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I had a most wonderful time away, from the blog and from home. I won’t talk more about it because it’s quite personal. But I assure you that I am back and ready to tackle it again. With fresh eyes, with a fresh perspective and a heart full of gratitude.

It’s been a week since I’ve been back and tonight will be the first time I’m cooking a full meal (breakfast does not count). I’m thinking Tom Yum Goong and Prawn Cakes. Spicy and warming, just perfect for the fall.

Mike was supportive of my staying out of the kitchen and took me to enjoy some delicious dinners – our favorite pho place, chicken kariage at The Cutting Board (thanks, K!) and of course, the fabulous Delancey (one word: burrata).

In garden news, my garden was overgrown while I was away but now it’s all cleaned up. I am hoping to plant some winter greens and maybe get a crop of Asian greens. We’ll see how cooperative the weather will be. This year, Seattlelites should haveĀ nothing to complain about our summer.

Oh, my current favorite drink is a Washington hard apple cider – the name slips my mind now but the taste has my attention now.

Kick Ass Coffee

kick ass coffee

We were in Vancouver last weekend and bought a bag of these Canadian Fair Trade coffee beans from Kicking Horse Coffee.

I have to admit that I wanted to try the coffee partially because of its name – Kick Ass but it is a really good dark roast.

It was a great way to start my Friday. I’m glad it’s going to be the weekend but amĀ a little stressed that I have not bought any oranges for Chinese New Year. That will change tonight!

Cha Dao

A lunch time walk took me to Whole Foods. I can never resist wandering through the aisles. My intention was to get away from the awful spreadsheet I’d been staring at all morning. Get away, I did.

Toting some curry chicken and rice in a box, I looked through the chilled beverage section for an interesting new libation. When my eyes found the words “Chrysanthemum” and “Lightly Sweetened” on one of the bottles, I did not hesitate to pick it up.

I haven’t heard about Cha Dao until today. I am a little embarassed because there was a time when I would have been one of the first to try a new tea product.

cha dao teas

After the curry rice lunch, I opened the bottle and took a taste. It was perfect and refreshing, just like home-brewed chrysanthemum tea that mum always made for us. I read more on the label and the word “Singapore” caught my eye. It turns out that the founder hails from Singapore and has a tea-brewing company right here in Seattle.

I thought, what serendipity!

Thank you, Ghim, for creating a line of teas that remind me of flavors so familiar to me! The next on my list is the Yin Yang (a unique blend of coffee and tea) and the Jasmine Green Tea with Lemon.

He also writes that the chrysanthemum is a perfect summer drink – I think it was perfect with my curry lunch and my tropical soul.

Chocolate

Chocolate without churros :(

One of my favorite food memories from our recent trip to Spain was the chocolate con churros. The churros were delicately sugared after being fried. They made the perfect dunking vehicle for the chocolate which was pudding-like but oh-so chocolate-y. It was a perfect post-dinner treat.

I recreated the chocolate at home on night last week but was too lazy to make some churros. Maybe next week.

Ginger Pom

Pama Liquer


Nigella Lawson has convinced me that my favorite drink is Ginger Pom. It is absolutely delicious.

1 part pomegranate liqueur (I use Pama)
2 parts pomegranate juice
2 parts ginger ale

Mix these ingredients together and chill.

Clear Creek Distillery

The only time I ever consume brandy is when it’s in a fruit cake or when mum uses it in her cooking. It has never crossed my mind to put it in a snifter and sip it. I think mostly, it’s because “it tastes like burning” (good ol’ Ralphie Wiggum)!

But when I read about the great reviews of Clear Creek’s Apple Brandy, I had to taste it. All I can say is that the burn is quite tasty, you can almost taste the many apples that went into the making of it.

clearcreekappleb.jpg

Perhaps a good excuse to pick up a pair of these?

Mixers

I woke up this morning to an email from mlle a. which led me to a post, that contained this picture of a delicious sounding ginger ale. The reviews convince me that I now must find and taste these naturally concocted mixers.

fever tree

Thanks for sharing, my friend.

Cof-fee

xmas blend 2007
I had quite a bit of Stef time this weekend so whenever I got to be around Mike, I would find myself developing logorrhea. I can hardly imagine living alone. Anyway, during those moments of trying to share my entire day, I mentioned the SB Christmas Blend several times. I guess the advertising/marketing folks at SB convinced me that I wanted to taste some of that Latin American beans, blended with aged (in Singapore, no less!) Indonesian beans.

Yesterday afternoon, Mike came home with a bag of beans and this morning, my craving was satisfied. What a sweet guy* I have!

*It is possible that he was hoping not to hear about the beans again.