Year: 2019

Holiday Cookies – For A Little Pick Me Up

It’s been raining continuous in the bay area, with a heavy fog to boot and unusually warm weather. I don’t recall this ever happening in all the years I’ve lived in San Francisco.  So, not feeling inspired to leave the house, I decided to bake – again, this time these tasty vanilla cookies, but I am using a snowflake cutter instead. INGREDIENTS 2 sticks (1 cup) salted butter, at room temperature 1/4 cup granulated sugar ¼ cup light brown sugar 2 teaspoons lemon zest 1 tablespoon vanilla extract 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour ½ teaspoon kosher salt ½ teaspoon ground ginger ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom VANILLA GLAZE 2 cups powdered sugar 1 tablespoon vanilla extract sugared rosemary, for decorating (more) On Another note – if you happen to be a movie buff like myself, then you’d want to see this list of the best 2019 films – have you seen any of them and which do you recommend?

It Is The Holiday Season – Right?

I think the fact, Thanksgiving was the fourth Thursday in November instead of the third as normal, I feel thrown off – meaning – that last week of November was usually a buffer to get in the Christmas holiday mode. But this year, all of a sudden it is only 16 more days to Christmas and 23 more days to year end. What? I mean, I am not freaking out, are you? Even if I haven’t sent out my Christmas cards, nor considered shopping for gifts for the immediate family, or even have a clue as to what the dinner menu would entail for Christmas eve because I’ve been too busy rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic for the past year, perhaps like most of us and well, here we are…near the last hours (if you will) in getting it all done. So, here’s what’s on the agenda today. Gifts, fun ones, practical ones and hopefully one the receiver will not re-gift. Qualifier – everyone I know is either a chef, loves to travel …

Holiday Series: In The Baking Mode

I am partly hosting a holiday-ish party next weekend and although most of the catering has been established, and deposits made, the snowflake cookies we envisioned isn’t going to happen – from a bakery. So, I volunteered to bake – for the first time – the said cookies and decorate them in time for the Saturday event. Then of course, I stumbled upon this list of 12 simple and delicious baking recipes for this holiday season to gift all the wonderful beings in your life past the immediate family.  Check out some of my favorites and for the rest go here: And since I usually tweak whatever recipe I want to try, I had to add my take on each one below: Whatcha ye baking?

What Are You Reading Lately?

I strive to better myself in every way possible, but on occasion feel as though I am failing. This is a blessing and a curse – because I am very hard on myself and always push the envelope in achieving much more than expected, which is a curse. And yet, I feel my best when I am able to achieve the goals I have set for myself and flourish in the best way possible – blessing? Recently though I’ve been questioning every ounce of who I am, which I think most of us do, at the end to each year, and then assess what we need to work on. In my case, much more than I though of at first, and I am not talking about losing weight, or changing up my wardrobe, I am talking about inner self, personality, character, and everything else that define me as a being. It’s weird how that works – because without any prior research, I picked up two books which I am reading simultaneously solely based on the …

Decor: Different Shades of Inspiration

I’ve been discussing a much needed renovation with family and friends for two homes and a condo. We started out with a wish list, and then the planning and considering actual timeline throughout 2020. The only trouble is, just when we think we have it down -as far as our vision, another option pops up online and we are back to the wish list. As of today December 3, 2019 – this is what’s happening: {featured image source and inspiration for this blog post}

Food: Dinner Tonight- Spicy Eggplant Pasta

I love eggplant and have incorporated the veggie in many pasta dishes, similar to this recipe I found online. Just a hint for the meat-lovers – you can saute and add ground Italian sausage to the mix and serve it up with freshly crated Parmesan cheese Ingredients  2 medium eggplants 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, plus more as needed 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste 1 medium onion, chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced 2 cups chopped plum tomatoes or one 14-ounce can crushed tomatoes 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, or 1 1/2 teaspoons dry oregano 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes, plus extra for finishing 1/4 cup fresh, chopped basil, plus extra for finishing 1 pound linguine pasta  {more}   Although I normally buy ready-made apple dumpling from Trader Joe with every visit, I have found a recipe here which I am going to try over the weekend.    {photo and recipe source}

It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

With a blink of an eye, the world changed since I last posted-before the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, when I decided to unplug from all things online and simply live life the old fashioned way. While I snoozed the internet, I found a sense of peacefulness in my life consisting of reading an actual book, decorating my house for the holidays, of course this is after I’d cooked the big thanksgiving meal, and leaving the house for a few hours on Saturday to shop for trinkets and such for the twinkly-light decor I decided to be the theme for this year’s holiday decoration. But today is Monday, and there are many interesting topics or subject I wish to share with all of you – who I want to thank, by the way for sending me personal emails sharing your opinions, and recipes and other interesting topics that I just don’t know where to begin to address each one. So, here we go. I’m currently reading Fifty Things That Aren’t My Fault by Cathy Guisewite, and I …

Food: Mashed Potatoes 101

For the most part, I’ve taken off the side dish from my everyday life – staying true to eating less starch and more plant based  – but of course, the holidays are upon us, and one staple for a Thanksgiving dinner is mashed potatoes. But as I have learned over the years, there is a trick to making the best mashed potatoes and then there are mistakes to creating a lumpy goo easily mistaken for a mixture of cement or grout for that tile work you plan to install. So on to the perfect mashed potato from this wonderful site I turn to learning all the tricks of the trade. and the winner or the traditional mashed potatoes in my household is combo hand and fork mashed, with heavy cream, garlic, grass-fed butter, light sea salt, ground peppercorn and chives to taste. Simple, easy and the best tasting of all mashed potatoes I have ever had. How do you make your mashed potatoes?

Holiday Series: Cocktails for Thanksgiving and Thereafter

Thanksgiving being an American holiday is not the only reason one considers hosting a cocktail party. It is the beginning or kick-off to the holiday season in the U.S.  But for those expats introducing the tradition to the friends you’ve made abroad with a dinner party, please consider this list of cocktails to raise the stakes, if you will. 😉 Do you have a favorite cocktail you’d like to share?