Shameless Animal Attraction

A Little Animal Attraction

When we travel, we often like to leave our fancy jewelry at home. That said, we still want to have a few basic, cool pieces to look sharp and accessorize with which is where SHAMELESS comes in. Undeniably eye catching, very reasonably priced, and sufficiently sassy (with rings that say ‘Angel’ on one side and ‘Devil’ on the other or ‘Sweetheart’ and ‘Bitch’), they’re the brainchild of Los Angeles based designer, Shea Curry, who unveiled a variety of pieces that compliment the already popular and witty “Naughty & Nice” line with the attention grabbing “Animal Attraction” collection.

Feeling like a Kitten or a Tiger today?

The best part? SHAMELESS jewelry is manufactured entirely in the United States using the finest Swarovski crystals, 22 carat gold and 100% rhodium (aka platinum), with retail price points under and around $75-$150.

We likey.

www.shamelessjewelry.com

Escape to Parrot Cay

In preparation for my own romantic trip to Turks & Caicos, I wanted to share the news about this great, fancy escape.

Parrot Cay - Turks & Caicos

Where: Parrot Cay

What: An Ayurvedic escape for the mind, body, and spirit

Why: With its crystal clear ocean and mile-long stretch of white sand, this private island resort is the ideal place to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the holiday season and treat yourself to a customized, Ayurvedic Program. Pay a visit to Parrot Cay’s own Ayurvedic doctor who will recommend a special holistic treatment plan designed to rejuvenate the mind and body. Whether it is with yoga, a specialized diet, body treatments, detox, or meditation, guests are sure to leave the resort feeling rested and revitalized. The program includes all meals.

Rates for a three-night program start at $3,140 based on single occupancy and $5,009 based on double occupancy

Britain’s Orient Express

Orient Express's British Pullman Train

We’re missing dear old Blightly so, when we offered a friend some tips on how to sight see around London and then travel around her Majesty’s great country in November, we had to fill them in on Orient-Express’s British Pullman train. One can’t find a better way to see Britain than by train. Take a train and add in a little Agatha Christie and… voila! You’re in for one super sweet ride.

Where: Orient-Express’s British Pullman

What: A murder mystery filled with tricks and treats at every turn

Why: Halloween can be spooky. Some say the misty countryside of Britain is the perfect setting for ghosts to come out and play. Yes, there’s witchcraft in the air. But, when you add mystery to the mix, all bets are off. Leave the trick-or-treaters at home for this thrilling and chilling journey aboard the Orient-Express’s day train, the British Pullman. Inspired by Agatha Christie’s famous novel Murder on the Orient Express, the Murder Mystery Lunch will keep you on the edge of your seat. Hop aboard and travel back to 1933 where love and intrigue set the mood. Piece together the clues during an exquisite five-course lunch, accompanied by a glass of champagne and a half-bottle of wine, as you watch the mystery unfold.

(This journey departs November 11, 2011, rates start at $460 per person)

Thanksgiving Nantucket-Style

The White Elephant - Nantucket

Looking for a last minute Thanksgiving vacation? Look no further than Nantucket. Celebrate Turkey Day in the same state as the Pilgrims (the Grey Lady isn’t so far from Plymouth Rock!). The island is full of charm in the fall; the summer crowds have dispersed, prices have dropped, and the middle moors are awash with vivid crimsons and purples. There’s no better setting for a tryptophan-induced food coma and a belly full of pie, we say.

Thanksgiving Turkey Dreams

Stay

With Nantucket Island Resorts’ Hot Dates, Cool Rates promotion, rates at White Elephant for Thanksgiving weekend (November 23-27) start at just $195 and rates at Jared Coffin House start at $125. Both come with a $25 dinner credit on $100 spent or $50 dinner credit on $150 spent at Brant Point Grill as well as two $25 spa treatment credits at the White Elephant Spa.

A Room at The White Elephant - Nantucket

Feast

White Elephant’s Brant Point Grill hosts a special Thanksgiving buffet with all of the comfort foods you’d expect at your grandmother’s house, without all of the cooking and dishes.

Play

While football may be the traditional Thanksgiving game, golfers will be thrilled to know that post-pie they can go play 18 at Nantucket’s top-notch Sankaty Head Golf Club. This members-only club with coveted ocean views and links-style holes is open (for a fee) to anyone from October to May.

The Cisco Brewery

Sip

Nantucket’s own Cisco Brewers, known for its Whale’s Tale Pale Ale and other beers as well as its wine and distilled liquors, is a great place to come in from the fall chill. Taste a flight of beer, wine, or liquor and catch a brewery tour every day at 4pm.

Plunge

Take part in a Nantucket tradition with the 10th Annual Cold Turkey Plunge! Every Thanksgiving morning, hundreds of brave souls gather on Children’s Beach and jump into the cold Nantucket Harbor. Prizes are awarded for best costumes, so be creative!

Cranberry Chocolate Chip Scones

Cook

If you don’t want the Thanksgiving fun to end once you’ve returned home, here’s a recipe from Chef Fred Bisaillon of Brant Point Grill to help you hold on to that autumnal spirit.

Thanksgiving Morning Scones (makes 20 scones)

Ingredients:

1lb +10oz Pastry flour

2tsp salt

1oz baking powder

3oz sugar

12oz cubed cold butter

2oz egg yolk

2oz egg

15oz heavy cream

6oz cranberries

6oz white chocolate chips

Zest of 1 orange

¼ tsp chopped fresh thyme

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking pan with parchment paper. Sift together flour, baking powder, and sugar. Add butter to dry ingredients, mixing on low speed with paddle attachment. In another bowl, combine the eggs, yolks, and cream, then add the egg mixture to the sifted ingredients and butter all at once, mix just to incorporate, then add zest, cranberry, chocolate, and thyme. Pat down dough onto the baking pan about 1” thick. Allow to rest in refrigerator for about 1.25 hours. Cut the dough into 4”rounds or any desired shape, brush with eggwash (one beaten egg, separate from the recipe above, plus 1 T cold water) and allow to sit for 5 minutes then repeat. Bake at until golden brown. About 15-18 minutes in a convection oven. Cool to room temp and Enjoy!

Top Ten Mexican Food Musts

Jesus Catalan Meneses - Jaunt Contributor

This week, Jesus Catalan Meneses, ex-journo turned blogger and very Mexican Taconnoiseur is back to give our readers the inside scoop on the Top 10 Quintessential Mexican Food Musts. Whether he’s writing, researching social media, travelling, cooking or finding the greatest places for tacos, quesadillas, and enchiladas, Jesus’s love for Mexico can only be matched by his love of Mexican food.

So you’ve think you’ve been to Mexico?

Then you know our country is one of those lands where gastronomy is one of the most delicious parts of the experience. It would be extremely daring to name the most representative (and appetizing) dishes of the country (so many!), but with this mouth-watering list I’ll be adventurous enough to say you haven’t been in Mexico unless you’ve tried:

Tacos

Tacos
Some say they come from the Mayans, some from the Aztecs. Taconnoiseurs know that the original name (in náhuatl, the Aztec dialect that is still alive) was quauhtaqualli, an unpronounceable word for the Spaniards, who just decided to call them tacos. Everywhere in Mexico you’ll find heavenly tortillas (rolled or folded) stuffed with just about anything delicious: meat, chicken, cheese, veggies…Seriously, tacos are basic and universal (the best thing that ever happened to the world, by the way). You really don’t know Mexico if you’ve never tried one.

Mole Poblano (c) Safi Royal Blog

Mole

The symbol of Mexican culinary tradition and passion, believed to have more than a thousand flavors and colors. It means ‘sauce’ in Aztec dialect, and it’s made out of a wide variety of ingredients: numerous differentchiles, tomatoes, garlic, almonds, raisins, sesame seeds, onions, bread, cinammon, lard, parsley, peanuts, chocolate…all together (and more) crushed by stone and mixed. Pour it on chicken or turkey, and feast on it.

Cochinta Pibil on Panucho

Cochinita Pibil
If cooked properly, it can make you scream. The legend says Yucatan was the first place in the continent where Mayans tasted pork and thus created this formula incorporating exotic spices, wrapping it in banana leaves and cooking it in a natural underground oven all night long. The extremely tender meat is served on top of a panucho (small tortillas with black beans inside) and sprinkled with minced purple onion. Yumm…

Tamales

Tamales

This ancient indigenous recipe consists of corn dough wrapped in corncobs or banana leaves and steamed. Served very warm, they are usually stuffed with salsas and meat. They can be either salty (green, red, beans…) or sweet (try the pink with raisins). For a wild experience ask for a “Guajolota”: tamales inside abolillo bun. 

Barbacoa

After around 15 hours of cooking inside a natural subterranean oven made of stones, the flavorful young lamb’s meat wrapped in maguey’s stalk will melt in your hands when you’re preparing your tacos and topping them with velvety salsa borracha (which contains a bit of alcohol, oftenly pulque).

Pozole Rojo

Pozole

More corn (this time, large grains), in form of a succulent soup with meat. Woof. Try it whether it’s green, white or red, for it is the heritage of the blend of America, Europe and Asia. Besides the chunks of pork and the big corn oats, experts add chile,  oregano,  lime juice,  fresh lettuce,  avocado,  sour cream,  chopped onion and radish.

Tostadas
Fried, crunchy tortillas with lots of wonderful ingredients on top. Typically, it’s mashed beans,  shredded chicken,  sour cream,  fresh cheese,  minced lettuce leaves,  avocado and salsa; but oftenly in markets around the country you’ll find them as mountains of seafood, pork, and beef…

Enchiladas

Think about a taco, bathed in sauce. Ask for the Suizas (Swiss), created in Puebla by a posh lady who dreamt all those green ‘mountains’ of Poblano chile sauce, topped with cream, onion and melted cheese as a snowy landscape from the Alps.

Enchiladas Suiza

Quesadillas
A favourite that can’t be out of the list, some confuse them with tacos as they are just folded tortillas. Some say if they are not filled with cheese (Queso means cheese) they are indeed tacos. I say just order lots, try and enjoy!

Carnitas & Chincharron

Carnitas & Chicharrón
Sizzling pork for tacos (add onion, cilantro, nopales (cactus), fresh cheese, avocado and salsa) at its best. The skin is deep-fried in lard until it’s crispy. Don’t die before you try chicharrón prensado: a softer, creamier version.

You can also say you’ve been to Mexico if you’ve tried: chilaquiles,  sopes,  flautas,  menudo,  gorditas,  pambazos, cabrito, molotes, tlayudas, aguachile, memelas, pancita, salbutes, discada, tinga, uchepos, chilorio, tlacoyos, migadas, burritos, chimichangas, rajas, tortas ahogadas, molletes, chalupas, papadzules, tetelas, tasajo, codzitos, polcanes, picadillo, huaraches, picaditas, ceviche, pelonas, mixiotes, chamorros, corundas, aporreadillo, churipos, guacamayas, quebraditas, pastes, manchamanteles, caldo tlalpeño, cemitas, chiles en nogada, sopa de lima, and so on.

Have I missed any? Absolutely, I’m sure.

Please tweet me up your favorites @jcmex!