Posts from December 2006

One Night in Bangkok...2 days left for "Menu for Hope'...Prizes from Asia

As of right now our Global Fundraising Effort named Menu for Hope has raised over $40,000.00.
If you have not bid yet on any of the numerous prizes do it now. The bidding will close tomorrow Friday at 6:00 pm Pacific Time.Menuforhopelogo_4_2

Our friend PIM showcased yesterday some amazing new prizes including from the Pacific (a case of 12 Australian wines, code WB31) and Asia (A 7 course Khmer Dinner for 2 at Meric in the Cambodian capital, code AP17) and a Personal Tour of Bangkok (code AP44)

Remember contributions start at $10.00.

Read my Original Post for more details on Menu for Hope.

Thank you again.

Are you a practicing 'Zen Gardener'?

Amongst the new career path that some of us explore such as house managers, career coaches and other assistants like myself The Concierge, I found the Zen Gardener.

It seems mostly based on the idea of 'a Zen garden' as an oasis of tranquility as presented in books such as Zen in your garden by Jenny Hendy and 'Zen Gardening' (pictured here) by Sunniva Haarte. Zengarden The basic elements of the Zen Garden (as highlighted in BBC Review of 'Zen Gardening') are 'water to create balance and tranquility', the simplicity of 'sand and gravel' brings serenity rather than excitement, plants offer 'harmony and profusion' in shape as well as in color.

The 'Journal of Japanese Gardening' offers many views on the topic and according to Tim Hansken "The first author to use the words “Zen” and “garden” in the same sentence was probably an American woman, Loraine Kuck, in her book “100 Gardens of Kyoto” published in...1935".

To conclude have you hired a Zen gardener lately, are Landscapers so yesterday.

You could also hire Patrick Blanc. We featured his amazing creations in Vertical Garden last week.

Discover 'The Freedom to Sleep around' with 'Escape' Camper Vans (in New Zealand)

You might not feel like dealing with setting up a Tent and all, especially if you are a boomer like me. Some of us remember (with nostalgia?) the painted vans of the late 60's/ early 70's.
If you want to take a trip down memory lane without hurting your back and plan to visit New Zealand, rent one of the colorful campers from Escape (like the 'Hendrix') pictured here Hendrix (as displayed on the 'Escape' site). The Camper Vans include a Queen Size Bed (with Bedding) and Kitchen (with Cooking Utensils), check the Complete List of features.
It is perfect if you want to explore the natural riches of New Zealand.

They also just launched the service in Australia, starting with Sydney, Berth and Brisbane.

This is the kind of things I would like to find on Eons rather than what I saw as reported in Over 50.

I first read about 'Escape' on Springwise Top 10 Tourism and Travel Ideas for 2006.

A Few Good Tools for the Kitchen Girl or Guy: In 'Top Gear', Chefs dig inside their Tool Box

Yesterday, I mentioned Cognacs and Rums picked in the same Observer Food Monthly. Well today I switch my attention to Top Gear or a Few Good Tools for the Kitchen Guy.
The Bruscetta Grill by Divertimenti (River Cafe Chef Ruth Rogers) reminds me actually of the old fashioned Grill my grandmother used for Pain Grille say for 'Sardines sur Canape'.
Sardines, Mustard and a Slice of Bread, cannot get much more simple than that,

Opening Today: 'Tintin', Hergé Centennial Show at Pompidou Center in Paris

If you happen to travel to Europe and Paris between now and February 19 pay a visit to Hergé, a tribute to the creator of Tintin, Quick et Flupke and other cartoon characters I have been fond of since childhood.

The exhibition at the Centre Pompidou opens today. It is Free and celebrates the Centennial of the birth of Hergé. He died in 1983 and would have turned 100 in May 2007.

Erica Wagner tells us more about Hergé the man, the show and its curator with Tintin at the top in The Times Online.

I wrote about Tintin on DVD in April 2005.

3 Feet of Chocolates in a Green Box signed Patrick Roger, I want one!

While visiting Nimes I heard the story that during the 5 day Feria people were known to order a meter long of Pastis.
Well, besides coordinating Menu for Hope European leg, our American in Paris, David Lebovitz, tells us that All he wants for Christmas is 3 Feet of Chocolates couched in a long green box a la 'Tiffany'.
The person behind that extravaganza is a young Chocolatier named Patrick Roger who got the public' s eye  with his Chocolate Sculptures.
I suggest you pay a visit to the Patrick Roger website. Amongst other things, he offers a Video on the importance of the land, Photos of his sculptures and even Wallpapers and Confectionery themed E-Cards of Frogs, Hypos and more that you can share with your friends.

All this really made my day.

Send me one please!

Cognacs and Rums: Tried and Tested by the Observer Food Monthly

The December Edition of The Observer Food Monthly was published yesterday. To be honest the main subject covered, The Future of Food in its many aspects, did not excite me much. On the other hand they offer tasting notes on Brandy (should I say Cognac) and Rum by Kevin Armstrong and Michael Butt that are short and to the point.

All retail prices are in British Pounds so more or less multiply by 2 to get the cost in US Dollars.
Out of their Cognac List, one I need to try is 'Domaine de la Grolette Borderies Cru Cognac Très Vieille Réserve' of which they say 'This epitomizes cognac for us. An inferno in the mouth.'

The Oddbins Product Notes in more subdued tones describes Borderies as 'The smallest of the Cognac Crus, Borderies,this distinctive terroir leads to Cognacs that are noticeably soft once aged and have an edge of violets on the nose'.

On the Rum Side, they offer a scathing review of the Calico Jack dark rum from Guyana described as 'This has a gummy, adhesive smell. Thin, cheap and nasty.'

I hope this helps you find a couple of gems and away from headaches.

Desperately seeking Signature Cocktail: Find it in 'Drinks for a Festive Occasion'

You have selected the food and the gifts and the music. The guest list was drafted and invitations sent. One thing that is missing is a signature cocktail to toast the evening as your guests arrive.
Pay a visit to The Spirit World and find inspiration in Drinks for a Festive Occasion offered in the 10th Edition of Mixology Monday on December 11.
Remix one of them with your own twist and voila!

Spelling as a Fun thing: 'Pinsetter' from Coudal: A Gift Idea

Our friends at Coudal in Chicago always come up with creative yet simple ideas.
The latest is Pinsetter. Visit the Pinsetter page, type a word or sentence, and click Set It: I used (surprise) "SERGE THE CONCIERGE" which came up to 17 Characters, corresponding to 17 Pins. It would cost me $17 plus $1 for postage if I ordered.

It could actually be a fun way for me and my 2nd grader to work on his Spelling Words. In that case I should order what they call The big set 'two each of A-Z and 0-9 plus one more of each of these letters: ETAOINSHRDL and of course, +, ?, ! and the red heart' all 87 pins for $39 plus $2 for shipping.

Add this to the Gift List for the Kids, the Frustrated Parent. It could also fit in the Gifts to the Teachers section.

My previous Gift Suggestions were Food and Wine Items and Laguiole Corkscrews in case you missed them.

Nice Food & Wine Related Gift List on 'Chow'

If you are scratching your head to fill some blanks on your Holiday Gift List, take a peak at Keepers. Chow's Holiday Gift Guide for Food and Cooking items.
For the Wine Lover/Collector why not browse wine auctions for that something special as they suggest in Age and Beauty.
Despite what they say about wine books and corkscrews I think that one of the Laguiole Corkscrews would please them.