Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Vivi's 2nd 21'st Birthday

So, my BFF Vivi just turned 21...for the 10th time and we had to go and celebrate. Our good friend Kristy decided to show us her side of town and she recommended Harmoni Market. I have never been, and I LOVED IT. Walking up to the building, I noticed that I had seen that name before. They just put a sign up for this place less than a mile from my house...which thrills me to no end...we need some culture and good food around these parts!

but I digress...back to the festivities! Here is Vivi's Birthday portrait, at Harmoni...

She is so fabulous wouldn't you say?

If you have never been Harmoni is this lovely little Mediterranean style bistro that serves amazing wines, coffee, salads, flatbreads, entrees, a great place all around.



It has a really great vibe...good music...and Gourmet Market all rolled into one.



If you have never been, you have to try it. I look forward to having on my side of town and getting to know it a bit more.

We had a lovely time. (Kristy, Marcie, Vivi & My mom, Carmen)

We then proceeded to the Winter park Art Festival. It was a gorgeous day for a walk thru the park...the crowded park, but we had a great time enjoying the sites:






(By the way, Louis, Mom wants you to paint this painting for her.)

My favorite part this trip was visiting The Wine Room on Park Avenue. I simply must go back and spend more time. It is a simple concept. Get a card, like a debit card, put some money on it, and go around and try some wines...SO FUN!


Here we are in action:






We had a great time!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Miso Yummy!

I just love Miso soup. Anytime we go for sushi, I have to have some. Little did I realize this would be so easy to make at home.

I also love my local Asian grocery. They have great ingredients, imported from all over Asia, at 1/2 of the cost that you find it at the market. I go there every few months to stock up on essentials like hoisin, mirin, sambal...I like to keep lots of these ingredients on hand.

This time, I picked up some white miso. Miso is basically fermented soy bean paste. It is very salty, and it is what gives miso soup that yummy flavor we all know and love. I also picked up some dashi (fish stock) soup base.

Last night, I made us some Miso Soup using a simplified version of this Tyler Florence recipe:

8 cups water
1 package Dashi Base
1/2 cup light miso
1 pound baby bok choy, cut in quarters
2 nests of frozen soba noodles
8 ounces firm tofu, cut into cubes
In a large soup pot over medium heat combine 8 cups water with one package of the dashi. Bring it to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes - do not let it boil. Add miso to the pot and let it simmer gently for 10 to 15 minutes, Add the bok choy and simmer until tender, about 10 minutes. Add the tofu and soba noodles and cook for another 5 minutes. Ladle into bowls and enjoy!.

Because this was all we had for dinner, I added the noodles, but normally, Miso doesn't have noodles. It was really good. I also dropped in some dehydrated kelp at the end.

After dinner, we watched the movie 'My Best Friend's Girl' with Dane Cook, cute movie. We drank some white burgandy wine with strawberries...so delicous. Was like champagne without the bubbles. My new fav for the summer!

Our little coz was snuggling on the couch with us. He is so cute!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Salted Caramel Cupcake

Now this cupcake just sounds like heaven. I am investigating lots of recipes because I wanna become one of those cupcake masters. This sounds like a sure winner to me. I am going to try it and if it works, I will share the recipe here.

Description: Chocolate cake filled with salted caramel topped with a caramel chocolate ganache and sprinkled with fleur de sel.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Ooh, Shiny!

I don't know why, but I am fascinated with clear glass, shiny objects, mirror, glitter. I love the way that light reflects and creates a beautiful shine! I love clear dishes, glass containers the list goes on and on.

Well, when I saw this Rain Installation created by artist Stacee Kalmanovsky....I was just like...WOW.

This is so beautiful:

This would be awesome set above my tabletop, done on a much smaller scale, of course, but how cool would it be to dine under these?

Check Stacee out: http://www.staceekalmanovsky.com.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Cute Easter Idea

Hey peeps, it has been way too long since my last post. Work has been a bit overwhelming to say the least which leaves me no time to party...but I intend to fix that very soon. Got Easter coming up, and a baby shower to plan for my friend Vanessa, so I will have lots to post soon.

Speaking of Easter, I saw this adorable idea in my latest Pottery Barn catalog.

I have a collection of cakeplates that will work for this display...let's just see if I get around to doing it...but wouldn't that look adorable?

I love the bell jars!