Thursday, December 1st, 2011
This recipe is how to make simple Saffron Rice ~ no measurements are given because no matter how many cups of rice you make it is all the same. There are a few important factors to note ~
1. The rice must be organic Indian Basmati rice. It cannot be California, Texan or any other kind simply because none of them elongate as well as Indian Basmati rice where the Basmati rice originates from.
2. Use high quality pot, the more rice the bigger the pot must be.
Preparation and cooking ~
1. Soak the rice in cold, salt water for a few hours.
2. Boil water, add the soaked rice once the water is boiled.
3. Let the water come to boil with the rice rising to the top, taste it to make sure it is not cooked just al dente then sieve it in a mesh colander. If the colander has big holes you will lose a lot of the grains.
4. Put the pot back on the stove add ghee or butter, saffron if you want potato, sweet potato, lavash bread or nothing just the ghee and saffron then add the rice from the colander.
5. In a very small saucepan bring some water to boil, add ghee and saffron ~ I usually make this while the rice is coming to boil then.
6. Add the boiled water, ghee and saffron to the rice.
7. Traditionally you wrap the lid around a clean, cotton cloth then put it on the pot to absorb all the moisture to prevent the rice from being soggy however, I don’t do it and the rice is never soggy.
8. Put the stove on the lowest temperature/flame you can.
9. Depending on the size of the pot and the amount of the rice you can cook it anywhere between 30-60 minutes.
10. Serve it on a platter.
This rice can be eaten with many different kinds of stews. If cooked with the right and high ingredients, it is extremely aromatic. Enjoy it ~
Thursday, June 30th, 2011
At the Kismet Inn Bed and Breakfast, Spa, Retreat I offer a special gift for the overworked mother. The idea came to me in early October 2007 when I was kind of new trying to put my vision of an extraordinary hospitality, retreat into practice at the inn when a young father emailed me asking to arrange a weekend or a three night stay for his young wife who was taking care of their three year old son. He would go away often so she would feel like a single mother when he was away. As a gift for his wife he arranged a three nights stay, with yoga, massage, exfoliation and dinner for her.
Hence, ‘A Gift for the Overworked Mother’ has been taken a liking to many young mothers with their husbands calling, emailing to book one night with just a massage, or couple of nights with dinner, massage, sometimes yoga classes are added to the stay, sometimes exfoliation is added and most recently the young mother stayed four nights enjoying four yoga sessions, two dinners, two massages and an exfoliation which literally had her glowing. She had her exfoliation this morning before breakfast, then she oiled her body with ‘Sesame Oil’ from ‘Avena Botanicals’ in Rockland, Maine. She dressed up came down for breakfast leaving after breakfast glowing, restful going back home to her two young children and her husband.
The day she arrived another young mother had come for a stay. She was here from Friday to Saturday. She also had dinner, yoga, massages, met up with her friends, walked around town and chatted with me as much as we could. It was like having my own children to take care of these young mothers, each one as beautiful as the other they are ~ It makes me feel even better when I can send back a rested, restored mother to her family!
When ‘Coastal Living’ magazine interviewed me last year about Kismet Inn Bed and Breakfast food, I said, “I took an oath never to make pancakes” I took the oath because I wanted to make sure the breakfast that I offer my guests are not pancakes, French Toast, muffins or the norm that is for breakfast in all the inns, bed and breakfasts, hotels ~ from small to the biggest ones. Pancakes, muffins et all are easy and cheap to make, they also fill you up momentarily and not healthy.
I wanted to make sure I provide the guests with protein, greens, fruit and of course the coffee and tea! Over the Memorial Day Weekend, my guests who stayed for four nights were were served four different kinds of breakfast. They were a family of 5 whose son was graduating from ‘Bowdoin College’ ~
First breakfast was served on Friday morning. The first thing I should mention about my breakfasts is that the coffee beans are fresh, I buy whole organic, fair trade coffee beans from local coffee roasters ~ ‘Wicked Joe’ in Brunswick, only about ten miles distance from the inn or or ‘Coffee by design’ in Portland, Maine. I call them the night before asking them to roast just a pound of beans for me in the morning, I pick them up shortly after it is roasted so this way the coffee doesn’t go stale. I also make sure to keep them in tight lid jars inside the cabinet.
As for my tea, I never use tea bags because I believe tea bags are just dust of tea. Proper good tea must be loose leaf tea, brewed properly in good teapots.
I also make sure to make my own jams so the guests don’t get all the preservatives that go into the store made jams or even others that may not be in supermarkets are just too sugary and too generic. I make different kinds of jams such as carrot that is not offered in any other place and many others.
The bread is also local from ‘Borealis Bread’ that distributes bread only within coastal Maine. All the ingredients that I use are local from Farmers Market so fresh ~ the only non-local ingredients are spices. So for these guests, I served wild mushroom omelet the first day, Kismet Inn style granola second day, haloumi cheese the third day, saffron eggs the fourth day. When I asked them to tell me their favorite one, interestingly enough each one chose a different breakfast so all the four breakfasts served were liked a lot by the family.
Considering all the health problems we are facing ~ I think I have made a good oath and good choices for breakfasts according to my guests that is. I was very happy to hear that.
Wednesday, May 18th, 2011
Couple of weeks ago I noticed a posting on Kismet Inn Maine’s FaceBook page by a fan congratulating Kismet Inn Bed and Breakfast for being recognized as the ‘Best Restorative Retreat’ in the entire state of Maine!
Here is What it says ~
BEST RESTORATIVE RETREAT
Kismet Inn, Bath
Steam showers, Japanese soaking tubs, all-natural linens, yoga classes, spa services, and made-from-scratch meals prepared with primarily organic and locally sourced foods welcome guests to Shadi Towfighi’s sublime B&B, a downtown oasis of tranquility. Hint: Reserve a truly indulgent yet healthful dinner prepared and served by Shadi. Rates: from $210, including breakfast. 44 Summer St. 207-443-3399; kismetinnmaine.com
Wednesday, May 11th, 2011
July of 2010, David Hanson a free lance writer for Coastal Living Magazine called and booked the Sleigh Room at the Kismet Inn Bed and Breakfast. While booking he mentioned he will be writing an article on route 1, the coastal route of Maine as appose to the coastal route one of the West Coast which most people seem to be more familiar with. He said, he wants to write about his travel on Maine’s Coastal Route One and include the Kismet Inn Bed and Breakfast in it.
Well, you can imagine how excited I was. David, came the second week of August and when I asked him why he picked me, “because you are all organic and very different from all the other bed and breakfasts,” he said. He asked me what places I would recommend him to see so I told him about Popham Beach, Reid State Park/Beach, Five Islands Lobster and its breath taking view, the most important fact about Bath being in a great location and not having any chain stores. The downtown which is a very small area is called ‘Front Street’ unlike all the other small towns where the street is called Main Street ours is called Front Street and it has many awards for having such a lovely street lined up with small boutiques, antiques stores, our own ‘Cafe Creme’ proud to keep out ‘Starbucks’ we even have our own small drug store which is mentioned in the article and when you are in Maine you become familiar with ‘Reny’s’ a great general store/chain only in Maine where you can find brand names such as ‘Crocs’ to anything you wish with quality or not! I often send my guests there ~ we also have a find supermarket called Brackets right down the road from the inn where they have the best wine selection, we also have a great ‘Natural Food Store’ called ‘Bath Natural Food Market’ that carries almost everything you need foodwise i.e., organic, local, oh! yes, I must mention they have a great selection of organic wine. There is also ‘Now You’re Cooking’ an amazing kitchen store which can easily be compared to ‘Williams Sonoma’ a wonderful home and garden store called ‘Ornaments’ that carries shabby chique style home goods ~ the list can go on.
I didn’t know David was going to start his travel from Bath so he does ~ starts from Solo Bistro then goes onto stay Kismet Inn ~ an all-organic bed-and-breakfast overlooking Library Park, walking in, I find the living room spacious and right, the kitchen modern and from the smell of it well attended, and my guest room appointed with handsticthed linens, a handcarved wood-frame bed, radiant-heat bath floors, and a steam shower.
The next morning, after wolfing down Kismet owner Shadi Towfighi’s famous seven-mushroom omelet (she swore to herself that she would never serve panckaes in her bed-and-breakfast), I stroll through downtown Bath, where 200 year old redbrick buildings house shops such as Renys department store, Wilson’s Drug Store, and Bath Book Shop – all independently owned bastions of Main Street America…..