The making of a wine – visit to Trinchero Cloud’s Nest vineyard in Napa Valley

If you ask almost anyone to name a source region for America’s wines, there is a 90 per cent chance someone will quickly respond with Napa Valley. Napa Valley is a narrow valley to the north of San Francisco, flanked by two mountain ranges, Mayacamas and Vacas. This is home to the wines that propelled California to international stardom in the 1976 Judgement of Paris. In October, I got the exciting opportunity to visit Napa and was hosted by a reputable wine company, the Trinchero Family Estates.

Continue Reading →

Pantry Basics: Cornbread

Northern cornbread recipe

I thought I’d share this splendidly simple cornbread recipe just in case anyone happens to need one for Thanksgiving dinner (although this cornbread is so irresistible that I know that this recipe will going onto my regular, rather than special occasion, baking list). When I tested the recipe earlier in the week, I immediately knew it was a winner because my toddler, T demanded for seconds and was chasing me around the dining table for my slice of cornbread. Continue Reading →

Wholemeal Carrot Cake

Every afternoon, between 4-5pm, I put my feet up for ten minutes to savour a slice of something sweet with my cuppa. This slot is pretty much etched in my schedule. It allows me to catch my breath and re-charge before I get on with what I call “evening mayhem”; the dinner-bath-bed routine for my two kids. On the really crazy busy days when I’m deprived of my afternoon snack, I turn into something rather scary. Continue Reading →

Rosemary’s in NYC’s West Village – rooftop to table

 

A friend who was visiting brought me to this place, it comes highly recommended by another friend who lives in NYC. Located in West Village and recently opened in June this year, Rosemary is a casual Italian restaurant which only takes walk-ins. The space is wide open with a lot of natural light, with glass windows that open up to the street. Wooden tables are spread across the area with tables lined along the circumference of the restaurant and communal tables in the middle. Bar seats also available. Rosemary is also known for having a simple outdoor garden on the second floor. The garden is worth a tour, if only to see the vegetables that will be served to you at your table, extending the farm-to-table concept further to a rooftop-to-table one. Continue Reading →

A stroll uptown to Zabar’s in New York City

“Zabar’s  is New York …..New York is Zabar’s.”  So goes the tag-line of one of the most exotic gourmet food stores in New York.  Located on the Upper West Side at 80th and Broadway, Zabar’s is the place to go for, well, almost everything.  But it is hands-down definitely the best place on the Upper West Side for smoked fish, olives, cheese, bagels, fresh bread and coffee beans. Continue Reading →

My seafood sausage, an homage to Chanterelle

This past weekend was my brother’s and his wife’s birthdays; they share the same birthday. They also happened to have gotten married on their birthday last year. So, for their first anniversary and combined birthdays, I planned a small feast for them. Continue Reading →

Family Food: Quick Pizza Dough

Quick Basic Pizza

This is an awesome recipe for a super-quick pizza. I’d go as far as to describe it as the perfect spur-of-the-moment pizza recipe. I used it to make my toddler, T, pizza in 90 minutes flat. T, as well as CH and my fabulous mom-in-law (a discriminating diner, to say the least), gave it the thumbs up. So, this pizza recipe is a real keeper. Continue Reading →

Cloud 9 Living experience: Bubbly in Long Island NY

Cloud 9 Living is a provider of experience gifts – instead of providing the traditional physical gift, they organise experiences so that that wonderful memories can be made. They pride themselves on providing premium class customer service and I personally found that to be true. Founded in 2005, they have 1,700 experiences in 43 regions in the United States. When I was contacted by Aun about experiencing firsthand one of Cloud 9 Living’s experiences, I was ecstatic! There are several categories for me to choose from: food and wine, driving, fighter pilot for a day, golf, learn to fly, action and adventure and more! The experiences look amazing and are appropriate for birthdays, anniversaries, corporate gifts and more. I picked the private winery tour and picnic as I wanted to take the opportunity to go out to the Long Island wineries in a more intimate setting, enjoy the good weather while it lasted and spend some quality time with my sister. Continue Reading →

The Red Rooster in Harlem

 

In the heart of Harlem, a new restaurant called Red Rooster is quietly making waves. During a recent visit to the Big Apple, I decided to make the journey uptown to Lenox Avenue to check out the comfort-food restaurant launched by Marcus Samuelsson of Aquavit fame.  I was hugely impressed, both with the quality of the food and the total experience.

Continue Reading →

The best cupcake in the world – Molly’s Cupcakes

The cupcake boom was alive and well when I was first in Chicago four years ago. There was Sprinkles, Swirlz, Sugar Bliss…and of course, there was Molly’s. I especially love Molly’s. I truly love Molly’s. Molly’s was a five minute walk away from my apartment when I lived in Chicago and I definitely had a love hate relationship with it. I loved it for the little pick-me-ups whenever I needed (or wanted) one, but of course hated that my then expanding waistline was in no small part attributable to my love of the delectable concoctions at Molly’s Cupcakes.

Continue Reading →

Sarabeth’s – Brunch à la Sex and the City

If you are a fan of US television series and movies, you will be familiar with New York’s obsession with brunch.  Brunch features so prominently in movies and TV shows based in New York that I knew it had to be among one of the first things I tried here. I have always wanted to have brunch with my girl pals Sex and the City style, talking about any and everything under the sun…and Sarabeth’s is a definitive top pick! Continue Reading →