A little bit of Paris in Dublin!

IMG_1653Today it was late afternoon and I was looking for a place to take a break, rest my feet and get some tea. I looked across the street and felt like I was in Paris when I saw “Le Petit Parisien.” You know a place is good when you walk in and it is vey crowded.

They had different desserts to choose from, I chose a lemon meringue. Here is what arrived, lovely and delicious. I’ll have to ask my Seattle Blogger friend, “Travel-Gourmand,” how this bakery compares to her write up on Seattle Bakeries. If you are headed to Seattle, you’ll want to see her post, “Seattle Bakery Recommendations.”

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An Irish fellow Blogger (Hope I can find her name and thank her.) recommended I try a place called, “Queen of Tarts.” I tried to go there, but it was raining and people had taken shelter inside… good plan!

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There are a lot of wonderful cafes/bakeries to go to.

Makes me wonder, if there is ONE FOODIE BLOGGER out there who has focused on visiting/writing about different cafes around the world. I’d love to see a Blog focused on that.

Anyone have cafe recommendations for Vienna? It’s on my Bucket List.

By the way, I looked up “cafe” to see if it had to have an accent or not. Sounds like BOTH work. What does the Chicago Manual of Style say?

Now, how do I find that specific cafe Blogger? Does this Blogger exist?

Fortune Cookie Writer Retires After 30 Years Due to Writer’s Block

IMG_1588See this fortune cookie?! That is how writer’s block looks to a fortune cookie writer.

Donald Lau, CFO at Wonton Food, Inc. has been the writer behind ALL those fortune cookies we read after our Chinese meals. Can you imagine, 30 years of creatively writing 100 fortunes a year? That is a big job! I commend him for writing this long. We all know that “writer’s block” is terrible.

Mr. Lau hired his replacement, a fellow by the name of James Wong, 43 years old. It’s good that Wong is young, if he follows in Mr. Lau’s footsteps, he could be writing fortunes well into his 70s.

Did you know that Wonton Food, Inc. is the largest manufacturer of fortune cookies in the United States? They have operations in New York, Texas and Tennessee.

Since reading this story, I have a better appreciation for fortune writing.

Here is one message that I saved. It was a good one.

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How about YOU, do you have a special fortune you saved?

Curious to know… WHAT was YOUR FORTUNE?

 

WayCap Ez – Raising money on Kickstarter for refillable steel coffee capsule for Nespresso® machines

Italians have done it again! Through the help of their FIRST Kickstarter campaign in April 2016, they had 3,827 backers pledge €234,407 to support the creation of their refillable steel coffee capsule, so you don’t have to use the pods. Great idea!

WayCap Ez is on their second round of funding through Kickstarter. Based on customer feedback they have been fine tuning the capsule by adding different tops that accommodate various grounds of coffee. Go to their Second Kickstarter page to see a video of how the capsule works. You can still back their second round of fundraising until May 2, 2017.

On their Facebook page, I was reading mixed product reviews from customers. Remember, WayCap Ez is still in their infancy, so I say, “Give them a chance!” Through our feedback they will keep fine tuning the capsule for better use. Inventions are never perfect the first go around. Got to give these Italians credit for coming up with a clever idea, which produces no waste, except for the coffee grounds. Oh, and the steel capsule is being made in Italy.

I’m Italian — I wish them luck!

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to find out how to order my capsule.  Buon appetito!

 

 

The $100 Golden Donut

 

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The $100 Golden Cristal Ube Donut at Manila Social Club. (MANILASOCIALCLUB VIA INSTAGRAM)

There is something comforting about donuts. We like them at work in the morning, on the weekend and who doesn’t remember after a College party wanting to stop for a donut on the way back to the dorms.

So, I knew my daughter was homesick when she said she was Googling donuts. While her Googling results did not find a place open in Ireland for late night delivery, she did come across the donut of all donuts. A golden donut, which costs $100 out of Brooklyn… and we both laughed with relief, because they do not ship Internationally yet!

In this Youtube video created by Barcroft TV, click here, you can see how Björn De La Cruz, executive-chef and co-owner at the Manila Social Club in Brooklyn, New York decided to create this luxurious eatable masterpiece.

I know… some of you are fainting, some of you are in an uproar saying your Dunkin’ Donuts at 99 cents is good enough and you would NEVER pay $100 for a donut, but before you write this off, consider that luxury and decadence comes at a cost. My daughter is into baking, so for her trying this donut would be “worth it” to find out WHAT a luxurious donut really tastes like. Now, we could be economical about this. Let’s say we ordered this golden donut to celebrate the New Year and we had 10 friends visiting. That would break down the individual cost of the donut to $10 each. Now, we’d have to be really accurate in cutting the donut into 10 individual bites, so we wouldn’t lose even one flake of gold. THEN we would make a toast and each eat our bite at the same time bringing in the New Year!  Eating gold on New Year’s Eve should indicate a prosperous New Year is ahead, YES?

So, I ask you… Is a golden donut worth $100?   What’s on your Bucket List?

Pasta Galore!

image1If you like pasta, there is nothing better than going through an Italian super market. I was walking through the isles of the grocery store in Florence, Italy with my Italian mother and we came to the pasta section. As I looked at the choices with amazement, I asked her WHY with ALL the pasta choices she ONLY used spaghetti or penne pasta when we were growing up. She didn’t have a clear answer, she just kept dinner simple.

My mother was not a typical Italian cook. We did not have ravioli or tortellini.  NO — it was image2always spaghetti with bolognese sauce. Nothing wrong with that mind you, but when I went to another Italian’s house for lunch or dinner it was totally different from my house. My Italian girlfriend would cook with different pasta shapes and add vegetables to her pastas.

Lasagna was different too. My mother made lasagne with béchamel sauce, while my friend made hers with ricotta cheese. If you’ve ever had lasagne with béchamel sauce you can NEVER eat it with ricotta cheese again — it just tastes wrong! My opinion, of course.

image3As I continued on with my mother, we stopped by the produce section to find some tomatoes. Well, I had to smile… they had all kinds of tomatoes to choose from in big bins and our shopping adventure would not have been complete if we had not bought our parmesan cheese!

I think I was especially happy to see all the pasta, because in America the latest diet trend is “no pasta,” “no rice,” etc. and here I was in Italy, my Italian heritage, seeing all this pasta and thinking it’s not necessary to give up pasta completely.  Clearly, I was missing my “Italian heritage.”

So, here’s to exploring new recipes and going “beyond” the spaghetti style noodles! Changing your noodle shape does change the taste of your pasta.  AND REMEMBER, the pasta MUST be “al dente.”  This trip, I have to say, the pasta was almost “too” al dente.  I imagined the cook with his chef hat crooked trying to get pasta out as fast as possible!

Buon appetito (translation: Enjoy your meal)!