Month: November 2018

Holiday Series: Thoughtful and Creative Gift Ideas

I was online last night and it seems most of the gift suggestions are the same old – only re-imagined or refashioned. Robes and socks, bags and shoes, jewelry, and kitchen gadgets are some of few that come to mind. So, finding unique gift ideas is hard work and hopefully this list will help, same unique gift for everyone and anyone in your circle: {for more gift ideas go here}

Recap and a Brioche Bread Recipe

I realized while pacing the airport waiting for a flight to board, that I haven’t added my two or three cents here for your reading pleasure or boredom – depending on your mood while scrolling through the madness otherwise known as the web and stumbling upon my blog. But truth be told, I was also being mindful of the black Friday extending to the weekend after Thanksgiving and cyber Monday shopping frenzy we are conditioned to embark upon – in the U.S. So, now on Wednesday, I am hopeful you have survived the Turkey feast, the family in town or otherwise, the Friendsgiving, and doorbuster shopping you may have done over the long weekend. I actually spent a soft (stress-free) thanksgiving with one of my favorite gals –  a last-minute shifting gears from the normal meal planned at home. I simply got in the car, drove down south and spend a few days in a pretty mellow environment – away from the ash and smoke-filled skies over the bay area. Although the day I left, it …

Food: Dinner Tonight – Red Wine Braised Short Ribs

After turkey on Thursday, and leftovers on Friday, I am ready for this recipe – an interesting one for short ribs. I mean what is there more to say, expect if the family is visiting from out of town, and easy dinner prep is the idea, then go here for the recipe: INGREDIENTS 5 pounds bone in, beef short ribs kosher salt and black pepper 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced 2 shallots, thinly sliced 4 carrots, chopped 2 cups dry red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon 2 cups low sodium beef broth 2 tablespoons tomato paste 1 tablespoon brown sugar or honey 4 sprigs fresh thyme 2 sprigs fresh rosemary 2 bay leaves 2 cups fresh cranberries mashed potatoes, for serving {Featured image source} How about this recipe for cranberry Thyme Spritz and a good old-fashioned board game after dinner  

Holiday Series: Gift Ideas For the Traveler

That would be me – the traveler, so I figured I’d kick off my holiday gift idea series with some ideal gifts for the traveler in your life or the ones you are trying to introduce the idea to – that travelling is probably one of the best experience any human can have in their lifetime and a lifetime spent not travelling – is a life not lived well. 🙂 {featured image and source}

Happy ‘Thanks Giving’ Americans

Over the years, the controversy over the Thanksgiving holiday in America has outweighed the idea of giving thanks – meaning – all my life, I chose and still choose to view the holiday as a day to simply give thanks for  family, good health, and all things that pushes us to live a positive and fulfilling life.  This does not mean, I don’t understand history or acknowledge those who suffered for the purpose of others.  It simply means – I am thankful {featured source}      

Holiday Series: Decoration Trends for 2018

Not a minute past Thanksgiving, in the United States, do the residents of this nation run to the malls for – what is known as black Friday shopping – for deals and ideas on Christmas decor and gifts and even a few goodies on deep discount for themselves. I remember the frenzy when I worked retail, the mall opening at the crack of dawn and the crowds rushing about to be the first at grabbing all things on display. I was very young and found the whole exercise amusing then, being behind the counter.  But now, it is a series undertaking – to commence black Friday at 6 p.m. the night before, right after the family Thanksgiving dinner.  I guess retailers realized not everyone honors the feast. So, in honor of black Friday or maybe even for those excited to get the holiday decorating started – here’s some ideas for 2018: And lastly – my favorite – advent calendar which is recommended for the man in your life but I find it the perfect unisex …

Holiday Series: Easy Holiday Cheese Board

The easiest spread on any pre-dinner table is a cheese board and lots of bottles of wine and kiddy drinks of course- that’s all I’m saying. INGREDIENTS 3-4 cheese wedges such as brie, goat cheese, Merlot, and blue cheese 6-8 cups Chex Party Mix mixed olives assorted meats, such as salami, prosciutto, and pepperoni assorted fruit, such as pomegranate, pears, citrus, and persimmons assorted veggies, such as marinated artichokes, and pickles spreads, such as honey, fig preserves, and jams {more}   Best Cocktails for 2018, Best Wines for 2018, Kid non-alcoholic drinks for 2018  

Food: Holiday Series – What To Bring for Potluck

I was over the moon when I found this recipe online. A reminder of my childhood days, during the holidays when my mother and aunts got together to bake and make holiday desserts for a family gathering. I always helped in the kitchen, but only because I wanted to taste all the goodies being whipped together across the kitchen counters all the way to the dinning table – where the women gathered to share secrets to their version of the same old recipe, and laugh out loud at all the fun being poked about this and that. I loved every minute of it. So, since potluck is the sharing of the responsibilities of the hostess – here’s a great recipe for a unique dessert – chocolate salame – that’s been tried and tested by our extended families, eons ago, somewhere in a Mediterranean kitchen: Ingredients 100 g di biscuits like digestives or similar 100 g of butter at room temperature 150 g of sugar 100 g of good quality unsweetened cocoa powder 2 eggs Icing sugar Butcher’s twine Instructions Break the biscuits coarsely with your hands: do …