February 12, 2010
There’s nothing like a late night treat, especially when you feel like going out with friends and want something comforting, yet entertaining at the same time. For me, one of those place’s is Genji’s!
It is a Japanese dive bar that opens only for the evening, from about seven until two in the morning, and serves a healthy appetite of fun food, drinks, and enjoyable karaoke. It’s what you want in karaoke- truly! The outdated stock footage playing on screen and the mic being handed from one table to another; it’s fabulous. It is a place that just simply must be experienced, bringing people closer together and making an otherwise normal evening now an occasion.
From Kim chi egg rolls to yakiniku (grilled meat with a heavenly dose of garlic) and so on, it’s just a great place to enjoy life. The whole grilled squid is delicious, and takes bar food to a really comforting level. No, it isn’t fancy but it doesn’t need to be. Which is what makes this one of my late night treats of things that go nom int he night!
Cocktails and food are inexpensive and the hospitality is very welcoming. You might find yourself making new friends or singing a tune and enjoying it all.
What are some of your unexpected gem places? Perhaps even a guilty pleasure?
November 30, 2009
I don’t know if this excites you as much as it does me, but I was absolutely delighted last night when I opened up a carton of Graeter’s Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream and discovered… dun dun dun- it wasn’t green!
This put such a smile on my face. I have only recently discovered Graeter’s, and their ingredient list is very welcoming. Based out of Cincinnati, OH, Graeter’s ice cream uses a French Pot process in making their ice cream since 1870. The flavors I have seen and tasted so far are incredible, from texture and consistency to natural and “real” taste. It reminds me of the ice cream I had in Nice, France which I fell in love with.
Truly a treat!
Graeter’s has just recently arrived to my local grocery store. The first time I saw them it was the Pumpkin Pie flavor that caught my eye. I was weary at first, but I do love pumpkin. After one glance at the ingredient list I knew it would be delicious. And the moment I got home I confirmed it was indeed heavenly. Wow.
It doesn’t last too long in our house, but honestly a few bites are very satisfying. Something about the natural ingredients are so rich that only a few bites is really all you need. I do love to indulge however, and this is my new favorite without question. I’m anxious to try their other flavors!
If you come across Graeter’s in a shop near you, I would highly recommend giving one a taste at home for your next indulgence. I’m so happy to have it available here now. Nom! And let me know when you do- I’d love to hear about the other flavors and your experiences! Speak with you soon, loves
July 11, 2009
Izze is one of my favorite refreshing treats, and yet the first time I noticed the name and brightly colored box I had always avoided it thinking it to be one of the many energy drinks. After all, the can size matches them and even with its bright colors it blends in with the others.
But then one day the word “clementine” caught my eye and I decided to explore it further. Looking at the ingredients, I was pleasantly surprised and had to give it a try- I love it! It is so refreshing and absolutely delicious.
Simply fruit juices and sparkling water, no preservatives or other nonsense. Not to mention it is the perfect size- not too much, just a great taste. It is great for those cravings, too- I like the bubbles of a soda but not so much the syrup taste or texture, it bothers me after a while. But with this- no worries, it is just a crisp clean flavor. nom!
I’ve tried as many as I can get my hands on- when I find something I love I want to try them all. So far the clementine and grapefruit ones are my favorite, though the lime izze in the glass bottle is also very heavenly. I love that natural tartness.
I’m starting to see IZZE show up in more places now which is great, I’ve been having to hunt for them on my own for a while now. I am always determined to have some in the house.
On another note- I bet it would taste GREAT mixed for a cocktail, especially the sparkling grapefruit. Will be trying that sometime soon, too! This could definitely lead to some refreshing cocktails. Yummy.
June 14, 2009
Ah, “where every hour is happy hour” as they say at the local Chocolate Bar here. There is nothing like walking in and being surrounded by the smell of chocolate- so decadent and yummy!
We were making a quick stop at a book shop when we found that they recently opened another “The Chocolate Bar” right next door. Of course, I would have to make a quick visit inside- it just wouldn’t be right to ignore such a chance. I sometimes forget this place exists, especially since their original location is not on a street I frequently pass. But whenever I see the sign, I must make a point to stop for a moment and indulge.
Beyond the smell, just looking at all the lovely selection they offer is a treat. The hard part is deciding which chocolate gems will be the one for the moment. From my experience here so far, they are all very delicious and it is difficult to go wrong. I tend to prefer the dark chocolate selections best as it is my favorite. Dark chocolate and blackberries = nom!
This is a fun spot and definitely worth a visit or two if you haven’t been to one already. They have more chocolate options such as ice cream and cookies- but for me it’s the small bite size options that appeal to me the most.
May 18, 2009
Because you so know you want to! The other day Timothy and I were running errands and came across a stand selling coconuts- they would cut them for you, put a straw in, and hand them to you. Lovely, makes me feel at home.
So we ended up driving around for the rest of the day with a coconut in hand. (Don’t worry, I was the passenger… no drinking coconuts while driving!)
There is nothing like a freshly cut coconut that has been chilled and ready to drink- I love coconut water, it is so refreshing. And what a fun way to spend running around doing errands. We certainly got some looks everywhere we went- mostly people wanting to know where they, too, could get one!
When was the last time you drank out of a coconut?
May 15, 2009
I ♥ cheese. I truly do- and during my last shopping adventure I was fortunate enough to taste some lovely cheeses to take home and indulge in. Wow, these are exceptional… two of which make a magnificent dessert!
From rich and creamy to crumbly and potent, these are some wonderful cheeses to love.
First up on our plate is the Bucherondin, a cheese made from Goat’s milk that is truly exceptional. The gentleman working in the cheese section stated that he would have this cheese as a dessert- simply put on a plate and drizzled with some orange honey.
Wow, I can only imagine how it would be with the honey- but honesty it is magnificent on its own! Don’t let the brie like appearance fool you- though it has a creamy coating (that can be eaten by the way) the cheese itself is quite chalky in texture, much like feta.
But it is rich enough to where it dances between chalky and creamy in the mouth- it is heavenly and a delicious treat. This is a mild flavored cheese, nothing too intense to frighten away or alarm you, I think the balance is just perfect here.
This gorgeous, creamy, delicious cheese is a cow’s milk cheese from France called Delice De Bourgogne from Licet. It is a Triple Cream Soft Ripened Cheese (oh, I do love the tripple creams… they can be very potent though mind you). Let’s look at it again, shall we?
I know, I know- it looks like butter:
And the consistency is rich and satisfying like butter- wow this cheese, along with the bucherondin, are new favorites of mine that I cannot get out of my mind. They are lovely.
This one in particular has a lovely character of sweetness and just the slightest tang or sourness to keep things interesting. It is a subtle bite- so subtle you might even miss it, nothing overpowering just a beautiful melting of flavors.
The flavor is more distinct than the Bucherondin, as is common with triple creams. If you ever run across this little gem, you surely will not be dissapointed.
Up next is the Campo De Montalban, a Spanish cheese with a very distinct taste and surprising texture. What distinguishes this cheese most from the others is the tripple blend- a marvelous blending of cow’s milk, sheep’s milk, and goat’s milk. On appearance, it resembles a Manchego and slices with a similar consistency and texture. But once you place it in your mouth, it becomes creamy with a distinct but wonderful flavor.
Something about cheeses from sheep and goats have this distinct taste- some call it gamey, and it can vary in potency. This one here was perfect- just subtle enough to give intrigue and satisfy and not overpower at all. The blend works perfectly to create an amazing balance and texture.
I highly recommend this cheese as much as I do the two above, if you are new to being adventerous with cheese this one may be a good cheese to start with. Truly a treat- indulge when you are able to.
I saved the potent cheese for last- the Roth Kase Gruyere Surchoix. This is unlike most gruyeres which are mild in taste and texture- this one is *extremely* sharp!
It is called “Surchoix” meaning top choice because after nine months of aging, the celler master hand selects the finest ones.
This hard cheese is very robust and highly concentrated with flavor- it is nutty, earthy, and just the right hints of sweetness to bring it all together. This one is strong- and for the stinky cheese lover.
Wow, what wonderful cheeses, I cannot get them out of my mind they are all so lovely. Any of these would make a fine choice and I highly recommend tasting them for yourself.
Much love and a great love of cheese- xx
May 4, 2009
We are having a lovely day in Sarasota before heading back home tomorrow afternoon- and when in Sarasota, one of our favorite treats is Saijo restaurant in the Lakewood ranch area. If you find yourself nearby one day, you absolutely must indulge in this fabulous place- everything from the food to the people who run this fine establishment are absolutely marvelous!
So each time we are here we like to try something different, whether it be something that catches our eye on the menu or simply by recommendation from the owners. This time it was the menu. Now, I *love* uni, sea urchin makes for a perfect “dessert” after a lovely Japanese meal. It is so lovely, the texture just melts in your mouth and is a distinguished taste. I’ve always thought of uni like the (warm & fresh) fois gras taste of the sea.
But we saw uni offered within a shot of sake. Hmm, this sounds yummy!
Without any hesitation we ordered and anxiously awaited the arrival. We weren’t sure what to expect- would the sake overpower the uni, would it be harsh or would it be smooth? We would soon find out (and find a new delightful treat)!
Presentation is clean, simple, and lovely- and for us does not last too long. We admire it quickly and indulge in our shot-
The sake is cool and very refreshing after our meal. It is very smooth with just the slightest sweet finish, and as the sake’s presence vanishes off the tongue the uni’s delicate flavor becomes more pronounced. The balance and play of tastes on the tongue is magnificent and what you would look for.
Just wanted to share this quick and beautiful little gem with you before I return home with new and fabulous posts. I have some very exciting ones coming up, including revealing my 1920′s vintage wedding dress find and some new chic and luxurious styles. Speak with you soon, loves!
April 25, 2009
Alright, I am traveling at the moment- but right before leaving we had some food in the refrigerator that we wanted to finish first. There wasn’t much left, but enough random items to wonder what to do with. Very quickly, I took what we had left and curiously mixed it all together to see what would become of it- wow, I am making this one again!
All we had left in the fridge was some Napa Cabbage, and goat cheese. We also had some red pears sitting on the counter that needed to be eaten. I love pears, and I love them on salads so I mixed them together and crumbled the goat cheese all over the salad. For dressing, I just drizzled on some aged balsamic vinegar and I was done.
Fantastic- the goat cheese with the red pears alone taste marvelous… so dreamy, a perfect snack. And the balsamic vinegar with the cabbage make the whole thing work, too.
If you are making this at home, you an use any ‘green’ you chose- maybe even some arugla, mixed greens, or spinach leaves. Make it your own, and if you don’t feel like having a salad, the red pears sliced and covered in goat cheese crumbles is a wonderful treat! Drizzle a little balsamic vinegar for some extra taste- I love this combination!
So there you have it, a last minute uncertainty turned into a delicious surprise!
April 10, 2009
Yesterday we went to the grocery to pick up a few items, and these straweberries were looking irresistable to me. I haven’t had any in the house for a while, and thought they would make the perfect snack.
I also had my usual delicious breads and goat cheese on hand, so once I got home I thought I’d make a quick yummy bite.
I originally purchased the strawberries for having them in salads or on their own, but then I wanted something different! So I toasted up a few pieces of bread (tearing them to make them bite size friendly), and added some goat cheese.
Sure, it looks kind of messy at first but that’s the beauty of it- it doesn’t have to be perfect. I used some wheat dinner rolls for this one- I like how the edges crisp up but the middle stays very fluffy and warm. It is a lovely combination with the goat cheese. Cream cheese or other styles would also taste delicious for this quick and pretty snack.
Next, I sliced some strawberries and placed two slices on each piece. The look comes together very nicely (and you can see how the previous mess doesnt’ matter). They are rich small bites and perfect for those little cravings between meals. I was enjoying a glass of my Grand Cru Cuvee Rene and thought strawberries and cheese would be a perfect mix. And it absolutely was!
Who ever said a pretty and fabulous gourmet snack had to be a complicated one? This one is quick, easy, and delicious! Make it even more delicious with a light vanilla sause or even a red wine vinager drizzled on top- savory and sweet and very rich!