A few years ago chocolate and chillies were not two foods I would have associated with one another, for one thing they are not even in the same taste group one is sweet and the other is hot. However as the saying goes opposites attract and for me a spicy hot chocolate drink is a delicious cold weather treat.
Almost all coffee shops, casual restaurants and even some bars serve their version of a spicy hot chocolate drink throughout winter and in some cases all year round.
I recently hosted a dinner party for which I took care of the flower arrangements. I chose the above bouquet. I had seen this arrangement displayed in a chocolate shop. The florist, Cattails in Wicker Park, Chicago created the arrangement.
I feel this bouquet is so indicative of the present season, winter. I don’t know if we are in the middle of winter or in the tail end of winter. What I do know is that spring is nowhere in sight. I see the monochromatic theme of dark reds, magenta and cerise pink reflecting the lack of light, the early sunsets resulting in a pitch black sky by early evening. The reddish color scheme also reminds me of heat and how in this season we gravitate towards anything that makes us feel a couple of degrees warmer.
I have lived in America for 18 years. During that time I have never thought about Pancake Day, until this year. Just last week I remembered that the Pancake Day celebration also known as Shrove Tuesday falls in February every year and is celebrated in my native Britain. After googling the date and finding out that Pancake Day this year was on 17th of February. I felt the need to celebrate, so I dragged my family to La Creperie in Lakeview, Chicago to indulge in sweet crepes.
For those of you who celebrated Valentines Day on February 14th, I hope you had a great time. My husband and I decided to try a new cafe that I had seen in Lincoln Park, Chicago called Sugar Fixe. The cafe serves hot drinks and desserts but specializes in macarons.
I love macarons. Firstly, I want to differentiate macarons from macaroons, which are made of egg whites, sugar and dried coconut shreds. Macarons are made of egg whites, sugar and almond flour.
There are 26 miles of public beaches in Chicago. I will admit in my nine years living in Chicago I only started going to the beach two years ago. My son and I would go in summer, rent bikes and ride along the bike trail. During summer the beach and lake front in Chicago is a continuous party. Volleyball tournaments, bikers, sun worshippers, families having picnics and groups of teenagers there to see and be seen all inhabit the sand.
I have had a ritual for the last ten years. Every Indian I have a conversation with, I ask them at some point, “have you been to Goa?”. The answers vary from “yes, it is beautiful” to “yes, it is overrated” to “I didn’t like it” to simply “no”.
Afternoon tea does not really exist in Britain. Tea is simply drunk all day long morning, noon and night. What is British however is dunking.
To dunk is to submerge some food into a beverage. In this instance the food of choice is Rich Tea Biscuits and the beverage of choice is piping hot tea.