Google Analytics

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Quote | Lobster

My mother and he [Abe Pollin] always celebrated Shabbat dinner on Friday night. And they always had lobster.

- Bob Pollin on his father Abe Pollin's belief that leading a moral life is more important than the rituals.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Costco

I was quite amused by Alan Richman's story about taking the Michelin three-star chef Eric Ripert to Costco. I was reminded of an encounter I had a few months ago with a friend about Costco. My friend said to me, "You are from the States, you must shop at Costco a lot." I said, "I lived in Manhattan, I have never been inside a Costco until I went to the one in Taipei."

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Maclaren

Maclaren's stroller recall was front page news in Taiwan's newspapers and news programs, however the coverages have a different angle. Instead of just reporting on the specifics of the problem, the stories talked about how the stroller is popular with celebrities.

Below is from an article in China Times, which listed the various owners of Maclaren strollers, including Brad Pitt, Kate Winslet, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Elizabeth Hurley, and celebrities in Taiwan.

瑪格羅蘭是全美第一大嬰兒車品牌,許多好萊塢名流都愛用,包括布萊德彼特、凱特溫絲蕾、網球名將阿格西、莎拉傑西卡派克、伊莉莎白赫莉都是該牌粉絲,在台灣也廣受政商名流喜愛。但對照昨天美國廠商公布的問題車單,明星們愛用的嬰兒車統統是問題車款,震驚市場。

Below are screen shots from the local news:





I can't help but wonder if Celebrity Worship Syndrome is worse in Taiwan or U.S.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Blueberry Muffins

Friends of ours invited us to their home for an American-style brunch: waffles, bagels, and omelets. Since I didn't want to go empty-handed, I baked a dozen blueberry muffins.




Muffins are quite easy and fast to make. I typically use the recipe in the Gourmet Cookbook: mix egg, egg yolk, melted butter, and milk with flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and blueberries; distribute equally in muffin pan; top with a mixture of butter, flour, and sugar; and bake in the oven at 375F for around 20 minutes.

Home baked muffins are far superior to the industrially produced ones in stores. Not only do they taste better you also get a kitchen full of wonderful baking smells.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Salon

This morning I took the kids out for a trip to Eslite bookstore in the Hsin Yi district of Taipei. On our way back Vera wanted a snack. Since it was close to lunch time, I didn't want to get her anything substantial and definitely no ice cream. While I was struggling to come up with a solution and almost ready to tell her to tough it out till lunch, I reminded myself Salon de thé de Joël Robuchon is open for business. The Salon is located on the third floor at Bellavita, a short walk from Eslite.

The Salon has all sorts of my favorite things: pain au chocolate, brioche, paris brest, macarons, millefeuille...etc. For this first trip we asked for six macarons to go: rose, chocolate, raspberry, mango, orange, and lemon. Vera finished one before we even got out of the store and thoroughly enjoyed it.


On our way back from Bellavita, we passed by a McDonald's. I couldn't help but ask Vera since she liked the macarons so much, does she now like Robu more than McDo? She said she still likes McDo more. I was slightly disappointed but not surprised. I tried my case again by telling her, the macaron (NT$80) she ate costs about the same as a Happy Meal (NT$89). She thought about it for a slightly longer moment, but still likes McDo more.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Lemon Cream Pops

It's November but the temperature is still in the 80's. Since it feels like the late summer, I decided to make some pops to cool me down.

Early in the summer, Maria bought some popsicle molds for Vera to make pops from fruit juice. Frozen fruit juice on a stick is too simple for me, so I decided to "kick it up a notch" by making the lemon cream pops from Pichet Ong's The Sweet Spot.

The recipe is not difficult: combine a cup of heavy cream, a cup of milk, 2/3 cup of sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt, heat, cool, add the the juice and zest of 4 lemons, and pour into popsicle molds to freeze.


NT$90 for the cream, NT$20 for the milk, NT$130 for 4 lemons. Eating a pop on a warm November day: NT$24, not priceless.

Friday, November 6, 2009

27 to 2

The Yankees won, again, number 27. It's annoying, since I am a Mets fan. At least it is New York rather than Philadelphia. Furthermore, my wife's a Yankees fan, so she's happy. I am also glad for Chien Ming Wang. Even though he didn't contribute much to the team this year, he is still the first player from Taiwan to get a championship ring.

The more important question now is how can the Mets do better next year. I suggest signing both Chien Ming Wang and Roy Halladay. Maybe Jerry Manuel needs to change his jersey number from 53 to 3.