Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Weekend Interlude & Tea Bounty

title
I was a happy girl this weekend. Despite last week having more than its fair share of stress, and this week shaping up to be just as hectic (with a big important meeting coming up!), and C being away (to watch FC Barca play in Hong Kong), the weekend was a wonderful interlude from everything.

Friday night was spent with my favorite girl, my icon, my mom. Yes, I am one of those girls who has lived her life in wonder, fear, and abject adoration of mother. This is a state that can never be outgrown…nor would I want to. We had a fabulous dinner at our favorite French restaurant, splitting a bottle of white wine and lots of gossip between us. Then we went back to my old home where we had a mini-slumber party with Moe, her poodle :)

I spent Saturday and Sunday with a very good friend (known as Christine, but Nena to me). We spent most of the day at the Pink Kitchen – a terrific food festival organized by I Can Serve (a breast cancer advocacy group) to raise breast cancer awareness. Many popular local chefs gathered under one roof, whipping up old and new favorites, all for a good cause! It was fun and we were stuffed silly, staying on for hours chatting and sampling all the delicious treats on offer. We liked it so much we returned the next day for more!

title
Nena also introduced me to Genmaicha – green tea combined with roasted brown rice. I already love the taste of green tea…and the nutty flavor of the roasted rice adds a deep and earthy dimension to it, even if it was originally used only as a filler (way back when) to reduce the price of the tea. After she saw how much I liked it she kindly offered to get a box for me when she passed by the Japanese grocery.

title
And speaking of green tea, C arrived back home on Sunday bearing the matcha (green tea powder) I have been wanting! Yay! Now I can finally make all those lovely looking matcha sweets and desserts I have been seeing everywhere! Hmmm…I wonder where I should start…Any suggestions? :)

title
C also brought back a canister of Café Siam Thai herb tea. It’s a favorite among all my aunts and uncles who have lived in Hong Kong. It’s the café’s own blend of such goodies as lemongrass, bael fruit, lemon leaf, galangal, orange peel, and cha-em. The scent is out of this world. And the infusion it makes is absolutely magical.

Thank you C and Nens! Now I have a good stock of tea to fortify me this week :)

33 comments:

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Oh Joey that sounds like such a refreshing weekend! Great fortification for the week ahead. And maybe it lets you think good things about the coming weekend!

veron said...

I think I have genmaicha too, so you say it's great with brown rice? You need to post about it so I'll know how its done. And hurray for C for bringing you back the macha....

mtan said...

One of the most flavorful of green teas, the combination of the roasted rice and the brewed green tea is a comforting tea for these rainy days. With the maicha, you could start with mixing it with a good chocolate; the japanese love the combination (the bitterness of the tea powder against the silkiness of the chocolate). And I remember one blogger made cookies with them.

Marvin said...

I love genmaicha but I have yet to taste matcha tea. I think I saw a matcha ice cream recipe somewhere, it might have been over at Steamy Kitchen's blog.

christine said...

Oh the Thai herb tea is so pretty! I can't wait to try it.;) Had a great time last weekend, Jojo, and am looking forward to more of that with you! :)

ChichaJo said...

Hi Tanna! It definitely was a refreshing weekend...better to tackle the work week with renewed gusto :) And yes, I am thinking of good things for the coming weekend :)

Hi Veron! Genmaicha is the green tea already combined with the roasted brown rice, giving it a nutty, smokey note...it's good! If you've got it at home the rosted rice is already mixed in most likely :) I cheered for C too when I saw it! :)

Hi M! I agree! It is very comforting :) Matcha and chocolate sounds lovely! Pille has made dark chocolate truffles with matcha...and I've got a ton of links to go over (including those famous matcha cookies!) :)

Hi Marvin! Will check it out! Of course I have yet to bite the bullet and get an ice cream maker...

Hi Nens! It is pretty no? And I love the taste! You have to come try it soon :) Yes, looking forward to more weekends like that...I really had fun! Maybe next time Rusty will let me pet him na...and maybe Edgar will be around, hehe :)

Pille said...

What a great choice of teas! Thai herb blend looks especially wonderful.
Re: what to make? I'd start with matcha loaf, but then I'm biased:)

Kelly-Jane said...

It sounds like you had a lovely fun weekend :)

I recently bought some matcha powder in the web, so will have to do something with it soon :)

katiez said...

What a lovely weekend!
I love the sound of the green tea combined with roasted rice... I'm going to be looking for that... although I don't know where LOL
I drink a lot of green tea, esp. during winter!
Genmaicha, must remember that! And I see it comes in tea bags - easier.

Barbara said...

I love genmaicha. I've just taken some photos of a tea I was sent from China. I'll have the post up later this week.

Anh said...

Oh Joey, what a lovely weekend you had! And the tea you got is just wonderful.

Mae said...

Hiya. I have just had a chance to quickly take a peek at your blog. Been so busy as usual. How i've missed so much!!!

Those bounty sure does look great. The mixed herb tea looks divine and i can almost smell it from here. C sure has scored some big brownie points... :)

Oh, and i love that photo of the matcha powder!

ChichaJo said...

Hi Pille! Yes, the Thai herb tea is really special :) The matcha loaf looks really good too...perfect for a start because it showcases the matcha without too many other distractions :)

Hi Kelly-jane! It was fun :) Let me know what you do with your matcha!

Hi Katiez! I'm sure they have loose leaf as well and I just haven't found it...but yes, this is easy to pop in a cup and a real comfort duirng the rainy season (for me, as I have no winter) :)

Hi Barbara! Looking forward to that post! :)

Hi Anh! It was great :) And I'm really enjoying the teas!

Hi Mae! I have missed you! I'm waiting with baited breath for your grilled sardine post :) C has definitely racked up a good pile of brownie points with this :) Thanks for the kind words about my photo!

Rasa Malaysia said...

Wow, it's amazing you can make tea looks so interesting and tasty looking. LOL. I love that green tea powder picture...gorgeous!

SteamyKitchen said...

That is the most beautiful tea I have ever seen! All those ingredients!

kaoko said...

I am forever in awe of your kitchen (or what I assume is your kitchen, basta where you take your pictures). Such wonderful lighting, your pictures come out so lovely all the time.

And I envy your tea haul! I love Genmaicha & Matcha. I remember spotting some matcha locally though, but I don't remember where, *facepalm*. A really simple recipe I encountered is one mixing plain vanilla ice cream and matcha to make green tea aisu. Sadly, I don't remember where I read it, but I'm sure it was a blog.

oggi said...

Your photos are always so beautiful.

Try matcha ice cream or matcha Swiss (jelly) cake roll filled with cream and sweet red bean paste.

ChichaJo said...

Hi Bee! Thanks so much! :) Lots of interesting teas out there... :)

Hi Jaden! I love the way the Thai herb tea looks like something you would display in a nice bowl on a table :) And it smells fantastic too!

Thanks Kaoko! But my kitchen can't take the credit for the lighting because I actually take my pictures by a window in my living/dining/tv area :) Let me know if you remember where you found the matcha locally! Also, Midge of Sybaritic Diversions found some in Kozui (Tomas Morato, Quezon City) :)

Thank you Oggi! Matcha ice cream sounds lovely if only I had an ice cream maker :)

Be@rbrick Lover: said...

You've done it again! The tea pics – bravo!

I was at that Pink affair, too, last Sunday. They should do that sort of thing every month – I'd surely go!

ChichaJo said...

Thank you Be@rbrick Lover! I am so flattered :) I agree about Pink Kitchen...I had so much fun and all for a good cause :)

Belinda said...

What a positively perfect way to spend a weekend! What is life without tea, after all?! :-) I can't start or end the day without tea. And how wonderful that you are friends with Christine in "real" life!

ChichaJo said...

Hi Belinda! It was a wonderful weekend :) I met Christine waaay back...she is awesome! We have a lot in common and now blogging too :)

valentinA said...

Oh I'm so happy for you Joey! You've finally got your green tea! *two thumbs up* and the drink you made sounds great!!!
btw, I've made green tea cake the other day & thought of you:P
Have a great week end!

ChichaJo said...

Hi Valentina! Yes! Yes! Now I can finally make some of your goodies :) You are so sweet :) Hope you had a great weekend as well!

Tartelette said...

that last tea sounds out of this world! I too am starring at my jar of green tea, wondering where to start!!

ChichaJo said...

Hi Helene! It is! :) And I still haven't decided what to make with the matcha yet...

Lemongrass said...

I love Genmaicha!!!

ChichaJo said...

Hi Lemongrass! Me too :) I just stocked up so I'm looking forward to "tea time" :)

Gay Carrillo said...

I like green tea ice cream - just mix green tea powder and vanilla ice cream.

ChichaJo said...

Hi Gay! Thanks for the tip! :) I'll try that :)

sandhya said...

thank you very much for the information that u share in this blog..keep it up!!!

Anonymous said...

wow where were you able to purchase the maccha powder? i have been looking everywhere myself:)

ChichaJo said...

Hi Anon! This was from HK :)