Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Apricot preserves: to peel or not to peel…

It was the peak of Apricot season a few weeks ago and since then farmers markets are flooded with them. Producers trying to sell them all, before they overripe and consumers trying to eat, freeze and preserve them for fall and winter.
Once we decided that we’d like to make preserves from our golden apricots, the big decision was whether to peel them first or just chop them up. After some internet research and some peel tasting to make sure the peel wasn’t hard and didn’t leave a bitter after taste, we decided to skip peeling and go straight to chopping and blending.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Pronto –Fresh Italian cuisine…

One of the joys of life for me is sharing food and drinks with friends and family, and being a foodie I love good food, home cooked or not. Most places that I have worked at, have always been good about making Fridays a little slow with more emphasis on team building and of course, team lunches.
So I thought, why not start a virtual Friday lunch with all my friends and co-worker that I left behind in Minnesota and some that are now spread all over the world.
To start with let’s visit Pronto, on the corner of 16th and O Street in downtown Sacramento. Summer is still young and vibrant in the Golden State and that means fresh produces and delectable salads are what’s appealing to me.
I loved the fresh ingredients and unexpected combinations of flavors on the menu.
I had Caribbean Salmon Salad with spiced salmon, mango, red peppers, chopped pecans, goat cheese served with poppy seed dressing. The fried but not battered salmon provided perfect punch of flavor to the mixed greens. Mango added an unexpected burst of sweetness and tanginess complimented by crunch of pecans that are definitely healthier than croutons and of course nothing speaks summer flavor more loudly that the chevre (goat cheese).
All in all, a wonderful combination of ingredients and well proportioned. Easy to re-create at home and light enough for a lunch at work.
My friend tried the Farmer’s Market salad and she loved it. Her favorite thing on the salad was corn croutons which was served on a bed of mixed lettuce, roasted chicken, corn, avocado, tomatoes, dates, goat cheese and almond served with tarragon dressing. Again the flavors were well balanced but most importantly the ingredients were all farm fresh.
We both agreed that we’ll be back at this restaurant again…

Friday, June 17, 2016

Vulnerability and Authenticity...

I have a badge on my blog sidebar that proclaims that I choose 'Authenticity'…
Before I carry on, this post has been in the making for quite sometime and may turn into ramblings although I'll try my best to keep it to the point.

Ever since I discovered the work of Brene Brown, I have constantly strived to be authentic in all my interactions, including those with my little kids and my life partner and even at work. And to say that it was a constant struggle to stay vulnerable and honest, is to put it mildly.
But this last year has been the epicenter of it all, and I struggled to stay honest even to myself and I denied myself the compassion that I so badly needed.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Bouquets to Art - de Young, San Francisco

A couple weeks ago I took a solo trip to the de Young Museum of Fine Arts in San Francisco. I had been to de Young before but this trip was solely for visiting the Bouquets to Art. I was missing Minnesota and the MN Institute of Art usually hosts a similar exhibition in last week of April, the Art in Bloom. So, while I was setting out to experience something new in a new place, the trip was instigated by a very warm place in nostalgia.  

I came back with almost a thousand pictures between my DSLR and mobile pictures and it was an enormous quantity to share them all without them loosing their intensity. So, I picked a few that really spoke to me and also served as a good inspiration for trying to create a vignette in our home around the art work that we love. Hope these set of pictures inspire you to create with a new perspective...

Thursday, April 07, 2016

Exploring Sacramento: Mid-town Murals...

As much as I love clean lines and fresh minimalist decor, there is something about the murals in a city street that makes it so inviting and less intimidating… its like someone cares about them.
It was during one of the educational walks of my Planning course at UC Davis that I discovered these murals in the Midtown Sacramento. Before this encounter, the city that I had met was very formal and business like or so I thought. The walk was so refreshing it was like finding the fun and exuberant side of your very stern co-worker during a happy hour.
This realization, that we often don't know all facets of a person or a city or a place but still form strong opinions about it based on the limited encounter,  prompted me to share the colorful pictures of mid-town Sacramento. If you are a local or a visitor, you might see this city in a new light or perhaps it will prompt you to take another look at the city you live in.

Saturday, January 02, 2016

What a can of paint can do?

For past many years, my laundry loads were sorted into: Lights, Darks and Pinks…
Being a mother of two girls, I got so used to it that I never imagined this phase would ever end, it was my normal whether I liked it or not. So, it was an interesting process trying to untwine myself  of this accepted fact and start adjusting with the next phase of my girl's life…
Hello, Preteen years!
The first qualifying task to test my agility as a mother of a tween was to get rid of this pink chair.

Friday, January 01, 2016

Word for the year 2016: Surrender

2015 was the tipping point year, things slowly changed and then one day everything changed all at once. We must have been building up to the threshold for past many years but it all happened now.
It was a pivoting year on so many different levels and while it had beautiful moments, on a personal level it was a year of crisis.
And during these moments of change I kept hoping for that voila! moment that would make sense and will complete the picture and I would know the destination waiting for my at the end of this path. And that is the reason for my new year wish to everyone… 'May we discover happiness in mediocre'. That we don't keep holding our breath for the perfect moment, perfect partner, perfect job but look for joys in  ordinary moment. Because if you want to be happy just be, don't put conditions on your happiness.