Tag Archives: Magical

Simply put, this cake is magical!

I’ve expressed this form of love before and here I go at it again.  Yes, it is Yotam Ottolenghi yet again along with his baking partner Helen Goh who have me in raptures. Well, it is not really them, but their “Pistachio and Rose Water Semolina Cake” that was just featured in the New York Times that has me all excited.

Just reading the list of ingredients (pistachio, rose-water, lemon juice, almond meal and more) had me in the car on an assembly spree.

And this afternoon, as the pistachios whirred in the food processor and the smell of rose-water wafted in my kitchen, I almost felt like I had been blessed with a virtual visit from the talented powerhouse of Goh and Ottolenghi.

If one could describe the ideal dessert as one where beauty makes a connection with the soul, this has got to be it.

Just a few words of warning!

This does not follow my penchant for light dishes.

True to its middle eastern origin, the cake is sweet and blends in many an exotic flavor. So if you want to get on a magic carpet and take a ride with a subliminal blend of tastes, here’s the way to get on this trip.

Pistachio and Rose Water Semolina Cake


Aladdin on Broadway: A Refreshing Spin on the Disney Classic

By Rohan:

Ever since it was announced that everyone’s favorite street rat from Agrabah was making his way to the Big Apple, I was both excited at the prospect and nervous that it wouldn’t live up to the film’s magic.  Aladdin ​remains one of Disney’s most beloved masterpieces, featuring the gut-wrenching comedy of the late Robin Williams and the beautiful score from the fabulous Alan Menken.  It was an integral part of my childhood movie collection, with the genie standing out as one of the funniest and most charming characters to ever grace the screen.  Last weekend, I finally caught the Broadway rendition of the classic story. Was it absolutely faithful to the movie?  No.  Did it delight me from start to finish?  Absolutely.

If you go into Aladdin on Broadway expecting a live-action version of the movie, then I’m afraid you have been misguided.  This isn’t a shot-for-shot adaptation, but rather a spin on the classic Disney story.  It feels refreshing with modern humor, new characters, and a jazzy soundtrack that is sure to keep the toes tapping and the hands clapping.

What has changed?  For one thing, the city of Agrabah is just as​ magical as ever.  I have seen my share of Broadway performances, and I can say that Aladdin blew me away in the props and costuming department.  The fictional Arabian city is colorful, lively, and has more dimensions than its cinematic counterpart.

Although the animated film is timeless, the writing has been modified to attract a new audience, and its jokes keep the comedy fresh despite the source material being almost twenty years old. The Genie, masterfully portrayed by the charismatic James Monroe Iglehart, whips up jokes about viral Internet videos and recent Disney classics.  The play enjoys poking fun at itself and even breaks the fourth wall to get the audience engaged, a bold move, but it succeeds on all fronts.

By far the best element of Aladdin comes from its wicked cast.  The play has eliminated some of the more minor characters and introduced new ones that I now miss seeing in the movie.  Aladdin’s friends include a trio of street rats named Babkak, Omar, and Kassim, who at various points throughout the production, absolutely steal the show with their contrasting personalities.

Overall, Aladdin is a treat on all fronts, and delivers a thoroughly entertaining evening for people of all ages.  We highly recommend allowing this brilliant cast to take you to a whole new world without even leaving the New Amsterdam Theatre.

Is This Just Fantasy? Five Magical Locales Around The World

By Rohan:

The greatest joy in traveling comes from finding places that don’t feel real.

Whether they are just out of reach of my comfort zone or completely zany in every possible way, our planet is blessed with a myriad of places that feel right out of a fairy tale.

Here are (in no particular order) places that will absolutely blow your mind in this regard.

1. Park Guell (Barcelona, Spain)

Step into the Gaudi-designed Park Guell, and in an instant, you have escaped the bustling street life of one of Spain’s most popular destinations and entered the imagination of both an artist and a visionary. Gaudi has spread his influence throughout the city, from his house that depicts the tale of St. George and the Dragon to the colossal Sagrada Familia church, and his style is prevalent in this magical outdoor space. Adorned with houses that look like they’re made of gingerbread and featuring the famous tiled salamander, the park is a must-see on your trip to Barcelona.

Park Güell – Source: The Telegraph


2. Sacre Coeur (Paris, France)

The City of Lights is considered to be one of the most romantic destinations on earth. From the glimmering Eiffel Tower to the impressive galleries at the Louvre, there is no question that Paris is a hub for honeymooners and lovebirds from around the world. In our opinion, one of the city’s most stunning monuments is Sacre Coeur, a cathedral nestled on a hilltop surrounded by charming shops along cobblestone streets. The warm lights of the city glisten like summer fireflies below as the charm of the hill provides the backdrop for a perfect evening with that special someone.

Sacre Couer – Source: favilletours.com

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