Maui, Maui

We were in Maui the other week. Just two quick nights, enough to satisfy my cravings.

I didn’t experience much of the neighbor islands growing up, so it’s fun to spend more time on other islands as an adult. We landed in time for lunch (I like to time Maui arrivals for lunch) because…

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Argentine Yerba Mate, Part V

[I’m collaborating on a post series with the National Institute for Argentine Yerba Mate. In Part 1, we explored how to make yerba mate and Part II showcased origins of the brew. We drank many versions of yerba mate in Part III  and had cocktails in Part IV. Today…we are brewing up a concentrate! Hope you enjoy.]

As someone who works primarily from home, I drink and snack all day long. Part of that is habit and curiosity. I love cooking and eating above all else. And the other part is because working with food/drink is the core of my job. Sometimes I get so preoccupied with the work itself that I forget how neat, how lucky I am to scout drink trends and products as my work. On any given afternoon I’ll have several products on the table – some bottled, others just brewed, and yet other non-liquid samples that are a work in progress. A few things I’ve been loving: delicate, cold brewed teas, shrubs, and concentrates.

Concentrates are something you usually see only in cafes, hotels, or restaurants. Next time you order chai at the local cafe, watch how they make it. Odds are they’ll pour the chai from a concentrate (usually a 32oz or larger carton), add milk and steam. We’d all love to have spices ground and simmered for every order, but a concentrate makes sense in a cafe setting…

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Pleats Please Sushi Box

How very cute is this sushi box? One of my go-to dresses (that I wear almost daily) is also from Pleats Please so you can imagine how easily I fell in love with this. The sushi box was made for the 20th anniversary of their NYC shop, but was also sold in Singapore as a special edition item a while back.

Six pieces of “sushi” inside every set. Every pieces unfolds/opens up into an accessory. Let’s look at them all…

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Snow Skin Mooncakes

I love mooncakes. Especially the ones with double yolks. We ate mooncakes every holiday season (we still do). What we get in the US is standard, Cantonese-style. Golden pastry, lotus seed filling, and yolk or two. It’s dense. We cut it into quarters and share.

With Chinese food being so trendy, it was only a matter of time before everyone got into the mooncake game. That’s a good thing. The more mooncakes, the merrier. I worked on a mooncake project for a client this year, which resulted in months of research and tasting. No one does it like they do in Asia. Did you know the packaging/delivery vessel in which mooncakes are gifted are just as important as the mooncakes themselves? My next career, mooncake packaging…

I found these mooncakes from Melissa, the pastry chef at Mister Jiu’s. Her snow skin mooncakes are very beautiful. FYI these mooncakes also go by the name Crystal Mooncakes and Ice Skin Mooncakes.

This mooncake was filled with a bay leaf ganache and lilikoi gelée (tucked in the center)…

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Argentine Yerba Mate, Part IV

[I’m collaborating on a post series with the team at Argentine Yerba Mate. In Part 1, we explored how to make yerba mate, Part II showcased origins of the brew, in Part III we drank yerba mate in different forms. Today…we are making drinks! Hope you enjoy.]

Noelle hosted dinner on Saturday. There was a big, warm loaf of country bread and lots of salted butter. A simple salad with shallot vinaigrette. Cherry tomatoes cooked down with fennel and sausages and tossed with orecchiette. Warming, cozy food. We drank lots of cider and had cookies and ice cream for dessert. But before all that…I showed up to her place early, multiple varieties of Argentine Yerba Mate in hand. Time for a cocktail? Noelle is great at brainstorming on the spot and in a matter of minutes we came up with two simple pre-dinner drinks for the night…

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