FASHION

FASHION
FASHION

BEAUTY

BEAUTY
BEAUTY

FOOD

FOOD
FOOD

FREESTYLE POKÉ

Freestyle Poke is a favorite of ours. So when I heard that they were making their debut in catering, I knew I had to be there. Poke for a weekday lunch it was.
In case you haven't dined at Freestyle Poke, yet, let me tell all about them. I discovered Freestyle Poke, in the Summer of last year. I am a huge Sushi fan, so when I heard of this new place in town, serving Poke, I headed there without further ado. Poke consists of raw diced and skinned fish, served in a bowl, with rice, and your choice of toppings and sauces. the fish is Sushi grade, to be more simplistic, and has to be served within a set number of hours of being harvested. Originating in Hawaii, Poke has become quite the rage around the world. So if you thought of Kansas City as being meat and potatoes heavy, you have to try out Freestyle Poke.

Freestyle Poke started their operations with their first location at River market, in Kansas City. They debuted their catering venture with a pop-up at We Work, in downtown Kansas City. They served two of their signature bowls at the venue, which was a great hit. I opted for Nirvana, which consists of Ahi Tuna, Sriracha Ponzu, Cucumber, Mango, Edamame with white rice. For my toppings, I opted for pickled ginger, seaweed salad, toasted coconut, and Togarashi Yuzu Mayo as my sauce. It was a limited version of their original menu.

If you head to their River Market locations, then you have a taste of their full-service Poke menu. First, choose your bowl size - Good(smaller) and best(Larger) bowl size. I always opt for Good, while my husband opts for Best. On their catering menu for We Work, they were serving just one bowl size.

They do have around 6 different Signature Poke bowls on their menu to choose from, or you could go the creative route and make your bowl from scratch, with their Freestyle Bowls. I have tried their signature bowls, as well opted to indulge in my creative side and designed my own bowl. I usually opt for half and a half for my proteins - Ahi Tuna and Spicy Tuna, over white Sushi rice, and take the spicy route where my marinade, toppings, and sauces are concerned.
What I love about the staff at Freestyle Poke, is that how helpful they are in helping the indecisive me, in creating my bowl. Their suggestions are spot on when you mention what you are looking for.  I was over Sriracha, and their suggestions helped me create a poke bowl, which was spicy and flavorful. I am a Togarashi Yuzu Mayo fan for life now.

Freestyle Poke is an organization who believes in sustainable fishing and quality products. Their fish comes in from sustainable fish farms, in Chile and a few other places, which are flown in and served fresh. Never frozen. When you have quality ingredients and a great product, you will have loyal followers. Freestyle Poke is expanding operations into Overland Park, later this year and there will even be a Food Truck.

Freestyle Poke speaks of Poke with a Purpose and they really live by their ethos. You cannot miss the strong culture and warmth which binds the Freestyle Poke team. If I was ever joining the food industry, I would surely try my luck at Freestyle Poke. It did sound like a cool place to work in. It is not every day that I hear of a workplace which cares so much for the overall well-being of its workers/team.

Thank you TKG Agency for the invite. Always a pleasure working together.







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RAISING A VOICE AGAINST PUPPY MURDERS IN KOLKATA,INDIA

There was supposed to be a food post, a branded content, which was supposed to go Live last night. But there is this post, which had to be addressed. My family has been working in animal rescue in India, as far as I can remember. My brother- Riddhiman Chatterjee(Riddy), continues the work to the best of his abilities. He even runs a self-funded animal shelter(AALO), which currently houses 15 abandoned dogs. Right now he has been assaulted and attacked, and hospitalized with a head injury and bodily harm, for raising a voice against the merciless murder of 16 puppies, in Kolkata.

I am writing this post to appeal to Animal Rights Activists and Animal Lovers across the world, to raise a voice together, for justice against those murdered puppies. People who torture and kill animals will not flinch an eyelid to torture and kill human beings, without flinching an eyelid. The problem is the archaic laws in India against murdering animals. There is a mere fine of Rs. 50(less than $1) for murdering/killing an animal. With such laws, perpetrators get away with violence.
In case you missed the news, 16 puppies were bludgeoned to death, by two nursing students from a premier medical college - NRS Medical College and Hospital. Soma Burman and Moutusi Mondal lured the puppies and their mother from different parts of the hospital with treats(cookies/biscuits) to an enclosed area, where they bludgeoned them to a merciless death on January 13th, 2018. The nursing students wore surgical gloves and beat the puppies to death with a rod. The dead bodies of the animals were found in plastic bags in the hospital dumpster. They were recorded by some other students as they continued their inhumane act. A security guard at the hospital identified the perpetrators from the video, after which they were arrested by the police on January 15t,h 2018.

My Brother - Riddhiman and many many more animal lovers and animal activists in Kolkata have been protesting for justice for this massacre, at the hospital gates, to taking out peace marches, to name a few.
 

Ms. Maneka Gandhi, Union Minister for Women and Child Development, is a prominent voice in animals rights, in India. She is the Chairperson of the nonprofit known as People for Animals(PFA). She had demanded immediate action after the accused nursing students had been let off by the police.
The culprits were let off by the police on bail, and have been re-joined, classes. The hospital administration had assured that the nursing students(murderers) would not be allowed to re-join classes, till the police investigation was going on. When they rejoined classes, my brother and other activists, in Kolkata, including local film personalities, sat in a silent protest in front of the Health Department Office, in Kolkata on January 22nd, 2018. They were attacked by Cops, yes Police from Bidnannagr Electronic Complex Police Station and assaulted and attacked, and beaten black and blue. The police even tried their best to erase video and photo evidence from the phones of the activists.

My brother and his fellow campaigners, including local film celebrities, have been hospitalized following the attack. This is the price they paid for raising their voice against such a case of animal abuse. 

We, animal lovers across the world, need to raise our voices so that these puppies get justice.

Disclaimer: I have used images from popular News Sources and some from Facebook. Requesting co-operation for a greater cause rather than getting slapped with a copyright notice. 


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CHEF BATTLE KANSAS CITY

If you know me and my husband, then you know that we are self-confessed foodies. Besides, cooking and eating out at our favorite places, watching cooking competitions on TV is something we love as a couple. So when I was invited to cover Chef Battle Kansas City, I knew this would be the perfect family outing for us, before the bad weather moved in. Yes, we are headed for another snowstorm, when the snow from the previous storm has not even melted.
Kansas City Restaurant Week is on, but what turned on the heat on a cold Thursday evening, was a culinary competition in town. Some of the best Chefs of Kansas City battled it out, in the inaugural edition of Chef Battle Kansas City, presented by Social Power Hour.
The winner would proceed to the Regional Championships to be held in Chicago in April. Social Power Hour started in 2012 with the goal to provide unique experiences. Founder Matt Hensler of Social Power Hour has been working in restaurants since he was 14. Chef Battle began to see how creative chefs could be and allow the local community to watch and talk to chefs since they are normally stuck in kitchens. Now Chef Battle is on tour to find the best chefs in the country and will be in at least 50 cities in 2019.

You could not miss the enthusiasm and high spirits at the Martin Event Space, as the chefs went head to head creating their signature entree in an hour.  The crowd cheered on, as the salt, fat, and acid took center stage with heat.
Martin City Brewing Company were the official beverage sponsors, who kept the beer flowing and kept the spirits high, as the competition ticked on to the final minutes. Renewal by Anderson was the official sponsor for the evening. We all need that natural light, especially in the kitchen for those food photos. I wish I knew of them before I started my kitchen reno.

Guests had an opportunity to vote for their favorite bite, in a ballot, once they had tasted all the food. There were two rounds of winners- Popular Choice and Judge's Choice. Speaking of judges, there was fellow blogger Sarah Ruhlman of Sarah Scoop who was judging the event along with Chef Eric Harland and Adam Schaumburg, Community Director of Yelp KC.

Samantha Thomas, the host of Small Talk with Samantha, was the host for the evening. Speaking of blogger friends, it was so wonderful catching up with Lori Barnes, of Macros and Manolos. So proud of the beautiful creative community of Kansas City. Once the Chef's had presented their culinary creations to the judges, it was time for the guests to sample their fare and vote for their favorites.
My favorite for the evening and the winner of the Public Choice Award of Chef Battle Kansas City was Chef Wesley Browning of Beauty of the Bistro. I always say, the simplest of food, is the most difficult o execute. And if it is a Burger, then the stakes are even higher. Chef Browning created a Wagyu Beef Burger, with beef sourced from KC Cattle company, with sheep's milk cheese from Green Dirt Farm(my favorite), rolls sponsored by Farm to Market, with mayo made from scratch and onion. One of the best burgers I have had, and trust me, burgers are something I eat a lot. I could literally devote an entire article as to how good that burger was. Cooked medium rare, succulent, flavorful and uber juicy. I said, Hallelujah at every bite. Chef Browning was also the 3rd place winner of the Judge's Choice.
The second place of the Judge's choice awards went to Chef Jeremy Nettles of Joy N Us Catering. And his wife was his sous chef! How romantic is that! In my books, a couple who cook together, stay together. It's so similar to me and my husband, as we love cooking together. He created a Salmon BLT, with cajun spiced salmon with baby spinach salsa and sherry vinaigrette. It was an interesting play of textures and flavors.

Let me talk about the other noteworthy culinary creations of the evening before we announce the final winner.
Chef Niko Tsamolias, Executive Chef of Pete's Steakhouse added a Middle Eastern flair with his offering. Kubadi Kebab with a saffron-infused smashed potato, succotash, and pork belly was an explosion of flavors. Kebabs are a big favorite of mine, as I love making them myself. It is very easy to overcook a Kebab if you are not careful, rendering them dry. Chef Niko's Kebab's very the stuff of Kebab dreams, which had me dreaming of tandoori nights.
From Kebabs to Surf and Turf, presented by Chef Jeffrey Thomas of Sullivan's Steak House. Lobster and tenderloin served with a tomato reduction, charred corn, and micro green salad.
Chef Brandon Bross of Lake Quivira Country Club created seared country pork rib marinated in allspice, with pineapple salsa, carrot puree, and corn salad. Loved the cooling effect of the carrot puree, with the heat of the pineapple salsa, paired with the rib.
I could not taste the creation from Chef Daniel Nutty, of Lidia's Kansas City, but it looked great, both from the prep table and in its final presentation. They had run out of samples when I finally reached their table.
Last but not least, the Judge's Choice Winner of Chef Battle Kansas City, who walked away with a 10,000 dollar prize was Chef Chris Jones of Pearl Tavern. Meatballs which were steamed and then pan seared, to not only lock in the moisture but also add that caramelization and crunch, served with pineapple glaze. I have never seen meatballs being steamed in bamboo baskets which are used for steaming dumplings, but I can tell you that they tasted amazing.
It was a great evening, to say the least. A wonderful time with the whole family and some of the coolest Chefs in town. What was most interesting was the sheer display of culinary styles and the variety of culinary influences of the chefs! Proud of all the Chefs for doing our city proud at such well-known cooking competitions.











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SMILE BRILLIANT'S CARIPRO & GIVEAWAY

Devoting more time to self-care is surely one of my New Year resolutions. My smile is my biggest asset, and I have been reminded of this time and gain. Oral hygiene features very high on my self-care routine. While many of you remember how I had used Smile Brilliant's Teeth Whitening system, two years back, to give my pearly whites a makeover, with their teeth whitening system. With the New Year, I decided to gift myself a brand new smile with Smile Brilliant's CariPro Electric Toothbrush. Stay tuned to the end of the Blog to enter my Giveaway to win yourself a Caripro. And even if you didn't win the Giveaway, I have an Exclusive Coupon Code for all of you for extra savings, if you wanted to try out the Caripro.


I had to undergo dental surgery last year when I had to have all of my wisdom teeth removed at one go. One thing which the doctor suggested as post-op care was to switch to a good quality electric toothbrush. Call me living under a rock, but I had steered clear of gadgets for my oral care, till the doctor mentioned that I needed to.  If you didn't know already, I am an avid coffee drinker, and I love my wine on weekends. So when I found CariPro, it was a match made in heaven.
When you find a great product, it's very tempting to let everyone know about it. But whenever I do reviews of any product, I always try out it for a few weeks, at least, before I put my verdict out. So once I had put Caripro to the test, and it came out with flying colors, I decided to spread the news forward.
Smile Brilliant has expanded beyond teeth whitening, to develop CariPro ultrasonic electric toothbrush. It's their first step toward becoming your overall oral care solution. Same features, better quality. Overall better value. Smile Brilliant had started out as a family-owned company that set out to provide quality teeth whitening within the comfort of home. Today they serve thousands of customers with the largest direct-to-customer brand in the industry.
Love the ergonomic grey soft-touch design of the Caripro. didn't know a toothbrush could be so pretty too. It produces 40,000 vibrations per minute to give your teeth the best possible cleaning and improving your overall oral health.

If that is not all, then the CariPro Ultrasonic Electric Toothbrush has 5 different BRUSHING MODES. Each brushing mode is designed to operate for two minutes with brief pauses between each 30-second burst. The brief pause tells you to move to a different quadrant of the mouth
  • CLEAN:  Standard mode for superior daily cleaning. 
  • WHITE:  Most powerful cleaning mode for removing surface stains, polishing and vigorous deep cleaning. 
  • MASSAGE: Gentle gum pulsation mode for gum stimulation. For complete coverage, use with another cleaning mode. 
  • GUM-CARE: Gum mode for gentle cleaning along the gumline. For complete coverage, use with another cleaning mode. 
  • SENSITIVE: Idea for users who find the default clean mode to be slightly too aggressive. This gentle cleaning mode is tuned well for those who have sensitive gums and teeth. 
I have been using CariPro twice a day, for almost a month now. I started using the Sensitive Mode, for the first week. Then I switched over to the White mode, which I am loving. Once I tried out all the different modes, I realized what I had been missing in my oral care routine. It's almost like a Spa for your teeth, without the big spa bills, at every sitting. My teeth are visibly a lot cleaner than using a manual toothbrush. CariPro claims to remove 7x plaque than a manual toothbrush, and I can clearly see the difference in my own teeth. 
The CariPro comes with two brush heads, which are very easy to replace or put together. The brush can be charged on its base, and at full charge, you can brush for 30 days, without charging it again. I am very accident prone and know to drop things all the time. So the fact that brush is waterproof, makes it an ideal choice for me. How is that for convenience! 

Caripro is an amazingly AFFORDABLE option with the same features of the highest quality electrical toothbrush on the market. And I have a Coupon Code for my readers, which will make it even more affordable. So what are you waiting for? Enter my Giveaway and try out my Coupon Code, to gift yourself a brand new smile in this new year.

GIVEAWAY: https://www.smilebrilliant.com/gb/journotalk
COUPON CODE FOR 20% OFF CARIPRO ELECTRIC TOOTHBRUSH: journotalktb20 

                                                      SMILE BRILLIANT FAQ



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SILVER JUMPSUIT : FROM KCFW TO NYE










Happy New Year everyone! Hope all of you are doing great. It's the first day of everyone getting back to work, after the Holidays. So it made sense that I had a new post on my log. The days from Christmas Eve to New Years just flew by, and now I need a vacation to tide over the vacation. Doe sit happen to all of you? We are fortunate that we have so many fabulous friends, who are like family, who graced us with their company these holidays. 

New Year's Eve is clearly a special night for us. I and my husband have always partied together. While earlier it was Westport and then KCPL, nowadays its mostly parties either at our home or at a friend's home, along with all the kiddos. But one thing, we have not given up on, is dressing up for New Year's Eve. And this outfit post is about a fabulous outfit which is fashion week approved. 

Yes, you heard that right. The Silver Jumpsuit is something which can easily take you from the red carpet of fashion week to a glittering new year eve party. In my case, from the finale of Kansas City Fashion Week fall Winter' 18, to our new year eve party. The finale of every season of KCFW is all about the big guns from your closet. 

While I am not a fan of glitter in general, I like it on my clothes, only if its the Holidays or its Kansas City Fashion Week. The Silver Jumpsuit is from Target and is sadly not available anymore.  But I have linked similar ones, below. Personally, I am very skeptical of jumpsuits, as I am petite, and I have a mom-bod. This jumpsuit, in particular, was a culotte style one or a cropped jumpsuit. But in my 5feet frame, it was a perfect size, for a full-length jumpsuit. It has a tie around the waist which can be adjusted to camouflage my problem areas, which are always around my tummy. Last but not the least what makes this jumpsuit a perfect party outfit, is the liquid silver color of it, along with the ribbed textural details on the fabric. I have worn this jumpsuit in March to KCFW( when these pictures were taken) and in December for NYE, and in both occasions, this jumpsuit was the perfect conversation starter. Mine was a gift from my cousin and was chosen by my cousin and my husband when they had been out shopping for me. 

So if you wanted to pick up a jumpsuit for yourself, make sure, you have the right length. If you love something, don't hesitate to get the length altered or tailored. The next detail, you need to watch out for is the fit of the jumpsuit. I opted for something, which was loose and flowing, and more forgiving for n problem areas, So keep trying jumpsuits n a few styles, till you find something, that you truly love. 

LET'S SHOP :
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