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January 2010

eBay's Inside Source

I love what auction giant eBay is doing with it's new trendspotting publication, The Inside Source.

When I first read about it back in November, I promptly checked it out, subscribed to their enewsletter, and shouted out some praise (to which The Inside Source promptly replied - they are on trend in more ways than one!).

The goal of the site & newsletter is to showcase the trendiest items for sale on eBay - things that "savvy" and sophisticated" shoppers may not even realize are available on the auction site...and it does a good job.

Today, I received this promo for Valentine's Day, which features a variety of items currently for sale, packaged up in nice little bundles to make selecting a gift for your Valentine a snap. Among them:

  • Red Romance, full of your traditional hearts and lace.

EBay Inside Source

The shopper in me looks forward to receiving The Inside Source for its editorial, as much as its product features. I bundle it in with my other favorite fashion reads, like DailyCandy, Haute Weekly, The Zoe Report, Net-A-Porter, and ShopBop.

And the marketer in me is impressed with the strategy and execution of this program - yes, I now visit eBay more than I ever used to :)

Culinary Breakdown - Take 2

Remember when I wrote about Culinary Breakdown, the at-home cooking classes from Chef Douglass Williams?

Well, someone else did, too...and I was lucky enough to get a lesson (and dinner party for 7) for Christmas last month!

We held the big event this past Saturday, and boy, was it fun. Douglass was right - it really is a "collective culinary experience," not just a simple cooking lesson. Our group put together a four course meal, over the course of about five hours (!) and several bottles of wine.

We learned some great techniques, had a ton of laughs, and ate like royalty.

First course: Citrus-cured salmon sashimi over a kohlrabi slaw, in a hibiscus broth. The salmon is stuffed with just a sliver of jalapeno, and topped with slivered cherries! Delish.

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Second course: Banana parsnip soup with walnut oil. I wasn't sure about the banana going into it, but it really adds a nice flavor. And super easy to make.

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Third course: Crispy farm egg over blistered tomatoes and pan roasted Brussel sprouts, with a Parmesan crisp. Delicious and beautiful.

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Fourth course: Korean style flank steak, with red grape chimmicurri and roasted mushrooms. This was soooo good ...the red grape salsa was a surprising treat over the steak.

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Optional fifth course [because we love our sweets!]

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Everything about this was fantastic - the menu was completely customizable, Douglass brought all the supplies (including a killer set of professional knives that he allowed us to use), and everyone participated in the meal prep. It made for a very memorable evening with friends, captured here in the full set of photos.


Culinary Breakdown

Ring out the old, ring in the new.

'Ring Out, Wild Bells'

By Alfred Tennyson

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light:
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind,
For those that here we see no more;
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.

Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.

Ring out the want, the care, the sin,
The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes,
But ring the fuller minstrel in.

Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.

Ring out old shapes of foul disease;
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.

Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.

Happy New Year, Everyone!