30 December 2005

An ode to the yuzu

I have long admired J.'s blog, she of the gastroporn site, Kuidaore. One of her recent posts particularly stuck out, the cookie swap one. I am convinced this woman should produce food this beautiful (and surely as delicious as it looks) for a living, but in the meantime, I will try to learn, humbly, from her site.

I was in Lafayette Gourmet in Paris ten days ago and happened across some fresh yuzu. An ingredient I was vaguely familiar with in Japanese cuisine, I had never handled it myself. So I bought a few and brought them home. There they sat, knobbly and green in my fridge.

I tried to decide what to do with them until I remembered J.'s post. Et voilà! My slightly more rustic version of the beautiful sablés seen on Kuidaore. Still taste good though. Now I have to experiment further with this intriguing citrus fruit, any ideas anyone?...

29 December 2005

Hooray for BBM3!

Better late than never is a motto that I apply to my life, daily I might add. so When my BBM3 package arrived from Gabs, I was thrilled as I thought it had gone missing. The lovely goodies I received were:
A yummy jar of Fig & Ginger Jam
A funky box of Green Tea Mints
A box of the classic See's Candies (a California institution it seems)
A Williams-Sonoma catalog
A Sur la Table catalog
Food sections from the NYT and the SF Chronicle
Flyers from Mollie's
2 of her family recipes handwritten on festive cards
And a really nice note!

So thank you thank you, Gabs. Plus, another bonus is that my BBM3 recipient so very kindly sent me a thank you package, how about that? (okay I did go a bit overboard with the goodies, but I was having fun). Carol from Celadon Cupcake included a bag of Mint M&Ms which only appear at Christmas, a lovely handmade card and note, a recipe for Peppermint Bark (which I've been looking for!) and a pompom to wrap it all up.

It's true what they say, give and ye shall receive (gosh I'm full of clichés today). Anyway, let's hear it for BBM and Cathy for organizing. It's been great fun.

26 December 2005

Once upon a Yule log...

Check it out, my first ever Bûche de Noël! This all came about because I am spending Christmas with my in-laws this year. This means foregoing a huge 36-hour feast with my gluttonous family to hang out with much more reasonable and quieter folk. Don't get me wrong, I love my in-laws and I don't think a girl could have gotten much luckier in that department. I am just used to a much more Asian-tinged affair for the day that Jesus was born.

Anyhoo, wanting to help and be a part of the festivities, I asked if I could contribute to the Christmas meal. A Yule log was asked for, a log they got. I adapted a recipe from Rose Levy Beranbaum's Cake Bible, topped with my own cream cheese frosting. To my surprise it turned out really quite well and the tasters' verdicts were, "Seconds please!" Can't knock that...

22 December 2005

Going, going gone!

Hi peeps,

'Tis the season of goodwill (and giving). Just a quick reminder that there is just ONE DAY left of the Menu for Hope campaign (organized by the ever fabulous Pim) where food bloggers have come together to raise money for earthquake relief in Kashmir. Every cent you donate goes straight to UNICEF to help affected children.

Don't miss out on your chance to buy a raffle ticket for a most fantastic selection of foodie treats! Each 5$ you donate gets you one chance at your choice of these treats. The campaign runs until 12am PST on December 24th, after which the prizes will be drawn and announced January 1st 2006; so don't lose your chance...

Thanks in advance!

15 December 2005

A Menu for Hope II

Being the slacker blogger that I am, I only happened across this worthy cause late tonight. And though the eyelids are drooping, I decided I just had to try and do something. It is Pim who has bravely organized this charitable event. This raffle is to help raise funds to support the victims of the devastating earthquake in the Kashmir region of India and Pakistan. What better reason to update my blog, right?

I will personally be chipping in money towards the cause. But I wanted to contribute more than just a few bucks, so here is what I am offering:

- The chance to shadow Michelin-star chef Stéphane Molé of Les Ormes for the day if you happen to be anywhere near Paris
- A Salter electronic scale. This is a great little gadget and as it's square, can be easily stored on its side. I love mine and use it loads.

Hope these items tickle someone's fancy and keeps the donations coming!


(Photo credit for Menu for Hope logo: Heidi Swanson)