V-day's MY DAY

This is for those lucky enough to believe in Valentine's day and celebrate it too!
Also for those who also forgot until today that it’s two days from now.
Here are a few things you can pull out and still impress…
with increasing difficulty, starting with the least time/effort required
BOY ARE YOU LUCKY, I made it reallll easy  (click photos for links to buy)

 

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No. 1
Cake Cafe does room service, in your own room! 
This is absolutely genius, for those like me, who do not want to brave the weekend crowds for brunch, there is just something sane about having brunch at home.  They cater to both veggies & non veggies but this does take the planning of one-day’s foresight and the click of a button.
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No. 2
Get a thoughtful card.
There are a few places in town like Fallon & Byrne and Irish Design shop that sell Irish made cards.  However, if you want to be very creative someone in our family takes pictures of great cards and sends them to us on the day via iMessage!  well lucky me, or lucky YOU, i’ve adopted this practice. (But honestly, support the independent creatives that are making these cool Irish cards!)
 

Photo: Bean and Goose Facebook

No. 3 
This Irish chocolatier is creating quite the movement.  S & I particularly love the milk chocolate bar with sea salt.  But just the other day I tasted the champagne truffle and my oh my, I will gladly receive a whole box of these.
They will be at the Temple Bar Market on the day, Saturday the 14th!
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No. 4
Macarons 
There are two easy stops to pick up these french macarons, Laudurée in Brown Thomas or Cocoa Atelier on Drury street.  Why's this romantic?  I’m not sure if it’s because they are a labour of love, they originate from France (of course Paris is romantic), or the fact that they are pastel and lovely that these little sweets will make you GOLDEN!
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No. 5 
Succulents from |the garden|
Why not get something a bit longer lasting?  These are so easy to tend to and they live forever. These little guys are known for storing water in their leaves, so as long as you don't over water they are the perfect alternative. However, the garden bouquets are also absolutely stunning!
 
While i’m aware that this has been almost an entirely sexist post geared towards guys, getting things for girls, i’m pretty sure that you guys can appreciate almost every one of these things on the list.  

ONE LAST THING:

my wish list is this pineapple macaron box & these cute heart cookies that'll be coming in my breakfast in bed from cake cafe!

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Japanese Collab Dublin - Manatsu

  A month or so ago, we had the pleasure of taking-in (by this I mean consuming) a project bringing so many of our creative & food community together in Dublin. Manatsu, meaning spring-summer,  was a beautifully assembled 12-course dinner, or ramen-lunch.

Junko & Robyn, our new friends, worked tirelessly all night to serve up these local ingredients in Japanese flavours.  So you'll see the charred broad bean with kelp salt, but tricky-tricky doesn't it remind of edamame?

The fabulous Orlaith Ross hosted the evening, gliding us from course to course and many of the courses were paired with a japanese tea or complementing beverage.  My favourite being the cold-brew Hojicha & the second harvest Sencha.  Japanese theme was woven throughout the evening from the calligraphy to the performance of Japanese instruments.  Hunt & Gather gals, created an space that was absolutely stunning.  Hanging garden included!

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The menu:

[1] mugi-cha roasted barley tea with wood sorrel syrup

[2] charred broad beans with kelp-salt

[3] chilled noodle with channel wrack seaweed

[4] simmered marrow with duck dumpling, strangely homey, reminding me of my mom's soup and very satisfying

[5] grilled erengi mushroom with shiso pesto

[6] kakuni slow cooked pork belly

[7] deep fried summer veggies

[8] pressed sushi with trout & egg kohlrabi pickle, this is Ireland for-ya!

[9] home-fermented miso with grilled aubergine and ginger

[10] tomato jelly with gooseberry, a refreshing & cool clean course to bring us to dessert

the meal culminated in a summer fruit salad & rose petal tea & matcha castella cake. so photogenic!

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Charcut not-so-secret, Secret Burgers

I realize that these 'underground' burgers are created for the hype, but I can't help it.... I have been sucked in.

I bought into it, the excitement, the craziness, and oh, don't forget the pain of waiting in the -15 degree weather.  If you haven't heard about it already, I'm talking about the infamous alley burgers.  If you care enough, which, I do... you will followCharcut restaurant on twitter or 'like' them on facebook.  On some Fridays or Saturdays, not all, they release a notice earlier on in the day saying that they will be serving burgers that evening.  So you follow the growl in your tummy and your curiosity to the crowd gathering at the back door in the evening.

This saturday, the burgers were being served at 10pm, so we arrived at 9:30.  A little embarrassed, we approached the alley from the driveway of le Germain thinking we were too keen. Guess what, these keeners were all KEENER than me.  It's ok, I'm enthusiastic and just excited to be part of it.

So around 10 to 10, the line is building up behind us.  The manager comes out and counts the number of people in line to see if there's enough burgers for everyone.  He gets to us, "19, 20, 21..." just as he passes us, "and 25" he says that's all they have. Breathed a sigh of relief.  He comes down the line collecting the $5 cash for each burger and heads back inside.

We get our burgers

Highlights: it is likely the juiciest burger alive.  The bread is fresh and toasty.  It is simple, but delicious - garnished with cheese, I think but nothing else.  It has a light gameyness to it, like breakfast sausage.  The bun is moistened with a garlic aioli or garlic butter.  The only downside is that we aren't sure where to enjoy the delightful burger in comfort.  Oh well, I'm gleaming with joy.

Service: We're outside!?

Likelihood to return: Have to try it, at least once. Worth the wait, but not all the time.

Food/Coffee: burger was delish!

Chillness: as chill as the friends you bring and the weather permits...

I wasn't sure what the burger could be... I don't know why I thought it could have been beef so I went back to the source that brought me here to begin with... Thanks Chracut.

  CHARCUT Roast House on Urbanspoon

Red's Diner on 4th

First, the interior getup is pretty nice. Tidy and new, but has a twist of diner with, again, the always beloved and almost mandatory-to-mention brick wall. There's also a breakfast bar that you can dine and dash in a hurry.

Our server was so friendly and helpful. She was honest when I asked about the different offerings at the diner. For example; the JD ice cream float " quite honestly, it's pretty disgusting; and that's what I have been told by people who order it too"

Finally, the food. It's pretty much the "modern conscious diner" with Highwood Crossing buckwheat pancakes, farm-fresh eggs, and waffles. There is the effort of offering the wholesome and health-conscious options. As well, if you didn't know, these pancakes are sourced locally just outside of Calgary. I could not resist the temptation of the Jack Daniel's ice cream float; two of the three ingredients are things that I don't usually consume (namely vanilla ice cream and pepsi) I was so curious what it would taste like, even after being reminded that it was just 10 in the morning.

The verdict: if you like strong egg nog and pepsi together, this may remind you of a bad christmas morning. Maybe, just maybe, you could try a shot of JD on your next ice cream.  That might actually be better. The food was pretty standard diner, not too greasy. The granola panakes were great for a healthy, but calorie-rich breakfast.

Service: busy, with crowds; but very friendly and fast

Likelihood to return: definitely soon

Food/Coffee: food is yum, coffee is standard

Chillness: 3 chill chairs with friends

Red's Diner on Urbanspoon

 

 

long ago, there was a barjam

IMG_1954 So, it's been months since I went to this event but I would like to talk about it briefly because it great fun! I don't know if you've been to a barista jam before, but this was the first one that I finally made it out to; been meaning to go for years.

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It was all the greatest things put together! Friends, cool Coffee, and great cause! I love the idea of doing something to bring encouragement for people to support a cause. It's like this; make an event of something you usually would love doing but to make it even better, add LIFE! - talk about value added. (Add Life, as in do it for a cause)- namely, Coffee Kids and The Mustard Seed.

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This barjam was purely a pouring contest. We learned a bit about the latte art 'throw-down' and just kinda hung out and enjoyed some good eats.

Throwing down: is when you pour some awesome art.

This evening, saw a lot of the coffee community out from all the different cafes in the area.  Even had some out of towners, like transcend coffee, Edmonton.

Upcoming: Prairies Regional Barista Championsip, August 7, 2010

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