Food & Travel

As much as I don't want to believe it's been a year since I last posted, I totally can believe that :) This year has so far been one of the uber crazy ones filled with hectic work schedules, family events and lots of travel (largely business but also personal). Without boring you with all the details, I can safely say that I am looking forward to the Thanksgiving and Christmas weeks to give me some much needed R&R - breather to slow down, spend some time with family and friends and get back into the kitchen, even if just for a little bit!

I have largely taken a hiatus from daily cooking (thanks to my husband who has picked up the mantle better than I could have!), the travel this year led to some really awesome and memorable meals and connections over food.

I enjoyed lots and lots of fresh seafood and guava during multiple trips to Taiwan; and ate some really awesome fish preparations and sushi while visiting Japan! 

Simple sea salt roasted fish with miso soup & rice
Simple sea salt roasted fish with miso soup & rice
... all super simple preparations but very flavorful due to the freshness of the ingredients used. We also enjoyed lots of soba noodles with a simple soy broth to dunk them in... yum!

Soba noodles with tempura
Simple meals were also complemented with some truly Michelin rated experiences full of Chef's creativity using flavors of the season and various sake paired perfectly well!

Along with domestic travels and various Asian region travels, I also ended up travelling to India multiple times this year leading to some truly memorable culinary experiences! This is the first time I traveled to India during Durga/Dasara times - not only I enjoyed the festival and celebrations but I also got to enjoy lots of Citaphal (!!) - a fruit once my favorite, but which I haven't eaten in 20 some years!! And my mom's Amla Kees (grated dried Amla with salt) -- it was truly a feast to the senses ❤

Citaphal (custard apple fruit) and amla kees

Business travels in India took me to Bengalaru and Delhi -- I took the opportunity to eat lots and lots of idli and chutneys every day for breakfast while in southern India!
.. while my favorite dinners often were solo meals of chicken biryani and mango margarita (an awesome combo btw)!

While travels are hectic, some small nice gestures by hotels and airlines make such a big difference! Such as landing a 2am flight and checkin at a Sheraton and finding these absolutely yummy appetizers left in the room by the hotel staff as late night snacks (hummus, couscous salad and crackers, pita bread)..
Or memorable meals enjoyed at flying altitudes, sometimes with turbulence to shake things up a bit 😊
I am thankful for the opportunities to be able to make these travels -- there is nothing like visiting new (or old!) places and enjoying local delicacies... good food and good chat always means great memories to cherish forever!

Outside of travels, we have been enjoying our garden fruit bounties this year! Our pomegranate, fig, yellow plum and persimmon trees are a gift that keeps giving... this year with plenty of rain and sunshine, we were treated to the plentiful bounty of mother nature!
Garden bounty: plums, persimmon, figs and pomegranates!
While I have cooked very less this year, these are some of my favorites dishes I made :) One of the accomplishments this year is that I finally perfected an instant mango pickle recipe - so yum and so quick and simple! Being an achaar fan all my life, being able to make the fresh achaar is something I truly cherish.

...and Shrikhand, which we whip up at home every year for Ganapati, Diwali and special occasions!

And last but not the least, my favorite foods of the year list won't be complete without the amazing spread my daughter put together for mother's day.. a true breakfast in bed delight of the year!

I am looking forward to using these last few weeks of the year to catch up on some good recipes long waiting in my bookmarks folder - hope to be able to write to you all soon! ❤