Field Trip: Must-Buys from the U.S. (Part 1: Kitchen Utensils) 美國必買心得 (1: 廚具 & 生活道具)

A few months ago, I went on a business trip to the U.S. I grew up there, but haven’t been back in about 6 years or so.  Aside from the work-related tasks, I also had just a bit of time to stock up on some favorites. A lot of people  ask me for advice for “must-buys” in the U.S., and for Taiwan, and I just have to say, I have no hard and fast rules except for one general guideline. Buy the items that you can actually use in your daily life. Otherwise, it’s likely to become just clutter.

As I noted here and here, I always try to buy items from my travels that I can incorporate into my daily life. These items usually fall under three main categories: (1) kitchen tools, and other lifestyle tools (2) cosmetics and (3) stationery .  In this series of posts, I would like to share the items I bought.  I thought of first taking photos of all the individual items, but we have been having some seriously abysmal, dreary weather here in Taiwan, so the natural light has been scarce. I decided everything would be more clear if I used stock images.

前幾個月去美國出差  回到以前成長的世界, 有機會生活在熟悉的環境裡, 聽跟說熟悉的語言,真的很開心。 雖然很忙碌, 但還是抽出一點時間買了一些小東西 帶回台灣用。這次買的東西可以 歸類成三大項目:(1)廚具(2)化妝,保養品 (3) 文具  。我們先聊聊廚具吧!

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Field Trip: Crate and Barrel is now open in Taiwan~ 美國家具家飾品牌Crate and Barrel 來台灣了!

Information: Crate and Barrel Taiwan |Website: | Address: Zhongxiao East Road, Section 5, No. 68, B1F (Breeze, Xinyi)| Tel:02-2720-2677 (台北市忠孝東路五段68號B1F)

As you may know, I absolutely adore a good kitchenware shop  wherever I am in the world.  So you can imagine my delight when I found out Crate and Barrel opened up in Taipei!


The store located in the Xinyi District of Taipei, in the basement level of the new branch of the Breeze department stores.


真的太開心了, 美國的家居品牌 Crate and Barrel 抵達台灣了。小時候跟媽媽去逛的時候, 她會一直說 “don’t touch, look with your eyes only”( 因為很怕我不小心把東西打破)。 現在身為大人的我 終於可以到店裡面 see AND touch 了! 前一陣子在附近開會, 剛好有半個小時的空檔去逛一逛 Crate and Barrel。 雖然時間非常的短暫, 但我逛了非常的滿足!

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Late Night Cooking Series Part 5: Lemon Frozen Yogurt~深夜食堂第五話:檸檬優格

The weather is definitely warming up here in Taiwan. Believe it or not, but I  finally figured out that while eating ice cream makes you feel chilled and refreshed, the making of the ice cream is actually a pretty hot process. So this summer season, my new order of operations is to make the ice cream mixture at night when the weather is cooler, and then let the mixture chill in the fridge overnight before putting it through the ice cream maker the next morning.

I love lemon flavored desserts, and so this time, I decided to experiment with Jeni’s frozen yogurt recipe. Before you get started, please remember that this particular recipe involves a bit of prep work. You need to drain the yogurt of excess water, so you won’t end up with too much liquid in your ice cream. The yogurt needs about 6-8 hours to drain thoroughly.  Don’t be tempted to skip this step, because too much liquid means an ice cream full of icy shards. I’ve noticed that Taiwanese yogurt is actually much “runnier” in comparisons to the yogurts I ate abroad, so this step is absolutely necessary! For this recipe, I used unsweetened yogurt from Matthew’s Choice, available at Matsusei, or City Super. After draining, this yogurt is wonderfully thick and creamy, almost like Greek yogurt in texture.


The next step is to peel the lemons for zest.  Jeni recommends that you peel the lemon zest into long strips, so they are easy to remove from the ice cream mixture before freezing. I found that my Oxo vegetable peeler worked beautifully for this purpose. Next, make the lemon syrup which consists of lemon juice and sugar (please see below for the exact measurements). Then as with all of Jeni’s recipes, you have to prepare the cream cheese mixture and cornstarch slurry.  (In one bowl, combine the cream cheese with salt, in a separate bowl, combine the cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of milk)


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Kitchen Storage Containers: 食物收納用品的小 ideas

Kitchen Storage Containers (1)
A few days ago, while idly rummaging through my kitchen for supplies to make madeleines, I was awestruck by the sheer haphazardness of my food storage containers:  A cute round Tupperware container that has withstood years of being banged around in my lunch bag, a few lidless rectangular containers, some recycled glass jam jars and some unfamiliar plastic containers painted with dancing vegetables.  I decided that this is the year to upgrade some of my everyday kitchen essentials.  So, here are some of the items that are on my food storage container wish list!  When doing research for this post, I happily found out that Crate and Barrel now ships items to Taiwan.  (My kitchen sings, my credit card weeps)
過年的時候 家裡難免會冒出很多食材。 有一天, 我本來備料要烤餅乾 可是被冰箱跟櫥櫃裡面的收納用品楞住了。 天啊。 我家怎麼那麼多大小不同, 亂七八糟的 containers ?! 一些好像也不是我買的, 也不知道從那裡飄來的。 而且我買的漂亮的 Muji 容器也不見了 (如果在你家, 請還我! XD)  本來要出門買的 可是那天剛好下大雨 所以決定先在網路上看看有沒有什麼 ideas,  再決定要買什麼款式。 我基本上有兩個原則,在櫥櫃裡面, 我喜歡買正方形。可以疊的容器, 因為比較不浪費空間。放在檯面上的容器, 我喜歡 colorful 一點的, 畢竟每天都要見面, 所以美觀對我來講 很重要。在研究過程中發覺我以前在美國很喜愛的品牌 Crate and Barrel 可以送貨來台灣了! 太開心了。 我最近會收集一些我喜歡的小東西 跟大家分享。

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