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The Starbucks Gold Card… for people who really love Starbucks. Unfortunately the benefits are only redeemable in the US!

Starbucks Gold Membership
Come here often? This is the Card for you. Join for just $25 and unlock a year’s worth of member discounts and gold status.

  • 10% off most purchases in participating stores
  • Pay however you would like (cash, credit card, or Starbucks Card)

And when you register, that’s when the top shelf treatment really begins.

  • Surprise indulgences, like a treat on your birthday.
  • Exciting offers and discounts

This program is only available to residents of the U.S. If you have a Canadian address and would like to register your Gold Card to protect your membership and Card balance, you may register your Card here. However, you will not be eligible for any Gold Card benefits in Canada, such as the 10% member discount and a free drink on your birthday.

I’m always on the lookout in Vancouver for gourmet food stores. I will go up and down the aisle and take a mental, written or pictoral note of ingredients/products I find interesting in case I need to use it in the future.

On my way to Quince as in my last post, I passed Mad About Food – didn’t go in, but the website looks interesting.

Also found online: http://www.epicureal.com

Walked into Quince today looking for something to drink. Found that they carry Vilux vinegars from France. Comes in passionfruit, fig, blueberry… must buy and try.

Founded over a century ago, Vilux d a new standard for high-quality French vinegars by setting the acidity 1% lower than traditional vinegars and focusing on flavors like raspberry and pear, and using only natural ingredients. Imported into Canada since the 1950’s, Vilux vinegars are prized by chefs for their superior taste and quality. Today, Vilux has expanded its product range to include special spices, fine flavored oils, and a delectable line of Dijon mustards.

I still dream about this concoction at the Shangri-La. I’m thinking either Jasmine tea from T on Broadway, as that’s their tea provider, lemon and San Pelligrino (which is what they serve).

May not be actual tea that they use, as I made this yesterday with fresh lemons, tea and club soda. The tea made it somewhat bitter, and as I recall the jasmine in the lemonade was very strong and sweet, so I’m leaning towards jasmine extract . Still haven’t decided on the lemons, whether fresh lemons, lemon juice or lemonade, but I can tell you that club soda is NOT the way to go.  It was WAY too salty, and San Pelligrino should be used instead (5% or 130mg sodium vs. 1% or 10mg).

Serves 4

Nobu-Style Miso:
3/4 cup mirin
1/2 cup sake
2 cups white miso paste
1 cup sugar

4 black cod fillets, about 1/2 pound each
1 stalk hajikami

Note: side of grated daikon, and fermented soybean from Fujiya.

My friend Nobu Matsuhisa shared this signature recipe with me when he appeared on my Food Network TV show. The recipe is adapted from his beautiful “Nobu: The Cookbook” (Kodansha International, 2001). The hajikami garnish he calls for is a pickled ginger shoot, which you can find in Japanese markets; regular sliced pickled ginger may be substituted. You’ll find the sake, mirin, and white miso not only in Japanese markets but also in most well-stocked supermarkets. You can use sea bass fillets in place of the cod.

1. First, make the Nobu-Style Miso: In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the mirin and sake and boil for 20 seconds to evaporate the alcohol. Add the miso paste and stir with a wooden spoon until it dissolves completely. Add the sugar, raise the heat to high, and stir continuously until it has dissolved completely. Remove the pan from the heat and leave at room temperature until the mixture has cooled completely.

2. Pat the black cod fillets thoroughly dry with paper towels. Put them in a nonreactive dish or bowl and slather them with the Nobu-style miso, saving a few spoonfuls of the sauce in a small covered bowl in the refrigerator to use as a garnish. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 to 3 days.

3. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Preheat a grill or broiler. Lightly wipe off any excess miso clinging to the fillets, but don’t rinse it off. Place the fish on the grill or under the broiler and cook just until its surface turns brown. Then transfer to a baking dish and cook in the oven until the fish is just opaque in its center, 10 to 15 minutes more.

4. Arrange the black cod fillets on individual plates and garnish with hajikami. Add a few extra drops of Nobu-style miso around each plate.

From Wolfgang Puck

Update Feb 25th: That mirin, sake, white miso and sugar concoction is delicious! Could not stop fondling the cod – supple as a baby’s bottom. Best is from Japanese fishmongers. Got mine from a store right beside the Airport Plaza at the end of Granville. This will be eaten on Friday. Experimenting with grilling and broiling to see which method is better.

Update Feb 27th: Grilled first, then in the oven. Remember to scrape off all the miso or it will burn in the grill and then in the oven. In the small toaster oven, 400F is too high and watch carefully. Other than that, it smelled delicious, and was so moist and juicy. Marinating it for 3 days might make it too salty though.

LOVE for Dinner:

  • Jasmine Lemonade
  • Rice Cracker Crusted Tuna w/Citrus-Sriracha Emulsion
  • Roasted Beets and Okanagan Goat Cheese w/Balsamic Vinaigrette
  • Foie Gras Brule w/Dried Sour Cherries and White Port Gelee
  • Sablefish w/Nut and Seed Crust in Sweet and Sour Broth

Or go for the Market Menu for tasters of all the above (except the lemonade, which is to die for!). Lunch specials at the Market as well, or the 50 minutes $20 power lunch downstairs in the Lobby Lounge, which has more hearty food. Business casual.

Market by Jean Georges
Level 3
(1 604) 695 1115

Urban Tea Merchant’s Wedding Imperial blend. It was the perfect dark tea with chocolate blended with caramel and savoury with milk. It will be missed.

Update: the blender is Mariage Freres! And can still be found!

Description:

A Romantic expression of Golden Assam tea with hints of chocolate and caramel. Assam is the the worlds largest black tea producing region, located in Northern India, Assam teas are best known for their pungent, malty qualities. A worthy addition to any Mariage Freres collection, and one of our favorites. Brilliant with a little milk and sugar.

Tea Origin: India

And can probably be found:

Watson Kennedy Fine Home
1022 First Avenue
Seattle, Wa 98104
206.652.8350

Lucca Great Finds

5332 Ballard Ave NW
Seattle, WA 98107-4060
Phone: (206) 782-7337

Anywhere else?
Update: ONLINE!!! @ Cultured Cup

Leslie Stowe’s Cranberry Hazelnut Raincoast Crisps
with Brie cheese. Brie cheese goes with all the crisps, but she doesn’t mention it to go with the sweeter cranberry hazelnut selection, though I think it’s even more delicious.

SPICY SOY DIPPING SAUCE FOR DUMPLINGS

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl until well combined. Store refrigerated in a covered container for up to a week.

6 tablespoons dark soy sauce
3 tablespoons light soy sauce
3 tablespoons Chinese black vinegar or balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger
1 green onion, finely chopped
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce

Well…. for detox…
Grapes constitute one of the main detoxifying foods, ideal to carry out cures where they are the only food eaten. It is important to carry out this cure when this fruit is in its biggest abundance, that is to say at the end of summer and until mid autumn. This diet can be carried out exclusively with grape in a quantity that can oscillate from 2 to 3 kilos a day or to combine it with other vegetables or fruits. We can decide to eat it during dinner, breakfast or in both meals at the same time. By practicing this diet it is possible to lose the superfluous weight, at the same time that our organism is purified.. Therefore this diet is not only recommended to obese people but to all those who need a special depurative diet: people affected by rheumatic illnesses such as gout or arthritis; people with kidney problems that need help to eliminate toxins or those with problems in the circulatory system: hypertension, arteriosclerosis or bad circulation in general. All of them will benefit from this treatment. The reason of all this has to be attributed fundamentally to its wealth in potassium (especially in raisins) that controls the balance of the liquids in the organism, and also to its low levels of sodium. ( In fresh grapes) . Equally the presence of vitamin B that intervenes in the metabolism of the fats and carbohydrates.

It is necessary to consider the grape an alkalizer, reason why it purifies the blood. Its consumption can inhibit the growth of cancerous cells. Numerous studies have been carried out to check in which way the presence of tannins and caffeic acid, besides constituting stupendous bactericides, could reduce the probabilities of acquiring this illness. The extract of grape seeds prevents the appearance of some cancers, as breast, prostate or colon cancers. The main component responsible for this property is a flavonoid that appears in the skin of black grapes or in black wine. This component is called resveratrol.

On the other hand, if we eat the whole grape, without discarding the skin, this help to clean our bowels, increasing the fecal matter and preventing constipation. In the same way, grapes have laxative properties.

For their wealth in sugars and carbohydrates, grapes constitute a source of natural energy for those that need to do an extra effort as sportsmen, students, children in time of growth or people with low sugar levels in their blood. This aspect is reinforced when we consume grape raisins, in which case its content in carbohydrates and calories is three times higher than when we eat them fresh.

The importance of the fermented grape or wine has been valued in the treatment of cholesterol. The presence in this drink of alcohol and phenols contributes to diminish cholesterol, to improve blood circulation and to prevent heart attacks. A moderate consumption of wine can favor circulation, but the consumption of red grape without peeling can also bring the same properties without being necessary to take any alcohol, which in a prolonged and abundant use is not good for our health.

Grapes, used externally, constitute a very interesting cosmetic help for the protection and embellishment of skin, since they are one of the best skin humidifiers, so that they hydrate and recover it from the effects of dryness. The pulp of this fruit extended on the face in mask form during 20 or 30 minutes is a good resource to eliminate wrinkles. The sap of the vine can be used to reduce the eyes inflammation.

The vinegar of white grapes can be used to remove the yellow stains of the fingernails (Clean the fingernails with a soft brush impregnated with vinegar)

This fruit, for its wealth in sugars, is not very appropriate for diabetics or those that present intestinal problems because it increases fermentation and flatulence.