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2013 - The Year in Review

Pavlova

What a year this has been?! It felt like it sped by but, really, it did not. Looking back now, I can feel every moment of the year in the same pulsating heat of the moment then.

Twelve months ago, there was no way I would have predicted how this year went and least of all, my big move from Manhattan to Brooklyn and how much I love it here now! This year has been filled with pleasant surprises and some not-so-welcome ones that nevertheless always had a silver lining. Even this month has been an especial roller coaster testing me as a person.

I am happy I have survived and am going to walk in 2014 smelling of roses and with plans to plant a metaphorical garden!

As far as this site is concerned, it was indeed a landmark year completing five years of existence and in that time seeing several reincarnations as I worked on figuring out who I am and where I wanted to be. This was my medium of expression. I wrote essays here about introspection, analysis and metamorphosis; words tumbling out needing an outlet to gain meaning. Thanks to all who supported me in those questioning moments and reached out to make me feel a part of an incredible community.

I pushed myself this year to do somethings that I hadn't before and in general experiment in life. As I close the curtain on 2013, it feels right to share some of the highlights of the year with you...

Partnerships and Published Work

Clients Collage

SANDALS RESORTS

,

ZONIN WINES & LE CIRQUE

,

WHOLE FOODS

,

SPENSER MAGAZINE

I can now call myself a

journalist!

Yes! This is one the biggest accomplishments of the year. I am a

chosen contributor for

The Daily Meal

and write for independent magazines. This year, I also widened my client work base and have partnered with passionate providers and purveyors. For a complete

list of my clients

, click

here

.

Experiments in Food

Glutenfree Collage

STUFFED EGGPLANT

,

LENTIL PANCAKES

,

ALMOND TORTE

,

PEAR & OATS SHORTCAKES

The thing about growing older and being fairly aware of your body is that, over time, you realise that you can't really eat & drink all that you could in your twenties and be just fine the next day. I am not allergic to any food type but I do contend a preference for certain items not being in my diet on a regular basis, including yeast, gluten and package cow's milk. So, that meant experimenting! I switched to almond milk and am now playing with raw milk. Will let you know how the latter it goes. I started making more gluten free and vegan meals. And, in doing so, not only rediscovered some of my past (Indian cuisine is largely gluten free) but also had a ton of fun playing with my food!

Farmers Markets and Seasonal Produce

Farm Produce Collage

RAMP SCONES

,

PEACH LATTICE PIE

,

ROASTED PLUM ICECREAM

,

LEEK AND TOMATO GALETTE

,

CABBBAGE RELISH

Pledging to a healthy lifestyle means eating what should be eaten rather than what can be eaten. I am reading Omnivores Dilemma now. If you have read it, you know what I mean. Even if you haven't, I think it's common sense to try to eat local and seasonal, so that the body gets the most when it needs it. So, in that effort, I signed up for the CSA again this year, supporting a farm in upstate NY. I also did my grocery shopping from farmers' markets, real seafood stores and local butchers. Surprisingly, I found that contrary to popular belief, this lifestyle is no more expensive than buying from grocery stores. It does however mean that I have plan what I get when because, well, market dynamics are a reality (Saturday markets are more expensive than weekday ones). All in all, a year of fantastic eating!

Certifications and Classes

Bread Class

STACKED FRENCH TOAST

,

HANDMADE BAGELS

,

CROISSANTS

This year, I took my first class in food. Really! I have never studied anything other than science or numbers. Even my attempts at learning French were a bit half-hearted. I did an intensive certificate course in Bread Baking at the International Culinary Center in May. It was a time in my life of much disarray and the course was just what I needed to get back some perspective. I learned so much and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of class. It is ironic that I found that I am mildly unhappy with gluten but the techniques and tips I picked up on the course with stay with me for a lifetime. Plus, I have now have a certificate too! Ha!

Experiments in Photography

Photography Collage

The camera has always been my friend. This year I tried to break away from the standards of styling and express my whimsies through my photographs. I love black and white photos and I realised food and life is beautiful in binary tones. I also enjoyed giving in to spontaneous ideas using things of practical use as unintended props. So much fun and so much learning! It only goes one way! :)

So, that was my 2013.

Wish you all a fantastic end of year! May your hearts be filled with hope and your mind with dreams for a fabulous year ahead!

xoxo

Asha

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