spider rolls, and many more. This Firecracker roll has tuna, shirmp tempura, cucumber and a spicy mayo. A meal all on it's own. The mix of tastes and textures is quite something. Also fun to share. We've been making this one since the spring of this year. Totally terrific.
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Thursday, December 04, 2008

The Versitile Cheesecake


Cheesecake is a personal favorite of mine. It is also totally customizable and flexible. Got a favorite flavor? You can take a basic baked cheese cake recipe and with small adjustments you can change it up at any time. We've made Macha, Mocha, Pumpkin, Margarita, Blueberry, and the most recent-- Raspberry pictured above.

Here's a good basic starter recipe

Baked Cheesecake recipe

for the Biscuit crust
250 g (8 oz) plain sweet biscuits
90 g (3 oz) melted butter
1 tablespoon ground almonds (optional)

for the filling
250 g (8 oz) cottage cheese
500 g (1 lb) cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cream
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1/4 teaspoon grated lemon rind
whipped cream and freshly grated nutmeg for serving

for the Biscuit crust
1. Crush biscuits and combine with melted butter and ground almonds if used.
2. Spread over base and sides of a greased 20 cm (8 inch) spring-form tin. Press firmly and chill.

for the Filling
1. Press cottage cheese through a sieve into a bowl.
2. Add cream cheese, sugar and cream and beat together thoroughly.
3. Add eggs one at a time, then vanilla essence and lemon rind, beat well.
4. Pour mixture into prepared biscuit case
5. cook in an oven 180-190°C (350-375°F) for 45 minutes.
6. Turn off oven and leave cheesecake inside oven to cool.
7. Then chill for at least 2 hours.
8. Top with whipped cream and nutmeg before serving (optional)

This site has a ton of variations.
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Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Cirque Culinare


Well, it has been an age since I wrote here. The election, work, and life conspired and something had to give. Sadly it was my non-political writing like my dear little fancy glass blog. But Here I Am. And it is nice to come back home.

Just after the election season... which I was heavily involved in, we planned a grand celebration. The new Tokyo Penisula hotel was hosting a 5 day food extravaganza, and on the last night, a Petrus and Dominus wine dinner. We went. It was amazing.

Great wines, wonderful full, expert service. It was truly lovely.
There was little I would have changed, and for me, that is saying something!

I will post up more about this great dinner in the next couple of days. But I just wanted to come over here tonight, dive in and get started again!

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