Month: November 2011

holiday party cocktails

Every year I dream of hosting a holiday party and after contemplating the venue, I end up not following through.  This year however, I have decided to host a small get together with friends and with it I asked each person to find a unique cocktail we can all try and bring it to the party. While I wait for their suggestions to create my drink menu, I have found some of my favorites so far. Click on the photo for the recipes    

christmas tree decor for small spaces

Decorating a small apartment or studio can sometimes be challenging since space is an issue. For example, placing a tree in a multi purpose or multi functional room requires moving some furniture around to accommodate  the decor, subsequently making the limited space feel even more smaller. While I searched for ideas to decorate a small space, I came across some wonderful christmas tree suggestions here which will not require any furniture moving. Check out the pics below:

holiday decorating tradition

While most people run to the stores the day after Thanksgiving (in America that is) to shop until they drop “literally,” I, along with my family, decorate the house for Christmas. It’s been a tradition in our household for years, to wake up, not to early and  have a hearty  breakfast. Afterwards, while sipping our morning coffees, decorate the entire house whilst still in our pajamas.  It’s actually an amazing feeling and probably the most fun the entire clan has together and afterwards, maybe, go to the mall or just stay home and watch classic movies and nibble on popcorn :). What can I say, I am most sentimental during the holiday season. {Borrowed Photographs}

thanksgiving day thanks from an american

Every year we begin with optimism and hope and set some goals for ourselves to stir up positive thinking. Yet as the year unfolds, we are faced with so many difficulties or challenges, that we not only forget the optimism and hope, but find ourselves constantly struggling to see the light at the end of the tunnel. However, although that may be the case, we should take a moment on Thanksgiving Day, if not at least once a week, to say thanks to our family members for being with us through thick and thin, for the soldiers who are abroad keeping us safe, for volunteers who dedicate their time in making someone happy, for organizations who truly support a good cause, for retailers who offer give back programs for the needy, for all those  who have become conscious about saving our beautiful planet and for all the amazing pets who keep us going, even when the going is tough. Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving

side dishes galore for thanksgiving dinner

I  spent this past weekend, choosing my recipes and planning my  Thanksgiving menu.  Since I am not a fan of turkey and neither are the members of my family, it is very important to have a fun selection of side dishes which are not only easy to prepare but also fun to eat. So below are the side dishes on my menu for this year’s Thanksgiving dinner. {Click on the photo to get the recipe}

thanksgiving table setting ideas

The countdown begins, in my opinion, since it is officially one week to Thanksgiving.  While I contemplate the menu for this year’s feast with family, I am also searching  for table setting inspiration.  I usually shift gears and turn to country themed settings because of the occasion and choose, probably like everyone else, autumn colors to set the right mood. I found some ideas here that are pretty easy and not over the top, so I am going to draw my table setting from a combination of the photographs I have included below. What theme are you going with?

thanksgiving wish – healthy side dish

I love the holiday but hate turkey, is that so bad? No matter how the bird has been cooked and prepped, I absolutely cannot stand eating more than a sliver just to keep the chef- for- the- day happy. So, this year, I am actually involved in the prep work and since most of the participants are as conscious of eaters as I have become in the last 10 plus years, I am going to introduce side dishes which truly offer wholesome nutrition without having to watch the calories. First up is Shaved Parsnip Salad, which I found here,  and which will be the first course. Ingredients 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper 2 hearts of romaine, cut into bite-size pieces 3 parsnips (about 8 ounces), peeled and shaved very thinly (on a mandolin or with a vegetable peeler) 4 medjool or 6 regular dates, pitted and cut into 1/2 inch pieces Directions Whisk together vinegar and oil; season with salt and pepper. Toss parsnips, …

a pair of jeans and a closet full of designer shoes

There is something to be said about a great fitting  pair of jeans, a gray t-shirt and a pair of the sexiest designer shoes.  It’s funny how far accessorizing a simple pair of blue jeans has come,  and because of that I have included my favorite selection of designer shoes to compliment my collection of jeans.  Well, of course I had to throw in my favorite bag  as well 🙂 which I plan to duplicate. 1. 7 for all mankind midrise bootcut USD160 2. James Perse drapped neck cotton jersey USD95 3. Current/Elliot roller low rise bf fit jeans USD195 4. Black Joffe faux nappa boot USD1095 5. Valentino Studded Suede ankle boots USD995 6. Chloe Mountain Canvas and suede wedge USD650 7. Drumas patent round toe shoes USD785 8. Sofft Shoes Belvedere ankle boots USD110 9. Chloe Marcie large python and leather tote USD3995 (Must find an imitation)

having one of those weeks

Once in a while, we all have one of those moments, one of those hours, one of those days, one of those weeks and so on. Well this week, it seems I am having one of those…Maybe it’s the time change, maybe it’s the stress of the realities, not sure, but I think I will take the rest of the week to gather my thoughts and return hopefully refreshed and full of hope. Thanks for your patience.

healthy baking: fall cake recipe

I am not a fan of frosted bland layer cakes. I  much prefer bundt cakes made with dried fruits and nuts, maybe some fresh lemon or orange peel shavings (aka rinds), and definitely infused with  cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla. Since this type of cake is not very popular in the U.S., most restaurants and cafes offer either carrot cake or zucchini bread as an alternative. So I usually order either to give me the fix I need, if and when I crave for a slice of  “robust” cake. I want to state here that I can only tolerate the cream frosting on either cake since it actually and truly compliments the flavors throughout it. Over the weekend, while I searched for a cake to bake for this year’s Thanksgiving dinner, I came across this visually amazing blog and found an interesting recipe for a cake which I wanted to share with everyone who comes across my blog and also make for this year’s Thanksgiving dessert table. Harvest Cake (Makes 1-9inch cake, to make a layered cake …