Monday, October 31, 2011


When I visited Bermuda recently, I made sure to try some or all of Rachael Ray's recommendations from her $40-a-Day Bermuda show.  (I posted about it before.  Click here to read.)  And I have to say her Hog Penny recommendation was spot on!!!  In fact it was awesome, and one of my favorite meals that I had while I was in Bermuda.
When Rachael went she had the Chicken Bhuna Masala which is made with garlic, cardamom, green chilies, turmeric, tomato, coriander and chicken and is slow cooked for hours.  We tried it and I'll tell you there wasn't a bite left.  The chicken had just the right amount of spices which was served with a mango chutney...which paired so well with it.
I washed it down with a Rum Swizzle (one of Bermuda's classic cocktails).  I tried a Rum Swizzle at every restaurant I ate at while on the island, and I have to say that Hog Penny had my favorite by far!  It was sweet and refreshing with just enough of an alcoholic kick.
We also ordered their onion ring tower (since when you are in Bermuda, one of the things you must eat is Bermuda onions).  Of course it was good!  But, again what is deep fried and not good, right?!?
I highly recommend a visit to Hog Penny if you are in Bermuda! Rachael Ray got it right for sure!

Friday, October 28, 2011


Looking forward to celebrating this weekend with a wicked fun party filled with lots of ghoulish treats, including...Bloodys!!! 
 It's a cheap way of "jet setting" to another world without spending much money!  
(There will be no driving involved for us.  But, please drink and party responsibly.  I know, I sound like a's officially happened to me! ;)
This recipe makes a large pitched, about 8-10 cocktails
1 quart of tomato juice
2 1/2 cups of vodka
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon horseradish
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon tabasco
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons lime juice
1/4 teaspoon celery salt
1 teaspoon fresh grated onion

Mix all ingredients together in a large pitcher and pour over ice in a cocktail glass.  Add a stick of celery, slice of jalapeƱo, and/or olives to garnish.  Enjoy!

(Found this recipe on fellow bloggers foodie blog...gotta love the blog world!)

Thursday, October 27, 2011


He's been called "Bermuda's Friendliest Man," or "The Most Popular Man in Bermuda," and supposedly a visit to the island wouldn't be complete without meeting him, so damn straight I had to go and meet Bermuda's own Johnny Barnes while I was there!
Johnny Barnes is a retired bus driver, who now spends his mornings doing what he used to do while he was a bus driver (minus the driving and the paycheck).  He wakes up early each weekday morning to spend a few hours (from 5am-10am) at the Crow Lane roundabout waving and telling passersby "Good Morning!"  Rain or shine he's always there and has been doing this same thing since 1983!!!  Johnny Barnes is so committed to doing what he does that Bermudians even made a statue of him which you can find very close to where he stands.
 He loves to chat it up with visitors and pose for pictures.  He gives big hugs and even said a prayer with us when we went over to meet him.  Johnny Barnes wears a smile on his face, and I promise if you meet him, you'll be smiling all day long too!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Hey, we can't always jet set to amazing places!  But, when we need something fun to do this time of year, we can make some yummy Apple Cider and hop in the car to see the beautiful fall foliage.  (Just heard on the news, this will be a good weekend to see it in the Northeast- New York up to Maine).  So follow this recipe, pour it in your mug, and have a little fun checking out the flavors of fall!  

Ingredients: 4 cups cider
1/2 an orange, sliced
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon whole cloves
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1-2 tablespoons brown sugar to taste

Combine ingredients in medium saucepan and stir over medium heat until sugar has dissolved.  Bring to a boil then reduce heat and let simmer for about 20-30 minutes more stirring occasionally.  
Strain before serving.  

Friday, October 21, 2011


No joke!  Every, single, time that I would ask locals in Bermuda about Art Mel's Spicy Dicy Fish Sandwich, I would hear the same thing... it is "Hands Down The BEST Fish Sandwich on the island!"  They first would ask me "How did you hear about Art Mel's?"  And I would always tell them by doing good Jet Set Smart research because it's the truth.  Art Mel's is not featured in any travel guide out there like Fodors or Frommers, it doesn't even have a website, and to be honest, I like it that way.  I even toyed with whether I should post on JSS about the name of Art Mel's or where it's located for fear that it will become more popular and not as good. But, I feel that loyal JSS readers deserve to know what is the BEST out there.  So here's the story of my AMAZING Art Mel's experience:
Each time I got into a cab during the week I was in Bermuda, I would always ask the driver about Art Mel's and constantly got different answers when I would ask how far away it was.  Maybe because they didn't want to take me there, or maybe because it doesn't look like much on the outside or inside, or maybe because it's located in the "Back-of-Town" (the lesser traveled place by tourists).  Whatever the reason I had to find this place before I left the island.  And on my last day in Bermuda, I got into a cab with Nadanja Bailey, and thank goodness I did!
 He is not only a cab driver who was born and raised on the island, but he's also an Actor, Comedian and DJ, and he's well known in Bermuda.  In fact, you can see one of his Stand Up Routines here on You Tube.  We told him we wanted to go to Art Mel's, and he too was impressed we knew about it.  Our one problem was that they didn't open until 12pm, and our cruise ship was leaving at 12:30pm.  I WAS DETERMINED!  And Nadanja made it happen.  He called up Art Mel's and asked them to cook up two fish sandwiches and to have them ready at 12pm.  Determination pays off!
The sandwich is made with grouper which is deep fried, then it's served on pieces of light colored wheat bread.  They'll ask you what you want on your sandwich, and the true Bermudian way is to order it with cole slaw, hot sauce and tar tar sauce on it...delish!
  Art Mel's is take-out only.  The sandwich costs $11.50.  It is one of the BIGGEST fish sandwiches you will find on the island and "HANDS DOWN THE BEST FISH SANDWICH IN BERMUDA!!!"

Thursday, October 20, 2011


That's right Jet Setters...I just got back from a week long cruise to Bermuda! And It was awesome! The hubby's family and I spent one week aboard Holland America Line's M/S Veendam which cruised right out of New York City (so easy for me) to St. George's and Hamilton, Bermuda.
I spent my time off the ship checking out great places to eat (including where to find the BEST fish sandwich on the island)...gosh, I gained three pounds in a week- so you know I did a ton of eating while I was away!
 I also checked out a bunch of different beaches in my quest to find out which one is the PINKEST...that is one of the top things Bermuda is known for, right?  I have lots to share with all of you, but I have lots of laundry to do too.  But, I promise I will get the info up on JSS very stay tuned!

Thursday, October 6, 2011


Most descriptions you will read about this restaurant (including a spot on both Rachael Ray's $40 a Day Travel Channel show and Food Network's Have Fork Will Travel show) make you feel like this is a restaurant to check out if you jet set to Puerto Rico.  La Casita Blanca (which means "the little white house") has been around for more than 80 years, it serves authentic Puerto Rican cuisine, and is really inexpensive.  Some of the drawbacks: its located in a not so nice area of Santurce (just outside of San Juan- so you have to cab it there and back), and you'll be dining on plastic chairs and tables.  Things like that don't deter me from trying a place if it has a been around for more than 80 years, and if its been featured on two Travel Channel shows, so I decided to check it out for myself the last time I jet setted to Puerto Rico.  
Arroz Con Pollo

 Fricassee de Pollo 
I ordered Arroz con Pollo (rice with chicken), my husband had Pernil (pork), and my dad had Fricassee de Pollo (chicken stew)- three typical Puerto Rican dishes.  I have to say that all three were pretty disappointing.  My dish had very little chicken and the rice was rubbery (as though t was cooked days before and microwaved), my hubby's was mostly all fatty which I know he likes, but I didn't think was right.  My dad's chicken was mostly pink inside and not fully cooked.  In addition, the plastic tables and chairs were covered with some pretty dingy and dirty tablecloths that are enough to turn off your appetite if you look at them too long, and the bathroom was disgusting.  We also drove to the restaurant and had to find on-street parking which made for a pretty harrowing two block walk to the place (and we're not locals, but we are Puerto Rican).  Believe you me, I don't like giving bad reviews to a restaurant in my homeland because lets face it, it's probably owned by a hardworking family, but I just have to be honest and say that I'm surprised that (1) it was featured on two Travel Channel shows, and (2) it's been around for so long.  I do hope things improve at this place now that it's getting the press it is.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


I'm always curious to find out which spots celebrity chefs chose to dine at when they jet set.  Most of the time when I check out the places they suggest I am pleasantly surprised, but sometimes I am very disappointed (example: La Casita Blanca in Puerto Rico- Rachael Ray recommendation which I will post about at some point).  Anyhow, the following places are the eateries Rachael Ray says to check out on the island of Bermuda.  When I jet set there again, I might have to see some or all of them for myself...heck, it'll only cost $40 to do so! ;)
 Rachael starts her day with breakfast at Aggie's Garden Waterfront Cafe.  This little piece of heaven was built in 1780, but it's only been a restaurant since 2003.  Aggie's serves up organic produce and homemade pastries.  Rachael tries one of their orange coconut scones fresh out of the oven topped with Bermuda honey and an organic french pressed coffee for a total of $4.  Next, she stops into one of her all time favorite restaurants on the island Fresco's Restaurant and Wine Bar (a place she says she visits each time she is in Bermuda).
 She tries a bowl of their Bermuda Fish Chowder (laced with sherry peppers & Bermuda Black Rum)- a Bermuda favorite!  It is made with onions, diced chili peppers, tomato paste, grouper, tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, red peppers, chili pepper flakes, tomato juice, water, worcestershire sauce and hot sauce.  This soup costs $6.25.  Afterwards she heads to the Swizzle In, where the motto is "Swizzle In and Swagger Out."
 This place has been around for more than 70 years, and is THE place to have a Rum Swizzle or a Dark and Stormy.  She orders a Rum Swizzle which is made from a blend of Bermuda and Black Seal rums, Falernum (a unique Caribbean syrup made from sugar and ginger), triple sec, pineapple juice, orange juice, lemon juice, a dash of bitters and is served icy cold.  This drink costs $5.75.  For dinner she goes to the Hog Penny Restaurant & Pub for dinner.
 The Hog Penny is one of Bermuda's oldest and most authentic pubs.  She is craving Indian curry and orders the Chicken Bhuna Masala for $18.95.  It is made with garlic, finer, cardamom, green chilies, turmeric, tomato, coriander and chicken and is slow cooked for hours.  She drinks water with every meal, but she does stay under budget!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


I have found a great way to energize before jet setting- Going Green- really having a green smoothie that is!  I read about a green smoothie recipe the other day and finally tried it this morning, and it was AMAZING!!!  If you haven't tried one, you need to.

In my blender I mix:
1 banana
1 apple (peeled and cored)
1/2 cup of frozen peaches
1 cup of fresh spinach
1 cup of kale
1/2 cup of greek yogurt
a splash of orange juice
1 cup of cranberry juice
1 cup of ice
Mix all together in the blender and enjoy!  

Once you get over the fact that you are drinking something green, you will find that they are pretty addicting, and it makes you feel better about the food choices you make later in the day if you have one for breakfast.  (This is especially true if you are jet setting and eating most of your meals out).  Honestly, you don't even notice the taste of the greens.


My new obsession is with TOMS!  I think they are a great shoe to pack in your suitcase when you jet set.  They are lightweight and they feel like you are walking on clouds when you have them on!  Plus, every time you buy a pair of TOMS, TOMS donates a pair a shoes to a child in need.  For $44, how could you not buy at least one pair?  I got the grey ones because I think they are neutral and go with a lot.  Yay TOMS...I'll be packing you in my suitcase when I jet set this weekend!

Monday, October 3, 2011


Listen up Jet Setters!!!  Do I have news for you!  The amazing properties known as the Andaz Hotels by the Hyatt Hotel Group are going to be popping up at new spots around the globe.  I first told you all about the Andaz in LA (click here to read it) in March 2010.  "Andaz" means "Personal Style" and that it what these hotels offer in a BIG way.  Well I just found out that Andaz Shanghai is to open January 1, 2012.  The hotel's website is now taking reservations for that date and beyond.  Rates will start at about $375 per night (remember this is Shanghai folks).  Also set to open in 2012 is Andaz Amsterdam (probably late in the sumer or in the early fall).  Unfortunately, the website has no pictures of the rooms yet (I'll work on getting then for you all), but if you read my post on Andaz LA, you know the rooms will be awesome!  Guess what else I found out???  Hyatt is also working on opening up more "Andaz" properties in the following places:
Andaz Wailea Resort, Maui, 2014
Andaz Papagayo, Costa Rica, 2013
Andaz Delhi, India, 2013
Andaz Turks and Caicos, 2014
This news is simply amazing, and I hope to be lucky enough to check out at least one of these properties in person in the future!


Do I have a jet set secret weapon for you!!!  With the dry winter months and holiday travel season approaching, I am already needing to boost up my moisturizing routine at night.  I hate getting dry skin, and so I have a nightly routine now that really helps.  The other night I dabbed on some vitamin E oil around my eyes, cheeks, and the corners of my nose before heading to bed.  I have noticed the difference, and have done the same thing every night since then.  It works wonders for dry skin, helps in the anti-aging department, and it's only a few bucks at the grocery or drug store.  Just a little tidbit of info I thought I'd pass along.  What do you do to help your skin in the dry winter months and when you jet set?