Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Mini world food tour: Doughnuts

I had no idea when I posted on Hawaii's malasadas that similar doughnuts were so universal! Thanks to your sweet comments, I got a delish education on sugary dough treats around the world...
 Dutch oliebollen (thanks Signe and Inez!)

Jewish sufganiyot (thanks Ren and Topcoat!)

Polish pączki (thanks Just!)

Croatian krafne (thanks Elisa!)

I knew about this one, but I'll post it anyway!
New Orleans-via-France beignets (thanks Runaway Romantique!)

Another peek at Hawaii-via-Portugal malasadas :)

And much more fried dough around the world!
Is there a similar treat that you know and love?

(Images via Tippin' The Scales, This and That, No Sleep Til Mysore, Croatia Travel Information, Chuck PalahniukTeam Vision Virtual, and final collage images via Fried Dough Around the World.)

Monday, November 29, 2010

In the holiday mood: Etsy lovelies

Hope you had a fantastic weekend! I had a delicious Friendsgiving (btw, using Kahlua instead of marsala wine makes tiramisu extra-yum!) and browsed Etsy lovelies to welcome the giving season -- here's just a few lovelies to get you in the holiday mood! :)
~ Have a lovely Monday and week ahead! ~

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Don't we have so much to be thankful for? In the spirit of the (US) Thanksgiving holiday, amazing Marilou at Twenty York Street has tagged me to share a gratitude list. Thank you Marilou! I couldn't be happier to oblige. :)
  • I am thankful to be alive - a privilege denied many
  • For having a roof over my head & place to sleep each night
  • For not having to worry where my next meal will come from
  • For my safety - I can walk down my street without fear of bombs, war, torture
  • And for what I have - more health than sickness, loved ones, priceless immaterial experiences, passions to pursue
~ I'm signing off early this week, but wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving full of laughter, peace, thankful thoughts, and nourishment in body and soul! ~

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Midnight Turkey {+quiz}

I once co-hosted a Friendsgiving, to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday, with my urban NYC tribe.

To paraphrase a friend, we drew on one another's cooking skills to round out (and heck, overstuff) the meal. The turkey was served at midnight, but it didn't matter - the city never sleeps!

To see our Midnight Turkey recipe, just head on over here. :)

Meantime, I've been tagged by Ginta at Hunting and Gathering and Hitomi Neko to answer the I Love Your Blog quiz! Thank you! Ginta has a lovely way of mixing terrific 2nd-hand finds with current pieces to create something utterly new. Hitomi says she's a blogging newbie, but I've already enjoyed her film reviews. :) Here goes...

1. Why did you create the blog? I may have mentioned this before, but because of my nomadic life, it was a way to feel more connected to faraway family & friends.

2. What kind of blogs do you follow? I love blogs by people who have a passion or just good fun writing about their joys!

3. Favorite makeup brand? I'm not terribly loyal, I'll try anything that sounds promising. :)

Jason Wu's Spring 2011 collection
4. Favorite clothing brand? My latest kick is Jason Wu. So classic and feminine.

5. Your indispensable makeup product? Burt's Bees lip balm.

6. Your favorite color? For clothes, lilacs, dusky roses and rich browns. For interiors, bright colours (one of my last apartments was completely in primary colours!) or soothing neutrals.

7. Your perfume? These days, very occasionally, Kiehl's musk. Before that, girly Flor (and I'm not that girly, even!).

8. Your favorite film? Most recently, the French film Lady Chatterley - not at all rubbishy, more like a sensitive love story with the exquisite Marina Hands as leading lady.

Verona, Italia
9. What country would you like to visit and why? I'm dying to return to Italy, and always wanted to visit an old friend in Norway (I owe her several trips!)

10. Make the last question and answer to yourself: What invention would help your life? Something that instantly transports me to any part of the world! And anything that makes me look like I get 8 hours of sleep & workout 2 hours everyday!;) XO

(Images via Channel4, newbatteri, Travel Holiday, Fragrantica, and Destination360.)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Stuff that made my weekend

Finding this fuzzy photograph I took with a disposable camera, the view from my second-to-last apartment in New York City

Incredibly dense, moist chocolate babka

{Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows}
Hearing just British accents (and glimpsing London) again :)

More lovely photographs from Wai Lin Tse

Unpacking the last box from our latest move, yippee!
~ Wishing you an incredible week ahead! ~

(Top photograph was taken in Manhattan, of George Washington Bridge in the mist. Remaining images via Good Bread This, NY Daily News, Wai Lin Tse and GigPark.)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Broccoli Rabe with Sausage and Grapes

I fell a little in love with this comforting dish after a friend made it one autumn. The sharp broccoli rabe is a great contrast with sweet grapes & people always ask for the recipe - a creation of the NY Times's Mark Bittman, a fave (see gossipy notes below :)).

Before I sign off, a big thank you to Tanya at A Taste of T and A Whole Lotta Love for passing on a blog award! More soon!
~ Have a sweet and lovely weekend! ~
(4 servings, ~30 min)
From Mark Bittman's "How To Cook Everything," I've included some broccoli rabe prep instructions (it's a separate section in Bittman's book) here.
  • About 1-1/2 pounds (24 ounces) broccoli rabe (rapini), trimmed and cut-up [Do this by stripping stalk of leaves - you can cook these leaves if you like. Remove bottom inch of stalks, or wherever it's dried out. Peel tough outer skin of stalk as best as you can without going crazy. Cut stalk into equal size pieces and break head into florets.]
  • About 1 pound (16 ounces) sweet, garlicky sausage
  • 2 cloves garlic, slivered
  • About 1/2 pound (8 ounces) seedless grapes
  • Salt and fresh-ground black pepper to taste
Bring salted water to boil in medium saucepan. Boil broccoli rabe stalk sections ~2 minutes, add florets and cook ~2-6 more minutes until bright green or tender. Drain and plunge into cold water for a few moments, or run under cold water.

Cook the sausage over medium heat in a large, deep pan (note from me: I like to use a bit of olive oil in the pan), pricking it with a fork or knife a few times, and turning occasionally until nicely browned.

Remove sausage from pan (don't worry about it being done) and cut into bite size pieces. Return it to pan, over medium heat; cook, turning occasionally, until all sides of the cut sausage are nicely browned, about 5 more minutes.

Squeeze excess liquid from broccoli rabe and chop it coarsely. Add it to the pan along with the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 minutes. Add the grapes and heat through. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

Gossipy notes:
OK, there was just one time a bunch of us lost our appetites for Bittman's recipes - it was after he broke up with a woman he was dating on our street in the most ungentlemanly manner. Needless to say, I've come round to using his recipes again!

(Image via Serious Eats. Thanks Eugenia!)

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Addictive malasadas
Thanks to this delish post by Kat (and a comment by Rowena:)), I've been crazily craving malasadas - that addictive, hole-less sugary donut brought to Hawaii by the Portuguese in the 1800s.

Malasadas are crispy outside, gooey inside - so lovely when fresh.

In Hawaii, they're synonomous with old-school Leonard's Bakery.
Hawaii's malasadas - the Portuguese treat I couldn't find in Portugal
Embarrassingly, I visited Portugal so excited to eat malasadas (like going to Japan for sushi!) - but no one knew about it! A Lisbon resident explained maybe it was unique to Madeira Island. (He also said 'malasadas' meant 'badly-cooked' - so I went around Portugal asking for a badly-cooked thing to eat!)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Midweek music energy: Una Notte a Napoli

{Original YouTube clip here}
A romantic, fun love song - of angels, Naples and amore - by Pink Martini (saw them last week). The song seems so glam 70s Italian.
Probably because Pink Martini wrote it with Alba Clemente (above), a totally glamorous 70s Italian actress!

Fun fact: Pink Martini has played a multi-lingual repertoire from Carnegie Hall to Cannes - they sang in English, French, Italian, Mandarin, Portuguese, Spanish & Turkish just in the concert I saw!
{We should all sashay down city streets dressed like this.}

(Images via Max Mara and anewscafe.)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tea for two

I'm not usually into too-cutesy kitchen stuff, but I might have to make an exception for these Tea for Two sets, from Japan-based Shinzi Katoh Design.

I love the cheery feel and how little cupboard space they take up - perfect for city apartments! (Like the tiiiiny one we had in Central London:)).

(All images and products via Shinzi Katoh Design.)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Some local island flavor

 {Honolulu photographed from Diamond Head volcano summit}
The blue, blue sea and skies around you

Tropical lei (men traditionally wear leafier leis)

Sharka the cuddly toy shark (very popular!) won't bite

Friendly monster at Kailua Beach :)
~ Wishing you a week filled with blue, blue skies (at least in spirit)! ~

{All photographs taken in Hawaii, of course. :) Friendly monster made by my brother.}

Friday, November 12, 2010


Popovers are so easy to make, you could engage a child in the activity (and he or she would probably love it!). For a time, I made these from scratch in the mornings, before work.

Popovers are best piping hot from the oven. They've a light, airy feel - and make a nice alternative to 'heavier' breakfast breads.
~ Have an easy, relaxing weekend! ~
POPOVERS (Yields 12 popovers)
Time: 35-40 minutes of mostly baking time
Adapted from "Pretend Soup and Other Real Recipes" by Mollie Katzen and Ann Henderson; this child-friendly version appeared in NY Times Magazine (as usual, I never wrote down the issue)

About 2 tablespoons (~30g) butter
2 eggs
1 cup (~240ml) milk
1 cup (~130g) all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon (~1g) salt
Extra butter, jam, honey or maple syrup for popovers

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (~190 degrees Celsius or moderate/medium-hot oven). Melt the butter. Brush insides of 12 popover or muffin cups with melted butter. Break eggs into a mixing bowl, add milk & beat well. Add flour & salt and whisk until reasonably well blended - it doesn't have to be perfect.

Use a 1/4 cup (~60ml) measure with a handle to pour batter into each popover/muffin cup. They should be a half to two-thirds full. Bake 30 minutes without opening the oven. Remove popovers and prick with a fork to let steam escape. Serve immediately with butter or jam. (They also taste great dipped in honey or maple syrup).

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Complete food randomness

Since it's almost-Friday, something more kooky & random :)....
Random chocolate bar ingredients

Random food ad (desperately wish I could read this!)

Random imbibe-and-pedal mobile pub

Random cake show entry: Great Expectations Miss Havisham cake, complete with "vermin" (Would Charles Dickens approve?)

Random restaurant: Finland's Snow Village IceBar is made entirely of ice, even the tables and chairs! (And you can reserve it for igloo disco)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Photo du jour: Pale light

To celebrate the colder season, I challenged myself to find the most "wintery" looking photo of Hawaii I had. If you pretend that water is freezing, not tropical, couldn't it be an arctic seascape?:)

{Photographed in Honolulu, but let's say it's Helsinki. :)}

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

When in Rome

Do as the Romans do!...Relish the eternal sites...
{Where Marc Antony cried: Friends, Romans...lend me your ears}

Savor modern wonders...
Vatican City
Spanish Steps
Remember Audrey Hepburn on the Spanish Steps in Roman Holiday?

Enjoy Rome's many fountains...
Trevi Fountain
 Charming Turtle Fountain (a fave :))

Soak in the peace of the Aventine Hill...
St. Peter's through the Knights of Malta keyhole, Aventine Hill

And if Romantic poets are your thing...
Cemetery where Keats and Shelley are buried
Keats gravestone

Last but not least...
Do marvel at the ancient Roman table - could you also eat mice (a delicacy) or a prized seasoning called garum? Recipe for garum:
"Place in a vessel all the insides of fish, both large fish and small. Salt them well. Expose them to the air until they are completely putrid. In a short time a liquid is produced. Drain this off."
"This" is precious garum! Haha, do not try this at home!

P.S. A friend (who studies the ancient world) was not even fazed by garum, saying "it sounds like anchovy paste, actually."

(Recipe for garum is from MFK Fisher's Serve it Forth. Images via Wired Destinations, Europe Travel, VonEurope, Travel in Rome Italy, Finding My People, Top Things Europe, Vraatja at Waymarking, ElectricBaby81 at TripAdvisor, Feel Home in Rome, eternallycool, Tom Clark and Rodriguez PBWorks.)
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