Saturday, February 28, 2009

TOAST BAKERY CAFE - GREAT BREAKFASTS


When I travel to Los Angeles on business for my showroom in West Hollywood, one of my favorite breakfast places is Toast Bakery Cafe at 8221 W 3rd St., West Hollywood, CA 90048



Pictured above is Toast's unbelievably delicious egg-white omelette called "The Favorite"

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Connecticut Snow



At home in Connecticut under the snow.

The silence following a 20 inch snowstorm has the ephemeral quality of life itself.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Infused Oil (l'huile aromatisee)


For gastronomes, a great way to to spend time while waiting for the spring and summer growing season (far too short here in the U.S. northeast) is to make your own infused oils.

Here are a few great ideas from Monique Duveau, a friend and renowned French food critic:

Lemon Zest Oil: Great for fish, this oil is prepared by inserting three thin slices of lemon and the shaved lemon zest from a whole lemon into a bottle of high grade vegetable oil.

Herb Infused Oils: For salads, bread and meats, add fresh sprigs of Rosemary, Oregano and Basil to a bottle of high grade olive oil.

Cinnamon Stick and Clove Oil: For pastries, place one cinnamon stick and four clove "nails" into a bottle of a neutral tasting high grade vegetable oil (such as Canola oil)

Cap and seal and keep your oils in a dark cupboard to prevent rancidity.

Photo by Francois Godier

Bangkok Tuk Tuks

video

Tuk Tuks: once the cheapest way to get around Bangkok, nowadays these rides are mostly tourist traps, but we still love them anyway. The video above gives a very tame sense of what its like to travel by Tuk Tuk (pronounced "Took Took") in Bangkok. We have been on much wilder rides than this... Tuk Tuks at night are not for the faint of heart!

Bangkok at New Years - A Loose Family Tradition




We try to spend New Year's Eve in Bangkok as often as we can because being there then has always been an amazing experience for us, culminating as it does with some of the most extraordinary fireworks displays over the Chao Phrya River. Here are a few images from New Year's Eve 2006 to give you a feel for it.


Thursday, February 19, 2009

Things to do around Phuket





We visited Phuket at high season, so it was difficult to arrange long trips out to Koh Phi Phi and we were also warned it would be very crowded there in any event, so we opted to stay close with the exception of a short day trip to some nearby islands where we snorkled and fed bread to the local fish. A feeding frenzy erupted and it wasn't just the bread the fish sampled. Ouch!

Getting around Phuket is expensive unless you rent motorbikes which rent for about 250 Baht ($7.00) per day. Just make sure you take photos of any scratches/body damage to the bikes when you take them out to avoid an extortion when you return them.

Finally, Kata Beach and the warm waters of the Andaman Sea are so nice that we didn't really want to wander far in any case

Friday, February 13, 2009

A TRUE OASIS IN THE HEART OF KATA BEACH, PHUKET





From December 26th to January 3rd, I stayed with my husband and sons at the Baray Villa Resort & Spa at the Sawasdee Village Hotel in Kata Beach.

Located just off the main road (Route 4233) to downtown Kata Beach, The Baray Villa & Spa is a true hidden gem that will no doubt soon be swarming with Jet Set types once word gets out about this great luxury boutique class hotel that just opened in November 2008.

At the center of the Baray Villa complex there is an exquisite long canal-like swimming pool. Each villa has access to the central pool from a private "lagoon" pool from which villa guests can swim out into the canal. At one end of the large pool sits the islamic themed swim-up "Oasis Bar." At the other end, a massive architectural waterfall wall back stops the canal pool .

The Baray Villas are incredibly spacious, tastefully decorated and genuinely comfortable. The hotel staff members are as gracious and helpful as one can hope for, offering a wonderful Thai hospitality experience.

The Baray Spa is also beautifully laid out and has an extensive menu of services with excellent massage therapists.

The Baray Villa URL is: http://thebarayvilla.com


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