Sunday, November 12, 2006

Things That Make Life Delicious.........

There is nothing quite like culinary discovery (and no I don't mean as in I created something completely unique, but rather discovering something new to your palate.) And here are few things I have been reminiscing over:

-Crema/creme fraiche, this is the stuff that has made me wonder why on earth is sour cream so popular?! Crema is the Mexican variation of the French creme fraiche (and they do have a direct connection), which is the wonderfully creamy decadent thick cream concoction (milder than sour cream in sourness) of gorgeousness you want to put on everything. Buy this if you have the chance and ironically most grocery stores do not sell creme fraiche but do sell crema and so many have no idea what is under their noses. A note though if using it with fruit, check the salt content on the crema (this varies greatly from producers of crema, but this rule also holds with creme fraiche). Also, I highly recommend making your own crema/creme fraiche, tons of recipes on the net, just google it.

-Next up chicharrones, fried pork skins, no this is not something I eat every day, and you probably should not, but damn it they are delicious! You can boo hoo it all you want in PC terms, but you have to admit it is wildly economical in the fact that is uses all of the animal and I can't help but respect that. Savor it when you eat it but not everyday, besides you only live once. Best way to have them: a fresh corn tortilla, slathered with guacamole, a handful of chicharrones on top of it, a spoon full of hot salsa, and to make it a pice de resistance a dollop of crema. I'm simply drooling thinking about it.

-Pho, no more needs to be said other than this is comfort and the elixir of strength for a cold winter day in a bowl.

-Spanish smoked paprika, one of the best things to institantly make a dish smokily hearty without frying up the bacon (and i love bacon!).

-Chipotles, another smoky wonder of the world. Try it with sweet potatoes and die happily.

-The simple wonder of a fresh lemon when the zest is grated (alright this adheres to any citrus really) the unlocking of the essential oils of it with a zester is quite magnificant, and I love the way it perfumes the air.

-Saffron, I can't add anything to the centuries of adulation to this spice, so enough said.

-Garlic, my tongue would be a nun if it did not exist.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Vivienne Westwood's Anglomania

To put it simply Vivienne Westwood does not release scents that are easy on the nose, then again neither is the clothing that she designs. Up front Boudoir was unwearable for me, quite frankly it smelled like a woman's sex, and putting that on, well... Being female I really don't need too. Still I couldn't help but admire the audacity of her making a scent that very much had the scent of a woman's ladyparts running through it and all of its blatant glory. As for Libertine I can't say anything on it as I have never smelled it. But then Anglomania (and yes the name leaves much to be wanted) came out and I had the chance to try it and the chance to buy it at a ridiculously low price at TJ Maxx. It is a powdery rose, old fashioned, and by old fashioned I do not mean prim and proper, but the old fashioned scent of the 40's, 30's, and 20's which designed for women usually knock out modern men's fragrance in there sexual audacity and weight. For under the lovely powdery cardamom spiced rose is a hint of leather and a definite hint of skank and a nice bit of tobacco. The image that came to my mind was the incredible lush womanly dark Dita Von Teese who plays with bygone era glamour and sexual kink with a dash of theatrics and sense of humor. The scent is modern but the attitude behind Anglomania is nostalgic kink with humor.
Official Notes to Anglomania:
Top notes: Green Tea, Cardamom, Coriander
Middle notes: Rose otto, Nutmeg, Violet
Bottom notes: Vanilla, Amber, Leather

Recommended: To those that like Fifi Chachnil, wanted to love Habanita or like Habanita, and want something that has something a little classic and dirty.

Facts: Dita Von Teese does wear a classic fragrance-Quelques Fleurs by Houbigant, a scent created in the 1800's and first to not be a soliflore.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Ambiance...Voluspa Baltic Amber Candle

Amber is one of the most beautiful fragrances out there and can come in many varietal interpretations: Anne Pliska is an orange tinged aldehydic wonder relying very much on sweeter pungent variety of amber. Today is a look at Voluspa's Baltic Amber candle which takes a beautiful journey through amber. At first the scent of Baltic Amber is creamy, just a tinge of coconut, but underneath it lies a beautiful hint of fir needles never letting it become sickeningly sweet. As the candle burns longer a tinge of cherry tinged smoke starts to come through the creaminess. The fragrance progresses to smoky wood soaked amber scent yet never hits a single rough edge with the creamy use of the vanilla. The candle burns clear and long, although it could be wished that the candle had better throwing power in scent, yet the scent that is there is utterly gorgeous for an interpretation of amber. It adds the ambiance of a perfect cool autumn in the mountains with smoke and mist intertwining. I definately recommend this to those that love the scent of amber. I think this scent would be greatly appreciated by those that enjoy Luctor et Emergo People of the Labyrinths fragrace. And yes I am deeply hankering to get the room spray. You can find Voluspa's Baltic Amber fragrance at

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Scent of the day and another wish to add to my birthday list

Today I am wearing Anne Pliska (so utterly gorgeous and unique). And here is another to add to my list of wishes:
-Fifi Chachnil the fragrance
can be bought here

Monday, September 11, 2006

Spring Fashion Continued...

Costello Tagliapietra:

Josh Groot:
This really is the perfect little black dress:
Jenni Kayne: reminds me of Erte
I like the jacket:
What can I say I love classic bathing suits:

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Spring Fashion So Far (yes it is ridiculous considering it is September

Alice Roi:

Yigal Azroul (I covet the leather jacket):
Toni Maticevski:

Rag and Bone:

Starting the birthday list early....

Okay so while I'm at my birthday is getting close in about a month that is so I figured I might start my list in my mind so that well when people ask me what I want I'm not going "uhm..." so here it is:
Nigella Lawson's How To Be A Domestic Goddess
Nigella Lawson's Feast
Lost Season 2 DVD Set
Mark Bittman's How To Cook Everything
And because I can dream: My very own Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer.

Datura Noir part. 1

I'm going to admit it now, I rarely wear tropical scents, what can I say I rarely think I can pull off the sunny lushness that tropical scents often have going for them, and yet Datura Noir by Serge Lutens is one of the few tropical scents that I can. I suppose if I were to sum this scent up it for its character it would be "a gothic tropical scent, a moodscape of the icy arctic meeting falling petals of creamy luscious tropical flowers." This is the scent of a jungle at night with the coldest white full moon in the sky illuminating everything in its brilliant silver light. And yet this scent is softly narcotic there is no screeching gardenias or tuberoses, the tuberose in this is mellow and edged with a buzzing green note, the osmanthus is the more promenent floral giving off its gentle greeness with its hints of apricots soaked in cream, the coconut is subdued never reminding of sunscreen but rather the scent of freshly cracked coconut, and the hint of bitter almond through out giving it that hint of high pitched sweetness that is cold and wonderfuly sweet. Datura Noir is a soft scent yet has a sharp edge with its unheady narcotic quality.

What I've cooked lately: Coconut Slab

Alright, I've been gone for awhile especially on the cooking part of my blog, but I've had good reason basically since last tuesday I have not been feeling very good, and have been reduced to a diet of very bland foods because of it, and yes it was hell for a food head like me. But before I got sick I made Nigella Lawson's wonderful Coconut Slab which can be found in this book Forever Summer for my friend Liz's barbecue, well over all it was a hit, but I do have one problem with the recipe it has to do with the frosting, I liked how the cake looked with the frosting going over the sides, so don't if you make this recipe add more suger to the frosting, it looks absolutely perfect with the frosting going over the sides. And also for a very simple, comforting, and bizarrely extravegent drink (I've been on a saffron kick lately):

Saffron Milk
1 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon sugar
a pinch of saffron

Directions: bring all of these things to a boil and serve. Very good before going to bed.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Fragrance of the Day: Vanille Noire du Mexique

I forgot how gorgeous this scent is and well I decided it would be my fragrance for the day.
Notes: Bergamot, Rose, Jasmine, Vanilla, Iris, Opoponax, Patchouli.

It occurs to me this is very similar to Rochas Tocade and L'Artisan Voleur de Roses

Thursday, August 31, 2006 new favorite cocktail!

I'm not notorious for being an extreme cocktail maker but this is officially my new favorite thing (I also love Lemon Drops and Margeritas) and it is absolutely is called Kir. Kir is a French cocktail (most often an served as an apertif), that uses a dry white wine and a creme de cassis liqueur. Depending on how sweet you like it use a teaspoon of cassis or more. I'm going to admit now though I didn't have any creme de cassis liqueur but instead used my framboise liqueur, did some research and this isn't that uncommon either, the drink was delicious. From what I can tell the usual measurements for this are 1/5 creme de cassis to 4/5 dry white wine. I used up my bottle of Pinto Grigio but the most often recommended wine for this Sauvingnon Blanc, but it must be a dry white wine. Many variations were made with other fruit liqueurs. When you use champagne it is called a Kir Royale.

In a luminous grey haze..scent of the day

I'm wearing Sarah Jessica Parker's Lovely today, it is hard to rhaps poetic about a celebrity perfume without delving into sounding fangirlish or sounding like you bought it only because they put their name on it, and too often the scent is mediocre or worse. But with Lovely it is another story this is a scent that immediately evokes a color to me and a texture, it is misty grey silk with just a hint of velvet at the edges. It starts often with a clean medicinal note that immediately awakens the nose with quality a winter breeze has on a sunny day, yet as the fragrance begins to change it takes on the character of grey haze that you often see before sunset in fall around the mountains. It is a clean hazy scent that is both enveloping crisp.
The notes are: patchouli, paper whites, orchid, cedar, musk, woods, manderin, bergamot, rosewood, lavender, apple martini

Monday, August 28, 2006

Sira des Indes by Jean Patou

My scent for today is Sira des Indes by Jean Patou, which may be one of the skankiest animalic fruity florals out there and I love it. One of the only fruity florals I will wear. The notes to it are:
Top: Bergamot, Banana, Pink Berries, Pear, Cardamom
Middle: Red Champaca, Rose, Ylang-Ylang, Jasmine, Milk, Orange Flower
Bottom: Santal, Amber, Vanilla, Musk
The scent is based on an Indian dessert.

Madini Santal Blanc

Going with Madini Santal Blanc as my fragrance for today. A wonderfully grounding scent that can be worn by a man or a woman, woods with a hint of herbalness on me, unfortunately this does not become a divine creamy sandalwood on me that so many others espouse of it becoming on them. This is purely gentle dry woods on me so clean it invokes the whiteness of a crescent moon.

Lead me by your scent...Saffron

Saffron and I have had a bizarre relationship my first taste of saffron was not one that wanted me to go back for more, in fact the dish I ordered with saffron was not eaten, and I had a kind enough waitress who did not charge me for it (I really only took one bite and realized that it was not for me). Yet, what lead me back to saffron was a fragrance, that fragrance was Agent Provocateur, from there on that fragrance has spurred a search for the perfect saffron fragrance so far I haven't found it. Although one of my fragrances has a nice accent of it, which is Omnia. Otherwise I keep searching for the perfect Saffron scent. After Agent Provocateur I was willing to give Saffron another chance in the culinary field.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Ange ou Demon by Givenchy

I stopped at Nordstroms about a week ago where a SA was handing out samples of Givenchy's new release Ange ou Demon. The notes for thes new fragrance are: white thyme, mandirine from Calabria, saffron, ylang-ylang, Maxilliaria orchid, lily, rosewood, tonka bean, vanilla, oak wood absolute. The beginning of this fragrance is gorgeous for a fleeting tantalizing moment it is citrus touched cream then comes in the soft herbiness of the white thyme, followed by a mild and very gentle note of saffron easily giving off the image of the softly touched cream unfortunately this stage does not last very long. It then enters the lily middle stage, which I swear has a touch of civet, the ylang-ylang adds a touch of headiness, strangely as the bottom notes begin to come in the scent moves between smelling like vanilla touched clean creamy lily soap and a rather bizarre honeyed root beer scent, the scent settles on a very soft powdery lily, vanilla, and amber base. Over all this scent is incredibly soft, the beginning is wonderful and I wish remained longer and strong through out the fragrance. A definite snuggling scent although the touch of civet I am getting from it definately gives it a little edge. I can see this one selling well this winter.

Madonna Lily by Ava Luxe

Notes: Madonna Lily, green leaves, light musk.

There might be something said for starting a fragrance at the bottom note and keeping it there. Yet, first lets get to the reason for why I ordered a sample of Ava Luxe's Madonna Lily, it begins with Sonoma Scent Studio's Incense Lily which spurred me into finding a lily fragrance without vanilla or incense, I loved the lily note in Incense Lily. So here I am at Ava Luxe's Madonna Lily, which is exactly that a lily fragrance and nothing else, yet for lovers of Kai, this may be a nice cheapie for those that love the drydown of Kai but do not love the somewhat harsh green notes Kai has at the beginning. This fragrance remains the same from bottom to top, yet sometimes it is nice to just get to the bottom of fragrance and not have to endure the sometimes annoying babble it takes to get there. This is a "no great feat of perfumery" fragrance but it offers exactly what it is and sometimes that is exactly all that is needed. And yes it does get creamy but remains clean. Still I remain on my search for the perfect lily fragrance.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Pain d'Epice

If Helen of Troy was Pain d'Epice I could clearly understand the launching of a thousand ships in her name by Greece, unfortunately what we do know of Helen of Troy was she was very beautiful woman, who was not a heavenly spice bread. I am right now eating the second of my two toasted slices of pain d'epice that came from a loaf that I made last night, it has butter and Vanilla Pear jelly on it, it literally feels like I am eating autumn in toast form. The mere act of toasting it this morning brought out its heavenly spicy scent that I would pay great deal of money for if I found it in a bottled fragrance form (Now imagine how gorgeous the house smelled yesterday when I baked this and brought it out of the oven). So how did I come about making French spice bread aka pain d'epice in the middle of August, well when I was around 12 I went to visit my mother's family in France and was treated to my grandmother getting my brother and I, "gingerbread". I remember at first I did not like it because it was nothing like molasses gingerbread of the US that I was use to, and for the particular fact that it used anise seed which I did not realize until now is one of th main flavoring components to pain d'epice, yet suddenly in this last week I had an incredible craving (of course it is around August that I always have a craving for autumn and winter foods). So I did some research...and found that in fact that it was very makeable and I wanted to make some now. This is the first Recipe so far that I have used but I am now finding that there quite a few that invovle rye flour and after buying a bag of rye flour for the disastrous Nigella Lawson Rarebit muffins I really want to use my flour and this looks like the perfect way. Even if you don't like anise seed you might like this because the anise plays a role but with the blending of spices it reaches a whole new role that is rarely seen in American cookery.

By the way I have always held that if heaven exists and it has a scent, it would smell like Frangelico Liquour, well I'm adding Pain d'Epice as another scent for heaven.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

A truly bizarre combination...or is it?

Something happened on my brother's birthday trip to Las Vegas that truly awakened my tastebuds to an incredibly great combination, this little detour was into Vosges Haute Chocolatier, and the flavor combo was: chocolate and curry. It came in the form of the Naga Truffle and it was divine and also on the expensive side. So imagine to my surprise the other day when traveling down to San Francisco's Fisherman's wharf and found 3400 Phinney Coconut Curry chocolate bar and there other chocolate bars which came with these gorgeous labels

I only bought one which I am now fully kicking myself for, because the chocolate bar was excellent and they had so many other unique flavors. And very much lower in price than Vosges Naga truffle or Bar (Still I can't help but want to compare the Naga Bar with 3400 Phinney Coconut Curry Bar)

Now on to why I don't think this is such a bizarre combination, the reason being the, the lovely Mexican dish known as Mole which quite often employs the use of chocolate to make the sauce. Also in my years of food history love it has been theorized that mole sauces originated from Spain which then originated with the Moors who then got the sauce from India who of course had the sauce in the form of a curry. So I think this chocolate combinations is the meeting of long lost cousins in a way.

And now for some useful links:
Vosges Chocolate
Theo Chocolate The makers of the 3400 Phinney Coconut Curry Chocolate Bar. Quick note on Theo chocolates they are the only organic and fair trade certified chocolate makers in the US.
Chocosphere The place you can actually get Theo Chocolates and the 3400 Phinney series at.
Kitten Chops providing the wonderful illustrations for the delicious Theo Chocolates.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

And now for a little style....

Alright so all the new fall collections are coming out and the Couture stuff is what I always love so here are a few favorites all supplied by
From Armani Prive (apparently the prive fragrances are excellent and I have to say the couture collection is gorgeous also):

I really want the use of fans to come back into style because of this:

I want to get married and live in this dress:

Now on to Christian Dior
I love this one because it reminds me of beautiful Byzantium Mosaics and a warrior queen all rolled into one:

Valkryie in Space:

And the Chanel Collection sucked and will not be seen here

And now on to Christian LaCroix

Jane Austen for the Modern Age

My Red Lentil Quest....

I am on a quest for a perfect red lentil far this quest has been interesting but none have lead me to going that must be apart of my recipe collection, and here is the rundown of what I have gone through:
-Red Lentil and Squash Soup recipe can be found here Recipe
I imagine this recipe would be richer with the adding of Vegetable or Chicken broth but I have a feeling this defeats the purpose. Over all not bad but it just doesn't wow, still the use of spices was excellent, but definately needs more lemon. I found myself having to add hot sauce and a runny fried egg was excellent on top (which once again defeats the purpose). Overall it reminds of the wonders a little fat can do to a recipe which this recipe didn't have and I ended up adding in the form of an egg fried in olive oil. Still this recipe seems ripe for playing with and making something amazing with it. This also needs lots of salt.
-Next up Curiousity Killed The Cooks Lebanese Mdardara I finally got this one to kind've work but I have come to a conclusion that elevation must play a huge role in the porpotioning of water to lentils and rice, also it began to burn on the way and I had to switch pans, luckly saved mixture, the fried onions were excellent on top, but the amount of times this comes to near burning rice hell makes it a definate not remake. Plus I added way more cumin. Plus a little hot sauce on top of this is excellent (I'm seeing a hot sauce trend here and I firmly blame my boyfriend).
-And lastly my Jubilance Soup sure it has red lentils but I do not feel this show cases red lentils so it really doesn't belong.
The quest continues...........

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Anne Pliska: A Scent For A Golden Eyed Woman

Well this will be my first perfume review in a long time, but it is a scent that I am finding very striking right now:
Anne Pliska
The Notes:
Top-Manderine, Bergamot
Middle-Geranium, Jasmine
Bottom-Amber, Vanilla, Patchouli, Musk
There is a constant descripton of Anne Pliska being hot/cold. I believe it has finally occurred to me why this scent has such a smooth intense introduction. The scent begins with the aroma of the rind of citrus fruit that has no tang of the flesh beneath the rind being included in the beginnig, but rather the intense bitter sweetness of the rind that has been further enhanced by the touch of aldehydes, this is not the sparkling diamond aldehydes of Chanel 5 or the citrus clean aldehydes of Dolce and Gabbana Sicily, but rather these are dark pungent aldehydes that creates a scent that glimmers between black and gold, bringing out the scent of the broken peel of an orange that is about to turn. This strange almost gothic effect is enhanced by the scent of intensely sweet almost animalic jasmine that almost hits the cusp of becoming indolic except that the great balancer of geranium has been added which gives the jasmine a strange coca-cola spice scent. This is all layered over a base of deeply smooth amber which has been enhanced with a vanilla that is seems very similar to my nose of Mexican Vanilla with its wonderful spicy quality, a bit of wood from the patchouli. Over all the scent of of Anne Pliska is that of contrasts, it takes the concept of citrus and instead of playing on the concept of something that is fresh and zesty it insteads brings out the the beautiful rind and makes it seem intense sweet and dark. Further enhancing this sweet darkness is the scent of night touched heady jasmine. And topping it all off is the very prominent and gorgeous amber that does not play on the concept of it being a warm bakery like note that it is so oftened used in perfume for, but rather it plays on the history of amber as something that would travel far from cold regions in the ancient world to the ancient opulent warmth of the Roman empire where it was a prized jewel. The image that comes to my mind of Anne Pliska is of a large polished piece of golden polished piece of amber on a the most dark and velvety of furs by firelight, a trade between a sophisticated and chic merchant of Rome and a wild Northerner. The ultimate irony that the wild Northerner has something of great luxury and finesse that could only come from a place far from the sophistication of the Roman Empire.

Monday, July 31, 2006

This really is not me

This quiz is so off
Your Perfume is Glow

Fresh, sexy, and clean.

You're real, intimate, and exciting.

Your lush sensuality appeals to men...

And you're as sexy as Jennifer Lopez.

Power scents: Orange flower, grapefruit, and citrus.

This is actually kinda true

Unique and extraordinary.
You like stand out!
You love attention and crave the spotlight.

Inner Eye Color Quiz
(by *Crazy Dannielle*)

Still not me

My Personal Fragrence is Chic
Chic opens with an aromatic blend of fresh cut florals
embrassed with sensual woody base notes.
Contains Madarin flower, orange flower, vanilla, white musk, red freesia and Bulgarian petals.
This perfume is for the fashion diva
who likes to flirt
and likes being a little girly.
Perfect for everyday wear,
or for a special occasion.

What is your personal fragrence?

I did not see being a grape

The Fruit of the Spirit is
love, joy, peace, patience, kindness,
goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

Take The Fruit of the Spirit Quiz!!!
(by *Crazy Dannielle*)
You Are Strawberry Kiss Lip Gloss

When it comes to life, you want the best of everything:
The best clothes, the best friends, the best guy - and you usually get all three.

You impress most people you meet with your genuine class and style
Strawberry is a classic, admired flavor that goes with many things. Sound familar?

The PJ's You Are Most Like: Comfortable PJ's

You're a bit conservative, traditional, and tend to follow conventions
You have an understated, easy sexyness that men love
People instantly find comfort in you, and you're a "best friend" to many.

You Are Aphrodite!

A total shining star with a ton of admirers
And no wonder: you live life to the fullest!
When things get bad, you can easily take off to a happier place
But occasionally, you need to deal with problems head on

Your Inner Muse is Thalia

You are most like this playful muse of comedy.
Life is all about laughter to you, and you're a natural comic.
You make people laugh until their sides split.
And you're always up for some play time!

You are Brigitte Bardot

Naurally sensual and beautiful
You're an exotic beauty who turns heads everywhere
You've got a look that's one of a kind

I like this one
You Are Trinity

"Touch me and that hand will never touch anything again."

Monday, July 24, 2006

Truly I am bored....

After a long day of work, I need something to relax, and I find online quizzes fun, and rather wonderfully mind clearing.
Had to edit this post because it was recking my blog

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The Great Experiment

This was inspired from Curiosity Killed The Cook's cooking a recipe from every country, instead though I am everyday going to try and celebrate the national food holiday (in finding these holidays out I believe every single month has a chocolate day). I began this experiment last Saturday with milk chocolate with almonds day, didn't get to do Sunday's Sugar Cookie celebration, very much felt the effects of Monday's Pina Colada day (by the way shout to Liz for providing the Pina Colada's and the many maraschino cherries that went into it), and yesterday cooked up a dozen Blueberry, Raspberry, and Blackberry muffins in honor of Blueberry Muffin day:

Berrific Muffins
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup fresh or frozen berries , rinsed and drained

Preheat oven to 4oo
Grease muffin pan (regular size, recipe makes a dozen)
1. Sift first four ingredients into a bowl and mix together
2. next in seperate bowl combine egg, milk, and vanilla
3. next combine wet and dry ingredients until just blended
4. add the oil and stir until just blended
5. fold berries in and spoon batter into muffin cups, Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Jubilence Soup

Jubilence Soup
aka Nigella Lawson's Happiness Soup's even brighter sister

18 ounces yellow squash (around two squash) diced
4 cloves of garlic sliced
1 boneless skinless chicken breast chopped
1 teaspoon tumeric
1 teaspoon Madras Tamarind Hot Curry powder
a dash of cayenne (optional)
zest and juice of one small lemon
1/2 cup basmati rice
1/4 cup red lentils
3 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper
4 cups chicken stock

1. dice squash and slice garlic
2. Sautee squash and garlic in olive oil for about 2 minutes, add chicken and lemon zest and sautee another 3 minutes, until squash is tender
3. Add stock, lemon juice, curry powder, tumeric, lentils, rice, and dash of cayenne.
4. Bring to boil and simmer for 20 minutes until rice and lentils are tender, make sure to stir so lentils do not burn on bottom.
5. serve.

And a nice creamy topping:

a quarter of a cucumber, finely diced
a dash of salt and pepper
1/4 a teaspoon toasted cumin seeds
3 tablespoons yogurt
2 teaspoons mint chopped (or go by your taste on mint)

1. mix all together and a dollop on soup
2. enjoy.

This was absolutely delicious and will be made again. so very yummy.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

A curse on my kitchen

Alright, so not necessarily a curse, but none this less feels slightly curse like. A few years ago I got an ice cream maker and sadly let it sit around for about without use, finally this year I got the gall to use it, I have made four things in it, and it just broke in the middle of making Minted Earl Grey sorbet, luckly the sorbet is done, but I am none the less in need now of a an ice-cream maker. So I'm on the prowl for one. As for things I have made the last few weeks
*Milk and Honey Lavender Sorbet which can be found here:
Milk and Honey Lavender sorbet
I brought this to a barbecue and served it with Lolliaberrys which had been macerating in framboise and sugar. Went over well.
*I made Zucchine and Chocolate's Strawberry Clafoutis, which can be found here:
Strawberry Clafoutis
Mine wasn't nearly as pretty because I used ground unblanched almond flour, but not the less this was delicious and incredibly comforting. A gentle dessert. Yum
*A disaster that happened:
Lebanese Mdardara
It sounded good, but somewhere along the line I didn't one of my worst burn disasters on the stove, this is second only to the time my popcorn caught on fire, or my disaster with over nachoes (these would have been fine if I hadn't forgotten about them). I think the measurements for this recipe may be wrong. I'm going to email Curiosity Killed The Cook and find out. Otherwise I love her blog.
*I'm trying my hand at Liquors with this:
sweet prserved lemons
I have the luck to have an extremely fecund lemond tree and have been wanting to try my hand at liquor making, this hopefully will be wonderful.
And that so far is what is going on.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Things I've Cooked and I like Brie

Well, no pictures in this post but quite a lot of info. So first up what I have cooked the last couple of days:

*Fava if you love split peas like I do then you must try this Greek dish. Cheap and delicious. Basically yellow split peas are added to a sautee of onions and olive oil and cooked to the point of a polenta like consistency. Delicious with capers and kalamata olives or spread on toast. And followed the following recipe: Fava Recipe with Eggplant Compote. I didn't have a red onion so used a golden onion and didn't bother with the Eggplant compote. None the less it was delicious.

*Once again I made Chocolate and Zucchine's Vanilla Pecan Bars for mother's day for Francisco's mom, Juana. I did an a little something different which was my dollope of homemade cajeta** and topped each dollop with a pecan.

*And yesterday I made my first recipe from The San Francisco Chronicle Cookbook Volume II, Arroz Caldo (Filipino Rice Porridge). Well I like the concept of it, but found that 3 tablespoons of fish sauce is too much for me and have decided I will go next time with the Chinese version congee which does not include fish sauce with keeps the wonderful biting quality of fresh ginger. Besides I suspect if ever made Arroz Caldo again I would be run out of the house by Dad because of the smell.

*And today I made Chocolate and Zucchine's Yogurt Cake. This is quite frankly delicious. I cannot wait for her to come out with her cookbook. One thing I did different with used dark rum instead because I don't have any light rum. Moist and fluffy. I definately want to experiment with it.

**Cajeta is "A thick, dark syrup or paste made from caramelized sugar and milk — traditionally goat's milk, although cow's milk is often used. Cajeta can be found in several flavors (primarily caramel and fruit) in Latin markets. It's used in Mexico and in some South American countries primarily as a dessert by itself or as a topping for ice cream or fruit." -Epicurious

And now on to the cheese:

Well, if you know me then you know of my bizarre relationship with cheese, I can eat a great deal of them melted, but if in raw form I become the pickiest creature ever, and this pickiness has made steer away from cheese. Yet, of late this steering away has slowly begun to veer towards cheese. So the other day I am Costco and see samples of Brie and I figure what the hey if I'm liking gorgonzola on my salad I might now be liking Brie. Well I was correct. I am now Brie fan; I even went so far this last Saturday while at Trader Joe's to buy a piece of triple creame Brie. It is gone now and I want some more. Yet, I have yet to get to point of liking to eat the rind.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

I admit this isn't very healthy...

I love a good cup of tea in the morning. My favorite type is something malty, darkly brewed, and with a splash of something creamy. I usually go with a chai, assam, or a hearty breakfast blend although of late I have tried to ease myself into the world of darjeeling. Yes caffeine isn't that good for you but there are worse things out there, yet you ask where is the unhealthy part coming in? Well my favorite creamer is whipping cream (no I don't do it everyday or week) yet about once month I have a small amount of whipping cream left usually left over from making some sort of dessert. So I would rather not waste it and I add it to my tea...I now regret doing so because it makes the tea wonderfully extravegantly rich and delicious. I really should get back to oolongs I wouldn't have this problem.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006


Well I was out with a friend today and I had suddenly a craving for the french provencal eggplant dip catoun (strangely enough I can find nothing on google for it). I had made it about five years ago based on recipe on the back of Vincent Van Gogh card that suggested provencal picnic foods ( I am now kicking myself for having used all the cards up). I served it at very fun tea party and I really liked it and in general had an agreement amongst guests that is was pretty good. Still I have made it since till today. Well I found the recipe card I had made for it and found in my usual over egotistical reliance on my memory/laziness that I had left out a lot of details still the recipe came out well so here it is:
small eggplant
fresh garlic
olive oil
italian parsley
salt and pepper
-Roast eggplant over fire or in oven until charred and wrinkled (I pierced mine a few times with a fork).
-Peel eggplant and place pulp in bowl (I placed mine in the food processor).
-Mix with garlic*, parsley**, and olive oil*** (I food processed mine to creamy smooth consistancy)
-Add salt and pepper to taste
Put it in serving bowl, drizzled it with more olive oil, another grind of pepper, and a sprinkle of salt. I then dunked in toasted Kalamata olive bread. I am right day dreaming of it slathered on a pita bread with hummus, roasted bell peppers, and cucumbers.
*I used two cloves roughly chopped; next time just one clove
**I used a handful of parsley which probabley equals 1/4 cup
***I drizzled in the olive oil to my desired consistancy.

Monday, May 08, 2006


After yesterday's visit to the Livermore Wine and Honey Festival I had a craving for watermelon and to be up front about it watermelon is my favorite melon*. Now plain watermelon is wonderful by its self, but I have a very simple way of making watermelon the epitome of hot summer eating.

Take slice of water melon
squeeze a lemon or lime over it
sprinkle a little salt on it (well how ever much you like
Next get some good chile powder and sprinkle over it ( I like to do mixes some time and add a little cayenne or chipotle powder) or if you want get some good hot sauce Valentina or Cholula are excellent for this. Now eat.

*There is nothing quite like the wonderful sweet crunch of a watermelon out of the fridge and the refreshing sweet taste.
*In Sicily it is common to sprinkle watermelon with fennel seeds and salt
*Yes this variation on watermelon is directly stolen from my Mexican boyfriend which is then stolen from the great street food snack of jicama, cucumber, and watermelon sliced put into cups then sprinkled with salt and chile powder and then a squeeze of lime.

So the question is how do you like your watermelon?

And for own psychadelic amusement watch the video watermelonlove
Watermelon Love
Incredibly bizarre and erotic.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

For the love of cardamom

Well sometimes it takes awhile to truly fall in love with a spice and then it knocks you out and suddenly you are a crazed lunatic that uses it everything until everyone else around you is saying "Why is there cardamom in my chicken tetrazinni?!" (alright I have never done this but it is the sort've thing people will do when they meet a spice that well ... "spices up their life.") So in my many adventures to Cost Plus World Market* I went their spice section and randomly chose some whole green cardamom pods because I felt adventuress well a month later I still have the pods in my cupbard.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Raspberry Yogurt Cake

Well this is the first time showing one of my creations here it is:
My Raspberry Yogurt Cake!
The up close and personel image
and now for the not so up close and personal image:

Well I was really rather proud of this last night considering it is the first cakes I have ever gone on a decoration spree with, I got the recipe over at Chocolate and Zucchini Gateau au yaourt a la framboise

And I made a few additions to it:

*Took her idea of slicing it in half, at which point I spread Trader Joe's Raspberry fruit spread mixed with about a table spoon of Trader Joe's Framboise heated it up a little, and then spread it on the inside. I then sprinkled slivered almonds on tip of the mixture.

*Re-assembled the cake, sifted powdered sugar on to the top, sprinkled toasted almonds on to it, and then put the rest of my left over raspberries on top.

Overall I am incredibly proud of how it came out.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Revolution Tea

Well, I'm a tea addict. Could be where I work or I finally found my true caffeine addiction (ironically I'm not a huge coffee drinker). So I decided to review some teas that I got at a local shop that just opened. The great thing about these teas was I did not have to buy a whole box but rather bought these ridiculously cute single serving tea bags that came in there own single serving boxes. The teas are from the brand Revolution Tea and the website is

1. Royal Plum Decaf Tea
Smelled like a luscious vanilla plum. Gorgeous fragrance. The flavor left a lot to be wanted indistinct black tea and no real flavor of the plum.

2. Bombay Chai Tea
Scent heavy on the cloves in fact reminds me of cloves cigarettes while dry, brewed scent dissipated. Flavor: No spiciness in the cup of chai and the assam was very light missing the malty goodness of assam

3. White Tangerine Tea
On box proudly displays the juicy tangerine quality of this tea. Scent when dry: I smell no tangerine. Scent when brewed: I still smell no tangerine. Flavor: No tangerine and this doesn't taste like a white tea but almost like a really really mild brew of Sleepy Time Tea.

Verdict: Revolution tea is not for me. A lot of talk but no deliverence of flavor. Proudly they talk of the fine mesh bag and loose leaf tea within bag but really there is not much to be proud of. I've had cheaper tea bags and cheaper teas produce more flavor than this. In fact I would take Celestial Seasoning's Bengal Spice over their chai .

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

It might be a bit rickety here for awhile

Well spring is finally here in the Livermore Valley and in reality it is quickly becoming summer, in fact I am going to go into rant right now and say mother nature screwed me over and I didn't actually get a spring but rather it jumped from winter to summer. I like that nice middle area in spring where it is the 70's and the change in the light of day that is gradual. Where as the change in light was stormy darkness at 4 in the afternoon to it's bright and sunny at 6 in the evening. But off the rant because I really am happy to see my old enemy/friend the sun (I'm rather on the pale side and skin cancer runs in the family so I have a love/hate relationship with sun).
So what is on the creative menu coming up:
Minted Earl Grey Sorbet
My attempt at Saffron Ice Cream
Reviews of Tea