Juice House In Rishikesh 

April 10, 2016 § Leave a comment

One of my favorite juice places in all of India has to be the popular Juice House in Ram Jhula, Rishikesh. The city is situated on the foothills of the Himalayas and along the Ganges river. It is a place of pilgrimage and a very holy and peaceful place.

The juice stall is a popular travellers’ hangout and is always full. Usually you need to squeeze into a shared booth and it can take 20 minutes to get served but it’s worth the wait. The mango lassi as featured above is full of mangos and has fresh pomegranates on top with shredded coconut $2. They have many fresh fruit and veggie juice combos along with smoothies including some which have avocado.

Their other popular menu item is their fruit salad and the one shown above is a replica that I made at home. I usually get the vegan version which comes with muesli, bananas, watermelon, papaya, mangos, pineapple, coconut, pomegranate, soy milk, date syrup and mint $2.80.

The date syrup was difficult to find so I decided to make my own. I soaked a cup of dates in warm water for a couple hours. Then I puréed the dates and water in a Vitamix blender. Squeezed out the date pulp and put the liquid into a saucepan and brought to a boil. I cooked the liquid until it thickened, allowed it to cool and poured it over the fruit. It was so heavenly that I ate it everyday for over a week.

 Sunset in Rishikesh

Bees Knees at the Hot Chocolate Festival

January 18, 2016 § Leave a comment


I opted out of my daily coffee fix at 49th Parallel Coffee and tried one of their offering for the 6th Annual Hot Chocolate Festival. I got The Bee’s Knees which is dark chocolate  infused with lavender syrup, topped with steamed milk and a honey marshmallow. It was served with a honey/lavender biscotti dipped in white chocolate ($6).

The hot chocolate was smooth and felt silky as it went down my throat. I drank it quite quickly and then tried the freshly made and still soft biscotti. The honey flavour was prominent and the white chocolate finished it perfectly. I only ate one of them as I quickly reached my sweet tooth threshold.

My daughter, a queen concoctor of hot chocolate got the Saturday Nut Fever ($6). A hazelnut hot chocolate with hazelnut amaretti and a hazelnut truffle. Every bite tasted of nuts and is perfect for the nut lover.

It was a fun experience to try these creative drinks with delectable sweet pairings. We will most likely try a couple more places during the festival. For more information on the 6th Annual Hot Chocolate Festival, you can visit their website for a list of participating venues and their hot chocolate menus at http://www.hotchocolatefest.com.




Fire Creek Coffee – Sedona, Arizona

March 21, 2014 § Leave a comment

fire creek coffee

This local coffee shop features small batch on site roasted coffee that comes from small family farms. The coffee shop had a nice energy and I felt like I was at someone’s home. They had an open kitchen concept and could see into the baking area through a glass window. In the back corner, you can also see them roast their coffee.

I got a small americano and cinnamon streusel that tasted like a donut. I asked for the americano with less water than usual as I like them stronger. The americano was full and bold even though it was slightly watery for my palate. The muffin was very tasty and still warm inside. It was a really nice place to go for a coffee to start the day.

Fire Creek Coffee is located 6500 State Route 179, Sedona, AZ. Visit their site for their menu www.firecreekcoffee.com.

fire creek coffee

Stella Artois Cidre

March 18, 2014 § Leave a comment

stella artois cidre

I found this Stella Artois Cidre at a gas station in Sedona, Arizona. I had never seen it before and decided to try it. I was surprised to see that Stella Artois makes an apple cider since it seems so far off from their world famous signature beer. It came in a pack of 4 for $6.95.

When I got back to the hotel, I opened one up with a can opener. The 4.5% hand pressed apple cider was very sweet and tasted more like a juice than an alcoholic beverage. It was refreshing and easy to drink due to the low alcohol content.

I personally think that the cider would taste better if the alcohol content was higher which would reduce the sweetness factor. My friend on the other hand, liked the cider and did not mind the sweetness nor the low alcohol content.

The bottle was beautifully crafted with sleek labels and etchings near the top. It set the tone for a high quality product and fell slightly short for my palate. If you are looking for a sweeter cider to drink in the day, then this is great for that. I am sure that this cider will be available this summer just in time for bbq season.

Bring Balance into 2014 with a Cup of Tea

January 1, 2014 § Leave a comment

I want to wish all my readers a Happy New Year and prosperous 2014. Thank you all for following and I hope to share more insightful information, recipes, restaurant reviews and food stories with you this year.

Guest contributor and local Ayurvedic practitioner Madhuri Phillips has co-written the book “Your Irresistible Life” with Glynnis Osher where they share how to stay in balance by following Ayurvedic practices during the various season. I have been following Ayurveda for over 20 years and use its simple practices in my daily life. This book is great a resource for staying in balance throughout the year. ~Lily


The Top 5 to Thrive in 2014: Ayurveda Has Solutions

By Madhuri Phillips

Ayurveda, the sister science to yoga is gaining popularity here in the West as it teaches us how to return to living in harmony with nature amongst the busy-ness of our daily lives. This 5000 year-old system of natural medicine has sound, effective and simple tools for helping us to maintain balance in mind and body. Here are 5 Ayurvedic tips to keep you thriving:

1) The very first thought of your day sets the tone for how your day will unfold. Consciously set a positive intention because what you focus on expands. If you’re not sure where to start, a simple affirmation such as “Today is a great day!” gets you moving in the right direction.

2) Scrape your tongue. Before you drink or eat anything use a tongue scraper (buy a your health food store) or even the back of a metal spoon to scrape the toxins (in Ayurveda we call this ama) off of your tongue.

3) Drink warm water with a squeeze of lemon in the morning to cleanse the body and organs and assist with elimination.

4) Breathe deeply and often. Meditate and be still for at least 5 minutes a day. And, get your body moving. Be sure to exercise daily too: walk in nature, dance in your living room, play with the kids, allow it to be fun and invigorating!

5) Drink CCF Tea to keep your digestion strong and healthy. This is Cumin, Coriander and Fennel tea (recipe below) and assists in detoxification, reducing gas, indigestion, bloating and balancing the ph levels of the body.

Ayurvedic CCF Tea

Take 1 tsp of each cumin, coriander and fennel seeds. Put 4 cups of water and the seeds into a pot and bring to a boil. Once the mixture has reaches a boil, turn down the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

Madhuri is an Ayurvedic Practitioner (CAS), Bio-Energy Practitioner & Yoga Teacher Trainer (ERYT). Along with her popular Ayurvedic Yoga DVD, her book, “Your Irresistible Life: 4 Seasons of Self-Care Through Ayurveda & Yoga Practices that Work” is now available. Explore how to work one on one with Madhuri at: www.madhuriayurvedayoga.com. Purchase Madhuri’s book at http://glynnisandmadhuri.com/your-irresistible-life/

Uncommon Ground Restaurant in Chicago

October 29, 2013 § Leave a comment

toffee coffee

Uncommon Restaurant in Chicago won the Greenest Restaurant in America award earlier this year. They have herbs planters that line their patio and the nation’s first certified organic rooftop garden. The fruits of their labour end up in the menu. My friend’s sweet toffee latte was topped with whipped cream and he craved seconds after finishing this big bowl.

french toast with grape syrup

French toast with grape syrup using local grapes and topped with toasted pecans and icing sugar. The tender grapes were peeled and had the softness of a pear. The combination was delectable.

vegetarian chillaquiles

Vegan chilaquiles with scrambled tofu, homemade vegan seitan chorizo, topped with cheese, tortillas, guacamole and a side of hashbrowns. The staff was still asleep when we arrived at 9am and my order took three attempts to get it right. It gave me time to savour my french pressed coffee. The seitan was my favourite part of this dish, and the focal point of flavour. I added hot sauce to the dish which was a mistake and turned my mouth on fire and altered my taste buds.

Uncommon Ground Restaurant is located in 3800 N Clark St, Chicago, IL, 60613 . You can reach them at (773) 929-3680 or visit their website at www.uncommonground.com.

Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany

October 24, 2013 § Leave a comment


My first trip to Oktoberfest was everything that I had imaged and more. As we walked up to our tent, a stretcher was rolling away a person who had over done it. According to my German friend, that was very common. I was so surprised to see carnival rides behind the tent as I could not image going on one in a drunken state. It seemed like a recipe for disaster. My friend commented that people throw up often and there is a joke about being careful while walking under the rides.

The tone in the tent was very merry as people start drinking early in the day and continue until the evening. Most people were dressed up and cheering or singing loudly. We got to our table and of course ordered beer. It was really loud and a band was playing American covers and traditional German music. It was a party like no other.

oktoberfest beer

One litre pints of beer. They were really heavy and encourage quick consumption. Who likes warm beer?

lily oktoberfest

This is only half the original size of the pretzel. We couldn’t even finish it between five people. My Portuguese friend carried it around in his pocket for the rest of the evening.

german pancake

I had to break my rule of no eggs, which can happen when I travel. This was the only thing on the menu that was vegetarian friendly. This German pancake just happened to be a dessert option and came with a side of stewed fruit. It was very delicious and seemed like the pancake was cut up during the cooking process to keep the inside fluffy while making the outside crisp and buttery. It was quite heavy and filling so I shared it with my friends.

Oktoberfest is an experience like no other and I am really happy that I had a chance to experience it. If I am in Europe at that time of the year again,  I will definitively make it a plan to go back.

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