Monday, March 19, 2012

Saying Goodbye To Winter With A Chocolate & Orange Tart...


Disclaimer: In life we often have to bid final goodbyes to our near and dear ones. We, as a family said goodbye to my grandmother, my father's aunt this January. She was old and frail, yet when the news of her passing away reached us, we were all shocked. I guess we were not ready for it. No one ever is. These goodbyes are heartbreaking and extremely painful. This post is not about them, rather the occasional goodbyes which we bid from time to time with promises of meeting again, more like dekha hobe in Bangla, phir milenge in Hindi and au revoir in French.

I hate goodbyes. But being the migratory sort, often have to bid them. Leaving the family behind can be extremely tough. And no, however many times you part, it never becomes easy. Like my mother says she loves to go to the railway station/airport to receive us but hates going to see us off. When you are going to meet someone there is so much of anticipation and excitement, you are almost jumping with joy, if not, at least grinning madly. You think of all the things that you have to tell that person/s, all those things you need to share, the happy days you are going to spend together. Life stretches out in front of you with joyous possibilities. But when you go to see someone off, you know there is going to be such a void back home that a person's leaving always makes. Time just flew, there are so many things left unsaid, so many activities left undone. You did not visit your old relative together, nor did not visit your favourite misti ir dokan/ sweet shop or show your new discovery, a shop which stocks the most beautiful saris. You wonder to yourself how come the days flew by so quickly, they never do when you are alone. Your heart feels heavy, your feet drag, yet you smile on bravely and chatter inanely, so that the person who is leaving does not feel worse.



But sometimes goodbyes are not bad. Like bidding goodbye to a long and lingering winter.

Every autumn I get excited about the approaching winter because it brings Christmas. And that means festivities, celebrations, good food, gifts, socialising and all things nice. Living in the West, I find December to be the most magical month. Though the days are short and cold, there is an excitement in the air which is almost tangible. There are lights and glitters everywhere, shops are beautifully decorated and brimming with merchandise, people also seem to be in a better mood than usual. Smiles and nods are in abundance. There is Christmas cheer in the air and all around!

But by the time March comes around, we are tired of winter, having survived the dreary January and February. We are weary of the relentless cold, the grey skies, the leafless tress and the heavy winter coats. Even if March is cold in our minds it is the harbinger of spring and we are impatient for the winter to move on and let spring in. We look for little signs of spring like the little green shoots, little less bite in the wind, little longer days and these small signs bring enormous cheer. Long winters are hard on everyone, but especially dreadful to tropical people like us used to a month or so of a lame excuse of a winter. Five long months of harsh winter seems like a corporal punishment.

This year in London spring is playing hide and seek with us. There have been some glorious days with sunshine and mild temperature. And then horrible grey days with biting cold comes back. But I am ready for spring, and I no longer want to wait for it. Since winter seems in no hurry to move on,  I decided to give it a little nudge and wish it a firm goodbye. I wrote winter a little note.

''Dear Winter, I'm afraid it is time for us to say goodbye. You know what they say about guests who overstay their welcome? Go away and come back after autumn. Bye for now. xoxo''

How about you folks? How do you feel about saying goodbye?

I wished winter goodbye with this glorious chocolate & orange tart. I chose this because of the orange in it. To me orange symbolises winter and what better way to say goodbye than this orange-y dessert?

If like me, you love orange flavoured chocolate, this is just the dessert for you. Not only does this tart smell of oranges, it tastes of oranges too. The dark chocolate when infused with orange caramel takes on a whole new depth. It takes you to chocolate heaven, propelled by the rest of the ingredients-- double cream, graham crackers, sugar, butter, coffee, nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla. When these fabulous ingredients come together they sure create magic!


I had bookmarked Chef Charles Draghi's orange and caramelized orange tarts a long time ago. From time to time I would watch the video. I love his relaxed, easy approach to cooking. Also this is one of the most detailed food videos I have come across. Finally I made the tart this Sunday. I am not sharing the whole recipe here. you can watch it in the Chef's video.

I followed everything to the last t. It came out a treat, only I was not very confident about pulling the tarts out of the ramekins. They felt a little wobbly.

It is a very heavy dessert, my husband and me, we could not finish one ramekin between the two of us. Given our (especially mine) voracious eating habits this was indeed a shock!

This is a dessert I would make again and again. Simply because it is one of those which not only tastes glorious, it falls into the food category of more is less. A couple of spoonfuls and you are sated.

Oh I switched to a Fairtrade and organic chocolate. Usually I use Lindt's 70% dark chocolate for my baking. This time picked up Green & Blacks 70% dark chocolate bars because they are organic and Fairtrade.  The moment I unwrapped the foil, a nice smell hit me. And the chocolate is just divine. It is silky smooth and creamy and not very bitter. All those who love dark chocolate, I do not, would find this pleasurable. I am sticking to this brand for now. Not only will I be doing some good to the world, I am getting superior quality in return. They cost the same as other luxury chocolate brands, so I am not even paying extra.


P.S. It's a glorious day here in London, the sun is out in full glory, with promises of temperature going up to 14 degrees. Do you think winter listened to me? Maybe got seduced by the chocolate and orange tarts?

149 comments:

  1. The beginning of the post was touching. However old..

    The tarts are so eye-catching. The chocolate and the brilliant orange! Lovely.

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  2. so colourful.. beautiful snaps.. feels like grabbing one
    Reshmi @ Noel collections

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  3. Delicious and such a flavorful tart... Looks so yummy

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  4. Very tempting and the pictures look awesome, the orange with the ringed peels looks so.. Beautiful..

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  5. Very nice and tempting photos. Spring is playing hide-n-seek in Scotland as well.

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    1. Oh well the weather last week had been gorgeous and same this week as well...so I guess I should stop complaining :-)

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  6. Your orange chocolate tart is gorgeous, and so inviting; but your photos are super sensational. Looks as if you have a professional photographer set up for each photo session, with all the right props, and scenes to be shot...all set for a lovely food magazine:DDD

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    1. Oh you are making me blush Elisabeth...I use regular kitchen stuff as my props :-)

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  7. Good byes are always tough. :(

    But the chocolate and orange tarts look gorgeous and so mouth watering. And a brilliant recipe indeed.

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  8. Wow, this is simply excellent. The recipe must be delicious and your photography is very good!

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  9. AWESOME !!!!!!!!! looks sooo good, wish i cld taste it :(

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  10. I am so with you Suchi on airport thing, my mom says the same thing! Well, we gotta do what we gotta do right? We in Dallas,did not have much of a winter but I am enjoying spring dreading for summer already :(

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    1. Yes Dixya it becomes tough for parents I guess when all the birds fly the nest :-)

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  11. ye s me too agree with u ...but i miss dis place as well....the tart is awesome...makes everyone drool i bet

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  12. on ur jan Goodbye was actually heart breaking....Then ur Tart is awesome..clicks are super..

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  13. looks really yumm.loved the colour.tempting n mouthwatering......iam big fan of ur pics dear.......
    Maha

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  14. Its painful to say good byes.. i always put on a brave face.. in fact most of the time till the nth moment i don't feel or realize anything & appear indifferent too (my friends claim that :D) and when the moment comes, i am inconsolable :D (though for a short time ).. Its always a crossroad between chasing the exotic dream(what seems exotic;) and leaving loved ones back home :)..
    The winter saying its good bye..playing hide & seek here too..with bright sunny days & suddenly a snow fall :D.. Loved the orange tart.. looks scrumptious.. B/w have u got a new cam, by any chance? the pics are awesome with a big A.. which one??

    Ongoing Event : I'm The Star

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  15. The moment I saw the bottle of Gales Honey kept aside, I was wondering whether you are in the UK. So, I read the full post and found out that yes you are here :)Hope you are enjoying the changing weather as much as I do ..

    I specially like the picture where you have peeled the Orange well.. It feels as I could smell the tangy fragrance here .. amazing pics once again Suchi ..

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    1. Nupur to be more precise we live in London :-)

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  16. these tarts are so eye catching ! loved ur post!!! loved ur presentation and the wonderful clicks !

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  17. What a great 'Goodbye'...Love your photos!

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  18. Lovely ones !! Awesome clicks too !!

    Ongoing event CC:Vegan Diet - Plant Based Food

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  19. Lovely clicks and nice recipe! He did indeed show it in a very detailed manner.

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    1. Yes the chef is very detailed which was really helpful for me :-)

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  20. What a lovely post. I'm sorry about your loss. Goodbyes are a sad part of life and always tough. This tart is a lovely way of saying goodbye to winter but also great to welcome the spring. Beautiful photos too :)

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  21. Suchi, what a beautiful and thoughtful post... I love your photos, it's brilliant! And the chocolate is always a good treat!

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  22. Lovely photography!Good recipe as well
    http://followfoodie.blogspot.com/

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  23. i love ur style of writing..straight from heart :)...goodbyes are always heartbreaking..tarts are just awesome, clicks are amazing..lovely post :)

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  24. Suchi,your clicks are so inviting....I had to stop myself from diving into the screen!!

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    1. hehehe Ramya am glad you did not divide into the computer screen :-)

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  25. I like saying good bye to winter but I generally hate goodbyes:(

    Life and travelling
    Cooking

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  26. Amazing clicks and yummy recipe...Fantastic!!

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  27. ur pics are just GORGEOUS! the one with the spirally peeled orange... beautiful. well i prefer winter to the hot sweaty summer days (hyderabad is like a furnace now).. wouldn mind diggin into this awesome looking dessert right now :)

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    1. Yes had I been in India, soon after eating mangoes to my heart's content I would have also not been too keen on summer :-) Here the summer is really nice, am enjoying it as much as I can while we are here :-)

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  28. Uff Suchi it looks so tempting ... Do you courier these ??

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    1. Am afraid not, they spoil easily Sangeeta:-)

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  29. wow wow wow!!!
    superb droolicious pictures!!

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  30. How beautiful. If this tastes as good as it looks you have a real winner on your hands. I love to visit here. I never leave empty handed and I know my family will love this dessert. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

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  31. Loved the goodbye part. Everytime we say goodbye to someone, a part of us clings to the loved one. And whenever fate has it so that the goodbye is final, a part of us goes for ever.

    Good you sweetened the piece with chocolates.

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  32. what a sweet adieu !! the sun has indeed been seduced by your pretty platter

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  33. Everytime I visit this blog, I start drooling:)

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  34. Arnab, me too!!!!

    And I bet not only London is cheered up by Suchi's chocolate orange tarts. :-) Suchi, how about planning a trip to Paris so you can also cheer up the weather with your recipes over here? We can cook and cook and take pics and talk movies and all? Saying goodby to the winter sure sounds like a good prospect.

    Lovely writing as always, Suchi. Keep delighting us.

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    1. It would be great to cook in Paris! :-)

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  35. MMMMMmmm...Suchi, it's sumptuous!

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  36. .. and I now need to stop coming here. I think I'm putting on weight just looking at all this gorgeous stuff.

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  37. The hotter months here wane much longer than the winter months. I am sure everyone would love to experience an even spread of seasons, but not sure where in the world that would be these days.
    Citrus and chocolate do make for such an amazing taste. By the looks of these pictures, you really used some good quality dark chocolate which is a great contrast to the zesty flavor of orange. Great post!

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  38. Amazing post,gorgeous pictures and chocolate and orange,,,Just wow,,My mouth watering right now just look at these Yummy dessert.
    Ridwan

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  39. Hi Suchi, love your chocolate orange tart. Very tempting and delicious.
    Your presentation look gorgeous and classy, beautiful click and 2 thumbs up for you.

    P/S The Hindi song in my blog aap jaise koi is my favorite, never get tired of listening since the 80's. And you believe it, I watch the movie Qurbani 3 times when it shown in the cinema. And partially because of the handsome Feroz Khan.

    Have a nice day. Regards

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    1. Yes Feroz Khan was one handsome man:-)

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  40. I could totally connect with this coz I am a migrant too.Saying goodbyes so often having studied in 5 different places and saying goodbyes to five different cultures and people...that is really something!!

    That orange and choco tart looks just yummy! You are a real hard worker ..you must've taken so much effort into making it look so deliciously gorgeous!! :)

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  41. Suchi look adorables!! love all with orange!Suchi I read you drink green tea, yesterday I try jazmin green tea is amazing, normally I drink green tea but I love to try others:)

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    1. Same here Gloria, I love drinking different kinds of tea, but always get back to green tea :-)

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  42. Beautifully captured...looks stunning.

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  43. Very enjoyable post. Absolutely in love with chocolate and orange. These tarts look beautiful! I'm in for baking winter away!

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  44. Suchi you put your heart in every post ..and it shows right up there with those gorgeous pictures and the write-ups..I have always found saying good-byes tough..wish I have half of your vibrancy to say bid good-byes..but for the time being even I am happy to say good bye to harsh winter..hugs and smiles

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    1. Lovely weather here, isn't it? :-)

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  45. Oooh I'm so badly craving for this right now!Gorgeous looking tart, chocolates and oranges, you can never go wrong with!Thanks for sharing :)

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  46. Hey Suchi,

    Chocolate and orange tart is incredible. Saying goodbyes to the winter is good reason to enjoy the summer and saying goodbye to a family member is not as easy as it takes to forget it. Happy to follow your vibrant space.

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    1. Thanks San :-) Welcome to my space :-)

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  47. hmmm yummy...those awesome pictures make it Irresistible

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  48. Hi Suchi,awesome pictures and the presentation is too good:)

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  49. Those are stunning! I love chocolate and orange as a flavor combination, and this looks totally delicious--a perfect early spring dessert.

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  50. Oh my godddd these trat is like a treat for both eyes n tummy

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  51. love the writup.inviting tart. wonderful carving

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  52. Hello Suchi,
    I have 'tagged' you in my post and would love to have you come over and take a look:)Hope it will be fun for you!!Do stop by!
    http://witwokandwisdom.blogspot.com/2012/03/of-tags-and-awards-and-much-delayed-ode.html

    Cheers,
    Sudha

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    1. Thanks Sudha, yes will definitely pop in...

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  53. I find it hard to say goodbye...especially to those we hold dear. But a few bites of your gorgeous dessert would help with any sorrow! This is truly a fabulous tart!

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  54. Temperatures UP to 14 degrees? As in, temperatures increasing by that much or hitting that degree? I am trying to recall if I've ever even seen 14 degrees.... We are around 70 degrees here already and I am NOT looking forward to another summer in the desert! I'll take as much more winter as I can.

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    1. Sorry these are Celsius ones, since both in India and in the UK they follow Celsius, I tend to forget that in some parts of the world it is Fahrenheit :-)

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  55. Hi Suchi,
    You have such a beautiful blog, love your space. I just got back from my lovely trip to New York where I was visiting family and friends. My daughter had a tough time saying bye to her cousin and her grandma. It is very difficult.
    The tarts look wonderful. Love the combination of orange and chocolate. So perfect.

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    1. Thanks Asmita, welcome to my blog :-)

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  56. Most beautiful of all....some recipes leave an mesmerizing effect on u r senses and this is one of them.....very yum plated......love the flavours too...

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  57. oh yes green and blacks are simply the best. After you use that, the cadburys one is so pathetic :)
    orange and choc sounds like a great combo, im def giving this a shot over the weekend.
    Gorgeous weather isnt it :)

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    1. Yes the weather is too good to be true :-)

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  58. Chocolate and orange are my favorite dessert combo. Love this individual portion decadence :)

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  59. This looks incredible. Such a good combination chocolate and orange. They look beautiful!

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  60. Hi Suchi.very lovely post,delicious orange and chocolate tart and awesome clicks..loved it so much.I also love anything with orange flavour :)
    superb blog dear !!!
    Anjana

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  61. Hiya. Just followed you over from my blog! And already slobbering at the dessert :-)
    Jaffa's such a classic isn't it?

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  62. these tarts look absolutely fabulous, and that chocolate orange flavor combination is just fantastic! yum!

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  63. What a delicious way to say goodbye to winter! It looks super!

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  64. Of course winter listened! These look beautiful, and I love the color scheme in the photographs. Hey, I just gave you the "Versatile Blogger" award, just FYI. Have a great weekend!

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  65. Suchi~I awarded you the Versatile Blogger Award because I ♥ your blog and think you have a fabulous blog! Have a fantastic week my friend!
    http://thymeofourlife.blogspot.com/2012/03/versatile-blogger-awards.html

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  66. This is incredible! I want some right now! Chocolate and orange together is amazing! love the pics and recipe :) deeeelish

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  67. An absolutely awesome way to say Goodbye to winter! Loved your post and the recipe!

    Cheers
    Priya
    http://aalayamkanden.blogspot.in

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  68. I am so sorry to hear about your grandmother (belated). It's never easy to say goodbye though, like you, I'm happy to say goodbye to winter :-) This looks incredible! Chocolate and orange is such a wonderful flavor combination.

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  69. I can't believe how good this looks. I had to stop everything to stare at this for a few minutes. Gorgeous!

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  70. awesome post...........just stumbled upon your blog at indiblogger...i am your happy new follower.
    do drop by my space when you get some time.

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Thanks for visiting my space and spending some time here. Hope you enjoyed your stay. I will be very happy if you choose to leave a comment.
Au revoir friend!

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