Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Roasted Broccoli and Cheese Sandwiches...oh my, yummm!!!

Last night I was in the mood for sandwiches. My initial plan was to go for the regular Bombay sandwiches but then my eyes fell on the broccoli in the refrigerator and I thought, why not do something with these babies! So, I came up with this delicious recipe all by myself... okay, let me rephrase that. So, I googled a recipe all by myself and tried to create (replicate, rather) a sandwich that is not only healthy but super duper delicious!

Drooling, are we? I'll tell you how I did it.

I sauteed the broccoli as I usually do, with garlic in some butter, adding the broccoli florets, salt, black pepper powder, dried Italian herbs and chilli flakes, all tossed in a high flame until they are crisp but not fully cooked. I let them cool and then stuffed them and a few fresh tomato slices and half a cheese slice in between two bread slices, and grilled them away to glory!

Ah, the oozing cream of the cheese and the bite of the broccoli along with the freshness of the tomato, created a mouth watering combination of ultimate satisfaction! You have to try it guys!

Here's a teaser for you slurpurs!

Do try it and let me know how it worked out and also if you added/deleted some ingredients. I'd love to know!

Until next time! ðŸ‘‹

Thursday, January 4, 2018

It's New Year! (again...)

Courtesy: www.giphy.com

Happy New Year guys! 

Wow, can you believe that a whole year just flew by and some of us are still at the same place?!? ðŸ˜Not to be a pessimist but that is what happens almost every year with me.😑 I am sure am not alone now, am I?

Well, the past year wasn't entirely hopeless. There were a few good things worth mentioning. I have been getting a lot of book reviewing offers for my blog Book Vue and have been doing some networking. I have moved my book review blog to WordPress (its not treason, its called expansion!), have been active on social media and been leaning the tactics of the industry. Not too well, may I add but still, getting somewhere I hope.

On the home front, my children seem to have suddenly grown up, each with their own crazy views (including my 5 year old). I have been honing my cooking skills, as some of you may know through my previous post. Health wise there have been some issues that I plan to resolve very soon through sheer dedication and will power. Can any of you tell me where I can find these two brats? They're kinda playing hard to get!

Nevertheless, as every year, I begin this year too with hopes and 'plans'. Be it my blogs, my health or my family, I will try my best to come out of my comfort zone and do something different. I don't sound like my true self to me right now, but I just want to hope and put it out there. Out there in the void.... like Meg Ryan did....in You've Got Mail. And she found her solution, didn't she?

So here's to being grateful for everything I have and wishing for the dormant courage in me to burst open and the unshakable will that I always had but is now hibernating somewhere. Ah well, it is winter, isn't it? I probably will give it some time and it will help me find my Tom Hanks destiny. Ahem!

Wishing everyone a Happy, Prosperous and Content New Year 2018!

Monday, November 20, 2017

Truly Tribal - An Online Tribal Art Gallery : An Experience

*** This is not a sponsored post ***

Hello everyone! Today, I have a unique review for you. It is about an online shop called Truly Tribal and the uniqueness is in its products consisting of beautiful artifacts that mesmerize you from the start!

Based in Pune and founded by Shweta Menon, Truly Tribal is an online tribal art gallery that showcases handicrafts and artworks from various regions in India. Truly Tribal focuses on giving the tribal artists a platform to display their art works and providing a means to make their beautiful handiwork, a source of their income. This online store contacts tribal artisans throughout India to bring global attention and recognition to their handiwork.

Having personally done business with Truly Tribal, I can say that it possesses some of the most unique decor items. It not only caters to individuals but also customizes designs for corporates and interior work.

My personal experience has been the purchase of several items but the one I want to talk about here is the candle wall decor that I bought during Diwali. Here are some pictures:

Candle Wall Decor (without candles)

Candle Wall Decor (lit up with candles!)

The candle holder is made of wrought iron and is hand crafted in Moradabad. With candles lit, it looks absolutely surreal! I can't tell you how many compliments I received for this art piece that is surely a proud possession.

Some of the other handmade pieces I got from Truly Tribal:

Palm Leaf bookmarks, hand painted

A necklace and earring set in brass work

Brass Jhumkas (can never have enough jhumkas!)

The products are a beautiful collection of all kinds of tribal arts be it brass work, paintings, palm leaf artifacts or sculptures. So the next time you want to pick up some gift items or home decor, I would definitely recommend checking this unique art gallery out.

To know more, click here: http://www.trulytribal.in/

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

The time I messed up my Diwali chocolates

Every year I make chocolates for Diwali as a change to the regular Indian sweets and savories. Some of mom's classics I retain but my kids look forward to the chocolates that have now become a tradition at home. So this year too, I made them, albeit with a big screw up and a resultant lesson learned.

I wanted to make my usual chocolate barks and after I was done with the white chocolate ones, I moved on to my favorite, dark chocolate bark with sea salt, orange zest and almonds. I was sure it would turn out great as it does every year (stop the applause, please!).

Anyways, while the chocolate was melting into its silky, velvety self on a double boiler, I couldn't but help notice how succulent and delicious the oranges smelt! I had just grated their zest you see and there they sat, devoid of their skin but nevertheless ruthlessly inviting me!

My mind wandered and I thought I ought to use the fresh juice of those oranges in my chocolate. Now, I don't usually experiment with food but this time I was sure I was doing the right thing! It would definitely elevate the taste and moreover, "wouldn't the acidity of the fresh juice cut through the sweetness of the chocolate?", my master chef brain thought. Proud of my clever train of (premature) thoughts, I went ahead and added a good splash of the orange juice to my silky, melted chocolate. There! I had just created my masterpiece!

Apparently, not! As soon as I began mixing the chocolate, the silkiness disappeared and gave way to this angry, rigid lump! Ok, I made a terrible mistake, but now what? What was I supposed to do with this lump?

Thankfully, the logical part of my brain (with its eyes rolled) pushed aside the (very embarrassed) master chef one and took control of the situation. I quickly added the salt, zest and almonds to the lump and made chocolate balls out of it. Not the desired output but that would have to do for now.

Later, I googled and found out that there is a reason chocolate is melted on a double boiler, so that moisture doesn't get into it and make it a lump of unmovable chocolate! Ah! Light bulb!

Well, as it happened, the taste was exceptional but the texture wasn't right so I couldn't gift it to my friends. As a result, a valuable lesson learned. Also, I don't think I would be experimenting with food anytime soon.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

One crazy post by one crazy gal!

While returning from my workout today, I just stopped dead in my tracks as I spotted these rich red, plump looking tomatoes with their stalks still attached. These are the local variety and I especially love the tanginess they add which takes the tastiness factor of any dish many notches higher than usual. I was so bewitched, I know bewitched is a strong word for something as simple as tomatoes, but hey, I'm a tomato lover so empathize, alright? Anyway, I began picking them and dropping them in a basket when, thankfully, I zapped back to reality and realized that I didn't have my wallet on me. Duh!

Sheepishly, I stood upright and tried not to show any emotions. And then switching to the Schwarzenegger in me I told the lady vendor that, I'll be back. Either she hadn't watched The Terminator or was so desperate for a sale because as soon as I said that, she started bargaining and offered the tomatoes for a lesser price! Embarrassing as it all was, I convinced her that I didn't have any money and would pick up my wallet and be back.

And back I was. Bought two kilos of the most desirable and juiciest looking things, although I already had a kilo of regular tomatoes at home. Hey, you can't have too many tomatoes, that's unheard of bro! Here, take a look at my prize!

And now, I'm off to googling tomato recipes.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Green Tokri - An Amazing Farm Tour

Disclaimer: This is NOT a sponsored/promotional post. The views expressed here are my own.

Perhaps everyone of us living in Pune must have come across Green Tokri products in the market. As a family, we particularly love their salad leaves, basil pesto, tomato pesto, pasta sauce and strawberry jam. But after this farm tour, we have had the chance to come up close and personal with the farm itself and some of their other products that are absolutely lip smacking! Most importantly, we now know the source of these products and the kind of love and dedication that goes behind producing the same.

Green Tokri is a farm in the outskirts of Pune where all kinds of exotic vegetables like salad leaves, celery, fennel...you name it, are grown. Having been planning from a long time, we finally had a weekend date set for a farm tour, that we are all so looking forward to.

We needed to reach the farm ideally by 9:30 am, the tour begins at 10:00 am. From Kondhwa, we climbed the Bopdev ghat and onwards, following Google Maps all the way. You will be sent directions, once you book the tour. It did seem like the farm is in the middle of nowhere but we kept driving. Of course, it would have been helpful if there were some sign boards from the main road for visitors to follow. Anyway, once we reached (armed with caps, sun glasses, sunscreen etc), we were welcomed with a cool, refreshing strawberry drink. The Farm Manager, Mr. Khan (or 'K' as he liked to be called) began explaining the different types of salad leaves and herbs grown there. I didn't even know so many varieties of salad leaves even existed! K prepared a salad for all of us to taste which was lip smacking! Don't believe me? You've got to taste it to believe it! And then we went ahead with our tour.
Types of Salad Leaves

First stop, the Greenhouse. This is where cucumbers, jalapenos, cherry tomatoes grow in a controlled environment. Mr. K meticulously explained the process of cultivating, irrigating and pest control for the plants. Children were encouraged to pick cherry tomatoes to take home. 

The Greenhouse

There were a number of fruit trees outside the greenhouse. Among them were avocados. They grow a few varieties of avocados, we could see some up on the trees. We then headed towards the section where the salad leaves had taken over the landscape. These leaves are grown in open spaces throughout the year, irrespective of the season. The medley of colors of the leaves was beautiful. We were allowed to pick lettuce to take home. They have strawberries and during the season. Visitors can pick them too.

The next stop was the Nursery where K gave us a glimpse of  little salad leaves saplings and other vegetable saplings. He also explained how meticulously his workers work each day to ensure timely plantation. The children were then taken to plant a sapling each, while the adults shopped for some of the fresh produce available like celery, spinach, kale etc.

Exotic veggies for sale

It was around one in the afternoon by then and we were famished. Lunch was to be served in a different place. We were taken to a farm house in a tractor, yes you read it right, a tractor! The ride was fun, needless to say. Arriving at the farmhouse, our lunch was laid out and ready. What a scrumptious spread indeed! They had bread, Green Tokri dips, pickles, fruits and much more. As we were gorging on the deliciousness, K, ever so sweetly, prepared pasta for all of us with different combinations like pasta with basil pesto, with mayonnaise etc. We had our fill to the maximum! To think that you could actually feel full eating salad and veggies...well, it is something you should go visit and experience for yourself!
A small part of the scrumptious lunch!

After lunch, we were given two free gifts (Green Tokri products) for each ticket. Besides the gifts, we also purchased some of their other goodies too.

Green Tokri products for sale

The crowd then headed towards the playground area in the farm house which kept the kids busy, as we parents relaxed. It was around 3 at noon when we finally bid adieu to the lovely place and an amazing experience. Mr. K and his wife, Eliza were perfect hosts!

It is a unique experience, to visit a farm especially for children. In my opinion, Green Tokri is a revolutionary venture. They introduce exotic vegetables to our Indian homes and also encourage us to include a proper salad to our daily diet. Do try out Green Tokri products, especially their pickles. I honestly believe, the pickles have the power to transform a salad from dull to delicious! The products are tasty and healthy at the same time. All in all, highly recommended products and a highly recommended trip!

If you are interested in booking a farm tour, click here.
Visit their website here.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Paperboat has gone nuts!! (Product review inside!)

I love Paperboat products. They are new, different and the best part is one can always relate to childhood memories. That connection is what makes the beverages taste better, I believe. Well, Paperboat has now branched into snacks and its first offering is .... wait for it..... Paperboat chikki! 


Speaking of childhood memories, I remember mine in Delhi where winters were the chilliest and the season's goodies, the yummiest. Be it chikki, gajak or revadi, the mere mention of these were enough to make our mouths water! 

Paperboat chikkis are a delicious mixture of peanuts and jaggery (although some sugar is added) which is not hard and is easily cracked to share it with loved ones. Healthy and yummy, with a pocket friendly price, it is the perfect winter snack!

Sadly, I don't have more pictures of the chikki Paperboat sent me, it just vanished into everyone's mouths! Guess, that speaks for itself. Thank you Paperboat for bringing out the child in us.

Looking forward to many more reminisces and deliciousness from Paperboat!

Check my review on Paperboat beverages here.

Check out their website here.
Follow them on Twitter here.
Catch them on Facebook here.

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