Top 3 places to buy souvenirs in San Francisco

Mignon Dunbar shares her latest!

#3 Fisherman’s Wharf
If you are looking for the quintessential souvenir, Fisherman’s Wharf is the place to go. From post cards to sweat shirts to shot glasses, this place has it all. While you are there, try the clam chowder in a San Francisco Sourdough bowl.

#2 Chinatown
San Francisco’s Chinatown is the largest and oldest Chinatown in the U.S. It is an excellent place to not only buy souvenirs, but also experience the culture and attractions. While you’re there, don’t forget to sample the dim sum.

#1 SF Art Market
The SF Art Market, just outside of the Ferry Building, is a great place to buy unique souvenirs from local artisans. These handcrafted, unique gifts are sure to bring a smile to anyone’s face. While you are there try some of the restaurants inside the ferry building.
Check out the SF Art Market’s website for more information http://sfartmarket.com/

SF Art Market

SF Art Market

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Top 3 places to buy souvenirs in San Francisco

#3 Fisherman’s Wharf
If you are looking for the quintessential souvenir, Fisherman’s Wharf is the place to go. From post cards to sweat shirts to shot glasses, this place has it all. While you are there, try the clam chowder in a San Francisco Sourdough bowl.

#2 Chinatown
San Francisco’s Chinatown is the largest and oldest Chinatown in the U.S. It is an excellent place to not only buy souvenirs, but also experience the culture and attractions. While you’re there, don’t forget to sample the dim sum.

#1 SF Art Market
The SF Art Market, just outside of the Ferry Building, is a great place to buy unique souvenirs from local artisans. These handcrafted, unique gifts are sure to bring a smile to anyone’s face. While you are there try some of the restaurants inside the ferry building.
Check out the SF ArtMarket’s website for more information http://sfartmarket.com/

SF Art Market

SF Art Market

3 Beauty Global Rituals that Work for Every Ethnicity

Mignon Dunbar shares her latest!

Back in the day, indigenous people used nature and not chemicals to achieve glowing skin, formulate natural sunscreens and treat skin problems like acne, scars, and blemishes. Their treatments included rubbing powder made from real pearls on their face, sinking into warm mud baths, or rubbing themselves with oil made from gardenias. The fact that some of these have been around for thousands of years is surely a good sign they actually work.

Here’s where to try some of the 3 best ancient rituals from around the world.

Tahiti: Monoi Oil

Monoi Oil

Soaking the petals of Tahitian gardenias in coconut oil creates a beautifully scented oil called monoi. Although it’s not clear when this ritual began, the origins most likely date back 2,000 years to the indigenous Maohi people of Polynesia who revered the oil as a skin and hair softener. The oil was deemed so special, it was also used in offerings and burial ceremonies.

Bagno Vignoni, Italy: Thermal Baths

bagno-vignoni-si

Roman baths were the center of therapeutic healing as well as a place of social gathering. The baths at the ancient village of Bagno Vignoni were used by pilgrims on their way to Rome, and in the center of the village, there is a rectangular tank from the 16th century that contains an original source of water from a subterranean aquifer of volcanic origins.

Morocco: Argan Oil

Argan Oil

Argan oil has been used for cooking, medicine and beauty in Morocco for thousands of years. The Berber women of southern Morocco were known for their exotic beauty, and their secret was applying this golden oil regularly to their faces, nails, hair, and body. Argan oil is loaded with rich antioxidants, rejuvenating Vitamin E and fatty acids that are believed to help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and treat scars, acne, eczema and psoriasis.

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New York’s Finest Food Trucks

Mignon Dunbar shares her latest!

New York has been known for Mignon Dunbar food blogits bright lights and star-studded shows, but the Big Apple has much more to offer than what we see on television. Not only is New York a staple location for great shows, but it is also best cited for their amazing, greasy, and delicious food trucks.

From the Brooklyn borough to the high tops of Manhattan, you can find the best food trucks just around every corner. For tourists looking to expand their taste buds, here are the five best food trucks in New York City!

 

King of Falafel & Shawarma

Originally a Queens staple, the cart dominated the corner of 30th Street and Broadway in Astoria for almost a decade before it won the Vendy Award for New York’s Best Street Food in 2010.

Now, its second cart in Midtown Manhattan peddles its famous falafel and shawarma to the masses, in addition to meaty plates like the Freddy’s Junior: chicken, kefta and basmati rice topped with chopped onion and doused liberally in tahini and chili sauce.

Calexico

What started out as a lone taco cart in SoHo in 2006 which was labeled as one of New York’s first has since grown into a fleet of carts across the city and a handful of brick-and-mortar locations.

Its original SoHo cart remains its most popular location, still slinging soft corn tacos cradling slow-cooked chipotle pork, hearty bowls of jalapeno cheddar grits and burritos packed with beer-battered fish, beans, rice and Monterey Jack cheese.

Lumpia Shack

Though Lumpia Shack has recently upgraded to its own brick-and-mortar, its original location at Brooklyn’s Smorgasburg street food market still remains.

Each roll is packed with locally ground pork, roasted duck, or truffled mushrooms which are then hand rolled and fried to perfection. Unlike regular street food, Lumpia Shack’s plating is restaurant quality.

The lumpia are arranged artfully on a tray, drizzled with homemade sauce and garnished with pea shoots and pickled vegetables which you can’t get anywhere else!

For more on food and tourist attractions read my latest post: 3 Things to do in San Francisco (Again!) “

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54ead6c0a4eb3_-_thanksgiving-rustic-food-1114-xln

3 Thanksgiving Meals for the Whole Family

Thanksgiving is less than a week away and what better way to get into the holiday spirit than to try your hand at these 3 innovative holiday meals. Whether you’re cooking for the entire family or a simple dinner for two, these three holiday entrees will be sure to steal the show!

Spiced lamb with sticky date and onion chutney recipe

An aromatic marinade packed with toasted coriander and cumin seeds, cinnamon, and paprika make these juicy lamb cutlets wonderfully-spiced. They can be prepared up to a day in advance and are a brilliant party food idea for festive celebrations.

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 12 lamb cutlets or chops
  • handful pea shoots, to garnish
  • 1/2 pomegranate, seeded, to garnish
  • handful mint leaves, to garnish

For the onion chutney

  • 25g (1oz) butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 1-2tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 x 200g pack Medjool dates, chopped

Lobster Mac and Cheese

Cooking lobster needn’t be tricky and this simple recipe for a hearty weekend main shows you just how easy it can be. Pairing sweet, luxurious lobster with mature Cheddar, rich Parmesan and a drop of Prosecco (optional!) gives you a comforting and indulgent dish that’s perfect for sharing with friends.

Ingredients

  • 2 x 400g packs frozen whole cooked lobsters, defrosted
  • 500ml (17fl oz) whole milk
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 50g (2oz) salted butter
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 30g (1 1/4oz) plain flour
  • 150ml (1/4pt) Prosecco (optional)
  • 200g (7oz) mature Cheddar cheese, grated
  • 400g (13oz) macaroni
  • 16 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 tbsp chopped tarragon
  • 50g (2oz) dried breadcrumbs
  • 50g (2oz) Parmesan, grated
  • crisp salad, to serve (optional)

Milk chocolate truffles with almonds and honeycomb recipe

If you’re into making Thanksgiving dessert from scratch, then this delicious recipe is for you!

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp single cream
  • 100g (3½oz) milk chocolate, chopped
  • 100g (3½oz) dark chocolate, chopped
  • 150g (5oz) Crunchie bars
  • 40g (1½oz) whole almonds, toasted and chopped
  • cocoa, for rolling
  • icing sugar, to serve

 

 

 

Related posts: “Step-by-step guide to Making Meringue 2”

travel1

Understanding Travel Advisories Before Your Next Trip

These days, you’re probably not planning a trip to Iraq or Afghanistan despite the United States and other developed nations currently advising citizens against all non-essential travel to these countries. But a government travel warning doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a bad idea to plan a trip to a particular part of the world.

In fact, within the last few years, the governments of the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. have also released advisories about the following countries: Thailand, Mexico, China, and India.

What Is a Travel Advisory?

Governments issue travel advisories to let their citizens know about safety concerns that may affect travel to a particular country or region. In the United States, these warnings are issued by the State Department.

Travel advisories are released for a variety of reasons, including terrorism, natural disasters, political unrest, wars, health emergencies and outbreaks of crime. Travel warnings may also cover areas of the world where a government does not have the ability to respond to the problems of citizens traveling there or example, if the government doesn’t have an embassy in a particular country, or if the functioning of its embassy is threatened by local violence.

Many governments make a distinction between long- and short-term travel advisories. The U.S. State Department issues travel warnings for ongoing problems such as civil wars and unstable governments, while travel alerts cover temporary issues such as natural disasters or election-related demonstrations.

A travel advisory no matter how strongly worded cannot legally stop you from traveling to a particular place. After reading an advisory, it is up to you to decide whether to heed or ignore the advice. While your government will try to help you if you run into trouble abroad, you will always be traveling at your own risk.

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Evaluating Travel Warnings

Not all travel warnings are created equal. When deciding how seriously to take a particular travel advisory, here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  • Is the entire country affected?
  • What’s the danger?
  • How long ago was the warning posted?
  • Is there a safety net?
  • Is travel insurance an option?

Related posts:Hurricane Matthew stops travelers in their tracks

Step-by-step guide to Making Meringue 2.0

Meringue 2.0 or meringue is a type of dessert, often associated with French, Swiss, and Italian cuisine, made from whipped egg whites and sugar, and occasionally an acidic ingredient such as lemon, vinegar or cream of tartar.

This treat can be enjoyed during the autumn months with a delicious meal to match. Today, I will be teaching you my version of meringue with chocolate sauce and vanilla ice cream.

Enjoy!

meringue2-0

1.) First make the ice cream. In a small saucepan, heat the cream with the sugar and allow to reduce by half. Leave to cool

  • 750g of cream
  • 180g of sugar

2.)  Transfer the mixture to a standing mixer with paddle attachment and start to mix. Carefully pour in liquid nitrogen until frozen, then reserve in the freezer

3.) Preheat the oven to 85°C

4.) To prepare the meringue, beat together all of the ingredients until stiff peaks form

  • 200g of egg white
  • 400g of sugar
  • 1 pinch of Sarawak black pepper
  • 1 pinch of lemon zest

5.) Transfer the mixture into a piping bag. Line a metal tray with greaseproof paper and pipe circles of the meringue on top, about 10cm in diameter. Bake for approximately 3 hours, then remove from the oven and allow to cool

6.) For the chocolate sauce, place the chocolate and butter in a small saucepan and gently melt. Remove from the heat and whisk until fully combined

  • 100g of dark chocolate, 72%
  • 30g of butter

7.) Spread the chocolate sauce on a serving plate. Lightly crush the meringue, place in in the centre and add the whipped cream and ice cream. Complete with a disc of crushed meringue and a few salt flakes

  • 200g of whipping cream, whipped
  • salt flakes

Once you are done making the meringue, you can pair it with a nice glass of wine to top off the night.

 

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