This year I will be spending Valentine's Day alone on the West Coast. I recently moved all CdS operations to Southern California. I left husband and dog behind to take care of things at home back in NYC. Essentially I'll be commuting back and forth from coast to coast.
Still, the first week was tough. This week was a lot better, but still I miss my friends and family back East. And even though I never really went overboard during Valentine's Day I can't help but feel a little sad that I won't be surrounded by loved ones this weekend.
However, I did manage to meet up with a few friends just this week and they made me feel so welcome! I feel myself cheering up already. Krizia was kind enough to gift me a box of confectionery from one of my favorite places--Minamoto Kitchoan. The NYC location was only 2 blocks from the old CdS office! It seems to have followed me here to California because they recently opened a location in Fashion Island which is in walking distance of my house. Onto the gift...
I am absolutely obsessed with packaging so it's no surprise that I spent eight minutes carefully peeling the stickers off the wrapping paper before getting to the goodies inside.
This was such an unexpected and lovely housewarming gift. I made sure to pop some in the freezer to enjoy at a later time. These desserts are perfect for pairing with green teas.
Once inside, individually wrapped sweets are lined up perfectly inside the box.
Take the cuteness factor two notches up and unwrap this...
Usagi Bean Cake with yuzu. Usagi means rabbit in Japanese. I love anything with rabbits because I was born in the year of the rabbit as was my mother. This bean cake is light, fluffy, delicate and not too sweet, like most Japanese sweets. These wagashi are traditionally served with Japanese green teas. Another one of my favorite places to purchase wagashi would have to be Toraya. I've grown up with that brand since I was a little girl. Toraya used to have a location in NYC off Madison Avenue, but it has since closed. I always make sure to stop by their shop in Japan whenever I am there.
I paired the Usagi Bean Cake with my latest blend of Jasmine and Genmaicha (a green tea with popped corn and toasted rice) . The new tea will be available soon, not to worry. It was a perfect match!
If you're in the Southern California area, Minamoto Kitchoan will be offering a complimentary tea and dessert pairing at their shop in Fashion Island on Saturday, February 14th between the hours of 2pm and 4pm. What better way to enjoy the long weekend!
Happy Valentine's Day to everyone out there!