Thursday, November 29, 2012


Time sure flies....

It's going to be 15 years this December since I moved to Chicago, my home away from home.

Unlike many of you,  America didn't happen to me by accident.  It was planned.  I had always dreamt of settling down in this country and God was kind enough to grant my wishes. When I first landed at the O'Hare airport in 1997, the feeling was exhilarating, I felt like I was landing on the moon. Quite an inexplicable and  priceless moment that was!  Even after all these years, I clearly remember my drive from the airport to my then home in Evanston. I was mesmerized by the sight of fresh snow, tall buildings and  super shiny, squeaky clean roads that looked like they had just been shampooed and conditioned. There were cars everywhere with rare sightings of human beings, quite contrary to what I was used to in India.
Like any other Indian who had newly moved to the U.S, it took me a while to get adjusted to the new way of life. But I never complained as this is what I wanted all my life. Some things came easily to me and some I learnt the hard way. And today, when I look back fondly at all the years spent on this dream land, it gives me sense of achievement and fulfillment.

Chicago is the only place that I have lived in. I was this starry eyed new bride who moved to this alien land 15 years ago, leaving behind her kith and kin, with new hopes and aspirations of starting a new life of her own. Chicago holds a special place in my heart as it has given me a chance to live a life that I have always dreamt of. It has embraced me with open arms and today I am trying to make the most of this beautiful life that I have been blessed with by imbibing the best of both the cultures.

And now if you are wondering what cupcakes have to do with my story, hang on, I am getting there. Like I said, some things came easily to me and some took forever and one such thing is the brutal Chicago winter season. Coming from a coastal region, this is one thing that I am still having trouble adjusting to.
I absolutely dislike Chicago winters. The lush greenery and the clear blues skies reluctantly make way for snow and  dull grey skies. Sassy summer dresses get replaced by layers of wool and warm clothing and comfy flip-flops by tall boots.
Come November, I go into hibernation and all my partying comes to a stand still. It's during this time, I reminisce about the fun parties that I hosted during summer. Out of the many parties I hosted this summer, this particular one is special as it was for my "SUNDARI" and her young friends. And the good part is, I don't restrict her friends to her age group. Anyone who enjoys her company and vice visa is invited.

This time "CUPCAKES" was the theme as I was in a mood to bake. The date was finalized, the color theme and the menu was fixed and I decided to set the table outdoors and take full advantage of the awesome summer warmth. After much brainstorming, I decided on 4 different flavors with some unique toppings. Chocolate & Red velvets were much in demand.
Silver- aqua & a mauve pink table setting welcomed them. Candles were lit, flowers were arranged and the cupcakes sat pretty on their stands. It was a friday evening and as the sun was going down, my little guests started arriving in their finest outfits and happy spirits!

From here on, I will take a back seat and let all the cupcakes, table and my little guests do the talking .... the PARTY HAS BEGUN, so sitback, relax and ENJOY!!

Chocolate on Chocolate topped with marzipan cherries....

Krupa Sudheendra....

Lemon cake & French vanilla topped with fresh Blueberries....

Classic White cake & Orange Mousse topped with fresh Oranges....

Apsara Attavane:

Red Velvets & Cream Cheese topped with Caramelized walnuts....

Meghana Mohan.....

 Dhruv Nagesh....

Fresh Strawberries filled with cream cheese and topped with powdered Grahams cracker....

Lemon Basil potatoes...

Fresh cucumber & goat cheese sandwiches...

Svanik Tandon...

Megan Mehta:

Riya Hegde & Nikita Pawar:

My Sundari....


  1. loved the theme, story and setting. do you have any cupcakes to share

  2. What a lovely story interwoven with such delightful looking cupcakes....well done darling I thought it would be a culinary show but you wove it into a beautiful story..

  3. The cupcakes look yummy:)

  4. Yummy....the cupcakes are gorgeous....I loved sundari...she's sooo cute......

  5. Everything was perfect on that day.....girls really had a great, games, decor - super well-coordinated.....kudos to u.....

  6. Wow Jay! The table setting was just beautiful. You can give Ms.Barefoot Garten a run for her money! I know my kids had a great time. No one throws a party like you do. And to be invited to one of yours is indeed a privilege and I mean this!

  7. Jay! Your passion shows in whatever you do. Lovely theme! The table setting looked gorgeous ! Who can resist those good-looking cupcakes!!!


  8. Perfecto!!! Looked great, the idea, the setting and the presentation.. just marvelous ... And Dhruv loved every bit all the flavors that you had on the table..Bhagya

  9. It is a GASTRONOMIC DELIGHT to read this blog. Cute models.........mostly, I'm craving for the cup-cake with orange mousse and orange garnish.

  10. What a yummy way to start my day, way coool! :-) The kids have done such a good job, loved Ms.Mehta and Mr.Tandon's expressions! :) I've eaten the orange mousse cupcake and I loved it. I wish I could have eaten the others too, I am sure they were extremely yummy! I agree with Vandu, your table setting and preparations will give Martha and Ina a run for their money! Keep these posts coming ma cherie, God knows we love 'em!!

  11. Delight for soul, beauty for eyes, feast for tummies, ambience for evening, smiles for faces, laughter sprinkled everywhere, joy for kids and grown ups alike! Jay, you have it ALL! Love, Nidhi Pawar

  12. oh my god...this one had my mouth dripping not watering!!! Such beautiful looking cupcakes and decor , man Sundari is one lucky kid having such stylish parties!!!
    Thanks for introducing Svanik to designer parties and making him appreciate fine things in life.
    Loved the blog, difficult to decide which one is better...I LOVE ALL !!

  13. Jayshree, wonderful post..loved the way you started the write up and how you connected it to cupcakes! As I have mentioned to you umpteen times, I always admire the fact that you give attention to fine details and make things more beautiful...

  14. You are such an awesome narrator !
    Loved this post and the sweetalicious expressions on your little models!!!

    K&K says : Thank you so much for having us in party!!

  15. BTW, I don't buy that hibernating in fall and winter part :)

  16. Well written, Jayashree! The cupcakes look delish! My mouth's watering!


  17. Jay-Awesome yaar! I really enjoyed reading your story & could relate to it too :)
    I loved the theme & color scheme for the party. I wish I could attend one of your party :)
    You know what-Cupcakes are my favorite & after looking at these lovely pictures of cupcakes-I am going today & getting one for me-
    though it won't be as good as what I see here-but atleast something :)
    Love: Reshma

  18. Beautiful post!! Loved everything and loved reading your story. Makes me want to go and start baking :-, again.

  19. You are so creative and artistic, Jayashree...I'm envious!