a taste of Asia

Took my mom and gran to Fruit and Spice Park‘s 22nd Annual Asian Culture Festival yesterday and got to try all kinds of delicious treats and saw sights aplenty. This is one of my favorite Asian festivals in SoFla, but I wasn’t able to go during the last two years. It seems the park underwent a lot of landscaping during this time because it was even prettier than before and the event was even grander than I remember. During the years that I was able to go to the event, they generally had a heavy Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese, and Japanese presence, but this year they had even more representatives and stalls from the rest of Asia, including India, Iran, Korea, and other nations. The variety of food was fantastic and I only regret that I wasn’t able to convince my mom and gran to sample more treats. I was also very camera-happy during our walk through the park…

One of the neatest things I saw on display... a smoke bubble maker. Too cool!
The park's sunflowers were in fine form.
Some of the new additions at the park included a very refreshing fountain. The wind kept blowing droplets on us as we walked past.
Another pretty addition to the Festival.
Then there was the food... I had a delicious sampler of Bangladeshi vegetarian cuisine. Alas, it was too much for me, but I was a good daughter and shared.
As always, I am a sucker for bubble tea. This time, I had the Mango Boba.
I also threw caution (and diet) to the wind and enjoyed Gaby's Jackfruit Ice Cream. I really wish Gaby's distributed her wares further north...
I tried to spare my wallet, but couldn't resist getting another henna tattoo.
This is what it looks like after the top layer dried and peeled off... don't mind the mess on my bed.
One of the best freebies was a card with my name in Persian :). The writer even pronounced my name correctly (which is rare).

The drive was long and the day was hot, but I’m so glad I got to go this year and really look forward to going next year. Trips to Homestead are always exhausting but well worth the effort :).

One Sweet Day

Went to check out the Sweetness Bake Shop & Cafe on SW 95th and Sunset Drive and was very pleased with the cupcakes and the fun atmosphere. Sweetness is a lovely, whimsical confectionery, coffee, and tea shop that serves a range of homemade cupcakes, gourmet deserts, gelato, bonbons, and a variety of drinks. The shop is inviting and decorated with a charming melange of sweet treat inspired art.

Today was the shops’s Grand Opening and the place was bustling; fresh cupcake trays just kept coming as the treats on display quickly ran out. The bchan and I picked four of the tasty looking treats–he chose Thrilla in Vanilla and Key Lime Pie, while I chose the Borracha and the Guayabera (my Cuban is showing). These were the mini size, which was just right for a quick treat. I especially liked that they do not pile on an overwhelming mound of cream on their cupcakes; I prefer to taste my cake and this was a nice balance. The cake itself was moist and flavorful, my bchan’s first comment was on how lemony the key lime tasted. My Borracha (rum-infused pound cake with meringue) and Guayabera (guava-filled guava cake topped with cream) cupcakes were a great combination and the guava on the inside was a pleasant surprise, bringing out the guava flavor of the cake. All in all, I loved my sweet shop experience 🙂

fruit and Relativity

Every year, the Gables hosts it’s Farmer’s Market and every year, I miss it. Except this year! I finally got to go yesterday and what a treat it was 🙂 . The b-chan and I arrived while the day was still cool, so we got to wander around among the fully laden produce, flower, and food stalls without the usual midday heat. I bought a small pot of Tropical Fruit Honey and a large starfruit for myself, and a coconut for my mom. Next time, I’ll try to go in the early morning so I can have some breakfast or pick up an early lunch. The food all looked delicious, too bad neither of us was very hungry at the moment.

Here is the Market on the corner of Biltmore Way
Gables Farmer's Market

Some wonderfully fragrant teas and spices

Beautiful, blooming orchids
A touch of color

fancy macarons from Le Boudoir

and fresh eggs from the farm
Fresh eggs

After our morning jaunt, we headed off on an hour long drive to Boca to see the “Magical World of M.C. Escher” exhibit at the Boca Raton Museum of Art. Escher is one of my favorite artists; a lot of my work was inspired by his prints when I was in art class, and I have always been fascinated by his tessellations and ability to toy with the viewer’s perception. I was surprised by the breadth of the exhibit and the quantity of prints on display. Many of the pieces were new to me and I really enjoyed seeing a different side of Escher, particularly the Italian landscapes and book prints. The pieces from his office were a neat addition to the exhibit as well, as were the lithograph blocks. My favorite still remains his Three Worlds print, but I loved the Metamorphosis prints and the flower sketches.

The museum also had Mary Cassatt on display, which was a nice treat as Cassatt is one of those artists whose work I’ve never seen in South Florida. The permanent collection also had some interesting works by other artists, so it was a worthwhile trip, though a very long drive.

And the museum has this great teacup and kettle sculpture that made for a nice photo-op 🙂
Cup and Kettle