Sarah Darling has been put in the category of  "One of The Stars to Look out for in 2017". She's been praised by one of the biggest names in Country Music ( Brad Paisley) and her songs have reached 1/2 million downloads worldwide. Sarah's has left her mark on the country music scene with her performance in the hit reality show The Rising Star and with songs like ‘Home to Me’ that did super-well on the Billboard charts. 

In conversation with The Foodager, she talks to us about her new album, her inspirations, what drives her to write music, and her love for baking.





Pic Courtest: Kelly Christine Photography 


Hi Sarah, welcome to The Foodager, let me start by asking you, what musicians inspire you?

Sarah: Joni Mitchell and James Taylor have been big inspirations for me as a songwriter.  I am drawn to the story teller with the sweet voice.  I’m also a huge fan of Chris Martin!

F: - Ooh! Chris Martin, that's interesting, you participated in one of the biggest reality music shows in America (The Rising Star), tell us something about your journey on the show?

Sarah:  Rising Star was such a crazy experience. I was in an interesting place in my career when I decided to go on the show and said what the heck!  I think there's a lot of hype and pressure that goes into filming these types of shows, that all of the contestants get caught up in this world that’s been created. I told myself I would never cry on the show, but they totally got me.  I met some incredible friends through the process and got to sing a duet with Brad Paisley at the Grand Ole Opry!  I’m a big believer that everything is part of your journey and I wrote some good tunes about it.

F: - Speaking about The Grand Ole Opry, you’ve done quite a few shows at the historic and iconic venue, what is it like to perform there?

Sarah: Playing the Grand Ole Opry is magical in every way.  I debuted in 2011 and had always dreamed of getting to play there. Growing up, my grandpa told me that you’ve really made it once you get asked to play at the Opry.  I’m so grateful he got to be in the audience that first performance. There’s something about knowing all the greats who’ve graced the stage before you that makes it incredibly special. Sometimes I have to pinch myself that I’ve played over 80 times!

F:- What are some of the things that inspire you to write such amazing lyrics?

Sarah: Traveling to new places really inspires my writing.   There’s something about going somewhere with a big open sky that inspires me to no end.  I have a track on my new album called Where Cowboys Ride that literally is my love letter to Wyoming.  Take me somewhere beautiful and I’ll write a song about it! Another song to check out is “Montmartre.” I’m sort of obsessed with France and would move there in a heartbeat.

F:- You’re going a launch a new album ‘Dream Country’ in mid-February, can you tell us a bit about the album?

Sarah: Dream Countryis an album that takes you on a journey, and was written for the dreamer in all of us.  The idea of the title is really my idea of Country Music, and what I love to write about.  I dive into the wide open spaces, shoot to the stars quite a bit, and add lots of strings on top, and you feel like you are in a mini movie. It really makes you feel and escape, which is exactly what I wanted to do! I’m really excited to put it out into the world.

F:-  We also hear that you love to bake, and that you run your own macaroon bakery; can you tell us a little about that?

Sarah: I am a French macaroons maker and musician.  A very unlikely combination! I started a company called Sweet Darling Patisserie 3 years ago in Nashville.  My now husband took me to Paris where we first met, and I fell in love with macaroons and him of course! This experience is all written in my track Montmartre.”  I had returned to Paris several times and took classes to get better at the art form.  I wanted to keep that story alive and was always passioned about being in the kitchen.  Now we have a small patisserie cart we roll up to Farmer’s markets and sell beautiful boxes at high-end boutiques.  I love bringing a little Paris to Nashville.

F:- Lastly, what tips would you give to budding musicians, in this day and age of high competitiveness?

Sarah: My advice for budding musicians is to always trust your instinct and be yourself.  It’s so important and it leads to happiness!







Tired of processed and commercialized chocolates? Here’ a happy piece of news for you. Fabelle, ITC’s latest brand, offers you with the perfect luxury chocolate experience.  Sourcing their cocoa from some of the leading cocoa producing nations across the globe, Fabelle, carefully selects cocoa to infuse in its variety of chocolate offerings. Some of the best in the chocolate business are behind the making of the brand's chocolates hence it’s no surprise that the brand crafts only the finest.

We at The Foodager, sampled on their exotic and sumptuous collection of chocolates and tell you what to expect at their boutique and pick our favorites from their long list of offerings, to help you (our readers) get a fair idea of what to choose, the next time you’re thinking of picking a box for yourself or for a loved one.

THE BOUTIQUE

With a luxurious and well laid out space, the boutique is quite similar in aesthetic to a lavish watch shop. It features comfortable seating, an open dessert making section, and special display counters with inbuilt refrigerators to keep the chocolates cool. Well spread out, the chocolates on display will seduce you with it's gorgeous textures. There’s also a live TV experience, where you can watch the Master Chocolatiers dish up some amazing desserts. Fabelle’s boutique also has lovely wall écor that’s solely dedicated to chocolate.


OUR TOP PICKS

One of the toughest choices we had to make was to choose our favourite chocolate from Fabelle’s collection of chocolates.  They’re good, but we had to choose one ahead of the other.
Our first pick is the Apple Cinnamon Dark Chocolate Ganache. We loved the texture of this chocolate. Tempered perfectly, the chocolate melts in your mouth and doesn’t leave a residue taste. It has a subtle hint of cinnamon and a pure blend of dark chocolate and apple.
Coming in second was the ELEMENTS, a box featuring chocolates that are inspired by the elements of nature (Earth, Air, Water, Wood, and Fire). 


The box is beautifully designed with a clean and neat look. Once you open it, you’ll be introduced to the different types of chocolates in the box. While Earth is strong in taste, water is subtle, air is bubbly, and fire spicy thanks to an Ancho chilly infused into the chocolate.

From this series, our favorites were Wood and Water. Both had a dark chocolate base, with mousse filled inside. Wood was a tad better as it featured coffee and cinnamon.


IMPRESS WITH YOUR SKILLS

As You Like It is an interesting concept; it allows you to create your own cupcake chocolate. You can pick from a milk or chocolate cupcake, and fill it up with toppings ranging from raspberry to mint and dark vanilla. What we liked about this was that it gives you complete freedom to be creative and experiment. 



OVERALL EXPERIENCE

We absolutely loved spending time at the ITC, especially at the Fabelle boutique. Right from the chocolate tasting session to first hand crafting our very own cupcake, the experience was magical. Right from the packaging to creating chocolates that are not mere treats, but an experience, we love how Fabelle, takes chocolate making very seriously. We suggest that you give the brand a try, and experience luxury in tiny pieces of heaven. If you do try Fabelle’s chocolates, do let us know what you thought about them in the comments section below. For more foodie-licious stories like this, subscribe to our posts or follow us on twitter and facebook. We’d love to hear from you.



PS: - We were invited to sample their range of chocolates.







Back after a gap of 3 years, John Mayer recently dropped his new single titled Love on the Weekend and as expected, the track has been playing regularly on my playlist. I’ve listened to his last two albums careful and when I compared Love on the Weekend to them, I found drastic shift. With Battle Studies, John seemed to be at his lowest, media reports and some of John’s interviews, would have proved this point right. It was kinda the same with Paradise City, except for the fact that the album sounded it was Mayer’s recovery to Love on the Weekend. Born and Raised, Queen of California, and Something about Olivia are all songs that literally relate to healing and getting back up.





Love on the Weekend is part of a new ensemble album that Mayer will be releasing soon. Judging from what’s been written in the press and by what John’s been saying in the media, it does seem that this album smacks of positivity.  The song takes John to the days of Your Body is a Wonderland where we see this breakthrough musician talking about love and all the positive things that go with it. The lyrics of the takes you to a happy place and speaks about how he’s craving to meet his “love” whether this love is music, or in my case food, it’s all about looking forward to the weekend. The tune of the song is quite similar to Your Body is a Wonderland in John’s distinct peppy pop meets classic rock music. Have you ever heard the song? Do you have any thought about it? Do let me know in the comments section below.


It’s that time of the year already and we’re already talking about shopping and holidays, both of which can be done in Canada! 

  

Christmas is here! Are you set for the best time of the year? 

If you have not thought of anything special for your family so far, it’s about time you learn a bit about Canada and the countrywide celebrations that take place during Christmas. 


A beautiful country all year round, Canada is at its magical best during Christmas. The entire country transforms itself into a fairyland with snowflakes in the air, carols and sleigh bells, ancient rhymes, bustling markets and mistletoe decorations everywhere. 


At the famous historic Butchart Gardens on Vancouver Island, from December 1 – January 6, experience the magic of Christmas filled with poinsettias, thousands of coloured lights, an outdoor ice rink and lively performances featuring traditional carols and music. 2011 marks the start of the 25th season of festive Christmas displays. 

Stanley Park in Vancouver city is bright and welcoming during the ‘Bright Nights festival’, inviting everyone to night after night of magic and illumination. Take a train ride through the forest, breathtakingly transformed with two million twinkling lights. See the animated displays and listen to holiday sounds as you enjoy hot chocolate, fresh popcorn and roasted chestnuts. Get into the spirit of nativity. 



Turning Niagara Falls into a winter wonderland, with over three million sparkling lights along a 6km route, the ‘CAA Winter Festival of Lights’ is the most enchanting attraction in Niagara. More than a winter tradition for over one million people from around the globe, this festival offers the world famous Enchantment of Disney displays and the world’s largest illuminated Canadian-American Flag. This year the celebration is planned from November 5 - January 31. There are several others attractions to look out for, including the Christmas Concert Series with Daniel O'Donnell & Mary Duff, Ray Stevens & Lorrie Morgan and Ronnie Prophet & Glory-Anne, the ‘TD Rink at the Brink’, weekly fireworks, water parks, casinos and so much more! 

Fun x 3 = Quebec But that’s not all. Quebec City lets you mix the old with the new on a horse-drawn carriage. Ride down paved streets lined with contemporary public art and sidewalk cafes filled with bohemian, friendly and fashion–savvy Quebecois. Sounds good? Well, you have to live it to believe it. Experience a vintage Christmas in the Old Quebec City. 



Most major cities hold Santa Claus parades and carnivals that brim over till December. If you can extend your holidays till later in the New Year then you can also visit the ‘Carnival of Quebec’. Being the largest winter carnival in the world, it has games and shows to spas and sauna, from canoe racing and Desjardins snow slides to dog-sled racing, the KRAFT Snow Rafting to Loto Quebec Outdoor Dance Parties and much more. 


Stare in awe at the shimmering Bonhomme Ice Palace, built from some 5,000 blocks of ice and home to a maze of towers and exhibits as well as a magnificent ‘son et lumiere’ (light and sound) show. Meet Bonhomme, the carnival mascot, a large smiling snowman with a red stocking cap. Wonder at some half a million spectators who brave the sub-zero temperature to line up in streets and watch marching bands, floats and clowns pass by. 


If you are planning to mix travelling with a bit of shopping, Canada would not disappoint you. Be there on Boxing Day, December 26.  It’s that special time of the year when you find Canadians getting rid of their sluggishness and rushing to the malls. With almost every store slashing prices, one can expect heavy discounts on all major brands.

Make the most out of your vacations this winter in Canada. Have a Merry Christmas!


Christmas is in the air, there’s the aroma of sweets been made, décor being sold on the streets and in stores, carols being played, and most importantly Christians preparing themselves spiritually for this great festival. As the day of Christmas draws near, the most important piece of décor that every house has is a Christmas tree. Every year at our home we always put up a tree for Christmas, and decorating it is the most fun activity that one could ever indulge in. I’m saying this because it is probably the only time where the family gets together to do something together. Decorating my tree, year after year, I have learned some insider tips from uncles and aunts who’ve become experts in the tree decorating domain. So through this blog post I aim to fill my reads with some vital tips on how to decorate a Christmas tree in short bullet points, so here goes :-

•    Always make sure you brush off the dust from your tree.
•    Open up the leaves of your tree completely, don’t leave them half open, you want your tree to look full and not famished.

•    First do the lighting, make sure you use single coloured lighting. I always avoid using the combination series of lights. I usually stick to strands of white, green, yellow, and red.

•    Start by draping red lights, followed by green, and finally, finish off the lighting with yellow or white.

•    We drape our tree with long beaded chains in red and gold. So, once the lights on the tree are up, this is our next step.

•    Move on to filling up your tree with Christmas ornaments and tinsel.


•    While doing this you want to make sure that you spread out the ornaments, by this I mean do not use place the same type of ornaments together keep a distance between them.

•    If you run out of space in the front section of the tree and still have some ornaments left, use them at the back of the tree.

•    Lastly, put up the star on the topmost branch of the Christmas tree.

•    Once done, stare at your tree from different angles to make sure everything is fine. I’m certain you’ll find the need to shift and make changes like I did with my tree.


I hope you enjoyed these little Christmas tree decoration tips! What have you got on your Christmas Tree this year?  Let me know in the comments below!