Month: March 2014

A Taste of Italy in Summer

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Spring has sprung in San Diego and there is nothing like an orangey and light cocktail to entertain with this time of year.  This weekend I had a few friends over for drinks at my place.  I wanted to do something special for my friend who had lived in Italy for a while and was missing his favorite drink while living in Naples.  An Aperol Spritz.

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This drink is an herby, orange, and sweet aperitif.   The ingredients are very simple, but the end result is more complex.  If you can’t find Aperol in your local liquor store (I found it at the second Bevmo! I searched) then Campari works very well in this recipe also.  The taste took my friend right back to summers in Italy, and I almost felt like I was there with him listening to his stories.  Here is all you need to make it.

Ice

1 Part Aperol

2 Part Prosecco

Splash of Soda Water (optional)

1 Orange slice

Splash of Orange Bitters if using Campari (optional, but will bring it all together)

Put all these ingredients in a cup of your choosing in that order and stir.  What you end up with is a little taste of Italy right in your house.  You can ad to the experience with a little “Italian Cafe” radio playing on Pandora along with some bruschetta to munch on.  Enjoy!!

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Throwback Thursday To Tokyo Cherry Blossoms

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Spring is nearly in the air, and even though I now live in sunny San Diego, California where the weather almost always feels like spring time, I find myself reflecting this “throwback thursday” on spring time in Japan.  I was lucky enough to live in Japan just outside of Yokohama for two years and in that time got to enjoy the most special time of the year in Japan, which is the Sakura (cherry blossom) festivals.

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Really beautiful Sakura tree. Really bad outfit.

In the central part of Japan  the Cherry Blossoms tend to bloom at the beginning of April.  If you happen to visit the southern most parts of Japan hoping to see them bloom, they can start as early as January.  Here, in Mitsuike Park between Yokohama and Tokyo has been listed as one of the top 100 places to view cherry blossoms in Japan.  In a country that is this obsessed with these trees making the top 100 list is a pretty big deal.  Still, even with its popularity you can find a little more space to breathe here compared to the more popular parks in Tokyo.

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In Japan, this is what I mean by a little space to breathe.  Okay, space is at a premium still, but trust me when I tell you this park is nowhere near as crowded.

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The views are amazing, and it is a custom in Japan known as Hanami to bring a picnic with you to the park and enjoy the day people watching underneath one of these beautiful Sakura trees.

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It is a good idea to get to the park early, because the lawns will fill up quickly each day the sakura is blooming and you may end up picnicking in the dirt.

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An absolute must however, is to enjoy the sakura with great friends…..

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And great food (It helps to have a friend who is an amazing chef).

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Cute little hotdog squids are optional!

I hope you enjoyed this weeks Throwback Thursday, and my SECOND post!!