The Cathedral Basilica of The Immaculate Conception

This year I met with some tourists from Virginia U.S.A.  They were also well travelled global citizens who remarked how much Trinidad reminded them of Hawaii. Something about our chill island vibe, the beaches and the abundance of readily available roadside fruit made them feel this way. They also compared us to Saudi Arabia because our oil and gas refinery nightscape resembled one of the many nights during their stay in the Middle East. However, the one thing that stood out to them was our architecture and the disregard for segmentation in geographic development.  By this I mean there is little separation between residential and commercial areas. Now I am not saying that we absolutely do not have separation or zoning because in some areas we do. However, more often than not one is met with fancy dining restaurants smack in the middle of an industrial or manufacturing sector with residential and commercial plots within walking distance from each other. Needless to say they all coexist in harmony.

Quite interestingly one can travel to any other destination and easily identify the architecture and the zone in which a specific type of design style belongs. We have been privy to many influences and the architecture that thrived during the reign of each passing era and the change of hands of ownership. Diversity does not stop there as those who survived the post emancipation period were able to build and design their own homes and businesses using knowledge, skill not forgetting design from their own cultural backgrounds. Hence the result todal is a multifaceted island designer collection of architecture and interior design. The Cathedral Basilica of The Immaculate Conception is one of those relics that has survived to depict this tale. It sits in the capital city, Port of Spain, a bustling district that is also not exempt from (my aforementioned rambling about) lack of zoning. The Cathedral beams magnificence in plain sight. She graces us with her poise and beauty. She is an emblem of hope for the future signifying the strength and power of a nation that has been through a lot but still stands today.

(Photo Credit: “Part 1 The Cathedral of Immaculate Conception,” Trinidad Guardian)

The Cathedral of Immaculate Conception was the first Catholic Church in Port of Spain. It was built by the then Spanish Governor in 1781 and at that time it was not yet a cathedral. An English Governor decided that there was a need for a bigger and better church to accommodate the growing catholic population. In 1816 the foundation stone was set. The shape of the building took the form of a cross. The materials used to build this church included blue metal and limestone sourced from the Laventille quarries. However, iron framework was imported from England for the doors and windows. It was not  until 1822 that this church became a Cathedral. In 1851 Pope Pius IX ranked the church as a Minor Basilica.

(Photo Credit: The Front View of The Cathedral of  the Immaculate Conception , Pinterest)

The design of the Cathedral is heavily Gothic Revival which borrows some features from the gothic era (1150- 1400). There is no surprise that the cathedral’s design was inspired by this style.  Aptly, the timing of design and construction coincided with the gothic revival movement that took place whilst the English Governor was in Trinidad. The gothic revival was a movement that began in England in the second half of the 18th century. This style of design reveals a pious mood, one of righteousness and high minded thinking evident in most religious and scholarly institutions. We owe the architects of that era our gratitude. At that time they used creative thinking and design management in technological advancement to conceptualize and execute their design theories. The end result were a few marvelous design solutions to reduce building mass whilst trying to increase space and light in this gothic revival style.

(Photo Credit: The Inside View of The Cathedral of The Immaculate Conception, Fidelity Electronics Limited)

 The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception maintains pointed arches which take the weight off the ceiling to balance an overall irregular structure of the building. Yet, it keeps a common ceiling area. There are pinnacles, spires and lots of window tracery. There are ribbed vaults with thinner walls to increase space in the cathedral.  The flying buttresses act as a form of support for the walls and ceiling. They take the weight off the walls and transfer them to the ground. This meant more space was used for window installation. Thus more natural light can enter the cathedral. The overall emphasis throughout the design style is vertical. Amidst the beige colour scheme going on for the cathedral’s exterior there was the incorporation of artistic and decorative elements  with bursts of colour on the interior. There are statues inside the building as well as a prominent virtuous lady on the upper exterior of the building.

(Photo Credit: The Side View of The Cathedral of The Immaculate Conception, Wikimedia)

The Cathedral of Immaculate Conception is listed as a heritage site at  #31 Independence Square Port of Spain. She has been given much care to maintain her structure and stature. If you live in this destination you should definitely find your way to the capital to see what all the hype is about. If you intend on visiting Trinidad, our citizens would love to host you and they eagerly await your arrival. I guarantee you that we are second to none in our cuisine, culture and lifestyle. You just have to experience it to believe it!

 

 

 

Cocobel Chocolate

Sometimes I feel like we live in a magical place. Look at our geographic space, we are located away from the hurricane belt, the tectonic plate shifting incidents rarely affect us  and there is an abundance of chocolate. We love chocolate so much that we even use it to play mas’ during our j’ouvert celebrations at Carnival. I am not describing  the substandard sugar loaded candy bars today but the immaculate cocoa finery which takes you to heights of the northern, central and southern range combined. You figure out the math because the numbers will just drive me more insane than the eclectic skills of local architect turned chocolatier, Isobel Brash otherwise known as Cocobel.

(The building that hosts Cocobel & Medulla Art Gallery)

Photo Credit: Medulla Art Gallery

Yet again I am raving about another architect who is female and making those bold moves right here in Trinidad. Can you imagine the scope of creativity when you take an architect’s experience, knowledge and mindset to chocolate innovation?! The possibilities are endless!!! Think about the elements and principles of design fused with Isobel’s passion for Trinidad and Tobago’s culture. The results are always decadent masterpieces depicting and reflecting her architectural expertise in functionality, design and the diverse palate of local ethnic delight!

(The stairs leading to the porch of the Cocobel studio)

Cocobel translates to the meaning of Cocoa Queen and this is the brand name of Isabel’s chocolates. She is the queen who sources local cocoa beans from her brother’s estate in South Trinidad at Rancho Quemado and makes magic with them at her space on #37 Fitt Street in Woodbrook. The space is shared with The Medulla Art Gallery. (How cool is that?!  You get to discover what’s going on in the local art scene when you go chocolate shopping. Who’s says you can’t have your chocolate and eat it too!!!). Cocoa trees greet you upon entering the gates of the Cocobel premises. As you sashay up the staircase the rustling of leaves and the island breeze catches your face with sheer joy.  Craftsman furniture pieces with artisan stools and the glamorous doorway to chocolate heaven are less than a few feet away. But the porch beckons you to stay and bask in your storybook feelings. Yes, if we had to write an island fairytale this house would definitely be on the illustrator’s pages sharing a glimpse of happiness with the reader; an untamed energy so pure and perfect, hopeful yet unanimously ingenuous.

(The accent wall in the Cocobel studio)

I am not an architect but my design senses tell me that this building appears to be a mix of architectural styles. I see a bit of the Edwardian era, the less ornate Victorian era with plant inspired motifs and some stencil work . It also looks like the arts and crafts era made an impact too. I say this because of the simpler and handmade furniture pieces on the porch, the apt natural beauty of  the unpainted wood grain, wood carvings, the floors and the leather work on the upholstered chairs inside. The geometric forms on the gates , the use of metal indicate some use of art deco design.  Upon entering the studio there is sense of modernism and minimalism with a hint of Moorish style (the domed at the top of the framed windows). There are a few pieces of furniture, a sensual glass coffee table, paintings on the walls to the left, a great piano to the right end just where a staircase descends to the art gallery and an accent wall inebriated with scribblings about the Cocobel brand. In front of the accent wall is a simple crafted table bearing all the chocolate bounty for the consumer’s eyes to devour. The principles and elements of design unite in a harmony to echo throughout the exterior and interior spaces of Cocobel.

(The seating area in the Cocobel studio)

 

(The stairs that spiral to the Medulla Art Gallery)

A simple set up on the inside is all anyone needs to convince them that this is the real deal. There are truffles, barks, bon bons with fillings, chocolate covered cocoa and coffee beans. Isabel infuses local fruit, spices and herbs in her chocolate making. But this is no monkey business as each piece is carefully crafted leaving a  balance which is any designer/architect’s purpose when they set out on a project.  Albeit Isabel’s Cocobel is for chocolate lovers, foodie enthusiasts, dessert connoisseurs and persons who are open to trying new things. The brand is highly supportive and reflective of local culture. It is consistent with being diverse with its offering and it does not compromise on high quality production. There is little to no generation gap with Isabel’s chocolate market. It is the quintessential gift for special occasions from weddings, birthdays, anniversaries to “just because”days.  Cocobel’s brand hinges on cocoa innovation. There is consistent progressive creative thought in the brand development which is quite evident in the product lines. In April, Isobel experimented with the seasonal grapefruit bark. The tangy and sweet combination was delectable and it was made right here in Trinidad. During the Easter holidays the children and artisans in all of us were not exempt from her chocolate love affair as Easter bunnies and chocolate eggs were superbly designed and decorated for purchase.  As if these were not enough chocolate innovation look out for her Fresh Baked Fridays, a chocolate lover’s dream. The chocolate studio is transformed into a chocolate bakery with complimentary hot cocoa and lots of chocolate desserts and pastries to choose from!

(Cocobel Chocolates)

Photo Credit: Cocobel Chocolate Facebook

(Cocobel Chocolate Bars)

Photo Credit: Cocobel Chocolate Facebook

(Fresh Baked Fridays)

Photo Credit: Cocobel Chocolate Facebook

Anyone interested in discovering more about Isabel can get on to her social media pages to be updated on future sales, new products, services and the next fresh baked event.

Website: http://www.cocobelchocolate.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Cocobel-Chocolate-253083854729802/

Instagram: cocobelchocolate

Email: cocobel@cocobelchocolate.com

Contact: (868) 622-1196

The National Aquatic Centre

I have developed a very acquired sense of creative design. It has become so odd that when I experience a designed space, fashion or art piece my mind discerns it’s creative value immediately. My brain literally screams “WOW!” in that fleeting moment of first impression (provided that I am impressed). I have also discovered that my brain’s interpretation of what makes something uniquely creative is heavily associated with the impact of how the designed space or thing makes me feel (I mean to say that the designed space or thing evokes some type of emotion rather it moves me).  Moreover,  the designer’s ability to manifest differentiation via harmonious alignment of the elements and the principles of design is a major contributing factor.  The National Aquatic Centre is a recently designed space that catches my attention in Balmain, Trinidad. Here are my casual design thoughts below.

Photo Credit:

http://cgmnpagroup.com/home/cgml-cg-murray-ltd/

The vision for this facility fell nothing short of creating an opportunity to develop the swimming potential of athletes to perform at national and international competitions, to support a high performance sport, to host  competitions at national and international levels, to promote sport tourism by offering training programs for international swim teams during winter months, to generate income and revenue for maintenance and upkeep of the facility. The  National Aquatic Centre has a seating capacity of 700 persons. It features a 50 meter swimming pool, a 50 meter warm up pool and a 25 meter diving pool. Additionally, there is an aqua gym, Turkish baths, a fitness room, a sauna, a cold water pool, concession outlets, ticket booths, VIP/Official, media, public seating and multipurpose rooms for event organizers. There is even an aqua park.

Photo Credit:

http://cgmnpagroup.com/home/cgml-cg-murray-ltd/

There is a lot of use of glass, concrete and steel. There is an apparent mix of what may be modern, contemporary and  feng shui styles. Albeit the designers were faced with the task of creating a space that is kid friendly, slip and mildew resistant not to mention durable yet suitable for accommodating huge crowds of varying backgrounds. The facility is in a shade of reddish orange that is strong, warm, passionate and vibrant. This is the welcoming hue used on the exterior walls of the facility. The interiors like the lobby are kept more on the monochromatic and achromatic colour schemes. There is a viewing area here where one can see the tournaments through huge glass windows. The ceiling in the lobby has textured straight lines adorned with curves that include lighting systems. The seating arrangement in here does not feel static allowing guests to converse without feeling too formal. It is easy to enter spectator stands to view  and the view is not bad at all. The concession area and bathrooms are also close by. There is ample parking and security is available.

Photo Credit:

http://cgmnpagroup.com/home/cgml-cg-murray-ltd/

The building has rhythm and flow. The proportion and scale used is appropriate. There is use of symmetry. I like the  striking balance between vertical, horizontal and curved lines which soften any stark macho vibes from the concrete facility. The tall columns help to create an illusion of grandeur but the horizontal columns keeps the overall look grounded. The open air concept is modern but suitable for this tropical location. Visitors can bask in the natural backdrop of a lush green environment and the refreshing sight and sound of  divers splashing water as they take off to meet each other at the finish line. This ambience is quite therapeutic and invigorating at the same time for athletes getting in their frame of mind before plunging in the pool. There is a certain magic in the air where premeditated design philosophy and execution collide. The diagonal lines that form triangles add a transformational quality to this international water stage. It appears to be setting up a scene for athletes to journey into another phase of their swimming game.

Photo Credit:

http://cgmnpagroup.com/home/cgml-cg-murray-ltd/

 Already the centre has hosted national tournaments. This gives the secondary school circuit an empowering outlet for local students to thrive in another area not previously accessible at this caliber of competition. This year seven swim teams from North America have chosen this location to begin their winter based training camp. The Centre is doing exceptionally well however I have a few pet peeves with the design of this facility. On tournament days patrons may find themselves parking at more available parking spots which are further away from the facility.  I would suggest installation of a covered walkway because rain is not very scarce in Trinidad.  I would recommend installing some sort of screen or acrylic window treatments to keep the rain out from spectator stands. Rain  is often accompanied by wind (I do not know if it falls differently anywhere else?!). The pools are covered by a roof but the open concept design does not cater for the wind blowing in the rain to the stands or pools. If you are seated in public stands the rain will shower you with infinite blessings from every direction that our Caribbean breezes decide to blow their kisses (walk with a sweater, a rain coat and or a towel).

Photo Credit:

http://cgmnpagroup.com/home/cgml-cg-murray-ltd/

The National Aquatic Centre is an interestingly created space with a significant contribution to the design culture and architectural history of Trinidad and Tobago.  I can’t say enough how much I love the impact of design. I have already seen the way this created space has been a beacon of hope for the youth in Trinidad and Tobago as a place they can be proud of and one they can call their own. They are able to project themselves in a trajectory that is triumphant of building physically stronger, mutually respectful and team spirited young men and women in this nation. It is my only wish that the facility is thoroughly engaged to serve its purpose and that it is continuously maintained in the future. If you are ever in Trinidad and Tobago you should definitely visit and experience a swimming tournament here.

The T-Room Review

Have you been to the T-Room at Hotel Normandie located at Nook Avenue in St. Ann’s Trinidad?!  Peep their work on their social media sites. The T-Room is not a tea room so don’t get ahead of yourself. It’s a salon run by Tanja Banduwong, a German and her powerhouse creative team. Germany among other nations has understood creative culture and the value of it for their society. They have done exceptionally well in providing innovative contributions to the world in the past decades. They have taken the time to value learning about creative culture and design management and teaching this to their own citizens via various institutions in their society. Their whole creative thinking process, their mindset to progressive culture and education seem to be constantly evaluated and improved upon. They understand the critical success factors of creative culture to their country’s national development and diversification. This is one of the reasons I like the T-Room among others because here lies the most honest and authentic example of the birth and growth of a creative culture in a stable and eponymous field of hair styling.

 

Photo Credit:  The T-room Squad

https://www.facebook.com/pg/HairbyTanja/about/?ref=page_internal

Tanja is a qualified and skilled professional in hair and makeup styling. Although she is an educator in this field she has her fair share of stripes and stars to prove that she has the caliber of experience to take salon style in Trinidad to the next level. Her leadership style is open and collaborative without compromising respect among her team. She has managed to foster a work ethic and creative culture that is second to none in Trinidad. Although Tanja is the girl boss here she is far from being the stereotypical aloof “manager” as she is also on the floor “working it” with her squad. The team is constantly learning and expanding their skills. The squad is professional and the family type of camaraderie she has fostered with her staff is reflected in how they treat each other and  their clients. Tanja took the ladies of the T-Room to  Italy for training and development and creative culture immersion last year. A great experience in one of the more established fashion destinations in the world!  The ladies at the T- Room set the bar high as one of the few examples I have seen of women supporting and advocating for each other to be and do their best in the creative field. The T-Room is a fun and exciting salon where their love for what they do emanates from their A-class  haircuts, colour treatments, corrections, keratin treatments and styling services for men and women (and of course their overall aura and vibes).

Photo Credit: Pastel Hair

https://www.instagram.com/thetroomsalon/?hl=en

Photo Credit: Undercut

https://www.instagram.com/thetroomsalon/?hl=en

 

Photo Credit: Braided by the T-Room Braid Bar at The Decibel Expo

https://www.instagram.com/thetroomsalon/?hl=en

Photo Credit: Bridal Hairstyle (On Location)

https://www.instagram.com/thetroomsalon/?hl=en

Every detail of design has been accounted for at the T-Room.  The logo is pretty cool too with strong lettering enclosed by a wreath like crown.  The salon even has a  mascot, his name is Chino. He is a well behaved groomed family member of the T-Room. The staff members come in all shapes and sizes with so much soul and passion for their job. They usually wear black but there is so much flexibility and personality that they get to play with outfitting and expressing themselves without the confines of a uniform. The interior design of the salon is another major appreciation factor about this creative space. People underestimate the role that design plays in our lives. For instance you may wear a particular silhouette, style, colour or fabric because it makes you feel some type of way. You may love a salon or spa because it makes you feel special. In these instances people neglect to ask themselves that one question, “why?”  Why do I like this space? What is it about this shirt or this hairstyle that makes me feel this way? Why do I want to cut or colour my hair? Why did I choose this cut or colour? Some of us are not even conscious of the power behind “wearapy” and design therapy which is a “must have” for any thriving creative lifestyle and culture.

Photo Credit: The T-Room Squad at Milan Fashion Week

https://www.instagram.com/thetroomsalon/?hl=en

 The interior design for the T-Room was done by Christy Maingot, a local interior designer of CMID in Trinidad. The T-Room looks like a combination of modern, contemporary styles and a bit of glam. This is no easy task for an interior designer to acquire the skill of mixing styles. Christy’s management of elements and principles of design in this space is magically harmonious. Although the salon works by appointment only, the spatial planning is sensible, on point with proportion and scale, rhythm and flow for easy breezy functioning during peak times.  The colour scheme looks more monochromatic as the shades of white, cream, brown, gold and bronze are well placed throughout the T-Room. The space is perceptually bigger with the application of vanity mirrors, white washed walls and the obvious reflection of light from the artificial light sources on the smooth and shiny surfaces. There is open and closed storage with shelving which makes the perfect balance in a room that is neither too warm nor too cold. The salon has a huge glass window so the positioning of a window bench with the view of the hotel lobby was an ideal use of space. The throw pillows are nice additions as their textures and patterns soften and accentuate the style and vibe in the salon without emasculating it. The use of leather (if not leather like upholstery) for salon chairs and benches appeals to the sleek modernist in all of us whilst being easy to maintain and durable.  Intriguingly, the flooring has a wood grain finish appearance and the ceiling hints to subtle industrial vibes. Another example of style mixing is seen here. The dynamic diagonal lines on the ceiling beams are painted in white to blend in but still stand out by creating some transformational, directional and exciting energy in the room. These diagonal lines form triangles which pair up with the geometric shapes of the overhead rectangle lighting to manage earthly grounded feelings.

CMID (Christy Maingot Interior Designs)

http://www.cmidinteriordesign.com/the-troom-salon/

 

CMID (Christy Maingot Interior Designs)

http://www.cmidinteriordesign.com/the-troom-salon/

 I love that this space is a haven where anyone, any age can feel safe to put themselves in the hands of internationally trained professionals. The T-Room squad allow their clients; to explore and experiment, to challenge style status quos, to redefine, to reclaim and redeem an unprofessed love and care for themselves that has been long overdue and often resonates in the mantra, “I am beautiful and I am ready to take on the world, now hear me roar.”

Photo Credit: Braided by the T-Room Braid Bar at The Decibel Expo

https://www.instagram.com/thetroomsalon/?hl=en

The T-Room gets my 5 stars for excellent customer service, professionalism and creativity.

Keep up the fabulous work ladies !!!

To see more of T-Room

Visit their Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/HairbyTanja/

Visit their Instagram Page : https://www.instagram.com/thetroomsalon/?hl=en

Book an appointment: 1.868.235.3679

Email: tbanduwong@gmail.com

 

 

Svaada Gourmet Indian Kitchen – The Review

If you are as selective as I am with what you expose your mind, your heart, your eyes and your taste buds to the world can still be a fabulous place, especially the world of culinary adventures. I have never really been a fan of Indian cuisine but I must admit that it has been something I grew to love over the last few years. I mean I am Trinidadian and us locals, we love to add a bit of heat to our food. Yet the difference in our palette may concern itself with adding pepper rather than flavour. In these instances we burn off our tongues so much that if we eat another bite we would be torturing ourselves. Yet still some of us  do it for the “thrill” I guess. However, Indian food has these spice infusions that play twister with our taste buds but still allows us to satiate our craving and return for seconds.  I found Svaada Gourmet Indian Kitchen at One Woodbrook Place. It’s a mini trip to modern India without leaving home sweet home, Trinidad.

Svaada Gourmet Indian Kitchen Logo

Photo Credit: Svaada Indian Gourmet Kitchen Facebook Page

Svaada is the sweetest mix of modern and traditional interior design styles. The symmetrical balance in this space is impeccable. The use of natural and artificial light give birth to a warmth that beckons the “foodie” to curl up on their chair and dive into comfort. There are circle lights that rim the perimeter of the ceiling. There are incredible pendant lights that look lotus flowers which hang over the tables adorning and serving their due purpose. Rectangles and squares keep this space feeling stable, secure and the infiniteness of the circles evoke feelings of commitment, completeness with graceful, nurturing and soothing effects. The vertical lines make this kitchen appear taller. Effective horizontal lines broaden the space whilst drawing the lines of sight down to be restful and at ease for one to enjoy this cuisine experience.

The use of pops of colour amid the monochromatic colour scheme is quintessential. Red is fiery and full of love and passion. It is also a dominant colour used to stimulate the appetite. The setup of the furniture is a seating arrangement for families and groups to not only dine together but to engage in conversation more. Most of the materials used are wood, metal and glass. The surfaces are smooth and glossy as well as matte. The floor is smooth and feels like polished stone in a dark hue consistent with a dark ceiling which contrasts in texture with its matte finish.  The walls are off white and reign the bold red with the purity and innocence of this cream shade. The table tops are dark brown and match with the wooden chairs. Brown is often associated with stability and security hence its use here. The chrome and plastic chairs match up with the floor as well as the glass/steel combination of doors and windows.

An outsider’s view of the Svadda  Gourmet Indian Kitchen

Photo Credit: Svaada Indian Gourmet Kitchen Facebook

Colours, lighting fixtures, furniture is repeated throughout the space provoking an ebb and flow to be pure rhythm. The view from the glass doors and windows are the main focus points as are the kitchen and the kitchen island. Yes there is a kitchen island that happens to be a condiment station! The flavours range from sweet to tangy to spicy. They are quite intriguing and are anything but limitless. The proportion and scale to the design in this space works well the open plan concept.  Any room for negative space is avoided with proper placement of food culture photography on these walls. There is even a hot towel station (can you imagine my excitement at this little luxury?!).

Svaada’s staff members are attentive, polite and knowledgeable about their menu. The food is affordable and the wait time is not very long. Usually, one places their order and takes a seat. Then the staff wheels in your order if you are dining in and not taking out. You can have a hot towel to wipe your hands clean. Your meal will be served in traditional styled Indian wares that make a sumptuous picture for all of you “insta” foodie bloggers. I am in love with their naan bread particularly their aloo and cheese (I am pescetarian so I don’t eat meat).  Their naan is so soft and fluffy and really make you feel all warm and cosy. I have relished in their paneer as well which happens to be an exceptionally prepared dish. If you ever consider ordering from Svaada there is a complimentary bread that is served as an appetizer whilst you wait for your food (if you are Trinidadian and you are familiar with shrimp crackers it is basically the same texture except bigger without the shrimp flavour).

Chicken Tikka Masala, Chilli Paneer, Complimentary Bread, Aloo Naan, Cheese Naan

Photo Credit: Samsung Galaxy 7

Svaada Gourmet Indian Kitchen may be the closest thing we have to a modern Mumbai Café. It is not overdone. The focus is on the quality of food, customer service and managing that “soon come” factor. This means their customers  are literally in a position where they almost indefinitely crave to return to try more of this “foodie experience”. They are open from Monday to Saturday at 11 a.m. and close at 10 p.m. On occasion they are open on Sundays. Parking is on the ground floor. Dining is casual so there is no need to get bothered to be fancy unless “being extra” is your specialty (then get on with your “extra” self hunny). They accept walk in customers and they are highly recommended for groups.  Their contact number is 1.868.628.5674. Also you can write to them at geevans@hotmail.com. You can follow them on facebook https://www.facebook.com/Svaadagourmetindiankitchen/

Sanianitos Style – Not just the Bohemian Destination Bride

Photo Credit: Melvern Issac

The Bohemian is often considered the outsider to society and conventional norms. Although not a hippie this identity strikes a chord with lifestyles earmarked by tendencies to revolutionize thinking adopted by knowledge seekers and dreamers with soulful purposes. Usually, they occupy roles in the field of art, music, literature, dance, fashion to name a few than filling orthodox titles in the world of work. Generally, the destination bride who identifies with some if not all of these qualities can be defined as the Bohemian Destination Bride. Trinidad is so multicultural that there is even space for the Bohemian Destination Bride. Moreover, the designer who works on Bohemian accessories for the destination bride is also a Bohemian at heart. Her name is Sanian Lewis and her label Sanianitos is a Bohemian Destination Bride’s dream come true.

Photo Credit: Nnella Stella

Sanian Lewis’ journey took her on a path that commanded her open mind and an open heart. Most Bohemians tend to believe that they have to fulfill their calling in life and so did Sanian. Her challenge to find herself took her from accomplished tennis player to the U.S.A as a student. She pursued studies in Psychology but eventually made a U turn to head for Trinidad to feverishly extinguish the burning desire to live her passion for fashion at Caribbean Academy for Fashion and Design. After some time Sanian would complete her academics and end her tenure working at a boutique. Backed by an understanding of people, retail concepts, styling, design and a desire to create from the bubbling ideas swirling around in her mind Sanian Lewis was ready to start her niche contemporary label of accessories featuring her aesthetic of Trinbagonian Bohemian jewelry, flower crowns and sunglasses (including other eyewear).

Photo Credit: Shaista

It’s been almost four years since Sanian has launched her brand Sanianitos. It is safe to say the brand is well received and Sanian has managed to fill a demand by a growing community of Bohemians locally and internationally especially the destination bride. Sanian describes her accessories as unique, bold and unforgettable. She mentions that each island or person, though similar in some ways, has a perspective all their own. Similarly, attention to detail, innovation and interest are applied to each creation without compromising its individual aesthetic. The brand hinges on its foundation; consciousness of local inspirations and consistency in producing high quality Trinbago Bohemian products that reflect the environment’s wealth of culture.

Photo Credit: Sanianitos Instagram

Destination brides who identify with this Bohemian vibe and look should invest in Sanianitos for several reasons. The aesthetic is second to none. Choose from an array of designs for flower crowns, jewelry and “sunnies”. Bridal accessories can also be customized to your preference. The accessory will be produced in Trinidad and Tobago. The bride literally takes away a souvenir that she can actually use on more than one occasion in the future. The bride takes the responsibility of making positive contributions to the destination’s economy by supporting a small business. These versatile pieces can be used for the destination bride’s engagement or on the wedding day (and are picturesque) and they also pair well with resort wear for the bride’s honeymoon. Sanian has also done a more futuristic concept for eyewear with her tinted rosette rimmed sunglasses.

Photo Credit: Crystal Ivy London Instagram

Sanianitos is an exceptional bohemian brand to enlist on the details card for the destination bride’s wedding. This way the bride can select or create a flower crown and note this as the designated design guests can purchase to fit in with the bohemian theme. The bride can go as far as gifting her bridesmaids these items to be worn on the wedding day and many times after. These items would definitely not be left as dust collecting mementos. Flower crowns and sunglasses can be worn in spring, summer and fall if not winter. There are infinite festivals, themed parties and outfits waiting to be styled with these pieces in the owner’s wardrobe. Sanianitos jewelry may have even more adaptability and functionality with the wearer incorporating these pieces year round. Overall, the Sanianitos brand stands as a reminder of the labour of love, soulful attachment and the story of how a fearless woman found the courage to not only listen but act upon her instinct and make her dream a reality.

Photo Credit: Sanianitos Instagram

With jewelry, Sanianitos is combining precious metal clay medium and goldsmith techniques currently in production. The new collection is the first of an AnceStory trilogy. The first story is called The Uli. “Uli” is a feminine art form and a form of communication by the Igbo women of West Africa.  The Igbo considered beauty in-tandem with morality and the women used this traditional art form to enhance and define it, whether on the body as walking canvases, or on houses. It is hoped that the collection empowers and uplifts those who buy them.

Photo Credit: Sanian Lewis

Photo Credit: Sanian Lewis

Photo Credit: Sanian Lewis

The Bohemian Destination Bride can make her Sanianitos purchase at Meiling at #6 Carlos Street in Woodbrook. You can also message on Instagram or send an email to info@sanianitos.com. Soon brides and guests will be able to shop online as the brand will look to carve its space on the e-commerce market.

Instagram: www.instagram.com/sanianitos

Email:  info@sanianitos.com

Website: sanianitos.tumblr.com

 

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The Neha Karina Destination Bride

Photo Credit: https://www.facebook.com/nehakarinaTT/

Trinidad and Tobago is eclectic as a weddings destination. There are so many cultures here. It is possible to do any type of wedding imaginable in a location that is united by cultural differences. Undeniably, hosting an an Indian Wedding right here is an immaculate reality. This destination has gorgeous temples, qualified marriage officiates to do Hindu wedding rites, exceptional wedding planners, Indian food caterers and of course Ind0 Trinidadian fashion designers.  Moreover, couples can choose from an array of design concepts to  copy and paste from including traditional Indian cuisine, designer wear and décor.  They can opt for Indo Trinidadian inspired weddings which are  adaptations of Indian culture rather a fusion created in Trinidad and embraced by all.  The added bonus here is that the couple gets to experience firsthand distinctive culture in an untapped (English speaking) destination at cheaper rates and closer proximity than flying to the East (if the couple is from the western side of the world). The bride can be least of all worried if she decides to choose a local  designer.  Her outfit would be designed and customized just for her. No one would be wearing a replica of her outfit. Needless to say her bridal party and her guests can also get their fittings and customization done at the same place. Instantly, the designer that comes to mind for the destination bride who yearns for a more ethnic appeal is Neha Dawar of the fashion label Neha Karina.

Photo Credit: https://www.facebook.com/nehakarinaTT/

Photo Credit: https://www.facebook.com/nehakarinaTT/

Neha Dawar was born in India. I officially proclaim that she is a love child of India and Trinidad. Although she grew up in Trinidad she pursued her studies in fashion at schools in India, Dubai and Trinidad. Not too long ago she graduated with her BFA in Fashion Design from The Caribbean Academy of Fashion and Design. Often she visits India and Dubai where she is exposed to fashion from that side of the world. She has been quoted as discussing her overall aesthetic as East Indian with West Indian and European details to minimalism steeped in subtle traditional elements to edgy, contemporary modern day Indian wear. The designer often starts with natural fabrics although she has used man made fabrics at times. She believes in starting with minimal designs then building and eventually developing them to the point where they are ready to achieve the style and look set out for it.  Neha is special because of her educational background, experience and the fusion blood line that pulses through her veins. Her creativity and source (s) for inspiration come from a creative space that is common to her only. There is only one Neha Dawar and this is boldly found in her label Neha Karina.

Photo Credit: https://www.facebook.com/nehakarinaTT/

Photo Credit: https://www.facebook.com/nehakarinaTT/

The Neha Karina Destination Bride can choose from several designs in her bridal collection. Her engagement wear can also be found among Neha Karina’s collection. The finest silks featuring intricate hand beading, hand stitching, embroidery, luxurious details and embellishments add regality and pomp to the Neha Karina bride’s identity. Undoubtedly, it was this feeling of royalty that inspired Neha to create, “The Heiress Bridal” collection, “The Princess” collection and  “ The Timeless Unique Bridal” collection  to name a few.  Now brides who want to live Disney inspired Princess Jasmine roles can look to her collection to live that dream. Even those who do not take to Disney’s productions but swoon over the labour of love and lavish details of the graceful and poised Indian Bride can peruse the collection. Modern day women who seek to find their bridal identity can also find something in the collection that suits them. Neha designs bridal accessories.  These accessories include minimal to ornate jewelry designs and other pieces that complement her stunning bridal collections.  If the bride has her own ideas then she can also connect with the designer and have a few consultations on how they would collaborate to bring to life a design. Neha has designed pieces for Hindu and Muslim brides .

Photo Credit: https://www.facebook.com/nehakarinaTT/

Photo Credit: https://www.facebook.com/nehakarinaTT/

The bridal party can feel less than left out at Neha Karina especially if the bridal party includes “millenials”. This is not to chastise the brand in any way as a brand for a younger demographic as senior persons from other generations often enjoy Neha Karina’s fashion and style. Basically, this is merely noted here because “millenials” are taking over and if they are not getting married one can bet they will be part of a bridal party or on someone’s guest list. Needless to say this generation is conscious of brands that are rich in culture and purpose. Hence, if the bridal party is not styled by Neha Karina outfits but they acquire bridal accessories or statement pieces, these will be worth more than memories of a time gone by for them. The symbolism and profound attachment to Neha Karina’s pieces will be pronounced by the bespoke emblems of their support for movements from cultural integration to world peace.  In any case they would still be on point as the Neha Karina brand is a powerful fashion label that is pivoted on creative and high quality fashion design that empowers the individual to stand up for a greater cause and make positive impacting contributions to the world.

Photo Credit: https://www.facebook.com/nehakarinaTT/

Photo Credit: https://www.facebook.com/nehakarinaTT/

Photo Credit: https://www.facebook.com/nehakarinaTT/

Photo Credit: https://www.facebook.com/nehakarinaTT/

Honeymooners and guests can also find reassurance in any on Neha Dawar’s collections as the designer also creates resort wear for the tropics.  Forget about being the belle of the ball or wearing what the best friend wore for her honeymoon. This is not “Keeping up with…” the lifestyles of others but “keeping up with… carving out one’s own bridal identity and lifestyle.”  Neha Karina’s resort wear is trendy. It’s contemporary designs stand out. They are designed to suit the climate of the tropics and capture the fusion of Indo Trinidadian culture without being skewed as religious Indian wear. These designs persuade brides to build their entire bridal wardrobe inclusive of honeymoon wear from Neha Karina collections. The designs are simple and functional but riveting in aesthetic appeal. Brides can step up their bridal game with modern day resort wear and set their own bridal trends. The flexibility of Neha Karina resort wear entails wearing these same pieces throughout the year and being astute enough to mix and match prints. Accessories like bangles, earrings and head pieces can be kept and used to add a pop of colour to everyday wear or a hint of swag.

Photo Credit: https://www.facebook.com/nehakarinaTT/

Photo Credit: https://www.facebook.com/nehakarinaTT/

Neha Karina’s flagship store is based at Hilton hotel in Trinidad. This designer boutique is also a one stop shop. Neha Karina offers styling services for the bride inclusive of hair and makeup. This makes things even more convenient and accessible. I recommend the couple to pre plan a trip and stay at the hotel where the bride will be able to work with the designer through design inspirations, consultations and fittings. The designer also does customized wedding invitations among other things. Perhaps the couple can even discover design ideas with Neha Karina for tokens/wedding favors for their “big” day. Whilst in Trinidad the couple can hire a wedding planner and go site seeing to scout for scenic locations to exchange nuptial vows and do a taste testing of  Indo Trinidadian fusion cuisine.  If the destination couple is interested in having an ethnic wedding or ethnic inspired wedding attire then their bridal bliss is guaranteed in a Neha Karina ensemble.

Connect with Neha Karina

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/nehakarinaTT/

Email Address: nehakarinatt@gmail.com

Telephone No. : 1.868.621.5907

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nehakarina.offical/

 

 

 

 

Eastern Fusion Fashion in Trinidad

Fashion has always been a way for one to express oneself and make a statement about one’s identity without saying a word. It is more profound than surface appeal to increase one’s attractiveness. It delves with a psychology of colours as each colour has its own meaning. Similarly each fabric whether silk or cotton attracts particular vibrations and energies. When the Indians arrived to Trinidad they brought their customs and their ways of dressing. Some of those remain inherent in the styles of Trinidadian styling today. Silver toe rings were worn in pairs on the second toe of each foot on a woman. It is said that this custom had certain reproductive health benefits for the woman. Also it was insisted that the ring ought to be silver to better absorb energies from the earth that would pass through the body and refresh the being wearing the toe ring. Bangles were cited as having benefits of keeping energy in the body and helping women with blood circulation. Nose rings were marked for benefits of reducing pain when the married woman goes into labour. It is believed that the nose ring would connect with a nerve that runs through that part of the body.

india

Photo Credit: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/212584044881223568/

Of course there is a glaring difference in perception of colour by persons in the Western world versus persons in the Eastern parts like India and Pakistan. We live in modern day Trinidad, an island in the Western Hemisphere juxtapose to Eastern and Western influences. This makes our culture and fashion even more vibrant and dynamic. Our creatives steadily made their move in fusion fashion. Local “fashionpreneurs” who recognized the importance of ethnicity to our culture (even those who have an affinity for East meets West trends) picked up the pace to fill the gaps and deliver fashion tailored to anyone interested in the Eastern Fusion Fashion niche in Trinidad. They identified fabrics, materials, tones and trends with the Trinidadian in mind and created looks that suited the Caribbean woman. The top local Eastern Fusion Fashion designer brands are House of Jaipur,  Neha Karina and Aiela Fashions.

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Photo Credit: https://www.pinterest.com/Achkemus/hatecopy/

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Photo Credit: http://instaliga.com/ru/hatecopy?page=1089952981849780449_2120555&loadCount=2

House of Jaipur is owned by Dhisha Moorjani. She was born to Indian parentage and raised in an Indian home in Trinidad. After her parents passed she devoted her love for them into the brand House of Jaipur. She converted her parents’ home into a beautiful boutique that offers persons the chance to experience Indian lifestyle and culture. She has several Indian fashion fusion lines, luxury resort wear, festival wear and modern Indian wear that she designed herself. There is a tea room for persons to gorge on Indian delicacies and sip from a chai bar. She also curates lifestyle pieces at her store so you can take away not only memories but a piece of the House of Jaipur experience with you. House of Jaipur located at #14 O’Connor Street Woodbrook was recently renovated and has been transformed even more to entertain and excite your senses when you visit!

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Photo Credit: https://www.facebook.com/houseofjaipur/?fref=ts

hoj4

Photo Credit: https://www.facebook.com/houseofjaipur/?fref=ts

Neha Karina, the brand is very versatile. It is owned by Neha Dawar who is from India . She is of mixed parentage Trinidadian and Indian. Neha lives in Trinidad now. She has also completed her studies in India, Dubai and locally at  The Caribbean Academy for Fashion and Design. Neha has an online fashion and beauty series called Coffee and Lipstick. She is also a stylist and marketing consultant. This designer focuses on youthful ethnic  bridal wear, festival wear as well as contemporary wear. You are almost guaranteed to find a striking statement piece in her store and I dare you not to leave without it. Persons can also collaborate with Neha and book a custom fitting for a style they may be interested in wearing. She also stocks stationery and a few lifestyle pieces for those interested.  Neha Karina is located at Hilton Hotel in Trinidad.

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Photo Credit: https://www.facebook.com/nehakarinaTT/

nk3

Photo Credit: https://www.facebook.com/nehakarinaTT/

Last but not least is ethnic designer, Sharmila Maharaj.  Affectionately called Mila this designer is also a trained aesthetician, Mehendi artist  and beauty expert. Born to a Brazilian mother and a Trinidadian father she grew up with two cultures. The Trinidadian community she grew up in and quality time with her friends from the East played  huge roles in sculpting Mila’s attraction to the Eastern world. She is an avid jet setter and immerses herself in whichever culture and demographic that she interacts with. It is therefore no surprise to me that her journey in life has taken her creative soul on this path to create a supply of ethnic “athleisure” and contemporary ethnic fusion wear for the demand that is needed in Trinidad. She is the first person in Trinidad to create an athletic leisure “athleisure” hijab. She has also taken note of what is fashionably trending globally and used appropriate forecasting for her local debut. Her recent collection boasted of scarves, maxi shirt dresses and funky Samosa pants  just to name a few. Her clothing can be described as exclusively modest and reasonably priced. Mila’s boutique is based in Central Trinidad. You can browse her boutique collection online and discover a whole new world of fashionable clothing and accessories that have been awaiting your arrival all this time.

aiela

Photo Credit: https://www.facebook.com/aielafashion/

aiela-2Photo Credit: https://www.facebook.com/aielafashion/

 

So folks if you did not know where to get your Eastern Fusion Fashion vibes now you do!

May the positive  energies from these pieces find a way to your closet!!!

May the designers continue to ignite the souls of you and others with their passion and creativity!

 

Carolyn Mohammed – South Trinidad's Famed Hairstylist

She’s been cutting and styling my hair since my toddler years until now. I have watched her grow from strength to strength just as she has looked on at my life. She had been schooled in hairdressing and styling from as early as I can remember. In those days this art was very much in high demand as it is now. However, she was a salon professional understanding the foundations of the retail of product, the dynamics of hair care, the styles to better frame one’s face and quality customer service. She was not only trained in hair but aesthetics too. She did facials, pedicures, manicures, waxing and makeup too. She built her brand very strongly from then until this week. The advent of social media and new trends in hair and beauty regimens did not leave her behind. She was an exceptional professional who believed in her brand. She always stood ahead of the hair  game by educating herself on the latest techniques, tools, products and styles. Despite her stellar looks and dreamy service she remained humble, her prices were unbelievably affordable and the quality of her work ensured her clients remained loyal. Undeniably, the attention their hair received brought her even more clients.

cm3(Photo Credit: Carolyn Mohammed Facebook Page)

Truly, she grew into a hair icon that believed in her brand, worked hard for what she wanted in life and enjoyed her passion. She loved to challenge herself to be one of the best in delivering extraordinary hair colouring techniques to her clients. Her gift to the world was using her passion to make others happy. She took her role as a hair professional very seriously. She would often talk about the regularization of standards in the local hair and cosmetology industry. During her earlier years in this profession persons in this industry were trained and qualified in their field. They also served a considerable amount of time working with senior professionals and learning from local and international brand ambassadors.

As times changed and the digital era sprung into effect more hair and beauty professionals popped up over Trinidad and Tobago. Some were untrained in proper hygiene practices and others were millennial youtube hair and makeup stylists.  The beauty industry catapulted into one of the most lucrative and at times tax free income earners ( for the increasing number of freelancers who are unregistered business owners) in Trinidad and Tobago. She adapted yet she was still an avid attendee to hair and beauty shows for salon professionals. However she too would notice the lack of regularization, policy, guidelines and standards in the industry. It became as though aspiring beauty professionals were starting to take advantage of clients. They were cutting corners, burning out their clients hair with low quality hair care, diluting products with their own mix ins and selling mediocre products and services at exorbitant prices. She never failed to mention her concern for  professionals’ apathy and her fear for what the booming hair and beauty industry could soon become.

cm(Photo Credit: Carolyn Mohammed Facebook Page)

Albeit there are still quality beauty and hair care professionals in the country  there will be none like this one. She used high quality products. She did house calls to clients as she was saving up for investment into a salon.  She never cheated her clients and always sold at affordable prices. She even had an option where the client who brings her another client gets their next haircut or hairstyle free of charge. Also, since she was a salon professional she had access to salon products (these products are not readily available for the public) for her clients at reasonable rates.  Her hands were so gifted that I trusted them to dye my hair for the first time in my entire life this year. We had that type of relationship where I would say to her,  “I have no idea what colour I want  or what I want to do but I trust you so do whatever you want with it. ” She decided and she went in for the cutting, styling and colouring and I loved it! Despite not having her own salon yet her home was outfitted with salon chairs, sinks and the latest hair products and tools. She gave the most amazing hair wash and head massages.

cm2(Photo Credit: Carolyn Mohammed Facebook Page)

Salon professionals double as clients’ therapists. The experience is a personable one where the client inevitably develops a friendship with their salon professional. She was no exception as her clients offloaded their lives on her while she renewed them with beauty therapy.  She held her own too as she had her own family. She was the “dopest” mom to two of the coolest boys I know. You see even though she had the opportunity to live her passion and use her gift to help others she had other roles to play. She was a doting wife and mother. She did all her domestic duties to her best and took care of her family. She was a soul in a body fulfilling her role here on earth as a mother and as a wife. She never faltered in any area.  She listened to her boys. She disciplined them and she always made sure she spent time with them. They even learnt a thing or two from her styling skills by just being around her. The kids even slayed the latest undercuts during their vacation time.

cm5(Photo Credit: Carolyn Mohammed Facebook Page)

She had an insatiable appetite for life and for striving to be at her best in life. Unfortunately, things took a turn for the worst yesterday afternoon. I learnt from phone calls and a television broadcast the terrible news that she was on her way to pick up her eldest son from school with her younger son in the vehicle when a truck skidded off the road and slammed into her car. She died on impact, her son was injured and taken to the hospital. Many wailed and bawled and many remain shocked by the sudden death (including myself). We have lost a valuable soul because that is what she was a beautiful soul in a body here to fulfill her role as a mother, as a wife, a sister,  a cousin, a friend and a salon professional to share her gift with others. Whether it was or was not her time to die is something I cannot say nor you or anybody else. No one will ever hear her side of the story as to what happened that fateful day that she passed.  We can only pray for her soul and hope that she finds peace and that she crosses over to the other side (for those of you who believe in that stuff). I believe we will meet again if not in this lifetime perhaps in another lifetime. Until then I will keep her soul in my prayers and the fondest memories of her closest to my heart.

cm4(Photo Credit: Carolyn Mohammed Facebook Page)

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Popeye said what?!

I finally understand Popeye’s infatuation with spinach when I fell in love with the most adorable baby spinach leaves two years ago. (Of course, I grew up hearing Popeye and others blab about how fabulous spinach is for one’s health but I was young and never took them on seriously). Anyways, this spurred my interest at a time when I was being introduced to the low fodmap diet. Nevertheless, I went into recipe research mode. I also began to include it in my diet and enlist this super food in my recovery diary.  I believe in food care versus pharmaceutical care. This means I prefer the farmacy versus the pharmacy on any given day. However, this is solely my opinion. In some instances advanced medical care is needed and the only functional treatment for some illnesses are from the pharmaceutical industry. Nonetheless, I highly recommend a super food diet for anyone who wants to live a healthier lifestyle. My mantra is based on personal experience and it still states that healthy eating equals a healthy body and mind. You can see for yourself the nutritional breakdown for spinach below.

baby-spinach

Spinach – The Breakdown

Spinach is made up of protein, calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, vitamin A, C, K, beta-carotene, chlorophyll and folate. It is also high in fiber and water content. Spinach also contains alpha lipoic acid which is an antioxidant . Spinach helps to manage diabetes by increasing insulin sensitivity. Its green properties help prevent cancer. It lowers the risk of asthma. A clean green diet helps lower blood pressure levels and the green leafy spinach helps to do just that. It increases bone health with its calcium absorption properties. It reduces constipation by helping to regulate bowel movements. Spinach has vitamin properties to nourish hair and skin health naturally. Basically, these finds suggest infinite benefits for a healthier body and mind.

popeye

My Spinach Recipes

Traditional Trinidad and Tobago cuisine includes spinach. Local recipes are available everywhere. There are different kinds of spinach in our local environment. Most people affectionately call it “bhagi”. They eat it with their sada roti for breakfast or dinner. At other times they eat it with dhal and rice. Spinach is also prepackaged at the supermarket with other vegetables for the chef who wants to “bubble a pot” of callaloo. In most homes the callaloo soup is plated with provisions, dumplings, macaroni pie or white rice and a side of cooked crabs, pig tail  or even salted cod . I cook some of these recipes at times but I love gourmet so much that I always try to up the ante in the kitchen (I love to get creative).

Spinach Salad

This salad is great for breakfast, brunch and lunch. You can add what you like and break some rules or bend them as these recipes are always being innovated in my kitchen.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups baby spinach leaves
  • 1/8 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/8 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/8 cup dried blueberries
  • 1/8 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 apple

Method

  1. Wash spinach leaves and drain off excess water
  2. Add the drained leaves to a plate
  3. Wash and drain off excess water from cranberries and blueberries
  4. Sprinkle the berries over the spinach
  5. Sprinkle the pumpkin seeds over the spinach
  6. Chop the walnuts and sprinkle them over the spinach
  7. Thinly slice the half apple
  8. Add the sliced apple to the plated spinach

N.B.

  • You can add cooked chicken if you eat meat ( I don’t eat meat so I always omit the chicken).
  • You can also leave off the nuts if you are allergic to them.

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Spinach Potato Pie

Ingredients

  • 6 potatoes
  • 3 cups of baby spinach
  • 3 red pimentos
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 3 cups cheese
  • 1 cup corn
  • 1 cup milk

Methods

  1. Wash, peel and wash potatoes again
  2. Cube them and add them to a pot of boiling water
  3. Cover and allow to cook on lowest heat
  4. Grease a baking tray
  5. Pre-heat oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  6. Wash the spinach, drain off excess water and chop roughly
  7. Wash and chop pimentos
  8. Wash and chop celery stalks finely
  9. Heat a skillet at the lowest temperature on your stove
  10. Add the tablespoon of oil
  11. Allow the oil to get a little heated
  12. Add the chopped celery and pimentos
  13. Stir occasionally for about one minute
  14. Add the drained and chopped spinach to the skillet
  15. Toss the spinach in the oil with the celery and pimentos
  16. Cover the skillet with a lid and allow to cook for three minutes (tossing occasionally)
  17. The spinach should not stick to pan or get burnt
  18. It is ready when the majority of it has shrunk and appears cooked and dark green
  19. Test the potatoes with a fork as they should be ready after half hour or forty five minutes of boiling
  20. Drain off excess water from boiled potatoes
  21. Add boiled potatoes to a bowl and smash them
  22. Add two cups cheese, the milk and mash them together
  23. Add the corn and cooked spinach to the potato mash
  24. Continue mixing and mashing the new mixture
  25. Add this new mixture to the baking tray and spread evenly
  26. Sprinkle leftover cheese over the surface of the spinach pie
  27. Bake for half hour at 325 degrees Fahrenheit or until golden brown on bottom and top layer of the pie. (I used a glass dish so I could easily tell when the pie started to become golden brown)

N.B.

  • If you are lactose intolerant then you can use coconut milk and cashew cheese.
  • You can serve this with some lentils and fish or chicken or whatever tickles your fancy.

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I hope these spinach recipes keep you hearty,  happy and healthy!

Enjoy

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