The Story of Tea: A Cultural History and Drinking Guide

The air has just turned crisp enough for my breathe to fog the air around me, and I crave the warmth of the gentle tones of a cup of tea. I live off the subtle taste of my winter tea. Any type of tea is ok with me, but I decided to take a second look at one of my favorite commodities.

Earlier this year, I had the joy of visiting a tea shop in San Francisco, which I featured in Vital Tea Leaf: A Story of Tea. It started my journey into learning more about this popular drink. I read a wonderful book called The Tea Book, which showed me that the tea leaf we enjoy is steeped in history and culture. I released part of this in the exposé called Tea: More Than Just A Leaf. However, I decided to take another dive into exploring the culture of tea and how it has shaped the world by reading the book called The Story of Tea by Mary Lou Heiss and Robert J. Heiss. 

The Italian Baker: Bringing A Little Piece of Italy into the Kitchen

This summer I got to spend a little time in the North of Italy in the cities: Venice, Florence, and Milan. I loved eating my way through the streets and finding the best eats. When I got back to the states, I decided to see if I could recreate a little piece of Italy into my kitchen. Thankfully after many afternoons in the local library, I found the recipe book that I was going to use to relive Italy with. It was called The Italian Baker by Carol Field. This book is jam pack full of recipes from every coast of Italy. These recipes were focused in on the wonderful breads, tarts, cakes, and other baked goodies. So who can resist trying a few?

Flying Fish: Ocean Full of Flavor

I recently attended a business conference in Orlando, Florida and got to sample some of the best seafood delicacies at the Disney World Resort in Broad Walk Inn. A tasty dinner is the perfect reward after long day of meetings in my opinion so when I was able to snatch a table at Flying Fish, I was floating through the rest of day. But let’s get go onto what you really want to hear about THE FOOD!

New Season of Great British Baking Show = New Bakes, New Challenges, New Episodes

Back in 2018, I questioned if Great British Baking Show would survive not only the change in cast but keeping the show fresh. I am happy to announce that Paul and Prue are back in a new season on Netflix. Sandy and Noel are MC-ing it all and 13 more bakers are in the tent. There is currently 6 episodes of the new season have been released for your viewing pleasure. I have the dates of the for the release of each episode marked on my calendar because I am at the edge of my seating waiting for each episode. I love it because the show is my little ray of sunshine on Fridays that offer some easy-going entertainment without the intensity of American competition shows.

Jalisco Norte: Mexican Food Done Right

As a native Texan, I have a deep love for Mexican Food. FYI, Mexican food is made up of more than margaritas and burritos. It is packed full of color and flavor. It is like the vibrancy of life are contained in each individual bite. So I was excited to explore one of the best Mexican restaurants in Dallas, Texas at Jalisco Norte. The first thing to note about this place is the modern city vibe contained within the walls while the purely authentic music pouring from the speakers into the street. So get ready for some of the best Mexican food you will ever have. 

The Chef’s Line: Restaurant Chefs vs. Home Cooks

I am a big TV watcher and a big foodie. So the shows that you can typically find me watching are cooking shows or food competition shows. It is a staple of late night watching or late Sundays mornings. I have watched so many that I find myself talking to the TV about what I would have done and/or correcting the competitors. I mean it looks easy enough on my TV screen. I think anyone in my family could give those guys a run for their money especially in something we do everyday. Well, Netflix decided to test home cooks against top restaurant chefs in Australia. 

Borgo San Jacopo: Michelin Star = Michelin Yum

When a restaurant is awarded a Michelin Star, it is considered one of the greatest achievements it can receive.  Florence is home to a plethora of Michelin Star restaurants. In a city full of high quality restaurants, why wouldn’t you go try one out? So after searching for an opening, we were able to dine at Borgo San Jacopo.

Golden View Open Bar: Go for the View, Stay for the Food & Wine

Above the soft lulls of the river in Florence, there is a restaurant near Pointe Vecchio that has the most beautiful views of the river front. They have aptly named this restaurant and bar, Golden View Open Bar. If you have a dining table by the massive windows then you will be stunned by the setting sun and twinkling lights of the city. You can watch the steady stream of tourist and locals meander over the bridges that connect each river side to each other. The whole atmosphere is of peace and tranquility. I see why this was a strong recommendation from Giada De Laurentis. Now onto the food!

Hostaria Osottoospora: Venetian Food Extravaganza

Italy is the dream land of pasta, cheese, and other Italian food masterpieces. When I planned my recent trip to Italy, I was ready to feast on perfection. However, my dear friend brought a rainy cloud on my ideal Italian trip. She had traveled to the city of Venice a month before and was sad that her hunt for the perfect plate was empty. She said that all the restaurants had pre-frozen food or the food was the tourist version of the dishes that she hoped to try in their original form. So when I landed in the City of Bridges, I was on a mission to prove my friend wrong. I was going to find the best Venetian food and feast until I reached food coma. I am happy to report I found my Venetian food heaven. Let me welcome you to Hosteria Osottoospora, my Venetian food heaven. 

Strictly Dumpling: Let’s get hungry

Do you know someone that seems to be able to find all the best restaurants in town? For me, it is youtube star, Mikey or Mike Chen. Don’t know him? Then you should definitely read on because you will want to binge on his videos after this. Mikey Chen has built a career filled with videos on his channel called Strictly Dumpling around his favorite food during his travels. He has traveled to far off destination such as Singapore, Philippines, and India. His passion for food shines in every video as he ‘fanboys’ over the beautiful crafted dishes. The most popular type of food that he features is Chinese. However he has featured anything from Japanese to Las Vegas buffets. He has eaten things that most would possibly shy away from like frog fallopian tubes. (Not a dish I personally I am going to try any time soon.)