Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Yay...more vegetarian options

It can be tough to be a vegetarian in Middle east countries where the staple diet consists of variety of meat.

Not that I'm asking people to convert to vegetarian, all I'm saying is I have limited options where to dine and what to eat.

As told in my previous blog, i love travelling ..and one of the preparations I do before travelling to any new place is to look for vegetarian options in the local cuisine.

Lebanese food is one of most loved cuisine ,influencing cuisine of many surrounding nations.

So, me & DH decided to explore a Lebanese restaurant today. At first, the waiter was a bit confused when we asked for vegetarian options. We picked up the menu card and started asking for ingredients of the dishes we thought meet our criteria.He was kind enough to answer all the questions.

We ordered Veg. Sambousak and Fattet eggplant.
Veg sambousak is Lebanese form of Indian samosa with slight difference in the outer covering and the filling.
I loved Fattet eggplant for two reasons: my favorite ingredients-curd and eggplant and the crispiness of roasted pita bread and pine seeds.

I recommend you try these two whenever you go to a Lebanese restaurant.

Do you have a recommendation too?(writing about food makes me hungry ...lol)






 

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Yay another first!!

I'm not sure if there is a word to describe the excitement of doing a thing/activity for the first time.
'firsts' always excite me...be it the first car ride,first view of the sea or first salary in new job. personally, I feel that firsts are an assurance to ourselves that life has much more to offer than we what see in our daily life.
Someone very rightly said everyday is a new learning. I try to achieve this in my professional as well as personal life.
I have already talked about my wonderful cross stitch group on fb.im always learning something  new about the art of cross stitching because of this group.
I wanted to make a personalized gift for my new born nephew since he was born and learnt about birth samplers on the group. I think they are a beautiful way to capture arrival of new baby.
here are pictures of the birth sampler I made for my nephew and the family loved it. I have made few changes to the design: I have stitched birth time instead of birth weight and changed the font to a simpler one as the original one had backstitching(I'm still not good at BS).

Started on : 5-Sep -2014
Finished on: 22-Oct -2014
Stitched on:14 count white Aida
Floss used :Anchor
Designer: Anchor design studio
Pattern source: Cross stitch collection, Sept 2014
Number of colors: 19
Stitch count:214H*144W
Type of stitches: Full cross stitch, back stitch, half stitch, french knot
Number of strands used :2 for Full cross stitches,1 for back stitch,3/2/1 for half stitch


I used the loop method to start the thread for the first time....thank you Pat Carson for the tip.
I also serged the fabric to prevent fraying.

This is my first birth sampler for the first member of new generation of my family :) .The cherry on the cake is..the only French knot in the design was made by my MIL..



Monday, 1 September 2014

Cross stitch bookmarks

The other day when I showed one of my crafty friends what I'm stitching these days...she asked how am I'm gonna finish it. I said i will get it framed and hang on the wall. She asked how about making pieces which are more practical(can be used in daily life).

Inspired by her advice and my wonderful FB group, I thought of trying my hands at making bookmarks.


I loved stitching these simple quick bookmarks...best part being I could use threads given by my mom when she stopped cross stitching.



I had a hard time finishing these as I am bad at sewing :(
Lesson learnt: learn sewing

Finished piece details:

Started on : 12-Aug -2014
Finished on: 20-Aug -2014
Stitched on:14 count white Aida
Floss used :Dolly,Rangoli
Pattern details: Freebie from Whispered by the winds
Number of colors: 3
Stitch count:18W*97H,15W*71H
Type of stitches: Full cross stitch
Number of strands used :2 for Full cross stitches

 I also used highlighting for the first time to keep track of what I have stitched.

Friday, 29 August 2014

First finish of 2014

Here are pics of my first finish of 2014.

Finished piece details:

Started on : 2011
Finished on: 23-Aug -2014
Stitched on:14 count white Aida
Floss used :Anchor
Designer:
Pattern source: Freebie from DMC club
Number of colors: 20
Stitch count:144H*217W
Type of stitches: Full cross stitch
Number of strands used :3 for Full cross stitches

I had to make a few changes to the colors used as some of the anchor equivalent to DMC weren't available.

The piece now hangs in my living room








Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Tomato and Basil Bruschetta

Who doesn't love the crunchiness of  tomatoes ,topped with flavor of fresh herbs....this dish combines both in a perfect way.
I tried my hands at this recipe yesterday and loved it so much that I had to blog it for you foodies. The original recipe is from Jamieoliver ,I added a few more fresh greens which were available in my kitchen.

Here's a simple and quick recipe for a yummy appetizer customized for Indian household.

Ingredients(makes 8 slices)
1. Bread slices...original recipe calls for loaf of French or Italian bread
2. 4-5 tomatoes
3. 4-5 tbsp. of olive oil
4. 2-3 cloves of garlic
5. Fresh basil(Basil belongs to the same biological family as Tulsi).U can use dried basil easily   available in food market.
6. Fresh coriander leaves
7.  Fresh mint leaves
8. Salt and black pepper
9. Vinegar
10. Small quantity of chopped onion

Procedure
1.Wash and cut the tomatoes in half. Remove the seeds and squeeze the juice a little bit. Chop the tomatoes.
2.Add crushed(or finely chopped) garlic ,chopped onions,olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper to the tomatoes. Mix these in a bowl.
3.Add washed and chopped coriander ,mint and basil leaves to the above mix.
4. Keep this mix aside for 15 mins and let the flavors soak in the tomatoes.
5.Roast the bread in a toaster/oven or on a non stick tawa.
6.Add the topping to the roasted bread and serve.

This dish can be a perfect party snack/appetizer .For a kids party, just add cheese on the bread while roasting...they will love it.

 

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Oh how i missed ...cross stitching

2014 has been a great year...why...well there are so many reasons to that: First: Me and my husband (fondly called B&B by friends) moved to a new country ;Second: My nephew was born bringing so much joy to the family; Third I rediscovered/repicked my hobby of cross stitching.

I can write/talk so much about the first twos...but I have decided to dedicate this post to Cross stitch.

A little bit of back ground first...cross stitch(also called counted cross stitch) is a kind of embroidery done on special type of fabrics like aida, evenweave and linen.
My mom introduced me to cross stitch when I was 8 years old. It was her way of channelizing my energy into something creative during my two month long summer break.
I remember I always liked cross stitch over the embroideries which my mom taught me in the coming years.

Living in a small town ,the only cross stitch supplies I had access to were anchor threads and 14 count aida. So until I was 19 years old, all I stitched  was table covers with simple borders :)

My aunt who is an immensely creative person gave me a book of cross stitch in 2000 and I started trying hands at bigger designs.

I will post pics of things I have stitched until 2014 soon...

Coming to the present...what do you when the temperature outside is 50 deg C ,you don't have a car to move around and the office ends at 3 pm .....well you cross stitch.
My UFO which I started in 2011 ,then picked up in Dec 2013, was calling me. I had all the time now and started stitching ...
I have also found this wonderful cross stitch group on facebook where I am able to learn enormously about the art of cross stitch .Since then I have made wonderful stitchy friends  who have patiently answered my silly questions.

I can now say that I'm crazy about cross stitching now and wonder how I ever lived without cross stitching


 

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Bhoplycha Bharit (Pumpkin raita)

Being brought up in Punjabi household means that a person ends up eating curd as many as three times a day....
Even the punjabi breakfast of stuffed parathas is incomplete without a bowl of fresh curd.

Raita (condiment made with yogurt/curd, served cold)  is also an essential part of Indian meal. It is served with sabji (cooked veggies with spices), pulao, rice etc.
I remember during childhood ,whenever my mom cooked a sabji which I particularly didn't like, raita would act as my savior. I would eat my chappatis (indian flat bread) with a huge bowl of raita. My mom used to make 3-4 types of raita to offer variety .
As I grew up, eating raita/curd became a  compulsion for me ;).I still look out for raita in a party or wedding buffet, imagine that!


This simple maharastrian recipe is for all curd/raita lovers....

Bhoplycha Bharit (Pumpkin raita)

Ingredients

1.Curd
2.Pumpkin
3.Salt to taste


For the seasoning
1.Mustard seeds(Rai)
2.Red whole chilly(one should be enough)
3.Turmeric powder(optional)
4.1 tsp cooking oil


Procedure
1.Wash,peel and cut the pumpkin in big cubes.
2.Boil the pumpkin in a pressure cooker.
3.Mash the boiled pumpkin, add curd to it.
4.Heat the oil in a pan ,add mustard seeds, red chilly,Turmeric powder and salt to it.
5.Add the seasoning to curd-pumpkin mixture and mix well.
6.Garnish with coriander leaves.

Enjoy the raita with any sabji. I enjoy it with steamed rice....

Tip: The original maharashtrian recipe has less of curd as compared to the usual raita ,add curd according to your liking.





 

Thursday, 19 June 2014

I have a new hobby....Cooking ..yay!!!!


Hello readers,

 

It’s been a long time, so much so that I have developed a new hobby in the time ;)

My new found love is Cooking….I know many would say oh that’s every females passion.

 
I have always loved exploring new food. I remember trying new dishes every time my dad used to take us to the local restaurant in childhood. These local restaurants served local delicacies ( of course) along with their own version of other cuisine like Chinese …I know many would agree how they grew up goggling on Indo Chinese chowmein (other name of noodles), fried rice and Manchurian.

 


As I ventured out of my hometown to pursue my graduation, I got to eat foods of Punjab, one of the Northern States of India (yes…the state which gave the World “Chicken Tikka Masala").It’s amazing how same dish can be prepared in so many ways in India, you end up having 3 to 4 versions of the same dish from different states.
 
I discovered that I like cooking when I made an attempt to impress my husband (to-be husband, then) by preparing a full course meal. I just loved the look on his face and it’s the same look which inspires me to try new recipes even after 7 years of marriage.

 
Its 2014, and I have spent substantial amount of time in 5 states of India, adding all lot of local delicacies in my kitty.

 
Now let me tell you how my passion for travel has helped me develop this hobby of cooking. When you are travelling, being a vegetarian can become really painful, not only outside India but even in many parts of India.

As part of my preparations for travel, I usually search for vegetarian food options which make my stay in the travel city very easy.
 

Me and my girlfriends often discuss our travels and share tips on “must-eat” of every famous destination. I just realized yesterday that I end up giving out at least one veg. recipe each day to my friends over the phone. So the idea of jotting these down in my blog clicked.

 
With thousands of food blogs available on internet, I’ll try to be different by writing recipes of  simplest of the food which is cooked daily in Indian household plus the non-Indian recipes I have tried over the years on request of my gfs.

 
 
My first recipe to follow soon….

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