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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.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Diwali - Light, Love and Laughter

      Hope you all had a great week and great Diwali for those who celebrate. This year Diwali fell in mid of the week. After coming back with kids from there after school activities, I was running late but had already done some preparation for a few things, a few days back. In India, Diwali is a holiday, and here in the USA, it's a regular weekday.

      But I just could not let go the joy of lighting diyas with my family,  relishing good food and decking up for Diwali dress. I made a festive dinner and lighted diyas with my kids. This year I successfully avoided refined flour and white sugar. Didn't felt must of a  difference. On the weekend, we had one lovely dinner with old friends and another at our place with some new friends. Loved the lighting, the laughs and sharing food with old and new friends.
      Presenting you a little bit of our Diwali celebration. I am wearing a light pink sharara with gota work accessorized with bangles. Hope you all enjoy the post. And have a spooky Halloween as well, can't wait to hear your stories.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Diwali, Kati Bihu Halloween and memory lane

      15 years back I left Assam, India making a new home in Connecticut, USA. I left few festive, fair, smell, fragrance, family, friends and much more. While you leave something at the same time you gain a few too. You all might know that at this time in India, Indians celebrate the most glorious festival Diwali "A celebration of light". As I am from the eastern part of India, Bihu is the fulcrum festival. After coming to the USA, we started celebrating Diwali as equally as Bihu. We love preparing sweets and exchanging with friends and putting lights to decorate the house with candles and Diyas earthen lamps. With our neighbor, we celebrate Diwali where kids perform dance and music with all the cultural programs and an array of good Indian food. We celebrate our roots and heritage, trying to give kids the essence of India.

Kati Bihu celebration. Photo Credit - Parasha Konwer

      Along with Diwali, back in Assam India, we celebrate one festival called Kati Bihu or Kongali Bihu. This Bihu is not as grand as Rongali Bihu or Bhogali Bihu. All assamese festivals are associated with harvest. Since this Bihu falls before the harvest that's why it is called kongali Bihu, Kongali means poor. Place Earthen lamps (diyas) in storage (bhoral), gate and front of the kitchen for praying for good harvest according to local belief. Planting basil tree and placing earthen diyas and offering prasad (Soak chickpeas and Moog with fresh cut fruit) is a ritual and kids visit you for prasad. As a kid, I used to visit our neighbors and friends. But later when I grew up, I recall kids were not coming for prasad and the tradition slowly becoming extinct. Now when I look back at those nostalgic years, it lights up my heart just like Diwali Diyas. Here along with Diwali, we celebrate Halloween too. My kids go for Halloween Trick or Treat in our close tidy neighborhood for candies. I see a glimpse of my childhood in them, celebrating Kati Bihu. With our Halloween decore Diwali Diyas and candles get equally placed too. Our whole neighboorhood fills up with Halloween decore and Diwali Diyas. Everything oozes same merriment and joy of festivity. I couldn't differentiate because of Halloween or Diwali. Have a great Diwali guys.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Burlington, Vermont Experience the New England offbeat charm

      When it comes to travel, I'm always intrigued by unique and offbeat places more than a commercial tourist attraction. Living in New England offers me plenty of such place choices. Burlington, Vermont is one of such place I have ever visited with the serene shore of Lake Champlain and quiet Canadian border. A perfect destination for your weekend getaway. Some of my favorite things to offer for each and everyone.

Church Street Market PLace
      Experience the history and liveliness of church street marketplace. This four-block pedestrian zone with endless shops, eatery and unique art galleries with view surrounded by pristine Lake Champlain. Walk along with all the happy people feel of festivity with fashion, fun, food, and frolic just name it.

Waterfront Park
      Just takes your walk a few steps forward to the 7.5-mile bike path, a pier for Lake Champlain boat trips, the Echo aquarium and Discovery church street marketplace. There you are, experience the vast view of Lake Champlain. Take a walk or a bike and unwind all your hassle. Either busk in the sun or soak the sunset or swing in a bench, sip your chai or coffee.

ECHO, Leahy Center for Lake Champlain Burlington, VT 
      Visit would not be complete without taking a tour of ECHO's 70 live species, over 100
Interactive experiences, and seasonal changing exhibits and events. Great experience for the tender learner to learn the marine life and about marina and biology with hands-on experience. Butterfly exhibits, weather report exhibits, sand table and much more. Also, ECHO top level has a stunning view of the lake and surrounding serene mountains.

Enter and experience the food scene. Yes, please. Burlington offers a vast variety of food experience from upscale to casual healthy to indulgence alley of great breakfast, lunch, and dinner options.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

India, West Hartford Sunday brunch review

A true blue foodie myself, lazy days especially Sundays, I look for Sunday brunches. As Sundays are also associated with Monday mania, I prefer brunches as there is no hurry to get up, devour and savor your food, yet you have time left to merge in Monday Mania.
Last weekend was such a savory Sunday, and we went to India, West Hartford for Sunday brunch.

     If you follow me, you might have read India West Hartford lunch review earlier, here is the post. India West Hartford has an interior that blends India intricates with urban design, and we were humbly and quickly greeted. They have an optional entry of menu where you can choose street style India food. The menu is not too extensive to overwhelm yet consisting most Indian street style food.

        Most Indian street style foods are indulgent. Here I indulged with chili chicken, Indochinese. Delicately deep fried chicken pieces with relishing red sauce, crispy veggies, succulent-chunky onion pieces and green pepper fiercely flavorful. A full of high on sin yet worth the sin decadent. A must try if you happen to be into Sunday brunches.

          For my son, he had veg Manchurian. Vegetable balls dipped in soy and garlic based sauce on a bed of basmati rice. It was absolutely delectable with the perfect pair of the mouth-watering Manchurian.

       Then came the chicken Kathi roll for my husband. A cooked to perfection chicken with yogurt and medley of masalas and wrapped in a wholesome wholewheat wrap.  Served with healthful veggies. The raving part of India West Hartford is that it sources its vegetables from the local organic farms. You can sense that in your every bite, the twists of restaurant style yet goodness of healthy home cooking.

      My daughter opted for Gobhi Paratha, cauliflower bread. An Indian cauliflower whole wheat bread, a bread stuffed with hearty cauliflower and carefully cooked in clarified butter. A great for picky eaters for fulfilling and satisfying.
           Our Sunday brunch in India West Hartford was certainly satisfying and ended there, but the taste and flavor keep inviting us over again. Have great weekend guys.


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