Things I Ate & Loved: Kolkata Edition

I’ve been traveling to India almost every year since I was born. My main activity- besides hanging with the fam- is eating. Actually, hanging with family means that you are eating because you show your love with how much you eat. The problem is that all the best food is hand made by my didas (grandmothers) with love. But after this last trip, I knew it was time to share some of my favorite dishes and restaurants from my home away from home.  I hope you enjoy. – A



IMG_56841. Dosa and Idyl at Ram Krishna Lunch Kitchen

IMG_8183* I ate the momos so fast that I forgot to take a photograph. But the wall art is amazing!

2. Momos at Momo I Am

IMG_80263. Mishti at Mithai

IMG_6375This is actually my mom’s biryani.

4. Biryani at Arsalan

IMG_80945. Dumplings at Tiriti Bazar

IMG_81966. Chingri Malai Curry at 6 Ballygunge Place

IMG_81307. Luchi anywhere, anytime

IMG_8209.jpg8. Shutki Mach by Dida ;)

9. Kati Rolls (Not Pictured)

IMG_611110. Chaat

New Year, New Intentions

New Year, New Intentions
This is a bit late but: Happy New Year Everyone. I actually wrote this post back in Kolkata with every intention of publishing it on Jan 1. And then life, travel and honestly really good Bengali food got in the way. But there is no time like the present to talk about New Year goals and resolutions.
New Year, New Goals
 Looking back, I think we can all agree that the world in 2017 was stressful AF. Every day seemed to bring a new brand of “ugh” with news of natural disasters, terrible policies, sexual harassment scandals, racist incidents and an upward trend in hateful rhetoric. Never have the words “self-care” and “social media detox” meant so much to me. Personally, though, 2017 was an incredible year. I had a couple of major milestones, both professionally and personally. I’m not a huge fan of New Years resolutions- I mean we all know we should chose the gym over Netflix marathons— but I did want to take a moment to look back on some of things I accomplished and thing that I’d like to work on in 2018.
The Look Back: 3 Things I’m Proud Of from 2017
I think all too often we set “goals” and “to-dos” without taking a moment to celebrate what we have accomplished. I know that I personally don’t focus on the things I do well…and instead berate myself for things I ought to have done. Actually, I started writing this post about things I need to do better in 2018….
1. Maintained Aheli Wanders
I have to start here with my blog. It’s taken many forms since its inception in 2007- from travel blog to infrequent journal to recipe holder and part-time memoir. Last year, I set a goal: a post a week on whatever topic I could think of. The only rule was not to obsess or re-write a post too many times. I’m incredibly proud that I met my goal. Writing has become such a wonderful way to reflect and unwind.
2. Embraced Minimalism (and cut down on my unnecessary spending/hoarding)
Moving into a 700 square foot (admittedly gorgeous) apartment with two small closets that you must share with your wonderful roommate/partner definitely forces you to embrace a minimalist lifestyle. Over the past year, I’ve gotten rid of over fifty articles of clothing and bought exactly twenty new pieces (most of which replaced items that I wore often but were badly damaged. Previously, when I got rid of an item, I felt the need to immediately buy something new. The lack of closet space and the fact that I was enjoying spending more money on quality pieces rather than cheap pieces revolutionized my spending habits. I obviously still have room for improvement, but I’m pretty proud of “buy better, buy less” motto. Also, I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge that the majority of the items that I “get rid” off actually just go to my parent’s place. (THEY ARE THE BEST). Another goal for 2018 is to actually get rid of more.
3. Traveled More (for Fun)
I travel a lot. Like, a lot a lot. I spent 35 weeks of 2017 in a different city. Most of it was for work, but this year G+I (unintentionally) made it a priority to travel more. We started the year in Tampa and then made trips to: London, San Francisco, Amsterdam, Belgium, the Finger Lakes, Montreal, Paris, the Maldives, San Antonio and India. With each trip brought new adventures, new memories and most importantly, new restaurants to recommend.
Looking Forward: Things to Build On
1. Cut Down on Technology
Can I blame my fancy-smancy iPhone for this? Every morning without fail, I wake up to check my text messages, email, WhatsApp message, Instagram, New York Times, instagram again because it always updates, and end with facebook. Sometimes, I waste about an hour in bed just scrolling through useless information. This year, I will try to cut down on useless technology and social media binges.


2. Make More Interesting Plans
I live in one of the greatest cities in the world. Yet, without fail, I end up grabbing a “dinner & drink” with friends to catch up. This year, I’m making it a priority to take more advantage of what Brooklyn/NYC has too offer. We’ve signed up for a BAM membership, and I’m starting to bookmark different gallery events. Any suggestions for interesting NYC area events would be greatly appreciated :)


3. Say “No” More
I have a terrible problem saying “no.” Seriously, at the end of 2017, I was the  was the co-chair of my college alumnae group, a board member of a non-profit, a volunteer leader for my tax program, sat on four different committees…all while running a business, managing a relationship and managing to binge-watch multiple Netflix shows. By 2017, I started to ween off some of the groups. I’m hoping in 2018, I can continue to continue the “extra” and only do projects (and activities) that truly matter to me.
And that’s it for now. Happy Weekend everyone.

Life Lately – December Edition

Life Lately – December Edition

Happy Almost New Year Everyone. Is it me or does it feel like December… actually all of 2017 just flew by? These last four weeks have been filled with so much love, fun, and travel. In the last couple of weeks, I got to see my parents & a best friend in NYC (separately), threw an epic apartment holiday crawl in my building, had an amazing Mexican food-fueled trip to San Antonio with G’s family, and I’m now sitting at our Kolkata kitchen counter writing this blog post. Basically, it was a pretty awesome month. There are so many things going on lately here is the quick summary of my life!

Currently Eating: Dosa from Rama Krishna Lunch Home in Kolkata

Currently Craving: Bean and Cheese Tacos from San Antonio

Currently Drinking: Balvenie 12 Year Old Triple Cask Whiskey (Scotland). Courtesy of my mom and dad

Currently Reading: Exit West by Moshin Hamid

Currently Recommending: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Currently Watching: The Indian Detective with Russell Peters. It’s only four episodes!

Currently DIY-ing: Hand Lettering.  I’m practicing fake calligraphy so all my holiday cards looked extra special this year.

Currently Bloglovin’: Extra Petite– this is one of the first blogs I started reading back in the day.

Currently listening to: Vienna Boys Choir. (Fun Fact: They usually perform at Carnegie Hall every December.

Currently commuting to: NPR’s Fresh Air. This one with President Obama’s photographer Pete Souza made me tear up…on a greyhound bus. Thankfully no one was sitting next to me.

Currently working out with: Wundabar. Or Wunda-booty as I like to call it. It’s an amazing pilates- amazing fun and amazing like you will feel every muscle in your body the next day.

Currently Visiting: Jorasanko Thakur Bari 

Currently reminiscing about: the Maldives

Currently traveling to: India! Yay!

Currently looking forward to: the New Year

A Blog in Review

  • Divulge in some of my favorite guilty pleasures…of the literary variety
  • Or try your hand at some homemade holiday bark. All it takes is 5 ingredients.


Big Hugs,


the book mark | my favorite guilty pleasures

Guilty Pleasures.png

Hello Book Lovers. It’s time for my last book post for 2017. So far we’ve covered summer reading, brain books, my favorite whodunnits, and the best food books. Phew. There is something about December that always makes me want to return to old favorites. The type of comfort books that you read when you just want to read something refreshing. I am of course talking about my favorite guilty pleasures. These are NOT the books for intellectual stimulation. It’s basically the HGTV of my book lists. Let me know what your favorite guilty pleasure books are in the comments!

Continue reading “the book mark | my favorite guilty pleasures”

#Cookie Hack- 5 Ingredient Graham Cracker Bark

#Cookie Hack- 5 Ingredient Graham Cracker Bark

Cookie RecipeOh hello, my favorite readers. The holiday season has officially descended upon us. And if you’re anything like me, you’re frantically trying to think of some thoughtful gifts for those near and dear. Enter Bark or as some rather interesting Pinterest users call it- Christmas Crack. Every year, I like to make a big batch of Bark to give with presents. Actually, if I’m being honest. Sometimes I give Bark as the main present. because thoughtful, handmade presents are the best, right? RIGHT?!?. This weekend, I made a huge batch of Bark to give to the people in our apartment building and decided to document the process.  It is such a simple but flexible recipe. One year, I added chopped pecans and another year, I added chopped candy canes. The only hard part is you have go on patrol that make sure no one sneakily steals the edge pieces (ahem, G!).  I hope you enjoy. – A Continue reading “#Cookie Hack- 5 Ingredient Graham Cracker Bark”

Life Lately- November Edition

Life Lately- November Edition


Photo by paul itkin on Unsplash

Greetings from chilly Brooklyn where I’m currently sitting cocooned in a sea of blankets and sipping a cup of hot early grey tea. It’s currently 4:30AM and I’m suffering from a seemingly incurable bout of jet lag. Not that I’m complaining (completely). Jet lag has turned me into a functioning morning person. I’ve gone to early morning Pilates classes, knocked off worked projects before the sun rises, and have generally felt like a real adult. And even though this happens after every trip past the Atlantic, I can never seem to keep up the routine. The allure of that snooze button becomes too great after a week of being a morning person. I thought I would take advantage of the early hours to write this month’s Life Lately post. Can you believe that it’s December 1st tomorrow? Where did the month go? Actually, where did this year go?Hope that you are all ready and excited for this year’s Holiday season. I’m looking forward to hearing what you’ll are up to!

Cheers, A


Currently Eating: G’s super special chili. I’m still hoping that one day he’ll let me share the recipe so everyone can enjoy this super tasty (and reasonable healthy) chili. (Hint: It involves coconut milk)

Currently Craving: BCD Tofu House‘s Soon Tofu Soup. Because it’s winter and I like warm things.

Currently Drinking: Fortnum & Mason Earl Grey Tea.

Currently Bookmarking: Celestine– purely for the Brooklyn Bridge views.

Currently Re-Reading:  Murder on the Orient Express. This is one of those books that I re-read every couple of years. This time, I re-read it because of the new movie release. I didn’t care for the movie (no one who has ever seen the David Suchet version of Hercule Poirot could) but the story itself is still marvelously cheeky.

Currently on my Nightstand: A Gentleman in Moscow. I started this back in April and it’s been sitting on my night stand ever since. Don’t get me wrong. It’s interesting but it seems like the type of book that you need to consistently dedicate a couple hours to. And, I haven’t had that type of time. Maybe over the holidays?

Currently Recommending: Movie Pass. Back in August, we signed up for MoviePass, and to say it’s completely transformed our movie theatre going experience is an understatement. For a set fee, ($6 – $10) you can see a movie a day in the majority of theaters. Given that NYC movie tickets are $15, it’s a steal. I’m not sure how MoviePass is making money or how they will sustain this business model, but I’m not questioning it (too much).

Currently Watching: Stranger Things 2 . I know, I know. It was released over a month ago. But G+ I have been so busy (and can’t watch it without each other) so we just finished it yesterday.

Currently Making: Holiday Potpourri from Half Baked Harvest. Every holiday season, I bookmark about a hundred links to make our apartment smell like the inside of log cabin filled with apple pies. I never do it. But, this feels like the year.

Currently Listening to: Imogen Heap. #tbt

Currently Loving: Sunrises + Sunsets. The only good thing about the early darkness winter hours.

Currently Visiting: Yayoi Kusama: Festival of Life exhibit at David Zwirner’s Gallery.

Currently Reminiscing About: The Maldives. Best vacation EVER. Post-coming soon!

Currently Traveling Through: Brooklyn –> San Antonio –> Brooklyn –> Kolkata

Currently Looking Forward To: the holidays.

Monthly Recap from the blog:

  • This year’s Thanksgiving was actually an early Friendsgiving with 25 of our closest friends and family. Check out our epic menu. But please don’t do it on an empty stomach.
  • Interested in going to Western Europe, but skipping the typical Tourist countries? Check our my guide to Belgium.
  • This bookworm slash food lover finally got her act together and made a list of “Five Books for Foodies“. It’s a mix of fiction and non-fiction (and the one rare cookbook) suggestions.
  • Craving something healthy but yummy? Try Chrissy Teigen’s Pork Stuffed Cucumber Soup. I did, and now I can’t stop thinking about it.

Happy American Turkey Day

Happy American Turkey Day

pro-church-media-441073chris-lawton-154388simon-maage-351417Happy American Turkey Day!

Thanksgiving is, hands down, my favorite holiday. What more could you want than food, family and leftovers? Most years, we host Thanksgiving at my parent’s and invite my mom’s graduate students and colleagues over. It’s usually potluck style so we end up with an eclectic assortment of food (my mom’s Biriyani is the most requested dish) and very few leftovers.

This year, however, we threw an early Friendsgiving since my parents and I are traveling (in two different locations!*). And honestly, it was one of my favorite celebrations to date! Since we were able to invite 25 of our closest friends, neighbors, and colleagues without encroaching on actual thanksgiving day plans. Continue reading “Happy American Turkey Day”