Saturday, December 30, 2017

Connecticut blogger holiday Soiree A Great beginning and A Great ending

      We are on the threshold of a new beginning, I don't want to call it an end because of as always beginning is thrilling and inspiring. But, it is essential to look back as well. I had a tremendous eventful year. I started my blog this year and never imagined I could write that much without skipping even one week. Blogging has positively changed my life forever and gave a new meaning to my life. To my readers, I can't thank you all enough.

      As I talked about a great year with the incredible beginning, I am thankful for it ended with a great ending as well. The last event in the last month of the year was Ctbloggersoiree. The event was organized by Connecticutbloggersbabe or ctbloggercollectives. Yes, I was lucky enough to attend ctblogger soiree with good food and company, more precisely with people in your own niche, almost like a dream come true. With all the hassle of life, I am glad that I could attend it. Blogging event like this helps us catch up with bloggers. An interactive panel discussion featuring Rachel of Pinteresting Plans, Alycia of CT Eats Out, Kallie of But First Coffee, and Sandra of The Rustic Life. Their secrets of success as well as dealing with not so good days. Great to meet all the wonderful bloggers as well. Even though I already follow some of their blogs, meeting them personally was amazing. Nonee, Lydia, Angela, Pinki

      Also succulent food and great drinks by Flora. I came home with complimentary goodies. Ah, what a high end.

Hope you all have a great beginning and continue the greatness until the end. 
Happy New Year 2018!

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Christmas cake with a healthy Indian twist

      Even though I am complaining about the cold, and unpredictable weather, I can't deny the merriment and joy of the holiday season with some great food and great company. As you know, I am from India, and I am not used to celebrating Christmas as a holiday, but after moving to the USA, we now look forward to this snow white Christmas holiday. I help my kids deck up the Christmas tree and enjoy their never-ending list for Santa. The last couple of years during Christmas I have always baked Christmas cake. This is a healthier version of the regular Christmas cake and is alcohol-free. I use wheat flour instead of refined flour and jaggery in place of white sugar. The cake is loaded with the goodness of dry fruit. My kids love it too. Great for after Christmas snacks, very filling because of the dry fruits. Do let me how you like it. Have a great holiday and enjoy the festive season.

1. 2 cups whole wheat flour
2. 1/4 cup of dates
3. 1/4 cup of cherry
4. 1/4 cup of cranberries
5. 1/4 cup of golden raisins
6. 1/4 cup of regular raisins
7. 1/4 cup of mix nuts of your choice, I use almond and cashews
8. 1 & 1/2 cup hot water
9. 1/2 cup jaggery
10. 1 teaspoon baking soda
11. 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
12. 1/2 teaspoon coffee
13. Pinch of nutmeg powder
14. 1 & 1/2 grape juice
15. 8 tablespoon butter

      First, you need to soak the dry fruits no. 2 to 6 into grape juice for 2  to 24 hours.
Sieve the whole wheat flour and add baking soda, cinnamon powder,  nutmeg, and coffee. Boil water and let the jaggery dissolve. Switch off the heat and let it cool down and add it to the dry mixture. Now separate the fruits from the juice and add to the mixture. Add butter and mix it well. If you find the mixture is too hard, you can always add milk. Now, bake it in at 350 F for forty minutes. You can check with a toothpick. Once the toothpick comes clear, the cake is ready.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Pictures that will inspire you to visit Puerto Rico

      How is the holiday feeling? Snowing and sipping your cup of tea or coffee has its own charm. Decked up the tree but this is also the season when things start to slow down. Time for a vacation. I love snow, I love the holiday, at the same time I imagine great Caribbean vacation as well. Today, I want to make it short and share with you few of Puerto Rico vacation pictures, probably that will inspire you to visit Pristine Puerto Rico. Nature, culture, and wonders. Enjoy the season's festive offerings and take a break too.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Basic updates for your holiday wardrobe

      I can see lights, lanterns, glam and glitters, yes holiday season is here. How about your holiday wardrobe. Are you ready? While in summer we don't like cakey makeup, in holiday nothing hurts to add a bit of glam or glitters to your regular outfit.

  • Earring - A great pair of earrings... I love large or statement earring. A pair of earrings definitely elevates your basic look to glamorous one. As a busy mom, I prefer instant fixes. I love to wear statement earrings. And here your basic look get an instant chic makeover.
  • Necklace - Just like earring, I like statement necklaces. To dress your basic sweater or blouse add a statement necklace. 
  • Lipstick - A red lipstick or bright lipstick... I can't think of the holiday season without red lipstick. Obviously, depending on your preference deep maroon or crimson red. A red or bright lipstick can make up or break up your looks. A right bright or red lip. 
  • Sequins- A bit of sequin whether it is a blouse or skirt is a must-have for holidays. For glammed up holidays, nothing can add as much glamor as the sequence can.
  • Shoes - Last but not least a pair of metallic shoes. Just to get a perfect look. A right finishing touch for your holiday look.
      The list must go on, the basic black dress to bounce in brocade pants, furry in fur. But time to wrap up and get set for the holiday season.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Artisan, West Hartford review

      Artisan, the location itself will sweep your feet away, located in Delmar hotel in the Blue Back Square. An ambiance that is a class apart, compact and modern highly welcomes you on the set. Interior setting is a modern minimalist approach, yet achieves the pop of color with vibrant, intricate art on the walls. The full pack Friday crowd already gave us the vibe of popularity that it has gained in the Hartford country foodies heart. Having said that we had to wait for a while but after some time were seated comfortably. They have a compact American farm to table menu, and as a sober, I started my day with cranberry juice.

      For the appetizer, I went ahead with royal shrimp a grit.No surprise the shrimp came cooked to a perfection with grits with a little extra perk you needed for the shrimp and succulent risotto sauce. That excused the exclusive taste you expect in a high-end restaurant like the artisan.

      Then we went ahead with our mains, baked chicken breast with moisty and whipped mashed potatoes with blue cheese.

      Then for hubby, we got baktian, if you know what is the taste of farm to table, that's what it was garbanzo beans bed with luscious fresh, crisp veggies and sauce. Creatively crafted yet not over the top.

      Then came the dessert, as they say, the perfect cooks 'culinary skill shows in dessert. Then that is it, you are in a kingdom of deliciousness what is called death by the chocolate ganache tart served with fresh berries and ice cream, and most yummilicious  , buttery soft almonds cake with velvety ice cream strawberry preserve.

      It was such pleasure to visit artisan with their exceptionally attentive service and delectable food. It definitely sets them apart from Hartford countries food scene. Just the minor grip as compared to their pricing if they can make the portion size little bigger especially entries.
My rating is 3.75 out of 5

Adress: 27 LaSalle Rd, West Hartford, CT 06107

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Happy thanksgiving and cranberry sauce recipe with a indian twist

      Hope you all had a fabulous and flavorful Thanksgiving. After moving to the USA Thanksgiving is one holiday I look forward too. And after having my children, we celebrate it even more. The last couple of years, we always celebrated with our close friends and cousins. My family doesn't live here but our close friends and cousins always make us feel at home. This year is no exception. I believe that festival not only brings food to our table they brings our heart closer too. My mom always says sharing food spreads your love. It is that time of the year where we are thankful for all little things in our life food, silly jokes, fun which make our life flavourful. By the way, what's your favorite food in thanksgiving table? I have many, can't just name one. I made cranberry sauce with an Indian Twist. You can call it relish too. Use it after Thanksgiving as a spread or jam as well.

Cranberry sauce with Indian jaggery instead of white sugar.

1. 4 cups cranberry
2. 1 cup jaggery
3. Zest of orange, a pinch
4. A pinch of cinnamon

First clean and wash cranberry and in a pan heat four cups of water and yield the cranberry. Once start boiling add jaggery. Always in a medium heat. Let it cook for 10 to 15 minutes. Then Switch off the heat, add orange zest and the pinch of cinnamon. It will add extra flavor to your cranberry sauce.Your homemade cranberry sauce is ready. It is a lot healthier as I am using jaggery. It has so much health benefits for improving your digestion etc. You can get jaggery in any Indian or Asian store.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Blue Plate Kitchen: Brunch review

      A gloomy November afternoon can be a hearty afternoon if you have a great array of delectable food. The thought made us visit blue plate kitchen with their conscious choice of locally sourced sustainable food. Modern set up with an open kitchen concept, a gracious welcome greeting made our warm-up instantly. As brunch was getting served in the afternoon, we ordered from the eclectic brunch menu, a perfect melange of American affair with global cuisine. We started our day with fresh squeezed orange juice. Little pulpy but with a homey and fresh feel personified. For the appetizer, I opted for Mediterranean platter. It consists of hummus, falafel, quinoa, tabouli, feta cheese, kalamata olives, pickled cabbage, cucumber salad and herbed crisps. An excellent appetizer choice for anybody and everybody with a decent amount. A combination of little guilt and guilt-free choices. I love crisp falafel and hummus.

      My son chose ginger chicken, a healthy choice of protein with a handful of curated veg choice, mint and ginger with lettuce. Succulent at the same time a high pick for the healthy eater. It was so filling that he did not care for the main. As I said earlier, their quantities are large.

      No wonder as a Mediterranean cuisine admirer, for mains I had it again, a veg whole wheat with wrap hearty hummus, feta cheese, crunchy cool cucumber and quoina tabuli inside and bed of salad and pickle cucumber on the side. A decent entry for lunch choice and you can also add your choice of protein.

      We ended the gloomy November day with a sweet note of oven-hot coconut cake and a wide array of strawberry and blueberry with housemade whip cream on top. My son said, he had the best dessert after a long time, and I can't agree more.

My rating is 3.5 out of 5

Address: 345 N Main St, West Hartford, CT 06117
Saturday 7AM–10PM
Sunday 7AM–8PM
Monday 7AM–9PM
Tuesday 7AM–9PM
Wednesday 7AM–9PM
Thursday  7AM–9PM
Friday 7AM–10PM

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Beauty of life and outfit of the day

      I have a habit of not throwing things away. Keep them with me for years and years. This also creates a little trouble in my life from time to time. People who advocate minimalist approach, say that it is not just clot and clutters your physical lifestyle and mental state. I have old New Year cards sent by my school friends, a small container that mom sent snacks couples of years back; there are so many countless things, a little swan by brother's friend bought with his pocket money, my paper where I received a great compliment from my teacher. Not only physical attributes, but fragrances, little fragments of childhood lullabies, a small conversation, people names, compliments, so many things stay with me. 

      If you are a mother or parent, you might know how much your child's milestone memories matter to you. Just the other day we had our community get together. I was planning on what to wear, then an old saree came to my mind, which I wore for my sons 1st birthday about eight years back. My husband gifted a dual tone peach chiffon with antique gold round embroidery. That's it; I picked the saree as it had to do with my sons 1st birthday. I added a gold choker, cocktail ring, a thick bangle and gold watch. I quickly switched over the blouse with a bell sleeves top for instant pump up and fresh new vibe.  Sometimes old things that create hassle, give you the immense pleasure of wearing and riding your absolute favorite memory ride instead. Perhaps the beauty of life lies in the small things and small imperfections.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Martha's Vineyard - Top five offbeat things to do

      I always believe that the best things about travel are the memories, curated memories. Now just like me, this fall,  I remember the memory of summer travel to Martha's Vineyard. Located to the south of Cape Cod Massachusets, this island is 100 square miles (260 km2), and the third largest on the East Coast of the United States, Marthas Vineyard is not only former presidents Mr. Obama's favorite destination, it could be yours too. It is easily accessible through ferries and buses are readily available to travel inside the island, if you are not renting a bike or a car. Pristine beaches, scenic cliffs, lighthouses and charming towns, Martha's Vineyard, the tiny island can please you in so many ways. If you are lucky to visit, I am sure it will hold a little piece in your heart forever.

  • The Aquinnah Cliffs - If you want to witness nature's own live painting, this is what it is, The Aquinnah cliff.  The beauty beyond words with the vast view of clay cliffs.

  • Oak buff Campground - More than 300 houses, used for methodologist camp meeting houses in 1835. Entering into the ground, you will feel like landing in a fairytale. Riots of beautiful colors adorned with lovely set up is a must visit not just for adults, but kids would wonder too.

  • Edgartown lighthouse -  You will be amazed by this 1828 built lighthouse surrounded by the view of the beach and the harbor. If you are visiting during sunset or sunrise, it is definitely a cherry on top. Could be a great stroll through nature and history.

  • Edgartown - Quaint, classy and colonial charm is all about Edgartown. With pretty shops and with great eateries, without taking a tour of it, your Martha's Vineyard trip is incomplete.

  • Food - No vacation would be complete without some great flavorsome food. Here you are in Martha's Vineyard with a great selection of food for anybody from dinner to dessert and coffee to the cocktail.

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