Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Las Vegas FoodPorn- The Aftermath

It would not be a trip for a jin
well, anywhere
without a large carry on bag
full of chocolate to bring back home.
What's that?
Yes, it is indeed FULL of nothing but chocolate.
*huge jingrin*

jins louerveeee good chocolate

What's that?
Oh, of course you knew that already
*another huge jingrin*

These were from Jean Philippe Patisserie.
Chocolate dipped home-made marshmallows.
As you can see they got smashed on the plane.
*jin pout*
You know what that means, right?

It's the chocolate that keeps the fresh marshmallow soft.
Once the chocolate cracks they get hard... fast!
I was forced to eat these within 2 days.
They were divine.
A hint of orange zest.
Phenomenal texture.
Thin delectable chocolate.

Remember this photo?
It was a gorgeous display of hollow chocolate Santas & Boots at Jean Philippe's.
Well of course I had to buy one!

jins are kids at <3

I didn't share my Santa with anyone.MMmmmmmmmmm.... best chocolate Santa ever!

As I was making my way out of The Venetian
Floating on air (literally!) from
the delightful Oxygen Bar I had just visited
I spied
from across the crowded room
A Single Gleaming Truffle!
(Actually it was more like a large glass case filled with chocolates but that isn't nearly as poetic.)

G.G. Santi Venezia Cioccolata

You didn't have to buy a pre-packaged assortment
you could choose your own.
The Pralines & The Coconut were To-Die-For!
Unfortunately the rest were just so-so.
See those 2 pink hearts?
I only picked those for the name...
jin- "Ohhhh... can I have some Passion please?"
CuteChocoDude- "Do joo mean de Passion Fruit miz?"
*jin giggle*

Know what?
They sucked.
All I could taste was the red dye sprayed on top.
Guess that was my Karma for making the guy blush.

On to Vosges Haut Chocolat

One Zion Collection
with Flavours Inspired by
Rastafarian Culture

Very High Quality
Very Flavourful
Very Very Goood
not my faves;
by far...
be patient!
We'll get there.

photographed with the solitary
cheesy touristy Vegasy item I purchased:
a glittery pink espresso cup
ultra jin-like
Again, the caramels were very very gooood
but not my faves.

These were my second fave item.
The Aphrodisiac Exotic Gift Bar Set

LOOK at all of them!!!!

I tasted this one first.
jins love gianduja

say it with me...
I love how it sounds toooo...
say it again
Nice, isn't it?!

Each bar is imprinted
They were ALL Fabulous!
Oh yes, yes, yes they were!
Worth every penny.

But I have saved the BEST for last.
The Very Very Very Absolute Most Delicious Perfect
take home delight I took home

If I could have only ONE chocolate for the rest of my days it'd be these babies.
One can't improve upon perfection.
I shall never try to recreate these myjinself.
No way.
Oh, and if you happen to buy some for yourself...
*jin flutters her eyelashes & grins seductively*
I'd be happy to help you enjoy them.

Friday, January 25, 2008

...and the Winner is...

We have THREE participants
Who seem to know me so well
They guessed ALL the correct answers.
Creepy? You decide!

In alphabetical order:

Ace Munkee
(Is it because we had dinner together once?)

(Is it because we both live in the state that produced Ed Gein & Jeffrey Dahmer?)

Eternally Curious
(Is it because we've chatted on the phone a few times?)

The Answers

1) I have always been a closet basketball fan. I watch those tall lean dudes play whenever I get the chance!
O.M.G. I hate basketball. Can't even stand the sounds of the game: *squeak* *squeak* *bam bam bam* *swish* *squeak* *squeak* *squeak* *squeak* *bam bam bam* *swish* *squeak* *squeak*

2) I love camping. I used to go once every summer with my parents as I was growing up.
I went camping once with a dodgy group. I had to pee in the woods people. Two men from the group followed me with flashlights so they could watch. The good news- I lost them. The bad news- in the process of doing so I tripped, fell & sliced my knee open. I still have a scar there. Remember- a jins idea of roughing it is a hotel without room service.

3) The worst live concert I ever saw was Guns N' Roses. They really sucked!
Most peeps at that concert some 17 years ago would have disagreed with me. Course, most peeps at that concert were stoned out of their minds... as was the entire band. It was such a let down to an eager young headbangin' jin!

4) I totally enjoyed every entry in the Saw trilogy & look forward to seeing part 4.
What can I say? *blush* Brilliant Cinematic Masterpieces.
Bwa-haahahaaaaaa. (Get it? Pieces? Ya know... jigsaw? Ack... well I thought it was funny! :-P)

5) Yours truly prefers to sleep in the buff most of the time.
C'mon... it wouldn't be jintrinsique if I didn't include something a little risqué! ;-)

6) I change the homepage in my internet browser every 2-3 weeks depending on my current obsession.
Same homepage for two years straight. Same homepage y'all should have... jintrinsique baby!

7) I am in possession of a VHS collection with titles such as: Tampopo, Aria, Singing in the Rain, The Evil Dead, Victor/Victoria, Cronos, Looking for Mr. Goodbar.
To think the titles get weirder & more diverse than those.

8) I hate mushrooms. Ewww... they're a fungus!
As a kid the fungus line was my excuse for never tasting them... but once I finally wrapped my jinlips around a portabella there was no turning back & now pasta is not pasta without them! MMMmmmm.

Shall we see who wins now?
Ok then.
The Finalists:

The Mixing Bowl:

Oh Oh Oh!
Who is it???

...and the Winner is...

Congratulations Eternally Curious!

Last Chance to Play!

Contest will end this evening at 7:00PM!
I'll draw the winner shortly after.
SWEETBOX will be mailed out Monday.
I think it might have a few of these things in it:

Already played my contest?
Want to play another one?
Go over to Stumpjacks Blog.
Sir David Smith is giving away FREE coffee!
(I wonder where he got the contest idea from... hmmm... ;-)

Sunday, January 20, 2008

8 Things Meme Contest

Per chance there are a few peeps out there reading that are not familiar with the blog meme- click here for the general rules.

I was tagged months ago by MeHereNow. I didn't forget- life just got in the way! Everyone knows a jin always sucks it up & faces her tagger- the only caveat being: jins usually like to change the rules.
(Rules are made to be broken, aren't they?! ;-)

Don't Worry-
I'm still going to give you 8 facts about moi.

The Catch Is-
Only 4 will be true; the other 4 are absolute jinlies.

The Contest Enters Play-
YOU need to guess which are which.

The Fun Part-
He/she who wins gets a yummy delicious jinscratch made SWEETBOX for free!

The Rules-
One guess per person. The names of those who have the most correct guesses will be tossed into a mixing bowl & one winner will be picked. It'll be my treat to ship a SWEETBOX filled with 2 dozen items of my choosing directly to your home or office anywhere in the U.S. or Canada. (Please Note- Canadian residents may be subjected to an import fee before being allowed to accept your package; this fee would be solely the winners responsibility.)

You don't have to be a blogger to play! Simply leave your choices in the comment (epicureans) section after the post along with your first name (or nickname); should you win you can contact me by email with your shipping information.

A Confession-
This idea for the meme contest originated by Dashing Dan. I merely borrowed it & I swear I'll return it one day when I'm finished using it.

Winner Will Be Announced-
In a week or so... let's see how many peeps we get to play!!! Play everyone! C'mon... puh-leeeeeeease? *jin bats her eyelashes*

1) I have always been a closet basketball fan. I watch those tall lean dudes play whenever I get the chance!

2) I love camping. I used to go once every summer with my parents as I was growing up.

3) The worst live concert I ever saw was Guns N' Roses. They really sucked!

4) I totally enjoyed every entry in the Saw trilogy & look forward to seeing part 4.

5) Yours truly prefers to sleep in the buff most of the time.

6) I change the homepage in my internet browser every 2-3 weeks depending on my current obsession.

7) I am in possession of a VHS collection with titles such as: Tampopo, Aria, Singing in the Rain, The Evil Dead, Victor/Victoria, Cronos, Looking for Mr. Goodbar.

8) I hate mushrooms. Ewww... they're a fungus!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Customers From Hell Volume IX
"The Non-Customer"

Recently I mentioned I was included in a story written for an area newspaper. A couple weeks after that, our local newspaper reprinted another version of the same story. (Click here to view the online version. Note: in the newspaper there was an additional photo; a large cookie close-up.)

The photo of me was actually taken in mid-November, hence the reason I'm still wearing my wedding rings. I cannot tell you how thrilled I was that they were blatantly there for all to see even though I am currently available. Why you ask? Well, this brings us to my first tale...

"The Non-Customer that Wouldn't Go Away"

Many years ago there was an unhitched jin that had her photo in the newspaper along with a story about her cakes. Most unfortunately the photo included a close-up of her left hand sans rings. As any local female who has been in this same position will tell you, "Manitowoc does have it's share of weirdos and if they find your name & number after seeing you in the news they will call you."

I was warned by another area business woman but thought nothing of it... until...
One sunny afternoon I was busy filling orders when the phone rang.
me- "Uniquely Yours Pastry Shoppe Jennifer speaking."
he- "Uh, hi. I'd like to place an order."
me- "Ok, when would you like this for?"
he- "Uh, I'm not sure."
me- "Ok... well, do you know what you'd like or shall I go over our brochure with you?"
he- "I know what I want."
me- "Ok, what would you like?"
he- "I wanna take you to dinner."
me- "Excuse me?"
he- "Will you go to dinner with me?"
me- "Uhhh..." *Thinking omfg! You've got to be kidding me?!!?*
he- "I saw your picture in the paper & you look like the type of girl I'd like to go out with."
me- "Well, I'm sorry but you have to realize how this sounds. I am not going to go out with someone I've never met."
he- "Can I come over now and meet you then?"
me- "NO! Uh... I mean I'm closing now, sorry. I have to go. Bye."

I hang up the phone and decide to never answer it again ('twas the unfortunate days before Caller ID).

The next day I'm going about my business when I see a flower truck pull up. In walks the delivery guy (who I am acquainted with) carrying a large arrangement. I tell him I'd like to see the card before he leaves. It says, "Will you have dinner with me?" There is a name & a phone number. I tried to insist that the delivery guy take the arrangement back with him. I did not want to accept it for I had a bad feeling about the whole situation. He said it was his job to deliver them & that's what he had to do. DAMN!

I go over all my options & decide to simply do nothing. Silly jin, I forgot that doesn't work with demented individuals. DOUBLE DAMN!

He called again & I got caught answering (this is a business after all & I couldn't ignore my sane customers). I thanked him for the flowers & apologized but I was still not going to dinner with a complete stranger. I hung up the phone.

[Let me interject here... I have no idea why I didn't just lie & say I had a boyfriend. Like... a world champion body builder maybe... that just got out of prison... for... umm... killing a stalker! Yeah! That would have been great! Why didn't I think of it then?!!? ACK! Slow jin! Er, not to be confused with sloe gin.]

The next day he came to my shoppe and introduced himself. He also informed me ummm... ok I'm censoring this part actually... too much detail and it involves weird stalkerish behaviour on his part. Anyway... I still ended up saying I would not go to dinner with him and it was awkward and he just stood there like he wasn't going to leave. He eventually said, "Tell me what I have to do to impress you!" I accidentally blurted out in a jincredibly annoyed tone, "Usually if a guy wants to impress me he comes into my shoppe and actually spends a few $ & BUYS something I make!!!" His reply, "Will you go to lunch with me then?"

You all know I hate being a bitch, I really do... but if push comes to shove... well, let's just say I knew I had to be. To get rid of him I finally did agree to a meal. I also fully intended to stand him up. Which I did the next day... and he still came back!!! How did it ever end you're wondering? Well peeps... by now he knew I didn't have a boyfriend so that lie wouldn't work. I did what any jin would have done. I went for a meal with him. After the food came I took the check, said I was paying for the food so we were even for the flowers he sent, I stood up, left my food and him sitting there whilst uttering the final words he'd ever hear from me, "Oh, btw... I'm a lesbian."

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

This brings us to my second tale...

"The Anonymous Non-Customer"

Another thing that most people don't realize is how many jealous nasty individuals are out there. The angry bitter populace of a small town. Every single time my photo is in the local paper I receive (at least one) anonymous hate mail. Haahaa! I'll bet that surprises you! I generally don't tell anyone, for there really is nothing I can do except laugh at the ridiculousness of it all. That is, until I discovered blogging; the power to blast, and quite possibly embarrass, the small minded bored losers who only pull cowardly foolish stunts such as this because they want others to feel as unloved, unwanted & dimwitted as they do. But what I really want to say to the woman who wrote this:

You're just jealous because I'm younger, gorgeous & jintrinsicly more talented than you could ever be you old biach!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

A FoodPorn Goddess' Trip to Vegas

subtitled Jin Does Vegas
(Kinda like Debbie Does Dallas. Well, ok... I guess not, considering I only ate food.)

Day One:
I didn't arrive until after 8PM.
Good thing Vegas never sleeps.
Katy is totally psychic, knew I'd be starved and had food I like ready for me!

German Gummy Bears. Yum! She swears she didn't leave the teddy. I suppose one of my numerous cyberstalking studs snuck in before I got there and left it for me anonymously.

Insalata Caprese. I scarfed most of it down before I remembered to give Katy all her jingoodies.

I had a bag full of Vanilla Bliss & Garlic & Organic Herb Scones for her. She started in on those while I finished my Caprese. We decided to just walk the strip & scope out what to do the next day.

A jin in front of the Sphinx. Purrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

We had one jin without socks & one Katy without a warm coat so we tucked into the Luxor to unthaw for a nightcap.

Day Two:
Katy was stuck in meetings all day.
She did sneak out early in the AM to bring me breakfast.
I ate while admiring the view from our hotel room.

I decided not to plan anything & just go exploring.
I figured my nose would lead me to all the right places.
I started at The Bellagio.
I took cheesy touristy photos because I felt obligated.

Ok, ok... enough of that!
On with my first culinary adventure.
Jean-Philippe Patisserie.
Home of the largest chocolate fountain in the world!
(For some great professional pics & detailed info click this link graciously sent to me by Mark & Shelly... thanks you two! For a few crappy pics read on & check out mine... sorry, my normally steady jinhands were shaking in anticipation of tasting all THESE PASTRIES!!!)

The Fountain Detailz.

The Fountain Itself!

Edible Life-Sized Chocolate Display!

See that Santa?
Ohhhh.... I'd sure like to take a taste of his


Presents! His presents!

Sheesh you people have dirty minds!

Please click to enlarge.
Oh my... you simply must!
These were as fab as they looked.

How well do you think you know me?
The one I chose for myself is in this pic.
It should be obvious.
Blog kisses if you guess correctly.
My undying Love if you deliver me one tomorrow.
Give up?

Twas this beauty:
A Rose Macaroon.
It was one the most perfect things I've ever tasted.
I'm grinning just from the memory it left on my tastebuds.

I brought this one back for Katy:
A Raspberry Tart. She giggled the whole time she savoured it.

But I'm getting ahead of myself here.
I had other places to indulge before I even went back to the hotel!

I was on a mission. I needed to find a place for lunch. This jin was hungry. I also wanted to choose a place to dine on day three as I would be alone- for Katy's flight was early AM and mine wasn't until midnight.

A short walk down the corridors of the Bellagio took me directly to Todd English's Olives. There was an hour long wait for a table unless I wanted to eat at the bar. There was one single solitary seat left at the bar.

jins call that fate
so that's where I ate!

I knew I was in for a treat. Three things tipped me off before I even tasted anything:
1. Several creative vegetarian offerings on the menu
2. I was served a fantastic looking cappuccino with picture perfect foam
3. Zach- the gorgeous Bartender who was great fantasy material serving me

For starters I was served a basket of flat-breads with 2 absolutely divine olive tapenades & a medley of marinated herbed olives. MMmmmm..... delish! My main course was a chestnut stuffed ravioli which this jin cannot even begin to describe. Let's just say I nearly licked the bartend... um... I mean the plate... clean.

I ordered no dessert here as I was intent on heading over to Caesars Palace in search of a little Boutique called Vosges. I did the cheesy touristy photo thingy again.

I walked everywhere. I couldn't find Vosges. I looked at the map. It was supposed to be there. I walked around again. No Vosges. I was temporarily accosted by a tiny foreign woman who wanted to rub "A Miracle Lotion on your tired dry hands". I ran from her for fear the lotion was not up to my strict animal-friendly personal care product standards. Around the corner I flew nearly knocking down a photo snapping tourist when what to my wondering eyes should appear but this:

Purple House!
The Vosges Boutique!

This place will have a post all its own in the near future. I tasted... I purchased... I took pics of things as I tasted... MMmmmmm...... oh, sorry, don't mean to tease you. (Well, maybe I do. ;-)

Let's skip the rest of my daytrip & go directly to our night out. After regaling Katy with stories of everything I stuffed into my jinmouth all day long she knew I wasn't going to be able to eat much for dinner. She was starved & wanted to check out a German Restaurant she had heard about. I think she was worried they wouldn't have much in the way of veggie offerings for yours truly, but that was fine by me for I didn't think I could possibly eat another thing! Off we went to The Hofbräuhaus where Katy ordered things I couldn't pronounce & certainly can't spell! We took a few pics with her razr:

A jin tasting something cheesy that was really good!

Katy in her now infamous "German's really enjoy sausage" photo.

Katy & I had received many suggestions for hip nighttime happenings from the awesomeness that is Bubs. Unfortunately, Katy had checked the cover charge of the male strip club (before I even arrived... *ahem* bad Katy!) and it was more than we were willing to spend. Instead, we decided to take our chances at "The Happiest Place on Earth".

Here's video proof, directly from Katy's razr:

The show was great. Er, maybe I should be more specific. The guy jumping in and out of the video was the show. He was most certainly on a bad trip & did things I am too proper to write about here. (I heard that! I am too proper! Ok, most of the time.)

The highlight of the band was the cellist. Yes, you heard me right. A cellist in a punk band. His cello was electric blue and he was smokin' hawt! His musical ability wasn't half bad either. Here's proof that Katy was brave enough to work her way through the crowd for a souvenir. I stayed back at the table fending off non-potential suitors.

Day Three:
Katy left before dawn.
My flight was at midnight.

I had sooo many options, but I decided to do Sunday brunch at Paris. I walked in the front entrance & was astounded with all the visuals. I resolved to take my time looking for the brunch & absorb everything. Silly silly jin. Not 20 steps inside and what do I catch sight of? Just off to my right stands Lenôtre. I stood there staring inside at all the pastries knowing full well that if I ate any I would not be able to enjoy brunch. What to do what to do what to do...

Oh c'mon people... you know I went for the pastry!!!
"I'd like one Chocolate Framboise and a large Cappuccino for here please."
It was very very good. But, alas, twas not perfect & it just left me pining for more of Jean-Philippe's delights. I'm a picky picky jin. I knew I had tarnished my appetite for brunch but was still a tad hungry.

Welcome to the wrestling match inside my head:
bad jin- "Go on... you KNOW you want to!"
good jin- "NO! I can't. Not again!"
bad jin- "Dooooo iiiiiiiiiiittt."
good jin- "I'd like to but that would be truly gluttonous!"
bad jin- "It's within walking distance."
good jin- "Yessss... but but but..."
bad jin- "GO!"

She won this round. Off I headed to the Bellagio again for chocolatey sin in the form of Jean-Philippe Patisserie. I am a very very bad jin. I ended up buying TWO!

The Fruit Tart

The Yule Log

A jintease about to indulge

A look of complete & total jinbliss

Yes my luvs... I went back to the hotel & ate both of them, by myself, along with a large hot Tazo green tea. It was amazing. There was nothing but me & perfect pastry. Perfect perfect pastry. Maybe I need to let bad jin out a little more often.

The rest of my day consisted of many miles of walking. I needed to work up an appetite for my final dinner in Vegas! Haaahahahaaa... yes I'm serious! I walked the strip... the hotels... pretty much anywhere I could walk. I ended up at Olives again for dinner as the place I wanted to go was closed. I had the same flat-breads & tapenades. I had a divine artichoke, truffle & risotto salad. My main course was a Butternut Squash Ravioli with Fresh Sage & Browned Butter. It was wonderful. A perfect end to a perfect trip.

Thank you a million Katy! Where are we going next time?!!? :-D