Saturday, May 31, 2008

Sex And The City - The Movie

On Friday evening our little troop of nine came armed with sandwiches, snacks and pop corn. Oh we are so well prepared! No spoilers here, but we're all in sync that Carrie, Miranda, Sam and Charlotte deliverd 200% and didn't let us down. We all got "Carried-away" (this is a line in the movie) and toasted to Carrie & Co. with Cosmopolitan cocktails after the movie, such a fitting and wonderful evening that we've decided to create a movie group for periodical screenings together!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Chips Ahoy!

Ever realize that the bag of chips you intended to buy had never made it to your shopping cart but the guacamole and salsa did? Have no fear, here's a yummy emergency remedy that's sure to please your taste buds: home made pita chips! I always freeze real pita bread and whip out a few in situations like this, it's soooo simple. Here's the "how-to" courtesy of my gourmet friend who let me help her party prep.

1. Take the pita bread, cut along rim and separate the top and bottom surface as if you were making a burger bun.

2. Lightly brush both the smooth side of the bread with olive oil.

3. Sprinkle lightly with salt.

4. Cut the bread into tenths (so you end up with 10 little triangles that really look like pita chips) and lay on baking sheet.

5. Bake in oven lightly (about 300F) for a few min. till they lightly toast. Turn chips over and bake the other side (total bake time is less than 4-5 min, so don't take your eyes off!)


Black Orchid

I rarely buy new fragrances and tend to stick to my Bvlgari collection. But one day I was introduced to this new, rich and potent Black Orchid perfume by Tom Ford at Neiman's. On first whiff, I almost fainted. It was the most elegant, modern and sexy scent I've ever been exposed to! As if the naming and packaging wasn't sexy enough, I was sooooooo sold on the spot and have been sporting this on special evening outings. A real orchid flower needs only to be watered once a week. This is so hypnotizing, you'd better make sure you wear it when you really want to sprinkle the magic, say.... once a week. But for those like me who have been waiting for Mr. Ford to produce a "day" scent, I am happy to announce he's gifted us with his lighter new Black Orchid Voile De Fleur (veil of flowers) eau de toilette. It's much lighter and perfect for everyday wear. Go hypnotize!


Oak, berry, pineapple... these are words for wine tasting. But have you ever heard anyone commenting how flowery, buttery and bright their coffee was? I recently learned that the three fundamental tasting terms for coffee are flavor, body and acidity. Now what, a coffee sommelier certification test??? I'm a tea aficionado and not much of a coffee connoisseur, but I love to entertain at home. While I'm still figuring out how to work my old espresso machine, I at least have a stash of decent coffee beans to finish off my dinners when the coffee connoisseurs are over. In Napa I came across a Bouchon blend at their bakery. It's a med.-dark roast and while I didn't taste it, I knew if this had the stamp of Thomas Keller so I couldn't go wrong (owner chef of the French Laundry and Bouchon, among many others.) I'm also fond of their decadent French Laundry blend too. Conveniently you can order online at Equator Estate Coffee too so you don't have to hike to Napa: To my delight, they now have a good selection of the "Chef Blends" category that this blend rightfully belongs to. Did you get your caffeine boost today?


I can never sleep in the plane but my long hauls to Asia and Europe these days are killin' me. Downing glasses of champagne and wine still doesn't help. Recently, I was saved by an item I found at an airport shop; the Silicon Ear Plug! This isn't the same exact one I now own, but looks similar enough and I highly recommend this if you're a jet setter. I still couldn't fall asleep completely, but I sure did doze off a bit this time and it made a huge difference (they're less than 10 bucks.) Bon voyage!

Pass the butter plz

On my biz trip in London I was sharing rooms with my colleague from Japan. You'd think it's stressful to have to reveal yourself 24/7, but she was a very pleasant roomie and one evening I smelled something flowery, fragrant and delish! Sniff, sniff... she was rubbing on the "Moringa Body Butter" from... of all places, The Body Shop! I instantly fell in love with the fragrance and she let me try some on. Ladies, if you're looking for a nourishing and lovely cream, look no further it's right under our nose. The butter comes in all sorts of fragrances and has won the Allure magazine award. The irony is that The Body Shop is a UK based company but with the dollar so weak, it's cheaper to buy in the U.S. For $20 bucks, this is a steal!


I think it's totally cool that my friend is taking an authentic Sommelier certification class. She's the classiest woman I know, and what I don't know is how further to rank her if she gets this certification... she is ten stars! Inspired by her passion, I dug around for some fun wine classes in the bay area. I don't want to sit in a stuffy classroom with the know-it-all's and I really don't feel I have enough vino vocab in my brain to keep up with the sommeliers-to-be. So I think I'll opt for this class in the fall: "World-class wine education, down-to-earth style." Sounds what I'm lookng for and they have a "Fundamentals of taste & smell" class so I'm sold.

SATC the movie is here!!!

I know you don't need me to blog about this. Enough teasers and trailers! Sex and The City - The Movie is here! Don't tell me you don't have tix for tomorrow's Friday opening screening. Ditch the boyfriend and get your butt out with your gal pals to toast to the fab four. Our show is at 7:15 pm and movie tix in some select theaters are still available so don't give up. I think I'm a New Yorker at heart...

Thursday, May 29, 2008

My new sports car... I wish!

I had an Audi A4 for 7 years and when it got all cranky and I ended up spending an insane amount of $$$ on repairs and maintenance, I parted with my old flame and leased an A6. I still have two years left on the lease which puts me in a dilemma of not being able to really drive the car I have a crush on, blush. Yep, it's the sexy Audi A5 and it meets everything I'm looking for in a car. Cool design, ergo-friendly features and nice trunk space. Trying to stay optimistic here about the wait ... I still have two years to decide the color I want.

Afternoon Tea

"When in Rome, do as the Romans do." I invented a new saying for myself: "When in London, do as the Brits do." A champagne afternoon tea in an English-proper trad hotel costs as much as a full course dinner in S.F. But you know me... I just can't resist anything yummy and when I was told this particular menu was a limited edition to commemorate the Chelsea Flower Show, how could I resist the invitation? Cutting our late afternoon mtg. short, my colleague and I jumped in a cab to scurry over to the lovely Claridges Hotel in St. James to meet up with the facilitator of this divine afternoon. I am lucky to have friends who are so sophisticated and know the best dining locations (love you Ms. Y.T.!) I think the pics tell the story at how beautiful the treats were. Of course the champagne was flowing and I can't remember how many seconds of the sandwiches we had, let alone keep track of the different kinds of tea we were able to try. I hate that the dollar is so weak against the pound but this was one splurge well spent!

R-Rated Muppets

My biz trip to London was full of serious mtgs, but all stress was blown away when we were treated to this super funny musical, Avenue Q. It's muppets gone wild and R-rated (almost X-rated in some scenes!) and a perfect alternative to a movie date. Coincidentally the theater was just across the street from our flashy Phillippe Starck hotel, St. Martins Lane. When I heard our conference agenda had a "Tuesday evening event" I was skeptical at first and debated if I should come up with an excuse to go dining with my local friend. But the muppet posters I've been walking by everyday had piqued my interest and heck, it was free! Without much anticipation I joined the outing and was blown away by the hilarious dialogue and musical scores. I didn't know muppets could be so funny! Not to give away too much, of course the muppets are cleverly controlled by humans on stage, but they live in Brooklyn and are fired, broke but care-free and have their own dilemmas despite being little monsters. If you're in the mood for a fun night out, I highly recommend this Tony award winning show. Sure if you live in London or Manhattan, they're playing daily but they're touring the U.S. this year so you may be in luck!

My Fair Lady

I was recently in London for biz. It'd been 8 years since my last visit and I'd been yearning to go back to Fortnum & Mason, the mega-tea emporium in Piccadilly that's transformed itself into anything but just tea. Oh, my the multi-story mini department store has everything from tea, caviar, furniture to clothing! Among all the treasures this store "stores" (yeah, literally!) was a rare fragrant black tea called "Violet Pouchong" that really smells like violets, smile. I thought violets were limited to French candy or cologne, but I was proved wrong. This is definitely English-tea-meets- Fragonard and is quite unique and beautiful. It's a gorgeous tea I reserve to drink, only when I want to feel gorgeous! F&M is also celebrating it's tercentenary and released a "Tercentenary" blend (pictured here) for that as well. I received this as a gift from my fashionista friend last Christmas and was blown away by the delicate mix of Assam and Yuunan and the beautiful can. Sure Fortnum & Mason is a high-end brand, but they haven't been around since 1707 for nothin' (giggle!) No worries, you can order online outside of UK so you don't have to fly there each time. They make nice gifts too so stack up!