Thursday, April 23, 2009

The magic, secret ingredient ....

Years ago my hubby and I went to Montreal for a little vacation. Just before leaving I had terrible sinus congestion, leading to a massive headache so hubby wanted to give me a treat and take me to a Japanese restaurant that served sushi. He can't stand the stuff but he does like tempura and teriyaki chicken so we both get to eat something we like..... Anyway - in addition to eating some wasabi (I normally don't touch the stuff) in hopes of clearing my sinuses (it didn't) I also had the most WONDERFUL green tea. It just had this delicious and unusual undertaste (background taste?). I couldn't drink enough of it - it was soooo good! I tried to get them to tell me what kind of tea it was but they either didn't understand the question or weren't willing to divulge a secret. We never could figure out which was the reason even though hubby does speak French and asked politely in French too.

I never did forget that tea or that taste and was always in search of it.

Well last week after a long morning and early afternoon at the gem show (where I got those gorgeous cabs!) I decided to treat myself to a late lunch of sushi at one of my favorite sushi restaurants - Todo - in Scripps Ranch. Since it was around 2:30 the place was almost empty. The sushi was great (as it always has been when I've eaten there) and the sushi chef was pretty friendly. After enjoying a few dishes and a cup of the "regular" green tea the owner asked if I wanted to try some "burned brown" tea (I think that's what she called it). I said "SURE" and she left a pot with me. When I smelled the tea I was so excited - this was THE tea I've been looking for for so many years!!! Then I tasted it and .... ahhhhhh .... it was sooooooo good! So I savored the tea and the sushi finishing off the meal with that sweetened egg sashimi (tamago nigiri) and more tea. What a grand day I had - beads, sushi and absolutely luscious, delicious green tea ....

I asked the owner where you get the tea and she said it was just available commercially for restaurants. Well I just can't take no for an answer so when I got home I started doing some google searches on "burned brown green tea". What I found were references to genmaicha where they talked about combining roasted brown rice and green tea. So I did more searches on brown rice and green tea and based on that information I was pretty sure that roasted brown rice was the magic ingredient - especially based on what the tea leaves looked like in the pot I got at Todo.

So, tonight, on the way home I bought some brown rice. I toasted some in my toaster oven, put it in the bottom of my little tea strainer, added some Japanese Sencha tea leaves on top, poured in the hot water, let it steep and, VOILA!, the luscious tea was created. I'm savoring my 2nd cup as I write .... yummm ....

So, if you like green tea but want to add a new dimension to it - brew it with some roasted brown rice. It is just TDF!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Got me some cabs!

No - not taxi cabs - LOL! I'm taking the intermediate jewelry fabrication class and we're going to be making bezels and setting stones. My homework was to go buy some cabs and the gem faire is in town!! How can I NOT do homework that involves shopping for gemstones??? Needless to say cabs aren't all that I bought - I had to get some sterling too - chains, spacers, and some toggles. Here are the cabs I bought from Janu Gems -------->

Garnets are at the top (they are for later - when I get experienced enough to set faceted stones), a mystery stone in the middle - I just liked its colors, and I got lots of amethyst - my favorite color and it goes so well with sterling!

Ted, the owner was very helpful, had some GORGEOUS stones that were for the expert stone setter and provided me with bags of less expensive stones/cuts to dig through to find something I liked.

I also got some cabs at one of my favorite local fused glass art sellers - Fusionglass Co in La Mesa. I've always admired their art but haven't purchased any pendants since that was mostly what they sell. Since I'll be able to set my own cabs soon I decided to buy some of theirs. I already have a bracelet design in mind for the light green cabs - I've got the silver already textured and just waiting for me to cut out the links. I loved the color in the clear cab with purple, dark blue and a coppery/gold spash - it should look great in a copper pendant! And I loved the fuschia and pink with that black streak and moonstone looking dichroic. I just got some gorgeous moonstone rondelles which will look great in a necklace with this cab as the focal. And those smaller purple and black cabs? Those are for something for ME!!! Probably a cuff since I don't wear much jewelry and when I do I like it to be no muss, no fuss.

If you're in town or visiting in town Paul and Debb at FGC want you to come visit! I'm going to have to plan a visit to their shop once I've got some designs finished with their beautiful art glass!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Chocolate yummmmmssss!!!

My bro lives in Seattle and was kind enough to get my mom and I hooked on Fran's chocolates. These chocolates are just to die for!!! They are also quite pricey, but worth the price - when you can afford to splurge. I got myself and hubby a present at Christmas of some Fran's chocolates and rationed them carefully over the last 3 months. We just finished off the Christmas chocolates last week. Needless to say I wasn't planning on buying more anytime soon but, lo and behold, look what FedEx brought me yesterday ....

A BEAUTIFULLY wrapped (in purple - my FAVORITE color) box of Fran's chocolates. My brother sent them to me for Easter - isn't he a sweetie? And .... here's a peek at the luscious chocolates themselves ...

And, yes, I did grab the beautiful chocolate with the little bit of purple on top - it was deeeelllliiiiccciiiiooooouuuuussss .... and another disappeared last night and this afternoon. Now I need to start rationing them!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Pretty little awareness earrings!

A gemmie friend was trying to sell of some of her "extras" so I bought some beautiful rose quartz briolettes. I topped them with some gorgeous pearls using ball head pins I made myself!! (Yep - I'm having fun with my butane torch!). Then I heard that another bead friend was going through chemo for breast cancer so I just had to send these earrings to her. My gemmie friend donated the brios when she heard what I was going to do. Then I added awareness ribbons that I made myself (using my trusty little hammer) and - voila - gorgeous breast cancer awareness earrings. She doesn't know these earrings are coming her way so it should be a nice surprise.
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