Sunday, August 7, 2011

~Sunday Stew - August 7th, 2011~

Sunday Stew is a Weekly Meme hosted at Books Devoured

Bookmark of the Week

This is one of my own creations. It's actually a half-page sized cardboard upon which I created a sort-of mosaic, using words and phrases cut out of magazines. Yes, I defile magazines. Magazines, yes. Books...NEVER! Haha. I made this one a while ago, and it is one of the two of my favorite mosaics. I tend to use it a lot, especially when I'm in a bit of a depressive mood. That's what I've been using for the past 6-7 days.

Book of the Week

Title: The Lake
Author: Banana Yoshimoto
Publisher: Melville House Publishing

Comments: "Bananamania" is absolutely real, not just a mere phenomenon, I think it's a real love for this author's work. I've only read through a little of the book so far, but I love the dark, brooding, mysterious and absolutely atmospheric writing of Banana Yoshimoto. I love it so far, I'd definitely recommend everyone to look into reading this book. Plus, when you buy this book through Melville Publishing, part of the proceeds from the book go towards Japan's  Disaster (You can click on the book for more details).

Around The Web

Well, first of all, one of my favorite bloggers, Tynga (Cindy Bacon) of Tynga's Review put up pictures of her beautiful wedding up on her blog, which took place on May 28th, 2011. Just click on the gorgeous picture of her and her husband below to access her absolutely amazing wedding pictures.

Also, it's BOOK BLOGGER APPRECIATION WEEK!!! It's an annual celebration of book blogs, and their amazing authors/owners/bloggers. Don't forget to visit the website, and nominate your favorite book bloggers! I can think of a DOZEN amazing people I'd love to nominate, so make sure YOU nominate your favorites as well! :D Just click on the banner below in order to go to the website :D

Around Me

There has been just SO much going on around me that I think I'd need until next Sunday in order to tell you what has been going on since last week. I'm behind on EVERYTHING, because I've been busy my family. Also, due to Ramadan (which my family and I observe), we've been fasting while doing all that needs to be done - which, in hot weather like the kind we've been experiencing in Southern California, makes it that much more difficult. But it's a SPIRITUAL journey, and a rewarding one at that, so I'm hanging in there. Here are a few highlights of the week.

My uncle flew down from Oakland Hills for a conference. While he was busy with the conference, he spent time with his family (US!) in the evenings! :) Because he was in town, and we typically tend to do a dinner together every time anyone is in town, we proceeded to have a grand dinner to end our fasts on Wednesday evening. The following is the fare that was available at the dinner (half of which was prepared by yours truly! *beams*):

 We had Dahi Barray (Yogurt w/ Fritters), Haleem (a slow-cooked lentil curry), Tamarind Chutney, Mint Chutney, Sweetened Milk, Potato Samosas

We also had Ras Malai (cottage cheese rounds immersed in sweetened cardomom milk), Chholay (Garbanzo Bean Salad), Egg Curry, Fruit Salad, and Beef Samosas

Dates and Fritters (Assorted: Potato, Spinach, Eggplant Fritters)

By the way, I want to clarify that this is NOT the usual fare at the end of a fast for us. Fasting doesn't mean that you should eat enough for the entire day before sun-up, and then act like a complete glutton after sun-down. That would completely negate all the benefits of fasting, which is really all about gaining control over your own desires, and your own ego - allowing to free yourself from urges of hunger, desire, greed, gluttony, slothfulness, backbiting, gossiping, telling lies etc. This is just because every one was getting together, and an assortment of food was made to please everyone - and also, it seems like a lot of food, but it's technically for 20 people, so I hope you understand. My usual fare for a fasting day is drinking one glass of sweetened milk (& sometimes an egg) with 2 dates and a glass of water before sun-up, and half a glass of milk, 2 dates and a simple dinner (no different from every day dinners) right away. I don't eat between then and the next meal before sun-up (neither does any one else in my family).

This dinner also allowed me to spend some time with my little cousin Inaaya (my mom's brother's daughter), who is an absolute DARLING. Funny thing is, she looks and talks just like my mom, which is that much more endearing. She is a FIRECRACKER, though - and she's especially in that phase where she wants to do everything you do. Oh, and she LOVES posing for pictures, so when she got all decked out to pray with my mom, I snapped this picture of her.

 She wanted to act all adult-like and pretend she was praying - she got tired of that sash on her head REALLY fast! lol :P

She was out of her dressy clothes, and back to being the cute little nuisance she is in NO time! :)

Lastly, on Saturday morning my Uncle took us cousins out for breakfast. Funny thing is, we're all girls - so it was really fun. Just us, and our uncle. We were so busy having a good time, we completely forgot to take pictures. BUT, we did discover an absolutely AMAZING restaurant that I cannot help but rave about. So bear with me! :) 

La Creperie Bohemian Bistro & Bar is an absolutely beautiful establishment, with real ambiance, great music and, best of all, ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS FOOD!!! I was fasting along with another cousin of mine, so we ordered food to go, which was delicious even after hours of sitting on the kitchen counter! My uncle ordered a "Latin Lover" (a sweet crepe filled with Nutella and fresh bananas), a cousin ordered "Romeo and Juliet" (a sweet crepe filled with Nutella, fresh strawberries and bananas), another one ordered a "Chocolate, Chocolate" (Warm chocolate crepe filled with nutella and strawberries) - ALL looked, smelled and tasted absolutely delicious! Before you make the mistake of thinking that they only serve sweet fare, they also serve savory crepes, pasta, salads, etc. As a matter of fact, another one of my cousins ordered a "Spa Vichy" (Strawberry & banana and yogurt parfait with granola), which she said was scrumptious. Also I ordered myself a "Zorba" (A savory crepe with fresh sautéed spinach, feta cheese, tomatoes, caramelized onions and kalamata olives in a vegetable broth), to eat later when my fast ended, and let me tell you, it can only be hailed as being absolutely DIVINE! Also, I MUST comment on the service provided. I have to admit, the host and the waitress were simply amazing - I literally felt like I was sitting in some cafe in Paris, and that I must be royalty, because they treated me so well!!! Also, at the end of our visit, the Manager (I assumed her to be the manager, but perhaps she was the owner *shrugs*) PERSONALLY thanked and greeted each of us. I was absolutely blown away by their hospitality!

So, the whole point of my rant was to tell you what a fantastic place this restaurant is. Unfortunately, it is only in Southern California. I went to the one in Chino Hills, but there are also branches in Downtown Long Beach, and on the Belmont Shore. So all my Southern Cali bloggers/friends - head on over to this wonderful restaurant, RIGHT NOW! And for those who don't live down here...whenever you're in town, MAKE SURE TO VISIT! :) You can click on the banner above to visit their website, and check out their amazing menu, or check out their Facebook page for some lovely pictures, and comments from other diners! :D

Anyhow, I hope you enjoyed this week's ~Sunday Stew~, I definitely enjoyed writing it. With this, I conclude this week's Sunday Stew post! Thank you for reading, feel free to leave me any comments/feedback you may like. I wish you a blessed rest of the week, and that you'll continue to visit! :)


  1. Can I be rude and just invite myself to hang out with your family if I am ever in Cali? I just want to be there and to eat with you guys!!! ((Hugs))

  2. @Shannon@BooksDevoured

    Thanx a million Shannon,

    I've said it before I'll say it're always welcome to come over any time, and I'll make you WHATEVER your heart don't even need an invitation, you're like family, dear!!!! Love ya <3


  3. Yours is the second favorable review I have read today of The Lake; I'm going to have to check that one out.
    Your little cousin is adorable -- her personality shines through the pictures!

  4. How adorable is she, too cute. I love that your family threw a feast for your uncle, I can't believe you cooked most of bit, it seems so complicated. I might need some recipes. :-)