Archive for the ‘food’ Category

Afternoon Tea

March 22nd, 2009

Yesterday, I had afternoon tea with a few friends at the Scarlet Tea Room. It was my first time having tea at this location and I was surprised to find myself sitting in a very formal dining room, adorned with crystal chandeliers and gold fixtures everywhere. I felt like I was having tea at the Ritz Carlton. The tea service seemed pretty traditional, it was a 5 course meal in which we were given a variety of tea sandwiches (with the crusts cut off of course), freshly made scones, an assortment of petit desserts, and different pots of tea. Oh and how could I forget the palate cleanser! We started off with a raspberry sorbet palate cleanser (very fancy schmancy). Overall, the tea service was great, but I have to say that I do prefer going to cozier tea establishments. This place was way too refined for me. And at $40 a person, this is a once in a blue moon tea party for me.


Raspberry Sorbet Palate Cleanser


Scones – We had 3 different types: Cinnamon, Apricot Ginger, and Vanilla


Tea Sandwiches


Very Berry Tea – Tasted like Tazo tea from Starbucks…not one of my favorites.


I need to find myself a tea pot like this. Very cute.


I liked this tea pot design a lot.


Our dessert assortment


Strawberries Romanoff – 2nd dessert course

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 28th, 2008

Sorry, I’m a little late, but better late than never right? Anyway, I hope all of you enjoyed your Thanksgiving holiday! I know Thanksgiving is over, but I wanted to share this stuffing recipe I found recently…you can keep this recipe in mind for next year’s Thanksgiving or whenever you feel like eating some good stuffing. I found this recipe on allrecipes.com and the title immediately caught my eye, “Awesome Sausage, Apple, & Cranberry Stuffing“. With a title like that and 5 stars with 900+ reviews, I had to try it. So, I decided to make this “Awesome Stuffing” for a friend’s potluck Thanksgiving party last weekend and I must say this stuffing is pretty awesome. I’ve always made stuffing out of the box, so this made from scratch stuffing was entirely new to me. I think this recipe has certainly changed my mind about making boxed stuffing ever again, the flavors were great and the addition of apples and cranberries made this a perfect autumn dish. I made a few shortcuts (how very semi-home made of me…haha) and changes…I didn’t add a couple of the ingredients (sage and the turkey liver). And I also recommend that you use fresh herbs, rather than dried. Anyway, here’s my take on the “Awesome Stuffing”:

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 box of Mrs. Cubbison’s Seasoned Dressing
  • 1/2 box of Mrs. Cubbison’s Seasoned Cornbread Stuffin’
  • 1 pound ground Jimmy Dean’s sage sausage
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup chopped celery
  • 3 teaspoons fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • 1 large Fuji apple, cored and chopped
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 1 1/2 cup chicken stock (use more if needed)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Directions:

  1. In a large skillet, cook the sausage and onions over medium heat, stirring and breaking up the lumps until evenly browned. Add the celery, rosemary, and thyme; cook, stirring, for 2 minutes to blend flavors.
  2. Place boxed stuffing in a large bowl and pour sausage mixture over it. Mix in chopped apples, dried cranberries, and parsley. Drizzle with chicken stock and melted butter, and mix lightly.
  3. Place stuffing mixture in a baking dish, cover with foil, and bake at 350 degrees for 40 min. Then remove foil and bake for another 15 min.


All the ingredients in one bowl, ready to be mixed.


The finished “awesome stuffing”

Birthday Indulgences

September 15th, 2008

Yesterday was my birthday and the entire week leading up to it, was just filled with stress. I was stressed out planning a joint birthday party that we didn’t really pull together until the very last minute, but in the end it all worked out and on top of that I had some weird ailment which was a combination of sinus/ear pressure and ear/headaches…on a side note I felt like my head was going to explode on Saturday when I was driving to the mountains and the elevation just heightened the pressure and pain even more. Anyway, I’m much better now (Sudafed and Advil are my best friends) and I was able to celebrate my birthday yesterday the way I like it…lots of sweets, food, and shopping! I totally overindulged yesterday, but hey what’s a birthday without forgetting about everything and just enjoying life, right? So, yesterday I started off my day with a Starbucks Java Chip Frappucino and as I was standing in line, I happened to notice this cute pink cupcake staring back at me in the pastry display, it had birthday cupcake written all over it, so I bought it haha. Sometime during the day, I also had a piece of my large Mrs. Fields Cookie that a friend gave me, by this time I was already on a sugar overload. Dinner was definitely my favorite part of the day, my boyfriend and I went to this restaurant called Savannah, its a “contemporary American restaurant featuring regional cooking with a Southern accent”. One word: delicious. We started off with the Maine Lobster and Crayfish Bisque, which was really good and it came with a side of these freshly fried garlic potato chips, definitely my favorite part of the dish. You have to dip the chip in the bisque, it’s a must. Next, for our entrees we both ordered the Prime Colorado Rack of Lamb. It came with a side of Savannah potatoes, asparagus, & a sweet garlic jam. I love lamb, and this was definitely one of the best I’ve ever tried. AMAZING! Just perfectly cooked and seasoned. On to the next best part of dinner…dessert! We ordered a hot Scharffen Berger Chocolate Souffle which was baked to order. The presentation was nice, they brought the souffle to our table, scooped out a little hole, poured hot chocolate sauce inside, then a dollop of freshly whipped cream, and then one more pour of the chocolate sauce. It was rich, but so so good! I wish I could have eaten more of it, but the lamb had filled me up. So, that was the end of my wonderful overindulgent birthday…can’t wait until next year!


Birthday Cupcake


Giant Mrs. Fields Cookie


Lobster & Crayfish Bisque


Bisque with a side of garlic chips


BEST lamb ever.


Scharffen Berger Chocolate Souffle – chocolate heaven!

Adagio Tea

July 9th, 2008

I just purchased this starter set from Adagio Teas…it comes with a 16oz teapot infuser, 4 tea samples in little tin boxes, and the “A Guide to Tea” book. I’m in my tea phase at the moment, ever since I went to this afternoon tea place and I saw them using this very same teapot infuser. I didn’t know much about loose leaf teas, but apparently they’re much better than the tea bag kind which has all kinds of dust. The thing that makes this teapot infuser so awesome is shown in this demonstration video. So the infuser steeps your tea, then just put it over your cup and dispense! The infuser has a filter that retains all the leaves, so you’re left with a nice cup of leaf-free tea. It’s easy to make ice tea with it too, just put ice in a glass and dispense and wa-la you have iced tea! I chose the herbal tea selection for my starter set, which comes with blood orange, chamomile, rooibos, and spearmint. If any of you would like a $5 off any Adagio Tea purchase feel free to enter your e-mail address in the box and I’ll be happy to send a coupon your way. And stay tuned for my Adagio Tea starter set review!

Enter your e-mail address here for a $5 off Adagio Tea coupon:



Dean & DeLuca Wish List

June 20th, 2008

Dean & DeLuca – you guys really know how to make a food loving girl go crazy…I just got the new catalog in the mail the other day and I have NEVER salivated so much in my life. Every page was filled with decadent gourmet food that I could only imagine how amazing it would taste. I totally felt like a poor stray dog staring at the the delicious meat hanging from the butcher’s shop window. This catalog is my new favorite reading material, because I enjoy reading it over and over again. As far as my wish list from Dean & DeLuca…if I could, my wish list would contain their entire inventory, but since that’s not possible, here are a few of my top picks from their Summer catalog.

1. Lobster Rolls – 8 for $135, This by far is the most amazing picture in the entire catalog. Every time I look at it, all I can think is “WOW that looks delicious!”.

2. Wagyu Ribeyes- 2 for $140, So the first time I heard about this kind of beef was during the season finale of Top Chef last week, and apparently its suppose to be the “caviar of beefs”.

3. Crab Bennies – 6 for $75, I love eggs benedict and this just brings it to a whole other level!

Now on to the dessert!

1. Gateau Nuage Cheesecake – $70, Typically, I don’t eat or even like cheescake due to a traumatic childhood experience which involved vomiting and a trip to the ER. But, I must say this picture of cheesecake actually makes me want to eat cheesecake! So, Dean and DeLuca you could possibly turn this cheesecake hater into a cheesecake lover once again!

2. Gavottes - $25, I’ve been looking all over for these! A friend of mine had given me a sample of these lovely cookies when she came back from her trip to Paris and since that day I’ve been wanting to get my hands on a box.

Blooming Tea & Crumpets

February 1st, 2008

The first time I ever heard about blooming teas, was a few years ago when I was at a friend’s home and her mother made us tea. When I looked into my tea cup, I noticed there were things floating in it that did not resemble tea leaves and to my surprise they were actually chrysanthemum petals. Her mother had used dried chrysanthemum blossoms to make the tea with and I was so amazed by it. Until now, I haven’t had any more floral teas with actual blossoms in it, but I ran across these Teaposy Blooming Teas today and I immediatly wanted to purchase it, but alas it’s temporarily sold out. They even have a glass teapot and cups set which is perfect so you can watch your blooming flowers blossom.


Idea Jinx

July 14th, 2007

Ok, so a couple months ago I was at Trader Joe’s and I thought that it would be great idea to make a website where people could review the different products that they sell at there. The light bulb in my head lit up when I thought about the countless number of times I found myself standing in the aisle and staring at a product trying to decided whether or not I should try it. And it doesn’t help that this Joe guy keeps labeling everything as “great” or “tasty”. Don’t get me wrong, I love Trader Joe’s and most of their products are great, but every once in awhile I stumble upon something so far from great that I get disappointed. Yesterday, to my astonishment I found my idea already up and running! Someone thought of the same idea and beat me to it…which is great because its less work for me, but I still would’ve liked to be the sole person to create this ingenious website. The website is called Trader Joes Fan, and it does a good job of categorizing reviewed products, the only cons are the site could look a lot better and there aren’t that many reviewed products. But for now it shall suffice and hopefully it’ll help me with my future purchasing decisions.

Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire

February 20th, 2007

This weekend I went to an Asian supermarket and low and behold outside the front doors was a roasted chestnuts cart! I was really excited when I saw this vendor handing out samples of pipping hot chestnuts…it made me feel warm and Christmasy. I’ve never seen roasted chestnut carts, especially in California. I always associate chestnut street vendors with movies set in old England, I can’t think of any titles at the moment, but I’m pretty sure I’ve seen it. The chestnut cart was a franchise of what seems to be a Chinese company “Jin Bao”. Anyway, I went home with a bag of these yummy nuts and proceeded to crack these nuts with a special plastic device that was ingenuously invented for the sole purpose of assisting with the cracking of the nuts. This plastic piece has little teeth that you press firmly into the shell and it makes a nice incision to help you peel the shell away. I went to the company website and found many interesting facts about chestnuts. Some of my favorites are:

“Chestnuts promote urination”

“By putting smashed chestnuts on the body wound, the pain will relieve.”

“The chestnuts are a lusty and masculine food for men, and able to make women well complexioned.”

Gotta love that Engrish!