Carolyn Lyons asks the local barista near her house in Umbria (Italy) and UK coffee chains and Starbucks How to brew the italian way in the Financial Times week-end section. The main difference between Starbucks and everyone else is that they use only Arabica which makes their coffee lighter and sweeter. They also use automatic coffee makers which reduces the personal touch. One last thing, when drinking espresso forget the lemon twist, there is no use for it.
One of my new favorite under $10.00 red wine is Luzon Jumilla 2004 (Spain). The winery is located some 200 miles south of Madrid. This wine is a blend of 65% Monastrell and 35% Syrah. It shows qualities way beyond its $7.00 price tag. If you want to find more under $10.00 (red and white) wine suggestions read Who knew a $10.00 bill had such a nice bouquet in New York Times.
Want to travel back in time without leaving the comfort of your house, visit Jet Set Modern . Sandy McLendon revisits the Mid-Century and chronicles the rise of the suburbs. Check their period furniture for sale as well.
Guy Trebay writes on "Keeping t-shirts in the moment" in the Thursday Styles section of the New York Times. One-man French Company, "La Fraise" would have fitted perfectly in this story. You can submit designs to them or you can vote and help select the top designs. The designs with the most votes get printed and their creators get 300 euros per design printed. Call it fashion, creativity and democracy in action
While growing up, I had the chance of spending a number of Summer vacations in the french Catalonian side of the Pyrenees. The small towns where we stayed were bathed by high heat for most of the day until around 6:00 pm when thunder and lightning paid us an almost daily visit. Pastis and Annisette were the most popular 'aperitifs' and petanque the 'sport' activity most practiced. All this reminds me of times when summer used to be 'life in the slow lane'.
On one of my weekly browsing through the new offerings of Rhapsody , I found the album Paradis Paien by Jacques Higelin (Warner) who has surprised us through his numerous records since 1967. This one has a languorous quality that fits the warm and humid weather we are experiencing in New Jersey. My favorite song is "Une tranche de vie" ( a slice of life) with its whirling violins and the steel drums that add a Caribbean flavor.By the way the album was released in France in 1998.
With a number of friends, we held our annual Bastille Day Party yesterday afternoon. I brought one of my party hits, Roasted Garlic with Blue Cheese and Tomato Chutney. Trying to keep things in a Gallic tone, I decided to use Fourme d'Ambert , a blue cheese from Auvergne with a tangy, mild taste instead of 'Saga' Blue. It worked very well together. I also contributed some homemade crepes and a jar of confiture 'Bonne Maman'. A few people asked me for the recipe of the Crepe Batter but I was embarassed to say that i did not measure. I just know when the mix has the right consistency.
While looking for fares for a possible late Summer trip to Spain and France, the best prices that I could find where at Flights.com . Even though with all the airport surcharges, it is difficult to know the full price of your ticket until you get to the final step, payment.