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Monday, August 31, 2009

Leaving on a jet plane......

I am always thinking about travel. Its what motivates me. Experiences no matter how extravagant or simple are the pieces of matter that make up life. There has been a shift in how we vacation. I think that we will continue to see more stay-cation types of travel than we did before the $ took a tumble. No worries-necessity is the mother of invention. 

Abercrombie & Kent does it best.
Their safari tours are among the best, and right behind them are Kensington tours.
Virgin Airlines has teamed up with uber hip viphotels to offer travel packages with a personal "travel guru".
They don't service the US, as of yet, but my guess is a US travel company will follow suite.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Leave It To The French...............

To come up with an hors d'oeuvre that's delicious and easy to make, but sounds like you'd need to go to Le Cordon Bleu to learn how. Gougeres (pronounced goo-ZHAIR), or cheese puffs commonly served with drinks before dinner, are addictive and go especially well with Champagne.

4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup of milk, plus 2 Tablespoons
1/2 cup water
1 1/4 teaspoons coarse sea salt
2 pinches cayenne
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup grated Gruyere, plus 3 Tablespoons
3 eggs, room temperature

1. Preheat oven to 400F. Put butter 1/4 cup milk, teaspoon of salt and cayenne in a 2 quart sauce pot, bring to a boil over medium heat.
2. Sift together flour and baking powder, and gradually add the flour mixture to the liquid.
Remove from heat. Stir well with a wooden spoon and return to the stove. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the dough pulls away from from the sides of the pot, a few minutes.
3. Remove from heat and transfer the dough to a bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add 3/4 cup Gruyere and paddle on low until just warm, about 2 minutes.
4. Increase the speed of the mixer to medium-high and add the eggs one at a time. Continue to mix the dough until it is smooth and shiny (about 10 minutes). Let the mixture cool to room temperature.
5. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Transfer the dough into a pastry bag fitted with a #6 tip (an opening about the size of a nickel). Pipe the dough into 1 inch rounds, each 1/2 inch high. Allow 1/2 inch of space between puffs. Each baking sheet should have 25-28 gougeres. Brush them with the remaining 2 Tablespoons milk. Sprinkle with the remaining 3 Tablespoons Gruyere and 1 teaspoon sea salt.
6. Place the baking sheets in the oven, and bake for 5 minutes. Turn the trays 180 degrees and continue to bake until the gougeres take on a deep golden brown color, approximately 7-10 minutes.
Makes 50-55 gougeres.

After baking the puffs can be halved crosswise and stuffed with soft cheeses (goat cheese or any cheese spread).
You can refrigerate dough for 3 days or freeze piped dough on a baking sheet inside a plastic bag.

Coaching Via Web Video

The online community at Upmygame helps athletes gain advice from professional coaches and other users. At sign-up, participants are asked to specify whether they're an ‘athlete’ or a ‘coach’, although both parties can give and receive advice. Critiquing takes place via short videos uploaded by athletes, containing footage of them practicing their chosen sport—anything from football to yoga. Frame-by-frame playback allows for precise commentary in the form of diagrams and text.

3.1 Phillip Lim Fall 09 RTW

Genuine Fruit


The fruits of the spirit:
Self Control

Against such things there is no law.

Saturday, August 22, 2009
Invitations are delivered in personalized envelopes to guest's inboxes, where a simple click causes them to open.
Past invites, sent and received, can even be archived in a virtual scrapbook.
Pricing begins at $5 for "stamps" to send 60 invitations, and Paperless Post charges a commission on all ticketed events: 2.5 percent on tickets to for-profit events, or 2 percent on those for charity.

Keeping Eyes On The Prize

Thinnerview hand alters a client's image based on weight loss goals, bone structure & body shape. Clients can then download thier "after image" and post and share it. $14.99

Tequila 101

The blue agave plant takes 6-12 years to mature. Each plant is looked after by a "jimador" who tends to and then reaps the agave plant by stripping the leaves and using the pina, which usually weighs 40-80 lbs. It is cut up and roasted where the starches turn to sugar. 1 pina produces 8 bottles of tequila. After roasting, pinas are shredded and pressed. The juice is poured into fermentation tanks and yeast is added turning the sugar into alcohol. It is then fermented 2-3 more times in customary copper stills or newer stainless stills. Alcohol content now is 70 -110 proof. Anejo is considered the best and most expensive. Distinct due to its golden color and it's longer ageing process.
Patron Tequila-owned by John Paul deJoria (Paul Mitchell Hair Products)

Friday, August 21, 2009

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Napa Cabernet Savignon

Wine 101: Vineyard land in Napa is growing scarce and expensive so vintners are specializing in Cab-the grape best suited for the valley and the one with an exceptional track record.
Try these....
Villa Mt. Eden Grand Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2005.(under $20)
-more like merlot with a touch of bell pepper taste (characteristic of the grape)

Beaulieu Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford 2005.(under $30)
-licorice along with classic Cab note of cherry.

Chapellet Winery Signature Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2006. (under $50)
-sweet fruit accented by dark chocolate.

The Splurge
Rubicon Estate Rubicon Rutherford 2005 (over $100)
-Big and beautiful. Don't rush it. It will taste even better in 5 years.

Ode To The Great Outdoors

Everyone's Doing It.

Top 10 Camping Trips
1. El Capitan Canyon, Cali
2. Costanoa Lodge and Camp, Cali
3. Lakedale Resort, Washington
4. The Resort at Paws Up, Montana
5. Treebones, Cali
6. Cataract Canyon River Rafting, Utah
7. Free Spirit Spheres, Canada
8. Clayoquot Wilderness Resort, Canada

And if you want to camp outside the North American continent.....
9.Hoopoe Yurt Hotel, Spain
10. Mille Etoiles, Ardeches, France
Labor Day Coming Soon.
Will it be Block Island, RI? Off the beaten path of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket.
Or The Hamptons? Party like a rockstar.

Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum

Ralph Lauren.
Tweed Jackets.
Tweed Vests.
Ruched and Ruffled.
Add Satin.