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Saturday, March 23, 2019

Indian Spring outfit



      We are officially in spring. However, the temperature and wind chill does not adorn the spring that much. Last week one day, when the temperature went till the 60s, rose high hopes of spring. Here I'm all game for spring, the wonderful weather, beautiful blooms and to match with it is a feathery soft outfit. Yes, I already did wear Indian spring outfit.

      Pastels are always in for Spring and I love the feminine and that soft vibe every time you wear it. Wore a pastel Kurta and pant set with a tad bit of silver embroidery on it. The fabric of the outfit is chanderi a handwoven feathery soft fabric and is known for it's flowy and easy to wear quality. You can see another chanderi outfit here. Teamed it up with a basic pearl strand, a silver mojri (flat shoes), a pearl-adorned off white potli and bright lips. As the whole outfit has a mild vibe the bright lipstick plays a great role. How do you like it? What is your favorite spring trend? Have a wonderful weekend.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Payash or Assamese Rice pudding in instant pot


Sometimes certain aroma, fragments of a song brings back the myriads of memories. Whenever I prepare payash it brings back lovely memories of home and childhood. In our assamese household, every occasion and celebration always asks for preparing payash. Whether someone got a promotion or passed an exam or its a birthday, ah here you go the delightful delicious payash. Sometimes you don't need any occasion, just make payash and make yourself entertain. A special occasion payash is always little elaborate, pound the cardamom, chop the nuts and dry fruits, add the bay leaf and soak the rice for half an hour before cooking luscious flavor. But when guest come over without notice or you just crave for it, it does not require elaborate preparation.
I thought today I will share the Assamese payash or rice pudding recipe. In this recipe, I used jaggery instead of sugar for more rustic and healthy aspects. I used my instant pot, the traditional payash requires so much patience and stirring which I lack a little.


Ingredients

1. Rice 1/4  cup
2. Milk  3 cups
3. Jaggery Powder 1/4 cup
4. 1 cardamom
5. A handful of dry fruits of your choice optional ( raisin, cashew, pistachio, and almond). Save some for garnishing.

Process 
Soak the rice for half an hour before you cook.
Then boil the milk and once it is boiled, add the rice stir slowly don't let it stick at the bottom. Add the pounded cardamom and dry fruits and set the instant pot to porridge setting and let it cook. After it is cooked slowly open the lid and let it cool down for at least 15 minutes. Now time to add the sweetness add jaggery powder.  Let it cool down before you do. If you add the jaggery while payash is hot milk might get curdled.  Now serve in a bowl and garnish it with nuts.

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Rain Snow and myriads of memories

     


About 17 years back when I moved to the USA, the same year in one December winter morning I experienced the snow for the 1st time. My husband made it like a surprise. He called me to the window and open the blinds for me. I was awestruck by the beauty of nature's confetti with a little silver sparkle. It was like a dream. I remember how I spent the whole watching natures snow wonder, how the rooftops, tree grounds everything filled with snow. Slowly, I got used to the snow. Until I got my driver's license, I never realized how difficult it is to drive on snow. Probably even now driving in snow is my biggest fear. At the same time, we often take a beautiful drive to see snow-covered surroundings.  A few years back, proving the weather forecast wrong a massive snowstorm hit when we were on our way from NewJersey to Connecticut. It was one of the scariest drives ever with whiteout and back to back traffic.  In 2011, an untimely snowstorm hit New England when fall color leaves were still there. Electric lines collapsed, and in some places, roads were blocked by fallen trees and snow and experienced the 11 days of power outage. It made us realize how untimely snow can cause such terror in lives.

      As my children grew, they love playing in the snow. Making a snowman, they brought back memories of my childhood days in Assam. The state I come from, we experience rain very often. Rain also helps us to be the highest tea producing state in the world, known as Assam tea. As a child, it was fun to see how rain filled the small potholes and drains with water. We placed buckets and toys to fill with rainwater, and here my 6-year-old sometimes sets her toys to fill with snow. How childhood fun and joy bridges two generations together and how we relate things irrespective of place and time. What a wonderful feeling.
I  often hear the giggles of making a paper boat and sailing it in rainwater with my brother brings me 20 years back and merges with the same giggles when my kids are making snowman putting carrots as a nose.

Saturday, March 2, 2019

A picture walk of Acadia National park, Maine



Nested in the Atlantic coast lush green mountains glaciers granite capped tops and mystic serene ponds make a perfect destination for any nature lover. Surreal sunset in the Cadillac mountain, rocky seasides whether you are a trekker or a laid back traveler Acadia national park will hold a special place in our heart whether you visit in summer spring or fall.





Main Highlights of the park
  1. Cadillac Mountain
  2. Jordan Pond
  3. Park loop road
  4. Sand beach
  5. Bass Harbor head lighthouse
  6. Bar Harbor the nearest town close by






Saturday, February 23, 2019

Bartaco, West Hartford , Connecticut review





It was a usual February day, the chill felt like tucking in the furry comforter and stay cozy at home. But, the matter of the fact was that it was my birthday and my family wanted me to take out for dinner. I was reluctant and wanted to stay at home. My little one was after me and I couldn't say no. I had no clue where we were heading for dinner and then here we were at the Bartaco. Vivacious Bartaco instantly took away my winter sluggishness. With a gracious greeting, modern contemporary laid back sitting and a bit of hustle and bustle made me alive in the winter freezing February. The high ceiling, ivory walls, earthy light shades stroked a tropical vibe and the food spoke a lot about Mexico and Latin America.

As a sober, I chose housemade pomegranate lemonade and hubby got grapefruit ginger juice. I never had pomegranate lemonade before, I must say it was one of the coolest and refreshing lemonade I have ever had. The tint of lemonade not just took the look but the taste as well to another level. The ginger grapefruit juice was mild and with a taste of tanginess. People who incline toward tangy drinks, it is certainly for them.

I am one of those people who are really bad at portion control. Here in Bartaco, the menu is designed in such a way that you don't end up eating or wasting too much food. Bartaco is a high street style inspired food with the menu comprising of bowls and tacos.




We started with Guaco. A hint of chilies lime oozed freshness. Then we had myriads of tacos. Baja fish, Roasted duck, Crispy rock shrimp, Falafel, Chicken chorizo and Portobello. My kids loved the Baja fish a bit spicy yet crispy outer shell and soft inside surely delectable one. My husband loved the delicately cooked duck meat with the kick of tangy tamarind. Falafel taco was a delight, a crispy yet not greasy. Portobello was my favorite, ah how I loved the roasted Portobello cooked in perfection with spice and glit of garlic. I couldn't resist just one. As the tacos are small it gives you the option to try out more choices. Our waiter suggested to try at least three and he was so right.


We ended the sweet day with a sweeter note and had a coconut gelato, you can choose a cup or cone. We had a cup of the deliciousness of course. We can go back to Bartaco again with a special day or not.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

A springy saree day in a winter afternoon



Winter seems like really long this year. I am looking forward to spring. Looking forward to the more springy outfit. A few days back it was my birthday and wanted to wear something different and something springy too. And then I have this blue Thakai jamdani muslin saree, but the saree asks for more spring or summer weather. Spring is a little far and I wanted to feel like spring and then the idea of wearing a saree came to me. Blue is always my favorite and this saree has three colors - yellow gold, rose gold and silver creepers on the sides. I went easy on accessories with this silver earring from my Spain trip and the bracelet with delicate filigree Spanish silver work. My hair and makeup is basic and minimal. The saree is feathery soft and easy to wear. Someone like me can easily wear it, who is not really an expert in wearing saree.  This saree is casually worn at home and hope you like it.





Saturday, February 9, 2019

Pond House Cafe brunch , West Hartford , CT review




When it comes to birthdays, something is really special about it. But, when it is your son birthday, it is even more special. Watery idyl and surrounded by beautiful garden, even in New England winter you are fortunate enough to witness it. A trendy offbeat and array of hearty and tasty food made Pond House Cafe for our birthday boys delicious destination for his birthday brunch. With a warm welcome, we were seated in our table, subtle yet tastefully done with a tint of sparkle with overlooking the pond from the open and spacious airy bright windows is Pond House Cafe.

We were welcomed with warm cornbread and strawberry preserve, a treat for your eyes and tummy.  Our two little kiddos started with their favorite chocolate milkshake. I and hubby had coffee. The Pond House Cafe brunch menu is compact with locally sourced ingredients yet has a choice for every craving with set in seasonal changes.



I had green goddess omelet - Three egg omelet stuffed with spinach, kale, Brussels sprouts, onions, garlic, and Parmesan cheese. A buttery shell omelet stuffing with juicy succulent veggies. Delectableness in every bite and I never knew that kale could taste any better. And housemade roasted white and red potatoes balance it out with health and indulgence.


And our birthday boy got Breakfast  Quesadilla - Flour tortilla filled with cheddar and pepper jack cheese, diced tomatoes, caramelized onions, and scrambled eggs. Served with pico and sour cream. Lucious yet flavorsome cheese and hearty veggies make it one scrumptious lunch choice.


My husband had Eggs Florentine - Two poached eggs on an English muffin with spinach, roasted red peppers, artichoke hearts then topped with hollandaise sauce.  Served with a crispy potato pancake. This is one of the most innovative yet cleverly served dishes. Love the poached eggs with crispy potato pancakes. Piquant potatoes with dainty taste is a must try.
Unlike birthday it was memorable with creative culinary experience, consciousness and definitely ask for us to enjoy the spring, of course with great food.


Saturday, February 2, 2019

10 pictures that will inspire you to visit Istanbul, Turkey


      Once you enter Istanbul you feel like coming home warm welcoming. City of the best of both worlds east and west, an enthralling architecture, humongous history makes ones must visit in their lifetime. Visiting the blue mosque, taking a cruise in Bosphorus, discovering vivid vistas from Galata tower to shopping in Grand Bazaar, drink Turkish tea and glued in the glamour of  Dolmabahce Palace.











Saturday, January 26, 2019

Eri silk the warmth of Assamese culture


Happy 70th republic day India. India's independence has a lot to do with Ahimsha silk or peace silk Khadi. Unlike khadi, my home state Assam is a proud curator of Eri silk. This subtle understated light beige or cream color silk has huge importance in Assamese culture.

     After the festive season bids adieu in Assam, the mild winter arrives. My grandfather used to wear the Eri shawl to protect him from cold. Not just my grandfather, in those times a quintessential Assamese winter essential was an Eri shawl and still is.


    Cultivated domestically the word Eri came from Assamese word ‘era’, which means castor as the silkworm feeds on castor plants. Eri is also called ahimsa or peace because while producing eri threads it does not require to kill the worm as moths leave the cocoon naturally and then the cocoons are harvested to be spun. Isn't it enthralling?


     Eri silk was once considered as an essential part of the bridal trousseau in Assamese culture. The weaving of Eri silk was practiced as a tradition in most Assaseme household.
    Eri silk is often considered and attracted for its durable quality. The more it is used, the more comfortable it becomes to wear and it is absolutely wrinkle free.
           Eri silk is earthy and subsides in shine in compared to other silk and is compared to other silk and is thicker as well. It is believed that worlds 95 percent of Eri silk is produced in Northeast India especially Assam and Meghalaya. It can be found in China, Japan, and Thailand as well.  The dense, humid and rainfall in northeast India helps to produce Eri silk.
      Sustainable yet affordable Eri silk could be one's wardrobe staple. It comes in a vivid array of northeast India's designs and motifs. Modern designer and revivals have come up with different designs. Unlike original use as scarf or shawl, eri silk could be found in saree, mekhela chadar,  jacket, cushion cover, tunic etc.

    With the changing time and environmentally concerned society, it brings hope and possibility. Hope indigenous and peaceful Eri will merge into mainstream fashion one day and will empower more local artisans and weavers to not just preserve the tradition but our environment as well.

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